Personality type

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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befriend
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Personality type

Post by befriend » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:44 pm

Is focusing on one of the four foundations of mindfulness better for the three personality types which are greedy, aversive or delusional? Just as an example is mindfulness of feelings better for an aversive person etc...? Thank you.
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

paul
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Re: Personality type

Post by paul » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:42 am

The Visuddhimagga states that the temperaments have their source in the elements, and in my opinion the four foundations of mindfulness are based on the four elements, the body/earth, feelings/water, consciousness/air, contents of the mind/fire, and so there is a commonality with the western astrology signs which are also based on the four elements.
For example the water signs are able to access feeling most readily. But temperament should not limit the practitioner and should only be a pathway into the four foundations, these four contemplations are in reality not to be taken as separate exercises, but as things inseparably associated with each other. As a generalisation, temperament also determines which of the hindrances a practitioner is subject to, fire is easily able to be accessed by anger, water by sensual desire, earth by doubt due to attachment to conventional structures and air by physical inactivity due to mental energy. Irrespective of what astrological sign a practitioner is, knowing which defilement one is habitually subject to requires mindfulness of the third foundation, states of mind.
“Do I usually remain covetous or not? With thoughts of ill will or not? Overcome by sloth or drowsiness or not? Restless or not? Uncertain or gone beyond uncertainty? Angry or not? With soiled thoughts or unsoiled thoughts? With my body aroused or unaroused? Lazy or with persistence aroused? Unconcentrated or concentrated ? […] Just as when a person whose turban or head was on fire would put forth intense desire, effort, diligence, endeavour, relentlessness, mindfulness and alertness to put out the fire in the turban on his head, in the same way the monk should put forth intense desire, effort, diligence, endeavour, relentlessness, mindfulness and alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities.—AN 10:51

befriend
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Re: Personality type

Post by befriend » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:29 pm

Thank you very much
nothing can destroy a man who has lived a pure life

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TreeSleeper
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Re: Personality type

Post by TreeSleeper » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:46 pm

befriend wrote:Is focusing on one of the four foundations of mindfulness better for the three personality types which are greedy, aversive or delusional? Just as an example is mindfulness of feelings better for an aversive person etc...? Thank you.
You should focus on the four foundations equally no matter what temperament you are. The foundations are just a method and guide to contemplation. It's not like they're these real things. Everyone has feelings and defilements caught up in those feelings, it doesn't matter if you're angry, greedy, or delusional. Contemplating these things will reduce your anger, greed, and delusion, no matter which one is most strong. An angry person has a lot of feelings they want to get rid of, a greedy person has a lot of feelings they want to keep, a delusional person doesn't know what's happening and is generally quite confused with the whole lot of feelings haha. Well in all seriousness a delusional type is just indifferent to feelings.

But the main focus of contemplation should just be on the first two foundations of mindfulness. The body and feelings. Once you've realized that the body is 'not-self', you still have the lingering attachment to feelings. So you contemplate feelings until you realize they too are 'not-self'. Then you move up like that. So really most your attention should be on realizing the not-self nature of the body. And again that applies no matter what type you are. A greedy person is no more attached to the body than a hateful person is. They are both equally attached. It's just two opposite sides of a spectrum. One says I want, the other says I don't want. They are both in the position of holding on to firmly.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Personality type

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:08 pm

paul wrote:The Visuddhimagga states that the temperaments have their source in the elements,
The Visuddhimagga states that some people hold this view, but then goes on to reject it:

Buddhaghosa wrote:Herein, as some say, the first three kinds of temperament to begin with have their source in previous habit; and they have their source in elements and humours. Apparently one of greedy temperament has formerly had plenty of desirable tasks and gratifying work to do, or has reappeared here after dying in a heaven. And one of hating temperament has formerly had plenty of stabbing and torturing and brutal work to do or has reappeared here after dying in one of the hells or the nāga (serpent) existences. And one of deluded temperament has formerly drunk a lot of intoxicants and neglected learning and questioning, or has reappeared here after dying in the animal existence. It is in this way that they have their source in previous habit, they say.

Then a person is of deluded temperament because two elements are prominent, that is to say, the earth element and the water element. He is of hating temperament because the other two elements are prominent. But he is of greedy temperament because all four are equal. And as regards the humours, one of greedy temperament has phlegm in excess and one of deluded temperament has wind in excess. Or one of deluded temperament has phlegm in excess and one of greedy temperament has wind in excess. So they have their source in the elements and the humours, they say.

[Now, it can rightly be objected that] not all of those who have had plenty of desirable tasks and gratifying work to do, and who have reappeared here after dying in a heaven, are of greedy temperament, or the others respectively of hating and deluded temperament; and there is no such law of prominence of elements as that asserted; and only the pair, greed and delusion, are given in the law of humours, and even that subsequently contradicts itself; and no source for even one among those beginning with one of faithful temperament is given. Consequently this definition is indecisive.

The following is the exposition according to the opinion of the teachers of the commentaries; or this is said in the “explanation of prominence”: “The fact that these beings have prominence of greed, prominence of hate, prominence of delusion, is governed by previous root-cause.

“For when in one man, at the moment of his accumulating [rebirth-producing] kamma, greed is strong and non-greed is weak, non-hate and non-delusion are strong and hate and delusion are weak, then his weak non-greed is unable to prevail over his greed, but his non-hate and non-delusion being strong are able to prevail over his hate and delusion. That is why, on being reborn through rebirth-linking given by that kamma, he has greed, is good-natured and unangry, and possesses understanding with knowledge like a lightning flash.

“When, at the moment of another’s accumulating kamma, greed and hate are strong and non-greed and non-hate weak, and non-delusion is strong and delusion weak, then in the way already stated he has both greed and hate but possesses understanding with knowledge like a lightning flash, like the Elder Datta-Abhaya.

“When, at the moment of his accumulating kamma, greed, non-hate and delusion are strong and the others are weak, then in the way already stated he both has greed and is dull but is good-tempered and unangry, like the Elder Bahula.

“When, at the moment of his accumulating kamma, non-greed, hate and delusion are strong and the others are weak, then in the way already stated he has little defilement and is unshakable even on seeing a heavenly object, but he has hate and is slow in understanding.

“When, at the moment of his accumulating kamma, non-greed, non-hate and non-delusion are strong and the rest weak, then in the way already stated he has no greed and no hate, and is good-tempered but slow in understanding.

“Likewise when, at the moment of his accumulating kamma, non-greed, hate and non-delusion are strong and the rest weak, then in the way already stated he both has no greed and possesses understanding but has hate and is irascible.

“Likewise when, at the moment of his accumulating kamma, the three, that is, non-hate, non-greed, and non-delusion, are strong and greed, etc., are weak, then in the way already stated he has no greed and no hate and possesses understanding, like the Elder Mahā-Saṅgharakkhita.”

One who, as it is said here, “has greed” is one of greedy temperament; one who “has hate” and one who “is dull” are respectively of hating temperament and deluded temperament. One who “possesses understanding” is one of intelligent temperament. One who “has no greed” and one who “has no hate” are of faithful temperament because they are naturally trustful. Or just as one who is reborn through kamma accompanied by non-delusion is of intelligent temperament, so one who is reborn through kamma accompanied by strong faith is of faithful temperament, one who is reborn through kamma accompanied by thoughts of sense desire is of speculative temperament, and one who is reborn through kamma accompanied by mixed greed, etc., is of mixed temperament. So it is the kamma productive of rebirth-linking and accompanied by someone among the things beginning with greed that should be understood as the source of the temperaments.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Personality type

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:43 pm

befriend wrote:Is focusing on one of the four foundations of mindfulness better for the three personality types which are greedy, aversive or delusional? Just as an example is mindfulness of feelings better for an aversive person etc...? Thank you.
The idea of each satipaṭṭhāna being a "medicine" for a particular temperament comes from the Nettipakaraṇa:

Attachment-temperament (rāgacarita): contemplation of body
Aversion-temperament (dosacarita): contemplation of feeling
Dull view-temperament (manda diṭṭhicarita): contemplation of mind
Intelligent view-temperament (udatta diṭṭhicarita): contemplation of dhammas

By the time of Buddhaghosa the scheme seems to have fallen into virtual desuetude, with even the Netti commentaries having little to say about it.

paul
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Re: Personality type

Post by paul » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:40 pm

Dhammanando wrote:So it is the kamma productive of rebirth-linking and accompanied by someone among the things beginning with greed that should be understood as the source of the temperaments.
Of course kamma is the fundamental cause of the elements, but sequentially following that the elements are the primary qualities of matter and also logically of temperament, and it is only the primitive state of early secular psychological knowledge that causes the Vishuddhimagga to avoid acknowledging them in that role while being unquestioning about the elements as a basis for materiality. Even so it attributes an element source for the kinds of mental phenomena:

“As to distinction between internal and external: the internal elements are the [material] support for the physical bases of consciousness, for the kinds of intimation, and for the material faculties.”— Vism. XI, 107.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Personality type

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:35 am

paul wrote:
Dhammanando wrote:So it is the kamma productive of rebirth-linking and accompanied by someone among the things beginning with greed that should be understood as the source of the temperaments.
Of course kamma is the fundamental cause of the elements, but sequentially following that the elements are the primary qualities of matter and also logically of temperament,
"Logically" only to those committed to physicalism, which Buddhaghosa wasn't.

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