Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

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binocular
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Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by binocular » Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:21 am

Hello.


Inasmuch admirable friendship, kalyanamittata, pertains to a particular type of relationship with people, how is it similar to ordinary friendship, and how does it differ from it?

I'm thinking specifically of the differences that there may be in terms of emotional intimacy and mutual loyalty to the relationship.


Please discuss. Thank you.
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Bundokji
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Re: Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by Bundokji » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:25 am

I don't think there is a meaningful difference between the two considering that like-minded people are more likely to form friendships. Those who seek wisdom are more likely to find/encounter like minded people. The same applies to people who have other interests as the basis of their friendships.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Re: Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:50 am

Greetings Binocular,
binocular wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:21 am
I'm thinking specifically of the differences that there may be in terms of emotional intimacy and mutual loyalty to the relationship.
I'm not sure those are particularly significant points of difference in one type over the other.

Admirable or spiritual friendship is a mutually supportive friendship, where both people encourage one other on their spiritual path, and help to get the best out of one another.

"Ordinary" friendship may potentially do that do, but there's also a whole lot of other less "admirable" reasons people might be friends.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

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seeker242
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Re: Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by seeker242 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:01 am

And what is accomplishment in good friendship? It’s when a gentleman resides in a town or village. And in that place there are householders or their children who may be young or old, but are mature in conduct, accomplished in faith, ethics, generosity, and wisdom. That person associates with them, converses, and engages in discussion. And they emulate the same kind of accomplishment in faith, ethics, generosity, and wisdom. This is called accomplishment in good friendship.
— AN 8.54
The main difference is who you are friends with. Having friends that are admirable, according to wise ones, and worthy of emulation. Ordinary friendship is just friendship with whoever.

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Re: Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by santa100 » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:49 pm

binocular wrote:Inasmuch admirable friendship, kalyanamittata, pertains to a particular type of relationship with people, how is it similar to ordinary friendship, and how does it differ from it?

Admirable friendship is a lot more than just ordinary friendship. Beside the kind words, emotional support, and stuff, it's the quality and content of information conducive to the Path, to understand dukkha, its cause, its cessation, and the Path. Your good ordinary friend might be able to console you with some nice words during a time of grief or distress, but your admirable friend can do a lot more, s/he can give you insight into the problem, its root cause, its arising, its fading away, and its cessation. S/he can provide info. not only to learn about, but to contemplate, and practice toward something more meaningful and wholesome than what the mundane level of ordinary friendship can provide.

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Zom
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Re: Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by Zom » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:01 pm

"Ordinary" friendship may potentially do that do, but there's also a whole lot of other less "admirable" reasons people might be friends.
Long time ago, when I stopped drinking, I lost almost all my friends... :D

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Re: Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by Polar Bear » Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:15 am

My understanding is that a kalyanamitta may share almost zero emotional intimacy and spend almost no time at all with one. The Buddha for example when a bhikkhu comes to him and the Buddha provides a brief teaching before sending the bhikkhu off on his own.
Then Ven. Punna went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "It would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone in seclusion: heedful, ardent, & resolute."

...

"Well then, Punna. Now that I have instructed you with a brief instruction, in which country are you going to live?"

"Lord, there is a country called Sunaparanta. I am going to live there."

...

Now it is time to do as you see fit."

Then Ven. Punna, delighting and rejoicing in the Blessed One's words, rising from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One and left, keeping him on his right side. Setting his dwelling in order and taking his robe and bowl, he set out for the Sunaparanta country and, after wandering stage by stage, he arrived there. There he lived. During that Rains retreat he established 500 male and 500 female lay followers in the practice, while he realized the three knowledges and then attained total (final) Unbinding.

Then a large number of monks went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to him, "Lord, the clansman named Punna, whom the Blessed One instructed with a brief instruction, has died. What is his destination? What is his future state?"

"Monks, the clansman Punna was wise. He practiced the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma and did not pester me with issues related to the Dhamma. The clansman Punna is totally unbound."


https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

I think that it’s possible to share emotional intimacy and to have strong loyalty/sticking together and be a kalyanamitta to someone but it’s neither necessary nor sufficient for it.

You might see this sutta below used to suggest that people need to hang out with each other a bunch but I think really you just need to hang around someone awakened long enough to learn enough to go off on your own and realize the dhamma for yourself (of course for some this might mean hanging around for a long time):

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

:anjali:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by binocular » Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:26 am

Polar Bear wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:15 am
My understanding is that a kalyanamitta may share almost zero emotional intimacy and spend almost no time at all with one.
I tend to think that way as well.
A monk can be your admirable friend, but you're not going to invite him to your birthday party, for example. Similar with lay people that one might be admirable friends with. For all practical intents and purposes, there is a lot of distance in such a relationship; and it can barely be called a relationship at all.

"Fairweather friend" seems like such a negative term, but I think it describes the essence of religious friendship.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by DooDoot » Wed Jul 31, 2019 11:44 am

binocular wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:21 am
Please discuss. Thank you.
DN 31 has some detailed teachings about true friends and false friends.
These four, young householder, should be understood as foes in the guise of friends:

(1) he who appropriates a friend's possessions,
(2) he who renders lip-service,
(3) he who flatters,
(4) he who brings ruin...

.....

These four, young householder, should be understood as warm-hearted friends:

(1) he who is a helpmate,
(2) he who is the same in happiness and sorrow,
(3) he who gives good counsel,
(4) he who sympathises...

More here: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .nara.html
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binocular
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Re: Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by binocular » Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:00 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:50 am
binocular wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:21 am
I'm thinking specifically of the differences that there may be in terms of emotional intimacy and mutual loyalty to the relationship.
I'm not sure those are particularly significant points of difference in one type over the other.

Admirable or spiritual friendship is a mutually supportive friendship, where both people encourage one other on their spiritual path, and help to get the best out of one another.

"Ordinary" friendship may potentially do that do, but there's also a whole lot of other less "admirable" reasons people might be friends.
An ordinary friend appreciates you for you, likes you for you.
But a religious/spiritual friend appreciates your commitment to the religion/spirituality that the two of you are both members of. They don't necessarily like you for you; maybe they don't like you at all, but feel obligated to you because of the religous/spiritual commitment that the two of you have in common.

- - -
Zom wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:01 pm
Long time ago, when I stopped drinking, I lost almost all my friends...
In the same manner, one loses almost all (if not all) of one's religious/spiritual friends if one doesn't continue to follow the religious/spiritual path they do.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Zom
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Re: Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by Zom » Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:33 pm

In the same manner, one loses almost all (if not all) of one's religious/spiritual friends if one doesn't continue to follow the religious/spiritual path they do.
That's understandable, but in my case I shared a number of different interests with friends apart from drinking ) And still - drinking was a crucial component, as it turned out ))
:toast: :popcorn: :toast:

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Re: Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:59 pm

Zom wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:01 pm
"Ordinary" friendship may potentially do that do, but there's also a whole lot of other less "admirable" reasons people might be friends.
Long time ago, when I stopped drinking, I lost almost all my friends... :D

Big congrats and deep respects! :bow:
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  • "It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
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  • No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

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Re: Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by santa100 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:24 pm

binocular wrote:An ordinary friend appreciates you for you, likes you for you.
But a religious/spiritual friend appreciates your commitment to the religion/spirituality that the two of you are both members of. They don't necessarily like you for you; maybe they don't like you at all, but feel obligated to you because of the religous/spiritual commitment that the two of you have in common.
That's why religious/spiritual friends are not one and the same as Kalyana-Mitta/Noble/admirable friends. If their attitude/treatment toward you changes due to your no longer adherence to some unwritten contracts like the highlighted part, then there's nothing noble/admirable in that religious/spiritual friendship. The Noble/admirable friends's wisdom goes beyond that of regular close friend. It sees thru the true nature of ordinary friendship, which is still very much a "contract-based" relationship: you do something good for me, and I'll do something good for you, and vice-versa. That's why your best and closest friend could turn into your worst enemy in a finger snap if s/he catches you sleeping with their spouse or partner. A Noble friend might leave you so that you'll recognize your mistake, but s/he'd never see you as their enemy.

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Re: Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by binocular » Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:42 am

santa100 wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:24 pm
That's why religious/spiritual friends are not one and the same as Kalyana-Mitta/Noble/admirable friends. If their attitude/treatment toward you changes due to your no longer adherence to some unwritten contracts like the highlighted part, then there's nothing noble/admirable in that religious/spiritual friendship. The Noble/admirable friends's wisdom goes beyond that of regular close friend. It sees thru the true nature of ordinary friendship, which is still very much a "contract-based" relationship: you do something good for me, and I'll do something good for you, and vice-versa. That's why your best and closest friend could turn into your worst enemy in a finger snap if s/he catches you sleeping with their spouse or partner. A Noble friend might leave you so that you'll recognize your mistake, but s/he'd never see you as their enemy.
In other words, the "noble friend" has supremacy, holds the upper hand in the relationship, calls all the shots, and you're at his mercy. How is that any different from any other religious/spiritual friendship?
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

santa100
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Re: Admirable friendship vs. ordinary friendship

Post by santa100 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:14 pm

binocular wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:42 am
santa100 wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:24 pm
That's why religious/spiritual friends are not one and the same as Kalyana-Mitta/Noble/admirable friends. If their attitude/treatment toward you changes due to your no longer adherence to some unwritten contracts like the highlighted part, then there's nothing noble/admirable in that religious/spiritual friendship. The Noble/admirable friends's wisdom goes beyond that of regular close friend. It sees thru the true nature of ordinary friendship, which is still very much a "contract-based" relationship: you do something good for me, and I'll do something good for you, and vice-versa. That's why your best and closest friend could turn into your worst enemy in a finger snap if s/he catches you sleeping with their spouse or partner. A Noble friend might leave you so that you'll recognize your mistake, but s/he'd never see you as their enemy.
In other words, the "noble friend" has supremacy, holds the upper hand in the relationship, calls all the shots, and you're at his mercy. How is that any different from any other religious/spiritual friendship?
Not sure if "supremacy" would be the word that your noble friend would have in mind. But of course s/he'd be someone who's a bit more advanced than you are in terms of observance/practice of Sila/Samadhi/Panna. I don't know about you, but I'd have no problem to see someone like that as being far more superior than I am right now. It's not ok with you but it's perfectly ok with me. And perhaps it'd due to our two very different ways of looking at things: I see a lot of potential benefits for my own advancement on the Path if I have someone like that as a friend, while all you see is someone who "holds the upper hand, calls all the shots" and especially: "you're at his mercy".

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