Other conditions today???

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
danieLion
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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by danieLion » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:57 pm

ground wrote:
danieLion wrote:
ground wrote: You first have to believe that everyhere/everything is suffering in order to be able to believe that it is a tool to remove this alleged suffering.
The Buddha never taught that everywhere/everything is suffering.
metta
Never mind. But a big deal is made of the idea of suffering, isn't it? :smile:
Thanissaro Bhikkhu wrote:Life Isn't Just Suffering

You've probably heard the rumor that Buddhism is pessimistic, that "Life is suffering" is the Buddha's first noble truth. It's a rumor with good credentials, spread by well-respected academics and meditation teachers alike, but a rumor nonetheless. The real truth about the noble truths is far more interesting. The Buddha taught four truths — not one — about life: There is suffering, there is a cause for suffering, there is an end of suffering, and there is a path of practice that puts an end to suffering. These truths, taken as a whole, are far from pessimistic. They're a practical, problem-solving approach — the way a doctor approaches an illness, or a mechanic a faulty engine. You identify a problem and look for its cause. You then put an end to the problem by eliminating the cause.

What's special about the Buddha's approach is that the problem he attacks is the whole of human suffering, and the solution he offers is something human beings can do for themselves. Just as a doctor with a surefire cure for measles isn't afraid of measles, the Buddha isn't afraid of any aspect of human suffering. And, having experienced a happiness that's totally unconditional, he's not afraid to point out the suffering and stress inherent in places where most of us would rather not see it — in the conditioned pleasures we cling to. He teaches us not to deny that suffering and stress, or to run away from it, but to stand still and face up to it. To examine it carefully. That way — by understanding it — we can ferret out its cause and put an end to it. Totally. How confident can you get?

A fair number of writers have pointed out the basic confidence inherent in the four noble truths, and yet the rumor of Buddhism's pessimism persists. I wonder why. One possible explanation is that, in coming to Buddhism, we sub-consciously expect it to address issues that have a long history in our own culture. By starting out with suffering as his first truth, the Buddha seems to be offering his position on a question with a long history in the West: is the world basically good or bad?

According to Genesis, this was the first question that occurred to God after he had finished his creation: had he done a good job? So he looked at the world and saw that it was good. Ever since then, people in the West have sided with or against God on his answer, but in doing so they have affirmed that the question was worth asking to begin with. When Theravada — the only form of Buddhism to take on Christianity when Europe colonized Asia — was looking for ways to head off what it saw as the missionary menace, Buddhists who had received their education from the missionaries assumed that the question was valid and pressed the first noble truth into service as a refutation of the Christian God: look at how miserable life is, they said, and it's hard to accept God's verdict on his handiwork.

This debating strategy may have scored a few points at the time, and it's easy to find Buddhist apologists who — still living in the colonial past — keep trying to score the same points. The real issue, though, is whether the Buddha intended for his first noble truth to be an answer to God's question in the first place and — more importantly — whether we're getting the most out of the first noble truth if we see it in that light.

It's hard to imagine what you could accomplish by saying that life is suffering. You'd have to spend your time arguing with people who see more than just suffering in life. The Buddha himself says as much in one of his discourses. A brahman named Long-nails (Dighanakha) comes to him and announces that he doesn't approve of anything. This would have been a perfect time for the Buddha, if he had wanted, to chime in with the truth that life is suffering. Instead, he attacks the whole notion of taking a stand on whether life is worthy of approval. There are three possible answers to this question: (1) nothing is worthy of approval, (2) everything is, and (3) some things are and some things aren't. If you take any of these three positions, you end up arguing with the people who take either of the other two positions. And where does that get you?
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... e.html#lif" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
my emphases
metta

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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by ground » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:01 am

Never mind ;)

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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by Cittasanto » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:11 am

:focus:
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by Hanzze » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:12 am

Are there already other conditions for that today?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by Cittasanto » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:22 am

As no other conditions have been shown which would adversely affect the Buddhas Teachings as existing, can this thread be closed now?
(Edited)
Last edited by Cittasanto on Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by Hanzze » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:52 am

Would "accepting" or just dislike of present conditions lead to different conditions tomorrow? Would they be the same, more worse or better in doing so?
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Ben
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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by Ben » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:26 pm

Cittasanto wrote:As no other conditions have been shown which would adversely affect the Buddhas Teachings as existing, can this thread be closed now?
(Edited)
Yes.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by Ben » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:51 am

As per a request, I am re-opening this thread to give it another shot.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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Hanzze
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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by Hanzze » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:21 am

Thank you Ben.

Came accross some literary resources about Conditions (in this case named as "places", better maybe situations) which make any attainment impossible:

atthakkhanas:
Digha-Nikaya Pithika-vagga, Dasuttara Sutta, page 248, 6th Syn.
Edn., Anguttara Nikaya III Atthaka.nipata, Akkhana Sutta, page 60,
6th Syn. Edn.

i) paccantaro--a border district where the Buddha
Sasana does not flourish;
ii) arupino--the four Brahma planes of
the formless-sphere;
iii) vitalingo--persons with congenital
defects such as idiocy, etc.
iv) asannasatta--a brahma plane of the
form-sphere of non-consciousness.'
v) micchaditthi--birth among
people holding wrong views,
vi) peta--the peta world;
vii) tiracchana-the animal world, and
viii) niraya-hell.

Source: Necessary Conditions of Practice, in Bodhipakkhiya Dipani
The realms which are here quoted are somehow useful to be seen as different consciousness as well.

Here maybe also the text where it was quoted:
Three Types of Individuals
In the same Pitakas referred to above, the Buddha gave another classification of beings, dividing them into three classes according as they resembled three kinds of sick persons. The three kinds of sick persons are:

* A person who is certain of regaining health in due time even though he does not take any medicine or treatment.

* A person who is certain of failing to make a recovery, and dying from the illness, no matter to what extent he may take medicines or treatment.

* A person who will recover if he takes the right medicine and treatment, but who will fail to recover and die if he fails to take the right medicine and treatment.

These are the three kinds of sick persons.

Persons who obtained niyata vyakarana (sure prediction made by a Buddha) from previous Buddhas, and who as such are certain of obtaining release from worldly ills in this life, resemble the first class of sick persons.

An individual of the padaparama class resembles the second class of sick person. Just as this second class of sick person has no chance of recovery from his illness, an individual of the padaparama class has no chance of obtaining release from worldly ills during this life. In future lives, however, he can obtain release either within the present Buddha Sasana, or within future Buddha Sasanas. The story of the youth Chattamanava,[5] of the frog who became a deva,[6] and of the ascetic Saccaka,[7] are illustrations of persons who obtained release from worldly ills in their next following existences within the present Buddha Sasana.

An individual of the neyya class resembles the third class of sick person. just as a person of this third class is related to the two ways of either recovering or dying from the sickness, so is a neyya individual related to the two eventualities of either obtaining release from worldly ills during the present life, or failing to obtain such release.

If such a neyya individual, knowing what is good for him according to his age, discards what should be discarded, searches for the right teacher, and obtains the right guidance from him and puts forth sufficient effort, he can obtain release from worldly ills in this very life. If, however, he becomes addicted to wrong views and wrong ways of conduct, if he finds himself unable to discard sensual pleasures, if although able to discard sensual pleasures he does not obtain the guidance of a good teacher, if although obtaining the guidance of a good teacher, he is unable to evoke sufficient effort, if although inclined to put forth effort he is unable to do so through old age, if although young he is liable to sickness, he cannot obtain release from worldly ills in this present life. King Ajatasattu,[8] the millionaire Mahadhana's son,[9] Bhikkhu Sudinna,[10] are cases of persons who could have obtained release from worldly ills in this present existence.

King Ajatasattu failed to obtain release because he had committed patricide. It is stated that he will drift in future samsara (round of rebirths) for two asankheyyas (unit followed by 140 ciphers) world-cycles, after which he will become a paccekabuddha (solitary Buddha).

The millionaire Mahadhana's son indulged himself so excessively in sensual pleasures during his youth that he was unable to attain tranquillity of mind when he grew older. Far from obtaining release from worldly ills, he did not even get the opportunity of associating with the Ti-Ratanas.[11] Seeing his plight at that stage, the Buddha said to Ananda: "Ananda, if this millionaire's son had become a bhikkhu in my sasana during his youth or first period of his life, he would have become an arahat and would have attained parinibbana[12] in this present life. If, otherwise, he had become a bhikkhu during the second period of his life, he would have become an anagami,[13] and on death would have been reborn in the suddhavasa brahma loka,[14] whence he would have attained parinibbana, In the next alternative, if he had become a bhikkhu in my sasana at the beginning of the third period of life, he would have become either a sakadagami[15] or a sotapanna,[16] and would have attained permanent release from rebirth in the apaya loka."[17] Thus said the Buddha to the Venerable Ananda. Thus, although, he (the millionaire Mahadhana's son) possessed parami ripe enough to make his present existence his last existence, not being a person who) had secured niyata vyakarana, he failed to obtain release from worldly ills in this present life because of the upheavals caused by the defilements within him, and this is despite the fact that he had the opportunity of encountering the Buddha Sasana. If further, his period of existence in the apaya loka is prolonged because of evil acts done in this existence, he would not be able to rise again and emerge out of those apaya lokas in time for the sasana of the future Metteyya Buddha. And, after that, the large number of world-cycles that follow are world-cycles where no Buddhas appear,[18] there being no world-cycles within the vicinity of the present world where Buddhas are due to appear. Alas! far indeed is this millionaire's son from worldly ills even though he possessed parami ripe enough to make his present existence his last existence.

The general opinion current at the present is that, if the parami are complete, one cannot miss encountering a Buddha Sasana even if one does not wish to do so, and that one's release from worldly ills is ensured even though one may not desire such release. These people fail to pay attention to the existence of niyata (one who has obtained a sure prediction made by a Buddha) and aniyata (one who has not obtained a sure prediction made by a Buddha). Considering the two texts from the Pitaka mentioned above, and the story of the millionaire Mahadhana's son, it should be remembered that aniyata neyya individuals can attain release from worldly ills in this life only if they put forth sufficient effort, even if they possess parami sufficient to enable them to obtain such release. If industry and effort are lacking, the Paths and the Fruits cannot be attained within the present Buddha Sasana.

Apart from these classes of persons, there are also an infinite number of other beings who, like the ascetics Alara and Uddaka,[19] possess sufficient parami for release from worldly ills, but who do not get the opportunity, because they happen to be in one or the other of the eight inopportune places (atthakkhanas)[20] where it is not possible to attain the Paths and the Fruits thereof.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:46 pm

Ben wrote:As per a request, I am re-opening this thread to give it another shot.
kind regards,

Ben
As the Originator of this thread I am curious
is the challange still the same as the OP or changed?
if it has been changed then a new thread should be started, as this thread is about today, this generation.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by Hanzze » Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:01 am

Dear Cittasanto,

Your topic is a very good and importand topic. One importand thing that comes from refelcting on it is that gratidute would be possible developed, if one finds him self in the blissed situation of the possibility to walk the path to a fruitation. The other aspect is that one might start to work on his (generation) situation step by step. I guess it is also needed to think a little about what generation means. For one it could be the group which one is attached to, his kin, what ever. But actually, if we see it in the demension of time and the whole loka, our kin might be a very small part of a whole generation and it is easy that even such a kin whould fall into a sphear where no attainemt is possible.

Our generation (in therms of what people use to call generation) is a generation of very less gratitude. They take things as normal and might not realize the special situation they are. The thought of, every generation (in general use) is able to walk the path is not only danger for this existence, but can close the possibility form many future existence as well.
So it is very important to honor the situation one might be here, to broaden its bliss, to maintain it's bliss and to take care that one does not fall into arrogance. We can find many samples even in the world which we are able to see with our normal sence, to be remembered.

There is also a general idea, that even if people are in different situations it is possible to bring them into another. But that is simply nonsens. There are really less people who would be able to change their situation even if they would like. The stream of old karma does not give that much freedom as we might think and to change its flood is not easy.

This is also the reason, why Buddha for example always focused on the leader. Normal people have no free choice. Even today many have the idea that bypass such dependencies is possible, it would not really work an it endangers good future situations as well.

Maybe you like to refelct another time.

i) paccantaro--a border district where the Buddha Sasana does not flourish

It might be that there is a generation of a state, nation, clan, where Buddha Sasana does not flourish. I guess there are some today. Can one run away?

ii) arupino--the four Brahma planes of the formless-sphere;

It might be that there is a generation of a group, clan, which dwells in the Brahma spheres of formlessness (generations attached to creation)

iii) vitalingo--persons with congenital defects such as idiocy, etc.

It might be that there is a generation of a group, clan, which suffers from congenital defect (there are lot of kins and clans where inbreeding on different levels is very usuall)

iv) asannasatta--a brahma plane of the form-sphere of non-consciousness.'

It might be that there is a generation of a goup, clan, which has left the potentiality and now dwelling on the plane of non-consciousness (material attachments can easy lead to such things)

v) micchaditthi--birth among people holding wrong views,

It might be that there is a generation of a group, clan, which lives amoung people holding wrong views (I guess one of the most present situation in our generation)

vi) peta--the peta world;

It might be that there is a generation of a group, clan, which has fallen into the peta world (unsatisfacted consume-generation, famine...)

vii) tiracchana-the animal world, and

It might be that there is a generation of a group, clan, even humans but consciousnesses like animals (many people live actually like animals)

viii) niraya-hell.

It might be that there is a generation of a group, clan, which has fallen into the hell world (war...)


MIssing graditute how ever is something that is a very present phenomena in our merit consuming generation.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:52 am

Hanzze,
That is pointless to this thread, you need to show how there are "other conditions today" the time of this generation if not go somewhere else to post it.
:rules: :focus:
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:03 am

If this thread is to stay open, this is the topic!
Please show proof/evidence for your answers.
Cittasanto wrote:Hi All,
although I have seen this sentiment before, it is raising its head again, and I am curious
to quote the post
original post of inspiration wrote:would somebody who have no more doubt, doubt that we live 2500 years after the Buddha with other conditions?
(emphasis added)
I am curious in relation to what the Buddha Taught how these "other conditions" make it no longer relevant today?

I personally see no difference on the practical level and the level of the teaching, sure externally we have different means of distracting, pleasuring, & harming ourselves and others, but on the level of practice it is the same from my perspective. Even on the more metaphysical level of rebirth, heavens... these have not been disproved to my knowledge either, so can still be seen as relevant & useful by those who believe in such things.
those of you who believe there are different conditions... than 2600 years ago please clarify what they are and why?

so here are more precise questions for those who believe there are "other conditions" and remember responses maybe challenged so use evidence/support where possible.
Question 1 wrote:what are these other conditions?
Question 2 wrote:why & how are they different to causes in the time of the Buddha?
Question 3 wrote:how & why are the teachings disproved, irrelevant, not appropriate due to these new conditions?
Question 4 wrote:how is this outside world more materialistic/worse for practice/what ever else you believe it to be, and how does that change things in regard to the teachings & practice?
Question 5 wrote:how are we different (in relation to the Buddhas teachings & practice) to people back when the teachings took place? and why does this matter?
Question 6a wrote:how & why is it more complicated/difficult to see today than then? how do we proliferate, ignore the obvious, fool ourselves any more than then?

if 6a is not relivant to you please answer 6b instead
Question 6b wrote:how & why is it easier to see today than in the Buddha's time? how don't we proliferate, ignore the obvious, fool ourselves less than then?

if both 6a & 6b are not relevant please come up with your own question and answer it, but please indicate a question you are answering

(edited to try to make it easier to understand.)
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by Hanzze » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:29 am

Ohhh I could tell you endless stories but they would not help even if accepted or believed. In regard of your questions, if you really doubt that such situations exists even at this very time, then you would need to come out of the palace first.

So in regard of your questions and atthakkhanas:

what are these other conditions? Everywhere exapt the rare places where are the needed conditions

why & how are they different to causes in the time of the Buddha? They are not differents, even if there is a Buddha and your conditions are not well developed, you will not have the right conditions

how & why are the teachings disproved, irrelevant, not appropriate due to these new conditions? If you are not in the right situation it is natural that teachings are disproved, irrelevant, not appropriate due to these "new" (maybe sometimes modern, maybe still the old) conditions

how is this outside world more materialistic/worse for practice/what ever else you believe it to be, and how does that change things in regard to the teachings & practice? Well even the Buddha had to leave his palace to change the situation. In his case, the change of the situation was possible. The more attachment to sensual things the lesser the path and teaching can be seen. Living amoung people of wrong view is not the best situation. A sociaty attached to create might sweep some short good thoughts easy away.

how are we different (in relation to the Buddhas teachings & practice) to people back when the teachings took place? and why does this matter?
Someone in a good situation might find the teachings or even meet the Buddha in a condition that he is able to understand it. If the teaching is broadly not understood, its somehow a sign of different situation. But how always it's very individual in the present, but also very interconnected in regard of actions out of understanding this.

how & why is it more complicated/difficult to see today than then? how do we proliferate, ignore the obvious, fool ourselves any more than then?
Maybe because we are not so much in contact with nature but very close to our artwork longtherme developed by not so wise thought.

Don't waste your merits and strive for the stream.
Doubt in regard that there could be another way is not useful if one might have the blissful situation to see the path.

If you are in a bad situation, don't worry, just walk the same path as well. You will be sure to come one day to a good sitution, bad times are not lasting even sometimes long.

Do you really need a prove that good conditions are not lasting and maybe will not come again? Somehow risky your approach.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_

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Re: Other conditions today???

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:47 am

what are these other conditions? Everywhere exapt the rare places where are the needed conditions
you start with a non-answer!
why & how are they different to causes in the time of the Buddha? They are not differents, even if there is a Buddha and your conditions are not well developed, you will not have the right conditions
Then any further answer you give is pointless, as you admit "They are not differents".
The already gone over "those with little dust in their eye" is still going to be the case.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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