Thank you for your reply, Venerable.
Dhammanando wrote: ↑
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:00 am
binocular wrote: ↑
Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:12 pm
What do you mean "by way of self-regard"? A selfish regard for one's own wellbeing?
1. If you're alone and holding your cat and it starts to urinate on you, then you'll probably put it down out of disgust at the prospect of having your clothes soaked in cat's piss.
2. If you're in company and a cat is urinating on you, then you'll probably put it down out of embarrassment at others seeing you being urinated on.
3. If you know that a cat has a habit of urinating on people, then you'll probably not want to pick it up because of the likely outcome of doing so.
Now if we replace cat's piss with misconduct, then #1 would be analogous to hiri
, while #2 and #3 would be analogous to two different explanations that are given for ottappa
I find this very difficult to understand.
Since we have cats, and some hygiene problems with them, I can relate to the above scenario, but not to the explanations for the motivations for those actions.
For example, to go into gross details, our cats sometimes have diarrhea. Then, esp. one long-hair gets dirty under his tail and on the back of his legs. Nevertheless, he still wants to be indoors and to cuddle. I can tell you exactly what I think and do in those situations. I put on my dirty work clothes and rubber gloves and wash the cat's behind and dry him. I think , "Poor cat, of course he isn't keen on cleaning himself, who would want to lick excrement!" My emotional capacities are focused on sympathizing with the cat and trying to calm him down as I wash him (cats generally hate to be washed, especially around their intimate parts).
Also, esp. when it rains a lot and in the winter, cats often have dirty, muddy feet, and I routinely wash their feet. For me, these are primarily technical/engineering problems, I think about how to clean clothes and floors, how to maintain proper hygiene in general, how to best wash out different types of filth out of cat fur, and such.
If a cat were to pee on me, I would probably be disgusted at first, but then I would try to figure out why it peed on me, what the medical or psychological cause for it could be and try to do something about it.
I can't imagine feeling embarrassed at others seeing me being urinated on.
I looked up further references to hiri and ottappa:
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:
/.../ While moral shame and fear of wrongdoing are united in the common task of protecting the mind from moral defilement, they differ in their individual characteristics and modes of operation. Hiri, the sense of shame, has an internal reference; it is rooted in self-respect and induces us to shrink from wrongdoing out of a feeling of personal honor. Ottappa, fear of wrongdoing, has an external orientation. It is the voice of conscience that warns us of the dire consequences of moral transgression: blame and punishment by others, the painful kammic results of evil deeds, the impediment to our desire for liberation from suffering. /.../
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ay_23.html
I clean cat poo on a daily basis. I have no personal honor.
Seriously, I don't normally think like what the above passage says. When blame and punishment by others are a given in one's life, and one's main transgression is that one is alive at all, blame and punishment by others aren't motivating; and when one's life has been miserable for as long as one can remember, getting more painful kammic results isn't motivating either (if one has already been crushed by tons of rocks, adding a few more rocks or pebbles really doesn't make a difference).
When he encounters an opportunity for transgression, he has awareness of moral shame and caution as vividly as though he were face to face with the Master.
(The last two sentences are repeated in the accounts of recollection of the Dhamma, the Saṅgha, and peace)
What do I think the Buddha would think of me, if anything at all ... I think he'd be aloof.
Visuddhimagga wrote:It is ashamed of (hiriyati) bodily misconduct, etc., thus it is called moral shame (hiri). This is a term for modesty. It is cautious/apprehensive (ottappati) of those same things, thus it is called moral caution (ottappa). This is a term for anxiety about evil. Herein, moral shame has the characteristic of disgust at evil, while moral caution has the characteristic of dread of it. Shame has the function of not doing evil and that in the mode of modesty, while caution has the function of not doing it and that in the mode of dread. They are manifested as shrinking from evil in the way already stated. Their proximate causes are self-respect and respect of others [respectively]. A man rejects evil through shame out of respect for himself, as the daughter of a good family does; he rejects evil through caution out of respect for another, as a courtesan does. And these two states should be regarded as the guardians of the world.
I don't understand the references to the daughter of a good family and a courtesan (I looked up the passage you quoted in the Visuddhimagga, but couldn't find a clarification).