Captivates the Mind of a Man

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Re: Captivates the Mind of a Man

Post by binocular » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:19 pm

Pondera wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:28 am
Another man may captivate the mind of a man - a beast - a child - a dead person. All of that I grant you. But the Buddha says he does not know of a form that captivates the mind of a man as that of a woman. So, I give credence to every other persuasion and fetish - but the form of a woman captivates the mind of a man indeed - above all else.
But not just any woman/any man. It's not the case that the form of just any woman captivates the mind of just any man; or that the form of just any man captivates the mind of just any woman. Not because either of them would be homosexual, but because they are very selective about whom they like/dislike.

Given this practical objection, it appears the sutta may be talking in some particular generalized manner.
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Re: Captivates the Mind of a Man

Post by salayatananirodha » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:29 am

What ever 'thing' we encounter in Dhamma we shouldn't let ourselves re-fit the Dhamma to our mind's inclining, but instead we should re-fit our minds. If gay people are another gender because of their sexual inclination, or some other interpretation we can muster, it doesn't change the sutta. And the Buddha could have been speaking some kind of generally, broadly, not including everyone, but this I don't know. We need better explanations than not taking these words as they are, plainly, literally.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta

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Re: Captivates the Mind of a Man

Post by Nicolas » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:45 am

The sutta clearly does not match the case of a homosexual man or woman (based off of the world and others’ experience, or one’s own if one is not heterosexual). This is not my mind’s inclining but it’s based off of empirical observation, and common sense. Therefore we must infer that the Buddha is speaking in general terms, implicitly speaking of the overwhelming majority that is heterosexual men and women (95%?).

The Buddha does sometimes speak in “general” terms, implicitly not referring to exceptions. “All men fear death”, for instance, does not refer to arahants, but it’s not worth mentioning (unless one wants to highlight the fruits of arahantship). To use the same example in the original scenario, the sutta doesn’t apply to people who have gone beyond sensual desire. This means it implicitly refers to those still with sensual desire. Interpreting it as applying to 100% everyone would imply that even arahants have sensual desire. That would be silly. To claim that this sutta must indicate that the opposite gender is more enticing than the same gender for a homosexual is equally silly.

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