difficult situation

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
PeterB
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Re: difficult situation

Post by PeterB » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:29 pm

That was rather the point I was attempting to make SDC. That to label people as wholesome or unwholesome is deeply...unskillful.
I think one problem here is cultural. Dhamma Spoons cultural norms may differ from most westerners. I think another is linguistic.
Last edited by PeterB on Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dhamma_spoon
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Re: difficult situation

Post by dhamma_spoon » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:30 pm

PeterB wrote:Spare me the condescending tone sunshine. You look to your kusalas and akusalas and Ill look to mine.
How about that.
Okay, PeterB, I can live with that suggestion. No hard feeling. :hug:

But please believe me that I did not have a condescending attitude towards you. To educate? Yes. To look down upon? No.

Maybe we'll try to discuss something together next time. Okay with you? :thanks:

Tep
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A soup spoon does not know the taste of the soup.
A dhamma spoon does not know the taste of the Dhamma!

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SDC
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Re: difficult situation

Post by SDC » Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:34 pm

PeterB wrote:That was rather the point I was attempting to make SDC. That to label people as wholesome or unwholesome is deeply...unskillful.
I think one problem here is cultural. Dhamma Spoons cultural norms may differ from most westerners. I think another is linguistic.
True. But all in all its good to be patient and careful with the people meet. Some have the tendency to display unwholesome qualities early on when you first encounter them only to show some deep wholesome qualities down the line, and vise versa.

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dhamma_spoon
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Re: difficult situation

Post by dhamma_spoon » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:25 pm

SDC wrote:
PeterB wrote:That was rather the point I was attempting to make SDC. That to label people as wholesome or unwholesome is deeply...unskillful.
I think one problem here is cultural. Dhamma Spoons cultural norms may differ from most westerners. I think another is linguistic.
True. But all in all its good to be patient and careful with the people meet. Some have the tendency to display unwholesome qualities early on when you first encounter them only to show some deep wholesome qualities down the line, and vise versa.
Hi, SDC and PeterB and Anna-

Why is the "same person" quite acceptable one time, but unacceptable later on? Indeed what's changing through time is just a quality, e.g. a mind state -- a conditioned dhamma. Wholesome and unwholesome qualities are seen as behaviors of a "person", who is labeled (with ignorance) as a Westerner or an Easterner. There is nothing unskillful in labeling, however, if there is no clinging (due to aversion or craving). That kind of argument PeterB has is a result of seeing a 'self' in conditioned dhammas (five aggregates that he labelled as Dhamma_spoon).
In fact all conditioned dhammas (phenomena, realities, formations) are subject to change. Whatever is changeable is impermanent and thus suffering. What is suffering is not-self -- it is not an object of clinging with hatred, for example. Actually, letting go of all formations is what the Buddha taught [This is not mine. This is not what I am. This is not my self.] Thinking, contemplating, reflecting like this is very effective in abandoning anger and delusion that I have seen so often here, especially in PeterB's discussion with Anna and others.

Sincerely,

Dhamma_spoon. :stirthepot:
A soup spoon does not know the taste of the soup.
A dhamma spoon does not know the taste of the Dhamma!

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SDC
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Re: difficult situation

Post by SDC » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:28 pm

dhamma_spoon wrote:Why is the "same person" quite acceptable one time, but unacceptable later on?
Quick answer -

Because there is no self in the body of that person to accept or not accept. I'll be back in about an hour to elaborate or comment on your retort.

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dhamma_spoon
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Re: difficult situation

Post by dhamma_spoon » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:39 pm

SDC wrote:
dhamma_spoon wrote:Why is the "same person" quite acceptable one time, but unacceptable later on?
Quick answer -

Because there is no self in the body of that person to accept or not accept. I'll be back in about an hour to elaborate or comment on your retort.
Sorry, SDC. Your quick answer is not acceptable. Please read my whole post first.

Thanks.
A soup spoon does not know the taste of the soup.
A dhamma spoon does not know the taste of the Dhamma!

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Vepacitta
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Re: difficult situation

Post by Vepacitta » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:53 pm

For the sake of general conversation, reference and just plain speech - use of the word "self" is okey dokey. Even the Tathagata himself used self "atta" when refering to himself or others. It's a referent.

As to unwholesome - I dunno that it's so very unskillful to use that word - it's certainly used in translation -- not everyone is/can be/ a Pali scholar.

Some people - ok - some collections of aggregates - which aren't really "people" or "beings" (because zoiks I might get flamed) can - dependent upon the confluence of conditions and tendencies running through the aggregates - and indeed supporting or conditioning those very same aggregates (hey - what about using vortex - that more acceptable than 'person" "self" "being" etc. ?) exhibit unwholesome, unskillful, or - just plain nasty, bad, unkind etc etc behaviour.

Remember Bill Clinton, "It depends upon what the meaning of "is" is? :roll:

More samsara-ing - more fabrications.

From the slopes of Mt. Meru,

V.
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura

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dhamma_spoon
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Re: difficult situation

Post by dhamma_spoon » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:08 pm

Vepacitta wrote:For the sake of general conversation, reference and just plain speech - use of the word "self" is okey dokey. Even the Tathagata himself used self "atta" when refering to himself or others. It's a referent.

As to unwholesome - I dunno that it's so very unskillful to use that word - it's certainly used in translation -- not everyone is/can be/ a Pali scholar.

Some people - ok - some collections of aggregates - which aren't really "people" or "beings" (because zoiks I might get flamed) can - dependent upon the confluence of conditions and tendencies running through the aggregates - and indeed supporting or conditioning those very same aggregates (hey - what about using vortex - that more acceptable than 'person" "self" "being" etc. ?) exhibit unwholesome, unskillful, or - just plain nasty, bad, unkind etc etc behaviour.

Remember Bill Clinton, "It depends upon what the meaning of "is" is? :roll:

More samsara-ing - more fabrications.

From the slopes of Mt. Meru,

V.
Hi, friend Vepacitta (Attn. PeterB), -

It is a debating trick, V. They use 'self' both ways -- as acceptable conventional language some time, or as non-acceptable violation of the 'anatta' principle another time-- whichever way and whenever they consider beneficial for them. Some people who study the Abhidhamma are very fond of taking a refuge in the 'anatta' principle that they interpret to mean 'no self', 'no person', 'no being'. That clinging to 'no self' sometimes effectively confuses the discussion so much that they can get away using it as a "smoke screen".

Yeah, Clinton is very good at emitting smoke screens too.

:stirthepot: Dhamma_spoon
A soup spoon does not know the taste of the soup.
A dhamma spoon does not know the taste of the Dhamma!

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dhammafriend
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Re: difficult situation

Post by dhammafriend » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:19 pm

Hi everyone

Thanks a lot for the advice and suggestions! Going to have to keep it real, staying true to what I understand to be the teachings of the Buddha, upholding the precepts and staying true to myself.

Once again thank you all.
Metta
Dhammafriend
Metta
Dhammafriend

Natthi me saranam annam buddho me saranam varam
For me there is no other refuge, the Buddha is my excellent refuge.
Etena saccavajjena vaddheyyam satthu-sasane
By the utterance of this truth, may I grow in the Master’s Way.

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Vepacitta
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Re: difficult situation

Post by Vepacitta » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:20 pm

Hi, friend Vepacitta (Attn. PeterB), -

It is a debating trick, V. They use 'self' both ways -- as acceptable conventional language some time, or as non-acceptable violation of the 'anatta' principle another time-- whichever way and whenever they consider beneficial for them. Some people who study the Abhidhamma are very fond of taking a refuge in the 'anatta' principle that they interpret to mean 'no self', 'no person', 'no being'. That clinging to 'no self' sometimes effectively confuses the discussion so much that they can get away using it as a "smoke screen".
Dhamma_spoon

Hey Dhamma_Spoon.

I know! :thumbsup:

From up on Mt Meru,

V.
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura

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Vepacitta
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Re: difficult situation

Post by Vepacitta » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:22 pm

dhammafriend wrote:Hi everyone

Thanks a lot for the advice and suggestions! Going to have to keep it real, staying true to what I understand to be the teachings of the Buddha, upholding the precepts and staying true to myself.

Once again thank you all.
Metta
Dhammafriend

Just go with your gut Dhammafriend!

YFNA,

V.
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura

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SDC
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Re: difficult situation

Post by SDC » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:23 pm

dhamma_spoon wrote:
SDC wrote:
dhamma_spoon wrote:Why is the "same person" quite acceptable one time, but unacceptable later on?
Quick answer -

Because there is no self in the body of that person to accept or not accept. I'll be back in about an hour to elaborate or comment on your retort.
Sorry, SDC. Your quick answer is not acceptable. Please read my whole post first.

Thanks.
I read it all, this is what I chose to comment on. What isn't acceptable?

In varying degrees most people have characteristics that would be considered unwholesome according to the dhamma. If they have one unwholesome characteristic are they an unwholesome person, and vise versa? Once again as I said earlier, people have a wide variety of characteristics and tendencies, not all which are going to be just good or just bad. To develop compassion and wisdom for others we need not judge them as a whole, because as I just said there is no "whole" because there is no "self". I will clarify further but please specify what it is you do not get about what I am saying.

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SDC
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Re: difficult situation

Post by SDC » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:33 pm

Also because people change. They can grow to display much more wholesome qualities or become degraded and display more unwholesome qualities. So each encounter we must be patient and see the situation for how it is and accept that our current impression of someone may change with this very encounter.

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dhamma_spoon
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Re: difficult situation

Post by dhamma_spoon » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:49 pm

SDC wrote:
dhamma_spoon wrote:
SDC wrote:
Quick answer -

Because there is no self in the body of that person to accept or not accept. I'll be back in about an hour to elaborate or comment on your retort.
Sorry, SDC. Your quick answer is not acceptable. Please read my whole post first.

Thanks.
I read it all, this is what I chose to comment on. What isn't acceptable?
Hi, SDC (Attn. Vepacitta) -

Not acceptable because "there is no self in the body of that person to accept or not accept" is not the discussion issue. Why is it not an issue, you may ask? Because every Buddhist knows what 'anatta' means, and since we already discussed 'no self' and 'not self' so many times till we are blue in the face, therefore it is no longer an issue to discuss.

Let's instead discuss wholesome/unwholesome in the conventional language, without switching back-and-forth to the ultimate reality of the Abhidhamma for now. I'll continue in the next post. Thanks.

Dhamma_spoon. :stirthepot:
A soup spoon does not know the taste of the soup.
A dhamma spoon does not know the taste of the Dhamma!

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SDC
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Re: difficult situation

Post by SDC » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:59 pm

dhamma_spoon wrote:
Hi, SDC (Attn. Vepacitta) -

Not acceptable because "there is no self in the body of that person to accept or not accept" is not the discussion issue. Why is it not an issue, you may ask? Because every Buddhist knows what 'anatta' means, and since we already discussed 'no self' and 'not self' so many times till we are blue in the face, therefore it is no longer an issue to discuss.

Let's instead discuss wholesome/unwholesome in the conventional language, without switching back-and-forth to the ultimate reality of the Abhidhamma for now. I'll continue in the next post. Thanks.

Dhamma_spoon. :stirthepot:
I don't read the Abhidhamma.

It seems you are assuming, but I won't let it ruin the discussion.

I try not to judge people and close the book on them when display unwholesome qualities. I also don't assume they are great people because they have displayed some wholesome qualities. Of course I remember past experiences, but I try not to let that affect what is happening now.

But in the end what is most important is how I deal with the situation whether it be a wholesome or unwholesome experience. That is what matters to me. To label a person one or the other makes it really difficult to be compassionate and understanding.

Since I have continued to be cordial, I would appreciate the same from you. There is no reason for this to be heated. Let's continue to discuss and hopefully we will both get something out of this.

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