Author Topic: Emptiness and morality  (Read 1582 times)

Offline Solodris

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2017, 04:24:49 pm »
If emptiness were to be inter-connected with greed, aversion and hatred, would this constitute skillful or unskillful exposure?

If emptiness were to be inter-connected with compassionate and dispassionate intentions, would this constitute skillful or unskillful exposure?

Is this a rhetorical question or do you really want to know answer?

Both, if something is thought-provoking enough to spark a conversation, it should be adressed. If it completes a unified understanding, what more is there to say?

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2017, 04:35:25 pm »
If emptiness were to be inter-connected with greed, aversion and hatred, would this constitute skillful or unskillful exposure?

If emptiness were to be inter-connected with compassionate and dispassionate intentions, would this constitute skillful or unskillful exposure?

Is this a rhetorical question or do you really want to know answer?

Both, if something is thought-provoking enough to spark a conversation, it should be adressed. If it completes a unified understanding, what more is there to say?

Well based on your question, I suspect you don't have a particularly good understanding of emptiness.

You see, by definition, emptiness can't be interconnected to anything as there are no characteristics to connect to.

Also, because emptiness teaches there is no "self", it follows that there is no "other".  Nothing to connect to.


Offline Solodris

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2017, 04:47:34 pm »
If emptiness were to be inter-connected with greed, aversion and hatred, would this constitute skillful or unskillful exposure?

If emptiness were to be inter-connected with compassionate and dispassionate intentions, would this constitute skillful or unskillful exposure?

Is this a rhetorical question or do you really want to know answer?

Both, if something is thought-provoking enough to spark a conversation, it should be adressed. If it completes a unified understanding, what more is there to say?

Well based on your question, I suspect you don't have a particularly good understanding of emptiness.

You see, by definition, emptiness can't be interconnected to anything as there are no characteristics to connect to.

Also, because emptiness teaches there is no "self", it follows that there is no "other".  Nothing to connect to.

Since my question did not provoke a conversation towards a unified understanding of emptiness, there is nothing more for me to say that would provide further insight. This is why my questions remain rhetorical.

Offline Rahul

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2017, 08:15:14 pm »
If emptiness were to be inter-connected with greed, aversion and hatred, would this constitute skillful or unskillful exposure?

If emptiness were to be inter-connected with compassionate and dispassionate intentions, would this constitute skillful or unskillful exposure?
Connecting, or rather relating, greed, aversion and hatred to emptiness shows that one understands that such intentions do not have inherent existence; rather your mind indulging in certain views gives rise to such intentions. This is of course a skillful understanding.

Connecting compassionate and dispassionate intentions to emptiness shows that one understands that such intentions do not have their inherent existence, too; rather your mind indulging in certain views gives rise to such intentions. This is of course a skillful understanding.

This simply leads us to understand that intentions, noble or evil, are not part of one's nature. As long as one indulges in some views, relevant intentions may arise. This, in turn, leads us to conclude that one must not count such intentions or 'qualities' as part of one's self. This means that no being is inherently friendly, hostile, cruel, compassionate, ... This also means that no being must be judged ... There are more implications. But to conclude, this is definitely a skillful exposure.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2017, 01:35:55 am »
If the mind is empty of self-view, how can it be immoral since the cause of immorality is selfishness?

 :goodpost:

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2017, 05:59:01 am »
Quote
VR:  "If the mind is empty of self-view, how can it be immoral since the cause of immorality is selfishness?"


Suppose the mind of a being was diseased, such as in a state of psychosis, or directed as in the state like that of a schizophrenic?  Legally can such a being be found to be moral or immoral ?

Intentions contained in the mind and later acted upon determine karmic consequences dependent upon their morality (right view or wrong view).

Buddha taught :  Moral or immoral behavior and their karmic consequences can only be affected by intention and their actions.

Quote
"Now there are two destinations for one with wrong view, I say: hell or the animal womb. "


source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nanamoli/wheel248.html


« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 11:45:48 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2017, 04:04:12 am »

Suppose the mind of a being was diseased, such as in a state of psychosis, or directed as in the state like that of a schizophrenic?  Legally can such a being be found to be moral or immoral ?

Intentions contained in the mind and later acted upon determine karmic consequences dependent upon their morality (right view or wrong view).

Buddha taught :  Moral or immoral behavior and their karmic consequences can only be affected by intention and their actions.

Quote
"Now there are two destinations for one with wrong view, I say: hell or the animal womb. "


This is unrelated to my post. It sounds like a wrong view from the animal womb.

The word 'intention' does not imply the mind is rational or fully conscious in its decision making.

Schizophrenic minds have intentions & self-views and are therefore not beyond karmic law because the behavioural patterns of action & result in their minds keep cycling around.

 :focus:


Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2017, 11:18:08 am »
Quote
VR:  "This is unrelated to my post."

The topic is emptiness and morality

Quote
VR:  "It sounds like a wrong view from the animal womb."

The quote provided is from the referenced sutta, quoting Buddha, not in an animal womb.

How would you know what an animal would view from the womb?  Personal experience recalled from a previous life? :listen:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #38 on: June 15, 2017, 01:16:56 pm »
The quote provided is from the referenced sutta, quoting Buddha, not in an animal womb.


The following is not a reference from a sutta or a quote from a Buddha. The following is from an animal mind of ignorance:

Quote
Suppose the mind of a being was diseased, such as in a state of psychosis, or directed as in the state like that of a schizophrenic?  Legally can such a being be found to be moral or immoral ?

Intentions contained in the mind and later acted upon determine karmic consequences dependent upon their morality (right view or wrong view).

Buddha taught :  Moral or immoral behavior and their karmic consequences can only be affected by intention and their actions.


:listen:

How would you know what an animal would view from the womb?  Personal experience recalled from a previous life?


The word 'animal' is used in the suttas to refer to ignorant worldly ideas & behaviours of people, such as the phrase "animal talk" applicable to monks.

Quote
Now on that occasion the wanderers of other persuasions had come together in a gathering and were sitting, discussing many kinds of bestial (animal) topics, making a great noise and racket. AN 10.93

Quote
Bhikkhus, a god, a human or any other good state would not be evident from actions born of greed, hate and delusion. Yet, bhikkhus, from actions born of greed, hate and delusion a hellish being, an animal birth a ghostly birth or some other bad state would be evident. AN 6.39

Quote
Beings (sattā) are few who, when they pass away from the animal realm (tiracchānayoniyā) are 'reborn' (paccājāyanti) among humans (manussesu)… those beings are more numerous are reborn in hell…. For what reason? They have not realised the Four Noble Truths. SN 56.102 to 131


For new Western students to Buddhism, Bhikkhu Buddhadasa explained:

Quote
Now rebirth in the realm of beasts is stupidity. Whenever one
is inexcusably stupid about something: stupid in not knowing that
Dhamma and nibbāna are desirable, stupid in not daring to come
into contact with or get close to Buddhism, stupid in believing
that if one became interested in Dhamma or Buddhism it would
make one old-fashioned and odd. That is how children see it, and
their parents too. They try to pull back and move far away from
Dhamma and religion. This is stupidity. Regardless of what sort of
stupidity it is, it amounts to rebirth as an animal. As soon as stupidity
arises and overwhelms one, one becomes an animal. One is
a beast by spontaneous rebirth, by mental rebirth. This is the second
Woeful State

page 66: http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/bd_students.pdf


This video for children about Angulimala may help:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNzrKAzxipY



 :focus:



Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #39 on: June 15, 2017, 03:43:29 pm »
Thank you.  I misunderstood your reference.  I appreciate your clarification.

Monkey-mind is a reference with which I am familiar, having suffered from it all my life.

The issue I was referencing was the part I suggested you forgot: The topic of the thread:  "Emptiness and Morality".   :focus:  My apologies for my share of the ignorances displayed between us.  I will try to be clearer with you in the future.

Buddha addressed the faulty human mind in his teachings as well, which has nothing to do with animal nature.  It has to do with physiological errors being experienced in the brain, due to disease or due to physical brain trauma, or resulting during the conditioning of minds while growing up.

You cited Angulimala as an example, which is a valid reference in this case and regarding this topic.  Angulimala's experience as a child heavily contributed to his heinous behavior as a thief and a mass murderer.  But even Angulimala learned to turn his life around once realizing The Dhamma.

Quote
When summarizing his Awakening in the most condensed form, the Buddha focused on a principle of causality that explains how we live in a world where patterns of causality fashion events, and yet those events are not totally predetermined by the past.

The principle is actually a dual one, for there are two kinds of causality interweaving in our lives. The first is that of a cause giving results in the immediate present: When this is, that is; when this isn't, that isn't. When you turn on a stereo, for example, the noise comes out; when you turn it off, the noise stops. The second type of causality is that of a cause giving results over time: From the arising of this comes the arising of that; from the cessation of this comes the cessation of that. If you study now, you'll have knowledge long into the future. If you damage your brain, the negative effects will be long-term as well.

Applied to karma, or intention, the dual principle means this: Any moment of experience consists of three things: (1) pleasures and pains resulting from past intentions, (2) present intentions, and (3) pleasures and pains resulting from present intentions. Thus the present is not totally shaped by the past. In fact, the most important element shaping your present experience of pleasure or pain is how you fashion, with your present intentions, the raw material provided by past intentions. And your present intentions can be totally free.

This is how there's free will in the midst of causality. At the same time, the pattern in the way intentions lead to results allows us to learn from past mistakes. This freedom within a pattern opens the way to a path of mental training that can lead to the end of suffering. We practice generosity, virtue, and meditation to learn the power of our intentions and in particular to see what happens as our intentions grow more skillful, so skillful that present


source:  http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/faithinawakening.html
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 12:21:45 pm by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #40 on: June 15, 2017, 07:13:45 pm »
It has to do with physiological errors being experienced in the brain, due to disease or due to physical brain trauma, or resulting during the conditioning of minds while growing up.

This does not negate the operation of kamma. A traumatized mind can do kamma that creates even more trauma.

Quote
You cited Angulimala as an example, which is a valid reference in this case and regarding this topic.  Angulimala's experience as a child heavily contributed to his heinous behavior as a thief and a mass murderer.  But even Angulimala learned to turn his life around once realizing The Dhamma.[/quote

Yes. Angulimala changed his kamma to good karma and therefore reaped a good result. This shows kamma also affects a traumatised mind.

.........

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #41 on: June 15, 2017, 10:20:51 pm »
I confess that I have difficulty in understanding the concept of emptiness, perhaps as a result of my leanings toward scientific explanations which rely upon precise and literal descriptions of phenomena.

Common words in any language tend to be figurative and open to many interpretations based upon connotations and nuances.
For example, if we apply a literal meaning to the word 'empty', then it would require a vacuum at a temperature of absolute zero, in order for any thing or state to be empty. That's the only true and literal state of emptiness.

When we walk into a room, or look into a room, and see nothing there; no furniture nor carpets, nor cupboards, nor pictures on the wall, we would likely claim that the room is empty, and most people would understand that, and not get confused.

However, the reality is, the room is not empty by far. There are trillions of molecules of air buzzing around, creating a significant pressure, and invisible quantities of electromagnetic radiation of various frequencies, such as light, heat and radio waves.

In order to make such a room truly empty, one would have to create a vacuum and surround the room with a material that could block all the waves of all the frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum.  :wink1:

Offline Rahul

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #42 on: June 16, 2017, 01:10:25 am »
I confess that I have difficulty in understanding the concept of emptiness, perhaps as a result of my leanings toward scientific explanations which rely upon precise and literal descriptions of phenomena.

Common words in any language tend to be figurative and open to many interpretations based upon connotations and nuances.
For example, if we apply a literal meaning to the word 'empty', then it would require a vacuum at a temperature of absolute zero, in order for any thing or state to be empty. That's the only true and literal state of emptiness.

When we walk into a room, or look into a room, and see nothing there; no furniture nor carpets, nor cupboards, nor pictures on the wall, we would likely claim that the room is empty, and most people would understand that, and not get confused.

However, the reality is, the room is not empty by far. There are trillions of molecules of air buzzing around, creating a significant pressure, and invisible quantities of electromagnetic radiation of various frequencies, such as light, heat and radio waves.

In order to make such a room truly empty, one would have to create a vacuum and surround the room with a material that could block all the waves of all the frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum.  :wink1:

Imagine a delicious, hot, crispy, flavorful pizza of your choice: cheesy if you wish, with a variety of toppings, bursting with colors and smell, smoking hot, 8 big slices, just out of the oven. Imagine as vivid and clear as you can.

Now, where are those colors, flavors, smells and taste? They didn't exist, but your imagination created them for a while. For that pizza and its attributes to exist, it depended on you imagining it. Thus, the pizza was void, empty of its independent existence.

Eventually, this whole universe is just that: a magnificent imagination or dream. Spun out of the consciousness, depends on the consciousness indulging in this imagination to exist. The universe or any phenomenon therein, thus, is void - empty - of any independent existence.

But the consciousness does exist without the universe, you may argue. Buddha taught that consciousness also depends on names and forms to arise. Thus, consciousness is also void of any inherent existence. This is emptiness.

Having said that, I can understand emptiness of the universe. But can't understand emptiness of the consciousness. Consciousness arises based on name and form (naama rupa), and name and form arises based on consciousness. ?!?. They both arise depending on each other. That's the teaching that is beyond my understanding.

Essentially, this does imply that we are living in a matrix. And that we are so ignorant, or so much conditioned, or so much indulging in the phenomena of this cosmos that we can't just recognize this is all an illusion. Maya! It's all maya!

Quote from: JamesJeans
the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears as an accidental intruder into the realm of matter; we are beginning to suspect that we ought rather to hail it as a creator and governor of the realm of matter...

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #43 on: June 16, 2017, 01:21:11 am »
I confess that I have difficulty in understanding the concept of emptiness, perhaps as a result of my leanings toward scientific explanations which rely upon precise and literal descriptions of phenomena.

Sunyata means lack of independent existence, ie conditionality or dependent arising.

Offline Rahul

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Re: Emptiness and morality
« Reply #44 on: June 16, 2017, 03:33:12 am »
I confess that I have difficulty in understanding the concept of emptiness, perhaps as a result of my leanings toward scientific explanations which rely upon precise and literal descriptions of phenomena.

Sunyata means lack of independent existence, ie conditionality or dependent arising.
I am asking to get some clues. I have difficulty understanding that consciousness depends on name+form whereas name+form depends on consciousness for their existence. How can this be possible? It's like chicken and egg, but something had to come into being first, no? How come consciousness and naamrupa (name+form) both arise together whereas each needs other as a pre-condition for arising???

 


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