Author Topic: Dharma or Loved One?  (Read 3038 times)

David

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Re: Dharma or Loved One?
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2009, 01:15:45 pm »
Let's not fall into the trap of projecting our communal notions of good/bad onto people with a completely different perspective.  Out of love, they might very well do things you would not do out of love.  Generally, people want what is good for others, more than what is good for their happiness.  For us, good happens to be happiness and liberation.  For others, good [and eternal happiness] is salvation.

But when I assume I know what's best for my love one despite their wishes, I have demonstrated I don't really know and understand them.  How does not knowing and understanding someone equate to truly loving them?  Real love is selfless.  Imposing my standards on someone else, even if I think it is for their own good, is hardly selfless.

Offline humanitas

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Re: Dharma or Loved One?
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2009, 09:40:38 pm »
Let's not fall into the trap of projecting our communal notions of good/bad onto people with a completely different perspective.  Out of love, they might very well do things you would not do out of love.  Generally, people want what is good for others, more than what is good for their happiness.  For us, good happens to be happiness and liberation.  For others, good [and eternal happiness] is salvation.

Thank you for that gentle reminder.  I was starting to get narrow-minded there and focused in on too small a detail.  Good point.   :bow:
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overmyhead

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Re: Dharma or Loved One?
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2009, 01:12:45 am »
But when I assume I know what's best for my love one despite their wishes, I have demonstrated I don't really know and understand them.  How does not knowing and understanding someone equate to truly loving them?  Real love is selfless.  Imposing my standards on someone else, even if I think it is for their own good, is hardly selfless.

I can tell you for a fact that I do not understand anything.  Does that make me incapable of real love?  There is the detached compassion that we strive for which is dependent on understanding, but this is different from the attached love we feel for family members and loved ones.  Since the attached love we have for our family members and loved ones is actually dependent on ignorance, it does not make sense to say that this type of love is impossible if we do not truly understand.  I can guarantee that, no matter how well you think you understand your loved ones, you are more or less ignorant, and you are for the most part grasping at a few beliefs about them and feelings for them, and otherwise projecting onto them your own understanding of things.  Don't get me wrong, I love my friends and family very much.  I just try to not delude myself about it.

David

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Re: Dharma or Loved One?
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2009, 07:49:37 am »
There is the detached compassion that we strive for which is dependent on understanding, but this is different from the attached love we feel for family members and loved ones.  Since the attached love we have for our family members and loved ones is actually dependent on ignorance, it does not make sense to say that this type of love is impossible if we do not truly understand.  I can guarantee that, no matter how well you think you understand your loved ones, you are more or less ignorant, and you are for the most part grasping at a few beliefs about them and feelings for them, and otherwise projecting onto them your own understanding of things.  Don't get me wrong, I love my friends and family very much.  I just try to not delude myself about it.

We don't (or at least shouldn't) strive for "detached compassion" but look to cultivateunattached compassion, a subtle but very important distinction.  And you are right, the love we feel for those close to us is usually based in attachment and ignorance, and those lead too...?

overmyhead

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Re: Dharma or Loved One?
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2009, 03:36:30 pm »
Could you please clarify what distinction you are drawing between detached and unattached?

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Re: Dharma or Loved One?
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2009, 04:12:58 pm »
I can tell you for a fact that I do not understand anything. 

I feel like that EVERY day! :-X
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David

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Re: Dharma or Loved One?
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2009, 06:04:13 pm »
Could you please clarify what distinction you are drawing between detached and unattached?

Detached is unconcerned, aloof, removed from, while unattached is caring and a part of, but maintaining equanimity.  Sociopaths and psychopaths are detached, having no remorse or empathy. 

Offline pickledpitbull

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Re: Dharma or Loved One?
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2009, 07:51:42 pm »
I think that some people are so very bound by their beliefs that they feel the need for ultimatum.

Christian history is full of coerced belief, and I think that there are still some people out there who honestly believe that what they are doing is divine intervention.  They believe that they are saving you from spending eternity in hell, so why would they desist?  You will never change these people.  You have to make the choice.  Do you want to keep these people in your life or not?

If you do, then you make the adjustments that you need to.  Otherwise, you need to move on. 

It's not just Buddhists who have this dilemma.  Among those who also struggle with this choice are gays and people of more rigid religious sects (Amish, Hasidic).  It's all the same. 

If you are referring to a family member, then you need to do what is necessary to keep peace in your family.  There is no tenet in Buddhism against Christianity and there are groups of Christians who honor the Buddha's teachings.  This is one form of compromise. 

If it's a partner who is giving you the ultimatum, then I suggest that you find a new one.  Even if the person does not share your beliefs, you at least need his or her support.

Just my opinion.
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overmyhead

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Re: Dharma or Loved One?
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2009, 11:26:50 pm »
Detached is unconcerned, aloof, removed from, while unattached is caring and a part of, but maintaining equanimity.  Sociopaths and psychopaths are detached, having no remorse or empathy. 

Ah, when I said detached, I simply meant not attached.  Thank you for correcting me.

Offline humanitas

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Re: Dharma or Loved One?
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2009, 11:35:30 am »
I think that some people are so very bound by their beliefs that they feel the need for ultimatum.

Christian history is full of coerced belief, and I think that there are still some people out there who honestly believe that what they are doing is divine intervention.  They believe that they are saving you from spending eternity in hell, so why would they desist?  You will never change these people.  You have to make the choice.  Do you want to keep these people in your life or not?

If you do, then you make the adjustments that you need to.  Otherwise, you need to move on.  

It's not just Buddhists who have this dilemma.  Among those who also struggle with this choice are gays and people of more rigid religious sects (Amish, Hasidic).  It's all the same.  

If you are referring to a family member, then you need to do what is necessary to keep peace in your family.  There is no tenet in Buddhism against Christianity and there are groups of Christians who honor the Buddha's teachings.  This is one form of compromise.  

If it's a partner who is giving you the ultimatum, then I suggest that you find a new one.  Even if the person does not share your beliefs, you at least need his or her support.

Just my opinion.

I agree and don't agree with you on this.  I can also attest to all the "coerced belief" that has happened for centuries in many religions/cultures, because when you "control" a belief system you control which way those beliefs go. Since the message of Christ/Muhammed has little to do with the Christian/Muslim politics, one can directly see that most of the monotheistic religions are systems of mass control to ensure people keep: reproducing within the moral parameters to that they can keep working and bringing in revenue/resources, and this is all carefully controlled by a moral structure to tell them what is right and wrong.

When people give ultimatums they are suffering from a great deal of fear, because I agree with what you said, they are so bound up in their beliefs they only know how to "coerce" another into believing what they do.  But it is like with a child, you can't cut your child our of your life because he is an impossibly difficult child.  When he throws a tantrum you must cultivate and practice patience and know that his flailing comes out of his little self that is mostly ignorant and just developing his understanding (therefore using a lot of necessary ego-energy to discern the world).  However, I do not agree that it is so black and white that one must decide to "keep these people" in one's life or not.  While it is true in some that if there is direct harm being done that is life threatening and ties must be severed, I think in most cases, these matters remain "unresolved" because our task as Buddhists is to increase our "circle of understanding" and to increase our compassion to eventually see EVERYONE the way we would see our child, with loving-kindness and heartbreak for their suffering.  Sometimes that might mean cutting ties, other times not.  I don't think we should try to focus so much on setting down these barriers and boundaries that continue to separate us/them in this manner as it just strengthens the ego-energy of division and category.  At the end of the day, there is just us.  Them is illusory. We cannot cut "us" out of "them" anymore than we can cut out our stomachs from our bodies for having a stomachache.  We must practice peace to teach peace.  Does that make sense?

Take it only as my opinion, and no fact set forth by Buddha or anything.  Just where my practice has been taking me more towards... :namaste:
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 11:38:53 am by Ogyen Chodzom »
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Offline pickledpitbull

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Re: Dharma or Loved One?
« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2009, 04:59:36 pm »
" However, I do not agree that it is so black and white that one must decide to 'keep these people' in one's life or not."

But I'm not the one bringing the ultimatum.  The question was how to deal with the ultimatum being presented. 
You've been taught that there is something wrong with you and that you are imperfect, but there isn't and you're not.


~ Cheri Huber

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Re: Dharma or Loved One?
« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2009, 06:43:16 pm »
" However, I do not agree that it is so black and white that one must decide to 'keep these people' in one's life or not."

But I'm not the one bringing the ultimatum.  The question was how to deal with the ultimatum being presented. 

Right, even in being the person presented with the ultimatum, one can know it's not black and white, the ultimatum itself is a sign of suffering and great fear of loss.  Decisions about who to excise from one's social circle because of differences in our levels of ignorance doesn't make our ignorance any less than anyone else's.  All I'm saying is that may not be the most constructive way to deal with an ultimatum, though it might be the most convenient-seeming.
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Offline pickledpitbull

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Re: Dharma or Loved One?
« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2009, 07:22:11 pm »
" However, I do not agree that it is so black and white that one must decide to 'keep these people' in one's life or not."

But I'm not the one bringing the ultimatum.  The question was how to deal with the ultimatum being presented. 

Right, even in being the person presented with the ultimatum, one can know it's not black and white, the ultimatum itself is a sign of suffering and great fear of loss.  Decisions about who to excise from one's social circle because of differences in our levels of ignorance doesn't make our ignorance any less than anyone else's.  All I'm saying is that may not be the most constructive way to deal with an ultimatum, though it might be the most convenient-seeming.

But using thornbush's experience as an example, with some people it is, indeed, black and white and you have to make a choice.
You've been taught that there is something wrong with you and that you are imperfect, but there isn't and you're not.


~ Cheri Huber

Offline humanitas

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Re: Dharma or Loved One?
« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2009, 08:00:22 pm »
" However, I do not agree that it is so black and white that one must decide to 'keep these people' in one's life or not."

But I'm not the one bringing the ultimatum.  The question was how to deal with the ultimatum being presented. 

Right, even in being the person presented with the ultimatum, one can know it's not black and white, the ultimatum itself is a sign of suffering and great fear of loss.  Decisions about who to excise from one's social circle because of differences in our levels of ignorance doesn't make our ignorance any less than anyone else's.  All I'm saying is that may not be the most constructive way to deal with an ultimatum, though it might be the most convenient-seeming.

But using thornbush's experience as an example, with some people it is, indeed, black and white and you have to make a choice.

And with that I cannot but agree.  I just don't think there's any hardfast rule unfortunately for all situations.
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