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Buddhism Buddhism And Vegetarianism: Would Siddhartha Eat Meat?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Admin Singh, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. Admin Singh

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    Many people look to Siddhartha Gautama as an example of someone who attained nirvana, a buddha. Every other week in this column we look at what it might be like if Siddhartha was on his spiritual journey today. How would he combine Buddhism and dating? How would he handle stress in the workplace? What would Sid do? is devoted to taking an honest look at what we as meditators face in the modern world.

    Every other week I'll take on a new question and give some advice based on what I think Sid, a fictional Siddhartha, would do. Here Sid is not yet a buddha, he's just someone struggling to maintain an open heart on a spiritual path while facing numerous distractions along the way. Because let's face it, you and I are Sid. This week's question:

    After a delicious meal recently I saw the carnage of a leftover turkey and felt great remorse. It became very clear to me that my family had killed a living being and eaten it. Unfortunately, it was delicious. What would Sid do? Would he become a vegetarian in today's world?

    The simplest (and perhaps most satisfying) answer is yes. I believe that if he lived in today's world Sid would be a vegetarian. The historical Buddha was pretty clear that the first of the five main precepts of his disciples should be "I undertake a vow to abstain from taking life."

    The surprising thing is that the no-meat stance is not generally agreed upon, despite that precept. Theravadin schools of Buddhism say that the Buddha allowed his monastic students to eat pork, chicken and beef if the animal was not killed for the purpose of providing food specifically for them. And that was just for monastics; lay people could eat whatever sort of elephant or horse meat they could find. So to be clear: the act of eating meat was deemed karmically neutral. The act of killing or having something killed for you to eat was karmically negative.

    Over time though many savvy consumers have raised a finger and said, "But what about supply and demand?" At first it may appear that the Buddha did not buy into that particular logic when making this decision. Since alms were basically leftovers from lay households it was argued that the meat was not directly linked to the monks or nuns' karma. It's as if I showed up at your home yesterday and you gave me whatever leftover turkey you were putting in the fridge. By this argument I would take whatever you gave me and not be karmically responsible.

    Some people may find that argument convincing. I myself think that it's a bit of a copout; if I eat the last of your turkey who's to say you won't wake up the next day, wish it were still there, and go out and get another one?

    Over time different schools of Buddhism have placed differing levels of importance on vegetarianism. Certain Vajrayana practices actually call for the consumption of meat. Add this religious context to the existing cultural one (it's incredibly hard to grow vegetables in Tibet, whereas yaks are all over the place) and you develop a certain flexibility for Tibetan monastics. Tibetan Buddhists generally respect the "three condition" rule, where it's a neutral act if the meat is not seen, heard or suspected to have been killed for you. I've also heard a three hand rule where if the meat is slaughtered by one person, sold to another, and cooked by another before it reaches you your karma is not directly related to the death of the animal.

    Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama continues to eat meat. While some people have taken him to task for doing so he has stated that his doctors have recommended it, so he continues to be a carnivore while still imploring other Buddhists to become vegetarians.

    While I understand someone having to eat meat for health reasons I think that in modern Western society it's not too hard to be a vegetarian. I think if our fictional Sid were not collecting alms but held a job and bought all his own meals he would likely choose a falafel over a Big Mac. I personally believe that Sid would hold the life of animals in such high regard that he would go out of his way to be a vegetarian.

    However, I think that if he were out in the middle of nowhere at a friend's barbecue with no vegetarian options in sight he would accept a burger if it were passed his way. He would then eat said burger with appreciation in his heart for the animal that gave his or her life to feed him and his friends. It's important to not get too rigid about a set diet but instead feel out that middle way that allows us to feel and act healthy. Then our practice can thrive.

    As with everything on this spiritual path we need to determine what makes sense for us. While discussing becoming vegetarian with my girlfriend she pointed out that as I am not the best chef in the world I may find it a somewhat more expensive lifestyle than a cheap meat based diet. While I am still on the fence about going cold turkey (pun intended) I do intend to be more mindful of my meat intake, relying on meatless options more readily. For me, that is what makes sense for now. Best of luck determining what makes sense for you!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lodro-rinzler/buddhism-and-vegetarianis_b_643125.html
     

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  3. Randip Singh

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    Buddha himself dies after eating rancid Pork.

    Contrary to myth, most Buddhists eat meat and are not vehetarian. Some are violently opposed to vegetarians.
     
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  4. Archived_member14

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    Amanji,

    If I may comment on this article that you have posted.

    I’d normally just ignore it, but since there is a chance that some readers here would buy into the argument made by the author, I think it would help if I offered my own arguments at this point. Besides what I say applies not only within the context of Buddhism, but also outside of it.
    Quote:
    <<The simplest (and perhaps most satisfying) answer is yes. I believe that if he lived in today's world Sid would be a vegetarian.>>

    Firstly, Sid was someone who was ripe to become self-enlightened which is leagues ahead of someone having the potential to also become enlightened, but who would need to first hear about the Truth in that particular lifetime. An average person with confidence in the Buddha’s teachings and who’d need to go through uncountable lifetimes before attaining, such person would know not to imagine how a Buddha-to-be thinks, let alone start comparing himself to him.

    ------------
    Quote:
    <<The historical Buddha was pretty clear that the first of the five main precepts of his disciples should be "I undertake a vow to abstain from taking life."
    The surprising thing is that the no-meat stance is not generally agreed upon, despite that precept. Theravadin schools of Buddhism say that the Buddha allowed his monastic students to eat pork, chicken and beef if the animal was not killed for the purpose of providing food specifically for them. >>

    Ordering someone to kill is as good as doing it oneself. When a monk accepts meat and knows that it was killed just to serve him, he’d be ignoring the fact of this precept about abstaining from taking life when in fact it is his duty to teach the lay follower about these things. But meat is food and eating is not killing.

    If the monk does not know nor suspect anything about the food served, should he be encouraged to speculate about anything else in this regard? The aim of that which he is supposed to give the lay follower in return, namely the teachings, is meant to arouse not only generosity and morality, but more importantly, right understanding. If he knows that the lay follower concerned has killed in order to serve him, by refusing the food, he’d be reminding about morality and provide opportunity for that person to ask about other things. If on the other hand, there is no cause to suspect anything about the food offered and yet the monk does not accept it just because it is meat, this is neither a lesson in morality nor encouraging of right understanding.

    This being that in this situation, the monk would not be addressing anything which constitutes ‘intention’ on the part of the lay follower. In fact he himself would be expressing lack of courtesy and also not appreciating what must be good intention on the part of the lay person connected with the act of offering food. Indeed this lay person likely had many good intentions in relation to the whole activity, beginning with when buying the meat and ingredient required, the care needed in preparing the dish and that which is involved in finally serving the food.

    And how is becoming a vegetarian a help to anyone else? And for one’s own self, other than health, is there any good reason for refraining from eating meat?

    When one has decided to become a vegetarian for example, because one believes that it makes the heart / mind purer, is this right cause for the result intended? Purity of mind happens momentarily during such times as restraint from killing, lying, stealing, adultery etc., not from any decision not to eat meat. In fact one can see that the thinking associated here likely leads one away from giving due consideration to that which really matters, namely that one refrains from killing, stealing, lying etc. at times when one otherwise is tempted to do so. And it is with right understanding about this during such instances that moral purity is developed.

    What is worse is that, such a person falls prey to what the Buddha identifies as Silabbatta paramasa, translated as “attachment to mere rules and ritual”, the root meaning of which is derived from ‘sila’ or morality.

    And this is the problem. The attachment is so great and much worse than towards tastes or sights and sounds that it is in fact considered a ‘fetter’ which not only leads one away from the possibility of developing right understanding, but also to many other mischief, such as being ‘self-righteous’, where you’d probably see fingers pointing but no attempt at making the other person understand the harm of killing, and so on. Most of the time however, people just go about feeling that they are doing the right thing and increasing not only attachment and ignorance, but worse, wrong understanding. This latter is what leads although probably only in another lifetime, to such things as animal sacrifice or hearing a voice in one’s head saying that one would need to offer one’s son’s life to God in order that he may then send rain.....

    Given the fact that it is from one’s own mind that any conclusion is drawn about the world out there, the imperative at any time is to guard this mind from intentions associated with greed, hatred and delusion. When eating food, whether this is in the case of a vegan or non-vegan, greed is unavoidable but can be known for what it is. The likeliness however, that a vegan who is involved in the kind of thoughts that he has, including giving importance to the outward behaviour , that right consideration is given to the quality of mind and any intentions, is quiet low. So while the meat eater who is rid of the kind of clutter is open to the possibility of right understanding about his own attachments to food, the vegan unwittingly not only can develop more attachment to his menu, but also to the ‘idea’ of being a vegan.

    And then there is the idea held by some that goes something like this: “If we do not eat meat, we are in effect discouraging killing in the world”.

    This again is wrong thinking, in fact a proliferation of view.
    Anyone who has had any glimpse into his own unwholesome tendencies would know that there is a long way to go and much work to be done in this regard. He’d know that it is not enough to have the precepts as guideline and that one is forever forgetful. The attention is then drawn towards developing one’s own mind and away from such things as trying to arrange the world. It is sheer ignorance hence which is behind such thoughts as being a vegan thinking that this would have a positive effect upon others in that they would then stop killing. And besides, if there is any understanding on the part of the individual concerned, he’d see that any outward ceasing of killing, such as that which could happen if there was a law prohibiting, this does not address the *real* cause, which is the tendency in each individual, to kill due to the accumulated greed, hatred and delusion.

    So again in this case, the vegan does not address what is really important and ends up increasing attachment and ignorance. And although he may not go out ‘preaching’ to the world his ideas, one can see that arrogance must also be involved in all this.
    ---------------
    Quote:
    <<And that was just for monastics; lay people could eat whatever sort of elephant or horse meat they could find.>>

    This is not correct. Killing is killing and is wrong no matter what the circumstance. Yes, as monks, doing any kind of wrong has greater karmic result given his position. When it comes to eating, the kind of food is same, although not all meats are suitable in terms of health and would therefore be advised against.

    ---------------
    Quote:
    << So to be clear: the act of eating meat was deemed karmically neutral. The act of killing or having something killed for you to eat was karmically negative.>>

    No such thing as karmically neutral here, eating is always with greed for most of us, and although this does not constitute ‘evil deed’ hence giving rise to bad results, it nevertheless accumulates.

    ----------------
    Quote:
    << Over time though many savvy consumers have raised a finger and said, "But what about supply and demand?" At first it may appear that the Buddha did not buy into that particular logic when making this decision.>>

    Of course he did not buy into any such ideas. He understood clearly while the others were lost in thought proliferation and who needed to be engaged in some form of self-indulgence.

    -----------------
    Quote:
    << Since alms were basically leftovers from lay households it was argued that the meat was not directly linked to the monks or nuns' karma. It's as if I showed up at your home yesterday and you gave me whatever leftover turkey you were putting in the fridge. By this argument I would take whatever you gave me and not be karmically responsible.>>

    Firstly, if anything, the lay followers would be the ones eating any leftovers that were intended to be offered. It is with generosity, kindness and respect that ideally these offerings are made. In return the monks teach the Dharma, which is the greatest of gifts ever can be given. Let us not pollute this particular relationship with the crap that we entertain due to our own lack of understanding!

    ------------
    Quote:
    << Some people may find that argument convincing. I myself think that it's a bit of a copout; if I eat the last of your turkey who's to say you won't wake up the next day, wish it were still there, and go out and get another one?>>

    Your argument is based on wrong premises. But what is worse is that you entertain the ideas that you do, which leads to much more harm in the long run than the killing that you seem to talk against but only ever indirectly address. Your problem is the attachment to the idea of being a vegan. In this regard I wonder if you’ve ever had thoughts about the greater number of beings (insects) killed in the process of growing one vegetable?

    -------------
    Quote:
    << As with everything on this spiritual path we need to determine what makes sense for us.>>


    This is perhaps your error. You think as you do from under the mud that you are sunk in.
     
  5. spnadmin

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    confused ji

    Would you explain the meaning and purpose of the closing sentence in your comments above? I would like to put it into an appropriate context, rather than draw the wrong conclusions.

    Many thanks.
     
  6. Archived_member14

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    Narayanjot ji,


    Would you explain the meaning and purpose of the closing sentence in your comments above? I would like to put it into an appropriate context, rather than draw the wrong conclusions.



    There is a comparison made with an elephant trying to pull another elephant out of the mud when it is stuck in the mud itself. This was said to show how impossible it is for someone with ignorance and wrong understanding to lead another person similarly ignorant towards right understanding. I took this idea of being stuck in the mud to refer to ignorance and wrong understanding in general.

    Not only was the author of this essay coming in with a wrong interpretation of the Buddha’s teachings, but he was also very much carried away by any associated thoughts. Since a wrong interpretation of the Dhamma comes from wrong understanding, it means then that the author was dominated by this in what he expressed.

    That he concludes, “As with everything on this spiritual path we need to determine what makes sense for us”, this shows how unaware he is regarding the extent of his own ignorance and indeed the danger of ignorance itself. And the overall impression one gets from reading what has been written is of the author giving importance to his own thoughts almost as much if not more, as he does with regard to those of the Buddha himself.

    As a student of the Dhamma one comes to gradually understand better the extent of the Buddha’s wisdom alongside with that of one’s own ignorance. Wisdom would have it then, that someone checks his understanding with those who are wiser and this points ultimately, to the teachings of the Buddha. In other words what makes sense for us has value only insofar as this conforms to what the Buddha taught, otherwise it is worth diddly.

    No doubt we all end up following what makes sense to us. But we do this mostly out of ignorance, craving and / or wrong understanding. Better then that we realize this such that there may then be moments when we realize our limitations, than to think that in fact this is the way to go.
     
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  7. spnadmin

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    Thank you for your explanation. it was unclear whether you were directing that comment to Aman Singh ji or to the author of the article.

    The author of the article is Lodro Rinzler, who claims to be a Shambhala Buddhist practitioner and Development Officer for Shamghala International.

    That leads me to a different question. Now we have two Buddhists disagreeing on key points in the article. What criteria should a non Buddhist apply to determine whether " what makes sense" to us "conforms to what the Buddha taught" or is "diddly?"
     
  8. Archived_member14

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    Narayanjot ji,

    Sometimes I’d rather not be identified as coming from a Buddhist perspective given especially that my understanding is so very different from almost every other Buddhist. And as you know, there are so many traditions and within each of these what is considered mainstream is more a matter of popularity than adherence to the original texts. What comes under the Mahayana is varied to the extent of even having different root texts. And the Theravada, although there is the Three Baskets and the fact of the five councils having come to agree upon what constitutes ‘authority’, people have begun to openly reject not only the commentaries, but also the third basket, namely the Abhidhamma.

    So not only are those who don’t consider themselves Buddhists ‘outsiders’, but each of these different schools are outsiders to one another. Therefore I think the label Buddhist is actually quite misleading. And although most of these would arrive at the conclusion that there is general agreement on basic principles, I for one am not so optimistic. When someone puts forward a comment which on the surface seem to agree with what I’d say, I’d see this as being due to reliance on vague understanding / lack of precision with regard to the concepts referred to. Upon further investigation, it invariably turns out that the understanding is so very different. You would remember my pointing out in another post, the difference between reading the texts as prescriptive of things to do vs. as description of the way things are, and this is one manifestation of what I consider a huge difference in understanding.

    You asked:
    <<That leads me to a different question. Now we have two Buddhists disagreeing on key points in the article. What criteria should a non Buddhist apply to determine whether " what makes sense" to us "conforms to what the Buddha taught" or is "diddly?">>

    Some random thoughts which may or may not answer your question.
    One famous phrase, an invitation by the Buddha is ‘Ehipasiko’, which means ‘come and see for yourself’. Most people read this to mean that one starts off hearing about something which appeals by way of reason or faith, and then through practice one comes to experience the truth of what is said. The general sentiment here is of a big difference between what is considered theory and what practice is. I on the other hand, seeing a very important relationship between ‘intellectual understanding’ and ‘direct understanding’, take ehipasiko to apply from the very outset when upon hearing the teachings; to be all about one’s life now and from moment to moment. Only that one knows also that this is only the beginning step, namely intellectual understanding and that one couldn’t have come to realize this without the Buddha’s teaching it, which then conditions an inclination to lend ear / interest to hearing more.

    Failing this and due to other causes is what leads some people to instead think in terms of a difference between theory and practice and therefore ehipasiko as something which happens down the road in time. But the Dhamma is not ‘theory’, and the ‘practice’ is not the result of some projected idea and subsequent decision to apply. Indeed while the one is encouraging of confidence in the teachings, this latter leads to confidence in one’s own ability to make things happen, and like it or not, will only ever lead to more doubt in the future.

    A little diversion now before I try to come back on the track. ;-)
    It has been said in the Dhamma that the four factors to enlightenment is a) hearing the Dhamma, b) association with the wise, c) wise consideration of what one has heard and d) practice in accordance to the Dhamma (this refers to instances of direct understanding).

    How does one know if what one has heard and that which seems to make sense is indeed what the Buddha intended? How does one come to determine who is wise given one’s own ignorance? And given that wrong understanding leads one to be interested in other ‘views’ but which must necessarily feel ‘right’ for those holding the view, how does one come to realize that this is indeed what is happening?

    Hard to answer isn’t it?

    In the end it is all “conditions’ at play from moment to moment for each individual. One can’t choose the place of birth and so too what is seen, heard, smelt and so on. Likewise, upon the experience through any of these senses, one can’t choose to have attachment or aversion or to think rightly or wrongly. Therefore when encountering the Dhamma, who can make right understanding arise if the tendency to wrong understanding is so much greater? Only right understanding can know what is right and it is wisdom that seeks wisdom. Wrong understanding on the other hand, finds what it seeks, not only in some false teacher but also reading the right set of texts, but with wrong understanding.

    In the example of this very situation of me talking to you about what I claim to be the Buddha’s real teachings. If what I say is indeed correct, it would require the element of right understanding on your part to condition further interest in and continuation of the discussion and / or reading any literature that I may direct you to. But who would be the judge as to whether this is really the case? If I’m in fact wrong and you believe me, then it is akin to one blind leading another blind.

    My own confidence in this particular way comes from the fact that it is all about the present moment experience which is all there is at any time. I cannot escape the fact for example, that no matter what I think this happens by conditions beyond control and therefore the imperative is always to understanding this. Even when I wonder about this or that text, this very thinking as being conditioned is the more important realization I’d need to come to. Similarly when involved in thoughts about morality and whether one course of action is right or wrong, this very mind now is what I need to come to understand, which would then be far more valuable than any reasoned out answers.

    A friend from Australia often says that the Buddha in all that he taught meant his audience to understand it in terms of present moment realities. I do not wholeheartedly agree as I believe that in some cases he had this only as the long term goal and taught what would lead to it for those who were not ready to understand at the time. But although that was their level of understanding, the important thing is that they did not however insist on an interpretation of the Dhamma as a whole, of their own. They accepted that the Buddha *knew* and was giving them the best suggestions / reminders. And although I don’t agree fully with my friend, I accept what he suggested when applied to my own reading of the texts. No doubt people today are far less likely to understand at the needed level, but unlike the more humble disciples of the Buddha, many of these people take what they want saying that this applies to their level, yet underlying it all is a statement about what the Buddha must have meant ultimately and stubbornly insisting on it.

    This is an example of being diddly. In other words, when instead of being drawn to the present moment one is caught in ideas about a ‘self’ and past and future and then reading what the Buddha taught through the kind of lens. After all there is really no interest to understand in this case, but instead to promote one’s own hidden agenda. And although there is sometimes talk about ‘sense of urgency’ to get on with the practice etc., because there is no inclination to considering the mind *now*, this again must be just ignorance and craving directing the show and reflects in fact no real sense of urgency. It is really hard to attend to the present moment, after all if this happens, what would be discovered is the extent of one’s own ignorance and other unwholesome tendencies. So much easier to flit off into ideals about what ‘self’ is and needs to do in order to then ‘become’, whereby goals are set and appear reachable.

    But alas, it is all about conditions and there is nothing anyone can do to change the course of events towards some projected goal. And as a wise man once said:

    No doer of the deeds is found,
    No one who ever reaps their fruits,
    Empty phenomena roll on,
    This view alone is right and true.

    And you should be impressed as far as I’m concerned, by this quote. ;-)
     
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  9. spnadmin

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    confused ji

    Many thanks for your detailed reply. What I conclude from this is that you take Lodro Rinzler's understanding to be different from your own. He may see eating meet to be a clear understanding based on his immediate experience of the dhamma. You do not.
     
  10. Archived_member14

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    Narayanjot ji,


    I don't understand your response as mine was to the following:


    I'd need you to elaborate on your comment especially since I expected you to address the points I brought up. No doubt I'm dense / muddle headed and so self-centered that I more often than not, fail to take any hints. I hope that you will clarify things for me.

    Sukinderpal
     
    #9 Archived_member14, Jul 22, 2010
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  11. spnadmin

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    Sukinderpal ji

    Forgive me and I will try to elaborate. The reason I did not earlier: I was following the sequence of your argument, and then commented only on what I perceived to be your conclusion. Let me try again in the next post. Thanks
     
  12. spnadmin

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    sukinderpal ji

    I will try to understand each part of your comment



    Now you answered my question by avoiding it. The starter article reports that some Buddhists have no problem with eating meat (special conditions may be stipulated or not). You have stated in an earlier post that those Buddhists, who eat meat, do not understand the teachings of the Buddha. How do you know that? And how would a non Buddhist know who was right or who was wrong? What criteria should be applied?

    sukidnerpal ji -- Though you may answer at length it will be hard for me at times to respond at length. Please forgive me. It does not mean a lack of interest; but only that my days are divided in a thousands ways. :)
     
    #11 spnadmin, Jul 23, 2010
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  13. Archived_member14

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    Narayanjot ji,

    I had written a response but too late, to say that you should not feel obliged to respond to the points and explaining why I reacted as I did. That was because I did not see page 2 of this thread, :-/ and I quickly deleted that post.
    Before I go on to comment on anything, I think there is one confusion which needs to be cleared.

    You said at the end:
    <<Now you answered by question by avoiding my point. The starter article reports that some Buddhists have no problem with eating meat (special conditions may be stipulated or not). You have stated in an earlier post that those Buddhists who eat meat do not understand the teachings of the Buddha.>>

    I may have misunderstood the original article. The impression I got was that the author was suggesting that Siddhartha would have been a vegetarian if he was living in this day and age, which means that the author was encouraging becoming one. I was actually against the idea and tried to explain why such a suggestion was in fact wrong.

    Regarding answering your question, I was indirect and perhaps need to explain much more. However I believe that after I do that, you’d come to see that I did not in fact avoid answering your question. ;-)
     
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  14. Archived_member14

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    Narayanjot ji,

    While I’m waiting for your response to my last post, I’m picking out one point of your last post to respond to.
    Quote N:
    << But this takes us back to where we began. So the only thing I can conclude from your explanation is that "some people" get it and others do not. And those who do not "get it" are not helped even if they read the right set of texts, because they are conditioned to be distracted from "getting it."

    The political corollary is that many religions are organized so that a caste of those who "got it" are empowered to teach those who have not got it yet, and including many who probably never will get it. That in my humble opinion is how magical thinking, dogmatism and fanaticism run rabid over very legitimate religious inclinations of the ordinary human being. >>

    The first paragraph is saying that those ‘who don’t get it’ won’t gain anything from being taught. The second is saying that those ‘who get it’ will teach them from up a pedestal. :)

    I know you are saying only that such a situation could evolve from the kind of attitude. But I’d suggest that it is in fact unnecessary to go into the kind of consideration.

    I’m talking about the way things are which includes distinguishing elements that are wholesome and unwholesome and those that are neither. I am also stressing that to know this requires wisdom which not only is the highest good, but which can’t ever be developed without other kinds of good being developed alongside. Most particularly there is what is called the Ten Perfections. These are good qualities working to support one another led by wisdom, yet this wisdom can’t grow without these good qualities being developed which include:
    Generosity
    Morality
    Renunciation
    Wisdom
    Effort
    Patience
    Truthfulness
    Determination
    Loving Kindness
    Equanimity

    Besides if you reasoned, you’d understand that since wisdom would know the value of good and the harm of evil, there’d develop an inclination towards the one and away from the other.

    That some people will get it and some won’t, this is *fact*. When the Buddha was enlightened, on reviewing what he came to understand, his first reaction was a disinclination to teach it. What subsequently arose and on surveying the world, was the thought about beings with different levels of accumulated understanding, including those with what he considered ‘little dust in their eyes’, which then made him to decide to do so.

    From my side all I can say is that I’m interested in the Dhamma, and since I see much value in it, sometimes I like to share. I also like to discuss, as it allows for my thoughts to be sorted out and challenged, and I sure would like to correct any wrong understanding that I have. I do sometimes come to conclusions about another person’s level of understanding and in some cases have the associated thought of it being not worth the effort to talk the person about the Dhamma. That would of course be due to aversion / lack of kindness. However much of the time, I am lead to think that I don’t really know who has what kind of accumulations and what set of words and when would anyone’s accumulated understanding suddenly show up. In fact I sincerely believe that there are several people out there who although at present have ‘wrong view’, that this is only because of their present situation, including not having yet gotten the chance to hear the Dhamma expressed in a way just right for them, that in fact some of these people are nearer to the goal than I am!

    Some may think that I’m being arrogant since I’m acting the judge and don’t show any sign of acknowledging that I might possibly be wrong. To this I’ll say that right understanding of the Dhamma does not allow for wavering of any kind. Having a beginner’s understanding include knowing that one has this level of understanding, but that this may be wrong understanding does not cross one’s mind and would logically go against what one claims to be developing. Sure, I may in fact be wrong and completely deluded, and if this is the case, so be it since nothing can be done about it anyway. But I really see no value in being unsure.

    Also in my case where I am is result of what I’d consider much reflection on many aspects of the Dhamma as applied to my life. And since I’m open to discussing the "Truth" with anyone at anytime, I don’t think that this has any relationship to the kind of attitude leading to “magical thinking” or even “dogmatism” would it?

    Better end now or you’ll stop reading my posts altogether. ;-)
     
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  15. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Confused ji

    It will be some time before I can answer either or both posts. I spent more than 2 hours considering and writing the last one to be sure that my meaning was exact, and got to bed after 4:30 in the morning. Writing that reply was coupled with at least 5 hours of forum moderation, so it was a very long stretch for me. You obviously have taken a lot of time in your writing. I felt it only fair that I do so as well.

    Please forgive the delay.
     
  16. Archived_member14

    Archived_member14
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    Narayanjot ji,

    I appreciate the hard work that you put in to moderate this site. Please feel free not to comment on my posts unless you have enough time. My reaction in that other post was basically because I had thought that our discussion reached a point where it was not about Lodro Rinzler anymore, and so when I saw his named mentioned, there was a strong reaction. I apologize for that.
     

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