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Buddhism Wonderful Excerpts Of SPN Member Confused Ji's Post

Harry Haller

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Jan 31, 2011
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I'm writing because the two of us have not entered into a discussion before and you have put so much effort into writing your post. But like with Harry ji, it appears that you too have not grasped what I have been trying to convey so far. And I have come to a point where I question not only my ability to convey the understanding, but more importantly, that this can be done by mere use of reason or continual hammering.
Confusedji

lets make it easier, how about you explain how the internal combustion engine works, but only on the basis that I do not accept that gasoline is flammable

:grinningkaur:
 

Harry Haller

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Jan 31, 2011
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Confusedji

your trying to explain something to me (Karma) that relies on my belief of reincarnation. Trying to explain this, given the limitations, is almost impossible.

Almost as impossible as attempting to explain how a car engine works, given my refusal to admit that gasoline is flammable.

It would probably go something like this

C and then there is a spark, and the explosion pushes the piston
H but Gas is not flammable, unlike aardvark urine, which is flammable, I suppose if I managed to pretend it was aadrvark urine, I could possibly get a feel for what you are trying to say......

and so forth......., I for one am not surprised you gave up!

Unless we accept completely the concept of reincarnation, there can be no understanding of Karma.
 
Feb 23, 2012
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My dear brother Confused ji peacesignkaur

Thank you very much for your reply.


I would like to attach some comments to your comments (I'll focus on just a few right now, others later):


What has necessitated this idea about Eternity?
The nature of the moment as understood by wisdom is that it is fleeting, and there are only fleeting experiences one following another. Whence comes the impression of anything being eternal or that there exists something behind the particular experience?

He means eternity in the sense of "Uncreated" not an eternal soul/self.



"...Our essential nature is uncreated, never-born and free in and for itself. It is found in all creatures, but is not restricted to them; it is outside all creatures, but not excluded from them..."

- The Cloud of Unknowing (14th-century), classic text of Catholic mysticism


Didn't the Buddha refer to Nirvana as "unborn" and "uncreated"?

Angelus did not believe that "he" as a person existed at all before his birth. Rather he was saying that there is an Unborn Ground which is the essential nature of all sentient beings.

The Bible agrees with your view that moments are fleeting. I believe you have misunderstood Angelus:


In Ecclesiastes Koheleth writes:


"...Emptying upon emptying! - said the Preacher - Emptying upon emptying! Everything is impermanent...All rivers empty into the sea, yet the sea never fills; indeed the waters rise and return to the river's mouth that they might flow yet again...Nothing lasts, everything is transient, and all effort to the contrary is a needless gasping for air...a useless panting, yielding nothing of lasting value...Everything in this world has its moment, a season of ripening and falling away...Moments of birthing and moments of dying; moments of planting and moments of reaping...Moments of seeking and moments of losing...I have looked deeply into this human affliction. Everything is beautiful in its moment but the ripening is hidden from your mind and you cannot comprehend beginnings or endings...Reality's flow is endless, moment to moment nothing is added and nothing is taken away, and its sole purpose is to open you to wonder...The fate of all life is forever the same: from dust arising to dust returning...And I discerned that wisdom is superior to folly...Wisdom opens the eye to consequence, while folly provides no discernment. And yet the wise and the foolish share the same reward - death...And I concluded that wisdom, too, was empty..."

- The Book of Ecclesiastes, Bible


The only place that the biblical author disagrees with you is on wisdom. Even it too is ultimately empty and fleeting.

This is learning to live with unknowing. One moment flows to another, so subtle is the flow that it is often not noticed. By the time you perceive something arising it is already passing away.

Earlier on in my post, I quoted Saint John of the Cross at this point, who said (In part, read back for the full):


"...I entered where there is no knowing,

and unknowing I remained,


all knowledge there transcending...."

Ideas very opposed to Buddhism.
One, that there is a self to lose. Two, that there is a God / Ground (or any equivalent) from which one emerged, at some point lost connection with, and therefore now seek to merge into or come to realize that there was indeed never any separation.

But aren't you presuming that Angelus believes in a "self" that he has to lose? That is not what entering the Ground means. Rather as Cyprian Smith said in that quote lower down in my earlier post:


"...We are a different 'self' depending on the moods or activities of the moment...There is nothing to give any unity or continiuity to my identity...I am not one self but a sequence of different or even conflicting selves..."

- Cyrprian Smith OSB, Catholic theologian and mystic


Upon entering the Ground we realize that there is no unified identity and that we are not a single, unified "self".

Eckhart entered the Ground:


"...The Ground is inexpressible...For though she sink all sinking in the oneness of divinity, she never touches bottom. For it is of the very essence...that she is powerless to plumb the depths...And here one cannot speak of the soul anymore, for she has lost her nature yonder in the oneness of divine essence. When the soul has lost her nature in the Oneness, we can no longer speak of a 'soul' - but of immeasurable Being...Your very something must become nothing, drive all something, all nothing away! Leave place, leave time, and images as well! Go without way on the narrow path, thus you will come to the desert...into the nothing, sink into the bottomless swell!..."

- Meister Eckhart (1260-1328), Catholic mystic and Dominican priest


"...I discovered myself to be nothing but nothing; an unweighable substance; a sea that cannot be sailed...I find that I exist as nothing but nothing..."

- Thomas A. Kempis (c. 1380 – 1471), Catholic monk and mystic



That is the GROUND. It is not a "space" and it is the deepest aspect of our reality. One goes so deep into this ground that there no longer any awarenss of a soul but rather of a state of single-minded oneness beyond all forms. It is not eternal in the sense you describe since eternity posits "time", succession in time. Rather it is beyond time and so it is a state devoid of time and place.


I would say that 'it' (for want of a better word) is not a space but a state. It is inexpressible, ineffable and beyond space/place and time. It is beyond all forms, mental images, sensuality, surface personality, emotions, thoughts etc. A person who lives within the Ground is no longer affected by the past nor the future but exists solely in the present moment. He is no longer depressed by bad things, or overjoyed by good things rather he exists in a state of complete detachment from self and all things: in equainimity and in pure, untramelled being. Nothing rocks his inner serenity, even if the world were to be collapsing around him.

The Ground is nameless, so we cannot assign any true name to it which could explain its identity - for it has none.

The Ground is completely empty. But our everyday consciousness is so clouded by emotions and thoughts that we are not aware of it, and thus we don't recognize it.

When one enters the Ground there are little or even no thoughts. One experiences profound stillness, or calmness. Then emptiness arises.

This is a state of complete unknowing.


"...I have said at times that there is a power, untouched by time and flesh, which alone is free...Sometimes I have said it is a little spark. But now I say it is neither this nor that... Therefore now call it by a nobler name than ever before, but it repudiates this nobility and this mode and is far above them. It is free from all names, and altogether unimpeded, untrammeled and free from all modes...It is so completely free and simple, that it cannot in any way be perceived...It is free of all names and void of all forms. It is one and simple, and no man can in any wise behold it...Dear children, you must know that true spiritual life leads to perfect freedom from self and all things...One cares nothing, seeks nothing, has nothing, wants nothing for oneself, but frankly resigns oneself to eternal law. Those who live this life, they verily attain to unity, and to know the truth one has to dwell in unity and be the unity...The highest knowing and seeing is knowing and seeing, unknowing and unseeing...To know anything of self is to know nothing...True detachment means a mind as little moved by what befalls, by joy and sorrow, honor and disgrace, as a broad mountain by a gentle breeze... Be sure of this: absolute stillness for as long as possible is best of all for you..."

- Meister Eckhart (1260-1328), Catholic mystic and Dominican priest


Such thoughts can be a condition for moral action, kindness and compassion, but they can also be a cause for actions that in fact come from self-interest but wrongly mistaken for good. The difference is in whether there is any understanding with regard to the nature and hence the advantage of wholesome states and the disadvantage of unwholesome states.

When there exists such understanding, almost anything can be a reminder to do good, avoid evil and to cultivate the mind. When this understanding is lacking, then we tend to rely on some kind of script in order that we can then act the desired way, and this of course is not reliable. The only good reason to do good is for the sake of good itself. To rely on a line of thought in order that we can act a certain way will only accumulate the tendency to such, which will lead on another occasion, to look for a reason to act badly.


This makes me think that you have misunderstood Angelus, the man who wrote:


“The rose is without why; it blooms because it blooms; it pays no attention to itself, nor asks whether one sees it.”


Eckhart explained this several centuries before:


"...This I know, that the only way to live is like the rose which lives without a 'why'...Man must live without why...Why do you love truth? - Because of truth. - Why do you love justice? - Because of justice. - Why do you love the good? - Because of the good. - Why do you live? - Forsooth! I don't know! But I am happy to live...You might ask life itself over a period of a thousand years the following question: "Why are you alive?" And still the only response you would receive would be: 'I live so that I may live'. Why does this happen? Because life rises from its own foundation and rises out of itself. Therefore, life lives without a reason - life lives for itself..."

- Meister Eckhart (c. 1260-1327) (Sermon Seventy One), Catholic mystic and Dominican priest


I look forward to your responses peacesignkaur
 
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Nov 15, 2004
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Thailand
Harry ji,


Confusedji

your trying to explain something to me (Karma) that relies on my belief of reincarnation. Trying to explain this, given the limitations, is almost impossible.

Almost as impossible as attempting to explain how a car engine works, given my refusal to admit that gasoline is flammable.

It would probably go something like this

C and then there is a spark, and the explosion pushes the piston
H but Gas is not flammable, unlike aardvark urine, which is flammable, I suppose if I managed to pretend it was aadrvark urine, I could possibly get a feel for what you are trying to say......

and so forth......., I for one am not surprised you gave up!

Unless we accept completely the concept of reincarnation, there can be no understanding of Karma.
This is the fifth time that you have pointed this out to me and so far my own impression has been that you have failed to understand me. Now I am thinking that it may in fact be due to my weakness in logic (nothing new), in this case, the inability to see the relationship between two ideas, one which seems obvious to you. And perhaps you can help me see my limitations, hence where I continually go wrong.

I'll start by explaining again what Karma is and then also my perception of this situation.

What is Karma?
1. General answer: Moral cause and effect.
2. Precise answer: Wholesome or unwholesome actions.
3. More precise answer: Volitional consciousness rooted in ignorance/attachment/aversion or non-delusion/non-attachment/non-aversion.
4. Still more precise answer: “Intention” accompanying the volitional consciousness referred to above.

There is also this distinction to be made,
a. Volitional consciousness that do not lead to full courses of action.
b. Volitional consciousness that accompany full courses of action.

Examples of a. include liking and disliking things (objects of the senses and mind) and the actions which form most of our day-to-day lives, such as choosing to eat certain foods, wearing particular clothes, decorating our houses and watching our favourite TV shows. b. on the other hand include liking something enough to steal or lie for it, hating someone enough to verbally abuse or hit him / her, and on the other hand, having moral restraint or being moved by kindness to help other people.

Now while a. is accumulative in nature, which at some point can lead to b. happening, it however does not constitute as cause “leading” to results, such as the sense experiences and rebirth. Only such actions as lying, stealing, killing, sexual misconduct, covetousness, slandering, foolish babble, ill-will and evil views on one hand and the restraint from these on the other, are what leads to pleasant or unpleasant experiences through the senses and rebirth in different planes of existence.

It is clear from the above that Karma is in fact all about our life as we know it. After all what else is there but experiences through the five senses which are resultant consciousness, and volitional consciousness motivated either by good or evil roots which are of the nature of cause? And what else is there to understand but these?

This is why I asked you on previous occasions, what your understanding is with regard to reality / life from which you then question the concept of Karma? And I suggested that if you do not accept Karma that this must in fact mean that you have instead, some kind of wrong understanding. And related to this is the fact that you do not feel any inclination to refer to, let alone study the reality of the present moment, preferring instead to fall back on some ideas you find more attractive, which according to me is reflective of the presence of ignorance (as in not knowing the reality of the moment) and attachment (as in shooting off to some preconceived idea).

From the above it can be seen that what is being encouraged is study of the reality “now”. If karma is to be understood, it can only happen by studying what makes up our moment to moment experiences. Indeed, in this study of the present moment, included are volitional consciousness and intentions which although are of the nature of cause, are however not those that will lead to any kind of resultant consciousness including rebirth (as in a. above). How is any of this then suggestive of a need to first believe in rebirth? I fail to see the logic, because what I have been trying to say is that if indeed you do understand the reality “now”, belief in rebirth is a natural “consequence” rather than a precondition. And again this implies that if you reject rebirth, this means that there has *not* been any understanding with regard to the nature of the present moment / reality / life.

Now Harry ji, I am imagining that you will continue to think along the line, “Unless we accept completely the concept of reincarnation, there can be no understanding of Karma”. So what I would like you to help me with is that you try to make me understand the logic behind your reasoning. Like I said, I do now think that I fail to see a connection, one which is obvious to you and other people. So perhaps Vouthon ji can help also….?
 
Nov 15, 2004
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Vouthon ji,


Quote: What has necessitated this idea about Eternity?
The nature of the moment as understood by wisdom is that it is fleeting, and there are only fleeting experiences one following another. Whence comes the impression of anything being eternal or that there exists something behind the particular experience?
He means eternity in the sense of "Uncreated" not an eternal soul/self.
I wasn't pointing at the idea of eternal “soul”, but the perception of eternity. When all that is experienced through the five senses and the mind are impermanent, unsatisfactory and non-self, what could have given rise to the idea of something being eternal from which these experiences arose?


"...Our essential nature is uncreated, never-born and free in and for itself. It is found in all creatures, but is not restricted to them; it is outside all creatures, but not excluded from them..."

- The Cloud of Unknowing (14th-century), classic text of Catholic mysticism

I read parts of The Cloud of Unknowing more than 20 years ago and remember liking it quite a lot, but that was before I started understanding the Buddha's teachings. I must say though, that I was glad to see you quote the various Christian mystics here on SPN. This is because it appears that most Sikhs believe that the corresponding ideas expressed in the Sikh texts were revolutionary, but you have shown that they are in fact not. Indeed according to me, such views have always existed and will continue to do so in the minds of not only a few people, but almost everyone else. Those who then become teachers, happen only to have other qualities that stand out. But the tendency to what I consider an eternalist view is extremely common as reflected in the fact of belief in God, the Tao, ground of being, first cause and such.


Didn't the Buddha refer to Nirvana as "unborn" and "uncreated"?
Yes he did. He said that realties are two, the conditioned and the unconditioned. Of the former he said that these are two, mental phenomena and physical phenomena. Mental phenomena are again two, consciousness and mental factors.

The Buddha however did not say, as you and the mystics do, that the unconditioned is a “ground” underlying these fleeting mental and physical phenomena. Indeed he laid out in great detail what the causes and conditions for each of these ephemeral phenomena are, namely, particular set of other equally fleeting phenomena. And this is in part to counter any tendency to believe in something abiding and standing behind these conditioned phenomena.

Nirvana is experienced only by the path and fruition consciousness of the four stages of enlightenment and can be recalled as an idea, by certain enlightened people to be object of deep concentrative calm. Nothing more need be said about it, except to remind that the unconditioned can’t be described in terms of what is known by those who have experienced only the conditioned. Indeed this is one reason why someone with even a little right understanding will know not to think about Nirvana except that there is such a thing and that it must be experienced in order that conditioned phenomena are seen through and defilements overcome.

Do the mystics express a similar attitude? No, their attempt at description actually encourages mental proliferation. And the reason for this is that they *do not* in fact know the unconditioned but only imagine that they do. I would not even put them alongside with those in ancient India who developed deep concentrative calm with objects such as infinite space, infinite consciousness, nothingness and neither perception nor non-perception. Because those who have attained these states would know better than to express themselves to anyone outside of the small group of people who are involved in the same kind of practices. This is because those who walk this path do so exactly because they see harm in sense contacts. So how can it be expected that people who cling to sense pleasures will get anything out of what is said.

Angelus did not believe that "he" as a person existed at all before his birth. Rather he was saying that there is an Unborn Ground which is the essential nature of all sentient beings.
Well, neither is he saying that what exists now are only conditioned phenomena and that this life is the result of past karma. In referring to this idea of Unborn Ground, he is in effect denying that this present moment experience is conditioned variously, by other equally fleeting mental and physical phenomena. In other words, he is referring to causes and conditions that are in fact non-existent.


The Bible agrees with your view that moments are fleeting. I believe you have misunderstood Angelus:

In Ecclesiastes Koheleth writes:

"...Emptying upon emptying! - said the Preacher - Emptying upon emptying! Everything is impermanent...All rivers empty into the sea, yet the sea never fills; indeed the waters rise and return to the river's mouth that they might flow yet again...Nothing lasts, everything is transient, and all effort to the contrary is a needless gasping for air...a useless panting, yielding nothing of lasting value...Everything in this world has its moment, a season of ripening and falling away...Moments of birthing and moments of dying; moments of planting and moments of reaping...Moments of seeking and moments of losing...I have looked deeply into this human affliction. Everything is beautiful in its moment but the ripening is hidden from your mind and you cannot comprehend beginnings or endings...Reality's flow is endless, moment to moment nothing is added and nothing is taken away, and its sole purpose is to open you to wonder...The fate of all life is forever the same: from dust arising to dust returning...And I discerned that wisdom is superior to folly...Wisdom opens the eye to consequence, while folly provides no discernment. And yet the wise and the foolish share the same reward - death...And I concluded that wisdom, too, was empty..."

- The Book of Ecclesiastes, Bible
The “present moment” is defined by the rising and falling away of a conditioned reality. This means that one is making a valid statement about a moment only if the reference is to mental and physical phenomena. Otherwise a “moment” is only a philosophical concept and any characteristic attributed to this must likewise also be only another idea. Rising and falling away from moment to moment are realities. Concepts on the other hand can only ever be creations of the thinking process.

In referring to the idea of “emptying” and in giving the examples, the author of the above is conveying the idea that there exists some constant from which things flow out and back into. You might like to compare this with what the following quote by a Buddhist commentator is trying to convey:

[One contemplating rise and fall] understands that there is no heap or store of unarisen mentality-materiality [naama-ruupa] [existing] prior to its arising. When it arises, it does not come from any heap or store; and when it ceases, it does not go in any direction. There is nowhere any depository in the way of a heap or store, prior to its arising, of the sound that arises when a lute is played, nor does it come from any store when it arises, nor does it go in any direction when it has ceased [cf. SN 35.205/vol. iv, 197], but on the contrary, not having been, it is brought into being by depending on the lute, the lute's soundboard, and a man's appropriate effort, and immaterial [aruupa] dhammas come to be [with the aid of specific conditions], and having been, they vanish.— Vis. Ch. xx/p. 630

And typical of those for whom right understanding has not arisen, in referring to this “constant”, the author from an eternalist view, moves on to an annihilationist view when suggesting that “The fate of all life is forever the same: from dust arising to dust returning”. This is a very simple-minded idea that clearly discourages any inquiry into what conditions birth and what death in truth is.

The only place that the biblical author disagrees with you is on wisdom. Even it too is ultimately empty and fleeting.
You mean when he states, “And yet the wise and the foolish share the same reward - death...And I concluded that wisdom, too, was empty..”?

Nah! He is expressing his inclination to wrong view and simply using the concept of wisdom vs. foolishness as illustration to show how everything is the same from the annihilationist point of view. In saying that the foolish and the wise share the same reward, he is in effect denying the existence of more than one natural law, that of consciousness, natural phenomena sequence and of moral cause and effect.

And by the way, what gave you the impression that Buddhism does not consider wisdom as a fleeting phenomenon? Wisdom is “conditioned” as are all other mental factors such as attachment, aversion, ignorance, attention, intention, concentration, kindness, generosity and so on!

I am leaving the rest of your message without comment because the impression is of a strained attempt to make two very different views look the same.……

And please note that “self-view” is not just a belief in eternal soul, and right view is not a matter of seeing any kind of connectedness / oneness in all there is. Indeed any attempt to see through the self while identifying with the bigger picture, is just more self-view being reinforced.
 

Harry Haller

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Jan 31, 2011
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Confusedji

clarification needed


N
ow Harry ji, I am imagining that you will continue to think along the line, “Unless we accept completely the concept of reincarnation, there can be no understanding of Karma”. So what I would like you to help me with is that you try to make me understand the logic behind your reasoning. Like I said, I do now think that I fail to see a connection, one which is obvious to you and other people. So perhaps Vouthon ji can help also….?
This infers that the concept of reincarnation is irrelevant to the understanding of Karma


I fail to see the logic, because what I have been trying to say is that if indeed you do understand the reality “now”, belief in rebirth is a natural “consequence” rather than a precondition. And again this implies that if you reject rebirth, this means that there has *not* been any understanding with regard to the nature of the present moment / reality / life.
This infers that the concept of reincarnation is relevant.

If I have misread or misunderstood, apologies, look forward to your clarification
 

Luckysingh

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I don't see why you need to put reincarnation and karma together. They can be made inter-related as this is the classice hindu approach but they don't need to be mixed together and they are seen much diffferently if approached with sikhism.
 

Luckysingh

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This has been discussed before in another thread some months back and I think that Bhagat Ji did prove that there is a different concept and it is completely non-vedic!!

Anyway, we are on the same path and I respect your views. I can't say you are wrong if your view differs, for I may after some learning and realisation come to the exact same conclusion!! Therefore, I do not deny or ignore your belief and view, but I simply keep the option open in case I may agree in the future.

None of us can foresee the future or predict what we may know and discover tomorrow. One thing that both of us are certain about is that we are definitely wiser today than last week, last month or last year.
Bearing this in mind, we should continue on the path, may be disagreeing with a few views here and there, but still keeping our options open as we may come to differ from our very ownselves in the near future!!

Trying to predict what is in store for us is not an approach or goal that both of us have any interest in.
We may have a few small differences that separate us but the similarities and interest in sikhi is strong enough to permanently unite us!!
This itself is the ''treasure'' along with the treasure of Gurbani.

So let's continue on the path picking and helping each other up where the other may occasionally trip and fall!!


Waheguru
Lucky Singh
 
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Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
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I much rather like the concept of soft re-incarnation or partial re-incarnation.

Soft or partial Re-Incarnation: I define it as parts of our real and non-physical aspects impinging upon others while we are alive and when we pass away.
Example: For Sikhs I believe we are all partial re-incarnation of our Guru jis. What type of re-incarnation? It is a soft re-incarnation where we may not be part of their gene pool but we are affected in part through their actions, wisdom, and some impacts we will never consciously realize. Similarly almost all humanity is transformational re-incarnation of one another.

Can we really call it reincarnation or aspect thereof? I would but we are all different.

Any thoughts!

Regards.
 
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Harry Haller

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Jan 31, 2011
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Ambarsariaji

SO WHAT DO WE DO WITH OUR LIFES
WE LEAVE ONLY A MARK
WILL OUR STORY SHINE LIKE A LIGHT
OR END IN THE DARK
GIVE IT ALL OR NOTHING

Tina Turner-We don't need another hero

I think you are correct, but this is not reincarnation in the traditional sense. It is much more subtle, less magical, more realistic,

I find the following Bani quite definitive on the 'traditional' meaning of reincarnation as far as Sikhism is concerned.


p1159
ਗੁਰ ਸੇਵਾ ਤੇ ਭਗਤਿ ਕਮਾਈ ॥
गुर सेवा ते भगति कमाई ॥
Gur sevā ṯe bẖagaṯ kamā▫ī.
Serving the Guru, devotional worship is practiced.
ਤਬ ਇਹ ਮਾਨਸ ਦੇਹੀ ਪਾਈ ॥
तब इह मानस देही पाई ॥
Ŧab ih mānas ḏehī pā▫ī.
Then, this human body is obtained.
ਇਸ ਦੇਹੀ ਕਉ ਸਿਮਰਹਿ ਦੇਵ ॥
इस देही कउ सिमरहि देव ॥
Is ḏehī ka▫o simrahi ḏev.
Even the gods long for this human body.
ਸੋ ਦੇਹੀ ਭਜੁ ਹਰਿ ਕੀ ਸੇਵ ॥੧॥
सो देही भजु हरि की सेव ॥१॥
So ḏehī bẖaj har kī sev. ||1||
So vibrate that human body, and think of serving the Lord. ||1||
ਭਜਹੁ ਗਬਿੰਦ ਭੂਲਿ ਮਤ ਜਾਹੁ ॥
भजहु गोबिंद भूलि मत जाहु ॥
Bẖajahu gobinḏ bẖūl maṯ jāhu.
Vibrate, and meditate on the Lord of the Universe, and never forget Him.
ਮਾਨਸ ਜਨਮ ਕਾ ਏਹੀ ਲਾਹੁ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
मानस जनम का एही लाहु ॥१॥ रहाउ ॥
Mānas janam kā ehī lāhu. ||1|| rahā▫o.
This is the blessed opportunity of this human incarnation. ||1||Pause||
ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਜਰਾ ਰੋਗੁ ਨਹੀ ਆਇਆ ॥
जब लगु जरा रोगु नही आइआ ॥
Jab lag jarā rog nahī ā▫i▫ā.
As long as the disease of old age has not come to the body,
ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਕਾਲਿ ਗ੍ਰਸੀ ਨਹੀ ਕਾਇਆ ॥
जब लगु कालि ग्रसी नही काइआ ॥
Jab lag kāl garsī nahī kā▫i▫ā.
and as long as death has not come and seized the body,
ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਬਿਕਲ ਭਈ ਨਹੀ ਬਾਨੀ ॥
जब लगु बिकल भई नही बानी ॥
Jab lag bikal bẖa▫ī nahī bānī.
and as long as your voice has not lost its power,
ਭਜਿ ਲੇਹਿ ਰੇ ਮਨ ਸਾਰਿਗਪਾਨੀ ॥੨॥
भजि लेहि रे मन सारिगपानी ॥२॥
Bẖaj lehi re man sārigpānī. ||2||
O mortal being, vibrate and meditate on the Lord of the World. ||2||
ਅਬ ਨ ਭਜਸਿ ਭਜਸਿ ਕਬ ਭਾਈ ॥
अब न भजसि भजसि कब भाई ॥
Ab na bẖajas bẖajas kab bẖā▫ī.
If you do not vibrate and meditate on Him now, when will you, O Sibling of Destiny?
ਆਵੈ ਅੰਤੁ ਨ ਭਜਿਆ ਜਾਈ ॥
आवै अंतु न भजिआ जाई ॥
Āvai anṯ na bẖaji▫ā jā▫ī.
When the end comes, you will not be able to vibrate and meditate on Him.
ਜੋ ਕਿਛੁ ਕਰਹਿ ਸੋਈ ਅਬ ਸਾਰੁ ॥
जो किछु करहि सोई अब सारु ॥
Jo kicẖẖ karahi so▫ī ab sār.
Whatever you have to do - now is the best time to do it.
ਫਿਰਿ ਪਛੁਤਾਹੁ ਨ ਪਾਵਹੁ ਪਾਰੁ ॥੩॥
फिरि पछुताहु न पावहु पारु ॥३॥
Fir pathuṯāhu na pāvhu pār. ||3||
Otherwise, you shall regret and repent afterwards, and you shall not be carried across to the other side. ||3||
ਸੋ ਸੇਵਕੁ ਜੋ ਲਾਇਆ ਸੇਵ ॥
सो सेवकु जो लाइआ सेव ॥
So sevak jo lā▫i▫ā sev.
He alone is a servant, whom the Lord enjoins to His service.
ਤਿਨ ਹੀ ਪਾਏ ਨਿਰੰਜਨ ਦੇਵ ॥
तिन ही पाए निरंजन देव ॥
Ŧin hī pā▫e niranjan ḏev.
He alone attains the Immaculate Divine Lord.
ਗੁਰ ਮਿਲਿ ਤਾ ਕੇ ਖੁਲ੍ਹ੍ਹੇ ਕਪਾਟ ॥
गुर मिलि ता के खुल्हे कपाट ॥
Gur mil ṯā ke kẖulĥe kapāt.
Meeting with the Guru, his doors are opened wide,
ਬਹੁਰਿ ਨ ਆਵੈ ਜੋਨੀ ਬਾਟ ॥੪॥
बहुरि न आवै जोनी बाट ॥४॥
Bahur na āvai jonī bāt. ||4||
and he does not have to journey again on the path of reincarnation. ||4||
ਇਹੀ ਤੇਰਾ ਅਉਸਰੁ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਾਰ ॥
इही तेरा अउसरु इह तेरी बार ॥
Ihī ṯerā a▫osar ih ṯerī bār.
This is your chance, and this is your time.
ਘਟ ਭੀਤਰਿ ਤੂ ਦੇਖੁ ਬਿਚਾਰਿ ॥
घट भीतरि तू देखु बिचारि ॥
Gẖat bẖīṯar ṯū ḏekẖ bicẖār.
Look deep into your own heart, and reflect on this.
ਕਹਤ ਕਬੀਰੁ ਜੀਤਿ ਕੈ ਹਾਰਿ ॥
कहत कबीरु जीति कै हारि ॥
Kahaṯ Kabīr jīṯ kai hār.
Says Kabeer, you can win or lose.
ਬਹੁ ਬਿਧਿ ਕਹਿਓ ਪੁਕਾਰਿ ਪੁਕਾਰਿ ॥੫॥੧॥੯॥
बहु बिधि कहिओ पुकारि पुकारि ॥५॥१॥९॥
Baho biḏẖ kahi▫o pukār pukār. ||5||1||9||
In so many ways, I have proclaimed this out loud. ||5||1||9||
ਸਿਵ ਕੀ ਪੁਰੀ ਬਸੈ ਬੁਧਿ ਸਾਰੁ ॥
सिव की पुरी बसै बुधि सारु ॥
Siv kī purī basai buḏẖ sār.
In the City of God, sublime understanding prevails.
ਤਹ ਤੁਮ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਮਿਲਿ ਕੈ ਕਰਹੁ ਬਿਚਾਰੁ ॥
तह तुम्ह मिलि कै करहु बिचारु ॥
Ŧah ṯumĥ mil kai karahu bicẖār.
There, you shall meet with the Lord, and reflect on Him.
ਈਤ ਊਤ ਕੀ ਸੋਝੀ ਪਰੈ ॥
ईत ऊत की सोझी परै ॥
Īṯ ūṯ kī sojẖī parai.
Thus, you shall understand this world and the next.
ਕਉਨੁ ਕਰਮ ਮੇਰਾ ਕਰਿ ਕਰਿ ਮਰੈ ॥੧॥
कउनु करम मेरा करि करि मरै ॥१॥
Ka▫un karam merā kar kar marai. ||1||
What is the use of claiming that you own everything, if you only die in the end? ||1||
 
Nov 15, 2004
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388
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Harry ji,


clarification needed


N
Quote: ow Harry ji, I am imagining that you will continue to think along the line, “Unless we accept completely the concept of reincarnation, there can be no understanding of Karma”. So what I would like you to help me with is that you try to make me understand the logic behind your reasoning. Like I said, I do now think that I fail to see a connection, one which is obvious to you and other people. So perhaps Vouthon ji can help also….?

This infers that the concept of reincarnation is irrelevant to the understanding of Karma

Before I go on, please remember to distinguish between reincarnation which is associated with belief in a self or soul, from rebirth, which points to a particular kind of impersonal mental phenomena.

I had suggested to you in a previous conversation, that there is a difference between not believing in karma and rebirth while acknowledging one’s own limitations, and rejecting it due to the influence of some wrong understanding and following a different law of moral cause and effect. In the above as in all your previous statements, the attitude is that of rejection. In other words, you are looking to push out rebirth so that when you then try to accommodate karma, this can be interpreted in a way which will not conflict with the underlying view you find more appealing.

What this underlying view is, you have yet to make known. So far you have simply said that you do not believe in the kind of continuity from one life to the next, or else that the concept does not exist in Sikh teachings.

When one tells a child that it is wrong to lie or kill and that it is good to show respect, he does not resist the idea. If you told him the opposite, namely that it is right to lie and kill and bad to show respect, he’d become confused. If you told him that good and bad are relative, you’d have to give some kind of explanation to support the claim and still not be sure if the child will agree. Now I am not saying that the child “understands”. What I’m trying to show you is that it requires a perversion of perception and thinking, which comes later in life, to not believe that good actions lead to good results and bad actions to bad. This is why disbelief in karma is said to be a result of one of the grossest forms of wrong view, one which leads to accumulation of a tendency to evil.

The Buddha's teachings from the beginning to end are all about “understanding”. So when we hear about karma and rebirth, we need to first have an intellectual understanding regarding what these are. Also the word Dhamma (Dharma) has basically three meanings, namely, the Truth, Realities and the Buddha's Teachings. From this we draw that any concept that we read about, including karma and rebirth, these must point to some reality which can be understood by wisdom.

I've pointed out in my last message what karma is and I’ve also referred to rebirth as a resultant consciousness. It is perhaps time now for you to tell me what it is that you understand which forms the basis for your rejection. You obviously keep talking about the need to certain actions and the avoidance of others. What is the basis for this other than that you believe that it is taught in Sikhism?

But before you answer, allow me add the following:

Sure, there is no need to think about past and future lives, since the reality “now” is the only relevant object of study. But this is not the same as saying that “rebirth is irrelevant to understanding karma”. Your rejection of rebirth does not lead to the investigation of this moment, but only to a “story” about who you were in the past, are now, and will be in the future (in context of this one lifetime that you insist upon). This is “self-view”, which has given you the the false impression, that in rejecting the idea about past and future lives, you can then focus rightly on this one alone. But as I've tried to show you before, what you consider fruitful and relevant, is actually wrong understanding which is doing the talking. Even if you reasoned that it is useless to think about the past and future, so long as you fail to understand what the present moment is, you are caught in the idea of “self” which will forever take you away from the possibility of understanding reality / Truth *now*. Your now, similar to what I pointed out to Vouthon ji regarding Christian mystics, can only be an expression of wrong understanding of one kind or another.

Quote: I fail to see the logic, because what I have been trying to say is that if indeed you do understand the reality “now”, belief in rebirth is a natural “consequence” rather than a precondition. And again this implies that if you reject rebirth, this means that there has *not* been any understanding with regard to the nature of the present moment / reality / life.

This infers that the concept of reincarnation is relevant.
It means that you have no good basis for rejecting rebirth.


If I have misread or misunderstood, apologies, look forward to your clarification
The difficulty is in the understanding.
 

Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
Writer
SPNer
Dec 21, 2010
3,380
5,687
Harry veer some comments and thanks for your post.
Ambarsariaji

SO WHAT DO WE DO WITH OUR LIFES
We live in consonance and do it joyfully for self and others around us.
WE LEAVE ONLY A MARK
Quite possibly a physical mark if we leave records of our existence through family. Many times leave a virtual mark through written or other modes of communication and our interactions.
WILL OUR STORY SHINE LIKE A LIGHT
OR END IN THE DARK
Shining light is like Guru Nanak Dev ji and we perhaps simply are "... twinkle twinkle little star ....". lol
GIVE IT ALL OR NOTHING .....
Give it all or all will be taken away anyway. :sippingcoffeemunda:

Regards.
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
8,179
51
Confusedji

Before I go on, please remember to distinguish between reincarnation which is associated with belief in a self or soul, from rebirth, which points to a particular kind of impersonal mental phenomena.
Ok, I got this, so I learned something today, rebirth is different to reincarnation, rebirth is, I take it, more like changing through events and conditions, which carry through to future lives.

I had suggested to you in a previous conversation, that there is a difference between not believing in karma and rebirth while acknowledging one’s own limitations, and rejecting it due to the influence of some wrong understanding and following a different law of moral cause and effect
No one truly knows what happens on death, so I guess one should keep an open mind. To deny the concept of rebirth 100% would be foolish, so I therefore put myself in the first camp, rather than the second.

In other words, you are looking to push out rebirth so that when you then try to accommodate karma, this can be interpreted in a way which will not conflict with the underlying view you find more appealing.
Absolutely!

What this underlying view is, you have yet to make known. So far you have simply said that you do not believe in the kind of continuity from one life to the next, or else that the concept does not exist in Sikh teachings.
I have given some reasons, mostly to do with the fact that this concept dilutes the importance of life, although I do accept that ultimately this harry would be toast, as I would have no memory of my previous life. Actually given that, it also means that what I do in this life, if I were Buddhist, would not actually make any difference to me personally, it would be a complete stranger that would benefit, or not.

I've pointed out in my last message what karma is and I’ve also referred to rebirth as a resultant consciousness. It is perhaps time now for you to tell me what it is that you understand which forms the basis for your rejection. You obviously keep talking about the need to certain actions and the avoidance of others. What is the basis for this other than that you believe that it is taught in Sikhism?
I cannot tell you why I reject it, if I am not sure I understand it. Actually I cannot even reject it, till I understand it, so this question will have to wait until we are both singing from the same song sheet.


Your now, similar to what I pointed out to Vouthon ji regarding Christian mystics, can only be an expression of wrong understanding of one kind or another.

We may both just believe something different lol,

Having just read 'the dummies guide to Karma', well, actually its called basic Buddhism,

I quote the following

According to Buddhism, this inequality is due not only to heredity, environment, "nature and nurture", but also to Karma. In other words, it is the result of our own past actions and our own present doings. We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. We create our own Heaven. We create our own Hell. We are the architects of our own fate.

Perplexed by the seemingly inexplicable, apparent disparity that existed among humanity, a young truth-seeker approached the Buddha and questioned him regarding this intricate problem of inequality:

"What is the cause, what is the reason, O Lord," questioned he, "that we find amongst mankind the short-lived and long-lived, the healthy and the diseased, the ugly and beautiful, those lacking influence and the powerful, the poor and the rich, the low-born and the high-born, and the ignorant and the wise?"

The Buddha’s reply was:

"All living beings have actions (Karma) as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge. It is Karma that differentiates beings into low and high states."

He then explained the cause of such differences in accordance with the law of cause and effect.

Certainly we are born with hereditary characteristics. At the same time we possess certain innate abilities that science cannot adequately account for. To our parents we are indebted for the gross sperm and ovum that form the nucleus of this so-called being. They remain dormant within each parent until this potential germinal compound is vitalised by the karmic energy needed for the production of the foetus. Karma is therefore the indispensable conceptive cause of this being.


How can I believe in this? it goes against everything that I believe in, namely every state is good. Born with two noses, no problem, Hukam, make the best of it, born with no legs, ok, not the end of the world, nature can be cruel, I am not sure I am happy with my dear disabled friend being described as a low state, he does not think he is a low state, sure, he has little money, but low state? and how can we describe someone with health and wealth as a high state, I know plenty of such people, they are money obsessed {censored}s, they talk about matters so mundane, it makes me want to pull my trousers down, just to generate a bit of excitement, high state, low state, luck of the draw, previous actions, future actions, Confusedji, its too damn complicated, I could never buy into this, to my mind, a world where everyone can find happiness, and everyone can find a high state, regardless of looks, money, history, creed, caste, disability, is acceptable, this high state is Naam, and is open to everyone right now, today, through Sikhism.

peacesign
 
Nov 15, 2004
408
388
59
Thailand
Harry ji,


Quote: Before I go on, please remember to distinguish between reincarnation which is associated with belief in a self or soul, from rebirth, which points to a particular kind of impersonal mental phenomena.

Ok, I got this, so I learned something today, rebirth is different to reincarnation, rebirth is, I take it, more like changing through events and conditions, which carry through to future lives.
Rebirth is actually a resultant consciousness (of karma) performing the particular function. Not only rebirth, but *all* instances of consciousness carry over all that has preceded by way of contiguity condition. Understanding this is one basis upon which belief in rebirth is built.

Quote: I had suggested to you in a previous conversation, that there is a difference between not believing in karma and rebirth while acknowledging one's own limitations, and rejecting it due to the influence of some wrong understanding and following a different law of moral cause and effect

No one truly knows what happens on death, so I guess one should keep an open mind. To deny the concept of rebirth 100% would be foolish, so I therefore put myself in the first camp, rather than the second.
Hmm.. I believe that our position changes according to circumstance and depending on the context. Just below you admit to seeing a need to dismiss rebirth altogether.

Anyway, there is one important point I would like to make which I think needs to be given close attention.

The kind of study that I am trying to encourage here is not one which relies on evidence, but on the development of wisdom. It is only wisdom which can lead to the wearing away and final eradication of doubt. In stating that, “No one truly knows what happens on death, so I guess one should keep an open mind”, what is being pointed at is not the need for understanding / wisdom, but desire for evidence.

But what does it mean to seek evidence and to find one? Can evidence whether direct or indirect solve the problem of doubt? For example, if you were somehow transported to a heavenly abode or had a vivid memory about past lives, would this in any way lessen doubt? No. Because given your thoughts go in another direction and as time passes, you’d question if whether those experiences were real. If I asked you what you ate last night and whether it was delicious, would you not take some time to think before giving an answer and still be somewhat unsure?

This is why true knowledge is not knowledge about conventional things, situations and events which depends on memory and thinking, but about realities. This means that when mental and physical phenomena are studied by wisdom, doubt with regard to what these are is being directly addressed. This is why the “doubt” which is seen as a fetter and an obstacle to wisdom, is defined in terms of knowledge about reality and nothing to do with conventional knowledge about this and that.

Understanding and accepting rebirth is therefore not about coming to know what happens at death. After all, how would you know if you are already dead and who can tell you about his death? And if you found yourself suddenly in a heaven realm and got the impression that you just died as a human being, this is all “thinking” which does nothing to reduce doubt. And what does it mean then to keep an open mind about this? This too is reflection of doubt and not of understanding.

On the other hand, having understood karma “now” and distinguishing this from what is result of karma, and knowing the nature of doubt itself, rebirth as a resultant consciousness, life in other planes of existence such as the hell, animal and heavenly realms becomes object of increased certainty and confidence. This kind of knowledge is more reliable than the kind you would have in relation to say, the taste of the steak you had just last night, not to mention those that form much of what we go by and are the product of hearsay. These are dependent on memory and thinking and insisted upon by force of attachment to particular concepts and story lines. The one in relation to realities on the other hand, involve the gradual accumulation of understanding which at some point becomes unshakable.

Quote: What this underlying view is, you have yet to make known. So far you have simply said that you do not believe in the kind of continuity from one life to the next, or else that the concept does not exist in Sikh teachings.

I have given some reasons, mostly to do with the fact that this concept dilutes the importance of life, although I do accept that ultimately this harry would be toast, as I would have no memory of my previous life.
And I suggested more than once, that the problem is not the belief in rebirth, but in the *attachment to self* when thinking about past and future lives. And attachment is not just about this, but about everything that happens in *this* life. Which means that you in thinking the story about “me” in this life alone, is not better than someone else who makes an appeal to his past and future lives. So when someone has expectations that he will attain liberation in a future life, this is no different from when you insist that it can happen in this very life. Indeed the one may have elements of acceptance of one's own limitations, whereas the other is from not knowing the extent of one's own ignorance and breeds arrogance.

When rebirth is accepted, it is unavoidable that there will be thoughts about past and future lives. But is this necessarily done with attachment? Not if it is in fact a statement about conditionality. Indeed one knowledge gained from such consideration is the fact that this life that we know, is *not* the only one there is and any arrogance that we have towards our cognitive abilities is thereby dealt with.

In any case, I have pointed out to you again and again, that a correct understanding about karma and rebirth comes from seeing “now” as the only time to understand and that this discourages thinking in terms of the past and future. So really, is the problem not in fact in the attachment to “this life alone” which then causes you to think in terms of who you were, are now and will be? And is it not worse that you consider this good and positive?

There are several Buddhists who express their lack of confidence in the Path in thinking that they can practice hard to achieve enlightenment in this very life. The Buddha in one of his discourses talked about crossing a rushing river by neither struggling nor standing still. He said that those who struggle (as in this example) will sink, and which reflects an annihilationist bent. And he said that those who stand still (as in those who appeal to future life and lack a sense of urgency) will be washed away, and which is an eternalist bent. The Middle Way on the other hand is neither struggling nor standing still, but refers right understanding “now”.

You probably think that thinking along such lines as, “this harry would be toast, as I would have no memory of my previous life” is an instance of detachment. The fact is that it is attachment to an annihilationist view “now”, which you will not see because it feels right to you. But from where I stand, what I see is a struggle to get things done.

Actually given that, it also means that what I do in this life, if I were Buddhist, would not actually make any difference to me personally, it would be a complete stranger that would benefit, or not.
Well, there is a change from moment to moment with each new consciousness arising. But you get a sense of continuity as the same person, not because you see a connection between one consciousness and the next, but as a result of memory and thinking. Now just because you do not have memory of your last life, your rejection based on this is meaningless, not being result of any kind of understanding. On the other hand, someone who understands the five aggregates for what they are knows that this is how these ever were and will be. Just because you do not remember who you were in your last life does not mean that Harry ji is a stranger to any of those beings (set of five aggregates) that went before.

Quote: I've pointed out in my last message what karma is and I've also referred to rebirth as a resultant consciousness. It is perhaps time now for you to tell me what it is that you understand which forms the basis for your rejection. You obviously keep talking about the need to certain actions and the avoidance of others. What is the basis for this other than that you believe that it is taught in Sikhism?

I cannot tell you why I reject it, if I am not sure I understand it. Actually I cannot even reject it, till I understand it, so this question will have to wait until we are both singing from the same song sheet.
Which won't happen so long as I am referring to realities and you keep insisting on going by the illusory world of concepts. If you think that you could reject rebirth after understanding it, then you are not talking about the kind of “understanding” that I've been referring to. Understanding of this kind goes hand in hand with increased confidence, so rather than rejection, one would have increased confidence in the concept of rebirth. Which in my case is extremely weak since mine is primarily built upon intellectual understanding. There is however a stage at the level of realization, which is direct insight into causes and conditions, it is here that confidence in rebirth becomes unshakable.


Having just read 'the dummies guide to Karma', well, actually its called basic Buddhism,

I quote the following

>>According to Buddhism, this inequality is due not only to heredity, environment, "nature and nurture", but also to Karma. In other words, it is the result of our own past actions and our own present doings. We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. We create our own Heaven. We create our own Hell. We are the architects of our own fate.

Perplexed by the seemingly inexplicable, apparent disparity that existed among humanity, a young truth-seeker approached the Buddha and questioned him regarding this intricate problem of inequality:

"What is the cause, what is the reason, O Lord," questioned he, "that we find amongst mankind the short-lived and long-lived, the healthy and the diseased, the ugly and beautiful, those lacking influence and the powerful, the poor and the rich, the low-born and the high-born, and the ignorant and the wise?"

The Buddha’s reply was:

"All living beings have actions (Karma) as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge. It is Karma that differentiates beings into low and high states."

He then explained the cause of such differences in accordance with the law of cause and effect.

Certainly we are born with hereditary characteristics. At the same time we possess certain innate abilities that science cannot adequately account for. To our parents we are indebted for the gross sperm and ovum that form the nucleus of this so-called being. They remain dormant within each parent until this potential germinal compound is vitalised by the karmic energy needed for the production of the foetus. Karma is therefore the indispensable conceptive cause of this being.<<


How can I believe in this?
This caused some annoyance.
Harry ji, have you ever seen me express my understanding in similar terms as the above? Have you not got the impression that I reject the mainstream interpretation of the Buddha's teachings? Even if you think that I'm probably the one who has wrong understanding and that the above author better represents the Buddha's intent, do you think it right to use what he says as basis for your argument with me?

I have always talked about the need to refer to the reality now as object of study. Do you have an argument against this? If so, please tell me what it is.


it goes against everything that I believe in, namely every state is good.
If every state is good, why are you here telling me and other people what is right and what is wrong?

Born with two noses, no problem, Hukam, make the best of it, born with no legs, ok, not the end of the world, nature can be cruel, I am not sure I am happy with my dear disabled friend being described as a low state, he does not think he is a low state, sure, he has little money, but low state?
There was a thread about quotes from movies which I could not help smiling upon reading some of the messages. This is because it often happens that on reading here and elsewhere expressions by Sikhs, which would call to mind the image of the Amitabh Bachchans and Shah Rukh Khans of Bollywood. People in reaction clap and cheer and tears come in the eyes. But this is only attachment and the blurry vision of ignorance and wrong understanding

What you are doing Harry ji, is seeing through your own idealism. You are not the one who is born with no legs or two noses. And I’m sure that you are thankful not to have been born retarded. Nature comes down to objects experienced through the senses, these are physical phenomena which therefore can’t be said to be cruel or kind. Objects experienced through the eye, nose, tongue and ear are either pleasant or unpleasant and this is reflection of good and bad results of karma. Those experienced through touch are pleasant or unpleasant and accordingly felt as pleasant or painful. All these however are extremely fleeting. But due to ignorance, attachment or aversion follows and often proliferates to making that which is not a problem, into a problem.

Someone with no legs will have a hard time moving around and therefore experience lots of physical pain. *This* is what it means to receive the result of bad karma. It makes no difference if such experience is followed by attachment, aversion, wrong understanding or wisdom, on the part of the person himself or in the mind of an outside observer. These reactions point to each person's accumulated tendencies and have nothing to do with karma.

You in projecting your idealism are only expressing wrong understanding and inability to discriminate between what is karma and what is result of karma. In other words you are simply seeing what you like to see.

“Low state” may be too strong an expression when applied to a human being born with a physical or mental handicap. After all being a human *is* a result of good karma. But there is also the effect of support karma which causes variations in birth. And although it is impossible to know if whether a particular disability came with conception or later on during pregnancy, if it is in fact the former, then identifying the birth as inferior is not something you should object to. Do you have a problem if I said that beings in the hell and animals plains are of lower birth as compared to human and heavenly realms? If so, can you show me that this is not due to some projected ideal?

and how can we describe someone with health and wealth as a high state, I know plenty of such people, they are money obsessed {censored}s, they talk about matters so mundane,
If they have good health, which means little physical pain, then it must be result of good karma. Their attitude otherwise is a different matter and you should not mix these two and then use this as background to highlight your own view of things.

Yes, it would be more appropriate to consider states rooted in ignorance, attachment and aversion as being low, and in contrast, wisdom and all other good states should be considered exalted. But if this is the case, and given that good actions lead to good results and bad actions to bad results, why any objection then, to judgements as high or low?

it makes me want to pull my trousers down, just to generate a bit of excitement, high state, low state, luck of the draw, previous actions, future actions, Confusedji, its too damn complicated, I could never buy into this, to my mind, a world where everyone can find happiness, and everyone can find a high state, regardless of looks, money, history, creed, caste, disability, is acceptable, this high state is Naam, and is open to everyone right now, today, through Sikhism.
A little shift of perception will reveal to you how far idealism has taken you away from reality. But actually, although you may not admit it, I think that you do realize that you can't maintain such a position for more than a few seconds each time that the thought arises. When arguing with me however, there appear to come to the fore other motivating forces, and why there is so much fervour. ;-)
 

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