[dsg] Re: The clansman who is a beginner : one of the ancient wise ones?
- Dear Howard,
A Happy New Year and best wishes for your snow removal!
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, upasaka@... wrote:
> S: Yes - kusala and akusala cittas, kusala and akusala kamma which
> conditions various rupas which we call deeds or speech.
>H: Sarah, you did something very well here that you may not have
> realized: Without denying bodily and speech deeds/actions, you have defined them
> (as "various rupas"). Of course, we all know that deeds do not constitute
> some new category of phenomena, but it is good, clarifying actually, to
> explicitly state their nature, for what is known just implicitly can only be half
> known, and making it explicit removes murkiness.
S: Thx and agreed.
> The only thing that I think might have been further emphasized in the
> definition is that the rupas be *fairly directly* intention-induced: An
> itch on the hand would *not* be a deed even though it is, I presume, vipaka,
> but the motion that is the scratching of the itch, *would* be a deed.
S: As you know, four causes of rupas are given: citta, kamma, ahara (nutriment) and temperature.
What we refer to as "the itch on the hand" are various rupas (temperature/motion/temperature) experienced by body consciousness, accompanied by unpleasant feeling. The body consciousness is vipaka. The rupas experienced at such a time may, in this case, be conditioned by any of the causes given above, I'd think. The deed of the scratching of the itch would refer to various rupas conditioned by citta, including kaya vinnati (bodily intimation). Many rupas, esp. vayo (wind/motion) are involved.
> smelling of baking bread, though vipaka I think, would not be a deed, but
> opening the oven door in order to get a better smell of it would be.
S: The smelling is vipaka and, as you say, "the opening of the door" again refers to various rupas conditioned by cittas, in this case cittas accompanied by attachment. These cittas are conditioning the intimation rupas and other associated rupas to perform "the deed".
In both these examples, the deeds are being performed by "ordinary" (sama) lobha or dosa (in the first example). This lobha and dosa accumulates but is not of itself strong enough to be akusala kamma patha that can bring any results by way of future vipaka.
> involuntary groan from pain in a hospital bed after surgery is probably not "a
> deed," but calling for a nurse or pressing a button to release some analgesic
> would be.
S: In the case of the groan, still rupas conditioned by cittas, but if involuntary, no speech intimation involved. In the second case, there is the "conveying of a meaning", so bodily intimation involved along with all the other rupas. In the second case, no sound rupa conditioned by citta however.
> I also wonder whether a bodily deed must not always involve movement.
> Can you think of examples of physical deeds that do not involve movement?
S: Probably by your definition there must always be movement. However, the cittas can be just as strong if not stronger when there is no movement. For example, if someone is unable to move their body or if someone is responsibile for a physical deed, such as killing, but gives an instruction to another person to do the act.
In Abhidhamma, the subject gets a lot deeper when discussing which acts and deeds are classified as being through body-door and through mind-door. I gave some examples before which I can fish out if you're really interested.
The main thing, however, is to understand the citta or the rupa appearing now, rather than getting lost in the theory (as most of us can do very easily)!
- Hi Jon.
--- In email@example.com, "jonoabb" <jonabbott@...> wrote:
> Hi Robert E
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Robert E" <epsteinrob@> wrote:
> > Hi Jon.
> > ...
> > > [J:] In the case of the young children who suffer the pain of hunger and malnutrition leading to death, it would I think be reasonable to assume that this was not the result of unwholesome deeds done in the present lifetime. And the same could be said for any person who suffers an early and traumatic death. Then there are the unpleasant characters who live a life of deceit or crime but never get caught and who are able to enjoy their ill-gotten gains. And so on.
> > [RE:] I agree it is complex. Yet I would say that there are some things that seem to be traceable to a series of events, and there are some patterns in one's life that seem to lead in a particular direction. One may be able to safely assume that this is at least part of a pattern that one has become accustomed to, and may reflect a broader proportion of that person's tendencies and accumulations.
> > ===============
> J: I'm afraid you've lost me here. We are discussing the question of kamma (deeds, actions) and result (things experienced). As I recall, you advanced the idea that kamma committed routinely brings its result within the same lifetime, and that this makes it possible for the law of kamma and result to be confirmed by direct experience.
> I think general experience in life tends to point to results not making a good match with deeds within the same lifetime. I am wary about attributing experienced results to particular preceding deeds, since there is nothing in results to link them with those preceding deeds rather than any others (within the same lifetime or an earlier one).
Well I just don't agree with this. I think both logic and observation show that there are many connections between conventional events and the results that follow. I would understand that you would most likely say that this has nothing to do with the technical operation of kamma, and that conventional affairs have nothing to do with the operations of dhammas, but I would find it strange if you did not see that often particular conventional causes are obviously associated with logically following conventional results.
I personally do not draw a strict line between conventional cause-effect and that of kamma, because I believe that conventional events are merely a conglomerated view of dhammic events. I realize that this is not a popular view around here.
While I do not think we can trace the distant effects of current causes, I think we can see some of the effects which are more immediate, and they are not invisible.
If some outcomes don't seem to match the causes that we observe, that may be due to other influences involved, to be sure, from this or other lives; but some do match, and they are observable.
> On the whole, I think it better not to speculate too much in this area. :-))
Well I think it's okay to believe that current vipaka is the result of old kamma, as long as one understands that it is then an article of faith, since one can never see the evidence that this is the case, other than some mismatching in the current life between seeming causes and seeming results, which doesn't prove anything about past kamma and present results. For myself, I think that if one can understand how cause and effect operates in different arenas and time frames, it may lead to greater understanding.
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