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[dsg] Stressing sila & Cutting off at feeling

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  • matt roke
    Hi Jon ... I would think that *inflicting violence on another being* would require the desire and intention to cause bodily harm to a person and then doing it.
    Message 1 of 58 , Nov 30, 2006
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      Hi Jon

      >Jon: I may not have made my question clear. Here it is again, but worded
      >differently: If an 'understanding of no-self and no people' is the reason
      >for being incapable of *killing* another being, why would it not also mean
      >that one is incapable of *inflicting violence on* another being?

      I would think that *inflicting violence on another being* would require the
      desire and intention to cause bodily harm to a person and then doing it. And
      I think that there would also have to be dislike for the person.

      The only reasons I can think of that would motivate a person to hurt someone
      would be due to envy, fear of being hurt of killed, expecting some return
      for causing harm or having been hurt of deprived of something by that
      person. I don�t think any of these would motivate a sotapanna to hurt
      someone.

      Sotapannas can have dosa due to accumulations, such as regret for something
      done or not done or sadness over the loss of someone dear to them, but in
      these cases the dosa is not directed at anyone with malice.

      If, due to accumulations, a sotapanna saw a person and had dosa, then he
      would understand it as impermanent conditioned realities and it would not
      condition the intention to harm or the act of harming because there is an
      understanding of no self and no one.

      Matt


      >Jon: But a sotapanna is capable of acts of violence short of an intention
      >to kill. Does the explanation you've given here account for their being
      >able to commit those acts but not the act of killing?

      >Matt: I think so, what else would account for it? Morality or appreciation
      >of the result of kamma has not prevented the act of violence, so there is
      >always a chance that they won�t stop the act of killing.

      >I am not very interested in speculating on how much lobha or dosa a
      >Sotapannas may or may not have because of accumulations. I understand that
      >Sotapannas can never again have wrong view because they have insight into
      >the impermanence of dhammas and so they no longer take concepts of self and
      >people to be real. There may be conditions for them to have strong dosa
      >because of strong attachment, but who can they kill if they understand that
      >there is no self and no people?

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    • philip
      Hi all Here is an interesting letter in which Ivan offered me some help. I didn t understand it at the time, there is no telling when the understanding will
      Message 58 of 58 , Nov 7, 2011
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        Hi all

        Here is an interesting letter in which Ivan offered me some help. I didn't understand it at the time, there is no telling when the understanding will click.

        > Dear Phil and all,
        >
        > These two seemed to be following the same train of thought, at times. I hope
        > you don't mind me bringing them together and making some comments?
        >
        >
        > =======================================================
        >
        > Phil: You are putting the development of wisdom before everything else - I
        > no longer think it can work that way - and it's not the way Dhamma was
        > expounded by the Buddha. . . . Now I am developing wholesome habits of mind
        > that don't have anything to do with wisdom that penetrates dhammas to the
        > degree of seeing anatta. . . . there are situations that have arisen and are
        > continuing and there can be a dropping of them whether one understands
        > anatta or not.
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >
        > The ability to develop wholesome habits is a concept that almost all beings
        > share and one that all the major religions practice, however, the teaching
        > of the Buddha is much deeper and more profound than this, that is why he
        > hesitated to teach. Dhammas create concepts and attachment to them that
        > prevents the obvious from being seen, and it is only through the development
        > of wisdom that there can be any understanding of what is real.
        >
        > Conceptional wisdom helps us to have greater understanding of dhammas and
        > what the Buddha taught. The wisdom of satipatanna that penetrates the
        > dhammas (even when very week), clarifies that there are dhamma moments,
        > which is very different to the world of concepts that is void of them. At
        > the higher level of insight, wisdom knows the characteristic of a dhamma
        > moment, which has no self and does not last.
        >
        > Sotapannas have this insight wisdom and yet they still have attachment and
        > aversion. Sotapannas keep sila not because they think it is good to be
        > wholesome or because they know that akusala kamma leads to akusala vipaka.
        > They do so because they have the wisdom to know that the characteristics of
        > dhammas are without self and they fall away immediately. They do not steal
        > an item that they find attractive because they know that there is no item;
        > there are only moments of visible object, sound and touch etc. They know
        > that they cannot own a moment of seeing or any other dhamma moment that does
        > not stay. They do not lie or kill because there is no one to be protected
        > and no one who will gain by lying or killing.
        >
        > Sotapannas reach this enlightened state through the development of wisdom
        > not wholesome habits. They know that they can't stop akusala from arising
        > and they can't make kusala happen. It is wisdom only that prevents them from
        > ever again doing unwholesome deeds.
        >
        > It is only at this level of wisdom or higher that there is sila with no
        > falling back. We may be able to hold sila because of favourable conditions
        > or accumulations, but without insight wisdom that will all change.
        > Developing wisdom, which leads to insight, is the only way to deal with
        > those old akusala friends that keep dropping by to visit.
        >
        > Wisdom at the concept level can help us understand that there is no one who
        > chooses. At conception our body grows and has its physical features and
        > shortcomings without any input from us. . . no choice and we can't change
        > it. What senses there are and what impinges on them is what we get . . .no
        > choice and we can't change them. Mentality functions as it is meant to
        > function . . .no choice and we can't change it. What is experienced through
        > the senses and what concepts are created by mentality is what we get . . .no
        > choice and we can't change them.
        >
        > The sense doors are conditioned. What arises at the sense doors are
        > conditioned. The concepts that make up our language, beliefs, nationality,
        > family, this world and what we call our life are conditioned and none are of
        > our choosing and we can't change them. Accumulations and conditions
        > determined what concepts there are and what concepts there will be, not a
        > person who chooses.
        >
        > The aim is not to avoid or change what is conditioned, but to develop wisdom
        > that understands the true nature of what is conditioned.
        >
        > Conceptional wisdom is developed by reading, listening, discussing and
        > contemplating the Dhamma that points to what is real. Dhamma concepts help
        > us to have better understanding of reality, but ultimately, like all
        > concepts, they can hinder insight into what is real.
        >
        >
        > =======================================================
        > =======================================================
        >
        > Phil: I can do something about individual akusala situations, no matter how
        > deep the accumulations are.
        >
        > I am not content to have my mind incline in akusala directions. We can
        > choose to take action towards the inclining of our mind in more wholesome
        > directions.
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >
        > It is important that we have more understanding of dhammas that make up
        > experiences and concepts, and their impermanence, even at the conceptonal
        > level. When there is no understanding of dhammas then there will be the
        > thoughts "I am doing� and "I can control�.
        >
        > It may seem like we have control because we can decide to do something and
        > then do it. We may think that we choose to have sila or write to friends at
        > DSG or have a beer with our old drinking buddy, but those are only concepts
        > and not what is real. When we take that sip of beer there are countless
        > dhamma moments impinging on the senses as seeing, hearing, touching,
        > tasting, smelling, thinking and mental objects. We can't choose what dhammas
        > will arise, we can't choose what order they will arise in, we can't change
        > them to be something different to what they are, and we can't stop them from
        > arising or from falling away.
        >
        > If there is no understanding of this flux of dhammas then there will only be
        > concepts of a person who has control and does things.
        >
        >
        > =======================================================
        > =======================================================
        >
        > Phil: there are countless suttas in which one is encouraged to
        > among other similes - stamp out akusala proliferation. . .Nothing ambiguous
        > about that.
        >
        > There is no doubt whatsover that the Buddha encouraged us to stamp
        > out akusala proliferation (thoughts of ill-will, thoughts of sensual desire,
        > thoughts of cruelty.) No doubt for me at least.
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >
        > When the Buddha taught Dhamma it created the conditions for us to hear
        > Dhamma. Of those who hear Dhamma, some are interested in it and many are
        > not. And of those who are interested there are different degrees of
        > appreciation or understanding or effort to understand. How much one
        > appreciates Dhamma, gets involved in it, understands it or puts in the
        > effort to understand it will depend on conditions and accumulations.
        >
        > The Buddha spoke of `effort�, which can be a condition for there to be
        > effort. We may think that effort is important, but that does not mean that
        > there will be effort, it all depends on accumulations. There is a difference
        > between understanding that the Buddha's words may condition effort and
        > thinking that we must make an effort after hearing the Buddha's words.
        >
        >
        > =======================================================
        > =======================================================
        >
        > Phil: I don't believe that self clinging to desiring less akusala kamma
        > patha is that kind of dangerous wrong view.
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >
        > This lobha for less akusala is due to the dosa towards akusala behaviour.
        > Akusala can eliminate akusala is a dangerous wrong view.
        >
        >
        > =======================================================
        > =======================================================
        >
        > Phil: Certainly we will have to come to see that all conditioned dhammas are
        > anatta - but now I am more about "we start where we are, not where we want
        > to be." I think that *is* the way expounded by the Buddha.
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >
        > If we desire to have less akusala, then we are starting from where we want
        > to be, not from where we are. Understanding better the realities that are
        > now arising and falling away is starting from where we are.
        >
        >
        > =======================================================
        > =======================================================
        >
        > Phil: Am I saying "use self to get rid of self?" - you'll say I am. But I
        > think it's more like "not worrying about whether self is involved in
        > avoiding transgression" - not the same thing, I think.
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >
        > These are just concepts and views as to whether they have the same meaning
        > or not. Both do not point to the understanding of reality; the countless
        > dhammas, arising and falling away at the 6 doors, that are impermanent and
        > not in one's control.
        >
        >
        > =======================================================
        > =======================================================
        >
        > Phil: Nina asks Acharn Sujin about someone on the list who is concerned
        > about transgression, and Acharn Sujin says the akusala is already gone or
        > whatever. Terribly advice, in my opinion. There is a time for good Dhamma
        > friends to give direct, forthright advice. I think she really missed the
        > mark that time. . .
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >
        > Acharn Sujin was pointing to the importance of knowing the moment and its
        > impermanence, rather than having concepts about transgressions that can
        > condition more akusala.
        >
        >
        > =======================================================
        > =======================================================
        >
        > Phil: but hey, it's just one question in one of many talks. She is obviously
        > wrong sometimes since she is not a sotapanna. (I assume.)
        >
        > Am I right in thinking that a sotapanna could never give faulty advice on
        > Dhamma points becasue wrong view has been eliminated? (Forget Acharn Sujin,
        > I mean in general.)
        >
        > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        >
        > All teachers and teachings may have faults or because of our ignorance be
        > misinterpreted, so we must investigate and only embrace that which we see
        > points to what is real.
        >
        > Matt
        >
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