Antinomianism

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Antinomianism

Postby seeker242 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:53 pm

Zen monks throughout all of recorded history do not take and keep vows for no reason. To insinuate that zen has no ethics is simply false.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby oushi » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:07 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:precepts on the other hand work in a way that when you dont kill animals or people, you dont collect negative karma. but if you have vow not to kill you collect in every moment positive karmic causes of not killing. even when you sleep.

That's your belief. Collect as much positive karma as you wish, I don't want to collect anything.
KonchokZoepa wrote:no, it has been you who has made this conversation for the sake of argument. if you dont want to do evil, then that is morality. morality in and of itself is not constricted to a set of rules.

Morality is a view, an idea that enters your mind through sound (words). You may dream about some supernatural morality that exists in and of itself, but it will remain as your fantasy.
seeker242 wrote:Zen monks throughout all of recorded history do not take and keep vows for no reason.

Yes, there is always a reason, we just differ in seeing what those reasons are.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:34 pm

i havent ever had a thought of some '' supernatural morality ''. we are humans, you can label moral behavior as morality, but people who live harmonious and positive lives lead a moral lives. its just a word giving certain way of acting a meaning. you seem to have aversion to morality because you want to transcend it, but you sound only like a rebel. if you really have wisdom, then morality as a label and a set of rules is meaningless i agree, because you already embody that naturally.

im wondering that what is the point that you are trying to make in this conversation? what is your conclusion of those bodhidharma quotes etc, and about morality?
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby seeker242 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:42 pm

oushi wrote:
seeker242 wrote:Zen monks throughout all of recorded history do not take and keep vows for no reason.

Yes, there is always a reason, we just differ in seeing what those reasons are.


I don't see how you can say that when I have never said what I think the reasons are. :namaste:
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby oushi » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:03 pm

seeker242 wrote:
oushi wrote:
seeker242 wrote:Zen monks throughout all of recorded history do not take and keep vows for no reason.

Yes, there is always a reason, we just differ in seeing what those reasons are.


I don't see how you can say that when I have never said what I think the reasons are. :namaste:

You have expressed it clear enough, but you can always enlighten me by explaining it directly.
KonchokZoepa wrote:but people who live harmonious and positive lives lead a moral lives.

Hedonistic life may be harmonious and positive. Will it be moral? Not always... You are making those statements up without giving them a thought.
KonchokZoepa wrote:you seem to have aversion to morality because you want to transcend it, but you sound only like a rebel.

First you need to understand transcending to be able to make such statements. And I really don't care for how you see me. It is your problem not mine, that is why you are trying to stop me, by making personal references. I am putting your beliefs in question, and it makes you feel insecure.
KonchokZoepa wrote:im wondering that what is the point that you are trying to make in this conversation? what is your conclusion of those bodhidharma quotes etc, and about morality?

Wondering is a good exercise, so I will not give you a reason to stop.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby Lindama » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:20 pm

matthewmartin wrote:Antinomianism is Christian an exercise in mental gymnastics that lead to the conclusion that ethics don't matter.

Now, I'm just an amateur, but I keep coming across spirited arguments in Zen & Tantra that imply ethics don't matter. In Zen's case, it's something about non-dualism and how right and wrong, moral and immoral are artificial distinctions & it is all the same. In Tantra, it's the bit about breaking conventional moral rules to ... something, something about using the power of forbidden things to achieve conventionally meritorious things.

Set me straight. What are the arguments, facts or what have you that Buddhist metaphysics doesn't ultimately lead to antinomianism. (And what is the word for antinomianism in the Buddhist traditions?)

Thanks


It's a Christian jargon word, which is why I was hoping a corresponding Indic or Buddhist one existed. The gist of it in the Christian tradition is that God in his infinite wisdom & power already chose who will go to heaven & hell, (i.e. he can't be all knowing unless he already knows if you're going to heaven/hell before you're even born), so since it's already decided, the guy slated for hell needn't try to follow the rules, there isn't any benefit to it, the guy slated for heaven likewise, will get to heaven regardless to any decision he might make. The broader community considered it heresy & the Protestants that kept things similar to it (predestination), tried to salvage it by say, "well, other people don't know what God knows, so people will act like their are slated to go to heaven to impress others" (i.e. one persons virtue is evidence that they were predestined for heaven). At least Max Weber thought so.

I don't think the antinomianists were explicitly looking for a reason to drink booze and renege on their contracts. They followed the logical consequences of of a religious belief to where ever it led, and poof, ethics didn't matter.


Martin,
Your representation of the word antinomianist is not accurate... it is not saying ethics don't matter. It's a much deeper argument. The word was coined by Martin Luther, but the argument long preceded him. This is exactly the conversation in this thread. The misinterpretation by both Christianity and Buddhism leads to cult ideas where nothing matters... which can be used to justify bad behavior. But, that misses the point. The question is asking about the basis for good works... natural compassion or commandments. It also seems related to the changing nature of morals and ethics. It goes back to the gnostics and can be seen as reactionary to old testament law. It goes way beyond "ethics don't matter".

Little that I know, it seems hard to equate to Buddhism because there is no concept of hell so there is not the same reaction. Passing it off to the a quality of the absolute is not accurate either, except in the highest sense.

here's a bit from wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antinomianism

Antinomianism has been a point of doctrinal contention in the history of Christianity, especially in Protestantism. Given the Protestant belief in justification through faith alone, versus on the basis of merit or good works or works of mercy, most Protestants consider themselves saved without having to keep the commandments of the Mosaic Law as a whole. However, consistent with the Reformed formula, “We are justified by faith alone but not by a faith that is alone”,[4] salvific faith has overall been seen as one that effected obedience, in contrast to rejecting moral constraint.

Upon hearing that he was being charged with rejection of the Old Testament moral law, Luther responded: "And truly, I wonder exceedingly, how it came to be imputed to me, that I should reject the Law or ten Commandments, there being extant so many of my own expositions (and those of several sorts) upon the Commandments, which also are daily expounded, and used in our Churches, to say nothing of the Confession and Apology, and other books of ours."[9] In his "Introduction to Romans," Luther stated that saving faith is, "a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever...Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire!"[10]


notice the underlined above... that is a very Buddhist statement to me.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:49 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:but people who live harmonious and positive lives lead a moral lives.

Hedonistic life may be harmonious and positive. Will it be moral? Not always... You are making those statements up without giving them a thought.

im not talking about hedonism. im talking about harmonious and positive in buddhism terms. you really like to twist the words without giving it a thought what was the meaning of the words.
KonchokZoepa wrote:you seem to have aversion to morality because you want to transcend it, but you sound only like a rebel.

First you need to understand transcending to be able to make such statements. And I really don't care for how you see me. It is your problem not mine, that is why you are trying to stop me, by making personal references. I am putting your beliefs in question, and it makes you feel insecure.

ok. well as to reply to your previous post that it is my belief that precepts held purely will create positive karmic causes. that is not entirely a belief since many masters think that way, and maybe buddha did too, karma works in a way that even you can't comprehend. i trust my gurus.

KonchokZoepa wrote:im wondering that what is the point that you are trying to make in this conversation? what is your conclusion of those bodhidharma quotes etc, and about morality?

Wondering is a good exercise, so I will not give you a reason to stop.


you just dont have an answer. you just spit words for the sake or arguing and conversating that makes no difference. nothing changes exept you seem to get a kick everytime someone looks you critically because you prove them wrong, twist the words so you can look smart in your statements ie the hedonist thing. ooh, i got a kick. i am smart.

seriously why dont you try to answer the question. if you would be here talking with good and meaningful and mindful motives you would answer, at least for the sake of disassembling the false view's about you that i spat through my mouth. or be a rebel and let the wondering excercise continue.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby oushi » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:16 pm

KonchokZoepa wrote:im talking about harmonious and positive in buddhism terms.

And what does that even mean? You project your meaning upon phrases and think it's obvious for everyone.
KonchokZoepa wrote: you really like to twist the words without giving it a thought what was the meaning of the words.

This is untrue. I gave those words the same meaning you will find in dictionary. No fancy buddhism terms. How was that twisting?
KonchokZoepa wrote:ok. well as to reply to your previous post that it is my belief that precepts held purely will create positive karmic causes. that is not entirely a belief since many masters think that way, and maybe buddha did too, karma works in a way that even you can't comprehend. i trust my gurus.

Belief is something you do not know, but you accept. Masters, or Buddha may know it, but for you it remains belief. Nothing wrong with that, but how would you like me to discuss it with you, when it is just a belief for you? You accepted something given by an authority, until it is understood and embodied by you, there is no basis for discussion.
KonchokZoepa wrote:you just dont have an answer. you just spit words for the sake or arguing and conversating that makes no difference. nothing changes exept you seem to get a kick everytime someone looks you critically because you prove them wrong, twist the words so you can look smart in your statements ie the hedonist thing. ooh, i got a kick. i am smart.

Feeling insecure again? You cannot prove even one sentence out of this rant. What's the point of posting those insinuations?
KonchokZoepa wrote:seriously why dont you try to answer the question.

Because I do not see any sincere motives behind your questions ;) . Your negative attitude toward me can be clearly seen. Now, you think I will fall for this cheap provocation and exert myself with explanations? Sorry no.
KonchokZoepa wrote:at least for the sake of disassembling the false view's about you that i spat through my mouth

I have nothing to prove to anyone. We have been through this process two times before, and two times you apologized. It is enough for me.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:26 pm

ok whatever. i have nothing to say to continue this. except im sorry for anger and frustration reflected in this message, but next time when you quote bodhidharma to counter what others are saying about morality and ethics. add to the quote your commentary, so there is something else also other than your belief, so we can have a conversation, so that our conversation doesnt go into this shitty direction where we are not even discussing about the topic anymore.

if there is no conversation in your opinion worth having or any reason having because it is my belief. then when you quote like bodhidharma. give out the reason and commentary, your thoughts, what you understood from that quote so you can attach it to the context so that your intention, understanding, and your view and stance becomes clear, other than refuting what everyone else says.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby oushi » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:30 pm

Oushi wrote:I just provided a counterweight for your statement, using the same teaching. What for? To show that it is neither good nor bad, neither for nor against. It's beyond. This beyond is thoroughly explained in the full sermon, but lost when we are sampling the teaching. If you run after morality, you are deluding yourself. If you intentionally break it, you are lost.

What more do you expect?
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby Lindama » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:58 pm

This came in today... to get the full context, read the whole article. I think it is relevant to this conversation.

We give life to natural compassion....

http://www.tricycle.com/interview/context-matters .... interview with David McMahan

Isn’t the view that “no map is absolutely true” also a view? It is. In his Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way, Nagarjuna lays out his understanding of emptiness, and then he makes a surprising, even an astonishing, move. He says, “Ultimately, everything that I’ve said is also empty.” This is the idea of the emptiness of emptiness. He is admitting that everything he is laying out is also a pragmatic map, not an absolute system that corresponds to reality in an absolute way. There is some discussion and debate about whether when Nagarjuna critiques views he is talking about any view or just wrong views. I kind of like the “any view” view [laughs]—that any kind of map or system that you hang onto and make into something that you believe corresponds to reality in and of itself becomes a kind of bondage.

Isn’t part of the problem here the assumption that “corresponding to reality in and of itself” is what it means for a map, concept, or idea to be true? After all, we Buddhists don’t buy that there is reality “in and of itself.” Very true. That is why we have such a hard time as modern Westerners trying to see a way around this problem. It is so firmly built into the Western Enlightenment system of thinking, and into modernity, that we have sentences and representations in our minds that correspond (or don’t correspond) to external reality. Descartes and Bacon set up this whole way of thinking. There have been a number of moves in more contemporary Western thought—phenomenology, for instance—to develop a language that gets away from this. But it is deeply rooted in our culture to think that way. And science encourages us to think that way.

Maybe this tension is running through other cultures too—the tension between a very detailed systematic view of how things are versus a suspicion of our ability to construct a completely accurate model. In a lot of Abhidharma literature, there seems to be an attempt to account for everything, to get a category for everything, to really make a comprehensive accounting of the phenomenological reality of being human. I think it was in reaction to that systematizing that Nagarjuna and the Perfection of Wisdom came along and said that language doesn’t work that way—it doesn’t simply correspond to self-existing, independent entities that match our categories. So this tension is there even in the Buddhist tradition historically.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:59 pm

nothing. sounds good.

like i said when i started posting that i havent read the conversation in whole but when i read some it seemed that i hadnt developed in any direction.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby seeker242 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:56 pm

Shodo Harada Roshi speaks well about ethics and precepts in this interview:

Q. In the teachings of Bodhidharma, one point of entry is through sila, or precepts. Does kensho necessarily encompass right action in accordance with the precepts?

A. We must keep in mind that the precepts are basically social. They are not necessary in any primal sense. An infant has no need of the precepts. One expression of the precepts is living a clear, orderly life on an individual level. The precepts become necessary when we start to deal with other people in society.

The “Isshinkaimon” or “The Precepts of One-Mind,” attributed to Bodhidharma, discusses the precepts from the standpoint of jishou reimyou, “original mind, mysterious and beyond all human understanding.” This is our very essence, the mind of kensho. There is in this original spiritual essence no urge to kill, to steal, to lie, or to injure, and thus no necessity for the precepts. Our behavior is naturally in accordance with the precepts.

In the context of ordinary human relationships, the ten major precepts help us know the right state of mind. When we live in a confused and harmful manner, the precepts signal us, through our lack of harmony with them, that we are mistaken in our views and actions, and have not yet awakened to our own true nature. The precepts are not a system of “rights” and “wrongs”—they are guidelines providing the illumination that enables us to see where we truly stand.

Q. I would imagine then that one could have insight short of complete awakening, where one still needs to be mindful of the precepts as rules.

A. Yes. That is why we “work backwards” from the precepts, so to speak. Let me explain. With complete awakening we naturally live our everyday lives in accordance with the truth. However, we live in association with other people, all of us with our own tastes, preferences, and inclinations. Individual differences inevitably give rise to friction between people. This is not a matter of one person being right and another person wrong. What is important, therefore, is maintaining harmony in our relationships, both as individuals and as members of society. The larger the society we live in, the more important is harmony in our behavior toward others. Without this, communal life breaks down.

In this social context, the awakened mind is like a mirror that reflects its surroundings and illuminates the nature of interactions between self and other. But awakening to the true nature of our own minds does not mean that suddenly we can directly affect the world around us.

This point is the source of much confusion. Awakening to one’s true self does not confer special powers. An enlightened person is not suddenly able to play the piano like a great musician, or paint like Picasso or Mattisse. Painting a picture, composing a song, or writing a poem that will move people’s hearts is a matter of talent and technique, nurtured and polished through practice and effort.

Thus in the spiritual life, awakening must be developed through training, just as great artists train. Such training, in turn, deepens and enriches a person’s character. The mere fact of enlightenment does not mean that all of one’s impulses are suddenly perfect, but rather that one sees more accurately how one should live. When our daily conduct emerges from a clear, awakened mind, then those in contact with us are subtly yet profoundly affected.

The relationship of awakening and daily conduct works in the other direction as well. When one lives in accord with the precepts, one comes more closely into alignment with one’s essential nature. Hence those who strive to follow the Buddhist precepts will gradually move towards the awakened mind that those teachings manifest. This is what I meant earlier by saying that we can “work backwards from the precepts.”

One must be careful not to misunderstand this, however. A literal precept-based lifestyle alone is not enough to effect awakening. Following the rules in a mechanical manner can simply be another form of attachment if not accompanied by effort towards the realization of buddha-mind. The precepts can be an effective aid to practice, but clinging to their form is a hindance.

What we call kensho is an awakening to the absolute liberation that is the original state of our minds, a state we are usually unaware of because of the solid sense of self that arises through our preconceptions, attachments, and desires. Kensho is thus not something separate from us—it is simply throwing off our fixations, returning to that which we always were. The precepts should serve this goal of awakening.


Quite different than "zen has no ethics".
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby Lindama » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:04 pm

WHO said that zen has no ethics?
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby Lindama » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:34 pm

hmmm, seems like Harada Roshi doesn't carry much trust in natural compassion with all the training he thinks is necessary. well, he's not alone
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby seeker242 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:51 am

Lindama wrote:hmmm, seems like Harada Roshi doesn't carry much trust in natural compassion with all the training he thinks is necessary. well, he's not alone


Probably not, especially when you consider what happened in Japanese zen during WWII. :jawdrop:
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby jeeprs » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:15 am

Shodo Harada Roshi wrote:Following the rules in a mechanical manner can simply be another form of attachment if not accompanied by effort towards the realization of buddha-mind.


I was reading some passages about the medieval Christian mystics yesterday, and they make exactly the same point, although, of course, in terms of Christ rather than Buddha-Mind.

It's one of those perennial topics.

But as for me, I never forget that I'm still paddling the raft. :smile:
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:47 am

Your understanding is partly correct and partly mistaken.
Perfect realization goes beyond all concepts of right and wrong.
But until there is perfect realization, ethics matter,
because at this time
we still experience the effects of our actions as real,
and the beings affected by our actions do likewise.

We can look at this, from a very "basic" text, the Dhammapada:

"He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,"
--in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease.
"He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,"
--in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease.


...and even here, which is just scratching the surface, the indication is hinted at:
To the unenlightened mind, negative actions generate negative results,
but to the enlightened mind, negative actions are of no consequence.

Until we are enlightened, ethical behavior matters greatly.
Once enlightened, unethical behavior has no cause to occur.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby oushi » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:44 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:We can look at this, from a very "basic" text, the Dhammapada:

"He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,"
--in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease.
"He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,"
--in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease.


...and even here, which is just scratching the surface, the indication is hinted at:
To the unenlightened mind, negative actions generate negative results,
but to the enlightened mind, negative actions are of no consequence.

Indication are hinted directly at: Do not harbour such thoughts otherwise hatred will never cease.

If you think that unenlightened mind is destined to harbour such thoughts until enlightenment, then it is obvious from this teaching, that it will never happen.

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Until we are enlightened, ethical behavior matters greatly.

Until it matters greatly, hatred will never cease. This is what you have quoted, because abusing, beating, robbing is what is classified as immoral.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Nov 20, 2013 3:21 pm

oushi wrote: If you think that unenlightened mind is destined to harbour such thoughts until enlightenment, then it is obvious from this teaching, that it will never happen.

Actually, that is not what I am saying, but okay, it's a good point.
PadmaVonSamba wrote:Until we are enlightened, ethical behavior matters greatly.

oushi wrote: Until it matters greatly, hatred will never cease. This is what you have quoted, because abusing, beating, robbing is what is classified as immoral.


The point is, the mind's true nature is already enlightened.
It's not as though one is trying to acquire something one does not already have.
The purpose of Dharma practice is to remove the obstacles which obscure mind's true nature.
The motivation for engaging in negative actions is the desire to be free from suffering
but those negative actions do not end suffering.
The reason for not engaging in unethical (harmful) actions
is that these actions do not lead one to liberation, but only make matters worse.

One does not have to already be a Buddha to begin uprooting the causes of suffering.
As soon as once ceases unethical behavior, the door to realization starts to open.
So, while the true nature of awareness is beyond the dualism of good and bad,
realizing that requires ceasing negative actions.

As an analogy, the true nature of water is clear.
If it is clouded by mud, this doesn't change water's true nature.
Water's true nature will always be clear, regardless of whether it is cloudy or not.
but unless the mud is removed, that clear nature won't bee seen.
.
.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
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