Are women conscious?

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Are women conscious?

Postby padma norbu » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:48 am

"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby Josef » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:19 am

Why do we keep entertaining this guys nutjobbery?
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby KevinSolway » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:38 am

Here is a link to what Buddhism has to say about women:

http://www.theabsolute.net/minefield/woman.html#_Toc489442833

And here are yet more interesting words from the Buddha on the subject of women:

It is nature's law that rivers wind, trees grow wood, and, given the opportunity, women work iniquity. - Buddha, Sutta-Pitaka


Just, Ananda, as houses in which there are many women and but few men are easily violated by robber burglars; just so, Ananda, under whatever doctrine and discipline women are allowed to live the religious life, that religion will not last long. And just, Ananda, as when the disease called mildew falls upon a field of rice in fine condition, that field of rice does not continue long; just so, Ananda, under whatsoever doctrine and discipline women are allowed to live the religious life, that religion will not last long. - Buddha, Vinaya-Pitaka
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby padma norbu » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:39 am

I find the discussion actually insanely hilarious, especially since there appears to be a woman involved, unless that's a boy named Sue*... and I think that the question is relevant to Buddhism. What did Buddha say about women? Did he say there were conscious, too? Do they have the same 5 poisons as the men? Hmmm.

Take a gander at this exchange:
David: You seem to be saying, Sue, that even if women appear to be
masculine, and if they conquer the world in a masculine way, the essential
difference still remains. Even if the actions of men and women seem
identical on the surface, there's some sort of difference and that is an
inner . . . ?

Sue: An inner life.

David: Yes.

Sue: This is the consciousness we were talking about before.

Kevin: So women are living their lives, basically, without true
consciousness of what they're doing. So even when women are being
masculine, or appearing to be masculine, they're actually not conscious.
They're not fully responsible for what they're doing, and so they feel no
need to be consistent in their behaviour. They can be masculine one moment,
and feminine the next, for example, and all the while having no conscience
about changing in this way. So, in other words, masculinity is just a
fashion, or perhaps something to attract men's attention.

Sue: Very much so. A new dress.

David: It was Otto Weininger who said that if a woman does anything
scientific, or masculine, it's because she's out to please a man - like her
father, husband, or son. There is no pure motivation for knowledge in a
woman.

Kevin: I know, personally, that if there is nothing masculine in a woman,
then there is nothing atttractive about her. It's difficult justifying
being attracted to a woman if they have no noble, masculine
characteristics. So those women who can put on the appearance of some form
of nobility, or masculinity, can give a man a justification to approach
her.

David: That's an interesting point, actually. Think of the way that men and
women interact, such as the man courting the woman. If men really did have
true respect for women, if they really saw them as their true soul-mates,
then it would be inconceivable that these men would treat women the way
they currently do: buy them flowers--

Kevin: Have sex with them.




*Johnny Cash reference
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby padma norbu » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:44 am

"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby KevinSolway » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:48 am

padma norbu wrote:unless that's a boy named Sue


Sue really is a woman.
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby Tara » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:27 am

KevinSolway wrote:Here is a link to what Buddhism has to say about women:

http://www.theabsolute.net/minefield/woman.html#_Toc489442833

And here are yet more interesting words from the Buddha on the subject of women:

It is nature's law that rivers wind, trees grow wood, and, given the opportunity, women work iniquity. - Buddha, Sutta-Pitaka


Just, Ananda, as houses in which there are many women and but few men are easily violated by robber burglars; just so, Ananda, under whatever doctrine and discipline women are allowed to live the religious life, that religion will not last long. And just, Ananda, as when the disease called mildew falls upon a field of rice in fine condition, that field of rice does not continue long; just so, Ananda, under whatsoever doctrine and discipline women are allowed to live the religious life, that religion will not last long. - Buddha, Vinaya-Pitaka


And here is what Kevin Solway has said elsewhere:

KevinSolway wrote:The good thing about this recent exchange is that no-one has resorted to quoting scripture and appealing to authority. One can only hope that continues.

viewtopic.php?f=66&t=5678&start=240#p64224

You are merely repeating things you've read in books. And that is not proof.

viewtopic.php?f=66&t=5678&start=260#p64272

I'm not interested in what you've read.

viewtopic.php?f=66&t=5678&start=260#p64305

There cannot be a conversation if you're just going to repeat your interpretation of what you read in books. ...
I'm not interested in what you believe you've read in books. I'm only interested in reasons.

viewtopic.php?f=66&t=5678&start=280#p64307

And as an aside, your interpretation is an interpretation of a translation of words written by monks in a language the Buddha never spoke, compiled long after he died, and which the monks probably had no understanding of. ... Obviously I believe I am wise because I believe I know all the essentials that a person should know - and in great depth.

viewtopic.php?f=66&t=5678&start=280#p64307

My view comes from reason and experience, and that's what makes my view more valid than an ungrounded personal interpretation of words in a book. ... We can only guess at what the Buddha said, and then we can only interpret what we think is the meaning of what we think he said.

viewtopic.php?f=66&t=5678&start=280#p64335

Regards,
Tara

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Maybe you collect a lot of important writings,
Major texts, personal instructions, private notes, whatever.
If you haven’t practiced, books won’t help you when you die.
Look at the mind – that’s my sincere advice.

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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby edearl » Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:41 am

KevinSolway wrote:
padma norbu wrote:unless that's a boy named Sue


Sue really is a woman.

IDK the answer to this question. But, many wives have a way of getting their husbands to do many things for their honey, and most men who live with a woman are better people because of it.
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby KevinSolway » Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:24 am

Tara wrote:And here is what Kevin Solway has said elsewhere: . . .


Tara, you have truly done your homework!

All credit to you.

But you do realize that if I didn't provide any scriptural backing then people would have been bitterly complaining that I am providing no scriptural backing.

I am giving people what they asked for.

But I do agree with you that it's a logical fallacy to appeal to authority, if that's what you were suggesting.

:bow:
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:10 am

Kevin: I know, personally, that if there is nothing masculine in a woman,
then there is nothing atttractive about her. It's difficult justifying
being attracted to a woman if they have no noble, masculine
characteristics. So those women who can put on the appearance of some form
of nobility, or masculinity, can give a man a justification to approach
her.


That is simply . . . amazing. Easily the most revolting statement I've read this year. Congratulations to the author. A really high score.
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby KevinSolway » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:32 am

treehuggingoctopus wrote:Easily the most revolting statement I've read this year. Congratulations to the author. A really high score.


To be fair, some of those Buddhist quotes were pretty bad. Such as:

"Buddhas have ten thousand virtues; women have many evils. They are jealous and obstructive, and their hearts are about the size of a sesame seed." - Master Hsuan Hua

and

"Women are messengers from hell. They cut off the seeds of Buddhahood. They have the faces of bodhisattvas, but their hearts are like demons. Women can no more attain Buddhahood than can a dried up seed sprout." - Nichiren

I think it's pretty difficult to say for sure which one is the worst.
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:37 am

People should not conflate the words of Buddhists with Buddhism. Some Buddhists kill, steal, lie, adulterate, are racists, misogynists, etc... These actions are not in keeping with the precepts but then, Buddhists are human too.

The other thing we have to take into account are historical realities. When Buddha said what he said, when he said it, his approach was extremely liberal when compared to Brahamanism and its take on women. 2500 years later his words don't resound so well, but then we should also look at mens current attitudes towards women at a global level too, not just in countries where there is a modicum of "political correctness". If misogyny can exist in developed democratic nations then...
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:37 am

KevinSolway wrote:
treehuggingoctopus wrote:Easily the most revolting statement I've read this year. Congratulations to the author. A really high score.


To be fair, some of those Buddhist quotes were pretty bad. Such as:

"Buddhas have ten thousand virtues; women have many evils. They are jealous and obstructive, and their hearts are about the size of a sesame seed." - Master Hsuan Hua

and

"Women are messengers from hell. They cut off the seeds of Buddhahood. They have the faces of bodhisattvas, but their hearts are like demons. Women can no more attain Buddhahood than can a dried up seed sprout." - Nichiren

I think it's pretty difficult to say for sure which one is the worst.


Sure. You can, however, point out that Nichiren's was a 13th century mind; and that Hsuan Hua - whose misogynism is so well known these days that it hardly shocks anymore, loathsome though it still very much is - is an heir to the legendary Chinese bias, still rather far from being very rare in China; these might perhaps be seen as mitigating circumstances. The author of the words I ranted about, on the other hand, is neither a Middle Ages figure nor a Chinese monk born a hundred years ago and raised in a radically sexist environment.
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby KevinSolway » Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:57 am

treehuggingoctopus wrote:Nichiren's was a 13th century mind


The Buddha's mind was eighteen centuries older than that - so imagine how misogynist he must have been! :wink:
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby Tilopa » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:17 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote: That is simply . . . amazing. Easily the most revolting statement I've read this year. Congratulations to the author. A really high score.


You should check out some of his other stuff....

I had a girlfriend at the age of ten, and within twelve months I felt that I had exhausted the possibilites of relationships with women.


I never had a girlfriend during all this time (during high school). I was certainly attracted to some of the girls, but never enough to do very much. One of my dreams by now was to build an ecology on the moon and make it a comfortable place to live. Girls seemed to pale into insignificance alongside such thoughts.


Increasingly I realized the inseparability of reason and masculinity. At the same time I could not help noticing the increasing feminization of society. The only course open to me was to attack femininity at the root. My life's work, I decided, would focus on making people aware of the shortcomings of femininity and the great benefits of masculinity. For there to be wise men, there must first be men.


I don't know whether to laugh or cry. :shrug:
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby KevinSolway » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:19 pm

One of the most ominous bits of writing I have ever seen was the following words from "The Ultimate Extinction of the Dharma Sutra":

When the Dharma is about to disappear, women will become vigorous and will at all times do deeds of virtue. Men will grow lax and will no longer speak the Dharma."

When my Dharma disappears it will be just like an oil lamp which flares brightly for an instant just before it goes out.


The moment I first saw them, they reminded me of the following story by Hakuin:

I know a wealthy family in the province of Shinano. They have a large inherited fortune, and the influence they wield rivals that of the provincial daimyo himself. The family is so large that they must ring a dinner bell to call them all together. The great and powerful are frequent visitors. Although they have no family business as such, they have been able to maintain a quiet and comfortable existence.

But recently they started brewing sake. They added male and female servants to the staff. The water mill now grinds away day and night hulling rice. A continuous procession of grain carts thunders heavily in through the gates. Their prosperity has increased tenfold over what it was before. Ten thousand bushels of rice are said to be consumed daily in the brewing of sake.

An old man living nearby and witnessing these events, said: "Those folks are finished. Their prosperity cannot continue much longer. What you now see is really a symptom of serious trouble. When the inner workings decay, the outer aspect always swells like that. They will probably try their hand at selling grain. Or open a shop to sell medicinal herbs. But before long they will have to dispose of them too."


Scary!
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:53 pm

Tilopa wrote:
Increasingly I realized the inseparability of reason and masculinity. At the same time I could not help noticing the increasing feminization of society. The only course open to me was to attack femininity at the root. My life's work, I decided, would focus on making people aware of the shortcomings of femininity and the great benefits of masculinity. For there to be wise men, there must first be men.


I don't know whether to laugh or cry. :shrug:


I can't help but admit I'm getting scared a bit at this point. You know, there does very much seem to be an Anders Breivik-like intelligence at work here.
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:58 pm

How does this thread have anything to do with Buddhism?

Kevin is entitled to his mysogany. And I think that exposing him to ridicule over it is a little cruel and certainly will not make him question whether or not his biological determinism is justified.
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby KevinSolway » Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:48 pm

Namdrol wrote:How does this thread have anything to do with Buddhism?


Amongst the writings and Buddhist quotations provided in this topic you will find much information and resources for those women who want to be reborn as men, as well as for those who want to be reborn in realms where there are no women at all. That is one of the subjects covered in the Earth-store bodhisattva sutra.

Kevin is entitled to his mysogeny.


Truth is not misogyny. Are you saying that all those great Buddhist minds, and perhaps even the Buddha, were misogynists?

Was the author of "The Ultimate Extinction of the Dharma Sutra" a misogynist?

I think it's all to easy to label people we do not understand.
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Re: Are women conscious?

Postby Malcolm » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:16 pm

KevinSolway wrote:
Namdrol wrote:How does this thread have anything to do with Buddhism?


Amongst the writings and Buddhist quotations provided in this topic you will find much information and resources for those women who want to be reborn as men, as well as for those who want to be reborn in realms where there are no women at all. That is one of the subjects covered in the Earth-store bodhisattva sutra.



Yes, I am aware that within Mahāyāna sutras there is some pointed mysogyny.

Fortunately, this does apply to all Mahāyāna sutras, the episode with the Goddess of the Ganges being a pointed example:

Sariputra: Goddess, what prevents you from transforming yourself out of your female state?

Goddess: Although I have sought my "female state" for these twelve years, I have not yet found it. Reverend Sariputra, if a magician were to incarnate a woman by magic, would you ask her, "What prevents you from transforming yourself out of your female state?"

Sariputra: No! Such a woman would not really exist, so what would there be to transform?

Goddess: Just so, reverend Sariputra, all things do not really exist. Now, would you think, "What prevents one whose nature is that of a magical incarnation from transforming herself out of her female state?"

Thereupon, the goddess employed her magical power to cause the elder Sariputra to appear in her form and to cause herself to appear in his form. Then the goddess, transformed into Sariputra, said to Sariputra, transformed into a goddess, "Reverend Sariputra, what prevents you from transforming yourself out of your female state?"

And Sariputra, transformed into the goddess, replied, "I no longer appear in the form of a male! My body has changed into the body of a woman! I do not know what to transform!"

The goddess continued, "If the elder could again change out of the female state, then all women could also change out of their female states. All women appear in the form of women in just the same way

as the elder appears in the form of a woman. While they are not women in reality, they appear in the form of women. With this in mind, the Buddha said, 'In all things, there is neither male nor female.'"


Different sutras are written for those of different capacity. Those with a mysogynistic bent, are, from my perspective, written intending those of lower capacity i.e. men who suffer from mysogyny and woman who suffer at the hands of mysogynistic men and wish to escape their "lower birth".



Kevin is entitled to his mysogeny.


Truth is not misogyny. Are you saying that all those great Buddhist minds, and perhaps even the Buddha, were misogynists?

Was the author of "The Ultimate Extinction of the Dharma Sutra" a misogynist?

[/quote]

The truth is that there is no such thing as gender in phenomena, as we see from the above exchange between the Goddess and Sariputra. Gender is an imputation.

Many great Buddhist minds seem to have suffered from a culturally embedded mysogyny, yes.

But not the Buddha himself. Why? Because he had many female arhats among his disciples, as well as some teachers, such as Dhammadinna, whose sermons may be found in the Majjihma Nikaya, quite extensive as well.

When Ananda convinced the Buddha to ordain woman,while it is true that when the Buddha ordained women, he prediceted it would shorten the duration of the his Dharma; it is also true that the Buddha predicted that the ordination of women would cause the Dharma to spread much wider. So all that exchanged was a bit of length for increased width. And we can understand here that what he was really referring to the ordained Sangha. Such teachings as Dzogchen are not under the same restrictions as Vinaya and lower sutrayāna.

In short, you are cherry picking citations to support your views -- you are not presenting a balanced picture, presenting both negative and positive representations of women in Buddhist texts.


N
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