Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

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Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:42 pm

I have a question about the context of moral ethics in Dzogchen. I understand in the context of Dzogchen realization one's compassion is non-directional and all-pervasive, and thus not a chosen attitude that one keeps reminding oneself about. (Or am I wrong about this?) Does spontaneous compassion mean that one's actions become spontaneously moral? In other words, for example, in the Theravada school's teachings about skillful actions--that moral actions are learned skills--would it be the case in Dzogchen that those sorts of moral actions would not be learned skills, but burst automatically from one's realization? This would perhaps stand in contrast to the constant prayer wheel turning you see Garchen Rinpoche doing, a sense of consciously always trying to keep it up. Thank you for your consideration.
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:01 pm

You are not really engaging with the world of appearances in Dzogchen and that non-engagement has an ethical dimension. What I mean by not engaging is that appearances don't trick us into a reaction. There is nothing we need from appearances and nothing we want to get.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:19 pm

Andrew108 wrote:that non-engagement has an ethical dimension.


What do you mean it has an ethical dimension?
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby Andrew108 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:28 pm

deepbluehum wrote:
Andrew108 wrote:that non-engagement has an ethical dimension.


What do you mean it has an ethical dimension?

Conventionally it appears to have an ethical aspect in that conventionally there is a function. The time when we are not grasping at appearances we are not involved with with the world neurotically. This is a naturally peaceful situation that benefits others. We don't mind doing the washing up or cleaning up the mess. In fact these things are a delight because we just see awareness and not appearances that we have to conceptually workout.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:32 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Conventionally it appears to have an ethical aspect in that conventionally there is a function. The time when we are not grasping at appearances we are not involved with with the world neurotically. This is a naturally peaceful situation that benefits others. We don't mind doing the washing up or cleaning up the mess. In fact these things are a delight because we just see awareness and not appearances that we have to conceptually workout.


So you are actively doing the washing and choosing to clean up the mess? It's not automatic?
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:50 pm

deepbluehum wrote:I have a question about the context of moral ethics in Dzogchen. I understand in the context of Dzogchen realization one's compassion is non-directional and all-pervasive, and thus not a chosen attitude that one keeps reminding oneself about.


As it is said in the Nyinthig, the realization of emptiness is accompanied by the knowledge that engaging in non-virtue is pointless.

M
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby Yangtso » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:54 pm

Cant activity be spontaneous?

Doesn't PadmeKarma tell Yeshe Tshyogal in Dakini teachings in regard to ethics and Dzogchen
"down with the view and up with the conduct.'

My take on that is be humble and all pervasive in the view, while he says something like sift the conduct like sand;
that is be incredibly meticulous with your ethical conduct.

I remember bits of stories about Garchen... some story about an ancient and magical (large) prayer wheel
still in his possession from lives back... that turns all the time to benefit beings.
So his activity is benefiting beings while using prayer wheel; for all you know at any moment
he is in other realms liberating beings?
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby kirtu » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:14 pm

Malcolm wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:I have a question about the context of moral ethics in Dzogchen. I understand in the context of Dzogchen realization one's compassion is non-directional and all-pervasive, and thus not a chosen attitude that one keeps reminding oneself about.


As it is said in the Nyinthig, the realization of emptiness is accompanied by the knowledge that engaging in non-virtue is pointless.


But habit will still arise and the person will continue to engage in some non-virtue until the realization is made firm and constant. One reason why daily practice is essential.

Kirt
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:40 pm

Malcolm wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:I have a question about the context of moral ethics in Dzogchen. I understand in the context of Dzogchen realization one's compassion is non-directional and all-pervasive, and thus not a chosen attitude that one keeps reminding oneself about.


As it is said in the Nyinthig, the realization of emptiness is accompanied by the knowledge that engaging in non-virtue is pointless.

M


Is that accompanied by knowledge that doing virtue is meaningful? And then, we're dealing with knowledge rather than an organic shift in the urges? From non-virtuous urges to virtuous urges?
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:47 pm

I note in the Theravada account an Arahant can be released by insight panna-vimutti, and then cannot go wrong. The difference being the Arahat is meditating and not doing good noticeably, perhaps teaching a lot. The dharma teaching power would also come from the insight. If you know something well it's very easy to talk about it. Somehow this resonates with Malcolm's comment about knowledge. The good flows from one's knowledge?
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby Virgo » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:58 pm

deepbluehum wrote:The difference being the Arahat is meditating and not doing good noticeably, perhaps teaching a lot. The dharma teaching power would also come from the insight.

Not all Arhats will meditate (I know this sounds controversial but remember as far as Theravada goes, I am a fan of the Commentaries), nor do all teach, some are rather laid back because they know they don't have the capacity to help others, for example in this text 500 Arhats are questioned by a putthujana about their meditative attainments:

"Then, having known thus, having seen thus, do you dwell touching with your body the peaceful emancipations, the formless states beyond form [the formless jhanas]?"

"No, friend."

"So just now, friends, didn't you make that declaration without having attained any of these Dhammas?"

"We're released through discernment, friend Susima."

"I don't understand the detailed meaning of your brief statement. It would be good if you would speak in such a way that I would understand its detailed meaning."

"Whether or not you understand, friend Susima, we are still released through discernment."


So Ven. Susima got up from his seat and went to the Blessed One. - http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Theres Arhats were released through dry-insight (just understanding dhamma without doing shamatha according to the Commentaries), morever, they were pretty non-challant about whether this unenlightened person understood the Dharma or not. Why? They weren't attached and knew they didn't have the capacity to help him. In the end, He goes to the Blessed One and becomes an Arhat himself.

But the point I am really making here is that when you say, "The difference being the Arahat is meditating and not doing good noticeably, perhaps teaching a lot' this shows that you need to just chill. Don't worry if non-virtous thoughts arise, just don't engage in negative actions because they will hurt yourself and others in the long run.

If one understands ones nature, one won't become overcome by non-virtuous thoughts and actions.

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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:15 pm

Virgo wrote:this shows that you need to just chill.


This isn't about me. I'm asking a doctrinal question. I have my reasons for asking this question related to a comparative analysis I'm doing of various teachings. Does Dzogchen realization entail automatic virtuous behavior?
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby Pero » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:57 pm

deepbluehum wrote:
Virgo wrote:this shows that you need to just chill.


This isn't about me. I'm asking a doctrinal question. I have my reasons for asking this question related to a comparative analysis I'm doing of various teachings. Does Dzogchen realization entail automatic virtuous behavior?

IMO realization entails behaviour automatically beneficial to others.
However while on the beginning of the path I think it's important to also practice virtuous conduct through effort.
Although many individuals in this age appear to be merely indulging their worldly desires, one does not have the capacity to judge them, so it is best to train in pure vision.
- Shabkar
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby Kelwin » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:28 pm

deepbluehum wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:I have a question about the context of moral ethics in Dzogchen. I understand in the context of Dzogchen realization one's compassion is non-directional and all-pervasive, and thus not a chosen attitude that one keeps reminding oneself about.


As it is said in the Nyinthig, the realization of emptiness is accompanied by the knowledge that engaging in non-virtue is pointless.

M


Is that accompanied by knowledge that doing virtue is meaningful? And then, we're dealing with knowledge rather than an organic shift in the urges? From non-virtuous urges to virtuous urges?

Although I have no meaningful knowledge on the matter, that seems like a false contradiction to me. Why not both the knowledge and the organic shift? I'd say the spontaneous urge to help all beings is accompanied by the 'relative' knowledge that helping others is the only right thing to do.
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:50 pm

Kelwin wrote:Although I have no meaningful knowledge on the matter, that seems like a false contradiction to me. Why not both the knowledge and the organic shift? I'd say the spontaneous urge to help all beings is accompanied by the 'relative' knowledge that helping others is the only right thing to do.


perhaps it is a false dichotomy. You make a good point.
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby Sally Gross » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:03 am

deepbluehum wrote:I note in the Theravada account an Arahant can be released by insight panna-vimutti, and then cannot go wrong. The difference being the Arahat is meditating and not doing good noticeably, perhaps teaching a lot. The dharma teaching power would also come from the insight. If you know something well it's very easy to talk about it. Somehow this resonates with Malcolm's comment about knowledge. The good flows from one's knowledge?


In Theravada Abhidhamma, the actions of an Arahant (and therefore also of a Buddha, who is an Arahant with "bells and whistles" in a sense, all the paramis, rather than a common-or-garden Arahant) are what is called "kriya" or "kiriya", karmically neutral, in contrast with the actions of those who have not achieved full realisation. The actions of those who have not achieved Arahatship are either skilful or unskilful -- "good" and "bad" are not exact translations of kusala and akusala; "beneficial" and "unbeneficial", as well as "skilful" and "unskilful", are better. I'm not sure about virtue and vice, though virtue conceived of in Aristotelian terms, which is connected with the development of skill, is not too far off the mark. In any case, the actions of an Arahant is neither skilful nor unskilful: it transcends that dualism and other moral dualisms. In kammic terms, it is beyond good and evil, skilful and unskilful, and all the rest, these terms being defined in Dhamma-Vinaya as their contribution to becoming, the nature of their kammic fruits within the round of becoming. I suspect that unpacking this might answer the question which gives the thread its name.

I'd better get my day on the go ...!
Dukkham eva hi, na koci dukkhito,
kaarako na, kiriyaa va vijjati,
atthi nibbuti, na nibbuto pumaa,
maggam atthi, gamako na vijjati


Suffering there certainly is, but no sufferer,
no doer, though certainly the deed is found.
peace is achieved, but no-one's appeased,
the way is walked, but no walker's to be found.

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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby dakini_boi » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:16 am

deepbluehum wrote: Does Dzogchen realization entail automatic virtuous behavior?


Yes, definitely. That is why "compassion" is the common translation for thugje, which is one of the qualities inherent in the basis. When you realize the basis, compassionate activity is automatic.
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby asunthatneversets » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:14 am

"In the ultimate definitive analysis
just as golden chains and hempen ropes are equally binding,
so the sacred and the profane do both enslave us;
and just as white and black clouds are equally enshrouding,
so virtue and vice alike veil gnosis:
the yogin or yogini who understands that
fosters release from moral conditioning."
- Treasury of Natural Perfection


but

"If you, after having resolved that everything is emptiness,
discard virtue and indulge in evil actions frivolously,
this is the view of the demon of black freedom,
it is essential not to fall prey to this demonic view."
- The Flight of the Garuda


And regarding compassion:

"In particular, if you follow those who say that although one realizes emptiness one must cultivate compassion elsewhere, you are similar to someone who claims that although one has water one must seek wetness elsewhere, that although one has fire one must seek warmth elsewhere, or that although one is fanned by the wind one must seek coolness elsewhere. The decisive experience of certainty that samsara and nirvana are supreme emptiness is itself unsurpassable awakened mind - compassion as the display of samsara and nirvana in the equalness and purity."
- Dudjom Lingpa
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby muni » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:46 am

asunthatneversets wrote:"I[i]"In particular, if you follow those who say that although one realizes emptiness one must cultivate compassion elsewhere, you are similar to someone who claims that although one has water one must seek wetness elsewhere, that although one has fire one must seek warmth elsewhere, or that although one is fanned by the wind one must seek coolness elsewhere. The decisive experience of certainty that samsara and nirvana are supreme emptiness is itself unsurpassable awakened mind - compassion as the display of samsara and nirvana in the equalness and purity."
- Dudjom Lingpa


:good: Emaho!!!!!!!!!!! Many thanks.
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Re: Spontaneously Arising Moral Ethics?

Postby deepbluehum » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:23 pm

Sally Gross wrote:
deepbluehum wrote:I note in the Theravada account an Arahant can be released by insight panna-vimutti, and then cannot go wrong. The difference being the Arahat is meditating and not doing good noticeably, perhaps teaching a lot. The dharma teaching power would also come from the insight. If you know something well it's very easy to talk about it. Somehow this resonates with Malcolm's comment about knowledge. The good flows from one's knowledge?


In Theravada Abhidhamma, the actions of an Arahant (and therefore also of a Buddha, who is an Arahant with "bells and whistles" in a sense, all the paramis, rather than a common-or-garden Arahant) are what is called "kriya" or "kiriya", karmically neutral, in contrast with the actions of those who have not achieved full realisation. The actions of those who have not achieved Arahatship are either skilful or unskilful -- "good" and "bad" are not exact translations of kusala and akusala; "beneficial" and "unbeneficial", as well as "skilful" and "unskilful", are better. I'm not sure about virtue and vice, though virtue conceived of in Aristotelian terms, which is connected with the development of skill, is not too far off the mark. In any case, the actions of an Arahant is neither skilful nor unskilful: it transcends that dualism and other moral dualisms. In kammic terms, it is beyond good and evil, skilful and unskilful, and all the rest, these terms being defined in Dhamma-Vinaya as their contribution to becoming, the nature of their kammic fruits within the round of becoming. I suspect that unpacking this might answer the question which gives the thread its name.

I'd better get my day on the go ...!


That does make sense. Perhaps my phrasing of spontaneously arising moral ethics is off the mark. In Dzogchen it is said realization is spontaneously compassionate. I'm assuming this means spontaneously compassionate actions emit from this realization. And then I'm further assuming such actions are moral.

What do you think, Sally? Is the Buddha/Arahant's realization and Dzogchen any different?
Last edited by deepbluehum on Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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