How smart do you have to be to get it?

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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby Astus » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:02 pm

Being clever or not so clever is not an issue. The question is whether one has the dedication to the path or not. With the correct guidance - of course, what constitutes "correct" for someone depends on affinity - eventually anyone can attain liberation. With bodhicitta there is buddhahood, without bodhicitta there is no escape.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:50 pm

Okay, and now the bad news.

In the teaching on the precious eighteen conditions (as part of the eight freedoms which characterise the precious human birth) we have:
"Freedom from life as a being with mental disability, where one can neither understand the meaning of the Dharma, nor practice it."
And as part of the ten assets:
"One must not be physically or mentally disabled to an extent that prevents Dharma practice."

So smarts is necessary too!
:namaste:
PS Being illiterate does not mean one is stupid, one may be very intelligent and be illiterate because they never attended school (quite common in many countries, especially in the third world).
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby Nothing » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:25 am

For sure, the smartest person on earth will not get it.....based on their "world view".
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:30 am

gregkavarnos wrote:"Freedom from life as a being with mental disability, where one can neither understand the meaning of the Dharma, nor practice it."
Isn't there a middle ground between mental disability and little intelligence?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:03 am

The second post in this thread shows that the two extremes on the intelligence scale both have access to the highest attainments, but in general, for most, I can see how the two extremes might be a detriment.

If one is too much a dullard, then one might not even seek out the Dharma path.

If one is too intelligent and too much the scholar, one might think that to maintain their 'objectivity' they must remain agnostic to the point of extreme skepticism in every matter. I have seen this on some forums designed only for professors and scholars. There is almost a competition for who can be the most skeptical, the most agnostic. Dare say you are Buddhist or accept literal rebirth and you might get ostracized for being a religious adherent (as if it is a bad word). I have been invited to some of those forums and saw the [unstated] contests of who could write sentences with the most big words, the one-upmanship, debate contests, etc. and before long looked for the exits.

Of course, there are exceptions; so for anyone in those extremes, there is still hope as long as one ignores the peer pressures, ignores the traditions, and focuses on the Path of suffering and the way out of suffering.
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby Quiet Heart » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:40 am

zenkarma wrote:How smart do you have to be to be enlightened? Can even a stupid person of low iq get it, and is it easier or harder for them?
Also i read about the different "capacites" of different people. Do people of higher capacity need extra help? Because reading various buddhist bulletin boards, it seems that the ones that talk the most about capacity have the more complicated practices.

-----------------
My personal opinion only.
:smile:
There is no need for either wisdom or a need to live in ignorance to find "enlightenment"
There is nothing you need to "get" or for that matter or you need to "lose" to go there. In fact there is nowhere to go and nothing to become. But for many people, because they "fear" loss of control of "themselves".... or, more correctly, their "Ego Mind" Self fears loss of the control of it's illusionary and arbitrary division between "Myself" and "Others" .... they place illusionary obstacles in the straight and clear path to enlightenment and understanding.
Many times it is their Ego Self that places these obstacles in their path, because with understanding their Ego self would lose control of their actions, That fear caused by their Ego self blinds them to what is actually clear right there before them.
It is not a mater of being stupid or being wise.... it's just a matter of seeing clearly exactly what is right there in front of you.

The classic teaching example is that of the hungry man with a pot of uncooked rice.
Seeking a fire to cook his rice, he wanders around with a lit candle in his hand.... searching in the dark for a fire to cook his rice.
Not being able to find that illusion called "fire" he went hungry.
But, if he simply understood the true nature of that candle in his own hand, he would no longer need to be hungry.
That understanding has nothing to do with being smart or stupid ... it just means seeing clearly.

End of my "personal opinion".
:smile:
Shame on you Shakyamuni for setting the precedent of leaving home.
Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
from - Judyth Collin
The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:51 am

Konchog1 wrote:Isn't there a middle ground between mental disability and little intelligence?
Very little intelligence??? :shrug:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby floating_abu » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:25 am

zenkarma wrote:How smart do you have to be to be enlightened? Can even a stupid person of low iq get it, and is it easier or harder for them?
Also i read about the different "capacites" of different people. Do people of higher capacity need extra help? Because reading various buddhist bulletin boards, it seems that the ones that talk the most about capacity have the more complicated practices.


As other people have said, the capacity of enlightenment understanding and practice is not one only of the intellect. Practice and the heart are also primarily important.

I would also add that a person of relatively lower IQ is not "stupid" - people do have different capacities and some people with lower levels of intellectual study ability might be great sportsmen or tradesmen or salesmen for example.

As to capacities, yes there are different capacities, but that is what practice is for...

If the heart genuinely flowers, then (true) kindness is finally a possibility, that is all.

Well wishes,
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:42 am

:good:

Very well said.
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby Astus » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:14 pm

"What I get all comes from my own mind - how could I be using some other power? It depends on whether or not the person in question is willing. If they themselves actually agree to develop the mind of enlightenment, even very ignorant people, who just know to drink when thirsty, eat when hungry, and feel attracted to the opposite sex - once they achieve the willing mind, then they can use this to discover that body does not exist and mind is only a name. When we are liberated in respect to body and mind, adverse and favorable situations and all the myriad differences all emit the light of our own mind. At this point, there is no place to put 'wisdom' much less 'ignorance'!"
(Zibo Zhenke: Discipline That Liberates, in "Zibo: The Last Great Zen Master of China" by J. C. Cleary, p. 112)
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby greentara » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:55 am

Astus, What's a 'willing' mind? I understand you're coming from a zen angle. Are you able to use different words to describe the same thing? I'm curious.
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby Astus » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:07 am

It is the will to attain enlightenment, the decision to walk the path of liberation, giving birth to bodhicitta, the determination to become a buddha.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby undefineable » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:14 am

Konchog1 wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:"Freedom from life as a being with mental disability, where one can neither understand the meaning of the Dharma, nor practice it."
Isn't there a middle ground between mental disability and little intelligence?


I think that's a non-sequitur in many cases, Konchog. I'm mildly autistic - just 'mild' enough to watch my breathing and thoughts for a few minutes at a push, and to understand basic Buddhadharma roughly as others do. However, this degree of autism (whose distinctive label, "Asperger's Syndrome", is being phased out :( ) has been nicknamed "Little Professor Syndrome" :rolleye: - So much for intelligence as a clearly-defined capacity :lol:
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby windsweptliberty » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:31 am

A great heart encourages a greater mind.
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby Astus » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:04 pm

"Reciting the nembutsu does not come from studying and understanding its meaning. There is no other reason or cause by which we can utterly believe in attaining birth in the Pure Land than the nembutsu itself. ... Even if those who believe in the nembutsu study the teaching which Shakyamuni taught his whole life, they should not put on any airs and should sincerely practice the nembutsu, just as an illiterate fool, a nun or one who is ignorant of Buddhism."

(Honen: The One Sheet Document)
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby ground » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:41 pm

What is conceiving of being so or so? What is conceiving of getting this or that? The conceiver and the conceived ... one or two? :sage:
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby undefineable » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:52 am

ground wrote:What is conceiving of being so or so? What is conceiving of getting this or that? The conceiver and the conceived ... one or two? :sage:


Subjectively, your implied statements may hold; objectively, no amount of scientific progress can bring us to the direct knowledge and comparison of sentient minds we'd need in order to answer the OP. I recall this as the 'bread and butter' of a Buddha's omniscience, and yeah, from that POV, maybe the OP question doesn't quite fit the picture. It still makes a limited kind of sense, even though 'getting it' may be about capacity rather than intelligence, and even though capacity may (in my view) be something that could be gradually opened rather than something completely fixed. {Ofcourse, 'capacity' in this context doesn't seem to refer to a particular phenomenon in any case!}
Last edited by undefineable on Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby undefineable » Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:06 am

Astus wrote:It is the will to attain enlightenment, the decision to walk the path of liberation, giving birth to bodhicitta, the determination to become a buddha.


On a level deeper than 'Buddhist' concepts, how do you see this? Could it begin from a desire to be free of self and no-self?
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby ground » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:47 am

undefineable wrote:
ground wrote:What is conceiving of being so or so? What is conceiving of getting this or that? The conceiver and the conceived ... one or two? :sage:


Subjectively, your implied statements may hold; objectively, ...

How does a statement hold anything? Consciousness grasps itself.
What conceives of" subjectively"? What concieves of "objectively"? The conceiver and the conceived ... one or two? Subjectively and objectively ... one or two? :sage:
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Re: How smart do you have to be to get it?

Postby Astus » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:05 am

undefineable wrote:On a level deeper than 'Buddhist' concepts, how do you see this? Could it begin from a desire to be free of self and no-self?


I don't know what depths you refer to. The will for enlightenment usually comes from understanding suffering and its causes.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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