Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

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Re: Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

Postby Dexing » Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:34 pm

Aemilius wrote:Why should only hells or hell guardians be unreal? Why not also the heaven-state, asura-state, human-state etc? There are prison guards in the prison system of humans, so where is the difficulty?


The duality of subject-object distinctions in whatever state are indeed unreal.

Prison guards have similar experiences, happiness and suffering, to every other human being, and are real sentient beings. Yet any subject-object distinctions they make similar to other human beings in this state are likewise unreal.

Hell guardians on the other hand do not suffer the torture of the hell states at all, as they are completely imagined in the consciousness of suffering beings in hell, and are not real sentient beings.

I think the reality of the six realms is equal, they are equally just mind. And I think that an all-knowing person does partake in the suffering of beings in the six realms. Wisdom and compassion are inseparable.


So you think a Buddha suffers?

That contradicts the entire Buddhist teaching from the beginning. Compassion is not suffering, since Compassion is the function of Wisdom. Suffering is caused by fundamental Ignorance.

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Re: Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

Postby Aemilius » Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:14 am

So you accept that prison guards at least to some extent partake the suffering of the prisoners ? Because the subject-object dichotomy doesn't truly exist.

Because there is no subject-object dichotomy Buddha knows the mental states and inclinations of sentient beings, this includes knowing all the kleshas, otherwise He wouldn't know them. The solution is different from what you suggest. There are some vast jokes in Buddhism, one of them is Great Bliss of nirvana.
Great bliss of nirvana doesn't exclude all sentient beings, on the contrary it includes them.
You can't separate sentient beings' experience from their essence of being.
What would Buddha know if he didn't know sentient beings' true mental state ?
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Re: Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

Postby Aemilius » Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:34 am

Dexing wrote:
The duality of subject-object distinctions in whatever state are indeed unreal.

Prison guards have similar experiences, happiness and suffering, to every other human being, and are real sentient beings. Yet any subject-object distinctions they make similar to other human beings in this state are likewise unreal.

Hell guardians on the other hand do not suffer the torture of the hell states at all, as they are completely imagined in the consciousness of suffering beings in hell, and are not real sentient beings.



There is a teaching that the guardians of hell are really manifestations of Avalokiteshvara, who are there to help the inhabitants of hell. Due to one's ignorance and habitual tendencies, one does not perceive them as they truly are, but perceives them as guardians of hell. In this sense they are one's own mind creations.
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Re: Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

Postby Dexing » Thu Sep 02, 2010 3:53 pm

Aemilius wrote:So you accept that prison guards at least to some extent partake the suffering of the prisoners ? Because the subject-object dichotomy doesn't truly exist.


No. They suffer their own karmic retribution in the human state. Each consciousness-stream is responsible for its own actions and does not reap what others have sown.

Although appearances in the human state, like any other are not separate from mind, they are experienced similarly by beings in similar states due to individual (unique) and collective (similar) karma.

Because there is no subject-object dichotomy Buddha knows the mental states and inclinations of sentient beings, this includes knowing all the kleshas, otherwise He wouldn't know them. The solution is different from what you suggest. There are some vast jokes in Buddhism, one of them is Great Bliss of nirvana.
Great bliss of nirvana doesn't exclude all sentient beings, on the contrary it includes them.
You can't separate sentient beings' experience from their essence of being.
What would Buddha know if he didn't know sentient beings' true mental state ?


Just as I can clearly perceive another person with a poison arrow stuck in their arm, and know the experience, its cause and remedy, doesn't mean I also have a poison arrow in my arm and suffer the pain.

Likewise, a Buddha perceiving the kleśā in other beings does not mean he is subject to them. After all that would mean he is also deluded, and being deluded he would not perceive the kleśā as they are and be free from them.

It's a logical mistake.

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Re: Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

Postby Dexing » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:01 pm

Aemilius wrote:There is a teaching that the guardians of hell are really manifestations of Avalokiteshvara, who are there to help the inhabitants of hell. Due to one's ignorance and habitual tendencies, one does not perceive them as they truly are, but perceives them as guardians of hell. In this sense they are one's own mind creations.


This is changing the subject.

Such hell guardians would not be those spoken of in Vasubandhu's Twenty Verses which intimidate and attack beings in hell without experiencing any suffering there. These hell guardians would have no karmic reason to be present in the hells and not experience the suffering. They are imaginary, as Vasubandhu explains.

Avalokiteśvara on the other hand would be able to aid suffering beings in any state without partaking in the suffering, due to the abilities of such high level Bodhisattvas.

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Re: Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

Postby Aemilius » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:21 am

Sorry for the continued drifting away from the subject.
Certainly there exist hell-like circumstances here on earth also. How do they come about ?
Are there not sadistic prison guards? Or the guards at mental institutions ?
Do not all these guards have positive intentions? Like protecting the legal government ? Or upholding the moral order of the society, and so on ?
Is it not that the prisoners etc perceive them as "evil" because of their own mental habits?

It is unpleasant having to think and hear about these things. Reading the material available through Amnesty International you will be convinced that there are hells here on earth, there are real guards and personnel there too, doing their work, for what ever reason, too bad that Vasubandhu can't know this!


Dexing wrote:
Aemilius wrote:There is a teaching that the guardians of hell are really manifestations of Avalokiteshvara, who are there to help the inhabitants of hell. Due to one's ignorance and habitual tendencies, one does not perceive them as they truly are, but perceives them as guardians of hell. In this sense they are one's own mind creations.


This is changing the subject.

Such hell guardians would not be those spoken of in Vasubandhu's Twenty Verses which intimidate and attack beings in hell without experiencing any suffering there. These hell guardians would have no karmic reason to be present in the hells and not experience the suffering. They are imaginary, as Vasubandhu explains.

Avalokiteśvara on the other hand would be able to aid suffering beings in any state without partaking in the suffering, due to the abilities of such high level Bodhisattvas.

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Re: Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

Postby Dexing » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:40 pm

Aemilius wrote:Sorry for the continued drifting away from the subject.
Certainly there exist hell-like circumstances here on earth also. How do they come about ?
Are there not sadistic prison guards? Or the guards at mental institutions ?
Do not all these guards have positive intentions? Like protecting the legal government ? Or upholding the moral order of the society, and so on ?
Is it not that the prisoners etc perceive them as "evil" because of their own mental habits?

It is unpleasant having to think and hear about these things. Reading the material available through Amnesty International you will be convinced that there are hells here on earth, there are real guards and personnel there too, doing their work, for what ever reason, too bad that Vasubandhu can't know this!


Well yes, but you're completely missing the point.

Prison guards in the human state do experience all the suffering of the human state. They are human just as much as prisoners, and just as much as you and me. Yet due to karma each of our situations are different.

However, those hell guardians spoken of in Vasubandhu's Twenty Verses do not experience any suffering of the hell state, they only inflict it. They do not experience the suffering in hell because they are not real sentient beings, but just imaginations of the distorted consciousnesses within hell beings which torment them. Kind of like the boogieman.

Maybe have a reread of the text.

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Re: Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

Postby remm » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:51 pm

Sorry for the continued drifting away from the subject.
Certainly there exist hell-like circumstances here on earth also. How do they come about ?
Are there not sadistic prison guards? Or the guards at mental institutions ?
Do not all these guards have positive intentions? Like protecting the legal government ? Or upholding the moral order of the society, and so on ?
Is it not that the prisoners etc perceive them as "evil" because of their own mental habits?

It is unpleasant having to think and hear about these things. Reading the material available through Amnesty International you will be convinced that there are hells here on earth, there are real guards and personnel there too, doing their work, for what ever reason, too bad that Vasubandhu can't know this!


Vasubhandu says that beings who suffer within the hell realms only perceive that suffering through their own karma. These hell beings are a manifestation of only that individuals karma, why? Because if these hell beings were in fact present to torment those suffering in the hell realms, then these hell guardians themselves would be generating unwholesome karma, secondly, what reason should these hell beings be present in the hells in the first place and not be subjected to the pain and torment of the hell realms? Clearly, it is mind alone that generates one's own suffering in the hell realm.

The hellish states that you see in the human realm are different than that you may find in the hell realm. The suffering or states of hell you see in the human realm are due to collective karma from individuals who all share similar karma. You can't really compare illusory guardians vs. actual guards in a prison. The illusory guardians you see in hell are manifestations of one's own mind, while the actual guards in a prison are an entirely different living being with his or her own consciousness and karma. Which is why it is important to understand that there's a difference between one's own karma vs. the collective karma individuals share as a whole. I am not a specialist in the Perfect Mind School, so my answer may not be entirely correct. However, Dexing is a specialist in the Perfect Mind School, so he will give you a better answer.

I also think it would do you well to read a text on Vasubhandu's teaching on the consciousness. I am currently doing so myself. We all have plenty to learn.
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Re: Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

Postby Aemilius » Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:09 am

Dexing wrote:
Aemilius wrote:Sorry for the continued drifting away from the subject.
Certainly there exist hell-like circumstances here on earth also. How do they come about ?
Are there not sadistic prison guards? Or the guards at mental institutions ?
Do not all these guards have positive intentions? Like protecting the legal government ? Or upholding the moral order of the society, and so on ?
Is it not that the prisoners etc perceive them as "evil" because of their own mental habits?

It is unpleasant having to think and hear about these things. Reading the material available through Amnesty International you will be convinced that there are hells here on earth, there are real guards and personnel there too, doing their work, for what ever reason, too bad that Vasubandhu can't know this!


Well yes, but you're completely missing the point.

Prison guards in the human state do experience all the suffering of the human state. They are human just as much as prisoners, and just as much as you and me. Yet due to karma each of our situations are different.

However, those hell guardians spoken of in Vasubandhu's Twenty Verses do not experience any suffering of the hell state, they only inflict it. They do not experience the suffering in hell because they are not real sentient beings, but just imaginations of the distorted consciousnesses within hell beings which torment them. Kind of like the boogieman.

Maybe have a reread of the text.

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I have reread that passage of the Vimshika on three days now, there are a lot of things connected with that, too much to get into.
What about the karma of being a prison guard in the human world ? What will be the person's destiny in the afterlife? What are that person's habitual tendencies ?
Prison guards do not experience the suffering of the inmates, being free to go as they please.
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Re: Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

Postby Dexing » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:01 pm

Aemilius wrote:What about the karma of being a prison guard in the human world ? What will be the person's destiny in the afterlife? What are that person's habitual tendencies ?


It is impossible to sort out the complexities of a single being's karmic history, tendencies, and later manifestations by only knowing their occupation. Occupation also will not be a large factor in their karmic path, but what they do with that occupation.

You are also asking the wrong person. A regular being such as myself who does not know their own mind fully, cannot know the mind of another being. This is also explained at the end of the Twenty Verses text.

Only a Buddha with such clear wisdom holds such an ability to clearly perceive the entirety of another being's karma, past and future. No regular "fortune teller" can do that.

Prison guards do not experience the suffering of the inmates, being free to go as they please.


Even between two inmates, they do not suffer in exactly the same way. Each individual's karmic situation is different.

Prison guards are still human beings nonetheless, and they suffer the retribution common to the human state. Their karmic situation might drastically alter the quality of their human experience, like kings and peasants, but it is still human nonetheless.

They are not somehow exempt from illness, sorrow, and pain that is inevitably a part of the human experience, whether inmate, prison guard, or whatever the situation.

This is becoming repetitive, but again, as was stated, you cannot compare them to those Hell Guardians that are not real sentient beings at all, and exist completely in the imagination of the beings in a hell state. It is those beings' own imaginations tormenting them, not some other being.

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Re: Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

Postby ronnewmexico » Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:33 pm

This struck me as funny....."Prison guards do not experience the suffering of the inmates, being free to go as they please"
Having been in jails sometimes for extended periods but not prisons I could not voice a opinion on the specific personally. However in jail that was not my experience as well.

However as president of a union local (years ago) that represented in part detention center guards, I had many occasion to visit with guards on site, and address their concerns....

their occupation was regarded as being the same, while in confinement, as those they confined, suffering wise. The main difference being....they did get to go home. But while at work...the suffering was the same. The guards are not free to come and go as they please.... they need money to live, provide for families and have usually not the option for better less suffering employment, due to less capeability personal situation or education. And holding the keys does not mean seperation from the confinement, as most are indeed locked into specific areas for security purpose, and are subject to the same constraints of violence and dehumanization as the prisioners. Guards are subject to physical injury and assault attempt as much as any prisioner.

It is indeed only 8 or 10 hours per day...but while there the suffering is the same. Being paid for it does not reduce it a bit.

Karma or karmic effect... it seems is not easily reduced to simplifications such as determinations quite arbitrarily that some are suffering and some are not. It is quite complex, as are all circumstances that produce sentient beings.

The bigger issue perhaps being as regards karma and its considered effect or context...there simply never exists a subject which can be acted upon without having that action and thusly the subject being acted upon acting upon the actor, the performer of the action. Subject and object never can exist in a isolation of cause and effect...ever.

A prision can never exist in which the guards are not prisioners themselves. Only a concept or envisioning of such can exist. We can consider things as being karmically absolute as these monkeys being fed liquor with no consequence as they simply are not human and cannot steal and all the rest......no effect occuring to the monkey nor to the one from which such was stolen....

The fact of the issue is nothing exists in isolation. Negative circumstances such as prisions necessitate the guards who are prisioners themselves to take care of them. Negative circumstances generally produce negative result.
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Re: Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

Postby Aemilius » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:29 am

Thank you for Your kind and informative replies.
I would like to continue about Twenty verses a little: At the same time it occurred to a Deva in a godrealm that human beings are not real, because it is illogical. The enemies and terrorists in the human realm would also suffer, which is untenable. It proves that they are only imagined by human governments. In winter time the terrorists would have to suffer the icy and cold climate which is wholly unreasonable, therefore the terrorists are not real beings.
This is the true meaning that Vasubandhu intended.
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Re: Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

Postby Dexing » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:08 pm

Aemilius wrote:....human beings are not real, because it is illogical. The enemies and terrorists in the human realm would also suffer, which is untenable. It proves that they are only imagined by human governments. In winter time the terrorists would have to suffer the icy and cold climate which is wholly unreasonable, therefore the terrorists are not real beings.
This is the true meaning that Vasubandhu intended.


You'll have to explain how these are illogical, untenable, and wholly unreasonable.

You've proven nothing and made no point at all.

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Re: Alcoholic Vervet Monkeys

Postby Aemilius » Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:14 am

The point is that the nonexistence of the guardians in hell is not proved by presuming that they don't have proper footwear in hell ! See ? Similarly with the other points..
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