How sane are you?

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: How sane are you?

Postby lowlydog » Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:56 pm

Krishnamurti: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby Kim O'Hara » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:40 am

lowlydog wrote:Krishnamurti: “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

:twothumbsup:
K got a lot wrong but but was right on the mark with this.

:namaste:
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby Caz » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:42 am

I get saner everyday I practice Dharma. :buddha1:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

Liberation in the Palm of your hand~Kyabje Pabongkha Rinpoche.
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby Megha » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:06 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Sara H wrote:Well actually, the above quote regarding queer people is just Dependent Origination as it is applied to queer people.
And she was quoting it so as people would not assume that when talking about "mental illness" she was including Queer people in that.
A reasonable clarification, considering at the time of this books publication, it was 1978 and discussions of Gay people being "mentally ill" were still quite common.
A clarification that no, Gays are not included in the "mentally ill" category is, and would have been necessary under the circumstances, and given the times
Kennets statement defines homosexuality as a karmic anomaly: a right (heterosexual) mind in the wrong body which leads to a deviation in standard sexual behaviour based on an abnormal mental characteristic, thus it is defining homosexuality as a mental illness and is homophobic.

A well intended try by Kennet, given it was written in the 70's, but a failed attempt at a gay friendly explanation explanation nonetheless.
:namaste:


One of the biggest misunderstandings about Buddhism is the idea that everything is a result of 'Karma', which is surprising as the Buddha was clear that this was not the case.

If a person finds another sexually attractive, it could be for a whole variety of reasons, only one of which might be Karma. Likewise if I get flu, again there is no karma required, I might just sit next to someone who has flu and catch it off them.

“Now when these ascetics and brahmins have such a doctrine and view that ‘whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action,’ then they go beyond what they know by themselves and what is accepted as true by the world. Therefore, I say that this is wrong on the part of these ascetics and brahmins.”

The forces that could be at work are traditionally summarised as the five niyamas: the physical inorganic, the biological, the psychological, the karmic, and the dharmic (transcendental).

The Buddha discouraged speculation on whether such and such a thing was produced by karma or not. It was one of the topics he refused to discuss.
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:09 pm

Megha wrote:“Now when these ascetics and brahmins have such a doctrine and view that ‘whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action,’ then they go beyond what they know by themselves and what is accepted as true by the world. Therefore, I say that this is wrong on the part of these ascetics and brahmins.”
Could you please source this one?
The forces that could be at work are traditionally summarised as the five niyamas: the physical inorganic, the biological, the psychological, the karmic, and the dharmic (transcendental).
And his one please!

No I am not doubting your source, I am merely interested in seeing the context of the teachings.

Thanks
:namaste:
Greg
"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 sane are you?

Postby Megha » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:32 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Megha wrote:“Now when these ascetics and brahmins have such a doctrine and view that ‘whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action,’ then they go beyond what they know by themselves and what is accepted as true by the world. Therefore, I say that this is wrong on the part of these ascetics and brahmins.”
Could you please source this one?
The forces that could be at work are traditionally summarised as the five niyamas: the physical inorganic, the biological, the psychological, the karmic, and the dharmic (transcendental).
And his one please!

No I am not doubting your source, I am merely interested in seeing the context of the teachings.

Thanks
:namaste:
Greg


Hi Greg,

No problem :smile:

The Niyamas are a commentarial classification. It's part of the Pali tradition. You can try someone on Dhammawheel for the sources.

The quote is from Samyutta Nikaya XXXVI.21, Moliyasivaka Sutta. http://www.buddhismtoday.com/english/texts/samyutta/sn36-21.html
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby Sara H » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:44 am

Megha wrote:
One of the biggest misunderstandings about Buddhism is the idea that everything is a result of 'Karma', which is surprising as the Buddha was clear that this was not the case.

If a person finds another sexually attractive, it could be for a whole variety of reasons, only one of which might be Karma. Likewise if I get flu, again there is no karma required, I might just sit next to someone who has flu and catch it off them.

“Now when these ascetics and brahmins have such a doctrine and view that ‘whatever a person experiences, be it pleasure, pain or neither-pain-nor-pleasure, all that is caused by previous action,’ then they go beyond what they know by themselves and what is accepted as true by the world. Therefore, I say that this is wrong on the part of these ascetics and brahmins.”

The forces that could be at work are traditionally summarised as the five niyamas: the physical inorganic, the biological, the psychological, the karmic, and the dharmic (transcendental).

The Buddha discouraged speculation on whether such and such a thing was produced by karma or not. It was one of the topics he refused to discuss.


That's true that not everything is the result of Karma.

That would be wrong view as taught by the Buddha.

The Bhramin's and those people had exactly that idea, that everything was, and, they used it combined with a hindu view of reincarnation as a way of sortof justifying "fate".

So, for instance, if someone was born into the untouchable class, well, that was their karma, as they obviously did something bad in a past life.

If someone was born into a wealthy family and indulged greed, well their good karma for doing good in a previous life...

etc, etc.

Not everything is the result of karma, and the things that are, there's certainly no judgement in it. It's not a beings "fault" that they inherited tendencies or damage from a previous life.

As far as we can tell, the new being did nothing wrong at all.

However, some things are the result of Karma.

We can see this, by when the causes of things come up in our sitting, whether from this life or previous.

That can be something as Freudian as seeing something that happened to us as a child, or something as definitely Buddhist as seeing something that happened to a child 500 years ago.

"Karma" just means cause and effect.

It does not mean some sortof predestination, or fate, judgement, or retribution for "one's own mistakes in a past life" or, a reward for doing good.

It's just like physics. When certain things happen they have certain reactions.

In my case I can say that I have seen a direct link to aspects of my being queer to past life karma.

However that's not "bad karma" Being queer is normal. It's just the result of cause and effect.

Diversity.

I had this thing where my entire life, whenever a kitchen cabinet door closed to hard, and made that "bang" noise, I would jump, startled involuntarily, and be momentarily freaked out by it.
I had a life come up where someone was killed by a gunshot to the head, and the sound of the cabinet doors banging closed sort of reminded them of that.
After I had the life come up, and I was able to love and accept them, that little personality quirk went away with the rest of the tension.

I've seen OCD behavior actually be attributed to the relentless and methodical soldier preparations in war, doing all these tiny little ritual things to keep your pack from getting wet, your boots dry, your sleeping gear dry, your gun clear of debris, etc.

When you live in a trench, with all you own, the little comforts like having your personal belongings slightly dry, and keeping your gun clear and in operable condition, could not only make the difference in your comfort and keeping despair and poor morale at bay, but could save your life. If you caught a cold on the front you might die of it as surely as from your gun jamming. All these things tend to make someone slightly neurotic. Necessarily so. They had no choice. But those tendencies can be past on to other people in different lives.

You know, psychology, says that all the suffering in our lives that cannot be attributed to things that happened to us in this life, are essentially a chemical imbalance in the brain that occurs due to random biological mutations.

They even go so far as to classify normal fear as "anxiety".
Grief, and loss as "depression", etc.

I've seen for myself that that is not actually true.

That there are things things not only from this life, but from previous lives that still effect us.

Especially when it comes to physical, or what people call mental illness or psychological problems, or interesting seemingly unfounded fears, angers, or personality quirks.

This stuff can and does come up in sitting, and, some of it (in the case of psychological or physical problems) is capable of being resolved simply by sitting with it.

I don't think there's any problem with talking about things that come up in sitting.

The problem with your quote Megha, is that in the context of this discussion, people could interpret that as suggesting that we shouldn't speak about these things or keep them taboo or esoteric, available to only an initiated few.


I don't agree with that, because, if someone does any formal meditation at all, even if it's their first time, and these things come up (and they occasionally do when someone just starts sitting), then the result is that someone can be really freaked out and afraid by sitting.

The Buddha talked at great length about his own past lives. And the cause and effect it had on later lives. That's well documented in the Pali Cannon.

I don't usually get things come up in a way that is as visually vivid as some people, but imagine someone setting down to sit, only to have to re-live a battle? or some medieval torture?

These things can and do come up, and it's far better to tell someone that they are normal, to help them be calm and sit through them, so they can actually help the poor being who's karma they carry, than to have them panic in terror, and think somebody spiked the cool aid.

It's ok if you don't want to believe this, or are skeptical about it, or havn't proved it true for yourself, or flat out disagree with it.

Just know that there are those of use who have proved this true for ourselves.

Whether this proves true for you or not, I cannot say.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby Kim O'Hara » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:50 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
The forces that could be at work are traditionally summarised as the five niyamas: the physical inorganic, the biological, the psychological, the karmic, and the dharmic (transcendental).
And his one please!
No I am not doubting your source, I am merely interested in seeing the context of the teachings.

Thanks
:namaste:
Greg

Hi, Greg,
The five niyamas on buddhism.about.com - http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddhistteachings/tp/The-Five-Niyamas.htm.
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niyama gives references to sources - all abhidammic - and says, "In these texts the fivefold niyama was introduced into commentarial discussions not to illustrate that the universe was intrinsically ethical but as a list that demonstrated the universal scope of paṭicca-samuppāda. The original purpose of expounding fivefold niyama was, according to Ledi Sayadaw, neither to promote or to demote the law of karma, but to show the scope of natural law as an alternative to the claims of theism."
There are "five niyamas" in yoga, too, but they are rather different.

:namaste:
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby Megha » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:41 am

The idea that you can magically see why someone is gay is ridiculous.

It's based on a misunderstanding of how the Buddha said the universe works.

To then start saying that it is based on being a woman in a past life and a man the next is the final absurdity, and is exactly where this sort of flawed reasoning will take you.
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:53 am

Thank you Kim and Megha! :smile:

I had heard about the Niyamas, but have never come across an actual teaching (Sutta/Sutra/Tantra) on them.
:namaste:
"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 sane are you?

Postby undefineable » Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:58 pm

Megha wrote:The idea that you can magically see why someone is gay is ridiculous.

It's based on a misunderstanding of how the Buddha said the universe works.

To then start saying that it is based on being a woman in a past life and a man the next is the final absurdity, and is exactly where this sort of flawed reasoning will take you.

Don't you think the Buddha said the universe works IN SOME SMALL PART by there being reasons in previous lives as to why each of us is born gay, human, or whatever? Genes and epigenetics (Darwinian and Lamarckian evolution) explain it from an outside perspective, but from the point of view of each of us being our own separate universe (and Buddhism endorses this solipsistic view in its use of terms referring to 'mind'), it feels bizarre to imagine that I was wedded at birth to THIS PARTICULAR web of characteristics AND NOT ANOTHER out of nothing but chance.

It's all too easy, though, to let one's imagination run riot over such questions; hence the 'four imponderables'. It seems plausible to me that a change from male to female over several lifetimes could involve homosexuality, but then I don't see gender as something embedded deeply enough in the mindstream deeply enough for that to be necessary. So, how about you use a reply to demonstrate how that theory is absurd, and (to get :focus: ) why any Buddhist who didn't already see this is insane?
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:15 pm

Sara H wrote:That's true that not everything is the result of Karma.

Preciousssssss Sssssarah

The presentation of karma most befitting will be the one taught by the school your teacher follows.

However if not everything is a result of karma, then why is the stopping of karma in order to relieve suffering the third noble truth?

My understanding of what I have been taught is that there is reason to hope that suffering can end because the cause of suffering is karma, in particular, ignorance of karma. Karma is:

a mental impulse. It is synonymous with the mental factor of an urge (sems-pa). An urge is a mental factor that accompanies every moment of our experience. It is the mental factor that brings us in the direction of a particular experience, either simply to look at or to listen to something, or, in this case, to do something with or to it, to say it, or to think it. Whether it is physical, verbal, or mental karma, the karmic impulse is the mental factor of an urge to do, say, or think something. It is like the impulse to hit someone, to tell the truth, or to think longing thoughts about a loved one. It is also the mental urge to continue doing, saying, or thinking something, as well as the mental urge to stop engaging in them and to do, say, or think about something else. Usually, we are not at all aware of these mental urges or impulses. In Western terminology, we would say they are usually "unconscious."
Berzin

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Re: How sane are you?

Postby Megha » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:23 pm

The number of influencing factors is infinite.
The relationships are also non linear.
It's a total waste of time speculating about this one or that one.
That doesn't mean that there is no karma, just that speculative views lead to a hall of mirrors.
And that will drive you crazy and get you into all sorts of intellectual tangles.
Can you explain to the parents of a handicapped child that it is a karmic resultant of so and so action.
No. That is not how it works.
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby corrine » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:07 pm

How sane are you? and the issues with mental illness are not mutually exclusive. A lot of us deal on a daily basis with maintaining our sanity in a challenging environment. Someone quite close to me, on the other hand, has dealt with what I term 'true mental illness' all of his life. For me, Buddhism helps me to keep a grip on reality and keeps me from wandering around inside my head creating painful scenarios. For him, nothing helps because he is lost in a truly dark place where there is no way out, to his way of thinking. Drugs, talk therapy etc have helped him a little, but not much. For him, his mind is the enemy. He has not been able to step back far enough to see that there are things he could do that would make him feel more capable of finding peace. He is not able to focus that far.

There is a difference between true mental illness and sanity challenges, however I believe that Buddhist practices can help many of us to stay in a place where sanity is obtainable, where we are able to keep our perspective on the world as it is and not on the circles of hell that we are capable of creating out of nothingness. Sanity is relative. To me, it is a state where I am able to exist in the world as it is, to interact with my fellow living creatures and perhaps make a small contribution, where I do not see danger and threats everywhere I look, where I am able to take people at face value and not see them through my own perhaps 'off' perspective. Sanity is the daily goal - to live in the real world and not wander around a made up one, whether positive or negative.

So my sanity is a day to day issue. When I meditate regularly, I stay focused. When I do not, my mind tends to wander off on its own, creating pain where there was none and problems that are of my own imagination.

corrine :)
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby Sara H » Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:52 pm

Megha wrote:The idea that you can magically see why someone is gay is ridiculous.

It's based on a misunderstanding of how the Buddha said the universe works.

To then start saying that it is based on being a woman in a past life and a man the next is the final absurdity, and is exactly where this sort of flawed reasoning will take you.


I think that dismissing people's empirical experience as "ridiculous" is irrational.

It's certainly not good science.

Ignoring the empirical evidence of lots of people's corroborated experiences (and indeed such experiences have been studied and well documented), in my opinion, is not exactly logical, or rational thinking.

With respect Friend.

You are of course, entitled to your own opinions.
And we can of course, agree to disagree.

In Gassho,

Sara H.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby Megha » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:11 pm

Sara H wrote:
I think that dismissing people's empirical experience as "ridiculous" is irrational.

It's certainly not good science.

Ignoring the empirical evidence of lots of people's corroborated experiences (and indeed such experiences have been studied and well documented), in my opinion, is not exactly logical, or rational thinking.

With respect Friend.

You are of course, entitled to your own opinions.
And we can of course, agree to disagree.

In Gassho,

Sara H.


I guarantee that if you spend a few minutes thinking about it, you will see why I dismiss it.

Firstly, from the Buddhist perspective, we all have experiences. Most are mundane and we all draw our own conclusions from them. Unfortunately, we are also deluded beings, and therefore we make a lot of wrong calls. In fact, we human beings are wrong about almost everything we take as self-evident, at least from the Buddhist point of view. The most basic of these deluded views is the belief in a permanent self or soul. It feels true, it seems self-evident, but the Buddha says it isn't. Some people claim to have mystical experiences and see God or Jesus or angels or the Buddha. The point is that unless we compare our experience to what the Buddha taught and instead start blindly believing our own experience, we very quickly get lost in delusion. "If thy light be darkness, then how great is your darkness?" :-)

So let's say you have a mystical experience. A vision. How do you test it? How do you know you are not insane, or daydreaming, or confecting something up because sitting is boring (face it) and the heart is a master of painting fascinating pictures? What can you use to test it against so that it won't lead you off into further delusion. The only way is to compare your experience, to what the Buddha taught - in other words to test it. At least it is if you are a Buddhist. If you test it against what the Buddha taught and it doesn't agree with it, then you must let it go. If however you test it against what the Buddha taught, and it does not agree and you maintain that it is true, then you will either have to admit that you do not subscribe to this part of the teaching, or you will have to keep practising faithfully until it becomes clearer to you that it is wrong view and you are able to drop it.

Secondly, from the purely mundane, non-Buddhist perspective, it is bad because it is a view which leads into all sorts of moral mazes. If there is a reason that one person is gay, then there is a reason why someone was born rich. Karma turns into a blunt sledge hammer, that is offensive to all. It can be used to justify castes in societies, similar to those in India. It promotes discord and disharmony. It also throws away the tremendous complexity of the Universe and replaces with a dumbed down 'pop' view of karma so familiar to those who have been in a dentists chair and wondered if they were being punished for something they had done in a past life. People begin speculating about why this is so, or that is so. Or they become resigned to fate, or lose a sense of free will, feeling trapped in a mechanical Universe.

In the end, I can't say that what you experienced is wrong or right. But I have decided to trust the Buddha's teaching, and so for me, personally, no - I don't accept that someone is gay because they were once born a woman and are now a man. The Buddha taught that it doesn't work like that. But in the end you have to decide what you trust to guide you through your life journey.

I saw a film called "Inception" not long ago, and it was precisely about this point. How do you know if you are awake or still dreaming? And the way the characters - the dreamers - could tell they were awake was they had little totems. When they held the totem, an object they absolutely trusted, then they knew they were awake and not lost in a dream. Well, for me, my 'totem' is the Buddha's teaching. It doesn't mean you are wrong, but I don't trust your vision as it does not accord with what the Buddha taught as I understand it on this issue.

In the end you have to decide what you trust to guide you through your experiences. It's not up to me to tell someone if they are right or wrong. I don't know anyway. I can only give my own honest response, using what I know. Who knows, one day it might be of use to you? But if not, fair enough.
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby Sara H » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:36 pm

This is why we don't just take refuge in the Dharma.

As Buddhists we take refuge in the Buddha (in our sitting) The Dharma, AND the Sangha.
All three.

This is something that is a part of Transmitted Zen Buddhism.

It is also a part of Tibetan Buddhism.

And I believe part of Theravadan as well. Though I'm not familiar with their training on this.

People do have these experiences and there are ways of verifying if they are real or just Makyo.

An experienced priest or monk can tell the difference.

There is a very big difference from a genuine spiritual experience and the various makyo or hallucinations that can come up due to poor posture or whatever.

It is up to an experienced priest to tell the difference.

But this is a part of Buddhist practice.

I trust someone who has spent a lifetime training in the Dharma as a monk whether that be a Zen Buddhist or a Tibetan, to know about this better than I do.

However one of the ways I can tell you that there is a real difference is that after something like this comes up, usually the corresponding tension or problem in the body or behavior goes away.

For instance a past life coming up concerning a knee injury that is found to be linked to battlefield karma, will likely result in the tension releasing and the knee healing in a way it never did before, or better than it ever was.

There's an actual noticeable change that occurs. It's not just a mental theory.

But again, a qualified priest would know better, if there's a question involved. As they've been trained to deal with this.

In Gassho,

Sara H
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby greentara » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:47 am

greg said, "The reason that it spends no more time on the issue is because sexual identification, regardless of preferences, is not an element of liberation. Quite the contrary, it is just another mode of identification, just another way to further reify the "I" or "me".
This rings true to me. All sexual, political or social arguements are pointless....if you're honest you'll realize they all end in samsara with the "I" or "me"!
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby undefineable » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:14 am

Megha wrote:from the purely mundane, non-Buddhist perspective, it is bad because it is a view which leads into all sorts of moral mazes. If there is a reason that one person is gay, then there is a reason why someone was born rich. Karma turns into a blunt sledge hammer, that is offensive to all. It can be used to justify castes in societies, similar to those in India.

Offensive does not equal untrue - It just means that the idea in question shouldn't be bandied about wildly, and I guess this is why Buddhism was always a monastic/elitist religion rather than a popular one. However, I can turn this around and question how much offence you cause (are are causing) by reminding people of the 'offensive truth' of false memories, and of the power of imagination to fabricate the reality it wishes for before the rational mind has found time to step in.
Megha wrote:It (Karma) promotes discord and disharmony. It also throws away the tremendous complexity of the Universe and replaces with a dumbed down 'pop' view of karma so familiar to those who have been in a dentists chair and wondered if they were being punished for something they had done in a past life.

Our understanding of karma should tell us that there's never just one reason why someone inherits a particular condition. It should also tell us, conversely, that however negative a condition may appear, it was ultimately produced by the same overriding motivation - to experience happiness and avoid suffering :namaste:
Megha wrote:It's a total waste of time speculating about this one or that one.
That doesn't mean that there is no karma, just that speculative views lead to a hall of mirrors.
And that will drive you crazy and get you into all sorts of intellectual tangles.
Can you explain to the parents of a handicapped child that it is a karmic resultant of so and so action.
No. That is not how it works.

Cf. the 4'th Imponderable - We understand each other :smile: However, you've yet to demonstrate why:
Megha wrote:I don't accept that someone is gay because they were once born a woman and are now a man.

or how (of this):
Megha wrote:The Buddha taught that it doesn't work like that.
Last edited by undefineable on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How sane are you?

Postby undefineable » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:32 am

Sara H wrote:People do have these experiences and there are ways of verifying if they are real or just Makyo.

An experienced priest or monk can tell the difference.

There is a very big difference from a genuine spiritual experience and the various makyo or hallucinations that can come up due to poor posture or whatever.

It is up to an experienced priest to tell the difference.

But this is a part of Buddhist practice.

I trust someone who has spent a lifetime training in the Dharma as a monk whether that be a Zen Buddhist or a Tibetan, to know about this better than I do.

However one of the ways I can tell you that there is a real difference is that after something like this comes up, usually the corresponding tension or problem in the body or behavior goes away.

For instance a past life coming up concerning a knee injury that is found to be linked to battlefield karma, will likely result in the tension releasing and the knee healing in a way it never did before, or better than it ever was.

There's an actual noticeable change that occurs. It's not just a mental theory.

But again, a qualified priest would know better, if there's a question involved. As they've been trained to deal with this.

In Gassho,

Sara H


I don't believe anyone can tell us the karmic cause of a condition. A monk may have no lineage, and even a master may not be genuine or 'in his depth'. Even if a Buddha told us, he could be 'using skilful means' (remember the mustard seed), and in any case, how are we to know if he/she is indeed fully enlightened?
Moreover, as has been pointed out, that it matters so much is a potential problem. It might help your knee heal (as you put it), but how many problems will have been sown by the explanation, and by the reliance on 'flouting' the fourth imponderable that it encourages, particularly if the explanation you were given is untrue? As I explained, it won't in any case have been a complete explanation.
As an autistic, I have just as much reason to try and explain all my vipakas as you do, but have managed to limit myself to the idea that it's typically produced by trying to avoid reality (out of aversion for something or other) in a previous life. This may itself just be the fruit of meditative reflection, but my point is that I see such mental activity as harmful - atleast to me.
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
undefineable
 
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