wallowing

Re: wallowing

Postby undefineable » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:25 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Padma, you are lucky to wake up happy, or have the good karma for it, or whatever.
It's also worth reminding yourself that people who aren't happy are not that way out of a deliberate first choice - The 'New Agers' have got it wrong there. Instead, samsara as a whole is characterised by the false belief that conditions are in and of themselves the causes of happiness or suffering, and the human realm (in particular) features a further irrational belief that the mere absence or deviation of positive conditions observed elsewhere constitutes a negative set of conditions. Thus, a being who observes that most of his or her conditions (and/or absences/variations of conditions) are generally considered to result in suffering may inadvertently choose suffering (and therefore negative actions of mind) by grasping onto other conditions (generally considered to result in happiness) that are not currently-ripening effects of that being's past karma. Conversely, if a being finds potential positive conditions beginning to ripen, then he or she may perform negative actions of body'or of speech out of impatience.

@Padma: What I've read elsewhere seems to supports a view that your repeated take on positive and negative karma relates more to merit and enlightenment -the cessation of karma- than to karma itself. A focus on one's negative or "missing" conditions would seem to result from a prime motivator for negative actions (the ignorant grasping of reified conditions as bringing happiness or suffering to a reified self) and lead to a greater risk of performing those actions, rather than being the heinous and blameworthy Original Sin that you appear to me to view it as. There's probably a misunderstanding, but perhaps your greater experience of happiness is reflected in your emphases.

While many people atleast claim, conversely, to disregard negatives in favour of positives, these are often those with either fewer negative conditions or less insight into their negative conditions (partial knowledge being a dangerous thing), rather than beings who find that their level of positive conditioning is well below average for their environment and who -through dharma practice and realisation- rightly treat that fact as inconsequential. :sage:
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: wallowing

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:39 pm

undefineable wrote:@Padma: What I've read elsewhere seems to supports a view that your repeated take on positive and negative karma relates more to merit and enlightenment -the cessation of karma- than to karma itself.


I don't know if you are saying that what you have read supports my statements or disagrees with them.

undefineable wrote:A focus on one's negative or "missing" conditions would seem to result from a prime motivator for negative actions (the ignorant grasping of reified conditions as bringing happiness or suffering to a reified self) and lead to a greater risk of performing those actions, rather than being the heinous and blameworthy Original Sin that you appear to me to view it as. There's probably a misunderstanding, but perhaps your greater experience of happiness is reflected in your emphases.


I don't understand how what I said relates in any way to any notion of 'original sin'.
Conditions are not inherently positive or negative.
How we experience them, as a lacking or as an abundance,
or as positive or negative,is also conditional,
and based on the foundation of one's past, meaning past experiences,
past states of mind and past 'external' circumstances.

A karate master does not necessarily experience
his head smashing into a wooden board as a negative thing at all.
On the other hand, I would if it were happening to me.

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Re: wallowing

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:15 pm

To relate something on a personal note here...
of course, i have done many things in my life that I wish I had not,
that had a negative effect on others.
I think everyone has some kinds of regrets about things they may have said or done in the past.
Even today, I struggle not to make a total jerk of myself. I can be very rude, for example.
So, I think, just about everyone can find things about themselves, if they look hard enough,
that might make them think "I am an awful person, really".

But, if you really look at the situation, all of these things are events in the past.
We are not locked by the past. We are not forced by our past to do the same things again.
that's not what karma means.
Nobody is who they were yesterday.
it is quite possible to leave the past behind you, turn and face the direction of the future,
and walk an entirely different path.

So, when you think "I AM ..." this way or that,
this is incorrect.
You could say. "The last time I checked, I WAS..."
But it is only because of attaching to a 'self' that we find it difficult to change.

Of course, society may have a different view,
and if you are in prison for committing murder,
you can't say "let me out...the guy who killed those people...he doesn't exist any more".
The legal definition of your reality may be different.

So, looking back at this first post,
it seems like you are dwelling in things that have already happened
rather than focusing on what lies ahead
which is based in the present moment.
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Re: wallowing

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:23 pm


So, looking back at this first post,
it seems like you are dwelling in things that have already happened
rather than focusing on what lies ahead
which is based in the present moment.
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On an intellectual level, this is all sorted. The problem lies in the fact that my behavior changes so slowly, i've gotten somewhat better, but the same patterns are still there. the same obsessive thinking, the same lashing out in anger, the same retreating into my head.
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Re: wallowing

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:37 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:On an intellectual level, this is all sorted. The problem lies in the fact that my behavior changes so slowly, i've gotten somewhat better, but the same patterns are still there. the same obsessive thinking, the same lashing out in anger, the same retreating into my head.


Well, then a non-intellectual approach is to chant "namo amitabha"
...or some form of that when these behavior patterns arise.
It will work.
it's totally brainless.
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Re: wallowing

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:12 pm

I think that's good advice, gonna go in that direction.
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Re: wallowing

Postby undefineable » Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:33 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
undefineable wrote:@Padma: What I've read elsewhere seems to supports a view that your repeated take on positive and negative karma relates more to merit and enlightenment -the cessation of karma- than to karma itself.


I don't know if you are saying that what you have read supports my statements or disagrees with them _ _ I don't understand how what I said relates in any way to any notion of 'original sin'.
I meant that I understand karma as acting under the influence of inner compulsion, whereas you seem (to me) to be understand only negative karma as acting under this influence. I understand acting independently of inner compulsion as acting without karma, whereas you seem (to me) to understand positive karma as free of inner compulsion. Of course this is only my impression, though I'd be happy to check and back up my own understanding of karma and 'a-karma'
PadmaVonSamba wrote:Conditions are not inherently positive or negative.
How we experience them, as a lacking or as an abundance,
or as positive or negative,is also conditional,
and based on the foundation of one's past, meaning past experiences,
past states of mind and past 'external' circumstances.
This seems related to the old "glass half full v. glass half empty" chestnut; the recognition that one has not deliberately chosen which of the two to perceive is refreshing :cheers:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:We are not locked by the past. We are not forced by our past to do the same things again.
that's not what karma means.
Without the dharma, it can easily feel that one is locked and forced - hence metaphors like 'karma continuum' _ _
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: wallowing

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Oct 08, 2013 2:38 am

Even with the Dharma we are locked in to some degree by habits accumulated since beginningless time, right? The difference seems to be that with Dharma we have some tools to recognize it and change it, however slowly..but unless you consider yourself realized, we are in this same boat to one degree or another..wouldn't you say?
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