Just Deserts.

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Just Deserts.

Postby Knotty Veneer » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:22 pm

Simon E. wrote:Your reference to the Triratna org surprises me K.V.
I am not in touch with their current thinking but the various works of Madame Blavatsky which initially attracted the young Sangharakshita eventually became one of the main points of contention between him and Christmas Humphreys, who remained a Theosophist, albeit with a thin Buddhist veneer, all his life.
Mr Humphreys thought she was a great Bodhisattva.


Let me clarify. The prominent interest in 19th century romanticism/transcendence in Nature that I've come across in Sangarakshita and other TBC writers is the element that I see in common with the Theosophists - not the Ascended Masters or any of that stuff.

Blavatsky and Humphries have an important role in laying the ground work that permitted Buddhism to take root in the UK but I think their ideas of what Buddhism is look very quaint nowadays.
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Re: Just Deserts.

Postby Simon E. » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:09 pm

Jikan wrote:
Simon E. wrote:Your reference to the Triratna org surprises me K.V.
I am not in touch with their current thinking but the various works of Madame Blavatsky which initially attracted the young Sangharakshita eventually became one of the main points of contention between him and Christmas Humphreys, who remained a Theosophist, albeit with a thin Buddhist veneer, all his life.
Mr Humphreys thought she was a great Bodhisattva.


At the risk of going far afield from the topic, and of relying on my increasingly poor memory, aren't Sangharakshita's famous comments on gender and homosexuality predicated in a kind of theosophic logic re: angels and spiritual perfection?

I'm asking because I don't know--that's not a rhetorical question.

In all honesty I don't know either Jikan.
I know that they fell out and that part of the reason was Sangharashita's later disillusionment with Blavatsky.
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Re: Just Deserts.

Postby Simon E. » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:10 pm

Knotty Veneer wrote:
Simon E. wrote:Your reference to the Triratna org surprises me K.V.
I am not in touch with their current thinking but the various works of Madame Blavatsky which initially attracted the young Sangharakshita eventually became one of the main points of contention between him and Christmas Humphreys, who remained a Theosophist, albeit with a thin Buddhist veneer, all his life.
Mr Humphreys thought she was a great Bodhisattva.


Let me clarify. The prominent interest in 19th century romanticism/transcendence in Nature that I've come across in Sangarakshita and other TBC writers is the element that I see in common with the Theosophists - not the Ascended Masters or any of that stuff.

Blavatsky and Humphries have an important role in laying the ground work that permitted Buddhism to take root in the UK but I think their ideas of what Buddhism is look very quaint nowadays.


Fair enough. :namaste:
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Re: Just Deserts.

Postby Malcolm » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:24 pm

Simon E. wrote:During a current discussion on Dhamma Wheel a Bhikkhu member states that the sentiment ' if a person is murdered they are getting their just deserts ' in terms of vipaka, is " ubiquitous among Theosophically influenced Buddhists and common in the Vajrayana '.
Now I have little interest in what may or may not be ubiquitous among Theosophists , but what of his statement that it is a view commonly held in the Vajrayana..what do YOU think ?



Generally speaking, in Tibetan Buddhism justice is an idea associated with karma, dating back to the idea of Yamarāja weighing people's negative karma while sorting out the dead.

If a person is murdered, it is assumed the causes and conditions for their being murdered were laid down in the past by their own actions.
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Re: Just Deserts.

Postby Simon E. » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:31 pm

Is the link between karma and vipaka of the same order as saying that ' Jones got his just deserts ' Malcolm ?
Which is what the Bhikkhu is saying is the 'not uncommon' response by Vajrayanists ( and Theosophists ) to hearing that Jones was murdered. With a clear implication that this is in contrast to the more nuanced view of the Theravada.
Last edited by Simon E. on Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just Deserts.

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:43 pm

Notions of "justice" and "deserve" just do not figure into karma. What somebody thinks about the workings of karma, and what the workings of karma actually are... So why should we care about what somebody, that does not understand the workings karma, thinks about the workings of karma? Why would that be important?
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just Deserts.

Postby Simon E. » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:11 pm

In the great turning of the wheel of things I guess its not Greg.
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Re: Just Deserts.

Postby Knotty Veneer » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:31 pm

Jikan wrote:
Simon E. wrote:Your reference to the Triratna org surprises me K.V.
I am not in touch with their current thinking but the various works of Madame Blavatsky which initially attracted the young Sangharakshita eventually became one of the main points of contention between him and Christmas Humphreys, who remained a Theosophist, albeit with a thin Buddhist veneer, all his life.
Mr Humphreys thought she was a great Bodhisattva.


At the risk of going far afield from the topic, and of relying on my increasingly poor memory, aren't Sangharakshita's famous comments on gender and homosexuality predicated in a kind of theosophic logic re: angels and spiritual perfection?

I'm asking because I don't know--that's not a rhetorical question.


I think Sangharakshita's split with Humphries was a sign that the Theosophical flavour of early British Buddhism was being replaced by something better informed than what was coming out of the Buddhist Society. There was also some bust up over Sanghrakshita's homosexuality and what was perceived as his rather lax attitude to vows but that is all ancient history now.

The FWBO/TBC is an interesting organization in that Sanghrakshita had - at the time - more knowledge about authentic Buddhist practice than nearly any other British person. Even so, the - I can only say - colonialist attitude of his early writings marks the movement out, in my mind, as a kind of half-way house between the Buddhist Society and the development of bases like Amaravati, Samye Ling, Throssel Hole belonging to authentic Asian lineages.

I think the TBC has progressed from that - the recent name change I think shows an awareness of some of the unconscious colonial attitudes that are built into amost any concept of "Western Buddhism". However to my mind it remains a strange mix of traditions and English romantic/aesthetic thought.

Sangharakshita and his second-in-command Subhuti have written on spiritual hierarchies - I think there was a quote along the lines of "men are to women as angels are to men" in one of the latters books. And they did come under fire for a kind of misogyny and vaunting of male homosexuality at one time.
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Re: Just Deserts.

Postby Simon E. » Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:18 pm

Interesting KV. Thank you.
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