Antinomianism

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Re: Antinomianism

Postby jeeprs » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:55 am

Antinomianism is a Christian attitude (usually regarded as heretical) that as you can only be saved by God's grace then whatever you do has no real bearing on your salvation. It has manifested at some points as extreme sexual libertarianism (for instance in some medieval cult movements.). I think there is a sense in which recent cult movements like Rajneesh Puram have shown the same general tendency.

As for the general question of the necessity of observing moral guidelines, there is something from learning theory which might be relevant, namely the 'four stages of learning':

First - unconsciously incompetent - there's something you don't know but you don't even know you don't know it.

Second - consciously incompetent - you've learned there's something you don't know how to do, if you try it, you can't do it.

Third - consciously competent - you have learned to do whatever it is, but it still takes effort and concentration.

Fourth - unconsciously competent - you have internalized the skill to the point where you don't have to think about it, it is just 'second nature'.

Perhaps there is a way that spiritual mastery is like the fourth stage. You have internalised the skills so well that you don't have to consciously perform or observe anything - it is just a natural outcome of your understanding.

I think that is quite a legitimate view of the issue, but obviously the temptation to exploit that kind of understanding for the sake of indulging oneself is a pitfall. Requires ruthless honesty about one's motivations, I would think.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:20 am

smcj wrote:
In Tantra, it's the bit about breaking conventional moral rules to ... something, something about using the power of forbidden things to achieve conventionally meritorious things.

What my teacher told me is that in tantra something that is karmically negative is not to be done ever. What can, and should be done, is taking something negative and turning it into something positive.

The analogy I use is; nobody wants to be bitten by a rattlesnake. But rattlesnake anti-venom is made from venom. If correctly transmuted it becomes medicine. But untransmuted venom is still poison. In Dharma, in order to take something negative/poisonous and correctly transmute it into something positive, you've got to have an enormous amount of positive aspiration such as refuge, renunciation, bodhicitta, at least a minimal understanding of emptiness, plus the specific training in whichever meditation is involved. This extraordinary skill is required for the transmutation to be real.

My teacher used the example of making a rule for somebody that they should not stab people, defined and "cutting someone with a knife." If you are trying to reform a thug, that type of rule needs to be made. But what if that thug then straightens out his life, goes to school and becomes a doctor? Is he then prohibited from performing a surgery? No. His extraordinary skill makes surgery something helpful. The next thug that needs to be reformed might see the surgery and object, saying, "He's still stabbing people, he's 'cutting them with a knife!'" That constraint is no longer applicable because of the greater skillfulness the doctor has acquired. But that is different than giving a doctor license to go out and revert to stabbing people, which is still prohibited.

In today's society this idea is widely abused. I personally believe that most of what is passed off as "crazy wisdom" and "skillful means" as such is simply a cover for bad conduct. But that isn't real Dharma. The way Vajrayana is taught is as if it is going to be properly and expertly practiced. That can and does happen, but it is not a given by any means. So, in my opinion, chances are that what appears to be vile behavior is simply vile--but sometimes it isn't.


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Re: Antinomianism

Postby undefineable » Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:50 pm

jeeprs wrote:First - unconsciously incompetent - there's something you don't know but you don't even know you don't know it.

Second - consciously incompetent - you've learned there's something you don't know how to do, if you try it, you can't do it.

Third - consciously competent - you have learned to do whatever it is, but it still takes effort and concentration.
I recall one Donald Rumsfeld getting a knockabout when he passed this off as his own idea ;)
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby tatpurusa » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:41 pm

matthewmartin wrote:Antinomianism is Christian an exercise in mental gymnastics that lead to the conclusion that ethics don't matter.

Now, I'm just an amateur, but I keep coming across spirited arguments in Zen & Tantra that imply ethics don't matter. In Zen's case, it's something about non-dualism and how right and wrong, moral and immoral are artificial distinctions & it is all the same. In Tantra, it's the bit about breaking conventional moral rules to ... something, something about using the power of forbidden things to achieve conventionally meritorious things.

Set me straight. What are the arguments, facts or what have you that Buddhist metaphysics doesn't ultimately lead to antinomianism. (And what is the word for antinomianism in the Buddhist traditions?)

Thanks


duckfiasco wrote:This idea that we're already enlightened, so somehow ethics don't matter. The occasional under-representation of the sila component, ethics, in American Zen isn't indicative of Zen as a whole, I believe.


The notion of non-duality between right and wrong is true when there is no more illusion of a "doer". As long as one believes that he exists and is capable of doing either right or wrong, or anything at all; i.e. that he is the author of his actions, as long he is living in avidya and those very actions produce karma.
The notion that we are all already (and ever) enlightened is the same way only true if one does not define this "we", "i" etc. as the illusory self that is the author and somehow responsible for the actions. This kind of "we" or "I" is never, and can never ever be enlightened, because it is a mere mental abstraction, an empty phenomenon.
So for those living in enlightenment (=living in nirvana) there is no action, no karma, no duality, no ethics because they do not have the illusion that they act at all. All "their" actions are spontaneous manifestations of compassion, whatever it might seem to be for others.
On the other hand those attached to the illusion of their individual self as actors, there exists the duality of good and bad, etc.
As long as they feel "they" do something, regardless wether they see themselves as free or not, their actions produce karmic traces, and consequently they have to follow ethics in order to accumulate merit.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby undefineable » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:39 am

tatpurusa wrote:As long as one believes that he exists and is capable of doing either right or wrong, or anything at all; i.e. that he is the author of his actions, as long he is living in avidya and those very actions produce karma.
The notion that we are all already (and ever) enlightened is the same way only true if one does not define this "we", "i" etc. as the illusory self that is the author and somehow responsible for the actions.
Actions lack an author, yet both they and the 'acting' (as in a Play) that they spring from undeniably take place. Limited choices help guide those actions, but an appreciation that there is no 'author' (either a play-actor or a direct agent) might help empower those choices.
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby futerko » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:05 am

undefineable wrote:
tatpurusa wrote:As long as one believes that he exists and is capable of doing either right or wrong, or anything at all; i.e. that he is the author of his actions, as long he is living in avidya and those very actions produce karma.
The notion that we are all already (and ever) enlightened is the same way only true if one does not define this "we", "i" etc. as the illusory self that is the author and somehow responsible for the actions.
Actions lack an author, yet both they and the 'acting' (as in a Play) that they spring from undeniably take place. Limited choices help guide those actions, but an appreciation that there is no 'author' (either a play-actor or a direct agent) might help empower those choices.


Further to this, it would seem that even within a dualistic framework there are certain questions, such as; is a certain action prudent, effective, wise, or misguided, which can become obscured when making absolute judgements of right or wrong, and that this is mainly due to those absolutes being derived from the idea of a universal, whether that universal is called "God" or some kind of totalizing social consensus.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby seeker242 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:29 am

matthewmartin wrote:
Now, I'm just an amateur, but I keep coming across spirited arguments in Zen & Tantra that imply ethics don't matter.


Sounds more like intellectual squabbling rather than anything else. If ethics simply don't matter, then zen monks would not take or keep precepts! The "three pure precepts" would not exist, the "ten grave precepts" would not exist and the "six paramitas" would be reduced to something like the "three paramitas". But the precepts obviously do exist and are widely followed. It's also quite clear there are 6 paramitas to be perfected, not 3. :smile:


Still others commit all sorts of evil deeds, claiming karma doesn’t exist. They erroneously maintain that since everything is empty committing evil isn’t wrong. Such persons fall into a hell of endless darkness with no hope of release. Those who are wise hold no such conception.~Bodhidharma
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby oushi » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:20 am

In the same paragraf he said: "A Buddha doesn’t observe precepts."
And earlier in that sermon:
Buddhas don’t recite sutras." Buddhas don’t keep precepts." And Buddhas don’t break precepts. Buddhas don’t keep or break anything. Buddhas don’t do good or evil.
To find a Buddha, you have to see your nature." Whoever sees his nature is a Buddha. If you don’t see your nature, invoking Buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings, and keeping precepts are all useless.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby duckfiasco » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:50 am

Context and audience are important to consider.
Even more important is whatever tendencies we have in interpretation due to our specific time and culture.
I think that's where the problems arise. A lot is totally transparent to us.
Please take the above post with a grain of salt.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby seeker242 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:27 pm

oushi wrote:In the same paragraf he said: "A Buddha doesn’t observe precepts."
And earlier in that sermon:
Buddhas don’t recite sutras." Buddhas don’t keep precepts." And Buddhas don’t break precepts. Buddhas don’t keep or break anything. Buddhas don’t do good or evil.
To find a Buddha, you have to see your nature." Whoever sees his nature is a Buddha. If you don’t see your nature, invoking Buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings, and keeping precepts are all useless.


That is correct. A Buddha does not observe precepts, with the key word here being "Buddha". Is anyone here a real life living Buddha? That statement is only applicable to people who are actually Buddhas. For a deluded person to think there is no conventional right or wrong, is a fools game. Nothing more than clever, and deluded, words.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby oushi » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:59 pm

seeker242 wrote:
oushi wrote:In the same paragraf he said: "A Buddha doesn’t observe precepts."
And earlier in that sermon:
Buddhas don’t recite sutras." Buddhas don’t keep precepts." And Buddhas don’t break precepts. Buddhas don’t keep or break anything. Buddhas don’t do good or evil.
To find a Buddha, you have to see your nature." Whoever sees his nature is a Buddha. If you don’t see your nature, invoking Buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings, and keeping precepts are all useless.


That is correct. A Buddha does not observe precepts, with the key word here being "Buddha". Is anyone here a real life living Buddha? That statement is only applicable to people who are actually Buddhas. For a deluded person to think there is no conventional right or wrong, is a fools game. Nothing more than clever, and deluded, words.

Read the second quote. Last sentence.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby seeker242 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:51 pm

oushi wrote:Read the second quote. Last sentence.


Already read it! And it doesn't say "There is no ethics". Also, not interested in playing word games and pretending like murdering someone isn't wrong. Because it clearly is! However, if someone wants to chose to be reborn as a fox for the next 500 years, they are certainly free to choose that!
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby KonchokZoepa » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:10 pm

Buddhas don’t recite sutras." Buddhas don’t keep precepts." And Buddhas don’t break precepts. Buddhas don’t keep or break anything. Buddhas don’t do good or evil.
To find a Buddha, you have to see your nature." Whoever sees his nature is a Buddha. If you don’t see your nature, invoking Buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings, and keeping precepts are all useless.


sounds very nihilistic, keeping precepts is useless without seeing your true nature. that is the goal, invoking buddhas , reciting sutras, making offering and keeping precepts is the means to an end and skillful means to accumulate merit and good karma and purify negative one.

i havent read the conversation but seems to me that this conversation hasnt gotten any further.

oushi you can convince yourself that in keeping precepts or doing buddhist practices is useless but ie keeping precepts is the foundation of buddhas teachings. we are samsaric beings. obviously you have read and misinterpreted some high level vajrayana or dzogchen teachings and are forgetting the foundational teachings of the lower yanas like karma cause and effect, that doesnt disappear anywhere.

there are quotes from milarepa and nagarjuna saying that even when you realize and abide in emptiness, ( do not forget interdependent origination ) , so for that reason abide in harmony with the law of karma and thus do not commit misdeeds.

it is true that bodhisattvas can break precepts or vow's if it is done with bodhicitta to bring liberation and benefit to beings.

morality, ethics and vow's still are a skillful means to get out of samsara and skillful means of living in harmony with how things are, thus not creating negative karma.

if you so think with such a liberated mind that morality is for noobs or is useless, then go ahead, dive into samsara, do what you want, ignore the buddhas teaching, but what is your point in debating about morality here? if you can prove that its useless like that quote says, prove it. otherwise it seems that you are suffering from mental afflictions due to your own lack of something to abide in pure moral behavior or to live in vow's.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby Nemo » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:13 pm

seeker242 wrote:
oushi wrote:In the same paragraf he said: "A Buddha doesn’t observe precepts."
And earlier in that sermon:
Buddhas don’t recite sutras." Buddhas don’t keep precepts." And Buddhas don’t break precepts. Buddhas don’t keep or break anything. Buddhas don’t do good or evil.
To find a Buddha, you have to see your nature." Whoever sees his nature is a Buddha. If you don’t see your nature, invoking Buddhas, reciting sutras, making offerings, and keeping precepts are all useless.


That is correct. A Buddha does not observe precepts, with the key word here being "Buddha". Is anyone here a real life living Buddha? That statement is only applicable to people who are actually Buddhas. For a deluded person to think there is no conventional right or wrong, is a fools game. Nothing more than clever, and deluded, words.


It becomes very obvious after studying the life of the Buddha that the precepts are what a Buddha does naturally. They are a simulacrum of enlightened behaviour. What we do with great effort and discipline a Buddha does naturally.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby oushi » Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:06 am

seeker242 wrote:Already read it! And it doesn't say "There is no ethics".

It says something totally different.
seeker242 wrote:Also, not interested in playing word games and pretending like murdering someone isn't wrong

You are only interested in word games, that's why you quoted fragment from Bodhidharma sermon distorting the full meaning.
seeker242 wrote:However, if someone wants to chose to be reborn as a fox for the next 500 years, they are certainly free to choose that!

And how do you know that?
KonchokZoepa wrote:oushi you can convince yourself that in keeping precepts or doing buddhist practices is useless but ie keeping precepts is the foundation of buddhas teachings

You many missed the fact that I was quoting Bodhidharma (the founder of Zen), without interpretation.
KonchokZoepa wrote: obviously you have read and misinterpreted some high level vajrayana or dzogchen teachings and are forgetting the foundational teachings of the lower yanas like karma cause and effect, that doesnt disappear anywhere.

Obviously you must have it all figured out to be able to state this. Have you? Or you just wish you have? And you are trying to convince yourself by attacking me?
morality, ethics and vow's still are a skillful means to get out of samsara and skillful means of living in harmony with how things are, thus not creating negative karma.

This is your view, based totally on belief. You are free to kip it, but preaching beliefs doesn't sound wise.
KonchokZoepa wrote:if you so think with such a liberated mind that morality is for noobs or is useless, then go ahead, dive into samsara, do what you want, ignore the buddhas teaching, but what is your point in debating about morality here? if you can prove that its useless like that quote says, prove it. otherwise it seems that you are suffering from mental afflictions due to your own lack of something to abide in pure moral behavior or to live in vow's.

Now you are deeply irritated. I is not me who needs to prove morality works for liberation. I need to prove nothing, I just point to things causing frustration, as they do not go together with accepted beliefs. Whole problem is yours then. :smile:

Nemo wrote:It becomes very obvious after studying the life of the Buddha that the precepts are what a Buddha does naturally. They are a simulacrum of enlightened behaviour. What we do with great effort and discipline a Buddha does naturally.

He does what he is. People make ideas from it, and then try to apply them. Instead of removing the crap they store inside, they look for a new, better one. Buddhas morality is not something acquired, but something revealed through removing afflictions.
"I only talk about seeing your nature. I don’t talk about creating karma. Regardless of what we do, our karma has no hold on us. - Bodhidharma"
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby seeker242 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:52 pm

oushi wrote:
seeker242 wrote:Already read it! And it doesn't say "There is no ethics".

It says something totally different.


Yes, it does.

seeker242 wrote:Also, not interested in playing word games and pretending like murdering someone isn't wrong
You are only interested in word games, that's why you quoted fragment from Bodhidharma sermon distorting the full meaning.


This is describing what you have done! You read the last sentence and ignore the rest of it.

seeker242 wrote:However, if someone wants to chose to be reborn as a fox for the next 500 years, they are certainly free to choose that!
And how do you know that?


Because I'm an actual living Buddha so I don't need to pay attention to any kind of ethics. I can kill, steal and lie with no consequences whatsoever. :lol:
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby oushi » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:45 pm

Still, you are running line a fox :D
This is describing what you have done! You read the last sentence and ignore the rest of it.

No... I just provided a counterweight for your statement, using the same teaching. What for? To show that it is neither good nor bad, neither for nor against. It's beyond. This beyond is thoroughly explained in the full sermon, but lost when we are sampling the teaching. If you run after morality, you are deluding yourself. If you intentionally break it, you are lost.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby seeker242 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:21 pm

oushi wrote:Still, you are running line a fox :D


Naw, I'm just going to go steal my neighbors stuff because it's not wrong to do that. It really doesn't matter if I rob my neighbor or not. I think I will rape his daughter too while I'm at it. After all, animals are free from the constraints of ethics and that's how they behave! Nothing wrong with that! :roll:

One does not need to "run after morality" in order to have morals.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby oushi » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:34 pm

seeker242 wrote:
oushi wrote:Still, you are running line a fox :D


Naw, I'm just going to go steal my neighbors stuff because it's not wrong to do that. It really doesn't matter if I rob my neighbor or not. I think I will rape his daughter too while I'm at it. After all, animals are free from the constraints of ethics and that's how they behave! Nothing wrong with that! :roll:

Such dilemmas do not even enter my head. I don't need any set of moral rules to not do evil. I simply don't want to do it, and I have full trust in it. I can guess that it is similar for you, but you made it all up for the sake of argument. Are the moral rules the only thing that prevents you from doing all that? That would be vary sad.
You said:"That is correct. A Buddha does not observe precepts, with the key word here being "Buddha". Is anyone here a real life living Buddha? That statement is only applicable to people who are actually Buddhas."
But you failed to see how he defined Buddha one paragraph earlier: "As long as you look for a Buddha somewhere else, you’ll never see that your own mind is the Buddha.". That makes you mindless, and explains your doubts and need for leaning on morality created "somewhere else" then in your own mind.
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Re: Antinomianism

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:51 pm

oushi wrote:
seeker242 wrote:
oushi wrote:Still, you are running line a fox :D


Naw, I'm just going to go steal my neighbors stuff because it's not wrong to do that. It really doesn't matter if I rob my neighbor or not. I think I will rape his daughter too while I'm at it. After all, animals are free from the constraints of ethics and that's how they behave! Nothing wrong with that! :roll:

Such dilemmas do not even enter my head. I don't need any set of moral rules to not do evil. I simply don't want to do it, and I have full trust in it. I can guess that it is similar for you, but you made it all up for the sake of argument.


no, it has been you who has made this conversation for the sake of argument. if you dont want to do evil, then that is morality. morality in and of itself is not constricted to a set of rules.

precepts on the other hand work in a way that when you dont kill animals or people, you dont collect negative karma. but if you have vow not to kill you collect in every moment positive karmic causes of not killing. even when you sleep.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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