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Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience? - Dhamma Wheel

Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Ervin
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Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby Ervin » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:58 am

Conscience is very gentle and we are all born with it. Now if we have conscience then why do we need someone teachings us good from evil.

Now if you believe that you need the teachings in order to know good from evil my question to you is: Isn't it your conscience that would recognise truth about teachings concerned with morality and ethics?

Thoughts

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Dan74
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:09 am

There is an old Chan (Zen) story that goes something like this.

A Buddhist monk and a Confucian scholar met for a public debate.

"Tell us what does the Buddha teach?" asked the scholar.

"Refrain from doing evil and do good", replied the monk.

"Ha!' exclaimed the scholar, 'even a child of seven years of age knows this!"

"A child of seven knows this, but a man of seventy knows not how to do this." replied the monk.

Does this answer your question, Ervin?

Buddhism focuses on the mind. On getting to know it and letting go of delusion that is rife. This is what helps us refrain from doing evil and do good, put an end to suffering and harming.
_/|\_

Digity
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby Digity » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:19 pm


Ervin
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby Ervin » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:10 pm


santa100
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby santa100 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:50 pm


Digity
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby Digity » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:53 pm

My understanding is that if the serial killer was born with a lack of conscience it's because of his past actions. Meaning, in his past lives he lived without much of a conscience and that sense of conscience slowly slipped away to a point where he became a killer. That's why it's import to develop a conscience and care about your actions or you can fall into darkness like the serial killer. That's why your thoughts are so important. It might just start out as simple as thinking "I hate people". After many years and lifetimes if this thought takes root it could lead to you wanting to kill people. Do you see how something small can lead to something big and terrible? So, having a conscience isn't a given. Being virtuous isn't a given. You must develop these qualities. You have a say in all this.

Let's imagine you have the thought "I hate people", but this time you rebuke this thought and say "it's wrong of me to think this." Instead, you practice metta and loving-kindness meditation. Slowly you overcome these malicious thoughts and eventually develop a sense of good will towards people. Do you see the difference there? You have a role in which direction you take.

I'm not a serial killer so I don't know if one could regain their conscience. Although, the more you follow the path of evil the farther away you are from the Dharma. So, just be wise and don't even go there.

whynotme
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby whynotme » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:15 am

Please stop following me

whynotme
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby whynotme » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:59 am

What is good, what is bad?

IMO, a person has a body and a brain. From there, two kind of feelings arise, physical feelings from the body, e.g pain, itchy, pleasure, hot, cold,.. and metal feelings from the brain, e.g sadness, sorrow, joy,.. The physical and metal feelings can be divided into 3 kinds: good (joy, pleasure), normal, bad (pain, sadness)

Those feelings are based for good and bad. Good actions are actions leading to good feelings arise in oneself or in others, and bad actions are actions leading to bad feelings arise in oneself or in others. Thing like stealing provide short term comforts and so on happiness for one person, but it makes others sorrow, and in the long term, it leads to jails, confrontation, fighting, war, killing and death. Alcohol, smoking bring short term pleasure but in the long run, it creates more problems than it solved. So good and bad must be considered under short term and long term benefits and we have:

Short term bad, long term bad
Short term bad, long term good
Short term good, long term bad
Short term good, long term good

Based on one own ability to recognize and putting effort, actions may go under one of those categories. The first one is the most terrible, and the last one is the best. So good and bad are not based on conscience, but based on feelings and the ability to recognize the meaning of those feelings. It is very straight

Regards
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Ervin
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby Ervin » Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:05 pm

The way I see the truth is that there is an infinite Source of everything that exists, whom people traditionally call God and Hem is( I say Hem instead of Him or Her) is best described by myself in one word as Gentleness. The Source of everything that exists is infinitely Gentle. Now conscience is very gentle. I wold like to post one of my experiences from around seven months ago:

I have copied the following from a forum with the date wich is round about when it happened

by Ervin » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:08 am

I thought I might go a bit into my last experience of God. Last time I felt strong presence/communication with God was about three to two weeks ago. It was the most beautiful experience I had in my life and at the same time the"devil/demons" where playing mind games with me it didn't bother me at all. God felt like peace, light, love, truth, gentleness, someone who wouldn't burn anyone in eternal hell. It was wonderful. It was just someone you can totally trust with everything. Just a memory of that experience is enough to make me calm, forgiving, compassionate, loving, kind, reasonable, good. It was as I could see God but I wasn't seeing things. Gods presence was felt as if he was everywhere. Thats what I felt.

Thanks

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Dan74
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:18 am

Hi Ervin,

I am happy for you that you have this experience of Gentleness and I hope you will have many more.

I also hope you don't expect to receive validation from a Buddhist forum because God is not in common currency among Buddhists.

What can't be argued, however, is that if this brings you peace and makes you a happier and better person, it can't be anything but Good.

All the best!!!
_/|\_

barcsimalsi
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby barcsimalsi » Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:10 am


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daverupa
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby daverupa » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:26 am


whynotme
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby whynotme » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:50 am

Please stop following me

pegembara
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby pegembara » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:47 am

Buddhism is concerned about happiness and the reason why we all seek happiness. In order to know happiness, we should know what is non happiness, its cause and the permanent way out of it.

The 1st Noble Truth - "Now this, monks, is the noble truth of stress:[1] Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful, separation from the loved is stressful, not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful."

In the words of Bhante G:

He said to the five bhikkhus, birth is suffering. Suffering to whom? to the mother, baby, or society? Actually it is suffering to everybody. Every child is born not with a big smile. Everyone is born with a big cry. That cry can be heard all over the world. That cry continues until the person dies. Sometimes it is loud, sometimes it is smoldering inside. That cry is a cry for so much food, clothes, medicine, papers, vehicles, roads, houses, money, and so many problems. We all have that cry even right now, inside. Every problem in the world today and in the future depends on birth, on that cry.

How can conscience lead to permanent happiness?

The"devil/demons" where playing mind games with me it didn't bother me at all is when you no longer pay attention to your thoughts. This "demons"are greed, hatred and delusion in Buddhist terminology. Without these "demons" you have perfect peace or communion with "God".
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

barcsimalsi
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby barcsimalsi » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:17 pm


santa100
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby santa100 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:38 pm

If one had committed some grave offenses but later on sincerely repented and put in 100% of their effort to better themselves, then everything is possible. It is only impossible when one had committed one of the anantarika-kamma (the five most heinous offenses of: patricide, matricide, killed an arahant, wounded a buddha, created sangha schism), which would put one on an irreversible path toward woeful states. In the case of Angulimala, it'd be impossible for him to turn back to the right path had the Buddha not intervene at the right time to stop Angulimala from killing his last victim: his own mother. THat'd be matricide, and Angulima would've had zero chance for coming back. He must've done something good in his previous life to see the Buddha at the right time!

Ervin
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Re: Isn't the truth about Buddha contained in your conscience?

Postby Ervin » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:41 pm

Conscience is very gentle. If I followed my conscience entirely I wouldn't even partake in killing plants for food. But you can't survive that way. If you want to live you must partake in at least killing plants for food and if there was nothing else then you would have to eat animal based food.

So conscience is very gentle and it can be used against you, wich is something you should guard against, since no mater what you might have done, while you are still a human you can go back to being good and you do that by following your conscience, but not by wallowing in guilt.

So its OK in life to be reasonable.

Thanks


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