What is the cause of desire

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Tohunga
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What is the cause of desire

Post by Tohunga »

What is the cause of desire and is desire the cause of suffering?
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: What is the cause of desire

Post by FiveSkandhas »

Some see desire or craving as fundamental to our nature and a root cause of suffering, if not the primary cause.

In one schema, craving, aversion, and ignorance are the "three Poisons" that together drive drive samsaric existence, which is characterized by suffering.

The 12 links of dependent origination schema places ignorance as primary and craving arises several "steps" later. The Korean master Wonhyo, if I'm not mistaken, sought to dig even deeper and put something I believe might be translated as "inattentiveness" as primary to even ignorance.

The 12 nidanas: ignorance gives rise to formations which give rise to consciousness which gives rise to names and forms, followed by the sense bases, contact, and feeling, which is in this schema the primary cause of craving. Craving is then followed immediately by clinging or grasping, and so on.

Regardless of which schema you invoke, craving is a very fundamental, basic aspect of life and a major cause of suffering.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
cjdevries
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Re: What is the cause of desire

Post by cjdevries »

I just listened to a lecture where the dharma teacher said that dualistic fixation or dualistic clinging is the root cause of suffering; perhaps this is the cause of desire. We cling to the sense of I which keeps us cycling in duality; seeing things as "I" vs. "others" and then we develop attachment/desire, or aversion/repulsion based on our perception of another object; labeling it either good or bad and either being attracted or repulsed based on our dualistic perception.
"Please call me by my true names so I can wake up; so the door of my heart can be left open: the door of compassion." -Thich Nhat Hanh

"Ask: what's needed of you" -Akong Rinpoche
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: What is the cause of desire

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

cjdevries wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:27 pm I just listened to a lecture where the dharma teacher said that dualistic fixation or dualistic clinging is the root cause of suffering; perhaps this is the cause of desire. We cling to the sense of I which keeps us cycling in duality.
Yes.
Because there is awareness,
What awareness is “aware of”
is objects of awareness,
which includes everything you are aware of.

Since we interpret our perception of objects
as though they have ‘inherent reality’,
this sort of boomerangs back, and
we solidify the sensation of “me”.
(Perceiving an inherent reality means, for example,
You look at a table as having some kind of truly existing “tableness” to it, rather than seeing it as a collection of parts, each part being yet another result of events.

But the table lacks intrinsic reality. In other words, the table didn’t just produce itself.

Because we instinctively have this sense of “me”, we experience it as unchanging: “I’m the same person I was yesterday”. But of course, we are constantly changing, slowly getting older, and so on.

It’s the clinging to the experience of “me” as an unchanging being in an unchanging world (the table was here yesterday too!) which leads to suffering, because ultimately it is a mistaken perception of how things really are.

Don’t get caught, however, in thinking “I don’t exist” .
Buddhism doesn’t say that you don’t exist. Rather, that nothing exists which can be said to be you.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Brahma
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Re: What is the cause of desire

Post by Brahma »

I believe what the Buddha classified as desire or craving comes from the pull of a living entity to become a controller of the Saha world in order to acquire something for him/her/itself that feeds the senses, this may be called material sense gratification, and once someone experiences this they are experiencing something known as lust, and it is an obstruction. This is what is meant by the Buddhist terminology of the word "desire" when it comes to the Teachings of the Buddha. Craving is another word that is used. When someone, on the other hand experiences Bodhicitta, which can be translated to "the desire to achieve Enlightenment" this is not the same kind of desire, however there is some level of hindrance in the process of that type of Bodhicitta as opposed to a "full decision to achieve Enlightenment" Bodhicitta, which is more of a Vow that is more likely not to be broken as it is not based on a want or a pull, but Sunyata that is Perfect and complete in achieving Buddhahood without ego, with full proper Anatta, and with a perfect Metta for oneself, others, and the Buddha's Teachings. So what I am saying that there is a difference between wanting things and the decision to have them without ego, to be staying in Anatta, but primarily when this comes to Spiritual things such as Enlightenment and Empowerment, a desireless approach will create in one a decision to get the right things that are needed, instead of being swung to and fro by emotions, and going for unessentials as opposed to the most essential Buddhist things, full Samaya and Buddhahood.
Last edited by Brahma on Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
cjdevries
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Re: What is the cause of desire

Post by cjdevries »

:good:
"Please call me by my true names so I can wake up; so the door of my heart can be left open: the door of compassion." -Thich Nhat Hanh

"Ask: what's needed of you" -Akong Rinpoche
confusedlayman
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Re: What is the cause of desire

Post by confusedlayman »

Ignorance of 3 charecreristic of 5 aggregate and everything
Bundokji
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Re: What is the cause of desire

Post by Bundokji »

There is no one correct way of explaining/determining causes except through purpose. In general, the Buddha taught that ignorance has no known beginning and that desire or craving is what fuels or maintains ignorance.

Recent scientific theories such as natural selection would explain certain desires in terms of survival or the propagation of the species. These kind of theories are of little use for the purpose of liberation.
The cleverest defenders of faith are its greatest enemies: for their subtleties engender doubt and stimulate the mind. -- Will Durant
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Aemilius
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Re: What is the cause of desire

Post by Aemilius »

There are many kinds of desire and craving explained and enumerated by the Buddha. There are the cravings of the body, like craving for food, comfort, pleasure and sleep. This does not mean that there are no healthy needs of the body. But how can you know the difference or degree?

There are the social cravings included in the Eight worldly concerns:
desire for gain or victory and fear of loss or defeat;
desire for pleasure and fear of pain,
desire for good reputation and fear of bad reputation,
desire for praise and fear of blame.

There is also attachment to (false) views and opinions.
And the subtle craving for existence and for nonexistence. The Middle path is beyond these two alternatives or extremes.
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: What is the cause of desire

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Aemilius wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 1:47 pm There are many kinds of desire and craving explained and enumerated by the Buddha. There are the cravings of the body, like craving for food, comfort, pleasure and sleep. This does not mean that there are no healthy needs of the body. But how can you know the difference or degree?
I think that’s a very good question.
In Nagarjuna’s Letter To A Friend he advises, “regard all food as medicine”. This was explained to me as meaning that one shouldn’t get too absorbed in forming opinions about the flavor or appearance, such as “this food isn’t as good as the way so-and-so makes it” or thinking that it’s the end of the world if your vegetarian food got served with the same spoon that was used to dish out something with meat in it, obsessively clinging to the latest dietary fad, etc. In other words, avoid letting the activity of eating becoming part of your ego trip.

This would apply to everything. Does the food nourish you? Does the coat keep you warm? Do the shoes fit your feet? Will the car get you there? Ultimately, that’s all that matters. It doesn’t mean one can’t have a favorite sweater, or a preference for a certain type of food, or be really into sports cars, just as long as one remembers that these preferences have no reality to them. You can enjoy your preferences, but also let go of them too.

There a saying, “beggars can’t be choosers”. But this adage can be amended slightly, recalling that traditionally, Buddhist monks gather their meals with alms bowls. In light of that, one might say, “beggars shouldn’t be choosers”. If you are feeding your attachment to “me” rather than your belly, then liberation-wise, it’s poison.
...
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Aemilius
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Re: What is the cause of desire

Post by Aemilius »

I am being rather lazy in not trying to find personal views and expressions concerning this matter of food, but here we go with the borrowed words of Sravasti Dhammika:

"Food (àhàra or anna) is material nutriment ingested by organisms to satisfy the pangs of hunger and to sustain the body. In ancient India food was classified as either hard or soft (S.I,162) and could be consumed by being either eaten, drunk, chewed or sucked (Pj.I,207). The Buddha rejected the concept of pure or impure food and thus Buddhism has no food taboos, although there are some restrictions for monks and nuns but only for practical reasons. However, he did praise moderation in eating (Sn.707) and encouraged this in his monks and nuns. To this end and for reasons of health, he made a rule that they should not eat after noon: `I do not eat in the evening and thus I am free from illness and affliction and enjoy health, strength and ease'(M.I,473).

While the Buddha usually ate very simple food or even scraps, when invited to the home of a wealthy supporter for a meal he would eat `fine rice with the black specks removed together with a selection of sauces and curries' (M.II,7). The Saundarànandakàvya gives this advice concerning food: `For the sake of your meditation and your good health, be measured in your eating. Too much food restricts the breathing, causes sloth and sleepiness and destroys one's energy. Too little food drains the body of its solidity, its healthy color, its energy, its usefulness and its strength.'

Buddhism sees love as being able to add an important dimension to almost anything, even food; preparing it, sharing it with others or even just eating it. The commentary to the Jàtaka says: `There is no taste equal to love. The four sweet things given with indifference are not as tasty as course millet given with love' (Ja.III,142). The Buddha made much the same point when he said: `Fine or course, much or little, one can eat anything made with love. Indeed love is the highest taste'(Ja.III,145).

The Buddha suggested to his disciples that they recite these words as a reflection before eating: `We will eat in moderation. Reflecting wisely we will not eat for fun, for amusement or for physical attractiveness but only for the maintenance and continuance of this body, for allaying the discomfort of hunger, for assisting in living the holy life and with the thought ßI will end the old desires and not give rise to new ones and thus be healthy, blameless and live in comfortû.'(M.I,273). A longstanding Buddhist tradition says that one should stop eating when another four or five mouthfuls or two or three glasses of water would fill the stomach (Th.983; Vism.33).

The Buddha said that in giving food to a hungry person you give them more than just material substance, you also give them all the things that food imparts life, beauty, satisfaction, strength and intelligence (A.III,42). The Buddhist epic, Manimegala, says: `Hunger ruins good birth and destroys all nobility; it destroys the love of learned men for their learning, even though previously they thought it the most valuable thing in life. Hunger takes away all shame and degrades the beauty of the features; it makes men stand with their wives at the door of others. This is the nature of hunger, the source of evil craving, and those who relieve it cannot be praised too highly. Food given to those who already have enough is generosity wasted, but food given to relieve hunger is real generosity. Those who do this will prosper in this world, for in giving food they give life.' See Dieting, Fasting and Vegetarianism."

Guide to Buddhism A 2 Z
svaha
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Sarvē mānavāḥ svatantrāḥ samutpannāḥ vartantē api ca, gauravadr̥śā adhikāradr̥śā ca samānāḥ ēva vartantē. Ētē sarvē cētanā-tarka-śaktibhyāṁ susampannāḥ santi. Api ca, sarvē’pi bandhutva-bhāvanayā parasparaṁ vyavaharantu."
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1. (in english and sanskrit)
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