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Snowmelt
18 Jul 10, 00:20
Leading on from what Frank and I said on this topic in the Communism thread, viz:


I would suggest that the difficulties we have with approaching the Dhamma stem from the values we try to impose on the Dhamma.
If we can over-come this hurdle we can "penetrate" the Dhamma


Can you elaborate, please, about the values we try to impose on the Dhamma?


Just worldly stuff Snowmelt,like trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear,nearly but not quite.
I used to try and say to folk Buddhism isn't difficult just different.


And yet so few people seem to understand it, while so many want to turn it into something else.


Just so,wonder why?

Perhaps you are saying we should beware of a tendency to think the Dhamma harder to understand and master than it really is. If that is what you are saying, then the point is well taken. Nonetheless, I will point out that the number of people who have realised the Dhamma (arahants) is quite small, which seems to me to show that there are things that hinder mastery. I would number among them: a very strong tendency (human nature) to become distracted by pleasures of the six senses (including mental, intellectual ones), lack of discernment of what the Dhamma means and implies, and lack of resolution, commitment, effort.

On the subject of what people do with the Dhamma (in contrast to just studying and practicing it), as I said in different words, many seem to want to take the "silk purse" that is the Dhamma and reduce it to nothing more than the first square in a vast quilt of sows' ears. It can then take a great deal of effort to find out which doctrines were spoken by the Buddha and so lead toward Nibbana and which were not and do not. Many have spent their entire lives on fruitless sidetracks, wild goose chases, it seems to me.

In conclusion, though the Dhamma may or may not be easy to apprehend and realise, I can see two powerful forces that work against people who might otherwise easily gain the ultimate benefit from the Dhamma: 1. human nature; 2. the very strong tendency in many who encounter the Dhamma to start spinning long, highly imaginative stories about it. If it were not for these, perhaps by now we might have seen the world entire fundamentally transformed by the Dhamma.

frank
18 Jul 10, 12:25
lack of discernment of what the Dhamma means and implies, and lack of resolution, commitment, effort.
Yes Snowmelt l would agree,and l personally think it's going to get much worse. For three reasons.
1) because everyone wants instant gratification and are not prepared to put in the effort.
2) Imo there isn't the personally integrity necessary to do the job and
3) There is not the Spiritual strength to see the job through.

Aloka
18 Jul 10, 13:31
1) because everyone wants instant gratification and are not prepared to put in the effort.
2) Imo there isn't the personally integrity necessary to do the job and
3) There is not the Spiritual strength to see the job through.



Aaaawwwh !.....and I was trying so hard,... squeeeezing out all that effort....looking everywhere for my troublesome integrity.. whilst firmly developing supremely strong spiritual itsie bitsies .....but alas, still couldn't meet the above requirements :crying:

but hey ho, time now to meditate in the garden anyway .... :bunny:

Snowmelt
18 Jul 10, 16:03
Aaaawwwh !.....and I was trying so hard,... squeeeezing out all that effort....looking everywhere for my troublesome integrity.. whilst firmly developing supremely strong spiritual itsie bitsies .....but alas, still couldn't meet the above requirements

but hey ho, time now to meditate in the garden anyway ....

Yes, some of us just make such hard work of it, Dazz, while you are more like one of those little water striders http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37Eyq6K0GPg skimming along so lightly that you need nothing more than than surface tension to support you. ;) Well, time to go and wade through another lake of porridge. ;)

stuka
18 Jul 10, 17:06
Yes Snowmelt l would agree,and l personally think it's going to get much worse. For three reasons.
1) because everyone wants instant gratification and are not prepared to put in the effort.
2) Imo there isn't the personally integrity necessary to do the job and
3) There is not the Spiritual strength to see the job through.


Just who is this "everyone" you speak of Kimosabe...?

Are you including yourself in this "everyone"...?

Are you being do presumptuous as to include me, and/or Dazzle, and/or Snowmelt, etc...? And how do you pretend to know what I want?

Cobalt
18 Jul 10, 17:12
It's my personal opinion that just about everybody who ascribes to or participates in a religious system is picking and choosing which things associated with it they're going to make part of their lives or practice. Nobody sane believes absolutely everything that comes with the label "Christian theology" or "dharma practice" without checking to make sure that this is actually going to be productive for them. (Luckily for Buddhists, I recall the Buddha himself mentioning that Buddhism won't do anybody any good if it's just swallowed blindly as dogma.)

From this perspective, it seems to me that just about everybody is evaluating their religion with some other standard. Basically everybody's religious practice is informed and shaped by their assumptions, morals, values, etc. that they came to it with, because those are the criteria upon which we pick and choose what we will integrate into our own practice. Sometimes these values fit well with the assumptions and values behind the religion's founding, but when they don't... the religion changes or dies.

I guess I'm not entirely certain how much of a problem it is for people to have their own values and assumptions color their reception and interpretation of the dharma. Ideally people would be comfortable saying, "This is what was originally part of the system, and this bit is what I added to make it work for me," but the pressure to orthodoxy can be kind of a strong incentive to not think about the ways in which religions are changed by people.

This is a bit of a ramble, but it's what I was thinking about when I read this post and the replies to it.