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Thread: Mixed Emotions.

  1. #1
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    Mixed Emotions.

    When it comes to dealing with loving emotions, things are not always as clear as good intentions indicate.

    There are always conflicting means when it comes to addressing problems. For example what if a very cunning close relative, who has suffered, is also manipulative in their demands for 'love', attention etc, but by their very psychotic approach makes sane caring impossible by virtue of wanting you to play mind games?

    Compassion is all very well, but did Buddha say much about where to draw the line. Is it O.K to ignore some people by virtue of their mental/ physical condition, when efforts for decades have proved fruitless and may well have exacerbated the problems.

    The complexity of life lends itself to a lot of nuancing; not many issues are clear cut and while some or all people may be victims of their own ignorance/karma or whatever surely we need to look very carefully at how we evaluate good acts.

    In an earlier thread I mentioned the idea of Idiot Compassion and must say I still find this issue hard to get around.

    Freedom from suffering, in a very broad sense, may well be to free oneself from excessive and inappropriate desires but how does one convey this view to those on hugely divergent tangents? Speaking from my own personal position, I have tried to help people and always, seemingly, to my own disadvantage in many ways. I am not stupid and have not tried to assist with offering drugs, alcohol, or immoral advice. One can only do one's best........perhaps I am stupid as alot of 'this stuff' has gone on for decades.

    I do not consider myself a good or pious person; conversely I think that the general tenets of Buddhism as I percieve it, may come across as pushing the intrinsic goodness of all sentient beings just a little too strongly.

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    I might sound sacrilegious to most Buddhists for saying this, but I don't think Buddha or Buddhism is meant to have unlimited compassion for all and to save mankind.

    When Buddha was enlightened, at first, he didn't want to teach his method to other people because he thought people would not understand his teachings. If an enlightened being is suppose to have compassion above all else, why would he even had to ponder this point?

    As far as I am concern, he definitely draw lines and based on some of the stories that I read, he certainly did not try to teach everyone.

    So how do you draw lines? I think it should be based on your resources and the people receiving your compassion.

    You certainly don't want to go over your head helping people, and you should not be harmed in the process either. No one should be dumb enough to borrow money on credit card to donate to charity, because you would ruin yourself, and soon, you won't be able to help other people anymore.

    The second point is that you also don't want to be victim to parasites, nor do you want to create parasites. There are people out there who are very good at leeching out of people's good wills. You really want to cut these people off, because their goal is to drag you in with them. And once they used you up, they will find someone else to leech. This is true materialistically and emotionally as well.

    Helping people have a cost. It costs money, effort, energy, knowledge, and emotions. If you are out of these resources, how would you help other people in the future? But more importantly, how would you improve and move forward?

    Like you said, life is complicated. Part of being liberated is to know how to navigate the land mines. There is nothing wrong with getting blown up from time to time, because we all learn from our mistakes. It is important, however, to know that you had stepped on a land mine and do your best not to step on that particular kind of land mine again.

    We are all on different points on our path to enlightenment, and there are certain people who might be outside of our abilities to help. And you know, that's OK. Maybe a few years from now, you will be stronger and wiser, and you will know how to help these people. For now, it might be prudent to admit that you are not omnipotent and leave these people be.

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    Forums Member andyrobyn's Avatar
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    Hi Murchovski, I am not sure what you mean by saying that someone has a psychotic approach to getting their needs for attention, caring etc met.

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    Forums Member Traveller's Avatar
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    Do you mean psychotic in the clinically accepted definition of the word or the colloquial definition Murchovski?

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    Forums Member andyrobyn's Avatar
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    I am not familiar with a colloquial respectful use of the word psychotic here in Australia - Murchovski is an Aussie like me, I think, however he may know something of the word's use which I do not.

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    Forums Member Traveller's Avatar
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    Well Andy, I generally use the word psychotic these days to describe someone who is seriously mentally ill with delusional thoughts, in the UK its often used in its colloquial sense to describe someone who is violent or manipulative by means of personlity disorder or addiction.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Murchovski
    Freedom from suffering, in a very broad sense, may well be to free oneself from excessive and inappropriate desires but how does one convey this view to those on hugely divergent tangents?
    For me the purpose of studying and practising the teachings of the Buddha is to ideally move towards having more clarity, wisdom and insight myself. This of course includes general kindness and consideration towards other beings. Practices such as 'metta' help with this attitude - and are therefore beneficial to oneself and to other beings we come into contact with.

    Its pointless going on crusades trying to convert or 'save' others or tell them my opinions when not asked. First one removes ones own obscurations before developing the wisdom to see the delusion of others. Otherwise despite good intentions its "the blind leading the blind". In my own ignorance, what I might consider the'right' path for someone else, might just cause them more confusion in the future.

    So I think its best to aim to be a good example of the teachings oneself - and be kind and help others in small unobtrusive ways if needed, rather than attempting to be one's own idea of a great bodhisattva, or impose one's views on others.


    .

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    Forums Member Fee's Avatar
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    Murchovski, it sounds like you are dealing with a very troubled individual.

    When dealing with my own troubled individual, I try very hard to remember that all I can control is myself.

    I listen and I care deeply, but I do not try to fix things which cannot be fixed or help a person who doesn't really want to be helped. (I have been down that road tooooo many times!)

    My kindness is to be there. The door is always open.

    Fee
    Last edited by Fee; 30 Nov 11 at 08:37.

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    Forums Member Karma's Avatar
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    Helping other people to reduce there anguish is very difficult because they must really want to see things in a different way and then put in the effort to break the habits of a lifetime.

    We can't force people to be mindful or change their often short term view of everything they encounter.
    I've tried many times, I've convinced myself I can change them, save them, but I can't. I can only share with them (if they want to know) how I try to keep peace of mind.

    However, I don't consider my Buddhist practice to be just beneficial to myself. When I am calm and peaceful those around me are often able to relax and be more peaceful, they can feel safe in my company. We influence others with our own actions and this can have positive effects for all we come into contact with.

  10. #10
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murchovski View Post
    Compassion is all very well, but did Buddha say much about where to draw the line. Is it O.K to ignore some people by virtue of their mental/ physical condition, when efforts for decades have proved fruitless and may well have exacerbated the problems.
    Seems that "compassion" is not a very cool issue even in Buddhist practice. And the reason is quite simple. We have to develop compassionate feelings toward oneself before doing this with "the other".

    Compassion has not to be supported over relationships, but over the fact of people's common aspiration for happiness.

    The person you are commenting about has shown that all his mental structure talks about a deep need of metta but stained with the ingnorance about the existence of Dhamma.

    This do not means that you have to be attached to her/him in a mutual destructive relationship. Maybe there is the line that needs to be drawn.

    Thus, the important thing is the intention of the drawn line.

    One thing is to get ride far from something in terms of aversion and other is that of a healthy healing distance -the drawn line- not governed by aversion, but because metta. A needed distance so to cope well with a situation.

    In an earlier thread I mentioned the idea of Idiot Compassion and must say I still find this issue hard to get around.
    Genuine compassion is not idiot. It is the complement of metta or loving kindness. Again, what is important is intention guided by compassion. This is, the intention of harmlessness.

    The importance of good will and harmlessness is that to be the guide of intentions. Compassionate feelings are about not harbouring harmful feelings toward others.

    To draw the line, if possible, should be done with this mental state.

    I do not consider myself a good or pious person; conversely I think that the general tenets of Buddhism as I perceive it, may come across as pushing the intrinsic goodness of all sentient beings just a little too strongly.
    Don't worry Murshovski. We all are in the process of learning. And seems that nobody is at all.

    Last edited by Esho; 30 Nov 11 at 15:58.

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