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Thread: Fact Check

  1. #1
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    Fact Check

    I recently heard that the Buddha categorized people as :-

    Lowest - people who did not care for anything

    next - people who cared for others but not themselves

    Then - people who only cared for themselves

    Best - people who cared for themselves and others

    I have been trying to find a sutta that reflects the above, which has brought up a second more important question, is there a search engine that finds scant references such as the above and checks the cannon for suttas

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    Hi McKmike

    What you describe sounds more or less like AN 4.95.

    Perhaps try Sutta Central's search engine?

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    Hi Silence

    Thanks, that was the source I am sure

    I will try Sutta Central's search engine

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    It's interesting, for some reason I would have expected the second and third examples to be ordered reversely. Because caring for others over yourself seems to lean more towards altruistic, whereas caring for yourself over others seems more selfish, I guess.

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    On the other hand, if one tries to help others without having helped oneself first, because of wrong view and/or bad habits, one might actually end up harming both.
    Last edited by silence; 08 Feb 18 at 12:34.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uguay View Post
    It's interesting, for some reason I would have expected the second and third examples to be ordered reversely. Because caring for others over yourself seems to lean more towards altruistic, whereas caring for yourself over others seems more selfish, I guess.
    Hi Uguay

    Interesting isn't it, just goes to show the unconscious cultural filters we all labour under, I thought the same thing until I thought about it.

    The lowest is straight forward, an indifferent uncaring attitude is never good,

    The idea of self sacrifice in the second category is a cultural aspiration for many westerners, the problem comes when you consider the interconnectedness of everything, it is not possible for some one to care for another, sacrificing their own welfare without the recipient of the good deed being aware at some level of the ill will that arises naturally when we are not looking out for our own welfare.

    Any one who has recieved a service for their own welfare, even as little as a cup of tea in a restaurant, from some one who did not want to be there and was not engaged enjoying what they were doing, knows how awful the experience can be

    People who look after themselves are generally happier, if selfish, and therefore give off better attitude, so whilst not ideal, better than the feelings of resentment radiating from the former category

    The last category is obviously the one to aim for.

    I know of at least one other sutta https://suttacentral.net/en/sn47.19 on the same theme

  7. #7
    Hi Mike,

    I've been looking back at some sutta notes I made a few years ago - and there also seems to be a connection with AN 4.96 and AN 4.99,




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    Great citations, Aloka and Silence.

    Added these sources to my research links.

    Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McKmike View Post
    Hi Uguay

    Interesting isn't it, just goes to show the unconscious cultural filters we all labour under, I thought the same thing until I thought about it.

    The lowest is straight forward, an indifferent uncaring attitude is never good,

    The idea of self sacrifice in the second category is a cultural aspiration for many westerners, the problem comes when you consider the interconnectedness of everything, it is not possible for some one to care for another, sacrificing their own welfare without the recipient of the good deed being aware at some level of the ill will that arises naturally when we are not looking out for our own welfare.

    Any one who has recieved a service for their own welfare, even as little as a cup of tea in a restaurant, from some one who did not want to be there and was not engaged enjoying what they were doing, knows how awful the experience can be

    People who look after themselves are generally happier, if selfish, and therefore give off better attitude, so whilst not ideal, better than the feelings of resentment radiating from the former category

    The last category is obviously the one to aim for.

    I know of at least one other sutta https://suttacentral.net/en/sn47.19 on the same theme
    Hi Mike,

    So you're basically saying there's no such thing as pure altruism, without some sort of self-interest or resentment arising in the giver?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Hi Mike,

    I've been looking back at some sutta notes I made a few years ago - and there also seems to be a connection with AN 4.96 and AN 4.99,



    Ah ok, so the second instance seems to be more of a 'do as I say, not as I do' scenario, which is obviously less wholesome than what I'm calling pure altruism. If such a thing even exists.

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