You have criticized others' practice, look at your own postings- you keep on using the word honesty as well, which is a sort of way to poke at the integrity of monastics who choose to follow traditional guidelines instead of the hybrid practice of OBC:
Tibet fell apart from the Chinese invasion do in part to monastic rigidity there that didn't want change.
That kindof ridged adherence to Pali doctrine is considered kindof Hinayana to some people.
They don't want to have an exception here, a disclaimer there, a legalese loophole over here.
They want to be honest about it.
Saying that doing a thing may not necessarily be honest in one circumstance is not the same as saying that doing a thing would be dishonest
That was not what I was implying.
I'm saying it's relative, that it depends upon the circumstance. That it's not an across the board truth in all situations.
I apologize if misspoke. I was not saying that other's practice did not have integrity, I was saying that that is what might be the case in their specific circumstance.
I apologize if that didn't come across correctly.
As people come to terms with the ramifications of this, and figure out how to sit next to someone of the opposite gender without either fearing or humping them
In this I was referring to third world societies at large, not Buddhist traditions. I was meaning this conversation in the backdrop of society and social norms as a whole, not isolated specifically to Buddhist practice, but also how those social norms effect Buddhist rules in those practices.
This also ties in with Astus question about birth control. No, I was not referring to abortion, I was referring to The Pill. The Pill, is culturally significant. It's perhaps one of the most important cultural innovations of our day. Along with the internet. Without The Pill, there would be no women's rights movement as it exists today, as gender equality would not be possible without it. The last time we had widespread gender equality in the west, we also had birth control. It was in ancient Rome, where they had a specific plant that they used. They actually ate it to extinction. And ever since then, we havn't had gender equality in the west, as there was no other way to prevent unwanted pregnancies other than social fear against sex. On other cultures, this has been the same; of course
you would ostracism a woman for being "lewd" in old cultures. If the woman ended up getting pregnant, there was a child that had to be cared for by either the family, or ended up starving or homeless or killed by the mother which was worse. It was very important to socially pressure women to only have sex if there was a man to take care of them, as what would happen to the child that might result.
This effects Buddhism, because a rule about being seen with women must be seen in this context; what if you have a horny young monk, and they consort with a woman, and a child results? They most now leave their vows and became a layperson to care for the child.
What if the woman was a bit free with her passes at men? If she had a reputation for being a bit of a harlot? If a young monk were to be seen in her company alone, people might get ideas, and then even if he did nothing whatsoever with her, if she got pregnant, by someone else, because of her free sexual habits, people might question whether the child belonged to the monk. After all, was he not seen privately together in her company? (it's not like they had paternity tests back then)
That could bring reputation consequences on the monastery as a whole, and of the leadership of the abbot, effect donations from wealthy lay sponsors, etc, etc, etc.
Buddhist history is full of just such stories of instances.
So having a rule that says don't be seen in the company of women, especially privately, without another person being present is, and was a good and practical rule about keeping the reputation of the monks and the monastery intact.
However, culturally, in the west, fast-forward to modern times, it's the culture
that has changed, not laws.
The laws were changed as a result of the culture changing. The culture changed as a result of women asserting their equality, and they really had a final argument about that because of The Pill, there was no more reason for them to practice the old "chaste" ways. (obviously there were always exceptions, but that's beside the point)
As a result of women asserting themselves, people in the west have learned to exist side by side with both genders (not fearing, and not humping as I said) with respect, and without strict separation of social barriers between men and women. We've learned how to interact with each other in a normal, not-sepperate way.
So you see, this effects everything. It (the old rule) still applies in third world countries because they still don't have access to ready birth control, which hasn't in turn changed their culture yet.
The rule not to be seen in the company of women still applies, and is still probably a good idea until cultural change makes it unnecessary.
That's the answer to both your questions, it wasn't some diehard rule of supreme wisdom, that effects enlightenment, it was practical solution to an actual problem.
One that is culturally changing in light of updates.
So you see, I fully meant what I said, that it can be true and useful in one or some cases, and not in others.
Anyway I'm going to take a break for now, I think I've said enough for one night.
I hope you all are doing well,
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil Singer
" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy