The harms of Masturbation and Porn

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Zhen Li
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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:05 pm

Malcolm wrote: Uhuh, and why is it "bad" when an animal kills another animal for food? Because their minds are filled with negative mental factors. Why are those mental factors negative? What is it that makes them negative?

While I will certainly agree with you that there is no inherently existing negative mental factors, nevertheless mental factors can be considered inherently bad if they invariably produce negative effects.

But really, we do not have to be allergic to the word "inherent." Indian Buddhist scholars use it all the time in a positive fashion, even Nāgārjuna.

The main point of course is that the ten nonvirtues are nonvirtues naturally, and do not depend on a social context to make them "bad." If you indulge in them, you will take rebirth in lower realms; if you practice their opposite, you will take rebirth in higher realms — no precepts needed.
I am not disputing this. But greed, lust, desire. These aren't necessarily the best ways to get to the heavenly realms.
theanarchist wrote:Then how can you claim that sex is "incredibly filthy", when it's empty of inheritant existance.
Dependent origination.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:10 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Zhen Li wrote: Sex is mentally and physically damaging, it's an incredibly filthy and disease prone activity, some of which can cause death. It also gives rise to birth, which is suffering. It also is a major source of desire and attachment and hence perpetuates dependent origination. This is not to say that there are not cleaner or safer ways of doing it.
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Well, yes if you have venereal diseases all over your face and body. :lol:

Otherwise, that's not quite what I meant.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:15 pm

Zhen Li wrote:That has nothing to do with inherency. Such things are dependently originated and thus empty of inherent existence.

You are really a bit of a joke.


First you claim sex (and with it masturbating) is incredibly filthy.

We came to an understanding that according to mahayana this can not be the case because it's of emptiness nature, it can't have such attributes from it's own side, that such a claim must be your concept on that matter.



Then you claimed it's incredibly addictive and that way disturbs your dopamine system, making you psychiatrically sick.

A claim that can not be proven in any way.



Then you bring scriptural proof that masturbating is generally unwholesome

you bring exactly ONE line in one sutra that not even all mahayana traditions agree on when the canon of sutras is a HUGE body of texts.



You know, you have proven absolutely NOTHING.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:18 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Zhen Li wrote: Sex is mentally and physically damaging, it's an incredibly filthy and disease prone activity, some of which can cause death. It also gives rise to birth, which is suffering. It also is a major source of desire and attachment and hence perpetuates dependent origination. This is not to say that there are not cleaner or safer ways of doing it.
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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:21 pm

theanarchist wrote:First you claim sex (and with it masturbating) is incredibly filthy.

We came to an understanding that according to mahayana this can not be the case because it's of emptiness nature, it can't have such attributes from it's own side, that such a claim must be your concept on that matter.
Incredible does not equal inherent.

The problem is simply a lack of common understanding of terminology, and of the functions of language and logic. Possibly also a divergence in practice and experience as well.

Everyone has different conditions and seeds. Not everyone can understand the same thing.
theanarchist wrote: Then you claimed it's incredibly addictive and that way disturbs your dopamine system, making you psychiatrically sick.

A claim that can not be proven in any way.
There are links and discussion further up in the thread.
theanarchist wrote: Then you bring scriptural proof that masturbating is generally unwholesome

you bring exactly ONE line in one sutra that not even all mahayana traditions agree on when the canon of sutras is a HUGE body of texts.
There is no established canon in Mahayana, and where it is claimed, it varies from time and place, and expands and contracts. See Tuladhar-Douglas, Will, 2006, Remaking Buddhism for Medieval Nepal, Routledge: New York.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:23 pm

Zhen Li wrote: I am not disputing this. But greed, lust, desire. These aren't necessarily the best ways to get to the heavenly realms.
My point still stands — when one masturbates, one is not harming anyone else, no more than eating food harmful to anyone else.

The criteria of why the ten nonvirtues are nonvirtuous has to do mainly with how the seven physical nonvirtues impact others around us.

Masturbation is a transgression only for monastics, while it may be included in sexual misconduct from a preceptual point of view, it has to be considered primarily a transgression of disobedience. Sexual misconduct is a natural transgression because it harms others. Since masturbation does not fulfill this requirement, it is therefore not part of sexual misconduct. These days it is a little hard to justify oral sex and anal sex as sexual misconduct as well, from the natural nonvirtue point of view. I think in general this is why there is just not much heat about it. One does not hear Buddhist teachers railing against fellatio and cunnalingus, etc., in the same way they trip out against eating meat and drinking alcohol...speaking of which it is time for me to go have dinner...

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:29 pm

Zhen Li wrote:
Everyone has different conditions and seeds. Not everyone can understand the same thing..


Now you claim that I am too ignorant/dumb/undevelopted/deluded/whatever to understand the dharma truths about masturbation that you are proselytizing?

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:31 pm

Sorry, but the sutras do not mention the notion of harming others as being the criterion for wholesome and unwholesome, wholesome and unwholesomeare classifed based upon the root (mula) and whether they have good or bad results for the person engaging in the actions.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:32 pm

theanarchist wrote:Now you claim that I am too ignorant/dumb/undevelopted/deluded/whatever to understand the dharma truths about masturbation that you are proselytizing?
I never said it was one way or the other. I may be the fool after all, and you may be the pandit. :sage:

Either way, you're missing my point there.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:37 pm

Zhen Li wrote:Sorry, but the sutras do not mention the notion of harming others as being the criterion for wholesome and unwholesome, .

Wholesome or unwholesome is classified by the karma the action creates. There is positive, neutral and negative.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:42 pm

theanarchist wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:Sorry, but the sutras do not mention the notion of harming others as being the criterion for wholesome and unwholesome, .

Wholesome or unwholesome is classified by the karma the action creates. There is positive, neutral and negative.
Lovely. I just said what amounts to the same thing.
:namaste:

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:14 pm

Zhen Li wrote:Sorry, but the sutras do not mention the notion of harming others as being the criterion for wholesome and unwholesome, wholesome and unwholesomeare classifed based upon the root (mula) and whether they have good or bad results for the person engaging in the actions.
Yes, but one has to understand why actions are defined as positive and negative. So far all you have done is discuss symptoms, by you have not actually understood the cause. Until you understand the cause, you cannot remove the disease.

Do you think for example, we practice avihimsa just for ourselves? Why is avihimsa, hri, and so on associated with positive minds?

The positive and negative nature of actions is clearly defined by virtue of their object. So for example, harming a Buddha or killing an Arhat is a much worse transgression than killing a normal human being. The weight of an action is defined by our intent, satisfaction and so on.

What you are not perceiving, or don't care about, is why these nonvirtues are considered nonvirtues to begin with. Certainly, they are nonvirtuous for all sentient beings — so why?
Last edited by Malcolm on Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by theanarchist » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:14 pm

Zhen Li wrote:
theanarchist wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:Sorry, but the sutras do not mention the notion of harming others as being the criterion for wholesome and unwholesome, .

Wholesome or unwholesome is classified by the karma the action creates. There is positive, neutral and negative.
Lovely. I just said what amounts to the same thing.
:namaste:

So what negative karma does masturbating create?

At maximum it perpetuates the attachment to sexual pleasure that already exists in your mindstream, just like having consensual sex with a partner does.

The advantage of masturbation to sex with a partner is that no attachment to another person is involved. For example it can not become the cause for being jealous and all the possible negative consequences this might develop (like insulting, harming or killing another person in a fit of jealous rage)

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:16 pm

theanarchist wrote:
So what negative karma does masturbating create?

At maximum it perpetuates the attachment to sexual pleasure that already exists in your mindstream, just like having consensual sex with a partner does.

The advantage of masturbation to sex with a partner is that no attachment to another person is involved. For example it can not become the cause for being jealous and all the possible negative consequences this might develop (like insulting, harming or killing another person in a fit of jealous rage)
If masturbating is bad, I can't imagine the consequences of Dharmabating, it must be much worse. I think they would have to invent a hell for that, oh wait, we are in it, Dharmawheel.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by dzogchungpa » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:29 pm

Malcolm wrote:If masturbating is bad, I can't imagine the consequences of Dharmabating, it must be much worse. I think they would have to invent a hell for that, oh wait, we are in it, Dharmawheel.
Oh snap!
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by DGA » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:11 am

Malcolm wrote:If masturbating is bad, I can't imagine the consequences of Dharmabating, it must be much worse. I think they would have to invent a hell for that, oh wait, we are in it, Dharmawheel.
the inevitable subreddit: r/dharmafap

I still keep coming back to the same point on all this, after reading all these exchanges. If it causes you harm to rub one out, then don't do that. Some people can't handle a glass of wine with dinner; others can. Those who can't, shouldn't drink. Similarly, people who can't handle masturbation during meals (or before or after) should avoid engaging in that act.

Frankly, the tone of this discussion is tighter than Steely Dan's ***hole. Why so tense?

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:37 am

Malcolm wrote: Yes, but one has to understand why actions are defined as positive and negative. So far all you have done is discuss symptoms, by you have not actually understood the cause. Until you understand the cause, you cannot remove the disease.

Do you think for example, we practice avihimsa just for ourselves? Why is avihimsa, hri, and so on associated with positive minds?

The positive and negative nature of actions is clearly defined by virtue of their object. So for example, harming a Buddha or killing an Arhat is a much worse transgression than killing a normal human being. The weight of an action is defined by our intent, satisfaction and so on.

What you are not perceiving, or don't care about, is why these nonvirtues are considered nonvirtues to begin with. Certainly, they are nonvirtuous for all sentient beings — so why?
Actually, I mentioned how they begin, the root, or mula. This is greed. As quoted, "If it is driven by strong afflictions, it is a grave sin; if it is driven by weak afflictions, it is a minor sin."
theanarchist wrote:So what negative karma does masturbating create?
Negative karma is negative karma, or dark/black karma.
theanarchist wrote:At maximum it perpetuates the attachment to sexual pleasure that already exists in your mindstream, just like having consensual sex with a partner does.
Exactly so. I am not sure if you have done any intensive meditation, but perhaps it doesn't strike you as particularly important. But all of this stuff leaves rubbish in our minds. Meditation in the dhyanas require overcoming the 5 hindrances, the first of which is kāmacchanda, sensory desire. This kind of rubbish isn't really seen by worldlings, but people who meditate notice it and realise what its doing on a deeper level.

This is the same with drugs and alcohol. Meditators with drug and alcohol problems always have difficulties with sluggishness in meditation. Now, don't preach to me about how meditation is not the only part of the path, just like you did with precepts. That's not my point. My point is about the impact these have on the mind. What you consider "maximum" isn't bad to a worldling, but can be a big deal to someone who is really in the process of purifying the mind and cultivating intensively.

Also, have you ever done a monastic retreat? Spend some time in a monastery. You'll come to realise what value there is in removal of distractions. Once again, please don't preach to me about how, if you need to remove the distractions, you're not perfect. I know that one isn't perfect, the question is one of experience and what kind of world you live in and know. If you're not on the same level of understanding practicing and working through the hindrances and defilements, then we are not on common ground to talk about these issues seriously, and that is what I suspect is an issue in this discussion. I don't mean to assume, but I have known too many part time practitioners of Dharmalite, and they simply aren't worth getting any deeper than the bare surface with. Some people need skilful means, and others you need to get honest with.
theanarchist wrote:The advantage of masturbation to sex with a partner is that no attachment to another person is involved. For example it can not become the cause for being jealous and all the possible negative consequences this might develop (like insulting, harming or killing another person in a fit of jealous rage)
This is true, but you could become attached to the object of fantasy or who is in the porn image.
Jikan wrote:Some people can't handle a glass of wine with dinner; others can. Those who can't, shouldn't drink. Similarly, people who can't handle masturbation during meals (or before or after) should avoid engaging in that act.
Again, this is really similar to what I said to theanarchist. If you're on an intensive meditation retreat with 20 other folks, and you're the only one slipping out the back to take a swig from your flask, your mind simply isn't going to be as supple as the other participants. The precepts are more than handling or alcohol to body weight, it's a question of the mind. It is not just the deed and its results (which have their genuine effect) but also motivation and gratification or lack thereof afterwards. If the motivation is desire, one isn't going to make the same kind of progress. Again, this does not invalidate what I said before about tolerance of people and adjustment of teachings according to requirements, even if it includes heroin. Some people just aren't ready, and that is OKAY.
:namaste:

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Zhen Li » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:03 am

Anyway, I am sure something similar was posted earlier, but this is quite a good summary of some of the basics of the issues at play on a less Dharma-focused level:
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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by Malcolm » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:08 am

Zhen Li wrote:
Actually, I mentioned how they begin, the root, or mula. This is greed.
I think you mean craving, but whatever. No, in reality, the cause of all of these things is the knowledge obscuration of ignorance; rather than the afflictive ignorance of the "first" nidāna of dependent origination.
theanarchist wrote:So what negative karma does masturbating create?
Negative karma is negative karma, or dark/black karma.
You did not answer her question.
Also, have you ever done a monastic retreat?
I know you did not ask her — however, I did a three year+ solitary retreat. I think I have a bit of a better idea of the value of solitude, silence and so on than most.
Again, this is really similar to what I said to theanarchist. If you're on an intensive meditation retreat with 20 other folks, and you're the only one slipping out the back to take a swig from your flask, your mind simply isn't going to be as supple as the other participants.
Oh bullshit. And quite honestly, a retreat with 20 people is no retreat at all. It's a quiet riot.

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Re: The harms of Masturbation and Porn

Post by dzogchungpa » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:14 am

Jikan wrote:... tighter than Steely Dan's ***hole...
Thank you for introducing me to this expression, which apparently is due to Dean Ween.

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