smcj wrote:Struggling with our faults has been the failed way Christianity has tried to handle them, and is a huge cause for our PCSD (Post-Christian Stress Disorder). So I am agreeing here with theanarchist that we should use self-will with problems like porn. We cannot win the battle of internal conflict. We need Refuge from that scenario.
As far as I know, Christianity doesn't provide a way to handle bad habits. There is no practical instruction in such things in Christian doctrine, other than faith and forgiveness.
Blaming our habits on Christianity, which doesn't have anything to do with them, is completely useless. Ignorance and the processes of dependent origination through beginningless existences, long before Christianity arrived on the scene, is at fault.
theanarchist wrote:In one post you label an activity as having an inheritant property (incredibly filthy) in another only days later you deny doing so. Calling something incredibly filthy with some amount of revulsion is definitely more than a neutral evaluation.
A post a couple days ago isn't the one you quoted. You're just trying to find ways to attack me, I don't want you to develop any more negative emotions or speak any more wrong speech, so I am going to try to wrap up our discussion here. I will just address your concern and then move on to a broader contextualisation.
Sex is incredibly filthy, but not inherently so. It is viewed so as a training tool.
Natural evaluations are mistaken, that's why if you follow them you will just keep acting like a worldling and perpetuate samsara. However, combining our natural evaluations with clear vision will produce revulsion. I.e. if you use your natural evaluations when doing meditation on the foulness of the body, revulsion arises, because we really aren't as beautiful as youth and flesh make us appear. Does this mean it is inherently revolting? Nope, because those feelings are dependently arisen.
The question in the end is one of motivations, and I will sincerely ask you what yours are. If you want to attain a level of serious cultivation in this life and still be able to have sex and drink alcohol, then you're going to have to get to the level where drinking alcohol and having sex aren't done out of force of habit, or karma that you have inherented from innumerable past lives, but out of pure bodhicitta, while perceiving emptiness. If you want to just be an ordinary person and maybe practice from time to time to reduce some stress and make some nice friends at the temple, but not seriously aim to overcome any of the symptoms of our deep rooted ignorance in this lifetime, but maybe in a future one, or in the pureland, I completely understand that and think that such a thing shouldn't be discouraged. That's realistic and maybe ideal for most people. The main thing is that we have to be honest about how the Dharma works. Working at its most optimal, which effectively means holding oneself to the highest standards, I think we should come to realise that we are all Buddhas already, we just have clouds obscuring our vision. In this sense, if we are not perfect in some regard we should work towards perfection. I don't see the Buddha as being inclined to drink alcohol habitually, or use porn. But how do you achieve those ends? You need to use skilful means, these are techniques and strategies, that are not statements about the nature of the world, but ways of achieving the ends we are aiming for. So, if your problem is lust, and you can't overcome it by simply letting it dissipate in your mind (actually, I can do this no problem), you can recall the impermanence of all bodily forms (i.e. the sexy form you see will be a grandma tomorrow, and was also your mother in a past life - you wouldn't fantasise about your mother would you?), or you can recall the dependently originated nature of the bodily form (i.e. this is not inherently sexy, there is no self there, it is just an amalgamation of dharmas that come together through causes and conditions). If those don't work, then extreme measures can be taken by doing meditation on foulness. That's really not always necessary, and doesn't say anything about inherency.
I'm a pureland practitioner (and ch'an too). I'm not aiming to overcome samsara in this life. But I am being honest about the way I understand the Buddhadharma as working from my experience as a practitioner of Mahayana and a scholar. I'm not telling you to do anything, or trying to preach. I'm indifferent to what you feel about this - I'm not your teacher, so I'm not going to try to use skilful means on you. However, I do find, again from my experience as a practitioner (though obviously not as a scholar), that there is a qualitative benefit from reducing desires and habits, and from cultivating the wholesome. Do I want that for others? Yes. Do I want that for you? Yes. That is why I am posting here - I usually don't post this much on Dharmawheel, unless there's a topic which I find is really worth addressing and engaging with in more detail. I have experienced a better life through practicing Dharma, and I don't want people to get the wrong idea about it and give up what could be good opportunities for development by denying the possibility of improvement. As for myself, I like to challenge myself to improve, both in terms of Dharma and outside of Dharma. Are there areas where I haven't cultivated enough? Of course. But I don't deny them. I see them for what they are, opportunities. I'm talking on the level of the highest expectations, so I don't even expect myself to be able to achieve them.
You can call me names, make me a bogey man, like a Christian or Puritan (do I sense some aversion?). But I am not bothered. You simply give me more opportunities to practice patience and keep trying. But at this point, I think I have said what I can say. You can interpret it as you like, but in the end, what I have to say is what it is, no more no less. Perhaps there's also a bit of a language barrier, and I have no idea how much of what I say, which makes sense to me, will make sense to you. All I can do for that is learn German, which will take some more time. If you want to email me and talk about it one on one, just PM me.
The main fault, on my part, is probably that I treated you like you needed to be helped. Because I did think that if you have a view that is hindering spiritual progress, it would be best to help you sort that out. But I don't think you're open to changing - if you were trying the same thing with me, all I can say is that I haven't been convinced at all that masturbation and porn habits are compatible with awakening. These are things that I should leave between you and your guru, and it seems like you are having all sorts of negative and averse reactions to what I say, so for that I am sorry, and I don't want to cause you to create bad karma or have negative feelings.