Johnny Dangerous wrote: ↑
Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:31 pm
archaic wrote: ↑
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:52 pm
If this topic was totally black and white, there would be no use for this thread. To me this is not a black and white issue, I am sorry if this violates your understanding.
It's not black and white, but putting conditions on generosity is not really generosity - this is arguably pretty basic Buddhist teaching. Not really engaging with the rest of the above proliferation.
Tell me, do you believe that conditions must necessarily be added for those living in the western world as layperson? I would love to give everything away and live as a monk, but I would be homeless in a very cold climate and could even die. Perhaps this is the point, I should not fear death, which I do not, however giving away everything would amound to suicide which violates the precepts.
Our society lives with the profit motive as the predominant religion. Greed is rampant. Hungry ghosts are EVERYWHERE. Those who would not hesitate to take everything, leaving one without even the means to survive.
There must be a way to choose generosity by applying conditions to avoid this extreme. We must be able to set limits to guide ourselves towards Right Action and Right Livelihood.
Most of your examples (things like giving an addict money for drugs etc.) aren't even an example of generosity in the first place, because typically they aren't motivated by any kind of altruistic drive. Ask anyone who has been involved in co dependent relationship with an addict, that kind of "giving" has nothing to do with generosity.
I see addictions everywhere. We are all addicted...
Some more than others to samskara... These whirlpools of desire without which we would not exist in form as defined by dependent origination.
This is why I ask... Because of the various layers of subtlety of defilements we possess. Granted, alcohol is an especially gross addiction, but all suffer from what we inflict on ourselves again and again. Most want what keeps them in suffering.
I see it can be extremely difficult to separate what harms, from what may harm, from what may not.... Dana would seem to require us to deduce potential benefit and potential harm both to the giver and the receiver.
So we must use wisdom. I personally don't know if a person is equally worth of merit if they show thankless disregard for a blessing, as opposed to if one were a Buddha.
Is not giving to a Buddha considered more meritous than giving to a hell being? By feeding the thankless versus the humble are we not feeding their ability to exist within delusion? I am not saying it is necessarily
so, but it occurs to me as important to consider.
This is part of mindfulness in my understanding since the human condition is so complicated we must apply ourselves to understand the nuances of situations.
So basically, you are asking if you should set conditions on generosity, the basic Buddhist answer to this question is "no". Of course, other ways of thinking may have different things to say about it. Not setting conditions on one's generosity does not mean that you give anything to anyone who asks uncritically, it means that when you do so, you do so with no expectation of results, and you do not make the giving dependent on results that you prefer. But it does not preclude withholding something based on rational observation that giving someone something might make their situation worse, rather than better. That is the part which is "common sense".
It really is not complicated, if you know someone is going to do something harmful with what you give them, then you find another way to be generous, that is where discernment comes in, not in judging someone else's ethical use of your own generosity.
So you agree my limited thought forms must be used to discern the correct or wise application of Dana... Yes?