Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Post by denice » Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:18 pm

examples of intentional ignorance ....your driving you throw a plastic bottle out the window ( lets forgot that we shouldnt litter or pollute for a moment) the wind gusts... the bottle hits the windshield of the car behind you to the left ,they are startled they swerve ,...they crash ....that is intentional ignorance ,not having the mindfulness to know that the action of throwing the bottle out can cause harm in many ways on multi levels .human beings will say well gee wiz i didnt" know" that would happen ......they hide behind ignorance .every being is responsible for their actions or lack there of ,in all instances ...the ability to truly see all potential possibilities ,pausing to see what their action does .everything a person does "externally" affects all in some capacity ,therefore if they are not mindful or caring of how it will occur ...that is intentional ignorance
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This is how to contemplate our conditioned existence in this fleeting world:"
"Like a tiny drop of dew, or a bubble floating in a stream;
Like a flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
Or a flickering lamp, an illusion, a phantom, or a dream."
"So is all conditioned existence to be seen."
Thus spoke Buddha.

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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:19 am

denice wrote:examples of intentional ignorance ....your driving you throw a plastic bottle out the window....
Thank you. I think that is a pretty good example, and definitely a good example of stupid behavior!
But then, do you mean that ignorance is essentially not being mindful?
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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Post by mudra » Mon Jul 25, 2011 12:31 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
mudra wrote:Ignorance that is relevant in relation to samsara is not simply not knowing - it is a darkness of the mind that creates the setting for wrong views, some argue that they (darkness and wrong views) are pretty much the same thing.
in samsara, we definitely have wrong views.
What does "darkness of the mind" mean?
If we have wrong views, why is that?
Isn't it because we do not know what the right views are?
Isn't not knowing ignorance?

The "three poisons" of attachment, revulsion, and ignorance relate to one's understanding (views) and subsequent way of relating to (actions)the appearances of a phenomenal world. That phenomenal world includes one's notion of 'self' (including one's own thoughts) as well as what is around them.

Ignorance is a karma-propelling force because as a result of not knowing, we are not able to determine what will cause more suffering and what will end it. Without wisdom, we suffer from a lack of better judgement.

In a sense, it is like walking in a dark space, not being able to see where you are going, and falling down a hole and breaking your legs. So in that sense, "darkness of mind" would be a good description, but I am not sure this is what you meant.

But with attachment and repulsion, we are consciously motivated to respond one way or the other, intentionally. We like or dislike something on purpose, for a reason.

I am open to reading examples of how ignorance functions intentionally.

For example simply not knowing what the name of the town over the hill is a form of ignorance in ordinary terms, but in Buddhist terms it's not a big deal.

But when we speak of darkness of the mind we are speaking of the inability of the mind to function clearly, it is clouded by a klesha (ignorance) which grasps at something which is not there. The classic example of this is seeing a snake in a dark alley whereas in reality it is only a coil of rope. The darkness helps to confound our sight, but there is also an interpolation "snake".
There is as I said a bit of debate on whether ignorance is the mere 'darkness/inability of the mind to function clearly' or whther ignorance necessarily includes the 5 types of wrong views (perishable aggregates etc). But in the end it is a package deal - when you have ignorance you have wrong views.

Ignorance is pretty much active as an intention most of the time. Intention is, as you know, karma - and we act out of ignorance all the time when we are still in a samsaric state. For example due to ignorance, we view things in a certain way, and we act and react accordingly: you can start with "My body, my pride, my house, my... etc etc"

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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Post by Dechen Norbu » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:56 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:No more than darkness conditions lightness. Initially, in experiential terms, the experience of enlightenment (or a moment of enlightenment) would be defined dualistically. That is our habitual mode of definition. Just because we define it dualistically does not mean that it is dualistic. We also define sensory experience as a dualistic process (object of sensation, subject that is sensing) but its not. So... :shrug:
You can define it, but the definition misses the mark. The true condition of all reality has neither genus proximum nor differentia specifica, thus being beyond conceptual extremes and as such is unthinkable. So our habitual mode of definition collapses if we try to define enlightenment in a positive way. It labels, but doesn't describe. So we talk of different things. Anyhow, I prefer the darkness/lightness simile to the cold/heat. Go figure...
I agree with you here, I did not say though that one cannot experience cold without having expereienced heat, but that the experience of the difference becomes more distinct if one has experienced both. Buddhas that were never unenlightened? Some examples please.
Hum... becomes more distinct, you say. I'm not so sure if that would be the better expression. I believe you say that because you are putting experiences in opposition. Seeing the sea doesn't influence seeing a mountain. Seeing an ocean influences seeing a pond. Seeing black influences seeing white. In the second you have an opposition (small vs large) and in the third a contrast. The shift from ignorance to enlightenment doesn't seem to be a matter of quantity or contrast, but a whole different mode altogether. It's not that what you are saying is without sense, but I think it introduces a subtle hindrance which, in my opinion, would be a sort of expectation related to quantity or contrast. You may not mean this and it may be my interpretation of your idea that went awol. :shrug:
But the expereince of wakefulness is understood as different from that of dreaming because of its different qualities. Even here there is a point of comparison.
This is the problem of metaphors and similes. Now you are deriving qualities from the metaphor to the state of enlightenment, qualities that are not shared. There's a point of comparison between sleep and being awake because both are deluded states.
I am aware of this, thgat is why I do not consider ignorance as a curse! ;)
Well, surely you don't consider it a blessing either! :lol:
I am not willing to make a statement like that, because, as long as I can remember i have been trapped in dualism (hell, I'm there now too), so I really can't say if your statement is true or not. And everything that I have described thus far has been through the limited prism of my own experience. In my experience it is like the blissful nature of mediative absorption becomes even more "appealing" when I compare it to the shallow drudgery (broken up by periods of emotional eruption) of daily existence.
We can enjoy and describe bliss and so on and can compare it to our ordinary deluded experience. But bliss, calm, meditative stabilization and what have you are not enlightenment. They are road signs that we need to know how to read. Otherwise they'll become traps. See, that's my point all along. One has meditative experiences (heat) and somehow they can be described, even quantified in some sort of ordinal categorization. Enlightenment is not a variation on this scale. It's a "paradigm shift".
Didn't say it was, but it is definitely the starting point for everybody that I know. This is our current situation. This is the materials that we have to work with right now.
Well, I'm not sure sure ignorance is the starting point. I guess suffering is, but not always either. It depends of each individual past. Some see suffering and want to escape it and find a solution in Dharma practice. Others are born with a natural interest as a result of previous practice. I depends. Few start by realizing their ignorance, especially because avidya is not mere lack of knowledge, as you are aware.
Aren't all beings in samsara ripening the fuits of unfavourable karma?
At some extent. But one is also ripening results of favorable karma. The fact that we are discussing Dharma is a proof of that.

Best wishes :smile:

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Re: Reincarnation: A gift or a curse?

Post by hairybeast » Mon Aug 01, 2011 3:15 am

to be as str8 forward as possible .

Reincarnation is a curse, but the Final Incarnation is the greatest gift 8-) .

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