Dhamma Talk Video 68: Minding One's Own Business
Here’s an 61-min recorded video Dhamma Talk (112MB .mp4).
- Cowboy wisdon, Calgary, skill in relationships, bright-heartedness, care, Responsibilities, duties, family, community, city, country, world, ethics, impactfulness, samadhi, jhanas, anatta, views, debate, experts, not being too loosey-goosey, not becoming rigid or fundamentalist
From AN 2.98-99:
“Bhikkhus, there are these two kinds of fools. What two? One who takes responsibility for what does not befall him and one who does not take responsibility for what befalls him. These are the two kinds of fools.” “Bhikkhus, there are these two kinds of wise people. What two? One who takes responsibility for what befalls him and one who does not take responsibility for what does not befall him. These are the two kinds of wise people.”
Snp 4.9 - With Māgaṇḍiya
“After judging among the teachings,” said the Buddha to Māgaṇḍiya, “none have been adopted thinking, ‘I assert this.’ Seeing views without adopting any, searching, I saw inner peace.”
“O sage, you speak of judgments you have formed,” said Māgaṇḍiya, “without having adopted any of those views. As to that matter of ‘inner peace’—how is that described by the wise?”
“Purity is neither spoken of in terms of view,” said the Buddha to Māgaṇḍiya, “oral transmission, notion, and precepts and vows; nor in terms of that without view, oral transmission, notion, and precepts and vows. Having relinquished these, not adopting them, peaceful, independent, one would not pray to be reborn.”
“It seems purity is neither spoken of in terms of view,” said Māgaṇḍiya, “oral transmission, notion, and precepts and vows; nor in terms of that without view, oral transmission, notion, and precepts and vows. If so, I think this teaching is sheer confusion; for some believe in purity in terms of view.”
“Continuing to question while relying on a view,” said the Buddha to Māgaṇḍiya, “you’ve become confused by all you’ve adopted. From this you’ve not glimpsed the slightest idea, which is why you consider the teaching confused.
If you think that ‘I’m equal, special, or worse’, you’ll get into arguments. Unwavering in the face of the three discriminations, you’ll have no thought ‘I’m equal or special’.
Why would that brahmin say, ‘It’s true’, or with whom would they argue, ‘It’s false’? There is no equal or unequal in them, so who would they take on in debate?
After leaving shelter to migrate unsettled, a sage doesn’t get close to anyone in town. Rid of sensual pleasures, expecting nothing, they wouldn’t get in arguments with people.
A spiritual giant would not take up for argument the things in the world from which they live secluded. As a prickly lotus born in the water is unsullied by water and mud, so the greedless sage, proponent of peace, is unsmeared by sensuality and the world.
A knowledge master does not become conceited due to view or thought, for they do not identify with that. They’ve no need for deeds or learning, they’re not indoctrinated in dogmas.
There are no ties for one detached from ideas; there are no delusions for one freed by wisdom. But those who have adopted ideas and views wander the world causing conflict.”
Snp 4.12 - “The Shorter Discourse on Arrayed For Battle”
“Each maintaining their own view, the experts disagree, arguing: ‘Whoever sees it this way has understood the teaching; those who reject this are inadequate.’
So arguing, they quarrel, saying, ‘The other is a fool, an amateur!’ Which one of these speaks true, for they all claim to be an expert?”
“If not accepting another’s teaching makes you a useless fool lacking wisdom, then they’re all fools lacking wisdom, for they all maintain their own view.
But if having your own view is what makes you pristine—pure in wisdom, expert and intelligent—then none of them lack wisdom, for such is the view they have all embraced.
I do not say that it is correct when they call each other fools. Each has built up their own view to be the truth, which is why they take the other as a fool.”
“What some say is true and correct, others say is hollow and false. So arguing, they quarrel; why don’t ascetics say the same thing?”
“The truth is one, there is no second; wise folk would not argue about this. But those ascetics each boast of different truths; that’s why they don’t say the same thing.”
“But why do they speak of different truths, these proponents who claim to be experts? Are there really so many different truths, or do they just follow their own lines of reasoning?”
“No, there are not many different truths that, apart from perception, are lasting in the world. Having formed their reasoning regarding different views, they say there are two things: true and false.
The seen, heard, or thought, or precepts or vows—based on these they show disdain. Standing in judgment, they scoff, saying, ‘The other is a fool, an amateur!’
They take the other as a fool on the same grounds that they speak of themselves as an expert. Claiming to be an expert on their own authority, they disdain the other while saying the same thing.
They are perfect, according to their own extreme view; drunk on conceit, imagining themselves proficient. They have anointed themselves in their own mind, for such is the view they have embraced.
If the word of your opponent makes you deficient, then they too are lacking wisdom. But if on your own authority you’re a knowledge master, a wise person, then there are no fools among the ascetics.
‘Those who proclaim a teaching other than this have fallen short of purity, and are inadequate’: so say each one of the sectarians, for they are deeply attached to their own view.
‘Here alone is purity,’ they say, denying that there is purification in other teachings. Thus each one of the sectarians, being dogmatic, speaks forcefully within the context of their own journey.
But in that case, so long as they are speaking forcefully of their own journey, how can they take the other as a fool? They are the ones who provoke conflict when they call the other a fool with an impure teaching.
Standing in judgment, measuring by their own standard, they keep getting into disputes with the world. But a person who has given up all judgments creates no conflict in the world.”
Snp 4.13 - “The Longer Discourse on Arrayed for Battle”
“Regarding those who maintain their own view, arguing that, ‘This is the only truth’: are all of them subject only to criticism, or do some also win praise for that?”
“That is a small thing, insufficient for peace, these two fruits of conflict, I say. Seeing this, one ought not get into arguments, looking for sanctuary in the land of no conflict.
One who knows does not get involved with any of the many different convictions. Why would the uninvolved get involved, since they do not believe based on the seen or the heard?
Those who champion ethics speak of purity through self-control; having undertaken a vow, they stick to it: ‘Let us train right here, then we will be pure.’ Claiming to be experts, they are led on to future lives.
If they fall away from their precepts and vows, they tremble, having failed in their task. They pray and long for purity, like one who has lost their caravan while journeying far from home.
But having given up all precepts and vows, and these deeds blameworthy or blameless; not longing for ‘purity’ or ‘impurity’, live detached, fostering peace.
Relying on mortification in disgust at sin, or else on what is seen, heard, or thought, they moan that purification comes through heading upstream, not rid of craving for life after life.
For one who longs there are prayers, and trembling too over ideas they have formed. But one here for whom there is no passing away or reappearing: why would they tremble? For what would they pray?”
“The very same teaching that some say is ‘ultimate’, others say is inferior. Which of these doctrines is true, for they all claim to be an expert?”
“They say their own teaching is perfect, while the teaching of others is inferior. So arguing, they quarrel, each saying their own convictions are the truth.
If you became inferior because someone else disparaged you, no-one in any teaching would be distinguished. For each of them says the other’s teaching is lacking, while forcefully advocating their own.
But if they honor their own teachings just as they praise their own journeys, then all doctrines would be equally valid, and purity for them would be an individual matter.
After judging among the teachings, a brahmin has adopted nothing that requires interpretation by another. That’s why they’ve gotten over disputes, for they see no other doctrine as best.
Saying, ‘I know, I see, that’s how it is’, some believe that purity comes from view. But if they’ve really seen, what use is that view to them? Overlooking what matters, they say purity comes from another.
When a person sees, they see name and form, and having seen, they will know just these things. Gladly let them see much or little, for experts say this is no way to purity.
It’s not easy to educate someone who is dogmatic, promoting a view they have formulated. Speaking of the beauty in that which they depend on, they talk of purity in accord with what they saw there.
The brahmin does not get involved with formulating and calculating; they’re not followers of views, nor kinsmen of notions. Having understood the many different convictions, they look on when others grasp.
Having untied the knots here in the world, the sage takes no side among factions. Peaceful among the peaceless, equanimous, they don’t grasp when others grasp.
Having given up former defilements, and not making new ones, not swayed by preference, nor a proponent of dogma, that wise one is released from views, not clinging to the world, nor reproaching themselves.
They are remote from all things seen, heard, or thought. With burden put down, the sage is released: not formulating, not abstaining, not longing.”
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