Here’s an 79-min recorded video Dhamma Talk (235MB .mp4). Mirrored in Singapore here.

Topics:

  • Kamma, Intention, Vipaka, Resultants, Right Livlihood, trade in weapons, captivity, slavery, torture, deception, exploitation, revolutions, factions, leaders, poverty, poetic justice, redemption, meaning, betrayal, using people, a means to an end, trust, shaping reality, influencing our environment, forgetting, trying to make a difference, but just making things worse


Sutta References:

  • AN 5.177 - Business (Wrong Livelihood)

    “Monks, a lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison.

    “These are the five types of business that a lay follower should not engage in.”

    Note: in Ajahn Sujato’s version, “trade in human beings” becomes trade in creatures altogether (and in Bhikkhu Bodhi’s translation, it’s “living beings”). The definition of the Pali word “satta” becomes interesting here.

Other References:

  • Bioshock Infinite video game. Key Scenes:

    Wrong Livlihood of Chen Lin, the Gunsmith:

    Bioshock Infinite: 0:00:14

    Set in 1912: 0:00:42

    Booker DeWitt has a name: 0:01:17

    Your mission, bring them the girl, she’s a means to an end to wipe out your debt: 0:02:26 (…pause on the note tacked on door)

    First look at Monument City: 0:13:16

    First Look at Angel Statue: 0:18:22

    Meets “Elizabeth”: 1:08:59

    Elizabeth opens portals to different dimensions, called “tears”: 1:09:47

    You do make good kamma to set her free from captivity: 1:12:38

    …you get good vipaka, as she does CPR on you and revives you: 1:17:09

    You mislead and deceive her into going to Paris: 1:20:50

    Useful small portals - like say a barrier during a gunfight: 2:02:00

    There’s a key scene where you make her really sad, also angry (as you enter the coordinates for New York, not Paris): 2:29:52

    let play…

    You’re handed Chen Lin’s card by Daisy Fitzroy, revolutionary leader of Vox Populi: 2:32:42

    (Play until 2:33:02, Beggar’s Wharf, Finktown)

    You join up with Elizabeth again, and she’s still really mad, determines that you are “a means to an end”: 2:41:24

    First view of Finktown, all is generally well: 2:49:31

    See Buddha not long after: 2:52:32

    (let play… soon you see Wife is Asian in 1st reality, Mei Lin) …play until: 2:53:29

    She can also make large portals to another dimension. This is a plot device where Kamma is artistically explored in a big way.

    but Chen Lin gets killed: 3:09:09

    (…play till about 3:11:00)

    Return to gunshop: 3:16:48

    Wife is caucasian in this second reality, but is a devotee of the prophet and villian Comstock (not Buddha). In this reality, Chen Lin is crazy, having his tools stolen:

    (…let play until 3:19:29)

    Conditions are worse off in this reality’s Finktown, now there’s a Shantytown: 3:24:08

    (…play until 3:25:38)

    They soon come to Chen’s tools: 3:32:59

    In 3rd reality, where the Revolutionaries have had their way, wife is still caucausian, but now Chen Lin and wife are both dead. Things went from bad to worse!

    let play….

    Revolutionaries actually made for a bad future, once they managed to get guns in another dimension.

    (Skip to next bookmark once battle begins at 3:37:06)

    “Keep your guns, we need food”. (But mission statement is “Return to Gunsmith’s shop”. How does that mission still make sense, considering the revolutionaries have plenty of guns in this alternate reality? The irony of this makes all the violence entailed in this side plot about Chen Lin meaningless!) …seen at: 3:38:20

    (Play as they go up elevator, until they get out)

    3rd visit to gunsmith’s shop: 3:43:47

    They’re shown dead on floor: 3:44:03

    let play… Note comments of Elizabeth - She “got her wish” - that the Revolution would succeed, overturning the impoverished conditions before. But instead of the world being made better, it was made even worse.

    End at: 3:44:34

    ==================================

    Wrong Livlihood of Booker DeWitt:

    “Ask about the finger”: 6:13:28

    You betrayed her into slavery, back when she was still your baby named “Anna”: 6:36:32

    You also betrayed her later into thinking you’ll take her to Paris: 1:20:50

    The betrayal plays out in the airship, and you get a serious head injury, as vipaka: 2:29:52

    After finding Elizabeth being tortured (getting shock treatment, with some sort of wierd chemical being injected into her back) in a dark science experiment… 5:44:10

    …you save her again: 5:48:52

    Despite this, she still betrays you in the end, to get ensure a total revenge on the villian Comstock, cutting off his existence at the point of his “birth” (moment of origin), which was your baptism (interestingly, you were drowned, just like Comstock was by you earlier - a clever coincidence of vipaka): 6:40:08

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