Topic 10: Deepening Perspective

Topic 10: Deepening One’s Perspective on the World

Readings:

In the Buddha’s Words, pp. 181-220 (“Chapter 6” with same title).


Concepts:

Gradual Training

generosity, virtue, heaven (merit-making)

danger of sensual pleasures, renunciation ←

At this point mind becomes malleable, free from hindrances, elated, purified

Suffering, origination, cessation, path (Four Noble Truths, Eight-fold Noble Path)

This develops knowledge and vision, stages of Awakening

Gratification (enjoyment) in the world

Makes one enamored with the world

Relative, subject to interpretation. The very same thing can be pleasure in one context, pain in another, more generally an admixture of both. For one pleasure one might give up a greater pleasure.

Danger (disadvantage) of the world

Makes one disenchanted with the world. (Pleasure without attachment OK.)

Defects we hide from ourselves. Impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, change. Greed and ill-will that come from clinging and their consequences: strife, violence, etc. “We shrink from suffering, but love its causes.” – Shantideva

Escape (departure) from the world

Not escapism, rather rational response in view of what is, like exiting burning building.
Renunciation. “Liberation is not getting what one wants, but not to need to want.” – BC

Until Buddha understood gratification, danger and escape, Awakening was not possible.

Cords of sensual pleasure:

Eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body (missing: mind)

Wrong View.

Lust, ill-will distort our views. We perceive only what fits our views.

Buddha often critical of views, concepts.

Views are cheap, easy to come by, chosen according to personal convenience.

… and yet, we need to make decisions and to discriminate one option from another.

Pernicious views: of self, of existence, of non-existence.

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