the Eightfold path...

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the Eightfold path...

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Jun 17, 2022 6:13 pm

the Eightfold path of Buddhism is 8 practices of:

right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct,
right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right
samadhi (meditative absorption, or union, alternatively
equanimous meditative awareness)

the question becomes this, how do we know that these
practices of right view, for example, is the right view?
or that we are engaged in the "right speech?"

perhaps this question revolves around the end result of
getting to "nirvana" ... which is ending the cycle of rebirth
which all being are forced into until they reach a point
where they understand the "true" nature of existence..
how do we get to "nirvana?" and part of the answer lies
in the "Method" we need to use to get us there...

This is an example of the goal helping us to understand
what path must be taken to get to that goal... if we want
to become great baseball player, we have to work, and work
and work at the various aspects of baseball to become
a great player.... the goal dictates our method...
playing video games of baseball isn't going to help us
become a great baseball player...and hoping to become
a great baseball player isn't going to help us become a great
baseball player... but knowing that to become a great baseball
player I must become a great hitter, a great pitcher, a great
defensive player... I must work and work and work, day after day
after month and years to achieve my goal and perhaps, perhaps
even after all that work, I still might not achieve that goal of
becoming a great baseball player...but until I put in the effort,
the work, I won't even have a possibility of becoming a great
player....

but our effort must match our goal... if I work toward being
a great baseball player by trying to do football work, It won't
work....the work we put in must match the goal we have set...
sometimes people put in the work and have the wrong goal...
thus making that work useless...

My possibility is of being a great philosopher...
I think I am, and I have put in the work..
40 years of reading, writing, thinking, and I put in the
work even today... but I must stay focused on what my goal is...
to understand what it means to be a human being....

My path, my story has been one of studying, reading, writing,
and I have done so to the best of my ability for 40 years...
and if I could live my life over, I would devote even more time
to my path of thinking of what it means to be human...
I have wasted years in unnecessary crap that took me
away from what I needed to do..... now my path isn't
the same as your path....but I have a path and I have followed
that path longer than most of you have been alive....
and my path will remain the same until the day I die...

and one might say, but Kropotkin, you have wasted
your life on philosophy.. instead of attempting to
gain wealth, power, fame, titles....like the rest of us....

and for all your wealth and power and titles, are you one
ounce wiser, or have any better sense of what it means to
be human? the struggle isn't to gain wealth or power or fame,
the struggle is to become human.. fully human.. and that is
what the path of, the goal of existence means...

but Kropotkin, why your solution? and asking why, is the start of
wisdom, not the end....

Kropotkin
Now if only I could get the other "members of the collection of truth"
to put me on ignore, life would be good..

PK
Peter Kropotkin
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Re: the Eightfold path...

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Jun 17, 2022 6:55 pm

and we spend decades attempting to
gain wealth, power, fame, titles..
and exactly how much time do we spend
on thinking about the "right" thing to do?
or what it means to be a "moral" person?
or thinking about what "moral" even means....

How can I become a "moral" "ethical"
person if I haven't given 5 minutes thought as to
what being "Moral" means?

But Kropotkin, we have laws, rules, theories telling me
what being "moral" ethical" means....

but I hold that the state/society that creates those laws/rules/theories
are confused....

for example, ask people, is murder wrong? and the vast majority of
people will say, yes.... but ask them, do you support capital punishment?
and in 2021, 60% of Americans support capital punishment...and ask
them, is a policeman allowed to shoot someone to death?
and that depends on your political affiliations...
Republicans are more ok with police violence than democrats...
some 40% of Americans support some use of torture in anti-terrorism
efforts....and people die under torture... so, most people are actually
situational in favor of murder.... the fact is that most people
are engaged in being "moral" or "ethical" as situational ethics..
the situation defines the ethics...

and we know, for a fact, that in the justice system,
that justice isn't blind, it is quite clear that someone with
wealth will be punished far less with the exact same crime
as one who is poor...the justice system is also situational,
but being situational wealth being the criteria...
one's wealth determines one's punishment.. and that isn't justice,
for justice to be justice, must treat everyone equally... regardless
of wealth, title, name, power, or fame....and given America has
a two-track judicial system, one for the wealthy and one for the rest,
we no longer have justice in this country...

so, let us return to being ethical or moral..... is it ethical, or moral
to have a two-track judicial system? one where wealth determines
whether one is guilty or innocent...Is that moral? is that ethical?
where crimes are judge by one's wealth, or title or fame?

so, once again, what is ethical? what is moral?

Kropotkin
Now if only I could get the other "members of the collection of truth"
to put me on ignore, life would be good..

PK
Peter Kropotkin
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Posts: 11189
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Re: the Eightfold path...

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Jun 17, 2022 7:24 pm

we, in the west, tends to think of
morality, ethics in terms of contracts, of obligations,
of responsibilities.....what if, what if we do the "right"
thing not because we have a contract or have an obligation,
but we do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.....

I help a little old lady cross the street not because I
have a contract, or an obligation.. but because it is
the right thing to do...

to help others, is the right thing to do.. it doesn't matter
if I have a contract or an obligation for anything else....
but Kropotkin, how do we know that helping people is
the right thing to do?

We human beings, we are social creatures.... we have been
programed by evolution to be social creatures..
it is hardwired into us that we need others, we cannot
survive on our own...Human beings that are isolated,
separated from other human beings, suffer from illness,
physical and mental illness.... that is a fact.....
our very survival is dependent on our interaction with
other human beings....

but some, some claim that human beings must engage
in "social Darwinism" which is the survival of the fittest
in context of human beings...but that belief flies in the
face of evidence that we human beings very survival depends
on the help and kindness of others.... we are educated into
being human by the kindness of others....we are taught to
be kind, polite, fair, sharing and honorable by our parents.....
as parent myself, I can attest to this...

we teach children to be kind to other children...
and to animals...we punish children who are mean,
violent, disrespectful, and who do not share....

one of the greatest teaching tools within childhood
is play...by playing with other children, we are teaching
children how to interact with others...
think of the games you played as a child...
what other value does play have if it isn't to teach children
how we need others...and how to interact with other children...
In many respects, play is the most important way we learn
to become human...

and what lessons of ethics/morality do we teach in playing with others?
How do play nicely with others maybe the most important lesson of
childhood...

as a parent, I took my own daughter to AYSO, which is playing soccer/
football... and the lessons of playing AYSO, are the lessons we learn
to engage with others our entire lives...

so, think about it, what lessons did you learn as a child, while
engaged in play?

Kropotkin
Now if only I could get the other "members of the collection of truth"
to put me on ignore, life would be good..

PK
Peter Kropotkin
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Posts: 11189
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Re: the Eightfold path...

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Jun 17, 2022 8:11 pm

perhaps one way of thinking about morality/ethics...

we each live our lives... some lives are smooth and some lives
are hectic... some lives have an artistic feeling to them,
and some lives have a difficulty factor to them that
always come about.....

for example, we can lead smooth lives that "sail"
into the future...as I have gotten older, my life
is far less hectic and chaotic.... but why?

Basically because I myself have turned away from that
which causes chaos and disorder in my life...
I don't seek the trouble I did when I was younger,
I don't try to "liven" my life with actions, words,
beliefs that caused chaos and disorder in my life
when I was younger....for example, I don't engaged in
being as angry or antagonistic as I once did.. once, when
I saw chaos and disorder, I joined into it... I helped fan it,
I even helped create it....with words like gossip for example,
and or as my mother and wife say, I am a "shit disturber"..
and I freely admit that I was... I caused shit to happen...
and I got chaos and disorder and trouble for my efforts,
as I should have gotten...
but today, today, I walk away from chaos, trouble, disorder,
causing "shit"....my life is smooth sailing and why?

Because today, today I am seeking peace, quiet, a life
that flows from day to day in solitude...

my own actions and beliefs have led my life today to be
peaceful and quiet....it is a much more artistic life today I lead,
where I seek the world in a grain of sand, and not in creating chaos
and disorder....like before....

so, in my understanding of morals and ethics, the question for me
becomes, how can I help others? Not because I have an obligation or
a "law" to help them but because my life flows better and has less
trouble and less disorder if I help people...

there is a certain aesthetic beauty in helping others....
whereas causing chaos and disorder isn't a "beautiful" act...
chaos and disorder is violent and violence is never beautiful or worth watching....

for beauty has artistry and grace and refinement...
that is also found in order and flow....

I am trying to live a life of beauty.. and that beauty comes from
order, structure, form....which is opposite from chaos and disorder....
look at beauty and see it has form and structure and symmetry...
something we can try to have in our lives as well...

an ethical/moral act is also a beautiful/symmetrical act...
it doesn't cause chaos or disorder confusion or anarchy....

so in asking, is this an moral act? is this an ethical action, ask yourself,
does this action also have beauty or symmetry or grace within it?
or does this action cause disorder, chaos, ugliness? if the action throws
peoples live into disorder or chaos, it isn't an ethical or moral action....

turn ethics and morals into an aesthetic theory...

does it bring about some beauty or grace or order to it?
then it is an moral, ethical act...

Kropotkin
Now if only I could get the other "members of the collection of truth"
to put me on ignore, life would be good..

PK
Peter Kropotkin
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Posts: 11189
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Re: the Eightfold path...

Postby Ben JS » Wed Jun 29, 2022 9:35 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote:so, in my understanding of morals and ethics, the question for me
becomes, how can I help others? Not because I have an obligation or
a "law" to help them but because my life flows better and has less
trouble and less disorder if I help people...

Dalai Lama

'The more we make a different choice, to heal our own suffering, the more we can turn to others and help to address their suffering with the laughter-filled, tear-stained eyes of the heart. And the more we turn away from our self-regard to wipe the tears from the eyes of another, the more- incredibly- we are able to hear, to heal, and to transcend our own suffering. This is the true secret to joy.'
-
'Always having feelings of closeness to others and maintaining a loving mind is the sole foundation for building everything we wish for. Focusing on small differences in outer appearances to divide and discriminate is nothing but ignorance.'
-
'The real source of peace is love and compassion; not the love we feel for those who are close and already affectionate towards us, but an unlimited sense of altruism, a love that can be extended to all beings, including your enemy, which only human beings are capable of.'
-
'True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, our compassion for others does not change even if they behave negatively. Our sense of responsibility gives rise to a wish to help others actively overcome their problems.'
-
'My favourite prayer says: "For as long as space endures, And for as long as living beings remain, Until then may I too abide, To dispel the misery of the world." And, in trying to fulfil that aspiration, I feel my life has been of some benefit.'

===

Be well, friend.
Formerly known as: Joe Schmoe

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison. [...] For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. - Mandela

Compassion is the wish to see others free from suffering. - Dalai Lama

I can do no other than be reverent before everything that is called life. I can do no other than to have compassion for all that is called life. That is the beginning and the foundation of all ethics. - Schweitzer

If you have any sense my friend, don't plant anything but Love. - Rumi

To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom. - Krishnamurti

We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate each other. - Chardin

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Re: the Eightfold path...

Postby obsrvr524 » Wed Jun 29, 2022 10:10 pm

-
The root of all ethics (and "rightness") -
    When you can recognize that the world and you are one -
    you wish for no more suffering in the world than in yourself.

    What we love in others is what we love within ourselves.
    What we hate in others is what we hate in ourselves.
    What we fear in others is what we fear in ourselves.
    What we accuse in others is what we accuse in ourselves.
    What we forgive in others is what we forgive in ourselves.

    And what is broken and disharmoniously troubled in the world - is no more so than within us all.
    As long as there is contention without - there is contention within.

    To energize oneself is to energize the world.
    To harmonize oneself is to harmonize the world.

    To have purpose is to give purpose.
    To know the purpose is to have the purpose known.

    From that purpose all effort and righteousness stems.
              You have been observed.
    Though often tempted to encourage a dog to distinguish color I refuse to argue with him about it
    It's just the same Satanism as always -
    • separate the bottom from the top,
    • the left from the right,
    • the light from the dark, and
    • blame each for the sins of the other
    • - until they beg you to take charge.
    • -- but "you" have been observed --

The prospect of death weighs naught upon the purpose of life - James S Saint - 2009
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Re: the Eightfold path...

Postby Ben JS » Wed Jun 29, 2022 10:33 pm

obsrvr,

'Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony' - James

It would seem his advice is being taken to heart.

A wise person, who enriched the lives of many.

-

Thanks for your astute contribution, friend.
It very much reminds me of him.

Stay awesome.
Formerly known as: Joe Schmoe

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison. [...] For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. - Mandela

Compassion is the wish to see others free from suffering. - Dalai Lama

I can do no other than be reverent before everything that is called life. I can do no other than to have compassion for all that is called life. That is the beginning and the foundation of all ethics. - Schweitzer

If you have any sense my friend, don't plant anything but Love. - Rumi

To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom. - Krishnamurti

We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist and forever will recreate each other. - Chardin

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Ben JS
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Posts: 2183
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:12 am
Location: Australia

Re: the Eightfold path...

Postby obsrvr524 » Wed Jun 29, 2022 10:41 pm

-
Last we spoke - I was tempted - and almost posted - "Who are you and why are you talking to me like this?". Researching a bit and entertaining a variety of proposals - I didn't post further but let it go.

Though I have to still wonder. :-k



I do like your Buddhist-like demeanor. :D
              You have been observed.
    Though often tempted to encourage a dog to distinguish color I refuse to argue with him about it
    It's just the same Satanism as always -
    • separate the bottom from the top,
    • the left from the right,
    • the light from the dark, and
    • blame each for the sins of the other
    • - until they beg you to take charge.
    • -- but "you" have been observed --

The prospect of death weighs naught upon the purpose of life - James S Saint - 2009
obsrvr524
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4222
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:03 am


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