Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Use this forum to discuss the February 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, Free Will, Do You Have It? by Albertus Kral
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Samana Johann
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Post by Samana Johann »

Sushan wrote: February 7th, 2022, 6:07 am This topic is about the February 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, 
Free Will, Do You Have It?
by Albertus Kral


The greatest danger humans face is the power of bad influences.
(Location 125 of Kindle version)


The author's statement reminded me a story. Here I will share the summary of it.


A daughter complained to her father (who was a chef) of her being bullied in her school. The father kept three pans full of water on the stove and put an egg in the first, a potato in the second, and few coffee beans in the third. Then he lit the fire. After some time he showed how the egg has hardened, the potato has softened, and the coffee beans remained unchanged, but has turned the surrounding water to coffee colour.

Then he explained. The water is the society, and the heat (came from the stove) is like various influences from the society. After being exposed to them the individual can either harden or soften him/herself. But a strong one can change the society as per his/her wish.



As per my view, whether good or bad, influences are good to mould ourselves, even after becoming adults. And they will show the true colours of a person. So I disagree with the author's above statement.

What is your opinion about influences in relation to individuals, as well as the society?
To become an influential person is a matter of past and present conductive deeds, good householder. Likewise the inclination toward good or bad influence. All very individual, yet 'like-a-like beings gather together, again and again, on an element. Virtuous with virtuous, fools with fools... and hardly one finds ways to better association, yet a matter of wise effort, giving up lower and much efforts, and not not possible.

Hardly there are person found able and eager to change themselves to better. How utopian if a firm bond thinks to be a 'changer', yet there are cases of good matches, good previous sacrifices toward good relation.

(note: the merely unwise forum restriction of posting links required the remove of quote authors link to get the post here stored up)
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

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LuckyR wrote: July 17th, 2023, 2:47 am
Sushan wrote: July 17th, 2023, 12:23 am
LuckyR wrote: July 15th, 2023, 2:33 pm
Sushan wrote: July 15th, 2023, 6:47 am

Indeed, your perspective brings another layer to our discussion, specifically regarding the intersection of morality and legality. To clarify, my use of 'good' and 'bad' in this context has primarily been to express moral judgement, rather than a legal one.

I agree that there can be individuals who engage in morally questionable behaviour, yet are within the bounds of the law and may even rise to positions of power. However, I believe this only further underlines the importance of individual choices and interpretations in the face of societal influences.

If we equate 'badness' with criminality, we're limiting our understanding of morality to the legal framework, which is a societal construct that can change over time and varies across different societies. It can also be influenced by those in power, potentially promoting certain behaviours that may not align with universal moral values.

If we consider 'goodness' as an inherent capacity, influenced by genetics or congenital factors, are we not oversimplifying the complexity of human nature and free will? Can our choices, our resilience in the face of adversity, our capacity for growth and change, be relegated to predetermined genetic codes?

Or does our human experience, with its spectrum of influences and our responses to them, allow us to transcend beyond our inherent capacities? What are your thoughts?
OK. Let's let go of the issue of legality that I (apparently) introduced in error. If we use morality as our yardstick, then I assume you mean personal moral code. This is, of course subjective. And doesn't necessarily correlate with behavior. For example, if I have a standard moral code but don't follow it much and thus commit murder I would rank low on "morality". OTOH if I have an atypical moral code, say I'm a Nazi in 1944 and I follow it fastidiously and thus commit killings, I should be high on the scale of "morality"?

As to the roles of nature vs nurture in shaping and the separate issue of following moral codes, IMO environment is more responsible for developing the code and genetics for following it, though both can play a role in both facets.
I appreciate your insights and the way you challenge our thinking. In response to your example, I would like to clarify that by 'morality', I am referring to the adherence to generally accepted ethical standards, which typically condemn acts such as murder and intentional harm to others. These standards tend to transcend personal moral codes and are, at least to some degree, shared among various societies and cultures around the world.

From your perspective, it appears that you perceive a moral code as a subjective construct, which indeed it can be. However, for our discussion, it may be more beneficial to think of morality in terms of these universal ethical standards. In that sense, both individuals you described, despite following their personal moral codes, would fall short in terms of universal ethical standards due to their harmful actions.

Concerning the nature vs. nurture debate, it is intriguing to see your viewpoint where environment plays a key role in developing the moral code and genetics influences the adherence to it. However, it raises a question: if the environment shapes our moral code, how can our genetics predetermine our adherence to it? Furthermore, how do we account for instances where individuals, despite their genetic predispositions or upbringing, consciously make choices that defy their moral code or change it altogether?
Just to clarify, you are (correctly and accurately) describing the difference between ethics and morality. I do not use them interchangeably. Since you are addressing ethical standards (not morality), you can ignore my comments on morality. Ethical standards (like morality) are also subjective, but this subjectivity only has meaning across cultural boundries and historical time periods. For individuals in one place and time they behave as objective standards in the moment.

The difference between creating a moral code and following it is the difference between aspirational goals and convenience. The former are (mostly) shaped by our upbringing. If you are raised by college graduates, you are more likely to value a college education long before you are old enough to go to college. But even if you value a college education, your ability to delay gratification (study for the SAT instead of partying) is more in your nature, that is two brothers who grew up in the same environment can have very different work ethics.
Thank you for elucidating the distinction between ethics and morality. Indeed, while I initially approached the discussion using the term 'morality', it seems the concept of 'ethics' is more suitable to our current line of discourse.

Regarding your views on the establishment of a moral code versus adherence to it, it's fascinating. Your analogy of valuing a college education – a goal shaped by our upbringing – against the innate ability to delay gratification captures the essence of our discussion beautifully.

However, I am inclined to explore the dynamic nature of humans further. If we consider two individuals with the same upbringing and similar genetic makeup, such as twins, we often observe differences in their life paths and moral decisions. In this case, I would posit that while genetics and environment play significant roles, there remains a degree of individual autonomy – the ability to choose and act upon one's own volition – that contributes to these differences.

Additionally, while I agree that ethical standards can seem objective within a specific time and place, these standards can evolve over time due to societal changes, new scientific understanding, etc. Consequently, an individual's adherence to these standards may also change over time, further emphasizing the role of individual choice and dynamic societal influences.

So, while our upbringing and genetics indeed shape us, wouldn't it be fair to consider that an individual's choices and actions can transcend these factors, indicating the presence of a form of 'free will'?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Post by Sushan »

Samana Johann wrote: July 17th, 2023, 12:31 pm
Sushan wrote: February 7th, 2022, 6:07 am This topic is about the February 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, 
Free Will, Do You Have It?
by Albertus Kral


The greatest danger humans face is the power of bad influences.
(Location 125 of Kindle version)


The author's statement reminded me a story. Here I will share the summary of it.


A daughter complained to her father (who was a chef) of her being bullied in her school. The father kept three pans full of water on the stove and put an egg in the first, a potato in the second, and few coffee beans in the third. Then he lit the fire. After some time he showed how the egg has hardened, the potato has softened, and the coffee beans remained unchanged, but has turned the surrounding water to coffee colour.

Then he explained. The water is the society, and the heat (came from the stove) is like various influences from the society. After being exposed to them the individual can either harden or soften him/herself. But a strong one can change the society as per his/her wish.



As per my view, whether good or bad, influences are good to mould ourselves, even after becoming adults. And they will show the true colours of a person. So I disagree with the author's above statement.

What is your opinion about influences in relation to individuals, as well as the society?
To become an influential person is a matter of past and present conductive deeds, good householder. Likewise the inclination toward good or bad influence. All very individual, yet 'like-a-like beings gather together, again and again, on an element. Virtuous with virtuous, fools with fools... and hardly one finds ways to better association, yet a matter of wise effort, giving up lower and much efforts, and not not possible.

Hardly there are person found able and eager to change themselves to better. How utopian if a firm bond thinks to be a 'changer', yet there are cases of good matches, good previous sacrifices toward good relation.

(note: the merely unwise forum restriction of posting links required the remove of quote authors link to get the post here stored up)
You've pointed out that becoming an influential person is primarily about one's conduct and behavior, suggesting a strong emphasis on individual agency. I particularly resonate with your observation about how like-minded individuals often gravitate together, reflecting the saying, "birds of a feather flock together."

However, I also believe that society's influence cannot be understated. While personal conduct matters, it's often shaped by societal influences, whether we acknowledge it or not. As for your remark on the rarity of individuals willing to change, I'd contend that change is a part of life. The forms and degrees may vary, and yes, it might be challenging, but it is possible.

I appreciate your input and would be interested in hearing more about your thoughts on 'good matches' and 'good previous sacrifices.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Samana Johann
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Post by Samana Johann »

Sushan wrote: July 18th, 2023, 3:44 am
Samana Johann wrote: July 17th, 2023, 12:31 pm
Sushan wrote: February 7th, 2022, 6:07 am This topic is about the February 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, 
Free Will, Do You Have It?
by Albertus Kral


The greatest danger humans face is the power of bad influences.
(Location 125 of Kindle version)


The author's statement reminded me a story. Here I will share the summary of it.


A daughter complained to her father (who was a chef) of her being bullied in her school. The father kept three pans full of water on the stove and put an egg in the first, a potato in the second, and few coffee beans in the third. Then he lit the fire. After some time he showed how the egg has hardened, the potato has softened, and the coffee beans remained unchanged, but has turned the surrounding water to coffee colour.

Then he explained. The water is the society, and the heat (came from the stove) is like various influences from the society. After being exposed to them the individual can either harden or soften him/herself. But a strong one can change the society as per his/her wish.



As per my view, whether good or bad, influences are good to mould ourselves, even after becoming adults. And they will show the true colours of a person. So I disagree with the author's above statement.

What is your opinion about influences in relation to individuals, as well as the society?
To become an influential person is a matter of past and present conductive deeds, good householder. Likewise the inclination toward good or bad influence. All very individual, yet 'like-a-like beings gather together, again and again, on an element. Virtuous with virtuous, fools with fools... and hardly one finds ways to better association, yet a matter of wise effort, giving up lower and much efforts, and not not possible.

Hardly there are person found able and eager to change themselves to better. How utopian if a firm bond thinks to be a 'changer', yet there are cases of good matches, good previous sacrifices toward good relation.

(note: the merely unwise forum restriction of posting links required the remove of quote authors link to get the post here stored up)
You've pointed out that becoming an influential person is primarily about one's conduct and behavior, suggesting a strong emphasis on individual agency. I particularly resonate with your observation about how like-minded individuals often gravitate together, reflecting the saying, "birds of a feather flock together."

However, I also believe that society's influence cannot be understated. While personal conduct matters, it's often shaped by societal influences, whether we acknowledge it or not. As for your remark on the rarity of individuals willing to change, I'd contend that change is a part of life. The forms and degrees may vary, and yes, it might be challenging, but it is possible.

I appreciate your input and would be interested in hearing more about your thoughts on 'good matches' and 'good previous sacrifices.
Mudita (expression of appreciation, co-joy on wise choices and deeds)

My person thinks it would go out of the topics frame, on "sacrifices", but, for example, generosity (in previous existances, present) and factors of how giving is done, as well previous and present virtues are strong "condition-causes", here some in short (noteable is, that it's not necessary so that a person is still generous, virtuous, as effects may arise under certain conditions, not always right after it's cause):
https://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/sut/an/an05/an05.148.than wrote:“These five are a person of integrity's gifts. Which five? A person of integrity gives a gift with a sense of conviction. A person of integrity gives a gift attentively. A person of integrity gives a gift in season. A person of integrity gives a gift with an empathetic heart. A person of integrity gives a gift without adversely affecting himself or others.

“Having given a gift with a sense of conviction, he — wherever the result of that gift ripens — is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions. And he is well-built, handsome, extremely inspiring, endowed with a lotus-like complexion.

“Having given a gift attentively, he — wherever the result of that gift ripens — is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions. And his children, wives, slaves, servants, and workers listen carefully to him, lend him their ears, and serve him with understanding hearts.

“Having given a gift in season, he — wherever the result of that gift ripens — is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions. And his goals are fulfilled in season.

“Having given a gift with an empathetic heart, he — wherever the result of that gift ripens — is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions. And his mind inclines to the enjoyment of the five strings of lavish sensuality.

“Having given a gift without adversely affecting himself or others, he — wherever the result of that gift ripens — is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions. And not from anywhere does destruction come to his property — whether from fire, from water, from kings, from thieves, or from hateful heirs.

“These five are a person of integrity's gifts.”
Virtue:
https://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/sut/mn/mn.135.than wrote:... “There is the case where a woman or man is envious. He/she envies, begrudges, & broods about others' gains, honor, respect, reverence, salutations, & veneration. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation… If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is not influential wherever reborn. This is the way leading to not being influential: to be envious, to envy, begrudge, & brood about others' gains, honor, respect, reverence, salutations, & veneration.

“But then there is the case where a woman or man is not envious. He/she does not envy, begrudge, or brood about others' gains, honor, respect, reverence, salutations, or veneration. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination… If instead he/she comes to the human state, he/she is influential wherever reborn. This is the way leading to being influential: not to be envious; not to envy, begrudge, or brood about others' gains, honor, respect, reverence, salutations, or veneration. ...

... “There is the case where a woman or man is obstinate & arrogant. He/she does not pay homage to those who deserve homage, rise up for those for whom one should rise up, give a seat to those to whom one should give a seat, make way for those for whom one should make way, worship those who should be worshipped, respect those who should be respected, revere those who should be revered, or honor those who should be honored. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation… If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is low-born wherever reborn. This is the way leading to a low birth: to be obstinate & arrogant, not to pay homage to those who deserve homage, nor rise up for… nor give a seat to… nor make way for… nor worship… nor respect… nor revere… nor honor those who should be honored.

“But then there is the case where a woman or man is not obstinate or arrogant; he/she pays homage to those who deserve homage, rises up… gives a seat… makes way… worships… respects… reveres… honors those who should be honored. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination… If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is highborn wherever reborn. This is the way leading to a high birth: not to obstinate or arrogant; to pay homage to those who deserve homage, to rise up… give a seat… make way… worship… respect… revere… honor those who should be honored. ...
And in regard of present relation building maybe "the bond of felliwship" teaching in addition (something also easier to observe everywhere, right here and there)

As for doubt on "hard to change": it's lesser so that people go after change, es perse, but for coming back to beloved conditions, having found them elsewhere as used to. That might lead to the idea that habits are really changed, but actually just moves toward old dependencies one is strong inclined.

That's why people often speak of "soul-mate" or move fare from birth conditions, have strangers like old family...

It's much more easy to simply state: "beings gain of what their are after", leaders and followers of communities likealike. And it's not by demo-crazy or authoritarian ways that things arise. There is enough space, mostly, to seek for other relation, yet it's lack of willingness to let go of certain benefits.

Some inspiration might be found at Why beings take birth, even in most worse existences and circumstances? (accesstoinsight.eu needs to be replaced with sangham[dot]net to get the topic, as domain has been censured by the forum here)

Much joy by re-exploring a certain not unknow 'world', since it's seldom that a common person, with no previous relation, whould ever find interest in the sublime teachings of the wise.
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Post by Sushan »

Samana Johann wrote: July 18th, 2023, 9:01 am
Sushan wrote: July 18th, 2023, 3:44 am
Samana Johann wrote: July 17th, 2023, 12:31 pm
Sushan wrote: February 7th, 2022, 6:07 am This topic is about the February 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, 
Free Will, Do You Have It?
by Albertus Kral



(Location 125 of Kindle version)


The author's statement reminded me a story. Here I will share the summary of it.


A daughter complained to her father (who was a chef) of her being bullied in her school. The father kept three pans full of water on the stove and put an egg in the first, a potato in the second, and few coffee beans in the third. Then he lit the fire. After some time he showed how the egg has hardened, the potato has softened, and the coffee beans remained unchanged, but has turned the surrounding water to coffee colour.

Then he explained. The water is the society, and the heat (came from the stove) is like various influences from the society. After being exposed to them the individual can either harden or soften him/herself. But a strong one can change the society as per his/her wish.



As per my view, whether good or bad, influences are good to mould ourselves, even after becoming adults. And they will show the true colours of a person. So I disagree with the author's above statement.

What is your opinion about influences in relation to individuals, as well as the society?
To become an influential person is a matter of past and present conductive deeds, good householder. Likewise the inclination toward good or bad influence. All very individual, yet 'like-a-like beings gather together, again and again, on an element. Virtuous with virtuous, fools with fools... and hardly one finds ways to better association, yet a matter of wise effort, giving up lower and much efforts, and not not possible.

Hardly there are person found able and eager to change themselves to better. How utopian if a firm bond thinks to be a 'changer', yet there are cases of good matches, good previous sacrifices toward good relation.

(note: the merely unwise forum restriction of posting links required the remove of quote authors link to get the post here stored up)
You've pointed out that becoming an influential person is primarily about one's conduct and behavior, suggesting a strong emphasis on individual agency. I particularly resonate with your observation about how like-minded individuals often gravitate together, reflecting the saying, "birds of a feather flock together."

However, I also believe that society's influence cannot be understated. While personal conduct matters, it's often shaped by societal influences, whether we acknowledge it or not. As for your remark on the rarity of individuals willing to change, I'd contend that change is a part of life. The forms and degrees may vary, and yes, it might be challenging, but it is possible.

I appreciate your input and would be interested in hearing more about your thoughts on 'good matches' and 'good previous sacrifices.
Mudita (expression of appreciation, co-joy on wise choices and deeds)

My person thinks it would go out of the topics frame, on "sacrifices", but, for example, generosity (in previous existances, present) and factors of how giving is done, as well previous and present virtues are strong "condition-causes", here some in short (noteable is, that it's not necessary so that a person is still generous, virtuous, as effects may arise under certain conditions, not always right after it's cause):
https://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/sut/an/an05/an05.148.than wrote:“These five are a person of integrity's gifts. Which five? A person of integrity gives a gift with a sense of conviction. A person of integrity gives a gift attentively. A person of integrity gives a gift in season. A person of integrity gives a gift with an empathetic heart. A person of integrity gives a gift without adversely affecting himself or others.

“Having given a gift with a sense of conviction, he — wherever the result of that gift ripens — is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions. And he is well-built, handsome, extremely inspiring, endowed with a lotus-like complexion.

“Having given a gift attentively, he — wherever the result of that gift ripens — is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions. And his children, wives, slaves, servants, and workers listen carefully to him, lend him their ears, and serve him with understanding hearts.

“Having given a gift in season, he — wherever the result of that gift ripens — is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions. And his goals are fulfilled in season.

“Having given a gift with an empathetic heart, he — wherever the result of that gift ripens — is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions. And his mind inclines to the enjoyment of the five strings of lavish sensuality.

“Having given a gift without adversely affecting himself or others, he — wherever the result of that gift ripens — is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions. And not from anywhere does destruction come to his property — whether from fire, from water, from kings, from thieves, or from hateful heirs.

“These five are a person of integrity's gifts.”
Virtue:
https://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/sut/mn/mn.135.than wrote:... “There is the case where a woman or man is envious. He/she envies, begrudges, & broods about others' gains, honor, respect, reverence, salutations, & veneration. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation… If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is not influential wherever reborn. This is the way leading to not being influential: to be envious, to envy, begrudge, & brood about others' gains, honor, respect, reverence, salutations, & veneration.

“But then there is the case where a woman or man is not envious. He/she does not envy, begrudge, or brood about others' gains, honor, respect, reverence, salutations, or veneration. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination… If instead he/she comes to the human state, he/she is influential wherever reborn. This is the way leading to being influential: not to be envious; not to envy, begrudge, or brood about others' gains, honor, respect, reverence, salutations, or veneration. ...

... “There is the case where a woman or man is obstinate & arrogant. He/she does not pay homage to those who deserve homage, rise up for those for whom one should rise up, give a seat to those to whom one should give a seat, make way for those for whom one should make way, worship those who should be worshipped, respect those who should be respected, revere those who should be revered, or honor those who should be honored. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in the plane of deprivation… If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is low-born wherever reborn. This is the way leading to a low birth: to be obstinate & arrogant, not to pay homage to those who deserve homage, nor rise up for… nor give a seat to… nor make way for… nor worship… nor respect… nor revere… nor honor those who should be honored.

“But then there is the case where a woman or man is not obstinate or arrogant; he/she pays homage to those who deserve homage, rises up… gives a seat… makes way… worships… respects… reveres… honors those who should be honored. Through having adopted & carried out such actions, on the break-up of the body, after death, he/she reappears in a good destination… If instead he/she comes to the human state, then he/she is highborn wherever reborn. This is the way leading to a high birth: not to obstinate or arrogant; to pay homage to those who deserve homage, to rise up… give a seat… make way… worship… respect… revere… honor those who should be honored. ...
And in regard of present relation building maybe "the bond of felliwship" teaching in addition (something also easier to observe everywhere, right here and there)

As for doubt on "hard to change": it's lesser so that people go after change, es perse, but for coming back to beloved conditions, having found them elsewhere as used to. That might lead to the idea that habits are really changed, but actually just moves toward old dependencies one is strong inclined.

That's why people often speak of "soul-mate" or move fare from birth conditions, have strangers like old family...

It's much more easy to simply state: "beings gain of what their are after", leaders and followers of communities likealike. And it's not by demo-crazy or authoritarian ways that things arise. There is enough space, mostly, to seek for other relation, yet it's lack of willingness to let go of certain benefits.

Some inspiration might be found at Why beings take birth, even in most worse existences and circumstances? (accesstoinsight.eu needs to be replaced with sangham[dot]net to get the topic, as domain has been censured by the forum here)

Much joy by re-exploring a certain not unknow 'world', since it's seldom that a common person, with no previous relation, whould ever find interest in the sublime teachings of the wise.
Thank you for your enlightening response and for sharing these thoughtful teachings from the Suttas.

It's fascinating to contemplate the role of generosity and virtues in shaping our influences and interactions. The concept that our conduct, particularly our ability to give and receive with empathy and conviction, influences our wealth and prosperity is indeed compelling. This idea promotes a mindset of gratitude and respect, emphasizing the value of integrity and mindful giving.

The concept of virtue as a determinant of influence is also profound. Not being envious, paying homage where it is due, and practicing respect and reverence undoubtedly shapes one's influence and interactions with others in a positive way. These are virtues that we should aspire to uphold and embody in our interactions with society.

Regarding your insights on change, I understand better now. It's true that people often gravitate toward familiar conditions and circumstances. This gravitation doesn't necessarily denote change but might reflect a longing for familiarity or comfort.

Your input indeed broadens the understanding of the complex interplay of individual behavior, societal influence, and the nuances of change and familiarity. It also illuminates the significant impact of virtues and ethical conduct in shaping individual and societal experiences.

In this spirit, how do you think individuals can balance their virtues and their desires in interacting with society? Specifically, how can they resist the lure of familiar but possibly less virtuous circumstances and instead strive towards higher ethical conduct?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Post by Samana Johann »

Sushan wrote: July 18th, 2023, 11:01 pm ...Your input indeed broadens the understanding of the complex interplay of individual behavior, societal influence, and the nuances of change and familiarity. It also illuminates the significant impact of virtues and ethical conduct in shaping individual and societal experiences.
Mudita. It's not common to see more clear, to keep proper attention while listening, reading, the Sublime Dhamma, good householder. So all space for empathic-joy with good householders gains and work here.

Important, maybe good to state again, is that actions (by thoughts, words, body) and effects are very individual, single choices. Sure, a sociaty where good teachings are still very common are conductive, yet no quarant (what ever compounded isn't for sure and subject to decay). 90% of the worlds common societies live in strong relation with wrong view...
https://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/sut/an/an10/an10.176.than#mind wrote:“And how is one made impure in three ways by mental action? There is the case where a certain person is covetous. He covets the belongings of others, thinking, 'O, that what belongs to others would be mine!' He bears ill will, corrupt in the resolves of his heart: 'May these beings be killed or cut apart or crushed or destroyed, or may they not exist at all!' He has wrong view, is warped in the way he sees things: 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is how one is made impure in three ways by mental action.
...and even the last areas will soon disappear totally. Thinking in terms of "rights", ingratitude and denying of obligation, as well as ideas of equality, all of whats destructive, are as present and promoted views all over. Without strong wrong view, wrong deeds are impossible, not to speak of wars or even world wars. Currently the modern strives to destroy any element of right view. So really not much time to waste in trying to solve the issue.

In regard of single relations, the duties within, end effects, are well and expanded taught in the "Conducts of lay-people". Knowing those teachings well, take them high, will always lead to best protection in all social relations, for those following then, the duties, to gain the results.
Sushan wrote: July 18th, 2023, 11:01 pm...In this spirit, how do you think individuals can balance their virtues and their desires in interacting with society? Specifically, how can they resist the lure of familiar but possibly less virtuous circumstances and instead strive towards higher ethical conduct?
My person thinks the upper link has the most of answers to it. Every step upwardly has only on most important supporting factor, and this is admirable friendship. Only one who has gained the Stream (seen the Dhamma for him/herself) is secure to walk the right way, and of course there are less beings getting in touch and take supportive by heart. One is most wise to use a blessed life to strife for the Dhamma-eye.

Of course virtue- and generosity-tendencies might help one to get out even of not so blessed condition, from the dark to bright, but also the other direction around: Tamonata Sutta: Darkness.

The "Blessings" of prosperty are somehow a step by step journey for each, and good householder will fast see why coming up to a very high stage here already, certain see "right" in the very famous Mangala Sutta:
https://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/sut/kn/snp/snp.2.04.piya wrote:Maha-mangala Sutta: Blessings

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at Anathapindika's monastery. Now when the night was far advanced, a certain deity, whose surpassing radiance illuminated the whole of Jetavana, approached the Blessed One, respectfully saluted him, and stood beside him. Standing thus, he addressed the Blessed One in verse:

1. “Many deities and men longing for happiness have pondered on (the question of) blessings. Pray tell me what the highest blessings are.

2. “Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate with the wise, and to honor those worthy of honor — this is the highest blessing.

3. “To reside in a suitable locality, to have performed meritorious actions in the past, and to set oneself in the right direction — this is the highest blessing.

4. “Vast learning, skill in handicrafts, well grounded in discipline, and pleasant speech — this is the highest blessing.

5. “To support one's father and mother; to cherish one's wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupations — this is the highest blessing.

6. “Liberality, righteous conduct, rendering assistance to relatives, and performance of blameless deeds — this is the highest blessing.

7. “To cease and abstain from evil, to abstain from intoxicating drinks, and diligent in performing righteous acts — this is the highest blessing.

8. “Reverence, humility, contentment, gratitude, and the timely hearing of the Dhamma, the teaching of the Buddha — this is the highest blessing.

9. “Patience, obedience, meeting the Samanas (holy men), and timely discussions on the Dhamma — this is the highest blessing.

10. “Self-control, chastity, comprehension of the Noble Truths, and the realization of Nibbana — this is the highest blessing.

11. “The mind that is not touched by the vicissitudes of life,(1) the mind that is free from sorrow, stainless, and secure — this is the highest blessing.

12. “Those who have fulfilled the conditions (for such blessings) are victorious everywhere, and attain happiness everywhere — To them these are the highest blessings.”
Again: a human existance, not stupid, peace time, and then even meeting the Gems, are very, very seldom to meet and one would waste much precious time and possibility if wishing to change sociaties and the world. Hard enough to change oneself toward secure, but possible if meeting the required conditions, of what the previously isn't at all. Those with relation will follow good ways, and so no need to wait on others at all. Beings are heir of their actions.

Mudita
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Post by Sushan »

Samana Johann wrote: July 19th, 2023, 10:04 am
Sushan wrote: July 18th, 2023, 11:01 pm ...Your input indeed broadens the understanding of the complex interplay of individual behavior, societal influence, and the nuances of change and familiarity. It also illuminates the significant impact of virtues and ethical conduct in shaping individual and societal experiences.
Mudita. It's not common to see more clear, to keep proper attention while listening, reading, the Sublime Dhamma, good householder. So all space for empathic-joy with good householders gains and work here.

Important, maybe good to state again, is that actions (by thoughts, words, body) and effects are very individual, single choices. Sure, a sociaty where good teachings are still very common are conductive, yet no quarant (what ever compounded isn't for sure and subject to decay). 90% of the worlds common societies live in strong relation with wrong view...
https://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/sut/an/an10/an10.176.than#mind wrote:“And how is one made impure in three ways by mental action? There is the case where a certain person is covetous. He covets the belongings of others, thinking, 'O, that what belongs to others would be mine!' He bears ill will, corrupt in the resolves of his heart: 'May these beings be killed or cut apart or crushed or destroyed, or may they not exist at all!' He has wrong view, is warped in the way he sees things: 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is how one is made impure in three ways by mental action.
...and even the last areas will soon disappear totally. Thinking in terms of "rights", ingratitude and denying of obligation, as well as ideas of equality, all of whats destructive, are as present and promoted views all over. Without strong wrong view, wrong deeds are impossible, not to speak of wars or even world wars. Currently the modern strives to destroy any element of right view. So really not much time to waste in trying to solve the issue.

In regard of single relations, the duties within, end effects, are well and expanded taught in the "Conducts of lay-people". Knowing those teachings well, take them high, will always lead to best protection in all social relations, for those following then, the duties, to gain the results.
Thank you for your continued insights and your thought-provoking response.
Indeed, you reiterate a vital point that actions and their effects are highly individual, rooted in personal choices. However, the societal context in which these choices are made undoubtedly bears weight. It's a sobering realization that many societies are influenced by misguided views and beliefs.
The teachings from the Suttas, especially the ones on mental actions, emphasize the importance of maintaining purity in thoughts, desires, and perspectives. Covetousness, ill will, and warped views, as the sutta explains, can tarnish one's spiritual purity and hinder righteous action.
The pervasiveness of ideas promoting equality, rights, and ingratitude is concerning. They can distort our perception and deter us from the path of righteousness and virtue. This insight aligns with the main concern raised in the discussion about societal influence and individual actions.
When we shift our focus to personal relationships, understanding the teachings on the conduct of laypeople is paramount. Upholding these duties can lead to harmony and growth in social relationships. It seems to me that these teachings could provide a counterbalance to societal influences and guide individuals towards virtuous actions.
However, there's a larger question to address here: how can we navigate and potentially mitigate these societal influences that steer individuals away from right views and correct action? How can we encourage societies to foster environments that promote righteous thinking and ethical conduct, rather than corrupt views?
My person thinks the upper link has the most of answers to it. Every step upwardly has only on most important supporting factor, and this is admirable friendship. Only one who has gained the Stream (seen the Dhamma for him/herself) is secure to walk the right way, and of course there are less beings getting in touch and take supportive by heart. One is most wise to use a blessed life to strife for the Dhamma-eye.

Of course virtue- and generosity-tendencies might help one to get out even of not so blessed condition, from the dark to bright, but also the other direction around: Tamonata Sutta: Darkness.

The "Blessings" of prosperty are somehow a step by step journey for each, and good householder will fast see why coming up to a very high stage here already, certain see "right" in the very famous Mangala Sutta:
https://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/ ... .2.04.piya wrote:
Maha-mangala Sutta: Blessings

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at Anathapindika's monastery. Now when the night was far advanced, a certain deity, whose surpassing radiance illuminated the whole of Jetavana, approached the Blessed One, respectfully saluted him, and stood beside him. Standing thus, he addressed the Blessed One in verse:

1. “Many deities and men longing for happiness have pondered on (the question of) blessings. Pray tell me what the highest blessings are.

2. “Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate with the wise, and to honor those worthy of honor — this is the highest blessing.

3. “To reside in a suitable locality, to have performed meritorious actions in the past, and to set oneself in the right direction — this is the highest blessing.

4. “Vast learning, skill in handicrafts, well grounded in discipline, and pleasant speech — this is the highest blessing.

5. “To support one's father and mother; to cherish one's wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupations — this is the highest blessing.

6. “Liberality, righteous conduct, rendering assistance to relatives, and performance of blameless deeds — this is the highest blessing.

7. “To cease and abstain from evil, to abstain from intoxicating drinks, and diligent in performing righteous acts — this is the highest blessing.

8. “Reverence, humility, contentment, gratitude, and the timely hearing of the Dhamma, the teaching of the Buddha — this is the highest blessing.

9. “Patience, obedience, meeting the Samanas (holy men), and timely discussions on the Dhamma — this is the highest blessing.

10. “Self-control, chastity, comprehension of the Noble Truths, and the realization of Nibbana — this is the highest blessing.

11. “The mind that is not touched by the vicissitudes of life,(1) the mind that is free from sorrow, stainless, and secure — this is the highest blessing.

12. “Those who have fulfilled the conditions (for such blessings) are victorious everywhere, and attain happiness everywhere — To them these are the highest blessings.”
Again: a human existance, not stupid, peace time, and then even meeting the Gems, are very, very seldom to meet and one would waste much precious time and possibility if wishing to change sociaties and the world. Hard enough to change oneself toward secure, but possible if meeting the required conditions, of what the previously isn't at all. Those with relation will follow good ways, and so no need to wait on others at all. Beings are heir of their actions.

Mudita
You've emphasized the importance of admirable friendship in our journey towards higher ethical conduct. This reminds me of Aristotle's concept of virtuous friendship, which is based on mutual respect and shared virtues.

The idea of transitioning from darkness to light through virtue and generosity is quite impactful. This reaffirms that virtuous actions can act as guiding principles in life, providing clarity and direction. It aligns with Albertus Kral's discussion in "Free Will, Do You Have It?", where he highlights the significance of virtues in navigating life's intricacies.

Your quote from the Maha-mangala Sutta beautifully encapsulates the essence of a blessed life: association with the wise, vast learning, pleasant speech, supporting family, liberality, righteous conduct, and abstaining from evil. This guidance can indeed be instrumental in maintaining a balance between personal desires and societal interactions.

In the context of our ongoing discussion about individual and societal influences, the concept of "residing in a suitable locality" mentioned in the Sutta strikes a chord. Could you elaborate more on how the choice of our environment or community can shape our virtue and influence? How does one determine what locality is suitable for their spiritual and ethical growth?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Post by Samana Johann »

Sushan wrote: July 20th, 2023, 12:07 am
Samana Johann wrote: July 19th, 2023, 10:04 am
Sushan wrote: July 18th, 2023, 11:01 pm ...Your input indeed broadens the understanding of the complex interplay of individual behavior, societal influence, and the nuances of change and familiarity. It also illuminates the significant impact of virtues and ethical conduct in shaping individual and societal experiences.
Mudita. It's not common to see more clear, to keep proper attention while listening, reading, the Sublime Dhamma, good householder. So all space for empathic-joy with good householders gains and work here.

Important, maybe good to state again, is that actions (by thoughts, words, body) and effects are very individual, single choices. Sure, a sociaty where good teachings are still very common are conductive, yet no quarant (what ever compounded isn't for sure and subject to decay). 90% of the worlds common societies live in strong relation with wrong view...
https://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/sut/an/an10/an10.176.than#mind wrote:“And how is one made impure in three ways by mental action? There is the case where a certain person is covetous. He covets the belongings of others, thinking, 'O, that what belongs to others would be mine!' He bears ill will, corrupt in the resolves of his heart: 'May these beings be killed or cut apart or crushed or destroyed, or may they not exist at all!' He has wrong view, is warped in the way he sees things: 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is how one is made impure in three ways by mental action.
...and even the last areas will soon disappear totally. Thinking in terms of "rights", ingratitude and denying of obligation, as well as ideas of equality, all of whats destructive, are as present and promoted views all over. Without strong wrong view, wrong deeds are impossible, not to speak of wars or even world wars. Currently the modern strives to destroy any element of right view. So really not much time to waste in trying to solve the issue.

In regard of single relations, the duties within, end effects, are well and expanded taught in the "Conducts of lay-people". Knowing those teachings well, take them high, will always lead to best protection in all social relations, for those following then, the duties, to gain the results.
Thank you for your continued insights and your thought-provoking response.
Indeed, you reiterate a vital point that actions and their effects are highly individual, rooted in personal choices. However, the societal context in which these choices are made undoubtedly bears weight. It's a sobering realization that many societies are influenced by misguided views and beliefs.
The teachings from the Suttas, especially the ones on mental actions, emphasize the importance of maintaining purity in thoughts, desires, and perspectives. Covetousness, ill will, and warped views, as the sutta explains, can tarnish one's spiritual purity and hinder righteous action.
The pervasiveness of ideas promoting equality, rights, and ingratitude is concerning. They can distort our perception and deter us from the path of righteousness and virtue. This insight aligns with the main concern raised in the discussion about societal influence and individual actions.
When we shift our focus to personal relationships, understanding the teachings on the conduct of laypeople is paramount. Upholding these duties can lead to harmony and growth in social relationships. It seems to me that these teachings could provide a counterbalance to societal influences and guide individuals towards virtuous actions.
However, there's a larger question to address here: how can we navigate and potentially mitigate these societal influences that steer individuals away from right views and correct action? How can we encourage societies to foster environments that promote righteous thinking and ethical conduct, rather than corrupt views?
The time has gone, good householder. We live in the Dhamma end period, and so gain, good to focus on one's own way out of, at least, the sensual world, leaving that what's naturally subject to decay it's caues by reaching the stream and become, what's called, a secure person, a Noble One.

The main cause of wrong is rooted in sensual desires, and given that the great mass of people just start to go crazy after it, it's pointless to try to motivate toward renouncing from the root. All works this days behind a sensuality industry. Every move toward moral and contentment will be regarded as harm by common people who dislike what ever good.
My person thinks the upper link has the most of answers to it. Every step upwardly has only on most important supporting factor, and this is admirable friendship. Only one who has gained the Stream (seen the Dhamma for him/herself) is secure to walk the right way, and of course there are less beings getting in touch and take supportive by heart. One is most wise to use a blessed life to strife for the Dhamma-eye.

Of course virtue- and generosity-tendencies might help one to get out even of not so blessed condition, from the dark to bright, but also the other direction around: Tamonata Sutta: Darkness.

The "Blessings" of prosperty are somehow a step by step journey for each, and good householder will fast see why coming up to a very high stage here already, certain see "right" in the very famous Mangala Sutta:
https://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/ ... .2.04.piya wrote:
Maha-mangala Sutta: Blessings

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at Anathapindika's monastery. Now when the night was far advanced, a certain deity, whose surpassing radiance illuminated the whole of Jetavana, approached the Blessed One, respectfully saluted him, and stood beside him. Standing thus, he addressed the Blessed One in verse:

1. “Many deities and men longing for happiness have pondered on (the question of) blessings. Pray tell me what the highest blessings are.

2. “Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate with the wise, and to honor those worthy of honor — this is the highest blessing.

3. “To reside in a suitable locality, to have performed meritorious actions in the past, and to set oneself in the right direction — this is the highest blessing.

4. “Vast learning, skill in handicrafts, well grounded in discipline, and pleasant speech — this is the highest blessing.

5. “To support one's father and mother; to cherish one's wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupations — this is the highest blessing.

6. “Liberality, righteous conduct, rendering assistance to relatives, and performance of blameless deeds — this is the highest blessing.

7. “To cease and abstain from evil, to abstain from intoxicating drinks, and diligent in performing righteous acts — this is the highest blessing.

8. “Reverence, humility, contentment, gratitude, and the timely hearing of the Dhamma, the teaching of the Buddha — this is the highest blessing.

9. “Patience, obedience, meeting the Samanas (holy men), and timely discussions on the Dhamma — this is the highest blessing.

10. “Self-control, chastity, comprehension of the Noble Truths, and the realization of Nibbana — this is the highest blessing.

11. “The mind that is not touched by the vicissitudes of life,(1) the mind that is free from sorrow, stainless, and secure — this is the highest blessing.

12. “Those who have fulfilled the conditions (for such blessings) are victorious everywhere, and attain happiness everywhere — To them these are the highest blessings.”
Again: a human existance, not stupid, peace time, and then even meeting the Gems, are very, very seldom to meet and one would waste much precious time and possibility if wishing to change sociaties and the world. Hard enough to change oneself toward secure, but possible if meeting the required conditions, of what the previously isn't at all. Those with relation will follow good ways, and so no need to wait on others at all. Beings are heir of their actions.

Mudita
You've emphasized the importance of admirable friendship in our journey towards higher ethical conduct. This reminds me of Aristotle's concept of virtuous friendship, which is based on mutual respect and shared virtues.

The idea of transitioning from darkness to light through virtue and generosity is quite impactful. This reaffirms that virtuous actions can act as guiding principles in life, providing clarity and direction. It aligns with Albertus Kral's discussion in "Free Will, Do You Have It?", where he highlights the significance of virtues in navigating life's intricacies.

Your quote from the Maha-mangala Sutta beautifully encapsulates the essence of a blessed life: association with the wise, vast learning, pleasant speech, supporting family, liberality, righteous conduct, and abstaining from evil. This guidance can indeed be instrumental in maintaining a balance between personal desires and societal interactions.

In the context of our ongoing discussion about individual and societal influences, the concept of "residing in a suitable locality" mentioned in the Sutta strikes a chord. Could you elaborate more on how the choice of our environment or community can shape our virtue and influence? How does one determine what locality is suitable for their spiritual and ethical growth?
Where people at large still holding up right view everywhere and any different would be regarded as shameful. Those places are nearly gone, the old world, or the east, soon the same lost swamp full of pseudo-liberality. Even the monkhood, at large, since no more really renouncing common sociaty, hardly follows the basic.

Tracing the right teacher, friend, guide, is not only the most importand but also the most difficult (since one needs to become an admirable person oneself, step by step), of course, and a huge topic, my person has dedicated many detail topics on more remote place, good householder is always given to investigate.

Maybe leaving to reads on it here: Head & Heart Together: The Power of Judgment and

How to address wrong view?
Download: http://forum.accesstoinsight.eu/index.php?action=tpmod;dl=item271

Direct:
Pdf-File http://forum.accesstoinsight.eu/index.php?action=tpmod;dl=get271

(accesstoinsight.eu replace with sangham[dot]net)
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Sushan
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Post by Sushan »

Samana Johann wrote: July 20th, 2023, 7:24 am
Sushan wrote: July 20th, 2023, 12:07 am
Samana Johann wrote: July 19th, 2023, 10:04 am
Sushan wrote: July 18th, 2023, 11:01 pm ...Your input indeed broadens the understanding of the complex interplay of individual behavior, societal influence, and the nuances of change and familiarity. It also illuminates the significant impact of virtues and ethical conduct in shaping individual and societal experiences.
Mudita. It's not common to see more clear, to keep proper attention while listening, reading, the Sublime Dhamma, good householder. So all space for empathic-joy with good householders gains and work here.

Important, maybe good to state again, is that actions (by thoughts, words, body) and effects are very individual, single choices. Sure, a sociaty where good teachings are still very common are conductive, yet no quarant (what ever compounded isn't for sure and subject to decay). 90% of the worlds common societies live in strong relation with wrong view...
https://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/sut/an/an10/an10.176.than#mind wrote:“And how is one made impure in three ways by mental action? There is the case where a certain person is covetous. He covets the belongings of others, thinking, 'O, that what belongs to others would be mine!' He bears ill will, corrupt in the resolves of his heart: 'May these beings be killed or cut apart or crushed or destroyed, or may they not exist at all!' He has wrong view, is warped in the way he sees things: 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is how one is made impure in three ways by mental action.
...and even the last areas will soon disappear totally. Thinking in terms of "rights", ingratitude and denying of obligation, as well as ideas of equality, all of whats destructive, are as present and promoted views all over. Without strong wrong view, wrong deeds are impossible, not to speak of wars or even world wars. Currently the modern strives to destroy any element of right view. So really not much time to waste in trying to solve the issue.

In regard of single relations, the duties within, end effects, are well and expanded taught in the "Conducts of lay-people". Knowing those teachings well, take them high, will always lead to best protection in all social relations, for those following then, the duties, to gain the results.
Thank you for your continued insights and your thought-provoking response.
Indeed, you reiterate a vital point that actions and their effects are highly individual, rooted in personal choices. However, the societal context in which these choices are made undoubtedly bears weight. It's a sobering realization that many societies are influenced by misguided views and beliefs.
The teachings from the Suttas, especially the ones on mental actions, emphasize the importance of maintaining purity in thoughts, desires, and perspectives. Covetousness, ill will, and warped views, as the sutta explains, can tarnish one's spiritual purity and hinder righteous action.
The pervasiveness of ideas promoting equality, rights, and ingratitude is concerning. They can distort our perception and deter us from the path of righteousness and virtue. This insight aligns with the main concern raised in the discussion about societal influence and individual actions.
When we shift our focus to personal relationships, understanding the teachings on the conduct of laypeople is paramount. Upholding these duties can lead to harmony and growth in social relationships. It seems to me that these teachings could provide a counterbalance to societal influences and guide individuals towards virtuous actions.
However, there's a larger question to address here: how can we navigate and potentially mitigate these societal influences that steer individuals away from right views and correct action? How can we encourage societies to foster environments that promote righteous thinking and ethical conduct, rather than corrupt views?
The time has gone, good householder. We live in the Dhamma end period, and so gain, good to focus on one's own way out of, at least, the sensual world, leaving that what's naturally subject to decay it's caues by reaching the stream and become, what's called, a secure person, a Noble One.

The main cause of wrong is rooted in sensual desires, and given that the great mass of people just start to go crazy after it, it's pointless to try to motivate toward renouncing from the root. All works this days behind a sensuality industry. Every move toward moral and contentment will be regarded as harm by common people who dislike what ever good.
My person thinks the upper link has the most of answers to it. Every step upwardly has only on most important supporting factor, and this is admirable friendship. Only one who has gained the Stream (seen the Dhamma for him/herself) is secure to walk the right way, and of course there are less beings getting in touch and take supportive by heart. One is most wise to use a blessed life to strife for the Dhamma-eye.

Of course virtue- and generosity-tendencies might help one to get out even of not so blessed condition, from the dark to bright, but also the other direction around: Tamonata Sutta: Darkness.

The "Blessings" of prosperty are somehow a step by step journey for each, and good householder will fast see why coming up to a very high stage here already, certain see "right" in the very famous Mangala Sutta:
https://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/ ... .2.04.piya wrote:
Maha-mangala Sutta: Blessings

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at Anathapindika's monastery. Now when the night was far advanced, a certain deity, whose surpassing radiance illuminated the whole of Jetavana, approached the Blessed One, respectfully saluted him, and stood beside him. Standing thus, he addressed the Blessed One in verse:

1. “Many deities and men longing for happiness have pondered on (the question of) blessings. Pray tell me what the highest blessings are.

2. “Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate with the wise, and to honor those worthy of honor — this is the highest blessing.

3. “To reside in a suitable locality, to have performed meritorious actions in the past, and to set oneself in the right direction — this is the highest blessing.

4. “Vast learning, skill in handicrafts, well grounded in discipline, and pleasant speech — this is the highest blessing.

5. “To support one's father and mother; to cherish one's wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupations — this is the highest blessing.

6. “Liberality, righteous conduct, rendering assistance to relatives, and performance of blameless deeds — this is the highest blessing.

7. “To cease and abstain from evil, to abstain from intoxicating drinks, and diligent in performing righteous acts — this is the highest blessing.

8. “Reverence, humility, contentment, gratitude, and the timely hearing of the Dhamma, the teaching of the Buddha — this is the highest blessing.

9. “Patience, obedience, meeting the Samanas (holy men), and timely discussions on the Dhamma — this is the highest blessing.

10. “Self-control, chastity, comprehension of the Noble Truths, and the realization of Nibbana — this is the highest blessing.

11. “The mind that is not touched by the vicissitudes of life,(1) the mind that is free from sorrow, stainless, and secure — this is the highest blessing.

12. “Those who have fulfilled the conditions (for such blessings) are victorious everywhere, and attain happiness everywhere — To them these are the highest blessings.”
Again: a human existance, not stupid, peace time, and then even meeting the Gems, are very, very seldom to meet and one would waste much precious time and possibility if wishing to change sociaties and the world. Hard enough to change oneself toward secure, but possible if meeting the required conditions, of what the previously isn't at all. Those with relation will follow good ways, and so no need to wait on others at all. Beings are heir of their actions.

Mudita
You've emphasized the importance of admirable friendship in our journey towards higher ethical conduct. This reminds me of Aristotle's concept of virtuous friendship, which is based on mutual respect and shared virtues.

The idea of transitioning from darkness to light through virtue and generosity is quite impactful. This reaffirms that virtuous actions can act as guiding principles in life, providing clarity and direction. It aligns with Albertus Kral's discussion in "Free Will, Do You Have It?", where he highlights the significance of virtues in navigating life's intricacies.

Your quote from the Maha-mangala Sutta beautifully encapsulates the essence of a blessed life: association with the wise, vast learning, pleasant speech, supporting family, liberality, righteous conduct, and abstaining from evil. This guidance can indeed be instrumental in maintaining a balance between personal desires and societal interactions.

In the context of our ongoing discussion about individual and societal influences, the concept of "residing in a suitable locality" mentioned in the Sutta strikes a chord. Could you elaborate more on how the choice of our environment or community can shape our virtue and influence? How does one determine what locality is suitable for their spiritual and ethical growth?
Where people at large still holding up right view everywhere and any different would be regarded as shameful. Those places are nearly gone, the old world, or the east, soon the same lost swamp full of pseudo-liberality. Even the monkhood, at large, since no more really renouncing common sociaty, hardly follows the basic.

Tracing the right teacher, friend, guide, is not only the most importand but also the most difficult (since one needs to become an admirable person oneself, step by step), of course, and a huge topic, my person has dedicated many detail topics on more remote place, good householder is always given to investigate.

Maybe leaving to reads on it here: Head & Heart Together: The Power of Judgment and

How to address wrong view?
Download: http://forum.accesstoinsight.eu/index.php?action=tpmod;dl=item271

Direct:
Pdf-File http://forum.accesstoinsight.eu/index.php?action=tpmod;dl=get271

(accesstoinsight.eu replace with sangham[dot]net)
I appreciate the thoughtful insights and resources you've shared, and I recognize the concerns you've raised about societal trends and their influence on our ability to live virtuously. The allure of sensual desires and the influences of materialism and instant gratification do present significant challenges for individuals seeking a path of righteousness and virtue. Yet, I firmly believe that societal trends are not immutable; they shift and evolve over time.

While it may appear that we are currently in an era dominated by the 'sensuality industry,' I believe it's not beyond possibility for a shift towards greater moral consciousness and spiritual development to occur. Even in the face of those who might perceive such a shift as harmful due to their attachment to sensual pleasures, promoting the path of ethical conduct, contentment, and spiritual growth is crucial.

I concur that a valuable part of this journey involves finding a suitable environment that supports our ethical and spiritual growth. Your emphasis on the importance of seeking the right teacher or guide resonates deeply with me. Although this pursuit can be challenging, it's a vital aspect of our ethical and spiritual development. The resources you've shared promise to be valuable tools for understanding how to address wrong views and balance judgment with compassion, and I am grateful for these contributions.

Yet, in the face of societal evolution, and recognizing that society doesn't always progress in ways that support ethical conduct, I maintain a belief in the potential of individuals to positively influence their immediate environments. While broader societal change may be beyond our reach, we can foster ethical values within our own communities.

It's my conviction that it's not just about finding a suitable locality for spiritual and ethical growth, but also about creating one. Through our conduct and actions, we have the potential to influence our immediate communities positively and create environments that nurture ethical and spiritual growth. This approach supports not just our spiritual development but also encourages the same in others. After all, part of our spiritual journey involves living in a way that promotes peace, understanding, and growth in our communities, however small our actions might seem.

Would you agree with this perspective—that while focusing on our own spiritual development is crucial, it's equally important to encourage and inspire the same in others, creating spaces conducive to ethical and spiritual growth?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Samana Johann
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Post by Samana Johann »

Sushan wrote: July 26th, 2023, 9:23 am
Samana Johann wrote: July 20th, 2023, 7:24 am
Sushan wrote: July 20th, 2023, 12:07 am
Samana Johann wrote: July 19th, 2023, 10:04 am

Mudita. It's not common to see more clear, to keep proper attention while listening, reading, the Sublime Dhamma, good householder. So all space for empathic-joy with good householders gains and work here.

Important, maybe good to state again, is that actions (by thoughts, words, body) and effects are very individual, single choices. Sure, a sociaty where good teachings are still very common are conductive, yet no quarant (what ever compounded isn't for sure and subject to decay). 90% of the worlds common societies live in strong relation with wrong view...



...and even the last areas will soon disappear totally. Thinking in terms of "rights", ingratitude and denying of obligation, as well as ideas of equality, all of whats destructive, are as present and promoted views all over. Without strong wrong view, wrong deeds are impossible, not to speak of wars or even world wars. Currently the modern strives to destroy any element of right view. So really not much time to waste in trying to solve the issue.

In regard of single relations, the duties within, end effects, are well and expanded taught in the "Conducts of lay-people". Knowing those teachings well, take them high, will always lead to best protection in all social relations, for those following then, the duties, to gain the results.
Thank you for your continued insights and your thought-provoking response.
Indeed, you reiterate a vital point that actions and their effects are highly individual, rooted in personal choices. However, the societal context in which these choices are made undoubtedly bears weight. It's a sobering realization that many societies are influenced by misguided views and beliefs.
The teachings from the Suttas, especially the ones on mental actions, emphasize the importance of maintaining purity in thoughts, desires, and perspectives. Covetousness, ill will, and warped views, as the sutta explains, can tarnish one's spiritual purity and hinder righteous action.
The pervasiveness of ideas promoting equality, rights, and ingratitude is concerning. They can distort our perception and deter us from the path of righteousness and virtue. This insight aligns with the main concern raised in the discussion about societal influence and individual actions.
When we shift our focus to personal relationships, understanding the teachings on the conduct of laypeople is paramount. Upholding these duties can lead to harmony and growth in social relationships. It seems to me that these teachings could provide a counterbalance to societal influences and guide individuals towards virtuous actions.
However, there's a larger question to address here: how can we navigate and potentially mitigate these societal influences that steer individuals away from right views and correct action? How can we encourage societies to foster environments that promote righteous thinking and ethical conduct, rather than corrupt views?
The time has gone, good householder. We live in the Dhamma end period, and so gain, good to focus on one's own way out of, at least, the sensual world, leaving that what's naturally subject to decay it's caues by reaching the stream and become, what's called, a secure person, a Noble One.

The main cause of wrong is rooted in sensual desires, and given that the great mass of people just start to go crazy after it, it's pointless to try to motivate toward renouncing from the root. All works this days behind a sensuality industry. Every move toward moral and contentment will be regarded as harm by common people who dislike what ever good.
My person thinks the upper link has the most of answers to it. Every step upwardly has only on most important supporting factor, and this is admirable friendship. Only one who has gained the Stream (seen the Dhamma for him/herself) is secure to walk the right way, and of course there are less beings getting in touch and take supportive by heart. One is most wise to use a blessed life to strife for the Dhamma-eye.

Of course virtue- and generosity-tendencies might help one to get out even of not so blessed condition, from the dark to bright, but also the other direction around: Tamonata Sutta: Darkness.

The "Blessings" of prosperty are somehow a step by step journey for each, and good householder will fast see why coming up to a very high stage here already, certain see "right" in the very famous Mangala Sutta:
https://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/ ... .2.04.piya wrote:
Maha-mangala Sutta: Blessings

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa -

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi at Jetavana at Anathapindika's monastery. Now when the night was far advanced, a certain deity, whose surpassing radiance illuminated the whole of Jetavana, approached the Blessed One, respectfully saluted him, and stood beside him. Standing thus, he addressed the Blessed One in verse:

1. “Many deities and men longing for happiness have pondered on (the question of) blessings. Pray tell me what the highest blessings are.

2. “Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate with the wise, and to honor those worthy of honor — this is the highest blessing.

3. “To reside in a suitable locality, to have performed meritorious actions in the past, and to set oneself in the right direction — this is the highest blessing.

4. “Vast learning, skill in handicrafts, well grounded in discipline, and pleasant speech — this is the highest blessing.

5. “To support one's father and mother; to cherish one's wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupations — this is the highest blessing.

6. “Liberality, righteous conduct, rendering assistance to relatives, and performance of blameless deeds — this is the highest blessing.

7. “To cease and abstain from evil, to abstain from intoxicating drinks, and diligent in performing righteous acts — this is the highest blessing.

8. “Reverence, humility, contentment, gratitude, and the timely hearing of the Dhamma, the teaching of the Buddha — this is the highest blessing.

9. “Patience, obedience, meeting the Samanas (holy men), and timely discussions on the Dhamma — this is the highest blessing.

10. “Self-control, chastity, comprehension of the Noble Truths, and the realization of Nibbana — this is the highest blessing.

11. “The mind that is not touched by the vicissitudes of life,(1) the mind that is free from sorrow, stainless, and secure — this is the highest blessing.

12. “Those who have fulfilled the conditions (for such blessings) are victorious everywhere, and attain happiness everywhere — To them these are the highest blessings.”
Again: a human existance, not stupid, peace time, and then even meeting the Gems, are very, very seldom to meet and one would waste much precious time and possibility if wishing to change sociaties and the world. Hard enough to change oneself toward secure, but possible if meeting the required conditions, of what the previously isn't at all. Those with relation will follow good ways, and so no need to wait on others at all. Beings are heir of their actions.

Mudita
You've emphasized the importance of admirable friendship in our journey towards higher ethical conduct. This reminds me of Aristotle's concept of virtuous friendship, which is based on mutual respect and shared virtues.

The idea of transitioning from darkness to light through virtue and generosity is quite impactful. This reaffirms that virtuous actions can act as guiding principles in life, providing clarity and direction. It aligns with Albertus Kral's discussion in "Free Will, Do You Have It?", where he highlights the significance of virtues in navigating life's intricacies.

Your quote from the Maha-mangala Sutta beautifully encapsulates the essence of a blessed life: association with the wise, vast learning, pleasant speech, supporting family, liberality, righteous conduct, and abstaining from evil. This guidance can indeed be instrumental in maintaining a balance between personal desires and societal interactions.

In the context of our ongoing discussion about individual and societal influences, the concept of "residing in a suitable locality" mentioned in the Sutta strikes a chord. Could you elaborate more on how the choice of our environment or community can shape our virtue and influence? How does one determine what locality is suitable for their spiritual and ethical growth?
Where people at large still holding up right view everywhere and any different would be regarded as shameful. Those places are nearly gone, the old world, or the east, soon the same lost swamp full of pseudo-liberality. Even the monkhood, at large, since no more really renouncing common sociaty, hardly follows the basic.

Tracing the right teacher, friend, guide, is not only the most importand but also the most difficult (since one needs to become an admirable person oneself, step by step), of course, and a huge topic, my person has dedicated many detail topics on more remote place, good householder is always given to investigate.

Maybe leaving to reads on it here: Head & Heart Together: The Power of Judgment and

How to address wrong view?
Download: http://forum.accesstoinsight.eu/index.php?action=tpmod;dl=item271

Direct:
Pdf-File http://forum.accesstoinsight.eu/index.php?action=tpmod;dl=get271

(accesstoinsight.eu replace with sangham[dot]net)
I appreciate the thoughtful insights and resources you've shared, and I recognize the concerns you've raised about societal trends and their influence on our ability to live virtuously. The allure of sensual desires and the influences of materialism and instant gratification do present significant challenges for individuals seeking a path of righteousness and virtue. Yet, I firmly believe that societal trends are not immutable; they shift and evolve over time.

While it may appear that we are currently in an era dominated by the 'sensuality industry,' I believe it's not beyond possibility for a shift towards greater moral consciousness and spiritual development to occur. Even in the face of those who might perceive such a shift as harmful due to their attachment to sensual pleasures, promoting the path of ethical conduct, contentment, and spiritual growth is crucial.

I concur that a valuable part of this journey involves finding a suitable environment that supports our ethical and spiritual growth. Your emphasis on the importance of seeking the right teacher or guide resonates deeply with me. Although this pursuit can be challenging, it's a vital aspect of our ethical and spiritual development. The resources you've shared promise to be valuable tools for understanding how to address wrong views and balance judgment with compassion, and I am grateful for these contributions.

Yet, in the face of societal evolution, and recognizing that society doesn't always progress in ways that support ethical conduct, I maintain a belief in the potential of individuals to positively influence their immediate environments. While broader societal change may be beyond our reach, we can foster ethical values within our own communities.

It's my conviction that it's not just about finding a suitable locality for spiritual and ethical growth, but also about creating one. Through our conduct and actions, we have the potential to influence our immediate communities positively and create environments that nurture ethical and spiritual growth. This approach supports not just our spiritual development but also encourages the same in others. After all, part of our spiritual journey involves living in a way that promotes peace, understanding, and growth in our communities, however small our actions might seem.

Would you agree with this perspective—that while focusing on our own spiritual development is crucial, it's equally important to encourage and inspire the same in others, creating spaces conducive to ethical and spiritual growth?
As the Buddha taught, good householder, there are four individual found in the world, two of them 'bad", two "good": bad: not practicing the Dhamma, virtue, generosity, seeking to visit the monks, not encouraging others to practice...visit the monks. Not practice by oneself, but encourage other. (better, but still not for ones benfit)

good: practicing oneself, not encouraging others. Foremost good: practicing (having seen it for oneself), also teaching others.

Worthy to not that the Buddha made not at all a duty to teach, did not encourage, unless arriving by oneself. By perfection, only Arahats (at least Ariya) should go out and teach the Dhamma, should be taken as refuge and formal teacher.

As for encouraging devoted householder:
https://www.accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/sut/an/08/sut.an08.026.than wrote:Jivaka Sutta: To Jivaka
(On Being a Lay Follower)

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Rajagaha, at Jivaka's Mango Grove. Then Jivaka Komarabhacca went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "Lord, to what extent is one a lay follower?"

"Jivaka, when one has gone to the Buddha for refuge, has gone to the Dhamma for refuge, and has gone to the Sangha for refuge, then to that extent is one a lay follower."

"And to what extent, lord, is one a virtuous lay follower?"

"Jivaka, when one abstains from taking life, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from lying, and from fermented & distilled drinks that lead to heedlessness, then to that extent is one a virtuous lay follower."

"And to what extent, lord, is one a lay follower who practices for his own benefit but not that of others?"

"Jivaka, when a lay follower himself is consummate in conviction but does not encourage others in the consummation of conviction; when he himself is consummate in virtue but does not encourage others in the consummation of virtue; when he himself is consummate in generosity but does not encourage others in the consummation of generosity; when he himself desires to see the monks but does not encourage others to see the monks; when he himself wants to hear the true Dhamma but does not encourage others to hear the true Dhamma; when he himself habitually remembers the Dhamma he has heard but does not encourage others to remember the Dhamma they have heard; when he himself explores the meaning of the Dhamma he has heard but does not encourage others to explore the meaning of the Dhamma they have heard; when he himself, knowing both the Dhamma & its meaning, practices the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, but does not encourage others to practice the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma: then to that extent he is a lay follower who practices for his own benefit but not for the benefit of others."

"And to what extent, lord, is one a lay follower who practices both for his own benefit & the benefit of others?"

"Jivaka, when a lay follower himself is consummate in conviction and encourages others in the consummation of conviction; when he himself is consummate in virtue and encourages others in the consummation of virtue; when he himself is consummate in generosity and encourages others in the consummation of generosity; when he himself desires to see the monks and encourages others to see the monks; when he himself wants to hear the true Dhamma and encourages others to hear the true Dhamma; when he himself habitually remembers the Dhamma he has heard and encourages others to remember the Dhamma they have heard; when he himself explores the meaning of the Dhamma he has heard and encourages others to explore the meaning of the Dhamma they have heard; when he himself, knowing both the Dhamma & its meaning, practices the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma and encourages others to practice the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma: then to that extent he is a lay follower who practices both for his own benefit and for the benefit of others."
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Sushan
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Post by Sushan »

Samana Johann wrote: July 30th, 2023, 8:14 pm
Sushan wrote: July 26th, 2023, 9:23 am
Samana Johann wrote: July 20th, 2023, 7:24 am
Sushan wrote: July 20th, 2023, 12:07 am

Thank you for your continued insights and your thought-provoking response.
Indeed, you reiterate a vital point that actions and their effects are highly individual, rooted in personal choices. However, the societal context in which these choices are made undoubtedly bears weight. It's a sobering realization that many societies are influenced by misguided views and beliefs.
The teachings from the Suttas, especially the ones on mental actions, emphasize the importance of maintaining purity in thoughts, desires, and perspectives. Covetousness, ill will, and warped views, as the sutta explains, can tarnish one's spiritual purity and hinder righteous action.
The pervasiveness of ideas promoting equality, rights, and ingratitude is concerning. They can distort our perception and deter us from the path of righteousness and virtue. This insight aligns with the main concern raised in the discussion about societal influence and individual actions.
When we shift our focus to personal relationships, understanding the teachings on the conduct of laypeople is paramount. Upholding these duties can lead to harmony and growth in social relationships. It seems to me that these teachings could provide a counterbalance to societal influences and guide individuals towards virtuous actions.
However, there's a larger question to address here: how can we navigate and potentially mitigate these societal influences that steer individuals away from right views and correct action? How can we encourage societies to foster environments that promote righteous thinking and ethical conduct, rather than corrupt views?
The time has gone, good householder. We live in the Dhamma end period, and so gain, good to focus on one's own way out of, at least, the sensual world, leaving that what's naturally subject to decay it's caues by reaching the stream and become, what's called, a secure person, a Noble One.

The main cause of wrong is rooted in sensual desires, and given that the great mass of people just start to go crazy after it, it's pointless to try to motivate toward renouncing from the root. All works this days behind a sensuality industry. Every move toward moral and contentment will be regarded as harm by common people who dislike what ever good.


You've emphasized the importance of admirable friendship in our journey towards higher ethical conduct. This reminds me of Aristotle's concept of virtuous friendship, which is based on mutual respect and shared virtues.

The idea of transitioning from darkness to light through virtue and generosity is quite impactful. This reaffirms that virtuous actions can act as guiding principles in life, providing clarity and direction. It aligns with Albertus Kral's discussion in "Free Will, Do You Have It?", where he highlights the significance of virtues in navigating life's intricacies.

Your quote from the Maha-mangala Sutta beautifully encapsulates the essence of a blessed life: association with the wise, vast learning, pleasant speech, supporting family, liberality, righteous conduct, and abstaining from evil. This guidance can indeed be instrumental in maintaining a balance between personal desires and societal interactions.

In the context of our ongoing discussion about individual and societal influences, the concept of "residing in a suitable locality" mentioned in the Sutta strikes a chord. Could you elaborate more on how the choice of our environment or community can shape our virtue and influence? How does one determine what locality is suitable for their spiritual and ethical growth?
Where people at large still holding up right view everywhere and any different would be regarded as shameful. Those places are nearly gone, the old world, or the east, soon the same lost swamp full of pseudo-liberality. Even the monkhood, at large, since no more really renouncing common sociaty, hardly follows the basic.

Tracing the right teacher, friend, guide, is not only the most importand but also the most difficult (since one needs to become an admirable person oneself, step by step), of course, and a huge topic, my person has dedicated many detail topics on more remote place, good householder is always given to investigate.

Maybe leaving to reads on it here: Head & Heart Together: The Power of Judgment and

How to address wrong view?
Download: http://forum.accesstoinsight.eu/index.php?action=tpmod;dl=item271

Direct:
Pdf-File http://forum.accesstoinsight.eu/index.php?action=tpmod;dl=get271

(accesstoinsight.eu replace with sangham[dot]net)
I appreciate the thoughtful insights and resources you've shared, and I recognize the concerns you've raised about societal trends and their influence on our ability to live virtuously. The allure of sensual desires and the influences of materialism and instant gratification do present significant challenges for individuals seeking a path of righteousness and virtue. Yet, I firmly believe that societal trends are not immutable; they shift and evolve over time.

While it may appear that we are currently in an era dominated by the 'sensuality industry,' I believe it's not beyond possibility for a shift towards greater moral consciousness and spiritual development to occur. Even in the face of those who might perceive such a shift as harmful due to their attachment to sensual pleasures, promoting the path of ethical conduct, contentment, and spiritual growth is crucial.

I concur that a valuable part of this journey involves finding a suitable environment that supports our ethical and spiritual growth. Your emphasis on the importance of seeking the right teacher or guide resonates deeply with me. Although this pursuit can be challenging, it's a vital aspect of our ethical and spiritual development. The resources you've shared promise to be valuable tools for understanding how to address wrong views and balance judgment with compassion, and I am grateful for these contributions.

Yet, in the face of societal evolution, and recognizing that society doesn't always progress in ways that support ethical conduct, I maintain a belief in the potential of individuals to positively influence their immediate environments. While broader societal change may be beyond our reach, we can foster ethical values within our own communities.

It's my conviction that it's not just about finding a suitable locality for spiritual and ethical growth, but also about creating one. Through our conduct and actions, we have the potential to influence our immediate communities positively and create environments that nurture ethical and spiritual growth. This approach supports not just our spiritual development but also encourages the same in others. After all, part of our spiritual journey involves living in a way that promotes peace, understanding, and growth in our communities, however small our actions might seem.

Would you agree with this perspective—that while focusing on our own spiritual development is crucial, it's equally important to encourage and inspire the same in others, creating spaces conducive to ethical and spiritual growth?
As the Buddha taught, good householder, there are four individual found in the world, two of them 'bad", two "good": bad: not practicing the Dhamma, virtue, generosity, seeking to visit the monks, not encouraging others to practice...visit the monks. Not practice by oneself, but encourage other. (better, but still not for ones benfit)

good: practicing oneself, not encouraging others. Foremost good: practicing (having seen it for oneself), also teaching others.

Worthy to not that the Buddha made not at all a duty to teach, did not encourage, unless arriving by oneself. By perfection, only Arahats (at least Ariya) should go out and teach the Dhamma, should be taken as refuge and formal teacher.

As for encouraging devoted householder:
https://www.accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/sut/an/08/sut.an08.026.than wrote:Jivaka Sutta: To Jivaka
(On Being a Lay Follower)

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Rajagaha, at Jivaka's Mango Grove. Then Jivaka Komarabhacca went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "Lord, to what extent is one a lay follower?"

"Jivaka, when one has gone to the Buddha for refuge, has gone to the Dhamma for refuge, and has gone to the Sangha for refuge, then to that extent is one a lay follower."

"And to what extent, lord, is one a virtuous lay follower?"

"Jivaka, when one abstains from taking life, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from lying, and from fermented & distilled drinks that lead to heedlessness, then to that extent is one a virtuous lay follower."

"And to what extent, lord, is one a lay follower who practices for his own benefit but not that of others?"

"Jivaka, when a lay follower himself is consummate in conviction but does not encourage others in the consummation of conviction; when he himself is consummate in virtue but does not encourage others in the consummation of virtue; when he himself is consummate in generosity but does not encourage others in the consummation of generosity; when he himself desires to see the monks but does not encourage others to see the monks; when he himself wants to hear the true Dhamma but does not encourage others to hear the true Dhamma; when he himself habitually remembers the Dhamma he has heard but does not encourage others to remember the Dhamma they have heard; when he himself explores the meaning of the Dhamma he has heard but does not encourage others to explore the meaning of the Dhamma they have heard; when he himself, knowing both the Dhamma & its meaning, practices the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma, but does not encourage others to practice the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma: then to that extent he is a lay follower who practices for his own benefit but not for the benefit of others."

"And to what extent, lord, is one a lay follower who practices both for his own benefit & the benefit of others?"

"Jivaka, when a lay follower himself is consummate in conviction and encourages others in the consummation of conviction; when he himself is consummate in virtue and encourages others in the consummation of virtue; when he himself is consummate in generosity and encourages others in the consummation of generosity; when he himself desires to see the monks and encourages others to see the monks; when he himself wants to hear the true Dhamma and encourages others to hear the true Dhamma; when he himself habitually remembers the Dhamma he has heard and encourages others to remember the Dhamma they have heard; when he himself explores the meaning of the Dhamma he has heard and encourages others to explore the meaning of the Dhamma they have heard; when he himself, knowing both the Dhamma & its meaning, practices the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma and encourages others to practice the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma: then to that extent he is a lay follower who practices both for his own benefit and for the benefit of others."
Thank you for the insightful reference to the Buddha's teachings. The distinction you've shared from the Jivaka Sutta highlights the different ways one can approach their spiritual journey, and it clearly emphasizes the nobility of both practicing the Dhamma personally and encouraging others to do the same.

It aligns well with what I was expressing about the importance of not only nurturing our own spiritual development but also fostering a conducive environment for others to do the same. As the Buddha mentions, a lay follower who practices both for his own benefit and the benefit of others exhibits a comprehensive approach to spiritual development.

While it's evident that the Buddha did not impose a duty on everyone to teach, he certainly extolled the virtues of those who, having grasped the essence of the Dhamma, encourage others in its practice. This resonates deeply with the idea of positively influencing our immediate environments, which, in turn, creates spaces that promote spiritual growth for all.

Drawing parallels with our original discussion, would you say that even in the face of prevailing societal influences, an individual, grounded in their understanding and practice of the Dhamma, can indeed foster such a positive environment? Can they, through their actions and influence, act as a beacon of ethical and spiritual guidance for their community?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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Samana Johann
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Post by Samana Johann »

http://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/sut/an/an05/an.05.038.than wrote: Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

"...Just as a large banyan tree, on level ground where four roads meet, is a haven for the birds all around, even so a lay person of conviction is a haven for many people: monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers."

A massive tree
whose branches carry fruits & leaves,
with trunks & roots
& an abundance of fruits:

There the birds find rest.

In that delightful sphere
they make their home.
Those seeking shade
come to the shade,
those seeking fruit
find fruit to eat.

So with the person consummate
in virtue & conviction,
humble, sensitive, gentle,
delightful, mild:
To him come those without effluent —
free from passion,
free from aversion,
free from delusion —
the field of merit for the world.

They teach him the Dhamma
that dispels all stress.
And when he understands,
he is freed from effluents,

totally unbound.
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Sushan
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Post by Sushan »

Samana Johann wrote: August 14th, 2023, 8:25 pm
http://accesstoinsight.eu/en/tipitaka/sut/an/an05/an.05.038.than wrote: Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

"...Just as a large banyan tree, on level ground where four roads meet, is a haven for the birds all around, even so a lay person of conviction is a haven for many people: monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers."

A massive tree
whose branches carry fruits & leaves,
with trunks & roots
& an abundance of fruits:

There the birds find rest.

In that delightful sphere
they make their home.
Those seeking shade
come to the shade,
those seeking fruit
find fruit to eat.

So with the person consummate
in virtue & conviction,
humble, sensitive, gentle,
delightful, mild:
To him come those without effluent —
free from passion,
free from aversion,
free from delusion —
the field of merit for the world.

They teach him the Dhamma
that dispels all stress.
And when he understands,
he is freed from effluents,

totally unbound.

Thank you for sharing that beautiful excerpt. It paints a vivid picture of the positive influence that a person of strong conviction and virtue can have on others, much like a nurturing tree that provides sustenance and shade to those who seek it. It emphasizes the transformative power of positive influences, in this case, the guidance of individuals who are free from passion, aversion, and delusion.

In relation to the original analogy of the egg, potato, and coffee beans, this excerpt seems to illustrate another potential outcome of societal influence: that of becoming a source of wisdom and guidance for others, akin to a bountiful tree under which others may find rest and sustenance. It suggests that the influences we are exposed to, and how we respond to them, can shape us into beings who are not only resilient in the face of societal pressures, but who can also serve as positive influences for others.

This perspective seems to be in harmony with your view that influences, whether perceived as good or bad, play a vital role in molding us. They can indeed reveal our true nature and shape us in significant ways, and under the right influences, individuals can become like that large banyan tree, providing guidance and comfort to others.

In light of this, I would argue that while bad influences pose risks, they do not inherently spell danger if one has the capacity to discern and navigate through them, much like the coffee beans in the analogy. Moreover, individuals can strive to become positive influences in their society, transforming it in meaningful ways.

Do you think that the capacity to serve as a positive influence, like the tree in your excerpt, is something innate within individuals, or is it a quality that can be cultivated over time through exposure to various influences and intentional personal development?
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

– William James
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avaregidor
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Post by avaregidor »

I think that the author's statement is not meant to imply that one should avoid or ignore the opinions of others, but rather that one should not let them determine or dictate one's identity or choices. I think that the author is trying to convey the idea that being unique means being true to oneself, and not conforming to the expectations or standards of others. I think that the author is also suggesting that being unique is a valuable and desirable quality, as it reflects one's individuality and creativity.
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Samana Johann
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Re: Influences, Individuals, and the Society

Post by Samana Johann »

avaregidor wrote: August 19th, 2023, 11:11 am I think that the author's statement is not meant to imply that one should avoid or ignore the opinions of others, but rather that one should not let them determine or dictate one's identity or choices. I think that the author is trying to convey the idea that being unique means being true to oneself, and not conforming to the expectations or standards of others. I think that the author is also suggesting that being unique is a valuable and desirable quality, as it reflects one's individuality and creativity.
Yes, the Sublime Buddha values the maintaining of good relations, society, yet never for the relations or societies sake at least, since actions, gains, liberation, are all individual.

You'd wouldn't really like to become useful for all with relations toward you, at first place, as preferring to consume away and stay right with others in the sink of mud, stepping each other on the head for short gain of some air.

Only one already no more related, depended, (abound sensual desires and gains in the world) is able to help others out, can act as an island for many (who seek such, not for those not).

So importand to know that there are societies heading downwardly and those with some hope, being still related to the Noble Ones.
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