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Thread: The Banality of Evil

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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    Quote Posted by Shezbeth (here)
    Against my better judgement I have been asked to continue this discourse.

    Quote Posted by loungelizard (here)
    The ideas that are being shared here are not his own personal theories: I'm pretty sure that he is speaking of the philosophy of Mahayana Buddhism, and the Madhayamaka school that was expounded by the Indian philosopher, Nagajuna. I've been studying this on and off for a few years now - and it takes a while to get your head around it. It's been fiercely debated and discussed for centuries
    I appreciate that clarification/explanation; I find that much more effective than the solitary (if veiled) "read my blog" statement and the condescending disregard of even the possibility of intelligently motivated disagreement. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with the ideas, I am contesting the idea that "This is correct and any diverse opinion is childish/undeveloped" while pointing out that while the description(s) given may make perfect sense to the person who is speaking, they do not effectively assist a diverse individual in reaching the same conclusions.

    Quote Posted by Tony (here)
    Pure awareness is only recognised in practice, and therefore provable.
    Without awareness we would not know anything.
    All one has to do is be aware of awareness.
    To do that we have to stop everything and look.

    In the stillness of meditation when aware of awareness, we notice nothing
    is happening, just awareness. We are being aware. [...]

    This is merely one of many presentations to discover ultimate truth.
    The ultimate truth is within the relative truth. [...]

    Ultimately we all seek unconditional happiness,
    Thank you for a perfect illustration.

    "I am that which cannot be pointed to and say "I am that"," - Mooji

    Is that comparable to what you mean?

    I understand a concept of pure awareness, but for one I use vastly different terminology and for two it is not something which I can reasonably conclude as being proven no matter how many experiences I have with it. Thirdly, the pure awareness I am familiar with does not conform to nor justify the expressions you have made regarding it; am I to understand that you have it right and I have it wrong, even though the experiences I have are replicable and consistent? Personally, I am of the mind that we both have it right, but I am not perceiving the same allowance in your iterations.

    Moreover, when I am in the stillness of meditation, I notice everything happening (limited by the capabilities of the body) collectively; it is not a closing off of input but a unification and opening to all stimuli including everything that the mind would otherwise ignore/disregard. Awareness (to me) does not mean not experiencing perceptions, it means a vast expansion of perception. Pure awareness then would be the perception/experience of all things which in my experience is a good way to drive one's limited physiological form mad. I'm not saying it is to be avoided - quite the contrary - but that (to turn a phrase) "One should not eat too much sweet honey".

    Quote Posted by yelik (here)
    From a practical point of view are the illuminati evil for wanting to ensure the survival of mankind against certain threats which may lead to the extinction of life on earth? Is is wrong to build deep underground bases, creat a seed bank and colonies the Moon and Mars?
    If that description were accurate (and the term evil weren't so loaded as has been illustrated) then no the illuminati are not 'evil', but there is far more to the equation than that.

    What the illuminati are trying to do is 'preserve mankind and the power structures, the hierarchical slavery, the predation, the vast personal and group agendas, to the exclusion (and extinction) of certain disparate entities/groups'.

    This is still not 'evil', because it is so many objective things without applying subjectivity. It is certainly injurious, agreeably biased, undoubtably preferential, and consistently - if selectively - malevolent. I could go on about the objective things it is, which is why I don't agree with the subjective things it may be perceived as. An excellent question IMO, as it alludes to the manner in which subjectivity can be applied to otherwise objective observation.


    Dear Shezbeth,
    Thank you for a perfect illustration.

    "I am that which cannot be pointed to and say "I am that"," - Mooji

    Is that comparable to what you mean?

    I understand a concept of pure awareness, but for one I use vastly different terminology and for two it is not something which I can reasonably conclude as being proven no matter how many experiences I have with it. Thirdly, the pure awareness I am familiar with does not conform to nor justify the expressions you have made regarding it; am I to understand that you have it right and I have it wrong, even though the experiences I have are replicable and consistent? Personally, I am of the mind that we both have it right, but I am not perceiving the same allowance in your iterations.

    Moreover, when I am in the stillness of meditation, I notice everything happening (limited by the capabilities of the body) collectively; it is not a closing off of input but a unification and opening to all stimuli including everything that the mind would otherwise ignore/disregard. Awareness (to me) does not mean not experiencing perceptions, it means a vast expansion of perception. Pure awareness then would be the perception/experience of all things which in my experience is a good way to drive one's limited physiological form mad. I'm not saying it is to be avoided - quite the contrary - but that (to turn a phrase) "One should not eat too much sweet honey".




    Agreed!
    Until the "I" is removed there can be no pure clarity.
    We still have effortless work to do.



    Tony
    www.buddhainthemud.com

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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    Quote Posted by minkton (here)
    Tony, I know you've been at this business for some time now, so I ask you : have you got a nice story which illustrates something about absolute truth being disbelieved in by those dwelling in the lower, relative mind, and a shift in perception happening?

    I'd love to know a good story, which could illustrate this movement toward the absolute in a way people can relate to. Seems to me a person has to have had a glimpse of it, to have the ability to grasp it, or else have a mental readiness or conceptual receptivity.

    Maybe the ground can only be prepared by practice. What's your view on this? Would like to know!


    Hello Minkton!
    This change in perception will be different for all of us. Sometimes our own stubbornness is the key.
    For me it has been many small events that joined up the dots.
    Once while at a fencing match, I watched a nifty young fencer, and the thought came to mind…"I envy him."
    A colleague standing next to me just said, "I admire that fencer." The effect was shattering.
    I was holding onto a very limited view of life, my colleague showed so much generosity.
    There are many little lessons like that that lead to refinement.

    I suppose it happened during the pointing-out-instruction of the nature of mind given to me by my teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche.
    He did a gesture of raising his hands up facing out, then turned them towards him, then dropped his hand to his thighs.
    The hands represented mirrors.

    …."That's it!?"

    The mind looks, sees and drops.
    What if left is pure awareness.

    He made us go in and out of pure awareness (in the Dzogchen tradition it is called Rigpa)
    so we were sure to know the difference. Actually it was a shock, to realise …"Is that all!"


    For something really simple:
    What is aware of these word without comment IS purer awareness…absolute truth.
    What is commenting on these word is conceptual mind…relative truth.
    The ego comes in and puffs itself up wanting to be recognised.
    Emptiness doesn't recognise an ego, but it can see it at work!

    Thought is samsara (the vicious cycle of sentient existence)
    The cessation of thought is nirvana (the end of sentient existence)

    As long as we was the word I…I do this and I see that, I understand this,
    this is a dualistic understanding. We are still in relative reality/conventional reality.


    It is only in meditation that this is clearly recognised.
    However if one has had the pointing-out-instruction then one merely remembers to recognise.
    Then one can use the negative emotions as a catalyst for recognising wisdom - pure awareness -essence.


    I'm sure this isn't much help, we gradually find the truth by clearing up all doubt and obscuration
    that we hold onto about for ourselves.



    Tony
    www.buddhainthemud.com

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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    @ Shezbeth

    It's interesting to read your personal interpretation of the words of others, but I don't understand why you feel the need to criticise someone who is merely offering their viewpoint. If their writing style is not to your taste but you find the material interesting and wish to engage and discuss, wonderful - maybe it would be possible for you to do that without making personal comments?

    For example, I have not found the OP to have a
    Quote "condescending disregard for intelligently motivated disagreement"
    or
    Quote "This is correct and any diverse opinion is childish/undeveloped"
    . Where on earth are you getting that from ? On the contrary, it appears that he has been trying to reply to each individual respectfully, whether or not you agree with the content of his writing.

    You seem to be feeling criticised -
    Quote "am I to understand that you have it right and I have it wrong"
    - despite the fact that there is no evidence for this.

    Tony is doing what he can and I sincerely appreciate his efforts. It may be timely to remember that no one is perfect, and attitude leaks out between the words that all of us write .

    As an example...you are familiar with Mooji: speaking personally, I have tried to get on with him but find his style to be unhelpful. To use your words,
    Quote "they do not effectively assist a diverse individual in reaching the same conclusions."
    I try not to criticise him personally as being not to my taste: I just don't listen to his teaching.

    Quote "…but your mind seems quite made up (no less so than mine)"
    reminds me of the old story: if two philosophers agree, one of them is not a philosopher. If two siddha disagree, one is not a siddha.

    Last edited by loungelizard; 16th May 2014 at 12:22.

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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    This world is like a traffic jam, and we are in it, complaining about the traffic jam.
    All these cars and people, all this pollution, all this impatience...and yet we forget
    we are part of it. “Well, I'm not involved in wars and killing people!”

    Ah! But when we blame others, find fault, hate and fear we create a poisonous
    atmosphere, where others who are less mentally stable can then carry out negative acts.
    Thus we have helped to create a world of care-less-ness and lack of empathy.


    We create our own world, in our minds.


    Tony
    www.buddhainthemud.com

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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    Still at it oh Monk? Nice to feel your essence here, keep on keeping on,only eternity to go....best regards Shijo the Nichirenite.

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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    Quote Posted by Tony (here)
    This world is like a traffic jam, and we are in it, complaining about the traffic jam.
    All these cars and people, all this pollution, all this impatience...and yet we forget
    we are part of it. “Well, I'm not involved in wars and killing people!”

    Ah! But when we blame others, find fault, hate and fear we create a poisonous
    atmosphere, where others who are less mentally stable can then carry out negative acts.
    Thus we have helped to create a world of care-less-ness and lack of empathy.


    We create our own world, in our minds.

    Tony
    Your metaphor meant to me that life is like a traffic jam that we forgot we are part of creating. We project onto others in judgement what WE create in the mind. I am reminded of Emmet fox and the "10 commandments" which he described not as "proscriptions" so much as the "sensible" way people behave when they have learned how to "be in the world" but "not of the world". I am not a religious person, Christian or other but consider the truth to be found wherever it is.

    I like the book by Emmet Fox and the 10 commandments are found in Exodus....

    Quote To begin with, notice which book it comes
    in. This extraordinary treatise on human
    nature and how it works, and how to find
    God, does not come in the book of Genesis
    or Numbers or Proverbs. It comes in
    Exodus. What does the word “Exodus”
    means? It means an exit, a going or a getting
    out—getting out of trouble.
    An exit is a way out, and with trouble, the
    idea is to get out quickly. The book of
    Exodus deals with the getting out of
    limitation, which means the getting out of
    evil, because all evil is limitation of one
    kind or another. It shows us how to get out
    of our own limitation—our weakness, and
    fearfulness, and stupidity, and sin, and
    sickness—and become the wonderful thing
    that God intended us to be.
    The Bible says that we have dominion over
    all things—and we have—but we can only
    have that dominion when we learn the laws
    of life and apply them. There is no dominion
    without it.
    It is a real dilemma for me at the moment to consider that I would just like to stay home when I am fearful of being a "problem" by driving to work in traffic times and I do desire a helicopter to fly over the "poisonous fumes". I sincerely ask and here are interesting helps that show up.

    One is to stop blaming the "subjects" I no longer agree in and praise what I do believe is good. Since I have blamed the medical profession, my friend gave me a great book that now is giving me happy thoughts... of what I support with whole love "You are the Placebo" by Joe Dispenza. ww.amazon.com/You-Are-Placebo-Making-Matter/dp/1401944582

    Quote By changing your internal state, you can change your external reality. Dr. Dispenza's new book You Are the Placebo reveals the science of change with remarkable true-life examples where mind has become matter.
    Attached Files

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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    Tony,

    I think I might have a good example of what you're talking about.

    Five years ago, I began a long arduous journey through an ugly depression, brought on primarily because I was in my late 30's, faced with a choice to grow up and take responsibility for myself, or take the other path of heading back into ignorance and letting other people do it for me. Worse, I was in a condition where I knew I had no choice but to go forward but...I didn't want to.

    So for three years I threw hissy fits and temper tantrums that got other people to do my job for me, take care of my responsibilities for me, you name it.

    And then! I stumbled on Stephen Law's paper, "The evil god challenge" and my life literally changed over night. For those three years I had been listening to philosophy lectures in iTunes u while at work, mostly to pass the time with something interesting between mental spazmatic attacks of 3-year old self pity. One sleepless night attempting to undo the problem Dr. Law created woke up a part of my brain that, up until then, had been absolutely dormant.

    Life, the world, the people in it, and my way of interacting with it and seeing it changed over night. Don't get me wrong! There are still and have been days still where I find myself gritting my teeth and looking for the frying pan to slap someone in the face with, but overall things have improved so much. My brain, to the best of my knowledge, started when I began to use it, to produce the right chemicals for the right moods.....

    ....or it was a miracle.

    I like the latter.

    Anyway, this is why I'm chasing after my PhD now! Because when I didn't need the...coverings of the pupal state I had imposed on myself, there was absolute pure freedom to know, to understand. Sheesh guys, I was explaining aspects about Kant to my prof this past semester! That MEANS something! (It means I should know when not to explain things to people who should know them lolol)

    Tony's saying, if I read it correctly, that we limit ourselves by what we conceptualize as reality because that conceptualization, not the reality we conceptualize, gives us something we want...even if it means we end up selling our souls for it in the process.

    I want that cookie. I know I shouldn't eat that cookie. If I eat that cookie it will ruin my appetite for dinner. If I eat that cookie, Jane will be upset because that is Jane's cookie. But it's a white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie. It's a big, white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie. I can smooth it over with Jane. I will just eat less at supper.

    I get the cookie.

    Jane is also upset.

    See?

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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    The Value of Evil!

    From a spiritual point of view, our enemy is our best friend.
    Friends tend to agree with the status quo, but enemies want to provoke reaction.

    The power of evil is quite mundane, but has the same value as the negative emotions that arise in us - wisdom!
    From a spiritual point of view, in the moment of being confronted by aggression, compassion and gratitude arise.

    Compassion, because the evil perpetrator is acquiring more bad karma.
    Gratitude, because the evil perpetrator is showing us our reactions...“Ah, there is my pride/anger again.”
    For a spiritual practitioner, this opportunity is of the greatest value.
    For most people, their 'self' or 'ego' will just retaliate.

    Every child is used to be taught by granny, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me.”

    Reacting is re-acting: it is habitual patterning.
    This does not mean we don't respond, but by not re-acting, space is created and clarity can come to the mind (our inner guru).

    There is a great difference between theory and practice and practice makes perfect

    The selfish ideas of The New World Order have awoken many. Reacting to them only pulls us into their web.
    “What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”....as granny used to say!

    The value of evil is that it can have the opposite effect to that intended.



    Tony
    www.buddhainthemud.com

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    Thumbs up Re: The Banality of Evil

    Quote I suppose it happened during the pointing-out-instruction of the nature of mind given to me by my teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche.
    He did a gesture of raising his hands up facing out, then turned them towards him, then dropped his hand to his thighs.
    The hands represented mirrors.

    …."That's it!?"

    The mind looks, sees and drops.
    What if left is pure awareness.

    He made us go in and out of pure awareness (in the Dzogchen tradition it is called Rigpa)
    so we were sure to know the difference. Actually it was a shock, to realise …"Is that all!"

    Ha, this is very good, embodying the process in a physical gesture. Graphic and material, easy to grasp. Hard to do! Thank you.

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    Lightbulb Re: The Banality of Evil

    Greetings Tony ...

    For me its quite simple ~ it's all matter of how one chooses to behave ...

    Note ~ i always enjoy you leading the forum's gray matter in these exercises ... giggle

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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    Quote Posted by Milneman (here)
    Tony,

    I think I might have a good example of what you're talking about.

    Five years ago, I began a long arduous journey through an ugly depression, brought on primarily because I was in my late 30's, faced with a choice to grow up and take responsibility for myself, or take the other path of heading back into ignorance and letting other people do it for me. Worse, I was in a condition where I knew I had no choice but to go forward but...I didn't want to.

    So for three years I threw hissy fits and temper tantrums that got other people to do my job for me, take care of my responsibilities for me, you name it.

    And then! I stumbled on Stephen Law's paper, "The evil god challenge" and my life literally changed over night. For those three years I had been listening to philosophy lectures in iTunes u while at work, mostly to pass the time with something interesting between mental spazmatic attacks of 3-year old self pity. One sleepless night attempting to undo the problem Dr. Law created woke up a part of my brain that, up until then, had been absolutely dormant.

    Life, the world, the people in it, and my way of interacting with it and seeing it changed over night. Don't get me wrong! There are still and have been days still where I find myself gritting my teeth and looking for the frying pan to slap someone in the face with, but overall things have improved so much. My brain, to the best of my knowledge, started when I began to use it, to produce the right chemicals for the right moods.....

    ....or it was a miracle.

    I like the latter.

    Anyway, this is why I'm chasing after my PhD now! Because when I didn't need the...coverings of the pupal state I had imposed on myself, there was absolute pure freedom to know, to understand. Sheesh guys, I was explaining aspects about Kant to my prof this past semester! That MEANS something! (It means I should know when not to explain things to people who should know them lolol)

    Tony's saying, if I read it correctly, that we limit ourselves by what we conceptualize as reality because that conceptualization, not the reality we conceptualize, gives us something we want...even if it means we end up selling our souls for it in the process.

    I want that cookie. I know I shouldn't eat that cookie. If I eat that cookie it will ruin my appetite for dinner. If I eat that cookie, Jane will be upset because that is Jane's cookie. But it's a white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie. It's a big, white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie. I can smooth it over with Jane. I will just eat less at supper.

    I get the cookie.

    Jane is also upset.

    See?


    Dear P,
    We sold our souls for cookies life times ago, by forgetting who we are.

    Yes, we do take our concepts as being real, and because of that we lose sight of reality – that which observes these concepts.

    There are those who believe that they are the accumulation of all their concepts, so the more they have, the prouder they are…
    “See how many cookies I have!” and so, they are stuck with 'their' cookies...a personality.

    Maybe this is the difference between modern psychology and Buddhist psychology.

    Buddhist psychology says: perception sees cookies...this stimulus goes to our memory bank for recognition…
    then to our judgement centre for valuing...and then we react. This seems to happen instantaneously, and we are stuck in our
    sentient loop of life. We do the same things, and say the same things, and when we know someone, we can know most of their
    responses...before they do. (how the corporations like that!)

    However, if we take a step back to be aware of what is going on in the mind, we become aware of the awareness itself.
    Our true nature. Corporations cannot touch that, but they can distract it, and that application of distraction is the touch of evil,
    as we are talking about the most precious aspect of human existence.

    We can see things from a different perspective, if, instead of merely reacting as programmed by our 'society' we choose not to react.
    We are more spacious. This means we don't have to be stuck in a fixed personality...a caricature...a type!
    Most sentient beings sold their souls for cookies incarnations ago...or, to me more precise, forgot all about it because of being attracted to cookies.

    We can break out of nature and nurture. We may look and sound the same, but we are different...ask the wife

    Tony
    www.buddhainthemud.com

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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    Quote Posted by giovonni (here)
    Greetings Tony ...

    For me its quite simple ~ it's all matter of how one chooses to behave ...

    Note ~ i always enjoy you leading the forum's gray matter in these exercises ... giggle

    Hello giovonni,

    It's great to chat with you.
    I agree with, our conduct can express our inner peace or lack of it.
    And, we have to know what choices are available to us...

    Tony
    www.buddhainthemud.com

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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    If one writes too much it's said to be preaching, and if one write too little it isn't clear...what to do?
    Buddhist language is not easy to understand: one needs a commentary for the the text, and even
    then one needs a commentary on the commentary! Translating Sanskrit and Tibetan into English
    has taken scholars much time to find an appropriate word or phrase to express the inexpressible.

    Once we can identify the problem, then we know what we are dealing with, and then healing can begin.
    The challenge is to recognise the Dark and the Light within us.

    This is to complete this thread about the Banality of Evil. The point of offering this is that those
    who may be interested can have a glimpse of another view that they may not have been previously
    aware of – that of the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, which is a complete system.
    The actual experience of absolute truth is utterly simple and beyond words, but we have a myriad of
    obstacles stemming from one...ignorance of our true nature.


    Two things to understand:
    reality, and that which obscures reality.

    Recognising our absolute nature
    is not really that difficult.
    Recognising what is obscuring that absolute nature
    is not really that difficult.

    Stopping one's habitual patterning is… challenging!
    There 'I' go again.



    The Four Enlightened Activities are a natural expression of our true nature:

    Pacifying
    From an enlightened perspective, everything happens within inner peace – inner space. This allows room
    for anything to occur. Pacifying acknowledges the right of every thing to be, within the illusory world in
    which sentient beings live. The action of pacifying understands that there are no such things as problems,
    obstacles or enemies. Aggression arising from ego's negativity is entirely unnecessary, and only serve to
    deepen the illusion into delusion...THERE ISN'T A PROBLEM!

    Enriching
    Enriching allows the clarity of light into a situation, for refinement to take place through an effortless
    unfolding of spontaneity and capacity. Situations have an abundance of resources, no matter how
    poverty-stricken they may seem from a conventional point of view...EVERYTHING CAN BE REFINED!

    Magnetising
    In conventional terms, we try to attract pleasant situations and ward off undesirable situations, and as a result,
    we can find ourselves disappointed and unfulfilled. The action of magnetising is to remaining centred.
    Then, whatever is needed is naturally and spontaneously attracted without the intervention of ego -
    perfect synchronicity...BE AT PEACE!

    Destroying
    The action of destroying is compassion. It destroys that which needs to be destroyed - the negative energy
    of ego, which tries to smother situations. Ego wishes to cut off the flow of positive energy, so the action of
    destroying is aimed at ego's destructive manipulations...BE A MIRROR.



    The Distortions of Ego: the Four Demons:

    Each of the four wisdoms is distorted by the manipulations of ego, which is self-centredness. Everything relates
    to a me, what 'I' want: the ego thinks it's enlightened. These four demons maintain the concept of a self.

    The Demon Action of Pacifying
    This imitates genuine pacifying, expressed through a self-serving attitude, in the sense of “TRUST ME”.

    The Demon Action of Enriching
    Here, ego turns natural growth into its own manipulated world. It wants to possess knowledge for itself,
    in terms of my wealth, my knowledge, my possessions. “I AM CLEVER.”

    The Demon Action of Magnetising
    There is an attempt to use attraction to feed our ego with that which we consider to be desirable. Based on this,
    we develop pride, jealousy, anger, fear etc. “ADMIRE ME.”

    The Demon Action of Destroying
    We cannot discriminate, and so want to destroy everything: it cannot help itself. As Chogyam Trungpa said,
    “Ego begins to get inspired in the wrong way, to uproot the whole tree... “I HATE YOU!”


    All we have to do is recognise.
    There is a momentary feeling of pain
    as heightened emotions die away,
    allowing clarity to occur.



    Tony
    Last edited by Tony; 23rd May 2014 at 07:33.
    www.buddhainthemud.com

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    Thumbs up Re: The Banality of Evil

    Thanks Tony

    I Love Happy Endings


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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    this is a superb thread i've been missing out on.


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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    Quote Posted by Tony (here)
    If one writes too much it's said to be preaching, and if one write too little it isn't clear...what to do?
    I can't speak for others, but IMO the perception of preaching is not to do with writing too much, it is to do with the insistence that the position is a given and concluded truth; unwillingness to see or agree to this point does not change its (subjective) validity, and it demeans the credibility of the professed philosophy to not recognize it.

    At no point has there been any acceptance, acknowledgement or accommodation for the validity of disagreement, and with this latest post you appear to be actively/literally demonizing and further dismissing contention.

    Quote Buddhist language is not easy to understand: one needs a commentary for the the text, and even
    then one needs a commentary on the commentary! Translating Sanskrit and Tibetan into English
    has taken scholars much time to find an appropriate word or phrase to express the inexpressible.

    Once we can identify the problem, then we know what we are dealing with, and then healing can begin.
    The challenge is to recognise the Dark and the Light within us.

    This is to complete this thread about the Banality of Evil. The point of offering this is that those
    who may be interested can have a glimpse of another view that they may not have been previously
    aware of – that of the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, which is a complete system.
    The actual experience of absolute truth is utterly simple and beyond words, but we have a myriad of
    obstacles stemming from one...ignorance of our true nature.
    I thank you for the opportunity to experience your depiction of this tradition; consider indicating at the outset of a thread that you are speaking on behalf of a tradition as opposed to dictating/prescribing absolute truth (or pursuit of), as this will help to communicate your acknowledgement that what you are describing is a subjective practice and interpretation.

    It seems you are suggesting that individuals who disagree with the tradition as depicted are ignorant of their true nature and/or that there is an absolute truth that is consistent with what you convey. I find this assertion to be a continuation of the dismissive rhetoric I have referred to previously. Perhaps this is due to my own inability to adequately fathom what you are describing, or perhaps - due to limitations in translation and others - it is a subject that cannot be effectively communicated in a cursory manner.

    I find that the only absolute truth is that there is no objective (outside one's perception) absolute truth, which appears to be in conflict with the absolute truth you are attempting to refer to. I do not contest the presence of subjective 'absolute truth', but such is particular to the individual (subjective - of or relating to the one perceiving). This is not bad in and of its self, but one could certainly do worse than to be aware of and to expressively accommodate this observable phenomenon, else one runs the risk of being misunderstood in the least, and engaging/promoting in authoritarian thinking in the most. Misunderstanding is not bad in and of its self either, but seems like something to be avoided in the attempt to effectively communicate.

    Quote Two things to understand:
    reality, and that which obscures reality.

    Recognising our absolute nature
    is not really that difficult.
    Recognising what is obscuring that absolute nature
    is not really that difficult.

    The Four Enlightened Activities are a natural expression of our true nature:

    Pacifying
    From an enlightened perspective, everything happens within inner peace – inner space. This allows room
    for anything to occur. Pacifying acknowledges the right of every thing to be, within the illusory world in
    which sentient beings live. The action of pacifying understands that there are no such things as problems,
    obstacles or enemies. Aggression arising from ego's negativity is entirely unnecessary, and only serve to
    deepen the illusion into delusion...THERE ISN'T A PROBLEM!

    Enriching
    Enriching allows the clarity of light into a situation, for refinement to take place through an effortless
    unfolding of spontaneity and capacity. Situations have an abundance of resources, no matter how
    poverty-stricken they may seem from a conventional point of view...EVERYTHING CAN BE REFINED!

    Magnetising
    In conventional terms, we try to attract pleasant situations and ward off undesirable situations, and as a result,
    we can find ourselves disappointed and unfulfilled. The action of magnetising is to remaining centred.
    Then, whatever is needed is naturally and spontaneously attracted without the intervention of ego -
    perfect synchronicity...BE AT PEACE!

    Destroying
    The action of destroying is compassion. It destroys that which needs to be destroyed - the negative energy
    of ego, which tries to smother situations. Ego wishes to cut off the flow of positive energy, so the action of
    destroying is aimed at ego's destructive manipulations...BE A MIRROR.



    The Distortions of Ego: the Four Demons:

    Each of the four wisdoms is distorted by the manipulations of ego, which is self-centredness. Everything relates
    to a me, what 'I' want: the ego thinks it's enlightened. These four demons maintain the concept of a self.

    The Demon Action of Pacifying
    This imitates genuine pacifying, expressed through a self-serving attitude, in the sense of “TRUST ME”.

    The Demon Action of Enriching
    Here, ego turns natural growth into its own manipulated world. It wants to possess knowledge for itself,
    in terms of my wealth, my knowledge, my possessions. “I AM CLEVER.”

    The Demon Action of Magnetising
    There is an attempt to use attraction to feed our ego with that which we consider to be desirable. Based on this,
    we develop pride, jealousy, anger, fear etc. “ADMIRE ME.”

    The Demon Action of Destroying
    We cannot discriminate, and so want to destroy everything: it cannot help itself. As Chogyam Trungpa said,
    “Ego begins to get inspired in the wrong way, to uproot the whole tree... “I HATE YOU!”
    While what you are describing may be consistent with the tradition, that does not mean that the tradition has accurately and effectively determined/perceived reality. There are countless ways in which reality can be perceived, that are fitting and consistent with observable phenomenon and no more or less consistent or accurate except as perceived by the one perceiving.

    Simply, disagreement is not evidence that a person is inaccurately perceiving our true nature, just as agreement is not evidence that a person is accurately doing so. Qualifying such a perception with a tradition does not validate the idea, it only means that others have entertained it in previous.

    I find the generalizations that contention is purely derived from self-centeredness and ego to be most concerning. You indicate that distortions of the ego pertain to the "I want" and yet neglect to recognize that this thread began/results from an "I want". The four enlightened activities you relate are derived from an "I want" mentality!

    Further, it is observable from an outside perspective that you are engaging in many of the distorted practices which you are identify! The observer is supposed to 'Trust' that what you state is resultant of observance of 'absolute truth', asserting that such a perception is desirable or 'Admirable'.

    Throughout this whole thread I have found myself agreeing with a one statement and then finding the following statement to be incomprehensible given the previous. Anyone observing me would see me regularly state "Yeah, I can relate to that. Wait, what?! Where/how did he reach that conclusion?"

    Admittedly, my agreement or comprehension is not a requirement. Still, I am in the 'audience' in a manner of speaking, and if possible I would like to understand what you find to be both significant and valuable (in the sense that you are willing to commit the obvious and significant effort to convey), as I am still at a loss to agree for the most part.

    I have been thoroughly and numerously gratified by this thread, please do not perceive offense in my refutations and contentions.

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    Lightbulb Re: The Banality of Evil

    For me again it all comes down to how one desires to perceive life whether good or evil or not ... When i am confronted with malevolent evil energy ... i will reflect and mirror it backward to source ... the power of good intent does not require force ... Evil will simply fade from the field of engagement when not fed. This is my chosen modus vivendi (way of being) and it has surprisingly served Me.

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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    Dear Shezbeth

    Thank you for your comments.

    On observing the mind, we can become aware of perception.
    The question then arises: "What is it that is perceiving perception?" This could be termed "the awareness of awareness".
    In the awareness of awareness, there is still an identification with an I, and therefore, duality.

    Here we move into a more suble aspect of this direct experience, and this is generally seen in meditation:
    there is a resting in awareness that is uncontaminated by comments or thoughts. This could be termed "pure awareness".
    We often oscillate in and out of this experience without noticing.

    This pure awareness is a unity of emptiness and awareness.
    The experience is non-duality.
    It is beyond thought.
    It is what we are.
    And it could be termed "ordinary".

    Tony
    www.buddhainthemud.com

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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    Happiness is Sadness, and Sadness is the Key to Happiness

    What we normally think of as happiness isn't totally fulfilling, as it comes and goes. It's usually reliant on the 'right' conditions.
    Trying to find happiness and then maintaining it, creates frustration and obsession, because we find that we are running after
    a happiness which is elusive.

    When we recognise our sadness and admit it, that recognition is the first step on the road to discovering true happiness.
    This, in Buddhism, is the first noble truth: to recognise suffering.

    We're going to find out that we are on a road to nowhere - to now here! We have been happy all along, but we've just gone a
    little crazy, looking for something that we already are. It's a journey without a goal. However, we cannot run around singing
    “I am Happy!” as we will find that life has a way of continually tripping us up (which is due to our unpurified karma –
    the stains in our mind). We have to get to the root of our suffering (our self-cherishing) in order to be liberated.

    The other three of the four noble truths are:
    recognising the cause of suffering (the obstacle)
    finding a method to remove that suffering (the path)
    and engaging in the method
    ...learning it, realising it, loving it and living it.

    Our destination is love. This is the unconditional happiness and love in which we naturally abide, but still there is a sadness,
    which is the natural outcome of realisation. It's a mixture of tears and joy.

    Having arrived at our destination (although maybe not totally purified) we see that others are still caught up in sadness.
    We have found happiness and they are still sad. This creates a tender heart of sadness, empathy, compassion...love.

    It's not until we understand our true nature of love, that we recognise that it is in all creatures...but is going unnoticed.

    We has to be willing to open ourself up to vulnerability in samsara, because an unconscious lack of love will be thrown at us.
    Until we are fully enlightened, love will always be challenging. This is the path of a Bodhisattva.


    This classic film, Twelve Angry Men, illustrates the rigidity and self-cherishing of the human condition, which, if not tamed,
    can provoke evil acts.





    Tony
    www.buddhainthemud.com

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    Default Re: The Banality of Evil

    Thich Nhat Hanh on wrong perceptions, or mistaken perceptions.

    www.buddhainthemud.com

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