A Question Regarding The Cause of Suffering

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by osiris, May 12, 2004.

  1. osiris

    osiris Senior Member

    So... when it is said that our craving is what causes our suffering... what of the child that is molested? the victim of rape? can you be sure that these people, in every individual case, brought upon themselves the violations they suffered through some sort of craving, some desire? would you say that these people only suffer because they desire for the traumatizing event to not have occured, that they suffer from not choosing to accept it and move on?

    i would especially like to hear an answer from those who are well-studied in buddhist text.

    much love :)
     
  2. osiris

    osiris Senior Member

    hm. no takers?


    much love :)
     
  3. Sebbi

    Sebbi Senior Member

    Good question Osiris.

    I think that the traditional response would be something along the line of:

    We create our own realities, we do not have no control over what comes our way (e.g. being molested) but we have control over our response. Someone who has full control over their response will not respond with craving (or selfishness), avertion (in this case) or ignorance [akusala (meaning unskilful)]. They will instead respond with selflessness, compassion and understanding [kusala (skilful)].

    When talking about compassion that includes being compassionate to yourself (since no person is a self as such but more of a bundle of processes, emotional, physical, volitional and otherwise, you have to be compassionate to these sides of you as not for any more suffering to arise.

    OK bottom line, is: don't, just because you are trying to be selfless, treat yourself any worse than you would treat anyone else.

    I hope that made sense.

    Blessings

    Sebbi
     
  4. osiris

    osiris Senior Member

    ok. but how does that keep the act of being molested or raped from being one of violation and suffering for the victim, especially a child? i think this question alone shoots a lot of holes in certain aspects of buddhist theory and practice.


    much love :)
     
  5. nephthys

    nephthys Member

    " but how does that keep the act of being molested or raped from being one of violation and suffering for the victim, especially a child?"

    Attachement causes suffering. If you are attached to the physical body then you will suffer as a result of this attachment when you are molested. Once you have ceased to exist you are no longer attached to your physical body and such actions will not make you suffer. I do not see the loophole you see.
     
  6. Sebbi

    Sebbi Senior Member

    I agree with Nephthys on this.

    I think that a Buddha isn't faced with a lessened set of problems, they are equally suseptable to falling victim to things like rape. The difference is that they won't neccarsarily think of their issues to be problems as such.

    I think that you are right that not many children would be able to practice Buddhism in the context we speak of but then again not many could anyway.

    Blessings

    Sebbi
     
  7. MushroomDreams

    MushroomDreams Senior Member

    Sometimes really shitty things happen. I’ve never mentioned this before but I have MS. I’ve had it for 17 years. If I dwell on it- I feel like shit. After all there is no cure.

    Most of the time I try to look at the bright side of life. I’m not just saying this- I really live it. None of us are getting out of here alive anyway and I have a head start at experiencing impermanence.

    I have lived a very full life. I’ve lived in some beautiful places and loved some beautiful women. I have lived on a commune in California and later worked on Wall Street. I’ve written a book and created a lot of artwork in my life. I all makes my happy.

    I had the opportunity to study with some truly amazing spiritual teachers. I’ve seen miracles performed before my eyes. Maybe it’s my karma to go through this experience. I’ve studied the philosophy (Buddhist/Hindu) for years and now it’s the time to put into practice what I have learned. This world- this reality/illusion will end for all of us. I don’t want to carry the samscaras of my illness into another dream. I want to let it go and surrender to the void when my time comes.

    My intent is to overcome all obstacles before I die.

    So yeah, shitty stuff happens but that is not who we are. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

    Namaste
     
  8. Nosmo King

    Nosmo King Member

    If I may,

    ...."what of the child that is molested? the victim of rape? can you be sure that these people, in every individual case, brought upon themselves the violations they suffered through some sort of craving, some desire? would you say that these people only suffer because they desire for the traumatizing event to not have occured, that they suffer from not choosing to accept it and move on?"

    It seems you are tying craving to some sort of earned negative karma.
    Craving cacuses bad karma.

    Am I right?
    If so, I have issues with the concept of karma, but I will not get into those right now.

    ...."they suffer from not choosing to accept it and move on?"

    I believe Buddism operates on many levels. At the highest level I think craving is what creates the universe. At a lower level would come the type of craving you seem be to questioning. If something bad happens should we dwell on it or move on. Should we wish or crave, for the event to have not happened.

    What good would it do? It can not be changed, so we must move on.

    Craving after what cannot be is not good.

    ..."ok. but how does that keep the act of being molested or raped from being one of violation and suffering for the victim, especially a child? i think this question alone shoots a lot of holes in certain aspects of buddhist theory and practice"

    It dosen't. Except that craving implys someone to crave and something to crave.
    If I may speak in utimate terms, there is no one to crave and nothing to be craved. The act of craving causes an artificial split in reality. This split brings on suffering as we all wish to be united in the one reality.


    Make any sense?

    P.S. For those of you that have been around my old name is "MeAgain" which Skip kindly reactivated for me after I screwed up the re-registering deal, so then I used "Nosmo King" now I can't seem to sign on as "MeAgain" again so I think this will post as Nosmo King.
    But wehat the hey, I was becomming attached to that name and I don't want to go craving after it anyway.
    LOL
     
  9. Fractual_

    Fractual_ cosmos factory

    a true buddhist would have transcended the ass raping.
     
  10. osiris

    osiris Senior Member

    ok. i dig the part you are all getting at that is pointless to desire that the past be changed, and this desire will cause unnescessary suffering... but the more important question, in relation to buddhism doctrinally, is the question as to whether or not it is the karma of a past life that causes a child to be molested in this one.

    so what i am getting at is the fundamentals of buddhist belief as to the nature of re-incarnation, and how radically it can effect us. i have not, however, made it clear as yet how i feel about all this. I want to hear some explanations first.

    much love :)
     
  11. nephthys

    nephthys Member

    Osiris,
    "but the more important question, in relation to buddhism doctrinally, is the question as to whether or not it is the karma of a past life that causes a child to be molested in this one."

    This would often be the view of more traditionalist Buddhists but essentially Karma is more relevant in explaining things within the Indian context and many do not see it as a fundamental pillar of Buddhism. For example, in Zen the concept of karma exists but essentially isn't really needed as such since it is not really concerned about the next life and pertains to enlightenment in this. Karma became a part of Buddhism mostly through adaption of the Hindu context under which Buddhism evolved. It is a bit like many aspects of Christian views on the universe; as such they are Jewish views and they remained due to the context and religion of the people but the important, new, and fundamental concepts are in a much more practical level.
     
  12. osiris

    osiris Senior Member

    ah, zen. yes, i love zen. but i am referring to the more deeply involved docrtinal concepts of buddhism. doesn't seem anyone wants to touch this one. doesn't surprise me.


    much love :)
     
  13. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    Hey O,

    I'd like to get into the question of past life and karma, which is what I think you are talking about, but I don't have the time right now as this is a very deep issue. I'm busy debateing about whether J Christ accually existed or not and I gotta go check that post.

    I'll try to get back in a while.
     
  14. nephthys

    nephthys Member

    "ah, zen. yes, i love zen. but i am referring to the more deeply involved docrtinal concepts of buddhism."

    In that case the child would have earned it for actions in the past life...
     
  15. ericf

    ericf Member

    Okay,

    First of all... shit happens. Just because something bad happens to you does not mean it is your fault. One of the best models of karma I have ever seen is the blind machine. Karma just rolls along... it is blind to who it affects. If you create lots of positive karma you are more likely to experience positive results but you are not immune to random negative karma running you over. This is a really bad explaination of the concept but it is a minor point.

    Not all problems arise because of your own desires (cravings) and attachments. The suffering is caused by "someone's" though. A good example would be something that happened to me. I was working overnights at a gas station. One night, as I was working, I guy hit me with a tazor (stun-gun) in a failed robbery. This was not my fault. I didn't even see it as the result of some personal bad action of my own. In a way it was created by his desire and I had to deal with the negative consequences. It was just random. But how I dealt with it is what is important.

    When the wheel of karma runs you over, you can accelerate the wheel or you can stop it. If I got scared, upset, pessimistic, etc... I would be accelerating the wheel. I would be creating more bad karma that would hit myself or someone else later. But I let that bad karma stop with me. I did not allow it to change who I was and I refused to pass it on. I did not become attached to the suffering caused by the violent attack.

    When bad things happen to children it is very hard. They have no way to deal with them like adults do. But everything is suffering and children are not immune to reality. It is the duty of older people to scoop that child up and teach them to overcome the problems in their past rather than allow the problems to overcome them. Bad things hardly disprove Buddhism... they are integral to it. When bad things stop happening... that is when we see a fundamental flaw in Buddhism. You just need to see that karma is not a purely personal system.

    The affects of karma are impersonal... the result on your next birth is personal. The type and amount of karma you create affects your next birth AND it also randomly affects the world but not you personally. Karma is not preminiscent. And, you need to remember that karma is the result of ALL action. It is not related to only good and evil... but that is another, unrelated, function of karma.
     
  16. nephthys

    nephthys Member

    Your viewpoint seems much like a New Age or even "Black Witchcraft" one, but certainly not a Buddhist one. :)
     
  17. ericf

    ericf Member

    Interesting because I am nothing like New Age or Wiccan. There are tons of books on karma from a Buddhist perspective... many which deal from it as this perspective. I wonder what school and tradition you are part of to make such a bold statement with any authority?

     
  18. ericf

    ericf Member

    Here is another comment on the concept of Buddhist karma.

     
  19. nephthys

    nephthys Member

    Hello,
    I am sorry if my previous reply seemed aggresive or offended you in anyway; I assure you that was not my intention. However, my point stands...

    "wholesome actions lead to wholesome states while unwholesome actions lead to unwholesome states, individually as well as collectively."

    You are misreading that passage. It states that the action and reaction components of Karma can exist in both a collective and individual manner. However it does not seperate the action and reaction components.

    "The suffering is caused by "someone's" though."

    Your comment suggests that someone else's action can lead to your reaction but by collectively what is clearly written is that your action together with someone else can lead to your reaction, again together with someone else.

    As for the second quote, Mr. Wilson is hardly an expert in Buddhism and in his works he often makes dubious interpretations in order to get ancient traditions to agree with his "occult" ideas.

    The spirit of Karma is captured in way that everyone can understand by the 126th verse of the Dharmapada Sutra:

    "Gabbham eke uppajjanti niraya’m pàpa-kammino
    Sagga’m sugatino yanti parinibbanti anàsavà."

    (Translations vary significantly, so it is best not favour one)
     
  20. ericf

    ericf Member

    My comment was merely stating that not everything is directly the result of your own action. Things happen that were not caused by you... how you react to them is your action. A person who is attacked may not have been attacked because of their karma... but their karma is affected by how they respond to that attack. When a child is molested, they are going to have suffering until they are taught how to overcome that. We cannot prevent all suffering simply because not all suffering is within our control. Someone else's action may cause you to experience something... which you could react to in a number of ways. A child does not know how to react correctly when attacked so they are going to suffer. I did not suffer when attacked unless that itchy welt really counts as suffering. My reaction was not dependant on the other person's action.

    I am aware that Wilson isn't an expert on Buddhism... he just states very clearly what I personally see in the teachings. I see karma as a birthrite... something that affects how you are born and thus many variables in your life. And I see karma as a force around us that affects others around us as well as ourselves. I don't get really legalistic about defining this force. You may define my view of karma as you see fit -- although your preference towards weighted words is unsettling.

    As I do not speak nor read in the original language I am dependant on translations.
    These are the translations I found when I looked -- being at work I am relying on google.

    I do not see a major conflict between this and what I believe. And I really don't see how it contradicts anything... seems clear evil->hell, good-> heaven, some->womb, free->nirvana. I don't see how this changes the karma that affects each of us on a daily basis. Unless you want to say this restricts karma to affecting us only in death.

    Are you saying that karma doesn't affect us while we live? Because I can accept that and believe it is a different idea or concept that I currently call karma. But if that is the case, the original point (not yours the thread's) is still equally invalid because the rape happens after birth and thus is free from karma's influence.

    :D I don't know if we are on the same page here at all.
     

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