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Deep Regret

SilouanSilouan Veteran
edited August 2012 in Faith & Religion
What is the source of deep regret after having committed a negative action since negative actions are an impediment to enlightenment?

Its lack there of is very important on determining the strength of a negative karma at its completing stage especially when there is volition and strong intent. It seems to be fulfilling an important need in the path to Buddhist enlightenment.

Comments

  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited August 2012
    Regret comes from knowing that you've done something wrong, so that's the source. We know through our rearing as well as through empathy when something is wrong, when we've hurt someone for instance. Empathy is the major thing, I think. When we can view others as no different from ourselves, it's clear when we've done "wrong", when we've caused harm we would not have wanted done to ourselves. The golden rule is really an expression of empathy.
  • @Cloud
    I don't disagree, but lets work together to dig deeper. There appears then to be a capacity to know what is wrong. Thoughts?
  • CloudCloud Veteran
    edited August 2012
    Empathy. That says it all. There's no deeper. :D
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    @Silouan, I think that (in general) regret comes from reflection based on "right thinking" later, which did not exist at the time you did something.
    ThePensum
  • @vinlyn
    I agree in general. Is a condition or a quality?
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Could you ask the question in different words?
  • RebeccaSRebeccaS Veteran
    edited August 2012
    If you don't feel guilt you're a psychopath. If you feel too much guilt too often you'll probably become one eventually :lol: Guilt is one of the ways you learn to stop doing stupid stuff, but too much of it and you're just feeling sorry for yourself. Guilt is of no service to you after you've been feeling it for a while. The point is learning that what you did sucked, and that doesn't take too long, really. All you have to do after that is correct and try not to do it again.

    Let yourself get too bogged down by it and you're doing yourself a major disservice.
  • @Vinlyn
    Perhaps this is better. What of the times when in the process of or maybe even before the committing of the act, and to use a quote from the Dalai Lama, the "pangs of conscience" spontaneously arise providing a warning or regret. Is this an innate quality of the mind or just learned?
  • Silouan said:

    @Vinlyn
    Perhaps this is better. What of the times when in the process of or maybe even before the committing of the act, and to use a quote from the Dalai Lama, the "pangs of conscience" spontaneously arise providing a warning or regret. Is this an innate quality of the mind or just learned?

    Does it matter?
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    RebeccaS said:

    If you don't feel guilt you're a psychopath. If you feel too much guilt too often you'll probably become one eventually :lol: Guilt is one of the ways you learn to stop doing stupid stuff, but too much of it and you're just feeling sorry for yourself. Guilt is of no service to you after you've been feeling it for a while. The point is learning that what you did sucked, and that doesn't take too long, really. All you have to do after that is correct and try not to do it again.

    Let yourself get too bogged down by it and you're doing yourself a major disservice.

    I don't think feeling no guilt necessarily makes you a psychopath. Someone who is amoral isn't a psychopath.

  • We aren't speaking of guilt, that can lead to despair, but you tell me that if understanding these things is important or not. It certainly matters to the Dalai Lama. He writes several books on these very topics for our benefit, but I suppose he should stop.
  • RebeccaSRebeccaS Veteran
    edited August 2012
    To feel guilt you have to have some degree of empathy (that's the difference between guilt and shame - guilt is about others, shame is about self - at least that's how I understand it) and no empathy is the trademark of the psychopath.

    They have to meet other criteria to fit into the typically "psychopathic" disorder - anti social and narcissistic, but lack of empathy is basically the defining factor.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Silouan said:

    @Vinlyn
    Perhaps this is better. What of the times when in the process of or maybe even before the committing of the act, and to use a quote from the Dalai Lama, the "pangs of conscience" spontaneously arise providing a warning or regret. Is this an innate quality of the mind or just learned?

    Ah, great question!

    I'll preface my answer by saying that I have a small parrot, who has grown up without any other parrots around. It's been very interesting to see how his behaviors have parroted (pun intended) those of other parrots who were raised with other birds around. So many actions are exactly the same, even though there was no place for him to learn those behaviors.

    I mention that simply to say that it continually surprises me how much innate "knowledge" there is inside of us.

    However, to get back to your specific question, I would say that most of "the pangs of conscience" are really based on things that we have learned...some directly, others indirectly.

    Silouan
  • RebeccaSRebeccaS Veteran
    edited August 2012
    vinlyn said:


    It's been very interesting to see how his behaviors have parroted (pun intended) those of other parrots who were raised with other birds around. So many actions are exactly the same, even though there was no place for him to learn those behaviors.

    Like the 100th monkey phenomena?

    To explain it really simply, they split monkeys into groups and kept them away from each other. When a monkey in one group learned a skill, a monkey in another group would suddenly also learn it even though it had never met the other monkey.

    Super interesting.

    Whenever I hear of something like this it's the first thing I think of.

    To me it shows a kind of interconnectedness between all of life. If we were all connected, it would make sense that maybe you didn't learn something, but someone else did and that lesson resonates in your consciousness somehow. Just spitballing here btw.
    vinlyn
  • @Vinlyn
    So we can say that it is an innate quality with the capacity to be strengthen? What about reduction? This innate and developed, we shall use the term conscience, can also be deadened.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Hmmm. I still think more learned, but some things are innate.

    I guess I go back to a famous statement that has been attributed to several different people (I had always learned it was penned by historian Will Durant -- ""If there were no God, man would surely create one." Perhaps what we see as conscience -- which is somewhat similar in most societies -- is like that: man creating a morality based on logic.
  • @vinlyn
    I hope we can pick this up later. I need a few hours of sleep before work. :-)
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    edited August 2012
    Anytime! I'm lucky...I'm an old retired geezer.
    Silouan
  • @RebeccaS
    Please forgive me for the harshness I have directed at you in thought and word. :-(
  • ZeroZero Veteran
    edited August 2012
    RebeccaS said:


    Like the 100th monkey phenomena?

    To explain it really simply, they split monkeys into groups and kept them away from each other. When a monkey in one group learned a skill, a monkey in another group would suddenly also learn it even though it had never met the other monkey.

    The research that led to the 100 monkey effect supposition is not (as far as I am aware) published though referred to (primarily) in psychology studies - as far as I am aware, the scientists linked to the study are not identified - the period of study is also undetermined.

    It is recorded that japanese scientists placed sweet potatoes on a beach on Koshima - Koshima has a natural population of macaques - the aim was to attract macaque monkeys who inhabited the borders between the forest and the beach (the thought being that these monkies would be habituated to the sea and beach) - the particular macaque group roamed that area so they came across the potatoes - these were dug up and covered in soil - one female started to wash her potato in the water and then ate it - this skill was not previously observed in the group - it is unknown whether the concept of 'washing' was learnt already (i.e. in puddles and such) - in any event, it was assumed that this group of monkies did not usually find sweet potatoes on the beach, ready dug up with soil on it (it may be that if they dug it up themselves they would be versed at washing also) - at first only one female would wash her potato in the sea - I think the first to copy her were her children - other monkies also then began following suit - the female also then used the water to wash / season other foods - it was noted that these skills were then passed on to other monkies, most frequently the younger generation - it apeared that the female innovated the skill (or perhaps applied it in a new setting) which was then observed, learnt and transmitted to the younger generation - the skill spread across the population save for some old timers - the older generation died off and the skill was ingrained in that particular gene pool across the entire population - subsequent generations exhibited the skill though it was unclear whether the behaviour was innate or learnt.

    This points to animal culture - there have been many experiments since - recent studies on chickadees have further explored how such culture is then codified in DNA as innate behaviour.

    Automatic transmission of data to subjects was not observed in that study or any study since - another words, there was not any observation of a critical population mass triggering the phenomenon, let alone the phenomenon itself.

    Urban myth.
    stavros388
  • I looked briefly but could not find where I heard this from.. it was about a mother rabbit who had one of its young taken on a submarine far away and under water mind you and then was killed I believe. The mother rabbit was in tune with it apparently.

    We are all interconnected in an amazing way that I don't fully comprehend.

    It makes me really want to get to that point where I don't have any disturbing mental wanderings anymore because in the generaly populus I don't know who around me can read minds!
  • ZeroZero Veteran


    ...a mother rabbit who had one of its young taken on a submarine far away and under water mind you and then was killed I believe. The mother rabbit was in tune with it apparently.

    Seems to be quoted with reference to stories of research conducted by soviets in 1950-1960's... not published studies - can't find the link to the actual declassified papers on paranormal research (ESP / remote viewing) - it is there though as I've trawled the UK declassifieds before - not seen a US site other than wikileaks - the reference appears to be to US papers dealing with intelligence of the what the Soviets were up to rather than the actual Soviet research papers themselves - the soviet experiment does not appear to have been verified at the time or since... on the facts of it, not a difficult experiment to recreate... certainly cheaper than the LHC - given the implications of establishing a mental link between physical objects, I would expect a range of subsequent peer reviewed studies.

    That said, my brother was in a spot of trouble years ago - we were separated by about 300 miles - at the exact time it happened, I was doubled up on the floor with stomach pain like you wouldnt believe - that type of pain only happened that once - I couldn't straighten up or stand up... all I could do to just manage the pain was stay in a tight ball on the ground - I thought my appendix had exploded or I was suffering some kind of hemorrhage - I crawled to the toilet on my hands and knees and (apologies) suffered a massive and toxic evacuation... legs were shaky after and the pain passed as quickly as it had arisen - as I was wondering what the heck just happened, the phone went off with the news... however, my mum and other family members were none the wiser until they were specifically told.

    Again though - I saw a story on a documentary about a chap who was out walking and answered a ringing pay phone - it was his co-worker asking a vital question about work - he asked how she knew to call him on that number as it was a random pay phone... she had dialled his employee identity number... which happened to be the number of the payphone, which he happened to be walking by at that time!

    With that in mind, given the trauma of the event, I probably discounted the huge vindaloo I ate just before... I'll never know as the moment is gone and I am reliant on my memory and cognition at the time... neither of which are particularly trustworthy!!
  • @Zero : Interesting stuff!

    With my ex "girl friend".. more like sex partner.. I had dreams of what she was keeping secret from me and would wake up knowing exactly what was going on and felt so terrible.

    I remember laying there next to her one of those disturbing mornings processing everything and I pressed my index finger into her palm and my heart hurt until I took it off her palm.

    In shiatsu the heart can be accessed via center of palms.. I wasn't consciously trying to do that with her but it certainly was interesting that I could make that correlation at the time.. most interesting afterward more like ;)
  • RebeccaSRebeccaS Veteran
    edited August 2012
    @Zero That's super interesting! I've never looked at the ins and outs of the study, but it's still pretty neat, the way the skill got passed down like that. Thanks for the clarifications.

    @Silouan No worries :)
  • @RebeccaS
    Thank you :-)
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