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Book of Eights: Chapter 12

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

There doesn’t seem to be that much interest for these anymore - very few reads, replies or contributions, so I’m somewhat doubting whether it is useful to carry on.

Anyways, Chapter 12 is called “the shorter discourse on the dead end”, and it discusses the subject of truth in the debate amongst renunciants. The Buddha says each renunciant creates his or her own view on the truth, but that these are just concepts, and that he himself does not say of anything that it is the truth.

These stanza’s stood out to me...

Based on what they have seen, heard, and thought out,
And on precepts and religious practices, they show contempt.
Taking a stand in what they have determined,
And happy with themselves
They say “my opponent is foolish and unskilled.”

The Buddha goes on to explain the problems of entrenched debating stances, and finishes with...

Set in what they’ve decided,
Having themselves as the standard,
They get into quarrels in this world.
But those who have abandoned all judgments,
Create no conflict in the world.

VastmindSnakeskinlobster

Comments

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited October 16

    Good for you...you've been posting Monday's ! I admire your determination and respect you keeping on.... With or without an "audience".

    Everyone was in a hurry to buy the book...but the steam slowed early on... Maybe forum book clubs have their own distinct obstacles...????

    .... I read them FWIW. Go over a little chewing in my mind, and then move on without contributing. Why? No reason in particular.... I intend to do better!

    ....Keep them coming...4 more right?

    o:) B) :)

    KeromeSnakeskin
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I've read the whole book. Still find it excellent. We do always seem to have issues in the forum with book clubs, lol. Sometimes I'm here daily, sometimes not. Sometimes I have something to add, sometimes not. For me, for such short chapters, I've found a week in between is a bit lengthy so discussion loses my attention. 4 months to go through a book that is 180 pages is a stretch. I've probably read a dozen other books in that time period. But I have been reading along the discussions. Just little to add after the fact. That, and Mondays are always busy at work which I didn't have to deal with when we started so I am not online as much!

    I enjoyed this chapter. It reminded me very much of all the circular discussions we have here, and pretty much anywhere else. Truth sure is a messy thing for something so simple, :lol: It always comes down to the last bit for me, too.
    "But those who've abandoned all judgments
    Create no conflict in the world."

    A tough one, for sure. Sometimes I think I've done alright, and then I keep working through things in my journal and realize how very much I still hang on to. The more I work on minimizing conflict around me, the more of it I have internally.

    Snakeskin
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    to add to that, it seems hard to interact with our world today without causing conflict. Perhaps not intentionally (which maybe is the key as it often is with Buddhism) but even HHDL manages to cause conflict. If you try to fight for any sense of good, you are participating in conflict, so it's hard for me to see how you can be an engaged Buddhist, so to speak, without conflict.

    Snakeskinlobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Yes there are 4 more. I think we could have gone faster, for me it was just a weekly thing to come back to the Book of Eights and read another intro and poem. The temptation to read ahead was definitely there but I resisted :awesome:

    Snakeskin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @karasti said:
    to add to that, it seems hard to interact with our world today without causing conflict. Perhaps not intentionally (which maybe is the key as it often is with Buddhism) but even HHDL manages to cause conflict. If you try to fight for any sense of good, you are participating in conflict, so it's hard for me to see how you can be an engaged Buddhist, so to speak, without conflict.

    Perhaps the buddha’s monks were still closer to renunciates, “those who have renounced”, than today’s western ideal of an engaged (lay?) Buddhist.

    If you truly have renounced these things in favour of the spiritual life, then maybe the route the Buddha advocates is one that brings peace.

    Snakeskin
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I'm sure, I've no doubt that he wasn't really thinking about what I mentioned but rather of course addressing monks. I just meant I haven't figured out if it is possible to do so. To be engaged in life seems to create conflict no matter what, because when you choose to take a stand, you take a side, and the people on the other side see conflict no matter what your intention or how you go about things. Can you be free of conflict if others consider you to not be? Perhaps you can.

    I read so many books that coming back once a week I have to re-familiarize myself with the material each time. Not that that is a bad thing. It reminds me a lot of the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, in that you could probably read it a thousand times and always get something out of it. I think I could focus on just those 2 things and have a lifetime to learn from them!

    Snakeskin
  • SnakeskinSnakeskin Texas, USA Veteran

    A mediator could fit the bill. Engaged without taking sides.

  • "But those who've abandoned all judgments
    Create no conflict in the world."

    Indeed. This why the Sangha is one of the jewels, trying to abide by this ultimate letting go ...

    However ... in my judgement o:) conflict can be illustrative and lead to resolution when used skilfully. Not everyone has such a skill set and should not pretend their impediments are manifest wisdoms ...

    Initially it is far more skilful and practical to focus on being placid, tranquil, overtly kind etc.
    http://www.avani-mehta.com/2008/08/08/how-fart-can-make-you-grow-spiritually-su-dongpos-story/

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    You could certainly say that teaching, answering questions, is engaging in the debate. The Buddha could do so skilfully, but it definitely requires great understanding and no small public speaking ability to do these things.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I have to honestly hold my hand up as a miscreant and admit that I haven't (in spite of good intentions, with which the Road to Hell is apparently paved) picked up the book in ages.
    It has been remiss of me, and without further ado, I shall read my way through and add comment, chapter by chapter, as I read, digest and consider....

    Apologies.

    lobster
  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran

    Sorry, I was very keen to read and discuss at the beginning but have not taken part beyond the first few chapters. Firstly, life got in the way, busy at home and work and then we've been on holiday. Secondly, the pace was too slow, I liked the book and read ahead, waiting a week or a month to discuss something I'd read didn't work for me.

    That said, I was very grateful for being introduced to the book through the forums and would be happy to group read more books in the future. I'll also be rereading this one at some point.

    Kerome
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    It’s a good lesson, now we know that in the future we need to go more quickly with these kinds of group reads and maybe be less structured in allowing people to read at their own pace.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    Sorry that I bailed out somewhere halfway.

    Now that I am no longer on IT, I may have more time to recap with the book.

    Unfortunately, it was also my experience on IT that people propose books to read, then the debate fizzles out pretty fast.

    In my case with this book in particular, is that I have several versions of the Atthakavagga and my intention was to digest each chapter slowly, taking notes from the different versions.
    As I said, before, now that I have more time, I may pop up now and then with comments from other authors.

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