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Morality - What is it? Where does it come from?

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  • #16
    I would like to throw in a thought about moral, ethics etc. Are these not mental constructs? Things appearing and disapearing. As they manifest and disolve they are not real. Usually people think about morals as something good. People without moral as something bad. But the question for me is what is truth. A gangster can have his own moral. In his own mind he is a moral being. For us in the west moral means one thing, and moral in the east Another. So I Believe that moral in itself has no value and is even misleading and helping the ego mind. Lets say that your motivation is to create good kamma and you do good. The doing good surely will be nice for the other people but because it is born out of fear, and greed to get a better next Life, I consider it harmful. I dont know if I am right but I would like to play that thought around with you.

    What I mean is that. If you dress up a monkey with a toxido and give him a pipe in the hand, it doesnt make him a human professor. If a gangster is afraid of hell, a bad afterlife or whatever and is doing now and than a good deed that will not transcendent his ego. He will not have died to himself. Real love will not be born as it is conditioned. If you put money into the stockexchange in hope to make a killing, you are not acting out of love but with a thought to win. If the ego wants to make a killing it strives for a good kamma.

    with love

    Hello Eckhardt and thanks for your post ..

    Morality (Sila) is the foundation of the buddhist path .. without sila your meditation is not going to be great and you are not going to be deeply happy and content.

    I take your point about practicing morality for the sake of some sort of "personal" gain in the same way some practice generosity (dana) for personal gain. e.g. making merit to get a better rebirth. As you allude to, this is just another form of craving and arises from the limited view of self.

    Another approach to morality as I see it is to practice morality because it feels right. This removes much of the "what's in it for me if I am good" sort of thing. It also means that you don't have the mind unsettled due to regrets over bad behaviour.

    There is a particular sense of joy/happiness that the buddha calls blameless pleasure that is experienced when one practices sila and the restraint of the senses.

    May you be bathed in the blameless pleasure the buddha encouraged.

    with metta
    Khinabija Bhikkhu


    • #17
      Thank you again Ajahn Brahmali !
      Happy New Year!


      • #18
        Dear Ajahn Brahmali,
        i am a five precepts keeper. I realise i not always followed what the precepts say before taking refuge and becoming a buddhist. I have regrets and the brought me to the buddhist teachings and the decision to take refuge. What about the bad kamma from before becoming a buddhist?
        With Metta, Denise


        • #19
          Dear Denise,

          First of all, I have to say it is truly wonderful that you have decided to keep the precepts. That itself is a big step that many people in the world do not take, causing themselves and those around them much pain. I would be very proud of myself if I were you, it is no small matter.

          As for bad kamma you have done in the past, I really wouldn’t worry about it. Because what you did in the past – you can’t blame yourself, you just did what you thought was right at the time – unfortunately it was deluded. That’s the thing about delusion – you can’t think straight!

          The amazing thing is that now you try not to do it. You have the restraint to not go down the same road again. That’s hard. It takes a lot.

          No need to dwell on the past – you must learn to forgive yourself. That’s also hard. But it is the only way to go. Being able to forgive yourself is a great blessing. And, when you are able to forgive yourself, you will also have the wonderful capacity to forgive others – for you know, just like you, they too did not know what they were doing.

          With metta,
          Ven Upekkha


          • #20
            Thank you so much Venerable Upekkha for your answer. It will help me to look at the things that happened with more kindness.
            with Metta, Denise



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