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Amita

Noble Ethics as a Key to Happiness

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Amita

Humanity need not rely on faith in science or religion alone.  In the long run of many lifetimes, altruism will clarify & purify the mind, thus revealing deeper truths.

Quote

"Happiness cannot exist where Truth is absent. Erected upon the shifting sands of human fiction and hypotheses, happiness is merely a house of cards tumbling down at the first whiff; it cannot exist in reality as long as egotism reigns supreme in civilized societies. As long as intellectual progress will refuse to accept a subordinate position to ethical progress, and egotism will not give way to the Altruism, happiness for all the members of humanity will remain a Utopia."

https://theosophy.wiki/en/Happiness

Blavatsky

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StarMountainKid

The times that I have been truly happy, my happiness has come from nowhere, it just happened for no reason, spontaneously. I should add, this kind of event happens when I'm alone, so nothing external influenced this emotion. 

Sometimes people or events make me happy, but these are different than just all of a sudden happiness for no known reason.

I can make myself happier than usual by concentrating on happiness.

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XenoFish

serotonin-and-dopamine-300x178.gif

They come in many shapes and forms.

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Amita

Here is Buddha outlining the stages of ethical progress leading to Liberation - Bhikkhu Bodhi translationi:

aṅguttara nikāya

the book of the tens

1. What Purpose?

Thus have i heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. Then the Venerable Ānanda approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

(1) “Bhante, what is the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior?”

(2) “Ānanda, the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior is non-regret.”

(3) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of non-regret?”

“The purpose and benefit of non-regret is joy.”

(4) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of joy?”

“The purpose and benefit of joy is rapture.”

(5) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of rapture?”

“The purpose and benefit of rapture is tranquility.”

(6) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of tranquility?”

“The purpose and benefit of tranquility is pleasure.”

(7) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of pleasure?”

“The purpose and benefit of pleasure is concentration.”

(8) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of concentration?”

“The purpose and benefit of concentration is the knowledge and vision of things as they really are.”

(9) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as they really are?”

“The purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is disenchantment and dispassion.”

(10) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of disenchantment and dispassion?”

“The purpose and benefit of disenchantment and dispassion is the knowledge and vision of liberation.

“Thus, Ānanda, (1)–(2) the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior is non-regret; (3) the purpose and benefit of non-regret is joy; (4) the purpose and benefit of joy is rapture; (5) the purpose and benefit of rapture is tranquility; (6) the purpose and benefit of tranquility is pleasure; (7) the purpose and benefit of pleasure is concentration; (8) the purpose and benefit of concentration is the knowledge and vision of things as they really are; (9) the purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is disenchantment and dispassion; and (10) the purpose and benefit of disenchantment and dispassion is the knowledge and vision of liberation. Thus, Ānanda, wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost.”

 

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XenoFish

Are you here to discuss or preach? 

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StarMountainKid

For me, all these various stages off Eastern philosophy are too complicated and too hard to remember. I think the Buddha had a fairly simple message, then as years go by monks sit around and have nothing to do, so they annotate, analyze, extrapolate and add all sorts of stuff to the Buddha's original message.

This happens in Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism as well. 

This is why I've always been interested in Zen. A much simpler way to self-discovery, in my opinion.

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Amita
2 hours ago, StarMountainKid said:

For me, all these various stages off Eastern philosophy are too complicated and too hard to remember. I think the Buddha had a fairly simple message, then as years go by monks sit around and have nothing to do, so they annotate, analyze, extrapolate and add all sorts of stuff to the Buddha's original message.

This happens in Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism as well. 

This is why I've always been interested in Zen. A much simpler way to self-discovery, in my opinion.

The quote was direct from Buddha himself, not from idle monks 'annotating' etc.  The gist is very simple, even Chan or Zen accepts Sila or morality as the essential basis for the path to self-discovery or Liberation.  Buddha was just pointing out that there is no permanent separation between noble ethics and Liberation - just a matter of building on each step over several lifetimes.  But one cannot skip that foundation of ethics.

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StarMountainKid

In my view, happiness is related to innocence. When we are released our mental burdens, well, what a relief! I think happiness is a realization of some quality of mind that is separate from our usual mental baggage we carry around within us.

I think happiness is just a word we use to describe a fundamental state of mind. We could use the word contentment, as  well. Words mean something deeper than the mental concept of the word. "I want to be happy." If we don't know what happiness is,, the word is meaningless.

How do I reach that experience and not just yearn for something? 

 

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Piney
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, StarMountainKid said:

For me, all these various stages off Eastern philosophy are too complicated and too hard to remember. I think the Buddha had a fairly simple message, then as years go by monks sit around and have nothing to do, so they annotate, analyze, extrapolate and add all sorts of stuff to the Buddha's original message.

This happens in Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism as well. 

This is why I've always been interested in Zen. A much simpler way to self-discovery, in my opinion.

Westerners are the ones that mainly over think Buddhism, but if you want to learn real Buddhism,stay away from Theosophy. It's Western dreck. 

Edited by Piney
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XenoFish
Posted (edited)

Quit chasing happiness and just let it happen. If you run to it, it'll run from you.

Edited by XenoFish
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godnodog

My new job as a motorcycle postman saved my life as riding my motorcycle in coastal areas while having my mind focused in not missing the next stop, paying atention to the traffic, etc helped me deeply by not having toxic thoughts all the time, I still have them but far less than before. 

Once in a while I have to make long walks inside the city, that helps too.

Healthy distractions, exercise and daily objectives helped me having some day to day joys back.

 

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Coil
On 17.07.2018 at 1:22 AM, StarMountainKid said:

In my view, happiness is related to innocence. When we are released our mental burdens, well, what a relief! I think happiness is a realization of some quality of mind that is separate from our usual mental baggage we carry around within us.

 


There are several types of bliss in religions:
--bliss from the silence of the mind which leads to Nirvana
-active bliss when the body starts dancing and divine delight (Ananda krishaite)
-bliss of penetration into the essence of things (bliss from Knowledge-Truth)
-the bliss of the body is full of strength and even the pain of the body turns into bliss

 

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intoyoulikeatrain
On 7/16/2018 at 10:33 AM, Amita said:

Here is Buddha outlining the stages of ethical progress leading to Liberation - Bhikkhu Bodhi translationi:

aṅguttara nikāya

the book of the tens

 

"Religion is poison", Mao said.

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Hello Davros Kitty
On 7/18/2018 at 11:09 AM, Coil said:


There are several types of bliss in religions:
--bliss from the silence of the mind which leads to Nirvana
-active bliss when the body starts dancing and divine delight (Ananda krishaite)
-bliss of penetration into the essence of things (bliss from Knowledge-Truth)
-the bliss of the body is full of strength and even the pain of the body turns into bliss

 

Philo:

THE SPECIAL LAWS, III

"I There was once a time when, devoting my leisure to philosophy and to the contemplation of the world and the things in it, I reaped the fruit of excellent, and desirable, and blessed intellectual feelings, being always living among the divine oracles and doctrines, on which I fed incessantly and insatiably, to my great delight, never entertaining any low or grovelling thoughts, nor ever wallowing in the pursuit of glory or wealth, or the delights of the body, but I appeared to be raised on high and borne aloft by a certain inspiration of the soul, and to dwell in the regions of the sun and moon, and to associate with the whole heaven, and the whole universal world. (2) At that time, therefore, looking down from above, from the air, and straining the eye of my mind as from a watch-tower, I surveyed the unspeakable contemplation of all the things on the earth, and looked upon myself as happy as having forcibly escaped from all the evil fates that can attack human life. ...Behold, therefore, I venture not only to study the sacred commands of Moses, but also with an ardent love of knowledge to investigate each separate one of them, and to endeavour to reveal and to explain to those who wish to understand them, things concerning them which are not known to the multitude."

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Sherapy
On 7/16/2018 at 3:58 PM, XenoFish said:

Quit chasing happiness and just let it happen. If you run to it, it'll run from you.

Good advice, chasing happiness is the equivalent of eluding it, if one is looking for it or claiming a path to it they haven't found it. It is a natural part of who we are and when we quit looking for it we notice it has always been there, we just didn't notice. 

 

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XenoFish
1 minute ago, Sherapy said:

Good advice, chasing happiness is the equivalent of eluding it, if one is looking for it or claiming a path to it they haven't found it. It is a natural part of who we are and when we quit looking for it we notice it has always been there, we just didn't notice. 

 

The self-help culture wants people to constantly chase happiness. If you're not happy, then you suck as a human being. At least that's how I see it, but happiness is a fleeting emotion. It hits and runs. You're no better than a drug addict if you're constantly chasing after it. This effort will make you miserable. 

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spartan max2
On 7/16/2018 at 6:22 PM, StarMountainKid said:

In my view, happiness is related to innocence. When we are released our mental burdens, well, what a relief! I think happiness is a realization of some quality of mind that is separate from our usual mental baggage we carry around within us.

I think happiness is just a word we use to describe a fundamental state of mind. We could use the word contentment, as  well. Words mean something deeper than the mental concept of the word. "I want to be happy." If we don't know what happiness is,, the word is meaningless.

How do I reach that experience and not just yearn for something? 

 

I think the problem is people make the mistake of defining happiness as euphoria instead of contintment. Euphoria Is always a fleeting emotion.

 

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Guyver

Nice thread topic.  I like the idea of defining principles that are valuable to living right, noting them, understanding them and allowing them to guide ones life.  I haven’t done this as much as I would like, nor have I begun the journaling of life experiences and beliefs as I had intended recently... but there’s always room for growth.  

As far as happiness goes, it is in a sense illusory IMO, as are all emotions.  I agree with the poster who mentioned contentment as a superior state.

Also, I would disagree with the post that considers Moses writings as sacred because they are morally inferior - ironically, and again, IMO.

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StarMountainKid

I would agree that noble ethics is a key to happiness, a sort of clear conscience. Everything is in its right place.

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Sherapy
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, XenoFish said:

The self-help culture wants people to constantly chase happiness. If you're not happy, then you suck as a human being. At least that's how I see it, but happiness is a fleeting emotion. It hits and runs. You're no better than a drug addict if you're constantly chasing after it. This effort will make you miserable. 

Exactly, the self help community does demonizes people for not being happy 24/7. It sells books.  It isn't possible to be happy 24/7, 365 days a year. Emotions don't work like that. What we want to worry about or have a balance on is stress, not happiness. 

Happiness is not even considered one of the universal emotions on the Eckland scale of emotions. Joy is actually what it is and like any emotions they are fleeting, they come and go. In a 8 hour day I can cycle through through the whole list of emotions several times and never hit joy. I think contentment is the best place to be for me.

The Positive Psychology movement is in its infancy, we really don't know much about our positive emotions other than they work over time, the benefits are cumulative over time, as opposed to the negative ones that aide us in survival. 

We have one poster who shall remain nameless that fell prey to the "happiness" craze, in a harmful way. 

By nature, I am not happy by nature, in fact, I trip out on those that actually are joyous, and there are folks who do run high on the joy scale, just not me. I am described as calm, chill, easy going, kind, comforting, not happy. 

Edited by Sherapy
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jaylemurph
On 7/16/2018 at 7:19 AM, Amita said:

Humanity need not rely on faith in science or religion alone.  In the long run of many lifetimes, altruism will clarify & purify the mind, thus revealing deeper truths.

Blavatsky

So -- on, say, a scale of 1 to 10 -- just how noble and altruistic was Blavastsky being when she was bilking people?

--Jaylemurph

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XenoFish
37 minutes ago, Sherapy said:

Exactly, the self help community does demonizes people for not being happy 24/7. It sells books.  It isn't possible to be happy 24/7, 365 days a year. Emotions don't work like that. What we want to worry about or have a balance on is stress, not happiness. 

Happiness is not even considered one of the universal emotions on the Eckland scale of emotions. Joy is actually what it is and like any emotions they are fleeting, they come and go. In a 8 hour day I can cycle through through the whole list of emotions several times and never hit joy. I think contentment is the best place to be for me.

The Positive Psychology movement is in its infancy, we really don't know much about our positive emotions other than they work over time, the benefits are cumulative over time, as opposed to the negative ones that aide us in survival. 

We have one poster who shall remain nameless that fell prey to the "happiness" craze, in a harmful way. 

By nature, I am not happy by nature, in fact, I trip out on those that actually are joyous, and there are folks who do run high on the joy scale, just not me. I am described as calm, chill, easy going, kind, comforting, not happy. 

And drugs.

 

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XenoFish
43 minutes ago, Sherapy said:

The Positive Psychology movement is in its infancy, we really don't know much about our positive emotions other than they work over time, the benefits are cumulative over time, as opposed to the negative ones that aide us in survival. 

I don't like the term positive, constructive would be a better word in my opinion. No one is a completely optimistic or pessimistic. We all float between the two. Sure some people are wired to be a bit more positive all the time and it annoys me. Those who'll say "Don't worry, it'll be fine." an hour later they're crying about it and I have to fix it. Being happy is overrated. Find your middle ground. Balance on it, let the emotions come and go. If depression takes hold find something constructive to do. Absorb yourself in it.

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Sherapy
5 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

And drugs.

 

One thing I would mention is if anti depressents are diagnosed legitimately, it is better to take them. There is some evidence that suggests that untreated depression may contribute to late onset Alzheimer's and vascular dementia.

https://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/01/does-depression-contribute-to-dementia/

 

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Sherapy
Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

I don't like the term positive, constructive would be a better word in my opinion. No one is a completely optimistic or pessimistic. We all float between the two. Sure some people are wired to be a bit more positive all the time and it annoys me. Those who'll say "Don't worry, it'll be fine." an hour later they're crying about it and I have to fix it. Being happy is overrated. Find your middle ground. Balance on it, let the emotions come and go. If depression takes hold find something constructive to do. Absorb yourself in it.

My besties son is a Positive Psychologist, I have had conversations with him and it is to soon to know the effectiveness of this style. 

I am like you it might be to unrealistic for me. :P

To be fair, I am keeping my eye on the movement. We shall see. 

Alan Watts the philosopher Is the "go to," usually-- at least here in Cali. 

Edited by Sherapy
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