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Switch to Forum Live View The third noble truth
2 years ago  ::  Mar 18, 2012 - 10:42PM #91
IDBC
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Howdy 


The question I would ask is


Can a person or persons be excessivly compassionate? 


Buddhism also teaches taking the "middle path" and avoiding extremes. 


A person or group can be apathetic about suffering.   This would be one extreme of compassion. 


It is generally agreed that a person or group who is apathetic who does not care about the suffering of others is a bad person or group.  


But would the opposite extreme be as bad and how would this be manifested?

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 19, 2012 - 2:17AM #92
Bob0
Posts: 484
Seems like we are drifting off topic. The thread is the 3rd Nobel Truth. How about starting a new thread on excessive compassion. I thought your question was interesting. But off topic.


Also: "Buddhism also teaches taking the "middle path and avoiding extremes." Do you have a reference for this so I can put your thought in context.


Bob
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 19, 2012 - 10:33AM #93
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Howdy Bob0


Seems like we are drifting off topic. The thread is the 3rd Nobel Truth. How about starting a new thread on excessive compassion. I thought your question was interesting. But off topic.



The third Noble Truth is the truth of the cessation of dukkha. Cessation (Pali: nirodha) refers to the cessation of suffering and the causes of suffering. It is the cessation of all the unsatisfactory experiences and their causes in such a way that they can no longer occur again. It's the removal, the final absence, the cessation of those things, their non-arising.


I think that if there is such a thing as excessive compassion that this would hinder the cessation or nirodha.


Also: "Buddhism also teaches taking the "middle path and avoiding extremes."


Do you have a reference for this so I can put your thought in context.


My reference is :


www.iep.utm.edu/buddha/#SH2a



Edit: still looking

Moderated by Beliefnet_community on Mar 21, 2012 - 01:47PM
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 19, 2012 - 8:52PM #94
Bob0
Posts: 484

Aloha:


Thanks for the reference. It helped.


It still seems to me that we are trying to run before we walk. Compassion is the result of skillfully applying the Nobel Eightfold Path (the Fourth Nobel Truth). Not the other way around. If this, then that. If successful in our understanding and wisdom in following the Eightfold Path, compassion will arise. Genuine compassion for the cosmos. Not a contrived taking of sides to better another in societies eyes. All those proselytizing Christians think they are quite compassionate. Compassion may call for action, or possibly inaction. There were times that the Buddha made no comment when posed questions. Other times when he provided elaborate explanations. Compassion is appropriate action. The problem for us unawakened, is discerning when action is appropriate and what that action is.


This leads directly into karma. Because of this action, that results. Who of us, unawakened, knows the full extent of our actions. With the best of intentions, what we think of as compassion, we often cause suffering. Possibly it is better to concentrate on perfecting the Nobel Eightfold Path and letting discussions of too much, too little or just right compassion wait.

 

Wishing you small tranquil days,

Bob
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 4:53PM #95
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Mar 19, 2012 -- 8:52PM, Bob0 wrote:


Aloha:


Thanks for the reference. It helped.


It still seems to me that we are trying to run before we walk. Compassion is the result of skillfully applying the Nobel Eightfold Path (the Fourth Nobel Truth). Not the other way around. If this, then that. If successful in our understanding and wisdom in following the Eightfold Path, compassion will arise. Genuine compassion for the cosmos. Not a contrived taking of sides to better another in societies eyes. All those proselytizing Christians think they are quite compassionate. Compassion may call for action, or possibly inaction. There were times that the Buddha made no comment when posed questions. Other times when he provided elaborate explanations. Compassion is appropriate action. The problem for us unawakened, is discerning when action is appropriate and what that action is.


This leads directly into karma. Because of this action, that results. Who of us, unawakened, knows the full extent of our actions. With the best of intentions, what we think of as compassion, we often cause suffering. Possibly it is better to concentrate on perfecting the Nobel Eightfold Path and letting discussions of too much, too little or just right compassion wait.

 

Wishing you small tranquil days,

Bob



Before you walk you must learn to crawl.  Before you learn to crawl you must learn to control moving your arms and legs.   Here is my hypothesis with regards to compassion.   In the brain there are motor neurons.   When a person sees an action, like someone putting a piece of food into their mouths a set of mirror neurons synapes the fire a signal.  When someone wants to perform the action seen these actions along with other motor neurons activate, fire off a signal-synapsis.     I think that when a normal person sees suffering mirror neurons are activated.  This is what I think generates feelings of empathy.   The ability to imagine the suffering of others.  I think that it is empathy which helps generate compassion.   


I think that empathy and compassion are pretty much confined to sentient beings.  I think that the closer the sentient being is like yourself the more empathy and compassion is generated.  


I have no compassion whatsoever if I crush a rock with a sledgehammer.    I have no compassion whatsoever when a star goes supernova.  I have no compassion whatsoever for the deaths of bacteria that may cause my own death.   


I would have more empathy and compassion, in most cases for a fellow human or primate then I would for a chicken or cow.   And of course culture and or religion and  socialization is also factor in how a socieity  responds to the suffering of different animals. 


I am taking a Center For Inquiry course about Secular Humanism and the subject of compassion is a major, if not the major topic.  


 


       


 


 

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 10:37PM #96
Bob0
Posts: 484

Perhaps you should start a thread called compassion. Compassion isn't the Third Nobel Truth.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2012 - 12:33PM #97
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Howdy Bob0


 


Mar 28, 2012 -- 10:37PM, Bob0 wrote:


Perhaps you should start a thread called compassion. Compassion isn't the Third Nobel Truth.




Or perhaps you can disscuss the Third Nobel Truth, without mention compassion?  

But if you desire that I open up a separate thread based on the first nobel truth, compassion, and being a fairly compassionate human being I will do it. 


Namaste 


 

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