My Experience with Buddhism Pt 1 (Agnosticism)

by dhw, Sunday, December 18, 2022, 13:48 (522 days ago) @ xeno6696

I am editing xeno’s comments in order to clarify arguments.

Xeno: So to correct a bit what I was referring to, I would walk back the idea that it's the persona that we project: we shouldn't be *projecting* anything. We should just *be.* […] A Buddhist comparison I would make is that the monks in my school are required to keep 227 precepts to my 5. However keeping those 227 precepts is actually quite easy if you *always* incline to kindness and peace. (You'll keep the precepts without having to think about them.)

This is a misunderstanding. David wrote: “I am the person I project to others and that is myself.” I pointed out that many people project persons who are NOT themselves. It makes no difference whether the person you project is fake or real (“real” means the person you really are), what you project is what other people see. And of course the ideal is that the real inner person should be perfect, and will therefore project a real and perfect outer person!

dhw: For me, the ideal is to implement the rule by making the appropriate choice, not by shutting yourself off from choice.

Xeno: So you raise an excellent observation, and you hit the nail on the head with the purpose of the monastic life: By removing yourself from the world you necessarily isolate yourself from contact with things that would otherwise challenge you. I would say that myself I have long recognized that more choice is rarely superior to limited choice. In my music, I rekindled my studio after mothballing it for 17yrs, and I can flat out say that having more choices of synthesizers and effects is vastly harmful to my output. […] Here's an article from your neck of the woods:

Choice being negative--this is uncontroversial for me.

The “rule” I was referring to above (now bolded) is the “Golden Rule” you mentioned as the ideal (do as you would be done by). This concerns one’s behaviour towards others, and has nothing to do with choice of consumer goods or the number of synthesizers you should own. I really don’t think you will be “punished” in your next life for choosing the wrong pension plan or buying the wrong tomato ketchup.

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