Good and Evil

Cultivating virtue, generosity, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, resolve, universal love, equanimity, compassion.
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Nicholas
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Good and Evil

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All traditions agree that this polarity in the thoughts, words and deeds of humans exists. They also agree to live following Good, not Evil. So this thread will give examples of this basic duality that faces nearly everyone.
We see that man, who proudly believes himself to be a “free agent” —
the master of his life and even of nature — is in his spiritually undeveloped state actually a passive
patient driven about by inner forces he does not recognise. Pulled by his greed and pushed by his
hatred, in his blindness he does not see that the brakes for stopping these frantic movements are in
his reach, within his own heart. The brakes are the roots of good themselves, which can be
cultivated to such a degree that greed, hatred and delusion are utterly destroyed.
Nyanaponika
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Good and Evil

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[Buddha]: There are, O monks, three roots of the unwholesome: greed, hatred and delusion.
Greed, hatred and delusion of every kind are unwholesome. Whatever kamma a greedy,
hating and deluded person heaps up, by deeds, words or thoughts, that, too, is unwholesome.
Whatever suffering such a person, overpowered by greed, hatred and delusion, his
thoughts controlled by them, inflicts under false pretexts upon another—by killing,
imprisonment, confiscation of property, false accusations or expulsion, being prompted in
this by the thought, “I have power and I want power”—all this is unwholesome too. In this
manner, there arise in him many evil unwholesome states of mind, born of and originating
from greed, hatred and delusion, caused and conditioned by greed, hatred and delusion.
AN 3:69
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Good and Evil

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The Range of the Six Roots

(a) The Unwholesome. The three unwholesome roots are not restricted to the strong manifestations
suggested by the English terms greed, hatred and delusion. To understand their range it is
important to know that in the Pali these three terms stand for all degrees of intensity, even the
weakest, of the three defilements, and for all varieties in which these appear. In their weak degrees
their unwholesome influence on character and kammic consequences is, of course, not as grave as
that of their stronger forms. But even weak forms may carry the risk of either growing stronger or
of making a person’s character more susceptible to their graver manifestations. A fuller view of the
various forms the unwholesome roots assume may be gained from a list of their synonyms, partly
taken from the Dhammasaṅgaṇī, the first book of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka.

Greed: liking, wishing, longing, fondness, affection, attachment, lust, cupidity, craving, passion,
self-indulgence, possessiveness, avarice; desire for the five sense objects; desire for wealth,
offspring, fame, etc.
Hatred: dislike, disgust, revulsion, resentment, grudge, ill-humour, vexation, irritability,
antagonism, aversion, anger, wrath, vengefulness.
Delusion: stupidity, dullness, confusion, ignorance of essentials (e.g., the Four Noble Truths),
prejudice, ideological dogmatism, fanaticism, wrong views, conceit.
Last edited by Nicholas on Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Good and Evil

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(b) The Wholesome. Though formulated negatively, the three wholesome roots signify positive traits:

Non-greed: unselfishness, liberality, generosity; thoughts and actions of sacrifice and sharing;
renunciation, dispassion.
Non-hatred: loving kindness, compassion, sympathy, friendliness, forgiveness, forbearance.
Non-delusion: wisdom, insight, knowledge, understanding, intelligence, sagacity, discrimination,
impartiality, equanimity.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Good and Evil

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Only once in all his works did Marx ever write about torture. During his own lifetime, many of his followers were tortured by Russian Czarist authorities. Since Marx is usually described as a humanist, one would expect him to write with horror about such an abominable practice. But his only comment was,

"Torture alone has given rise to the most ingenious mechanical inventions and employed many honorable craftsmen in the production of the instruments."

Torture is productive, it leads to ingenious inventions -- this is all Marx had to say about the subject. No wonder Marxist governments have surpassed all others in torturing their opponents! This alone displays the Satanic nature of Marxism.
Marx and Satan pp 75-6 by Richard Wurmbrand
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Good and Evil

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Terror, fright, panic and all the other varieties of fearful, unthinking reactions are marks of evil. A recent analysis gives some of the causal factors:

https://spectator.us/salem-thanksgiving ... safetyism/
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Re: Good and Evil

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Equanimity, which means “even-mindedness,” gives to love
an even, unchanging firmness and loyalty. It endows it with
the great virtue of patience. Equanimity furnishes
compassion with an even, unwavering courage and
fearlessness, enabling it to face the awesome abyss of misery
and despair which confront boundless compassion again
and again. To the active side of compassion, equanimity is
the calm and firm hand led by wisdom— indispensable to
those who want to practice the difficult art of helping
others. And here again equanimity means patience, the
patient devotion to the work of compassion.

In these and other ways equanimity may be said to be the
crown and culmination of the other three sublime states.
Nyanaponika on using Equanimity to counteract evil & foster good.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Good and Evil

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This booklet by Nyanaponika covers the subject well:

https://what-buddha-said.net/files/libr ... /wh251.pdf
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Good and Evil

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From the Dhammapada section on Evil:
116. Make haste in doing good and restrain the mind from evil; if one is slow in
doing good, the mind finds delight in evil.
117. If a man commits evil let him not repeat it again and again; let him not
delight in it, for the accumulation of sin brings suffering.
118. If a man commits a meritorious deed, let him perform it again and again; let
him develop a longing for doing good; happiness is the outcome of the
accumulation of merit.
119. Even the wrongdoer finds some happiness so long as (the fruit of) his
misdeed does not mature; but when it does mature, then he sees its evil results.
120. Even the doer of good deeds knows evil (days) so long as his merit has not
matured; but when his merit has fully matured, then he sees the happy results of
his meritorious deeds.
121. Do not think lightly of evil, saying, “It will not come to me.” By the constant
fall of waterdrops, a pitcher is filled; likewise the unwise person, accumulating evil
little by little, becomes full of evil.
122. Do not think lightly of merit, saying, “It will not come to me.” By the
constant fall of waterdrops, a pitcher is filled; likewise the wise person,
accumulating merit little by little, becomes full of merit
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Good and Evil

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Nicholas wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 2:16 pm This booklet by Nyanaponika covers the subject well: [EDIT - bad link, try this one]
https://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh251_Nyanap ... -Evil.html
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Good and Evil

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The rest of the Evil section of Dhammapada:
123. As a merchant who has limited escort, yet carries much wealth, avoids a
perilous road, as a man who is desirous of living long avoids poison, so in the same
way should the wise shun evil.
124. If one does not have a wound in his hand, he may carry poison in his palm.
Poison does not affect him who has no wound. There is no ill effect for the person
who does no wrong.
125. Whoever offends an innocent, pure and faultless person, the evil (of his act)
rebounds on that fool, even as fine dust thrown against the wind.
126. (After death), some are reborn in the womb; evildoers are born in hell; those
who commit meritorious deeds go to heaven; and those who are free from worldly
desires realize nirvana.
127. Not in the sky, not in the middle of the ocean, not even in the cave of a
mountain, should one seek refuge, for there exists no place in the world where one
can escape the effects of wrongdoing.
128. Not in the sky, not in the middle of the ocean, not even in the cave of a
mountain, should one seek refuge, for there exists no place in the world where one
will not be overpowered by death.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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Nicholas
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Re: Good and Evil

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From the Introduction to Roots of Good and Evil:
The Buddha has taught that there are three roots of evil: greed, hatred and delusion. These three states comprise the entire range of evil, whether of lesser or greater intensity, from a faint mental tendency to the coarsest manifestations in action and speech. In whatever way they appear, these are the basic causes of suffering.

These roots have their opposites: non-greed, non-hatred and non-delusion. These are the three roots of good: of all acts of unselfishness, liberality and renunciation; of all expressions of loving kindness and compassion; of all achievements in knowledge and understanding.

These six mental states are the roots from which everything harmful and beneficial sprouts. They are the roots of the Tree of Life with its sweet and bitter fruits.

Greed and hatred, maintained and fed by delusion, are the universal impelling forces of all animate life, individually and socially. Fortunately, the roots of good also reach into our world and keep the forces of evil in check, but the balance is a precarious one needing to be preserved by constant watchfulness and effort. On the level of inanimate nature, too, we find counterparts to greed and hatred in the forces of attraction and repulsion, kept in their purposeless reactive movement by inherent nescience which cannot provide a motive for cessation of the process. Thus, through an unfathomable past, the macrocosm of nature and the microcosm of mind have continued their contest between attraction and repulsion, greed and hatred; and unless stopped by voluntary effort and insight, they will so continue for aeons to come. This cosmic conflict of opposing energies, unsolvable on its own level, is one aspect of dukkha (unsatisfactoriness): the ill of restless, senseless movement as felt by a sensitive being.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
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