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Philosophy East and West

Any such position would itself be considered empty and therefore in some sense flawed. BCA IX. But because we are caught up in illusion, seeing substance, we still need to make provisional statements at a conventional level to make ourselves and others aware of this illusion and free ourselves from it. It is worth noting here that the Tibetan dGe lugs Geluk school argues that such claims cannot be taken literally and that in fact the ultimate truth is accessible to the intellect, although other commentators from the Sa skya Sakya and rNying ma Nyingma schools accept a more literal interpretation like the one I have just provided Sweet , The distinction between conventional and ultimate, however, helps one resolve this apparent problem -- for the claim that bodhisattvas suffer is made merely at the conventional level of truth.

This recognition is the way in which it is possible for suffering to end, as the Third Noble Truth of Buddhism promises. If suffering is unreal, however, one may wonder why it should be prevented.

Altruism and Reality: Studies in the Philosophy of the Bodhicaryavatara - CRC Press Book

A similar worry applies to good and bad karma. Clayton , argues that this point implies that ethical action, good karma, or eliminating suffering are unnecessary or insignificant. Ultimately good and bad karma are unreal, but they are very real at the conventional level.

Most people remain trapped in the conventional level, where suffering occurs, and so they experience the suffering as real. For them, it is this conventional level of truth that matters. First, knowing the nonexistence of self will lead one to benefit others. The passage quoted above does not merely state that one who knows emptiness also knows that he should not be emotionally attached to worldly phenomena; it states further that he himself is not in fact so attached na samhriyate.

Such a view seems perplexing to contemporary Western ears, including some informed by Buddhism. Understanding ideas often seems not to have this liberating effect. David Burton puts the problem well, in terms of his personal experience:. I do not seem to be ignorant about the impermanence of entities.

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I appear to understand that entities have no fixed essence and that they often change in disagreeable ways. I seem to understand that what I possess will fall out of my possession. I apparently accept that all entities must pass away.


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And I seem to acknowledge that my craving causes suffering. Yet I am certainly not free from craving and attachment. How, then, might one preserve the common Buddhist claim that knowledge of the three characteristics of existence [i. Burton , Burton explores several potential hypotheses to resolve his question. This point is reinforced elsewhere in the text; as we have seen, his most famous metaphysical argument, on the equivalence of self and other BCA VIII.

References given are to chapter and verse numbers. NE Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics. Edition: J. Bywater, available for download and online search at www.

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History and Works a. He warns that anger leads to suffering in the hell realms far greater than the suffering that originally provoked the anger: If suffering merely here and now cannot be endured, why is anger, the cause of distress in hell, not restrained? MacIntyre , To deny that suffering should be prevented at all, in other words, is to argue in bad faith: anyone who makes such a claim does not really believe it. Having imagined oneself from the viewpoint of an envious inferior, one then imagines the inverse viewpoint of a contemptuous superior: We joyous ones see him finally mistreated, and the mocking laughter of all the people here and there.

David Burton puts the problem well, in terms of his personal experience: I do not seem to be ignorant about the impermanence of entities. Burton , 31 Burton explores several potential hypotheses to resolve his question. References and Further Reading a. Translations Cited Bendall, Cecil. Crosby, Kate, and Andrew Skilton. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Wallace, Vesna A. Alan Wallace, eds. A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion.

Clayton, Barbra. London and New York: RoutledgeCurzon. Cooper, David E. Ethics: The Classic Readings. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. Dayal, Har. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. Griffiths, Paul J. Gyatso, Geshe Kelsang. London: Tharpa Publications. Harvey, Peter. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. Lele, Amod. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Harvard University.

Mahoney, Richard.

Altruism and Reality

University of Canterbury. Pezzali, Amalia. Florence: Vallecchi Editore.


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Rinpoche, Thrangu. Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications. Tobden, Geshe Yeshe.

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Somerville, MA: Wisdom. Williams, Paul. Specialized Studies Clayton, Barbra. Contemporary Buddhism 2 1 : Dalai Lama XIV. Indo-Iranian Journal 16 3 : Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz. Edelglass, William. In Deconstruction and the Ethical in Asian Thought. Buddhist Literature 1 Goodman, Charles.

blacksmithsurgical.com/t3-assets/green/quotations-by-niccol-machiavelli.php Philosophy East and West 58 1 : Harrison, Paul. Konrad Klaus, and Jens-Uwe Hartmann. Kanaoka, S. Bukkyo Shigaku 10 4 : Mrozik, Susanne. Harvard University. Oldmeadow, P. Australian National University. Onishi, Kaoru. University of Michigan. Pettit, John. Altruism and Reality: Studies in the Philosophy of the Bodhicharyavatara. Journal of Buddhist Ethics 6. Saito, Akira. Faculty of Humanities, Miye University.