Date: Tue, 03 Oct 1995 06:32:38 -0400
From: "Wayne R. Husted" [email protected]
Subject: Not-Self and rights (Peter Harvey)
Jamie Hubbard says:
2. The ethics of the dhamma:
a. presuppose no-self, hence the inherency of rights is problematic, as is the idea of the inherent existence of their owner.
But the kind of Self-owner repudiated by Buddhism is one that would be totally invulnerable (unchangeable, beyonnd //dukkha//). If such a Self existed, it would //need// no rights, as it could not be harmed. Only //because// a person is not such a Self is there a need for rights. From a Buddhist perspective, one needs no ‘owner’ of a right; it is only necessary to affirm that there is a right way to treat another sentient human being. Sentient beings are //owed// respect, but do not //own// the right to it, except in a conventional sense of ownership. Of course, at the level of ethics, this conventional sense is recognised in Buddhism, otherwise there would be nothing wrong with theft.
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 1995 23:12:44 -0700
From: "Ken O’Neill" [email protected]
Subject: Re: Not-Self and rights (Peter Harvey)
Hey guys, we’re mixing relative and absolute statements here.
Where in buddhadharma is theft held to be "wrong". Bottom line has nothing to do with "right" and "wrong", nor political "right" or "left". The notion is reinforcement and ever deepening of samsaric patterning as outcome of individually and socially unhealthy behaviors and their underlying motivations.
Buddhist shila – training rules – can be easily confused with monotheistic laws of a cosmic dictator. let’s take buddhadharma on its own ground, a Way of Waking Up. It’s shila aren’t absolutes of ethical definition of good v evil, but instead akin to the training guidelines one follows for achievement of artistry or mastery in sport or arts. keep yourself obsessed with booze, sleeping around, having many things, and soon you’ve disappated whatever energy, skill and proficiency you once had. So it is with wakefulness training in buddhadharma.
Ken O’Neill, Kyoshi
White Lotus Society