Re: Core of Truth?

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Posted by Tim ( on September 16, 2000 at 11:58:20:

In Reply to: Core of Truth? posted by Jen on September 15, 2000 at 11:33:31:

Wouldn't it be great if the Buddha had just given us a set of commandments and had done with it? Instead we got these murky things called "precepts" that are hardly more than flimsy guidelines.

What if compassion dicates you "invent a reality" a little? If you're married, you'll appreciate the question "Honey, am I getting fat?" Either way, you hurt something or someone. What's the compassionate thing to do?

The thing is, nobody can tell you that. Compassion flows from good practice. You act as best you know, and you do it in full awareness of what the consequences could be.

One way to resolve it, in Buddhism as in leadership skills, is to assess the greater right, or good. Which is the greater preserve your precept vow, or to save human life? If you must lie for the sake of your company's well-being, or for your family's sake, is that the greater good? The sutras are of little help here, unfortunately.

Another touchstone is the Buddha's relentless emphasis on the Middle Way, of not clinging to a particular precept or idea. The question for him was not "What is the definitely right thing to do", but "What is the best thing to do right now". Each moment has its own warp and woof and needs its own activity.


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