habitual behaviour and suffering

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    • #20916

      Maybe you are willing to comment on this. I think one can also approach the dhamma this way:

      Bad en good both conditionally arise in reaction to sense-inputs. Bad, or rather the unwholesome, is related to the three bad roots of lobha, dosa and moha. This is the downward path.
      Good, or rahther the wholesome, also arises conditionally and is related to alobha, adosa and amoha. This is the upward path.

      In a strict sense, because it both conditionally arises, it is not really authentic behaviour. It is in a way reactive behaviour, karmically active, there is the element of volition, habitually driven behaviour.

      So one can do habitually bad and good (and also neutral). Ofcourse we must strive for good habits.

      There comes a time when one also sees and really feels doing habitually good is not pure. One senses that it is not stainless, because anything habitual cannot be stainless, because all habitual behaviour is grounded in avijja.
      But one does not have to know this to feel that habitual behaviour is not really pure, authentic, or self. I think, many people can relate to this immediately without knowing any buddha-dhamma.

      One also begins to see that often habitual behaviour it is not really accurate behaviour, to the point, wise.

      Habitual behaviour also does not free oneself. Anyone can sense this. The mind has an inherent love but also resistance to habits. When ones life/behaviour becomes to habitual, one suffers. Quality gets lost.
      So, suffering is surely related to becoming too habitual, becoming machine-like.

      Even doing habitally good becomes part of suffering. So, it is clear that we have a natural love for habits (safe-guarding) but it cannot bring real happiness. Mind (probably panna) eventually starts resisting when habits get to much influence over us.

      When one begins to see this and feel this one sees that any habitual behaviour, also good ones, are not really authentic or self. In a way it is a kind of alienated behaviour. People who sense this alientenes of any habitual behaviour have strong panna. Their gateway is anatta and not really anicca.

      When our thinking, speaking and acting is really pure, it also is completely authentic. That is what purity really means. A Buddha is the most authentic person in the world.

      Really authentic behaviour is not karmically active. It is not re-active anymore, it is not laden by the past. It is not habitual. It is not based on tendencies. It is not a product of craving. This behaviour is in no way anymore related to (a)lobha, a(dosa) and (a)moha.

    • #20918

      “There comes a time when one also sees and really feels doing habitually good is not pure. One senses that it is not stainless, because anything habitual cannot be stainless, because all habitual behaviour is grounded in avijja.”

      You may want to explain why that is true.

    • #20920

      Hi Lal, i tend to see it this way,

      Habitual behaviour arises because there is grasping at habitual forces arising in the mind at a certain moment. I think you refer to this as sankhara’s arising. Those mental formations arising are not really ‘mine’ and ‘me’. Still, instinctively there is often the grasping moment, and from that moment on the follow up in which those grasped sankhara become motivational forces for thinking, speech and acting. I belief this works the same for the good and bad.

      Because those arising sankhara are not really me or mine, there is a wrong understanding at that moment they are grasped at as me and mine.

      Behaviour arises in two ways;
      -1. Habitually, conditionally arising, impulsive, not free
      -2. From emptiness, or ourselves, spontaneous, free.

      The first is related to merit and demerit. The second is beyond merit and demerit.

      Do you agree?

    • #20921

      “Behaviour arises in two ways;
      -1. Habitually, conditionally arising, impulsive, not free
      -2. From emptiness, or ourselves, spontaneous, free.”

      How can behavior arise from emptiness? Thing do not “just happen”. There is always a cause(s).

      Behavior arising form ourselves is the same as 1 above.

      • #20936

        Hi lal,

        How does the behaviour of an arahant arise when it is not due to gati, six roots, tanha, avijja, asava and anusaya?


    • #20922
      y not


      If there is that ‘grasping moment, and ….grasped sankara become motivational forces for thinking, speech and acting’, how is it then that they ‘are not really me or mine’ and that it ‘ is a WRONG understanding at that moment they are grasped at as me or mine’? Naturally, ‘me and mine’ are understood as such only as far as our sansaric journey is concerned, as are the effects of those mental formations.

      Moreover, I see no clear distinction between your points #1 and 2.

      Perhaps you could clarify with illustrations.

    • #20929

      Oke, if you do not sense that there is a difference between ‘being yourself’ and showing habitual behaviour (following tendencies), then we do not have a common ground to discuss. If authenticy has no meaning for you then it is impossible to discuss this. For me it is sure that someone who shows habitual behaviour (also regarding myself) is not authentic present and not his/herself.


    • #20930
      y not


      Alright. What is ‘authentic’? What do you understand by the word? To me it means a behaviour pattern or mode that is not made up for the occasion, not artificial – no play-acting, no airs and graces. Just being yourself. But ‘being yourself’ too is a mode of behaviour that distinguishes you from any other person.

      It must be the case that it is a result of all that we have acquired during our numberless lives in the past. You distinguish between ‘being yourself’ and ‘showing habitual behaviour (following tendencies)’ But how has that which makes up ‘being yourself’arisen if not through those very behavioral patterns/tendencies?

      I am not trying to win you over to my view, Sybe – I am just explaining my understanding of the matter. If it makes you feel any better – ok, I fail to see the distinction. Perhaps others can; then they may take up the matter.

      Metta to you and to all beings

    • #20933

      Someone who uproots all those anusaya only becomes more him/herself.
      This is becoming more and more authentic.

      The tendency to get lost, to loose oneself in the conditioned, stops.

      I feel it is very important to see that there is change but also no-change.

      If we fail to see no-change, in my understanding, we fail to see the Path.


    • #20937
      y not

      “Someone who uproots all those anusaya only becomes more him/herself.
      This is becoming more and more authentic.”

      Now, with all traces of anusaya, gati, six roots, tanha, avijja and asavas removed – what is left? What is left to differentiate one person from another? We find ourselves landed in the Mahāyāna concepts of emptiness, unconditioned being, undifferentiated consciousness – and ‘authenticity’ would equate with non-distinction (between one being and another).

      I too had given a lot of thought to this and could arrive at no satisfactory answer. But when the Buddha says that we have been wandering on, you and I, from a time without a beginning – what does it mean? Not that there is no beginning to a ‘person’? No beginning to that ever-changing stream of consciousness? No beginning to the accumulation of all these sets of conditionings – gati, six roots etc. ?

      And does it not follow that some trace of individuality must remain even in Arahants, otherwise there will be no distinction between one Arahant and another and we are back to Mahāyāna concepts. And where could the causes of that individuality be if not in all the experiences throughout sansara – to wit, in all those gati, asavas, anusayas, 6 roots etc.? Where else?

      I hope this makes it in time for Lal’s reply to Sybe’s question: ” How does the behaviour of an arahant arise when it is not due to gati, six roots, tanha, avijja, asava and anusaya?”

      Metta to all

    • #20939

      Siebe said: “Someone who uproots all those anusaya only becomes more him/herself.”

      That is contrary to all the teachings of the Buddha.

      One attains the Arahanthood when one uproots all anusaya. We need to remember that anusaya are the “hidden defilements (lobha, dosa, moha)” waiting to come to the surface when strong enough sense inputs are received.

      When one one uproots all anusaya one would have removed all gati (gathi) too.

      Then one (a living Arahant) would only have “kammically neutral gati” like specific ways one speaks, walks, eats, dresses, etc. etc.
      – When the physical body dies all gati would be gone.

    • #20940
      y not


      Thank you

    • #20948

      “Bad en good both conditionally arise in reaction to sense-inputs.”

      No. This is a bad oversimplification and those things are rooted in micca ditthi.

      The condition for good is a cessation of bad. We are not talking about how bad people can act good but a cessation of bad qualities give rise to good reactions.

      “In a strict sense, because it both conditionally arises, it is not really authentic behavior. ”

      That’s dry nonsense which is conditioned when you are disconnected from reality. Good things are not conditioned on supermundane Path, they are good because lack of conditions to do anything bad.

      I wanted to answer all those things you spoke but they are all from the same standpoint and ignorance. You are not trying to understand Dhamma but try to put your understanding first challenging Dhamma as you knew better what is what which is one step before slandering Dhamma.

      • #20965

        @ Christian,

        When person A sees a disabled person there might arise unpleasant feeling in his mind. Maybe some aversion and discomfort. This person might turn his head and fake not seeing this disabled person or maybe he would belittle this disabled person. I think this is not oke, not so good, immoral, not meritorious.

        In person B a feeling of sympathy might arise seeing this disabled person. Maybe based upon this feeling of sympathy this person does not turn his head, and maybe he says or does something compassionate, something friendly. Maybe they have a nice meeting. I personally think this is better, moral.

        Both kinds of behaviour conditionally arise.

        I think the Buddha teaches that such kinds of volitional driven behaviour, meritorious and also demetourious, arise with avijja as condition (SN12.51).

        In other words, when avijja is present one still can do good, meritorious deed. But those deeds are not pure.

        The teaching (MN117) talk about this as the difference between mundane and supramundane.

        The right mundane path, right view etc. is related to meritorious formation. It is connected to merit. It will bring good, happiness in this or another life. Will not free from samsara but bring higher rebirth. We must go this path and accumulate merit to enter the supra-mundane path.

        The wrong mundane path, wrong view etc. is connected to demitorious volitional formations, to demerit, and will bring suffering in one way or the other in this life or others. We have to abandon this path.

        Acting good or bad due to some habitual force is mundane. I can sense this is not really authentic behaviour. Habitual behaviour, even when you do something meritorious such as being friendely to that disabled persoon, is not really authenic or pure. It is not supra-mundana.

        Maybe you can not connect to this understanding but that does not mean is it wrong.


    • #20953

      One is not really oneself when one thinks, speaks and acts under influence of greed, hate, delusion, anusaya, asava, tanha, avijja. Why is this so hard to accept while it is, for me, so obvious? This is even accepted in strong cases in criminal law. But even when those defilements are not so powerful, they have the power to start a proces of alienation.

      Such behaviour arising from (strong or mild) habitual forces like anusaya is never free, not pure, not really unburdened. It is burdened by the past, by past experiences. So it is not authentic.

      For example, once one had a bad experience with the car, and after that one cannot drive that car anymore freely, unburdened. Noises of the car one immediately interprets as possible mechanical failure. Or, once one had a very painful experience in love and then one becomes very protective etc. There are so many examples which show we are becoming less and less ourselves and become more and more fettered.

      A lot of situations and people we do not meet openly, unburdened, fresh (or empty), anymore. This is even true for a new born infant, let alone for an adult!

      The Buddha talks about these fetters. He knows the unburdened mind. One of the biggest burdens is the conceit ‘I am’. Acting under influence of this conceit we are, ofcourse, also not ourselves, but just conceited.

      Being oneself is the only task we have. Being oneself we are wise, compassionate. Being oneself means we must free ourselves from the fetters because those make us stupid, not compassionate.

      There is nothing wrong with ourselves. We have to much baggage and this accessory stuff controlls our life to much. That we must end and that is all to do. We cannot change ourselves but we can change habits, fetters, anusaya etc. The Buddha never ever taught we are the fetters, gati, anusaya etc.


    • #20964

      Siebe: There is no point in making statements without backing up with Tipitaka evidence.

      If you want to make a case, please provide evidence. Otherwise, this discussion is not going anywhere.

      This website is filled with evidence that “a person” is nothing but a “set of gati”. Suffering arises because we all have “immoral gati”. Even though we also have “moral gati”, they do not lead to high-levels of suffering.

      However, when we get rid of “immoral gati”, one realizes that those “moral gati” also lead to births that are of unsatisfactory nature, and end up with suffering because one will encounter death eventually. Furthermore, upon death from that “good birth” one can and will be born with a “bad birth” filled with much suffering.

      Thus when one attains the Arahant stage, one gets rid of “all gati that have arisen due to abhisankhara”.

      But until that Arahant’s physical body dies, he/she will have some kammically neutral gati, as I explained in my previous post.

      Unless you can provide concrete evidence from the Tipitaka to backup your claims, please do not bother to make “statements”. That will only clutter this discussion board.

    • #20973

      This site itself has many wise/good points that seems to be had made from inferring/contemplating/connecting the dots. Which were not from the Tipitaka. Yet points which would not necessarily contradict the Buddha’s message either. Points which I agree with.

      There are many others too who have done the same through their own contemplation, connecting the dots and had realizations of their own.

      People can have good points, but sometimes it is difficult to convey, and get it across in words, do justice to what they are trying to say. I struggle with this personally. Does not necessarily mean they are wrong.

      I of course do not know the intention of those who are commenting, and it is even more difficult to discern when in writing, but I’ve seen a particular treatment be done on more than one occasion now, and did not say anything before, so I thought it’d be proper now to say:
      There is no need to be repeatedly harsh with one person so much.

      Hi Siebe. I agree with many of your points. I don’t want to put words in what Siebe is trying to say, this is in my words of what I understood from Siebe: that both bad deeds and good deeds by the anariya person(average person) stems from avijja?

      Because in the Paticca Samupada cycles, whether it is punna kamma(meritorious deed) or apunna kamna(bad deeds), both extend rebirth process. Both actions are done while being ignorant of the total truth of the true nature of this world. Avijja paccaya sankhara.

      And it is these actions, whether good or bad, when done repeatedly that make habits. Some do bad deeds habitually. Some do good deeds habitually. Regardless both are doing actions from the 6 puppet masters: lobha/dosa/moha and alobha/adosa/amoha. Whether good or bad, both are puppets of the 6 root causes of existence. Both are puppets of this world. Essentially anariyas are puppets of this world.

      Arahant have removed all the root causes of existence, removed all the puppet masters. Is no longer a puppet of this world. Can not do sankhara dictated by any of the roots. Whatever wholesome action they do, it is from their pure minds( pabhassara citta).

    • #20978
      y not

      We will do well to keep in mind that harsh speech refers not only to the spoken, but also to the written word. The effect on the reader is only delayed.


    • #20979

      I manage this discussion forum with the goal of providing benefit to the most number of people possible. If I try to be “politically correct” and let a given discussion go way off the topic or if someone is trying to bring in a totally different point of view (which is not backed by the Tipitaka), that will take the focus away from the forum and the website.

      Compassion is not superficial.

      In the Mahatanhasankhaya Sutta (MN 38), Buddha called Sati bhikkhu a “mogha purisa” or “an empty or foolish person”. That was obviously not done to verbally abuse him, but to get the point across.

      This is what I recently learned at the other discussion forum too, where some people were making useless comments. “Baby sitting” those people would only make them more bold and daring (By the way, I would not put Siebe in that category; Siebe is sincere about his ideas. It is just that the discussion was not going anywhere. This has happened several times with Siebe’s topics in the past).

      I will make calls on the basis of keeping in mind the benefits for the wider audience.

    • #20980
      y not


      My comment was as a result of having read Upekkha’s “There is no need to be repeatedly harsh with one person so much.” with the difference that I had no one person in particular in mind, least of all yourself.

      It has happened in the past that rather ‘strong’ statements were directed towards one person or other, but, at the same time, it has to be appreciated that when it comes to writing, in the absence of telling vocal and facial expressions, it is easy for the reader to magnify the intended criticism to levels that would fall under ‘harsh speech’.

      If I have been inadvertently guilty of this myself, I sincerely apologize to all readers.

      Metta to all

    • #20999

      Some people just make it hardest as possible for themselves rather than try to make it most simple to realize Nibbana at least to some extent.

      Most people can not approach Dhamma right way. Everything is explained here already. There is no point to challenging Buddha to our own views which we read about from various sources but to try to understand and find which of them make the most sense for us. The one which makes sense should open our perception, trigger something wholesome and transformation of gathi.

      The Pathway which most people choose on this forum (especially sybe which it happens repeatedly) is to compare your own ignorance with Buddha Dhamma. It will just not work, you can not put a square into a circle and vice versa. Even monkey have enough brain to not do that and some of the birds but humans seem still to struggle with that.

      Learn Dhamma the way which is explained. If you do not understand what is explained – ask the question on that topic “I do not understand this and that”, and “my own understanding compared to this is like that so help me to fix it”

      To analyze one people ignorance you just need two ingredients:

      1) The question of such a person
      2) His own explanation from the current (non)understanding

      and from that, you can benefit. Other things without those two frames will results in just endless and useless conversation so it’s compassion best interests to point out what is wrong and what is right, especially if one knows about it. If you can’t agree with that or you do not like it and think that compassion is letting you play around as you like then you need to GROW UP as you either a child or child in grow man body who didn’t develop well and still have ideas that can hide behind “lack of compassion” card while being unresponsible and let go of ignorance without consequences.

      Whatever it is internet or real-life consequences in relation to Ariya Puggala are still can affect your mind and future rebirth. Be responsible and act as one who wants to learn or attain magga phala because what it ins your heart, in reality, can be seen behind the letters.

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