December 22, 2019 at 1:52 pm #26004upekkha100Participant
In this post The Law of Attraction, Habits, Character (Gati), and Cravings (Asavas), it says the following:
” 11. Currently, there are several books written on the subject of the law of attraction and how one can use certain procedures to attain goals, build relationships, etc. The Buddha described those and more 2500 years ago.”
I’m not knowledgeable about the Law of Attraction(LoA), but I know that the main component of it is the idea of positive/negative thoughts impacting one’s reality. For example if one constantly thinks about getting a raise, then chances of that happening increases. If they constantly think that they might get fired from their job, chances of that happening also increases.
^ That is the reason why I wanted to know what the LoA and Buddha Dhamma have in common, since LoA’s main component is so different from Buddha Dhamma. That is vastly different from Buddha Dhamma in that the good or bad events a person experiences is due to past moral deeds or past immoral deeds rather than past positive thinking or past negative thinking like in LoA.
December 22, 2019 at 4:01 pm #26006
Upekkha brings out a key misconception (for a lack of a better word) about Buddha Dhamma. The Buddha described many phenomena that are being “re-discovered” now. He used a different language (Pali) and it is a “deeper language” than English or any other language.
The key issue is that we need to understand some key Pali words like sankhara, vinnana in order to describe phenomena in a better way. I have been trying to explain such words throughout the website.
upekkha wrote: “I’m not knowledgeable about the Law of Attraction(LoA), but I know that the main component of it is the idea of positive/negative thoughts impacting one’s reality. For example, if one constantly thinks about getting a raise, then the chance of that happening increases.”
What I have highlighted in upekkha’s statement is what Paticca Samuppada explains. It is just that the Buddha used words like sankhara and vinnana. Furthermore, he was focused on explaining how immoral deeds leads to bad consequences.
– Still, if one understands the basic Paticca Samuppada process (that means first understanding what is meant by sankhara, vinnana, etc), then one can easily explain mundane applications like the one upekkha used above.
So, let us take upekkha’s example and discuss it: “For example, if one constantly thinks about getting a raise, then the chance of that happening increases.” Let us see how this can be explained with Paticca Samuppada.
If one is constantly thinking about getting a raise, that means one is generating a lot of vaci sankhara (conscious thoughts.) He/she will also (hopefully) be DOING THINGS that will help to get a raise. Such bodily actions (say, being more productive at work) involves more thinking with kaya sankhara.
Now, the hope for a raise is an expectation. It is a vinnana.
– The more sankhara that one generates towards that goal, the stronger that vinnana will become. That is “sankhara paccaya vinnana.”
That leads to “vinnana paccaya namarupa.” Such “namarupa” are the associated visualizations that he/she makes in the mind. For example, if one is thinking about coming up with a better product, for example, one would be visualizing that improved process.
I will leave you to try to figure out the rest of the process and will suggest some posts below. But eventually, one is likely to be rewarded with the raise (that is bhava and jati.)
But, this particular process will not lead to “dukkha, domanassa…” unless one did an immoral thing along the way.
Then one should read the posts in this series:
“Paticca Samuppada in Plain English”
– The first three posts are not needed for this particular example.
Please feel free to ask questions. But I hope you will spend some time reading the suggested posts and thinking about this.
– In fact, such examples may help clarify the basic ideas behind Paticca Samuppada for many. So, I encourage everyone to spend time doing this analysis. Hopefully, there will be further questions that can help clarify relevant issues.
The following post is an overview of Paticca Samuppada, and can direct one to relevant posts on various steps involved:
“Paticca Samuppāda – Overview”
It would require spending time but it will be very much worthwhile.
December 22, 2019 at 5:38 pm #26007upekkha100Participant
What if someone constantly thinks about misfortunes happening to them like breaking a leg, losing their house, their car burning down, getting a disease, turning blind, being in a airplane crash, etc.
If they simply think about it(a lot), then it is more likely to happen to them? With negative thoughts they will not put in the effort to make it happen like they would with positive thoughts. If anything, they would put in the effort to prevent the negative thoughts from happening.
December 22, 2019 at 5:54 pm #26008
upekkha: “What if someone constantly thinks about misfortunes happening to them like breaking a leg, losing their house, their car burning down, getting a disease, turning blind, being in a airplane crash, etc.”
Hopefully, those are not one’s expectations.
– Those happen due to vipaka of one’s past kamma. Corresponding Paticca Samuppada cycles had been completed in the past.
upekkha: “If they simply think about it(a lot), then it is more likely to happen to them?”
– Yes. But that is due to a different reason.
– Then they are MAKING CONDITIONS for existing kamma vipaka to take place.
– So, having such a bad negative outlook is not a good idea.
– It is like providing soil, water, and sunlight for an existing seed to germinate.
“What is Kamma? – Is Everything Determined by Kamma?”
– I had suggested this post before, under the other topic you started. I hope you read it!
February 17, 2020 at 10:04 am #26991yannParticipant
This is an important topic for me because this is something i have witnessed many times in my life, and that was sometimes overwhelming.
When i was a teenager i suffered severe depression and anxiety issues, that were correlated with insomnia. I entered very negative mind-body states, despite my will.
Those states where clearly unpleasant, and i knew clearly when i felt bad. Anyways. When i was like this, any time i would go out of the house bad things would happen to me. Either someone would attack me, but worst things happened. One day a group of teenage women just stared and me and told me something really mean, totally unprovoked. I could clearly see that what happened to me was linked to my condition at the time. When i was like this it was like i was marked. Nothing i would do would work, nobody would like me.
Even in my own familly.
The whole thing seemed totally unfair to me, as i never hurted or did something wrong to “deserve this” (in a traditionnal moral sense). All of this happened because of the negativity / tiredness / anxiety i suffered at the time.
People would start hating me for no other reasons that i just emitted a “feel bad” vibe. I experience powerful bad luck (after while i wasn’t surprised the least and started predicting events before they were about to happen)
I had to gradually work on myself to change this. I also healed physical symptoms by working on my mind AND my body/energy…. This was tough at the time. But it gave me an overview of some of the power we might have, and how you have to work on yourself to change things. At the time i delved deep into this, reading many books, but i came at much better conclusions and understanding by working and experiencing myself. Now this never happen to me anymore, and if it did, it wouldn’t be nothing more than a passing annoyance
And yes there is an effect of accumulation, that the more you practice something, the stronger it becomes, the more out of control it gets. This is how some people become insane, by not being mindful of what they create on a day to day basis. But the “attraction” effect is definitively real and is something one should be very mindful about.
In response to upekha question:
What if someone constantly thinks about misfortunes happening to them like breaking a leg, losing their house, their car burning down, getting a disease, turning blind, being in a airplane crash, etc.”
According to my experience in the subject (which isn’t limited to the story above), thinking about something or being afraid about something doesn’t create that something. What really “attracts” positive or negative circumstances is the way you feel, your energy so to speak.
Thinking about being in a plane crash or fearing something isn’t enough to attract it. But being constantly fearful, anxious, will create a negative energy around you that will make you very unlucky.
February 17, 2020 at 4:03 pm #27000
Sorry, I did not see your comment earlier, yann.
(P.S. Most times, a comment does not “show up” on the main forum page. I have to periodically reset it at my end for a new comment to show up in some cases. This is part of the “software bug.”)
The first part of your comment explains the general idea that I was trying to explain to upekkha.
If one has a “weak or defeatist mindset” that mind attracts more bad events.
– One way to cultivate a weak mindset is to constantly think about one’s misery and spend time thinking about how “unlucky” one is. Those are “bad vaci sankhara” in the terminology of Buddha Dhamma.
– Bad vaci sankhara lead to bad vinnana. In simple English, such self-pitying thoughts” leads to a “bad/weak” mindset.
– With that bad mindset, one takes bad decisions. Furthermore, such bad mindsets attract more bad events too.
Another factor that comes in to play is whether or not one is living a moral life. If one is living a moral life, the tendency to have “self-pity” is reduced.
When one lives a moral life and has a positive outlook on life, things start going his/her way.
– Here, one is making conditions for any “good kamma” done in this or previous lives to bring their results.
– Just as a bad mindset would make conditions to bring in “bad kamma vipaka”, a “good mindset’ makes conditions to bring good vipaka.
You may want to read that post which I suggested to upekkha. It explains this in more detail.
At the end, you wrote, “What really “attracts” positive or negative circumstances is the way you feel, your energy so to speak.”
– What I explained above is how you got that energy. You overcame your “weak mindset” by cultivating a positive outlook.
February 18, 2020 at 6:38 am #27011
February 18, 2020 at 8:16 am #27016ChristianParticipant
I think is much complex than “Think good so good things will happen” I would say that is just part of the puzzle as we speak about mundane things. I do not remember the sutta name exactly but Buddha said that even if you been “bad” person you may go to higher realms and even if you been good person you may still go to apayas despite having good gathi this lifetime. It’s very hard to control course of life because you have much more blocks to pass (inner/outer) rather than openings, understanding Dhamma helps deal with life and so the life outcome after better dealing with life with much more clarity and clear mind. I would say attaining Nibbana, getting into pure state of mind and clarity is the best way to get your mundane situation life better because if you will not get what you want in terms of materialistic ways at least your life experience will be better even without those (with those it will be better too, generally it should the same way as one does not have mental fabrications about having this or not having that)
February 18, 2020 at 2:46 pm #27020y notParticipant
mn136 sujato: Mahakammavibhangasutta.
towards the very end is the resume’:
~Now, Ānanda, take the case of the person here who refrained from killing living creatures … and had right view, and who is reborn in hell.
They must have done a bad deed to be experienced as painful either previously or later, or else at the time of death they undertook wrong view.
And that’s why, when their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell.
But anyone here who refrains from killing living creatures … and has right view experiences the result of that in the present life, or in the next life, or in some subsequent period.
So, Ānanda, there are deeds that are ineffective and appear ineffective. There are deeds that are ineffective but appear effective. There are deeds that are effective and appear effective. And there are deeds that are effective but appear ineffective”
On reflection, the meaning behind the words bhabba/abhabba (translated as ‘effective /ineffective’ by Sujato) seems to be more in the sense of: bhabba, with a cause, a seed already existent, and ‘fit’ for the effect to manifest (in the absence of stronger kamma beeja to manifest in those conditions AT THAT TIME). Abhabba, though the deed is there, the conditions are not right because stronger kamma beeja take precedence AT THAT TIME. Is this indeed the meaning of bhabba/abhabba?
‘Immediately effective’ would have been much better because all deeds have the potency for the effect sooner or later, are ‘effective’ (for 91 mahakappas or until Arahanthood is attained within that time).
February 19, 2020 at 5:28 am #27028sybe07Spectator
Some own experience. When the mind is stressed, anxious, under high pressure, i can see, it tends to make bad judgements, especially also on cause and effect. It sees causes which are no causes. It creates associations which are not really there. It also tends to magical thinking. One can start to see all kind of signs.
Simple example: one is in a hurry and one travels with a car and all traffic lights are red. One starts to think reality is punishing oneself or somehow creating obstacles or one thinks this must be some bad omen or kamma vipaka. As though a traffic light would really have any concern for our activities.
I do not say that a stressed and anxious mind might not provoke certain behaviour in other people, but in general i think we must be al little be cautious in seeing all kinds of relationships when stressed, because a stressed mind tends to see things not clearly.
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