Author Topic: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?  (Read 19497 times)

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2011, 03:49:56 AM »
There's a lot of good stuff written here but i thought  had somewhat deviated  from the main question.
Incidentally what attracted me to this particular question was because it was exactly what my Guru asked me the first time i had audience with him.( substituting 'you' instead of 'we' ).
He had asked if i believed in karma and if i did why was i not enlightened yet. he went on and said if I am not enlightened, it means i don't believe in karma, and if i don't believe  in karma , then i am not even a Buddhist !
 I had an instant  realization of the answer immediately after that. Perhaps some of you might like to figure out what Rinpoche was pointing at? Although this is an engagement between him and me, I believe he is also pointing the answer to everyone else's mind as well.

With regard to why we had so much time and still no results, it is not about time is it? Since there is no beginning , even 1 zillion years is ' short' compared to infinity.
It is about whether we seize the opportunity to learn when we have the right conditions like now. It is about one's choice whether to learn and practice now when we can or leave it for tomorrow or the next century or eons later...this is the ignorance.
There is even the assertion that eventually all of us will become enlightened anyway since we go round the 6 realms and will be reborn as a human and attain enlightenment based on law of probabilities even if it takes a zillion zillion kalpas.
A sub question: Does anyone think there is a flaw to this line of reasoning even though it is correct mathematically and according to Buddhist cosmology?

hope rainbow

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2011, 07:26:32 AM »
With regard to why we had so much time and still no results, it is not about time is it? Since there is no beginning , even 1 zillion years is ' short' compared to infinity.
It is about whether we seize the opportunity to learn when we have the right conditions like now. It is about one's choice whether to learn and practice now when we can or leave it for tomorrow or the next century or eons later...this is the ignorance.
There is even the assertion that eventually all of us will become enlightened anyway since we go round the 6 realms and will be reborn as a human and attain enlightenment based on law of probabilities even if it takes a zillion zillion kalpas.
A sub question: Does anyone think there is a flaw to this line of reasoning even though it is correct mathematically and according to Buddhist cosmology?

Dear KG, thank you for your post.
I don't know if we can call this a flaw, but actually I think we can, it is about the "law of probability."
It seems as if the law of probability brings about "randomness" in the picture, which is contrary to the principles of karma, as far as I understand them.

Is it correct or incorrect to assume that we will all get enlightened because of the law of probability?
We do not travel through realms governed by the law of probability, but rather by the law of karma, correct?
We do not meet a Guru by chance, randomly, just like if I tried often enough I would get a serie of double 6 in throwing dice.

We meet the Dharma, recognize and practice it and also meet a Guru and develop devotion from our merit.
From our merit, we encounter conditions to create more merit and develop wisdom with VOLITION.

So maybe there is more than merit required, there is volition too, based upon renunciation.
Because I have renunciation, I have the will power to proceed further on the path instead of burning my merit in useless ways, not creating further merit neither.

It seems to me as everything comes down to this: RENUNCIATION.

Without RENUNCIATION we move up and down endlessly on waves of black and white karma, and we would even meet a Buddha and hear the Dharma with great intellectual ability to learn it and even share it but this just passes and we go down again on a vicious cycle of ignorant existence.






vajrastorm

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2011, 09:31:29 AM »
Coming back to the topic of why we are still not enlightened, I think the answer lies in our "4 clingings". We still cling strongly to "life"(this life), to "existence", to the "self' or "I" and "mine", and to "my stand" or "my viewpoint". Because of these clingings, we cannot move forward on our Path, and truly practice Guru Devotion and the Dharma, and transform.

hope rainbow

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2011, 12:29:03 PM »
Coming back to the topic of why we are still not enlightened, I think the answer lies in our "4 clingings". We still cling strongly to "life"(this life), to "existence", to the "self' or "I" and "mine", and to "my stand" or "my viewpoint". Because of these clingings, we cannot move forward on our Path, and truly practice Guru Devotion and the Dharma, and transform.

Thank you VS for your post.
I do agree with you that we are grabbing very tight on the four clinging.

We are not letting go of these with such tenacity, it is actually quite remarkable... Don't you think?
If the same tenacity was applied to extinguishing the causes of suffering, there would be a few less people wondering here about the reasons why we are not enlightened...

Our tenacity should be applied to nurturing a mind of renunciation rather than a mind of deception.
Deception because every single one of these clinging will lead us to deception.
This deception experienced with ignorance leads to an even stronger clinging, how ironic!

It is a bit like the person trapped in a quicksand pit, that moves frantically to get out, being ignorant of the fact that every move pushes him deeper into his death-trap.

I assume easily that you are a Buddhist practitioner, or else you would not be on this forum, right?
So (and excuse me for being so blunt), as a practitioner, what gives you the hope to get enlightened?
Thinking about this limitless time we've been at deceiving ourselves, one can easily become pessimistic...
What drives you to continue on the journey?
I am only asking this in the spirit of grounding one's determination more solidly, and give also more logic and reasoning for the readers of this forum to pursue on their spiritual path.

Cheers VS, and thank you!


KhedrubGyatso

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2011, 03:52:02 AM »
( From HR) Is it correct or incorrect to assume that we will all get enlightened because of the law of probability?
We do not travel through realms governed by the law of probability, but rather by the law of karma, correct?
We do not meet a Guru by chance, randomly, just like if I tried often enough I would get a serie of double 6 in throwing dice.

Dear HR,
You hv raised more questions than figuring out the answers ! But that's good for this forum as questions help us contemplate and are often more beneficial than providing answers which is forgotten easily when given by others and not coming from our thinking process.
Law of probability is exactly what it means - about probabilities. Even if we say you have one in a million chance of getting enlightened, it still does not mean you will get enlightened. According to the law, you  probably will after trying a million times, but it is still an  uncertainty. There is no law of certainty in this world based on science and mathematics because their formulas and principles themselves are all based on assumptions in order to come out with some figures.
There are also those who believe everything that happens  is based on chance and the universe arises from random process. Is this position in direct conflict with the law of cause and effect?
In ancient vedic tradition, their position is that everything is pre-determined ( caste system). The opposing view is the chaos theory and chance theory.
To reconcile the above, i think  we need to understand the middle way philosophy of Nagarjuna , karma and emptiness. Just understanding basic principles of cause and effect will not be enough.
Coming back to my original question, the flaw I  meant was with regard to our reasons for engaging in practice. It does not make sense to think its ok to be in hell for 1 million years as we will be released and be like the blind turtle sticking his head through the golden yoke. Taking refuge in law of probabilities/chance theory in practical terms really means opting for prolonged suffering with uncertainty of release even if  it is 99.999 % sure. This is not in accord with how we wish to live our life. If we subscribe to or are contented which such reliance, then we have not realized true suffering as expounded by Buddha.




yontenjamyang

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2011, 04:23:25 AM »
There is this experiment. If we put black smoke and white smoke in separate halves of a box and we open the separator so that the smoke are now free to mix, how long does it takes to have the black smoke and white smoke perfectly separated again?
The answer: Longer than the age of this Universe. Unless there is intervention.

This logic is similar, to the questions posted. We are unenlightened being. We have so much karmic potential/delusions, it is very complicated. This Karma can ripened on us every single moment in thought, leading to acts of body, speech and more thoughts. Most likely, these ripened effects leads to more negative karma leading to more ripened effect...and on and on and on. No way we can be enlightened unless we somehow seize the chance to perform virtuous acts. The best is of cause Dharma practice. That is the only chance.
The scary thing is that if we contemplate the above scenario, to just have the chance to practice Dharma is rarer than the the black and white smoke getting perfectly separated. Let start practicing.

hope rainbow

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2011, 04:43:10 AM »
There is this experiment. If we put black smoke and white smoke in separate halves of a box and we open the separator so that the smoke are now free to mix, how long does it takes to have the black smoke and white smoke perfectly separated again?
The answer: Longer than the age of this Universe. Unless there is intervention.

This logic is similar, to the questions posted. We are unenlightened being. We have so much karmic potential/delusions, it is very complicated. This Karma can ripened on us every single moment in thought, leading to acts of body, speech and more thoughts. Most likely, these ripened effects leads to more negative karma leading to more ripened effect...and on and on and on. No way we can be enlightened unless we somehow seize the chance to perform virtuous acts. The best is of cause Dharma practice. That is the only chance.
The scary thing is that if we contemplate the above scenario, to just have the chance to practice Dharma is rarer than the the black and white smoke getting perfectly separated. Let start practicing.

Thank you YJ.
Your post and KG's post do connect indeed.

It is illogical to rely on "probability".

Not only that but it is ignorant because it looks down at eons of suffering as "nothing really" when we can't even stand the doctor's needle...

So perhaps, the reason that I am not enlightened yet is my mind state right now.

And the very fact that I can debate about this right now gives me that almost impossible "probability" to have a chance at enlightenment.

Will I grab it?
Or will I waste it?

What gives me hope towards enlightenment is the realization that it is possible, and that those that have realized the extinguishing of all causes of suffering were where I am now at one point.

My engine is THE 3RD NOBLE TRUTH, to me the most important one to contemplate...
Without it, no motivation could be developed.

hope rainbow

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2011, 01:30:59 PM »
Law of probability is exactly what it means - about probabilities.
Even if we say you have one in a million chance of getting enlightened, it still does not mean you will get enlightened.
According to the law, you  probably will after trying a million times, but it is still an  uncertainty.

This brings up an aspect of the law of probability that I did not realize indeed: there is a probability that I would come up with a serie of 6 if I keep throwing dice again and again, but there is no certainty, for there is a possibility I might never get any 6...

While thinking about the biginingless-ness of time I was also wondering if this thinking is valid?
And if it is not valid, how is it not valid?

1. time is begining-less
2. thus I have been creating karma in a quantity equal to infinite
3. thus I have white karma in infinite quantity
4. and black karma in infinite quantity
5. how could one infinite quantity be more than another infinite quantity?
6. question beings with the above logic: how can white karma be less than black since we are dealing with infinite quantities?

How?  ???

yontenjamyang

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2011, 02:06:15 PM »
From the above logic, it is true that each of us have the same amount of black and white karma in infinite quantity. How much or if the amount is the same is not the issue.  If we are enlightened we are not subject to karma. In order to be enlightened we however needs white karma to rippened to meet the guru, dharma, sangha, have the condition to practice, have the resource, support, long life etc. The main issue is how karma ripens. It depends on conditions. White karma ripens iif we create virtuos conditions and black karma ripens if we create unwholesome conditions. Like seeds ripening into trees depending on th conditions. Soil, water, sunlight etc.
So bottom-line is we need to create the conditions for the white karma to ripen to enable the practice to be smooth. The best is thru Guru Devotion.
To have the best understanding we can should and contemplate the Lamrim. Then practice, practice and practice with Guru's guidance. Very important.

hope rainbow

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2011, 02:32:45 PM »
From the above logic, it is true that each of us have the same amount of black and white karma in infinite quantity.

Thank you YJ for your reply.

I must admit I asked the question in a tricky way, and before this goes further in a direction that I do not think is correct, I should add this:

It is not true that we have the same amount of black and white karma in infinite quantities.

And this even though the begining-less aspect of time makes us contemplate on the infinite.

This is the logic:
Let's imagine an infinity of cars.
Thus an infinite amount of tires and an infinite amount of steering wheels, right?
Yet, and even though infinite in numbers, there are more tires than steering wheels.
Quod Erat Demonstrandum

The same logic applies to black and white karma.
Even though collected from begining-less time, we have collected more black karma than white karma.
Why, because in this infinite time we have spend most of the time engaging in actions ignorantly, fueling delusions and hurting others without knowing better.
And we will keep doing so unless we start practicing the Dharma in one way or another.

fruven

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2012, 03:59:29 PM »
If we talking about in mathematical terms infinite positive doesn't equate to infinite negative in normal arithmetic, the calculus branch of maths deal with infinite calculation. As for the beginning-less time, if we treat time as a sphere such as a planet, we don't have start and end points.

What give me the hope to enlightenment? Buddha doesn't give up, all the Lamas doesn't give up hope on us. All sentient beings have been our mothers. Our true nature is pure, untainted, meaning we can become enlightenment. If given 1 billion or 1 trillion, do we want it now or later, or perphas in next life? Do we want to become enlighten now?  :D

Also it is said in the Lamrim this rebirth of a human form is worth more than 1 thousand billion precious jewels. This is the supreme human form in the southern continent we can become enlightened, all other continents are said to not has this feature.


bambi

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2012, 04:40:29 PM »
I have read that because of degenerating time that we are creating more negative actions due to our deluded and ignorant mind. And because of that we tend to slip and fall further into the 'hole'. In lives when our negative karma is so great, we tend to fall deeper into samsara and it is so hard to be able to be born in precious human form with all sense fully intact and practicing Dharma diligently. Then we have more obstacles and problems arising from doing the holy Dharma from again, the negative karma that we created and accumulated throughout beginning-less time. We must step out of our so called comfortable lives and contemplate everyday. If the monks and nuns can do it, why can't we?

RedLantern

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2012, 05:17:17 PM »
The concept of enlightenment relates to the age old admonition' know thyself" easier said than done.One person because of circumstances of birth has to renounce the world.Because of circumstances of birth has to accept the world.In both cases it's easier said than done.
Why people are not enlightened is because we are running away from moments, or sliding over them,rather than pursuing to really savor what life has to offer.We need to know or define what we already have right in front of us,the journey brings the meaning....

vajratruth

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2012, 05:38:49 PM »
Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?

This is a very good question and the first thought that comes to mind is:  the simple fact that we are born with the very elements that keep us samsaric in thoughts and pursuits i.e. the 3 poisons if Ignorance, Delusions and Anger. 

So, why do these 3 poisons persevere in our mind stream? The thought that come to mind is the manifestation of the most frightening form of Karma: the reinforcing karma. Reinforcing karma is a viscous and almost uncontrollable downward spiraling situation where each non-virtuous act creates the cause for further non-virtuous acts that eventually results in the development of non-virtuous habituations. As the saying “practice makes perfect” goes, reinforcing karma “empowers” us to perfect the art of the 3 poisons. Our three poisons have gone from something we do and have to something that we have become. Instead of saying we have selfish result and actions…we begin to say we ARE selfish. Thus, being selfish is second nature, deeply rooted in our minds.

Thus, unless we face up and get committed to develop new habits by applying the methods the 3 jewels have compassionately shown us, we will continue to entrap ourselves in samsara.

Besides the above, the other thought that came to mind is: we do not believe in karma and rebirth because, if we did, we would immediately transform from sheer fear of remaining in the grasp of uncontrolled rebirth within the 6 realms of samsara.

ratanasutra

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Re: Why is it that are we not enlightened yet?
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2012, 03:24:40 PM »
There are many factors which we need to achieve in order to gain enlightenment. To gain enlighten is different from to get a degree therefore study and learn are not enough as it has to be put into the real practice.

We can study and master in the buddhist texts, mean we gain some knowledge but without wisdom to realize in what we have learnt will never bring the result which is put in to practices/actions example we can memorize and understand all the bodhisattva vows but if we can not practice or follow it, we are gain nothing as knowing without practising bring us no where.

So we need to tame and discipline our mind and actions so that we are be able to hold the vows, study, meditate, practice and have realization. Therefore to take refuge in buddha is the first step for us to control our body, speech and mind to generate merit so that we can do more virtuous things and this merit will follow us life after life until we gain enlightenment.

In the summary, our mind are full with delusions and we are not really believe in karma therefore there is no result in our transformation with lead to enlighten state.