Author Topic: merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?  (Read 13898 times)

hope rainbow

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merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?
« on: December 17, 2011, 02:58:33 AM »
It is said that one needs a minimum of 3 things to get started on the spiritual path:

1. enough merit

2. enough wisdom

3. at least a mind of renunciation

MERIT and WISDOM are also called the two accumulations, and sometimes they are described as "the two wings one needs to fly".

Merit is a type of karma related to the practice of Dharma, it is the karma that makes us recognize the Dharma, understand the Dharma and gives us the conditions to practice also, to meet with a Guru, etc...

It is also said that a moment of anger can destroy merit accumulated for eons.

My question is this:
Does a moment of anger also destroy the wisdom accumulated for eons?

Positive Change

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Re: merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 01:45:01 PM »
I find merit and wisdom as two different accumulations even though there is an obvious correlation between the two which makes them "the wings one needs to fly with". Hence the negation or "destruction" of these two aspects should also be different.

For me, it does make sense that eons of merits accumulated through positive actions and/or thoughts (not dedicated - hence very important to dedicate our merits) could be "destroyed" by one mere negative action and/or thoughts (in this example - ANGER) however, with wisdom, I feel it is something gained in one's mind stream and thus cannot be that easily "destroyed". I may be wrong in this perception... if so, can someone correct me and if not, how does one actually negate or "destroy" wisdom?

hope rainbow

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Re: merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 08:08:28 AM »
I find merit and wisdom as two different accumulations even though there is an obvious correlation between the two which makes them "the wings one needs to fly with". Hence the negation or "destruction" of these two aspects should also be different.

For me, it does make sense that eons of merits accumulated through positive actions and/or thoughts (not dedicated - hence very important to dedicate our merits) could be "destroyed" by one mere negative action and/or thoughts (in this example - ANGER) however, with wisdom, I feel it is something gained in one's mind stream and thus cannot be that easily "destroyed". I may be wrong in this perception... if so, can someone correct me and if not, how does one actually negate or "destroy" wisdom?

Thank you PA, so you say that it sounds logical to you that if confusion has dissipated through meditation on emptiness for example, what is gained in wisdom cannot be defeated by confusion.

This sounds logical to me also.
Why logical?
-wisdom is based on reality.  --> its foundation is solid
-confusion arises as a misunderstanding of reality.  --> its foundation is faulty

Thus:
Wisdom, because it is established firmly, cannot be shaken by unfounded misunderstandings.

Therefore:
Wisdom destroys confusion.
Confusion cannot destroy wisdom.

So, indeed PA, I would tend to agree with you.
Anyone else to comment on our conclusions?

WoselTenzin

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Re: merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2011, 08:38:39 PM »

My question is this:
Does a moment of anger also destroy the wisdom accumulated for eons?

The question seems a bit contradictory because the reason why we get angry is because we do not have wisdom.  If we do have wisdom accumulated for eons, it is unlikely that we will have anger.  Anger is a manifestation of ignorance.  There is no anger to begin with if we have wisdom.

Wisdom is not an accumulation.  Wisdom are states of attainments.  Attainments are irreversible and cannot be destroyed. Wisdom is like a destination and merits are like fuel for a vehicle to get to that destination. We can destroy the fuel by whatever means that will stop our vehicle from getting any closer to that destination but if we have already reached that destination, we will still be there even if you destroy the fuel and the vehicle.  Therefore, wisdom cannot be destroyed, not by anger or any thing else.

hope rainbow

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Re: merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2011, 02:50:32 AM »
Wisdom is not an accumulation. 
Wisdom are states of attainments. 
Attainments are irreversible and cannot be destroyed.
Wisdom is like a destination and merits are like fuel for a vehicle to get to that destination.
We can destroy the fuel by whatever means that will stop our vehicle from getting any closer to that destination but if we have already reached that destination, we will still be there even if you destroy the fuel and the vehicle. 
Therefore, wisdom cannot be destroyed, not by anger or any thing else.

This is a very clear explanation.
Thank you very much WT!
HR

Positive Change

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Re: merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2011, 12:21:43 PM »
So... what happens when one destroys enough merits to a point where one faces a situation where one comes back to a less than opportune condition to practice... what happens to our so called wisdom then? Seeing as we accumulated the both within the same time period and because merit can be destroyed and wisdom can't, there will indeed be some disparity... I wonder!!! Hmmm

iloveds

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Re: merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2011, 12:28:53 PM »
Its a bit of a conundrum...

Makes me wonder was it really wisdom to begin with what with all that anger still in the mindstream. But then i guess the level of wisdom (attainments) helps to lessen the anger, then eventually anger leaves us completely.

But is this due to merits or wisdom... ah the chicken or the egg rears it's head

Positive Change

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Re: merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2011, 12:45:29 PM »
Its a bit of a conundrum...

Makes me wonder was it really wisdom to begin with what with all that anger still in the mindstream. But then i guess the level of wisdom (attainments) helps to lessen the anger, then eventually anger leaves us completely.

But is this due to merits or wisdom... ah the chicken or the egg rears it's head

Dear iloveds...

Indeed... but on a lighter note, I reckon the chicken has more wisdom... or does it? Perhaps the egg is going to have more wisdom once it is a chicken? Or it is just not a very wise chicken when it hatches... Doesn't the situation then rely on merit? But then, as you pointed out, if we had the wisdom we would not be in that situation hhmmmm.... :P

Gypsy

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Re: merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2011, 06:15:00 PM »

My question is this:
Does a moment of anger also destroy the wisdom accumulated for eons?

The question seems a bit contradictory because the reason why we get angry is because we do not have wisdom.  If we do have wisdom accumulated for eons, it is unlikely that we will have anger.  Anger is a manifestation of ignorance.  There is no anger to begin with if we have wisdom.

I like the quote "There is no anger to begin with if we have wisdom." Ignorance is the culprit of anger. Often we are blinded by ignorance and we make mistakes. Anger brings no harmony nor peace. Peace is the thing that can take us to happiness and permanent happiness is something we pursue not only in this life but for future lifetimes as well.

Positive Change

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Re: merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2011, 10:47:25 AM »

My question is this:
Does a moment of anger also destroy the wisdom accumulated for eons?

The question seems a bit contradictory because the reason why we get angry is because we do not have wisdom.  If we do have wisdom accumulated for eons, it is unlikely that we will have anger.  Anger is a manifestation of ignorance.  There is no anger to begin with if we have wisdom.

I like the quote "There is no anger to begin with if we have wisdom." Ignorance is the culprit of anger. Often we are blinded by ignorance and we make mistakes. Anger brings no harmony nor peace. Peace is the thing that can take us to happiness and permanent happiness is something we pursue not only in this life but for future lifetimes as well.

Dear HG,

What you say does indeed make sense... but at which point does our accumulated wisdom eradicate anger? Meaning when are we wise enough to not be angry? Surely at some point even with wisdom we do get angry no? Just a thought!!!

But having said that, surely wisdom is not on a sliding scale... when one is wise, one is wise right? As mentioned by WT, wisdom cannot be eradicated... Hmmmm... One of these days of contemplation!!!

hope rainbow

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Re: merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2011, 07:34:59 AM »
Dear HG,

What you say does indeed make sense... but at which point does our accumulated wisdom eradicate anger? Meaning when are we wise enough to not be angry? Surely at some point even with wisdom we do get angry no? Just a thought!!!

But having said that, surely wisdom is not on a sliding scale... when one is wise, one is wise right? As mentioned by WT, wisdom cannot be eradicated... Hmmmm... One of these days of contemplation!!!

Thus, we may now wonder:
Does wisdom come ALL AT ONCE or does it come GRADUALLY?

And if it comes gradually, can we still develop anger along this gradual path, or at least to some point or degree?

Positive Change

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Re: merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2011, 02:27:45 PM »
Dear HG,

What you say does indeed make sense... but at which point does our accumulated wisdom eradicate anger? Meaning when are we wise enough to not be angry? Surely at some point even with wisdom we do get angry no? Just a thought!!!

But having said that, surely wisdom is not on a sliding scale... when one is wise, one is wise right? As mentioned by WT, wisdom cannot be eradicated... Hmmmm... One of these days of contemplation!!!

Thus, we may now wonder:
Does wisdom come ALL AT ONCE or does it come GRADUALLY?

And if it comes gradually, can we still develop anger along this gradual path, or at least to some point or degree?

Well... the very fact that one can be wiser means wisdom is accumulated too. I do not think wisdom is gained ALL AT ONCE. I presume there are many facets to "wisdom". And perhaps the wisdom to "see" fault in anger could be just one aspect of it.... Hence perhaps one can have some facets of wisdom but yet we can still get angry?

dorjedakini

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Re: merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2011, 07:12:28 PM »
I do not think that anger can destroy our wisdom as WT mentioned earlier.

On the other hand, my Lama told us before that if we create too much of negative karma, our mind will be clouded and we would not be able to see the truth, or good thing we see it as bad. Just like taking rebirth as tiger, no matter how much Dharma teaching was given to them, nothing can change a tiger not to kill or be vegetarian.

hope rainbow

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Re: merit is destroyed by anger, but what about wisdom?
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2011, 01:17:30 PM »
I do not think that anger can destroy our wisdom as WT mentioned earlier.

On the other hand, my Lama told us before that if we create too much of negative karma, our mind will be clouded and we would not be able to see the truth, or good thing we see it as bad. Just like taking rebirth as tiger, no matter how much Dharma teaching was given to them, nothing can change a tiger not to kill or be vegetarian.

I get your point DD, though perhaps there is a difference between "a lack of wisdom" and "clouded wisdom."

We all have done things that we knew were damaging, we knew it before we did them, as we did them and after we did them.
We had the wisdom to know, but the wisdom was clouded and we did not act according to our wisdom.

Some do not have the wisdom at all and engage in non-virtuous actions without second-thought or any sense that it may be damaging at all.

Your lama talked about clouded wisdom, not about vanished wisdom.
A tiger might have made his compulsion of killing (for example) stronger than his collection of merit and wisdom. The negative karma would have to diminish to a point so that his merit is enough to get a rebirth with the 18 opportune conditions and get another go at "getting wiser" and more "meritorious."

To look at the argumentation another way, have you ever heard of "clouded merit?"

Do I make sense?