Sloth/Laziness is absolutely incompatible with the path

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.
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JohnJAu
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Sloth/Laziness is absolutely incompatible with the path

Post by JohnJAu » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:52 pm

Sloth is the worst of the seven deadly sins, it's at the core of our error. Laziness is, in a way, the basis of all our future wrong doings/mistakes.

One of the greatest virtues is diligence. Laziness is completely and definitely incompatible with the path to wisdom.

This seems a very significant truth to me. Any wisdom of non-action is not contradictory to this since I'm not speaking of the importance of labour here.

Through sloth and laziness we compound our mistakes, we become amoral, and most importantly, we fail to tread our own spiritual path. "The path to enlightenment".

In the Buddhist eight fold path this is "Right Effort".

"To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent." Buddha

And it seems appropriate:

"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing, knowing is not enough;we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do." Leonardo Da Vinci

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: Sloth/Laziness is absolutely incompatible with the path

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:56 am

Better laziness than just more mediocrity though. Doing nothing trumps doing stuff just for the doing, without means to quality.

For example your own post. Is that the best you had? Did you put any effort in its conception? Lets see:

- "Deadly sins" is a backward Christian theological concept with leading the list, as origin: pride and hubris.
- your Buddha quote is fake again because you don't even bother looking it up (I did).
- Leonardo Da Vinci did not produce anything we know of that qualifies as philosophical genius.

And yet, considering these failures of showing diligence you show up here posting about it. WTF, John? Are you just analyzing your own lack of effort? In any case, I'll provide some actual thought in addition. Not saying it's truth but it's worthwhile considering as it comes from a life of experience, conversation and reflection.

In my experience sloth and laziness is a form of passive aggression or underhanded protest. Often linked to some idea of the world or others having wronged you or still inhibiting someone. In those cases where that idea is actually completely fictional (not always the case), the argument becomes quickly something self-serving. But I think it's important to understand curiosity or the need to explore, grow, entertain or just maintain are fundamental drivers and normally more pressing. Sloth and laziness is then only possible if there's some inhibition or fear to do all the other more fulfilling or important stuff. When life is too busy and immediate (e.g. surviving by using all your wits) this whole problem doesn't even occur.

And yet a simple dislike or disdain for certain activities can also inspire technological drives, automation or just consumerism (buying the solution). Don't underestimate the power of that! Laziness is in the end a resistance movement but often by someone who is not yet aware what exactly is protested against. The same with avoidance: what is attempted and why? It might even be justified, intuitively, whatever.

JohnJAu
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Re: Sloth/Laziness is absolutely incompatible with the path

Post by JohnJAu » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:41 am

The specific quote is irrelevant since I was well aware the Buddha spoke of it. People create 'fake' quotes usually as interpretations of what the person has already said, not dissimilar from translations. Again, "Right Effort" is there in Buddhism regardless. There's not much of a point even mentioning it Diebert.

"The idler who does not exert himself when he
should, who though young and strong is full of
sloth, with a mind full of vain thoughts – such an
indolent man does not find the path to wisdom."

"If one holds oneself dear, one should diligently
watch oneself."

And Sloth made it into the list of the seven deadly sins regardless, it's not like I'm attributing it to God, just pointing out that there is a reason behind that.
or certain activities can also inspire technological drives,
You with your technological progress again.
Diebert van Rhijn wrote:sloth and laziness is a form of passive aggression or underhanded protest. Often linked to some idea of the world or others having wronged you or still inhibiting someone
That link is definitely there, but I'd say at the core of it really is just laziness, as in, a feeling so to speak, often of tiredness. The mind sees certain tasks as requiring effort and concentration, and avoids them, or instead does something the mind is desiring that pleases it (que TV). Because somehow when the mind is doing even high mental effort activities, (perhaps setting up some event or gaming) if it finds those activities to be pleasurable, and doesn't regard them as "work" (survival or progress work) then it usually has an easier time remaining concentrated on them, almost endlessly. Whereas the will power for concentration, or mental energy, one has is extremely limited when it comes to tasks which are not necessary for survival (The leverage isn't there to push you to complete the tasks) but nevertheless are considered "work".

The problem here is that even justifying the tasks intuitively, for example by recognizing they are in one's benefit, will often do little to nothing to override how one feels about the task or how one perceives it as non-pleasurable "work".

Diebert van Rhijn wrote: WTF, John? Are you just analyzing your own lack of effort?

Of course that is what I was doing. I thought that should be obvious. I recognized the significance of it in myself as being perhaps the single largest hindrance, and even the most difficult to 'solve'. Whereas if diligence is attained and becomes habit, that would be the single most significant beneficial quality to have. I also perceived how this is true for many western people.

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: Sloth/Laziness is absolutely incompatible with the path

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:43 pm

JohnJAu wrote:The specific quote is irrelevant since I was well aware the Buddha spoke of it.
No he didn't. At all, anywhere. The text you quoted is from a Christian who rewrote it using very Protestant ideology. Click on the link I helpfully supplied for more information on why the quote really is wrong.

Then you just provide more fake quotes from your Christian book. Right effort doesn't equal effort or work. It's like calling people to perform endless mental effort instead of calling for sobriety, reasoning or awareness. In some cases it's the actual opposite.
And Sloth made it into the list of the seven deadly sins regardless, it's not like I'm attributing it to God, just pointing out that there is a reason behind that.
But you haven't provided a good reason yet! You rather lazily quoted Christian lyrics because that's a thought system and ethical code given to you by others. You seem to put even little effort in reading my replies as I pointed out the problem of your warped translations before. They have little to do with Buddhism. They misinform you. Diligence starts with the little things.
Whereas the will power for concentration, or mental energy, one has is extremely limited when it comes to tasks which are not necessary for survival (The leverage isn't there to push you to complete the tasks) but nevertheless are considered "work".
A tiger on your tail changes everything. In other words adrenaline and excitement. A desire, a dream, even a passion. The causes behind lazy behavior can be manifold: learned passivity, an actual, perhaps medical lack of energy, some fear of existence (life's craziness and stress) or just the result of a cocoon of comfort -- a serious lack of tigers. The result of Mother's victory over nature?

Although you don't like to talk science, it's often very easy to become active by simply changing chemicals: ranging from caffeine and amphetamines or just flip a diet (decrease e.g carbs, grains, sugars for a while) and suddenly there's all this drive to start something! Of course, as one can see with a typical "ADD"" case, the disorganization of work method often results in frustration as well. But even ADD folks get sometimes medicine based on amphetamines. And what also helps is to learn how to organize work in little steps, find some methodology which works (eg lists, schedules, times etc). Read about procrastination on the Search Engine to get some idea. It's possible to stumble on meaningful activities just in trying to avoid other work. This is the weirdness of life.

JohnJAu
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Re: Sloth/Laziness is absolutely incompatible with the path

Post by JohnJAu » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:36 pm

Diebert van Rhijn wrote: Then you just provide more fake quotes from your Christian book.
Those quotes were from the Dhammapada? Are you referring to the translation?
Diebert van Rhijn wrote: Right effort doesn't equal effort or work. It's like calling people to perform endless mental effort instead of calling for sobriety, reasoning or awareness. In some cases it's the actual opposite.
Here is a summary of right effort ("Sometimes called Right Diligence"):

"The effort to prevent unwholesome qualities -- especially greed, anger and ignorance -- from arising.
The effort to extinguish unwholesome qualities that already have arisen.
The effort to cultivate skillful, or wholesome, qualities -- especially generosity, loving kindness, and wisdom (the opposites of greed, anger and ignorance) -- that have not yet arisen.
The effort to strengthen the wholesome qualities that have already arisen."

You rather lazily quoted Christian lyrics
When did I quote christian lyrics?
because that's a thought system and ethical code given to you by others.
Actually, the conclusion was my own, I thought of the relevance of those quotes after deciding to bring up diligence.
They have little to do with Buddhism.
This seems outright and factually wrong. The entire theme of diligence/striving on the path is present throughout nearly everything I've ever read from Buddhism.
or just the result of a cocoon of comfort -- a serious lack of tigers. The result of Mother's victory over nature?
In this sense it is better to have the free time than to be using it all on working for survival, but without diligence that free time usually isn't applied in any meaningful way. Most people are fully aware of this laziness and will often say they know there are many things they should do but fail to. For many people it is really a year-after-year cycle of being too slothful to do what they know they should do. I am reminded of new year resolutions. Diligence here is the only solution. How to attain or make a habit of diligence is the question?

Although you don't like to talk science, it's often very easy to become active by simply changing chemicals: ranging from caffeine and amphetamines or just flip a diet (decrease e.g carbs, grains, sugars for a while) and suddenly there's all this drive to start something!

I agree that changing your diet can make a noticeable positive effect, that's something I'm in the process of improving further, but it's no solution in itself. Obviously as you pointed out the diligence has to be aimed in the right directions; it can easily be aimed toward wrong-doing or mischief. Beyond that, it's really not anything to do with energy reserves or general attention problems, since if you swap the focus material to something desired you'll see right away someone can have endless energy reserves and ability to remain attentive.

The problem of laziness/sloth, especially in regard to the spiritual path, on first thought seems to me to have 'inner' causes and could thus only be solved within. I don't think procrastination fixes, diet, altering or reaching for one's desires (what the worldly person usually does to drive themselves beyond survival needs), or workarounds can really make the change in this regard since one of the major hindrances is existential desire itself. I'm talking here about achieving things such as present awareness, lasting mindfulness, attentive meditation, focused contemplation, etc.

I'll have a think about it and see if I can come up with any solutions. As I said, sloth to me seems to one of the greatest hindrances/vices which multiplies and perpetuates many other issues and varied neglects.

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Diebert van Rhijn
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Re: Sloth/Laziness is absolutely incompatible with the path

Post by Diebert van Rhijn » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:32 pm

JohnJAu wrote: Are you referring to the translation?
You provided no translation but rather completely reworked phrases. In no way are they similar to any usual translation!
The entire theme of diligence/striving on the path is present throughout nearly everything I've ever read from Buddhism.
But this does not say anything about laziness or sloth which was your topic. It calls for quality and to make wise choices like where to put your effort in. If there's no clear road ahead, perhaps it's better just to do nothing until a path is clear? Or should we just randomly run around and get lost? Now if you propose we should live life like a Good Boy and Do Your Homework and Succeed in Life, then why bother with philosophy at all? It's not required.
How to attain or make a habit of diligence is the question?
To be passionate! No other way because otherwise desire for anything else will override it too easily! It needs to become more important than all other stuff you could do including resting, playing, dreaming. Perhaps it requires boredom for the mundane to develop a bit further? One cannot develop any need for wisdom out of nothing. It's just something that always goes on or never will, I suppose.
if you swap the focus material to something desired you'll see right away someone can have endless energy reserves and ability to remain attentive.
That's not always the case. Not if there's a chemical cause or perhaps when some habits are very ingrained, like a rut. Then it would need shock or radical commitment to something which cannot be escaped or dodged that easily. Just to shake things up?
As I said, sloth to me seems to one of the greatest hindrances/vices which multiplies and perpetuates many other issues and varied neglects.
Yes I can see how it can become a problem especially if it has developed into a habit or some kind of reflex towards anything at all. But then I'd qualify it as the danger of ingrained patterns, which are a form of solid attachments. For this reason it's important to weaken those already from younger age. After a few decades it would seem near impossible! Our mind is flexible as a child but it's hard to keep it that way.

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Pam Seeback
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Re: Sloth/Laziness is absolutely incompatible with the path

Post by Pam Seeback » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:48 am

If one has to think about not being philosphically lazy then they have not been taken by wisdom. Wisdom must become the beloved, the one and only, the spouse, the greatest desire, the obsession if she is turn you inside out. When wisdom has her way with you, she goes to bed with you, she wakes up with you, she eats with you, she takes a crap with you. She is a delicious bitch!

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