[ Dhamma Talk ]
This Dhamma is for the Here and Now
"This Dhamma is for the Here and Now,
Beckoning the Intelligent to 'Come, See for Yourself!'"
This morning I have read on a Buddhist discussion board the statement that the Abhidhamma is saying that the kammic outcome of most deeds, excepting those of exceptional magnitude such as those done with a Buddha as recipient, will not have an outcome in this life.
Whether or not this is a correct statement of the facts concerning the Abhidhamma, the statement itself is not correct and the view needs to be guarded against and refuted, and can be seen to be incorrect by even the most inexperienced observer:
Go out and give something to some bum. I deliberately choose bum, intending some individual who in all likelihood in this society is of no psychic power whatsoever. Buy him a cup of coffee or a meal or just give him a couple of bucks.
Then return home and sit down and contemplate the act.
Guaranteed! if you have any vision at all you will see several benefits which came to be from the very first instant of the deed.
There is the sight of another individual whose life has been improved, however slightly.
There is undoubtedly a sensation of pleasure at having done the act.
If the mind has turned on itself as I suggest, there was an immediate payback in terms of mental growth.
The world, which for the individual still bound to samsara is always a personal world, has been improved starting from the very instant of the doing of the deed.
The reverberations can be seen to start at the instant the intent to take action is formed and cannot be seen to end; period.
This is not to refute the idea that at some point either in the present or at some future time, some clear, obvious consequence of a deed may be seen. What this is saying is that in much the same way as when one shouts into a canyon, the sound wave begins from the first point the sound passes the vocal chords and exits the mouth and effects the wind in an expanding manner from that instant and that it is not only the echo that is the consequence of the deed of shouting.
I am aware of the view that some kamma is not to be experienced immediately (this is a view expressed in the Visudhimagga), and I am aware that this is not a view taught in the suttas (to say, as in the suttas, that there is kamma the fruit of which is to be experienced in the here and now, and that there is kamma the fruit of which is to be experienced in the future is not to say that there is kamma the fruit of which is not to be experienced in the here and now - this is a good reason for the use of the term "ripening" - fruit may have an optimum point of ripeness, but nevertheless is fruit from the time of the pollination of the flower.)
Whoever is declaring that some kamma is only to be experienced in the future is preaching a doctrine of Time and is not only incorrect, but is working against making strenuous effort in the here and now and is therefore not teaching true dhamma, and should be regarded not as one representing immortality but quite the opposite, simply as one who is a Mara or one of his minions. If there were kamma the fruit of which could only be experienced in the future, there could be no escape from kamma in the here and now. It is because by work of mind the fruition of kamma can be made to be experienced in the here and now that there is escape from kamma in the here and now.
Imagine a cone (invert the maelstrom. Then imagine yourself at the center of the foot (the widest part) of the cone, doing an act. That act actually spreads out and changes the entire cone, but is seen by you as spreading out across the plain that dissects the area at the foot of the cone and rebounding back to you on that plain. The spreading out and rebounding back are seen by you as Time, the "taking time" for the deed to rebound. But then imagine that in stead of remaining on that plain, you raise yourself up a level or two or all the way to the top. That deed you did has still altered the make up of the cone, but the manner in which it is experienced (the Time it takes) is condensed at the peak of the cone. Something like that is what is happening when one progressively abandons the world, progressively adopting the not-doing stance. The old kamma is still to be experienced, but in altered form and occuring in an altered Time-Frame.
Go out and do this dhamma vicaya! This Dhamma is to be seen by the intelligent in the here and now as not a thing involving Time.
And furthermore! This is to say nothing of deeds of abstention:
There are three ways of stepping, beggars, the stepping of which leads upward starting from the first step:
for the bloody handed there is harmlessness
for the thief there is abstaining from theft
for the liar there is abstaining from saying what is not true
This Dhamma is for the Here and Now, something for the Intelligent Individual to Understand for Himself
How is this to be understood?
I HEAR TELL:
Once Upon a Time, The Lucky Man, Malla Territory, Uruvelakappa-town revisit'n, was visited by Hat-tha-ha-tha-Ba-Wee tha Head man, who approached, greeted with clasped hands, and sat down to the side. There Ba-Wee thus say:
"It would be bha-ba-beneficial to me, Lucky Man, if the La-la-Lucky Man were to teach me the Origin and the End of Dukkha."
"Well, BadWeed, if I were to attempt to teach you the Origin and the End of Dukkha illustrating the lesson drawing on examples from Past Time, this would only cause you Doubt and Confusion; and, in the same way, BadWeed, if I were to attempt to teach you the Origin and the End of Dukkha illustrating the lesson drawing on examples from Future Time, this too would only cause you Doubt and Confusion. But, here now, with me sitting here and you sitting here with me, I will teach you the Origin and the End of Dukkha based on the here and now.
I will Speak!"
"So let me ask you this Head-man: Are there those in this Uruvelakappa-town whose death or imprisonment or loss of fortune or good name would cause you Pain and Misery, Grief and Lamentation and Despair?"
"There are, BrokeTooth."
"Then let me ask you this, Head-man: Are there those in this Uruvelakappa-town whose death or imprisonment or loss of fortune or good name would cause you No Pain and Misery, Grief and Lamentation and Despair?"
"There are, BrokeTooth."
"So then, Headman, based on your own perceptions of the Here and Now, what is the reason that Pain and Misery, Grief and Lamentation and Despair would be experienced by you in the case of some individuals here in this Uruvelakappa-town and yet would not be experienced by you in the case of some other individuals?"
"It is because in the case of those here in this Uruvelakappa-town whose death or imprisonment or loss of fortune or good name would cause me Pain and Misery, Grief and Lamentation and Despair, I have desires and wishes, whereas in the case of those whose death or imprisonment or loss of fortune or good name would cause me No Pain and Misery, Grief and Lamentation and Despair, I have No desires and wishes."
"Wherefore, Head-man, examine the situation and see for yourself. Examine it with reference to the past, and examine it with reference to the Future, and when you can see for yourself that here and now and in the past and in the future: "Whatsoever Dukkha arises all that is rooted in desires and wishes;" and train yourself accordingly."
MO: So how is this to be understood by US?
In the very same way: Here and now, take a look around you, examine your familiar situation: Ask yourself "Are there those in my life Right Now whose death or imprisonment or loss of fortune or good name would cause me Pain and Misery, Grief and Lamentation and Despair?"
Ask yourself: "Are there those in my life Right Now whose death or imprisonment or loss of fortune or good name would cause me No Pain and Misery, Grief and Lamentation and Despair?
Ask yourself: "What is the reason that there are some in my life whose death or imprisonment or loss of fortune or good name would cause me Pain and Misery, Grief and Lamentation and Despair while there are others where that would not be the case?"
Ask yourself if you can see for yourself that in the Here and Now the Root of Pain and Misery is Desires and Wishes.
Ask yourself if this was true of the Past.
Ask yourself if you can see that this will be true of the Future.
When you can see this for yourself as it really is in the Here and Now, then resolve to train yourself in High Views, High Principles, High Talk, High Works, High Lifestyle, High Self Control, High Satisfying Memory Building, High Getting High, High Vision and High Objective Detachment.
This is the Way to the Ending of Dukkha to be seen by the Intelligent for themselves. Not a matter of some future reward, but visible in the Here and Now.