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 [Dhamma Talk]


AN 8.50

The Buddha tells the bhikkhus of four things that, for women, lead to power in this world, and four that lead to power in the next.

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Index to available translations: AN 8.50

There are going to be a number of feminists out there that will react strongly and negatively to this and the previous four suttas.

This is for those who may have the same reactions but are open to another point of view.

This is very difficult to understand. What we are dealing with here in this world is like a stage play (... in which we strut and fret our hour ... and then are heard again and again).

We play parts.

De-parting from the script, we mess up the play trying to focus the attention of the audience on ourselves — that is all one is doing — one is having an infantile tantrum.

We blur the story line and bring ruin on many.

It's like the washer-woman in the background throwing a tantrum in a play concerning princes in conflict over rule of the world.

In a real play, one would be fired.

Acting our parts according to the demands of the role, but also following the higher demands of the Dhamma (the over-arching plot), we either create good deeds or no deeds and experience consequences or not according to those deeds.

Acting against our roles (evidence of our desire to escape), we act in resistance to the outcomes of our previous deeds.

Our previous deeds have cast us into our current roles and resistance to the outcome is like complaint (which is the adult form of an infantile tantrum).

It doesn't do any good, it shows our ignorance of how things really work and because it is based on misundrstanding, it is the foundation of misconceived acts leading to further unpleasant outcomes not the freedom we seek.

Resistance is colaboration.

It confirms and re-inforces the incorrect belief that the situation one is in has substantial reality.

It doesn't.

It is a pretend thing.

Like a dream from which one wishes to awaken, struggle is not the way out.

A calm, relaxed, detached calculated wise response to the situation one is in and the events that arise is the way out.

That calm, relaxed, detached, calculated response is what is being taught in this Dhamma and these suttas.

One plays out one's role ... with a twist.

In stead of complaining when told to scrub the floor, one scrubs the floor thinking:

'In this way I will wear out my old bad kamma, and I do not set going by complaint and resistance or collaboration any new kamma.'

If acting in this way results in death, the consequence of this sort of behavior will not be a bad outcome.

How could it have a bad outcome? The deed is scrubbing a floor for someone. That is a good deed. There is no foundation there for a bad outcome.

Fighting with one's role is clustered around with foundations for bad outcomes: anger, hatred, vicious talk, taking things that are not given, lazyness, and harmful acts.

Let it go and see how pleasantly one sails through one's role and on to better things.

The basic generic rules for real escape are what these suttas are about.

Be realistic: If you are concerned about your salvation take care with your own actions; there will be, in this world, no scarcity of others who will try to save the world. Its one of Mara's favorite tricks.

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