U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Buddhism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-20-2013, 12:29 PM
 
991 posts, read 1,040,845 times
Reputation: 838

Advertisements

The fifth precept, abstaining from intoxicants...is this a strict avoidance of drinking at all? I am exploring Buddhism, and what attracted me to the religion is that it is a very calming force for me. I am trying to emerge from being an angry, insecure, stressed out person who hurt others a lot and transition into a more accepting, comfortable person through meditation. I am going through this transition with the help of my SO, who is a native of Laos.

I am not an alcoholic by any means...maybe 10-14 drinks a year is my max, but I do enjoy the taste of a wheat beer now and again. I do hate feeling drunk and try and avoid it wherever possible. In accordance with Buddhist ethics, should I completely stop drinking altogether?

Thank you.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-20-2013, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Phoenix Arizona
2,032 posts, read 4,553,843 times
Reputation: 2732
From your post it sounds like you barely drink at all. You hate feeling drunk and you've already started on the path which has calmed you. It sounds like you drink a bare minimum 10-14 drinks a year and it sounds like you're walking the Middle Way, you can partake without it taking over your lifestyle. I wouldn't sweat it. You can drink without feeling "intoxicated". You can drink here and there and not fall in love with it. You can know both ways without attachment. Don't be holy man in the mountains, live with everybody else, but wisely.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-20-2013, 09:24 PM
 
16,867 posts, read 22,890,284 times
Reputation: 18851
Abstaining from intoxicants means abstaining from anything that intoxicates one's mind. It should not be understood literally, as only alcohol, or narcotics. ANYTHING that clouds human mind, makes it "intoxicated", should be abstinent from. Lord Siddhartha said, that even nibbana can be such an intoxicant. Human should perform his or her daily tasks, without any attachment to their results, as that is intoxication.
Nibbana paccayam hotu - one need not aim at anything or wish for anything at all
Do not get drunk on wine, but neither get drunk on your good deeds. Do not get drunk on your virtues, your accomplishments, even on highest accomplishments you reached. Do not get drunk on nibbana.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2013, 05:47 AM
 
932 posts, read 1,953,932 times
Reputation: 2225
Quote:
Originally Posted by KC_Sleuth View Post
The fifth precept, abstaining from intoxicants...is this a strict avoidance of drinking at all? I am exploring Buddhism, and what attracted me to the religion is that it is a very calming force for me. I am trying to emerge from being an angry, insecure, stressed out person who hurt others a lot and transition into a more accepting, comfortable person through meditation. I am going through this transition with the help of my SO, who is a native of Laos.

I am not an alcoholic by any means...maybe 10-14 drinks a year is my max, but I do enjoy the taste of a wheat beer now and again. I do hate feeling drunk and try and avoid it wherever possible. In accordance with Buddhist ethics, should I completely stop drinking altogether?

Thank you.
I think in America this is probably the most debated of the Five Precepts.

As a practical matter, I think it depends on whether you maintain mindfulness while drinking. Can you be mindful after one beer? Then have one beer, and stay mindful. Can you be mindful after two beers? Then have two, and stay mindful. Three? Not so much? Then maybe don't have that third beer. Or switch to water and sober up a little until you can maintain mindfulness after that third beer.

I think cacto has it right. Live in the world, because that's where you are. But do so wisely.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2013, 11:33 AM
 
16,867 posts, read 22,890,284 times
Reputation: 18851
I can not keep myself from repeating this. Ordinary humans are not to "debate" God's word. Like in YHWH or Allah. Same goes for what Lord Siddhartha said. What is there to "debate"? You have to be a buddha to debate what another buddha said. And truly, there is no debate anyway, as what a buddha says, is The Truth, and that is not debatable anyway.

But anyhow. This is not why I am re-posting. Reason I re-post is simple. Buddhists know, that they go through countless re-existences on Earth. With that being said, consuming any intoxicant, even in moderate amounts, develops what is a tolerance to this substance. Over existences, such tolerance increases. Eventually, the Spirit of Alcohol, which is one of the worst humanity enemies, takes over, and a human becomes an alcoholic. Many of you might have met such folks, or experienced inexplainable desire to drink virtually from birth, or from the time person became conscious, and sometimes in completely sober environment.
This does not go just for alcohol. This goes for any attitude, that binds a human to the physical, as attitudes carry over into new existences, with mental, psychic, and noetic atmospheres, as they pass on into the the after the death states of a human.
You were made aware.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2013, 01:15 PM
 
932 posts, read 1,953,932 times
Reputation: 2225
Quote:
Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
I can not keep myself from repeating this. Ordinary humans are not to "debate" God's word. Like in YHWH or Allah. Same goes for what Lord Siddhartha said. What is there to "debate"? You have to be a buddha to debate what another buddha said. And truly, there is no debate anyway, as what a buddha says, is The Truth, and that is not debatable anyway.
Wow. Attached much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
But anyhow. This is not why I am re-posting. Reason I re-post is simple. Buddhists know, that they go through countless re-existences on Earth. With that being said, consuming any intoxicant, even in moderate amounts, develops what is a tolerance to this substance. Over existences, such tolerance increases. Eventually, the Spirit of Alcohol, which is one of the worst humanity enemies, takes over, and a human becomes an alcoholic. Many of you might have met such folks, or experienced inexplainable desire to drink virtually from birth, or from the time person became conscious, and sometimes in completely sober environment.
This does not go just for alcohol. This goes for any attitude, that binds a human to the physical, as attitudes carry over into new existences, with mental, psychic, and noetic atmospheres, as they pass on into the the after the death states of a human.
You were made aware.
Umm...no. Tolerance is a physical, biological process. Rebirth does not bring with it the physical characteristics of past lives. And I've never met a newborn who demanded a shot with a beer to chase it.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2013, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Phoenix Arizona
2,032 posts, read 4,553,843 times
Reputation: 2732
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockJock1729 View Post
I think in America this is probably the most debated of the Five Precepts.

As a practical matter, I think it depends on whether you maintain mindfulness while drinking. Can you be mindful after one beer? Then have one beer, and stay mindful. Can you be mindful after two beers? Then have two, and stay mindful. Three? Not so much? Then maybe don't have that third beer. Or switch to water and sober up a little until you can maintain mindfulness after that third beer.

I think cacto has it right. Live in the world, because that's where you are. But do so wisely.
I think it's the right way of looking at it, however some nights drinking beer I practice mindfulness a little less than others. I keep getting better and better about it though. I guess that's why it's called "practice".
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2013, 08:06 PM
 
16,867 posts, read 22,890,284 times
Reputation: 18851
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockJock1729 View Post
Wow. Attached much?



Umm...no. Tolerance is a physical, biological process. Rebirth does not bring with it the physical characteristics of past lives. And I've never met a newborn who demanded a shot with a beer to chase it.

You confusing physical and psychic inclinations, as part of one's destiny. And over exaggerating at the same time. For starters, mental, noetic, and psychic inclinations have little to do with physical. Secondly, new borns don't ask much of anything, as their consciesness is not in them. Immortal Self in the human body enters it, and only in its psychic atmosphere, towards the age roughly of five. This manifests itself with a question, a child asks - who amI?
Btw, there are very well known cases of hereditary drug addicts, as born to drug addict mothers. They become dependent on a drug with it being introduced to fetus.
Inclination towards alcohol consumption, or any other intoxicant, is part of one's psychic destiny. That part is shaped through re-existences, not through re-births, and can be controlled and changed, just like any other psychic, mental, and noetic inclination, as part of destiny.


Psychic destiny is of six classes. The first class is the feeling of pleasure or pain when the physical body is affected by contact. The second is the feeling of joy or sorrow when the doer is affected without physical contact, as by receipt of a message or by anticipation of a pleasure or of a calamity. The third class of psychic destiny, and the most important, is the character of the human, his disposition, endowments, sentiments, instincts, virtues and vices. This make-up comes into being before birth and lasts through life and for some time after death. The fourth class is sleep with its restora-ion of bodily energy, dreams, the adjustment of the doer during sleep, and states similar to sleeping and dreaming, where the doer relaxes its hold on the senses. The fifth class s death itself and the processes of death. The sixth class is shown in the psychic conditions through which the doer passes after death during the periods of its metempsychosis, heaven, transmigrations and re-existence,
The third class relates to the character of the human being, his disposition, endowments, sentiments, instincts, virtues and vices. While the make-up of the doer portion in the body is stamped in rudimentary form on the aia, the human can exercise a right of choice whether he will submit to or fight against his temperament, disposition and desires. Therefore character does not necessarily result from exteriorizations of thinking and thoughts alone. The character brought over from the past life was impressed upon the aia, and when time, condition and place are fit, the traits will appear in physical actions. Psychic effects appear also in some of the vices, such as drunkenness and gambling, and in certain psychic states, as gloom, pessimism, malice, fear and despair and, on the other hand, as hopefulness, joyousness, trust and ease.

The father’s heredity is stamped on his germ cell, the mother’s on her germ cell, and the doer’s own heredity on its breath-form. But nothing can come as heredity from father or mother that does not coincide with the heredity of the breath-form. This heredity, which controls like a screen what will be let through from father and mother, consists of the impressions made on the aia by previous thoughts of the doer and is transferred to the breath-form at conception or during gestation. Thoughts are precipitated as tendencies into the fetus in a twofold way: firstly as impressions transferred from the breath-form through heredity from the parents, and secondly directly from the breath-form as exteriorizations from thoughts in the mental atmosphere of the doer. After the child is born, the tendencies implanted in the fetus and re-existing in the child gradually develop into the physical form and features, the psychic inclinations and the mental qualities and powers. Finally, the body comes into the world with the desires and tendencies which have been transferred by the doer to the child through the father and mother.
Character is a predisposition for like desires and the desires generate like thoughts. Character is impressed upon the aia. When the breath-form is built up again, it has the impress of the character. This is the reason why people ave their characters when they come into life and why unexpected traits appear in later life, when time, condition and place bring them out. Hence come the predisposition to oppression, theft, malice, gambling and drunkenness, and to helpfulness, fellow feeling, courage, loyalty and chastity.
The desire to be drunk is one of the worst and deadliest of psychic forces. Though alcohol belongs to the world and the processes of physical nature, there works through it an entity, a spirit, which does not belong to the present period, is an enemy to the doer and to the Intelligence and can reach the doer only through alcohol, when the doer is in the body. It cannot reach the Intelligences, but is as death to the doers; it can affect an Intelligence only in so far as it suspends the progress of the doer by preventing the reexisting portion from continuing its orderly return to earth life. It hinders the Intelligence in the help that it would give to the doer.
Temperate drinking of wine and other intoxicants does not immediately in itself harm the drinker. In no case did it or does it or can it benefit the doer, though an alcoholic drink may stimulate the body in a crisis; but even then other stimulants might serve as well. Alcoholic drinks are not necessary for the maintenance of health. Wine is desired for its taste and aroma and for the psychic effect it has of magnifying and intensifying sensation. Temperate drinking mingles the psychic atmospheres and produces a sort of geniality.
It is difficult to draw the line at temperate drinking. At social gatherings this line is crossed, else the drinkers would not be convivial. People who drink lightly now and then or who regularly take a limited allowance, may not become actual and habitual drunkards. From life to life the tendency is to increase the sensations which alcohol produces. In time, as the liking of the doer for drink becomes stronger, the entity that works through alcohol, as the enemy of every human, may claim the doer. In the following life the breath-form bears the mark of this spirit. This spirit breaks down physical health and moral restraint, opens the barriers between the four states of physical matter and lets in the play of emotional currents and elemental beings. If not overcome the bondage becomes ever more pronounced, until in some life what was once a temperate drinker may be a periodic or habitual drunkard. At some time the doer must conquer or be conquered. If the doer loses, the human is lost and cut off from the Light of the Intelligence. The history of doers, if it were ever written, would show that more doers have failed through the spirit of alcohol than bodies were ever slain in all the battles of the world.

Thinking and Destiny, HW Percival
The Word Foundation: Writings of Harold Percival
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-22-2013, 05:23 AM
 
Location: S. Wales.
49,759 posts, read 17,244,000 times
Reputation: 5815
Quote:
Originally Posted by KC_Sleuth View Post
The fifth precept, abstaining from intoxicants...is this a strict avoidance of drinking at all? I am exploring Buddhism, and what attracted me to the religion is that it is a very calming force for me. I am trying to emerge from being an angry, insecure, stressed out person who hurt others a lot and transition into a more accepting, comfortable person through meditation. I am going through this transition with the help of my SO, who is a native of Laos.

I am not an alcoholic by any means...maybe 10-14 drinks a year is my max, but I do enjoy the taste of a wheat beer now and again. I do hate feeling drunk and try and avoid it wherever possible. In accordance with Buddhist ethics, should I completely stop drinking altogether?

Thank you.
As an ex -Buddhist, I am in no position to instruct, but I can mention that the approach to intoxicants depends on whether one is a lay Buddhist or in the Sangha. That may be a pointless point as you wouldn't be asking the question unless from the 'Lay' point of view. The remark above (Rockjock's) about 'mindfulness' hits the nail on the head. The fact is that one can do all sorts of things in moderation provided that it does not fuddle the brain from losing sight of the precepts. There is no real harm in having a drink or two (your modest intake seems well within tolerance) and, on a sliding slope, the more fuddled your brain gets, the more it is time to stop.

That it is 'forbidden' is to lose sight of the point, and indeed to fall into the 'Sin' trap. As the old saying goes, the laws are for the education of the wise and the obedience of fools. They are not there to be obeyed or some divine being will be annoyed, but they are there to help direct your mind to awareness and eventual enlightenment.

Hope that helps.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-22-2013, 08:08 AM
 
932 posts, read 1,953,932 times
Reputation: 2225
You're using a Theosophist writing to make an argument about how to interpret a Buddhist precept. I don't know anything about Theosophy, so I'm not sure whether they are philosophically compatible. Just because Theosophy believes in rebrith/reincarnation, that doesn't mean it's the same concept of rebirth/reincarnation as in Buddhism, or that the ideas of "classes of psychic destiny" makes sense in Buddhism.

Mental inclinations have quite a bit to do with the physical--personality traits often changes when people suffer brain damage. The mind isn't wholly separate from the meat.

As for infants of addict mothers, that's not the same point as the one you made about "tolerance building up over lifetimes". That's the actions of one person affecting another, which is a wholly different matter than the point you made about a person's actions affecting themselves in a later lifetime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
You confusing physical and psychic inclinations, as part of one's destiny. And over exaggerating at the same time. For starters, mental, noetic, and psychic inclinations have little to do with physical. Secondly, new borns don't ask much of anything, as their consciesness is not in them. Immortal Self in the human body enters it, and only in its psychic atmosphere, towards the age roughly of five. This manifests itself with a question, a child asks - who amI?
Btw, there are very well known cases of hereditary drug addicts, as born to drug addict mothers. They become dependent on a drug with it being introduced to fetus.
Inclination towards alcohol consumption, or any other intoxicant, is part of one's psychic destiny. That part is shaped through re-existences, not through re-births, and can be controlled and changed, just like any other psychic, mental, and noetic inclination, as part of destiny.


Psychic destiny is of six classes. The first class is the feeling of pleasure or pain when the physical body is affected by contact. The second is the feeling of joy or sorrow when the doer is affected without physical contact, as by receipt of a message or by anticipation of a pleasure or of a calamity. The third class of psychic destiny, and the most important, is the character of the human, his disposition, endowments, sentiments, instincts, virtues and vices. This make-up comes into being before birth and lasts through life and for some time after death. The fourth class is sleep with its restora-ion of bodily energy, dreams, the adjustment of the doer during sleep, and states similar to sleeping and dreaming, where the doer relaxes its hold on the senses. The fifth class s death itself and the processes of death. The sixth class is shown in the psychic conditions through which the doer passes after death during the periods of its metempsychosis, heaven, transmigrations and re-existence,
The third class relates to the character of the human being, his disposition, endowments, sentiments, instincts, virtues and vices. While the make-up of the doer portion in the body is stamped in rudimentary form on the aia, the human can exercise a right of choice whether he will submit to or fight against his temperament, disposition and desires. Therefore character does not necessarily result from exteriorizations of thinking and thoughts alone. The character brought over from the past life was impressed upon the aia, and when time, condition and place are fit, the traits will appear in physical actions. Psychic effects appear also in some of the vices, such as drunkenness and gambling, and in certain psychic states, as gloom, pessimism, malice, fear and despair and, on the other hand, as hopefulness, joyousness, trust and ease.

The father’s heredity is stamped on his germ cell, the mother’s on her germ cell, and the doer’s own heredity on its breath-form. But nothing can come as heredity from father or mother that does not coincide with the heredity of the breath-form. This heredity, which controls like a screen what will be let through from father and mother, consists of the impressions made on the aia by previous thoughts of the doer and is transferred to the breath-form at conception or during gestation. Thoughts are precipitated as tendencies into the fetus in a twofold way: firstly as impressions transferred from the breath-form through heredity from the parents, and secondly directly from the breath-form as exteriorizations from thoughts in the mental atmosphere of the doer. After the child is born, the tendencies implanted in the fetus and re-existing in the child gradually develop into the physical form and features, the psychic inclinations and the mental qualities and powers. Finally, the body comes into the world with the desires and tendencies which have been transferred by the doer to the child through the father and mother.
Character is a predisposition for like desires and the desires generate like thoughts. Character is impressed upon the aia. When the breath-form is built up again, it has the impress of the character. This is the reason why people ave their characters when they come into life and why unexpected traits appear in later life, when time, condition and place bring them out. Hence come the predisposition to oppression, theft, malice, gambling and drunkenness, and to helpfulness, fellow feeling, courage, loyalty and chastity.
The desire to be drunk is one of the worst and deadliest of psychic forces. Though alcohol belongs to the world and the processes of physical nature, there works through it an entity, a spirit, which does not belong to the present period, is an enemy to the doer and to the Intelligence and can reach the doer only through alcohol, when the doer is in the body. It cannot reach the Intelligences, but is as death to the doers; it can affect an Intelligence only in so far as it suspends the progress of the doer by preventing the reexisting portion from continuing its orderly return to earth life. It hinders the Intelligence in the help that it would give to the doer.
Temperate drinking of wine and other intoxicants does not immediately in itself harm the drinker. In no case did it or does it or can it benefit the doer, though an alcoholic drink may stimulate the body in a crisis; but even then other stimulants might serve as well. Alcoholic drinks are not necessary for the maintenance of health. Wine is desired for its taste and aroma and for the psychic effect it has of magnifying and intensifying sensation. Temperate drinking mingles the psychic atmospheres and produces a sort of geniality.
It is difficult to draw the line at temperate drinking. At social gatherings this line is crossed, else the drinkers would not be convivial. People who drink lightly now and then or who regularly take a limited allowance, may not become actual and habitual drunkards. From life to life the tendency is to increase the sensations which alcohol produces. In time, as the liking of the doer for drink becomes stronger, the entity that works through alcohol, as the enemy of every human, may claim the doer. In the following life the breath-form bears the mark of this spirit. This spirit breaks down physical health and moral restraint, opens the barriers between the four states of physical matter and lets in the play of emotional currents and elemental beings. If not overcome the bondage becomes ever more pronounced, until in some life what was once a temperate drinker may be a periodic or habitual drunkard. At some time the doer must conquer or be conquered. If the doer loses, the human is lost and cut off from the Light of the Intelligence. The history of doers, if it were ever written, would show that more doers have failed through the spirit of alcohol than bodies were ever slain in all the battles of the world.

Thinking and Destiny, HW Percival
The Word Foundation: Writings of Harold Percival
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Buddhism

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:09 PM.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top