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  • Harm and Benefit

    Hello everyone :-)
    I have a question. Lets assume someone is ill and has wrong bacteria somewhere in his body. For the bacteria life is great but for the unhealthy person life is not great. He has to harm the bacteria to be healthy again. Buddha said avoid all evil, do good and cultivate the mind. What should the person do? If he harms the bacteria and become well again he benefits. If the bacteria benefit he harms himself. Is it even possible to don't harm all beings to 100% as a human? Or is it just possible to lessen harm to a certain degree?

    Looking forward to the answers :-)
    Bernhard
    "No matter what you do, you must be clear in your conscience." - Sitaigung Ho
    "Goodness begets goodness." - Sigung

  • #2
    It is natural to be healthy. To be healthy, our immune system constantly attacks and kills bacteria and viruses. This is the natural way.
    Sifu Andrew Barnett
    Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland - www.shaolin-wahnam.ch

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    • #3
      The person should do all he can to get well. Like Andrew Siheng said, it is natural to be healthy. It is natural for our immune system to fight off disease causing agents. Since I am not a bacteria I cannot say whether it would view the immune system fighting it off as being harmful to it. It may very well view it as a natural order of things, much like how in the animal kingdom there are predators and preys that keep the ecosystem in a healthy balance.

      With Shaolin Salute,
      Lee Wei Joo
      http://shaolinwahnammalaysia.com/

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      • #4
        Thanks Bernhard for the question and discussion : Sifus Andrew and Wei Joo have naturally given the apt response .

        Sunday is off day for me ( otherwise 12h work per day , 6 days a week ) and hence have time for discussion as follows ( quoting Bernhard's in red font )

        Damian Kissey
        Shaolin Wahnam Sabah , Malaysia .
        www.shaolinwahnamsabah.com

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        • #5
          I have a question. Lets assume someone is ill and has wrong bacteria somewhere in his body.

          It is good and convenient to assume for the sake of discussion . From the TCM paradigm , a person is ill due to ( not due to wrong/ bad / evil bacteria ) Yin-Yang imbalance . From the contemporary western medical science paradigm , a person ill from bacterial infection is due to bad bacteria.

          For the bacteria life is great but for the unhealthy person life is not great. He has to harm the bacteria to be healthy again ….If he harms the bacteria and become well again he benefits. If the bacteria benefit he harms himself.

          The above statements are , again , assumptions for the sake of discussion . There may be other opposing assumptions : eg (1) the bacteria’s life may not be great as it is starved due to the unhealthy person’s poor appetite . (2) the unhealthy person’s ( who may be a thief ) life may be great , because ill health has forced him to stay at home and do meditation ( ie cultivate the mind as advised by Buddha ) rather then going around stealing ( as the Buddha forbade ) . (3) He does not have to harm ( eg eat antibiotics ) the bad bacteria to be healthy again , he may eat probiotic s( ie good bacteria ) and prebiotics ( ie food for bacteria ) for a symbiotic win-win situation . He may do chi kung to make the body resilient to the effects of bacteriae without killing the bacteriae . In fact , the latest medical science say that we have more bacteriae in and on our bodies then the number of our bodily cells and that we and the bacterial flora live in harmonious symbiosis ….see this link

          symbiosis3.jpg
          I have been reading a lot of material lately about the effect of our microbiome on the body & mind. The microbiome is the collection of ...
          Last edited by Damian Kissey; 22nd September 2018, 10:00 PM.
          Damian Kissey
          Shaolin Wahnam Sabah , Malaysia .
          www.shaolinwahnamsabah.com

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          • #6
            Buddha said avoid all evil, do good and cultivate the mind.

            It is good to put things in the correct context : the Buddha was addressing his students ( and perhaps surrounding spirits ) and not to bacteriae when he spoke the above wisdom. But bacteriae in and around the students’ bodies may also benefit from the wisdom as they are also sentient beings : however , bacteriae need to be reborn as human beings before they can do formal cultivation of the mind aiming for Enlightenment as per the Buddha’s advise.

            So ill infected humans may use antibiotics to harm/kill bacteriae , whom may benefit in future by being reincarnated as Zen Monks . Or bad bacteriae may harm/kill a Black Magician , whose soul may be reborned as a Shaolin Healer bringing benefits to self and society .

            In our school , we avoid evil and do good according to “ The 10 Shaolin Laws “ and we cultivate the mind by practicing Shaolin Chi Kung ( which includes Zen ) .

            What should the person do?

            The person should follow the Buddha’s wisdom to the best of his / her abilities , circumstances and resources. In the given specific scenario : practice high level chi kung and/or see the TCM physician for treatment and/or see the western doctor for treatment .

            When ill treat , when hungry eat , when tired rest , when healthy live and when incurable die ( …to be reincarnated again ) .

            Don’t worry ( does not mean don’t care ) , don’t intellectualise ( does not mean don’t discuss as we’re doing now ) and enjoy your practice of The Shaolin Arts ( does not mean sadistic joy in bacterial genocide ) .


            Is it even possible to don't harm all beings to 100% as a human?

            No. It is impossible , as long as one is a human being or as any sentient being in the relative phenomenal realm .

            As long as there is “my being “ and “other beings” , there will always be the dual relativity of “harm” and “benefit” . The Absolute ( Tao , Zen, God , Brahman , Undifferentiated Spread of Energy ) is beyond duality , beyond relativity , beyond harm and benefit , beyond karma , beyond 100% and beyond heaven & hell . Heck , we shouldn’t even be talking about IT …as the Sage of The Tao Te Ching said something along the lines of “ …the tao that can be spoken of is not the Tao …” . That’s what I heard from the Buddhas or Enlightened Ones.
            Damian Kissey
            Shaolin Wahnam Sabah , Malaysia .
            www.shaolinwahnamsabah.com

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            • #7
              Or is it just possible to lessen harm to a certain degree?

              Yes . Do the least harm possible . The Law of Karma applies : cause less harm , receive less harm , cause more benefit , receive more benefit . The action and reaction of Karma is created by Thoughts , Words and Deeds.

              In the physical realm , all sentient beings , from bacteriae to dinosaurs , are composed of the triplicity of jing ( smallest material substance ) , chi ( energy ) and shen ( mind or soul or spirit ) .Some also consider cosmological entities like spiraling galaxies , suns and planets as sentient beings : Billions of human beings living on Mother Earth are akin to trillions of microscopic bacteriae living on/in human bodies .

              The degree of complexity of the trinity of jing-chi-shen of any type/species of sentient being , determines the degree of karmic interplay between various types of sentient beings : more complex being , more interplay vs. more simple being , less interplay . For example , a plant is less complex compared to a paleontologist . Causing harm to a bacteria or a broccoli , incurs less harmful effect to oneself compared to causing harm to a horse or a human in the cosmic scheme of things . If someone cuts ( ie kill ) the neighbour’s blade of grass without permission , he/she may even be rewarded for keeping the lawn neat . If someone catapults the neighbour’s dragonfly dead , he may even be ignored with indifference . If one strangled the neighbour’s pet cat , one may be fined or jailed . But if one kills the neighbour’s spouse , he/she will be sentenced to death for murder! You see , even the civil criminal law system concurs with the Law of Karma . The Buddha instructs : “do not kill “, in a limited sense referring to humans and in the broader cosmic sense referring to all sentient beings. But on earth , life feeds upon life and we have to be practical and draw the line somewhere : even robbers pray ( a good deed ) before heisting ( a bad deed ) a bank . Even vegetarian Shaolin Zen Buddhist monks incur bad karma by the evil of killing plants , though this may be mitigated or offset by doing merits ( do good ) and zazen ( cultivate the mind ) .

              If we nuclear-militarise space or throw around broken artificial satellites treating our solar system like a bottomless trash bin , we may receive retribution from Heaven . If we cause harm to Earth by environmental pollution , we receive adverse effect of global warming . If Human communities exude negative emotions en-masse in the group consciousness , we may suffer world wars and inexplicable patterns of adverse mob behavior . If humans harm gut flora by imbalanced diet , we suffer indigestion . If we harm the cosmic , terrestrial and microscopic worlds , we humans harm ourselves . This is The Law of Karma . So , be beneficial to Heaven , Earth , Humans and Germs . How ? Avoid evil , do good , cultivate the mind .

              But don’t despair , because every one human being has the potential to evolve beyond the duality of harm & benefit and to expand to Zero or Absolute Nothingness or Unmanifested Consciousness or All Being . How ? Follow the Buddha’s Advise . Life is meaningful …moreso with our Shaolin Philosophy and Shaolin Tools ( Chi Kung , Shaolinquan , Zen , Taijiquan ) .

              That’s what I heard from the Enlightened Ones





              Damian Kissey
              Shaolin Wahnam Sabah , Malaysia .
              www.shaolinwahnamsabah.com

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              • #8
                One truth of nature is that something has to die for something else to live. Even trees will murder their smaller rivals by denying them sunlight with branches of long reaching shade.

                Yes, that might be a Sword of Truth reference.
                Last edited by David Langford; 23rd September 2018, 06:13 AM.
                Shaolin Wahnam USA

                "Every morning you are born again. What you do today is the most important thing".

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                • #9
                  Thank you, Sifu Damian, for your wonderful and enlightening answer

                  With Shaolin Salute,
                  Lee Wei Joo
                  http://shaolinwahnammalaysia.com/

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                  • #10
                    Thank you everyone for the contribution. I have not expected so much and so far reaching answers. I think I have to reread it a few times.

                    Bernhard
                    "No matter what you do, you must be clear in your conscience." - Sitaigung Ho
                    "Goodness begets goodness." - Sigung

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

                      Thank you everyone for contributing to this thread. Really enjoyed reading it. Many inspiring answers! :-)

                      With Love, Care and Shaolin Salute,

                      Santi

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