The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Sharing our journey and experiences with others. You are not alone
Post Reply
Iain
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:30 am

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Post by Iain »

There was a large spider on my living room wall the other day. Not liking spiders much, I thought I should collect the spider up in a glass and put it outside. However, it was very cold outside, and I became worried that the spider might freeze and die, so I left it where it was on the wall.

A little while later, the spider fell from the wall and then my cat pounced and killed it.

How can one ever be sure what the right course of action should be?

User avatar
Nicholas
Posts: 673
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:07 pm

Re: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Post by Nicholas »

Not quite 13 minutes, brilliantly explained & presented. Required watching for all we virtuous folk!

Red Pine comments on Virtue from Lao Tzu's teachings:
Despite the elusiveness and namelessness of the Tao, Lao-tzu tells us we can
approach it through Te. Te means "virtue," both in the sense of "moral character"
as well as "power to act." Yen Ling-feng says, "Virtue is the manifestation
of the Way. The Way is what Virtue contains. Without the Way. Virtue would
have no power. Without Virtue, the Way would have no appearance"
(Taoteching, 21). Han Fei put it more simply: "Te is the Tao at work" (Taoteching,
38). Te is our entrance to the Tao. Te is what we cultivate. Lao-tzu's Virtue,
however, isn't the virtue of adhering to a moral code but action that involves
no moral code, no self, no other-no action.

These are the two poles around which the Taoteching turns: the Tao, the
dark, the body. the essence, the Way; and Te, the light, the function, the spirit,
Virtue. In terms of origin, the Tao comes first. In terms of practice, Te comes
first. The dark gives the light a place to shine. The light allows us to see the
dark. But too much light blinds. Lao-tzu saw everyone chasing the light and
hastening their own destruction. He encouraged people to choose the dark instead
of the light, less instead of more, weakness instead of strength, inaction
instead of action. What could be simpler?
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
User avatar
Nicholas
Posts: 673
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:07 pm

Re: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Post by Nicholas »

Iain wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:15 am
How can one ever be sure what the right course of action should be?
One cannot be sure of the effect of one's words, thoughts or deeds. That is why caution in many cases is advisable. So you saved a spider's life - good ahimsa for Iain, yet the cat did not ponder what to do.

We should ponder more before acting and not act quickly or be catty.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
SarathW
Posts: 252
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:27 pm

Re: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Post by SarathW »

Good video.
Sometimes I say "The great solutions are the next big problem".
That is the nature of this Samsara or Dukkha.
Iain
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:30 am

Re: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Post by Iain »

Nicholas wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:55 pm
Iain wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:15 am
How can one ever be sure what the right course of action should be?
One cannot be sure of the effect of one's words, thoughts or deeds. That is why caution in many cases is advisable. So you saved a spider's life - good ahimsa for Iain, yet the cat did not ponder what to do.

We should ponder more before acting and not act quickly or be catty.
Then I must make a confession. I did not ponder this matter enough at the time. I took that spider out of frying pan and threw it into the fire.

I've seen spiders fall from the living wall before due to them having difficulty gripping on to the textured wallpaper. Also, that was not the first spider I've seen my cat kill. All of this conveniently forgotten at the time.

I say my good intentions were a ruse to cover my own fear and resentment of possibly dying in the cold myself. How appalling. Shame on me. I'm a fraud.
User avatar
Nicholas
Posts: 673
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:07 pm

Re: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Post by Nicholas »

Iain wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:16 am
Nicholas wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:55 pm
Iain wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:15 am
How can one ever be sure what the right course of action should be?
One cannot be sure of the effect of one's words, thoughts or deeds. That is why caution in many cases is advisable. So you saved a spider's life - good ahimsa for Iain, yet the cat did not ponder what to do.

We should ponder more before acting and not act quickly or be catty.
I say my good intentions were a ruse to cover my own fear and resentment of possibly dying in the cold myself. How appalling. Shame on me. I'm a fraud.
Phooey.
Maybe spending less time & attention on Iain's motivation would be helpful - to you. Let the cat & spider be.
If you often stew deeply over Iain's 'shame', then practice sincere repentance & then reform.

I have often taken house bugs outside, but if I cannot catch them, so be it. If one's intent or attitude is basically ahimsa or harmless that is the Dharma direction and good enough.
Truth is against the stream of common thought, deep, subtle, difficult, delicate, unseen by passion’s slaves cloaked in the murk of ignorance. Vipassī Buddha
Iain
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 8:30 am

Re: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Post by Iain »

Nicholas wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:25 pm
Iain wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:16 am
Nicholas wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:55 pm

One cannot be sure of the effect of one's words, thoughts or deeds. That is why caution in many cases is advisable. So you saved a spider's life - good ahimsa for Iain, yet the cat did not ponder what to do.

We should ponder more before acting and not act quickly or be catty.
I say my good intentions were a ruse to cover my own fear and resentment of possibly dying in the cold myself. How appalling. Shame on me. I'm a fraud.
Phooey.
Maybe spending less time & attention on Iain's motivation would be helpful - to you. Let the cat & spider be.
If you often stew deeply over Iain's 'shame', then practice sincere repentance & then reform.

I have often taken house bugs outside, but if I cannot catch them, so be it. If one's intent or attitude is basically ahimsa or harmless that is the Dharma direction and good enough.
Appreciated Nicholas. Sound advice. :namaste:
Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests