I think I remember reading practical examples about how greed can lead to suffering. Is there anything analogous with looking to understand other people's reasons: is it rooted in the Buddhist poisons?

Put another way, does it matter what another person's reasons are, only - perhaps - our own? And can a need to peer under the behaviour at its justification, in fact engender further suffering and our own misconduct.

I'm especially - but not exclusively - talking about reasons for actions that are not covered by morality. Anything from why they like oranges, to why they went and bought oranges, to why they didn't tell us they did. If you catch my drift.

  • How is this related to Buddhism? – ruben2020 Feb 25 at 3:42
  • Your questions are quite difficult to approach. If something has no matter to us, meaning it doesn't cause suffering, then there can't be clinging. Searching through these questions about intention might help you with the rest of your question. – NeuroMax Feb 25 at 5:08
  • @ruben2020 this site is full of explanations of how bad behaviour and moral habits lead to suffering. i'm not getting what you mean – anon Feb 25 at 17:40

In SN 22.100 below, we find the Buddha teaching that associating anything with the self, causes it to become an object of clinging, and therefore, become a part of the clinging aggregates.

For e.g. you objectify the idea that vaccination is good, after watching a lot of YouTube videos about it or reading articles about it. You think it is "my" policy, belief, faith that vaccination is good and "I" know reasons why it is good. "I" am a pro-vaxxer. It's a belief you hold on to.

Then some anti-vaxxer comes and criticizes or undermines your belief, and this causes you mental grief and makes you annoyed. Why? It's because you clung to a belief and associated with yourself, made it "mine", and when someone criticizes it, you feel that he criticizes you, and this makes you annoyed.

Or if somebody praises your beliefs, that makes you happy. It gives you pleasant feelings.

Things which we cling to and associate with our self are causes for arising of the three poisons of passion, aversion and delusion. According to AN 4.200, you can get affection from affection, affection from aversion, aversion from affection and aversion from aversion.

From SN 22.100:

There the Blessed One said: "Monks, from an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, although beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on.

"It's just as when a dog is tied by a leash to a post or stake: If it walks, it walks right around that post or stake. If it stands, it stands right next to that post or stake. If it sits, it sits right next to that post or stake. If it lies down, it lies down right next to that post or stake.

"In the same way, an uninstructed run-of-the-mill person regards form as: 'This is mine, this is my self, this is what I am.' He regards feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness as: 'This is mine, this is my self, this is what I am.' If he walks, he walks right around these five clinging-aggregates. If he stands, he stands right next to these five clinging-aggregates. If he sits, he sits right next to these five clinging-aggregates. If he lies down, he lies down right next to these five clinging-aggregates. Thus one should reflect on one's mind with every moment: 'For a long time has this mind been defiled by passion, aversion, & delusion.' From the defilement of the mind are beings defiled. From the purification of the mind are beings purified.

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