2009.02.20 19:00 - About good deeds

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    Wol Euler recovered this page from the autologging database and suggested a provisional title. Adelene was the guardian.

    Myna Maven: Hi, Adelene.
    Adelene Dawner: Hullo ^.^
    Eliza Madrigal: Evening :)
    Myna Maven: Hi, Eliza.
    Adelene Dawner: Hullo Eliza, Buddha.
    buddha Nirvana: Hi all :))
    Eliza Madrigal: Hullo :)
    Myna Maven: Hi, Buddha.
    buddha Nirvana: hi :)
    Adelene Dawner has an interesting quote but wants to give latecomers a few minutes to show up. :)
    Myna Maven: I'll be looking forward to it. :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh good :)
    Adelene Dawner: Hi, Three ^.^
    Myna Maven: Hello Three.
    Eliza Madrigal: Threedee ~Hello :)
    Threedee Shepherd: hello
    Adelene Dawner hmms... "Guess this is it, today."
    Adelene Dawner: "To care about the public image of any virtue - whether that virtue be charity, or wisdom, or rationality itself - is to limit your performance of that virtue to what all others already understand of it. Therefore those who would walk the Way of any virtue must first relinquish all desire to appear virtuous before others, for this will limit and constrain their understanding of the virtue. To earn the respect of others is not hard, if you have a little talent, if that is the limit of your desire. But to know what is true, or to do what is right - that is far harder than convincing an audience of your wisdom."
    Adelene Dawner: ( http://www.overcomingbias.com/2009/0...nsions-v0.html )
    Pila Mulligan: greetings
    Adelene Dawner: Hi, Pila. Guess I should have waited another few minutes. ^.^ I have an interesting quote to share, today.
    Myna Maven: Hi, Pila.
    Pila Mulligan: ok, please do :)
    Pila Mulligan: (Pila was late:)
    Adelene Dawner: "To care about the public image of any virtue - whether that virtue be charity, or wisdom, or rationality itself - is to limit your performance of that virtue to what all others already understand of it. Therefore those who would walk the Way of any virtue must first relinquish all desire to appear virtuous before others, for this will limit and constrain their understanding of the virtue. To earn the respect of others is not hard, if you have a little talent, if that is the limit of your desire. But to know what is true, or to do what is right - that is far harder than convincing an audience of your wisdom."
    Adelene Dawner: Hi, Visitor.
    Myna Maven: Hello, Visitor.
    Visitor k: hi
    buddha Nirvana: Nicequote adelene
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Visitor, Pila.
    Threedee Shepherd: Hi Pila
    Threedee Shepherd: Hi Visitor
    Visitor: hi
    Eliza Madrigal: Adelene, What brought you to think about that today? Something in particular?
    Adelene Dawner: I found that in my daily rounds. It's not exactly a new concept, for me, but the best wording of it I've seen yet.
    Pila Mulligan: my avi acts odd when I Google something :)
    Eliza Madrigal: It is well worded
    Pila Mulligan: hi, I was looking it up on Google :)
    buddha Nirvana: makes you think how aware of 'others perception' when we do a good deed
    Adelene Dawner: mmhmm
    buddha Nirvana: the quote, it is a discription of true compassion
    Adelene Dawner: *chuckles* It's not intended to be.
    buddha Nirvana: it certainly seems to fit the definition of compassion
    Threedee Shepherd: In Judiasm the highest act of charity is when neither the giver or the receiver knows who the other is.
    Adelene Dawner: Points toward getting there, anyway, Buddha.
    buddha Nirvana: to give without looking for something in return
    Eliza Madrigal: Impossible to be sincerely present if always have one eyeball on what others are thinking
    Myna Maven: It reminds me of the NT scripture of entering into the closet to pray rather than doing it publicly.
    Myna Maven: I imagine this is connected with what Three has observed.
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, no trumpets
    Adelene Dawner: Three... his point, if you read the whole thing, is that if you have that rule, and if you care about what others think, it will *stop* you from some acts of charity, if they can't be done secretly.
    Adelene Dawner: There's a point in the learning curve at which that rule is useful, but there's also a point at which it's not, any more.
    Eliza Madrigal: You mean that holding fast to any formula can be a trap as well?
    Adelene Dawner: Holding fast to formulas for the sake of holding fast to formulas is a trap. Holding on to a formula 'cause it's still useful seems okay. ^.^
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    buddha Nirvana: i like formulas
    Threedee Shepherd: Interesting Ade, I never thought of it that way. It does not rule out other acts of charity--however--because it is not a rule. Giving to charity when able to, is the rule
    buddha Nirvana: makes life slightly easier
    Adelene Dawner nods at Buddha. "True, but there are costs to that."
    buddha Nirvana: i think that may depend on what formula you adopt
    Adelene Dawner nods at Buddha.
    Adelene Dawner: Three, there was a relevant 'if' there: "and if you care about what others think".
    Adelene Dawner: If you're trying to maximize your *apparent* charity, it could men limiting yourself to 'higher quality' kinds instead of maximizing your *actual* charity.
    Threedee Shepherd: OK, not to quibble more than a little. The situation of that highest form is that no one knows you gave--you do so anonymously.
    Threedee Shepherd: Anyway, I think the end part is the key " to do what is right - that is far harder than convincing an audience of your wisdom"
    Adelene Dawner: Yep.
    Eliza Madrigal: comes back to Intention in one way or another
    buddha Nirvana: if then, you perform an act of charity for others to see, because there is no other way to conduct the action, does that make the action less just?
    Eliza Madrigal: That's what I was thinking...it is In the "secret places of the heart"...whether act is public or private
    Adelene Dawner nods at Buddha.
    Threedee Shepherd: Of course, to do what is right, often falls victim to the skeptical saying: "no good deed goes unpunished" which I can tell many stories about, but will refrain.
    Myna Maven: Buddha, Eliza, those are my thoughts.
    Myna Maven: :)'
    Adelene Dawner: I think there are other areas besides charity where that quote is more useful, too.
    buddha Nirvana: i think if one checks there motivation, they may perhaps understand the weight of the act
    Adelene Dawner: The example used on the page is wisdom, and it's very apt, there.
    Threedee Shepherd: yes, as soon as one generalizes to "do the right thing"
    Myna Maven: What is "the right thing". :) There can be some question about that...
    Pila Mulligan: and ethics and integrity, generalizations of the idea of wisdom
    Adelene Dawner: *nods*
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm...yes.
    Threedee Shepherd: There is always a question Myna, but if I must act (or should, even) and I try as best I can to decide what the right thing to do is--independent of the views of others--that's the best I can do. I will be wrong sometimes.
    buddha Nirvana: maybe its good to raise awareness of what enviroment you are in before you act, in doing sorception - the act becomes less just perhaps? you become more aware of others pe
    buddha Nirvana: perception*
    Myna Maven: Three, I'm just noting that because many believe they know "the right thing". It doesn't occur to them that others may have a different idea.
    Myna Maven: And I certainly don't know always what is "the right thing".
    Myna Maven: Probably I know what is "the right thing" very little of the time.
    Myna Maven: :)
    Threedee Shepherd: true, and I know no way around that when the basis of action is belief (faith) as contrasted with analysis.
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, choices are not often clear between right/wrong
    Myna Maven: I don't think even analysis does completely away with the problem.
    Adelene Dawner grins at Myna. "Common problem. And right and wrong are abstractions, in the end, anyway."
    Myna Maven: If one can call it a problem.
    Threedee Shepherd: So, if people differ on the "right thing" should one do nothing?
    buddha Nirvana: in many cases we do the 'wrong thing' in order to accomplish a greater good
    Adelene Dawner: ThreeL: That's what 'sideways' is for ^.^
    Threedee Shepherd: Actually, I'm not sure how "sideways" get's one out of the choice, it is still doing in the face of uncertainty
    Eliza Madrigal: Context. In reading the page I thought of how diff. an idea of "wisdom" a politician may have...
    Myna Maven: No, I don't think so, Three. But some accept no such thing as uncertainty.
    Myna Maven: And more often than not, those who do accept uncertainty, tend to be the ones to make extra room for those who don't accept uncertainty.
    Adelene Dawner: Uncertainty, yeah, but having more options than just yes, no, or abstain is good, too.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Myna Maven: Yes.
    Myna Maven: I'm just sitting here smiling thinking about how my husband's fundamentalist grandmother spent years praying him out of his job as a musician.
    Myna Maven: She knew it was the right thing to do.
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm.... ::;sigh::: Yes some are quite sure of what others should be doing
    Eliza Madrigal: I feel it is probably wrong to avoid my mother's calls, for instance, however it is the right thing for my sanity. hha :))
    Myna Maven: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: And when I do call, it is my charity
    Eliza Madrigal: :))
    Threedee Shepherd: Well, in a social system where the labor--and decisions--must be divided up due to sheer mass of stuff to be done--I can say who *i* want in certain decision making positions because I know they will try to do the right thing, using the famous rule "I can't define it but I know it when I see it. Others will disagree. That's life. ;D
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm...becomes very practical
    Threedee Shepherd: OK, a real-life situation...
    Adelene Dawner: The funny thing about 'I can't define it but I'll know it whan I see it' is that part of why it works is that as soon as you define any part of it, that part becomes useless - not because of the rule, but because you'll have people spoofing it.
    Eliza Madrigal: Elaborate?
    Adelene Dawner: Okay, for example, if you say "I want someone who's smart for this job". People know what 'smart' is, and try to signal that they are smart, and you'll have trouble weeding the actual smart people out from those who are just pretending.
    Threedee Shepherd: Employee Joe is not doing his job correctly. As his supervisor you are supposed to give him written notice, that goes in his record. You know Joe will be very upset if formal action is taken, and that taking formal action is highly likely to thus be unproductive. So, you meet Joe informally and try to help him. He doesn't change. So you try to fire him. Joe goes to the boss and says, how can I be fired I was never formally warned.
    Adelene Dawner: But if you're looking for qualities that there aren't words for, you're in a better position, at least as far as that aspect.
    Myna Maven: Why was Employee Joe hired in the first place? Who made that mistake? :)
    Adelene Dawner: Does it matter?
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm. Right, some qualities aren't easily seen "on paper"...sometimes have to leap, even in a business situation
    Myna Maven: I'm joking. :)
    Pila Mulligan: as a variation on "I can't define it but I know it when I see it", St. Thomas wrote that a social contract usually becomes obsolete when it is made because change is thereby imposed upon the underlying conditions
    Eliza Madrigal: Have to be willing to allow it not to work if need be
    Adelene Dawner hmmms at Pila.
    buddha Nirvana: Please exuse me all. Goodnight :)
    Pila Mulligan: bye buddha
    Adelene Dawner: 'night, Buddha.
    Myna Maven: G'night Buddha.
    Threedee Shepherd: bye buddah
    Eliza Madrigal: Goodnight, Buddha :) Glad to talk with you
    buddha Nirvana: Bye, nite all, sleep well
    Pila Mulligan: with regard to the need to have a sense of doing the right thing, I've had this private conversation with Pema: meditation practices really can eventually lead to great bliss, obliterating sorrows from the heart and shadows from the mind -- but then what? Then there is a return to the mundane world (until the next great bliss moment.) In my opinion, this is why Buddha taught compassion atfer enlightenment. No matter how enlightened you feel, you still need something to guide your mundane life. So on one hand there are practical paths to personal happiness, but with that happines we also need some virtue.
    Pila Mulligan: hi Verti
    Vertigo Ethaniel: namaste
    Adelene Dawner: 'lo Vertigo
    Eliza Madrigal: Each needs the other...meditation allows practical life to have breath, life
    Myna Maven: Pila, am I to read this literally that Buddha taught compassion after enlightenment? Rather than before? Interesting.
    Pila Mulligan: together with, I'd say, Myna
    Myna Maven: OK.
    Pila Mulligan: be good and happy :)
    Adelene Dawner: Hi, ****
    **** Kahanamoku: hi
    Vertigo Ethaniel: greetings, ****
    Adelene Dawner: Is this your first PaB meeting, ****?
    Vertigo Ethaniel: guess so :)
    Adelene Dawner shrugs.
    Pila Mulligan: ****'s last name was interesting -- same as Hawai`i's most famous swiiming and surfing legend, Duke Kahanamoku
    Myna Maven: Oh, I've read about him. Yeah....
    Pila Mulligan: olympic champion
    Myna Maven: With a really heavy surfboard.
    Pila Mulligan: b 1890 - d 1968
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Pila Mulligan: long board they call them
    Myna Maven: Yes. There are some good pics online.
    Pila Mulligan: funny SL would pick up his fmaily name as an option
    Eliza Madrigal: Have been trying to figure out what some of the birds sound like...comorants?
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Vertigo Ethaniel: whatever they are, theyre beautiful
    Eliza Madrigal: Nice discussion, and intersting things to think on. The daylight here is fooling me into thinking I don't need sleep though. :) I'm going to say G'night.
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^ 'night
    Pila Mulligan: bye Eliza
    Myna Maven: G'night Eliza.
    Eliza Madrigal: Vertigo, yes. I don't know why I'd need to classify them. ha :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Nite :)
    Vertigo Ethaniel: good night!
    Vertigo Ethaniel: i will do my usually appear/disappear trick too... good day all :)
    Pila Mulligan: bye Vertigo
    Myna Maven: Bye Vertigo.
    Adelene Dawner: cya, Vertigo
    Visitor: good night thank you for the exchange
    Pila Mulligan: bye Visitor
    Adelene Dawner: 'night, Visitor.
    Myna Maven: Good night Visitor.
    Adelene Dawner yawns. "This 28-hour-day thing is not going well."
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Myna Maven: I need to get going as well.
    Myna Maven: Thanks everyone for the discussion.
    Pila Mulligan: maybe you need a 40 day month
    Pila Mulligan: bye Myna
    Myna Maven: 40 day months sound good.
    Adelene Dawner: cya, Myna
    Adelene Dawner: I'll be putting up some blackout curtains in a few days, that should help.
    Adelene Dawner: Haven't heard of the 40 day month thing before.
    Myna Maven: We had blackout curtains for a while...they worked well for us.
    Myna Maven: Good night.
    Pila Mulligan: just a proprotionate extension of the 28 hour day :)
    Pila Mulligan: more or less
    Pila Mulligan: 'night Myna
    Adelene Dawner hmms...
    Adelene Dawner: the 28 hour day hives fewer days per week, not more...
    Adelene Dawner: *gives
    Pila Mulligan: time is relative however
    Adelene Dawner chuckles at Pila
    Pila Mulligan: well, it was a nice sesssion
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Threedee Shepherd: night Pila
    Pila Mulligan: bye Ade and Three ... see you next time
    Adelene Dawner: cya next time, Pila.
    Pila Mulligan: aloah `oe

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