02 November 2012

The Precepts

Takes me two and a half years to commit to the third precept, and one evening to commit to the fifth.


Ryan McNeely said...

What are all 5?

Matt Bennett said...

They're widely open to interpretation, but roughly:

1) not to willingly cause harm to another sentient creature
2) not to take what does not belong to you
3) not to engage in sexual activity that will cause harm or hurt to others
4) not to communicate falsely
5) not to take any sort of intoxicants

Those are a more progressive and contemporary understanding of them, and, in paraphrasing them I didn't do them justice.

They should, in fact, be worded positively and from a first person POV, from the subject: "I will abstain from getting intoxicated."

This sets them apart from commandments, which are imposed from without, from the other: "Thou shalt not kill."

Both may strive to eliminate the same kind of destructive behavior, but the precept is a choice, not an ultimatum.

Ryan McNeely said...

Interesting I was reading about this well something similar.

Matt Bennett said...

I've been thinking about how the precepts should be adapted for my virtual enlightenment project and I think I have them worked out.

1) I will abstain from defacing another user's wall, profile, photostream, or RSS feed.
2) I will abstain from downloading torrents.
3) I will abstain from viewing porn sites.
4) I will abstain from slanderous or libelous blog posts.
5) I will abstain from my gaming addiction.