Vipallasa: Inversion of Perception

As a quick sanity check, usually if my view and behavior is exactly the opposite of the rest of the world (majority of it), I know I’m on the right track.

they want viagra. We want viraga.
they want to feast. we want to fast.
they live to eat. we eat to live.
they love to lie and beg to be lied to.
we love the truth and detest being lied to.
they can’t see the point of meditation, can’t resist fornication.
We don’t see the point of fornication, can’t resist meditation.
they party all night and collapse at 3am.
We wake up at 3am to battle the 3am (akusala mula), and stay up all night so we can be a party to the ending of all parties.

did I miss any big categories?


They use divisive speech. We speak words that promote harmony.

Er…wait a minute…:wink:


But we have to be careful to distinguish between discriminating speech versus divisive speech. For example, Mahayana is a result of too much harmonious speech and not enough discriminating speech where people spoke out about Dhamma vs. non-Dhamma. Hence you end up with syncretism, a mess of many completely different religions that don’t mesh. Or you end up with Late Theravada re-writing important doctrines, corrupting the Dhamma. That’s what happens when one takes harmonious speech to an extreme to the neglect of more important concerns like keeping the Dhamma pure.


I agree with you, Frank. I too see syncretism and perennialism as problem. I also understood and appreciated the point you were making with the OP. I didn’t mean my comment as a challenge, but just as a friendly, cheeky poke in the ribs.

Though it likely wasn’t your intention, I got a bit of an “us vs. them” tone from the OP. I’ve found that discriminating between behaviors, teachings, or practices regarding what is Dhamma and non-Dhamma – rather than between people – avoids triggering people’s defenses, makes them more amenable to listening, and has the added benefit of not fostering the kind of superiority that fuels conceit (i.e., māna).

But I don’t mean to take this too seriously. It was just a little joke that I couldn’t resist.


Sorry to delete this post…
Upon further investigation I felt that it wasn’t very beneficial in contributing to the topic :slight_smile:
This Dhamma Talk helped illustrate the more subtle parts :anjal::dharmawheel:

By Ajahn Brahm, as part of a retreat in 2002.


Here’s a link that describes Vipallasa…


Thank you for sharing this pdf file. It is really helpful. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Vipallāsa = viparyās(a)

  • vi (discernment, distinction in two parts)
  • pary (pari/totally)
  • as (to reject)

In other words, to reject totally distinction of external and internal; and making continuous universal self of our person. That is to say, to make experience one; like Hindus nowadays; or Upanishadists, in days of old (I am self - I am this external & internal altogether - I am continuous and everlasting one self with khandhas).
This is corruption of Dhamma. Great corruption.


some more lines:

they kill two birds with one stone. we feed two birds with one scone.
they acquire and pilfer. we relinquish, gift, and deliver.
they carelessly medicate* to be dazed and confused.
we jhana meditate to be lucid and composed.
they eat and drink to be merry.
we abide with empty body, content, diligent and resolute, to end this long journey.
they seek the delight of friends, laughter, and company.
we enjoy the solitude and pleasure of undistractable lucidity.
they abide with forgetfulness, muddled mind, in confusion.
we abide in remembrance of Dhamma, to end all illusion.

and a response from a friend:

They crave the thrill of passion; we relish the cool
They journey on in time; we are unbound right here–not driven, not lunging forward
They feed on gregarious companionship; we savor non-dependence
They reminisce children’s laughter; we contemplate on old folks with their urine bags
They go through life accumulating; we strive for the resolution of acquisition

*careless medication refers to both

  1. recreational substance abuse for addictive brain chemical high
  2. reliance on modern “medicine” pharmaceutical approach to block symptoms instead of addressing the root problem and finding a cure for it. The pharmaceuticals rarely work, and often make the patient feel groggy, confused, unclear, sleepy, etc.

the opposite approach to the above, “jhana meditation”, also includes qigong, taiji, breath meditation that would balance the 4 element in the body, correcting the root problem of all illnesses, and (in the first 3 stages of jhana) provide a brain chemical high with no ill side effects.


This thread seems to be for virtue signaling purposes…

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Thanks for your input, but could you elaborate a little, I don’t really understand what you mean :slight_smile:

I think that the way in which a point is put forward needs to be along a median. From MN139 :

If there is no ill-will in one’s mind when saying things or making observations that are delivered in a manner not in line with the above advice, then some development of right speech would be beneficial. But trying to navigate the alleys of human communication can get tiresome too. :slight_smile:

Or maybe Lokantara was making some other point…


Thanks for the clear explanation @ Sujith :anjal: :grinning:

The dichotomy of 2 groups of people did feel a little ‘off’, but obviously not ‘off’ enough to be clear enough to know exactly why.

Great teaching and illustration - Many Thanks :smiley:


Shared concepts in parallels:
MN139 & MA169 examine what types of speech should better not be employed. They agree that:

  • untrue and unbeneficial words should under all circumstances be avoided,
  • true but unbeneficial worlds are also better not spoken,
  • true and beneficial words can be spoken at the right time.

Untrue and beneficial- what do you think should be the approach?!

Here is a link to a talk by Ajahn Brahm, from 2002 ‘Insight beyond vipallasa’ for anyone who might be interested :slight_smile:

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Though beneficial, if applied in any way, IMO it constitutes falsehood which is tantamount to breaking the fourth precept.
With Metta


They meditate to medicate. We medicate to meditate. (:‘Stress Management’)

They think thinking that they meditate. We meditate thinking that we think.

They think while meditating. We meditate while thinking.

They go fast because the journey is short. We go slow because the journey is long.

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