Why do we measure?

Continuing the discussion from What is my ancestry? who cares!:

In above discussion @Feynman said:

For living I take a middle way. I am a racist and an influenced by stereotypes. As far as I can tell virtually everyone is. That said, there is much that is called racist or racism that is troubling, undesirable and/or unethical.>

According to Buddhist teaching, Mana is a latent tendency (Anusaya) in our making.
Buddha condemned all form of discrimination including gender, race, color, wealth, cast a name a few.
We all are subject to some form of discrimination but we turn our blind eye to it and take a part in the discriminaiton process.
The question is why people do it. I do not see the practice of discrimination in small children.
It appears Mana is a learned process rather than the innate thing.
Why is your opinion?

With regards to why we measure, it is so we can compare. Comparisons construct and feed self view and then craving. It is one of the ways that I find the defilements express themselves. If there is no ‘I’ then comparisons are irrelevent, if there is no ‘I’ there can be no craving/aversion.


It would be appropriate to quote from a couple of passages from the EBT.
What does this discrimination/mana look like – how was it described in the EBTs?

How does discrimination around race or class relate to other forms? Because as I recall there are many mentions about non-discrimination about everything. A kind of universal non-discrimination that somehow allows us to discriminate so we can eat our rice without trying to eat the bowl.

Wouldn’t this be perception of things, but without the comparisons attached. ie this is rice - this is a bowl.
With comparisons it becomes, his bowl is bigger than my bowl, or this rice tastes - like this > when used as a comparison it becomes > this rice better than that rice… I prefer this rice.

With race in the case of perception only > that person is of x, y, z appearance
with comparisons > that is a black man, I am a white man, white men are better than black men = race discrimination

Hence it is the comparisons, made possible by measurement, that enable personal preferences (judgements) which require an identity, and conditioned sense filters. So it seems that until we can escape the fetters, discrimination is a normal part of human existence. It can be used in both a negative or positive way though

OOps sorry no EBT quotes … :grin:


Are you speaking from the point of view of explicit teachings from the EBTs or is this your own commentary and understanding?

Although it could be that the teachings in the EBT on this only make sense with the help of a lot of interpretation from our own understanding.

I realize this may be fairly basic grounds for a scholar, and there may be several fine commentaries available on the subject online. (References appreciated) But it’s not something that I’ve looked into.

I’ve assumed that some kind of discrimination is still important for the Buddha’s.
That is, the fetters and some forms of discrimination are not the same thing.
The fetters perhaps arising from a mis-perception or distorted view of discrimination.

There may be many parallels here with my understanding of not-self. The self exists and is no fetter but rather the fetter is how I perceive it, hold it to be, relate to it can be and how it influences my perception of self and others. This includes the idea that self and others interpenetrate each other in ways, and to levels of influence, that we are unaware of. But that’s my inexpert commentary. Mileage of Buddhas and more enlightened friends may very well vary.

I’m sorry, only my own applied understanding - though I have not come across anything that would invalidate it as yet. Though I am just at the beginning of the journey through the texts in a systematic way.
I have been contemplating this matter for a long time - and this stuff is specifically part of my daily practice