• James
    The many problems in the world can be likened to branches. If we try and tackle the branches but ignore their root they will keep coming back in one form or another.

    The main root of all the problems is in the character of individuals. For example greed, hatred, laziness and so on.

    Also, in general, when people debate: the character flaws such as too much pride/arrogance, dishonesty and unhealthy loyalty to long held beliefs etc act as a kind of resistance to objective truth.
    Furthermore the virtues/positive qualities are respected by both atheists and all the varying theist belief systems. They are like a kind of underlying unifying bridge between all the various belief systems. Their cultivation helps protect people from false beliefs/errors and helps atune them to whatever the Truth may be. It makes people into 'good soil' and so receptive to the highest truths.

    It is logical then to study character and the virtues very deeply. If some advances in understanding are made they can have a very positive effect on the root cause of the world problems and thus help uplift humanity.

    Are you willing to dedicate your life to the study of the virtues?

    The Virtue Pattern is Transcendental
    After studying Module 1 and Module 2 you can now better appreciate that the virtues are eternal and that it is worth deeply investigating their inner structure, patterns and inter-relationships along with methods to heal and uplift character.

    The Opposite of a Virtue is Another Virtue
    Most people say that the conceptual opposite of bravery is cowardice. According to my discoveries regarding the virtues it is incorrect.

    The opposite of one extreme is another extreme.

    The opposite of cowardice is recklessness.

    Bravery has an opposite/partner virtue: caution.

    Every being has bravery/caution within them. If the bravery is repressed then the person falls into the irrational extreme of cowardice.

    If the caution is repressed then the person falls into the irrational extreme of recklessness.

    Please study the diagram deeply.

    Imagine a pool table with only the white ball which is behind the line. The idea of the game is to hit it it with the que so that it comes to rest touching the far cushion.

    If a lack of force is used it will not reach the cushion. If too much force is used it will hit the cushion but bounce back. The opposite of too little is too much.

    If just the right amount of force is used it can be called strong as it was not lacking in force. At the same time it can be called gentle as there was no excess of force used.

    So gentleness and strength are a single simultaneous state. They are opposite/partner virtues. Bravery/Caution are also opposite/partner virtues. The opposite of a virtue is actually another virtue.

    Of course there is a bit more to it but this basic pattern applies to many other virtues also. See if you can discover other such virtue pairs.

    The 'Inner Medicine' Book
    Please study my free short book:
    Complete Text of 'Inner Medicine'
    It goes into more detail on the virtues and character plus it includes practical inner exercises
    to progressively strengthen your positive qualities and heal character. It is a short book and designed to be read multiple times.

    You are not Your Character
    You are not your character or particular flaws. You are deeper and more innermost than character.

    Character Can be Changed
    It is definitely possible to correct character flaws and boost your virtues. Believing otherwise is just an obstruction which should be dropped.

    All Positive Qualities are within You and within Every Being
    If you investigate you will see that you do not lack a single virtue. Any positive quality that you want to boost is already within you and just needs to be awakened to a greater degree.

    Each Virtue Supports and is Supported by Every other Virtue
    For example ideal bravery must also be humble, kind, determined and patient etc. At the same time those and the other qualities must be brave.

    To Uplift One Virtue is to Help Uplift All Virtues
    Each virtue is a pathway to perfecting the other virtues. For example as you become more gentle then you begin to refrain from the inner violence of repressing the other virtues. If you become braver then the fear of the repressed aspects of yourself is conquered. If you deep your healthy curiosity then you investigate the virtues and bring them into consciousness.

    The Three Poisons Teaching
    Study the diagram closely and in relation to the Pool Table Diagram
    You can see that the top 3 points correspond with the three points of the Pool Table triangle diagram in a logically consistent way.

    The Buddha's Three Poisons teaching is very wise and I have verified it with my own work on the virtues.
    The three poisons (of ignorance, attachment, and aversion) are said to be the primary causes that keep sentient beings trapped in samsara. These three poisons are said to be the root of all of the other character defilements.

    The diagram above shows the 3 poisons as the three lower points of the diamond shaped diagram.

    The lowest point: 'Ignorance' is unconscious neutrality. the 2 mid-level points are hatred and greed. They are irrational semi-conscious attractions and repulsions. They correspond with the 2 lower points on the virtue triangle diagram. The highest point in the diamond diagram is a conscious neutrality. It corresponds with the top virtues point in the virtue diagram.

    As you can see from the diagram I discovered a link with the 3 Gunas.
    Basically the lowest point (ignorance) corresponds with Tamas. The 2 mid-level points (semi-conscious attractions and repulsions) correspond with Rajas. The top point (virtue) corresponds with Sattva.

    You can see that my Pool Table virtue diagram is technically incomplete as it is not showing the lowest point (unconsciousness/ignorance/Tamas). It is only showing the Rajas level of the vices/extremes/irrational tendencies which arise in 'semi-consciousness' and the Sattva level of neutral balanced consciousness and the virtues. By 'neutral' in this sense it means neither irrationally attracted or irrationally repulsed. It is the Middle Way between extremes.

    The underlying Logic
    The previous diagrams (and more to come in the next Module) actually have this conceptual structure as a foundation.

    So for example with the virtue diagram using bravery/caution they are equivalent to A and B. Recklessness could be equivalent to A not B. Cowardice could be equivalent to B not A. It means that someone is repressing one of the 2 partner qualities.
    Neither A nor B would correspond with a state unconscious of danger or more and so it is in that sense neutral to it. Neither bravery/caution or recklessness/cowardice would be possible.

    A very widespread error is thinking that the opposite of a virtue is a vice. Actually the opposite of a virtue is another virtue. A vice is a lack of virtue not its opposite. The opposite of one extreme is another extreme. So the opposite of a 'vice' is another vice. The 2 partner/opposite virtues are a unified simultaneous state, the middle way between extremes.

    All virtues are within us but they can be temporarily repressed/obscured. Due to particular experiences and traumas we may develop biases between the virtue partners. We can reintegrate repressed virtues into our everyday lives by loving and accepting them deeply and with the help of other specific techniques.

    Things to Do
    • Make sure that you have read 'Inner Medicine' and experimented with the exercises included within it.
    • Write a long list of virtues down and look up their definitions. Try and arrange them into pairs and find other patterns and groupings.
    • Inwardly praise the virtues within yourself, within others and as abstract positive qualities.

    Your Questions and Comments
    This thread is locked but please start a new one in this forum. Share your views and questions regarding Module 3.

Calling All Sincere Truth Seekers

Dear friend, this is the place to learn about TSQ (Truth Seeking Quotient) and how to boost it. High TSQ means to be freer from personal blind spots, biases and false beliefs, even the subtle ones that most people have but are not aware of. It has deeper implications also..