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Nagarjuna offers the following definition of virtue and non-virtue:
“Desire, hatred, ignorance, and
The actions they generate are non-virtues.
Non-desire, non-hatred, non-ignorance,
And the actions they generate are virtues.”
Guru Riponche offers a similar definition:
“If any teaching you study, reflect upon, or expound becomes an effective remedy against your disturbing emotions as well as an aid for allowing the pure Dharma to take birth in your being, then that is called a Mahayana teaching and is unmistaken.
No matter how much you may be acclaimed as learned in study, exposition, and meditation, if your intention is only the eight worldly concerns, your activity is called a black Dharma practice.”
Any ritual or practice that is motivated by negative emotions and attachment to the eight worldly dharmas would be a Buddhist definition of black magic.
Yes, I think that’s right. It’s the “used with bad intent” definition.
Generally, for Buddhist ethics, intent is what matters, more than means or ends.
Good or bad are just conceptual definitions that beings generate dependently. Nietzsche makes a nice study on this, similar to Nagarjuna. So good or evil does not exist absolutely, but it is necessary to have a definition of good and bad actions.
The ideal is to define practice from the standpoint of view, meditation and conduct. So our vision may be beyond good and evil; cause and effect as possible, meditation is when we train the vision; however our conduct must respect cause and effect.
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