genkaku wrote:to take some imagined goodness as a refuge is a recipe for more suffering, I'd say.
So refuge in the Triple Gem is a recipe for more suffering?
First you disparage the Dhamma, now the rest of the Triple Gem as well?
I think it's impossible to know if anyone is disparaging what until the matter of the Triple Gem is clarified for oneself. For example, one might ask, what is the Triple Gem?
In which case the book answer would come back - Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha
. And then one might ask, well what is Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha
. And the intellectual mind replays what it has learnt - for example, well Buddha is the founder of our religion, Dhamma is the body of teachings left by Lord Buddha
, or maybe Buddha is the Buddha inherent in ever being, Dhamma is everpresent reality
(depending on the persuasion of your learning) etc. And then we might continue, (assuming the answer is the first and simplifying it to Buddha), OK well who was Shakyamuni then?
To which one might respond, he lived ages ago and was a Prince once
! To which we might then ask 'Is that the meaning of Buddha really?'
etc etc (and each of these can make up months of discussions for those still interested at this level so it's no joke)
And if we are lucky, one day we might get to the stage where we realise, we really aren't that sure, despite all our intellectual accumulations. And that whilst our definitions and learnings have been very useful, they haven't yet answered our gut level uncertainties. (What some Buddhists call "dukkha). And so it comes to a recognition that whilst we love(d) our pointers, and remember them, and use them even for some guidance, and are grateful beyond measure - there is still this everwinding road we are now standing on. We might call this life, me, an inner yearning, or just plain old dukkha.
A life we find brooks no simple definition no matter how we try. And even if we do, at some level, we may know the definition of laughter can never replace its true echo when living it. So what now? We've read the pointers and now ...
Well here it's sometimes called "where the rubber hits the road" a time where practice comes in handy - and maybe, if we are lucky, to life. Here, the teachings are like friendly road signs we once may have looked at, but it's ourself that will take the steps encouraged - for example, meditation, for example slowly recognising and relinquishing our very real selfishnesses - for example, paying attention to this "I", this "me" that we have up to now lived as, and served endlessly. Here, life is vivid and no book can replace your very own knowing.
None of this is a criticism by the way, just sharing some perspectives as is the intended purpose of a forum.