Our dear friend sounds very much like the modern new agers who preach about the equality of all religions but yet, can't prove their assertions. Some Hindus like to say Buddhism is a subset of their religions, very much in the same way as some Chinese who claimed that Tao can lead to liberation from the three realms while in the modern times, there are even claims that Jesus actually took Dharma teachings from India.
Whatever....What Christropher and that goldstein guy suggest is not a new development at any rate although it probably never occurs to them as why Buddhism still exist as a separate religion from the rest instead of merging with them if they taught the same doctrine. (according to those two)
Nevertheless and fortunately, they are minority in this aspect. There are several reasons why Advaita never taught the same thing as Buddhism , among them, are the very different form of action theory (Karma), very different meaning of renunciation, very different type of insight mediation and last but not least very different path to liberation.
So what if they describe the characteristics of the ultimate in the same way as Buddhism? (Probably they rip off from it as well) Their conventional theory and practice is very, very different from ours. True, they mediate but what they mediate on? The dissolution of five aggregates? Impermanence of conditioned dhamma? Or Samara as a burning pit of endless suffering? From my personal knowledge and understanding of them, I very much, doubt so.
Furthermore, Advaita followers speculate and preach a lot of cosmology theories as related to their Brahman doctrine (Taoists also do the same but to a lesser extent) whereas in Buddhism, Theravada at least, its one of the imponderables as we are mainly concerned with liberation and the Buddha clearly stated that one might go mad if over speculate about them. How some Buddhists could miss all these significant difference is beyond me.
christopher::: wrote:As for Goldstein he presently says he just doesn't know about some things. As a sincere long-term practitioner he may come to a flash of deep unmistakable insight next Thursday, after which his position will change and he says he now "knows." Should we then trust what he has to say then, about the nature of mind? If he takes the Dzogchen position, you probably won't, if he lands firmly in Theravadin territory you probably will.
What goldstein think or say is of little consequence, he has zero authority in Theravada and is not a widely recognized Buddhist master. In fact, he should have kept his speculations to himself instead of spreading them around, misleading people.
Finally, giving wrong teaching about anatta (in the case, equating it to atman) have grave consequence and very heavy negative karma. Hope he realize this before its too late.