Ben wrote:Hi Buddha's Dancer
You are welcome here. Just as all people who share an interest in the Theravada, regardless of which school or tradition they follow, are welcome here.
But as you are beginning to pick up, there are some sensitivities with regards to non-Theravadin and revisionistic interpretations of Theravadin literature. You need to be aware of those sensitivities even, as I am sure, your intention is not to prosetylize or to correct others.
Thank you for joining us and sharing your enthusiastic love of the Dhamma!
Oh no. Quite so. There can be no proselytization outside of reason, otherwise it becomes nothing by schismatization.
So any claim made must be susceptible to logical enquiry, otherwise it is not worth the claim.
For example, saying to a person who is fond of rhodedendrons, "Why look, this rose has a wonderful fragrance", one can confidently stand by this opinion with sound reason without fear of offending the other party. Why? Because the relative phenomena in question do not impinge on the other and there aren't reasonable grounds to take offence.
Far be it from me to make any claim which cannot stand up to reasonable scrutiny. If after being logically scrutinized in accord with Buddhist prinicples of logic there is incorrectness exposed, I would be first to renounce the claim.
In this realm of reasonableness there is no connotation of schismatization, quite the opposite. The claims are based on direct valid perception or valid inference or valid scriptures and they may be critiqued via the same modes of reasoning.
However, merely saying "With respect, friend, your opinions are just that - opinions" and attemtping thereby to infer incorrectness does not establish anything more than another opinion on top of the original opinion, and this second and any subsequent opinions are not established as any more or less correct (valid) than the first. This, indeed, is the realm of schismatization, not reason.
Therefore, reason and logic in accord with Buddhist principles must be resorted to to arrive at something approaching the truth of the matter.
One can certainly begin to enquire into the principles of direct valid perception, for example, by studying the Abhidhamma, in relation to the skandhas, ayatanas, dhatus, etc.