The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

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Jechbi
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Jechbi » Thu Sep 03, 2009 4:55 pm

tiltbillings wrote:No doubt god-believing people back then did not associate the existence of an idea of a god as a product of a self concept any more than they do now.
But some would have then, just as some would now. The translation "Supreme God" tends to shut down that likelihood, however. That's why "Supreme God" is a distracting translation alternative.

tiltbillings wrote:That there is no one, no thing, outside our selves to whom we can point, that will protect us from the oppressive change is part and parcel of the Buddha’s Dhamma.
Perhaps you hold the view that there is some such thing within oneself? Your translation tends to support that viewpoint, whereas the more common translations do a better job of inviting a broader undersanding of what an abhi-issaro might be.

tiltbillings wrote:Nothing has been presented, yet, that would change my opinion.
I would never under any cirucmstances expect to see you change your opinion on any matter, and certainly not on this matter. I am trying to abandon the other expectations I brought to this discussion.
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Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Jechbi » Thu Sep 03, 2009 5:13 pm

- bump -
imagemarie wrote:From Wings to Awakening..Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"In his effort to master kamma in such a way as to bring kamma to an end, the Buddha discovered that he had to abandon the contexts of personal narrative and cosmology in which the issue of kamma first presented itself. Both these forms of understanding deal in categories of being and non-being, self and others, but the Buddha found that it was impossible to bring kamma to an end if one thought in such terms. For example, narrative and cosmological modes of thinking would lead one to ask whether the agent who performed an act of kamma was the same as the person experiencing the result, someone else, both, or neither.In the Buddha's case, he focused simply on the process of kammic cause and result as it played itself out in the immediate present, in the process of developing the skillfulness of the mind, without reference to who or what lay behind those processes".
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
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Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:35 pm

Jechbi wrote:
Peter wrote:Personally, I see nothing wrong with this passage referring solely to an external protector; there are other scriptures in which the Buddha speaks quite plainly against any form of rarefied self. We don't need every sutta to refer to every subject.

The problem as I see it is that Tilt's definition pointedly distracts from the way in which this passage fits into the greater context of sutta teachings regarding the self.

As I said, I do not see why this particular passage must "fit into the greater context of sutta teachings regarding the self." I understand you are trying to make it fit, but to me it seems forced... and unnecessary.

A person might easily understand oneself to be a lord, ruler, master, chief from which to find refuge.

There are plenty of other suttas which address this point very directly. Is there really a reason to twist this one to do so as well? Really, Jechbi, you seem hung up on this idea that a person is going to read just this one sutta and have no other exposure to any of the Buddha's other teachings.

Do you see how this kind of discussion we're engaged in right now might be helpful?

Not really, no. Sorry.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:52 pm

Jechbi wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: No doubt god-believing people back then did not associate the existence of an idea of a god as a product of a self concept any more than they do now.
But some would have then, just as some would now. The translation "Supreme God" tends to shut down that likelihood, however. That's why "Supreme God" is a distracting translation alternative.


You seem overly stuck on “Supreme God.” I think it works, but, as I have indicated repeatedly, I am open to something else, if it would make the point of the text; however, if “Supreme God” is bad, then “supreme master” is really bad in connotation. I certainly could go with “supreme protector,” or “supreme guardian,” which nicely gives us balance in the translation of the line and balances nicely with Ven Ratthapala’s discussion of the line in question with the king. And, importantly, pushes towards the god notion inherent in abhi-issaro.

Jechbi wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: That there is no one, no thing, outside our selves to whom we can point, that will protect us from the oppressive change is part and parcel of the Buddha’s Dhamma.
Perhaps you hold the view that there is some such thing within oneself? Your translation tends to support that viewpoint, whereas the more common translations do a better job of inviting a broader undersanding of what an abhi-issaro might be.


You make statements like this, but offer no discussion of what you say to show that it is even possibly so (until really pushed to do so).

Jechbi wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Nothing has been presented, yet, that would change my opinion.
I would never under any cirucmstances expect to see you change your opinion on any matter, and certainly not on this matter. I am trying to abandon the other expectations I brought to this discussion.


I welcome a chance to be challenged enough that I change my opinion about something, but it has not happened here, yet.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Jechbi » Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:52 pm

Thanks both for your comments.
Peter wrote:There are plenty of other suttas which address this point very directly. Is there really a reason to twist this one to do so as well?

Certainly not, Peter. There is never a reason to twist the suttas.

My attention on this one stems from my understanding that it is one of four "summaries of the Dhamma that have been taught by the Blessed One," as noted in the translation I initially referenced. Since this passage is a summary of the Dhamma, I believe we need to be very careful and thoughtful about how we present it. It appears to me that this beautiful summary of Dhamma has been taken out of context and used as a bludgeon to rebut those who wish to discuss their understandings of the God concept here. In that respect, it appears to me that this entire thread twists this beautiful sutta passage. In the context of this present discussion here in this thread, the translation being offered does not appear to reflect a "summary of the Dhamma that has been taught by the Blessed One." Instead, it appears to be flavored (or twisted, if you prefer) with an undercurrent of debate about the viewpoints of theism versus atheism. That, in my personal opinion, is a misuse of this beautiful Dhamma passage.

Undoubtedly, each of us has our own imagined abhi-issaro, whether we acknowledge it or not. May we all come to a greater understanding that there is no abhi-issaro.
:anjali:
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Uncover, then, what is concealed,
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:02 pm

Jechbi,

Do you or do you not think Buddhist teachings preclude the idea of a supreme god who is a refuge for the universe?
- Peter

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Jechbi » Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:07 pm

Peter wrote:Jechbi,

Do you or do you not think Buddhist teachings preclude the idea of a supreme god who is a refuge for the universe?

Peter, I will be happy to discuss that with you by PM if you wish. In the context of this thread, and in the context of this Dhamma Wheel board and the diversity of members here, I believe I lack the skill to provide you with an answer here that would not be distracting from the core teachings of dukkha and the cessation of dukkha.
:anjali:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 10, 2009 5:29 pm

Jechbi wrote:Thanks both for your comments.
Peter wrote:There are plenty of other suttas which address this point very directly. Is there really a reason to twist this one to do so as well?

Certainly not, Peter. There is never a reason to twist the suttas.

You have expressed your opinion that "Supreme God" is a twist of the suttas, but you have not really addressed as to why that is with textual examples, though you say that you have. Again, you seem overly stuck on the expression of "Supreme God." This is not a life or death choice for me, though the context of the passage, of the sutta, - and of the suttas - certainly supports the idea that any sort of external protector, a supreme god, would be very much included. You argue that the idea of god does not include the notion of a refuge from the insecurity of the world; however, that is exactly a main function of a god, particulrly one that is seen as a creator of everything, as Brahma is portrayed in the suttas. And is very the function of the idea of God, Ishvara, in the Bhagavad Gita, which is very much a respomse to the early Buddhist teachings.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:37 am

Jechbi wrote:Thanks both for your comments.
Peter wrote:There are plenty of other suttas which address this point very directly. Is there really a reason to twist this one to do so as well?

Certainly not, Peter. There is never a reason to twist the suttas.


Are you really suggesting that I have twisted the Dhamnma by twisting the suttas for some agenda?

It appears to me that this beautiful summary of Dhamma has been taken out of context and used as a bludgeon to rebut those who wish to discuss their understandings of the God concept here. In that respect, it appears to me that this entire thread twists this beautiful sutta passage. In the context of this present discussion here in this thread, the translation being offered does not appear to reflect a "summary of the Dhamma that has been taught by the Blessed One." Instead, it appears to be flavored (or twisted, if you prefer) with an undercurrent of debate about the viewpoints of theism versus atheism. That, in my personal opinion, is a misuse of this beautiful Dhamma passage.


Looks to be an ad hominem. Is this what you meant?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Jechbi » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:02 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Again, you seem overly stuck ...

Tilt, this thread is not about me.

As to your other questions, I believe my posts have been clear.
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Uncover, then, what is concealed,
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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:21 pm

The thread may not be about you, but you seem to pay no attention to what I have repeatedly said and you continue to focus on the words "Supreme God," as if I have said nothing else.

As for your other msg, it is hard not to read it as suggesting that I have deliberately twisted the Dhamma by twisting my translation to fit an agenda. Of course, as usual, you make no argument to support that, you merely assert it. It is an insulting suggestion, and like any ad hoiminem it points to a lack of a real argument.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Jechbi » Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:55 am

It was not an ad hom. This thread is not about you.
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Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:34 am

Jechbi wrote:It was not an ad hom. This thread is not about you.


Good, then you do not think that I have twisted the meaning of the word in question therby twisting the Dhamma to meet a particular agenda. That is good to hear.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Jechbi » Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:59 am

If it makes you feel better to understand it that way, then that's great, Tilt. Do what you need to do.
:console:

This thread is not about what I think about you.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
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Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:19 am

Jechbi wrote:If it makes you feel better to understand it that way, then that's great, Tilt. Do what you need to do.
:console:

This thread is not about what I think about you.


All I am trying to do is makes sense out the post. Since it is not about me, that is good, because I certainly would not want to be considered one of those naughty people who twist the Dhamma to meeet an agenda.

Since that is settled, I would simply point to, for your consideration, that while I think "Supreme God" is defensible, as I said this is not a life and death translation. Whatever translation one might opt for, taking the actual words of the texts, the actual balance of the text, the explanation of it given by Ven Ratthaplala to the king, whatever translation used would require that abhissaro would be inclusive of the idea of an outside protector/guardian that would be inclusive of a God/god notion. For me, it is a serious matter of being true to the text.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Jechbi » Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:23 am

Yes, as I wrote earlier:
Jechbi wrote:Undoubtedly, each of us has our own imagined abhi-issaro, whether we acknowledge it or not. May we all come to a greater understanding that there is no abhi-issaro.

And I agree with what you wrote here:
tiltbillings wrote: whatever translation used would require that abhissaro would be inclusive of the idea of an outside protector/guardian that would be inclusive of a God/god notion.
Supreme protector does that nicely.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:24 am

Alrighty then!!!
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby roni » Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:56 pm

I came accross this remark "May I draw your attention to the Sudatta sutta (SN 10.8)
in which Buddha teaches the young Anathapindada (or Anathapindika) on creation and creator.
Here he’s more than specific: no Creator, no Creation.
The Sudatta sutta is part of the Small Vehicle Pali, Agama, and Kanjur collections." here http://www.thinkbuddha.org/article/432/ ... od#comment.

The Sutta I found as SN 10.8 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html) doesn't seem to be about this topic. Could you please help me either with the source of the text (in English or Pali) or secondary literature on thdis sutta?

Thx & metta,

Roni

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:39 pm

roni wrote:I came accross this remark "May I draw your attention to the Sudatta sutta (SN 10.8)
in which Buddha teaches the young Anathapindada (or Anathapindika) on creation and creator.
Here he’s more than specific: no Creator, no Creation.
The Sudatta sutta is part of the Small Vehicle Pali, Agama, and Kanjur collections." here http://www.thinkbuddha.org/article/432/ ... od#comment.

The Sutta I found as SN 10.8 (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html) doesn't seem to be about this topic. Could you please help me either with the source of the text (in English or Pali) or secondary literature on thdis sutta?

Thx & metta,

Roni

Maybe the Ven nun can clarify her statement. As it stands the text she cited does not say what she says it does.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Laurens » Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:05 pm

I'd rather tackle my own delusions before I move on to other people's.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan


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