Kim O'Hara wrote:You might as well credit geese and ducks with evolving away from each other because of their different ideologies.
Sure, but now that they are different, how to understand the differentiation?
In the case of ducks and geese, it would be their physical features, their evolutionary lineage (sorry I've forgotten the technical term at the moment), their geneological (is that the right word?) relationship to their avian cousins, the sounds they make, their mode of communication, their habitat, migratory patterns and so on.
Kim O'Hara wrote:IMO, framing the difference between schools in terms of 'ideologies' just adds another layer of (to use one of your favourite terms) papanca to a discussion which is already burdened with far too much of it.
Well, anything can become papanca is you allow it... papanca is an internal process.
I do think it is relevant though for anyone who is in the process of finding a tradition to understand what the differences in traditions actually constitute, for they are certainly not the same. If you were sat at a spinning wheel (think of the old Wheel of Fortune set-up on TV
) and told to spin the wheel and join to the tradition that came up, I'm sure you'd not be overly thrilled at the prospect as the name of every tradition within the scope of Buddhism (both the legit and the totally bogus bankrupt ones) spun past, slowly to settle upon one which was arbitrarily selected for you in the absence of any understanding of the qualitative nature of the differences. What would you be losing by moving to that tradition, and if you were a noob, what would you be missing by not going where you deliberately chose after considered investigation?
Whilst it's true they "evolved" in different directions, what was it that drove that evolution? Was it something disconnected from view, such a pragmatic preference for anapanasati focus on the nose vs the abdomen, or a reverence for Sariputta vs Mahamoggalana? Was it a case of wandering over a different hill in a different direction? Or... was it a case that they held different views on the Dhamma, and that the very practices themselves which evolved were different ways of experientially cultivating and actualizing that particular view? To what extent are traditions about legitimising themselves and their views and practices, and to what extent do they lead to the goal of the Dhamma? I don't want to call out any specific traditions, as I'm not asking for the purposes of stirring the pot, but I hope that gives some more clarity on the intended scope of the topic and the reasons why I think it's important to understand whether the differences are ideological, pragmatic, geographical, or whatever else they may be.
Wikipedia wrote:An ideology is a set of ideas that constitute one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things (compare worldview), as in several philosophical tendencies (see Political ideologies), or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society (a "received consciousness" or product of socialization). The main purpose behind an ideology is to offer either change in society, or adherence to a set of ideals where conformity already exists, through a normative thought process. Ideologies are systems of abstract thought applied to public matters and thus make this concept central to politics. Implicitly every political or economic tendency entails an ideology whether or not it is propounded as an explicit system of thought. It is how society sees things.
Is that an apt means by which to explain and regard the evolved differences?