Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby danieLion » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:05 am

Hi Aloka,
Aloka wrote:No. Wanting further clarification isn't speculating.

But you also said:
Aloka wrote:Depends on how you define ''perfect''.


I agree that seeking clarification has value. Perhaps I'm in error, but that kind of a satement doesn't imply clarification seeking.

I might be wrong, but conditionals like the word "depends" and the act of defining necessarily involves speculating. Would you please clarify from your perspective precisely as you can how seeking clarity is mutually exclusive from inquiries about conditionals and attempts at definition.
Kindly,
dL
Last edited by danieLion on Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby seeker242 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:07 am

danieLion wrote:Can Buddhism be improved upon? Was the Buddha perfect?

Currently, I'm inclined to say "yes" to the first question and "no" to the second.

Kindly,
dL


Interesting. I am inclined to say no to the first and yes to the second!
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby danieLion » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:21 am

Hi nibbuti,
nibbuti wrote:
danieLion wrote:What, exactly, makes you believe these questions are papanca-like?

They're 1. not specific, and 2. not connected with the goal, but seem to be from a mind that is still bothered by doubt or indecision (vicikicchā).

I agree that they're not very specific but exactly how does that make them papanca or papanca-like? I've extensively elaborated on my take on papanca here in this post and the subsequent discussion in this thread.

Which part of "the goal" requires us to believe that Buddhism cannot be improved on and that the Buddha was perfect? And exaclty how does this imply doubt/indecision?
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby SDC » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:26 am

Is there room for improvement?

Yes.

Is improvement possible?

No. It's too big.

Was the Buddha perfect?

He is in my imagination and that is enough to help me strive to improve my current situation towards that direction.
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby SDC » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:40 am

nibbuti wrote:but seem to be from a mind that is still bothered by doubt or indecision (vicikicchā).


I like how casual you were with this.
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby danieLion » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:52 am

Hi SDC,
SDC wrote:Is there room for improvement?

Yes.

Is improvement possible?

No. It's too big.

Was the Buddha perfect?

He is in my imagination and that is enough to help me strive to improve my current situation towards that direction.

I agree that Buddhism is byzantine, but that's a result of improvement attempts. You seem to be putting the cart before the horse. I might be wrong, but the history of Buddhism chronicles one attempt after another to improve it.

I agree that how we conceptualize the Buddha can influence the skillfulness or unskillfulness of our striving, but what, specifically, do you mean by "perfect." That is, how do you imagine the Buddha's "perfection." I might be wrong, but there are helpful and unhelpful ways to imagine the Buddha as "perfect," no?
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby Aloka » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:50 am

danieLion wrote:Hi Aloka,
Aloka wrote:No. Wanting further clarification isn't speculating.

But you also said:
Aloka wrote:Depends on how you define ''perfect''.


I agree that seeking clarification has value. Perhaps I'm in error, but that kind of a satement doesn't imply clarification seeking.

I might be wrong, but conditionals like the word "depends" and the act of defining necessarily involves speculating. Would you please clarify from your perspective precisely as you can how seeking clarity is mutually exclusive from inquiries about conditionals and attempts at definition.
Kindly,
dL


Daniel, with respect, this is just all unnecessary "nit-picking" and if we were engaged in a one-to- one conversation I would certainly hope that it wouldn't be happening at all, otherwise any significant communication would take many hours!

Have a nice day and good luck with your practice, I have to go out to catch a bus very soon.

:)
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby mirco » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:41 am

danieLion wrote:Can Buddhism be improved upon? Was the Buddha perfect?
danieLion wrote:What, exactly, makes you believe these questions are papanca-like?
nibbuti wrote:They're 1. not specific, and 2. not connected with the goal, but seem to be from a mind that is still bothered by doubt or indecision (vicikicchā).


The Awakened One also may have come across these doubters and He may have had a Dhamma Talk for them.
So, maybe it's to find that surpassing explanation.

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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby daverupa » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:46 am

I'm waiting for

1. What does Buddhism not do that it should do?

2. What does 'perfect' mean?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby mirco » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:21 pm


daverupa wrote:1. What does Buddhism not do that it should do?

I would add "curiosity". Without that, we would not get started.
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby beeblebrox » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:36 pm

mirco wrote:
daverupa wrote:1. What does Buddhism not do that it should do?

I would add "curiosity". Without that, we would not get started.


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:anjali:
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby SDC » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:06 pm

danieLion wrote:I agree that Buddhism is byzantine, but that's a result of improvement attempts. You seem to be putting the cart before the horse. I might be wrong, but the history of Buddhism chronicles one attempt after another to improve it.


Agreed. Wasn’t saying otherwise. In the last 2500 years whether it be in an attempt to clarify, re-translate, re-establish, strengthen, consolidate, streamline, reinterpret, assimilate or even maintain what the Buddha taught, many efforts have brought a good deal of pork into the situation, and now even when there are teachers that provide a solid interpretation it does nothing to effect the overall product - the “overall product” being an authoritative interpretation that everyone agrees on. That ship has sailed or perhaps was never even there. So improvement in that respect does not seem possible. You can't get rid of the fluff.

danieLion wrote:I agree that how we conceptualize the Buddha can influence the skillfulness or unskillfulness of our striving, but what, specifically, do you mean by "perfect." That is, how do you imagine the Buddha's "perfection."


Please keep in mind throughout this discussion that I am only talking about what I imagine the Buddha was based on what I have learned. That's it. I'm not claiming to know anything.

The only way to understand what I mean by perfect is for me to convey the appreciation I have for the goal of this practice. The Buddha identifies a problem with life and explains it thoroughly - the problem, the cause, the solution and the way to leading to that solution. If one can practice this method properly they will eventually be able to decipher how reality is constructed and awaken from a perpetual misunderstanding of experience. Understanding will then be at the most fundamental level so it is no longer possible to misunderstand anything that is experienced from then on. There is no longer the possibility of relearning to misunderstand.

If you properly take the time to see that this same problem is present in your situation, learn why it is actually a problem (very important), you will begin to see its complexity and get an idea of how difficult it will be to solve. You imagine being free from problem. For me the prospect is glorious. I see what I am caught up in, and I imagine what it will feel like to eventually see through it. To me there is nothing more perfect than this freedom. So knowing that the Buddha achieved this very same freedom that I imagine for myself allows for "perfect" to be applied. However that's just for me. I do not expect people to agree.

danieLion wrote:I might be wrong, but there are helpful and unhelpful ways to imagine the Buddha as "perfect," no?


In my opinion the only way an idea of perfection can be harmful is if you fail to properly integrate it into your own experience and see how it could be possible for you. You can't keep too far away or it becomes scary and overwhelming. The idea needs to be analyzed often and gradually yet meticulously applied to your own experience.
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby danieLion » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:53 am

Hi daverupa
daverupa wrote:I'm waiting for

1. What does Buddhism not do that it should do?

I don't think there's any "should" about it.

daverupa wrote:2. What does 'perfect' mean?

Dave S. and I discoursed about this early in the thread and Aloka took a shallow stab it; and I'm now discoursing about it with SDC. IMO, it does not mean what Plato, Christians et al and etc... meant/mean by it. That would be tragic.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby danieLion » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:54 am

Hi mirco,
mirco wrote:
daverupa wrote:1. What does Buddhism not do that it should do?

I would add "curiosity". Without that, we would not get started.

I agree. The Buddha wouldn't have got anywhere without it.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby danieLion » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:58 am

Hi SDC,
Thanks for the clarification. That makes a lot of sense to me. And this part...
SDC wrote:...I see what I am caught up in, and I imagine what it will feel like to eventually see through it. To me there is nothing more perfect than this freedom.

...echoes the Fronsdal talk I posted.
Kindly,
dL
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby Aloka » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:45 am

daniellion wrote:
Aloka took a shallow stab it..



Meh :rolleye:


.
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:36 am

daverupa wrote:2. What does 'perfect' mean?


Something which cannot be improved upon? Yeah, it's a bit tautological. ;)
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby clw_uk » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:23 pm

2. What does 'perfect' mean?



That depends on who's looking
Open your mind and see, open your mind and rise. Shine the light of wisdom and see, don't wait till the end of time.
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby clw_uk » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:27 pm

SDC wrote:Is there room for improvement?

Yes.

Is improvement possible?

No. It's too big.

Was the Buddha perfect?

He is in my imagination and that is enough to help me strive to improve my current situation towards that direction.



I read your post and all that came to mind was "on what basis?"


For example, on what basis do you conclude that an "improvement" should be made?
Open your mind and see, open your mind and rise. Shine the light of wisdom and see, don't wait till the end of time.
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Re: Improving Buddhism/The Imperfect Buddha

Postby SDC » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:48 pm

When did I say should?
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
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