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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - Why did you choose Theravada?

Why did you choose Theravada?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:57 am

BlackBird wrote:I feel like I am missing something here :shrug:
So the importance of whether the Buddha (or his Canonical disciples) actually spoke X discourse isn't important to people?

I don't mean to say the Suttas or Sutras that are ascribed to the Buddha, but we're not actually spoken by him don't have value, or can't serve as profound teachings capable of leading to insight. Nor do I think we should fuss excessively over what parts of the Tipitaka were actually spoken by the Buddha... If it the shoe fits, cool. I don't think we could ever come to a definite conclusions on that one. My concern I guess has been with the... I dunno actually.

I don't know what to think really...
Will sleep on it.

metta
Jack


Hi Jack

To recap, my long post was a response to a post from you. It included the statement:

These Sutras put their credibility on the fact that the Buddha is speaking them, do they not? Now if these Sutras are not the word of the historical Buddha, what is the logical implication of that?


You seem to be saying, their claim to credibility is that they are be "buddhavacana", but they are not the "buddhavacana", so the implication is ... And I guess we are meant to then conclude that they have no credibility. That is where you definitely seem to be going with such a statement to me.

And I am saying, yes their claim to credibility is that they are "buddhavacana". But, this does not mean historical-buddha-vacana. Therefore the issue of whether or not the historical-buddha taught then or not, does not effect their credibility in any way.

I wanted to clarify how buddhists themselves - in virtually all schools - have understood the term "buddhavacana".
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby BlackBird » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:21 am

Paññāsikhara wrote:
Hi Jack

To recap, my long post was a response to a post from you. It included the statement:

These Sutras put their credibility on the fact that the Buddha is speaking them, do they not? Now if these Sutras are not the word of the historical Buddha, what is the logical implication of that?


You seem to be saying, their claim to credibility is that they are be "buddhavacana", but they are not the "buddhavacana", so the implication is ... And I guess we are meant to then conclude that they have no credibility. That is where you definitely seem to be going with such a statement to me.


Yes that's correct, and the statement was indeed based on my assumption that "buddhavacana" meant "historical-buddha-vacana"

Paññāsikhara wrote:And I am saying, yes their claim to credibility is that they are "buddhavacana". But, this does not mean historical-buddha-vacana. Therefore the issue of whether or not the historical-buddha taught then or not, does not effect their credibility in any way.

I wanted to clarify how buddhists themselves - in virtually all schools - have understood the term "buddhavacana".


Thank you Bhante for the clarification. To the old kiwi idiom: You learn something new every day.

P.S. I hope I haven't offended anyone with my opinions tonight, apologies if I have.

:anjali:
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby Ben » Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:02 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Richard Gombrich states: "I have the greatest difficulty in accepting that the main edifice [of the Pali suttas] is not the work of one genius."


He is one wise monkey that Gombrich fella!
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tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:13 pm

I can only speak for myself as a Mahayana (Korean Zen) practitioner, but my understanding is as follows:

Although a great respect is accorded to Shakyamuni Buddha, there is no belief that he was the only fully enlightened master and that other masters could not have transmitted the Dharma. In essence if you are fully enlightened, there is no difference between you and the Buddha (at least as far as the Dharma goes).

So the provenance of Mahayana sutras never really bothered me. Whether they were attributed to the Buddha by their authors who felt that they were transmitting the Buddha's teachings, or by their later followers to give these scriptures more weight, I don't really care.

And though there may be a difference in emphasis and approach, the more I read the Pali Canon and Mahayana sutras, the more I see them agreeing in the core message of the Dharma/Dhamma. There may be subtle but deep differences I am overlooking at the stage in practice that I am at, however.

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby alan » Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:56 pm

One of these days I'll figure out the whole quote unquote thing.
pink_trike wrote on page 8 "..most don't think about the how/who/when...of their own tradition.
Well that is a shame if it is true; I can't imagine such an attitude.
"the whole point of religious institution... is that the teachings should be accepted at face value..."
That really left me scratching my head.

The rest is a complicated--perhaps overly complicated--some would say pointlessly overcomplicated--paragraph which you're best to read yourself and see if it works.
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:02 pm

Hi Alan if you are wanting to quote the whole post just press the quote button in the top right hand of that post!

in the respond page there is a quote button just above where you type so you just highlight the area you wish to quote and then press that button!

then I see the second line isn't very useful, but PM me if you need a hand
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby seanpdx » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:49 pm

Monkey Mind wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Monkey Mind wrote:My university has a really good graduate studies library. If they dont't have something, they will arrange to get it on loan from even better libraries. What type of scholars? Is this a debate with historians, or archeologists, or social anthropologists? Point me in the right direction, and I will dig for journals. I can be patient, if it takes you a few days to get back to me, that's fine.
It is an historical debate, but you will a variety of different types involved. It is primarily a Buddhologist concern. Start with Richard Gombrich. He has articles in any number of journals, and what is useful, in addition to his own arguments, are the footnotes, which lead you further discussions. Heinz Bechert and Etienne Lamotte are two other names as well as Peter Harvey and Rupert Gethin. It may not be just journal but also books. If I were at home at present I could give a bit more detail.


Thanks, Tilt, but I was looking for guidance from either pink_trike or SeanPDX. I am not sure if your are speaking about the same thing as they, or if they are speaking of something different. Pink_trike, I accepted your invitation to research this myself, but I come up empty handed. SeanPDX, I have access to these mysterious scholarly journals, but I have come up empty handed. I am not being cheeky here, if there is such a scholarly debate I genuinely want to read about it. I suspect, however, that you made this stuff up to seem important.


Why would you want guidance from me? Perhaps you should re-read what I wrote. I simply said that there was/is a debate about the historicity of the Buddha. However, unlike trike, I never made any qualified claims about the current status. If you must know, my personal opinion is that the only people left on the side of "no historical Buddha" are mostly quacks, and/or stuck in the dark ages of buddhist studies. But I specifically refrained from giving such opinion because I wasn't interested in backing up such a claim. Indeed, I specifically stated the Buddha's historicity is not my interest of study. Don't drag me into trike's fantasy world, thankyouverymuch.

If you want references to mysterious scholarly journals, talk to trike. I only reference the non-mysterious kind.
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby pink_trike » Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:39 pm

seanpdx wrote: Don't drag me into trike's fantasy world, thankyouverymuch.

hm...a while back you stated clearly that there is a debate:

seanpdx wrote:Is there, and has there been, and on-going academic debate about the existence of a flesh-and-blood Buddha? Yes. If this comes as a surprise to anyone, well... there are plenty of other things scholars have to say about buddhism that are probably even more surprising. If this sort of thing is disturbing or uncomfortable, stay away from anything published by a scholar.


---

So...what fantasy world? The extent of my "fantasy" as I've stated so far re: the existence of the Buddha is:

I could care less if there was ever an actual living "The Buddha".


its irrelevant to me whether he lived or not


I didn't offer any opinion about whether the Buddha ever existed or not.


I said that it is irrelevant to me whether the Buddha actually lived or not


Again, I'll point out that it wasn't my claim...I didn't state an opinion either way.


Separately, I'm not interested in debating whether there was or wasn't an actual Buddha, because I really (really, really) don't care if there was or not.


---

seanpdx wrote:]If you want references to mysterious scholarly journals, talk to trike. I only reference the non-mysterious kind.


....but it was you who made reference to journals: :tongue:

seanpdx wrote:]Read academic journals and books. The kind you buy.


seanpdx wrote:But I've read enough to know that the debate exists. Believe me, if it would take me less than five minutes to spit out some citations,


---

What I did say was:

Increasingly, scholars are unable to find any solid evidence of it.


increasingly less willing to accept "facts" put forth by institutional Buddhism regarding the Buddha's existence.


Solid. There is a shortage of solid evidence. The facts about the Buddha's life are clouded with debate. There is no solid scholarly ground there, imo. This is the basis of the ongoing debate - there would be no debate if there was sufficient solid evidence. To suggest that there is no skepticism regarding whether there was an actual Buddha is to have one's head firmly buried in faith-scented sands. Tilt seems to suggest that there is new research that provides this missing solidity...I'd be interested in reading it if it is neutral scholarship...if its faith-based "scholarship" I'll pass.


So...where exactly is this "fantasy world"? Does the word "increasingly" constitute a "fantasy world"? Only to the very touchy hyper-religious folks who are ever vigilant and defended against the always lurking danger of "attacks" on them, er...on the literal truth. :smile:

---

Its interesting that I can say:

The "Jesus" described in Christian mythology was allegorical - a re-visioning of an ancient conceptual devise that was used as a contextual container to put forth a social/moral code based on the idea of "as above, so below" - a devise far removed from the corruptions of religion and religiosity that grew out of it.


...and no one blinks, but mention that there is scholarly skepticism that there was an actual flesh and blood Buddha and the thread's temperature soars, suggesting a reactive emotionality and an insecurity that is is inconsistent with the core message of the Dharma. One person in this thread made reference to this emotionality, expressing "dismay" that I even mentioned the existence of the debate:

I am a religious Buddhist, and as such I do take the existence of Buddha for granted: on faith, if you like.
Because this is how I approach the material I must admit that I was a little dismayed at your reference
to this debate
.


The very subject is taboo in order to protect an emotional contrivance of solid ground. Even the slightest mention of an existing debate causes distress.


---

Since some in this thread have assumed my opinion in this debate, I'll clarify. I do have an opinion of sorts in this debate about whether there was an actual person to whom the teachings are attributed - that I posted in the "Jesus" thread:

Both may have existed as local personages..."Jesus" (probably not his real name) as an itinerate mystic and social activist, and Siddhārtha Gautama as a local elder/philosopher/teacher...both insignificant in their own time - and much later merged with a mono-mythology of the time to become greatly elaborated fictional characters. Much of what is attributed to both of them can be found in significantly older traditions dating back thousands of years, often word for word in the case of "Jesus" and Christian mythology - and much of Sid's philosophy (4 noble truths, cessation, liberation, etc...) is found in various forms in mythologies around the globe - mythologies that also include a son of royalty born of unusual circumstances, grounded by the Great Tree, heroic battle as he is tested under this tree, emerging triumphant and wise with omniscient awareness, other manifestations - past, present, future - of this triumphant hero, etc...).


Imo, the confusion arises because there seems to be two Buddhas (actually, many many "Buddhas" but that's another thread). There is Sid, a local elder/philosopher/teacher who was likely referred to generically as "Buddha" - and there is the mythic conceptual devise larger-than-life "Buddha" that was carefully constructed much later on top of Sid's bones and his teachings (which were much older than him). Its not surprising that its difficult to confirm the facts of Sid's life...he was likely fairly insignificant during his own life...just as the missing Jesus was likely a down-on-his luck petty rabble rouser and mystic upon which a mythic "Jesus - Son of God" was carefully (er, not so carefully) constructed using thinly rewritten much older teachings.

What I find most interesting about the whole debate are the people who are rock solidly convinced that the mythic Buddha actually existed. The more we know about oral tradition, especially from a cross-cultural standpoint, the more evident it is that the mythic Buddha formulates within the same patterns as countless other mythic personages - as do very many of the events and meta messages associated with this mythic figure. (The sectarian debate within Buddhism emerges because the mythic Buddha was constructed in various different ways in different cultures with different formulations of the meta message attributed to each culturally constructed mythic buddha.) The winds of scholarship are blowing strongly in this direction and sacred cows are dropping dead all over the place. No amount of walls built in the mind are going to stop this trend toward historical exposure. Religionists fear annihilation or nihilism can be only result of such deconstruction, but they fail to note that when walls are torn down the light permeates everything.
Last edited by pink_trike on Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
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---

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby saltspring » Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:54 pm

We are all still waiting for some names Pink Trike. Tilt provided you with a few names, could you at least provide us with a few? Hope the turkeys were a success.
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby cooran » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:02 pm

Dan74 wrote:I can only speak for myself as a Mahayana (Korean Zen) practitioner, but my understanding is as follows:

Although a great respect is accorded to Shakyamuni Buddha, there is no belief that he was the only fully enlightened master and that other masters could not have transmitted the Dharma. In essence if you are fully enlightened, there is no difference between you and the Buddha (at least as far as the Dharma goes).

So the provenance of Mahayana sutras never really bothered me. Whether they were attributed to the Buddha by their authors who felt that they were transmitting the Buddha's teachings, or by their later followers to give these scriptures more weight, I don't really care.

And though there may be a difference in emphasis and approach, the more I read the Pali Canon and Mahayana sutras, the more I see them agreeing in the core message of the Dharma/Dhamma. There may be subtle but deep differences I am overlooking at the stage in practice that I am at, however.

_/|\_


Hello Dan74,

One of things which bothered me the most in my days in traditions other than Theravada, was the fact that lay disciples nowadays and all through the past, tended to attribute full enlightenment to whichever teacher or member of the sangha they were following, or whose teachings resonated with them .... and, as time goes on, everyone seems to accept that so-and-so is enllightened because it has been 'said' ~ often different from the teachings of the Buddha.

So - for me - there is only one Sammasambuddha, and those who teach and explain what he taught are worth listening to ~ but those who "discover something he never taught because those around him at the time weren't bright enough to understand" - .... well ..... nuff said.

metta
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby Ben » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:05 pm

Hi Mr Pink, Tilt, and all

Firstly to Mr Pink -
Thanks for the clarification on your position.

Now to everyone -
I've been trying to follow this discussion for a while and I would like all persons (regardless of who they are) participating in this thread to kindly provide references when making claims regarding the 'scholarly debate' or 'historical research' and to indicate whether an idea or claim is your personal opinion. I think its a reasonable request and de riguer in academia as well as other fields such as journalism. And I actually think it will improve the quality and tone of discussion.
Thank you all for your cooperation.
metta

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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby notself » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:08 pm

alan wrote:Well Well! thought I'd kick up a little dust and see what happened. And dust there is! Perhaps enough to obscure the original question, which should have been posited this way:
What is it about Mahayana that you've rejected?


alan,
I might have missed your answer so please excuse me for asking again. Why are you not following the Tipitaka and Theravada? Why did you reject Theravada?
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby pink_trike » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:08 pm

saltspring wrote:We are all still waiting for some names Pink Trike. Tilt provided you with a few names, could you at least provide us with a few? Hope the turkeys were a success.

Tilt is well aware of this debate and could probably pop those names in here in a skinny second. :tongue:

I'm packing for a week retreat starting tomorrow. When I have time to wade into the books I''ll dig out some names. In the meantime, you and the others who are waiting with bated breath might take a minute or two to consider the actual issues I pointed at:

1. There is a debate.

2. The "facts" about the Buddha's life are sketchy and have in the past only been supported by the teachings.

3. A literal belief in the mythic Buddha is unsupportable.

4. Whether there was an actual buddha (mythic or generic) or not is irrelevant to the mission that the Dharma presents to us.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

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---

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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby Dan74 » Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:25 pm

Hi Chris,

Fair enough.

I have no idea as to the full enlightenment or otherwise of the authors of the Heart Sutra, Complete Enlightenment Sutra, Diamond Sutra, etc. Personally these scriptures are a source of great inspiration and guidance and objectively I trust the traditions that have held them in high esteem for several thousand years and produced great masters and inspirational human beings.

As for living masters, I have never been told that any master in my tradition was fully enlightened. These are just words, we make up our own minds to what extent to trust teachers from meeting them or learning about their lives and listening to their teachings. I understand that it is very different in Tibetan tradition, but that has its use.

_/|\_

Chris wrote:
Dan74 wrote:I can only speak for myself as a Mahayana (Korean Zen) practitioner, but my understanding is as follows:

Although a great respect is accorded to Shakyamuni Buddha, there is no belief that he was the only fully enlightened master and that other masters could not have transmitted the Dharma. In essence if you are fully enlightened, there is no difference between you and the Buddha (at least as far as the Dharma goes).

So the provenance of Mahayana sutras never really bothered me. Whether they were attributed to the Buddha by their authors who felt that they were transmitting the Buddha's teachings, or by their later followers to give these scriptures more weight, I don't really care.

And though there may be a difference in emphasis and approach, the more I read the Pali Canon and Mahayana sutras, the more I see them agreeing in the core message of the Dharma/Dhamma. There may be subtle but deep differences I am overlooking at the stage in practice that I am at, however.

_/|\_


Hello Dan74,

One of things which bothered me the most in my days in traditions other than Theravada, was the fact that lay disciples nowadays and all through the past, tended to attribute full enlightenment to whichever teacher or member of the sangha they were following, or whose teachings resonated with them .... and, as time goes on, everyone seems to accept that so-and-so is enllightened because it has been 'said' ~ often different from the teachings of the Buddha.

So - for me - there is only one Sammasambuddha, and those who teach and explain what he taught are worth listening to ~ but those who "discover something he never taught because those around him at the time weren't bright enough to understand" - .... well ..... nuff said.

metta
Chris
_/|\_
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby Cafael Dust » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:07 am

Just to chime in, I don't care if there was a real Buddha or not either. Except out of historical interest.

But you probably guessed that.

The only issue for me is when people are considered enlightened through lineage, then they blurt out something stupid and people have so much misplaced respect for the institutions they represent (which are empty) that they listen. That's one reason I think why Theravadans centre on the Pali Canon, because most of it is very good indeed, and can be confirmed through experience. I think Retro said before 'it's a complete path'; so you don't actually need to worry too much about checking on other sources and who to listen to, because there's a wealth of information already available.
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:21 am

pink_trike wrote:
saltspring wrote:We are all still waiting for some names Pink Trike. Tilt provided you with a few names, could you at least provide us with a few? Hope the turkeys were a success.

Tilt is well aware of this debate and could probably pop those names in here in a skinny second.
As pointed out, the debate is old. It will be interesting to see what he comes up with. See Ven Paññāsikhara's msg concerning this and seanpdx's gentle comment.
I'm packing for a week retreat starting tomorrow. When I have time to wade into the books I''ll dig out some names. In the meantime, you and the others who are waiting with bated breath might take a minute or two to consider the actual issues I pointed at:

1. There is a debate.

2. The "facts" about the Buddha's life are sketchy and have in the past only been supported by the teachings.

3. A literal belief in the mythic Buddha is unsupportable.

4. Whether there was an actual buddha (mythic or generic) or not is irrelevant to the mission that the Dharma presents to us.

It will be interesting. Pink gets back on the 4th of Jan, so we shall see what he can dig up.
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: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby Dan74 » Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:35 am

Cafael wrote:I think Retro said before 'it's a complete path'; so you don't actually need to worry too much about checking on other sources and who to listen to, because there's a wealth of information already available.


No worries! :smile:

Yet even in something as simple (relatively speaking) as calculus (which I've taught), there are many textbooks and many approaches to the subject. Most of them are "complete paths" to introductory calculus, but one student may pick up one and after reading be none the wiser and another book may clear it all up. Still in most cases a good instructor can make a lot of difference!

How much more so with Dhamma/Dharma!

So while there may well be nothing lacking in the teachings themselves, they may simply not work for a given practitioner due to his/her kamma or not work as well as some other approach.

_/|\_
_/|\_
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:38 am

Seanpdx said:
Don't drag me into trike's fantasy world, thankyouverymuch.


My apologies for the misunderstanding. No harm, no foul.

I am a Pacific Northwesterner too, not far from Portland.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby seanpdx » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:18 am

pink_trike wrote:
seanpdx wrote: Don't drag me into trike's fantasy world, thankyouverymuch.

So...what fantasy world?


The fantasy world that includes the word "increasingly", and excludes any sort of citations. Heck, I'd assume that by this time you could've at least given us the _name_ of a scholar. I may not always be interested in quoting chapter/verse, but I can usually at least come up with a name. Doesn't take nearly as much time, but still offers others a lead to follow.

pink_trike wrote:
seanpdx wrote:If you want references to mysterious scholarly journals, talk to trike. I only reference the non-mysterious kind.

....but it was you who made reference to journals: :tongue:


Hey, I didn't say you had to answer. Just that you were the one to ask. ;)

pink_trike wrote:What I did say was:
Increasingly, scholars are unable to find any solid evidence of it.

increasingly less willing to accept "facts" put forth by institutional Buddhism regarding the Buddha's existence.

Solid. There is a shortage of solid evidence. The facts about the Buddha's life are clouded with debate. There is no solid scholarly ground there, imo. This is the basis of the ongoing debate - there would be no debate if there was sufficient solid evidence. To suggest that there is no skepticism regarding whether there was an actual Buddha is to have one's head firmly buried in faith-scented sands. Tilt seems to suggest that there is new research that provides this missing solidity...I'd be interested in reading it if it is neutral scholarship...if its faith-based "scholarship" I'll pass.


I was focusing more on the word "increasingly", and less on the word "solid".

pink_trike wrote:So...where exactly is this "fantasy world"? Does the word "increasingly" constitute a "fantasy world"? Only to the very touchy hyper-religious folks who are ever vigilant and defended against the always lurking danger of "attacks" on them, er...on the literal truth. :smile:


Actually, the word "increasingly" has nothing to do with being hyper-religious. It denotes a change. Nothing more.

pink_trike wrote:What I find most interesting about the whole debate are the people who are rock solidly convinced that the mythic Buddha actually existed. The more we know about oral tradition, especially from a cross-cultural standpoint, the more evident it is that the mythic Buddha formulates within the same patterns as countless other mythic personages - as do very many of the events and meta messages associated with this mythic figure. (The sectarian debate within Buddhism emerges because the mythic Buddha was constructed in various different ways in different cultures with different formulations of the meta message attributed to each culturally constructed mythic buddha.) The winds of scholarship are blowing strongly in this direction and sacred cows are dropping dead all over the place. No amount of walls built in the mind are going to stop this trend toward historical exposure. Religionists fear annihilation or nihilism can be only result of such deconstruction, but they fail to note that when walls are torn down the light permeates everything.


Who cares about the mythic Buddha? I'm only interested in the historical Buddha.
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Re: Why did you choose Theravada?

Postby seanpdx » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:25 am

Monkey Mind wrote:Seanpdx said:
Don't drag me into trike's fantasy world, thankyouverymuch.


My apologies for the misunderstanding. No harm, no foul.


No worries. I just don't want people assuming I don't/won't cite references. I neither share trike's opinion on this matter, nor have much interest in the topic. =D

Monkey Mind wrote:I am a Pacific Northwesterner too, not far from Portland.


Sweet! We can have a debate over coffee! Wait... that would require a disagreement first. Ah well, I'm sure we can come up with something. I disagree with a lot of people about a lot of stuff. =D
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