Thought-provoking new blog

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Thought-provoking new blog

Postby socratessmith » Fri May 13, 2011 8:49 pm

Lot's of interesting, thought-provoking posts for western Buddhists on this new blog, Speculative Non-Buddhism:
http://speculativenonbuddhism.wordpress.com/
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Re: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Fri May 13, 2011 10:38 pm

Sorry, but I'm an apodictically, non-interested Buddhist...I couldn't help myself, please forgive me... :tongue:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

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Re: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby daverupa » Fri May 13, 2011 11:19 pm

I've spoken with Tom Meissner, and on-line with all the founding members of that movement. Theirs is an interesting community; Nanavira's writings are pertinent to their interpretations.
    "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: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby ground » Sat May 14, 2011 12:31 am

There may be some trapped in conceivings of "[objective] evidence of the [real] truth of this [or that]".


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Re: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby alan » Sat May 14, 2011 2:12 am

Unbelievable! Comparing Nietzsche to the Buddha? I'm at a loss for words.
That page was disheartening.

I'm all for thought-provoking posts, but the only thought that first page provoked was a desire to get very far away from people who think like this--and to rejoice in the fact that I have a faith based on many hours of sutta study and properly applied thought.
Intelligent discourse is good; stepping outside of experience and analyzing thoughts in the way we see on this page seems like a dead end at best, and an ego-reinforcing trap at worse.
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Re: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby Ben » Sat May 14, 2011 2:21 am

Hi alan
I had a cursory glance at the blog and wasn't inspired.
I think I am a little like you - I get really put off by dry intellectual head-trips.
Suttamaya panna (knowledge from reading/hearing) and Cintamaya panna (knowledge from thinking) are good and useful but they need to be balanced with the panna derived from bhavana (practice).
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Re: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby socratessmith » Wed May 18, 2011 9:32 pm

What pious Buddhists Dhamma Wheel subscribers are! Peace...
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Re: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 18, 2011 9:54 pm

socratessmith wrote:What pious Buddhists Dhamma Wheel subscribers are! Peace...
socratessmith, You seem a bit put-out by the response here. Could you be a Speculative Non-Buddhism true believer?
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby BlackBird » Thu May 19, 2011 12:15 am

alan wrote:Unbelievable! Comparing Nietzsche to the Buddha? I'm at a loss for words.
That page was disheartening.


Are you refering to this post Alan:

This post presents Benjamin Elman’s views on the relationship between the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) and Buddhism. Elman holds that a thorough understanding of Nietsche’s philosophy must attend closely to Buddhist teachings. He goes as far as to say that, “Buddhism lies at the center of any attempt to understand Nietzsche’s thought in its entirety.” Citing Guy Welbon, Elman suggests that we consider a direct correspondence between, for instance, eternal recurrence and samsara, and Zarathustra and the bodhisattva-ideal. In short, Elman holds that there “is sufficient evidence to indicate that Nietzsche’s presentations do witness Buddhist influences.”


If so I can find nothing terribly disheartening, just scholastic individuals attempting to understand one philosopher through the prism of what they believe to be Buddhism.

Let's be pragmatic guys and not let our emotional attachment to 'our Buddhism' cloud our reason.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'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: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 19, 2011 12:40 am

Greetings Blackbird,

I'm inclined to agree.

If I recall correctly, philosophy is derived from the Latin terms "philo" (knowledge) and "sophia" (love)... the love of knowledge. The Buddha wasn't radically different in this sense, except that knowledge he sought (and realised) was knowledge pertaining to the supra-mundane, as opposed to the mundane.

If such analysis enables those with a Western philosophical bent to see that the Buddha's teachings are not only logically consistent, but also to see that they can be personally liberative when applied, then surely this would be to their benefit.

:reading:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby BlackBird » Thu May 19, 2011 1:29 am

:goodpost:
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'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: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby socratessmith » Thu May 19, 2011 1:48 am

As far as I can understand it (and I am not certain that I do) the Speculative non-Buddhist blog is an attempt to critique Buddhism without rejecting it. Based on the posts so far, it seems to respect the Buddha's teachings by putting them in dialogue with western knowledge. That shouldn't be threatening to western Buddhists, should it? I like the question I saw there about the fact that whereas science and philosophy and biology, etc., change, Buddhism wants to stay the same. Ironic, isn't it--given anicca.
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Re: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby alan » Thu May 19, 2011 2:42 am

The page was disheartening because it advances the idea that the teachings need to be "improved", that there is something of value to be gained by speculation on totally irrelevant topics, and that scholastic essays attempting to show how western philosophical ideas demonstrate the validity of a secular take on Buddhism are somehow as worthy as serious Dhamma study and practice.
It's disheartening because it overvalues intellectualism and ignores the role of faith and noble goals.
In other words, it's a head trip. And that is disheartening.
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Re: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby BlackBird » Thu May 19, 2011 3:04 am

Well, you've read more of it than I have Alan so I'm sure you're more qualified to make a judgement in this instance. If what you say is an accurate depiction then I wholeheartedly agree. I'll have to find some time to give it the proper 'once over'.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'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: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby m0rl0ck » Thu May 19, 2011 3:11 am

socratessmith wrote:Lot's of interesting, thought-provoking posts for western Buddhists on this new blog, Speculative Non-Buddhism:
http://speculativenonbuddhism.wordpress.com/


Crap. Just attempts to redefine buddhism in terms of western philosophy, science or psychology. What buddhism has to offer precedes this, and attempts to redefine it in terms of something else rob it of value and meaning. Buddhism is a sharp instrument and the race seems to be on to turn into safety scissors, just another consumer accessory.
There is no comfort without pain; thus
we define salvation through suffering.
-- Cato
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Re: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby alan » Thu May 19, 2011 3:39 am

Can supra-mundane awareness be understood by reason? if so, where does it fall under the category of philosophy? I haven't found any.
If supra-mundane awareness is something other than what we can know by reason alone, where does it fall under the category of philosophy? Nowhere.
Assuming the Buddha's awakening was "supra-mundane", doesn't it follow that there are no categories that can describe it, and that any attempt to quantify it philosophically is just a useless waste of time?
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Re: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 19, 2011 4:32 am

Greetings Alan,
alan wrote:Can supra-mundane awareness be understood by reason? if so, where does it fall under the category of philosophy? I haven't found any.

The logic associated with the first 3 noble truths is pretty clear on the potentiality for it.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby BlackBird » Thu May 19, 2011 4:36 am

I wonder how this group of 'non-buddhists' would respond to Ven. Nyanavira's passage on Atakkavicara, seemingly they would have read it?

Sometimes translated as 'unattainable by reasoning' or 'not accessible to doubt'. But the Cartesian cogito ergo sum is also, in a sense, inaccessible to doubt; for I cannot doubt my existence without tacitly assuming it. This merely shows, however, that one cannot get beyond the cogito by doubting it. And the Dhamma is beyond the cogito. The cogito, then, can be reached by doubt—one doubts and doubts until one finds what one cannot doubt, what is inaccessible to doubt, namely the cogito. But the Dhamma cannot be reached in this way. Thus the Dhamma, though certainly inaccessible to doubt, is more than that; it is altogether beyond the sphere of doubt. The rationalist, however, does not even reach the inadequate cogito, or if he does reach it[a] he overshoots the mark (atidhāvati—Itivuttaka II,ii,12 <Iti. 43>); for he starts from the axiom that everything can be doubted (including, of course, the cogito). Cf. also Majjhima xi,2 <M.ii,232-3> & i,2 <M.i,8>.

Footnotes:
[a] When he is being professional, the rationalist will not allow that what is inaccessible to doubt is even intelligible, and he does not permit himself to consider the cogito; but in his unprofessional moments, when the personal problem becomes insistent, he exorcizes the cogito by supposing that it is a rational proposition, which enables him to doubt it, and then to deny it. 'Les positivistes ne font qu'exorciser le spectre de l'Absolu, qui reparaît cependant toujours et vient les troubler dans leur repos.' --- J. Grenier, op. cit., p. 44. ('The positivists do nothing but exorcize the spectre of the Absolute, which however always reappears and comes to trouble them in their sleep.') For Grenier, the Absolute is not (as with Bradley) the totality of experiences, but is to be reached at the very heart of personality by a thought transcending the relativity of all things, perceiving therein a void (pp. 100-1). Precisely—and what, ultimately, is this Absolute but avijjā, self-dependent and without first beginning? And what, therefore, does the Buddha teach but that this Absolute is not absolute, that it can be brought to an end?


But perhaps (through ignorance of their position) I am misinterpreting them.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'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: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby retrofuturist » Thu May 19, 2011 4:37 am

Greetings Jack,

Maybe you should ask them?

:ugeek:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Thought-provoking new blog

Postby alan » Thu May 19, 2011 4:58 am

The 4NT were not philosophical statements. They were an attempt to establish a basic framework, an understanding of how the teachings were to be perceived.
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