Dmytro wrote:However Kalama sutta is about ways of behaviour, not about Dhamma.
Dmytro wrote:As for the Dhamma and Vinaya, the Buddha gave a clear framework - "Four great references" described in Mahaparinibbana sutta. Using this framework, I compare the statements with Dhamma and Vnaya.
Which is a very respectable approach:
Dmytro wrote:Anabhinanditvā appaṭikkositvā tāni padabyañjanāni sādhukaṃ uggahetvā sutte osāretabbāni, vinaye sandassetabbāni.
Without approval and without scorn, but carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses and verify them by the Discipline.
However, under 'sutta', the Buddha obviously did not include the various texts which were not existing by then, such as commentaries etc. He obviously referred to the suttas only. I don't mean to say that commentaries and abhidhamma should be totally rejected, but they are not to be accepted simply because they are old and written in Pali.
Dmytro wrote:It's good to know that 'mindfulness' in its original use means basically the same as 'remembrance', so there's no contradiction between these words per se.
I think there is total agreement here, all the more that it sounds like a moderate point of view.
Dmytro wrote:'Remembrance' is just more exact.
But now, such an uncompromising point of view cannot withstand criticism. Which rendering is more exact has to be determined according to the context (even in the case where there is no substantial difference of meaning in the original language). Every translator knows this. Moreover, there are words whose meaning can be completely different (in the original language itself) according to the context, and there is no proof that it is not the case for sati
Dmytro wrote:'Remembrance' is just more exact. There's not a single passage in the Sutta where 'sati' would mean something else than remembrance, memory, and recollection.
That doesn't prove anything. In every sentence where the word 'car' occurs, you can replace it by 'vehicle', that doesn't mean that the latter is a more exact interpretation.
I can give a lot of examples where the difference in meaning is subtle so that it may not be noticed. For example, 'skyline' used to mean 'horizon', but now the meaning has shifted towards 'horizon delimited by skyscrapers', so that in every sentence where 'skyline' occurs you can interpret it as 'horizon', and you will still get a meaningful interpretation, but there is a loss of information in the process, and it would be easy to create an example where it would result in a complete misunderstanding.
It is very possible that the Buddha used a word that had a particular meaning in the popular language of his time (perhaps this role would be played by 'remembrance' qv. the definition of sati
in terms of carefulness and skills in memorization) and gave a new shade of meaning to it (that could be 'mindfulness' qv. the definition of samma-sati
). There are numerous cases where the Buddha did this. For example, he altered the meaning of yañña, which referred to the bloody brahmanic sacrifices, to give it the meaning of almsgiving, charity (qv for example PTSD's definition of the word).
other more recent and well recorded examples of such alteration in meanings:
is an interesting one; this isn't to say that it precisely means something completely different – it also meant "to value oneself" back then – but once upon a time it was largely a term of derision or disapproval, eg 'look at that arrogant prick; he's so full of self-esteem.'
Another one with interesting shadings is ideology
. Ideology is a term that dates from the time of the French revolution, when it was used by a minor philosopher (I think we might say pundit today) to describe his system of ideas; however, it was quickly taken up as an insult against him and a term of mocking, and people were thereafter often accused of being 'ideologues.' However, the term was really popularized by that miner of the French revolution, Karl Marx, who used 'ideology' frequently as a technical term in his system. To him, 'ideology' was a form of false consciousness; someone who subscribes to an ideology is someone who has taken on a worldview irrationally, simply because it was taught to him and he hasn't questioned it. Karl Marx never speaks of his own system as an 'ideology;' he believes that he is above ideology, and that his system is the truth. Whereas even many Marxists now use the term as a neutral term, and talk for example about how Marx differs 'ideologically' from Engels. I think that's a big change; the conviction that 'ideology' meant someone was being irrational and wrong has disappeared, and 'ideology' simply seems to mean 'set of ideas.'http://ask.metafilter.com/164524/Englis ... ed-meaning