Unfair Criticism?

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Unfair Criticism?

Postby clw_uk » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:09 am

I was reading a book when i come across this quote


This combination of selective emphasis and conservative, narrow or simplistic interpretation has
made Theravada what it is. By highlighting different material from the Pali Tipitaka and
interpreting it in different but equally or perhaps in even more valid ways, one could have quite a
different type of Buddhism. And in fact this did happen. The Sravastavadians, Dharmaguptakas,
Sautantikas, the Abhayagirivasins, etc, were different schools with a different ‘feel’ despite basing
themselves on a Sutta and Vinaya Pitaka that were the same or substantially the same as the Pail
ones. Unfortunately, all these schools disappeared leaving Theravadians holding the field as the sole
‘orthodox’ interpreters of the Buddha’s teaching in its earliest form. Of course a Theravadin would
say that it is dangerous or unnecessary to interpret or elaborate on the Buddha’s words. But drawing
deeper or broader meanings from the Buddha’s words was being done even during his own lifetime.
See for example how Maha Kacchyana very creatively reinterpreted one of the Buddha’s sayings
from the Sutta Nipata (S.III,9). It seems that when it comes to something negative or theoretical
Theravadin are able to be remarkably creative. It is only with the practical, the positive or anything
outside the narrow orbit in which they have chosen to operate that they seem to be lost for words. It
should come as no surprise that in its two thousand year history Theravada has produced no great
religious thinkers – no Augustine, Aquinas or Erasmus, no Nagarjuna, Tsong Khapa or Dogen.


http://www.buddhistische-gesellschaft-b ... dhanew.pdf


Anyone else feel this is a bit unfair?
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Unfair Criticism?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:22 am

Hi Craig,

Here's an interesting post at BSWA:
http://www.bswa.org/modules/newbb/viewt ... 28&forum=7
camerata
Posted on: 2007/7/19 16:17 Re: Broken Buddha

It's kind of sad how this text is being passed around the Internet with people all saying how excellent it is and what a revelation it is. Maybe it's a revelation to cyber-Buddhists, but not to anyone living in a Buddhist country or who has done some reading.

The very essence of the Buddha's message was that suffering can be overcome by changing our mind rather than by trying to change the world. Yet here we have the author displaying the classic fault-finding mind, wanting the perfect doctrine, the perfect sangha, perfect teachers, perfect monasteries and perfect laity. Well, we all want perfect Buddhism but it isn't out there anywhere and to wish for it is futile.

This is why I admire the Forest Tradition so much. You don't hear Ajahns Sumedho, Thanissaro, Brahm, et al constantly pissing and moaning about things not being perfect. They just get on with the job of getting enlightened and teaching others how to do it.
...

Mike
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Re: Unfair Criticism?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:43 am

Greetings,

It would seem that the author prizes philosophy over liberation. I guess everyone's got their own priorities.

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: Unfair Criticism?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:14 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

It would seem that the author prizes philosophy over liberation. I guess everyone's got their own priorities.

Metta,
Retro. :)


I agree Retro, if it was't linked to someone I would of thought this quote was by a self proclaimed Monk idiot I know.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Unfair Criticism?

Postby thecap » Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:28 am

Hi friends.

I don't know if it's fair. But what about discernment?

Isn't it more interesting to know what part of it is true and what is mere polemics?

(Asking the fair question sort of implies that you think it can't be entirely false critique.)

Kind regards,
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Re: Unfair Criticism?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:05 am

Greetings thecap,

thecap wrote:Isn't it more interesting to know what part of it is true and what is mere polemics?


Once you see that someone's assumptions / priorities / beliefs are so disparative and irreconcilable with your own, you realise it is more profitable to spend one's limited time investigating other matters.

Once for example, I see a friend express an opinion regarding the greatness of Bob Dylan, I realise that their musical tastes are so wildly different to my own, that I have no need to seek his thoughts on the merits of the new Pet Shop Boys album, for example. :rofl:

thecap wrote:But what about discernment?


To me, that is the discernment... to know that investigation along such channels is of no benefit... that is not conducive to renunciation and enlightenment.

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: Unfair Criticism?

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:23 am

i went and read that whole article, and he makes a lot of valid points,however i think his solutions are somewhat absurd, and if not outright they at least border on wanting to cause a schism in the sangha... :thinking:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: Unfair Criticism?

Postby Ben » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:45 am

Hi Retro & all

retrofuturist wrote:Once for example, I see a friend express an opinion regarding the greatness of Bob Dylan, I realise that their musical tastes are so wildly different to my own, that I have no need to seek his thoughts on the merits of the new Pet Shop Boys album, for example. :rofl:


I assume you are talking about me. I will not apologise for having good taste.
Out of politeness and not wishing to make you cry, I have refrained from telling you what I think of the Petshop Boys.

However, when you said:

Once you see that someone's assumptions / priorities / beliefs are so disparative and irreconcilable with your own, you realise it is more profitable to spend one's limited time investigating other matters.


I couldn't agree more.

Kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
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: Unfair Criticism?

Postby nathan » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:15 am

Bob Dylan has the penthouse in the Tower of Song. Bob Rules! :jumping: :smile: :anjali:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Unfair Criticism?

Postby cooran » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:49 am

I'm a Bob Dylan fan also. :group:

He has 144 pages (and counting) on Wikipedia:

Songs by Bob Dylan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:S ... _Bob_Dylan

How many do PSB's have? :rofl:

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Unfair Criticism?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:05 am

Greetings Chris,
Chris wrote:How many do PSB's have?

I'm not sure, but I do know the PSB have more silly hats... which renders all other criteria irrelevant. :twothumbsup:

Image
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[img]http://pro.corbis.com/images/ZXX649937.jpg?size=67&uid={985F2375-AF1B-4D70-A8DA-C314078538E7}[/img]
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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: Unfair Criticism?

Postby Fede » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:40 am

(off-Topic, or what.....?! :bow: :clap: )
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: Unfair Criticism?

Postby cooran » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:42 am

Call those REAL MEN'S HATS?

These are REAL MEN'S HATS
:


Image

Image

Image

Image

And, of course, this is about Dhamma .... so ..... I'm really just showing how we are all subject to birth aging sickness and death. Not to mention impermanence ....

This was Bob Dylan as we first knew him .....


Image

Image

See what wearing hats does to you?? :shock:

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Unfair Criticism?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:47 am

The hat suits Bob... alternatively, with hair like that maybe he should have become a bhikkhu.

Pass the clippers...

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: Unfair Criticism?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:56 am

Chris wrote:See what wearing hats does to you?? :shock:

Turns you into Cate Blanchett and Richard Gere?
Image
Image
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Metta
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Re: Unfair Criticism?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:05 am

Image

Q: Are we not men? A: We are Devo!

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: Unfair Criticism?

Postby cooran » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:13 am

Good ones Mike and Retro! :jumping:

Should we have a funny hats thread for the last few posts???

:focus:

thecap wrote:Hi friends.

I don't know if it's fair. But what about discernment?

Isn't it more interesting to know what part of it is true and what is mere polemics?

(Asking the fair question sort of implies that you think it can't be entirely false critique.)

Kind regards,
thecap


thecap ... what do you mean by "discernment" ?
Do you mean:
paññā (Pali) which has been translated as "wisdom," "understanding," "discernment," "cognitive acuity," or "know-how?

or something else?

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: Unfair Criticism?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:58 am

retrofuturist wrote:[
Q: Are we not men? A: We are Devo!

Hey, I went to a Devo concert in about 1980 or 81. But it was The Clash and Ian Dury and the Blockheads who really kicked *ss.

May Joe and Ian have a good rebirth... :anjali:
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Re: Unfair Criticism?

Postby kc2dpt » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:47 pm

What about Men Without Hats?
(Pet Shop Buys are fun to listen to on occasion. Bob Dylan is as well.)
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: Unfair Criticism?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:46 pm

XTC
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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