retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Chownah,chownah wrote:I think your comment was meant to describe thoughts of western imperialism as being a journey into fantasy.
Actually, it was only meant to demonstrate that there is no single homogenized "Asian culture" we are dealing with. The small sample of three (and the difference in your thoughts on the subject vis-a-vis pilgrim & ven. Appicchato) was sufficient to show that. As I have said though, this is about Theravada Buddhism... and having it framed it as a supposed attack on "Asian culture" by "Western culture" is quite unfortunate, and is a complete red herring, as Daverupa pointed out above.
[My reply: Odd that you would expect that mention three attitudes expressed by westerners would "only" mean that there is no single Asian culture but I accept your explanation...I missed it first time around. Many Asians, and more specifically many Thai people are well aware of western imperealist tendencies which is expressed politically, economically, and socially. Thai people don't like foreigners trying to tell them how to run their lives; what to think and what to do; what to value and what to strive for. People are a product of their culture while following the path probably means that eventually culture must be overcome I don't think that many of us are ready yet to jettison our cultures.]In another recent topic - viewtopic.php?f=14&t=10445 - pilgrim anecdoctally observes a decline in the Theravada bhikkhu population in traditional Theravada countries over recent decades, so if Theravada Buddhism is facing a challenge in maintaining relevance in the face of modernity, then this is a relevant concern to Theravada Buddhists without anyone even mentioning the word "Western".
[My reply: I think that if Thais are worried by the decline in the number of monks then it is Thai people who will do whatever they think is necessary to correct this.....it is beyond my imagination to think that any foreign influence will play a significant part in this.....what doe people in the USofA think when Chinese diplomats confront the lack of personal freedom in the USofA?....scoff and scorn....even though people in the USofA fear to walk at night in public places because of the prevelance of violence.....good intentions receiveing scoff and scorn because of cultureal differences. Chinese diplomats will not have much influence on the development of personal freedom in the USofA and I doubt that Gombrich's approach will have much influence on the development of Thai Buddhism.]chownah wrote:You say what we have in common is our common Buddhist heritage. You are wrong. We do not have a common Buddhist heritage culture....it is shear fantasy to think that Buddhists throughout the world have a common Buddhist heritage culture....Buddists can't even agree on some of the most fundamental points of doctrine.....and clearly it all diverges from there....there is no common Buddhist heritage.
If all there is is refuge in the Triple Gem - then that is a start. If there is not even that, Theravada Buddhism may as well pack up and go home.
[My reply: Belief in the Triple Gem does not constitute a culture. I agree that most Theravadans have this one beilef in common....but my view is to say that this is a common Buddhist heritage culture is beyond reasonable extrapolation.}
Also, I want to note that it matters little to me personally what Gombrich says at these conferences. My practice is pretty much not depending on temple monks....I do my best to make my practice not dependent on anything in the world.