Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby ground » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:48 am

Hanzze wrote:That is something you might should think about.

If there is belief in thinking, thinking being the home of consciousness, that advice presented by consciousness to itself may affirm consciousness' home.
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Hanzze » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:57 am

You can think about how it could be for eons, when ever you don't start to put the eightfold path as a whole into action, homelessness will just remain a thought, followed by the next, maintained from the last... That's maybe the idea of those who like to last till the end and such approach is good to maintain ground for it.
As long as we believe that our actions have no results, we will not be touched by victims and harm. It's called well conditioned ignorance of the ignorance.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby ground » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:18 am

Hanzze wrote:You can think about how it could be for eons, when ever you don't start to put the eightfold path as a whole into action, homelessness will just remain a thought, followed by the next, maintained from the last... That's maybe the idea of those who like to last till the end and such approach is good to maintain ground for it.
As long as we believe that our actions have no results, we will not be touched by victims and harm. It's called well conditioned ignorance of the ignorance.

No need to stress the religious aspects. The main portion of buddhism certainly appeals to consciousness' need of a home.
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:25 am

ground wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
ground wrote:From a psychological perspective devotion to (an imagined person, ghost or deity or god) may appear as an antidot to some sort of self-aggrandisation. No doubt that it may be helpful or even necessary for some.

Devotion to the Buddha, dhamma, & saṅgha has nothing to do with devotion to "an imagined person, ghost, or deity, or god."

This may be how you want to perceive it. From a pyschological perspective - and this I referred to - it may appear differently.

And this is the interesting point, isn't it? How best to understand the Dhamma? To what extent does analysis in terms of models from philosophy, psychology, and various other sciences, miss the points? Is faith just an expedient psychological technique that helps us to "engage with life", or is it an essential part of total liberation?

:anjali:
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Hanzze » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:52 am

ground wrote:
Hanzze wrote:You can think about how it could be for eons, when ever you don't start to put the eightfold path as a whole into action, homelessness will just remain a thought, followed by the next, maintained from the last... That's maybe the idea of those who like to last till the end and such approach is good to maintain ground for it.
As long as we believe that our actions have no results, we will not be touched by victims and harm. It's called well conditioned ignorance of the ignorance.

No need to stress the religious aspects. The main portion of buddhism certainly appeals to consciousness' need of a home.

The final, yes. Something that goes hand in hand. Rarely the homelessness of the consciousness is before all other homelessness. And it can not be, is not possible that there is a consciousnesses homelessness when someone still remains in a home still lives with taking what is not given, still has intention to switch on a switch.
The path given and explained by the Buddha does not start with the aim and if we have reached an aim that does not include its natural effects, we run around with sap wood. This sutta has its reason: Uninstructed

The path does not start with that, that is a branch not easy one would be able to reach and therefore not taught as it would give strange ideas for people not able to let go of unnecessary things.
It's a matter of patient and a matter of conviction that one rather changes the conditions step by step as to change the path (Dhamma) to the conditions one is found in. We know it from history, we know all the alternative ways, in cold countries, in a society that does not easy understand such ways... and it fits well to modern arrogance.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:05 am

danieLion wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
danieLion wrote:Re: The MEDITATION comments. While knowing Peacock thinks "meditation" is the worst translation of the practices the Buddha taught has some validity, you'll find him (and Batchelor) using the term all the time--not to mention, they both meditate frequently.

metta

Hi Danial,
do you care to explain this validity?

If you are thinking of the term Bhavana, do note that is not the term I bring up, or the term that should be translated as meditation (my mentioning was in responce to the claim that there is "no word for meditation", which is false)

Hi Cittasanto,

Did I claim there's "no word for meditation"? If I did, that was dumb of me because my Pali skills and knowledge of the Pali tradition are minimal. Peacock's averse to it because he thinks it alludes to Christian traditions. It seems like a personal problem of his to me (he hates the use of the word "enlightenment" too, saying, "That was a political movement is Europe.")

I thought you were saying their statement has some validity? (underlined in above quote).
I though the term was used because of the period called "the Enlightenmnet" where scientific advances... were happening quite fast?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Nyana » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:12 pm

ground wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
ground wrote:From a psychological perspective devotion to (an imagined person, ghost or deity or god) may appear as an antidot to some sort of self-aggrandisation. No doubt that it may be helpful or even necessary for some.

Devotion to the Buddha, dhamma, & saṅgha has nothing to do with devotion to "an imagined person, ghost, or deity, or god."

This may be how you want to perceive it. From a pyschological perspective - and this I referred to - it may appear differently.

I'd suggest that it's primarily about contemplative practice, respect, relationship, communication, and community.
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby ground » Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:12 pm

Hanzze wrote:And it can not be, is not possible ...

What thinks and writes this?
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby ground » Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:14 pm

ground wrote:
Ñāṇa wrote:
ground wrote:From a psychological perspective devotion to (an imagined person, ghost or deity or god) may appear as an antidot to some sort of self-aggrandisation. No doubt that it may be helpful or even necessary for some.

Devotion to the Buddha, dhamma, & saṅgha has nothing to do with devotion to "an imagined person, ghost, or deity, or god."

This may be how you want to perceive it. From a pyschological perspective - and this I referred to - it may appear differently.

mikenz66 wrote:And this is the interesting point, isn't it? How best to understand the Dhamma? To what extent does analysis in terms of models from philosophy, psychology, and various other sciences, miss the points? Is faith just an expedient psychological technique that helps us to "engage with life", or is it an essential part of total liberation?

:anjali:
Mike

Those inclined to religious thought will hold the latter to be true and mean "belief". Without mere faith that one can do something one will not undertake it.
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby gavesako » Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:56 pm

A skeptical/secular Western Buddhist writes about the idea of rebirth:

How Buddhist Rebirth Changes Over Time

ONE OF THE FACTS about the foundation texts of Buddhism that most people don't seem to have taken in is that rebirth is an idea with a history. The idea did not spring into being fully formed. ....
Rebirth is quite obviously an important part of Buddhism in the earliest records we have. The idea that rebirth is somehow in the background, or was added later, is insupportable based on current evidence. That rebirth no longer seems plausible is an entirely different proposition. And one that creates a dilemma that I have no wish to underplay. We have yet to really work out the implications of this news, though it is the news. Understanding that our doctrines have always been quite changeable and responsive to social change, seems to me to be an important factor in loosening our grip on traditional doctrines with a view to letting them go. Everything changes. Resisting changes causes suffering. The only way forward for Buddhism is, well, forward.

http://jayarava.blogspot.com/2012/06/ho ... -time.html



-> So according to Jayarava, the only way is "forward", but if personal continuation after death (rebirth) is now implausible/impossible -- presumably due to scientific progress that modern society has achieved -- there is nothing in the future to be looking forward to because one's personal experience only goes as far as physical death. In other words, there is no "forward" for the existing individual at all.
:shrug:
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:16 pm

I agree Bhante. And where does scientific evidence refute rebirth? I have not seen any such evidence. There may be no scientific evidence for rebirth, but neither is there for its negation.

(And for skeptics: yes I know the burden of proof is on the claim of rebirth, but that still does not negate the possibility.)
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:50 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:I agree Bhante. And where does scientific evidence refute rebirth? I have not seen any such evidence. There may be no scientific evidence for rebirth, but neither is there for its negation.


The evidence seems to point that brain is required cause for mental states. Even behaviour seems to be dependent on functioning of certain areas of the brain (ex: frontal and temporal lobes).

If certain part of the brain is damaged, certain mental functioning is damaged. If another part of the brain is damaged, another type of mental behavior or consciousness changes.

If frontal lobes are damaged, then one can have: concentration difficulties, mood swings, changes in personality and social behavior...
If parietal lobes are damaged, then one can have: loose the ability to name objects, count, and weaken visual perception...
If temporal lobes get damaged, then a person: can become very aggressive, change sexual interest, become religious...
If occipital lobes get damaged, then a person: can hallucinate, loose ability to read/write...
http://www.headinjury.com/brainmap.htm#map

If person drinks alcohol, then consciousness alters... This is very empiric, plain and common example.

Not only is the brain required for 5 sense consciousness, but it appears to be responsible for behavior as well.

And when the brain ceases.... All mental functioning does. So how can rebirth occur? What travels from one brain to another? How do two brains connect?
I believe in rebirth, but it is faith.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:18 pm

Alex123 wrote:Not only is the brain required for 5 sense consciousness, but it appears to be responsible for behavior as well.

And when the brain ceases.... All mental functioning does. So how can rebirth occur? What travels from one brain to another? How do two brains connect?
I believe in rebirth, but it is faith.

Hi Alex
correct me if I am wrong, but the body does have a form of electrical current also, a being is not just matter.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby nowheat » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:48 pm

gavesako wrote:So according to Jayarava, the only way is "forward", but if personal continuation after death (rebirth) is now implausible/impossible -- presumably due to scientific progress that modern society has achieved -- there is nothing in the future to be looking forward to because one's personal experience only goes as far as physical death. In other words, there is no "forward" for the existing individual at all.

There is no forward for "the existing individual at all" if there *is* rebirth -- surely that's what the Buddha taught.

:namaste:
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:12 pm

Alex123 wrote:Not only is the brain required for 5 sense consciousness, but it appears to be responsible for behavior as well.


Jelly fish have no brains http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jelly_fish#Nervous_system

Mike, was a headless chicken who performed in side-shows in the 1940s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_the_Headless_Chicken
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:20 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Not only is the brain required for 5 sense consciousness, but it appears to be responsible for behavior as well.

And when the brain ceases.... All mental functioning does. So how can rebirth occur? What travels from one brain to another? How do two brains connect?
I believe in rebirth, but it is faith.

Hi Alex
correct me if I am wrong, but the body does have a form of electrical current also, a being is not just matter.


Could be. But are you saying that this electrical current somehow can be transferred from two bodies?


Electricity is part of physicalism. Sure.
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Alex123 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:23 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Not only is the brain required for 5 sense consciousness, but it appears to be responsible for behavior as well.


Jelly fish have no brains http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jelly_fish#Nervous_system


And how much intelligence do they have? They do have "nerves" so rudimentary physical basis for basic consciousness is there.

"but employ a loose network of nerves, located in the epidermis, which is called a "nerve net". A jellyfish detects various stimuli including the touch of other animals via this nerve net, which then transmits impulses both throughout the nerve net and around a circular nerve ring, through the rhopalial lappet, located at the rim of the jellyfish body, to other nerve cells."
I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care."
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Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:34 pm

Alex123 wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Not only is the brain required for 5 sense consciousness, but it appears to be responsible for behavior as well.

And when the brain ceases.... All mental functioning does. So how can rebirth occur? What travels from one brain to another? How do two brains connect?
I believe in rebirth, but it is faith.

Hi Alex
correct me if I am wrong, but the body does have a form of electrical current also, a being is not just matter.


Could be. But are you saying that this electrical current somehow can be transferred from two bodies?


Electricity is part of physicalism. Sure.

I am not saying anything is or isn't so, but there is more to us than just organs and physical components.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:40 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
Alex123 wrote:Not only is the brain required for 5 sense consciousness, but it appears to be responsible for behavior as well.


Jelly fish have no brains http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jelly_fish#Nervous_system

Mike, was a headless chicken who performed in side-shows in the 1940s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_the_Headless_Chicken


don't forget this interesting case
http://www.mymultiplesclerosis.co.uk/mi ... brain.html
the Mysterious brain.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
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: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Viscid » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:27 pm

When people cite these examples of potential evidence to demonstrate that consciousness can function independent of the brain, it conveys a belief that there is something that isn't part of the material world pulling the strings of the marionette-- Which confuses me, because Buddhists traditionally try to discourage the belief in a soul, and yet that is exactly what you're proposing.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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