Forbidden Fruit: Frank Zappa vs. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Re: Forbidden Fruit: Frank Zappa vs. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Postby m0rl0ck » Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:00 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Any comments about this interpretation of the Dhamma?

:anjali:
Mike


I think he is giving the god botherers way too much credit for wisdom and subtlety. The take home message as far as im concerned about the garden of eden myth, is that an all knowing, all powerful, reputedly loving and merciful god, set a trap that he knew would be sprung by the fallible creatures he created and that as a result, eons of suffering would ensue.
Joshu was asked,
"When a man comes to you with nothing,
what would you say to him ?"
Joshu replied, "Throw it away!"
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Re: Forbidden Fruit: Frank Zappa vs. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Postby ancientbuddhism » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:04 pm

When Buddhadasa taught Dhamma he was more intent on impressing the meaning of it than some dogma it seemed to be couched in. He loved to extrapolate this past the surface meaning of dogma in metaphor.

Also, I really don’t think that the central aim of the creation passages in the Ḥumash was lost on him, or that he was trying to make some facile Buddhist/Christian comparison as Thích Nhất Hạnh has been known to make. I just think that he caught another meaning, a skillful means as it were, that we can come away with; one that communicates with our daily lives. Specifically in the OP is his reference to a spiritual death as making the assumption that the surface appearance of self and other (= duality) is real. This is a theme he has used often where paṭiccasamuppāda is discussed. For Buddhadasa this assumption bears both the symbolic birth of 'I am' and the symbolic death of liberating knowledge. With the use of metaphor he is sweeping past the mere doctrinal assumptions of Christian or Buddhist, to find a central meaning we can work with.
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: Forbidden Fruit: Frank Zappa vs. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Postby Aloka » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:59 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:I just think that he caught another meaning, a skillful means as it were, that we can come away with; one that communicates with our daily lives. Specifically in the OP is his reference to a spiritual death as making the assumption that the surface appearance of self and other (= duality) is real. This is a theme he has used often where paṭiccasamuppāda is discussed. For Buddhadasa this assumption bears both the symbolic birth of 'I am' and the symbolic death of liberating knowledge. With the use of metaphor he is sweeping past the mere doctrinal assumptions of Christian or Buddhist, to find a central meaning we can work with.


Yes, I agree with this, ancientbuddhism, - and I have found reading some of Buddhadasa's teachings to be very helpful in the past.
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Re: Forbidden Fruit: Frank Zappa vs. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Postby Spiny Norman » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:18 am

ancientbuddhism wrote: This is a theme he has used often where paṭiccasamuppāda is discussed. For Buddhadasa this assumption bears both the symbolic birth of 'I am' and the symbolic death of liberating knowledge. With the use of metaphor he is sweeping past the mere doctrinal assumptions of Christian or Buddhist, to find a central meaning we can work with.


For me the problem is that I don't find Buddhadasa's interpretation of paticcasamuppada convincing, and I find his attempt to translate this to the Genesis story even less convincing. I think there is a subtext to Genesis 3, but it's about loss of innocence, not the death of liberating knowledge ( whatever that means ). Sure, one can talk metaphorically about birth as a beginning and death as an ending, but I find Buddhadasas interpretation too convoluted to be convincing.

And while one can read more or less anything into a religious text, I think a good starting point is the application of Occams razor.
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Re: Forbidden Fruit: Frank Zappa vs. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Postby ancientbuddhism » Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:48 pm

porpoise wrote: For me the problem is that I don't find Buddhadasa's interpretation of paticcasamuppada convincing…


Buddhadasa does not communicate to everyone, this is why we have different teachers.

porpoise wrote:…and I find his attempt to translate this to the Genesis story even less convincing. I think there is a subtext to Genesis 3…


To be fair, he wasn’t presenting a theses either. His homiletic approach is rather evident.

porpoise wrote:… one can talk metaphorically about birth as a beginning and death as an ending, but I find Buddhadasas interpretation too convoluted to be convincing.

And while one can read more or less anything into a religious text, I think a good starting point is the application of Occams razor.


I don’t see where reading anything is going on here. Buddhadasa is discussing a rather common dynamic of Buddha-Dhamma where presumptive knowledge generates suffering and a ‘fate worse than death’ in the ‘faring on’ (saṃsāra) dynamic of dukkha.. To his purpose an Occam’s razor can be found in the Nikāyas:

    SN. 22.47 Samanupassanā suttaṃ

    Sāvatthiyaṃ:
    Ye hi keci bhikkhave, samaṇāvā brahmaṇā vā anekavihitaṃ attānaṃ samanupassamānā samanupassanti, sabbe te pañcupādānakkhandhe samanupassanti, etesaṃ vā aññataraṃ.

    Katame pañca?

    At Sāvatthi. “Monks, there are ascetics and Brahmins who hold the viewpoint of a ‘Self’, in various and particular ways, all of which pertain to the five-bases of conditionality subject to be identified with. Which five?”

    Idha bhikkhave, assutavā puthujjano ariyānaṃ adassāvī ariyadhammassa akovido ariyadhamme avinīto, sappurisānaṃ adassāvī sappurisadhammassa akovido sappurisadhamme avinīto, rūpaṃ attato samanupassati rūpavantaṃ vā attānaṃ attati vā rūpaṃ, rūpasmiṃ vā attānaṃ, …vedanaṃ attato samanupassati vedanāvantaṃ vā attānaṃ attati vā vedanaṃ,vedanasmiṃ vā attānaṃ, … saññaṃ attato samanupassati saññāvantaṃ vā attānaṃ attani vā saññaṃ saññasmiṃ vā attānaṃ, … saṅkhāre attato samanupassati saṅkharāvantaṃ vā attānaṃ attati vā saṅkhāraṃ,saṅkhārasmiṃ vā attānaṃ, … viññāṇaṃ attato samanupassati viññāṇavantaṃ vā attānaṃ attati vā viññāṇaṃ viññāṇasmiṃ vā attānaṃ.

    “Monks, there is an untaught-commoner who does not take notice of the Wise Ones, who is not trained in the Doctrines of the Wise Ones nor is he possessed of the wisdom of the Doctrines of the Wise Ones - who does not take notice of Refined Persons, who is not trained in the Doctrines of the Refined Persons nor is he possessed of the wisdom of the Doctrines of the Refined Persons, He is of the viewpoint that materiality is ‘Self’, or ‘Self’ possesses materiality, or materiality is in ‘Self’, or ‘Self’ is in materiality. He is of the viewpoint that sensations of feeling are ‘Self’, or ‘Self’ possesses sensations of feeling, or sensations of feeling are in ‘Self’, or ‘Self’ is in sensations of feeling. He is of the viewpoint that sense-awareness is ‘Self’, or ‘Self’ possesses sense-awareness, or sense-awareness is in ‘Self’, or ‘Self’ is in sense-awareness. He is of the viewpoint that volitional-cognition is ‘Self’, or ‘Self’ possesses volitional-cognition, or volitional-cognition is in ‘Self’, or ‘Self’ is in volitional-cognition. He is of the viewpoint that consciousness is ‘Self’, or ‘Self’ possesses consciousness, or consciousness is in ‘Self’, or ‘Self’ is in consciousness.

    Iti ayañceva samanupassanā asmīti cassa avigataṃ hoti. Asmīti kho pana bhikkhave avigate, pañcannaṃ indriyānaṃ avakkanti hoti: cakkhunadriyassa sotindriyassa ghānindriyassa jivhindriyassa kāyindriyassa. Atthi bhikkhave mano atthi dhammā, atthi avijjādhātu avijjāsamphassajena bhikkhave, vedayitena phuṭṭhassa assutavato puthujjanassa asmīti'pissa hoti, ayamahamasmīti'pissa hoti bhavissanti pi'ssa hoti, rūpī bhavissanti'pissa hoti, arūpī bhavissanti'pissa hoti. Saññī bhavissanti'pissa hoti, asañañī bhavissanti'pissa hoti. Nevasaññīnāsañañī bhavissanti'pissa hoti.

    Therefore because of these viewpoints this ‘I am’ has not vanished. Therefore, monks, because this ‘I am’ has not vanished, he is beset with these five characteristics; the eye characteristic, the ear characteristic, the nose characteristic, the tongue characteristic and the body characteristic. There exists, monks, the mind and there exists its phenomena. Where there exists the factor of ignorance, monks, born of ignorant contact, the untaught-commoner is influenced by sensations; thus it occurs to him ‘I am’, thus it occurs to him ‘I am this’, thus it occurs to him ‘I exist’, thus it occurs to him ‘I shall not exist’, thus it occurs to him ‘I shall be composed of materiality’, thus it occurs to him ‘I shall not be composed of materiality’, thus it occurs to him ‘I shall be composed of sense-awareness’, thus it occurs to him ‘I shall not be composed of sense-awareness’, thus it occurs to him ‘I shall consist of neither sense-awareness nor not of sense-awareness’.

    Tiṭṭhanti kho pana bhikkhave, tattheva pañcindriyāni, athettha sutavato ariyasāvakassa avijjā pahīyati, vijjā uppajjati, tassa avijjāvirāgā vijjuppādā asmīti'pissa na hoti. Ayamahamasmiti'pissa na hoti, bhavissanti'pissa na hoti, na bhavissanti'pissa na hoti, saññī bhavissanti'pissa na hoti, asaññī bhavissanti'pissa na hoti, nevasaññīnāsaññi bhavissanti'pissa na hotīti.

    Monks, the five characteristics exist right there, although for the learned noble disciple; ignorance has been abandoned and knowledge has arisen. Therefore with the fading away of ignorance and the arising of knowledge; thus it does not occur to him ‘I am’, thus it does not occur to him ‘I am this’, thus it does not occur to him ‘I exist’, thus it does not occur to him ‘I shall not exist’, thus it does not occur to him ‘I shall be composed of materiality’, thus it does not occur to him ‘I shall not be composed of materiality’, thus it does not occur to him ‘I shall be composed of sense-awareness’, thus it does not occur to him ‘I shall not be composed of sense-awareness’, thus it does not occur to him ‘I shall consist of neither sense-awareness nor not of sense-awareness’.

It is not so much a stretch really. With the birth of ignorance and 'I am' is the absence, or death, of what?
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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