REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby danieLion » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:59 pm

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daverupa wrote:...Instead, appeal to a common human morality offers a much more fruitful beginning. Cause and effect with respect to wholesome & unwholesome states of body and mind dovetails well with this approach, and offers a practical experience of kamma prior to emphasizing ideation about it, avoiding two of the more knotty topics for newcomers.

Meditation further builds on this approach, per the gradual training - delightfully and joyfully free of worry about these things.

:heart:

Thanks Dave. For practical purposes, I'm inlcined to agree with this.

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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby danieLion » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:07 pm

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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby danieLion » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:54 pm

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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby daverupa » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:16 pm

danieLion wrote:our incredible capacity as humans to invent, concoct, fabricate, imagine, and more often than not delude ourselves into believing all kinds of things we have no way of testing the ultimate validity of.


Indeed; so you go on to ask about belief v. knowledge. The five things that can turn out in one of two ways, however, cover much of the same ground: "Conviction, liking, unbroken tradition, reasoning by analogy, & an agreement through pondering views", per MN 95.

For an example of something that can be known, as opposed to simply believed, especially in the context of views and whether something is imagined or not, we have the following:

DN 1 wrote:"When those recluses and brahmins who are speculators about the past, speculators about the future, speculators about the past and the future together, who hold settled views about the past and the future, assert on sixty-two grounds various conceptual theorems referring to the past and the future — that too is conditioned by contact. That they can experience that feeling without contact — such a case is impossible.


"Conditioned by contact" is directly observable, and I note that occasions of seeing with wisdom in the suttas turn out differently than the previous five approaches to learning. They have only dukkha and dukkhanirodha as learning targets, not conceptually satisfying explications of various issues such as past and future, and this ...targeted phenomenology?... avoids these five problems.

You can directly know your posture, for example, and it is on the basis of this kind of certain knowledge (i.e. personal knowledge, per SN 12.68) that meditation (satisampajanna, guarded senses, right effort, satipatthana, etc.) is undertaken.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby robertk » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:41 pm

the Buddha's teachings on the perceptual delusions of human cognition suggests that he'd agree with Nietzsche here. In this sense, belief in rebirth, whether through faith or knowledge, is not only ultimately a matter of personal choice, but also impossible to disentangle from our incredible capacity as humans to invent, concoct, fabricate, imagine, and more often than not delude ourselves into believing all kinds of things we have no way of testing the ultimate validity of.

from my perspective it seems far more fanciful to imagine that humans , for example, were merely a matter of pure chance. i try as much as possible to understand the materialist point of view but it seems so incredibly far-fetched thAT i really wonder how anyone could buy into it. :thinking:
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:51 pm

daverupa wrote:I don't think so; rebirth and metaphysical retribution is liable to drive away secular and materialist inquirers, in my experience.

And teaching that great effort is required for enlightenment is liable to drive away lazy inquirers, while I'm sure an emphasis on the Buddha's disdain for the Caste system is likely to drive away bigoted and ethnocentric inquirers. Hell, if we wanted to, we could stop emphasizing the unwholesomeness of violence or sexual misconduct in order to make Buddhism more attractive to the violent and promiscuous inquirer!

I'm not, of course, comparing materialism with racism or brutality; I'm simply pointing out that the best way to destroy the core integrity of any movement or philosophy is to worry too much about making it palatable. The question is not, "What can we take out of the Dhamma in order to make it more appealing to those who hold ideas in opposition to it," but instead, "What can we take out of the Dhamma that still leaves an effective vehicle for liberation?"

Buddhism is not a secular or materialist philosophy, so why are we surprised that an accurate portrayal of its teachings scares away secularists and materialists? In my opinion, many figures in Western Buddhism, most of them lay teachers as opposed to monastics, have been trying far, far too hard to neuter any and all elements of the Dhamma that might ever make anyone uncomfortable. In most popular Dha(r/m)ma books or lectures you'll hear today, there's no talk about rebirth, no talk about the horrible karmic consequences of violence or promiscuity or intoxication, no talk about real non-self, and no talk about anything that could be considered even vaguely offensive to the secular or New Age tastes of those in attendance. Instead, the emphasis is on "interconnectedness" and self-affirmation. And I'm sure it gets more people to show up and even maybe more people to spend some time on the cushion. But in the end, we're not doing anyone any favors by taking out the parts of the Dhamma that challenge our unwholesome ways or refuse to give us easy comfort.

A monk I spoke to once said that truth and happiness were buried treasures, and unless one was focused on one particular spot to dig, he or she wouldn't get anywhere. "Spiritual tourism," he said, was like digging a few holes around the spot and hoping their depths all add up to one very deep hole, while this neutered, New Age spirituality was like digging one small hole and then convincing yourself you found the treasure when the ground starts getting hard. He cautioned that while the former leads just to disappointment, the latter is even more dangerous; while the former goes away frustrated, the latter rushes out to start writing checks based on the cash they think they have! This is the danger of making the Dhamma palatable at the expense of its core message: It creates a web of self-affirmation and comfort that tricks people, a warm and fuzzy blanket that won't hold up against the cold winds of reality. If we have real compassion and real concern for propagating that Dhamma that we most revere, we won't just take out the parts that are real bummers for those who aren't interested, any more than a biology professor would see his lab volunteers dwindling and say, "Well, I guess it's time to stop asking that my students accept evolution."

I'm sorry if this seems like a tangent or a rant, but I think it relates to the core issue of how we can balance the core truths of the Dhamma, even when they are diametrically opposed to modern American sensibilities, with an approach that is gentle enough to get the truth out to people without scaring them away - and this entire discussion about the importance of rebirth for modern practitioners is at the heart of such a struggle. I don't claim to know the answer, mind you, but I have no problem saying that too many of us have gone too far in one direction at the expense of the Buddha's noble dispensation.

Just my thoughts.
:anjali:
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby daverupa » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:21 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:worry... about making it palatable... neuter any and all elements of the Dhamma that might ever make anyone uncomfortable... we're not doing anyone any favors by taking out the parts of the Dhamma that challenge our unwholesome ways or refuse to give us easy comfort... a web of self-affirmation and comfort that tricks people, a warm and fuzzy blanket that won't hold up against the cold winds of reality.


This does all look problematic. Not worrying about rebirth, however, doesn't run afoul of any of this. Arguing for or against, now what is that but agitation with contact as condition?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:25 pm

Great summary LY!

:anjali:
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby daverupa » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:43 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:
The Pataliya sutta: Samyutta 42.13


This sutta demonstrates...


Well, checking Section III, I note that the vaunted right view with effluents (brought up by the headman but not labelled as such) is set aside as one of four perplexing claims, and it is this perplexity which is discussed in my signature, to be overcome without reference to kamma or rebirth. Therefore, this bhavana happens in the absence of any talk of rebirth, as stated.

This headman had confidence in the Buddha, and still the Buddha did not teach one of the four ethical views listed therein. He taught, instead, kammapatha and the brahmaviharas, and showed how joy as a factor of awakening could be generated in the absence of speculation.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:47 pm

Please do not turn this thread into another "the great rebirth debate" Please pay attention to the OP.
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.

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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby Nyana » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:07 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:This is the danger of making the Dhamma palatable at the expense of its core message: It creates a web of self-affirmation and comfort that tricks people, a warm and fuzzy blanket that won't hold up against the cold winds of reality. If we have real compassion and real concern for propagating that Dhamma that we most revere, we won't just take out the parts that are real bummers for those who aren't interested, any more than a biology professor would see his lab volunteers dwindling and say, "Well, I guess it's time to stop asking that my students accept evolution."

Indeed. These issues of rebirth, kamma, and merit (puñña) are also connected to the relevance and sustainability of the Buddhadhamma in general, and the monastic saṅgha in particular. For example, if one were to reject the teachings on these issues, then what is the point of retaining and transmitting the Pāli Tipiṭaka? What is the purpose for entering the monastic path of renunciation and transmitting the pāṭimokkha? And what are the ethical motivations of the laity to provide for the material needs of monastic renunciates?
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby Nyana » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:08 pm

daverupa wrote:Therefore, this bhavana happens in the absence of any talk of rebirth, as stated.

No, it doesn't.
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:15 pm

daverupa wrote:This does all look problematic. Not worrying about rebirth, however, doesn't run afoul of any of this.

The only reason rebirth is a question at all in American Buddhism is because it runs afoul of our precious materialist/secularist American religion. The fact that most converts to Buddhism are those who are burned out by traditional Western religious thought only compounds the problem. Rebirth is, was, and has been a pillar of Buddhist thought since Gotama himself, and it is only now that the Dhamma has come to the West that the concept of rebirth-free Buddhism is even entertained.

So let's be clear: I don't worry about rebirth. It essentially never crosses my mind. More importantly, I don't care if others don't worry about rebirth. I don't think the Buddha encouraged us to worry or fret or obsess over anything, especially questions like transmigration or karma.

But let's also be clear here: The vast majority of secularists or materialists who are interested in Buddhism are doing more than "not worrying about rebirth." They're actively attempting to get rid of it. They're actively attempting to take the Buddha's Dhamma and fit it into the mold of their materialist, secularist culture, casting off anything that might challenge such a worldview. It has nothing to do with actual Buddhist doctrine. It's a fundamental assumption of annihilationism which guides a frantic scouring of the Tipitika for any verse that may allow their views to go unchallenged. Even organizations like the Secular Buddhist Association are clear that aversion to rebirth comes not from any particular Buddhist understanding but instead from the prevailing evidentialist, materialist model through which they view Buddhism. It's Buddhism on their own terms, Buddhist Secularism far more than secular Buddhism.

I have no problem, again, with those who are honest enough to voice their personal doubts about rebirth, or those who claim to not know. I do both constantly. What bothers me immensely, however, is the growing number of individuals who, instead of humbly living with that agnosticism, boldly proclaim that anything their prior assumptions forbid must not only be rendered unimportant but actively cleansed from the spiritual system they otherwise find themselves drawn to - and we are kidding ourselves if we pretend that the vast majority of the "rebirth debate" in modern American Buddhism is not driven by the latter category.

JUST A NOTE: I find this discussion to relevant to the OP as it highlights the motivations and implications of "rebirth-free" Buddhism, which is part and parcel of the larger debate about rebirth's necessity for meditation practice. But if someone disagrees, please slap me on the wrist.

Ñāṇa wrote:Indeed. These issues of rebirth, kamma, and merit (puñña) are also connected to the relevance and sustainability of the Buddhadhamma in general, and the monastic saṅgha in particular. For example, if one were to reject the teachings on these issues, then what is the point of retaining and transmitting the Pāli Tipiṭaka? What is the purpose for entering the monastic path of renunciation and transmitting the pāṭimokkha? And what are the ethical motivations of the laity to provide for the material needs of monastic renunciates?

I think the lack of "secular Buddhists" who are interested at all in ordination is telling indeed. It's a shame; you don't even have to go far in such circles to find outright hostility towards monasticism.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:50 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:But let's also be clear here: The vast majority of secularists or materialists who are interested in Buddhism are doing more than "not worrying about rebirth." They're actively attempting to get rid of it. They're actively attempting to take the Buddha's Dhamma and fit it into the mold of their materialist, secularist culture, casting off anything that might challenge such a worldview. ...


Like LY, I don't "worry about rebirth", but I do worry that this secular process also appears to me (from observation) to lead to a devaluation of the entire Path. The whole idea that a total end to suffering is possible. I think that this is a key message in the post by Bhikkhu Pesala viewtopic.php?f=24&t=16391#p233677 that was quoted in the OP.

As I pointed out much earlier in this thread, I disagree with this OP assumption:
It also implies that some degree of BLIND FAITH is required to progress on The Path, something even the Buddha never demanded.

See:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=16405&start=20#p234002
To repeat the important point:
Those who have not known, seen, penetrated, realized, or attained it by means of discernment would have to take it on conviction in others
that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless,
has the Deathless as its goal & consummation;

As Sariputta says in that sutta (and the Buddha agrees) any of us who have not attained the deathless will have to take the Dhamma on conviction/faith.

:anjali:
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby Alex123 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:05 pm

robertk wrote:from my perspective it seems far more fanciful to imagine that humans , for example, were merely a matter of pure chance.


No. Humans did not appear due to pure chance. God made us! :tongue:

robertk wrote: i try as much as possible to understand the materialist point of view but it seems so incredibly far-fetched thAT i really wonder how anyone could buy into it. :thinking:


Which one is that? What you are saying is something that I didn't hear any "materialist" to teach.


I find the teaching on Kamma to be slightly more believable to the teaching that "God punishes or rewards us". In any case, kamma is belief. Good belief.
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby Alex123 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:13 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:The only reason rebirth is a question at all in American Buddhism is because it runs afoul of our precious materialist/secularist American religion.


To me, the issue of rebirth is of central importance. Without rebirth, we are all going to achieve parinibbana regardless of whether we meditate or not.

Rebirth is difficult to reconcile with direct experience and with current knowledge that we have.
I don't believe in remembering past lives being any solid proof because at least some cases have less mystical interpretation:

How can we be certain that these memories are of one own previous life rather than someone else? Even if they are accurate, they could be perceptions of someone else's life.

These memories prove rebirth as much as they prove Christianity. A Christian can say that "the kid was possessed by Satan who wanted to implant doubt into Christianity". Try to disprove that. :)

To me, belief in rebirth is as justifiable as Christian belief in resurrection... I do try my best to believe in rebirth. But I fail...

It is strange how an adult person has difficulty remembering one's own childhood (one's own brain was not fully developed then so it was not as good at storing memories) , and yet we find the idea about memories of past lives (before this brain was even born) to be credible... Yeh, right.

Reincarnation all over again

Last Thursday, ABC repeated its Primetime Thursday Special on Reincarnation, entitled “Back From the Dead”. This told the story of a little boy who appeared to be the reincarnation of an American World War II pilot shot down and killed by the Japanese. It seemed a pretty compelling story. From the ABC Primetime site:

From an early age, James would play with nothing else but planes, his parents say. But when he was 2, they said the planes their son loved began to give him regular nightmares.

"I'd wake him up and he'd be screaming," Andrea told "Primetime Live" co-anchor Chris Cuomo. She said when she asked her son what he was dreaming about, he would say, "Airplane crash on fire, little man can't get out."
Reality Check (sic)

Andrea says her mom was the first to suggest James was remembering a past life.

At first, Andrea says she was doubtful. James was only watching kids' shows, his parents say, and they weren't watching World War II documentaries or conversing about military history.

But as time went by, Andrea began to wonder what to believe. In one video of James at age 3, he goes over a plane as if he's doing a preflight check.

Another time, Andrea said, she bought him a toy plane, and pointed out what appeared to be a bomb on its underside. She says James corrected her, and told her it was a drop tank. "I'd never heard of a drop tank," she said. "I didn't know what a drop tank was."

(Snip)

Andrea says James told his father he flew a Corsair…

Looks pretty conclusive from the way it was presented on ABC, yes? Actually no. The TV company, looking for ratings rather than the truth, didn’t tell the full story. In particular, they missed this rather important piece of the timeline, as reported by the Pittsburgh Daily Courier:

At 18 months old, his father, Bruce Leininger, took James to the Kavanaugh Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas, where the toddler remained transfixed by World War II aircraft.

A few months later, the nightmares began.

(My bold. Note: this information came from the child’s mother.)

According to the ABC special, the child “was only watching kids' shows… and they weren't watching World War II documentaries or conversing about military history”. Really? Yet somehow they forgot to mention the WORLD WAR II AIR MUSEUM he had visited. Sheesh! Don’t you think that revealing this information might have made a slight difference to the story?

It gets worse:

Andrea's mother suggested she look into the work of counselor and therapist Carol Bowman, who believes that the dead sometimes can be reborn.

With guidance from Bowman, they began to encourage James to share his memories — and immediately, Andrea says, the nightmares started to become less frequent. James was also becoming more articulate about his apparent past, she said.

(My bold.)

I’d like to suggest a slightly different version of this story that is entirely consistent with the facts, but doesn’t require us to believe the extraordinary claim of reincarnation.

Corsair1 It starts when this child’s parents take him to a WWII air museum. Now, the article says this was the “Kavanaugh Flight Museum in Dallas”, but I presume it meant to say the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Dallas. And at this place they have on display a WWII Corsair (the plane James will later say he flew). According to the museum’s Corsair web page:

The famous gull-wing design of the F4U Corsair makes the plane one of the most distinctive fighters of World War II

This young boy, not unusually, is excited by the planes, and remembers the name of the distinctive Corsair he saw with the unusual gull-wing, plus many other details, including things his mother didn’t remember, such as these drop fuel tanks that are also displayed at the museum.

Naturally, this small boy was fascinated by warplanes and he remembered obscure details about them that his mother didn’t. Of course, he enjoyed showing off this knowledge to her, later.

However, although he was excited by the planes, the images of WWII battles also frightened him, and they soon began to give him nightmares about being trapped in a plane on fire.

This is when the real problem starts. The child’s grandmother, for no obvious rational reason I can think of, suggests he is remembering a past life. She brings in Carol Bowman (an author of several books on reincarnation), to “affirm” James' nightmares. (Bowman is said to have been influenced by Ian Stevenson – another reincarnation proponent who is known to ask leading questions of young children.) Bowman “encourages” James in his fantasies, also with leading questions. Unsurprisingly, the child cooperates in this fantasy building. After all, they’re telling him he was a real pilot.

The father then starts to research the story, obtaining and reading books on WWII fighter planes. While reading one of these books with his father, the child points to a picture of the distinctive Corsair he remembers from the museum and says, "that was my plane." At some point the child starts drawing pictures of planes, signing them "James 3" (his name is James).

During this time the parents buy him plane toys and read him plane books. From the TV program we know they bought him a toy plane big enough for him to sit in, and every shot showed him in pilot’s goggles or by a plane. Carol Bowman asked him leading questions and encouraged his fantasy at every turn. Being a young child, he loved making up fantasies of being a pilot, to go with the toys he had been given. But they were just stories.

Admittedly there appear to be a couple of inexplicable hits. First, the child said he flew off a boat. When asked the name of the boat he says "Natoma", and when asked the name of someone on the boat, he says "Jack Larson". While flipping through another book on WWII, James points at Iwo Jima and says that's where he got shot down. The father discovers there was a boat called the Natoma Bay, and finds there was only one Corsair pilot from this ship who was shot down at Iwo Jima, and his name was James M. Huston Jr. (So now they have an explanation of the "James 3" he keeps writing on his pictures, since "3rd" would come after "Jr.".) Also, John Larson turns out to be a real person who knew James M. Huston Jr.

But do these few apparent hits really need explaining? First, James is not an unusual name. Little James wrote his name on his pictures as most children would, but the “3” could mean anything (and we have no way of knowing if it was written before or after his father found out about James M. Huston Jr.).
Edited to add:

As pointed out by Tim in the comments below, James had just had his third birthday, so it is hardly surprising that he started to sign his pictures “James 3”; at least, we now have a prosaic explanation for “James 3”. And as another person commented, James the third should be written “James III” not “James 3”. In summary: "James 3" means nothing.

“Natoma” is the name of a ship he could no doubt have seen in one of his father’s books. But “Natoma” is not quite “Natoma Bay” - and did he say “Natoma” or just something similar? We’ll never know. Only “John Larson” can’t be explained easily. But even with this we really don’t know:

If James really said these words
If he was prompted
If he said it after his father had read the name to him, and the father’s timeline is confused
If he said something close that the father mis-remembered later when he read the name John Larson
How many other things the kid said over the course of four plus years that did not match up but that the parents have forgotten

Considering how his mother has apparently “forgotten” about the museum visit that started the whole thing off, I am disinclined to take either of James’ parents’ word for it that the child “remembered” these items exactly as claimed. This is hardly extraordinary evidence for such an extraordinary claim.

Paul Kurtz chairman of the Center for Inquiry and CSICOP, was briefly featured on the program saying he thinks the parents are self-deceived: “They're fascinated by the mysterious and they built up a fairy tale". Yes, that sounds quite possible. Following this, a TV company interested more in ratings than the truth makes a sensationalist program about it, conveniently forgetting to mention the museum trip that actually started the whole thing off. And so another legend is born, to be added to the literature that supposedly shows reincarnation really happens, to be repeated ad nauseam by believers. Yawn.

Edited to add:

According to this source, James Huston was shot down in a FM2 Wildcat, not a Corsair as little James “remembers”:

From July to September of 2000, James began to tell his parents that the plane in his nightmares was shot down by the Japanese after it had taken off from a ship on the water. When James was asked if he knew who the pilot was, he simply replied “James.”

Andrea asked James what type of plane he was flying in his dreams, and he said it was a “Corsair.”

(Snip)

After vigorously checking into the squadron’s aircraft action records, [James’ father] found out that Huston was shot down in a FM2 Wildcat fighter plane – not a Corsair.

(My emphasis.)

Which is the more prosaic explanation:

James Huston was shot down in a Wildcat, and would only have had traumatic memories of being shot down / unable to get out of his Wildcat, yet inexplicably his reincarnated soul remembers being shot down in the Corsair, or
Little James only remembered the distinctive Corsair from the museum, and so only made up stories about the Corsair?

I suggest that people insisting in option 1 above are unnecessarily choosing the less parsimonious explanation.
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby Mr Man » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:28 pm

I'd be interested to know how many firmly commited confirmed materialist/secularist there are in the US? Are we creating Buddhist bogeymen?
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby nibbuti » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:00 am

Ñāṇa wrote:Indeed. These issues of rebirth, kamma, and merit (puñña) are also connected to the relevance and sustainability of the Buddhadhamma in general, and the monastic saṅgha in particular. For example, if one were to reject the teachings on these issues, then what is the point of retaining and transmitting the Pāli Tipiṭaka? What is the purpose for entering the monastic path of renunciation and transmitting the pāṭimokkha? And what are the ethical motivations of the laity to provide for the material needs of monastic renunciates?

Not indeed.

The common person in the West has long before rejected views based on blind faith instead of knowledge.

So the sustainability of the Buddhadhamma and the monastic sangha (in the West) is not really endangered by 'rejecting' what has not been an issue in the first place. The sustainability of the Buddhadhamma and the monastic sangha is endangered by fostering blind faith for the sake of one's own material needs.

That is not the same as actual Buddha(awakened)Dhamma(truth) in practise(application).

Bhikkhus, be my heirs in Dhamma, not my heirs in material things. Out of compassion I have thought: 'How shall my disciples be my heirs in Dhamma and not in material things?'. If you are my heirs in material things, not my heirs in Dhamma, you will be reproached thus: 'The teacher's disciples live as his heirs in Dhamma, not his heirs in material things'; and I will be reproached: 'The teacher's disciples live as his heirs in Dhamma, not his heirs in material things.'

MN 3

:strawman: :zzz:
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby danieLion » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:23 am

Ñāṇa wrote:
LonesomeYogurt wrote:This is the danger of making the Dhamma palatable at the expense of its core message: It creates a web of self-affirmation and comfort that tricks people, a warm and fuzzy blanket that won't hold up against the cold winds of reality. If we have real compassion and real concern for propagating that Dhamma that we most revere, we won't just take out the parts that are real bummers for those who aren't interested, any more than a biology professor would see his lab volunteers dwindling and say, "Well, I guess it's time to stop asking that my students accept evolution."

Indeed. These issues of rebirth, kamma, and merit (puñña) are also connected to the relevance and sustainability of the Buddhadhamma in general, and the monastic saṅgha in particular. For example, if one were to reject the teachings on these issues, then what is the point of retaining and transmitting the Pāli Tipiṭaka? What is the purpose for entering the monastic path of renunciation and transmitting the pāṭimokkha? And what are the ethical motivations of the laity to provide for the material needs of monastic renunciates?

:soap:
:zzz:
tiltbillings wrote:Please do not turn this thread into another "the great rebirth debate" Please pay attention to the OP.
Last edited by danieLion on Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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