REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

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

Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby danieLion » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:24 am

Ñāṇa wrote:No, it doesn't.

:zzz:
tiltbillings wrote:Please do not turn this thread into another "the great rebirth debate" Please pay attention to the OP.
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby danieLion » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:26 am

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. 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.

:soap:
:zzz:
tiltbillings wrote:Please do not turn this thread into another "the great rebirth debate" Please pay attention to the OP.
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby danieLion » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:27 am

mikenz66 wrote:
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:
Mike

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

Postby danieLion » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:28 am

Alex123 wrote:
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 danieLion » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:28 am

Alex123 wrote:
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.
http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2005 ... ion_a.html

:soap:
:zzz:
tiltbillings wrote:Please do not turn this thread into another "the great rebirth debate" Please pay attention to the OP.
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby daverupa » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:44 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:It essentially never crosses my mind.


And, if you meditate, you will exemplify the case of meditation that isn't related to rebirth and which yet has benefit. This goes directly to the OP's third point, iirc.
    "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 danieLion » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:29 am

Image

I have edited the OP and removed any mention of rebirth retroactively making all rebirth posts in this thread, including my own, :offtopic: . It was my mistake and this is my way of fixing it. If you don't like it, take it up with Ben.

Mike. I do not consider what I'm about to say "meta-discussion," but if you still want to challenge that, then I also request that Ben (or perhaps Retro) mediate our dispute, and that you do it via PMs. There's too much clutter in this thread all ready.

I ask that the moderators either remove or delete all the rebirth discussions in this thread. I prefer the former, as they are worthy of discussion in the appropriate context. This thread is not the appropriate context.

If for some strange reason in the future I decide I don't want to call myself a Buddhist anymore, I will cite the rebirth debacle of this thread as a principal reason. If this kind of bickering, soap-boxing, and myopic dogmatism are what being a Buddhist today devolves to, then I want nothing to do with it. I am ashamed of my own participation in and perpetuation of the rebirth elements of this thread. I have tried to think critically, honestly, and with integrity about the issue but have been stonewalled or otherwise obstructed by rabble-rousing, demagoguery, and dogmatic side-taking and drawing-of-lines-in-the-sand only to find my legitimate points (e.g., my question about how one would know if rebirth knowledge isn't just in inner, subjective vision produced by my own imagnination albeit primed by external cues) be almost entirely ignored. This turns me off immensely. Again, I am ashamed of my contributions--the bulk of which I have deleted---to such senseless and counterproductive discourse. To the extent that you contributed to the same, you, in my humble opinion, ought to be ashamed of yourselves too.
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:59 am

danieLion wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:
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:
Mike

:soap:
:zzz:
tiltbillings wrote:Please do not turn this thread into another "the great rebirth debate" Please pay attention to the OP.

:reading:
It appears you didn't understand my point, which was about Nibbana and Faith, and is therfore very much to the point.

:anjali:
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby danieLion » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:19 am

...delete...
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:56 am

danieLion wrote:If for some strange reason in the future I decide I don't want to call myself a Buddhist anymore, I will cite the rebirth debacle of this thread as a principal reason. If this kind of bickering, soap-boxing, and myopic dogmatism are what being a Buddhist today devolves to, then I want nothing to do with it. I am ashamed of my own participation in and perpetuation of the rebirth elements of this thread.

It is hardly soap-boxing or bickering to criticize movements in one's religious group that one finds detrimental. Despite your obvious admiration of epistemological anarchism, Discordianism, etc. Buddhism is still a system and it still has elements that cannot be taken away without great damage coming to the Dhamma. If you consider antipathy towards those who wish to remove basic doctrinal tenants from Buddhism to be "myopic dogmatism," I would respectfully encourage you to examine whether or not such grumpiness is really warranted.

Also, please refrain from quoting responses to your statements and simply posting a soap-box emoticon. It hardly helps further the discussion.
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 Sylvester » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:00 am

Daniel

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=16440#p234554

In the edited part, an argument for a gradation in the scheme of how nibbāna can be "known" by the non-ariyan, the trainee and the one beyond training. Hopefully, rebirth did not intrude into the argument...

:anjali:
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby danieLion » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:05 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
danieLion wrote:If for some strange reason in the future I decide I don't want to call myself a Buddhist anymore, I will cite the rebirth debacle of this thread as a principal reason. If this kind of bickering, soap-boxing, and myopic dogmatism are what being a Buddhist today devolves to, then I want nothing to do with it. I am ashamed of my own participation in and perpetuation of the rebirth elements of this thread.

It is hardly soap-boxing or bickering to criticize movements in one's religious group that one finds detrimental. Despite your obvious admiration of epistemological anarchism, Discordianism, etc. Buddhism is still a system and it still has elements that cannot be taken away without great damage coming to the Dhamma. If you consider antipathy towards those who wish to remove basic doctrinal tenants from Buddhism to be "myopic dogmatism," I would respectfully encourage you to examine whether or not such grumpiness is really warranted.

It's not grumpiness. It's assertiveness.
:jedi:
LonesomeYogurt wrote:Also, please refrain from quoting responses to your statements and simply posting a soap-box emoticon. It hardly helps further the discussion.

:soap:
:zzz:
:toilet:

You asking me to refrain from doing things in a thread I started is entirely inappropriate.

tiltbillings wrote:Please do not turn this thread into another "the great rebirth debate" Please pay attention to the OP.
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby danieLion » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:11 am

Sylvester wrote:Daniel

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=16440#p234554

In the edited part, an argument for a gradation in the scheme of how nibbāna can be "known" by the non-ariyan, the trainee and the one beyond training. Hopefully, rebirth did not intrude into the argument...

:anjali:

I'm grateful you pointed this out, but I am watching that thread too and while rebirth is not appropriate to the revised OP here it is to the OP there. So if I respond it will be there (I'm waiting Pesala's reply first befor I do though.).
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby Sylvester » Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:28 am

danieLion wrote:
Sylvester wrote:Daniel

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=16440#p234554

In the edited part, an argument for a gradation in the scheme of how nibbāna can be "known" by the non-ariyan, the trainee and the one beyond training. Hopefully, rebirth did not intrude into the argument...

:anjali:

I'm grateful you pointed this out, but I am watching that thread too and while rebirth is not appropriate to the revised OP here it is to the OP there. So if I respond it will be there (I'm waiting Pesala's reply first befor I do though.).



Well, if you find the 3-lives model of Dependant Origination too much for the discussion of stream-entry, or knowledge of nibbāna, or motivation to be a Buddhist, you could delve into the Abhidhammic model of DO on a per-citta basis, starting at section 248 onwards of the Paṭiccasamuppādavibhaṅgo.

:stirthepot:

(Sorry for the feeble attempt at humour...)
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby danieLion » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:48 pm

Sylvester wrote:
danieLion wrote:
Sylvester wrote:Daniel

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=16440#p234554

In the edited part, an argument for a gradation in the scheme of how nibbāna can be "known" by the non-ariyan, the trainee and the one beyond training. Hopefully, rebirth did not intrude into the argument...

:anjali:

I'm grateful you pointed this out, but I am watching that thread too and while rebirth is not appropriate to the revised OP here it is to the OP there. So if I respond it will be there (I'm waiting Pesala's reply first befor I do though.).



Well, if you find the 3-lives model of Dependant Origination too much for the discussion of stream-entry, or knowledge of nibbāna, or motivation to be a Buddhist, you could delve into the Abhidhammic model of DO on a per-citta basis, starting at section 248 onwards of the Paṭiccasamuppādavibhaṅgo.

:stirthepot:

(Sorry for the feeble attempt at humour...)

I wouldn't call it feeble; just over my head. Maybe clarify what your getting at so I can get the joke?
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby danieLion » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:30 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
danieLion wrote:If for some strange reason in the future I decide I don't want to call myself a Buddhist anymore, I will cite the rebirth debacle of this thread as a principal reason. If this kind of bickering, soap-boxing, and myopic dogmatism are what being a Buddhist today devolves to, then I want nothing to do with it. I am ashamed of my own participation in and perpetuation of the rebirth elements of this thread.

It is hardly soap-boxing or bickering to criticize movements in one's religious group that one finds detrimental. Despite your obvious admiration of epistemological anarchism, Discordianism, etc. Buddhism is still a system and it still has elements that cannot be taken away without great damage coming to the Dhamma. If you consider antipathy towards those who wish to remove basic doctrinal tenants from Buddhism to be "myopic dogmatism," I would respectfully encourage you to examine whether or not such grumpiness is really warranted....

As Thanissaro puts it, "When you define yourself, you limit yourself." Likewise, when others try to define you, they limit you too. My attitudes about epistemic matters are not necessarily or thoroughly "anarchistic" and while I find Discordianism entertaining, I do not always admire it. It comes with problems of its own (As Robert Anton Wilson pointed out when wrote of Kerry Thornley's--one of Discordianism's co-founders--increasing paranoia over the years). My "antipathy" is not against "those who wish to remove basic doctrinal tenants from Buddhism" for, as I've said, I find them ("secular Buddhists", "rebirth agnostics", etc...) to be generally pathetic. Implying I'm sympathetic to them definitionally limits me. My sympathy is with seeking truth (if truth there is to find), with honesty and integrity, which are not contrary to the "buddhadhamma," but in fact in line with it's spirit and purposes.
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:06 pm

danieLion wrote:My sympathy is with seeking truth (if truth there is to find), with honesty and integrity, which are not contrary to the "buddhadhamma," but in fact in line with it's spirit and purposes.

I don't doubt that for a second - and the lack of honesty and integrity one finds in the rebirth-denying communities is, I'm sure, a turn-off for both of us. I hope you don't think I'm lumping you in with them. I'm simply pointing out that there is a difference between a philosophy that can be challenged before accepting (like the Buddhadhamma) and a system that is amenable to piecemeal adoption. The Dhamma is ehipassiko, come and see - but it isn't pick and choose.
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 Mr Man » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:54 pm

From the Cula-viyuha Sutta Sn 4.12

"Dwelling on their own views, quarreling, different skilled people say: 'Whoever knows this, understands Dhamma. Whoever rejects this, is imperfect.'


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.4.12.than.html
Last edited by Mr Man on Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby danieLion » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:13 am

LonesomeYogurt wrote:
danieLion wrote:My sympathy is with seeking truth (if truth there is to find), with honesty and integrity, which are not contrary to the "buddhadhamma," but in fact in line with it's spirit and purposes.

I don't doubt that for a second - and the lack of honesty and integrity one finds in the rebirth-denying communities is, I'm sure, a turn-off for both of us. I hope you don't think I'm lumping you in with them. I'm simply pointing out that there is a difference between a philosophy that can be challenged before accepting (like the Buddhadhamma) and a system that is amenable to piecemeal adoption. The Dhamma is ehipassiko, come and see - but it isn't pick and choose.

Thanks. I didn't know if you were lumping me in with them, so thanks for clarifying. One of the things that annoys me about Stephen Batchelor is that he actually advocates cherry-picking based on the premise that we all do it (I heard him say it in a talk but can't remember which one). Cherry-picking is incompatible with seeking truth (if truth there is to find), honesty and integrity.
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Re: REAL Meditation: The Originalist Thesis

Postby danieLion » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:38 am

Mr Man wrote:From the Cula-viyuha Sutta Sn 4.12

"Dwelling on their own views, quarreling, different skilled people say: 'Whoever knows this, understands Dhamma. Whoever rejects this, is imperfect.'

Thanks Mr Man. The Sutta Nipata (I've studied most of this with Bhikkhu Bodhi's lectures online) is my favorite part of the Canon and the Atthaka Vagga (Anrea Fella did a series of lectures on it which I recommend) my favorite part of the Sutta Nipata. This whole Sutta is worth constant study and reflection, as is the preceding one.

I really like Thanissaro's footnotes on this passage from Sn 4.12, especially as they pertain to this thread:

"The truth is one,[1] there is no second about which a person who knows it would argue with one who knows. Contemplatives promote their various personal truths, that's why they don't say one thing & the same. "Apart from their perception there are no many various constant truths in the world.[2] Preconceiving conjecture with regard to views, they speak of a pair: true & false."

[1] "The truth is one": This statement should be kept in mind throughout the following verses, as it forms the background to the discussion of how people who preconceive their conjectures speak of the pair, true and false. The Buddha is not denying that there is such a thing as true and false. Rather, he is saying that all entrenched views, regardless of how true or false their content might be, when considered as events in a causal chain behave in line with the truth of conditioned phenomena as explained in the preceding discourse. If held to, they lead to conceit, conflict, and states of becoming. When they are viewed in this way — as events rather than as true or false depictions of other events (or as events rather than signs) — the tendency to hold to or become entrenched in them is diminished.

[2] On the role of perception in leading to conflicting views, see the preceding discourse.


It's also relevent to The Ball of Honey Sutta (Madhupindika Sutta) and this post by me and the subsequent discussion.

My master's degree is Conflict Resolution, so any suttas that address conflict are of special importance to me.
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