Faith-based against evidence-based

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Alex123
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Alex123 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:29 pm

chownah wrote:The only thing not based on faith is direct experience.


But doesn't the "direct experience" has to be interpreted to mean anything? The prism through which it is interpreted can be faith-based or based upon erroneous beliefs.

For example: we feel that earth stands still and we actually see that sun rises and sets. Our direct experience from the earth suggests that Earth doesn't move in space and that sun orbits the earth. Thus, more data is required to correctly interpret what one actually experiences. Unfortunately experience doesn't come with labels. We interpret it, and interpretation can be mistaken and/or incomplete.
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:52 pm

Alex123 wrote:For example: we feel that earth stands still and we actually see that sun rises and sets. Our direct experience from the earth suggests that Earth doesn't move in space and that sun orbits the earth. Thus, more data is required to correctly interpret what one actually experiences. Unfortunately experience doesn't come with labels. We interpret it, and interpretation can be mistaken and/or incomplete.


Err..
Not exactly
What we experience is that the Earth does not move in respect to us, which is true.
Whether Earth does move in respect to the Sun and fixed stars, this is a separate matter.
If is true that direct experience can be reinterpreted given direct evidence, but direct experience is the most reliable things we get.
My Zen Master uses to say that it is pointless to read books about beer, in order to know what beer is you have to drink it.
Same with Enlightenment, it is pointless to read books about Enlightenment, you have to experience it to know what it is about.

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Alex123 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:26 am

Matteo1972 wrote:What we experience is that the Earth does not move in respect to us, which is true.
Whether Earth does move in respect to the Sun and fixed stars, this is a separate matter.


My example shows that experience might not be total and complete and interpretation of it can be wrong.

Matteo1972 wrote:If is true that direct experience can be reinterpreted given direct evidence,


Direct experience to be meaningful needs to be interpreted, and interpretation is based upon one's beliefs.

Matteo1972 wrote:My Zen Master uses to say that it is pointless to read books about beer, in order to know what beer is you have to drink it.


You need to know what beer is for you to recognize it as such when you experience drinking it.
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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:10 am

I wonder if the zen master would say the same thing about sampling cyanide, or LSD, or any other number of poisinous and ruinous drugs.

"This drink has the potential to addict you and completely ruin your life as well as kill you, I suggest you try it to see if you're one of the ones that will become addicted!!"
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:12 am

Alex123 wrote:My example shows that experience might not be total and complete and interpretation of it can be wrong.


Yes, and you need to have another experience to prove that the first one is wrong

Alex123 wrote:Direct experience to be meaningful needs to be interpreted, and interpretation is based upon one's beliefs.


And the beliefs need to be made based on experience

Alex123 wrote:You need to know what beer is for you to recognize it as such when you experience drinking it.


If you called beer as "coffee" would this change its taste?

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:14 am

lyndon taylor wrote:I wonder if the zen master would say the same thing about sampling cyanide, or LSD, or any other number of poisinous and ruinous drugs.

"This drink has the potential to addict you and completely ruin your life as well as kill you, I suggest you try it to see if you're one of the ones that will become addicted!!"


Let` s just hope taht Enlightenment would taste better than cyanide

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Alex123 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:38 am

Matteo1972 wrote:Yes, and you need to have another experience to prove that the first one is wrong


And you might need a third experience to correct (or confirm) the 2nd... Ad infinitum.


Matteo1972 wrote:If you called beer as "coffee" would this change its taste?


If one doesn't know how these two (coffee & taste) taste, than they could be meaningless words that one manipulates.
"dust to dust...."

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:01 am

Alex123 wrote:And you might need a third experience to correct (or confirm) the 2nd... Ad infinitum.


Exactly

Alex123 wrote:If one doesn't know how these two (coffee & taste) taste, than they could be meaningless words that one manipulates.


Exactly.
Useless to talk about Enlightenment if we do not now how to experience

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby lyndon taylor » Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:23 am

Also useless to dream about enlightenment if we're not ready to take the many steps to get there..........
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:44 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:Also useless to dream about enlightenment if we're not ready to take the many steps to get there..........


Which steps?
Theravada, Mahayana, Hindu, Zen or anything else?
Rinzai Zen or Soto?
Nichiren?
If Theravada..
Thai Theravada?
Sri Lanka?
Forest tradition?
And under which master?
Is one Master a good one or is he not?
In this very forum one famous master was deemed as under delusion by some.
How if your master is deluded?
You spend ten years of your life and then found out you are on the wrong track..

How do you know before?

How many years you have to try to get sure that at least you are not wasting your time..

Etc. etc.

And one last question.. how do we know there is an Enlightenment and there is a Buddha, in first place ?

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Dan74 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:53 pm

Matteo, I doubt that this will satisfy you, but if you look around, listen to reputable teachers, read the suttas and the sutras, ask in Centres and Temples, it is easy to perceive a common thread, a core. This is why many great teachers don't worry about the divisions and labels you've mentioned and indeed hold close friendships and praise masters outside Buddhism, because there too much wisdom and compassion are to be found.

In any case, I really wonder if you were serious about taking a close look at your life, you couldn't find something useful you could do without worrying about these details. An attachment, greed, anger, hatred even, that are worth examining. A mind that knows no peace that is worth attending to. A real human need that is worth addressing with your whole heart.

We could run around endlessly trying to work out all the details, but rather than that, it is important to get started. A starving man should eat, rather than research the pros and cons of all the various cuisines!
_/|\_

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:26 pm

Dan74 wrote:Matteo, I doubt that this will satisfy you, but if you look around, listen to reputable teachers, read the suttas and the sutras, ask in Centres and Temples, it is easy to perceive a common thread, a core. This is why many great teachers don't worry about the divisions and labels you've mentioned and indeed hold close friendships and praise masters outside Buddhism, because there too much wisdom and compassion are to be found.

In any case, I really wonder if you were serious about taking a close look at your life, you couldn't find something useful you could do without worrying about these details. An attachment, greed, anger, hatred even, that are worth examining. A mind that knows no peace that is worth attending to. A real human need that is worth addressing with your whole heart.

We could run around endlessly trying to work out all the details, but rather than that, it is important to get started. A starving man should eat, rather than research the pros and cons of all the various cuisines!


I have already started ten years ago.
My current Master is very serious about Zen but eats meat, drinks wine and said that killing an human being is not necessarily bad.
In fact, he once said that wars are necessary
And he even said quite supporting things about Nazism..
Is he a good Master?
A bad Master?
I do not know, but apparently a lot of people get kensho with him.

As soon as I can I will go to Thai to speak with some learned monk there and I will see what they say.
But I have already spoke with one disciple of Ajahn Chan and we had long discussions which were meaningless to me.

He just exposed the usual concepts of Buddhism that you can find in every book but looked like he had no direct hand experience of anything

On the other side, most of the people I know pracitising Zen in Japan know probably nothing about the 8 noble truths and the eightfold path but have experienced some (limited) enlightenment or so they claim.
So, in order not to waste my time, I would like to be able to contact with learned monks that at least claim to have reached some stage of Enlightenment as I do not need to take 2 weeks time and go to Thailand to speak with a monk that just repeats to me what you can find in the Tipitaka, which I have read and looks not insightful to me

I am not in any way doing proselitism for Zen, just telling my experience
Last edited by Matteo1972 on Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby daverupa » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:27 pm

I wonder, Matteo: setting aside knowledge in terms of intellectual knowledge and so forth, do you think you are able to look at the way you experience living, in a basic way, and describe it? I mean, suppose there was another description of someone's basic experience, do you think you could compare your own experience to it and agree with a set of common terms, and at least call that a certain sort of working knowledge?

Let me explain. I'm going to describe a fact about the way I, personally, experience living. At any conscious moment, there is one or more of the following going on: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, proprioception, epidermal sensations, subdermal tactile sensations, & a wide range of mental events.

Now, I know this. Are you able to reflect, and compare your experience to this, and if so do you think we could refine it into a shape that we'd both agree on?
    "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: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:30 pm

daverupa wrote:I wonder, Matteo: setting aside knowledge in terms of intellectual knowledge and so forth, do you think you are able to look at the way you experience living, in a basic way, and describe it? I mean, suppose there was another description of someone's basic experience, do you think you could compare your own experience to it and agree with a set of common terms, and at least call that a certain sort of working knowledge?

Let me explain. I'm going to describe a fact about the way I, personally, experience living. At any conscious moment, there is one or more of the following going on: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, proprioception, epidermal sensations, subdermal tactile sensations, & a wide range of mental events.

Now, I know this. Are you able to reflect, and compare your experience to this, and if so do you think we could refine it into a shape that we'd both agree on?


"I was standing at the recessed window of cell No. 40 and with a piece of iron-spring that I had extracted from the wire mattress, was scratching mathematical formulae on the wall. Mathematics, in particular analytical geometry, had been the favorite hobby of my youth, neglected later on for many years. I was trying to remember how to derive the formula of the hyperbola, and was stumped; then I tried the ellipse and parabola, and to my delight succeeded. Next I went on to recall Euclid's proof that the number of primes is infinite...

Since I had become acquainted with Euclid's proof at school, it had always filled me with a deep satisfaction that was aesthetic rather than intellectual. Now, as I recalled the method and scratched the symbols on the wall, I felt the same enchantment.

And then, for the first time, I suddenly understood the reason for this enchantment: the scribbled symbols on the wall represented one of the rare cases where a meaningful and comprehensive statement about the infinite is arrived at by precise and finite means. The infinite is a mystical mass shrouded in a haze; and yet it was possible to gain some knowledge of it without losing oneself in treacly ambiguities. The significance of this swept over me like a wave. The wave had originated in an articulate verbal insight; but this evaporated at once, leaving in its wake only a wordless essence, a fragrance of eternity, a quiver of the arrow in the blue. I must have stood there for some minutes, entranced, with a wordless awareness that "this is perfect---perfect"; until I noticed some slight mental discomfort nagging at the back of my mind---some trivial circumstance that marred the perfection of the moment. Then I remembered the nature of that irrelevant annoyance: I was, of course, in prison and might be shot. But this was immediately answered by a feeling whose verbal translation would be: "So what? is that all? have you got nothing more serious to worry about?"---an answer so spontaneous, fresh and amused as if the intruding annoyance had been the loss of a collar-stud. Then I was floating on my back in a river of peace, under bridges of silence. It came from nowhere and flowed nowhere. Then there was no river and no I. The I had ceased to exist.

When I say "the I had ceased to exist," I refer to a concrete experience that is verbally as incommunicable as the feeling aroused by a piano concerto, yet just as real---only much more real. In fact, its primary mark is the sensation that this state is more real than any other one has experienced before---that for the first time the veil has fallen and one is in touch with "real reality," the hidden order of things, the X-ray texture of the world, normally obscured by layers of irrelevancy.
What distinguishes this type of experience from the emotional entrancements of music, landscapes or love is that the former has a definitely intellectual, or rather noumenal, content. It is meaningful, though not in verbal terms. Verbal transcriptions that come nearest to it are: the unity and interlocking of everything that exists, an interdependence like that of gravitational fields or communicating vessels. The "I" ceases to exist because it has, by a kind of mental osmosis, established communication with, and been dissolved in, the universal pool. It is the process of dissolution and limitless expansion which is sensed as the "oceanic feeling," as the draining of all tension, the absolute catharsis, the peace that passeth all understanding.
The coming-back to the lower order of reality I found to be gradual, like waking up from anaesthesia. There was the equation of the parabola scratched on the dirty wall, the iron bed and the iron table and the strip of blue Andalusian sky. But there was no unpleasant hangover as from other modes of intoxication. On the contrary: there remained a sustained and invigorating, serene and fear-dispelling after-effect that lasted for hours and days. It was as if a massive dose of vitamins had been injected into the veins. Or, to change the metaphor, I resumed my travels through my cell like an old car with its batteries freshly recharged.

Whether the experience had lasted for a few minutes or an hour, I never knew. In the beginning it occurred two or even three times a week, then the intervals became longer. It could never be voluntarily induced. After my liberation it recurred at even longer intervals, perhaps once or twice in a year. But by that time the groundwork for a change or personality was completed. I shall henceforth refer to these experiences as "the hours by the window."

http://www.bodysoulandspirit.net/mystic ... tler.shtml

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Dan74 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:38 pm

Matteo1972 wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Matteo, I doubt that this will satisfy you, but if you look around, listen to reputable teachers, read the suttas and the sutras, ask in Centres and Temples, it is easy to perceive a common thread, a core. This is why many great teachers don't worry about the divisions and labels you've mentioned and indeed hold close friendships and praise masters outside Buddhism, because there too much wisdom and compassion are to be found.

In any case, I really wonder if you were serious about taking a close look at your life, you couldn't find something useful you could do without worrying about these details. An attachment, greed, anger, hatred even, that are worth examining. A mind that knows no peace that is worth attending to. A real human need that is worth addressing with your whole heart.

We could run around endlessly trying to work out all the details, but rather than that, it is important to get started. A starving man should eat, rather than research the pros and cons of all the various cuisines!


I have already started ten years ago.
My current Master is very serious about Zen but eats meat, drinks wine and said that killing an human being is not necessarily bad.
In fact, he once said that wars are necessary
And he even said quite supporting things about Nazism..
Is he a good Master?
A bad Master?
I do not know, but apparently a lot of people get kensho with him.

As soon as I can I will go to Thai to speak with some learned monk there and I will see what they say.
But I have already spoke with one disciple of Ajahn Chan and we had long discussions which were meaningless to me.

He just exposed the usual concepts of Buddhism that you can find in every book but looked like he had no direct hand experience of anything

On the other side, most of the people I know pracitising Zen in Japan know probably nothing about the 8 noble truths and the eightfold path but have experienced some (limited) enlightenment or so they claim.
So, in order not to waste my time, I would like to be able to contact with learned monks that at least claim to have reached some stage of Enlightenment as I do not need to take 2 weeks time and go to Thailand to speak with a monk that just repeats to me what you can find in the Tipitaka, which I have read and looks not insightful to me

I am not in any way doing proselitism for Zen, just telling my experience


Matteo, I have no beef with Zen, seeing that I practice a Korean variety of it, but personally I would not study under a teacher who was positive about Nazism and condoned wars and killing. It's been said that Zen in Japan had been cut off from broader Buddhism and some lineages have lost their Mahayana roots and devolved into something else. Japan is not the only place this has happened and there are certainly excellent places to practice Zen Buddhism in Japan still.
_/|\_

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby daverupa » Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:04 pm

Matteo1972 wrote:...


Well, hmm.
    "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: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:50 pm

Dan74 wrote:Matteo, I have no beef with Zen, seeing that I practice a Korean variety of it, but personally I would not study under a teacher who was positive about Nazism and condoned wars and killing.


Why not?

(he did not only "condone" the slaughter of the Jews, he in fact said Hitler was right.
He is the head of a pretty big temple, though)

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:58 pm

Dan74 wrote:Matteo, I have no beef with Zen, seeing that I practice a Korean variety of it, but personally I would not study under a teacher who was positive about Nazism and condoned wars and killing.


Why not?

Added:
what is the issue with losing the roots if you can get to Enligthenment easily?
(assuming that you can)


(he did not only "condone" the slaughter of the Jews, he in fact said Hitler was right.
He is the head of a pretty big temple, though)[/quote]
Last edited by Matteo1972 on Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:26 pm

Matteo1972 wrote:
Dan74 wrote:Matteo, I have no beef with Zen, seeing that I practice a Korean variety of it, but personally I would not study under a teacher who was positive about Nazism and condoned wars and killing.

Why not?
(he did not only "condone" the slaughter of the Jews, he in fact said Hitler was right.
He is the head of a pretty big temple, though)


I don't believe this. What is the name of this so-called Zen master? What is the name of his temple?

Matteo1972 wrote:I am not in any way doing proselitism for Zen, just telling my experience


I never for a moment believed you were proselytizing for Zen. Zen still accepts a historical person, Buddha who attained enlightenment, which you obviously reject. You are proselytizing for something else, in my opinion.

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Re: Faith-based against evidence-based

Postby Matteo1972 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:18 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:I don't believe this. What is the name of this so-called Zen master? What is the name of his temple?


If you don` t believe, please feel free not to believe.

David N. Snyder wrote:I never for a moment believed you were proselytizing for Zen. Zen still accepts a historical person, Buddha who attained enlightenment, which you obviously reject. You are proselytizing for something else, in my opinion.


I never rejected that Buddha attained enlightenment, I just said that there is no evidence for it.
and I do not think I am proselytizing for anything :)


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