How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:26 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:
pink_trike wrote:You'll never hear the reverse coming out of a scientist's mouth.

... I will not bite... I will not bite...

Rolling your eyes and shrugging your shoulders is enough.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:40 am

pink_trike wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:The Dalai Lama, no less, has said that where Buddhist cosmology conflicts with science, Buddhist cosmology must give way.

Dalai Lama wrote:If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview.

You'll never hear the reverse coming out of a scientist's mouth.


Coming out of a scientist's mouth:

Stephen Jay Gould wrote:A set of ideas that cannot, in principle, be falsified is not science.

The entire creationist program includes little more than a rhetorical attempt to falsify evolution by presenting supposed contradictions among its supporters. Their brand of creationism, they claim, is "scientific" because it follows the Popperian model in trying to demolish evolution. Yet Popper's argument must apply in both directions. One does not become a scientist by the simple act of trying to falsify a rival and truly scientific system; one has to present an alternative system that also meets Popper's criterion — it too must be falsifiable in principle.

"Scientific creationism" is a self-contradictory, nonsense phrase precisely because it cannot be falsified. I can envision observations and experiments that would disprove any evolutionary theory I know, but I cannot imagine what potential data could lead creationists to abandon their beliefs.
http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/ ... heory.html
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby PeterB » Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:12 am

pink_trike wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:The Dalai Lama, no less, has said that where Buddhist cosmology conflicts with science, Buddhist cosmology must give way.

Dalai Lama wrote:If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview.

You'll never hear the reverse coming out of a scientist's mouth. :tongue:

Scientists "discover" things all the time that our premodern ancestors knew - heck, they "discover" things that my grandparents knew.

I know this is tangental to the point being made, but " no less" ? I am sure that Tenzing Gyatso is a good monk, a conscientious practitioner of his own tradition and all round spiffing chap, but why should a non Vajrayana Buddhist see his view on Cosmology, or indeed anything, no matter how incidentally agreeable, as definitive ?
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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:17 pm

PeterB wrote:
Kim O'Hara wrote:The Dalai Lama, no less, has said that where Buddhist cosmology conflicts with science, Buddhist cosmology must give way.

I know this is tangental to the point being made, but " no less" ? I am sure that Tenzing Gyatso is a good monk, a conscientious practitioner of his own tradition and all round spiffing chap, but why should a non Vajrayana Buddhist see his view on Cosmology, or indeed anything, no matter how incidentally agreeable, as definitive ?

Relax, Peter -
I didn't say it was definitive, but having such a 'good monk, a conscientious practitioner of his own tradition and all round spiffing chap' on my side does encourage me to think that my beliefs on the subject are not too wildly unreasonable.

:namaste:
Kim
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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby PeterB » Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:20 pm

I am quite relaxed thank you.
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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby alan » Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:51 pm

Haven't found any evidence of the Buddha claiming direct knowledge of this cosmology. Did he just use it as a way of relating to people who did believe it?
I understand that contradicting prevailing beliefs would stir up debate--perhaps he thought that would create too many problems?
Was this standard thought at the time, or distinctly Buddhist? Perhaps a later addition?

There is so much to admire in the teachings, but I guess the rational part of my brain still hesitates at full commitment when I encounter stuff like this.

Please help!
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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:36 am

Hi, Alan,
If you read earlier parts of the thread you will see my rational brain hesitating about some of this stuff, too. :smile:

I don't know much about when and where it all appears in the scriptures but my impression is that the basic 'geography' of the world is pretty much common to Brahminism and early Buddhism, i.e. the Buddha didn't introduce a completely new structure but accepted current thought. Later, I think (again, I'm no expert), Mahayana Buddhism, especially in its Tibetan branch, elaborated enormously on that.
You will have plenty of company if you mentally mark it 'doubtful but non-essential' and get on with the core practices.

:namaste:
Kim
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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:59 am

Kim O'Hara wrote: I don't know much about when and where it all appears in the scriptures but my impression is that the basic 'geography' of the world is pretty much common to Brahminism and early Buddhism, i.e. the Buddha didn't introduce a completely new structure but accepted current thought.

What one finds is that Buddha takes the "geography" of the Brahmins and reframes it, giving it a Buddhist point of view - that is conditioned and impermanent, without atman or an unchanging creator god. I do not think - or see any need to - take these things literally. I rather doubt they were meant to be taken so.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby alan » Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:56 pm

Ok, that is the best response I've heard; I'll take it. Reframe. I like that. Thanks.
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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby Laurens » Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:15 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:The Dalai Lama, no less, has said that where Buddhist cosmology conflicts with science, Buddhist cosmology must give way. That's good enough for me.


With the greatest respect to His Holiness, whilst I agree with that quote, I find it odd that he has banned the worship of a particular deity on the grounds of superstition - which has lead to its followers being subject to horrendous oppression, yet he publicly states that Buddhism should be up to date with modern science. I can see a condradiction there.

I don't mean to be disrespectful in posting this, but I also think that it is dangerous to place His Holiness beyond criticism.

Oh and no I do not work for the Chinese Government :spy:

:focus:
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby alan » Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:42 pm

Details, please.
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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby Laurens » Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:12 pm

alan wrote:Details, please.


Innocent, peaceful Buddhist practicioners whom have been worshipping the deity Dorje Shugden have been publicly named and shamed, their faces and names posted up in public places, they are harrassed and not allowed to enter certain shops, families become hated by their community, lives have been subjected to harrassment and suffering. This is because the Dalai Lama has publicly banned the worship of this deity, on the grounds that it causes any number evil things - On the grounds of completely unscientific superstition.

One the one hand the Dalai Lama claims that Buddhism should be up to date with modern science, yet on the other he is causing a huge amount of suffering for his own people in promoting this unfounded sectarianism.

I don't mean to disrespect the Dalai Lama, but I think many Buddhists, sadly even western Buddhists, are unwilling to see the faults in this, and they themselves often go along with this frankly ridiculous superstition. People are suffering because of some superstitious belief, we would instantly condemn such a thing if we saw it in another religion, but we don't wish to speak any ill of our own.

I don't hate the Dalai Lama, far from it, I have learned a lot from him, but I think for the good of his people, he should think about the sectarianism and oppression he has caused.

I don't think we should carry on this discussion here, feel free to PM more or start another topic, I don't want to clutter up this one too much.

I also ask that I be treated fairly for my opinions, I am not evil or against Buddhism, I am merely standing up for what I believe is an injustice.

Laurens
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

Carl Sagan
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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:42 pm

This is not a place for the Shugden business. Before condemning the Dalai Lama based upon Shugdenite points of view, one might want to read what the Dalai Lama actually said about it. There is plenty of stuff from both sides on the web that we do not need to rehash this very odd business, which has not bearing whatsoever for the Theravada.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby Laurens » Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:43 pm

tiltbillings wrote:This is not a place for the Shugden business. Before condemning the Dalai Lama based upon Shugdenite points of view, one might want to read what the Dalai Lama actually said about it. There is plenty of stuff from both sides on the web that we do not need to rehash this very odd business, which has not bearing whatsoever for the Theravada.


My apologies, feel free to remove the posts if needs be.
"For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:56 pm

Laurens wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:This is not a place for the Shugden business. Before condemning the Dalai Lama based upon Shugdenite points of view, one might want to read what the Dalai Lama actually said about it. There is plenty of stuff from both sides on the web that we do not need to rehash this very odd business, which has not bearing whatsoever for the Theravada.


My apologies, feel free to remove the posts if needs be.

Don't worry about it.
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.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: How does Buddhist cosmology relate to mundane experience?

Postby suanck » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:27 am

Hi all

I believe we should differentiate 2 general terms here:

(1) The Buddha's cosmology: ie the cosmology as mentioned in the suttas, in the Buddha's time. I believe this cosmology is shared by the Indians at that time, both Buddhists and non-Buddhists. The Buddha did not declare that He found any new concepts on the cosmology, but rather used the same understanding to teach the Dhamma.

(2) The Buddhist cosmology: ie the cosmology developed in several hundred years after the Buddha's pari-nibbana, based on the Buddha's cosmology as in (1). It contained more detailed description, mostly in later Commentaries. Most of the Buddhist texbooks written in our time are based on this cosmology.

Suan
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