notself wrote:Let me reverse the question. Alan, why are you not practicing Theravada?
Cafael Dust wrote:The Lotus Sutra uses the forms and images associated with Buddhism e.g. lotus position, expedient means and so on, but I get the impression from what I've read of the sutra that the writer or writers doesn't actually understand what Buddha was talking about in the Pali scriptures, what lies beneath the archetypes of Buddhism. Because the sutra seems to be written in order to impress people with the vast scale and glitteriness of the imagery. But all that glitters...
alan wrote:Why did you choose Theravada?
Dan74 wrote:I guess people have already said this, but I will say it again - people tend to stick with a particular school of Buddhism because it works for them.
If you are hungry, you find a place to eat that looks OK and if when you eat there it is still OK, you return. Bad analogy, but with Dhamma/Dharma it is even more so, because "the food" gets better with time!
I"m curious...how long did you study the Lotus Sutra, the culture milieu that it came forth from, and the culture's unique use of language, written structure, mythology, allegory, and conceptual ritual? I'm guessing you've studied the Pali scriptures quite awhile to actually understand what the Buddha was talking about, and to know what lies beneath the archetypes (?) of Buddhism, and to know that the Lotus Sutra doesn't actually understand what the Buddha is talking about.
Have you read TEXT AS FATHER ?Cafael Dust wrote:
As I mention above, I've been a bit angry for years about the original message of the Buddha being distorted through the Mahayana, because the original message is so beautiful and it moves me to tears that people could discard it or deny it to others. That's where I'm coming from emotionally. It's that important to me because I understand what's being denied.
Paññāsikhara wrote:Looks like an interesting book.
(Three "l"s in the name, though i am amused.)Cafael Dust wrote:Titbillings: the first review of the text seems to echo my concerns about the Lotus Sutra. The book could be a good read, but as I said earlier, the battle itself can distract one from the goal.
Cafael Dust wrote::tongue:
You know, I've been reading your posts for some time at E-Sangha and I always mentally went 'Titbillings', because I thought it was funny. Busted.
I don't find the Pali Canon difficult.
Some of the others I classify in one of two ways; there are Buddhists texts, I won't name names, that are very metaphysical and difficult to understand, sometimes that's because the writers were being precise about something very specific and useful but difficult to define, and sometimes it's because their ideas are balanced in an ontological framework that no longer exists in the collective consciousness (I don't use that term in any psychic way) or was created to be obscure because the writer wanted recognition but didn't possess insight or depth of understanding. That's a polite way of putting it. Sorry, but I've been a critical reader all my life, and that's my interpretation of why some texts 'don't work' for me and many others.
Now some texts I do understand only too well, but not on their own terms. Some texts use various devices known to advertisers, other religions, propaganda machines etc etc. They employ loaded questions, poisonings of the well and other ad-hominem logical fallacies to attack their opponents - confusing since often their opponents have vanished into history, leaving us with unbalanced writing. They employ tautologies, what I will call 'appeals to grandiosity of imagery', Emperor's New Clothes arguments (only wise/brave/high quality people can understand this...), chain letter type threats e.g. 'spread this sutra and you will be enlightened very soon, disparage it and you will die!'... (...idiots. I hate chain letters), and, oddly for Buddhism, homunculus arguments, to support their own poorly defined ideas, or actually, usually not their ideas but their desire to increase support for their sectarian missions.
As I say, I'm not naming names; some of these texts are modern, some are archaic. The Pali Canon, on the other hand, while not perfect and containing occasionally dubious passages that seem off message (some of the comments on women, for instance), is clearly based on a highly intelligent and focussed person's attempt to create a foolproof and methodically explained guide to enlightenment, the text using techniques of repetition both as an oral tradition's mnemonic device and also a learning aid for the reader, who I think Buddha realised would find many ideas counter-intuitive and would require said ideas to be effectively reinforced.
Buddha tried to exhaustively detail the possibilities and questions arising from his ideas, while humbly recognising that he wasn't able to do this completely and asking us to investigate for ourselves, at the same time advising us not to get too attached to the myriad spurious trains of thought that may arise from them. He uses imagery as analogy, not for shock and awe effect, he dismantles the logical fallacies of others, of the mind, rather than introducing those of his own in support of his assertions. When reading the Pali Canon, I, who have never been particularly star struck or respectful of 'world honoured ones', find myself seeing Buddha as a person; not someone 'special' in any magical sense, but someone I both like and respect and am prepared to listen to.
That's what I read between the lines here.
I suppose what I mean is that Siddhartha comes through as a person, a very approachable one at that, warm and witty and quite beautiful in his affection for others, certainly not some horrible idealised razor's edge of perfection.
alan wrote:I was also not clear when I said "convert me, if you like that idea".
It was meant to create some momentum. I'm already converted; no Mahayana troll am I.
Cafael Dust wrote:Pink Trike:I"m curious...how long did you study the Lotus Sutra, the culture milieu that it came forth from, and the culture's unique use of language, written structure, mythology, allegory, and conceptual ritual? I'm guessing you've studied the Pali scriptures quite awhile to actually understand what the Buddha was talking about, and to know what lies beneath the archetypes (?) of Buddhism, and to know that the Lotus Sutra doesn't actually understand what the Buddha is talking about.
My words must have made you angry
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