The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:32 pm

alan wrote:Hi Dexing
Well now I guess you're going to have to show us where these ideas are implicit.
Take care not to slander! :smile:


Take for example the familiar Sabba Sutta- "The All".

"Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range."


So "the All" is the sense organs and their objects. We have already seen that these objects (color, sound, fragrance, etc..) are subjectively created by consciousness. Some would like to suggest however that what stimulates these conscious experiences are some external objects.

That however would "lie beyond range". There is no grounds for such a statement.

Now this doesn't explicitly state that "external objects" are unreal, illusory, non-existent, etc.. It is however stated implicitly here as this is explained to be "the All" and only lists subjective appearances.

Later (Mahayana) teachings then explicitly state this and explain it in very minute detail.

I have not found where Pali Suttas explicitly state the reality of any such phenomena. They are taken for granted in order to teach Dependent Origination, aimed at ending attachment to phenomena, but never explicitly affirmed. Rather it is implicitly denied. And later explicitly explained in Mahayana teachings.

My point in this thread is that to attain the Bodhisattva Path one must arrive at this insight. However, Theravada teachings only state it implicitly so that we don't fall into Nihilism without knowing the reality of the state of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. And since the fundamental ignorance and attachment of Ordinary Beings to phenomena is sooo strong and has been growing since time without beginning, it is not possible that one will come to this insight upon studying the Pali Suttas, until their accomplishment is more thorough and they are taught explicitly and can confirm it.

:namaste:
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:59 pm

Dexing wrote:And since the fundamental ignorance and attachment of Ordinary Beings to phenomena is sooo strong and has been growing since time without beginning, it is not possible that one will come to this insight upon studying the Pali Suttas, until their accomplishment is more thorough and they are taught explicitly and can confirm it.


Thank You Dexing,

That is an interesting opinion. I think insight is unlikely upon mere study regardless of the text in question. I wonder what exactly you wish to accomplish here.

Metta

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:10 am

Dexing wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Far better articles on Yogacara: What is and isn't Yogācāra and The Crux of the Yogåcåra Project


If you want to read something on Yogacara, best stick with the Yogacara texts or teachings in line with them, rather than reading Dan Lusthaus' personal imputations on the subject.
Lusthaus is a world class scholar whose work is highly regarded.
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: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:36 am

Dexing wrote:Because of individual karma, as well as collective karma as human beings.

Beings of each of the Six Paths share perceptions in their particular path. Such as Humans, Animals, Devas, etc.. They all perceive differently from path to path, but similarly or the same within their paths. Those who have very closely connected karmas experience the same or similar perceptions, although it is all due to their karma not external objects. It is the movement of their minds.


So you are saying that some people perceive the table as red, but call it blue, and some perceive is as green but call it blue, depending on their kammic seeds or which of the six paths they are on. Presumably only Bodhissatvas perceive what blue as blue then.

Sometimes one has to make up more nonsense to explain the old nonsense.

Dexing wrote:There is stimulus and something that caused them to perceive the same characteristics. That is karmic seeds.


You can believe that if you want to but I'm quite happy to assume that the table is the stimulus.

Nobody is saying that each individual doesn't perceive colour for example as a subjective process of conciousness, that's a given, what isn't a given is that there isn't something outside of that individuals conciousness stimulating that perception.

Dexing wrote:But Ordinary Beings do not perceive the flow of mind and working of karma, and so attach to the experience as real external reality.


Well, I musn't be an ordinary being as I'm quite capable of perceiving the flow of mind and working of karma in my own life, though doing so consistantly and completely is another thing entirely.
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:52 am

Goofaholix wrote:So you are saying that some people perceive the table as red, but call it blue, and some perceive is as green but call it blue, depending on their kammic seeds or which of the six paths they are on. Presumably only Bodhissatvas perceive what blue as blue then.


How on earth did you arrive at that conclusion? Rereading my own post I have no idea. Unless I misunderstood your original question.

You can believe that if you want to but I'm quite happy to assume that the table is the stimulus.


That's fine, but as I have seen Buddhism in any tradition would not support your assumption.

Well, I musn't be an ordinary being as I'm quite capable of perceiving the flow of mind and working of karma in my own life, though doing so consistantly and completely is another thing entirely.


On a very shallow level of course. But "completely" is what I was referring to. If one thoroughly perceived mind in such a way they would be an enlightened being, and would have put an end to it.

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:53 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Dexing wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Far better articles on Yogacara: What is and isn't Yogācāra and The Crux of the Yogåcåra Project


If you want to read something on Yogacara, best stick with the Yogacara texts or teachings in line with them, rather than reading Dan Lusthaus' personal imputations on the subject.
Lusthaus is a world class scholar whose work is highly regarded.


Herein lies the problem. Now you trust his word more than the Yogacara texts themselves.

Have you ever read the Yogacara texts, or is your knowledge of Yogacara mainly from Lusthaus?

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:56 am

Dexing wrote: [
Herein lies the problem. Now you trust his word more than the Yogacara texts themselves.
I'll trust his word far more than yours.

Have you ever read the Yogacara texts, or is your knowledge of Yogacara mainly from Lusthaus?
Yeah. Probably more than you have given that I have had access to unpublished translations made by scholars. Lusthaus' work is excellent and well reflects Vasubandhu and early Yogachara rather than the much later distortions of Yogachara that turn it into a philosophically indefensible idealism as you are presenting 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: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Dexing » Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:07 am

tiltbillings wrote:Probably more than you have given that I have had access to unpublished translations made by scholars.


:thinking:

rather than the much later distortions of Yogachara that turn it into a philosophically indefensible idealism as you are presenting it.


First, you have been misunderstanding what I'm presenting.
Second, you don't seem interested in discussing the topic.

I've been presenting points and backing them with scriptural references from both Mahayana and Theravada traditions to look at it more deeply.

Your attempt has not gone beyond; "you're wrong" and "this guy's right", accusing me of sect-bashing and playing "riddle me this" games. Oh and; "I'd be happy to show you that you're quite wrong about the Pali text, 'but first riddle me this'."

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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:12 am

Dexing wrote:How on earth did you arrive at that conclusion? Rereading my own post I have no idea. Unless I misunderstood your original question.


I asked the question “If the characteristics are created by mind, and 1,000,000 people perceive a table and 99% of them (excepting those who are colour blind) perceive it as blue, why is it that they perceive the same characteristic each with their own minds?”

Rereading your reply I see you are saying that humans perceive the table as blue because of their collective kamma as human beings whereas we can’t really say how animals or devas perceive it because they have a different collective kamma. I think it’s safe to say that animals perceive it, for example, as I’ve never seen my dog walk through a table, (though maybe he just walks around it when I’m looking just to humour my collective kamma), don’t know about devas though..

Anyway, this sounds more plausible than my original interpretation of it.

So to back the truck up a bit, hopefully I’m not oversimplifying things too much, my understanding of your position is that what is unique about a Bodhisattva from your point of view is that he/she has come to a realisation that everything is illusion.

The more usual Mahayana definition is that a Bodhisattva is someone who has postponed his/her enlightenment in order to save all sentient beings. I’m not sure if this is still in the mix from your point of view because of course if everything is an illusion then there are no sentient beings to save anyway. Come to think of it everything is an illusion there is no Bodhisattva to be to have such a realisation anyway, nothing that wakes up and realises it was all an illusion.
So what do we understand about illusion? A magic trick could be an illusion, a mirage in the desert could be an illusion, a tv show could be an illusion (in that it’s not really happening in my room), a dream could be an illusion.

One of the most obvious characteristics of all these things that people would normally call illusion are that they have an illusee, there is somebody or something that is illused.

So my question is that if everything is an illusion then who or what is the illusee?
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:31 am

Dexing wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Probably more than you have given that I have had access to unpublished translations made by scholars.
You doubt that?

I wrote:rather than the much later distortions of Yogachara that turn it into a philosophically indefensible idealism as you are presenting it.
A little history of Buddhist ideas might help.

First, you have been misunderstanding what I'm presenting.
Second, you don't seem interested in discussing the topic.
You are not discussing the topic; you are evangelizing. I have to repeat my questions to you and even then you do not fully address them, if you address them at all. As for understanding; if I do not, it likely has something to do with your poor ability to express your ideas, not to mention your missing the implications of the ideas you are expressing.

Your attempt has not gone beyond; "you're wrong" and "this guy's right", accusing me of sect-bashing and playing "riddle me this" games. Oh and; "I'd be happy to show you that you're quite wrong about the Pali text, 'but first riddle me this'."
[/quote]Before I respond in any detail to you, what I am trying to do is a straightforward, clear picture of your position, which seems to change as it is challenged, making your position look a little blurry.

You have had very knowledgeable individuals here point out serious issues with what you are presenting and you just blow them off.
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: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Hoo » Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:34 am

Has this thread turned into just a propaganda thread, an arguement about views?
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:36 am

Hoo wrote:Has this thread turned into just a propaganda thread, an arguement about views?

The introduction of an evangelical approach here makes actual discussion somewhat difficult.
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: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Hoo » Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:57 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Hoo wrote:Has this thread turned into just a propaganda thread, an arguement about views?

The introduction of an evangelical approach here makes actual discussion somewhat difficult.


Well said...in my military days I might have asked if the presented material is factual or counter-intelligence. It seems to fill up space without conveying much that's provable or that can be confirmed. Though the word "Theravada" is in the title, it seems to be just a statement of selected Mahayana beliefs, probably more suitable on the Dharma Wheel than here.

We just went through something else like that here, IMHO. Makes me wonder if someone has the forum targeted and is rolling in the resources as needed. I haven't been back long enough to see if that's true or not, but there's another forum that went through something like that - "experts" claiming to have superior beliefs/sources/proofs/etc. No one talks to them when they appear. Like all phenomena, they arise, they abide for a (silent) while and they pass away.
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby alan » Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:07 am

I must have missed the page where Dexing proves that color, sounds, fragrance, etc. are subjectively created.
It is exactly this type of concept which lies beyond range. That is why you are unable to explain, and attempts to get through to you put everyone to grief.
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby alan » Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:22 am

Hi Dexing. You've said you don't read books. Here is an excerpt from a book that is well worth reading, just in case you missed my earlier point. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.022.than.html
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:08 am

Dexing wrote:
First, you have been misunderstanding what I'm presenting.
Second, you don't seem interested in discussing the topic.

I've been presenting points and backing them with scriptural references from both Mahayana and Theravada traditions to look at it more deeply.

Your attempt has not gone beyond; "you're wrong" and "this guy's right", accusing me of sect-bashing and playing "riddle me this" games. Oh and; "I'd be happy to show you that you're quite wrong about the Pali text, 'but first riddle me this'."

:namaste:


The Buddha Teaching is not only about showing texts, it is mostly about understanding. Understanding of the texts can dramatically change as your experiences deepen.

So far, your texts have not supported your position because they don't address the key points to your statement (gag, I'm not going to repeat them again!) . What is required for a discussion is an investigation into the meaning of what is being said, and that is mainly what other people here have been asking from you without getting adequate, if at all, replies.

Why cares about the trivial ? I wonder whether you really want to go to the core !
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby dhamma follower » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:24 am

Before I respond in any detail to you, what I am trying to do is a straightforward, clear picture of your position, which seems to change as it is challenged, making your position look a little blurry.


Indeed, this is another issue
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Shonin » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:34 am

Dexing wrote:So "the All" is the sense organs and their objects. We have already seen that these objects (color, sound, fragrance, etc..) are subjectively created by consciousness. Some would like to suggest however that what stimulates these conscious experiences are some external objects.

That however would "lie beyond range". There is no grounds for such a statement.


The ontology of both 'exist' AND 'not exist' lie beyond range. 'Everything is an illusion' is a detour off the map. It's just a bunch of thinking.

Dexing wrote:Later (Mahayana) teachings then explicitly state this and explain it in very minute detail.


Those few teachings which do so are speculating about ontology which as you already said is 'beyond range'. It's a mistake.
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Re: The Bodhisattva Ideal in Theravada

Postby Ben » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:49 am

MODERATOR NOTE

After some consideration, I've decided to shut down this thread.
We seem to be going around in circles and any relationship to the original thread subject: 'the Bodhisattva ideal in Theravada' seems to have been lost long ago.
I'm happy to review the decision for closing this thread if members wish to contact me or my colleagues via pm.
kind regards

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