SDC wrote: ↑Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:26 pm
Sorry for not keeping up with my own thread. Work got busy today.
I guess what I’m getting at is criteria for labeling (and I’m beyond Buddhadasa at this point). This question is for all: to what degree can someone or something be written off as wrong prior to that personal investigation? And based on what?
While a clear meaning is hard to come by as we get into certain finer points of the suttas, into interpretation, there are broad strokes that are absolute red flags. For instance, a writer doesn’t even need to get into the meaning of a term in order to alter its significance in a more general understanding. Like, if someone were to say, “Nibbana is impossible”, that alters what will always be an uncontested agreement as far as that general understanding is concerned. No one that is looking to describe the Dhamma would say something so extreme. No one who wants to be taken seriously would try to alter that general understanding of such a broad concept. Though understanding will eventually get to the point where that whole general framework is in place, but meaning of it begins to differ among those pursuing how it applies. The scholar will attempt to take accounts of experience in order to give meaning, but the practitioner will, with the scholar’s help, look within in order to see how things apply, how they stand.
So where is the line drawn and how definitive should one be when they broach the subject especially if they have not verified through their own experience?
(Typing from phone so can't keep things clean)
I find it funny how people criticize theory while at the same time get their information also theoretically (like zen books, buhadassa, etc.)
People aren't thinking at a meta level, or birds eye view, so they keep falling into logical traps.
So I will keep this response as meta-level as meta-level can be.
At the end of the day, your question has nothing to do with dhamma.
If a truth is so rare it can only be uncovered by one being once every "big bang" creation period let's say, doesn't matter if it's the theory of relativity, or the four noble truths, then whatever reference (in programming called a pointer) closer to it in time is closer to that truth and less dilluted by the decay of time (impermenence).
So if you don't believe in the suttas, you may as well give up Buddhism because then there's no Buddha, no awakened beings, no jhana, no nothing, just the mundane life.
You may place your bets in other religions but since they're also faith based and prone to the decay of time, you're faced with the exact same issues as Early Buddhism.
So if you're going to take up a faith, you need to go all in, 100%, test it out and either keep it whole package or discard it whole package. It doesn't mean you can't test it out in bits over time, but at some point you're going to have to make a decision, because if the faith has a final goal then being a "cafeteria" buddhist where you pick and choose is just going to waste your time.
Destroying the first 3 fetters means "Going all in" like in poker, all chips are on the table, there is no going back. You can't be on the fence.
You can test the theory out first through logic and process of elimination, but that method is limited and handicapped by your reasoning skills and intelligence levels, as many people constantly fall into logical traps over and over.
The second method is to follow the instructions word for word in the instructions manual, if you're constantly doubting the manual you're always going to start over, lose momentum, and then blame the manual or the interpretation instead of yourself.
I'm personally way past that stage, both on a logical level, and experiential level, the 3 fetters destroyed I can never believe in a mundane ritual (chanting, candles, etc..), a mundane lifestyle and view
The universe can be a simulation within a simulation, turtles all the way down, it took humans only 100 years to make virtual reality with AI that can replicate reality, therefore trying to figure out the universe is a complete waste of time, I just want OUT of this mundane existence and that exit means:
The only way to win, is to not play the game - stilling all fabrications, mental, verbal, and bodily.
The juice is simply not worth the squeeze, let someone else be a slave and be a vegan caring about empty simulations. You've existed for eternity, you've done all that sacrificing already, the only thing you haven't done is STOPPED being RESTLESS.
All you have to do is stop moving, from without and from within.