Buddhism: just another "truth"?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
form
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by form »

No doubt the concept of 4NT is perfect. It is not found any where else.

But the types of mystical stuff and styles to glorify the founder and teachings I have seen it with many other religions.
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Mkoll
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by Mkoll »

lostitude wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:52 pm Hello,

I’ve been having doubts lately about buddhist teachings, whether in written form or in talks given by monks. I feel that as soon as the topic discussed goes beyond the limits of "mundane" comprehension and goes on to describe things that mere mortals can only accept on faith, the dissonance between my perception of life and this Buddhist’s perception of life begs the question of whether I’m the one who’s deluded, or if he’s the one who’s gone crazy.

I can’t help but imagine the case of someone being presented with a square drawn on a piece of paper. He is told by someone trustworthy that no, this is not a square, this is actually a circle. If this person trains himself diligently for years and years and years to try and see the circle where all he can see at first is a square, will there not come a time when he will be sufficiently messed up to see a circle instead of a square?

What if Bhuddism actually had the same effect? Years of self-imposed conditioning until your perceptions finally align with the texts? And if you’re sane enough that your perceptions don’t really change, then you are told that "you’re not a very good Bhuddist or that your practice is flawed, or that you just have too much karma to gain any fruit from your practice?"

Thanks for your thoughts.
I repeatedly post the below response to these types of questions because it is an important issue and the below teaching is most useful, IMO.
MN 95, Canki Sutta wrote:“But, Master Gotama, in what way is there the preservation of truth? How does one preserve truth? We ask Master Gotama about the preservation of truth.”

“If a person has faith, Bhāradvāja, he preserves truth when he says: ‘My faith is thus’; but he does not yet come to the definite conclusion: ‘Only this is true, anything else is wrong.’ In this way, Bhāradvāja, there is the preservation of truth; in this way he preserves truth; in this way we describe the preservation of truth. But as yet there is no discovery of truth.

“If a person approves of something…if he receives an oral tradition…if he reaches a conclusion based on reasoned cogitation…if he gains a reflective acceptance of a view, he preserves truth when he says: ‘My reflective acceptance of a view is thus’; but he does not yet come to the definite conclusion: ‘Only this is true, anything else is wrong.’ In this way too, Bhāradvāja, there is the preservation of truth; in this way he preserves truth; in this way we describe the preservation of truth. But as yet there is no discovery of truth.”
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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robertk
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by robertk »

lostitude wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:52 pm Hello,

I’ve been having doubts lately about buddhist teachings, whether in written form or in talks given by monks. I feel that as soon as the topic discussed goes beyond the limits of "mundane" comprehension and goes on to describe things that mere mortals can only accept on faith, the dissonance between my perception of life and this Buddhist’s perception of life begs the question of whether I’m the one who’s deluded, or if he’s the one who’s gone crazy.

I can’t help but imagine the case of someone being presented with a square drawn on a piece of paper. He is told by someone trustworthy that no, this is not a square, this is actually a circle. If this person trains himself diligently for years and years and years to try and see the circle where all he can see at first is a square, will there not come a time when he will be sufficiently messed up to see a circle instead of a square?

What if Bhuddism actually had the same effect? Years of self-imposed conditioning until your perceptions finally align with the texts? And if you’re sane enough that your perceptions don’t really change, then you are told that "you’re not a very good Bhuddist or that your practice is flawed, or that you just have too much karma to gain any fruit from your practice?"

Thanks for your thoughts.
Great example and clearly put logic. We only have to look at the strange ideas, and strange religions that people have held throughout history and which show no signs of abating in the 21st century, to see how it applies. And of course the longer a view is held the more attachment to it grows.


I think a key for me to believing in the Orthodox theravada was learning from it about how lobha (attachment) and wrong view must arise together- and that if there is lobha there can never be right view at the same time. Then the focus goes to the present more to discern (if possible) when there is lobha present. The rest gradually follows - but of course much of what I like to think of as Saddha must be simply the type of attachment mentioned by lostitude.
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Sam Vara
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by Sam Vara »

robertk wrote: Mon Dec 07, 2020 12:35 pm I think a key for me to believing in the Orthodox theravada was learning from it about how lobha (attachment) and wrong view must arise together- and that if there is lobha there can never be right view at the same time. Then the focus goes to the present more to discern (if possible) when there is lobha present. The rest gradually follows - but of course much of what I like to think of as Saddha must be simply the type of attachment mentioned by lostitude.
Many thanks for that - it makes a lot of sense. Could you point us to a sutta, or a chunk of abhidhamma, which deals with that? :anjali: :heart:
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by robertk »

Thanks Sam Vara
Abhidhamma in Daily life, :https://www.saigon.com/anson/ebud/nina- ... bhi-04.htm
The eight types of lobha-mula-citta are:

1. Accompanied by pleasant feeling, with wrong view, unprompted. (Somanassa-sahagatam ditthigata -sampayuttam, asankharikam ekam)

2. Accompanied by pleasant feeling, with wrong view, prompted. (Somanassa-sahagatam, ditthigata -sampayuttam, sasankharikam ekam)

3. Accompanied by pleasant feeling, without wrong view, unprompted. (Somanassa-sahagatam, ditthigata-vippayuttam , asankharikam ekam )

4. Accompanied by pleasant feeling, without wrong view, prompted. (Somanassa-sahagatam, ditthigata -vippayuttam, sasankharikam ekam)

5. Accompanied by indifferent feeling, with wrong view, unprompted. (Upekkha-sahagatam, ditthigata -sampayuttam, asankharikam ekam)

6. Accompanied by indifferent feeling, with wrong view, prompted. (Upekkha-sahagatam, ditthigata -sampayuttam, sasankharikam ekam)

7. Accompanied by indifferent feeling, without wrong view, unprompted. (Upekkha-sahagatam, ditthigata -vippayuttam, asankharikam ekam)

8. Accompanied by indifferent feeling, without wrong view, prompted. (Upekkha-sahagatam, ditthigata -vippayuttam, sasankhhrikam ekam)

As we have seen, lobha-mula-cittas can be asankharika (unprompted) or sasankharika (prompted). The 'Atthasalini' 225 gives an example of lobha-mula-cittas, accompanied by ditthi, which are sasarikharika (prompted). A son of a noble family marries a woman who has wrong views and thus he associates with people who have wrong views. Gradually he accepts those wrong views and then they are pleasing to him.
So Lobha, attachment arises with or without wrong view. The type with wrong view is insidious and alluring - it always seems right because of the nature of lobha and because it arises with pleasant feeling or neutral feeling.

There is a sutta which I can't find right now, where a man asks the Buddha if there is a way to show the benefit of Dhamma right here and now. And the Buddha replies by taking the case of a monk who knows when he has lobha - and that this is one example of a benefit. It seems rather mundane but it is actually rather profound. [if anyone can find that sutta kindly post it here].
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by Spiny Norman »

form wrote: Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:31 am No doubt the concept of 4NT is perfect. It is not found any where else.
Though the general idea of moksha was around prior to the Buddha.
Buddha save me from new-agers!
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not myself today
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by not myself today »

lostitude wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:25 pm
Mr. Seek wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:10 pm Can you please describe the teaching(s) that you are referring to so that we can comment on them?
Thank you but not really, it’s more of a general impression.
For example, the idea that joy or pleasure or satisfaction are inherently fake. Many smart people and philosophers are convinced that they can be real and satisfactory, and base their whole philosophy of life around this. Some of them do so after reading about Buddhism and finding it unconvincing.
And that’s where the argument of "that’s because you haven’t conditioned yourself enough" comes into play. And that’s where my doubts come from. Because it’s quite probable that you can condition yourself to believe, see, hear, smell pretty much anything even when it’s not there - with enough practice. And since Buddhist monks train literally for years day in, day out, what to them is a spiritual achievement, but to someone else could be a form of pathological delusion, would not be so surprising.
I listened to a wonderful podcast episode on Wisdom Publications' website a couple of weeks ago. It was a talk by Ajahn Brahm and Shaila Catherine, in which the Ajahn pointed out that it is indeed a very simple sort of "conditioning" through which one may come to see sensual/worldly pleasures as undesirable - but it is simple: it is merely through the discovery of far greater pleasures that one comes to see sensual/worldly pleasures as no longer desirable (the Ajahn was referring specifically to absorption in the jhanas as the far greater pleasure). This idea is illustrated in the Magandiya Sutta, thus:

“Suppose, Māgandiya, there was a leper with sores and blisters on his limbs, being devoured by worms, scratching the scabs off the openings of his wounds with his nails, cauterising his body over a burning charcoal pit. Then his friends and companions, his kinsmen and relatives, brought a physician to treat him. The physician would make medicine for him, and by means of that medicine the man would be cured of his leprosy and would become well and happy, independent, master of himself, able to go where he likes. Then two strong men would seize him by both arms and drag him towards a burning charcoal pit. What do you think, Māgandiya? Would that man twist his body this way and that?”

“Yes, Master Gotama. Why is that? Because that fire is indeed painful to touch, hot, and scorching.”

“What do you think, Māgandiya? Is it only now that that fire is painful to touch, hot, and scorching, or previously too was that fire painful to touch, hot, and scorching?”

“Master Gotama, that fire is now painful to touch, hot, and scorching, and previously too was that fire painful to touch, hot, and scorching. For when that man was a leper with sores and blisters on his limbs, being devoured by worms, scratching the scabs off the openings of his wounds with his nails, his faculties were impaired; thus, though the fire was actually painful to touch, he acquired a mistaken perception of it as pleasant.”

“So too, Māgandiya, in the past sensual pleasures were painful to touch, hot, and scorching; in the future sensual pleasures will be painful to touch, hot, and scorching; and now at present sensual pleasures are painful to touch, hot, and scorching. But these beings who are not free from lust for sensual pleasures, who are devoured by craving for sensual pleasures, who burn with fever for sensual pleasures, have faculties that are impaired; thus, though sensual pleasures are actually painful to touch, they acquire a mistaken perception of them as pleasant."


When I was a kid I loved to eat all kinds of sugary things. As I grew older and tasted more and different things my palate became more refined, and now many of those sugary things I loved as a kid are way too sweet for my tastes. Many women and small children might (and do) tell me I'm crazy for not loving things that are very sweet to the taste. Am I crazy? I don't think I am, nor do I think they are for loving their sweet things...but I do think my tastes have become more refined and "sophisticated" through experience and some perceptions and mental formations I've chosen to cultivate along the way...and I think I'm probably healthier for not consuming as much sugary stuff as I used to when I was younger.

Likewise, it's pretty obvious to me that many Buddhist monastics and laypeople well advanced along the path of the Dhamma are much more mentally healthy than I am - they remain calm and even-keeled in situations in which I might go ballistic. So I figure that if I follow their example, I'm likely to one day end up as calm and equanimous as they. Delusion? Doubtful.

Just my $0.02.

:anjali:
Ian

Not in the faults of others
nor what they did or failed to do,
but in oneself should be sought
things done, things left undone.

- Dhammapada 4.50
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Sam Vara
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by Sam Vara »

robertk wrote: Mon Dec 07, 2020 3:27 pm ...
Many thanks for this, Robert. :anjali:
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by DaniloSS »

lostitude wrote: Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:52 pm Hello,

I’ve been having doubts lately about buddhist teachings, whether in written form or in talks given by monks. I feel that as soon as the topic discussed goes beyond the limits of "mundane" comprehension and goes on to describe things that mere mortals can only accept on faith, the dissonance between my perception of life and this Buddhist’s perception of life begs the question of whether I’m the one who’s deluded, or if he’s the one who’s gone crazy.

I can’t help but imagine the case of someone being presented with a square drawn on a piece of paper. He is told by someone trustworthy that no, this is not a square, this is actually a circle. If this person trains himself diligently for years and years and years to try and see the circle where all he can see at first is a square, will there not come a time when he will be sufficiently messed up to see a circle instead of a square?

What if Bhuddism actually had the same effect? Years of self-imposed conditioning until your perceptions finally align with the texts? And if you’re sane enough that your perceptions don’t really change, then you are told that "you’re not a very good Bhuddist or that your practice is flawed, or that you just have too much karma to gain any fruit from your practice?"

Thanks for your thoughts.
It's not "just another truth" because the Buddha-Dhamma is not meant to reveal any other truth aside of the very specific truth of the most skillful way of practice to free oneself from dukkha. If the perception of a square as a circle would bring easiness through freedom from dukkha, then to train oneself to perceive squares as circles would be a wholesome undertaking. Is as simple as that.
Last edited by DaniloSS on Mon Dec 07, 2020 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
form
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by form »

Spiny Norman wrote: Mon Dec 07, 2020 4:05 pm
form wrote: Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:31 am No doubt the concept of 4NT is perfect. It is not found any where else.
Though the general idea of moksha was around prior to the Buddha.
He studied all the systems at his time and came out with what he believed is the best system. Dukkha is the collective unconscious problem. :mrgreen:
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by lostitude »

rhinoceroshorn wrote: Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:23 am
Lets recall Bhikkhu Pamutto who loved dhutanga and ended up disrobing some time later.
Has he talked about how and why he disrobed? It would be useful to read about his experience and about what changed since his interview with the other monk.
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by StrivingforMonkhood »

Monks disrobing doesn't make the Dhamma less true,

Peace is the highest happiness, which comes from seeing that all external pleasures lead ultimately to suffering; it comes with knowing that you have no real identity; it comes from knowing that everything is fine as it currently is somehow.

:anjali:
May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness

We are already Buddha
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by coffeendonuts »

rhinoceroshorn wrote: Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:23 am Lets recall Bhikkhu Pamutto who loved dhutanga and ended up disrobing some time later. I think he pushed too hard.
How long did he last in robes? I actually find Theravada practice terribly boring. Those who can do it for a living are troopers.
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by Spiny Norman »

form wrote: Tue Dec 08, 2020 12:07 am
Spiny Norman wrote: Mon Dec 07, 2020 4:05 pm
form wrote: Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:31 am No doubt the concept of 4NT is perfect. It is not found any where else.
Though the general idea of moksha was around prior to the Buddha.
He studied all the systems at his time and came out with what he believed is the best system. Dukkha is the collective unconscious problem. :mrgreen:
Sure. My point was that there were, and are, similar systems around.
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Re: Buddhism: just another "truth"?

Post by StrivingforMonkhood »

coffeendonuts wrote: Sat Dec 19, 2020 2:51 amHow long did he last in robes? I actually find Theravada practice terribly boring. Those who can do it for a living are troopers.
Theravada Buddhism isn't for all Buddhists. Some people prefer other traditions, based on their personalities. Yes, Theravada is very cut and dry. But that's the beauty of it.

I take from Theravada, Zen, and the Tibetan schools. They all have their gems.

Do you practice Zen/Chan/Seon or one of the 5 Tibetan schools?

Peace and enlightenment.
May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness

We are already Buddha
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