2 of 12
2
Buddhism as a model?
Posted: 05 July 2007 06:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5404
Joined  2006-09-27
[quote author=“M is for Malapert”]I retract my quibble.

It appears as if the scales have been drawn away from your eyes.

 Signature 

INVEST in cynicism!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 July 2007 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3765
Joined  2007-03-11

The “human scale” is expanding all the time.  Given the exponential growth in the range of our knowledge in the recent past, we may be closer to knowing all things than we realize. Some of us may even live long enough to see it, and with the help of a few computer chips inserted in our brains (to overcome the limitations bequeathed to us by our ape ancestors), maybe even to understand it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 July 2007 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2136
Joined  2006-02-20

Jumping into this thread feels like jumping into a lake of fire.  I can see Salty’s dorsal fin slicing around through the magma.  Molten words?

I wonder if Buddha’s talks were promoted in the same way that Billy Graham’s talks at Madison Square Garden were promoted?  Handbills on all the banyan trees?  Word of mouth?  Town cryer?

BUDDHA TO GIVE FINAL TALK ON SPIRIT PEAK - JULY 6, 493 BC
“BUDDHISM AS A MODEL’
PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN FOOD AS NO MIRACLES ARE SCHEDULED. 

No doubt many of the country’s best and brightest gathered to hear him talk that day.  An East Indian Sermon on the Mount?  Who could have guessed that all he was going to do, without saying a word, was hold up a flower?

 Signature 

“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 July 2007 04:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
Administrator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  480
Joined  2006-12-16

[quote author=“Salt Creek”]
[quote author=“Pat_Adducci”]rejecting is painful

Not if you devote all your criitcal faculties rejecting only the things that make you feel bad, or simply don’t make you feel good, in believing.

Rejecting is painful when it is based on the belief ‘I must get rid of that’.  All belief depends on repetition of thought and solidifying of emotion.
The purpose of Buddhism is to reveal the essentially painful nature of the ‘me’, the nexus of belief. Understanding rejection, I don’t make the mistake of rejecting the ‘me’. Acceptance is more likely to lead to insight, and insight grows into discriminating wisdom.
Discriminating wisdom flows freely, sees clearly and moves on without getting tangled up in emotional conflict.
Acceptance in this context doesn’t block criticism, but brings space into the criticism.  Acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean ‘it’s all good’. It just means ‘OK, this is what’s here.’
Not too tight, not too loose.
Too tight is ‘I must prove that’s wrong’.
Too loose is ‘Whatever’.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 July 2007 06:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5404
Joined  2006-09-27

[quote author=“Pat_Adducci”]Rejecting is painful when it is based on the belief ‘I must get rid of that’.  All belief depends on repetition of thought and solidifying of emotion…
Acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean ‘it’s all good’. It just means ‘OK, this is what’s here.’
Not too tight, not too loose.
Too tight is ‘I must prove that’s wrong’.
Too loose is ‘Whatever’.

I agree with the material highlighted in bold. Pain is a useful feature of physiology that has evolved so that having an arm chewed off does not become a routine experience for people. The point is that certain forms of pain are not like that. As I often repine, someone’s entire week can be ruined by a hangnail. The fertile ground for your musings lies somewhere between the hangnail and having your arm chewed off.

The ‘me’ comes in when pain occurs and someone starts saying to herself, “Ooh, that hurts. In fact, it hurts that it hurts.”

Some people even go so far as to say, “It hurts so good.” But nobody ever need dwell on the notion that “it hurts that it hurts”.

So far, I don’t think anyone has said anything profound.

 Signature 

INVEST in cynicism!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 July 2007 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2136
Joined  2006-02-20

[quote author=“Pat_Adducci”][quote author=“Salt Creek”]
[quote author=“Pat_Adducci”]rejecting is painful

Not if you devote all your criitcal faculties rejecting only the things that make you feel bad, or simply don’t make you feel good, in believing.

Rejecting is painful when it is based on the belief ‘I must get rid of that’.  All belief depends on repetition of thought and solidifying of emotion.
The purpose of Buddhism is to reveal the essentially painful nature of the ‘me’, the nexus of belief. Understanding rejection, I don’t make the mistake of rejecting the ‘me’. Acceptance is more likely to lead to insight, and insight grows into discriminating wisdom.
Discriminating wisdom flows freely, sees clearly and moves on without getting tangled up in emotional conflict.
Acceptance in this context doesn’t block criticism, but brings space into the criticism.  Acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean ‘it’s all good’. It just means ‘OK, this is what’s here.’
Not too tight, not too loose.
Too tight is ‘I must prove that’s wrong’.
Too loose is ‘Whatever’.

Pat,

has Buddhism revealed to you that the ME is essentially painful?  Or, are you still wondering if this is entirely true?  Or, are you thinking that parts of the me are pleasurable, and parts are painful, and you are trying to figure out how to keep the pleasurable and get rid of the painful?

If a person knows that the ME is essentially painful, but continues to indulge it, is that person a masochist?

The Tao Te Ching says, “No calamity is greater than underestimating one’s opponents.”  Almost everyone interested in these things underestimates the power of the ME.  Give it an inch and it will take a mile.  You say that since you understand rejection, you don’t make the mistake of rejecting the ME.  This is a game that the ME loves.  It knows how to stretch this game for a lifetime.

Krishnamurti often said, “When you see the poisonous snake, you don’t step on it.”  It’s not that you are rejecting the snake.  You just don’t step on it.  In the same way, when you understand tht the ME is essentially painful, you don’t accept it or reject it, or fuss with discriminating wisdom for God’s sake.  Salt Creek may be trying to goad you into coughing up some PROFOUND WISDOM.  Surely this is another game of the ME.  PROFOUND WISDOM is something lodged in your mind - an idea, a belief.  Is emptyness profound wisdom?  Profound wisdom is something that enables you to see beyond any shadow of doubt that the ME is essentially painful (like a snakebite).

“Like snowflakes landing on a red-hot iron stove.”  (the ME only operates in time - it needs time to manifest itself.  The Zen adept recognizes the ME in all its guises, and doesn’t give it time to ‘land in his mind.’  If you still aren’t sure that the ME is essentially painful, then, of course, you will continue to play its game of ‘not rejecting,’ of, ‘OK, these snowflakes are falling - this is what’s here.’  (“OK, this is a rattlesnake, but it’s here on my path, so I’m going to step on it.)

I entered this discussion late, and may be misunderstanding what you and Salty are talking about.  There is fear of being empty, of being nobody, of not having profound wisdom to share - can you see how the ME thrives on that fear?  When Buddha held up the flower he was wondering if there was anyone in the audience who could just see the flower.  A smile gave that person away.  Just the flower, not some wisdom about the flower, not some lesson to be learned from the flower.

“Rivers, lakes, birds, trees, and forests all invoke Buddha, Truth, and Communion.”

 Signature 

“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 July 2007 11:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  274
Joined  2007-07-03

Do we need a model?  All religions are currently flawed with the notion of exclusive rights. We need to understand that the idea that a single religion today will developed spirituality in the world is almost as good as still believe that the earth is flat.  We need all the religion that exist and some that are still to come. The variability of the thinking process of humanity is so wide that multiple avenues to develop spirituality are necessary.

What I think need to be done is to limit role of religion in the education of our youth and prevent the formation of religious fundamentalist, the first step is to eliminate exclusive rights mentality(which is almost impossible).

We need to eliminate the idea of a personal GOD and open our mind into a universal GOD as describe by Spinoza. You don’t need eternal damnation to be good. That’s an idea that current religions want you to believe, because they are not focus in your spiritual development but they want you as a Religious Being, that way they own you and your contributions.

 Signature 

“Life is the COEXISTENCE of opposites values”
Love is Forgiveness
Peace is Tolerance
“In the beginning Man created God according to his own image and understanding. Over the years as Men understanding of morality, violence and tolerance evolves, so evolves our understanding of a Loving God”.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 July 2007 06:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
Administrator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  480
Joined  2006-12-16

[quote author=“unsmoked”]
“Like snowflakes landing on a red-hot iron stove.”  (the ME only operates in time - it needs time to manifest itself.  The Zen adept recognizes the ME in all its guises, and doesn’t give it time to ‘land in his mind.’  If you still aren’t sure that the ME is essentially painful, then, of course, you will continue to play its game of ‘not rejecting,’ of, ‘OK, these snowflakes are falling - this is what’s here.’  (“OK, this is a rattlesnake, but it’s here on my path, so I’m going to step on it.)
.........................
“Rivers, lakes, birds, trees, and forests all invoke Buddha, Truth, and Communion.”

Growing up in the Kern River Valley I learned that the dangerous rattlesnake is the rattlesnake you don’t see. If the rattlesnake is on the trail, and you’re paying attention, you can keep your distance. But if you’re about to sit on a log, and there’s a snake resting under the log, you may be in trouble. If you’re climbing around some rocks and stick your hand in a cervice, you may be in trouble.

I’ll continue to play the game until the game plays itself out. If it ever does.  What choice do I have?

Buddha, Truth and Communion are in charge of this process, not me.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 July 2007 06:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
Administrator
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  480
Joined  2006-12-16

[quote author=“mammooth”]Do we need a model?  All religions are currently flawed with the notion of exclusive rights. We need to understand that the idea that a single religion today will developed spirituality in the world is almost as good as still believe that the earth is flat.  We need all the religion that exist and some that are still to come. The variability of the thinking process of humanity is so wide that multiple avenues to develop spirituality are necessary.

That’s what I think, too.
Buddhism is one of the least exclusionary, but it does have its fanatics and fundamentalists. 
As an individual, I do think I need to select a particular model to work with at a particular time, for the sake of coherence. But that doesn’t mean I know which model will be helpful to someone else.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 July 2007 08:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  390
Joined  2006-10-12
[quote author=“Pat_Adducci”]As an individual, I do think I need to select a particular model to work with at a particular time, for the sake of coherence.

This has been my quandry for my entire lifetime:  finding the right model for the sake of coherence.

The problem is that, even if the premise of a model is appealing (like Buddhism), all are so flawed as practiced and followed (not to mention having to deal with followers) that none are appealing to me, personally. 

Buddhism has never really morphed into a western version.  All of the Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, Southeast Asian, and Japanese versions are so infused with those particular cultures that it is ludicruous to adopt them in the west, as-is.  It makes no sense to me for a westerner to attempt to adopt a foreign, generally Asian culture, in order to follow a system which theoretically need not be reduced to ritual and dogma as interpreted by a particular culture.  This is the case in with Tibetan and Zen Buddhism in the US and other western countries.  IMO, it is the height of absurdity for a westerner, for example, to don a saffron rode and shave his/her head, which is nothing less than an immitation of another ancient culture with no cultural correspondence or historical significance to a westerner.

It is among the reasons that Sam Harris states: “The wisdom of the Buddha is currently trapped within the religion of Buddhism” and part of why he does not consider himself to be “a Buddhist.” http://www.samharris.org/media/killing-the-buddha.pdf

Too bad that a sort of westernized, rational based, anti-ritual and anti-dogmatic “exploration of consciousness” type of Buddhism, with elements of Taoism (which is what Zen, a/k/a Ch’an, is supposed to be about) cannot be adopted in the west, to serve as a model, for the sake of coherence, for seekers of truth.

Speaking of Taoism, how about THIS as the true source of the term “woo woo”:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_wei

Wu wei ... is an important tenet of Taoism that involves knowing when to act and when not to act. Wu may be translated as not have; Wei may be translated as do, act, serve as, govern. The literal meaning of Wu Wei is “without action” and is often included in the paradox wei wu wei : “action without action” or “effortless doing”. The practice of wu wei and the efficacy of wei wu wei are fundamental tenets in Chinese thought and have been mostly emphasized by the Taoist school. The aim of wu wei is to achieve a state of perfect equilibrium, or alignment with the Tao, and, as a result, obtain an irresistible form of “soft and invisible” power.

 Signature 

“Believe those who seek the truth; doubt those who find it”—Andre Gide

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 July 2007 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2927
Joined  2006-12-17

[quote author=“mahahaha”][quote author=“Pat_Adducci”]As an individual, I do think I need to select a particular model to work with at a particular time, for the sake of coherence.

This has been my quandry for my entire lifetime:  finding the right model for the sake of coherence.

The problem is that, even if the premise of a model is appealing (like Buddhism), all are so flawed as practiced and followed (not to mention having to deal with followers) that none are appealing to me, personally.

It could be that your reaction to the clutter surrounding the various “models” or systems is standing in your way, and that could well be a case of the seeker who could only accept the perfect teacher, only to find that this ideal teacher would not teach him because he could only deal with the perfect student.  I recall a comment by one of the trainers in an early training that I was in, to the effect that “boredom is an essential part of this work,” and another comment that an important aspect of any system was “learning to accept the unpleasant manifestations of others.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 July 2007 10:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2136
Joined  2006-02-20

[quote author=“Pat_Adducci”][quote author=“unsmoked”]
“Like snowflakes landing on a red-hot iron stove.”  (the ME only operates in time - it needs time to manifest itself.  The Zen adept recognizes the ME in all its guises, and doesn’t give it time to ‘land in his mind.’  If you still aren’t sure that the ME is essentially painful, then, of course, you will continue to play its game of ‘not rejecting,’ of, ‘OK, these snowflakes are falling - this is what’s here.’  (“OK, this is a rattlesnake, but it’s here on my path, so I’m going to step on it.)
.........................
“Rivers, lakes, birds, trees, and forests all invoke Buddha, Truth, and Communion.”

Growing up in the Kern River Valley I learned that the dangerous rattlesnake is the rattlesnake you don’t see. If the rattlesnake is on the trail, and you’re paying attention, you can keep your distance. But if you’re about to sit on a log, and there’s a snake resting under the log, you may be in trouble. If you’re climbing around some rocks and stick your hand in a cervice, you may be in trouble.

I’ll continue to play the game until the game plays itself out. If it ever does.  What choice do I have?

Buddha, Truth and Communion are in charge of this process, not me.

Pat,

I’m puzzled by the air of resignation in your last comments here, as though you had no choice but to play the game.  Practically the entire world is playing the game of ME and assuming that there is no choice. 

You acknowledge, I think, that when we know what rattlesnakes are all about, we don’t deliberately step on them.  Every day we make hundreds or thousands of choices from what we select in the supermarket, to when we cross the street.  We teach our children what foods are good for us, and when to cross the street, and in rattlesnake country children are taught what they sound like and not to step on them or play with them.

Why separate the mundane and the spiritual?  Why play with the spiritual/mental rattlesnakes that almost everyone else is playing with and getting bitten, getting their lives poisoned with - jealousy, resentment, boredom, ambition, fear, envy etc. etc.?  Why say you’re in charge of the mundane choices, but not the mental, or spiritual?

“Just be normal.  Don’t be contrived.”  “Like a tiger in the jungle, like a wildbird in the forest.”  Religious people say that those creatures don’t have a ME, therefore they have no soul.  I suppose some of them would say that the ‘fall of man’ is when we evolved to the point of being self-conscious, and all the miseries associated with being ME began.  As you said, Buddhism teaches people how to be free of those miseries.  This teaching has nothing to do with Indian, or Asian cultlure, and all the silly exotic trappings that most people associate with Buddhism.  “Just be normal.  Don’t be contrived.  Everyone has their own road to heaven.”  Like the tiger in the jungle you don’t need to seek outside for your own hands and feet.  Every day we make hundreds or thousands of choices.  People CHOOSE to suffer because they have identified with the mental activity called ME.  They think the CD or DVD in their brain is who they are.  The CD tells you not to step on the rattler, and, if you understand Buddhism, it tells you when not to play the CD.  (the CD being loaded with miserable habits and emotions etc. that will play over and over until the day you die, if you’re not careful - if you think you have no choice but to let it play.).

None of these words really hit the mark.  Certainly one person can’t turn off another person’s CD.  No one can tell you how to turn off your own.
The words ‘turn off’ are wrong.  “Just still the thoughts in your mind.  It is good to do this right in the midst of disturbance.  When you are working on this, penetrate the heights and the depths.”

“If you want to be free, get to know your real self.  It has no form, no appearance, no root, no basis, no abode, but is lively and buoyanat.  It responds with versatile facility, but its function cannot be located.  Therefore when you look for it you become further from it, when you seek it you turn away from it all the more.”  - Zen Master Linji (Rinzai)
(quoted from ‘Zen Essence - The Science of Freedom’ translated and edited by Thomas Cleary)

 Signature 

“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 July 2007 10:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2927
Joined  2006-12-17

[quote author=“Pat_Adducci”]
As an individual, I do think I need to select a particular model to work with at a particular time, for the sake of coherence. But that doesn’t mean I know which model will be helpful to someone else.

Without a coherent approach, I think progress would be haphazard at best, and a person would more likely end up with an unintegrated mishmash of intellectual ideas but little embodied experience or wisdom.  And, as you say, what is a valid system for one person may not be for another.  I recall the teacher in a high school class in international relations saying that “a people get the government they deserve.”  Here, I’d specialize that the say that a person gets the teaching/teacher/system they deserve.  Somebody who falls for a charlatan likely has something in their psychological make-up that wants to be deceived.  I recall a sufi story about a man who was walking along a road and saw a small box with the label: “The secret and essential core of sufi knowledge.”  He picked it up and opened it, expecting some grand revelation but what he found was a slip of paper on which was written: “The secret and essence of sufi knowledge is that you desire truth more than illusion and make your way to the teacher.”  smile

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 July 2007 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  390
Joined  2006-10-12

[quote author=“burt”]It could be that your reaction to the clutter surrounding the various “models” or systems is standing in your way, and that could well be a case of the seeker who could only accept the perfect teacher, only to find that this ideal teacher would not teach him because he could only deal with the perfect student.  I recall a comment by one of the trainers in an early training that I was in, to the effect that “boredom is an essential part of this work,” and another comment that an important aspect of any system was “learning to accept the unpleasant manifestations of others.”

Fair enough (if not a tad didactic and presumptuous), but conceded that the point has merit.

However, you completely failed to address the other issues which are of concern not only to me, but also to Sam Harris, and telling us that the problem is with our attitude and not the true actual bullshit, pomp and circumstance of the particular sect solves nothing.

The fact is that Asian rituals and culture do not translate well into western culture.  Christianity evolved over many centuries in Europe, and then the USA, and we all know how completely European culture bastardized it, and how American culture has made it into a complete joke.  But it is accessible to westerners.

Tibetan Buddhism and Zen have been exposed to western culture (at least popular culture) for less than a century, and are accessible to westerners only insofar as they retain some actual Buddhism (and/or Taoism).  But for westerners to walk around in funny clothes, engage in meaningless rituals, bow to people - in short, trying to act Asian - is unnatural.

 Signature 

“Believe those who seek the truth; doubt those who find it”—Andre Gide

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 July 2007 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3765
Joined  2007-03-11

[quote author=“mahahaha”]The fact is that Asian rituals and culture do not translate well into western culture.  Christianity evolved over many centuries in Europe, and then the USA, and we all know how completely European culture bastardized it, and how American culture has made it into a complete joke.  But it is accessible to westerners.

Tibetan Buddhism and Zen have been exposed to western culture (at least popular culture) for less than a century, and are accessible to westerners only insofar as they retain some actual Buddhism (and/or Taoism).  But for westerners to walk around in funny clothes, engage in meaningless rituals, bow to people - in short, trying to act Asian - is unnatural.

Every faith/spiritual tradition eventually takes on some of the characteristics of the culture in which it is planted.  The individual is charged with the responsibility of taking the tradition’s original thought (accessed through the writings/scripture of that tradition) and applying that thought to his/her particular circumstances. If it can’t be done, then that is an indication that the spiritual tradition is not for that person.

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 12
2
 
‹‹ How are we born?      Different Models ››
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed