jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Nov, 2009 09:21 pm
@Eudaimon,
what I am learning from all of this is that spiritual awareness, if that is what it is, is actually a skill, not a set of beliefs. Beliefs are involved, but thinking it is about believing or 'clinging to a viewpoint' is not the point and also won't do the job. There has to be some way of engaging with..whatever it is...from the 'heart'. This is where the Buddhist teaching excels - it is unparalleled in my view. It is also non-sectarian and non-exclusivist.
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Nov, 2009 10:37 pm
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;104585 wrote:
what I am learning from all of this is that spiritual awareness, if that is what it is, is actually a skill, not a set of beliefs. Beliefs are involved, but thinking it is about believing or 'clinging to a viewpoint' is not the point and also won't do the job. There has to be some way of engaging with..whatever it is...from the 'heart'. This is where the Buddhist teaching excels - it is unparalleled in my view. It is also non-sectarian and non-exclusivist.
I would say deep faith, meaningful faith, productive faith is more about action in the world than about belief in doctrine, creed, or dogma.
It is about trust that there is deeper meaning and purpose in life.
It is about hope that in the end justice, truth and beauty will triumph.
People with faith of this kind work together in the world to create and acheive value and justice despite the different ways, symbols and practices they ultilize in conceptualizing or describing their notions of the sacred, the holy, the numinous the divine "god". Non sectarianism and non eclusivity are features of secure faith. faith which is not threatened by diversity. Diversity is divine. Faith unites and doctrines divides.
0 Replies
 
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Nov, 2009 11:35 pm
@prothero,
prothero;104574 wrote:

Is the concept of oneness and the interconnectedness, interrelatedness of all things a Buddhist concept or not?


In short, no. This would be closer to the Hindu or Vedanta concept of Brahman.

prothero;104574 wrote:

Is the notion of the other as self, and serving the other as enlighted "self-interest" not part of the tradition?


One of the most important teachings of Buddhism is compassion. This compassion is not based on an idea that we are all "One", but rather that we are all sharing in suffering together, all working towards enlightenment together, and that the enlightenment of one helps all.

prothero;104574 wrote:
Does the "enlightened one" still have an identity (a self) which is separate from "ultimate reality"?


No, not when speaking of absolutes. Conventionally speaking, we all have separate identities, though they will not last...
Eudaimon
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2009 08:09 am
@Pangloss,
jeeprs;104231 wrote:
But it is nevertheless the case that he founded a spiritual movement, with rules, goals, practises, observance, teachings, and so on, which persists to this day. Is it not?

Who knows, who knows? The Buddha did not write any letter himself and that crowd which proclaimed itself to be 'sangha' interpreted his words and then the interpretation of his words according to their own understanding. The case is similar to that with Socrates (who also rejected those metaphysical speculation on the same ground as Gautama) we can only reconstruct something without being sure that he really said that.

jeeprs;104410 wrote:
It is also true that the Buddha was a skeptic, in the true sense, rather than the sense that people understand the word today (which is that 'the sensory realm is the sole reality and spirituality sucks'.)

Well, actually, the sensory realm is really the sole reality, if we look what the word reality means. It comes from Latin word "res" which means "thing", therefore only things are real. The problem of so-called spiritualists is that they are afraid to accept the process of gaining knowledge. In the core of it lies the fear, the fear before one's own instincts which thou hast called inborn. When those instincts dissolve, there comes reconciliation with the world, with materialism etc.
The things are real and there is absolutely no doubt in it because even thy idea to reject them comes from them.

jeeprs;104415 wrote:
Nagarjuna kind of 'blew the whistle' on the whole show. The main aim in Buddhism is always to gain liberation by actual insight, to see how things really are, and how the principles apply in your life. And the insight is not a matter of conceptual analysis - it is 'performative' not 'propositional'. Practise, practise, practise. That is very much what it is about.

This sounds ridiculous: annihilating criticism of any mental construct and then establishment of practice which is surely the result of the same constructs. Is it only I who sees this blatant contradiction.

prothero;104430 wrote:
In the western tradition one understands sin to be separation or alimentation from god. This does not seem too different from the eastern notion of ignorance and illusion as separating one from enlightenment or true reality. I am one who sees all the great religious traditions as pointing to the same truth. Each tradition is using those symbols, those practices which are appropriate to their society, history and culture. There is no single path up the mountain but many routes and many approaches all leading to the same summit.

Surely sin as a "spiritual crime" does not exist. It may be understood as an ignorant action which leads to the unhappiness (my unhappiness) but seems to be quite far from the meaning it has in our heads. Therefore it is better to avoid it so as to evade confusion.

Pangloss;104432 wrote:
Even the highest states of jhana, including infinite consciousness, are still dukkha. Jesus' Father and kingdom of heaven is nothing at all like nibbana. Anatta means "no-soul", and some other idea of oneness, infinite consciousness, absolute spirit, or whatever you may call it, existing in Buddhism, is a common Western misconception of Buddhist teachings. The Buddha never taught it; he specifically dismissed such questions, saying they were not useful for the attainment of enlightenment.

But this again raise the same questions? Who is that which attains Nirvana? There may be found many tricks but the fact is that all they are not important neither for me nor for anyone. When one understands reality (without preconception of what he should understand), is there need to call that self or not-self. It doesn't really matter when one is there. Especially it doesn't matter for those who are not there because what bears it to them? Nothing but the foundation of new belief system.

prothero;104594 wrote:
I would say deep faith, meaningful faith, productive faith is more about action in the world than about belief in doctrine, creed, or dogma.
It is about trust that there is deeper meaning and purpose in life.
It is about hope that in the end justice, truth and beauty will triumph.
People with faith of this kind work together in the world to create and acheive value and justice despite the different ways, symbols and practices they ultilize in conceptualizing or describing their notions of the sacred, the holy, the numinous the divine "god". Non sectarianism and non eclusivity are features of secure faith. faith which is not threatened by diversity. Diversity is divine. Faith unites and doctrines divides.

No, prothero, faith can never lead thee to God or whatever is beyond this world. The faith can only align thee with thy past, ideals which were embedded in thy head by society. The true religion does not know faith. Religion, Nirvana comes only when there is no border between me an reality, no struggle with what is, the acceptance.
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2009 11:13 am
@Eudaimon,
Eudaimon;104854 wrote:
But this again raise the same questions? Who is that which attains Nirvana? There may be found many tricks but the fact is that all they are not important neither for me nor for anyone. When one understands reality (without preconception of what he should understand), is there need to call that self or not-self. It doesn't really matter when one is there. Especially it doesn't matter for those who are not there because what bears it to them? Nothing but the foundation of new belief system.


It does not actually raise such questions; There is not a person or self reaching Nirvana, from an absolute standpoint. As I noted earlier, the Buddha spoke of conventional truths and absolute truths. Speaking of one individual who personally may reach Nirvana is conventional speak, as that person absolutely is dukkha, impermanent, and any identity that he may have is not a part of the unconditioned.

Samyutta-Nikaya III wrote:
"Were a man to say: I shall show the coming, the going, the passing away, the arising, the growth, the increase or the development of consciousness apart from matter, sensation, perception, and mental formations, he would be speaking of something that does not exist."
Buddhaghosa wrote:
"Mere suffering exists, but no sufferer is found; The deeds are, but no doer is found"
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Nov, 2009 03:54 pm
@Eudaimon,
"Strictly speaking, there are no enlightened people, only enlightened activities" - Suzuki-Roshi, Zen Mind, Beginners Mind.

---------- Post added 11-22-2009 at 09:33 AM ----------

Eudaimon;104854 wrote:
Who knows, who knows? The Buddha did not write any letter himself and that crowd which proclaimed itself to be 'sangha' interpreted his words and then the interpretation of his words according to their own understanding. The case is similar to that with Socrates (who also rejected those metaphysical speculation on the same ground as Gautama) we can only reconstruct something without being sure that he really said that.


I think we can be sure he said something very much along the lines of what is presented in the various Buddhist schools of today. Maybe not letter for letter, but very close. Otherwise, it is just an excuse to disregard the whole teaching and carry on like it was never enunciated.


Eudaimon;104854 wrote:
Well, actually, the sensory realm is really the sole reality, if we look what the word reality means. It comes from Latin word "res" which means "thing", therefore only things are real. The problem of so-called spiritualists is that they are afraid to accept the process of gaining knowledge. In the core of it lies the fear, the fear before one's own instincts which thou hast called inborn. When those instincts dissolve, there comes reconciliation with the world, with materialism etc.
The things are real and there is absolutely no doubt in it because even thy idea to reject them comes from them.


But this is materialism, is it not? Only things are real? According to the Buddhist tradition, which I don't think you could call 'spiritualist', the sensory realm is acutally a composite of constantly changing phenomenal moments combined through the actions of the five Skandha to create an appearance of reality. According to Buddhist philosophy, it is mistaken to think that things either truly exist, which is eternalism, or do not exist, which is nihilism. Understanding the conditional and relative way in which things exists is 'realizing emptiness'.


Eudaimon;104854 wrote:
This sounds ridiculous: annihilating criticism of any mental construct and then establishment of practice which is surely the result of the same constructs. Is it only I who sees this blatant contradiction.


There is only a contradiction if your practise is conducted for selfish reasons. If you practise for the benefit of all beings, then there is no contradiction.


Quote:
Surely sin as a "spiritual crime" does not exist. It may be understood as an ignorant action which leads to the unhappiness (my unhappiness) but seems to be quite far from the meaning it has in our heads. Therefore it is better to avoid it so as to evade confusion.


Agreed - probably better to leave it out. Sorry.


Eudaimon;104854 wrote:
But this again raise the same questions? Who is that which attains Nirvana? There may be found many tricks but the fact is that all they are not important neither for me nor for anyone. When one understands reality (without preconception of what he should understand), is there need to call that self or not-self. It doesn't really matter when one is there. Especially it doesn't matter for those who are not there because what bears it to them? Nothing but the foundation of new belief system.


"You are not awakened unless you awaken.''
"You are not That, unless you reach unity with the Absolute Reality."
"There is no path, but only for those who completed it."
"There is nobody here, but only when the somebody has dissolved."

Aziz Kristof


Eudaimon;104854 wrote:
No, prothero, faith can never lead thee to God or whatever is beyond this world. The faith can only align thee with thy past, ideals which were embedded in thy head by society. The true religion does not know faith. Religion, Nirvana comes only when there is no border between me an reality, no struggle with what is, the acceptance.


Bring it on, I say.
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 03:46 pm
@Eudaimon,
I have to say "acceptance" "detachment" "indifference" is just not the Western way. The Western way is to solve problems and try to make the world a better place. To struggle and suffer in the pursuit of higher values and higher ideals. Ideally those pursuits involve freedom, creativity, human rights, human respect and equality of opportunity, respresentative government and the rule of law but "acceptance" is just not the "way".
0 Replies
 
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 04:07 pm
@Eudaimon,
I don't think that Buddhism teaches a person to simply "accept" and not try to make the world a better place. In fact, Buddhism is all about changing the way our minds work, in order to be more compassionate and understanding. When more people make this change, there is improvement on the societal scale.

Acceptance really just means that we need to accept the impermanence of all things, and realize that too much attachment can cause unhappiness when these things are inevitably taken from us. Happiness and understanding has to come from within.

This does not at all mean that impermanent, worldly affairs are not important. Take the Dalai Lama, for example, who is Buddhist, but very political, and involved in many Western affairs.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 05:57 pm
@Eudaimon,
Pangloss is entirely correct. Buddhism has been a vastly civilizing influence where it has gone, and is generally very progressive and practical. The image of the indifferent sage absorbed in nirvanic bliss is a stereotype from the Catholic Encyclopedia. (Look it up - it is exactly what it says.) King Asoka, the Buddhist Monarch, created one of the first universal civil codes and concept of the welfare state, all before the birth of Jesus. In fact if Buddhist civilization in India had not been destroyed by the Mughals, who knows what the result might have been.
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 06:09 pm
@Eudaimon,
Not sure if anybody is still thinking about the question of self/soul in Buddhism, but here's something that I found illuminating:

"Seen and heard are those people whose particular names are mentioned; but only the name of a person remains when he has passed away."(808)
Sutta Nipata, Jara (Decay) Sutta
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 06:46 pm
@Eudaimon,
The Buddhist doctrine of the nonreality of persons is indeed deep, profound and difficult to fathom. This is articulated most clearly in the Diamond Sutra, the Vajjrachedikka Sutra, which is distinguised by its status as the world's first edition of a text produced by printing press; in China; around 430 CE, and from which I quote this excerpt.

Quote:
Diamond Sutra - Chapter 3.

"All living beings, whether born from eggs, from the womb, from moisture, or spontaneously; whether they have form or do not have form; whether they are aware or unaware, whether they are not aware or not unaware, all living beings will eventually be led by me to the final Nirvana, the final ending of the cycle of birth and death. And when this unfathomable, infinite number of living beings have all been liberated, in truth not even a single being has actually been liberated." "Why Subhuti? Because if a disciple still clings to the arbitrary illusions of form or phenomena such as an ego, a personality, a self, a separate person, or a universal self existing eternally, then that person is not an authentic disciple."


From the new translation of the text at www.diamond-sutra.com.
0 Replies
 
prothero
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Nov, 2009 10:57 pm
@Eudaimon,
I was just wondering what the Buddha would think of this whole conversation?
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 12:51 am
@Eudaimon,
Well, who knows. That is one of those 'What would Buddha do?' questions. (There is actually such a book.)

But one thing it brings to mind is the role of The Dialog in the Buddhist tradition. The Diamond Sutra verse is presented as a dialog between the Buddha and Subhuti, a disciple known for his wisdom. As for the dialogs generally, they are model of clarity, courtesy and civility. They are often quite formalised, but nearly always commence with 'Thus I have heard', as spoken by Ananda, the Buddha's attendant, of legendary memory. They will usually describe where the dialog took place (for example, The Blessed One was staying at Anathapindika's monastery, in Jeta's Grove, near Savatthi...) Typically, the questioner will approach the Buddha, greet him respectfully, and then sit to one side. Then the question will be asked, or the matter presented for consideration, and the dialog follows from that point.

These are usually considered from a range of viewpoints, often with illustrations, similes, and examples.

These dialogs form the basis of the Suttas (or, later, Sutras) which have been the core of the Buddhist scriptural tradition ever since.

There are also verses on moral and practical topics, such as this lovely smaller sutta, the Mangala Sutta, trans R. L. Soni, which gives a good impression of the 'flavour' of the Pali teachings:

Quote:
[CENTER]The Mangala Sutta


[INDENT][INDENT] Thus have I heard:

Once while the Blessed One was staying in the vicinity of Saavatthi, in the Jeta Grove, in Anaathapi.n.dika's monastery, a certain deity, whose surpassing brilliance and beauty illumined the entire Jeta Grove, late one night came to the presence of the Blessed One; having come to him and offered profound salutations he stood on one side and spoke to him reverently in the following verse:[/INDENT][/INDENT]


Many deities and human beings
Have pondered what are blessings,
Which they hope will bring them safety:
Declare to them, Sir, the Highest Blessing.

(To this the Blessed One replied):

With fools no company keeping.
With the wise ever consorting,
To the worthy homage paying:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Congenial place to dwell,
In the past merits making,
One's self directed well:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Ample learning, in crafts ability,
With a well-trained disciplining,
Well-spoken words, civility:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Mother, father well supporting,
Wife and children duly cherishing,
Types of work unconflicting:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Acts of giving, righteous living,
Relatives and kin supporting,
Actions blameless then pursuing:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Avoiding evil and abstaining,
From besotting drinks refraining,
Diligence in Dhamma doing:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Right reverence and humility
Contentment and a grateful bearing,
Hearing Dhamma when it's timely:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Patience, meekness when corrected,
Seeing monks and then discussing
About the Dhamma when it's timely:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Self-restraint and holy life,
All the Noble Truths in-seeing,
Realization of Nibbaana:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Though touched by worldly circumstances,
Never his mind is wavering,
Sorrowless, stainless and secure:
This, the Highest Blessing.

Since by acting in this way,
They are everywhere unvanquished,
And everywhere they go in safety:
Theirs, the Highest Blessings.


Here ends the Discourse on Blessings.[/CENTER]
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2009 01:19 am
@Eudaimon,
Perhaps he would invite us to "come and see" for ourselves, through meditation, what his teachings are all about, just as he invited his followers to do.
0 Replies
 
Eudaimon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 06:13 am
@jeeprs,
Pangloss;104914 wrote:
It does not actually raise such questions; There is not a person or self reaching Nirvana, from an absolute standpoint. As I noted earlier, the Buddha spoke of conventional truths and absolute truths. Speaking of one individual who personally may reach Nirvana is conventional speak, as that person absolutely is dukkha, impermanent, and any identity that he may have is not a part of the unconditioned.

People wo were listening to him were on that conditional level, therefore for them there was no need to present such a teaching which could (and did in reality) cause BELIEF in the absence of soul.
But even this interpretation seems to be flawed. As I can recollect, the Buddha was neither idealist, no materialist but taught those who believed in self, there is no such thing and those who believed in no-self -- there is something like it. As I understand him, his goal was to make everyone free from all the beliefs, opinions etc. Nagarjuna put it well saying:
"30. I bow down to Gautama, whose kindness holds one close, who revealed the sublime dharma in order to let go of all views."
His goal was to liberate man both from mterialism and idealism, from any metaphysics. As to the emphasis which anatman-teaching gained, I think that was due to the obsession of Hindoo philosophers to find that. That is to say, he and perhaps his first disciples had to have arguments with Hindoos mostly, therefore those who didn't understand them fully created an opinion that this is the quintessence of buddhadarma. Nowadays he would probably be called idealist because he'd have to speak with materialiats.

jeeprs;104967 wrote:

I think we can be sure he said something very much along the lines of what is presented in the various Buddhist schools of today. Maybe not letter for letter, but very close. Otherwise, it is just an excuse to disregard the whole teaching and carry on like it was never enunciated.

Yes, we can find some similarities in those texts and this may be called the real Buddha's teaching. But even this is quite doubtful.
Our only guide is our own Reason, therefore in every teaching we should seek what goes in accordance with it regardless of who is that person whom those teaching ascribed. I am recalling a reply given by Tolstoy to a certain young man who asked him what is the most profound work on the original text of Gospel (Tolstoy had made his own translation of it but latter found it useless and did not publish it). Out of courtesy Tolstoy recommended some books but said: "If thou canst not discern the falsehood from the truth in the Gospel with thine own heart, of what use is to read those books? Because in this case thou art looking not for truth about our life but for the words of Jesus to worship them. And if thou canst, again, of what need are those books?"
Nothing sould be taken on faith. Practice is based on faith, on belief in the result, on authority. Therefore for those who are looking for Truth, there is no place for practice.

jeeprs;104967 wrote:

But this is materialism, is it not? Only things are real? According to the Buddhist tradition, which I don't think you could call 'spiritualist', the sensory realm is acutally a composite of constantly changing phenomenal moments combined through the actions of the five Skandha to create an appearance of reality.

Such an idea is based on wrong understanding of reality. Because for most people "to be" very often means "to be permanent", "to remain in a certain state for a long time". On this confusioin is based Zeno's aporia "Arrow". "To be" applied to the external world simply means "to be perceived", without implication of duration. The existence of the things is momentary and there is no contradiction in it. We may speak there is something else which exists but this doesn't destroy the existence of things. But in this case we perhaps have to give another definition to the predicate "exist".

jeeprs;104967 wrote:

There is only a contradiction if your practise is conducted for selfish reasons. If you practise for the benefit of all beings, then there is no contradiction.

Is it a reply to my question?

prothero;105197 wrote:
I have to say "acceptance" "detachment" "indifference" is just not the Western way. The Western way is to solve problems and try to make the world a better place. To struggle and suffer in the pursuit of higher values and higher ideals. Ideally those pursuits involve freedom, creativity, human rights, human respect and equality of opportunity, respresentative government and the rule of law but "acceptance" is just not the "way".

Well, I think we should not separate the West from the East. For example, stoics taught the same:
"Lead me, O Zeus, and thou, O Destiny,
Lead thou me on.
To whatsoever task thou sendest me,
Lead thou me on.
I follow fearless, or, if in mistrust
I lag and will not, follow still I must."
The Western obsession with human rights has its root in the false implication that if the external conditions are arranged appropriately, we shall have happier life. When one comes to know what the happiness really is, politics in all forms drops.

Pangloss;105200 wrote:
I don't think that Buddhism teaches a person to simply "accept" and not try to make the world a better place. In fact, Buddhism is all about changing the way our minds work, in order to be more compassionate and understanding. When more people make this change, there is improvement on the societal scale.

Agree absolutely. And this the only way to make change outwardly -- to make it within oneself

Pangloss;105200 wrote:
This does not at all mean that impermanent, worldly affairs are not important. Take the Dalai Lama, for example, who is Buddhist, but very political, and involved in many Western affairs.

Dalai-lama doesn't seem to be Buddist at all. He is as Buddhist as our patriarch or pope are Christians. Having read his books I see that his "social doctrine" implies violence, government. His justification of old superstitions also disgusts.

jeeprs;105219 wrote:
Pangloss is entirely correct. Buddhism has been a vastly civilizing influence where it has gone, and is generally very progressive and practical. The image of the indifferent sage absorbed in nirvanic bliss is a stereotype from the Catholic Encyclopedia. (Look it up - it is exactly what it says.) King Asoka, the Buddhist Monarch, created one of the first universal civil codes and concept of the welfare state, all before the birth of Jesus. In fact if Buddhist civilization in India had not been destroyed by the Mughals, who knows what the result might have been.

And the same with Ashoka. King is that one who has political authority. Authority is impossible without violence. Buddhism as well as Christianity has always tried to find support from ruling classes, promising them heaven or good rebirth if they help to spread the teaching. Ashoka, emp. Constantine, prince Vladimir are manifestation of one nature.

jeeprs;105305 wrote:
With fools no company keeping...

It is the weak side of Buddhism: it makes a chasm between so-called sages and fools. But this is wrong and to call someone fool that is call him incapable of understanding is surely one of the most delusions (sins) as Christ said. This causes self-glorification and separation, and violence in the end (supreme and inferior race). Therefore the best thing (and the only true) is to have no idea of others which is in accordance with the freedom from thought. We all are like river and those who are "fools" may appear to be the highest sages if we help them.
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  2  
Reply Sat 27 Nov, 2010 07:07 am
In the Buddhist perspective as detailed in the Pali Canon, there was no distinction between what exists and what was or could be experienced. The core teachings of the Buddha (the Four Ennobling Truths, anatta and paticca samuppada) don't include any cosmology or ontology.

He declared stress, the origins of stress and the path leading to the cessation of stress, and that this cessation could be accomplished "in this very fathom-long body", which I'm pretty sure he meant to apply to anyone, not just himself.

No matter how carefully you look, you can't find a soul. You can't find a single aspect of your existence that remains unchanged throughout your lifetime that you could declare as your self or identity that persists throughout. Without that, there is no other conclusion but that the self is an illusion of perspective brought about by the collocation of the various sense organs with the nervous system. IOW, whatever we experience, whether we label it self or other, is process, not being. Since persistence over time is a part of the definition of a being, we do not actually experience being or beings. We experience a series of causally interconnected processes, which will eventually dissipate.

That's not nihilism, however, nor is it pessimistic. There is something going on; it's just not what we ordinarily think of it as. It's kinda like finding out that we're composed of subatomic particles that have no particular location or 'stuff-ness' to them in the conventional sense, only probabilities and collapsing wave functions. Fun stuff.
Eudaimon
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Nov, 2010 08:42 am
@FBM,
Indeed. But let us look at the problem in an unusual way. How do we know that everything changes? Obviously from our memory. We remember that this body was small one day, then grew up; that we used to hate thinks we love now etc. But all this is a product of our memory, our mind. If any moment we forgot everything, there would no change, no past at all.
You say that "whatever we experience... is process, not being". I think that you are wrong here. Because none of us experiences process. We can't even say what we experience because we can speak only of what is in our mind and not of reality.
The idea of no-self was born from the belief that memory is reality. So, if the Buddha was teaching that, he got in the same trap as materialists.
There is yet one big problem in the Buddha's teaching. Such a view that we are compounds of elements and nothing more would be logical in a system of a tyrant who is ready to sacrifice the lives of millions. But the Buddha... was teaching non-violence, compassion... What for?
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Nov, 2010 09:20 am
@Eudaimon,
Let's look at the problem in a realistic way. A chain of dominoes is a process, a series of connected events that depends on previous conditions. Yet the process of the falling of the dominoes contains no entity.

The biochemical processes that condition this perception of continuity are instantaneous processes, causally connected to yet ontologically distinct from the previous conditions. No entity abides throughout. That's an illusion. It's a useful illusion, no doubt, as it aids greatly in survival, but an illusion nonetheless. The proprioceptive regions in the brain produce a SENSE of self, not a true, enduring self in the conventional sense. A fine, yet crucial distinction.

You lost me on the tyrant bit. *scratches head*
Eudaimon
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Nov, 2010 11:36 am
@FBM,
There is no biochemistry or whatever apart from my head. THIS is realistic view, I deem. One has within his memory a set of reminiscences, experiences etc., then he starts organising them, making a theory. The illusion comes into being when one starts believing that his theory is reality.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2011 08:52 pm
@Eudaimon,
The bottom line, I should say:
Buddhaghosa wrote:
"Mere suffering exists, but no sufferer is found; The deeds are, but no doer is found"

...and practice, just practice, direct and immediate ontological clarity, no speculation, i.e., the attempt to find ideas to attach to...which is what I'm doing now...even though there's no "me" to do it.
0 Replies
 
 

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