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philosophical, what are your thoughts on this?

 
 
void123
 
Reply Tue 29 Apr, 2014 06:15 am
I perceive the teachings of the world to be the illusion of magicians - buddha
do you think this so? or no? why?
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 3,218 • Replies: 55
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dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Apr, 2014 10:41 am
@void123,
There's some truth to the notion, with learning or skepticism wanes

http://www.bena.com/lucidcafe/library/96jun/buddha2.html
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Apr, 2014 05:39 pm
@dalehileman,
Budha-Budda-Budba-Bubba_
Budha to Bubba in 4 moves.
Coincidence? I think not!
void123
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Apr, 2014 10:20 pm
@dalehileman,
i think so too.
but what do you think are the epistemological implications of such statement?
void123
 
  0  
Reply Tue 29 Apr, 2014 10:21 pm
@farmerman,
point?
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2014 04:33 am
@void123,
void123 wrote:

I perceive the teachings of the world to be the illusion of magicians - buddha
do you think this so? or no? why?



I thought that sounded a bit out of character for the Buddha of the Pali Canon, so I did some checking around and found this:

Quote:
First, let's become clear about what this book, 101 Zen Stories, is before discussing any philosophy or whatever that it is alluding to.

I have a translation of this book in the Paul Reps publication Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings. In the preface we find the following:

"101 Zen Stories was first published in 1939 by Ryder and Company, London, and David McKay Company, Philadelphia. These stories recount actual experiences of Chinese and Japanese Zen teachers over a period of more than five centuries."

Further on is stated: "These stories were transcribed into English from a book called Shaseki-shu (Collection of Stone and Sand), written late in the thirteenth century by the Japanese Zen teacher Muju (the "non-dweller") and from anecdotes of Zen monks taken from various books published in Japan around the turn of the present century [1900]."

Therefore, we are NOT looking at anything that can be authenticated as having derived from the earliest talks given by Gotama that are known to exist (the Pali Canon). The source of these stories are from Zen teachers and monks.

FBM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2014 04:33 am
@void123,
void123 wrote:

I perceive the teachings of the world to be the illusion of magicians - buddha
do you think this so? or no? why?



I thought that sounded a bit out of character for the Buddha of the Pali Canon, so I did some checking around and found this:

Quote:
First, let's become clear about what this book, 101 Zen Stories, is before discussing any philosophy or whatever that it is alluding to.

I have a translation of this book in the Paul Reps publication Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings. In the preface we find the following:

"101 Zen Stories was first published in 1939 by Ryder and Company, London, and David McKay Company, Philadelphia. These stories recount actual experiences of Chinese and Japanese Zen teachers over a period of more than five centuries."

Further on is stated: "These stories were transcribed into English from a book called Shaseki-shu (Collection of Stone and Sand), written late in the thirteenth century by the Japanese Zen teacher Muju (the "non-dweller") and from anecdotes of Zen monks taken from various books published in Japan around the turn of the present century [1900]."

Therefore, we are NOT looking at anything that can be authenticated as having derived from the earliest talks given by Gotama that are known to exist (the Pali Canon). The source of these stories are from Zen teachers and monks.

0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2014 11:32 am
@void123,
Quote:
but what do you think are the epistemological implications of such statement?
Take it all with a grain of salt
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2014 12:10 pm
@void123,
I conclude that the Buddha was a lazy student.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2014 02:57 pm
Siddhartha was one of history's great con artists. Great work if you can get it. This is the kind of vague statement which is common in religion, which only requires a particular gullibility and sense of spirituality on the part of the sucker . . . uhm, i mean believer.

In context, Hindu culture has always been overrun with another type of con man who claims to be able to cast spells so that on can attain one's heart's desire. It persists to this day. Frequently, at the time the day begins in North America, this site will be flooded with spam threads in which the author claims to have magic spells which can get the object(s) of one's desires--for a fee, of course. They are from India. There's a particularly popular one which is called Vashikaran, They claim to be tantric spells, and are often billed as black magic, as that, apparently, has a strong appeal.
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2014 04:40 pm
@Setanta,
What was Siddhartha's con? (Also, note that that's not a quote from the Buddha, but a later invention of Mahayana, which is a more egregious con.)
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2014 05:03 pm
@FBM,
I accept the condemnation of Mahayana. The con was that which soon embraced his most mentally adroit followers--that the impoverished peasants of Asia would support a large, non-contributing class who merely spouted quasi-religious shibboleths.
FBM
 
  2  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2014 05:49 pm
@Setanta,
I'm not convinced that there's as much to Buddhism as is advertised, but I'm not convinced it was a con from the beginning, though. As for not contributing, would you say that today's psychologists, counselors and therapists are non-contributing? Not the woo-peddlers like Deepak Chopkra, but the sort that you'd find in a mainstream hospital.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2014 06:16 pm
@FBM,
I consider a lot of that to be pseudo-science, and although they might be said (he said, dubiously) to contribute to a feeling of well-being among their victims . . . excuse me, their patients, the situations are not analogous. Two thousand years ago, the majority of the inhabitants of southern Asia were hard pressed to get enough to eat, and to get clean water to drink and cook with. Two thousand years later, possibly the majority, but certainly millions and millions of the inhabitants of southern Asia are hard pressed to get enough to eat and clean water to drink and to cook with. Anyone in Europe or North America who doesn't get enough to eat or have clean water to drink and to cook with is a part of a tiny minority, and has probably been marginalized through their own circumstances, for which they may be personally responsible. Shrinks in western culture are a symptom, in my never humble opinion, of too much money and too little sense.

However, your question suggests that "holy men" in southern Asia served in the place of psychologists, counselors and therapists in their culture. I don't buy that for a minute. Tell a starving peasant that the way to end his suffering is through enlightenment, and circumstance may prove you right--if he sits down to contemplate the oneness of the universe, his crops wont't get planted anc harvested, and he will soon die, along with his family, but his suffering will surely be ended. However, it would not have behooved the Buddhist monk of ages gone by to advise that, because it would have left his rice bowl empty, as well.
FBM
 
  2  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2014 06:43 pm
@Setanta,
There is definitely some self-serving aspects of the Vinaya, but I think you're over-generalizing about the majority of people having been on the brink of starvation during the Buddha's lifetime. That's not borne out by the stories in the Pali Canon, nor by archaeological evidence. Gautama lived when there was a population shift from rural agrarian life to city life, and when there was a shift from bartering to coinage. It was mostly a time of prosperity, though there a couple of droughts and a resulting famine or two are known.

Also, it's not like the monks were taking food out of the mouths of starving people. There were lots of mendicants of various sects (or no sect at all) at the time and it was a part of the culture to support those who were seeking after the truth by taking the homeless and possessionless route. That existed before Gautama and continues to exist today.

In my experience as a monk in Thailand, I can tell you from direct experience that the monks on their morning alms rounds do not pose a burden on the poor. The very poor people whom we encountered would usually just give us a little plastic bag of clean water. According to their superstition about making merit, that's just as worthy as giving a full meal. People give according to their ability, if at all, and there's no penalty for not giving.

Also, our monastery served as a refuge for people who were stressed out from daily life. They would take a few days off, hang out and meditate in the peace and quiet, talk with a senior monk about their problems, etc. Even if they didn't get counseling from a monk, the monks maintain the refuge, and thereby provide a service. But I did experience many occasions, quite routine, when monks were giving counseling to people with problems. Buddhism is all about the alleviation of mental suffering, after all. It's not a cosmology or even a soteriology in the common sense. Gautama taught that whatever gods or heavens may exist, they're not important. Instead, you've got to work things out for yourself, and, he said, that's easier if you follow some of his advice. Overcoming anger, greed and delusion is greatly aided by the meditation practices he taught, in my experience.

Now, I'm all for exposing the bullshit in Buddhism. I could go into a good deal of detail about what I experienced. But I'm not interested in blindly throwing a blanket over the whole of anything and claiming without thorough examination that the whole thing is a scam. There are even good parts about xtianity and Islam, despite how fucked up they are otherwise. I'd rather study and discern the details instead of lazily and sloppily throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2014 07:05 pm
@FBM,
I didn't say that people were on the brink of starvation--you're adding an unwarranted drama to the discussion. I said they were hard pressed to get enough to eat and clean water to drink and to cook with. I also didn't say that monks were taking the food out of anyone's mouths. However, unless i am very much mistaken, Buddhist monks do not commonly till the soil and distribute any largesse. In the Gothic era and in what one might call the "low" middle ages, monasteries were often the bulwark for the poor between death by starvation or of the diseases of malnutrition, and enough to get by. By the High Middle Ages, there was enough prosperity that the prospect of famine receded, and was usually only an artifact of political exploitation. The monasteries had by then gotten enough endowments that the image of the fat, gluttonous monk had become common.

I don't see Buddhism as any less "fucked-up" than Christianity and Islam. Thailand is, of course, a more prosperous nation than many others in southern Asia, but there are still problems for the poor there--largely in getting reliably clean water. If you are claiming that i've said "the whole thing is a scam," i will only point out, once again, that the "holy men" of Buddhism, or of Hinduism, for that matter, are not contributing members in the physical welfare of the populations among whom they reside. These days, that is sadly and largely true of the clergy of Christianity, too.
Romeo Fabulini
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2014 08:25 pm
Quote:
Void said: I perceive the teachings of the world to be the illusion of magicians - buddha
do you think this so? or no? why?

Could well be..

"All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream" Edgar Allen Poe
"You can be in my dream if i can be in your dream" -Bob Dylan
"We are such stuff as dreams are made on" -The Tempest
"Strawberry Fields, nothing is real" - The Beatles
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one'' -Einstein
"What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (Bible: James 4:14)
"Have you ever had a dream that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?" (Morpheus in The Matrix)


And of course, Jesus was a Master of the Art of Dream Manipulation, bending this dream we call "reality" to produce what seemed like miracles to people..Smile


0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2014 08:49 pm
@Setanta,
I wasn't intending to add drama. I don't like drama in discussions. I wasn't trying to distort your message. I was responding with the understanding that I got from reading what you wrote. If I misunderstood, then that might be for a number of other reasons. Nor am I out to change your opinion; I'm simply expressing mine in response to yours, as I find the topic an interesting one for discussion. Not debate or arguing. I'm not trying to win an internet argument, but learn something from an informed discussion.
void123
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 May, 2014 05:00 am
@dalehileman,
i'd say that's correct
0 Replies
 
void123
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 May, 2014 05:01 am
@Olivier5,
how do you support your claim?
0 Replies
 
 

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