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Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism? - Dhamma Wheel

Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Lazy_eye
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Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:35 pm

All,

During some recent discussions, I was reminded of a question brought up by Ven. Paññāsikhara in reference to . Specifically, "is there a gnostic aim of Buddhism, i.e. an object of knowledge which is the goal, or is it sheer destruction of afflictions"?

When we look at the Buddha's accounts of his awakening, as described in the , the answer appears to be yes. At all three watches of the night, the Buddha gains "knowledge".

"I remembered my manifold past lives in their modes & details...This was the first knowledge I attained in the first watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute.

"I discerned how they [beings] are inferior & superior, beautiful & ugly, fortunate & unfortunate in accordance with their kamma. This was the second knowledge I attained in the second watch of the night..."

"I discerned that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'... This was the third knowledge I attained in the third watch of the night..."

To what extent do you see the path in terms of gnosis?

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mikenz66
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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:22 pm

Thanks for pointing out that excellent discussion, Lazy Eye...

:anjali:
Mike

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PadmaPhala
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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby PadmaPhala » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:18 am

in a way yes, so that there's no more ignorance.

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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:54 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:04 am


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Mr Man
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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby Mr Man » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:03 am


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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby Coyote » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:11 am

Avijja is one of the afflictions, so the two goals are one and the same.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed May 01, 2013 9:40 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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tiltbillings
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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 9:56 am


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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed May 01, 2013 10:14 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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tiltbillings
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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 10:48 am


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reflection
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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby reflection » Wed May 01, 2013 11:05 am

We could find suttas which seem to point that understanding is a goal, but it is always understanding that leads to freedom. Then there are also various quotes that say the path is taught with the freedom of nibbana as its only goal. In a way wisdom and liberation are the same, but if we look upon it with a wrong view, they are not.

Some people may see the accumulation of knowledge as if it is their knowledge. Something new to attain or become. To become a wise person, able to share their views. It's not hard to get stuck in such an idea. On the other hand, those who are not interested in reality at all, might not investigate it enough. So it's the ground between those two where it's best to walk, I think. Training wisdom for the sake of letting it all go, wisdom itself included.

At certain points in my practice I had to convince myself it was better to investigate a state of mind, to get to see its source. At other points, I wanted to understand "it" in such a way that only caused more craving and restlessness. This happens when I wanted to understand it without having the clearer picture of why. It's not understanding to just know, it's understanding to be a bit more liberated. Also, I think it's wise not try to understand something outside our own experience, but always reflect back on our own meditation to understand that. The four noble truths are right there.

:anjali:

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Spiny Norman
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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed May 01, 2013 1:23 pm

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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tiltbillings
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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby tiltbillings » Wed May 01, 2013 1:59 pm


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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu May 02, 2013 12:24 pm

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby kirk5a » Thu May 02, 2013 1:43 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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tiltbillings
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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 02, 2013 4:01 pm


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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby Viscid » Thu May 02, 2013 9:06 pm

"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Re: Is there a gnostic element to the goals of Buddhism?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 02, 2013 10:10 pm



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