Sam Vara wrote: ↑
Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:49 pm
You might be quite sure of it, but it sounds as if you are extrapolating from a fantasy or a tiny oddment of behaviour here.
Look at some posters here: they aren't even willing to refrain from strawmanning. They're too spiritual for that.
At my local monastery, people in distress - psychological as well as physical - are met with waves of concern and practical help. The sangha sometimes turn out in the middle of the night to help neighbours with storm damage.
Well, that's nice.
Again, unwarranted extrapolation which discounts Universalism and grace within Christianity,
God thinks we, by default, all deserve to burn in hell for all eternity. If it weren't for this belief of God's, there'd be no need or use for Jesus.
but there is no "taboo" about how one is supposed to pick the right religion. Some people might not want us to make informed choices about religion, but nobody is stopping you from doing it. Do you seriously expect someone to do your thinking for you?
Have you used up all your metta for the day?
Millennia of philosophy down the drain.
In the same way that it is not and cannot be up to me to decide how much 2 + 2 is, it is not and cannot be up to me to decide what the ontological and epistemological Truth is. Choosing a religion is an epistemologically unintelligible action. One cannot unilaterally make choices about that which precedes or contextualizes one (and religions are typically about that which preceds or contextualizes one). Throughout history, most people never chose their religion.
Unless you downgrade religion to a mere hobby or accessoire.
Do you really think that monks are happy to have put in thousands of hours of studying, chanting, pujas, and meditation, so that then you can take their words as mere suggestions?
Well, you don't have self-esteem issues, that's for sure!
Last year I attended a talk by Ajahn Brahm where he explicitly said that he was happy for us to take or leave whatever he had said.
Ajahn Brahm ...
Monastics regularly make a similar point at the end of dhamma talks. Never in many years of associating with monastics have I been asked to take something as "true". It has always been "ehipassiko".
Of course they say that. But what is it actually supposed to mean? Isn't it just a polite way of saying, "If you try hard enough, you'll see that what I'm saying is true"?
Different lineages have different rules for monks talking to females, and what counts as the kind of secluded spot that could be the basis for gossip, etc. At my local monastery, you wouldn't need a chaperon in anything like the normal sense of the term. Provided you didn't insist on sitting in solitude with a monk in his kuti, you could ask them questions like all the other female lay supporters do here. It happens every week outside of retreats. If you want the full kuti experience, you could of course always talk to a nun!
Doesn't change that my questions would most likely be perceived as rude, as blatant disrespect. Knowing I'm on their turf, I wouldn't ask those questions anyway.
When monks, and many lays, give Dhamma talks, it is in the language of full conviction, there is no hint of "Oh, but that's just my unenlightened opinion" in the way they speak.
I've often heard monastics use that very phrase, or one similar in meaning.
I have never heard them say such things. Some monks even get furious if their words aren't taken for gold.
Here we are at the nub of the issue, and my guess is that it is due to an extrapolation from Catholicism filling the void of your lack of contact with Sangha. I doubt if you can find a single injunction from Theravadans that you have got to take anything on blind faith.
Catholics, other Christians, and many others, will say the same thing about their religion.
Much more importantly, even if there were such an injunction, you don't have to follow it. You can think for yourself. That's why it is ehipassikadhamma.
It's not up to you to give such permissions.
And again, your solution to the problem of religious choice is on the level of a popular women's magazine. Sorry.