Is Buddhism exclusive ?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
User avatar
rightviewftw
Posts: 2427
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by rightviewftw » Tue May 22, 2018 12:02 pm

binocular wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:20 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:31 am
binocular wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:38 am
You should be giving me credit for not appropriating Buddhism.
Why? You "appropriate" Buddhism just as much as anyone else does.
No. As far as I can see, I'm one of the few people who's aware of religious boundaries and is able to discuss them. Most people experience this in a negative way, as "One step forward, one step back". Or "two steps back", as the case may be.
The only relevant difference is that after nearly a decade and 5,200-odd posts here, you are saying things like:
I don't feel excluded from Buddhism because of my "bad experiences with Buddhists". Bah, that's shallow. I feel exlcuded from it because I am utterly foreign to it, alien to it. I cannot but treat Buddhism with "an alien cultural overlay".
This reminds me of literature classes in highschool. We had the same teacher for all four years, so there was a certain sense of continuity and familiarity. And yet at the end of the fourth year, after having read and analyzed together yet another great book of literature, I asked something like, "But how do we know that our analyses are true? How can we know what the author really meant?" And I was met with disdain and incredulity.

It's like that in religions as well. People slowly internalize bits of the religion they happen to be interested in, but rarely, if ever, question their most fundamental motives for their interest in said religion, or their qualifications for it. Instead, they become sure, confident, they have faith, they believe they see benefits of their religious practice, they get comfortable. They take for granted. They go along, they get along. They consume. And they get horribly offended by anyone who sticks around but who doesn't fit this pattern.

In fact, I think everyone would benefit from coming to the point I'm at, because that's the point at which one's interests and commitments can begin to be properly analyzed and evaluated.
I think that am no more offended by people not being commited to training than i am at irritated at birds for not training but i think it is somewhat rude when these people tell me about the fruits of my practice or lack of thereof. Especially when people dismiss pivotal points of the doctrine as religious mumbo-jumbo and express views that they arrive at by reasoning ala "Buddhism is a religion, Christianity is a religion, an aspect of Christianity is X, therefore religions are X, therefore Buddhism is X" and that operating with a very particular definition of "religion".

In this thread in example two people have said that i "believe things", things largely unspecified mind you and they do so by reasoning i outlined. I think this is very rude and is basically a way to invalidate whatever i have to say on matters of truth and reality. I do not get upset anyway but it is akin to calling someone crazy without establishing it as a truth.

There is probably little to be gained in discussing a practice with people who don't practice, not the worst way to waste time anyway :heart: .

binocular
Posts: 6494
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by binocular » Tue May 22, 2018 12:19 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:42 am
Sorry, excepting the personal anecdote, I consider the whole of your post to be factually inaccurate and muddled.
If you could relate to it, we wouldn't be having this conversation; and we wouldn't be having it either if I would be more like most others.
Good luck to you too.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

binocular
Posts: 6494
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by binocular » Tue May 22, 2018 12:23 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:02 pm
I think this is very rude and is basically a way to invalidate whatever i have to say on matters of truth and reality.
Not at all. It's an opportunity for you to understand the other party, to see where they're coming from, to see what their concerns are and to relate to those concerns.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 5533
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Sam Vara » Tue May 22, 2018 12:24 pm

binocular wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:19 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 11:42 am
Sorry, excepting the personal anecdote, I consider the whole of your post to be factually inaccurate and muddled.
If you could relate to it, we wouldn't be having this conversation; and we wouldn't be having it either if I would be more like most others.
Good luck to you too.
I have related to it. That's why I think it's factually inaccurate and muddled. "Relating to" is different from "taking seriously".

User avatar
Karma Dondrup Tashi
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:41 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Karma Dondrup Tashi » Tue May 22, 2018 12:44 pm

James Tan wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 1:24 am
In Buddhism , buddhist sustain that life is meaningless ...
I don't think so.

User avatar
rightviewftw
Posts: 2427
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by rightviewftw » Tue May 22, 2018 12:45 pm

binocular wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:23 pm
rightviewftw wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:02 pm
I think this is very rude and is basically a way to invalidate whatever i have to say on matters of truth and reality.
Not at all. It's an opportunity for you to understand the other party, to see where they're coming from, to see what their concerns are and to relate to those concerns.
It is seemingly not hard to understand how the other party arrives at their conclusion and what kind of ignorance supposedly conditions it. I myself most of my life knew of Buddhism and reincarnation, i also loosely knew of Nibbana being ultimate goal. I viewed Buddhism as religion and assumed that monks were taking Nibbana on faith much like Christians believed in heaven.

Saying categorically "it is not possible that the Buddha was rightfully said to have attained the highest meditative attainments and that his disciples nowadays also attain the highest meditative attainments and that it is impossible to go beyond faith in the Dhamma" that does not really mean anything because it is neither backed by proof nor authority established as such.

The contrary statement, that statement is backed by the 2500+ old tradition and the authority of the Tathagata and what regards the proof it is offered to the extent that the Dhamma is explained and invites verification.

If one wants to then say that "but so do other religions" that is not true, The Tathagata is not Jesus Christ, the Sutta Pitaka is not the Bible, 4NTs are not Heaven and one really has to study the evidence offered.

binocular
Posts: 6494
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by binocular » Tue May 22, 2018 6:57 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:45 pm
It is seemingly not hard to understand how the other party arrives at their conclusion and what kind of ignorance supposedly conditions it.
That's a lot of confidence to have in one's mindreading abilities ...
Saying categorically "it is not possible that the Buddha was rightfully said to have attained the highest meditative attainments and that his disciples nowadays also attain the highest meditative attainments and that it is impossible to go beyond faith in the Dhamma" that does not really mean anything because it is neither backed by proof nor authority established as such.
Who said that??
If one wants to then say that "but so do other religions" that is not true, The Tathagata is not Jesus Christ, the Sutta Pitaka is not the Bible, 4NTs are not Heaven and one really has to study the evidence offered.
I say that other religions make the same type of statement, the same type of claims, not the same statements, not the same claims.
Buddhist apologists often sound like Christian apologists. The names and key concepts are of course different, but the religious epistemology they present, or imply, is often the same.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

binocular
Posts: 6494
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by binocular » Tue May 22, 2018 7:47 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:24 pm
I have related to it. That's why I think it's factually inaccurate and muddled. "Relating to" is different from "taking seriously".
My highschool literature teacher and classmates were surprised and disappointed that after all that time, after putting in so much effort into reading and analyzing great works of literature, I could still have such fundamental doubts and questions. (As I found out much later, there are whole schools in the theory of literature that concern themselves precisely with the questions I had.)

Similar can happen in religion. People "go with the program", never questioning the fundamental assumptions about what they do. And when dealing with people who have also "gone with the program" but who do have fundamental questions, they are surprised and disappointed as to how this can happen.

I think most religious people have merely faith and book knowledge, but seem to be okay with that, or even think that they have developed wisdom, that they have in fact advanced. Realizing that one has merely faith and book knowledge can be a scary, alienating experience. But I also think it's a good and important experience, because then at least one has a more realistic idea of what one actually knows and doesn't know.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

User avatar
Grigoris
Posts: 422
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:43 am

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Grigoris » Tue May 22, 2018 8:00 pm

So basically you are saying that you are better and more unique than everybody else. That'll win you a bunch of friends in no time. :tongue:
ye dhammā hetuppabhavā tesaṁ hetuṁ tathāgato āha,
tesaṃca yo nirodho - evaṁvādī mahāsamaṇo.

Of those phenomena which arise from causes:
Those causes have been taught by the Tathāgata,
And their cessation too - thus proclaims the Great Ascetic.

binocular
Posts: 6494
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by binocular » Tue May 22, 2018 8:33 pm

"More unique". LOL.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 5533
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Sam Vara » Tue May 22, 2018 10:01 pm

binocular wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 7:47 pm
Similar can happen in religion. People "go with the program", never questioning the fundamental assumptions about what they do. And when dealing with people who have also "gone with the program" but who do have fundamental questions, they are surprised and disappointed as to how this can happen.

I think most religious people have merely faith and book knowledge, but seem to be okay with that, or even think that they have developed wisdom, that they have in fact advanced. Realizing that one has merely faith and book knowledge can be a scary, alienating experience. But I also think it's a good and important experience, because then at least one has a more realistic idea of what one actually knows and doesn't know.
Yes, I think you are right. I think the Buddha would have labelled this as a form of clinging; an attachment to a sense of belonging and the comfort of dogmatic views. Another form would be an attachment to empty ritualistic questioning or a sense of one's own oppositional righteousness. Both lead to suffering.

The really beautiful thing about wisdom is that we all have the seeds of discernment within us already. We can develop it from whatever state we are in at the moment, but it needs effort.

User avatar
rightviewftw
Posts: 2427
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm
Contact:

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by rightviewftw » Tue May 22, 2018 11:17 pm

binocular wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:57 pm
rightviewftw wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:45 pm
It is seemingly not hard to understand how the other party arrives at their conclusion and what kind of ignorance supposedly conditions it.
That's a lot of confidence to have in one's mindreading abilities ...
meh hardly mindreading
binocular wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:57 pm
rightviewftw wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 12:45 pm
It is seemingly not hard to understand how the other party arrives at their conclusion and what kind of ignorance supposedly conditions it.
That's a lot of confidence to have in one's mindreading abilities ...
Saying categorically "it is not possible that the Buddha was rightfully said to have attained the highest meditative attainments and that his disciples nowadays also attain the highest meditative attainments and that it is impossible to go beyond faith in the Dhamma" that does not really mean anything because it is neither backed by proof nor authority established as such.
Who said that??
imo it has been assumed by implication by many, you as well
binocular wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 6:57 pm
I say that other religions make the same type of statement, the same type of claims, not the same statements, not the same claims.
Buddhist apologists often sound like Christian apologists. The names and key concepts are of course different, but the religious epistemology they present, or imply, is often the same.
can you give some actual examples of particular analogues in the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to methods of validition and scope of justified belief and verification between Buddhist and Christian doctrines? In other words can you give examples and outline the extent of epistemological overlap at the level of actual doctrine and particular concepts, perphaps draw parallels to the Canki and Maha-Saccaka Sutta excerpts;
"If a person has conviction, his statement, 'This is my conviction,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth. But it is not yet an awakening to the truth.

"If a person likes something... holds an unbroken tradition... has something reasoned through analogy... has something he agrees to, having pondered views, his statement, 'This is what I agree to, having pondered views,' safeguards the truth. But he doesn't yet come to the definite conclusion that 'Only this is true; anything else is worthless.' To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. I describe this as the safeguarding of the truth. But it is not yet an awakening to the truth.

"Yes, Master Gotama, to this extent there is the safeguarding of the truth. To this extent one safeguards the truth. We regard this as the safeguarding of the truth. But to what extent is there an awakening to the truth? To what extent does one awaken to the truth? We ask Master Gotama about awakening to the truth."

"There is the case, Bharadvaja, where a monk lives in dependence on a certain village or town. Then a householder or householder's son goes to him and observes him with regard to three mental qualities — qualities based on greed, qualities based on aversion, qualities based on delusion:...
When, on observing that the monk is purified with regard to qualities ... he places conviction in him. With the arising of conviction, he visits him & grows close to him. Growing close to him, he lends ear. Lending ear, he hears the Dhamma. Hearing the Dhamma, he remembers it. Remembering it, he penetrates the meaning of those dhammas. Penetrating the meaning, he comes to an agreement through pondering those dhammas. There being an agreement through pondering those dhammas, desire arises. With the arising of desire, he becomes willing. Willing, he contemplates . Contemplating, he makes an exertion. Exerting himself, he both realizes the ultimate meaning of the truth with his body and sees by penetrating it with discernment.

"To this extent, Bharadvaja, there is an awakening to the truth. To this extent one awakens to the truth. I describe this as an awakening to the truth. But it is not yet the final attainment of the truth.

"Yes, Master Gotama, to this extent there is an awakening to the truth. To this extent one awakens to the truth. We regard this as an awakening to the truth. But to what extent is there the final attainment of the truth? To what extent does one finally attain the truth? We ask Master Gotama about the final attainment of the truth."

"The cultivation, development, & pursuit of those very same qualities: to this extent, Bharadvaja, there is the final attainment of the truth. To this extent one finally
"It was not long before I quickly learned the doctrine. As far as mere lip-reciting & repetition, I could speak the words of knowledge, the words of the elders, and I could affirm that I knew & saw — I, along with others.

"I thought: 'It isn't through mere conviction alone that Alara Kalama declares, "I have entered & dwell in this Dhamma, having realized it for myself through direct knowledge." Certainly he dwells knowing & seeing this Dhamma.' So I went to him and said, 'To what extent do you declare that you have entered & dwell in this Dhamma?' When this was said, he declared the dimension of nothingness.

"I thought: 'Not only does Alara Kalama have conviction, persistence, mindfulness, concentration, & discernment. I, too, have conviction, persistence, mindfulness, concentration, & discernment. What if I were to endeavor to realize for myself the Dhamma that Alara Kalama declares he has entered & dwells in, having realized it for himself through direct knowledge.' So it was not long before I quickly entered & dwelled in that Dhamma, having realized it for myself through direct knowledge. I went to him and said, 'Friend Kalama, is this the extent to which you have entered & dwell in this Dhamma, having realized it for yourself through direct knowledge?'

"'Yes, my friend...'

"'This, friend, is the extent to which I, too, have entered & dwell in this Dhamma, having realized it for myself through direct knowledge.'

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Saengnapha » Wed May 23, 2018 8:02 am

binocular wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:09 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 10:34 am
Most people that use sound logic would probably tell you that you have no way of knowing what it was like back in the Buddha's time. Most scholar's argue even about the authenticity of many suttas and treatises, not to mention the alterations that take place over thousands of years. Why believe in this? It's not a necessary step for studying Buddhism.
It may not be a necessary step for studying the Dhamma, but it seems like a necessary step for studying Buddhism.
The question is, whether there can be Buddhism without the Dhamma, or the Dhamma without Buddhism.
You are implying that there is such a thing as Dhamma apart from Buddhism? This would go against what most of the people here believe in.

Saengnapha
Posts: 1350
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:17 am

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Saengnapha » Wed May 23, 2018 8:08 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 10:01 pm
binocular wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 7:47 pm
Similar can happen in religion. People "go with the program", never questioning the fundamental assumptions about what they do. And when dealing with people who have also "gone with the program" but who do have fundamental questions, they are surprised and disappointed as to how this can happen.

I think most religious people have merely faith and book knowledge, but seem to be okay with that, or even think that they have developed wisdom, that they have in fact advanced. Realizing that one has merely faith and book knowledge can be a scary, alienating experience. But I also think it's a good and important experience, because then at least one has a more realistic idea of what one actually knows and doesn't know.
Yes, I think you are right. I think the Buddha would have labelled this as a form of clinging; an attachment to a sense of belonging and the comfort of dogmatic views. Another form would be an attachment to empty ritualistic questioning or a sense of one's own oppositional righteousness. Both lead to suffering.

The really beautiful thing about wisdom is that we all have the seeds of discernment within us already. We can develop it from whatever state we are in at the moment, but it needs effort.
Effort implies wanting to achieve something. This implies desire. Isn't there a sense of attachment in this?
OTOH, attentiveness implies nothing but attending to what is. It is not involved with desire or attachment and is not propelled by effort. Effort uses the conditioned mind. Attentiveness does not.

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 5533
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed May 23, 2018 8:11 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 8:02 am
binocular wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 7:09 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 10:34 am
Most people that use sound logic would probably tell you that you have no way of knowing what it was like back in the Buddha's time. Most scholar's argue even about the authenticity of many suttas and treatises, not to mention the alterations that take place over thousands of years. Why believe in this? It's not a necessary step for studying Buddhism.
It may not be a necessary step for studying the Dhamma, but it seems like a necessary step for studying Buddhism.
The question is, whether there can be Buddhism without the Dhamma, or the Dhamma without Buddhism.
You are implying that there is such a thing as Dhamma apart from Buddhism? This would go against what most of the people here believe in.
I suppose this depends on how the term Dhamma is construed. Either as the Buddha's sasana or dispensation, in which case it is inseparable from Buddhism as a set of cultural practices; or as "the way things are", the norm or experiential regularity which even the Buddha conceptually detaches from his own teachings.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cappuccino, char101, gonflable, Majestic-12 [Bot] and 139 guests