Is Buddhism exclusive ?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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rightviewftw
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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
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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.

binocular
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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.

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Grigoris
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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
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

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

"More unique". LOL.

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Sam Vara
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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.

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rightviewftw
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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
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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
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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.

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Sam Vara
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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.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed May 23, 2018 8:19 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 8:08 am
Effort implies wanting to achieve something. This implies desire. Isn't there a sense of attachment in this?
[/quote]

There might be, but there doesn't have to be.
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.
This doesn't really relate to the point I was making and it muddies the waters here, so I'd rather not respond here. Feel free to start another thread or PM me, and I'll happily share my thoughts on this otherwise important topic.

Saengnapha
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Saengnapha » Wed May 23, 2018 8:20 am

Sam Vara wrote:
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

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.
You would have to give me an example of this to be sure I can comprehend what you mean. It seems the Buddha more commonly than not, referenced his 8FP as Dhamma. In any case, the amount of explanation that is needed to understand the suttas is astounding.

If you are saying that the heart of his teaching is Dhamma and the rest is a kind of exoteric explanation, this would still be a very common thread in all religions which make all religions very confusing and leads to 'levels of understanding' that betray 'the way things are' and into exclusivity. In other words, duality.

Saengnapha
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Saengnapha » Wed May 23, 2018 8:21 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 8:19 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 8:08 am
Effort implies wanting to achieve something. This implies desire. Isn't there a sense of attachment in this?
There might be, but there doesn't have to be.
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.
This doesn't really relate to the point I was making and it muddies the waters here, so I'd rather not respond here. Feel free to start another thread or PM me, and I'll happily share my thoughts on this otherwise important topic.
It seems quite simple to me.

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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Dinsdale » Wed May 23, 2018 8:30 am

binocular wrote:
Tue May 22, 2018 9:35 am
Or is it that they're happy despite their Buddhist practice?
I have been addicted to Buddhism practice for many years but the doctors can't do nuffink to 'elp. :tongue:
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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Sam Vara
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Re: Is Buddhism exclusive ?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed May 23, 2018 8:40 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 8:20 am

You would have to give me an example of this to be sure I can comprehend what you mean.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
In any case, the amount of explanation that is needed to understand the suttas is astounding.
Many are self-explanatory, and need no further exegesis. And it depends on what understanding one requires. I don't know many people who think that sutta-knowledge needs to be exhaustive.
If you are saying that the heart of his teaching is Dhamma and the rest is a kind of exoteric explanation
No, I'm not saying that.

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