Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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equilibrium
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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by equilibrium » Sat May 26, 2018 8:11 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 3:50 am
In the Dhamma, doubt is one of the five hindrances.

Doubt specifically about the Dhamma also causes issues...

Yet, if one has absolutely certainty of their understanding of the Dhamma, and has no doubt about it whatsoever, they may be closing their minds to further advancement...

What is the "middle way" between the two extremes of experiencing debilitating skeptical doubt, and ensuring that we don't falsely conclude that "Only this is true; anything else is worthless"?
The teaching teaches that of the middle-way…based on Not-self…which avoids the extremes…so to transcend to that dimension where it is described as: Ud8.3

There is, monks, an unborn— unbecome — unmade — unfabricated. If there were not that unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, there would not be the case that escape from the born — become — made — fabricated would be discerned. But precisely because there is an unborn — unbecome — unmade — unfabricated, escape from the born — become — made — fabricated is discerned.
Only this is true; anything else is worthless
This refers to right view which is the actual experience itself:
On right view…DN22:

And, bhikkhus, what is Right View?
Insight-knowledge of dukkha, Insight-knowledge of the origin of dukkha, Insight-knowledge of the cessation of dukkha, Insight-knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha.
This, bhikkhus, is called Right View.
Path is the middle-way…leading to knowledge & vision with right release.

Transcends between the fabricated and the unborn.

Transcends between Samsara and Nibbana.

Why actual experience?
Because the N8P is only a raft!

binocular
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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by binocular » Sat May 26, 2018 8:19 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 9:56 pm
Having done those things, I falsified it to my own satisfaction. I found that the hypothesis "no such testing can be possible" was false. That testing is possible. Whatever complexity there was, the results were not in fact "all over the place", and it did indeed allow me to make a meaningful interpretation.
That for you, such testing is possible, has nothing to do with the efficacy of your method or what I said being invalid, but mostly with your life already being so orderly that testing and experimenting actually make sense.

When I read your post, I first thought of people living in dysfunctional families, people living in poverty, facing violence, and such. For them, life is very complicated, very complex. In such life circumstances, testing doesn't result in meaningful results.

Why on earth do you think that various religions, philosophies, politics focus on an orderly daily life as a basis for everything else in life?!
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by mikenz66 » Sat May 26, 2018 8:24 am

Way~Farer wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 7:29 am
“If a person has faith, they preserve truth by saying, ‘Such is my faith.’ But they don’t yet come to the definite conclusion: ‘This is the only truth, other ideas are stupid.’
Ought to be in the ToS on both Wheels. :smile:
Unfortunately, though I agree that it should be self-evident that the sutta quote is the sensible way to have a civilised discussion on the Dhamma (or anything else for that matter...), we appear to be in a minority... :cry:

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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by Saengnapha » Sat May 26, 2018 8:24 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 6:50 am

Until we have awakened to the truth, we can preserve or safeguard that truth by acknowledging that we hold it provisionally, merely as a result of the processes listed in the sutta. I love this formulation, because it refers both to our respect for what the Buddha knew and we don't (i.e. we don't, out of vanity, claim to know for sure what we only know conditionally); and it also protects our own truthfulness (i.e. we avoid the dark kamma of verbal misrepresentation).
This can also be construed as a self-deluding concept born of grasping for certainly, clinging to hope. You make it sound so poetic that I can see someone falling for this easily. Doubt and certainty are dualities. They are not Truth and nothing provisional is.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by Sam Vara » Sat May 26, 2018 9:33 am

binocular wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 8:19 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 9:56 pm
Having done those things, I falsified it to my own satisfaction. I found that the hypothesis "no such testing can be possible" was false. That testing is possible. Whatever complexity there was, the results were not in fact "all over the place", and it did indeed allow me to make a meaningful interpretation.
That for you, such testing is possible, has nothing to do with the efficacy of your method
That the method works has everything to do with the efficacy of the method. It may not work for someone else, of course, but the Popperian solution is for them to try it, not to take refuge in beliefs about the world.
When I read your post, I first thought of people living in dysfunctional families, people living in poverty, facing violence, and such. For them, life is very complicated, very complex. In such life circumstances, testing doesn't result in meaningful results.
Well, that's a view, I suppose! I have no problems with amateur sociology, but I wouldn't let my speculations about the inabilities of others prevent me from practising.
Why on earth do you think that various religions, philosophies, politics focus on an orderly daily life as a basis for everything else in life?!
Not all of them do, so I don't think there is a general answer to that one.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by Sam Vara » Sat May 26, 2018 10:06 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 8:24 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 6:50 am

Until we have awakened to the truth, we can preserve or safeguard that truth by acknowledging that we hold it provisionally, merely as a result of the processes listed in the sutta. I love this formulation, because it refers both to our respect for what the Buddha knew and we don't (i.e. we don't, out of vanity, claim to know for sure what we only know conditionally); and it also protects our own truthfulness (i.e. we avoid the dark kamma of verbal misrepresentation).
This can also be construed as a self-deluding concept born of grasping for certainly, clinging to hope. You make it sound so poetic that I can see someone falling for this easily. Doubt and certainty are dualities. They are not Truth and nothing provisional is.
It could be so construed, of course, but only if a few extraneous factors are included. My advice would be to not include them.

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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by Zom » Sat May 26, 2018 10:17 am

What is the "middle way" between the two extremes of experiencing debilitating skeptical doubt, and ensuring that we don't falsely conclude that "Only this is true; anything else is worthless"?
But MN 95 itself answers the question. You believe in certain things (saddha), but some things you know and understand for sure (pannya). As you go ahead, less things remain in "saddha" area, moving to "pannya" area. As for AN 4.184 (and some alike), it speaks about "stream entry", a specific Dhamma understanding, connected with views and self .)

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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by binocular » Sat May 26, 2018 4:41 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 9:33 am
binocular wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 8:19 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 9:56 pm
Having done those things, I falsified it to my own satisfaction. I found that the hypothesis "no such testing can be possible" was false. That testing is possible. Whatever complexity there was, the results were not in fact "all over the place", and it did indeed allow me to make a meaningful interpretation.
That for you, such testing is possible, has nothing to do with the efficacy of your method
That the method works has everything to do with the efficacy of the method. It may not work for someone else, of course, but the Popperian solution is for them to try it, not to take refuge in beliefs about the world.
When I read your post, I first thought of people living in dysfunctional families, people living in poverty, facing violence, and such. For them, life is very complicated, very complex. In such life circumstances, testing doesn't result in meaningful results.
Well, that's a view, I suppose! I have no problems with amateur sociology, but I wouldn't let my speculations about the inabilities of others prevent me from practising.
Why on earth do you think that various religions, philosophies, politics focus on an orderly daily life as a basis for everything else in life?!
Not all of them do, so I don't think there is a general answer to that one.
You indeed 'overstat/e/ /your/ case and should have said "such an acknowledgement may or should help us from being critical of something we can't figure out."'
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by Saengnapha » Sun May 27, 2018 5:57 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 9:33 am
binocular wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 8:19 am

Why on earth do you think that various religions, philosophies, politics focus on an orderly daily life as a basis for everything else in life?!
Not all of them do, so I don't think there is a general answer to that one.
Sam, can you tell us which religions do not focus on having an orderly life as a basis for everything else?

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Sam Vara
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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by Sam Vara » Sun May 27, 2018 6:24 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 5:57 am

Sam, can you tell us which religions do not focus on having an orderly life as a basis for everything else?
"Religions, philosophies, politics..."

Dionysian, for example, and its various offshoots. Some forms of nihilism. My Theravadan teacher even said that aspects of his life (tudong, and the going forth in general) were a deliberate attempt to encounter and cultivate an absence of order and predictability.

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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by Saengnapha » Sun May 27, 2018 6:26 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:24 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 5:57 am

Sam, can you tell us which religions do not focus on having an orderly life as a basis for everything else?
"Religions, philosophies, politics..."

Dionysian, for example, and its various offshoots. Some forms of nihilism. My Theravadan teacher even said that aspects of his life (tudong, and the going forth in general) were a deliberate attempt to encounter and cultivate an absence of order and predictability.
I'm not familiar with this philosophy. I was asking about religions in the sense of what we know today, the major ones, not the obscure and archaic.

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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by Sam Vara » Sun May 27, 2018 6:32 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:26 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:24 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 5:57 am

Sam, can you tell us which religions do not focus on having an orderly life as a basis for everything else?
"Religions, philosophies, politics..."

Dionysian, for example, and its various offshoots. Some forms of nihilism. My Theravadan teacher even said that aspects of his life (tudong, and the going forth in general) were a deliberate attempt to encounter and cultivate an absence of order and predictability.
I'm not familiar with this philosophy. I was asking about religions in the sense of what we know today, the major ones, not the obscure and archaic.
I was responding to another post, not your conception of it. But I know Christians, for example, who do not focus on order: "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." The order in their lives comes mainly from non-religious aspects.

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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by Saengnapha » Sun May 27, 2018 6:34 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:32 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:26 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:24 am


"Religions, philosophies, politics..."

Dionysian, for example, and its various offshoots. Some forms of nihilism. My Theravadan teacher even said that aspects of his life (tudong, and the going forth in general) were a deliberate attempt to encounter and cultivate an absence of order and predictability.
I'm not familiar with this philosophy. I was asking about religions in the sense of what we know today, the major ones, not the obscure and archaic.
I was responding to another post, not your conception of it. But I know Christians, for example, who do not focus on order: "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." The order in their lives comes mainly from non-religious aspects.
I can't follow what you are trying to say. Take no thought for the morrow seems like why think about something that is not really at hand. This seems quite orderly to me.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by Sam Vara » Sun May 27, 2018 6:39 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:34 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:32 am
Saengnapha wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:26 am

I'm not familiar with this philosophy. I was asking about religions in the sense of what we know today, the major ones, not the obscure and archaic.
I was responding to another post, not your conception of it. But I know Christians, for example, who do not focus on order: "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." The order in their lives comes mainly from non-religious aspects.
I can't follow what you are trying to say. Take no thought for the morrow seems like why think about something that is not really at hand. This seems quite orderly to me.
OK. It doesn't seem orderly to others, who see order in life as planning and predicting so as to ensure regularity. A holy life of wandering and meeting whatever kamma or God throws at you tends to have little regularity, and is very different from (say) Methodism.

binocular
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Re: Doubt, Dhamma and the Middle Way

Post by binocular » Sun May 27, 2018 6:43 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:24 am
My Theravadan teacher even said that aspects of his life (tudong, and the going forth in general) were a deliberate attempt to encounter and cultivate an absence of order and predictability.
But he wouldn't advise that to a beginner, would he?
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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