What homage is owed, and to whom?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
binocular
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by binocular »

SDC wrote: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:50 pmAnd here I thought we were getting closer to the crux.
Here's a part of the crux:

1. There is epistemic dependence.
2. There is an awareness of this epistemic dependence.
3. There is, sometimes, an ethical evaluation of this epistemic dependence.

Or, put another way,
Until stream-entry, what is the best, most adequate attitude to have toward Buddhism and Buddhists?
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
binocular
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by binocular »

SDC wrote: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:50 pm :|
I do think that the certainty with which you sometimes speak requires stream entry; ie. that only someone who has attained stream entry could rightfully make the claims and issue the advice you do.
I feel urged to summon you to pronounce stream entry or to back down.
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SDC
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by SDC »

binocular wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:21 pm Until stream-entry, what is the best, most adequate attitude to have toward Buddhism and Buddhists?
In general:

Have clear boundaries in terms of trust. Be proactive not reactive. Protect those who need protecting. Help those in need of help. Don’t ignore your gut. Don’t let anyone’s resume delude or intimidate you. Sabotage and/or surrender your own comfort as needed. The socio-political and environmental sphere is not the front line of suffering.
binocular wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:24 pm
SDC wrote: Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:50 pm :|
I do think that the certainty with which you sometimes speak requires stream entry; ie. that only someone who has attained stream entry could rightfully make the claims and issue the advice you do.
I feel urged to summon you to pronounce stream entry or to back down.
Declaring attainments is a fool's game. Implying them is even worse. If you prefer I don't offer my thoughts in response to yours, I won't.
binocular
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by binocular »

SDC wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:26 pmHave clear boundaries in terms of trust.
Be proactive not reactive.
Don’t ignore your gut.
Don’t let anyone’s resume delude or intimidate you.
Following such principles is a sure way to cut oneself off from all religion and spirituality.
Declaring attainments is a fool's game. Implying them is even worse.
When someone holds it against me for not taking their word for gold, I have, at least theoretically, a defense against that: Summon them to declare their attainment.
If you prefer I don't offer my thoughts in response to yours, I won't.
Do as you please.
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SDC
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by SDC »

binocular wrote: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:09 am When someone holds it against me for not taking their word for gold, I have, at least theoretically, a defense against that: Summon them to declare their attainment.
If someone is holding it against you, they do not have your best interest in mind. If it means more to them that you trust them with no proof than for you to feel comfortable, I assure you there is no attainment there. Again, back to the arahat. I am sure it would get to the point where such a person would resort to stern and blunt talk, but that would be incomparable to the act of "holding it against you". Though I seriously doubt you are encountering that sort of person.
binocular wrote: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:09 am
SDC wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:26 pmHave clear boundaries in terms of trust.
Be proactive not reactive.
Don’t ignore your gut.
Don’t let anyone’s resume delude or intimidate you.
Following such principles is a sure way to cut oneself off from all religion and spirituality.
You removed the two lines that had to do with embracing others, which is what would balance out whatever provisions there are for protection.
binocular
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by binocular »

SDC wrote: Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:48 pmIf someone is holding it against you, they do not have your best interest in mind. If it means more to them that you trust them with no proof than for you to feel comfortable, I assure you there is no attainment there.
Where do you live?? Brahmaloka?
Again, back to the arahat. I am sure it would get to the point where such a person would resort to stern and blunt talk, but that would be incomparable to the act of "holding it against you". Though I seriously doubt you are encountering that sort of person.
I encounter plenty of people who hold it against me if I don't take their word for gold.
You removed the two lines that had to do with embracing others, which is what would balance out whatever provisions there are for protection.
I don't understand what you mean.
If one follows principles such as
SDC wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:26 pmHave clear boundaries in terms of trust.
Be proactive not reactive.
Don’t ignore your gut.
Don’t let anyone’s resume delude or intimidate you.
this creates irrepairable damage to one's connection with a religion/spirituality. It costs one one's head.
There's no way to balance out the damage done by following the above principles.
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SDC
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by SDC »

binocular wrote: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:20 pm
Again, back to the arahat. I am sure it would get to the point where such a person would resort to stern and blunt talk, but that would be incomparable to the act of "holding it against you". Though I seriously doubt you are encountering that sort of person.
I encounter plenty of people who hold it against me if I don't take their word for gold.
I thought it was clear that I was saying that I doubt you are encountering an arahat in those cases. My overall point is that you are repeatedly making the claim that rude and inconsiderate people are those who possess the most wisdom and power and what I was trying to make clear is that even if you were to encounter a rude arahat, it would not be a case of anything being held against you if you were to resist their words. Someone with wisdom wouldn't guilt a person into trusting them.

Again, your criteria for what is most legitimate seems to be hinged on this power discrepancy. It is if you are seeking it when you have the option to avoid it. I know how you feel about it, but what I want to know is why you don't think you have a choice?
binocular wrote: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:20 pm
You removed the two lines that had to do with embracing others, which is what would balance out whatever provisions there are for protection.
I don't understand what you mean.
If one follows principles such as
SDC wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:26 pmHave clear boundaries in terms of trust.
Be proactive not reactive.
Don’t ignore your gut.
Don’t let anyone’s resume delude or intimidate you.
this creates irrepairable damage to one's connection with a religion/spirituality. It costs one one's head.
There's no way to balance out the damage done by following the above principles.
This is what I said:
Have clear boundaries in terms of trust. Be proactive not reactive. Protect those who need protecting. Help those in need of help. Don’t ignore your gut. Don’t let anyone’s resume delude or intimidate you. Sabotage and/or surrender your own comfort as needed. The socio-political and environmental sphere is not the front line of suffering.
The underlined is what you removed. That is the connection to people and is more complete in terms of spirituality (or what I assume the majority of the world means when they say that word). The balance is that you don't only act for oneself. Obviously if I only said the above four lines it would damaging.
binocular
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by binocular »

SDC wrote: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:15 pmMy overall point is that you are repeatedly making the claim that rude and inconsiderate people are those who possess the most wisdom and power
And I'm 99% sure that this is the case. The 1% is just for argument's sake.
and what I was trying to make clear is that even if you were to encounter a rude arahat, it would not be a case of anything being held against you if you were to resist their words. Someone with wisdom wouldn't guilt a person into trusting them.
Maybe you're just overcompensating for your Christian background ...
Again, your criteria for what is most legitimate seems to be hinged on this power discrepancy. It is if you are seeking it when you have the option to avoid it. I know how you feel about it, but what I want to know is why you don't think you have a choice?
How do I have the option to avoid it??
Even if from this moment on, one would cease all contact with the world, burn all books, images etc., one would still not be free from the power hierarchy, as one would still have memories of the past power discrepancies.
But beyond that, the most one can avoid power discrepancies in terms of religion/spirituality is by ceasing any kind of contact with religious/spiritual people and not reading any religious/spiritual texts.
So it's not clear what you're talking about.
The underlined is what you removed.
And the "Sabotage and/or surrender your own comfort as needed."
That is the connection to people and is more complete in terms of spirituality (or what I assume the majority of the world means when they say that word). The balance is that you don't only act for oneself. Obviously if I only said the above four lines it would damaging.
Leaving everything else aside: How can one protect or help others, when one cannot even protect or help oneself??
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cappuccino
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by cappuccino »

I'm rude, why? because hell is worse than a rude Buddhist (or Christian)
Last edited by cappuccino on Sat Jun 29, 2019 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
binocular
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by binocular »

SDC wrote: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:15 pm
SDC wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:26 pmHave clear boundaries in terms of trust.
Be proactive not reactive.
Don’t ignore your gut.
Don’t let anyone’s resume delude or intimidate you.
Obviously if I only said the above four lines it would damaging.
It's peculiar that you agree on this. Why??

So one should let another's resume delude or intimidate one?
One should ignore one's gut?
One should be reactive?
One should not have clear boundaries in terms of trust?

In my experience, this is precisely what is needed in order to be religious/spiritual. Set some boundaries, and it's over with religiosity/spirituality.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
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SDC
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by SDC »

binocular wrote: Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:37 pm
SDC wrote: Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:15 pmMy overall point is that you are repeatedly making the claim that rude and inconsiderate people are those who possess the most wisdom and power
And I'm 99% sure that this is the case. The 1% is just for argument's sake.
Again, you claim you have no power and wisdom in terms of Dhamma, yet boldly claim up to 99% certainty that you know how someone with wisdom would behave. Either you have both power and wisdom, or you are using inapplicable criteria. Residue from your Christian background? ;)
binocular wrote: Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:37 pm
Again, your criteria for what is most legitimate seems to be hinged on this power discrepancy. It is if you are seeking it when you have the option to avoid it. I know how you feel about it, but what I want to know is why you don't think you have a choice?
How do I have the option to avoid it??
...
By not being in awe of the power you assume in others. By not wanting it.
binocular wrote: Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:37 pm
That is the connection to people and is more complete in terms of spirituality (or what I assume the majority of the world means when they say that word). The balance is that you don't only act for oneself. Obviously if I only said the above four lines it would damaging.
Leaving everything else aside: How can one protect or help others, when one cannot even protect or help oneself??
By having a reason to do so. A goal. A purpose.
binocular wrote: Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:11 pm In my experience, this is precisely what is needed in order to be religious/spiritual. Set some boundaries, and it's over with religiosity/spirituality.
That is your experience. Is it the only way it can ever be for you? For everyone?
binocular
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by binocular »

SDC wrote: Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:07 pmAgain, you claim you have no power and wisdom in terms of Dhamma, yet boldly claim up to 99% certainty that you know how someone with wisdom would behave. Either you have both power and wisdom, or you are using inapplicable criteria. Residue from your Christian background?
I follow the money, as they say. I don't have firmly held preconceived notions about what true power and true wisdom look like. Look at people: they have quite different ideas about what wisdom is, or what power is. I acknowledge this versatility. In the end, it's about who wins, who gets the upper hand. "The most important thing is not to win but to take part!" is what losers say.
By not being in awe of the power you assume in others. By not wanting it.

That's suicide.
Leaving everything else aside: How can one protect or help others, when one cannot even protect or help oneself??
By having a reason to do so. A goal. A purpose.
If one cannot even protect or help oneself, no goal or purpose is of any use.
That is your experience. Is it the only way it can ever be for you? For everyone?
I can't speak for others. It certainly is that way for me.
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SDC
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by SDC »

binocular wrote: Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:40 pm
SDC wrote: Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:07 pmAgain, you claim you have no power and wisdom in terms of Dhamma, yet boldly claim up to 99% certainty that you know how someone with wisdom would behave. Either you have both power and wisdom, or you are using inapplicable criteria. Residue from your Christian background?
I follow the money, as they say. I don't have firmly held preconceived notions about what true power and true wisdom look like. Look at people: they have quite different ideas about what wisdom is, or what power is. I acknowledge this versatility. In the end, it's about who wins, who gets the upper hand. "The most important thing is not to win but to take part!" is what losers say.
You'd fit right in on Wall Street lol
binocular wrote: Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:40 pm
By not being in awe of the power you assume in others. By not wanting it.

That's suicide.
Ah, now we're finally getting somewhere.

If power is what you want, you'll find it in Buddhism, just don't expect it to cover the cost of access to the Dhamma. Earlier I said the the difference between Buddhism and Dhamma is that the former is access to the opportunity for the latter, but that is what the line is for someone who has the Dhamma as the goal. For you Buddhism is access to power. The Dhamma is not part of this discussion anymore.

I wonder why you would opt for Buddhism, though. The power, which for you it would be suicide to turn away from, can be found anywhere. Go grow the best roses and you can hold that over every other rose gardener. There's no difference.
binocular wrote: Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:40 pm I can't speak for others. It certainly is that way for me.
Now that you've clarified with the above, I completely understand why.
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by binocular »

SDC wrote: Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:39 amYou'd fit right in on Wall Street lol
Not at all. I don't have the viriya for it, to say the least.
If power is what you want, you'll find it in Buddhism, just don't expect it to cover the cost of access to the Dhamma. Earlier I said the the difference between Buddhism and Dhamma is that the former is access to the opportunity for the latter, but that is what the line is for someone who has the Dhamma as the goal. For you Buddhism is access to power. The Dhamma is not part of this discussion anymore.
I think we have quite different ideas about power.
To me, ideally, power is about being unaffected by the vicissitudes of life. Note how such an understanding of power incorporates much of the versatility of ideas about what power is -- being unaffected by the vicissitudes of life can have many different expressions (whether it is the form of the composure of someone who is about to be drawn and quartered, or the calm and diligence with which an otherwise battered housewife goes about her daily duties, or the disengaged smile of a heroin junkie, or the general ease with which a wealthy person goes about life, or the snobish gladness of the gardener who won a rose competition, or a narcissist's unaffectedness by someone else's misery).
Also, do note how my understanding of power is not dissimilar to the Buddhist concept of how a whole hand can hold poison without adverse effects, while an injured one cannot.

In worldly, external terms, power (and power is about being unaffected by the vicissitudes of life) means being so wealthy and so influential that thieves, robbers, earthquakes, floods etc. don't affect one's wellbeing. And some people actually are quite close to that, living in considerable physical and material comfort and safety regardless of the external circumstances.

In internal terms, power (and power is about being unaffected by the vicissitudes of life) means having the psychological and philosophical means to make sense of and be unaffected by whatever hardship might come one's way.

To some extent, it is actually true that people who are considerably safe in worldly terms, also appear to have the psychological and philosophical means to make sense of and be unaffected by whatever hardship might come their way. They generally don't experience the suffering that ordinary people do. Of course, this could simply be due to their wealth and influence preventing many causes of hardship from arising in the first place. It's not like this can be tested, though, so that's a dead end (but nevertheless a major trigger of jealousy, ambition, and inspiration).

If one does not have worldly security like the wealthy and influential, or the prospects for it, one has to turn to other means for creating safety, security, comfort, both outside and inside. Traditionally, this is done via religion/spirituality/philosophy. Then it comes down to which one, given that there are so many. And since power, ie. being unaffected by the vicissitudes of life, can have many different expressions, the matter becomes a bit confusing. So one looks for the one religion/spirituality/philosophy that seems to have the most comprehensive take on the problem. Which leaves us with relatively few options.

The theisms, since mum's the word for gods, are not an option if one is not a good actor or doesn't have a natural propensity for pretending one hears the voice of God.
Given that life sometimes is excruciatingly hard, the religions/spiritualities/philosophies with an emphasis on the aesthetic are insufficient, so we ditch Zen Buddhism, Vajrayana, the Old Greeks, Romans, and the French.
Mahayanis don't actually want to get anywhere, so they're out of the picture by default.
Which whittles down the options to Early Buddhism and not much else, to the best of my knowledge.
Jealousy, ambition, and inspiration are still major players, and life isn't always excruciatingly hard, so that complicates everything a bit additionally.

This is not how people usually choose a religion/spirituality/philosophy, but it's how I go about it.
It's because of the defensive-protective nature of my selection approach that my stance is what it is.
Think of it as a form of coping ugly. And also here, at coping ugly.
The power, which for you it would be suicide to turn away from, can be found anywhere.
Not at all.
It would indeed be suicide to _not_ look for a way to be unaffected by the vicissitudes of life.

Power is always admirable. The expressions of power vary by how consistent, comprehensive, and lasting they are. Some are more, some are less.
Even the heroin junkie who experiences a high has some power at that point; for a while, he's quite unaffected by the vicissitudes of life. It just so happens that it is a very limited power in terms of consistency, comprehensiveness, and duration, but it is power.
The crucial thing is to find such a form of power that doesn't have inadequacies.
Now that you've clarified with the above, I completely understand why.
I think you should revise your understanding.
SDC wrote: Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:39 amIf power is what you want, you'll find it in Buddhism, just don't expect it to cover the cost of access to the Dhamma. Earlier I said the the difference between Buddhism and Dhamma is that the former is access to the opportunity for the latter, but that is what the line is for someone who has the Dhamma as the goal. For you Buddhism is access to power. The Dhamma is not part of this discussion anymore.

Still think so?
Nibbana is sometimes described as ultimate safety. That's what I'm looking for. And power is needed for that. And it's why thinking that participating is enough is for losers.


Don't underestimate Wall Street sharks. They have the tenacity and the determination to succeed. Qualities that so many Buddhists lack -- there are Buddhists who say they don't care whether they attain Nibbana or not. That's bad.
And don't underestimate rose gardeners, either. They live on the edge. Especially in warm climates, there live on rose thorns dangerous bacteria that can cause gangrene and even death. One prick with a rose thorn, and you could be gone. Not to mention the determination to grow the perfect flower. Searching and working for a rare and precious thing when everyone around you appears to be content with mediocrity.
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
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SDC
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Re: What homage is owed, and to whom?

Post by SDC »

binocular wrote: Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:58 pm I think you should revise your understanding.
Everytime I revise my understanding about your position when you say things like the above, I make a move to support that direction. Or at least, what I assume to be the direction you are referring to. At which point, you list all your roadblocks and we go right back to the beginning. I'm not obtuse to your difficulties, but your attempts to settle them before making a pursuit of freedom is akin to making a deal with Self to "be quiet" while you seek the ultimate psychological balance. It just doesn't add up for you to benefit.

Your seeking ultimate freedom on grounds where the stakes are not as high as you assume. That is probably the primary reason why you slap a palm to your forehead when I matter-of-factly support something totally alien after saying that you want nibbana. You assume I'm encouraging you to stop fighting and calm down. I'm not. I'm encouraging you to fight on different grounds, but since you are so sure you know stakes where you stand, you can't ever imagine why I would disregard it.

The only reason we could be indebted to the world is because we are indebted to ourselves. The inclination to owe is nothing but the urge to to exist. But you don't pay your way out by continuing to pay in. Homage and respect is orderly behavior as you essentially back out of the ultimate loan. You don't give it to lessen your debt. It's counterfeit. It's what you offer the bank so it doesn't realize you stopped paying.
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