Memorization and the Oral Tradition

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

Post by Ceisiwr »

lostitude
but you should recognize that this is an act of faith rather than a factual conclusion, based on established facts.
Any strong position on the matter would be an act of faith, since its very unlikely to find any further information regarding the period and so it will always be an unknown. I happen to accept what tradition says, however I am capable of thinking in a secular manner and being considerate of other possible scenarios. Of course, we can still arrive at some sensible and plausible conclusions. I'll have to reply to the rest of your interesting post later on, possibly tomorrow :)
"Analysis and synthesis are praised by the wise,
liberation in the Sāsana comes from analysis and synthesis;
the purpose of the method of analysis and synthesis is the ultimate"


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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala »

To understand what faith or confidence (saddhā) means in the Buddhist context, one should study a few key passages:
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binocular
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

Post by binocular »

Coëmgenu wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:49 pmThe eternal struggle. The epistemically humble cannot argue against one who has no humility in his epistemology.
The epistemically humble won't argue at all.
:jumping:

- - -
Ceisiwr wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:36 pm
By doing so, they (the people with faith) try to, consciously or unconsciously, convert or marginalize people who doubt this faith, or who deliver evidence to the contrary towards this faith, as a way of keeping their faith.
Translation: “It’s morally suspect to question or argue against my claims to perfection”

Said every cult leader ever.
The irony keeps on keeping on!
Last edited by binocular on Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

Post by binocular »

lostitude wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:07 pm That said, there are two things that strike me in Pascal’s position:
1/Why does it matter so much, as long as it works, as long as the texts we have now are actually useful? Many Christians tend to believe that Paul was the real founder of the Christian faith, not Jesus himself. So what? The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
2/All your reasoning, which obviously shines with a glaze of healthy skepticism and Pascalian rationality, actually seems to rest on a completely dogmatic and irrational belief: that Buddha is THE go-to source for our spiritual development. All your poking at the Buddhist concept of faith stands in stark contrast to your taking the Buddha for granted. You need proof for everything, except for him. Yet you only know him through the very texts you feel should not be accepted on blind faith. How?
It's the predicament of someone who was sleepwalking on faith, and then at some point, they opened their eyes and found themselves in the midst of foreign, probably dangerous territory, trying to make sense of it and how they got there.
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

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SDC wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:53 pmEven if a monk were to fly into the sky, above the entire world and recite the entire Canon loud enough for every human to hear it, there will still be doubt because the listener still wouldn't know for sure. In the end, it must be verified through practice and effort.
No. There is no such verification. There is the process of aligning oneself, educating oneself, making oneself in line with the teachings. But there is no proof, no verification. It's misleading to use terms like "proof" and "verification" is such religious/spiritual context. We've been over that.
There is no choice but to start with inspiration, which should provide some degree of faith.
And yet Buddhists place the burden of inspiration on the person. And let's not forget how negatively Ven. NN talks about inspiration.
Don't forget how much you resent that people should expect anything from practicing Buddhists.
My point to pascal is that the distrust and doubt that he/she understands to be a public, external issue is inevitably a private, internal issue for anyone in pursuit of Dhamma. It is extensively addressed.
This is how religions/spiritualities place the whole burden of proof and responsibility on the individual person, thus making religion/spirituality an eminently particular, idiosyncratic, subjective matter, which, ironically, goes against the fundamental religious/spiritual idea that religion/spirituality is somehow about The Truth, the objective, suprapersonal, not merely-idiosyncratic truth.
SDC wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:14 pmWell said, and my point in this thread has been that there is no other choice but to recognize the act of faith.
Then why beat around the bush and talk about proofs in the pudding, experimenting, testing, and so on?
Trust is fundamentally impossible in a situation of non-knowledge, so the only option is to put something there in order to fill in the space.
Why would one do that? Why should one?

You're favorably describing a process that looks like a religious/spiritual variant of the Stockholm Syndrome: feeling trapped, taken hostage by one's religious/spiritual interest and desperately trying to make sense of one's situation and artificially developing a positive attitude toward it. Trying to make the best of one's situation, as it is. Which is economical, but still no reason to take for granted that what one has is The Truth.

Instead, the reality is that having some interest in Buddhism doesn't mean anything, it's not sufficient for anything. One also isn't chained to Buddhism by unbreakable chains.
Each person has there own criteria for what is inspirational and worth their time. Only when that criteria is met can a person begin to have interest enough to pursue it. I imagine it is important to many to see very popular teachers such as Masashi Sayādaw being able to meet that criteria, but such an expectation only reinforces the idea that excellence and greatness is available in droves throughout the contemporary Buddhist world. Unfortunately I've never found that to be the case, and although I do believe there are a handful of such excellent monastics, it will eventually come down to the work a person is willing to do in order to expose themselves to those themes found in the suttas. There is no external assurance profound enough to bypass that personal exposure.
Personal exposure will only be effective if the person already has some other things in place, notably, the conviction that "Buddhism is the real thing" or something to that effect.
I hope pascal returns to discuss this aspect if it is at all part of his/her situation.
After being slapped in the face?
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

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binocular
The irony keeps on keeping on!
How is that ironic?
"Analysis and synthesis are praised by the wise,
liberation in the Sāsana comes from analysis and synthesis;
the purpose of the method of analysis and synthesis is the ultimate"


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binocular
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

Post by binocular »

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote: Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:52 pm To understand what faith or confidence (saddhā) means in the Buddhist context, one should study a few key passages:
And yet that doesn't give me faith in the Buddha, or Buddhism.
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

Post by binocular »

Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:15 pmHow is that ironic?
The eternal religious/spiritual pot-calling-kettle-black game ...
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

Post by Coëmgenu »

binocular wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:31 pm
Coëmgenu wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:49 pmThe eternal struggle. The epistemically humble cannot argue against one who has no humility in his epistemology.
The epistemically humble won't argue at all.
:jumping:
Depends how humble. I can out-humble you any day. I'm the humblest guy here. No one here even approaches my level of humility. I am the Bob Ross of humility, painting masterpieces of modesty on the canvas of life, erecting a bodily edifice of diffidence and meekness inscribed into my very blood and my very fleshly being -- the living tower that is the corpus of my humble deeds.

:sage: :toilet:
If you see a river, pray that beings gain entrance into the stream and into the ocean of wisdom. If you see a reservoir, pray that beings swiftly taste the one taste of the Dharma. If you see a pond, pray that beings become great in locution and skillful in preaching. If you see a well, pray that beings draw deep from the well of reason to disclose all dharmas. If you see a spring, pray that beings have inexhaustible roots of virtue. If you see a bridge, pray that beings carry all across to safety, as via a bridge. If you see a waterfall, pray that all beings cleanse the stains of delusion.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

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binocular wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:56 pm
Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 2:15 pmHow is that ironic?
The eternal religious/spiritual pot-calling-kettle-black game ...
Please do quote my hypocrisy.
"Analysis and synthesis are praised by the wise,
liberation in the Sāsana comes from analysis and synthesis;
the purpose of the method of analysis and synthesis is the ultimate"


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binocular
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

Post by binocular »

Pascal2 wrote: Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:27 pmAre you saying that we must disregard reason and then follow idly what we have been told?
No. Some people just don't have what it takes. And one might very well be one of those people.

The Buddhists don't care whether you live or die, whether you suffer or whether you're happy. You've intruded onto their territory, so naturally, they are defensive. You either must be respectful, or leave. Being respectful in this case means, among other things, not saying anything that could be interpreted as doubt in what they consider to be the teachings of the Buddha.

Your life, your problem.
Your faith in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha is your problem. No Buddhist is going to help you with that. In fact, they resent it if anyone does turn to them with such a problem.

This is simply how religion/spirituality works. Its not bad, or evil. It's simply how it works. And one needs to know that before getting involved with religion/spirituality, in order to properly calibrate one's expectations, in order to minimize trouble and waste of time and resources.
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

Post by binocular »

Coëmgenu wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:03 pmDepends how humble. I can out-humble you any day. I'm the humblest guy here. No one here even approaches my level of humility. I am the Bob Ross of humility, painting masterpieces of modesty on the canvas of life, erecting a bodily edifice of diffidence and meekness inscribed into my very blood and my very fleshly being -- the living tower that is the corpus of my humble deeds.
That's not fair! You're abusing the fact that English is your native language!!!!!!
:tantrum:
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

Post by Coëmgenu »

binocular wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:22 pm
Coëmgenu wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:03 pmDepends how humble. I can out-humble you any day. I'm the humblest guy here. No one here even approaches my level of humility. I am the Bob Ross of humility, painting masterpieces of modesty on the canvas of life, erecting a bodily edifice of diffidence and meekness inscribed into my very blood and my very fleshly being -- the living tower that is the corpus of my humble deeds.
That's not fair! You're abusing the fact that English is your native language!!!!!!
:tantrum:
It's okay. Most native speakers never put English through the workouts that I do.

#humblepie
If you see a river, pray that beings gain entrance into the stream and into the ocean of wisdom. If you see a reservoir, pray that beings swiftly taste the one taste of the Dharma. If you see a pond, pray that beings become great in locution and skillful in preaching. If you see a well, pray that beings draw deep from the well of reason to disclose all dharmas. If you see a spring, pray that beings have inexhaustible roots of virtue. If you see a bridge, pray that beings carry all across to safety, as via a bridge. If you see a waterfall, pray that all beings cleanse the stains of delusion.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

Post by Ceisiwr »

:focus:
"Analysis and synthesis are praised by the wise,
liberation in the Sāsana comes from analysis and synthesis;
the purpose of the method of analysis and synthesis is the ultimate"


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binocular
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Re: Memorization and the Oral Tradition

Post by binocular »

Ceisiwr wrote: Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:06 pmPlease do quote my hypocrisy.
I was talking about religion/spirituality in general.
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