pink_trike wrote:My question has been "why wouldn't we just note that impulse as sensation/emotion/reaction, let it go, and proceed to do the work?" instead of (my view --->) getting getting sticky with it, entrenching it as identity, and letting it color reality (attachment)?
Some do, some don't.
Why? I would say the answer is the same as to why a person does anything: previous conditions.
Non-religious buddhists aren't unfamiliar with this religious impulse...
I'm sorry, didn't you say just a few posts ago that you are
unfamiliar with it?
what makes us different is that we don't attach to it when it arises.
Perhaps, perhaps not. You are "moving the goalposts" so to speak. You are changing your definitions on the fly. Let's back up a minute.
Are you wishing to discuss why some people experience a religious impulse and some don't?
Or are you wishing to discuss why some people react badly to the religious impulse and some don't?
The moving to the other side of gap is what really puzzles me, and concerns me also because from my perspective it is from this place that all religious horrors have emerged.
It is also the place that all religious wonders have emerged.
There is something else to consider as well. We can expect the people who react badly to the religious impulse tend to do so in very public, very noisy, very messy ways... while the people who react well, on the other hand, tend to do so in very reclusive, private, quiet ways.
That someone experiences the religious impulse (glimpses of bliss, comfort, expansiveness, insight, agency, etc...) and then doesn't want to let go of it? It seems to me that this is what teachers warn against.
The Buddha himself warned against it. He used a simile of searching for heartwood but getting attached to the leaves and twigs. For example, a person might get attached to jhanas and not progress to Nibbana. It is worth noting that the Buddha did not conclude one should not value jhana, just that one should not get stuck on it. Hopefully someone else can provide the reference. I always have trouble remembering which sutta this is.
Is this mind event, the gap, and moving to the other side of the gap in one's mind explicitly addressed by the 4NT/8 FP? The suttas?
I already provided a quote which I feel illustrates it with the "follower for life" refrain. In general I would say it is addressed by the phrase "a mind free from hindrances, purified and bright", and also by the concept of refuge. In brief, it is a mind free from doubt and endowed with faith. I am sure this hits the issue square on the head as issues of faith and doubt tend to be the main point of contention between religious and non-religious people. (Of course there are wholesome types of doubt and unwholesome types of faith but as I said this is in brief.)
Peter wrote:I would call this the difference between merely finding some Buddhist teachings interesting to taking on Buddhism as a religion, taking the Noble Eightfold Path as the supreme guiding principle in one's life.
Non-religious Buddhists also take the 8FP as the supreme guiding principle in one's life - do you think that there a difference in how non-relig and relig people experience this commitment?
I would say (and the Oxford dictionary would say) a person who takes the 8FP as the supreme guiding principle in one's life is thus religious.
I've already said this though.
To say "the religious impulse is bad because it is a supporting condition for all sorts of bad behavior" is going to make one less objective. To say "the religious impulse is good because it is a supporting condition for liberation" is also going to make one less objective.
Isn't this an essential starting point though?
No, it isn't. You might find it fun to slag all religious people but it is not necessary if one wants to discuss what constitutes religion or religiosity.
I think we're both in agreement that no matter how we decide to engage the religious impulse, it's essential to do it and it needs to be done mindfully.
I do not think it is essential; I think it is interesting. What is essential if you are going to discuss it is to approach it with respect and care, something you have yet to do.