Buddhism and Intellectualism

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
danieLion
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Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by danieLion » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:12 am

Is Buddhism anti-intellectual, under-intellectual, or just intellectual enough?

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ground
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Re: Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by ground » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:32 am

So you are asking for opinions based on individual experiences?

I find it just appropriate. :sage:
Last edited by ground on Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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James the Giant
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Re: Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by James the Giant » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:34 am

I'm sure I remember a sutta about balancing intellect and experience, or study and practise... I can't remember what it was though.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11

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DNS
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Re: Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by DNS » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:00 am

James the Giant wrote:I'm sure I remember a sutta about balancing intellect and experience, or study and practise...
"There are Dhamma-experts who praise only monks who are also Dhamma-experts but not
those who are meditators. And there are meditators who praise only those monks who are also
meditators but not those who are Dhamma-experts. Thereby neither of them will be pleased, and
they will not be practicing for the welfare and happiness of the multitude, for the good of the
multitude, for the welfare and happiness of devas and humans.
"
Anguttara Nikaya 4.46

danieLion
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Re: Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by danieLion » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:06 am

ground wrote:So you are asking for opinions based on individual experiences?
Sure.

danieLion
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Re: Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by danieLion » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:08 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
James the Giant wrote:I'm sure I remember a sutta about balancing intellect and experience, or study and practise...
"There are Dhamma-experts who praise only monks who are also Dhamma-experts but not
those who are meditators. And there are meditators who praise only those monks who are also
meditators but not those who are Dhamma-experts. Thereby neither of them will be pleased, and
they will not be practicing for the welfare and happiness of the multitude, for the good of the
multitude, for the welfare and happiness of devas and humans.
"
Anguttara Nikaya 4.46
So the Buddha's recommeding "just intellectual enough"?

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DNS
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Re: Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by DNS » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:16 am

danieLion wrote: So the Buddha's recommeding "just intellectual enough"?
Whatever floats your boat . . . to get you to the other side. The teachings (especially enunciated in the Abhidhamma) recognize that there are different personalities / temperaments and it is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all. Bahiya was able to attain enlightenment with a simple instruction. For someone else it might be better through much study and analysis.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by Cittasanto » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:33 am

danieLion wrote:Is Buddhism anti-intellectual, under-intellectual, or just intellectual enough?
I personally see Buddhism being intellectual enough.
But there is almost a snobbery among some who discount what someone says based on the perception as too how much they meditate, and I am sure there is a vice versa equality in snobbery with those who are eloquent & detailed in the was they can express a topic for those who are not.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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m0rl0ck
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Re: Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by m0rl0ck » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:42 am

Intellectual views are just like any other views. If you hold them tightly they will weigh you down. You have to take them for what they are, provisional constructs with limits. When you start mistaking them for reality or ultimate truth and when you cant give them up when needed, at least temporarily, they are a big problem.
For instance, many "buddhists" are materialists who just repaint their western intellectual materialism a nice buddhist saffron color and then carry on with business as usual. In that case intellectualism is a problem and buddhism is just ideological cruft.
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away, I'm looking for the truth," and so it goes away. Puzzling.” ― Robert M. Pirsig

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James the Giant
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Re: Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by James the Giant » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:08 pm

m0rl0ck wrote: For instance, many "buddhists" are materialists who just repaint their western intellectual materialism a nice buddhist saffron color and then carry on with business as usual.
That's me, yep!
Except I don't carry on with business as usual. The game has changed.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11

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robertk
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Re: Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by robertk » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:49 pm

many "buddhists" are materialists who just repaint their western intellectual materialism a nice buddhist saffron color and then carry on with business as usual
love it! :toast:

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tiltbillings
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Re: Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:43 pm

m0rl0ck wrote: For instance, many "buddhists" are materialists who just repaint their western intellectual materialism a nice buddhist saffron color and then carry on with business as usual.
And you know this how?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

danieLion
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Re: Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by danieLion » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:19 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
danieLion wrote:Is Buddhism anti-intellectual, under-intellectual, or just intellectual enough?
I personally see Buddhism being intellectual enough.
But there is almost a snobbery among some who discount what someone says based on the perception as too how much they meditate, and I am sure there is a vice versa equality in snobbery with those who are eloquent & detailed in the was they can express a topic for those who are not.
Some Buddhists, including some here at Dahmmawheel, come off to me as very anti-intellectual and at times even demonstrate some kind of ingrained provincialism. I don't think intellectualism is a wonderful thing, per se, and I've been labeled an intellectual all my life. Maybe I am, maybe I ain't. Like Thanissaro says, when you define yourself, you limit yourself. And like Albert Ellis and David D. Burns, following Korzybkski's "is of identity verb conjugation" thesis, point out, your do not equal your verbal identifications. Yet we find some Buddhists wanting to very much define themselves by partitioning themselves off into camps or clubs, all of which claim the most authentic or closest to "original" Buddhism. This only perpetuates clinging to views of self.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:40 pm

danieLion wrote:Is Buddhism anti-intellectual, under-intellectual, or just intellectual enough?
Personally, I have found it to be all three, according to how I felt and how my mind was working at the time, and which bits of Buddhism I was considering, and how I might have defined "intellectual". And it didn't stay any one of these for very long.

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Mr Man
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Re: Buddhism and Intellectualism

Post by Mr Man » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:06 pm

danieLion wrote: Some Buddhists, including some here at Dahmmawheel, come off to me as very anti-intellectual and at times even demonstrate some kind of ingrained provincialism.
I think that is, genrally speaking, a misconception or a non-constructive view.
danieLion wrote: Yet we find some Buddhists wanting to very much define themselves by partitioning themselves off into camps or clubs.
Isn't this what you are doing?

My experience of Dhammawheel is that sometimes the level of intellectualism is very high, almost to the point of being intimidating.

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