Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?

What is the right meta-religious view

Poll ended at Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:30 pm

Perennialism/core pluralism
1
9%
Supremacist Inclusivism
7
64%
Partial Inclusivism
0
No votes
Exclusivism
0
No votes
Pluralism/relativism
0
No votes
Agnosticism
2
18%
Nihilism
1
9%
 
Total votes: 11

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Kim OHara
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:13 am

mikenz66 wrote:... Whether "consciousness" (which you'd have to define carefully) is something separate from matter-energy, or is simply an emergent phenomena that occurs in sufficiently complex systems is a really interesting question. Designing an experiment to tell the difference will not be trivial, and my impression is that no one is close to figuring out how to do that.

:anjali:
Mike

I think you're right, Mike. Here - https://aeon.co/essays/your-brain-does-not-process-information-and-it-is-not-a-computer - an eminent psychologist suggests that the metaphor we've been relying on for decades is so far from the truth that we ought to throw it away and start again.
And there's a reason the 'hard problem' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_problem_of_consciousness got its name. :thinking:

:namaste:
Kim

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Twilight
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Twilight » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:58 pm

Kim OHara wrote:I think you're right, Mike. Here - https://aeon.co/essays/your-brain-does-not-process-information-and-it-is-not-a-computer - an eminent psychologist suggests that the metaphor we've been relying on for decades is so far from the truth that we ought to throw it away and start again.

I have read the long article and all it does is trying to show the metaphor of "brain like a computer", like any metaphor, is inaccurate. So far so good, but the article does nothing more than that. It does not explain anything, it does not offer an alternative explanation. It just tells us that materialist know nothing so far about the brain and that many centuries will need to pass for them to understand anything. I expected something interesting at the end of such an article but got nothing.

The article also says something monstrously inaccurate. It claims neurons are not the place where memories are kept. The reason given for this is "what connection could there possibly be between a thought and a neuron ?" From a materialist point of view, indeed what link could there possibly be ? This is another problem of thinking within materialist dogma. The article offers no alternative explanation and does not elaborate on this monstrous claim about neurons. All scientist agree that neurons are the physical basis of thoughts. If you try to remember a memory, the same specific neuron will light up all the time.

I see the article mention nothing about consciousness. As usual, materialist knowing nothing about consciousness attempt to explain things without touching on consciousness, even when it comes to the brain. I don't agree with the article that it will take 5-6 centuries to understand, I think it can never be understood without understanding consciousness.

There are things that can be understood without understanding consciousness. Form and laws that govern form can be understood like that. But things such as the brain can not. Even more than that, materialist attempts to explain the brain have 2 big problems. The placebo effect and neuroplasticity. How can a simple belief modify matter ? How can it do it without contradicting materialist dogma ?
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
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Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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mikenz66
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:02 pm

Twilight wrote: As usual, materialist knowing nothing about consciousness attempt to explain things without touching on consciousness, even when it comes to the brain.

You seem supremely confident about your particular interpretations... Good luck!

:coffee:
Mike

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Twilight
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Twilight » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:18 pm

My view about consciousness and it's relationship to form and other aggregates is that of Buddha. It requires quite some time of contemplation to really understand. The volume of the Pali Canon witch contains the fundamental doctrine is SN and it has about 1500pag about the problem. No sutta there is useless, all unnecessary repetitions have been removed by B.Bhodi who just puts dots instead of them. Every sutta that is there helps the person see the problem a little better, from another angle. The order in witch SN volume is exposed is also very important, been the only one of the 4 volume exposed in an order, that's why it's called "connected discourses". In that volume is "the dhamma that dispels all doubts."

Consciousness is the most difficult to understand of them all. Here are some good links with suttas about it from all 4 volumes posted by ToVicent recently:
https://justpaste.it/v08v
https://justpaste.it/urmw
https://justpaste.it/p6gg

But one can not understand them without first reading SN, they are just extracts to re-read afterwards. I would say the most difficult thing to understand is this sutta, spoken to the fisherman son who believed there is a consciousness that transmigrates from body to body:
When consciousness arises in dependence on eye & forms, it is classified simply as eye-consciousness.
When consciousness arises in dependence on ear & sounds, it is classified simply as ear-consciousness.
When consciousness arises in dependence on nose & smells, it is classified simply as nose-consciousness.
When consciousness arises in dependence on tongue & tastes, it is classified simply as tongue-consciousness.
When consciousness arises in dependence on body & tactile sensations, it is classified simply as body-consciousness.
When consciousness arises in dependence on intellect & ideas, it is classified simply as intellect-consciousness.

Other than that, a good starting point is to contemplate consciousness in a void. Try imagining that. Well, first thing you notice is that consciousness has to be conscious of something. And that something is form, etc. all this diversity that exists. By contemplating this, one also will understand why there is this separation between the being (internal) and the external world. By going in this direction, by looking from this angle one should continue to contemplate. But to really understand the problem and "dispel all doubts" one should simply read SN and contemplate it. Nobody from this forum can explain something in a post better than the Buddha could do in 1500 pag.

Even if I would not have heard Buddha explanation, It's not like there are too many other options. Only other explanations that we have at this time are the same materialism and idealism (christianity, islam etc,) that exist since the time of the Buddha. Materialism claims to know nothing about consciousness so it is not even an option. Idealism on the other hand is like "the theory of the turtle", not been too concerned with logic at all. So there are not too many options to chose from. Even for this very fact of not existing other options, one should check what Buddha had to say.

This leads us to the OP question. What one should do is read SN, hear what Buddha had to say and see if it withstands the test of logic or not. See if it's correct or not. Even if Buddha was wrong, at least the person will dispel all doubts regarding Buddhism. Either way, the person dispels all doubts. Otherwise there will always be doubts regarding what happens after death, weather Buddha really was enlightened or not, weather materialism or idealism might be right, etc.

There are also people in this world (especially in the west) who believe in the doctrine of eternal skepticism. Even if something is proven to them through logic, they will still not believe because that is the view in witch they are. This is why Buddha said the doctrine of eternal skepticism is one of the worst wrong views because the person, not even believing in logic, has no chance to ever make up his mind. If not based on logic and reason, then based on what could one possibly make up his mind ?
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

Derek
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Derek » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:08 am

What some of the answers in this thread point to is the question of how deep you want to go. Yes, on a naive level, people can see what the five or six alternatives mean and maybe identify their own position. But if you really go into the question, you quickly get into issues of epistemology and philosophy of language.

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Javi
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Javi » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:15 am

Derek wrote:What some of the answers in this thread point to is the question of how deep you want to go. Yes, on a naive level, people can see what the five or six alternatives mean and maybe identify their own position. But if you really go into the question, you quickly get into issues of epistemology and philosophy of language.


Isn't that the case with anything though?

Clearly there are different levels of discourse.

Also, I think the thread is starting to go off topic into the philosophy of mind.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Tārakā timiraṃ dīpo māyāvaśyāya budbudaḥ supinaṃ vidyud abhraṃ ca evaṃ draṣṭavya saṃskṛtam — A shooting star, a clouding of the sight, a lamp, An illusion, a drop of dew, a bubble, A dream, a lightning’s flash, a thunder cloud — This is the way one should see the conditioned — Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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Twilight
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Twilight » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:19 am

But if you really go into the question, you quickly get into issues of epistemology and philosophy of language.

There are people who believe in logic and people who do not. Those who are not logic positivist have no chance to ever be confident about anything. How could they agree or disagree with an idea if not through logic and reason ? They are condemned to eternal skepticism if they are holding such views. Witch is an irony, since even this eternal skepticism is a view that could very well be wrong. What makes them think it is correct if they do not believe in logic and reason ? Through what methods, based on what, have they come to believe this view is correct ? What if this view about any view been socially/linguistically constructed etc. is socially/linguistically constructed too ? :mrgreen: This is why it is a self refuting view that leads nowhere.
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

Derek
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Derek » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:18 pm

To get back to the way you phrased the original question:

Javi wrote:what is the best way


I think the best way, in practical terms, is to identify commonalities where they exist, identify differences where they exist, and to leave it at that. Hence I like the careful phrasing of the Vatican II statement, "the Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in [other] religions."

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dhammacoustic
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby dhammacoustic » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:04 pm

Nihilism.

It aims at no less than the subverting of all representations of truth, it is a possibility of critique.
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

Disciple
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Disciple » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:45 pm

None of the above

Derek
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Derek » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:50 pm

Twilight wrote:Through what methods, based on what, have they come to believe this view is correct ?


If you read Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, you'll see the methods he uses.

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Twilight
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Twilight » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:16 pm

Derek wrote:
Twilight wrote:Through what methods, based on what, have they come to believe this view is correct ?


If you read Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, you'll see the methods he uses.

Did he use logic or magic ?
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Coëmgenu » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:48 pm

Twilight wrote:
Derek wrote:
Twilight wrote:Through what methods, based on what, have they come to believe this view is correct ?


If you read Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, you'll see the methods he uses.

Did he use logic or magic ?
Neither. He uses Magic: the Gathering.

In all seriousness though, what is the intent of your inquiry?

If Nágárjuna did use magic to prove the emptiness of inherency in existence that would simply be all the more impressive.
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho:
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo / Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ / Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma.
(Dedication of Offerings)
此等諸法,法住、法空、法如、法爾,法不離如,法不異如,審諦真實、不顛倒。These many dharmāḥ, the residence of these dharmāḥ, the emptiness of these dharmāḥ, these dharmāḥ self-explain, these dharmāḥ are thus, these dharmāḥ do not depart from their self-explaining, these dharmāḥ are not different than their self-explaining, judged as truly real, not delusional. (SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶

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Twilight
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Twilight » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:45 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:In all seriousness though, what is the intent of your inquiry?

If Nágárjuna did use magic to prove the emptiness of inherency in existence that would simply be all the more impressive.

Well since he arrived at a view that does not believe in the power of logic, then it means he could not have arrived at that view by using logic otherwise his argument is self-refuting. Like: all views based on logic are false because logic has no power. Only my view based on logic is correct and only when it comes to my view does logic have any power.

If he used magic and mysticism to arrive at his view, then guess what ? I am a bigger mystic than him and I refute his view. Try contradicting this if you can.
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Coëmgenu » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:28 pm

Twilight wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:In all seriousness though, what is the intent of your inquiry?

If Nágárjuna did use magic to prove the emptiness of inherency in existence that would simply be all the more impressive.

Well since he arrived at a view that does not believe in the power of logic, then it means he could not have arrived at that view by using logic otherwise his argument is self-refuting. Like: all views based on logic are false because logic has no power. Only my view based on logic is correct and only when it comes to my view does logic have any power.

If he used magic and mysticism to arrive at his view, then guess what ? I am a bigger mystic than him and I refute his view. Try contradicting this if you can.
Nágárjuna himself was an early Maháyána logician whose eightfold negation array is based on the Buddha's own fourfold negation found in the Páli Canon in several places, SN 44.1 & SN 44.2 for example, and deals with the notions of "Ultimate Reality", as well as the notion of the persistence or quasi-persistence or annihilation of the Tathágata after death. The point of the eightfold negation is neither to prove nor disprove "logic" as a whole. The point of the eightfold negation is to critique the notion that the "Deathless Security" or "Ultimate Reality" can be known to those who are not Awakened through language and convention.

For instance:
To say "it is" is to grasp for permanence. To say "it is not" is to adopt the view of nihilism.

Therefore a wise person does not say "exists" or "does not exist".
(Nágárjuna, Múlamadhyamakáriká 15:10)


Although the term "self" is caused to be known of, and although "no self" is taught, no "self" nor any "nonself" whatsoever has been taught by the Buddha's.

The designable is ceased when & where the range of thought is ceased, for Nirváṇa is Dharmatá [i.e. the suchness of dharma], unarisen and unstopping.

Everything is actual, or not actual, or actual and not actual, or neither actual nor not actual: this is the Buddhas' teaching.

Independent, peaceful, not delusionally diversified by delusional diversification, devoid of mental construction, without variation, this is the mark of thatness.

Whatsoever originates dependantly, is not insofar, that and only that.

Nor is it the other; therefore, it is neither exterminated nor eternal.

Not singular, not plural, not exterminated, not eternal.

This is the immortal teaching of the Buddha's, lords of the world.

And again, when the disciples are destroyed, when complete Buddha's do not arrive, the jñána (gnosis) of the independently enlightened Buddha's proceeds without association with teachings.
(Ibid. 18:6-12)


When Theraváda Buddhists have issues with Nágárjuna it is usually on the basis of which scriptures he considered authentic (the Prajñápáramitásútráṇi) rather than what he actually said.
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho:
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo / Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ / Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma.
(Dedication of Offerings)
此等諸法,法住、法空、法如、法爾,法不離如,法不異如,審諦真實、不顛倒。These many dharmāḥ, the residence of these dharmāḥ, the emptiness of these dharmāḥ, these dharmāḥ self-explain, these dharmāḥ are thus, these dharmāḥ do not depart from their self-explaining, these dharmāḥ are not different than their self-explaining, judged as truly real, not delusional. (SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶

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Twilight
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Twilight » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:31 pm

So was him a logic positivist or a relativist ? Based on what I've read in this topic and on what I've read on wikipedia he was a relativist.
You'll have a better chance finding a moderate rebel in Ildib than finding a buddhist who ever changed his views. Views are there to be clung to. They are there to be defended with all one's might. Whatever clinging one will removed in regards to sense pleasures by practicing the path - that should be compensated with increased clinging to views. This is the fundamental balance of the noble 8thfold path. The yin and yang.
----------
Consciousness and no-self explained in drawings: link
How stream entry is achieved. Mahasi / Zen understanding vs Sutta understanding: link

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Coëmgenu » Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:34 pm

Twilight wrote:So was him a logic positivist or a relativist ? Based on what I've read in this topic and on what I've read on wikipedia he was a relativist.
I don't think those terms apply. He was a Buddhist who adapted the Prajñāpāramitā-teachings along with the Āgamas to argue against what he saw as Buddhist heresies of his day, such as the notion that the world is eternal, or that name-and-form itself is a manifestation of a transcendent reality.
Bhagavā arahaṃ sammasāmbuddho:
Svākkhāto yena bhagavatā dhammo / Supaṭipanno yassa bhagavato sāvakasaṅgho
Tammayaṃ bhagavantaṃ sadhammaṃ sasaṅghaṃ / Imehi sakkārehi yathārahaṃ āropitehi abhipūjayāma.
(Dedication of Offerings)
此等諸法,法住、法空、法如、法爾,法不離如,法不異如,審諦真實、不顛倒。These many dharmāḥ, the residence of these dharmāḥ, the emptiness of these dharmāḥ, these dharmāḥ self-explain, these dharmāḥ are thus, these dharmāḥ do not depart from their self-explaining, these dharmāḥ are not different than their self-explaining, judged as truly real, not delusional. (SA 296, 因緣法)
揭諦揭諦,波羅揭諦,波羅僧揭諦,菩提薩婆訶

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Javi
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Re: Poll: What is the right meta-religious view

Postby Javi » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:41 pm

So I'd like to express what my view on this is.

After thinking about it somewhat, I'd say my view on this matter is a form of agnostic inclusivism.

I think that there are many spiritual paths which take one part way up the mountain of Dharma. That mountain has many different aspects and places, but it is one mountain with one peak. Now, I think that some of the great spiritual traditions might take one very far, maybe even all the way. For example, orthodox Christians have a very developed meditation tradition (as seen in the Philokalia texts) and even a concept of 'self emptying' (kenosis). This might lead a realization of anatta.

However despite this the only one I have true faith in is the Buddhist path. I feel like this is the path which best explains the path and outlines practices which lead to the goal of spiritual freedom, while avoiding pitfalls or distractions (which for me includes endless theological or metaphysical commitments, claims and debates).

That being said since I am not enlightened I have to be humble about this view and can only say this is my own limited perspective at the moment.
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Tārakā timiraṃ dīpo māyāvaśyāya budbudaḥ supinaṃ vidyud abhraṃ ca evaṃ draṣṭavya saṃskṛtam — A shooting star, a clouding of the sight, a lamp, An illusion, a drop of dew, a bubble, A dream, a lightning’s flash, a thunder cloud — This is the way one should see the conditioned — Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14


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