"Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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tiltbillings
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:34 am

yuuki wrote: Thank you for reading this long post. I'm glad there is a venue like this to post it to!
And thankyou for taking the time to write it.
>> 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

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:37 am

hi Yuuki
just something I think worth adding to what you say.
Brahma isn't described as the chief of all the gods in the suttas, I haven't looked into this in any way but I believe that in the order of Divine beings/realms the Brahma realm/beings aren't even the highest.
Sumedho in his Book 'The Four Noble Truths' says that the Noble Truths are Noble, not because they are metaphysical statements but because they are reflective.

nice post BTW
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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.
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Cafael Dust » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:53 pm

Tilt:

And see how many paragraphs of contorting text, written by you and in the link you provide, are needed to distance this very clear and unambiguous passage from both Mahayana and Quaker concepts. :juggling:
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:35 pm

Cafael Dust wrote:Tilt:

And see how many paragraphs of contorting text, written by you and in the link you provide, are needed to distance this very clear and unambiguous passage from both Mahayana and Quaker concepts. :juggling:
it has been said several times simply, which done the job perfectly well, and even your writing here proves it. (underlining done by me)
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

Cafael Dust
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Cafael Dust » Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:20 pm

Manapa, aside from the debate at hand, I find some of your posts difficult to understand linguistically. I don't mean this as a get out clause in this argument, you seem intelligent and to know what you want to say and you make good points, but sometimes your grammar is difficult to pick apart.
Not twice, not three times, not once,
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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:14 pm

Cafael Dust wrote:Manapa, aside from the debate at hand, I find some of your posts difficult to understand linguistically. I don't mean this as a get out clause in this argument, you seem intelligent and to know what you want to say and you make good points, but sometimes your grammar is difficult to pick apart.
Cheers :thumbsup:

it has been said in every possible way.
is that clearer?

P.S., I wouldn't of thought that is a 'get out clause' not understanding someone isn't a cop out,
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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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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:43 pm

Cafael Dust wrote:Tilt:

And see how many paragraphs of contorting text, written by you and in the link you provide, are needed to distance this very clear and unambiguous passage from both Mahayana and Quaker concepts.
Yeah, well, first of all this is a Theravada forum, secondly, the Mahayana notion of Buddhanature is hardly uniform among the various Mahayana traditions and carries no weight within the Theravada, thirdly the text in question is from the Pali suttas, which do not support your reading at all.

What later schools of Buddhism may have done, while interesting, carries no weight within the Theravada, and if you are going to press a Pali text into service, you need to make your case from within that framework to show that it is saying what you are saying it is saying. That you have not done.
>> 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

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:19 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
What later schools of Buddhism may have done, while interesting, carries no weight within the Theravada, and if you are going to press a Pali text into service, you need to make your case from within that framework to show that it is saying what you are saying it is saying. That you have not done.
To respond to my own msg, I can expect there will be responses to the issue of the luminous citta (mind) text that will bring in Mahayana/Tibetan Vajrayana and other sources. While interesting, the above quoted praagraph needs to be taken seriously. It is good old traditional Buddhist rules of engagement. I refer individuals to my above msg: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 56e#p44749" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; which puts the luminous text into a Pali sutta context, where it belongs.
>> 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

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Jechbi » Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:47 am

From the Access to Insight citation:
Ven. Thanissaro wrote:This statement has engendered a great deal of controversy over the centuries.
Not to be fully settled here to everyone's satisfaction, I imagine.

fwiw, I think it's perfectly possible that there are individuals in non-Buddhist religions who bring a certain understanding to Islam or Christianity or whatever faith they happen to find themselves in, and thus reinterpret the language of that faith for themselves personally in a way that might be regarded as heretical in the context of their faith, but that might also be recognized as conducive to Dhamma understanding. I think it's possible that this type of kamma can occur.

The Buddha himself gives us a wonderful, ongoing example of reinterpreting the language of his day so that it would convey Dhamma meanings. He co-opted words and infused them with meanings that helped disciples use the language of the day to approach an understanding of Dhamma.

Today some folks do the same thing, admittedly with less skill than the Buddha. Yet we don't need to dismiss it completely, in my opinion. There are at least two ways of looking at attempts like this:

1) They are an effort to say all religions basically say the same thing.

2) They are an effort to illustrate how individuals might apprehend some qualities of Dhamma in their own faith journeys even if they are not well-versed in traditional Buddhism.

In this thread, it seems like the discussion has focused on (1). And indeed, the idea of (1) is not valid, in my opinion.

But we've managed to skip past the possibility of (2). I am not so convinced that (2) is invalid, considering the mind-boggling blend of past and present kamma that might propel a person into this present moment, ready to hear a message that even the messenger did not mean to convey.

Who knows where other people are along the path, or what words or concepts might trigger just that spark of understanding that leads one closer to Dhamma?

In a very real sense, it might do more harm than good to debate too much about notions of God and Buddha Nature and all these concepts people might grasp at in pursuit of a context for identity -- or might understand in a surprising way that belies our assumptions. Yes, we might still have our delusions, but to me it makes more sense to treat them gently and loosely, to give them space, and to remember that the real task at hand is to keep on practicing and encourage others likewise. With practice, things become more clear, I think.

fwiw.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
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Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:58 am

Jechbi wrote: it might do more harm than good to debate too much about notions of God and Buddha Nature and all these concepts people might grasp at in pursuit of a context for identity
"in pursuit of a context for identity" Unclear what this means, and it is likely to do even more harm for an individual to not know what is entailed viacontext in such a concepts as "luminous citta," drawing all sorts of self filled ideas about the Dhamma.
>> 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

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Jechbi » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:22 am

tiltbillings wrote: and it is likely to do even more harm for an individual to not know what is entailed viacontext in such a concepts as "luminous citta," drawing all sorts of self filled ideas about the Dhamma.
Could be. Hard to say if our efforts to infuse such understanding through debate will be successful, however. And if we end up discouraging the person in the process, then what have we actually done? I agree with you, however, that it makes sense in this type of discussion to state one's case respectfully and clearly.
tiltbillings wrote:"in pursuit of a context for identity" Unclear what this means,
Generally speaking, these notions of god or Buddha nature, etc., are a way of framing the "self" vis-a-vis something that is not the "self," or that is a supposedly truer understanding of the "self." The god concept is tied to the concept of self. The god concept is an identity concept. It depends on the notion of identity to exist.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:30 am

Jechbi wrote:
tiltbillings wrote: and it is likely to do even more harm for an individual to not know what is entailed viacontext in such a concepts as "luminous citta," drawing all sorts of self filled ideas about the Dhamma.
Could be. Hard to say if our efforts to infuse such understanding through debate will be successful, however. And if we end up discouraging the person in the process, then what have we actually done? I agree with you, however, that it makes sense in this type of discussion to state one's case respectfully and clearly.
Who is this "person?" What is the function of a forum like this? Sometimes discussions simply are going to be arcane for the newcomer. It happens, and I see no reason why we need to dumb-down discussions in fear that someone might be put-off by what they might not understand, but then I probably am totally clueless about what it is you are getting at.
>> 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

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Jechbi » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:39 am

tiltbillings wrote:Who is this "person?"
Good catch. I was speaking in generalizations. I have no way of knowing whether some certain style of discussion does in fact lead to discouragement in others. I can only guess, based on interactions that I have seen, and based my own sense of (possibly misinformed) empathy.
tiltbillings wrote:What is the function of a forum like this?
I can provide you with my opinion, if that's what you are asking for. The function of a forum like this is to provide a place for friendly Dhamma discussion that is salutary for all involved, and that encourages practice. I hope I have understood your question correctly.
tiltbillings wrote:Sometimes discussions simply are going to be arcane for the newcomer. It happens, and I see no reason why we need to dumb-down discussions in fear that someone might be put-off by what they might not understand,
Nor do I.
tiltbillings wrote:... but then I probably am totally clueless about what it is you are getting at.
Not for me to judge.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:26 am

Jechbi wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:What is the function of a forum like this?
I can provide you with my opinion, if that's what you are asking for. The function of a forum like this is to provide a place for friendly Dhamma discussion that is salutary for all involved, and that encourages practice. I hope I have understood your question correctly.
This forum is not the usenet hell-holes, and even at it worse, it is a million miles from that. The reality is the people are going to get testy from time to time and that not everyone is going to like everyone and that someone may see impoliteness where it was not intended and so forth. Academic discussions or technical debates are not always going to be salutary for everyone. Though the primary focus of this forum is Theravada, this is a market place of ideas. Ceavat lector; it cannot be helped that we are going to say things or hear things that might unsettling to others or oneself.

The individual who participates in a forum such as this needs to learn to step back a bit at times, not take too seriously the two bozos who may be poking each other a bit as they exchange ideas about how they think things are. If that individual gets caught in the heat, he or she may miss something of considerable interest or entertainment.

Ideally, we all act as gentlemen and gentlewomen, but ….

The issue in this thread of the luminous citta (mind) is of interest. Is the luminous mind nibbana? Is it equivalent to buddha-nature and the Quaker’s inner light? It is worth a discussion, a debate, a technical excursus or two, and there might be something to learn from all that, but I see no reason in presenting my side not be as direct and informative as I can be.
>> 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

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Re: "Luminous mind" was Question Regarding God and Agnosticism?

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:23 pm

Hi All
would anyone say they worship The Lord Buddha as Christians worship Jesus because there are similarities?
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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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