Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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No_Mind
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Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by No_Mind » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:00 pm

In another thread binocular commented that I should leave my Romanticism/Idealism behind.

I couldn't find a suitable repartee because from Buddhist point of view she was correct.

That has caused bit of turmoil in me (seems this is not my month, getting caught behind the wicket always). I am a very "romantic" person.

I tend to look at things with my heart and not my head. Never could.

Are these two worlds completely incompatible?

Definition of Romanticism for those not acquainted with the term -
"Romanticism is the artistic movement of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries which was concerned with the expression of the individual's feelings and emotions."
https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dicti ... omanticism

and of course https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanticism

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus

Keith
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Re: Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by Keith » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:09 pm

Metta, karuna and mudita are related to feelings and emotions, surely? In the Mahayana, there is the Bodhisattva Ideal, with specific emphasis on what you consider to be romanticism, by my interpretation. No harm in it.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:35 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:00 pm
I am a very "romantic" person.

I tend to look at things with my heart and not my head. Never could.

Are these two worlds completely incompatible?
No, not at all. Most people are a mixture of head and heart. If heart is stronger with you, then cultivate a heart-based practice. Follow your feelings, but use your intellect to moderate things and protect yourself.

I think one of the strands of Romanticism - the idea that there is one unique person who alone can make us happy, our soul-mate - is a recipe for unhappiness. But just as dangerous is shutting oneself off from feelings and denying what we are, on the basis of one bad experience. Emotional people have greater potential for happiness, as well as unhappiness.

binocular
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Re: Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by binocular » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:55 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:00 pm
I tend to look at things with my heart and not my head.
How can you tell which is which?

alfa
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Re: Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by alfa » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:55 am

binocular wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:55 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:00 pm
I tend to look at things with my heart and not my head.
How can you tell which is which?
When emotions rule and logic takes a backseat ...

chownah
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Re: Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by chownah » Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:52 am

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:00 pm
In another thread binocular commented that I should leave my Romanticism/Idealism behind.

I couldn't find a suitable repartee because from Buddhist point of view she was correct.

That has caused bit of turmoil in me (seems this is not my month, getting caught behind the wicket always). I am a very "romantic" person.
From a right view without remainder perspective it is not your romanticism...this indicates the false idea that there is a self which owns this romanticism....also....romanticism is a determination or fabrication which through ignorance is an attempt to understand certain feelings which are through ignorance considered to be owned by that same false self....also....the idea of leaving something behind is a view which comes from the idea that the false self persists through time and that romanticism has a false self which can be either picked up or put down by the false self....etc....
What I do when I see things like this arise in my life is not to try to be rid of them but rather try to concentrate my mind to calmness and then try to see cearly that these feelings arise, persist for a short while, and then subside and to discern that there is no self involved in that process.
chownah

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No_Mind
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Re: Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by No_Mind » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:44 pm

chownah wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:52 am
No_Mind wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:00 pm
In another thread binocular commented that I should leave my Romanticism/Idealism behind.

I couldn't find a suitable repartee because from Buddhist point of view she was correct.

That has caused bit of turmoil in me (seems this is not my month, getting caught behind the wicket always). I am a very "romantic" person.
From a right view without remainder perspective it is not your romanticism...this indicates the false idea that there is a self which owns this romanticism....also....romanticism is a determination or fabrication which through ignorance is an attempt to understand certain feelings which are through ignorance considered to be owned by that same false self....also....the idea of leaving something behind is a view which comes from the idea that the false self persists through time and that romanticism has a false self which can be either picked up or put down by the false self....etc....
What I do when I see things like this arise in my life is not to try to be rid of them but rather try to concentrate my mind to calmness and then try to see cearly that these feelings arise, persist for a short while, and then subside and to discern that there is no self involved in that process.
chownah
Chownah, it is romanticism not romantic, that I am talking about.

Romanticism involves an emphasis on intuition and imagination - Wordsworth, Poe, Shelley, Byron, Keats, Coleridge.

A more modern equivalent would be idealism (though not exactly). Maybe idealism mixed with spiritualism, mysticism and love of nature.

In short, someone who would love to spend an afternoon reading

"'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

instead of watching stock market analysis.

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus

chownah
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Re: Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by chownah » Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:26 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:44 pm
chownah wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:52 am
No_Mind wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:00 pm
In another thread binocular commented that I should leave my Romanticism/Idealism behind.

I couldn't find a suitable repartee because from Buddhist point of view she was correct.

That has caused bit of turmoil in me (seems this is not my month, getting caught behind the wicket always). I am a very "romantic" person.
From a right view without remainder perspective it is not your romanticism...this indicates the false idea that there is a self which owns this romanticism....also....romanticism is a determination or fabrication which through ignorance is an attempt to understand certain feelings which are through ignorance considered to be owned by that same false self....also....the idea of leaving something behind is a view which comes from the idea that the false self persists through time and that romanticism has a false self which can be either picked up or put down by the false self....etc....
What I do when I see things like this arise in my life is not to try to be rid of them but rather try to concentrate my mind to calmness and then try to see cearly that these feelings arise, persist for a short while, and then subside and to discern that there is no self involved in that process.
chownah
Chownah, it is romanticism not romantic, that I am talking about.

Romanticism involves an emphasis on intuition and imagination - Wordsworth, Poe, Shelley, Byron, Keats, Coleridge.
I understand perfecty well I think. You listed a bunch of romantic poets (google "list of romantic poets") which means that their genre is romanticism....I get it. My post was made with this exactly in mind. Notice that I say that when "things like this arise in my life" I was not wanting to indicate that I indulge in "romanticism" but rather that I might observe a trait or characteristic active in my life and think that I should "leave it behind"and that is when I do not try to be rid of them but rather try to concentrate my mind to calmness and then try to see cearly that these feelings arise, persist for a short while, and then subside and to discern that there is no self involved in that process....
chownah

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No_Mind
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Re: Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by No_Mind » Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:44 pm

chownah wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:26 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:44 pm
chownah wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:52 am

From a right view without remainder perspective it is not your romanticism...this indicates the false idea that there is a self which owns this romanticism....also....romanticism is a determination or fabrication which through ignorance is an attempt to understand certain feelings which are through ignorance considered to be owned by that same false self....also....the idea of leaving something behind is a view which comes from the idea that the false self persists through time and that romanticism has a false self which can be either picked up or put down by the false self....etc....
What I do when I see things like this arise in my life is not to try to be rid of them but rather try to concentrate my mind to calmness and then try to see cearly that these feelings arise, persist for a short while, and then subside and to discern that there is no self involved in that process.
chownah
Chownah, it is romanticism not romantic, that I am talking about.

Romanticism involves an emphasis on intuition and imagination - Wordsworth, Poe, Shelley, Byron, Keats, Coleridge.
I understand perfecty well I think. You listed a bunch of romantic poets (google "list of romantic poets") which means that their genre is romanticism....I get it. My post was made with this exactly in mind. Notice that I say that when "things like this arise in my life" I was not wanting to indicate that I indulge in "romanticism" but rather that I might observe a trait or characteristic active in my life and think that I should "leave it behind"and that is when I do not try to be rid of them but rather try to concentrate my mind to calmness and then try to see cearly that these feelings arise, persist for a short while, and then subside and to discern that there is no self involved in that process....
chownah
Uh .. Romantic literature has nothing to do with being romantic :?

You can't observe arising and cessation of Romanticism any more than you can observe arising and cessation of post-modernism :?

But .. Chownah .. I return to this forum after a year a much milder man than I was previously :toast: so won't quibble

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus

JohnK
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Re: Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by JohnK » Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:54 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:44 pm
...I return to this forum after a year a much milder man than I was previously :toast: ...
:namaste:
Excellent. :anjali:
You may be aware of this book already, but I could not help but post a link to it as it has not yet been mentioned in a thread with the words "Romanticism" and "Buddhist" in the title.
The title of the book is Buddhist Romanticism; it's by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
https://www.dhammatalks.org/books/Buddh ... n0005.html
He cautions that as Buddhism comes "west," it gets mixed in with ideas from Romanticism resulting in misunderstanding of the Dhamma.
This may or may not be helpful in your situation.
Those who grasp at perceptions & views wander the internet creating friction. [based on Sn4:9,v.847]

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Alīno
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Re: Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by Alīno » Sat Nov 23, 2019 7:14 pm

Yes I think that Dhamma is romantic, if we understand romantism as rebellion, revolutionary movement.

As concern mentality and emotions, one big Ajahn said that:
- Sotapanna is free from all what happens "in the head" (thoughts, concepts etc)
- Anagami is free from all what happens "in the heart" (emotions, energies etc)
Ajahn Nanadassano (before ordaining) : Venerable Ajahn, what is the bigest error that buddhist do in their practice?
Ajahn Jayasaro : They stop practicing ...

chownah
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Re: Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:36 am

No_Mind wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:44 pm
Uh .. Romantic literature has nothing to do with being romantic :?

You can't observe arising and cessation of Romanticism any more than you can observe arising and cessation of post-modernism :?
I am perfectly aware of the genre of romanticism....I studied literature in school...I've read some of all the writers you mention. I am perfectly aware of the concept of "being romantic" with respect to personal relationships as exhibited in coupling rituals etc. I know about the differences and the connections between them.

One can observe the arising and cessation of what gives rise to the desire to indulge in internal dialogue of the sort described as being of the genre of romanticism....etc.

IN the OP you posted "I should leave my Romanticism/Idealism behind"....this expresses the view that you see self associated with romanticism/idealism which is to say it expresse the view that you identify with romanticism/idealism as if you own a piece of it yourself. Then you say "I am a very "romantic" person." where you are clearly identifying with that romanticism/idealism....this is how people construct that false self narrative.....

My post was all about how one constructs a delusional narrative of self and what I do when I discern that I am indulging in that. If what I say is not helpful then don't bother with it.
chownah

binocular
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Re: Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:23 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:44 pm
You can't observe arising and cessation of Romanticism any more than you can observe arising and cessation of post-modernism
Of course one can. That's an important point in Buddhist practice.

alfa wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:55 am
binocular wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:55 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:00 pm
I tend to look at things with my heart and not my head.
How can you tell which is which?
When emotions rule and logic takes a backseat ...
The dichotomy is a false one and superficial to begin with.
In traditional Western psychology, emotions were typically conceptualized as distinct from the intellect; which just reflects the external and externalizing approach of Western psychology rather than anything else. Modern trends in Western psychology, however, note that the two cannot be so neatly separated. See, for example, the work of Matthew Ratcliffe.

For all practical intents and purposes, "following one's heart" pretty much means "don't think about what you're doing and what you're going to do; just do it, and don't reflect on it". It's a kind of deliberate lack of awareness of one's mind and one's actions.

binocular
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Re: Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:38 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:00 pm
In another thread binocular commented that I should leave my Romanticism/Idealism behind.
If you haven't recently read Cervantes' Don Quixote, now could be a good time to do so.
The stories are a fierce criticism of the uncritical reception of medieval chivalric literature and the ideals promoted in it. The theme points at something much more general and timeless: the tendency toward romanticism and idealism that is counterproductive to one's wellbeing and functioning in the world. A tendency under which one might be suffering oneself.


For example: You said that woman friendzoned you. And how did you behave toward her? Like a knight. A knight fights for his lady, he praises her, but he never actually intends to get serious with her, nor she with him (she's probably married already anyway). A knight is permanently friendzoned by his lady, and doesn't mind; or at least pretends not to mind, for he's got his chivalrous honor as his priority.
Rings a bell?

I tend to look at things with my heart and not my head. Never could.

Are these two worlds completely incompatible?
From what I've understood, the dichotomy doesn't exist in Buddhism to begin with.


- - -

Upon second thought:
chownah wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 2:36 am
One can observe the arising and cessation of what gives rise to the desire to indulge in internal dialogue of the sort described as being of the genre of romanticism....etc.

IN the OP you posted "I should leave my Romanticism/Idealism behind"....this expresses the view that you see self associated with romanticism/idealism which is to say it expresse the view that you identify with romanticism/idealism as if you own a piece of it yourself. Then you say "I am a very "romantic" person." where you are clearly identifying with that romanticism/idealism....this is how people construct that false self narrative.....

My post was all about how one constructs a delusional narrative of self and what I do when I discern that I am indulging in that. If what I say is not helpful then don't bother with it.
This could be a bit too abstract for some. One might have to put in quite a bit of intellectual effort into noticing/identifying one's romantic and idealistic tendencies to begin with. And that means getting a solid intellectual grip on those things, something that one's romantic and idealistic tendencies make very hard to do ...

Dan74
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Re: Romanticism and Buddhist Practice

Post by Dan74 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:40 pm

Perhaps I know what No_Mind means. If I understand correctly, being a "feeling type" as defined by Jung and later by MBTI, is what he means by romantic. The experience of a feeling type, AFAICT, is coloured by emotion more so than explicit thought, sensation or intuitive leaps. It is being adrift on a sea of feeling, not always an easy place to find oneself.

@binocular, it is interesting that you took Don Quixote to be a lesson on the dangers of romanticism. He is to me by far the most appealing character in the book.
_/|\_

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