Those Self-Absorbed Buddhists

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Re: Those Self-Absorbed Buddhists

Post by binocular » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:12 am

Bhikkhu Cintita wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:47 pm
"Humility" is a bit ambiguous in English and it was my interlocutor's word-choice.
You used it in your OP and didn't indicate it was the Christian's choice of word:
Bhikkhu Cintita wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 1:54 am
Although I had never belonged to another faith before taking refuge some twenty years ago, I have come to recognize that most people of faith, across many religious traditions, have a characteristic sense of humility that differs markedly from that found in secular contexts. Moreover, Buddhism is the only tradition that carries the virtue of humility as far as teaching anatta (non-self) and then systematically de-constructing the sense of being a self. In Buddhism, humility is the most reliable indicator of spiritual progress and renouncing personal neediness the most effective means of making it.
It is not meant here in the sense of self-deprecation, but is, as I say, related in Buddhism to the deconstruction of the sense of self. It is roughly the opposite of I-making, of pride, conceit, self-centeredness.
I wouldn't call that "humility", not even remotely.
I think humility requires having a strong sense of self while "knowing one's place in the world". I think humility is relative to each particular social context: what would be humility in one context, could be even pride or weakness in another one.
It is indicated in Buddhism in the weakening of greed, hate and delusion. The Canki Sutta, for instance, gives criteria for judging a teacher that elaborates on this indicator.
I don't see anything about humility there.
I think a more preliminary sense is deference, respect or even veneration for views of others.
Which others? Surely not everyone!
This is likely the level at which faith traditions are similar to one another. The equivalent in Buddhism is refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, which serves to put one's own valued opinions on hold and accept these authorities as valued sources of wisdom.
That is a typical Catholic or Hindu view of the matter! A authoritarian view in which a person's actual knowledge and experience are expected to make no difference to the person themselves! A view in which might makes right.
Refuge requires some maturity in humility.
What you describe I would call naive defeatism, not taking refuge.
I suspect that the seminary student discovered a lot of attachment to own views with insufficient regard for those of others or for outside authorities.
Christians probably think the same way of non-Christians.

For example, you can often enough hear Christians complain about how people are not being obedient enough. But what they mean is that those people are not being obedient enough to some particular Christian institution.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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