Discussions about Authoritarianism in Buddhism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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binocular
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Discussions about Authoritarianism in Buddhism

Post by binocular » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:11 am

Mod note: Some posts moved from other topics where this discussion might derail them.
Goofaholix wrote:
binocular wrote:Maybe someday you will find yourself on the receiving end of being expected to believe a doctrinal point merely because it was said by someone in position of power.
I was around during the last days of E-Sangha, so I'm very familiar with this feeling, I can't say I've ever experienced it except on the internet.
Oh, it didn't stop there on the internet, it doesn't stop on the internet. There's plenty of appeals to authority going around; maybe as a male you don't experience it that much.
One thing I've found over two decades of practice is that I've gradually shed a lot of mixed up ideas in the name of "don't know mind" that come from Folk Buddhism, Mahayana, Advaita, new age or goodness knows where and enjoy the elegant simplicity of the core teachings.
Not sure what you mean there.

binocular
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Re: On anattā/anātman

Post by binocular » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:53 am

Goofaholix wrote:Who cares.

There is no Obama defined in the Buddhas teachings, no Obama recommended, no Obama given importance. That should be enough for anyone genuinely interested in practicing Buddhism, despite their love for Obama, to put Obama aside.
And the practice of Buddhism involves how much arguing with strangers on the internet ...?
Goofaholix wrote:It's infinately better than... "The Buddha didn't say I can't, so I'll poach a view of self from another religion, or make one up of my own even."
That would be a problem only if the person would claim to be a Buddhist or a representative of the Buddha.

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Goofaholix
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Re: On anattā/anātman

Post by Goofaholix » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:01 am

binocular wrote:And the practice of Buddhism involves how much arguing with strangers on the internet ...?
Up until the last couple of decades... zero.
binocular wrote:That would be a problem only if the person would claim to be a Buddhist or a representative of the Buddha.
Yes, and if people were honest about where the ideas are coming from we'd be able to have interesting discussions in comparative religion, we even have sub-forum for this purpose.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

binocular
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Re: On anattā/anātman

Post by binocular » Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:21 am

Goofaholix wrote:
binocular wrote:And the practice of Buddhism involves how much arguing with strangers on the internet ...?
Up until the last couple of decades... zero.
But prior to that, arguing with strangers was the practice of Buddhism?
Yes, and if people were honest about where the ideas are coming from we'd be able to have interesting discussions in comparative religion, we even have sub-forum for this purpose.
Same if people would make only warranted inferences.

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Goofaholix
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Re: On anattā/anātman

Post by Goofaholix » Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:59 am

binocular wrote:But prior to that, arguing with strangers was the practice of Buddhism?
I wouldn't have thought so, the relevance to davidbrainerd's the Obama analogy is?
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

binocular
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Re: On anattā/anātman

Post by binocular » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:13 am

Goofaholix wrote:
binocular wrote:But prior to that, arguing with strangers was the practice of Buddhism?
I wouldn't have thought so, the relevance to davidbrainerd's the Obama analogy is?
If Buddhism is in some essential way about what one does, right here, right now,
then what does it say about self-declared Buddhists
who argue with strangers on the internet?

The time spent arguing with strangers on the internet is a time when karma isn't being made?

How much are you really a representative of the Buddha, in the here and now?

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Coëmgenu
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Re: On anattā/anātman

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:24 am

binocular wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:
binocular wrote:But prior to that, arguing with strangers was the practice of Buddhism?
I wouldn't have thought so, the relevance to davidbrainerd's the Obama analogy is?
If Buddhism is in some essential way about what one does, right here, right now,
then what does it say about self-declared Buddhists
who argue with strangers on the internet?

The time spent arguing with strangers on the internet is a time when karma isn't being made?

How much are you really a representative of the Buddha, in the here and now?
The purpose of this forum is not to achieve enlightenment. The purpose of this forum is to be a place where Theravada Buddhists can network and where those new or interested in the tradition can interface with it. If the tradition is being misrepresented, people have something of a minor obligation to correct that misrepresentation.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

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Goofaholix
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Re: On anattā/anātman

Post by Goofaholix » Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:58 am

binocular wrote:The time spent arguing with strangers on the internet is a time when karma isn't being made?

How much are you really a representative of the Buddha, in the here and now?
Generally I avoid threads that look like they are going to or have already become long winded and argumentative. I'm pretty good at, I can't remember the last one I got involved in off the top of my head. It was a slow day at work.

My position on this thread has all along been that this "question" is irrelevant to Buddhism. I don't take a strong position either way but I just don't see why we have to have this "question" raised over and over again, and of course in any argument the one who asserts has a burden of proof and I've yet to see any proof the Buddha gave any importance to "self" in his teachings other than to point out what is not-self.

So, it's all my fault because?
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

binocular
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Re: On anattā/anātman

Post by binocular » Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:23 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:The purpose of this forum is not to achieve enlightenment.
:sigh:
I didn't think the day would come when I would see a Buddhist at a Buddhist establishment say such a thing. But, strange things happen ...

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Coëmgenu
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Re: On anattā/anātman

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:29 pm

binocular wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:The purpose of this forum is not to achieve enlightenment.
:sigh:
I didn't think the day would come when I would see a Buddhist at a Buddhist establishment say such a thing. But, strange things happen ...
If you think the purpose of this forum is to enable users and posters to achieve enlightenment then you must think it is horribly designed. Buddhadharma is designed to enable "users", if you will, achieve Awakening. Not this website.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

binocular
Posts: 3671
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: On anattā/anātman

Post by binocular » Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:03 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:If you think the purpose of this forum is to enable users and posters to achieve enlightenment then you must think it is horribly designed. Buddhadharma is designed to enable "users", if you will, achieve Awakening. Not this website.
Oh, silly me, and there I was thinking that Buddhist establishments of various kinds (including internet forums) were intended for people to, you know, at least work towards enlightenment. Not to get a time-out from that work. Silly me.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: On anattā/anātman

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:16 am

binocular wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:If you think the purpose of this forum is to enable users and posters to achieve enlightenment then you must think it is horribly designed. Buddhadharma is designed to enable "users", if you will, achieve Awakening. Not this website.
Oh, silly me, and there I was thinking that Buddhist establishments of various kinds (including internet forums) were intended for people to, you know, at least work towards enlightenment. Not to get a time-out from that work. Silly me.
If that is your goal you need to reach out to the sangha and have a teacher. There are sections of the board with Mahavihara moderators who can probably help you get in contact with a monastery or temple, even if only over the internet. You can use this forum for that purpose, but this forum itself isn't a conduit of Buddhadharma in-and-of-itself, right?
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

binocular
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Re: On anattā/anātman

Post by binocular » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:15 am

Coëmgenu wrote:If that is your goal you need to reach out to the sangha and have a teacher. There are sections of the board with Mahavihara moderators who can probably help you get in contact with a monastery or temple, even if only over the internet. You can use this forum for that purpose, but this forum itself isn't a conduit of Buddhadharma in-and-of-itself, right?
Not sure what you mean.

Don't all (Theravada) Buddhists have the same goal, which is the highest goal (in Theravada, this is enlightenment), and aren't all (Theravada) Buddhist establishments intended toward that goal?

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Coëmgenu
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Re: On anattā/anātman

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:39 am

binocular wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:If that is your goal you need to reach out to the sangha and have a teacher. There are sections of the board with Mahavihara moderators who can probably help you get in contact with a monastery or temple, even if only over the internet. You can use this forum for that purpose, but this forum itself isn't a conduit of Buddhadharma in-and-of-itself, right?
Not sure what you mean.

Don't all (Theravada) Buddhists have the same goal, which is the highest goal (in Theravada, this is enlightenment), and aren't all (Theravada) Buddhist establishments intended toward that goal?
By saying "if that is your goal" I wasn't implying there were multiple goals to Buddhism, it was simply acknowledging that there are multiple uses for this forum, perusing enlightenment, by use of this forum and books alone, being a controversial one. I don't think any serious Theravada practitioner would advocate pursuing Buddhism seriously without a connection to the sangha in one way or another, which is an easy connection to make, they are eager for practitioners.

I, for instance, am not a Theravada practitioner. I came here to learn more about the "other side" of the tradition, to see what we had in common, what we didn't, etc. So my usage of this site comes from a different place.
神足示現者,
世尊隨其所應,而示現入禪定正受,陵虛至東方,作四威儀,
行、住、坐、臥,入火三昧,出種種火光,青、黃、赤、白、
紅、頗梨色,水火俱現, 或身下出火,身上出水,身上出火,
身下出水,周圓四方亦復如是。

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