ancientbuddhism wrote: mikenz66 wrote:
The PDF book draft by Bhikkhu Cintita that Bhante Gavesako linked to here
has some interesting discussion relevant to this thread ...
This is a religious tract.
Of course, that's stated up front. It's a tract about Buddhism.
Straw-man arguments such as “The view that the Buddha never taught rebirth at all requires great imagination…” does find echo on this thread, but is a position which has yet to accuse anyone here. Does Cintita's book really inform this discussion?
Ven Cintita writes in a rather conversational, and sometimes iconoclastic, style, but I don't see anything particularly strawman about that particular statement, read in its full context.
I found his previous blog entries on "folk" vs "adept" buddhism, which form a part of this work, very helpful in thinking about various approaches to the Dhamma. My summary would be that a "folk" approach, by either easterner or westerners, tends to see full liberation from samasara as either impossible, or something very far off. He gives one example of Western Folk Buddhism as:
A popular understanding in the West is that Buddhism is about freeing one's authentic/innermost/true
self/nature/voice/heart, a self that has been suppressed by social conditioning and other unnatural
factors, but when unleashed is the source of creativity, spirituality, virtue and wisdom.
And one could argue that thinking of Dhamma as simply a toolbox of techniques for healing and psychotherapy is also an Western Folk approach.
That's perhaps a topic for a different thread, but it does touch on a key question of what is or is not essential to realising the Dhamma, which is, in part, what this thread is about.