Peter wrote: Individual wrote:
An inference based on the Pali canon.
The Dhamma is eternal (SN 47.13
), precisely the reason it's a secure refuge:
This passage doesn't say the Dhamma is eternal. It says that just because Sariputta died doesn't mean the teachings died with him. The Buddha was reminding Ananda that it is the teaching which matters, not any particular teacher; Ananda could still develop the Path even though Sariputta had died.
He didn't say the "teaching". He said the aggregate
of virtue, of concentration, discernment, release, and knowledge & vision. It's basically implied that, while teachings and teachers are subject to decay, these aggregates of liberation are eternal (hence the "forgotten" path, "re-discovered" by the Buddha, not merely the "teaching\belief-system created by Buddha,"). Dhamma doesn't always mean the "teaching", but also the truth\practice the teaching is pointing to.
Peter wrote:Really, Individual, these arguments of yours are so old. I'm sure you've read plenty of refutations of them over on E-S. If you are still convinced the suttas teach an eternal self perhaps you would rather go find the Dark Zen folks and study under them; I recall they have their own forum over at Beliefnet.
Dark Zen is a cult run by a dork. Please don't insult me.
As for your speculation on "self", are you a puggalavadin?
I am not a puggalavadin, because that would be a speculative wrong view. But I do think that, as with Theravadin Abhidhamma, Puggalavadin philosophy could be useful in illustrating the truth. Whereas the explicit philosophical notion of a puggala isn't upheld by modern Mahayanins, the notion of a "true self," "supreme self," etc., what Zen Buddhists call "one's own true nature," runs throughout several Mahayana sutras (see Wikipedia's article on Buddha-nature
). And this same notion of Buddha-nature runs through the Pali canon, in the Buddha's description of luminous mind and his positive description of Nibbana. I have heard Gil Fronsdal make this claim before, that the Pali canon is mostly "negative" descriptions, but the Mahayana is a more "positive" description. Not my own fabrication.
Element wrote:You are sounding like a Mahayanan muni
That is a very lofty compliment.
Individual, intelligent, bright and wise as you sometimes are, it is this insistence of yours to dispute with those clearly more knowlegeable than you, that makes me throw doubt upon the sagacity of your posts, and to have less faith in your ability to understand and interpret the Buddha's teachings.
Your criticism seems to be arbitrarily dependent on time and place. If I were to argue with a Mahayana monk in a Mahayana Buddhist forum about Mahayana sectarianism, you could make the same claim. If a Theravadin monk today had the same views during Asoka's reign and criticized Puggalavada with a more senior monk back then, you could make the same claim.
Right here and now, those more wise than me have a different view, but those here and now are not sum of all wise people in the world, past, present, and future. Consider that there have been many wise people in the past who did not share their view, but shared mine, or who didn't share either of our views but a totally different one, and that in the future, their views might not necessarily be regarded as "wise" and mine as "foolish". The wisdom of an assertion should be judged with mindfulness, not on the conceit of comparing one "person" with another, saying, "Oh, well he's wise, so everything he says is correct," but "Oh, he's not as wise, so I should be skeptical of what he says," and "Oh, he's a complete fool. I should ignore everything he says." That is conceit.