Myth in Buddhism

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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:21 pm

Sara H wrote:So the scientific evidence, shows that traditional Zen practice, actually has the opposite effect of what you are asserting.

In Gassho,

Sara


I think you need to reread what I wrote.

I've been saying lineage transmission (Dharma transmission) is what I'm rejecting, not Zen practice.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:25 pm

jeeprs wrote:I still think that, but at the same time, encountering this divergence of views, I realize that 'belief' plays a pivotal role here too.


Some of it does, some of it doesn't.

I think mind exploration based on a strategy like abhidharma is based less on belief and more on experience and verification.

On the other hand, the idea of Dharma transmission or rebirth on the pure land are all articles of faith.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:44 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:On a conventional level, it would be good if people were less immediately accepting of gurus, and more critical I guess..


I know it doesn't work for many traditions, but why not have more autonomous practitioners? In the old days it seemed largely like the Hellenic world where philosophers earned their name through their merits and ability to teach rather than by virtue of lineage and title. At some point guru devotion became absolutely essential and thus it wasn't enough to study and practice on your own ... you had to be under someone.

In our present day where we're all literate, why can't we all study extensively and cultivate meditation (perhaps under someone's direction of course at first), and then be islands onto ourselves? Form our own opinions. If you become notable, then your students might claim you as their teacher, but it need not go beyond that relationship into something mythical.

Or maybe for many having a master fulfils some need. In Taiwan I noticed how personality cults in Buddhist organizations. seem to draw the largest numbers of devotees. The organization projects an image of a perfected sage and everyone tows the party line. The newcomer is informed of the master's great qualities and average folk who know no better sign up thinking they couldn't go wrong with such a saint at the helm.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby conebeckham » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:52 pm

Huseng wrote:
Sara H wrote:So the scientific evidence, shows that traditional Zen practice, actually has the opposite effect of what you are asserting.

In Gassho,

Sara


I think you need to reread what I wrote.

I've been saying lineage transmission (Dharma transmission) is what I'm rejecting, not Zen practice.



I think, as I've said before, "Lineage transmission" and "Dharma transmission" are two different things. Though potentially related...

I firmly believe that "Dharma transmission" occurs. I do not believe it should be the basis for "lineage transmission," if by that, we mean vesting of authority, institutional powers, etc.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:49 pm

Huseng wrote:At some point guru devotion became absolutely essential and thus it wasn't enough to study and practice on your own ... you had to be under someone.

In our present day where we're all literate, why can't we all study extensively and cultivate meditation (perhaps under someone's direction of course at first), and then be islands onto ourselves? Form our own opinions. If you become notable, then your students might claim you as their teacher, but it need not go beyond that relationship into something mythical.
For the blessing of the lineage and his advice based on personal experience. But there is the aphorism: "Treat your Guru like a hungry lion and stay away" (I forget the source at the moment). Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, and most of the 84 Mahasiddha were taught everything their Gurus knew and then left.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby PorkChop » Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:27 pm

Jnana wrote:
Namgyal wrote:My perspective is that all Buddhists are one family. I would happily discuss your perspective, except that you don't appear to have one.

Even if one wants to be eccumenically inclined, it's important to acknowledge distinctions. The mainstream Indian Buddhist schools (e.g. Sarvāstivāda, Sthaviravāda, etc.) developed to where they accepted three vehicles: the śrāvakayāna, the pratyekayāna, and the boddhisattvayāna. The later notion of an Ekayāna was and still is all too often used as a polemic to marginalize śrāvaka arhats -- as in the claim that arhats still need to realize buddhahood. Such a claim is incompatible with eccumenicism.


Not to go all off-topic, or maybe this deserves its own thread, but I have a completely different understanding of the presentation of Ekayāna as per the Lotus Sutra.
First off it says that location is arbitrary, addressing the thought of "only one perfectly enlightened Buddha in the world at a time" statement (which may have originally been a polemic from the time of the Buddha to dismiss Mahavira as being enlightened).
This leads to the thought that time is arbitrary, addressing the thought that one would have to be born in this world system for eon after eon, waiting for the Dharma to disappear before one would be able to be born a wheel-turning Buddha. In other words, when you're ready, you'll appear in another world system to turn the wheel of Dharma; no need to wait around.
Furthermore, gender becomes arbitrary, as the Naga girl in the story reappears as whatever she wants when she's ready to turn the wheel of Dharma.
The end result is that either you've attained full, perfect enlightenment (recognized arhat or not) or you haven't & you've still got work to do.
It's the limitations on full, perfect enlightenment that are presented as upaya.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Jnana » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:11 pm

PorkChop wrote:The end result is that either you've attained full, perfect enlightenment (recognized arhat or not) or you haven't & you've still got work to do.

Not all Buddhist traditions accept that the śrāvakayāna is just upāya for those who aren't ready to understand the Lotus Sūtra or that everyone has to realize anuttarā samyaksaṃbodhi. Accordingly, the śrāvakayāna, pratyekayāna, and bodhisattvayāna are each fully complete vehicles resulting in different types of awakening (śrāvakabodhi, pratyekabodhi, or samyaksaṃbodhi). Therefore, there's no reason to maintain that arhats can or should have to realize samyaksaṃbodhi. The arhat who has followed the śrāvaka path and realized śrāvakabodhi is done, completed the path, end of story.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby PorkChop » Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:48 pm

Jnana wrote:
PorkChop wrote:The end result is that either you've attained full, perfect enlightenment (recognized arhat or not) or you haven't & you've still got work to do.

Not all Buddhist traditions accept that the śrāvakayāna is just upāya for those who aren't ready to understand the Lotus Sūtra or that everyone has to realize anuttarā samyaksaṃbodhi. Accordingly, the śrāvakayāna, pratyekayāna, and bodhisattvayāna are each fully complete vehicles resulting in different types of awakening (śrāvakabodhi, pratyekabodhi, or samyaksaṃbodhi). Therefore, there's no reason to maintain that arhats can or should have to realize samyaksaṃbodhi. The arhat who has followed the śrāvaka path and realized śrāvakabodhi is done, completed the path, end of story.


I think maybe I'm not getting my point across.
I never said the Lotus Sutra is necessary.
I never said sravakayana is upaya, merely *the* distinctions between the 3 types of bodhi.
I completely agree if you achieve bodhi, you're done.

EDIT: There, fixed that for you.
Last edited by PorkChop on Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Jnana » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:02 pm

PorkChop wrote:I never said sravakayana is upaya, merely your distinctions between the 3 types of bodhi.

It's not my distinction. If one wants to be ecumenical then it's kinda important to acknowledge what is acceptable to all parties concerned. An example of Buddhist ecumenicism is the statement by the First Congress of the World Buddhist Sangha Council:

1. The Buddha is our only Master (teacher and guide).
2. We take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Saṅgha (the Three Jewels).
3. We do not believe that this world is created and ruled by a God.
4. We consider that the purpose of life is to develop compassion for all living beings without discrimination and to work for their good, happiness, and peace; and to develop wisdom (prajñā) leading to the realization of Ultimate Truth.
5. We accept the Four Noble Truths, namely duḥkha, the arising of duḥkha, the cessation of duḥkha, and the path leading to the cessation of duḥkha; and the law of cause and effect (pratītyasamutpāda).
6. All conditioned things (saṃskāra) are impermanent (anitya) and duḥkha, and that all conditioned and unconditioned things (dharma) are without self (anātma).
7. We accept the thirty-seven qualities conducive to enlightenment (bodhipakṣadharma) as different aspects of the Path taught by the Buddha leading to Enlightenment.
8. There are three ways of attaining bodhi or Enlightenment: namely as a disciple (śrāvaka), as a pratyekabuddha and as a samyaksambuddha (perfectly and fully enlightened Buddha). We accept it as the highest, noblest, and most heroic to follow the career of a Bodhisattva and to become a samyaksambuddha in order to save others.
9. We admit that in different countries there are differences regarding Buddhist beliefs and practices. These external forms and expressions should not be confused with the essential teachings of the Buddha.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:29 pm

I have skipped most of the discussion, so I don't know if this has been mentioned before.

In today's Chinese Buddhism the Ven. Xuyun is the most outstanding teacher of Zen from whom many living teachers derive their lineage. It is said that Xuyun transmitted all five schools of Zen, and there are indeed monks who claim affiliation with one or more of those. What should be noted, however, is that the five school system is only a fabrication from the Song era that they came up with to categorise different groups of Zen teachers. On one hand, there were more than just five, on the other, the Fayan school (one of the five) never even existed. There are two descendants of Xuyun famous in the West: Ven. Xuanhua and Ven. Shengyan. Xuanhua belongs to the Weiyang lineage, a school that vanished long ago, and one can actually see a large gap in the transmission chart. This is a case of "remote succession" (yaosi 遙嗣), that is, one can claim transmission based on personal sympathy toward a dead teacher. Shengyan belongs to the Linji lineage coming from Xuyun, however, there are two problems with that and both because of having Zibo Zhenke in his chart. First, Zibo himself never claimed any succession and criticised those of his time who wanted to revive Zen based on the stories. Second, the dates of birth and death show that Zibo died years before his predecessor three generations back could even get a full ordination. So, the lineages of both Xuanhua and Shengyan show that it is not an unbroken transmission from generation to generation.

The reformer of modern Korean Zen was Gyeongheo from whom practically every living Zen teacher derives his lineage. However, Gyeongheo himself never received a Dharma transmission from anyone and even said that such a transmission has been long dead by his time. Another example from Korea is the Ven. Daehaeng Sunim, who was a well known teacher and who established a major organisation within the Jogye order, however, she has no lineage affiliation, no teacher, still she is regarded as an outstanding Zen master.

In Vietnam one of the most successful Buddhist organisations is the Truc Lam Zen that has the biggest training monastery in the country. It is a revival of the only Vietnamese founded Zen lineage that existed in the 13th and 14th century. The current reformer Thich Thanh Tu is of course not the direct descendent of any of the former patriarchs and has no Dharma transmission from anyone. Still, he is a major Zen teacher.

These are all modern examples of how lineage is not that definitive in Zen and people are perfectly capable of becoming outstanding teachers without an unbroken lineage.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:38 pm

I also wonder if some more autonomy wouldn't be a good idea in places, I think I agree with that Huseng.

So many teachers have written so many books, put out so much material. As mentioned briefly earlier, some writings even present themselves as a kind of transmission in places with things like "may this writing confer the blessings of such and such..." Particularly in today's age, in some ways it is easier to obtain and study this information than it is to get equivalent face time with a teacher. - i'd hazard a guess that for many people it's more like "read this, read that, read this" then get a few minutes to ask your teacher some questions. It may be presented as such, but this doesn't seem like the "traditional" model to me quite in the way people like to advertise it.

It's clear that some traditions have different ideas of what constitutes a "guru", while always presented as the same thing, it looks to me like the guru in Vajrayana (at least conventionally) is different things to different people, everyone talks about the guru from the (proper) point of view or the practitioner basically..but when viewed from the outside it's clear these relationships are a broad range. I imagine that this conversation is going to be the defining one when it comes down to Buddhism in The West generally, looking around at the wide variety of "transmission" it seems obvious that some permanent changes in pedagogy are probably going to occur.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Astus » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:48 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:As mentioned briefly earlier, some writings even present themselves as a kind of transmission in places with things like "may this writing confer the blessings of such and such...".


"Good friends, you should all recite this. If you practice according to it, you will see the nature through hearing these words. Although you may be a thousand li away from me, it will be as if you are constantly by my side. If you do not become enlightened through these words, then why have you gone to the trouble of coming a thousand li to see me?"
(Platform Sutra, ch. 6, tr. McRae)
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby PorkChop » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:01 pm

Jnana wrote:
PorkChop wrote:I never said sravakayana is upaya, merely your distinctions between the 3 types of bodhi.

It's not my distinction. If one wants to be ecumenical then it's kinda important to acknowledge what is acceptable to all parties concerned. An example of Buddhist ecumenicism is the statement by the First Congress of the World Buddhist Sangha Council:


So anything that does not follow that strict definition of ecumenicism is polemical?
Even polemical towards modern Theravadans who don't agree with definition #8 and who see the Bodhi of all 3 being equal?
I find it interesting that not a single delegate from Japan was at that first council and that Walpola Rahula was the one to draw up the 9 points.
BTW- I can't find the text you quoted on that link, even though I've read the 9 points before.
My point about the Lotus Sutra is that it is equally troubling to followers of the Bodhisattvayana - that story of the Naga princess directly disregards the path of cultivation over innumerable eons.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Jnana » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:15 pm

PorkChop wrote:So anything that does not follow that strict definition of ecumenicism is polemical?

What strict definition would that be?

PorkChop wrote:Even polemical towards modern Theravadans who don't agree with definition #8 and who see the Bodhi of all 3 being equal?

The Theravāda accepts #8 and acknowledges the three types of bodhi. According to the Theravāda there are ten kinds of knowledge that a buddha has which are not shared by arhat disciples.

PorkChop wrote:BTW- I can't find the text you quoted on that link, even though I've read the 9 points before.

It's on the Dhamma Wiki here.

PorkChop wrote:My point about the Lotus Sutra is that it is equally troubling to followers of the Bodhisattvayana - that story of the Naga princess directly disregards the path of cultivation over innumerable eons.

The Mahāyāna sūtras represent various different perspectives.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Karma Dorje » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:20 pm

I think this conversation is framed by the Positivist rejection of metaphysics in the West. Since then, philosophers have viewed faith as a defect rather than a strength. I think that faith appeals more strongly to certain personality types and reason to others. However, my experience with serious practitioners at least in the Vajrayana tradition is that they combine both pretty much without conflict. I quite honestly never thought to question that my guru was a fully enlightened buddha. I had no experience of abuse. On the contrary, he quite literally saved me from my destructive habits and self-doubt. I owe pretty much anything good in my life to his personal guidance, the teachings and empowerments of the lineage he gave me, and his constant encouragement and prayers. I feel no need to elevate myself, nor to diminish him. I am quite simply not his equal in anything but essence.

Consequently, I place a lot more importance on emotional maturity than sheer analytical ability, though I don't think the two are in any way mutually exclusive. I like nothing better than hours spent studying texts and I have great admiration for people like Malcolm who have tremendous passion for and diligence in their research. My heart is in devotion, however. Devotion to the lineage and the transmission does not mean surrendering one's critical faculty. It simply means trusting in one's refuge.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby PorkChop » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:15 am

Jnana wrote:
PorkChop wrote:So anything that does not follow that strict definition of ecumenicism is polemical?
What strict definition would that be?

By strict definition, I mean the 9 points you listed, written by a Theravadan, unanimously approved by a council held in Sri Lanka, with no Japanese Buddhists, and an unknown number of Buddhist delegations that follow the Lotus Sutra. Not to dismiss it as I think it's a nice list, just pointing out the obvious issues of seeing it as a representative ecumenical statement.

Jnana wrote:
PorkChop wrote:Even polemical towards modern Theravadans who don't agree with definition #8 and who see the Bodhi of all 3 being equal?
The Theravāda accepts #8 and acknowledges the three types of bodhi. According to the Theravāda there are ten kinds of knowledge that a buddha has which are not shared by arhat disciples.


Yes, that is what I'd consider traditional Theravada.
I'm talking "modern" viewpoints, more like:
http://maitre-light.blogspot.com/2009/0 ... tship.html
(Where the blogger quotes Ajahn Mun in saying they're the same.)
or...
Jan Nattier wrote:During Shakyamuni Buddha’s own lifetime there was only one notion of what constituted awakening. The Buddha was seen as far greater than his followers, primarily because he had discovered the path to awakening for himself and thus made things far easier for those who would follow in his footsteps. But the nature of awakening itself—understood, in a general sense, as “seeing reality as it is”—was believed to be in every case identical. Indeed, Shakyamuni himself was, like his awakened followers, referred to as an arhat (literally “one who is worthy of respect”).

In other words, the view point that the awakening's the same and if the awakening's the same, the knowledge would be the same.

Jnana wrote:The Mahāyāna sūtras represent various different perspectives.

Pretty dismissive statement in regards to arguably the most influential sutra in East Asian Mahayana Buddhism.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby jeeprs » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:09 am

Karma Dorje wrote:I think this conversation is framed by the Positivist rejection of metaphysics in the West. Since then, philosophers have viewed faith as a defect rather than a strength.


What is significant is the taken-for-granted division between 'faith and reason' or 'myth and history'. The rejection of metaphysics goes a lot deeper than simple positivism. Sure positivism made it explicit, but many other schools of thought also rejected metaphysics. That was what I was was getting at in an earlier post:

This is because the kinds of truths that mythologies point to may not be objectively true, in the sense that modern thinking understands 'objective'. This is because modern thinking is generally horizontal: there is no dimension which corresponds to 'depth'. Absent the vertical dimension offered by the religions, things either exist or don't exist. So a myth, being objectively false, is then declared, simply, false.


In the Buddhist traditions, the general name for the 'vision of how things really are' is 'yathabhutam'. I don't think there is any word in the modern lexicon which translates that idea. Why? Because our culture thinks that 'what is really there' or 'how things really are', is what science describes. And science describes a Universe in which such a notion as 'dharma' can only be conceived as the invention of a human mind. The human mind itself is seen as the product of an undirected process of evolution which is basically fortuitous in nature (which is incidentally one of the 64 'wrong views' in the Brahmajala sutta.) There is no 'objective' sense in which an idea like 'dharma' could be true. At best it is true for the individual - as liberal societies value freedom of conscience, they will accord respect to a deeply held belief - hence, the notion of 'faith'. So it is essentially subjectivized and relativized.

This is why I reckon that the nearest parallel to Buddhist philosophy in the current West, is the 'virtue ethics' of Alisdair McIntyre, which draws on Aquinas and Aristotle, and the other 'neo-Thomists' (Jacques Maritain, Etienne Gilson, and others) . There are many deep differences between those sources and Buddhism, but overall I think they're closer to Buddhism than any of the scientific-secular movements.
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Sara H » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:31 am

conebeckham wrote:
Huseng wrote:
Sara H wrote:So the scientific evidence, shows that traditional Zen practice, actually has the opposite effect of what you are asserting.

In Gassho,

Sara


I think you need to reread what I wrote.

I've been saying lineage transmission (Dharma transmission) is what I'm rejecting, not Zen practice.



I think, as I've said before, "Lineage transmission" and "Dharma transmission" are two different things. Though potentially related...

I firmly believe that "Dharma transmission" occurs. I do not believe it should be the basis for "lineage transmission," if by that, we mean vesting of authority, institutional powers, etc.


Lineage transmission is a part of Zen practice.
They are not separate.

And, I have yet to see a substantiated argument of how keeping a record of lineage of teaching is problematic.

Most of what the record is used for, is practical stories of past Master's interacting with disciples when they were just a disciple themselves.

They illustrate common mistakes, or everyday human misunderstandings of the Dharma, as a reminder that the past people were human too.

The reason why we keep a record of lineage is because it's helpful, and out of gratitude to past teachers who have shown the way.

The lineage itself is not a credential. It's a record.

If you're viewing it as a credential, then that's simply a misunderstanding.

Perhaps you may or may not view it as a common misunderstanding, but regardless, it is in fact, actually a misunderstanding.

The lineage is does not credential somebody. It's just a record.

I should probably add that to my one list, as it seems to be a common enough misunderstanding, that you for pointing that out.

*) While a Zen Master is added to the record of the Zen lineage as a part of the Transmission ceremony, the lineage itself is not a credential; it is a record of credentialed people and past teachers.

In Gassho,

Sara
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Sara H » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:53 am

Karma Dorje wrote:I think this conversation is framed by the Positivist rejection of metaphysics in the West. Since then, philosophers have viewed faith as a defect rather than a strength. I think that faith appeals more strongly to certain personality types and reason to others. However, my experience with serious practitioners at least in the Vajrayana tradition is that they combine both pretty much without conflict. I quite honestly never thought to question that my guru was a fully enlightened buddha. I had no experience of abuse. On the contrary, he quite literally saved me from my destructive habits and self-doubt. I owe pretty much anything good in my life to his personal guidance, the teachings and empowerments of the lineage he gave me, and his constant encouragement and prayers. I feel no need to elevate myself, nor to diminish him. I am quite simply not his equal in anything but essence.

Consequently, I place a lot more importance on emotional maturity than sheer analytical ability, though I don't think the two are in any way mutually exclusive. I like nothing better than hours spent studying texts and I have great admiration for people like Malcolm who have tremendous passion for and diligence in their research. My heart is in devotion, however. Devotion to the lineage and the transmission does not mean surrendering one's critical faculty. It simply means trusting in one's refuge.

:good:

I think you've hit this on the head.

Especially this:
I think this conversation is framed by the Positivist rejection of metaphysics in the West.

And
Since then, philosophers have viewed faith as a defect rather than a strength.


From Wikipedia to reference for everybody:
Positivism is a philosophy of science based on the view that information derived from logical and mathematical treatments and reports of sensory experience is the exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge,[1] that there is valid knowledge (truth) only in scientific knowledge.[2] Verified data received from the senses is known as empirical evidence.[1] This view, when applied to the social as to the natural sciences, holds that society operates according to general laws like the physical world. Introspective and intuitive knowledge is rejected.


One of the things that's very ironic about this stance is this:
Verified data received from the senses is known as empirical evidence.


and

Introspective and intuitive knowledge is rejected.


This is really ironic, when it comes to the case of Buddhism, because the overwhelming empirical evidence as reported by thousands if not millions of people who do meditation, including actual scientific case study data, is that there is such a thing as accurate Introspective and intuitive knowledge.

This is widely reported by empirical evidence, and yet, it seems that according to this stance, ALL empirical evidence is accepted, EXCEPT for any empirical evidence that confirms or validates the existence of Introspective and Intuitive knowledge.

That doesn't strike me as a rational or scientific stance.

In science and reason, you don't discard data or evidence to fit your theory, you adjust your theory to fit the evidence.

In science, empirical evidence, trumps inferred knowledge (theoretical knowledge) every time.

Indeed intuition is something people often experience,

For example:

Suppose one is
driving down the road, sees a recent accident between other cars, gawks at the sight, loses
control of one's own car and hits a telephone pole. It may only be upon waking up in the
hospital that one recalls clearly the moment in which one felt the need for extra caution in
passing the site of an accident, but simultaneously chose to indulge curiosity instead.
That intuitive sense that it is good to do, or to refrain from, such and such can be very
quiet and uninsistent. Yet we ignore it at our own risk.

-From the booklet Dependent Origination

That's a good example.

We often feel or get a sense of things that are just not good to do, and although we don't know why logically or arn't thinking about it that way at that moment, it later pans out that our feeling was right.

Many people with regard to the World Trade Center bombings had reported feelings or dreams beforehand that there was something that was going to happen.

Animals, have been scientifically shown to evacuate and flee areas in mass before an earthquake or tsunami.

It's so reliable that Japan has instituted an animal watch system as a part of their earthquake early warning system.

This isn't just conjecture, it's long documented.

I think the idea that simply saying there is no intuitive knowledge or any way to develop it; is simply not rational, or unscientific.

The empirical data and scientific evidence shows otherwise.

In Gassho,

Sara
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
OR
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy
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Re: Myth in Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:03 am

Karma Dorje wrote:I think this conversation is framed by the Positivist rejection of metaphysics in the West. Since then, philosophers have viewed faith as a defect rather than a strength.


I'm not rejecting metaphysics, nor am I a positivist.

Rejecting one scarcely justified metaphysical process does not invalidate anything else.

The problem as I see it is that, as I suggested above, you need to justify this notion of Dharma transmission lineages with some kind of metaphysics, otherwise you admit it is a belief and social convention, i.e., a myth.

Nobody so far in this discussion has provided a metaphysical explanation for how this process works. They say it exists and that they believe in it, but that just means it is a mythical narrative they accept.



Consequently, I place a lot more importance on emotional maturity than sheer analytical ability, though I don't think the two are in any way mutually exclusive. I like nothing better than hours spent studying texts and I have great admiration for people like Malcolm who have tremendous passion for and diligence in their research. My heart is in devotion, however. Devotion to the lineage and the transmission does not mean surrendering one's critical faculty. It simply means trusting in one's refuge.


Where is lineage included in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha?
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"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
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