The Wheel of Life (Bhavacakra) - a scholarly analysis

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Daimonion
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The Wheel of Life (Bhavacakra) - a scholarly analysis

Post by Daimonion » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:29 pm

Dear All,
I am looking for a scholarly discussion of the wheel of life, interpreted - if possible - along psychological/psychotherapeutic (i.e. more or less this-wordly) lines. What are the books and papers to which I should refer? All the best,
Daimonion

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Sherab
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Re: The Wheel of Life (Bhavacakra) - a scholarly analysis

Post by Sherab » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:51 pm

My two cents:
The purpose of the wheel of life is to show that there is no essence to life and no meaning in life. From there, the two motivations for and the various methods of Buddhist soteriology naturally follow.

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dzogchungpa
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Re: The Wheel of Life (Bhavacakra) - a scholarly analysis

Post by dzogchungpa » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:31 am

I don't know if this is exactly the kind of thing you're looking for, but this:
https://www.amazon.com/Reinventing-Whee ... 295986492/
looks like a pretty good book.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche

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TharpaChodron
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Re: The Wheel of Life (Bhavacakra) - a scholarly analysis

Post by TharpaChodron » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:48 am

Sherab wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:51 pm
My two cents:
The purpose of the wheel of life is to show that there is no essence to life and no meaning in life. From there, the two motivations for and the various methods of Buddhist soteriology naturally follow.
No meaning to life? I inquire of the resident Buddhist scholars: does meaningless of life equate to nihilism, a concept which is antithetically opposed to Buddhadharma? I never thought that the Wheel of Life shows there is no meaning to life...not that I believe in a meaning. I'm an existentialist, for the record.

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Sherab
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Re: The Wheel of Life (Bhavacakra) - a scholarly analysis

Post by Sherab » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:39 am

TharpaChodron wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:48 am
Sherab wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:51 pm
My two cents:
The purpose of the wheel of life is to show that there is no essence to life and no meaning in life. From there, the two motivations for and the various methods of Buddhist soteriology naturally follow.
No meaning to life? I inquire of the resident Buddhist scholars: does meaningless of life equate to nihilism, a concept which is antithetically opposed to Buddhadharma? I never thought that the Wheel of Life shows there is no meaning to life...not that I believe in a meaning. I'm an existentialist, for the record.
life = cyclic existence = samsara
Samsara is meaningless. On top of that, it is suffering. Or life is meaningless suffering (as long as one remains ignorant of the 4 Aryan truths).
That is how I see it.

SunWuKong
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Re: The Wheel of Life (Bhavacakra) - a scholarly analysis

Post by SunWuKong » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:39 pm

Daimonion wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:29 pm
Dear All,
I am looking for a scholarly discussion of the wheel of life, interpreted - if possible - along psychological/psychotherapeutic (i.e. more or less this-wordly) lines. What are the books and papers to which I should refer? All the best,
Daimonion
Well yes, I’m not sure which ancient or modern texts to recommend, but there’s several wheels within wheels. Naturally you have the cycle of the seasons and planets, etc. but you also have the downward spiral of the unenlightened trajectory. Maybe it’s better highlighted in Jung or Joseph Campbell that it is in Buddhism. But I’m sure you can find something
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

SunWuKong
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Re: The Wheel of Life (Bhavacakra) - a scholarly analysis

Post by SunWuKong » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:43 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:39 pm
Daimonion wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:29 pm
Dear All,
I am looking for a scholarly discussion of the wheel of life, interpreted - if possible - along psychological/psychotherapeutic (i.e. more or less this-wordly) lines. What are the books and papers to which I should refer? All the best,
Daimonion
Well yes, I’m not sure which ancient or modern texts to recommend, but there’s several wheels within wheels. Naturally you have the cycle of the seasons and planets, etc. but you also have the downward spiral of the unenlightened trajectory. Maybe it’s better highlighted in Jung or Joseph Campbell that it is in Buddhism. But I’m sure you can find something
Pratityssamutpada, dependent origin, is one of the foundation stones of Buddhist teaching, and that’s what the Bhavachskra is all about. So the writings about Nagarguna philosophy might be a starting place.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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Daimonion
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Re: The Wheel of Life (Bhavacakra) - a scholarly analysis

Post by Daimonion » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:19 pm

Dear All,

Thank you very much for all the responses. What I was looking for is something possibly close to Mark Epstein's discussion in his "Thoughts without a thinker" where he provides a reading of the wheel of life as a "a Buddhist model of the neurotic mind". Do you know anything similar to this?

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Daimonion
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Re: The Wheel of Life (Bhavacakra) - a scholarly analysis

Post by Daimonion » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:20 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:39 pm
Maybe it’s better highlighted in Jung or Joseph Campbell that it is in Buddhism. But I’m sure you can find something
Where exactly in Campbell and/or Jung should I refer?

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