tobes wrote:I think even on the most basic level, a certain amount of belief is required: to experiment with any degree of efficacy, one also has to assume that there is something true or meaningful in the 4NT's.
More and more it appears to me that the way we use such words as 'belief', 'believing', 'faith', etc., does indeed obscure much more than it could possibly reveal. To state the obvious: these words, just like any other word, may be used - and are used here, in this very thread - to represent an infinity of 'things'; surely the kind of 'faith' or 'belief' which, say, one's proper engagement in Dzogchen practice calls for is utterly different from the 'faith' spoken of in some forms of Pure Land Buddhism, for instance?
Playing darts surely involves some sorts of 'beliefs', too - the numerous 'assumptions' that one makes, both consciously and otherwise, when attempting to hit the board, as well as the 'faith' that such a feat is possible, that one can actually succeed etc.. But to speak of darts in such a way seems a bit counter-intuitive, doesn't it? The problem is that such English words as 'believing', 'belief' and especially 'faith' are haunted even now by the theistic discourse that heavily relied on them and loaded them with a peculiar meaning - which, I'm afraid, is both very, very far away from the meaning the mundane example I outlined above entails and which differs greatly from the kind of 'faith' or 'belief' our Dharma practices require.
My point being: we very much tend to talk past each other here; some clarifications could help, perhaps, couldn't they?
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .