Malcolm wrote:Since the Sautrantikas strictly define nirvana as a cessation, a non-existence, would you deny them the claim they are Buddhist because they do not support your eternalist vision of nirvana?
My view of nirvana isn't eternalism. Eternalism is the belief that something among the aggregates and of the phenomenal world has eternal or permanent existence. From a commentary on the Udana:
They (eternalists) declare material form to be the self and the world, stating such to be not only the self and the world but also eternal; they declare sensation ... perception ... the formations ... consciousness to be the self and the world, stating such to be not only the self and the world but also eternal.
That which transcends time is timeless and unborn, not eternal in the sense of endless time.
Malcolm wrote:BTW, there are many people who think Dolpopa's view i.e. gzhan stong, is a corrupt view of Buddhadharma.
Let's use a different enlightened master then. Here is something from Huang Po, brackets are mine:
If an ordinary man, when he is about to die, could only see the five elements of consciousness as void; the four physical elements as not constituting an 'I'; the real Mind as formless and neither coming nor going; his nature as something neither commencing at his birth nor perishing at his death [contradicts Batchelor's materialist view], but as whole and motionless in its very depths; his Mind and environmental objects as one -- if he could really accomplish this, he would receive Enlightenment in a flash. He would no longer be entangled by the Triple World; he would be a World-Transcendor [contradicts Batchelor's materialist view]. He would be without even the faintest tendency towards rebirth. If he should behold the glorious sight of all the Buddhas coming to welcome him, surrounded by every kind of gorgeous manifestation, he would feel no desire to approach them. If he should behold all sorts of horrific forms surrounding him, he would experience no terror. He would just be himself, oblivious of conceptual thought and one with the Absolute. He would have attained the state of unconditioned being [contradicts Batchelor's materialist view]. This, then is the fundamental principle.
Malcolm wrote:So there are two things which are not mentioned in the four seals: belief in rebirth, and belief in a transcendent existent nirvana.
The fourth seal is that of nirvana, which isn't to be found in materialism.
Malcolm wrote:What we need to understand about Batchelor, for example, and many Westerners like him, is that they are trying.
Yes, trying to corrupt Buddhism and turn it into a form of secular-atheistic materialism, going so far as making claims that teachings Buddha preached and all Buddhists have accepted historically are superstitions. Why not just create your own secular philosophy influenced by Buddhism rather than trying to claim your perversion of Buddhism is in fact Buddhism as Batchelor has done? Though I suppose such forms of "Buddhism" can be expected to manifest in this advanced period of the Dharma-Ending age.
Malcolm wrote:Buddhadharma is not about belief and faith.
While it is true that Buddhism is based on direct experience, most Buddhist masters I've read emphasize the need for faith in the possibility of enlightenment and the efficacy of the Buddhist path in order to be successful.
Malcolm wrote:So now, Buddhists, you have to make room for a new understanding of Dharma, one that does not include rebirth as a vital central principle. It won't kill you to be generous.
Accepting materialism (nihilism) posing as Buddhism as a new understanding of Dharma isn't generous but erroneous and harmful.