For the most part, I think we are on the same page. Maybe its a matter of how we conceptualize the categories.
With regard to the rules, it depends on the rule we're talking about. Five Precepts arguably are timeless. Sleeping on high beds? Maybe in the past this was some luxurious indulgence... I don't think giving up a high bed carries the same impact now. There are also a lot of ways in which Buddhism has been conditioned by culture... Even the oldest layers of teaching, the Buddha could not avoid the conventions and conventional wisdom of his day. He seems to have left innocuous ones intact, appropriated others, and repurposed yet others.
I'm not saying that a priori we can figure out which ideas are essential, which are inessential, but without doubt, the traditions we've received in the West contain both. We'll be kicking stuff around for a while to figure out what works with us.
What got me on this subject in this thread was the question of whether the creepiness was at least partially due to incongruity of Tibetan sexual mores with Western norms. It could be that these guys are just creeps. It could also be that they get away with this stuff in Tibetan contexts. It wouldn't be the first time that Asian dudes approach sex in such abusive ways.
This has to be read in light of my other comments, too, though. Everything is the culmination of the ripening of karma, of causes and effects. Wherever you go, there you are - how else could it be?Fortyeightvows wrote: ↑Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:47 amYes! this is what I mean.Queequeg wrote: ↑Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:10 pmBut my point is, and if we accept at face value that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas appear where they are yearned for... we prepare the place for them and then wait with yearning. We don't need to think that much, plan that much, theorize that much. The authentic teachers will come to those circumstances that fit them.
Right now, young people are not showing interest in Buddhism. Children of practitioners more often than not have no interest in what their parents have found value in... I don't think its simply a matter of people not having the karmic disposition. I look at us and often shake my head - of course they're not interested in this crap. Look at how we've screwed up. Look at these people we've elevated to prominent positions. Who would want a part of that? If the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are not coming, its as much because we're doing something wrong as anything else. If its something we're doing, that's something we can control and work on. If its just fate, then F'it. Nothing matters.