It seems I have served this board poorly by not introducing myself. This shyness comes from my severing, 3 years ago, ties I had with a spiritual tradition forged April 16th, 1984 in Los Angeles when I took refuge in the 3 Jewels. Over 2 decades I watched my Sangha undergo a spiritual and organizational implosion that was addressed, not by a frank discussion of what had transpired, but a little dog and pony show of hiring a "moderaor" to "fascilitate" a divorce of leadership and flock papered over with a Tulku discovery being brought center stage as new Thing We Think about and gather $ for.
I left as gracefully as I could, but carried a load of expectation that some how I was the Bad Guy. I already had dropped off the map by my frank admssion to being an atheist, (I thought that was okay!) I was someone who cringed every time we were told by a Lama to avoid reading "1st Turning Sutras" because "They would confuse us!" I would flinch every time I heard the refrain "why labor to trim all the leaves when you can just cut the tree of Samsara at the root!". Just looking around me, it seemed nobodys 'leaves' ever seemed to be withering. When I mentioned this I would be sniffed at like slightly dated milk and told "That just your obscuration". And the public language about Guru and Lineage just seemed hollow to me, especially when I was told it was only be "seeing" the Guru as pure could I proove my karma was pure. Yet, I guess 25 years of not getting the message about not being in the right place was really no ones fault but my own.
What woke me up and made me write this hello was posting in the academic forum
and having someone suggest I was trying to start a flame war
. I realized then how uncomprehensible my interests and atitudes must be to everyone else who had no way to know where I am coming from.
So, in short, I see my self not as an ATHEIST - not beliving in supernatural events or a creator god is a derivitive of my beliefs, not a cornerstone. I am a NATURALIST in the sense I belive all naural events are the outcome of natural processes. I accept the scientific standard theory of the physical universe as it is. To call me an Atheist is like driving down a street calling all the Chinese resturants "No Chessburger Restuarants". That may be accurate, but it misses the point
of Asian food.
I think Buddhism survived and thrived because it developed an amazing sutta retention culture... but that conservitism jettisoned evolution. Yes the Mahayana movement made their sutras up, by that was a way to preserve and pass on thier brave visionary new insight. And there was maybe 20 new Mahayana ideas like items on a smorgasboard to choose from by mainstream Yogic Buddhists between 150-500 CE. It was a build it your own neural computer Buddha Nerd culture for awhile. I Like
But their diverse new ways of putting new lanes on the Bodhisattva highway and new visionary sight was not successfully integrated into the mainstream. They chose teams and became political camps. Bhava filed for divorce and the Big Name players on both teams signed it. Game over. UNTIL...
Until modern academic research liberated texts in the original matrix from 2000 years of sectarian re-explaination. I like to let the context to speak for the text, not some guy famous for being famous with his fans. I prefer Vasubandhu the Commentator and Kambala as examples of letting the Yogacara speak for themselves... if you need to imagine there was a something called the yogacara.
Dependant Origination is an ethically observed cosmos as observed by someone who has taken a Bodhisattva Vow to impose an altuistic map of compassion on an impersional machinery of cascading consequences in entropy. And me? I am strickly a white dharma displaces a black factor and Buddhas, Sanghas and Dharmas are subject to imperminance guy. For me, the 2nd and 3rd of 5 yogacara theories of ground of transformation and yes, the 3 empty natures, 3 non natures, as well as the 8 consciousness and mind only model continue to function as advertized. For me the Buddha was a genius who dropped an unneccessary factor from his model of the Universe, [The Self], just like Einstein drom a concept of An Absolute[ Frame of Time] to make a Better Universe. SEEING what's right in front of you is a genius ting to do. So for me, Gautama was THE MAN as well as a man.And I am just another flavor of Buddhist
. My vows are no different than yours. I use the set spelled out in the Bodhisattva Bhumi. Right from the source. Still, I'd like to fiddle with them. 1st off, Mainstream Buddhists are okay,( see Ugra...), next, let girls back into
the treehouse... just ask the Buddha. He said fiddling about was okay too. If it makes it all work better.
Anyway. Jump on me for the right reaasons. I am not here to start controversy. I am here for the lively company. An Atheist and Socialist and Buddhist in God's Country Oregon... I don't get lynched, but I don't date much either.