AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

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PadmaVonSamba
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AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:55 am

I am interested in a discussion comparing Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism with what is commonly regarded as a Buddhist idea that "reality" is a projection of the mind. I anticipate having to engage in this discussion sometime soon (with someone in person, not on this forum). A discussion here will help me to develop my own grasp of the topic.

For the sake of this discussion, I only want to discuss two components of objectivism:

Objectivism's central tenets are that reality exists ...
1. independent of consciousness
2. that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception


Why might you argue that these two statements are either correct or incorrect?
According to your understanding, how does this compare with Buddhist teachings?

I can already think of a number of problems in this theory,
and while in some contexts it can be said to be true,
that overall it reflects a limited definition of "reality".



(reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectivism_%28Ayn_Rand%29)

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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
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viniketa
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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby viniketa » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:37 am

Interesting topic, PadmaVonSamba. Closely related to the 'materialist' position in the mind/body problem. I'll take a look and come back with some more 'academic' comments.

:namaste:
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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby Michael_Dorfman » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:28 am


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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby DGA » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:19 pm


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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby conebeckham » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:00 pm

I find very little coherence in Rand's "philosophy." It's based on an idea or concept of the "person" or the "mind" that just doesn't ring true to me...there's some great stuff here: http://aynrandcontrahumannature.blogspot.com/


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby DGA » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:16 pm


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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby deepbluehum » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:53 pm

Everything is mind which is like space so there's no question of contact.

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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:45 pm

Thank you.
For the sake of this discussion, I only want to discuss two central tenets of objectivism, that :

1.'reality' is independent of consciousness, meaning (I assume) that a universe exists whether one is there to witness it or not. For example, the moon existed before there were beings on Earth who could observe it. (for the record, the objectivist argument also includes logical inference. For example, astronomers can refer to the existence of planets that they cannot detect observe, because they can detect gravitational impact on nearby planets that are observable, thus a reasonable assertion is that another planet must be there causing what is referred to as wobble).

and that

2. The sense perception that human beings have is sufficient to perceive reality. The inference here is that, for example, until the realm of hungry ghosts can be verified buy our senses, there is no reason to assume it exists. How would this compare with the Buddha's advice to not believe anything merely because someone has said it was true, but to test it our for oneself?

I am not so much interested in Ayn Rand's reputation itself, merely in the objectivist argument compared with the view that many Buddhists have, which is that what we refer to as "reality" is essentially a construct of, or projection of the mind.
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Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby Matt J » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:12 am

Thank you for giving me the chance to stretch my mind muscles.

First, let me practice some Nagarjuna:

If there is a reality independent of the senses, is it the same as or different from the senses?

If they are completely the same, then reality is the senses, and there is no independent reality.

If they are completely different, then the senses would be unable to know reality, as they share nothing in common.

If they are partly the same and partly different, then the parts that are the same would be identical. And which parts? How does one divide reality or the senses into parts?

If neither the same nor different, then the senses cannot know reality, just as the ears cannot hear the color red.

Second:

As human beings, we are bound by the 6 senses. Thus, everything we know is known through the senses. Because we have senses, and cannot separate ourselves from them, how can we verify a world independent of the senses? In the example of the wobble, the inference is still based on sensory input--- the wobble effect on other bodies.
The Great Way is not difficult
If only there is no picking or choosing
--- Xin Xin Ming


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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:43 am

Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.

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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby kirtu » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:37 am



"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby futerko » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:48 am


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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby viniketa » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:42 am

. ~

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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby futerko » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:15 am


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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby viniketa » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:20 am

. ~

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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby undefineable » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:49 pm


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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby viniketa » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:23 pm

. ~

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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:10 pm

Does "impermanence" mean "relativism"?

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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby viniketa » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:20 pm

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Re: AynRand's "objectivism" compared with dharma

Postby deepbluehum » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:45 pm

1. There is nothing to perceive outside of mind. (The quantum double slit test gives science to this. )
2. It's not our senses that perceive. It's our intellect. Depending on the power of the intellect, the perception will be greater or lesser.


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