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 Post subject: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:32 am 
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:jedi: Since i have explored Dharma and been blessed with small lightning bolts of understanding, i have found myself completely dismantling any and all philosphical/new age/religious ideas that people have presented to me. Not in the spirit of violence mind you, but in a sincere effort to challenge these "hole-y"principles and concepts in order to find out if they can hold a candle to the refuge of the Buddhas teachings. Most take it well upon my explainations but now no one speaks about certain "deep" subjects with me even though i so desperately want to. I LOVE TO CONVERSE philosphically and deeply on these relevant subjects.....where did i go wrong??? Anyone else overboard with zeal? can it be called so?


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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:17 am 
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kevdogg wrote:
:jedi: Since i have explored Dharma and been blessed with small lightning bolts of understanding, i have found myself completely dismantling any and all philosphical/new age/religious ideas that people have presented to me. Not in the spirit of violence mind you, but in a sincere effort to challenge these "hole-y"principles and concepts in order to find out if they can hold a candle to the refuge of the Buddhas teachings. Most take it well upon my explainations but now no one speaks about certain "deep" subjects with me even though i so desperately want to. I LOVE TO CONVERSE philosphically and deeply on these relevant subjects.....where did i go wrong??? Anyone else overboard with zeal? can it be called so?

No going wrong. It is just that when philosophical thought is cultivated at some point you have to leave it at that point or go on without accepting any alleged "given" and "dismantle" it, "dissolve" it. Why? Thought does not have any support other than itself and is conditioned by what has been fed in before. Movements of intellect are circular. :sage:


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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:20 am 
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kevdogg wrote:
Anyone else overboard with zeal? can it be called so?


Yep. Ever met a born again Christian who knows he or she is right and is going to prove it to you?

Converse, yes; respectfully discuss, yes; steamroll and demolish, no. Wisdom and skillful means are required, and most of us lack both. Better to work on developing these qualities in one's self than to try to convert others.


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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:10 am 
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The thread title is not promising.

Philosophical debate is indeed a worthy pursuit but it is in some ways like chess. It has rules, moves, and outcomes. So to learn to pursue it, pick particular themes, think them through, read up what others have to say on it, and try and debate it in a detached way. Then you're actually doing philosophy - something which few do.

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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:04 pm 
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kevdogg wrote:
:jedi: Since i have explored Dharma and been blessed with small lightning bolts of understanding, i have found myself completely dismantling any and all philosphical/new age/religious ideas that people have presented to me. Not in the spirit of violence mind you, but in a sincere effort to challenge these "hole-y"principles and concepts in order to find out if they can hold a candle to the refuge of the Buddhas teachings. Most take it well upon my explainations but now no one speaks about certain "deep" subjects with me even though i so desperately want to. I LOVE TO CONVERSE philosphically and deeply on these relevant subjects.....where did i go wrong??? Anyone else overboard with zeal? can it be called so?



I so so so relate to what you're saying. It took me three years of trying to "dismantle" Buddhism before admitting I couldn't find any holes in it. Not only studying but asking a lot of hard questions and having to contemplate the answers I got for a long long time.
Now, it's so obvious to me that Buddhism is the only philosophy that makes perfect sense, it can be frustrating to try to teach it, because everyone is attached to their own belief system in one way or another, or at least defensive and reluctant to talk about it.
My teacher's teacher once said (I'm paraphrasing) "Don't worry about what they believe. Just tell them they can gain happiness [and end suffering] by practicing Buddhism and have total compassion for them."


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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 4:11 pm 
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jeeprs wrote:
The thread title is not promising.

Philosophical debate is indeed a worthy pursuit but it is in some ways like chess. It has rules, moves, and outcomes. So to learn to pursue it, pick particular themes, think them through, read up what others have to say on it, and try and debate it in a detached way. Then you're actually doing philosophy - something which few do.


Quote:
No good philosopher lies awake nights worrying about the destiny of man and the nature of God and all that sort of thing, because a philosopher today is a practical fellow who comes to the university with a briefcase at nine and he leaves at five. He does philosophy during the day, which is discussing whether certain sentences have meaning and, if so, what. He would, as William Earl said in a very funny essay, come to work in a white coat if he thought he could get away with it.
-- alan watts

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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:25 am 
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jeeprs wrote:
The thread title is not promising.

Philosophical debate is indeed a worthy pursuit but it is in some ways like chess. It has rules, moves, and outcomes. So to learn to pursue it, pick particular themes, think them through, read up what others have to say on it, and try and debate it in a detached way. Then you're actually doing philosophy - something which few do.


Hopefully.

I've always like the description of philosophy as being the love of wisdom.


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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:30 am 
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I agree! I am referring here to the *traditional* notion of philosophy, which, as the Alan Watts quotation in the post above yours points out, is practically extinct in the modern academy. But there are still philosophers who understand and practice the Socratic understanding of philosophy as 'love-wisdom'.

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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:09 am 
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kevdogg wrote:
:jedi: Since i have explored Dharma and been blessed with small lightning bolts of understanding, i have found myself completely dismantling any and all philosphical/new age/religious ideas that people have presented to me. Not in the spirit of violence mind you, but in a sincere effort to challenge these "hole-y"principles and concepts in order to find out if they can hold a candle to the refuge of the Buddhas teachings. Most take it well upon my explainations but now no one speaks about certain "deep" subjects with me even though i so desperately want to. I LOVE TO CONVERSE philosphically and deeply on these relevant subjects.....where did i go wrong??? Anyone else overboard with zeal? can it be called so?



Resist the urge unless somebody asks lol.

Seriously, i've noticed when things get philosophical people get annoyed with my constant "what does that actually mean" requests..Most religious debate is full of all kinds of poorly defined terms and weirdness..I don't like doing it much with Non-Buddhists..though there are exceptions.

There's also notions like Anatta/Sunyata that many people find horrifying, so I don't even bother with stuff like that unless it's relevant, which is nearly never with Non-buddhists.

When someone asks The Big Question of what Buddhism is all about, I just paraphrase the Dhammapada and say something like:

Do what's beneficial
Don't do what's harmful
Purify your mind

That's the teaching of the Buddhas.

You can't go wrong with something like that, it's simple, but it really does express something meaningful, if you are looking to get people meditating with you or similar, i've found something like the above to be inviting.

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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:40 am 
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People that hold bombastical philosophical views aren't interested in what's true or useful. It's best to just not talk to them until they see the fault in useless pleasant words.


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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:21 pm 
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kevdogg wrote:
:jedi: Since i have explored Dharma and been blessed with small lightning bolts of understanding, i have found myself completely dismantling any and all philosphical/new age/religious ideas that people have presented to me. Not in the spirit of violence mind you, but in a sincere effort to challenge these "hole-y"principles and concepts in order to find out if they can hold a candle to the refuge of the Buddhas teachings. Most take it well upon my explainations but now no one speaks about certain "deep" subjects with me even though i so desperately want to. I LOVE TO CONVERSE philosphically and deeply on these relevant subjects.....where did i go wrong??? Anyone else overboard with zeal? can it be called so?


Conversing philosophically is like mental masturbation yes? Satisfying but ultimately not :) The Buddhism as I have been shown and taught emphasises practice above all, and that is a different direction. Speaking from experience I can say that the realities of Buddhist insights and practices are far, far more interesting than any philosophical book, not to mention at times mindblowing, and oh just so nice.

Well wishes,
Abu

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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:26 pm 
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floating_abu wrote:
Conversing philosophically is like mental masturbation yes?


I'm curious why you believe this, Abu.


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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:54 pm 
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floating_abu wrote:
kevdogg wrote:
:jedi: Since i have explored Dharma and been blessed with small lightning bolts of understanding, i have found myself completely dismantling any and all philosphical/new age/religious ideas that people have presented to me. Not in the spirit of violence mind you, but in a sincere effort to challenge these "hole-y"principles and concepts in order to find out if they can hold a candle to the refuge of the Buddhas teachings. Most take it well upon my explainations but now no one speaks about certain "deep" subjects with me even though i so desperately want to. I LOVE TO CONVERSE philosphically and deeply on these relevant subjects.....where did i go wrong??? Anyone else overboard with zeal? can it be called so?


Conversing philosophically is like mental masturbation yes? Satisfying but ultimately not :) The Buddhism as I have been shown and taught emphasises practice above all, and that is a different direction. Speaking from experience I can say that the realities of Buddhist insights and practices are far, far more interesting than any philosophical book, not to mention at times mindblowing, and oh just so nice.

Well wishes,
Abu


Was the Buddha being masturbatory when he engaged in it with the first turning? Are monks being masturbatory when they debate? Reading the Pali Canon, the Mahayana Sutras, any kind of commentary one doesn't get the impression of promoting anti-intellectualism, just the understanding that intellectual understanding is limited. Complete anti-intellectualism seems just as bad as relying on only intellectual understanding.

No one expects words to be realization, just a finger pointing in the right direction maybe?

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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:11 am 
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:smile:
As the saying goes, "It's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt".
But do it anyhow .... you may learn amd/or tesch something to or from someone.
Just don't take yourself and your understanding of Dharma too seriously.
In the end, anyhow, it is all "Pretty Paper Flowers in the Sky .... why bother to chase them" ?
:smile:

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From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach


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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:18 pm 
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Johnny Dangerous wrote:
floating_abu wrote:
kevdogg wrote:
:jedi: Since i have explored Dharma and been blessed with small lightning bolts of understanding, i have found myself completely dismantling any and all philosphical/new age/religious ideas that people have presented to me. Not in the spirit of violence mind you, but in a sincere effort to challenge these "hole-y"principles and concepts in order to find out if they can hold a candle to the refuge of the Buddhas teachings. Most take it well upon my explainations but now no one speaks about certain "deep" subjects with me even though i so desperately want to. I LOVE TO CONVERSE philosphically and deeply on these relevant subjects.....where did i go wrong??? Anyone else overboard with zeal? can it be called so?


Conversing philosophically is like mental masturbation yes? Satisfying but ultimately not :) The Buddhism as I have been shown and taught emphasises practice above all, and that is a different direction. Speaking from experience I can say that the realities of Buddhist insights and practices are far, far more interesting than any philosophical book, not to mention at times mindblowing, and oh just so nice.

Well wishes,
Abu


Was the Buddha being masturbatory when he engaged in it with the first turning? Are monks being masturbatory when they debate? Reading the Pali Canon, the Mahayana Sutras, any kind of commentary one doesn't get the impression of promoting anti-intellectualism, just the understanding that intellectual understanding is limited. Complete anti-intellectualism seems just as bad as relying on only intellectual understanding.

No one expects words to be realization, just a finger pointing in the right direction maybe?


The Buddha learnt the Law first, then he expounded for the sake of humankind. But always he taught the Law above all and discoursed for the sake of this. That is why he emphasised the 3 seals, he taught that without dependent origination it is like ocean water without salt. DO and the seals are nothing but insight practices. Likewise, the Eightfold path. No, the Buddha of our age was an action man above all, and supplemented it with his major discourses and all.

And yes if all said monks do is think, decide and debate, then I will say that their practice will always be ultimately unsatisfactory as only practice quenches the thirst of dukkha.

The rest of your post is made up "complete anti-intellectualism" - like you can even do that :roll:

Well wishes,
Abu

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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:20 pm 
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shel wrote:
floating_abu wrote:
Conversing philosophically is like mental masturbation yes?


I'm curious why you believe this, Abu.


Well, shel, I agree it is a lot of fun, and I am guilty as charged also! It IS fun. I just mean ultimately dissatisfying because staying on that course alone is very dissimilar to the 'real deal'. And as I know through my own very limited experiences, the insights and knowings that arise through a concerted and deep meditative practice can be far more revealing and interesting than any philosophical book.

I always liked this account -

Quote:
I first met Ajahn Sumedho at the Centre for Higher Tibetan Studies in Switzerland in the spring of 1979. He had just finished giving a ten-day course in the mountains near Berne, and was invited to spend a couple of days at the Centre by its Abbot, Geshe Rabten.

One person who attended Bhikkhu Sumedho's course liked to be around him because 'he is just such a nice guy'. It was heartening for me to see a monk who kept strictly the rules of discipline, the Vinaya, yet maintained a softness and naturalness behind his observance of them.

To illustrate Sumedho's resoluteness about the importance of practice and meditation: While we were both walking around the hillside near the Centre, overlooking the French and Swiss Alps with Lake Geneva below, he asked me whether I had a desire to return to India. I answered that I would go if it were for the purpose of improving my Tibetan. I could then return to the West and act as an interpreter for a Tibetan master or work as a translator of Tibetan texts. His only response to that was: 'Why don't you just get enlightened?'

http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/asint1.htm


I guess because I see it the same way. Sure someone can spend years studying, or they could just drop into the pool, sink and swim. Horses for courses, I guess.

:namaste:

PS I guess I am also saying enjoy it, (I also do) but prioritise if you are short on lifetimes, and know where and how it sits

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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:37 pm 
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floating_abu wrote:
shel wrote:
floating_abu wrote:
Conversing philosophically is like mental masturbation yes?


I'm curious why you believe this, Abu.


Well, shel, I agree it is a lot of fun, and I am guilty as charged also! It IS fun. I just mean ultimately dissatisfying because staying on that course alone is very dissimilar to the 'real deal'. And as I know through my own very limited experiences, the insights and knowings that arise through a concerted and deep meditative practice can be far more revealing and interesting than any philosophical book.

I always liked this account -

Quote:
I first met Ajahn Sumedho at the Centre for Higher Tibetan Studies in Switzerland in the spring of 1979. He had just finished giving a ten-day course in the mountains near Berne, and was invited to spend a couple of days at the Centre by its Abbot, Geshe Rabten.

One person who attended Bhikkhu Sumedho's course liked to be around him because 'he is just such a nice guy'. It was heartening for me to see a monk who kept strictly the rules of discipline, the Vinaya, yet maintained a softness and naturalness behind his observance of them.

To illustrate Sumedho's resoluteness about the importance of practice and meditation: While we were both walking around the hillside near the Centre, overlooking the French and Swiss Alps with Lake Geneva below, he asked me whether I had a desire to return to India. I answered that I would go if it were for the purpose of improving my Tibetan. I could then return to the West and act as an interpreter for a Tibetan master or work as a translator of Tibetan texts. His only response to that was: 'Why don't you just get enlightened?'

http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/asint1.htm


I guess because I see it the same way. Sure someone can spend years studying, or they could just drop into the pool, sink and swim. Horses for courses, I guess.

:namaste:

PS I guess I am also saying enjoy it, (I also do) but prioritise if you are short on lifetimes, and know where and how it sits

Thanks for helping to explaining your views on this. Still not clear though why you seem to believe that philosophy has no value other than pleasuring yourself. Maybe you were exaggerating? that's understandable but it's not clear if that's the case.


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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:42 pm 
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Just looks like an attempt to "win" a conversation without participating in it in good faith to me. Or a chance to give unsolicited, mostly rhetorical advice like "practice more", "ask your teacher" etc.

:shrug:

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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:46 am 
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Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Just looks like an attempt to "win" a conversation without participating in it in good faith to me. Or a chance to give unsolicited, mostly rhetorical advice like "practice more", "ask your teacher" etc.

:shrug:


So "practice more" or "ask your teacher" is mere rhetoric to you? What a pity, Johnny Dangerous.

As to just trying to win, I would disagree: I have made my points and tried to set the explanation in context. If it was unclear to you, and you feel that advice such as the necessity and importance of practice is 'mere rhetoric' and unwelcomed solicited advice, then that is your own due.

Sorry I could not be of service.

Well wishes,
Abu

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 Post subject: Re: blah blah blah
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:53 am 
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shel wrote:
Thanks for helping to explaining your views on this. Still not clear though why you seem to believe that philosophy has no value other than pleasuring yourself. Maybe you were exaggerating? that's understandable but it's not clear if that's the case.


Thoughts are empty but interesting, like a maze of fascination and enticement. Ask anyone and most people are completely and fully enarmored with themselves - ergo, their thoughts, ideas, feelings.

You have a knack of putting things out of context but what I tried to say was certainly philosophy has a place and can be interesting. It is also as per a common Buddhist analogy "fingers pointing to the moon" -- so therein it has a certain function -- but to stay or confuse the text/map with the practice/path is not yet the real deal, in my view. It can also be a lengthy sidetrack, in my view, particularly for philosophers who analyse, dissect, review, debate, synthesise and argue viewpoints and perspectives they pick up from study alone.

The simplest example is explaining ad nauseum about emptiness or compassion or interdependent origination - it can certainly hold interest particularly when other parties are involved (look at Buddhist forums as a prime example) but I would argue that it is very different from the actual realisation/insight and living of all that 'jazz'. And that the real experiences/insights that follow from a dedicated and very genuine Buddhist practice is far far more interesting that any perceived insight/understanding from the reading of philosophy alone. Let alone that a student can ever 'understand' but not practice/actualise at all - I am sure you are familiar on this possibility.
Finally, if anything, philosophical talk can be confusing and misleading for many if they choose to stay on that enarmoring path because it is indeed pleasurable -- as all our thoughts can be i.e entertainment.

Sorry if that does not jive with you, praxis, and I would appreciate you not slipping and sliding so much.
Abu

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