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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:31 pm 
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smcj wrote:
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Power, all power, is always laced with the threat of violence, the ability to transgress boundaries, whether physical, social, or moral.

Power="the ability to do". A surgeon has the ability, or power, to heal, etc.


Yes, but a surgeon can also kill. When you study poisons in order to cure poison, you learn how to poison as well.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:35 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
smcj wrote:
Quote:
Power, all power, is always laced with the threat of violence, the ability to transgress boundaries, whether physical, social, or moral.

Power="the ability to do". A surgeon has the ability, or power, to heal, etc.


Yes, but a surgeon can also kill. When you study poisons in order to cure poison, you learn how to poison as well.

True. The "ability to do" does not determine if the doing is virtuous or non-virtuous. The industrial revolution has given mankind the abilities to do many things it could not do before. Not all of it has been used for virtue.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:46 pm 
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Everything we have today is magic -- the airplane, computer, electricity, even life itself, yet because people are accustomed to those things they don’t see them for what they really are, stuff of the "supernatural". Moreover, is there any human technology that could create your eyes? Your hearing, your taste buds, your heart, lungs, billions of cells that replaced themselves every few days without you being aware that the body you resided in today is not the same body you were in last week, and the week before, all the way back to when you were born. By the way, before you were born, at the very beginning of you, two strands of microscopic DNA joined together and began creating your body, they built the most complex machine known to man and did it in less than nine months.

What have you done in the last nine months? Made some hail, or dried some towels on your back? Humans with siddhis are like babies with toy rattles, in comparison to beings just a few levels up on the scale of manifestation. Some of us may be gifted with unusual capacities, but that is always a test, to see what we will do with these gifts. Those meditators who spent their lives trying to develop esoteric powers are back here on Earth now, working for a living.

For thousands of years humans observed the sun going around the planet, therefore, that was reality. Today those with both feet firmly planted on the “reality bandwagon", believe that billions and billions of star systems are void of intelligent life simply because ET hasn’t picked up the phone and called us back. The multiverse is billions of times larger than what is perceive by mortals or seen by Hubble and space probes. It's occupied by countless billions of distinct energy forces like a school of jellyfish/ galaxies. Human reality is a pinprick on a strand of vibrations that make up the smallest part of an atom.

Both religious provincialists and scientific materialists are like children in kindergarten, in terms of being able to fathom the mysteries of this universe, which itself is nothing more than a grain of sand on an infinite beach of the totality, which has no limit, no beginning, and no end. When we become truly humble enough to recognize that we don't know, we may become available to a spark of the true knowledge, which our arrogance has thus far obscured from us while we've been rambling on about which religion or "scientific" point of view is best.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:19 pm 
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bob wrote:
rambling on about which religion or "scientific" point of view is best.


It is not question of "best", it's a question of testability. There are tons of things that may be true, which are nevertheless untestable.

Pramaṇa, a term which is generally glossed as "authority", is derived from two Sanskrit roots "pra" and māṇa, and really means "best measurement".

That is all Science can tell us i.e., their best measurements. There is nothing definitive about science, per se. But everyone wants reliable scales.

M

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:51 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
...it's a question of testability.


Yes, and that implies having the right instruments for measurement. However, the limitations of the human vehicle preclude access to some of the higher levels of the spectrum, so the belief that we are going to arrive at some definitive understanding of reality while incarnated in the material form will always be a fantasy, whether propounded by religionists or scientists. What we can know clearly is that we ARE. Beyond that, we can see that there is suffering, there is a cause of suffering, and there is the possibility of release of suffering.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:03 pm 
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bob wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
...it's a question of testability.


Yes, and that implies having the right instruments for measurement. However, the limitations of the human vehicle preclude access to some of the higher levels of the spectrum...


Then such things are cognitively closed to us and not worthy of further speculation, don't you agree?

M

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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:06 pm 
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On the topic of science vs. religion I' m with the Greek skeptics: you can believe what you want, just don't think your faith is something you can arrive at by using rational arguments. The kind of ineffable "truths" declared by religions are outside the scope of logical argumentation.

It's all a leap of faith I think; I believe in certain things simply because I like them, because they sound true maybe, but without using rational arguments for them. The two, science and religion, are completely different.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:09 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
bob wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
...it's a question of testability.


Yes, and that implies having the right instruments for measurement. However, the limitations of the human vehicle preclude access to some of the higher levels of the spectrum...


Then such things are cognitively closed to us and not worthy of further speculation, don't you agree?

M


Yes

(except for entertainment purposes)

:popcorn:

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:09 pm 
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Quote:
...the belief that we are going to arrive at some definitive understanding of reality while incarnated in the material form will always be a fantasy, whether propounded by religionists or scientists.

Maybe. And maybe not. What makes you so sure?

All four major schools of TB start out with the same teaching; the precious human rebirth. So all four are in agreement that the best and unsurpassed platform for experiencing ultimate reality directly is this incarnated human form. Since they disagree about everything else, that is something to ponder.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:22 pm 
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smcj wrote:
All four major schools of TB start out with the same teaching; the precious human rebirth. So all four are in agreement that the best and unsurpassed platform for experiencing ultimate reality directly is this incarnated human form. Since they disagree about everything else, that is something to ponder.


And yet they then turn around and claim that those who don't succeed in this life can take rebirth in a buddha realm where the circumstances are ideal and realization assured. I've never questioned it before, but i would be hard-pressed to see how such a rebirth could be considered "human". So even on that fundamental point there would seem to be some discrepancy and contradiction.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:26 pm 
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smcj wrote:
All four major schools of TB start out with the same teaching; the precious human rebirth. So all four are in agreement that the best and unsurpassed platform for experiencing ultimate reality directly is this incarnated human form. Since they disagree about everything else, that is something to ponder.


Even a drop of water is something to ponder!

Yes, human birth is precious, in the same way that any form of life is precious, but the human form is definitely not the vehicle for experiencing anything akin to "ultimate reality", any more than a child in a nursery is capable of understanding celestial mechanics or quantum physics. If you have even been granted access to "the upper rooms", you would know that squeezing back into the 3-D bio-vehicle involves being dumbed down significantly!

Everyone wants the truth. And everyone receives their own truth. The problem is we are not here to get the truth. The truth is none of our business. We are here to do the right thing in every situation we are "put" into. And that's the truth!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:27 pm 
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pensum wrote:
And yet they then turn around and claim that those who don't succeed in this life can take rebirth in a buddha realm where the circumstances are ideal and realization assured. I've never questioned it before, but i would be hard-pressed to see how such a rebirth could be considered "human". So even on that fundamental point there would seem to be some discrepancy and contradiction.


The problem is that you are still clinging to a notion of an intrinsic 'self' that takes rebirth.
.
.
.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:33 pm 
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Quote:
Yes, human birth is precious, in the same way that any form of life is precious,

That particular teaching is often thought of that way. Actually the "precious" adjective refers to the opportunity to practice Dharma, specifically the Vajrayana, which is rare.
Quote:
And yet they then turn around and claim that those who don't succeed in this life can take rebirth in a buddha realm where the circumstances are ideal and realization assured. I've never questioned it before, but i would be hard-pressed to see how such a rebirth could be considered "human". So even on that fundamental point there would seem to be some discrepancy and contradiction.

Quote:
but the human form is definitely not the vehicle for experiencing anything akin to "ultimate reality", any more than a child in a nursery is capable of understanding celestial mechanics or quantum physics.

Actually I've been told that the here and now, this life, is a better opportunity than the buddha realms. For practices like the 6 yogas you need a physical body. Sakyamuni gained full enlightenment while living on planet Earth.
**********
Sometimes I allow myself posts that are wild flights of fancy. Sometimes I stick to what is traditionally taught. I think if you ask an ethnically Tibetan lama, of any sect, you'll find that I haven't misrepresented the idea. I find it interesting that this is the first thing they say to anyone aspiring to spirituality. I assume this is because the view otherwise is universal and pernicious.
*************
Now for a flight of fancy: I believe that if this initial, simple teaching was correctly understood and believed, that it would invalidate 80-90% of western culture. If understood and believed, it is shocking. But nobody even takes a second look at it.

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Last edited by smcj on Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:45 pm 
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smcj wrote:
Actually I've been told that the here and now, this life, is a better opportunity...


Regardless of any spin on the subject, whether traditional or serendipitous, the fact is that we are here in this form, on this rock, and so how are we going to make the best use of the circumstance? Well, through trial and error, we will discover that eliminating greed, envy, hatred, arrogance, and selfishness serve to create a life of integrity, and such a life grants us access to increasing levels of awareness, peace, and happiness. We also learn that the more grateful we are, the more we are given to be grateful about, but the more we complain, the more we are given to complain about. That's a good start, at least, and what follows after that will be seen soon enough.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:54 pm 
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smcj wrote:
Quote:
Yes, human birth is precious, in the same way that any form of life is precious,

That particular teaching is often thought of that way. Actually the "precious" adjective refers to the opportunity to practice Dharma, specifically the Vajrayana, which is rare.
Quote:
And yet they then turn around and claim that those who don't succeed in this life can take rebirth in a buddha realm where the circumstances are ideal and realization assured. I've never questioned it before, but i would be hard-pressed to see how such a rebirth could be considered "human". So even on that fundamental point there would seem to be some discrepancy and contradiction.

Quote:
but the human form is definitely not the vehicle for experiencing anything akin to "ultimate reality", any more than a child in a nursery is capable of understanding celestial mechanics or quantum physics.

Actually I've been told that the here and now, this life, is a better opportunity than the buddha realms. Sakyamuni gained full enlightenment while living on planet Earth.


I'm not disagreeing with you, the notion of precious human body is undoubtedly a cornerstone. I am merely investigating contradictions within the tradition and analyzing the claim itself.

At root is the inevitable prejudice of the unavoidable egocentric view based on claiming that one's own path, belief, system of knowledge, understanding, view or whatever is the supreme one. In this case: "Buddhism is the true path. I have taken refuge in the Buddha who attained awakening in a human body. Therefore this human body is precious."


Last edited by pensum on Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:55 pm 
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bob wrote:
Regardless of any spin on the subject, whether traditional or serendipitous, the fact is that we are here in this form, on this rock, and so how are we going to make the best use of the circumstance? Well, through trial and error, we will discover that eliminating greed, envy, hatred, arrogance, and selfishness serve to create a life of integrity, and such a life grants us access to increasing levels of awareness, peace, and happiness. We also learn that the more grateful we are, the more we are given to be grateful about, but the more we complain, the more we are given to complain about. That's a good start, at least, and what follows after that will be seen soon enough.

:good:

Quote:
At root is the inevitable prejudice of the unavoidable egocentric view based on claiming that one's own path, belief, system of knowledge, understanding, view or whatever is the supreme one. In this case: "Buddhism is the true path. I have taken refuge in the Buddha who attained awakening in a human body. Therefore this human body is precious."

That's a problem you've got to work out for yourself to your own satisfaction, on whatever terms that might be.

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Last edited by smcj on Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:06 pm 
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PadmaVonSamba wrote:
pensum wrote:
And yet they then turn around and claim that those who don't succeed in this life can take rebirth in a buddha realm where the circumstances are ideal and realization assured. I've never questioned it before, but i would be hard-pressed to see how such a rebirth could be considered "human". So even on that fundamental point there would seem to be some discrepancy and contradiction.


The problem is that you are still clinging to a notion of an intrinsic 'self' that takes rebirth.
.
.
.



Pensum? No, I don't think so at all.

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How can you not practice the highest Dharma
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-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:09 pm 
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PadmaVonSamba wrote:
The problem is that you are still clinging to a notion of an intrinsic 'self' that takes rebirth.

The problem is that you are still clinging to saying things like that.

:smile:

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:34 pm 
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Malcolm wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
pensum wrote:
And yet they then turn around and claim that those who don't succeed in this life can take rebirth in a buddha realm where the circumstances are ideal and realization assured. I've never questioned it before, but i would be hard-pressed to see how such a rebirth could be considered "human". So even on that fundamental point there would seem to be some discrepancy and contradiction.


The problem is that you are still clinging to a notion of an intrinsic 'self' that takes rebirth.
.
.
.



Pensum? No, I don't think so at all.


Not me either. :smile:

/magnus

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:04 am 
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dzogchungpa wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
The problem is that you are still clinging to a notion of an intrinsic 'self' that takes rebirth.

The problem is that you are still clinging to saying things like that.

:smile:


Yes, I like to say that a lot.
:tongue:
But, if this is not really the case, kindly explain to me why would you be
"...hard-pressed to see how such a rebirth could be considered "human". So even on that fundamental point there would seem to be some discrepancy and contradiction."


...Is it because being human only happens in the human realm?
.
.
.

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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.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.


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