"...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby Malcolm » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:31 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:Does that sound like "reactionary rhetoric" from someone suffering from "religious and cultural insecurity"? I am very sympathetic with what you have said in this thread, but honestly I feel that you are misrepresenting DJKR.


I was merely using Dzongsar Khyentse's interview as example of what I find to be a reactionary rhetoric which stems from an overall religious and cultural insecurity I have found amongst Tibetan religious professionals.

He also does not specify this "main philosophy of Buddhism" that must remain "intact".

Perhaps he can drop in and tell us what he feels that might be.



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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby Tsongkhapafan » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:10 pm

Your ideas are very unusual Malcolm, that's all I can say.

The meaning of Buddhism cannot change because there's only one ultimate goal and to achieve that is to remove all the levels of obstruction from one's mind by following a particular path. The Four Noble Truths have never changed. To change the meaning of that path is to negate the possibility of achieving the final result.

Buddha explained all the methods necessary and the results that one would observe by putting them into practice. For this reason I find it quite strange that you say that Buddhism is not scientific. It's inner science and the results of the path can be proven to oneself by practising the methods. There is a definite cause and effect relationship between meditation and the attainment of results such as increased love, compassion, wisdom and inner peace, and finally the highest level of realisation that we call enlightenment. You can prove it for yourself.
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby Malcolm » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:20 pm

Tsongkhapafan wrote:It's inner science and the results of the path can be proven to oneself by practising the methods.


This is what Scientology says as well.
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby heart » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:32 pm

Malcolm wrote:
heart wrote:
Of course know that dear pensum. Germano and Malcolm share the view that Dzogchen, or at least the Upadesa tradition, is an Tibetan invention. I don't share that view. Not because Tibetan invention would in itself be a bad thing, I am pretty sure that there are many elaborations of Tibetan origin in Dzogchen, but because the insistence on lineage in the Tibetan cultural sphere. I also don't think Dzogchen developed from semde to longde to upadesa or that hinayana developed to mahayana and further to vajrayana, it is just a comfortable darwinistic view that our society is full of. But I am not a scholar and what I think is of little consequence.
/magnus


What you call the view that Germano and I share is in fact the Western academic consensus, current even among Western academics who nevertheless are practitioners.

So called sems sde and klong sde are contemporary, they are but two branches of the same teaching of the same Tibetan teacher, Vairocana -- there is nothing philosophically remarkable about klong sde that separates it from so called sems sde. In short, sems sde and klong sde are different streams of the same basic teaching.

Man ngag sde however is a different matter. It is not a Tibetan "invention". That is too crude. It is a reworking of Dzogchen based on the second contact of Tibetan civilization with late Indian Vajrayāna. It is essentially gsar ma rDzogs chen.

M


I think you are wrong, I think the Upadesa is the oldest form of Dzogchen. Semde with it aim to separate itself from Tantric teachings is in my eyes a later development.

/magnus
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby Malcolm » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:44 pm

heart wrote:I think you are wrong, I think the Upadesa is the oldest form of Dzogchen. Semde with it aim to separate itself from Tantric teachings is in my eyes a later development.


You can think what you like dear Magnus, but the man ngag de texts, all of them being termas, are all demonstrably later than the bodhicitta texts, with the rig pa rang shar and the sgra thal gyur being among the latest of all (no earlier than the 11th century).

Secondly, you are incorrect about "sems sde" trying to separate itself from Anuyoga and so on. Atiyoga, as Rongzom says, is "a commentary" of the lower yānas, as well as their definitive meaning.

But this is all besides the point.
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby pensum » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:51 pm

heart wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
heart wrote:
Of course know that dear pensum. Germano and Malcolm share the view that Dzogchen, or at least the Upadesa tradition, is an Tibetan invention. I don't share that view. Not because Tibetan invention would in itself be a bad thing, I am pretty sure that there are many elaborations of Tibetan origin in Dzogchen, but because the insistence on lineage in the Tibetan cultural sphere. I also don't think Dzogchen developed from semde to longde to upadesa or that hinayana developed to mahayana and further to vajrayana, it is just a comfortable darwinistic view that our society is full of. But I am not a scholar and what I think is of little consequence.
/magnus


What you call the view that Germano and I share is in fact the Western academic consensus, current even among Western academics who nevertheless are practitioners.

So called sems sde and klong sde are contemporary, they are but two branches of the same teaching of the same Tibetan teacher, Vairocana -- there is nothing philosophically remarkable about klong sde that separates it from so called sems sde. In short, sems sde and klong sde are different streams of the same basic teaching.

Man ngag sde however is a different matter. It is not a Tibetan "invention". That is too crude. It is a reworking of Dzogchen based on the second contact of Tibetan civilization with late Indian Vajrayāna. It is essentially gsar ma rDzogs chen.

M


I think you are wrong, I think the Upadesa is the oldest form of Dzogchen. Semde with it aim to separate itself from Tantric teachings is in my eyes a later development.

/magnus


I'm already quite familiar with Malcolm's supporting evidence, which is based on actual texts and the dates of their composition, so i'm quite interested to hear what evidence you have to support your view Magnus.
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:23 pm

Malcolm wrote:Basically, Buddhism and Buddhists are facing the crisis of modernity.

Like Christianity, Buddhism has no hope of relying upon the pre-modern myths and fables which provided its narratives. The vast majority of modern people simply will not accept the narratives traditional Buddhisms have proffered for explaining our world. Buddhism[s], which once provided a complete explanation of the universe, is/are no longer capable of doing so.

Buddhism, like Christianity before it, will be forced to discover new meaning for itself, and will need to forge new narratives for itself, if it hopes to survive in the modern world. Of course Buddhism has the materials at hand to do so, like Christianity.


Malcolm wrote:In short, Buddhism's "grace" period or probationary period in the West is over and done with. In order for Buddhism to hold its own in the free market of ideas, it must be able to do so without any recourse to traditional authority. If it fails at this, it will fail the test of modernity and as human civilization continues to advance and develop, Buddhism will become yet another footnote to history.

In order to prevent that from happening, Buddhists must in fact be the harshest critics of Buddhism.


And that's the gist of it. Either we go the anti-modern route, sticking our heads into the same wooden bucket that New Ageists, Traditionalists and religious fundamentalists of every creed and breed choose to hide in, or genuinely meet (post)modernity, seeing it as an inevitable context as well as a challenge. T. S. Eliot was right about Christianity, and it's just as accurate with respect to Buddhism: it's either adapt or die.
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby Simon E. » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:34 pm

:thumbsup:
Without doubt THE most important post I have ever read on DW. ( Malcolms )
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby conebeckham » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:46 pm

It's interesting to me, always, how people's positions are easily misinterpreted.

For example, I am quite sure that Malcolm understands and appreciates the value of tradition, transmission, and certain core "truths" (small-"t") about Buddhadharma...you know, Samsara is suffering, Ignorance is root cause, etc. But because he raises a criticism of certain aspects of the "religion(s)" associated with Buddhadharma, many will quickly assume he is in favor of making up something new, or turning his back on the tradition.


It's quite funny, actually.

Many things about the "religion(s)" associated with Buddhadharma will have no choice but to change, now and in the future....and I, for one, am all for that change. I actively support some of it, even.....as do some of my teachers. In other news, the Karmapa, Orgyen Tinley Dorje, is re-invigorated an old tradition of "Cham" this year--but he's having some actual women (GASP!) dance this time...a first, I believe. I've got nothing against monks in drag, mind you...but this just seems like a realistic and positive improvement, eh?
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby gad rgyangs » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:13 pm

Buddhism and science are both models of reality. Since reality is ineffable, no model is definitive. However, the finger of science is firmly pointed towards this dream experience. Buddhism is also largely pointed towards this dream experience, but because of Dzogchen, we also have a finger pointing towards the nature of reality. Dzogchen also has plenty of models, but that is not what is important about it. Although I believe that glimpses of rigpa are actually somewhat common, both in eveyone's life as well as in all cultures, as far as I can tell Dzogchen is the only "model" that notices what it is and says "pay attention to this!" Its like in a dream where all kinds of dream characters are running around making claims about how stuff happens in the dream, like "after extensive experimentation, I have determined that if, when my grandmother turns into a bus, I whistle Dixie, then a butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazon" etc. But then, one dream character says "hang on, this is a freaking dream! Now, notice what is the groundless ground of this dream and any possible dream!" All of Buddhism is supposed to do that, but a lot of the Buddhist tradition got caught up in the dream particulars after all. Even a lot of Dzogchen got caught up, but still there is that call to wake up and smell the rigpa, and the transmission of the knowledge of what that means and what it looks like.
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby Virgo » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:28 pm

Simon E. wrote::thumbsup:
Without doubt THE most important post I have ever read on DW. ( Malcolms )

I can't say the same.

It is just one of the most important posts I have ever read on DW or any other Dharma forum.

But, all the other ones were by Malcolm too. :D

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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby Simon E. » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:51 pm

conebeckham wrote:It's interesting to me, always, how people's positions are easily misinterpreted.

For example, I am quite sure that Malcolm understands and appreciates the value of tradition, transmission, and certain core "truths" (small-"t") about Buddhadharma...you know, Samsara is suffering, Ignorance is root cause, etc. But because he raises a criticism of certain aspects of the "religion(s)" associated with Buddhadharma, many will quickly assume he is in favor of making up something new, or turning his back on the tradition.


It's quite funny, actually.

Many things about the "religion(s)" associated with Buddhadharma will have no choice but to change, now and in the future....and I, for one, am all for that change. I actively support some of it, even.....as do some of my teachers. In other news, the Karmapa, Orgyen Tinley Dorje, is re-invigorated an old tradition of "Cham" this year--but he's having some actual women (GASP!) dance this time...a first, I believe. I've got nothing against monks in drag, mind you...but this just seems like a realistic and positive improvement, eh?

When the Karmapa (whichever ) stops being a priest-king and stops equating Dharma with Tibetan folk culture ( even with female participation ) then we might be getting somewhere.
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby conebeckham » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:19 am

Well, I don't think the Karmapa equates the Dharma with Tibetan Folk culture, nor does he primarily operate as a "Priest-King"--though he obviously functions as the top of the Hierarchical ladder at this moment in history (amongst those of us who put him there, while others put someone else there....) I think this "Priest-King" terminology is a gross oversimplification.

But that doesn't mean Karmapa doesn't support Tibetan Folk culture. And I, for one, don't think it would be appropriate for him to dismiss it.

For that matter, CNNR certainly doesn't dismiss it, either. Nor did that most eclectic of Gurus, Chogyam Trungpa... Dharma must needs be reflected through some cultural apparatus, after all, (or do you see another option?) and I frankly don't think Western Civilization has the means at this time....though we are moving in the right direction in many respects.
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby Virgo » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:21 am

Everything takes time.

KEvin
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby conebeckham » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:32 am

Time....energy, and an openness and ability to see clearly.
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby futerko » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:41 am

Malcolm wrote:
dzogchungpa wrote:Does that sound like "reactionary rhetoric" from someone suffering from "religious and cultural insecurity"? I am very sympathetic with what you have said in this thread, but honestly I feel that you are misrepresenting DJKR.


I was merely using Dzongsar Khyentse's interview as example of what I find to be a reactionary rhetoric which stems from an overall religious and cultural insecurity I have found amongst Tibetan religious professionals.

He also does not specify this "main philosophy of Buddhism" that must remain "intact".

Perhaps he can drop in and tell us what he feels that might be.



M


He did write a book about it - "What makes you not a Buddhist", where he discusses the four seals - a definition I seem to remember you using to defend Stephen Batchelor's position a while back.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby Malcolm » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:51 am

futerko wrote:
He did write a book about it - "What makes you not a Buddhist", where he discusses the four seals - a definition I seem to remember you using to defend Stephen Batchelor's position a while back.



IN general, I was doing so because of what other people accepted, not what I accept.
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby futerko » Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:58 am

Malcolm wrote:
futerko wrote:
He did write a book about it - "What makes you not a Buddhist", where he discusses the four seals - a definition I seem to remember you using to defend Stephen Batchelor's position a while back.



IN general, I was doing so because of what other people accepted, not what I accept.


Yes, but I think it's safe to say that DKR has outlined his position concerning your earlier question.
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby Virgo » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:01 am

conebeckham wrote:Time....energy, and an openness and ability to see clearly.


You are correct, sir. :cheers:

Kevin
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Re: "...but the science of Buddhism will never change."

Postby Malcolm » Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:02 am

futerko wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
futerko wrote:
He did write a book about it - "What makes you not a Buddhist", where he discusses the four seals - a definition I seem to remember you using to defend Stephen Batchelor's position a while back.



IN general, I was doing so because of what other people accepted, not what I accept.


Yes, but I think it's safe to say that DKR has outlined his position concerning your earlier question.


Well, I don't think the four seals are a sufficient criteria: for example, the Saṃkhya school regards conditioned phenomena as being nonself, suffering, and impermanent (the manner in which they do so is a bit different than the Buddha's formulation, nevertheless...), and the experience of purusha can easily be equated with the unsupported consciousness of the Pali suttas...so...

M
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