The Problem With Buddhist Philosophy

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: The Problem With Buddhist Philosophy

Postby Malcolm » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:31 pm

Rael wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Astus wrote:. If there is a need to refresh Buddhist philosophy it should be done based on proper foundation in the Buddha's teachings. When it is done based on others' interpretations that is already following a lineage, a school.

The problem with Buddhist Philosophy is Buddhist Philosophy. There is only one way to "refresh" the teachings -- realization.

as in mish mashing Sunyata teachings with your knowledge of of misleading Sunyata teachings all in one formula....

taking things that point directly to it...

followed by things said by Nargajuna not to use.....all in one unexplained paragraph.... :rolleye:

Rael -- what I said was perfectly correct -- non-empty phenomena are non-dependent. That does not mean there are such phenomena. This is why Nagarjuna also makes statements to precisely the same effect. The point is that if there were something that was not empty, it would also be non-dependent. Since we do not see, experience or otherwise encounter such non-dependent phenomena, we can rule them out.
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
Posts: 10219
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: The Problem With Buddhist Philosophy

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:48 pm

Namdrol wrote:The problem with Buddhist Philosophy is Buddhist Philosophy. There is only one way to "refresh" the teachings -- realization.
I agree (and stated so right at the beginning of this thread) that this is 100% what has to happen. Now while study is relevant to realisation I think that it is only one part of practice. The problem seems to be too much emphasis on one aspect of practice, in this case philosophical speculation, which has lead to petrification. What does that mean? That it is in our hands as (apparently) serious Buddhist practitioners to achieve even the shallowest levels of realisation in order to pull us out of this mess, otherwise Buddhism is just going to wilt and die (and when I say die it also includes Buddhism becoming merely an intellectual curiosity in a couple of humanities courses at the university level).
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
Posts: 7963
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: The Problem With Buddhist Philosophy

Postby Anders » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:34 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:but since the Abhidharma is merely a condensation or distillation of all the wisdom found in the Sutras then everybody practices according to the Abhidharma whether they do so through conscious study of the actual texts or not! :tongue:

It is certainly an attempt at this, but I wouldn't take it as established fact that it is an accurate and truthful distillation. There wouldn't have been so many schools flourishing, many with their own abidharma pitakas, at the time if it were such a simple matter. Nor for that matter sautrantikas who felt the whole abidharma movement within Sarvastivada had just gone way overboard (a movement we're funnily enough starting to see parallels to in modern Theravada).

And of course Nagarjuna points out the goofs of the abidharmikas by reference to their own sutras. So while abidharma may be a valuable reference, I wouldn't say it is so cut and dried to assume that it is merely condensed sutra. It is the condensation of a very particular interpretation of the sutras.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
User avatar
Posts: 653
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: The Problem With Buddhist Philosophy

Postby BuddhistPariah » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:35 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Astus wrote:
Namdrol wrote:The problem with Buddhist Philosophy is Buddhist Philosophy. There is only one way to "refresh" the teachings -- realization.

But I assume you don't mean that since the 15th century there has been no enlightened being in Tibetan Buddhism, do you?

No, however, a lot more people would have been realized if they had not been obsessed with schools and philosophy.

I have thought about that many times recently.

It is basically the approach Bruce Lee had about martial art styles. We shouldn't forget that Mr Lee had a degree on Philosophy. Lately I have been thinking that the same can be applied to Buddhist Linages. He was against rigidity and strictness on the different styles what is something I find too often in Buddhist Centres, people have great difficulty to adapt to the situations making them looking stiff and thus annoying, which I think wasn't what the Buddha wanted.

I know what you will say: projections, projections, projections. No problem I am getting used to that and adapting to the situation. :jedi:
User avatar
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:11 pm

Re: The Problem With Buddhist Philosophy

Postby Jikan » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:21 pm

Hi BuddhistPariah,

The analogy to Bruce Lee's approach to fighting arts is interesting. The most significant aspect to me is that he mastered Wing Chun, while keeping an open mind to learning from as many other forms as he could find. And once he had attained a certain mastery, and only then, did he attempt to integrate what he'd learned from disparate sources into his own project.

To my mind, the lesson is to practice hard and gain some mastery through a particular pedagogy, a particular methodology for learning, and to respect and learn from one's fellow-travelers as best one can.
Site Admin
Posts: 4319
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: The Problem With Buddhist Philosophy

Postby devilyoudont » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:07 pm

Erm. Some of you don't seem to understand what philosophical traditions are. (either that, or irrationally averse to the idea of Buddhism being called one) Historically, these were often founded, systematized and/or popularized by great sages like Socrates, Epicurus, Diogenes, ...and the Buddha, who founded a Shramana order like Mahavira before him. Look at the highly religious (particularly, soteriological) nature of works such as On the Nature of Things, to say nothing of Neoplatonism, the foundational basis for nearly every medieval religious cosmology in the West. These traditions and their practices, scholarly and contemplative, were more or less eradicated during the great uprooting of "paganism" in the Western world. The formulation of highly specialized schools by secular thinkers is largely a modern phenomenon, a result of the dissociation of ethics (including self-realization, etc.) from Western intellectual traditions which came about with the realization that miraculous events like flight can be brought about and harnessed for the common good by a relatively simple application of hard work, mundane intellect and practical know-how. (It being an eternal tendency of crowds to hanker after the miraculous.) Not to mention the ever-present goal of making philosophy compatible with powerful and belligerent Abrahamic religions, and finally, the rise of analytic philosophy and deconstructionism, which tried to pretty much do away with all traditional preconceptions still lingering in the Western worldview. (though these can be used to argue just as much for ethical systems as against them)
User avatar
Posts: 117
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:30 pm


Return to Open Dharma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alfredo, Gwenn Dana, mikenz66, odysseus, smcj and 15 guests