St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby tsultrim » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:21 am

Katy wrote:If there is consciousness apart from physical form then there would be no reason for anyone to eat food


That might be a bit of a let-down for Food_Eatah, eh?

Not to mention all those participating in the the topic on vegetarianism! :smile:
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby Katy » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:25 am

Here's a relevant story I found:

A Thai proverb says, “A fortune teller is a blind guesser”. This is one science that people can learn; they just collect the information and collate it and foretell the future. Some examine the lines on the palm of the hand and foretell the future. There is a strong belief that meditation masters are very good at fortune telling. With this belief, people flock to the temple to ask them to tell their fortune.

Luangpor Char was one of those who was believed to have that ability. A lot of people went to see him and ask him to do fortune telling. He did not do that, until one day one of his close lay students came to see him, in the temple, and asked him to tell his fortune. He refused to do so saying, “That is not practical”. But that did not convince the student, he still insisted Luangpor Char should tell him his fortune. Finally Luangpor Char agreed to do so, it made him very happy and excited. Luangpor Char told him, “Give me your hand and I am going to tell you your future”. He was very excited at Luangpor Char’s words as he knew that Luangpor Char had never told anyone’s fortune so he gave him his hand. He did believe in Luangpor Char, he would believe in everything that Luangpor Char was saying. Luangpor Char looked at his palm and said, “Aha this is interesting, this is strange”. What Luangpor Char was saying made him even more interested. He looked at Luangpor Char imploringly. Luangpor Char said, “Your future is ….”. He responded immediately, “Yes sir, please tell me”. Luangpor Char said, “Your future is uncertain”.
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby Katy » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:59 am

gregkavarnos wrote:Siddharthas birth, enlightenment, sickness, old age and death were was just a display?


I can honestly say that If I found out that anything Siddhartha did was merely play-acting, then I would lose every shred of respect I have for him. No mistake.

Such play-acting is entirely unnecessary. I think the world world would be a much better place if people were entirely straightforward and didn't put on a facade.

In any case, all things are already a "play", without having to put an additional play on top of the play that is already there.

I believe that in Hinduism they call this play "Lila". It is the play or the sport of Brahman. I'm not sure if there is a similar name for the concept in Buddhism. Come to think of it, it's possible that the "enjoyment body of the Buddha" is the same thing.
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby LastLegend » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:55 am

KevinSolway and his friends?
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby ground » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:06 am

Katy wrote:Interesting discussion you are having here. I'll throw-in my two cents.

gregkavarnos wrote:
Information requires storage
So you are saying consciousness (and information storage) (perhaps) requires a physical brain?

Information storage has to happen somewhere, does it not?



'Name-&-form exists when what exists? From what as a requisite condition is there name-&-form?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Name-&-form exists when consciousness exists. From consciousness as a requisite condition comes name-&-form.' Then the thought occurred to me, 'Consciousness exists when what exists? From what as a requisite condition comes consciousness?' From my appropriate attention there came the breakthrough of discernment: 'Consciousness exists when name-&-form exists. From name-&-form as a requisite condition comes consciousness.'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.065.than.html
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby wisdom » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:21 am

Katy wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Siddharthas birth, enlightenment, sickness, old age and death were was just a display?


I can honestly say that If I found out that anything Siddhartha did was merely play-acting, then I would lose every shred of respect I have for him. No mistake.

Such play-acting is entirely unnecessary. I think the world world would be a much better place if people were entirely straightforward and didn't put on a facade.

In any case, all things are already a "play", without having to put an additional play on top of the play that is already there.

I believe that in Hinduism they call this play "Lila". It is the play or the sport of Brahman. I'm not sure if there is a similar name for the concept in Buddhism. Come to think of it, it's possible that the "enjoyment body of the Buddha" is the same thing.


Whats meant by display is that Siddhartha knew the phenomenal world was empty and devoid of self nature. Because of this, whatever he did he knew that he was partaking in what was basically an illusion. Other people said "look theres Buddha! Buddha is teaching!" or what have you, but from his perspective there was no people no Buddha, no teaching. He acted, but in his mind nothing occurred. Its not really a concept that can be easily conveyed with words, but I believe thats what meant by "his life was a display". Its not like someone being fake or deceitful.
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby Katy » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:19 am

wisdom wrote:He acted, but in his mind nothing occurred.


In reality, all people are acting, but "nothing" is occurring. So that's not something that is peculiar to the Buddha. If the Buddha was putting on a display then we are all putting on a display.

If that is the kind of display we are talking about, then I don't believe the Buddha had a choice about putting on his display. His body was going to grow old and die no matter what he wanted. So that's not a display he put on intentionally, since it would have happened regardless of his intentions.
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:45 am

tsultrim wrote:Enlightened nature bows to the authority of the material world. Without the material world there would be no enlightened nature.

The Buddha knows that if he wants people to learn from his teachings he must first deliver his teachings, and must live long enough to deliver them. That is a restriction imposed on him by the material world.
Some sources please because without sources these are merely your views.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby tsultrim » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:10 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
The Buddha knows that if he wants people to learn from his teachings he must first deliver his teachings, and must live long enough to deliver them. That is a restriction imposed on him by the material world.
Some sources please because without sources these are merely your views.


I disagree with this view of yours.

Reasoned truth is something that is absolute, and goes beyond personal opinions.

Beings exist in a material world, and if you want to interact with those beings then you must necessarily use material means to do so. This is a material restriction that Buddhas cannot circumvent. This reasoned truth necessarily supercedes any reports of third-parties, since even third-party reports must be weighed by reason.

P.S. As a matter of interest, can you provide me with a quote from the Buddha which says that all talk about Dharma matters must be accompanied by reference to scripture, even when those scriptures are not authoritative?
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby Acchantika » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:20 am

gregkavarnos wrote:Why might the other be thermodynamics and why would I take the authority of the theory of thermodynamics over the authority of the workings of enlightened nature or (let's say) Alaya consciousness?


I don't think we need to. It is precisely because we both consider Shakyamuni to be authorative that we decided to discuss it. I cannot accept he would say something so contradictory to evidence and reason, you cannot accept that he would say something false. I am suggesting then that we can view the statement in a different way.

So you are saying consciousness (and information storage) (perhaps) requires a physical brain?


I am saying that in-formation requires a format, e.g. a brain, or store-house consciousness, or floppy disc etc. not that consciousness supervenes on matter.
...
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:20 am

tsultrim wrote:I notice that in the scripture quoted by Greg, about the omniscience of the Buddha, it says:

From that we may only guess how clear and active their powers are.
...
This statement is neither in the Sutta nor in the passage I quoted. So where did you get this statement from exactly because you certainly did not get it from me!
"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
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby Acchantika » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:34 am

tsultrim wrote:
Certainty, in a Buddhist context, is a kind of conceptual attachment


I don't agree, and I've never heard of the Buddha speaking of certainty in such a manner.


The Buddha advised against attachment to concepts often (e.g. Diamond Sutra) and also stated explicitly that the qualified state of the world is not conceptually determinable (e.g. Kaccayanagotta Sutta).
...
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:41 am

Katy wrote:Information storage has to happen somewhere, does it not?
Yup, it certainly does. In the stream of consciousness.

I don't see any reason to think that there is consciousness apart from physical form. If there is consciousness apart from physical form then there would be no reason for anyone to eat food and stay alive.
I agree, in order to keep this mind and form combination alive, but not to nourish the mind stream though, but to act as a support to this form. If one believes in rebirth and the continuity of consciousness after death then the mind does not require physical form to function. This is clear in the Tibetan teachings on the bardo of death.

Are not the formless realms dependently arising? How do you know they do not arise dependent on the material world?
Due to the fact that they are formless, ie lacking form, a material basis? How do I know this, hmmmm...

I can honestly say that If I found out that anything Siddhartha did was merely play-acting, then I would lose every shred of respect I have for him. No mistake
Well then, you better steer clear of Mahayana Buddhism then. "It is said" that the display was a skillful means for the benefit of sentient beings stuck in an ignorant conception of relative reality/truth.
:namaste:
"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."
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:51 am

tsultrim wrote:Reasoned truth is something that is absolute, and goes beyond personal opinions.
No it's not, it arises in dependence upon logic, research, discussion, theoretical bases, etc... Since it arises on dependence on causes and conditions then it is not an absolute. So all you are doing is presenting your personal view, which is fine, but it's just your personal view.

Now you will excuse me for wanting verification from Buddhist sources about your views on Buddhist theory, on a Buddhist website, it is damn rude of me I know, but I am an uncultured brute to say the least.
:namaste:
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby tsultrim » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:23 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
tsultrim wrote:I notice that in the scripture quoted by Greg, about the omniscience of the Buddha, it says:

From that we may only guess how clear and active their powers are.
...
This statement is neither in the Sutta nor in the passage I quoted. So where did you get this statement from exactly because you certainly did not get it from me!


It can be found three quarters of the way down that passage that you quoted on May 14, that begins with "2. The Omniscience of the Buddha".
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby tsultrim » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:41 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
tsultrim wrote:Reasoned truth is something that is absolute, and goes beyond personal opinions.
No it's not, it arises in dependence upon logic, research, discussion, theoretical bases, etc... Since it arises on dependence on causes and conditions then it is not an absolute. So all you are doing is presenting your personal view, which is fine, but it's just your personal view.


It's just your personal view that reasoned truth is not absolute.

Can you provide a quote from the Buddha which says that reason is not to be relied upon?

It doesn't follow from the fact that reasoning depends on many causes and conditions that the results of reasoning are not absolute. The absolute truths of the Dharma are achieved through reasoning, and not through any other means.

The Buddha says, " Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

The Dalai Lama says, "Don't accept a teaching that goes against reasoning." "Buddhism has to be followed through reason and not taken for granted based on faith."
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby LastLegend » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:48 am

Reasoned truths only exist because of false views. This is called interdependent existence.

If Buddha is not limited by any forms, how can he not be omniscient?
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby tsultrim » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:16 pm

LastLegend wrote:Reasoned truths only exist because of false views.


So you arrived at that conclusion through false views? So why would we be interested in it?


If Buddha is not limited by any forms, how can he not be omniscient?


Enlightened beings are limited. The Buddha had to eat food, breath oxygen, and go to the toilet, in order to survive. And when teaching others he was forced to work with the particular level of understanding and capacities of his students. He couldn't wave a magic wand and instantly turn them all into Buddhas.
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby muni » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:59 pm

tsultrim wrote:[

What are your ideas?


:tongue:
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Re: St. John of the Cross on Spiritual Materialism

Postby LastLegend » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:25 pm

tsultrim wrote:
So why would we be interested in it?


You don't have to.




Enlightened beings are limited. The Buddha had to eat food, breath oxygen, and go to the toilet, in order to survive. And when teaching others he was forced to work with the particular level of understanding and capacities of his students. He couldn't wave a magic wand and instantly turn them all into Buddhas.


Exactly. If Buddha manifests in a human form, he will not wave a magic wand to teach.

If Buddha were to teach pigs, he cannot take a human form and speak a human language to pigs. He then has to manifest in a pig form and teach in pig language.
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