Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Oct 05, 2012 4:44 pm

viniketa wrote:
MalaBeads wrote:...'should' is as problematic as it gets.


Of course it is problematic. However, with statements like:

MalaBeads wrote:But unless we find ways to organize our perceptions beyond these narrow definitions inherent in tribalism, we are doomed.


how can "should" be avoided? Is this not a "prescriptive" statement?

If it is not prescriptive, but merely a prediction (if x does not happen, y will happen), then there is little to discuss.

:namaste:


You are much too clever for me. But I'll think about it.
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby futerko » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:13 pm

viniketa wrote:
viniketa wrote:These "short cut" methods seem to be built-in to the human brain...


futerko wrote:So the idea of these "short cut methods" are based upon an imaginary abstraction which can be universalized at various levels, tribal, religious, etc...


Perhaps I should have used another word, such as 'mechanisms'. Anyway, I do not refer to 'conceptual' methods; rather I am referring to natural tendencies of our minds (that may be based in brain pathways) to reduce complexity by 'bypassing' higher-order abstractions and recalling simple perceptions such as feelings or sounds. These are simple 'recall' functions that may or may not be associated with higher-level abstractions. But, yes, they can be generalized to any level, up to and including 'universal'.

I would agree that Dharmic practice (as proposed by MalaBeads but using Malcolm's term) indeed aims at this natural tendency of mind (in addition to others) to help us overcome these habits of thinking.

futerko wrote:...where we take a God's-eye-view, but that still involves a top-down model such as an imposed structure like religion which reifies based upon an imaginary "big Other" rather than one which has been arrived at organically, such as the bottom-up model found through Dharma practice.


Here, I am lost. Who is taking a 'God's-eye-view', and where are they taking it? Also, if this is intended to clarify your previous statement, I find I am more confused. Again, I'm not trying to be obstructive.

From what I think you might mean, I was never referring to some "big Other" nor any "models". In fact, if I were to take one idea from TNH, it would be that there is no "other", imaginary, organic, top- or bottom-down, or otherwise.

:namaste:


I agree with the idea of there being no other except as an abstracted and imaginary viewpoint, but doesn't this undermine the idea of those "mechanisms", or the ability to generalize from them?
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby viniketa » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:51 pm

MalaBeads wrote:You are much too clever for me. But I'll think about it.


Please understand that I'm not attempting to be clever, but merely to get at the gist of the idea. If the change (evolution) is to take place as an intentional outcome of some activity, such as education, then there must be those who have the will and the educational content to start this "social movement" in motion.

futerko wrote:I agree with the idea of there being no other except as an abstracted and imaginary viewpoint, but doesn't this undermine the idea of those "mechanisms", or the ability to generalize from them?


Human infants have no concept at all of 'other'. This is learned during approximately the first year of life. For the simplest mechanisms, no concept of "other" is necessary. For generalization, yes, at least generalized concept of other is necessary. But all this speaks to the 'content' of what that education might be, rather than pointing to the need for the education.

I will think about how to explain better, but it is really very simple. The "mechanisms" are properties of individual minds, though the process of the development of the mechanisms is similar across all individuals. The content of individual minds is not under central control. If "evolution" is to occur, it will either occur through a concatenation of circumstances or by some individual (or group of individuals) with the will and expertise who start the change process in motion. If we do not wish that change process to be violent, coercive, or fraudulent, then we need "cooperative" participants.

All this has already occurred, beginning with the teaching of Buddha. The change process is slow, uneven, and may occur in spurts. The "movement" may fizzle out (Dharma ending age) before enough widespread 'education' takes place.

So, some bring forward a proposal that this processes needs "tweaking", shall we say.

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby viniketa » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:26 pm

MalaBeads wrote:I see Dharma as a-cultural, or beyond culture. Not confined to any particular system or any particular era.... But as with any true "art form", for lack of a better description, it contains within itself the means to go beyond it.


Ah, I just saw this - the pagination hid it from me earlier. Yes, any behavior that is "learned" is cultural, and I would agree that it is an 'art' (i.e., practical skill). As such, the 'practice' may contain essential lessons that could form a basis for altering (going beyond) the process.

In this case, it may be that the 'core' practice, itself, needs no change. What needs to change are other 'cultural' elements that have developed alongside the 'core' practice.

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby Malcolm » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:29 pm

MalaBeads wrote:[

I don't know how to have this discussion. I see Dharma as a-cultural, or beyond culture. Not confined to any particular system or any particular era. However, as with learning any art, you have to master the particulars. And particulars are always associated with a "system". The system I learned - and so did you Malcom, was Buddhist. ?


I didn't learn Buddhism, in fact what I learned was Dharma. My mistake for many years was mistaking the former for the latter.

M
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འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby viniketa » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:56 pm

Malcolm wrote:I didn't learn Buddhism, in fact what I learned was Dharma.


This statement, I'm pretty sure I understand. More precisely, I've learned a 'brand' of Dharma 'labeled' as Buddhism; Dharma has 84K (or more) doors. I've always resisted the 'lineage tribalism', but it has had its usefulness. Perhaps some of what you've been saying, Malcolm, is that 'usefulness' may have already been 'outlived'? I understand this borders on 'heresy', but this is the 'personal experience' forum. From my personal experience, I agree the legitimate usefulness of most if not all forms of tribalism has been outlived.

Further, I think some of HHDL's (and other teachers') recent writings (and other teachings) have begun to 'lay out' the top-level (public) content for the necessary 're-education' program.

I don't wish to put words in anyone's mouth, but that is my personal experience.

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby MalaBeads » Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:56 pm

viniketa wrote:
MalaBeads wrote:You are much too clever for me. But I'll think about it.


Please understand that I'm not attempting to be clever, but merely to get at the gist of the idea. If the change (evolution) is to take place as an intentional outcome of some activity, such as education, then there must be those who have the will and the educational content to start this "social movement" in motion.


In this case, I think you are putting words in my mouth. I am not advocating a "social movement" as an intentional outcome of any particular activity.

I'll say it again, your cleverness is way beyond me. There is something about the way you grasp words and ideas that seems, excuse my bluntness, dangerous to me.

Education as a result of awareness, not a preconceived agenda masquerading as education.

Perhaps it is folly to even attempt to have such a discussion.
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby MalaBeads » Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:04 am

Malcolm wrote:
MalaBeads wrote:[

I don't know how to have this discussion. I see Dharma as a-cultural, or beyond culture. Not confined to any particular system or any particular era. However, as with learning any art, you have to master the particulars. And particulars are always associated with a "system". The system I learned - and so did you Malcom, was Buddhist. ?


I didn't learn Buddhism, in fact what I learned was Dharma. My mistake for many years was mistaking the former for the latter.

M


Here's how I see it. You did learn Dharma, Malcolm, but you did it in the context of Buddhism. You learned it sufficiently to let the Buddhist aspect go and to let the Dharma shine through. But the context was not only there, it was necessary. Now you see the difference, which is good. But please don't deny that the context was necessary. At least in my opinion, it's another mistake.
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby viniketa » Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:02 am

MalaBeads wrote:I'll say it again, your cleverness is way beyond me. There is something about the way you grasp words and ideas that seems, excuse my bluntness, dangerous to me.


MalaBeads - You are welcome to be blunt. Not a problem. I will say again, it is not my intent to be 'clever'. Yes, I suppose words can be dangerous, but again, there is no intention to threaten. I will refrain from posting further to this thread unless a reply is requested.

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby underthetree » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:38 am

MalaBeads wrote:To turn this insight into a religion separate from all others is to misunderstand the insight.

Shakymuni had an insight into the nature of reality, he did not found a religion. Others, later, established a religion. At least from my perspective, it is so important to understand this.


MalaBeads wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
I didn't learn Buddhism, in fact what I learned was Dharma. My mistake for many years was mistaking the former for the latter.

M



Here's how I see it. You did learn Dharma, Malcolm, but you did it in the context of Buddhism. You learned it sufficiently to let the Buddhist aspect go and to let the Dharma shine through. But the context was not only there, it was necessary. Now you see the difference, which is good. But please don't deny that the context was necessary. At least in my opinion, it's another mistake.


You are contradicting yourself. You started a thread that apparently called for a return to the source of Buddhadharma. Now you are arguing for a return to the trappings of religion. Or so it appears.
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby MalaBeads » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:45 am

underthetree wrote:You are contradicting yourself. You started a thread that apparently called for a return to the source of Buddhadharma. Now you are arguing for a return to the trappings of religion. Or so it appears.


This thread is about evolving beyond the trappings of religion.

Evolving beyond.

For something to emerge there is always something that is emerged from. Or so it seems to me.

A return to the source is a different process from evolving beyond.

Thank you for your comment. It helps me understand how what I am saying might be understood.

What does return to the source mean to you? We can't simply ignore the present situation, our collective present conditioning, and return to the past as if we were packing a suitcase and going somewhere else. Whatever occurs next among human beings will inevitably emerge from our present conditions. There is always a context. As long as we have bodies, we will have conditions.

Evolution works with the present circumstances and then sees another way. It does not return to anything. It goes forward in a new way out of the present circumstances.

This going forward emerges as something new, something different. It does not reject the present circumstances but it doesn't accept them either. To evolve is basically a creative situation. It doesn't reject the current circumstances because there is a basic acknowledgement of them. A basic understanding of the present. It doesn't accept the current circumstances because there is a clear seeing of their limitations.

To want to return somewhere else is to say it was better before so let's go back. But you can't go back. It's impossible.

There is no preconceived agenda for evolving.

The only thing that is clear to me is that human beings cannot keep on doing things they way they have done in the past. 'How' the future will emerge is not known. 'What" will emerge is not known either.

It is quite difficult, if not impossible, to describe an evolving reality. Why? Because words are basically a two dimensional, ie linear, phenomenon and reality is multi-dimensional.

I hope this helps though.
Last edited by MalaBeads on Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby Namgyal » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:59 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:
Defects are not intrinsic, but adventitious. People are like that due to ignorance, an innate ignorance they don't even know they need or can dispel.

It's a moral imperative for those who know this attaining wisdom to a point in which they can help others to free themselves from the ignorance that ultimately causes so much suffering. Everyone wants to be happy, everyone wants to go home and that home is our true nature, free from any malice, any stain, any defilement. As we lost our way home and don't even know where it is, we take temporary substitutes for it and while at it hurt others, ourselves and create samsara.

The sooner this cancer is gone the better, as you say, but in this case the cancer is ignorance, not people.


:good:

I can't remember the source, but according to Shakyamuni, 'It is precisely because we must figure with perpetual separation that I am determined to win liberation, for then I shall no more be torn from my kindred.' Lord Buddha's tribe was all living creatures.
:namaste: R.
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:54 pm

I dunno, but it seems to me that the Buddha taught moving beyond attachment AND aversion.

To say that one must do away with religion sounds like aversion to me. To say that one must maintain religion sounds like attachment to me.

So let's say who (and how one) can tread the fine line between the two extremes then.
: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."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby lobster » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:39 am

So let's say who (and how one) can tread the fine line between the two extremes then.


I suppose we and the Buddha and the Sangha and eventually the Dharma all have to.
In a sense identifying with a raft of ideas, people or even Buddhas is no substitute for a Truth independent of ones tribal 'far shore', mountain top or other abandoned tribal locomotive means . . .

Maybe the three jewels are the awakened, the truth
and the skilful :popcorn:
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby viniketa » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:49 am

lobster wrote:In a sense identifying with a raft of ideas, people or even Buddhas is no substitute for a Truth independent of ones tribal 'far shore', mountain top or other abandoned tribal locomotive means . . .

Maybe the three jewels are the awakened, the truth
and the skilful :popcorn:


Well said, lobster...

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby MalaBeads » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:16 am

"Maybe the three jewels are the awakened, the truth and the skillful"

Pretty good. Certainly takes Dharma out of the realm of "religion". Worth contemplating.

:thumbsup:
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby deepbluehum » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:53 am

Don't forget about the really important tribe. You know? The unbroken lineage? It's an institution. It's an ism. You can't just switch words around and act that you did something.
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:17 am

Yes, well, the whole raft thing is all very well, but how many here have reached the far shore in order to let go of the raft?

And why are some trying to sink the raft while people are still holding on?

Best not to let go prematurely. Best not judge others for tenaciously grasping to the raft while we ourselves are still in need of the raft.
: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."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby MalaBeads » Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:17 pm

Where is the judgement? Who is judging? Please show the judging comments, Greg. I don't understand your statements.

deepbluehum,

I value the unbroken lineage but to call it "the really important tribe" is a mistake I think.

There is something about the tribal mentality that is ultimately destructive I think. The basis of the tribal mentality is "my" group is the most important, ie best, group. "My" group. The tribal mentality divides the world. It does not promote cohesiveness. It promotes devisiveness.

I am looking for ways beyond that. There will always be different groupings of human beings. So the question becomes, how to belong to a group without needing to identify with it as "mine".

Btw, re: lobster's suggestion of "awareness, truth, skillful", my response was it was worth contemplating. Worth contemplating.

I like to re-read posts. I learned that from re-reading books. Inevitably, on second or third reading, I either see or understand more of what someone was saying. It's already true for me in this thread.
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Re: Evolving Beyond Tribalism

Postby deepbluehum » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:05 pm

MalaBeads wrote:Where is the judgement? Who is judging? Please show the judging comments, Greg. I don't understand your statements.

deepbluehum,

I value the unbroken lineage but to call it "the really important tribe" is a mistake I think.

There is something about the tribal mentality that is ultimately destructive I think. The basis of the tribal mentality is "my" group is the most important, ie best, group. "My" group. The tribal mentality divides the world. It does not promote cohesiveness. It promotes devisiveness.

I am looking for ways beyond that. There will always be different groupings of human beings. So the question becomes, how to belong to a group without needing to identify with it as "mine".

Btw, re: lobster's suggestion of "awareness, truth, skillful", my response was it was worth contemplating. Worth contemplating.

I like to re-read posts. I learned that from re-reading books. Inevitably, on second or third reading, I either see or understand more of what someone was saying. It's already true for me in this thread.


Of course, the problem is I and my. But there is a *community* of folks without I or my. That's the sangha. Even DC as Santi Maha Sangha. We, the lineage, the group is very very important. For example my friend completed 60 days retreat. We all pitched in to make food and take care of things while she was in retreat in the center. The center is very important. So the whole thing about we don't need centers and all of that is stupid. Without this organization how the hell are we going to help people who seriously want to do retreat? We had to remodel the house because it was dilapidated. That cost $100,000+. We need to invite teachers, we need to feed people. *We* need to do these things together. *We* need to meet over dinners to discuss so many issues. So then of course we need the group. We need the Three Jewels and the Three Jewels need houses.
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