wtompepper wrote:Jnana: Your really think that TNH has the "party line" on all Mahayana Buddhism? Are you honestly not aware of how unusual his position is?
Calling me stupid and ignorant over and over, this is true Buddhism? You post something I wrote just to insult me angrily for days, and then say I am angry and not a real Buddhist? I'll stick with my non-buddhism, thanks.
This is a very depressing forum. I honestly hope some of you learn something about Buddhism someday, and get over your childish, ignorant anger.
wtompepper wrote:duckfiasco: I am not suggesting my speech might have been the cause of someone's suffering or anger--but I would not consider that unskillful. If the truth makes someone angry, or makes them suffer, then they should take their anger at the truth as an opportunity to see their delusions. Buddhist teaching has not usually meant saying only nice happy things even if it means encouraging delusion--that is a very modern very western idea of Buddhism. The "projection" I am referring to is the assumption that anyone who thinks is angry--if you think that thought always means anger, it might be worth considering what it is about thought that makes you so angry, what truth you are avoiding that thought might reveal to you.
Remember that arrogance does not mean being right, arrogance means refusing to consider evidence that you are wrong.
wtompepper wrote:Jnana: Your really think that TNH has the "party line" on all Mahayana Buddhism?
wtompepper wrote:Calling me stupid and ignorant over and over....
wtompepper wrote:I'll stick with my non-buddhism, thanks.
wtompepper wrote:Yes, zenkarma, it is in sense paying less attention to the sensory, or at least not limiting ourselves to it, not assuming it is a clear and true perception. We must analyze our immediate perceptions to discover how they arise, what conditions them. This is not uncommon in the Buddhist tradition; we must realize that even our sensory perceptions are already shaped by our culture and experiences, and there is never a pure and true perception, because perception occurs in the mind, not the eye/ear/finger.
My point is that this reification of senses, by the belief that they are unanalyzable, prevents us from becoming aware of how things really are. This is a long debate in Buddhism, and, to come to Huseng’s question, the belief in and unconditioned, which is clearly already a subject of debate in the Pali canon, only becomes more or less “settled” in the “Original Nature” or “Buddha Nature” debates. It is after this that it is commonly simply assumed, in eastern Buddhism, that there is an “unconditioned.” Up until then, it was a subject of debate, and Nagarjuna is clearly arguing that even things like space are dependently arisen—but he is arguing this because there are other Buddhists who disagree with his position. It is only later that it can be “assumed” that there is an unconditioned, and for many Buddhists this is still seen as a rejection of the most important Buddhist insights: anatman and dependent origination.
I rarely agree with HHDL (I am not a Tibetan Buddhist), but on this he has a point. There is perhaps nothing wrong with understanding “mindfulness” a bare attention to the supposedly “pure” sensory present, if it helps relieve you migraines or whatever—but it is not Buddhism. Instead of helping us to realize the absolute conditioning of everything, it reifies our present construal of the world, and uses the “ineffable” to avoid real insight.
To return briefly to the idea of Thich Nhat Hanh using “skillful means”: I think in the case of the example of the WMD engineer, the function of the example in the book is not to suggest that he will become awakened eventually, but to reassure the reader of the book that it is okay to give money to Plum Village even if that money is made by making weapons. Read the book, and I think the rhetorical function of the example is clear: don’t bother to change the world, just ignore the effects of your actions and focus on you immediate sensations. It is promoting quietist comfort, and Buddhism as a way to reduce anxiety and guilt without having to stop doing things we really should be anxious and guilty about. I could believe he was using skillful means if he just said to the guy, look, if you even came here to ask this question, you already know the answer—when you’re ready to accept the answer you already know, then we can talk.
wtompepper wrote:At the risk of being attacked for justifying my tone, I wonder if I can ask people to offer serious advice about this. Isn't it sometimes useful and even necessary to upset and anger people to help free them from their illusions and attachments? If we have an obligation to help others see through their illusions, can this be done by being "nice" and "accepting"? Has anybody had success with this approach? (Please, that last question is NOT meant rhetorically or sarcastically--I'm looking for real examples.)
wtompepper wrote:I have a question regarding combative tone. My concern is that the idea of a core self, the reification of our illusions, is so powerful and subtle, that it seems often impossible to persuade anyone out of it with kind words. The non-confrontational acceptance, the "tolerance" and acceptance of all positions, seems to just subtly reinforce core delusions, particularly the sense of a core "true self," while giving the illusion that it has been transcended. Then the newcomer to Buddhism realizes that despite (believing she has) transcended attachment, she is still miserable and angry, and she moves on to some other (non-)solution.
At the risk of being attacked for justifying my tone, I wonder if I can ask people to offer serious advice about this. Isn't it sometimes useful and even necessary to upset and anger people to help free them from their illusions and attachments? If we have an obligation to help others see through their illusions, can this be done by being "nice" and "accepting"? Has anybody had success with this approach? (Please, that last question is NOT meant rhetorically or sarcastically--I'm looking for real examples.)
My great concern with my own practice right now is not with understanding, but "skillful means." I seriously do believe, as Johnny Dangerous and others have pointed out, that I lack skillful means to successfully discuss these matters. My own experience has been that what passes for "right speech" simply reinforces peoples comfort with their denial and delusion, and when they are faced with truth they are more powerfully entrenched than before. For instance, the popular version of "mindfulness," which pretends to stop all thought, so strongly reinforces the subtle sense of a "self" that those who practice it seem to become even more powerfully attached, less able to comprehend anatman.
Now, I fully expect further comments on how angry and arrogant this comment is, and more assertions about my ignorance of Buddhism (eg if you "understood" you wouldn't lack skillful means, etc). But I'm willing to ignore them if anyone wants to seriously address this issue, which is the question my original post on Speculative Non-Buddhism was trying to address: can we really wake people from their sleep of illusion without being confrontational and argumentative and even making them upset and angry? Is there really a kinder gentler way to do it?
wtompepper wrote:I do see your point thus-gone, and perhaps this forum is not the place to discuss this matter. In my particular school of Buddhism, anatman is taken to entail that there are no "enlightened" individuals, and that we can only move toward enlightenment collectively. So from my perspective, to stay silent and wait for an enlightened teacher is to participate in the delusion of self. Do you see my point, here? If the consensus here is that individuals become enlightened and then teach the rest of us, and we must wait for one and in the meantime be kind, then perhaps I am just in the wrong place to discuss this matter, and I will only get more assertions that I am ignorant and deluded. From my perspective, we are all ignorant an deluded as individuals, and can only become awakened collectively--anyone claiming to be an enlightened teacher is, to me, perpetuating the worst kind of delusion and attachment to self.
I have received quite a few emails from people unwilling to post here and on other boards (because they are tired of being insulted and attacked, mostly) saying that a confrontational approach did help to break them free of their illusions. I am quite seriously asking if there are any examples of the kinder, calmer "right speech" approach doing the same?
wtompepper wrote:In my particular school of Buddhism, anatman is taken to entail that there are no "enlightened" individuals, and that we can only move toward enlightenment collectively ... anyone claiming to be an enlightened teacher is, to me, perpetuating the worst kind of delusion and attachment to self.
wtompepper wrote:I am quite seriously asking if there are any examples of the kinder, calmer "right speech" approach doing the same?