A lot of the discussion may come down to which Buddhism one considers normative. I suppose you could think of a spectrum - on one end, you have a retreating practitioner who only very reluctantly shares dharma. At the other, you have an inspired bodhisattva compulsively sharing the good news even when people don't want to hear it. I subscribe to Lotus Buddhism which understands the Buddha as constantly reaching out to reveal the True Aspect. The Lotus Sutra elaborates on this with a story about a Bodhisattva who goes around honoring people as Buddhas-to-be even against other's wishes and getting beaten up for it. So, I may very well be far beyond what others consider normative.
Yea I thought that much, since you implied you see Buddha as a form of metaphysical entity. I dont think I've read the Lotus sutra myself tho; when I dont mix it up its like the Avatamsaka rather filled with gummybears falling from the sky and rainbows shooting out of peoples ears - I prefered texts like the Samdhinirmocana where they just throw infos at you
I suppose it might come down to the "bodhisattva ideal" and the "bodhisattva reality". Everyone is "ready". The propagation of Buddhism didn't just happen. Some might have an allergic reaction to the Buddha or any good Buddhist having an intention to do something, like spread the Dharma, but then who is not perceiving the True Aspect? It spread because people wanted it to spread and made efforts to make sure the seeds of Buddhadharma were planted in people's minds where they took root and grew.
From what I've seen the development of the Buddhist schools and spreading of the dharma was not just missionary but also exegetical in nature. I havent delved into later east-asian nor tibetan Buddhism but the older schools developed - from my pov - primarily due to the need to fill philosophical holes that existed.
Of course individuals inspired by the teachings (and possibly adhering more or less to the bodhisattva ideal) are expected to have a wish to bring others to their perceived truth. Missionary work is rather typical for religious people tho and says nothing about the truth of the religious ideas.
Incidentally, I think someone with a strong grounding in Buddhist theory would understand very well many problems associated with making observations in physics experiments, as well as the weirdness, because much of Buddhist theory and practice is concerned with observation and the strange things that happen at the extremes.
For people doing really high level science - "facts" get very elastic - to the point that concept is rather useless. What you get with an experiment is a repeatably observable phenomena, not really a "fact". You get to common ground with high level Buddhism. Some may disagree.
Yes, I am aware of that. What I mean is that from what I've found (or rather not found) in the years I went thru sutras and shastras is an actual indication of a) why the realisation of emptiness should lead to the cessation fo dukkha and b) how exactly it would do so. It seems to be kind of a naive anticipation found in all religions, that if you just believe in Jesus, or get your foreskin cut off, or meditate, that this will magically lead you to some sort of salvatory state, in this case enlightenment. But there is no evidence for the existence of enlightenment, nor a firm theoretical basis on how to achieve it. And if you argue time, I would expect people to have found such after 2500 years.
Thats what I mean by the discrepancy between facts and what I called hope-principle.
I don't know if I repeat that there will be suffering sooner or later, and I'm not sure I mean it in the way you understand that term. Suffering is a technical term in Buddhism with a meaning that is somewhat different than the ordinary meaning of suffering. If you hold me to what I suspect to be your measures, what I say may not be true. But that's just a word game.
I interpreted suffering in that case as primarily the "physical" form of dukkha in the sense of a further rebirth as one of the six classes of beings or as the stress of continous rebirth of mental states of affliction and associated sensual imprints of reactive karmic nature.
What I understand about Buddhism - all views are distortion. But, at the same time, they are inescapable. (here I am going off into a Lotus Buddhism tangent that others may not agree with.)
Even the Buddha's view is distorted to a degree - as judged from the views of others. And all of these views, enlightened and deluded, are "real", all encompassing, and accurate within their parameters of definition. Some views, however, are more distorted than others. There were people who thought the world was flat and that if you went too far, you'd fall off. There are plenty of whacked out ideas people take as real that are just clearly mistaken. At the same time, there are people who's views accord with reality much more closely.
Let me subscribe to that.
I don't buy a lot of Buddhism that others take very seriously. I'm a heretic, icchantika. We all get on and do the best that we can. That's what it is, and that's were "proslytizing" comes from. Buddhism in my view, is nothing but a discipline for getting a better perception of reality. The community of Buddhists are people who share this endeavor. We share it with others because it works. Don't believe it? Give it a try. Its better than taking a physicists word that they found the Higgs Boson - more practical, and actually accessible without billions of dollars of high tech equipment.
Yea this, too. I personally prefer research that manifests in making our world better - or at least easier.
But giving it a try - I have told that to many Buddhists already, some of which got kind of annoyed by me saying that, but this is the exactly same in all other religions, too. Christians also tell you to start praying and "then you will see" - sure I will, because my subconsciousness will start to color my experience quickly, maybe I'll find Maria on a toast or I will think that Jesus helped me find this extremely cheap but super-hot looking t-shirt o_O. From my current perspective it doesnt matter what you believe in, as long as it is a concept-formation which somehow complements your personality.
Because lets be honest about this. If you have a health problem you go to your doctor, you have a mental issue you go to the psychotherapist, you have an ingrown nail you go to the podiatrist. Interestingly there is no real problem at all that religion actually solves. Which is one of the things I really dont understand about it, since it doesnt help in any way, then why are people even attached to it? And in which way would it be "seeing in accord with reality" if one ignores such a truth?
But I'm babbling, we're already quite offtopic, sorry.