little lies, big lies

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
User avatar
Prasadachitta
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:52 am
Location: San Francisco (The Mission) Ca USA
Contact:

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Prasadachitta » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:36 am

Brilliant! Thanks for the quote and food for thought.

Perhaps the value of abstractions is that they can be the vehicle for good to get better and move on to being the best. In other words, even though there is no compassion outside of a compassionate act, to entertain the idea of compassion can have the effect of supporting and propagating ever more lofty compassionate acts. This in turn informs a more open ended idea of what compassion could entail within the activity which is its very substance.
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Nyana » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:58 am


chownah
Posts: 6161
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby chownah » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:03 am

Edit: I've noticed that the connection to the topic is pretty hard to see....I composed it in response to the comment that some abstractions have value...posted by Prasadachitta. My intent is to underscore that all language is abstraction and that this is at least part of what the Devil was getting at in my view.

Isn't all language abstraction? Isn't every single word an abstraction? Maybe the one word "abstraction" actually is what it says but other than that no word IS what it denotes. And to go further...isn't language used as a shorthand to recall salient aspects of some experience?....if I think "dog" my mind will start generating all sorts of things...not just one static idea....meditation helps us to understand this....take the word "dog" as a meditation object and see what happens....if you are successful in achieving absorption I'm pretty sure that you will end up with some really stripped down mental object not really resembling the ordinary thoughts we have when we think "dog"....maybe you will attain absorption when you just focus on the internal sound of the word.....but this is only a mentally produced sound....but this makes sense in that really the word "dog" has its sound as its nearest referent.............this is what language is all about I guess....whether its "dog" or "justice".......it's all empty......I think.....mabe not.....don't know for sure.....
chownah
Last edited by chownah on Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

alan
Posts: 2812
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:14 am
Location: Miramar beach, Fl.

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby alan » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:12 am

Hi Nana
Nice quote, but not relevant. It does not address the issues we are discussing.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23012
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:20 am

While there may be that via evolution we have impulses to act with some degree of compassion or empathy, compassion, empathy, love, justice have become highly refined concepts, certainly more so in the suttas and other writings than what we would find by evolution alone, but there is not any ultimate self-existent reality to them, they become by our actions. No neo-platonism here.

Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Nyana » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:37 am


User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Ben » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:43 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

User avatar
Dan74
Posts: 3012
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Dan74 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:53 am

_/|\_

User avatar
Kim OHara
Posts: 4346
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:58 am


User avatar
Dan74
Posts: 3012
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Dan74 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:03 am

Regarding the paragraph by Harris, I guess where logical analysis can come in is teasing out the underlying assumptions. They of course will differ and this consensus he speaks of is an unfulfillable dream.

Harris, to me sounds like one of my many colleagues who would like to believe that logic is omnipotent. On the other hand his writings are extremely one-sided and his descriptions read like caricatures. In this way bias creeps into the mind enamoured with logic through the back door - totally unaware and yet so obvious to others.
Last edited by Dan74 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
_/|\_

User avatar
Kim OHara
Posts: 4346
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:04 am


chownah
Posts: 6161
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby chownah » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:11 pm

I've enjoyed everything I've read by Sam Harris until now.....what was offered above is a real disappointment for me.....all of it seems to be way below his usual standards...for instance:
"Therefore, we have divorced the most important questions in human life from the context in which our most rigorous and intellectually honest thinking gets done."
Maybe he has done this in his life and maybe some others have too but believe me I have not done this....in fact I would say that it is the important questions in human life that have honed my thinking to a type of honesty which encompasses the intellectual and goes far beyond.......I certainly hope that others here have not squandered their most rigorous and intellectual honesty on irrelevant things as Sam Harris has done with his life....that is I think that he has indicated he has done this in his life if we take him to be rigorously and intellectually honest when he says that "WE" have done this.
chownah

User avatar
kirk5a
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby kirk5a » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:40 pm

"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23012
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:59 pm


Nyana
Posts: 2233
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Nyana » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:22 pm


User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby daverupa » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:45 pm


User avatar
Dan74
Posts: 3012
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby Dan74 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:26 pm

This reminded me of fellow student who used to be in love with Hesse's The Glass Bead Game and the idea of the supremacy of the intellect. He was a brilliant kid (now a maths professor at Northwestern) and already at 20 he realized the limitations of logic and chuckled at his former folly. Harris's is a lesser mind still enthralled by the glitter of the intellect. But he has the gift of gab so we hear a lot about it.

How do you figure that the Dhamma has a "moral calculus"? The Buddha was a wise and gentle teacher from what I can make out, he gave guidance, not commandments, decrees, laws or statements. His path was the one each has to walk for him (or her) self, discover anew, live rather than calculate or deduce.

Or so it seems to me, unless I've been rummaging through the wrong baskets.
_/|\_

User avatar
ancientbuddhism
Posts: 882
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:53 pm
Location: Cyberia

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:45 pm

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)


User avatar
daverupa
Posts: 5980
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby daverupa » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:55 pm


User avatar
ancientbuddhism
Posts: 882
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:53 pm
Location: Cyberia

Re: little lies, big lies

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:10 pm

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)



Return to “Connections to Other Paths”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests

Google Saffron, Theravada Search Engine