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Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach - Dhamma Wheel

Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
Sacha G
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Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby Sacha G » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:24 am

Hello
I'd like to share a point of view. I find, embedded in buddhism, two kinds of approach. The psychological & the cosmological one.
If you start with Suffering, you can either see it as "existential suffering" (psychological approach) or the cycle of rebirths (cosmological).
As for craving, you can understand it as the origin of suffering due to tension and frustration (psych.) or you can see it as the origin of this body, this mind, and even this world (cosmo.).
Nibbâna, you can see as a state of mind (psych.) or as a dimension of reality (cosmo.).
The jhanas, you can see as levels of consciousness (psych) or as access to other planes of reality (cosmo.).
The various realms, you can see in the same way.
The "world" you can see as the mind, or as the universe.
Saying that nibbana is the end of the world can be: you stop to "reify" a world (psych.), or you stop the production of the world (cosmo.).
Dependent origination can be a psychological law (psych.) or a law of the origination of the world (developping the 5 aggregates). It can be read as applying to only this life, or to 3 lives.
Mara is both the inner temptation (psych.) and an evil being (cosmo).
Kamma can mean conditionning (pysch.) or a law of the universe which shapes the phenomena (cosmo.).
etc...
:popcorn:
Pali and Theravada texts:
http://dhamma.webnode.com

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Ben
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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby Ben » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:55 am

yes
“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]..

PeterB
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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby PeterB » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:36 pm


chownah
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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby chownah » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:55 pm

Yes it can....and to give the ball a nudge to see if it starts rolling I'll just say that where the psychological views and the cosmological views intersect (venn diagram....two circles overlapping....you get the picture) is the Buddha's teachings on "The World" and "The All"....check out the Suttas that describe the Buddha's teachings on The World...these are the Loca Suttas...there are a few of them....also check out the Sutta on "The All"....I think there is only one of them......at least that is my view.....what do you (the all inclusive "you") think?
chownah

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retrofuturist
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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:18 am

Greetings Sacha G,

Very good observations.

I'm inclined towards the phenomenological interpretation and see the cosmological (or ontological) descriptions as a skilful means, to help those who saw spiritual endeavours as something of a cosmological pursuit (e.g. brahmins), to gain a footing into the phenomenological or experiential parallels you detail in your opening post. The Buddha's teaching is about suffering and its cessation, and the 'loka' he was concerned with was indeed the inner world of experience, rather than the outer world or 'universe'.

Alas, I think some of these parallels and subtleties, juxtaposed against the original non-Buddhist meanings of certain terms, have been missed at various points in time throughout the history of Buddhism (either accidentally, or deliberately as other religionists attempted to infiltrate the Buddhasasana), and the cosmological interpretations have often been interpreted as the definitive Dhamma teaching.

The classic example of this is paticcasamuppada (dependent origination), which under the complex "three lives" model outlined in Visuddhimagga came to be regarded as a model for samsaric transmigration, rather than an explanation of the dependent origination of suffering, due to the ignorant and active formation of sankharas. Thankfully some learned scholars and bhikkhus have challenged this, and other traditional cosmological interpretations, and I believe we're seeing something of a Dhamma rennaissance as a result... a much needed renaissance too, I might add, given the scrutiny and justifiable criticism that unverifiable theistic religions come under nowadays. The phenomenological interpretations are there to be discovered, if we're prepared to not cling so tightly to what we may have been taught thus far.

The Buddha is cool. <--- (this too is a phenomenological statement, relating to the Buddha having put out the fire of greed, aversion and delusion and the subsequent coolness of his experience, rather than an ontological statement about his temperature).

:buddha1:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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mikenz66
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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:05 am


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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:14 am

Greetings Mike,

Nice find. :thumbsup:

Yes, the phenomenological teachings have been detailed at various times in various formats (including of course the commentaries), but have very often not been regarded as the "orthodox" interpretation.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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mikenz66
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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:08 am


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Ben
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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:18 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]..

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retrofuturist
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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:22 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:28 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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mikenz66
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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:34 am


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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:44 am


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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:45 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Ben
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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby Ben » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:47 am

Hi Paul
I just tried scanning for it in SN and MN. Perhaps its elsewhere. I remember reading it a few years ago.
I'll see what I can do, later.
kind regards

Ben
“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]..

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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:54 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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ground
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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby ground » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:21 am

Both the psychological & the cosmological interpretations are extremes. The Buddha however taught the middle way.

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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:23 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

Postby ground » Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:10 am


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Re: Buddhism: 2 kinds of approach

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