Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:46 pm

Vidyaraja wrote:What does Evola's political standpoints have to do with his ability to express truthful statements regarding metaphysics or spirituality? The Dalai Lama has often said he is a "Marxist"--I personally find Marxism to be a destructive force, but I don't let that detract from everything the Dalai Lama says. Either way, Evola had critiques of fascism and he wasn't a fascist, he simply saw more hope in the fascistic movements of his day at reviving his true ideals over that of the other major political forces of liberal democracy and Communism. Evola considered his values to be those held by most aristocracies prior to the modern world--he drew much of his inspiration from ancient Rome. In any case, if one is honest with oneself, we can see that indeed liberal democracy and Communism in all of its form HAVE been largely destructive toward a spiritual and traditional view of reality and man, which Evola considered to be of prime importance. As to the apolitical aspect, this is true. Evola believed that no meaningful action could be taken to rectify the present situation which he viewed essentially as a state of dissolution, and therefore stressed the importance of an attitude of "apoliteia."

A circumstantial Fascist is still a Fascist. Most Fascists/Nazi of the time were just circumstantial, it did not stop the slaughter one iota. I have to admit that I have more respect for those that come out and admit it, rather than those who hide behind such poor excuses.
I recommend you watch the movie "Il Conformista" by Bertolucci.
"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: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Vidyaraja » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:41 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:How can it be clear that all the mystics are describing the same thing, when you yourself have not experienced what they are describing?

Language is really limited that way, it's easy to say something all looks the same from the other side of the fence, where you can't see it clearly anyway. Neither can I of course, i'm just saying, no one without some level of realization can say whether they are describing the same thing or not.


Well, I have had a mystical experience which transformed me from being an atheist with no interest in spirituality whatsoever to making the pursuit Truth/enlightenment the central goal of my life. What I discovered was that my experience matched up with the description that these various sages have given. As to how they are all describing the same thing, that is because there is only one Truth--even Buddhist accede that everyone has inherent Buddha-nature, that is their version of "One Truth." Besides that, if you actually read these sages, there is really no doubt that they are describing the same experience/Truth, unless of course you attempt to read them with the explicit motivation of proving to yourself that they are indeed different, but then I don't think you will be seeing very clearly.

Regarding the difference between the Traditionalist perspective and "all religions are one" relativism, instead of me teaching you what's already out there, go ahead and read the works of various Traditionalist thinkers and their reasoning for their position. The Traditionalist perspective also doesn't include all religions, such as the example of Scientology or various strains of Protestantism I mentioned earlier.

gregkavarnos wrote:A circumstantial Fascist is still a Fascist. Most Fascists/Nazi of the time were just circumstantial, it did not stop the slaughter one iota. I have to admit that I have more respect for those that come out and admit it, rather than those who hide behind such poor excuses.


Except Evola wasn't a fascist, he was a traditional right-wing monarchist. He drew his inspiration from most monarchical and imperial systems of government prior to the modern world such as Imperial Rome, Imperial China, the Holy Roman Empire, the various Hindu empires, and so forth. That is the reality of what he was. I'd wager that countless Buddhists historically weren't against the prevailing system of government in their respective kingdoms, and often those same Buddhists were an integral part of the higher government and supported it, such as in pre-modern Japan. These governments would be of the same type that Evola admired.

Also I hope you realize that fascism doesn't equate to slaughter. It is entirely possible to have any system of government that doesn't include warfare or slaughter, and the opposite is also true--the various Marxist regimes have caused far more slaughter and destruction collectively than any of the fascist regimes. So called liberal democracy sure isn't free from the stain of innocent blood either. What the political standpoint of an individual has to do with their ability to express truths, especially truths that don't have anything to do with politics such as the topic of of the thread, is beyond me unless there is some sort of Reductio ad Hitlerum being attempted by bringing it up.
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:31 pm

Vidyaraja wrote:Except Evola wasn't a fascist, he was a traditional right-wing monarchist...These governments would be of the same type that Evola admired.
Yes, okay so he was an authoritarian, fascism suited him just fine at that point in time so... Like I said: circumstantial Fascist.
Also I hope you realize that fascism doesn't equate to slaughter.
Of course it does not, depending on what drugs you take:
Fascism (pron.: /ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism. Fascists seek to unify their nation through a totalitarian state that seeks the mass mobilization of the national community, relying on a vanguard party to initiate a revolution to organize the nation on fascist principles. Fascism views political violence, war and imperialism as a means to achieve national rejuvenation, spirit and vitality. It asserts that claimed superior nations and races that need living space should displace claimed weak and inferior nations and races.

...the various Marxist regimes have caused far more slaughter and destruction collectively than any of the fascist regimes. So called liberal democracy sure isn't free from the stain of innocent blood either.

red herring.jpg
Better dead than red herring.
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Vidyaraja » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:55 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Yes, okay so he was an authoritarian, fascism suited him just fine at that point in time so... Like I said: circumstantial Fascist.


Well there actually is a difference between traditional monarchism and fascism...so. I suppose according to your logic I could call liberatarians circumstantial anarchists or modern liberals circumstantial Marxists. Following your logic it would be true that nearly every historical government was a fascist government, including that of most Buddhists societies (ancient India, Imperial China, feudal Japan, the Korean kingdoms, the Tibetan kingdoms, etc. etc.)

gregkavarnos wrote:Of course it does not, depending on what drugs you take


Cool biased and very broad Wikipedia definition. Here are some more realistic definitions from actual dictionaries:

fas·cism
/ˈfaSHizəm/
Noun
An authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.

or

fascism (ˈfæʃɪzəm)

— n
1. any ideology or movement inspired by Italian Fascism, such as German National Socialism; any right-wing nationalist ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism


It is entirely possible to have such a government and not be engaged in warfare or slaughter, conversely it is entirely possible to have any other form of government engaged in warfare or slaughter. What this actually has to do with the topic of conversation I again cannot see, especially considering neither Julius Evola (nor I) were (are) fascists.
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:00 pm

There is an interesting link between traditionalism and reactionary conservatism. This is based on the notion that 'modernity' is essentially a degenerate state. There are even some echoes of the Christian 'Last Days' idea in all this. I suppose the foundational text of this idea in the 20th Century was Rene Guenon's The Crisis of Modernity and also The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times

The Reign of Quantity gives a concise but comprehensive view of the present state of affairs in the world, as it appears from the point of view of the ‘ancient wisdom’, formerly common both to the East and to the West, but now almost entirely lost sight of. The author indicates with his fabled clarity and directness the precise nature of the modern deviation, and devotes special attention to the development of modern philosophy and science, and to the part played by them, with their accompanying notions of progress and evolution, in the formation of the industrial and democratic society which we now regard as ‘normal’. Guénon sees history as a descent from Form (or Quality) toward Matter (or Quantity); but after the Reign of Quantity—modern materialism and the ‘rise of the masses’—Guénon predicts a reign of ‘inverted quality’ just before the end of the age: the triumph of the ‘counter-initiation’, the kingdom of Antichrist. This text is considered the magnum opus among Guénon’s texts of civilizational criticism....


I never quite know how to interpret Guenon. Whilst I recognize a lot of truth in what he says, it also occurs to me that his kind of thinking could ultimately support the kind of fanatical anti-Western thinking behind terrorist movements. I'm not saying that Guenon himself would countenance such an idea.

There are other examples, like Oswald Spengler's 'Decline of the West'. And the entire notion that liberal democracies are bound to be degenerate, actually goes back to Plato himself.

There is an interesting current scholar by the name of Mark Sedgwick who has a blog on all these topics called Traditionalists
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Vidyaraja » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:21 pm

jeeprs wrote:There is an interesting link between traditionalism and reactionary conservatism. This is based on the notion that 'modernity' is essentially a degenerate state. There are even some echoes of the Christian 'Last Days' idea in all this. I suppose the foundational text of this idea in the 20th Century was Rene Guenon's The Crisis of Modernity and also The Reign of Quantity and the Signs of the Times

The Reign of Quantity gives a concise but comprehensive view of the present state of affairs in the world, as it appears from the point of view of the ‘ancient wisdom’, formerly common both to the East and to the West, but now almost entirely lost sight of. The author indicates with his fabled clarity and directness the precise nature of the modern deviation, and devotes special attention to the development of modern philosophy and science, and to the part played by them, with their accompanying notions of progress and evolution, in the formation of the industrial and democratic society which we now regard as ‘normal’. Guénon sees history as a descent from Form (or Quality) toward Matter (or Quantity); but after the Reign of Quantity—modern materialism and the ‘rise of the masses’—Guénon predicts a reign of ‘inverted quality’ just before the end of the age: the triumph of the ‘counter-initiation’, the kingdom of Antichrist. This text is considered the magnum opus among Guénon’s texts of civilizational criticism....


I never quite know how to interpret Guenon. Whilst I recognize a lot of truth in what he says, it also occurs to me that his kind of thinking could ultimately support the kind of fanatical anti-Western thinking behind terrorist movements. I'm not saying that Guenon himself would countenance such an idea.

There are other examples, like Oswald Spengler's 'Decline of the West'. And the entire notion that liberal democracies are bound to be degenerate, actually goes back to Plato himself.

There is an interesting current scholar by the name of Mark Sedgwick who has a blog on all these topics called Traditionalists


Indeed, I agree with the Traditionalists on this point. Consider the attributes of Kali Yuga and apply them to our own time, and it is strikingly accurate:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali_Yuga# ... _Kali_Yuga

Though Guenon (or any of the Traditioanlists) wouldn't support any of the modern terrorists movements due to the fact that these terrorists are operating under a very modernistic, anti-traditional form of Islam (Wahabism, Salafism) that are also ultimately antagonistic to Sufism in most cases, which is what Guenon (and Schuon) eventually took up. Specifically regarding Julius Evola, he maintained apoliteia as I mentioned earlier, so he too would not condone modern anti-Western terrorist activities:

“After taking stock of the situation, this type can only feel disinterested and detached from everything that is “politics” today. His principle will become apoliteia, as it was in ancient times”.

“Apoliteia” refers essentially to the inner attitude…. The man in question recognizes, as I have said before, that ideas, motives, and goals worthy of the pledge of one’s true being do not exist today….”
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:26 pm

Vidyaraja wrote:Well there actually is a difference between traditional monarchism and fascism...so. I suppose according to your logic I could call liberatarians circumstantial anarchists or modern liberals circumstantial Marxists.
Yes, you could.
Following your logic it would be true that nearly every historical government was a fascist government, including that of most Buddhists societies (ancient India, Imperial China, feudal Japan, the Korean kingdoms, the Tibetan kingdoms, etc. etc.)
I think you followed my logic straight off the cliff there (or pushed it).
Cool biased and very broad Wikipedia definition. Here are some more realistic definitions from actual dictionaries:
...

And here is what Fascists have to say about Facism:
All that is needed to set us definitely on the road to a Fascist society is war. It will of course be a modified form of Fascism at first.
John T. Flynn

Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity, quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace.
Benito Mussolini

“Let us have a dagger between our teeth,a bomb in our hand,and an infinite scorn in our hearts.”
― Benito Mussolini, The Doctrine of Fascism

“[Communists] should be crushed like worms.”
Fransisco Franco
"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."
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:43 pm

Vidyaraja ou're probably aware of this..but there are numerous writings on the Buddha-nature you are talking about that specifically address ascribing multiplicity, unity, or any other conditions to "it", in fact...getting around conditional thought about this "it" or ascribing dichotomous thought to the Buddha nature is a pretty central piece of most Buddhist thought it seems like.

Naturally there is a range of opinion and plenty of disagreement, but there is plenty of literature suggesting that "one truth" (aka monism) is not quite the way to access Buddhadharma, in my limited experience and understanding of course.

On Evola, he was pretty much a fascist, you can mince words about him if you want, but I don't buy it. Certainly today in the circles in which he is most popular, he is revered specifically for an anti-egalitarian, utterly anti-modern, and anti-democratic reactionary point of view, you can say this is different from fascism if you want..but as far as I cam concerned he was a fascist, as I mentioned in the other thread "apolitea" is a part of the Third Positionist thought, and the only point of it is to recruit to their ideas through cultural means rather than overtly political ones...
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Vidyaraja » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:17 am

gregkavarnos wrote:I think you followed my logic straight off the cliff there (or pushed it).


You said traditional monarchism=authoritarianism=pretty much fascism. Those societies were traditional monarchies, therefore by your logic would be pretty much fascism.

gregkavarnos wrote:And here is what Fascists have to say about Facism:


Many Zen Buddhists can be quoted supporting Japanese Imperialism of the 20th century and the atrocities committed through it, does that negate all of Zen Buddhism? What these particular men had to say has no bearing on what the actual form of government consists of, nor does it disprove the ability of any form of government to either engage in or not engage in warfare/slaughter.

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Vidyaraja ou're probably aware of this..but there are numerous writings on the Buddha-nature you are talking about that specifically address ascribing multiplicity, unity, or any other conditions to "it", in fact...getting around conditional thought about this "it" or ascribing dichotomous thought to the Buddha nature is a pretty central piece of most Buddhist thought it seems like.


There are no conditions added to it, when did I speak of multiplicity or unity? Buddha-nature is the true nature of all beings according to Buddhist doctrine. That is their version of the "One Truth" in the manner of which I am speaking, simple as that. If someone achieves this realization of his Buddha-nature but is a Christian (lets say in medieval Europe where there was no contact with Buddhism), according to the Buddhists would he be discovering some other truth or nature? No, he would have discovered his Buddha-nature.

Johnny Dangerous wrote:On Evola, he was pretty much a fascist, you can mince words about him if you want, but I don't buy it. Certainly today in the circles in which he is most popular, he is revered specifically for an anti-egalitarian, utterly anti-modern, and anti-democratic reactionary point of view, you can say this is different from fascism if you want..but as far as I cam concerned he was a fascist, as I mentioned in the other thread "apolitea" is a part of the Third Positionist thought, and the only point of it is to recruit to their ideas through cultural means rather than overtly political ones...


Most governments throughout the world prior to the modern era were anti-modern, anti-egalitarian, and anti-democractic and existed before fascism came into existence. You are equating non-democratic and traditional forms of government, ie monarchy, with fascism. Perhaps according to your extremely broad and non-factual definition of fascism and your subjective opinion he is a fascist, but in actual fact he was not. Whether he is popular with people with fascistic sentiments or they draw inspiration from his view points is irrelevant to the reality of what he was.

Either way, I think we all should stop arguing about Evola's politics or fascism in general because it has no relevance to the topic of discussion.
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Wayfarer » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:20 am

Seems a shame to write off the whole traditionalist approach on the basis that Julius Evola may or may not have been fascist.

The criticisms of modern degeneration by the traditionalist writers have a lot of merit, in my view. They are of course outrageously non-PC, but I am very suspicious about the touchy-feely-smiley-face dharma that you often encounter in the modern West. I think the traditional Dharma teachers probably had a lot more in common with The Traditionalists than they do with many 'modern Buddhists'.

Actually I want to add what I see about the distinct merit of the traditionalist approach. A very common materialist argument against all spiritual philoosophies, is to say that they (1) all claim to possess absolute truth and (2) all differ amongst each other as to what it is. This is used to argue that there could be no common object amongst all of them, that they tend to cancel each other out. The idea, then, that the various religious traditions do have some kind of commonality, is an important counter to this argument.

Again this doesn't invalidate or undermine anything about Buddhist teaching.
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:30 am

Vidyaraja wrote:Specifically regarding Julius Evola, he maintained apoliteia as I mentioned earlier, so he too would not condone modern anti-Western terrorist activities:

“After taking stock of the situation, this type can only feel disinterested and detached from everything that is “politics” today. His principle will become apoliteia, as it was in ancient times”.

“Apoliteia” refers essentially to the inner attitude…. The man in question recognizes, as I have said before, that ideas, motives, and goals worthy of the pledge of one’s true being do not exist today….”
And he said all that whilst working for the Nazi think tank "Ahnenerbe" after abandoning Italy when Italy surrendered to the Allies in 1943? Or the fact that he, with Mussolini's backing, launched the journal Sangue e Spirito (Blood and Spirit)? What about his hard on for the SS? In Vita Italia he wrote in praise of the organisation stating that: 'Beyond the confines of the party and of any political-administrative structure, an elite in the form of a new 'Order'—that is, a kind of ascetic-military organization that is held together by the principles of 'loyalty' and 'honor,' must form the basis of the new state.'

I reckon that his egotism did not allow him to just admit he was a Fascist.

Thing is, that in the end Evola admitted that even his Traditionalist ideals could not be implemented, since humanity had degraded too far. So modern Traditionalists (an oxymoron if ever there was one) are, by their founders own admission, wasting their time trying to implement his ideas.

How's that for the ultimate in egoism?
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Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:37 am


There are no conditions added to it, when did I speak of multiplicity or unity? Buddha-nature is the true nature of all beings according to Buddhist doctrine. That is their version of the "One Truth" in the manner of which I am speaking, simple as that. If someone achieves this realization of his Buddha-nature but is a Christian (lets say in medieval Europe where there was no contact with Buddhism), according to the Buddhists would he be discovering some other truth or nature? No, he would have discovered his Buddha-nature.


Yes, it doesn't prevent people from knowing the same truth as Dharma who are not Buddhists, as far as I know that idea specifically is not controversial to much Buddhism, though of course most seem to think Buddhism is the most expedient path to truth.

What I meant is that the very idea that truth is "one thing", or can be quantified enough to say "all religions are one" or "all religions are different" is just outside the scope of Buddhist thought. Truth, Buddha nature, whatever is something that's found when the stuff covering it is wiped away, it is not really a question of whether or not x, y or z religion teaches the same thing, but whether or not it can cause you to realize what is false, or whether it is more likely to keep you chasing after those false things by fixating on what is not essential for liberation.

Far as the political stuff, sure..we can drop it. With the caveat though, you yourself have certainly posted threads that veer into "poltics" such as the warrior thread. I am ok with just not discussing that stuff, but I find reticence to discuss it odd since much of the cultural assertions of traditionalists, much less radical ones, have strongly political dimensions, whether they want to admit that or not.
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Vidyaraja » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:25 am

gregkavarnos wrote:And he said all that whilst working for the Nazi think tank "Ahnenerbe" after abandoning Italy when Italy surrendered to the Allies in 1943? Or the fact that he, with Mussolini's backing, launched the journal Sangue e Spirito (Blood and Spirit)? What about his hard on for the SS? In Vita Italia he wrote in praise of the organisation stating that: 'Beyond the confines of the party and of any political-administrative structure, an elite in the form of a new 'Order'—that is, a kind of ascetic-military organization that is held together by the principles of 'loyalty' and 'honor,' must form the basis of the new state.'

I reckon that his egotism did not allow him to just admit he was a Fascist.


Well you can believe what you will, but according to him and the views he espouses in his major works, he was a traditional monarchist which isn't the same as fascism, though of course it is more similar to fascism than either Marxism or liberal democracy. Either way, just because you assist something or admire certain aspects of something does not mean that is what you are. For example, I could be a Buddhist and admire the Christian concept of loving thy neighbor as yourself, I could admire Christs words and compassion, I could admire Christian humanitarian efforts, and I could even assist or help a Christian charity all while not being a Christian.

Even if he was actually a fascist...so what? Is a fascist incapable making true statements about religion? If a fascist says 2+2=4 is he wrong? In any case, I'll stop debating the issue of Evola, fascism, and the political aspects of the Traditionalist view point now. We will just have to agree to disagree I suppose.

gregkavarnos wrote:Thing is, that in the end Evola admitted that even his Traditionalist ideals could not be implemented, since humanity had degraded too far. So modern Traditionalists (an oxymoron if ever there was one) are, by their founders own admission, wasting their time trying to implement his ideas.


One isn't necessarily wasting ones time by being a Traditionalist due to the inability to implement these ideas on a large scale, nor does it necessarily have to do with trying to implement them. Recognizing the reality of the situation and having certain beliefs doesn't mean it is a waste. Actually it could provide a good motivation for giving up political efforts and concentrating solely on discovering truth (or in Buddhist terms attaining enlightenment) which therefore would be an extremely positive view to hold if it propelled one to attain the ultimate goal and meaning of life.
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:57 am

Vidyaraja wrote: What I discovered was that my experience matched up with the description that these various sages have given. As to how they are all describing the same thing, that is because there is only one Truth--even Buddhist accede that everyone has inherent Buddha-nature, that is their version of "One Truth."


To suggest that Buddhists say "everyone has" buddha nature" is a little bit inaccurate.
That may be a casual expression, but
it is inaccurate if "everyone" refers to the notion of a 'self' that "has" anything
and if "has" refers to something that such a self actually somehow "possesses".

What the Dharma actually teaches is that "Buddha nature",
meaning awareness free of confusion,
is the mind's true nature.
no "self' is involved.

What you are proposing is that
all transformative experiences are essentially the same experience
simply based on some random definition of transformation.
But you also say that there is no way to verify this.
You said, "Is there really any way of verifying that these examples of gnosis in other traditions are not the same as those of the Buddhists? I don't think so, but I'd like to hear what everyone else thinks".

So, here is what I think, which is also, I think, what the Buddhist teachings teach.
You asked, specifically, "But is there really a difference between the God of Meister Eckhart or Allah of Rumi or the Tao of Lao Tzu or the Paramsiva of Abhinavagupta and that of the deathless state Buddha experienced?"

And my reply is the same as it was before,
Yes, there really is a difference
because all teachings which assert a god depend on the true existence of a self
otherwise belief in a god has no meaning, serves no purpose,
and Buddhism teaches that holding onto any notion of a self is the cause of suffering.
And for that reason,
the transformative experience in Buddhism cannot be the same as that in a self-based system.

Regarding Taoism,
there is still a self, but it is fully integrated with all things.
.
.
.
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:10 am

Vidyaraja wrote:... I'd like to hear what everyone else thinks.

I once thought as you think ...

But then I realized - time is short. IMHO to pick one thing and stick to it is far far better than to frantically go around searching for the golden thread. There are legitimate parallels to be made. But who has the time when there are mouths to feed, broken promises to be repaired, the poor to be comforted, the lonely to be loved, etc.

I'd like to be able to swallow the entire world in order to offer it up to everyone else but I'm afraid I'm not Maitreya or the Second Coming of Christ you know?
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Vidyaraja » Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:32 am

Karma Dondrup Tashi wrote:
Vidyaraja wrote:... I'd like to hear what everyone else thinks.

I once thought as you think ...

But then I realized - time is short. IMHO to pick one thing and stick to it is far far better than to frantically go around searching for the golden thread. There are legitimate parallels to be made. But who has the time when there are mouths to feed, broken promises to be repaired, the poor to be comforted, the lonely to be loved, etc.

I'd like to be able to swallow the entire world in order to offer it up to everyone else but I'm afraid I'm not Maitreya or the Second Coming of Christ you know?


I agree with you. My picking of one thing to stick with has proven difficult not so much for my searching for the perfect tradition, but rather trying to understand which tradition is still efficacious, which tradition can I most practically participate in, which tradition will allow me to live an ascetic/monastic/renunciate lifestyle, and all the while make sense to me and be most capable of leading me to the ultimate goal. That require quite a bit of information to sift through and has consumed a lot of my time these past few years. Luckily while searching for the best path for me I have tried my best at incorporating general ascetic practices, spiritual virtues, and meditative practices in my life while doing so.

I hope I can find it sooner than later, but the Traditionalist conception of the degradation of the modern era, the whole Kali Yuga, seems to be an accurate description of the state of spirituality today. What I mean is, discovering which traditions are still efficacious and finding a worthy teacher/guru to study under is no easy task...it never has been an easy task but the secular, atheistic, materialist, and largely anti-spiritual trends of our time has made this task even more problematic. While this may be the situation, I am still hopeful and optimistic.

Now I know this is a Buddhist forum, but for example one of the sacred traditions I am highly attracted to is Taoism. While it may be possible to find a Taoist master, receive initiation, and get down to business, it doesn't seem like a very easy thing to do. For one we have the effects of Marxism/Maoism on the spiritual traditions of modern China and secondly this is a world that is often closed to those who aren't ethnic Chinese. Beyond that, there are many charlatans and people who only see you as a source of money to be used that could potentially harm you out there. These types of problems or variations of them can be found in almost every religion. Again, this isn't looking for perfection or even an easy way, but it is something to take seriously into consideration if you have enlightenment/gnosis/awakening as your central goal in life as I do.

I realize the above isn't directly related to the topic of discussion and is all about me, but I felt the need to share that in response to what you said.
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:03 am

Vidyaraja wrote:... trying to understand which tradition is still efficacious ...

Well you've come to a Mahayana forum knowing what will be advertised, what does that tell you about yourself ... ?

You know what - as long as there is a peace increase I release all geese from increase and decrease.

Oh and habemus papam!

How do you say "Bergoglio"?

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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:10 am

Vidyaraja wrote: What I mean is, discovering which traditions are still efficacious and finding a worthy teacher/guru to study under is no easy task...it never has been an easy task but the secular, atheistic, materialist, and largely anti-spiritual trends of our time has made this task even more problematic.

:rolling:
Up until about 40 years ago, if you wanted to find an authentic teacher, and receive genuine teachings,
first, you had to know of one, and where that teacher lived.
then, you had to go to the country where the teacher was.
then, you had to journey to whatever that forest or mountain top or cave or monastery was,
bringing your own food, and other provisions.
and you had to request teachings in person.
Of course, this also required learning the teacher's language
...fluently, if you intended on understanding anything of importance.
And then, you would have had to hope the teacher was there,
not on a 3-year solitary retreat somewhere else,
and would accept you as a pupil.
And maybe, just maybe...
the teacher would not require you to drop everything else in your life
and devote yourself fully to the task of learning
which might be wonderful
if you didn't get dysentery, or stung by a scorpion or bitten by some kind of mosquito
because finding a doctor would be hard
and communication difficult without a computer,
or cell phone, which wouldn't work for very long anyway
because where you would be would probably not have electricity.

I think, if you live in the United States or Europe,
and can get some money together, and a ride,
you can find a good teacher within a few hundred miles
in this secular, atheistic, materialist, and largely anti-spiritual time period.
You can also fly to Taiwan, which is a great place to study Buddhism and Taoism
and people there can't wait to try out their English language skills on you.
:anjali:
.
.
.
Last edited by PadmaVonSamba on Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby Vidyaraja » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:22 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:Up until about 40 years ago, if you wanted to find an authentic teacher, and receive genuine teachings,
first, you had to know of one, and where that teacher lived.
then, you had to find go to the country where the teacher was.
then, you had to journey to whatever that forest or mountain top or cave or monastery was,
bringing your own food, and other provisions.
and you had to request teachings in person.
Of course, this also required learning the teacher's language
...fluently, if you intended on understanding anything of importance.
And then, you would have had to hope the teacher was there,
not on a 3-year solitary retreat somewhere else,
and would accept you as a pupil.
And maybe, just maybe...
the teacher would not require you to drop everything else in your life
and devote yourself fully to the task of learning
which might be wonderful
if you didn't get dysentery, or bitten by a scorpion or some kind of mosquito
because finding a doctor would be hard
and communication difficult without a computer,
or cell phone, which wouldn't work for very long anyway
because where you would be would probably not have electricity.

I think, if you live in the United States or Europe,
and can get some money together, and a ride,
you can find a good teacher within a few hundred miles!
.


Yes, one of the benefits of increased technology, being in the information age, and a more globalized world is the ability to do the things you listed above. But how easy is to find a truly enlightened teacher? I have a feeling if you were a Chinese monk during the heyday of Tang Buddhism, for example, you'd be much more likely to find an enlightened teacher to teach you than in the modern world. It is also a fact that traditions lose their efficacy and potency. A good example of this is comparing modern Catholicism to ancient Catholicism/Orthodox Christianity. The modern world and the spiritual trends it goes by has made this process increase on a much larger and faster scale. There are few who would deny that the modern world is entering a spiritual crisis and that spirituality is in sharp decline, an increased rarity of true masters and forgetting of the old ways going along with that.

This of course isn't a simple idealizing of the past, which had its difficulties as you mentioned. Though again, I think your ability to find true sages in ancient India is probably much more likely than modern India, where it is often claimed that sadhus, Babas, and ashrams have become either charlatans or a commercialized business.
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Re: Buddhism and the Perennial Philosophy

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:31 am

Yes, one of the benefits of increased technology, being in the information age, and a more globalized world is the ability to do the things you listed above. But how easy is to find a truly enlightened teacher? I have a feeling if you were a Chinese monk during the heyday of Tang Buddhism, for example, you'd be much more likely to find an enlightened teacher to teach you than in the modern world. It is also a fact that traditions lose their efficacy and potency. A good example of this is comparing modern Catholicism to ancient Catholicism/Orthodox Christianity.

I would stop making so many comparisons.
Past, present, future don't matter.
There are plenty of enlightened teachers.
Ask people on this forum to message you privately with suggestions.
You may get a lot of different answers.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Foaming Monk"
The Chinese characters are Fo (buddha) and Ming (bright). The image is of a student of Buddhism, who, imagining himself to be a monk, and not understanding the true meaning of the words takes the sound of the words literally. Likewise, People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.
Original painting by P.Volker /used by permission.
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