Buddhist Scholar Paul Williams Conversion to Catholicism

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Re: Buddhist Scholar Paul Williams Conversion to Catholicism

Postby greentara » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:06 am

dzogchungpa, Thanks for the beautiful quote of Ramana Maharshi, makes sense to me.
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Re: Buddhist Scholar Paul Williams Conversion to Catholicism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:12 am

Dr. Williams is an extremist who is convinced that there must be a single supreme truth in religion. He decided on Prasangika-Madyamaka, but after completely failing to convert other Buddhist scholars, he switched to Catholicism. Good luck to him.
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Re: Buddhist Scholar Paul Williams Conversion to Catholicism

Postby jeeprs » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:18 am

I don't know if that is entirely fair to him. I don't think he's 'extremist'. I think we have certain kinds of inherent understandings - archetypal forms, if you like - that respond in particular ways. I think what happened to Prof Williams is that his deep thinking about Buddhist metaphysical teaching awakened his latent Catholic archetype. I am sure he doesn't go around defaming Buddhism or campaigning against it. As I said earlier in this thread I disagree with his interpretation but I didn't get the feeling that he is 'extremist'.
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Re: Buddhist Scholar Paul Williams Conversion to Catholicism

Postby Namgyal » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:22 am

jeeprs wrote:I don't know if that is entirely fair to him. I don't think he's 'extremist'. I think we have certain kinds of inherent understandings - archetypal forms, if you like - that respond in particular ways. I think what happened to Prof Williams is that his deep thinking about Buddhist metaphysical teaching awakened his latent Catholic archetype. I am sure he doesn't go around defaming Buddhism or campaigning against it. As I said earlier in this thread I disagree with his interpretation but I didn't get the feeling that he is 'extremist'.

Perhaps 'extremist' is too harsh. My only source is hearsay from a former academic colleague of Dr.Williams who told me that he pursued an obsessive campaign in favour of Prasangika-Madyamaka. It was widely believed at the time of his conversion to Catholicism that he was simply looking for a philosophical position whose supremacy was beyond question, after having been rather disappointed in his Prasangika campaign.
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Re: Buddhist Scholar Paul Williams Conversion to Catholicism

Postby jeeprs » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:33 am

That is interesting! And also ironic, considering the emphasis on 'repudiation of views' in Madhyamika. Anyway as some other contributors have already said, may he find happiness on his chosen path.
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Re: Buddhist Scholar Paul Williams Conversion to Catholicism

Postby greentara » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:37 am

Perhaps Paul Williams experienced a crisis in his life.....he got to a crossroad and felt he wasn't or couldn't be the hero that 'achieved' nirvana
Maybe he thought the devotional path of Catholicism with the beautiful churches of his childhood and statues of a compassionate Jesus and Mary were balm to his spirit.
One can't really judge an others spiritual journey or the U turn some people make. If you label it does it become any more authentic?
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