Karma Dorje wrote:I think this conversation is framed by the Positivist rejection of metaphysics in the West. Since then, philosophers have viewed faith as a defect rather than a strength. I think that faith appeals more strongly to certain personality types and reason to others. However, my experience with serious practitioners at least in the Vajrayana tradition is that they combine both pretty much without conflict. I quite honestly never thought to question that my guru was a fully enlightened buddha. I had no experience of abuse. On the contrary, he quite literally saved me from my destructive habits and self-doubt. I owe pretty much anything good in my life to his personal guidance, the teachings and empowerments of the lineage he gave me, and his constant encouragement and prayers. I feel no need to elevate myself, nor to diminish him. I am quite simply not his equal in anything but essence.
Consequently, I place a lot more importance on emotional maturity than sheer analytical ability, though I don't think the two are in any way mutually exclusive. I like nothing better than hours spent studying texts and I have great admiration for people like Malcolm who have tremendous passion for and diligence in their research. My heart is in devotion, however. Devotion to the lineage and the transmission does not mean surrendering one's critical faculty. It simply means trusting in one's refuge.
I think you've hit this on the head.
I think this conversation is framed by the Positivist rejection of metaphysics in the West.
Since then, philosophers have viewed faith as a defect rather than a strength.
From Wikipedia to reference for everybody:
Positivism is a philosophy of science based on the view that information derived from logical and mathematical treatments and reports of sensory experience is the exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge, that there is valid knowledge (truth) only in scientific knowledge. Verified data received from the senses is known as empirical evidence. This view, when applied to the social as to the natural sciences, holds that society operates according to general laws like the physical world. Introspective and intuitive knowledge is rejected.
One of the things that's very ironic about this stance is this:
Verified data received from the senses is known as empirical evidence.
Introspective and intuitive knowledge is rejected.
This is really ironic, when it comes to the case of Buddhism, because the overwhelming empirical evidence as reported by thousands if not millions of people who do meditation, including actual scientific case study data, is that there is such a thing as accurate Introspective and intuitive knowledge.
This is widely reported by empirical evidence, and yet, it seems that according to this stance, ALL empirical evidence is accepted, EXCEPT for any empirical evidence that confirms or validates the existence of Introspective and Intuitive knowledge.
That doesn't strike me as a rational or scientific stance.
In science and reason, you don't discard data or evidence to fit your theory, you adjust your theory to fit the evidence.
In science, empirical evidence, trumps inferred knowledge (theoretical knowledge) every time.
Indeed intuition is something people often experience,
-From the booklet Dependent Origination
Suppose one is
driving down the road, sees a recent accident between other cars, gawks at the sight, loses
control of one's own car and hits a telephone pole. It may only be upon waking up in the
hospital that one recalls clearly the moment in which one felt the need for extra caution in
passing the site of an accident, but simultaneously chose to indulge curiosity instead.
That intuitive sense that it is good to do, or to refrain from, such and such can be very
quiet and uninsistent. Yet we ignore it at our own risk.
That's a good example.
We often feel or get a sense of things that are just not good to do, and although we don't know why logically or arn't thinking about it that way at that moment
, it later pans out that our feeling was right.
Many people with regard to the World Trade Center bombings had reported feelings or dreams beforehand that there was something that was going to happen.
Animals, have been scientifically shown to evacuate and flee areas in mass before an earthquake or tsunami.
It's so reliable that Japan has instituted an animal watch system as a part of their earthquake early warning system.
This isn't just conjecture, it's long documented.
I think the idea that simply saying there is no intuitive knowledge or any way to develop it; is simply not rational, or unscientific.
The empirical data and scientific evidence shows otherwise.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil
" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy