Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Anything goes (almost).

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby JKhedrup » Tue May 07, 2013 9:48 am

But here is one thing that puzzles me: a teaching is supposed to be Buddhist if it contains the Three (or Four) Dharma Seals. However, none of these Dharma Seals talks about karma and rebirth!


What about the dharma seal that mentions nirvana though? What is nirvana? A state of freedom from karma and affliction. So I would argue it is there, even if the exact word does not appear.
Last edited by JKhedrup on Tue May 07, 2013 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2281
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue May 07, 2013 10:11 am

If there is no karma and rebirth then what happens to sentient beings if they do not achieve liberation within this lifetime? Suddenly death becomes a form of liberation from samsara. So every dead sentient being achieves the same state as the Buddha. Annihilation = liberation.

But how do you explain why some sentient beings are born as animals (we'll leave aside the formless or subtle form realms since Batchelor rejects those too because they do not fit into his theory)? Some weak and some strong? And, born as human beings, some rich some poor. Some smart some stupid? Ad nauseum?
Luck of the draw?

It does not work at any level.

If all life leads to liberation then why is there such an incredible variety of life? On what is it based? Surely the process of evolution would have factored for a single simple and very short lived life form. Why would life exist at all? If there is no karma vipakka then what drives existence?

But we can see, even at the basest level, that actions bring outcomes: You hit your finger with a hammer, it hurts.

Rather than saying that the West misunderstands Buddhism I would say that Mr Batchelor misunderstands Buddhism, that is why his critique of it is full of holes.
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9244
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby JKhedrup » Tue May 07, 2013 10:14 am

If there is no karma and rebirth then what happens to sentient beings if they do not achieve liberation within this lifetime? Suddenly death becomes a form of liberation from samsara. So every dead sentient being achieves the same state as the Buddha. Annihilation = liberation.


Sometimes I like the way your mind works, Greg. You'd be good on the debating ground.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
JKhedrup
 
Posts: 2281
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Simon E. » Tue May 07, 2013 10:56 am

I dont think Batchelor misunderstands Buddhism...by which I mean he has a thorough grasp of its philosophical underpinning.
I think what he does is actively reject much of the philosophy of Buddhism, but that he wants to retain some of the Upaya.
What is happening is an experiment to ascertain to what degree that is possible and viable.
Of course it is possible to argue that any attempt to retain Upaya in isolation from its conceptual base is in itself the result of misunderstanding.
Last edited by Simon E. on Tue May 07, 2013 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2543
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby dharmagoat » Tue May 07, 2013 11:04 am

If there is no karma and rebirth then what happens to sentient beings if they do not achieve liberation within this lifetime? Suddenly death becomes a form of liberation from samsara. So every dead sentient being achieves the same state as the Buddha. Annihilation = liberation.

So Buddhahood is death? Why would anyone aspire to that?
May all beings be happy
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 1199
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Nikolay » Tue May 07, 2013 11:06 am

gregkavarnos wrote:If there is no karma and rebirth then what happens to sentient beings if they do not achieve liberation within this lifetime? Suddenly death becomes a form of liberation from samsara. So every dead sentient being achieves the same state as the Buddha. Annihilation = liberation.

He would probably answer that "liberation" refers to liberation from suffering for the remainder of this life. And that this is somehow what Buddha meant all along.

Of course, one then has to wonder why Buddha bothered to leave his perfect life in the palace in the first place.
Nikolay
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 2:11 pm

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Stewart » Tue May 07, 2013 11:08 am

gregkavarnos wrote:If there is no karma and rebirth then what happens to sentient beings if they do not achieve liberation within this lifetime? Suddenly death becomes a form of liberation from samsara. So every dead sentient being achieves the same state as the Buddha. Annihilation = liberation.

But how do you explain why some sentient beings are born as animals (we'll leave aside the formless or subtle form realms since Batchelor rejects those too because they do not fit into his theory)? Some weak and some strong? And, born as human beings, some rich some poor. Some smart some stupid? Ad nauseum?
Luck of the draw?

It does not work at any level.

If all life leads to liberation then why is there such an incredible variety of life? On what is it based? Surely the process of evolution would have factored for a single simple and very short lived life form. Why would life exist at all? If there is no karma vipakka then what drives existence?

But we can see, even at the basest level, that actions bring outcomes: You hit your finger with a hammer, it hurts.

Rather than saying that the West misunderstands Buddhism I would say that Mr Batchelor misunderstands Buddhism, that is why his critique of it is full of holes.


Excellent post Greg, straight to the heart of the matter.

I would just say....if these basic foundations of Buddhism are rejected as false/unnecessary etc.....What is the point in practicing? either Zen, Vajrayana or anything inbetween? I mean, surely then all the skillful means in Batchelor's toolbox would be completely pointless...

Greg, as he often does, has cut to the basic point...Batchelor has, from an original foundation in Buddhism, became dissatisfied with Dharma and changed it according to his own delusion. It is 'Batchelorism', he doesn't use the term 'Buddhism' as "a handy peg to hang things on", he uses it to add credibility to his own brand of philosophy.
s.
Stewart
 
Posts: 449
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:40 pm

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby dharmagoat » Tue May 07, 2013 11:13 am

gregkavarnos wrote:But how do you explain why some sentient beings are born as animals (we'll leave aside the formless or subtle form realms since Batchelor rejects those too because they do not fit into his theory)? Some weak and some strong? And, born as human beings, some rich some poor. Some smart some stupid? Ad nauseum?
Luck of the draw?

It does not work at any level.

If all life leads to liberation then why is there such an incredible variety of life? On what is it based? Surely the process of evolution would have factored for a single simple and very short lived life form. Why would life exist at all? If there is no karma vipakka then what drives existence?

Seriously, Greg?
May all beings be happy
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 1199
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby dharmagoat » Tue May 07, 2013 11:16 am

mirage wrote:Of course, one then has to wonder why Buddha bothered to leave his perfect life in the palace in the first place.

Because, he tells us, he was unhappy living that way.
May all beings be happy
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 1199
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby dharmagoat » Tue May 07, 2013 11:27 am

Stewart wrote:I would just say....if these basic foundations of Buddhism are rejected as false/unnecessary etc.....What is the point in practicing? either Zen, Vajrayana or anything inbetween? I mean, surely then all the skillful means in Batchelor's toolbox would be completely pointless...

Pointless if your only motivation is to achieve an unrealistic goal.

Stewart wrote:Greg, as he often does, has cut to the basic point...Batchelor has, from an original foundation in Buddhism, became dissatisfied with Dharma and changed it according to his own delusion. It is 'Batchelorism', he doesn't use the term 'Buddhism' as "a handy peg to hang things on", he uses it to add credibility to his own brand of philosophy.

He assures us he doesn't, but you say he does. I believe Stephen Bachelor.
May all beings be happy
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 1199
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby oushi » Tue May 07, 2013 11:44 am

gregkavarnos wrote:If there is no karma and rebirth then what happens to sentient beings if they do not achieve liberation within this lifetime? Suddenly death becomes a form of liberation from samsara. So every dead sentient being achieves the same state as the Buddha. Annihilation = liberation.

Just a checking question. Is there anyone who proved it ain't so?

But how do you explain why some sentient beings are born as animals (we'll leave aside the formless or subtle form realms since Batchelor rejects those too because they do not fit into his theory)? Some weak and some strong? And, born as human beings, some rich some poor. Some smart some stupid? Ad nauseum?
Luck of the draw?

Conditions?
Why one radio gives good quality sound, and other adds noise?

If all life leads to liberation then why is there such an incredible variety of life? On what is it based?

Society is developing without leaning on rebirth, so maybe there is another entity not driven by liberation, that benefits from it. Like a pyramid it shapes itself from different building blocks. For example gnostics believed that Light is enslaved by a different force that benefits from this enslavement.
Maybe there are many gravity based forces, not only the one related to matter. Maybe some force pulls in different directions. Life forms tend to organize into societies with specific direction, like something was pulling it. The third force, awareness which desires to return to peace. Three forces overlapping in living beings.

Those are random ideas out of the blue, but can you refute them?

gregkavarnos wrote:But we can see, even at the basest level, that actions bring outcomes: You hit your finger with a hammer, it hurts.

No doubt.... only those Dzogchen teachings discarding causality always puzzled me. :smile:
Say what you think about me here.
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1596
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue May 07, 2013 12:01 pm

dharmagoat wrote:Seriously, Greg?
I don't understand your question (if it is a question). :tongue:
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9244
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby plwk » Tue May 07, 2013 12:03 pm

I believe Stephen Bachelor
If he knew you said this, three keisaku whacks coming up... :mrgreen:
plwk
 
Posts: 2633
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:41 am

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby dharmagoat » Tue May 07, 2013 12:07 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
dharmagoat wrote:Seriously, Greg?
I don't understand your question (if it is a question). :tongue:

I was hoping the question wasn't rhetorical. :smile:

You are a good sport, Greg.
May all beings be happy
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 1199
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Sherab Dorje » Tue May 07, 2013 12:14 pm

oushi wrote:Just a checking question. Is there anyone who proved it ain't so?
The Budha (and countless other realised beings).
Conditions?
And what is the cause of the variety of conditions?
Society is developing without leaning on rebirth, so maybe there is another entity not driven by liberation, that benefits from it. Like a pyramid it shapes itself from different building blocks. For example gnostics believed that Light is enslaved by a different force that benefits from this enslavement.
Maybe there are many gravity based forces, not only the one related to matter. Maybe some force pulls in different directions. Life forms tend to organize into societies with specific direction, like something was pulling it. The third force, awareness which desires to return to peace. Three forces overlapping in living beings.
I do not really understand what you are saying here.
Those are random ideas out of the blue...
This is probably the cause of my confusion.
No doubt.... only those Dzogchen teachings discarding causality always puzzled me. :smile:
Dzogchen does not discard causality.
"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
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 9244
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Wayfarer » Tue May 07, 2013 12:17 pm

I am a bit wary about the equation "annihilation = liberation". What is beyond the wheel of life and death is not simply non-existence. Of course we can't conceive of what it is but it is not nothing.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
User avatar
Wayfarer
 
Posts: 1931
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby dharmagoat » Tue May 07, 2013 12:17 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:And what is the cause of the variety of conditions?

Do you deny any randomness in the universe?
May all beings be happy
dharmagoat
 
Posts: 1199
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Simon E. » Tue May 07, 2013 1:14 pm

Oushi...you should have stayed with gnomic Zennisms.
You have exposed yourself.
Simon E.
 
Posts: 2543
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby oushi » Tue May 07, 2013 3:44 pm

CrawfordHollow wrote: but just to set the record straight dzogchen does not deny causality in the least.

Notice that I wrote about discarding, not denying.
CrawfordHollow wrote:The quote presented was from the point of view of rigpa, the base, the true nature of mind

That would be the point of discarding causality, and since it is from the point of true nature of mind, it is true. Right?
gregkavarnos wrote:How many of the materialists have shown that there view is supported and what is the evidence?

I don't know, how can I know what is the evidence supporting a views that you didn't bother to provide?
gregkavarnos wrote:Tell you what: you can trust (believe) what Batchlor (and his buddies) says and I will trust (believe) what the Buddha and other realised beings said and when Yama comes to visit we will compare notes. Deal?

Why should I trust Batchlor? Did I said anywhere that I believe in what he is saying?
All this was aimed to show the illusion like nature of the sphere we are in. If we all believe in something, and no one is able to prove superiority of his belief, we shouldn't focus on criticising views of others. I know that there may be a desire to save people from wrong interpretations, but if we cannot prove our view, how can we disprove beliefs of others?
gregkavarnos wrote:You see, this is what happens when you cherry pick a complete system. Rebirth can also occur from the other four realms (hell, preta, deva, asura) and beings reborn on the planet earth do not necessarily have to come from the planet earth (though, due to karmic connections, it is more likely).

Check out my question again. I asked, what caused this change. From the rebirth point of view, the biggest change since the beginning of our planet took place, and... we don't know crap about it. But... it can be explained by improving standards of life, and natural growth, quite easily. Questioned, you can always say that we have 7 bln people because pretas rushed to earth.
Say what you think about me here.
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1596
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am

Re: Uncertain Minds: How the West Misunderstands Buddhism

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue May 07, 2013 4:11 pm

oushi wrote:On the other hand. During last 200 years, the population of the world grew 7 times. What caused this incredible growth in great human birth? Reduction of animals? Why did the birth cycle reshape itself so profoundly, almost beyond belief from the reincarnation point of view.


If you take Buddhist cosmologies as a whole -with vertical and horizontal arrangements of almost infinite dimension as mentioned in various sutra etc,, our little corner of reality is not a particularly large one, so that kind of shift in population might mean very little. Does nothing to prove or disprove Karma really.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2408
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

PreviousNext

Return to Lounge

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests

>