Dr. Reginald Ray

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Mr. G » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:10 am

Yeshe D. wrote:What is demonstrating absurdity is your continual reliance upon drawing fallacious conclusions from what others have said.


Actually, the former is more distasteful in my book. As is the fallacious argumentation coupled with smug self-righteousness that your replies are demonstrating in this discussion.


If you think my conclusions are fallacious, perhaps you could offer us some concrete examples to discuss. Considering the only argument I hear for the non-literal belief in rebirth comes down to "well, that's my opinion, and that's that". And yet that defies what the Buddha says. I mean, "the Buddha" has a religion named and after him called "Buddhism" where we have statements of his defining what his positions are. But hey, forget that, let's just take what we like, and discard what we don't, but still have the arrogance to call it Buddhism. And I'm self-righteous?
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Jikan » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:02 pm

Heruka wrote:i think core means it is central to the full spectrum of teachings that radiate from it.

we can approach from many different paths and angles, but they all led to Rome so to speak.


Exactly.

Here's the thing about rebirth: if you follow the teachings of karma and dependent origination (the basis of such teachings as sunyata...) to their logical conclusion, you'll find that they're incoherent without recourse to rebirth beyond this body's lifespan (before and after its arising & cessation). Similarly, these teachings don't hang together without appeal to world-systems beyond this one. &c.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Chaz » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:37 pm

mr. gordo wrote:
Yeshe D. wrote:What is demonstrating absurdity is your continual reliance upon drawing fallacious conclusions from what others have said.


Actually, the former is more distasteful in my book. As is the fallacious argumentation coupled with smug self-righteousness that your replies are demonstrating in this discussion.


If you think my conclusions are fallacious, perhaps you could offer us some concrete examples to discuss. Considering the only argument I hear for the non-literal belief in rebirth comes down to "well, that's my opinion, and that's that". And yet that defies what the Buddha says. I mean, "the Buddha" has a religion named and after him called "Buddhism" where we have statements of his defining what his positions are. But hey, forget that, let's just take what we like, and discard what we don't, but still have the arrogance to call it Buddhism. And I'm self-righteous?



How many people out there believe that this world system in a big Mountain called Meru which is surrounded by 4 continents, which is surrounded by a huge ocean?

Also, since when does a thread that a mod started about Dr Reggie Ray get derailed into a discussion of Rebirth and Orthodox Buddhism and not get spun off on it's own?

And as far as your falacious arguments are concerned, you have been offered at least one concrete example of what Ray may have actually been talking about as opposed to what you've been spouting, yet, you don't respond to it.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Chaz » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:01 pm

mr. gordo wrote:
Sounds to me like your being doctrinaire regarding rebirth.


If by "doctrinaire" you mean understanding Buddhism as described by the Buddha, yes. How else would you like to qualify what Buddhism is? How else could you define what Buddhism is?


By doctrinaire I mean trying to reduce the dharma to easily digestible concepts and formulation. Kind of like Roman Catholocism and Transubstantiation.

I don't try to define Buddhism at all. I just try to practice. To me, while rebirth is a foregone conclusion, I choose not to give it the degree of importance tou seem to want it to have. I find that sort of thing to be a waste of time and an excercise in futility.

Which is why hopefully clarification will be made.


Well don't be holding your breath. In any event when you have that email to RR composed why not post it hear so that when (and if) RR does respond we have a proper frame of reference.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Mr. G » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:10 pm

Chaz wrote:How many people out there believe that this world system in a big Mountain called Meru which is surrounded by 4 continents, which is surrounded by a huge ocean?


Knowing about Mount Meru doesn’t end suffering from the cycle of birth and death. I don’t consider this a core tenet of Buddhism.

Also, since when does a thread that a mod started about Dr Reggie Ray get derailed into a discussion of Rebirth and Orthodox Buddhism and not get spun off on it's own?


Because it was no longer a discussion about Reggie Ray’s belief on rebirth, instead it was a tangent across a broad spectrum on different strains of Buddhism that was no longer isolated to even rebirth itself, but doctrinal issues between Buddhist traditions.

And as far as your falacious arguments are concerned, you have been offered at least one concrete example of what Ray may have actually been talking about as opposed to what you've been spouting, yet, you don't respond to it.


If you’re referring to a misinterpretation of what Ray said, then yes I have responded. I stated that I would email a representative Ray (which I have) and seek elaboration. Was there another comment you made that I haven’t responded to? Let me know.

By doctrinaire I mean trying to reduce the dharma to easily digestible concepts and formulation.


Ok, well by the way you’re defining “doctrinaire”, that’s not what I’ve been doing. I am merely presenting how rebirth is considered in a traditional Buddhist sense by quoting from scripture, and commentary if possible.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Mr. G » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:18 pm

Well don't be holding your breath. In any event when you have that email to RR composed why not post it hear so that when (and if) RR does respond we have a proper frame of reference.


In terms of the email (including headers), I will post it in the mods section due to privacy issues I have.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Mr. G » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:18 pm

Jikan wrote:
Heruka wrote:i think core means it is central to the full spectrum of teachings that radiate from it.

we can approach from many different paths and angles, but they all led to Rome so to speak.


Exactly.

Here's the thing about rebirth: if you follow the teachings of karma and dependent origination (the basis of such teachings as sunyata...) to their logical conclusion, you'll find that they're incoherent without recourse to rebirth beyond this body's lifespan (before and after its arising & cessation). Similarly, these teachings don't hang together without appeal to world-systems beyond this one. &c.


Thank you for the well reasoned response Jikan
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Chaz » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:41 pm

mr. gordo wrote:
Chaz wrote:How many people out there believe that this world system in a big Mountain called Meru which is surrounded by 4 continents, which is surrounded by a huge ocean?


Knowing about Mount Meru doesn’t end suffering from the cycle of birth and death. I don’t consider this a core tenet of Buddhism.


That's convenient.........
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Pero » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:52 pm

I really don't think the teaching on Mount Meru as being the center of the world is in any way comparable to the teaching on rebirth.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Chaz » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:59 pm

Pero wrote:I really don't think the teaching on Mount Meru as being the center of the world is in any way comparable to the teaching on rebirth.



And I agree, but it is picking and choosing with the Dharma. A line is being drawn on what constitutes important and what isn't. It's an example of that loathesum cherry-picking of Dharma. Nasty.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Pero » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:07 pm

Chaz wrote:
Pero wrote:I really don't think the teaching on Mount Meru as being the center of the world is in any way comparable to the teaching on rebirth.



And I agree, but it is picking and choosing with the Dharma. A line is being drawn on what constitutes important and what isn't. It's an example of that loathesum cherry-picking of Dharma. Nasty.


No I don't think so. How is saying that Mount Meru is the center of the world a teaching on Dharma? It's a completely provisional teaching, this is what the people of that time believed. Believing this or not has no bearing on ones practice.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Jikan » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:12 pm

mr. gordo wrote:
Thank you for the well reasoned response Jikan


:anjali:

Here's a related thing I wrote some time ago, if anyone's interested.

http://dctendai.blogspot.com/2010/08/bu ... uddha.html

Related issues in another thread:

viewtopic.php?f=66&t=2946
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Chaz » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:37 pm

Pero wrote: How is saying that Mount Meru is the center of the world a teaching on Dharma?

It's in the Abidharma, isn't it? Last time I checked that was still accepted as part of the Pali Canon.

It's a completely provisional teaching, this is what the people of that time believed.


True enough, but the same could be said about much of what's contained in the Pali. It would seem however, that teachings on rebirth are not provisional. I happen to think that's an arbitrary dinstinction.

We're cherry-picking the Dharma

Believing this or not has no bearing on ones practice.


It has a LOT to do with practice, actually.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Pero » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:42 pm

Chaz wrote:It's in the Abidharma, isn't it? Last time I checked that was still accepted as part of the Pali Canon.


I don't understand the relevance.

I happen to think that's an arbitrary dinstinction.


Why?

It has a LOT to do with practice, actually.


Such as?
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby conebeckham » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:26 pm

First of all, I don't think Reginald Ray's statements about "rebirth" can be compared to those of. say, Bachelor. It seems to me, from what I've read of both, that Bachelor actively discounts the "notion"--as well as any "notion" or "teaching" that can't be verified by direct observation. He has a "mission," as it were. To my understanding, Ray may have "devalued" the "notion" but he is not actively engaged in divesting Buddhism of it's "cultural trappings" or any elements of doctrine that cannot be directly observed or are felt to be "suitable" for our day and age.

I'm interested to see if Reggie Ray responds, and what he may say.

Having said that, I agree with those that feel "rebirth" is really ESSENTIAL to the Buddha's Dharma. I understand those who felt E Sangha to be inflexible and perhaps even draconian, but the position of the owners and admins was clearly outlined, and clearly stated. I do think allowing discussion about what is or is not an ESSENTIAL factor of the Buddha Dharma is okay, and I commend Dharma Wheel for creating a place for this discussion. But, in my view, any representation that such a key theme as rebirth can be represented as a "maybe" to a newcomer to the Dharma is a misrepresentation. I suppose it comes down to what you want this place, or any place, to be. Is it a good place to find out what "mainstream" Buddha Dharma, in all traditions, is, or is it a place where no position whatsoever is discerned as somehow "reliable?" I leave that to the owners and admins/mods to determine, but I will say that thus far, Dharma Wheel is doing a fine job in my opinion, and represents the best outlet now available.

As for Mt. Meru, this was pre-Buddhist, you know? But it's an interesting topic: does the "fact" that we have a different cosmology now mean that we must no longer offer mandalas in the traditional manner? Must deity yoga sadhanas now place the yidam somewhere other than on a mythical mountain at the center of the universe? Do we understand this to be symbolic or literal? Does adaption to current "science" mean that we must throw out older cosmologies?

We can say that "science" has given us a new cosmology, and that it has "refuted" Mt. Meru....but "rebirth" is of a different category of experience, and thus far is really an article of Faith for most, and not an object of direct observation.

Lastly, just to add some perspective to the issue of "rebirth," and to bring it back to Reginald Ray and his "lineage," I would point to Milarepa's statement, to the effect that initially he knew of rebirth and was frightened, but in the end, he was not concerned in the slightest about birth and death. I think we can say that, on an ultimate level, Buddha Dharma holds rebirth to be illusory, with no reality whatsoever. Since we don't exist on that level, however, we have to understand cause and effect, and consider the impetus to practice, as well as the scope of the path. These things all change if one discounts "rebirth" on the relative level.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Pero » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:17 pm

conebeckham wrote:As for Mt. Meru, this was pre-Buddhist, you know? But it's an interesting topic: does the "fact" that we have a different cosmology now mean that we must no longer offer mandalas in the traditional manner? Must deity yoga sadhanas now place the yidam somewhere other than on a mythical mountain at the center of the universe? Do we understand this to be symbolic or literal?


Must? Definitely not. As for could/should, well the transmission is like that, so unless someone gets enlightened and transmits a practice that's not like that I think we shouldn't. My understanding of your examples has always been that they're symbolic.

Does adaption to current "science" mean that we must throw out older cosmologies?


No, but it means that we don't go around the world claiming Mount Meru is the center of it. :smile:
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby conebeckham » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:25 pm

:smile:
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby tobes » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:54 am

Pero wrote:I really don't think the teaching on Mount Meru as being the center of the world is in any way comparable to the teaching on rebirth.


Aren't they embedded?

Because, it's not just rebirth, it's rebirth in this realm or that, as this class of beings or that.

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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby Pero » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:56 am

tobes wrote:
Pero wrote:I really don't think the teaching on Mount Meru as being the center of the world is in any way comparable to the teaching on rebirth.


Aren't they embedded?

Because, it's not just rebirth, it's rebirth in this realm or that, as this class of beings or that.


I'm sorry, I don't quite understand what you mean.
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Re: Dr. Reginald Ray

Postby tobes » Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:25 am

Pero wrote:
tobes wrote:
Pero wrote:I really don't think the teaching on Mount Meru as being the center of the world is in any way comparable to the teaching on rebirth.


Aren't they embedded?

Because, it's not just rebirth, it's rebirth in this realm or that, as this class of beings or that.


I'm sorry, I don't quite understand what you mean.



Well, where does one get reborn?

In particular realms of existence, as a particular class of being.

The cosmology which has Mt Meru as its centre, is inclusive of all of these realms and all of these classes of beings.

So, how can one talk about rebirth without reference to that cosmology??

They are embedded together.

If you refute that cosmology and replace it with a scientifically verifiable universe.....well.....how many preta's have been discovered under the microscope? How many formless realms have been found??

You following?

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