genkaku wrote:How in heaven's name could anyone know what the Buddha thought when they can't even know what their dearest friends think?
Sorry ... just a little befuddled by the title.
Due September 2009. This new book argues that the Buddha was one of the most brilliant and original thinkers of all time. While the book is intended to serve as an introduction to the Buddha's thought, and hence to Buddhism itself, it also has larger aims: it argues that we can know far more about the Buddha than is fashionable among scholars to admit, and that his thought has a greater coherence than is usually recognized. Interpreters both ancient and modern have taken little account of the historical context of the Buddha's teachings; but relating them to early brahmanical texts, and also to ancient Jainism, gives a much richer picture of his meaning, especially when his sense of irony is appreciated. Incidently, since many of the Buddha's allusions can only be traced in the Pali versions of surviving texts, the book establishes the importance of the Pali Canon as evidence. Though the Buddha used metaphor extensively, he did not found his arguments upon it like earlier thinkers: his capacity for abstraction was a breakthrough, His ethicising older ideas of rebirth and karma was also a breakthrough for civilization. His theory of karma is logically central to his thought. Karma is a process, not a thing; moreover, it is neither random nor wholly determined These ideas about karma he generalised to every component of conscious experience - except nirvana, the liberation from the chain of existence.
I think its in terms of his social enviroment and the effect of religious thought that was around at the time. I also think its about how he had radical new ideas for his age
Of course this is all "i think" havent actually read it yet lol