This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

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This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:05 pm

...if you don't also cultivate bodhicitta.



Christian Lindtner is a recognized Madhyamaka scholar whose work "Nagarjuniana" (available here: http://ifile.it/4l2oyf/ebooksclub.org__Nagarjuniana__Studies_in_the_Writings_and_Philosophy_of_Nagarjuna__Buddhist_Tradition_Series_.l_44x3t4581xnkx24.pdf
is an important reference work about the Nagarjuna corpus, questions of authorship, editions, etc.

he also has a website http://www.jesusisbuddha.com/

I file all of this under: "wait....wut?"
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This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby alwayson » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:56 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
he also has a website http://www.jesusisbuddha.com/



This is a good thing.

If you actually click on it, he proves Christianity is from Buddhism. :thumbsup:
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby Thug4lyfe » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:23 am

oh tru bro?!!
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby tobes » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:48 am

Jeez, what a nutter.
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:09 pm

OK, guys, I know some of you aren't yet in the spirit of the thing because the Academic Discussions forum is new.
But this thread wouldn't belong here, although it could easily belong in many other places in this board. There's nothing wrong with it, but this is not the "place" to have it.
For now I'm going to move it to the Dharma-free-for-all forum (DFFA), but if you prefer a different destination, gad rgyangs, please say so. :smile:

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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby gad rgyangs » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:32 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote:OK, guys, I know some of you aren't yet in the spirit of the thing because the Academic Discussions forum is new.
But this thread wouldn't belong here, although it could easily belong in many other places in this board. There's nothing wrong with it, but this is not the "place" to have it.
For now I'm going to move it to the Dharma-free-for-all forum (DFFA), but if you prefer a different destination, gad rgyangs, please say so. :smile:

:anjali:


it would still be convenient if there were a Madhyamaka forum, but based on recent experience, I'm sure people would find all kinds of reasons to be offended by its existence, so whatever.
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:35 pm

:lol:
I think the Academic Discussion forum can serve that purpose. You don't agree?
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby gad rgyangs » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:38 pm

Dechen Norbu wrote::lol:
I think the Academic Discussion forum can serve that purpose. You don't agree?


well, it could, but Lindtner is an academic and his mental problems are an interesting phenomena in light of his scholarly contributions, and questions it raises about theory vs. practice, but it got shunted to the "grab-bag" forum, so obviously it doesn't.
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby Mr. G » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:42 pm

gad rgyangs wrote:
Dechen Norbu wrote::lol:
I think the Academic Discussion forum can serve that purpose. You don't agree?


well, it could, but Lindtner is an academic and his mental problems are an interesting phenomena in light of his scholarly contributions, and questions it raises about theory vs. practice, but it got shunted to the "grab-bag" forum, so obviously it doesn't.


gad rgyangs,

There was no discussion on Madhyamaka in that video, and just because he's an academic doesn't qualify it to be discussed in the Academic Discussion forum. If you have something specific from his writings you'd like to discuss, then it would be appropriate in the Academic Discussion forum.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:29 am

I was going to point exactly the same. :smile:
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby Josef » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:50 am

I only made it to 16 seconds. That was more than enough for me.
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:47 am

ok this is what I think is interesting about "der Lindtner frage". Here's a guy who is a trained scholar, and who has spent decades studying the Madhyamaka source texts in sanskrit and done a lot of thinking about what they say. Madhyamaka is supposed to be therapeutic. Its supposed to be transformative. Its supposed to lead you to a realization of sunyata. Yet, this guy is clearly at least a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic. So, either the Madhyamaka approach is problematic, or more likely its that it needs to be coupled with meditative practice for it to work, and just reading and thinking about it (in a purely academic way) doesn't effect any transformation, much like the rest of speculative metaphysics, east and west. Or, studying madhyamaka is transformative for some, but if you're a bit loony to begin with, its not going to set you straight. Or maybe its as simple as whether or not one's motivation is for the benefit of all beings: if one undertakes any Buddhist study or practice without this intent, not only is it not going to work, but it might actually make you crazy.
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby tobes » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:36 am

gad rgyangs wrote:ok this is what I think is interesting about "der Lindtner frage". Here's a guy who is a trained scholar, and who has spent decades studying the Madhyamaka source texts in sanskrit and done a lot of thinking about what they say. Madhyamaka is supposed to be therapeutic. Its supposed to be transformative. Its supposed to lead you to a realization of sunyata. Yet, this guy is clearly at least a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic. So, either the Madhyamaka approach is problematic, or more likely its that it needs to be coupled with meditative practice for it to work, and just reading and thinking about it (in a purely academic way) doesn't effect any transformation, much like the rest of speculative metaphysics, east and west. Or, studying madhyamaka is transformative for some, but if you're a bit loony to begin with, its not going to set you straight. Or maybe its as simple as whether or not one's motivation is for the benefit of all beings: if one undertakes any Buddhist study or practice without this intent, not only is it not going to work, but it might actually make you crazy.


Central to the logic of Madhyamaka is that there is a very radical difference between a conceptual understanding of emptiness and a direct apprehension.

Lindtner isn't the only dude who is a long way off the 1st bhumi.

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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby gad rgyangs » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:49 am

tobes wrote:Central to the logic of Madhyamaka is that there is a very radical difference between a conceptual understanding of emptiness and a direct apprehension.


one would hope that the one leads to the other.
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby tobes » Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:25 am

gad rgyangs wrote:
tobes wrote:Central to the logic of Madhyamaka is that there is a very radical difference between a conceptual understanding of emptiness and a direct apprehension.


one would hope that the one leads to the other.


Indeed - but it is a sobering thought that many great lifelong practitioners do not attain a direct apprehension in their lifetime. It ain't easy.

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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby zangskar » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:47 am

Lindtner was never a Buddhist as far as I know, he was/is a scholar of classical Greek, Latin and Sanskrit who happened to do his ph.d. on Nagarjuna, was a professor for some time, and then got fired in the midst of this Holocaust thing and other controversies.
So I think if there is any link between his eccentricities and Madhyamaka it's probably only the fact that you have to be something of an eccentric in the first place (though not in the negative sense necessarily) to be working with Nagarjuna at a doctoral level in a Western European university, when you're not even a Buddhist. ;)

I don't know the guy but I heard about him since I'm also from Copenhagen and he made it to the headlines a couple of times. It's a small country and it doesn't take much to cause a stir. But for what it's worth I think it's good that it appears like he now moderated his late-1990s very stereotypical and very unacademic "Holocaust denier" opinions. Although his views still seem to be out there it's a big improvement that he gave up on at least some of the fallacies of conspiracy methodology.

Maybe his other controversial views (the Jesus is Buddha thesis) is enough controversy for him these days?
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:46 pm

The scholar expounds
his treatise in full.

not knowing Buddha
dwells within his body.

Coming and going [birth and death]
aren't detroyed that way

but he says without shame:
"I am a scholar."
Saraha in "Tantric Treasures: Three Collections of Mystical Verses from Ancient India".

Indeed - but it is a sobering thought that many great lifelong practitioners do not attain a direct apprehension in their lifetime.
An example please?
:namaste:
PS What a barrel of laughs this guy Lidtner is: we must make a distinction between the term "holocaust" and "final solution"? Yeah right buddy!
PPS
I only made it to 16 seconds. That was more than enough for me.
I have to admit that the rousing fanfare during the first 16 seconds was probably the most interesting and valid part of the whole "dialogue".
"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
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby steveb1 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:43 pm

Nothing against the OP, but s/he did remark that this scholar is absent of bodhicitta.

First, that sounds judgmental, even if it turns out to be accurate.

Second, the historian's job is always to set the record straight, regardless of what that does to human sentiment. I only watched Part One, but I detected no anti-Semitism in that section. Is he anti-the Holocaust Industry? Likely, but then again many Jews are against the manipulative playing of the Holocause card (among them Norman Finkelstein).

Third, he makes a historian's distinction between what really happened vs. the mythic reinterpretation of what happened. He outright states that Hitler was a rabid anti-Semite who passed his annihilation orders to a faithful henchman and from there to specialized groups who would "do the job". He seems correct in his evaluation of the term "Holocaust" being a post-war interpretation as well as a cover-word for a "new religion", complete with heroes, miracles, martyrs, prophets, heretics, and persecutions.

Fourth, far from being a Holocaust denier, he lists a few of those separately and clearly does not number himself among them.

Fifth, he acts (at least in Part One) as a historian, separating history from sentiment and myth. Historians are always re-evaluatng history. For example, it has been found that not as many Jews died in WW II as had previously been claimed. Signs on ex-concentration camp sites and memorials were adjusted to accommodate this new historical data. Of course, this does not lessen the Third Reich's criminality, first, because even one death resulting from Hitler's racial policies would have been one too many; and second, because the numbers still remain in the millions.

It has been a question in Little Big Horn research ("Custer's Last Stand") whether or not any part of Custer's regiment ever crossed the Little Big Horn into the Indian encampment. Resolution of this issue depends on ongoing research on the Battlefield. The issues concerning Hitler's anti-Semitic policies are no different. As long as historians scan the evidence, the interpretations and conclusions are open to modification and even falsification.

Therefore, to pre-judge Christian Lindtner as lacking in bodhicitta is, perhaps, to already surrender one's critical faculties to the myopic constrictions of a new religion based on a parochial and specially-pleading "packaging" of the Hitlerian near-extermination of Europe's Jews.

Now, I may change my tune after I've watched all the vids on You Tube, in which case I'll be back with a re-assessment. But for now, and based only on Part One, I don't feel entitled to deny Lindtner access to his bodhicitta.
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby gad rgyangs » Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:51 am

steve, you have to take into account the background which is, as Lars above mentions, Lindtner was until recently an unrepentant holocaust denier. Suddenly in, what, 2005??? he decides that the evidence is that there really was a plan to exterminate the jews?? wow chris, thats some brilliant scholarly sleuthing! he's talking about this stuff on the video like its a new discovery, thats whats so absurd about it.

you're right, I don't know if he cultivates bodhicitta or not, but i think we can safely say he has screws loose. what all this says about his Madhyamaka scholarship is the open question. I like the Saraha quote greg posted above.
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Re: This is your brain on Madhyamaka....

Postby steveb1 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:16 am

Thanks, gad, for your clarifications... Like I said, I'll endure the rest of his You Tube vid, but from what you've said if he's only recently gained the "shattering" truth that the Holocaust DID happen, then, yes, someone should gift him a screwdriver for Christmas :)
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