Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

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NatureTalk
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Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by NatureTalk »

Greetings all, new user here, thanks for making this forum available.

A brief introduction: My understanding of Buddhism is very modest, average man in the street level. I spend a ton of time in nature where I enjoy silence, and a ton of time on the Net where I enjoy noise. Thus my screen name: Nature + Talk.

Here's a place to start, a question that can help me start to understand the culture of this forum. Is this a tribal site, or a philosophy site? What I mean by that is...

TRIBAL SITE: Like minded people gather together to create a tribe. The glue that holds the tribe together is their shared beliefs. Typically the tribe is declared superior to other tribes, and members enjoy mutually reinforcing each other's conclusion that this is so. A certain amount of challenge to the tribe's beliefs may be welcome, particularly if the response to that challenge can be used to further articulate the tribe's belief. If the challenge becomes too challenging, if the glue that holds the tribe together is perceived to be under threat, then trouble often begins.

PHILOSOPHY SITE: On what I'm calling a philosophy site (for lack of a better term) it is widely accepted that any belief which is presented will be subjected to a process of challenge, you know, like kicking the tires on a used car to see if they hold up. Such sites are also somewhat of a tribe in that members share the belief that such tire kicking is a useful necessary process. Trouble is routine on such sites, but is moderated somewhat by the shared belief that being inconvenient is really what the site is all about.

I realize the above is a pretty simplistic and typically dualistic paradigm, but this is a forum post and not a book so I'm attempting to get to a point without much further delay.

I'm asking this question here in the Lounge as my first post because...

I was born with a very "philosophy site" kind of mind. That is, when I'm on the net and in the land of thought. I'm generally a pretty cheerful fellow, but I can also be annoyingly inconvenient to members of tribes.

It's a bit embarrassing to start off with my life story here :-) but I thought it might be helpful to put some cards on the table before engaging further. I am sincerely interested in learning more about Buddhism, and also in sharing my own related views.

In my next post I will share the story of my life starting at age 1 and take you day by day through the entire story that followed so that I can talk about myself without pause for the next seven years to demonstrate how I've left my ego totally behind. :-) BTW, this is a joke, not a threat.

I'm done. Say stuff at me should that interest you. Thanks.
cjdevries
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by cjdevries »

I'm going to sidestep your question for fear of offending anyone. Well I guess I can answer it: you'll get a bit of both here! Welcome, I'm interested in talking to those who are open minded about spirituality. I'm reading a book by Reggie Ray called "Touching Enlightenment" that talks about the importance of the indigenous traditions and Earth based spirituality; he considers Buddhism an Earth based spiritual path. I'm enjoying doing Reggie's somatic exercises that are designed to get one grounded in the body (embodiment) and to become present of the body as a means for spiritual growth. I'm highly interested in how spiritual traditions can be combined; in West Africa they say that you can't see anything in the daylight because the daylight only sees what it wants you to see, but in darkness you can see clearly. There is a tradition in one tribe in Wester Africa of burying people in the Earth up to their head for many hours; From what I understand the idea is that it totally shakes you up almost to the point of losing your mind, then when you are in that state you are actually more in the true state of how things are. You learn to see with new eyes and hear with new ears. I've never done it, but I imagine that deep within the helplessness of being buried in the Earth there comes something else: after all the panicking there might arise a new wisdom- the kind of inner wisdom that can only arise through dealing with an extraordinary challenge; perhaps it also can provide one a glimpse of their true nature.
"Please call me by my true names so I can wake up; so the door of my heart can be left open: the door of compassion." -Thich Nhat Hanh

"Ask: what's needed of you" -Akong Rinpoche
NatureTalk
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by NatureTalk »

Thanks for the welcome.
cjdevries wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:59 pmI'm going to sidestep your question for fear of offending anyone.
Ok, cool, thanks. Personally, I'm going to hang in the Lounge for now as fear and sidestepping are not my best features, thus this thread.
Well I guess I can answer it: you'll get a bit of both here!
Yea, that makes sense. I'll just have to carefully explore for awhile I guess.
I'm interested in talking to those who are open minded about spirituality.
Yea, me too. Trying to get a feel for the degree of open mindedness available here. We shall see.
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Ayu
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by Ayu »

Welcome.
The purpuse of this site is disscussion of buddhist topics.
Please take a look here: https://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=109&t=30557
It should answer many questions.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
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Ayu
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by Ayu »

I moved the topic to Introductions, because
- it is your introduction, and
- I don't think we want to have a discussion about the discussions here.

Best procedure is you take a look and judge it by yourself.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
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Caoimhghín
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by Caoimhghín »

Based on your OP, you will find this forum tribal, because there isn't a lot of patience for autodidactic DIY Dharma here in my experience. There isn't a lot of patience for "I don't think the Buddha taught this." If that's what you're here to ask uncomfortable questions about, its nominally allowed, but people are very delicate and get their feathers ruffled.
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.
(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
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Matt J
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by Matt J »

I would say neither one really fits, because from what I've learned, experience doesn't fit into neat, mental concepts. So a lot of how one would classify one's experience of a board depends on one's own mind and inclinations.
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
NatureTalk
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by NatureTalk »

Caoimhghín wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:51 pm Based on your OP, you will find this forum tribal, because there isn't a lot of patience for autodidactic DIY Dharma here in my experience. There isn't a lot of patience for "I don't think the Buddha taught this." If that's what you're here to ask uncomfortable questions about, its nominally allowed, but people are very delicate and get their feathers ruffled.
Thank you for this report. My experience (20 years) has been that pretty much every site on the Internet that is about ideas is to one degree or another a tribal site. Philosophy forums attempt to escape this tribal phenomena to a degree, but when you gather together a bunch of folks whose primary passion is poking holes in things, um, well I'm sure you know how that goes. Be sure to wear your hard hat! :-)

I have no idea really how the following might (or not) relate to Buddhism, but my inclination is that anything made of thought can be unraveled by some other thought. Whatever my ideology might be, there's likely someone out there who can pull it all apart. And that someone who pulls apart my cherished ideology could turn out to be me, and then I'm really in a fix.

To the degree that's true it may follow that tribal sites tend to be delicate, feathers ruffled etc because at some level or another members recognize this threat. Typically they perceive the threat as coming from some individual or group and attempt to deal with the threat on that level, but my guess is that the threat really arises from the nature of thought itself.

The evidence for this theory is that (to my knowledge) every ideology ever invented inevitably subdivides in to competing internal factions which come in to conflict. The universal nature of this phenomena suggests that the division and resulting conflict arise not from the content of a particular ideology so much as it does from that which all ideologies have in common, that which all ideologies are made of.

To the degree one accepts this evidence and analysis it may change one's relationship not just with particular philosophies, but with all philosophies.

Now what?
Jeff H
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by Jeff H »

I mostly lurk here and my posts seldom get any notice. That’s fine with me. I like DW because I find it helps to broaden and deepen my understanding of Buddhism both spiritually and in worldly integration.

I’m not sure how useful your classifications are. Most Buddhist traditions are represented here, some with far more dominant cliques than others – perhaps that’s your tribalism. But if you pose a question on doctrine or practice with respect and a wish to learn you’ll certainly get the philosophy side. Trolling and argumentation for its own sake get a very different treatment.

There are threads that spin wildly out of control with name-calling and vitriol, and there are threads that delve deeply into the nature of Buddhism and reality, as well as entirely worldly topics. The wise and the profane mingle here, often arising from the same individuals. It can get messy but, in my opinion, it’s well moderated. (But then, you should see the threads that oppose that opinion!) There are some fine scholars and devout practitioners here. You can expect to find surprise gems from time to time that can change your focus and redirect your path.

Anyway, welcome.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva
NatureTalk
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by NatureTalk »

But if you pose a question on doctrine or practice with respect and a wish to learn you’ll certainly get the philosophy side. Trolling and argumentation for its own sake get a very different treatment.
Argumentation for it's own sake is very often just a noisy children's ego game, so I get how that is boring.

Argumentation for it's own sake can also be considered almost the definition of philosophy too. As example I would um, argue, that if one is serious about poking holes in things one might learn that all ideas are vulnerable to that process, which could change one's relationship with ideas.

Personally, I find such an intellectual process interesting and useful, but also pretty much impossible to explore at any length on tribal sites, that is, almost all sites. Lots of us enjoy poking holes in other people's ideas, but few wish to apply that process to all ideas, including their own. And don't challenge me on this idea of mine or I'll get really mad!! Kidding, kidding, a joke. :-)
There are threads that spin wildly out of control with name-calling and vitriol,
Oh dear. On Buddhist forums too? Well, ok, yea, that makes sense, humans are humans are humans.
The wise and the profane mingle here, often arising from the same individuals.
Yes, that's how it works!
You can expect to find surprise gems from time to time that can change your focus and redirect your path.
Sounds good, I'll keep digging then.
karmanyingpo
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by karmanyingpo »

NatureTalk wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:17 pm I have no idea really how the following might (or not) relate to Buddhism, but my inclination is that anything made of thought can be unraveled by some other thought. Whatever my ideology might be, there's likely someone out there who can pull it all apart. And that someone who pulls apart my cherished ideology could turn out to be me, and then I'm really in a fix.
It sounds like you may be interested in Madhyamaka philosophy.

KN
Last edited by Ayu on Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixed quote by removing quote=Caomonghin...etc.
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Caoimhghín
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by Caoimhghín »

NatureTalk wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:17 pm
Caoimhghín wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:51 pm I have no idea really how the following might (or not) relate to Buddhism, but my inclination is that anything made of thought can be unraveled by some other thought. Whatever my ideology might be, there's likely someone out there who can pull it all apart. And that someone who pulls apart my cherished ideology could turn out to be me, and then I'm really in a fix.
It sounds like you may be interested in Madhyamaka philosophy.

KN
I am. The OP who wrote the quote I'm quoted with might be too! ;)
Then, the monks sang this gāthā:

These bodies are like foam.
Them being frail, who can rejoice in them?
The Buddha attained the vajra-body.
Still, it becomes inconstant and rots.
The many Buddhas are vajra-entities.
All are also subject to inconstancy.
Quickly ended, like melting snow --
how could things be different?

The Buddha passed into parinirvāṇa afterward.
(T1.27b10 Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra DĀ 2)
karmanyingpo
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by karmanyingpo »

Caoimhghín wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:18 pm
karmanyingpo wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:14 pm
NatureTalk wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:17 pm I have no idea really how the following might (or not) relate to Buddhism, but my inclination is that anything made of thought can be unraveled by some other thought. Whatever my ideology might be, there's likely someone out there who can pull it all apart. And that someone who pulls apart my cherished ideology could turn out to be me, and then I'm really in a fix.
It sounds like you may be interested in Madhyamaka philosophy.

KN
I am. The OP who wrote the quote I'm quoted with might be too! ;)
I am quiet bad at formating posts on here so I do not know how I ended up quoting you by accident but yes I meant to quote the original poster! Sorry :)

KN
Last edited by Ayu on Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Fixed quote by deleting one lin quote=Caominghin and pasting one line quote=karmanyingpo
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Shotenzenjin
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by Shotenzenjin »

Welcome
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Like smoke that reaches far beyond the clouds.--nichimoku shonin. Third high priest of Nichiren Shoshu

Hokekko of true Buddhism https://nstny.org

Introduction to Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism
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Malcolm
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by Malcolm »

NatureTalk wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:37 pm
Personally, I find such an intellectual process interesting and useful, but also pretty much impossible to explore at any length on tribal sites, that is, almost all sites. Lots of us enjoy poking holes in other people's ideas, but few wish to apply that process to all ideas, including their own. And don't challenge me on this idea of mine or I'll get really mad!! Kidding, kidding, a joke. :-)
The purpose of studying Buddhist tenets is to eliminate proliferation, prapañca, and reification, samaropa, in line with the Buddha's observation that all phenomena arise dependently due to causes and conditions. The purpose of Buddhist practice is to apply that insight to oneself.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
NatureTalk
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by NatureTalk »

Wikipedia says this....
Central to Madhyamaka philosophy is śūnyatā, "emptiness", and this refers to the central idea that dharmas are empty of svabhāva.[10] This term has been translated variously as essence, intrinsic nature, inherent existence, own being and substance.
This blog has this to offer:
The central concept is the Doctrine of Emptiness, known in Sanskrit as Śūnyavāda. This represents the idea that all things are, in very broad strokes, empty of inherent existence and nature (svabhāva).

To say that something is “empty” is to say that it is “dependently originated”. Nāgārjuna described dependently originated things as having three marks of existence - they are transient, unsatisfactory, and lacking inherent existence.
Other posters elsewhere have pointed me to Nāgārjuna, so I'm listening. Having difficulty so far translating language from another time and place in to every day conversational English.
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by Kim O'Hara »

NatureTalk wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:00 am ...
Other posters elsewhere have pointed me to Nāgārjuna, so I'm listening. Having difficulty so far translating language from another time and place in to every day conversational English.
It's not just a matter of translating language but of learning new concepts for which we haven't got exact English equivalents, particularly "everyday conversational English" equivalents. A lot of us just leave certain terms untranslated for that reason; after a while, we learn what (e.g.) "anatta" means by the way others use it - which is pretty much the way we learned what "chair" means when we were kids.

Good luck!

:namaste:
Kim
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seeker242
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by seeker242 »

I would not categorize it as either. They are both too extreme. It's really a mixture of both. :smile:

Although, traditional Buddhist philosophy is generally not challenged because most all Buddhists accept it, which is why they are Buddhists to begin with. However, if one tries to give some kind of wrong interpretation of it, or just a general misunderstanding, you can definitly expect someone to challenge that. :smile:
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by kirtu »

NatureTalk wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:34 pm Is this a tribal site, or a philosophy site?
This is a practice site. The orientation is to gain realization at some level (which can start with the very mundane).

I would have modified the first line to a practice/realization site but that would have required an explanation.

Having said that, beware, there be tribes <insert Pirate emoji> .... including the tribe that posits that realization can't be attained until dead, etc.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Is This A Tribal Site Or A Philosophy Site?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Buddhism has been a topic
for over twenty-five hundred years.
I think this forum is for people interested
in learning and discussing the Buddhist teachings.
Not tribal. There are 108,000 ways to Buddha.
Buddhism is a philosophy in that it can be experienced intellectually,
It is religion in that it can be experienced internally, you might say.
I was at a dharma forum years ago, that was what I’d call “tribal” meaning that they had a very narrow, dogmatic, and very “decided upon” view of exactly what the human experience is and is not (according to their understanding of the teachings) and so one couldn’t really have any kind of meaningful discussions there.

I don’t find this forum to be that way at all.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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