I don't get Buddhism

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Ecmandu » Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:55 pm

phyllo wrote:No. It forces you out of your "world of words" because it's not understandable or solvable in terms of words.


All it means is that words are a double edged sword. One one side, might makes right, on the other, right makes might. Zen koans always solve as might makes right: words don’t matter.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:13 pm

gib wrote:

With respect to the either/or world, I think most Buddhists would agree with you.


Note to Buddhists here:

Please note where/when, in your view, "I" becomes part of the world -- of human interactions -- as illusion. In particular, as it relates to the behaviors that you choose here and now as that pertains to the fate of "I" there and then beyond the grave. What can you pin down here and what is merely that which you believe to be the case "in your head".

Note an example of how this all unfolds for you by focusing in on a particular context in which you choose one set of behaviors rather then another. In the either/or world.

Is there an agreed upon assessment of this by all Buddhists?

gib wrote: With respect to the is/ought world, I can't say what a Buddhist would say, but I have an idea. So let me put my Buddhist cap back on. *Ah-hem* Well, Biggy, the self is an illusion because nothing is permanent. Everything eventually fades into oblivion. Even when it's here, it is always changing so that whatever it is in one moment, it ceases to be that in the next. We identify the things we see in our environment on the principle of permanence. We say: that is a chair, this is a fork, over there is my neighbor Ben. But is it really a chair? Is it really a fork? Maybe it was at one point. Maybe at one point the object I point to matched my conception of "chair" perfectly, but since then it has changed, and is therefore not the chair as I conceptualize it. Why would it be any different for myself? Maybe the self I conceptualize myself to be was that conceptualization perfectly, but since then I have changed, and I am no longer the self I imagine myself to be. In fact, I can never pin down myself. As soon as I think I've pegged myself for who I really am, I'm changed.


Forget chairs and forks and Ben. The is/ought world revolves instead around choosing behaviors derived from value judgments derived [in my view] from dasein. The part that revolves around conflicting goods construed by different people in different historical, cultural and experiential contexts. "I" then. "I" construed to be enlightened riding karma into the sunset and coming out on the other side re reincarnation and Nirvana.

gib wrote: So there's an intellectual contraption if there ever was one, and a typical response from an average Buddhist as I understand Buddhists (if I'm wrong, it's what this Buddhist responds with). If you say this falls short of an objective demonstration that all rational men and women are obligated to concur with, I would agree. But it does expose the logic and reasoning going on inside this Buddhist's mind, that which underlies his position on the self and its illusory nature. So what's your next move? What do you do with this?


Again, we'll need an actual context. One that most here will be familiar with. Connecting the dots between what we think you mean by these words and how they would be applicable to the behaviors we choose...given the extent to which "I" is understood to be or not to be an illusion.

But, yes, this is merely how "I" think about these things. And that's because my interest in God and religion revolve almost entirely around morality here and now and immortality there and then. If others have a different interest they should stand clear of my posts. Why? Because, as is often pointed out, I will "steer" the discussion back to that which is understood by me to be the most important function of God and religion.

iambiguous wrote:Again, I'm asking anyone to demonstrate that what they claim is true, all rational men and women are in turn obligated to believe. There are scientific claims and religious claims. What's the difference between them? Well, scientific claims revolve mostly around the either/or world in which objective answers seem within reach. Depending how far out into the really, really big or far down into the really, really small you go. But what of religious claims? Up there or down here, what of demonstrations regarding claims pertaining to "enlightenment, karma, reincarnation, Nirvana, Brahman, the Four Noble Truths etc."?


gib wrote: So I'll take this to mean you're asking me directly (as opposed to asking me what I'd do when confronted with other "unsavory" people demanding an irrefutable demonstration of my beliefs). As this Buddhist character I'm playing, I would probably appeal to the argument about permanence again--seems to be the founding pillar of the whole Buddhist philosophy, or at least that part of it that takes everything to be illusion--I would say that it follows from the impermanence of everything that everything we think we know about the world is false.


Here, however, I prefer Milan Kundera's ruminations from the preface of The Unbearable Lightness of Being:

[Nietzsche's] idea of eternal return is a mysterious one....to think that everything recurs as we once experienced it and that recurrence itself recurs ad infinitum!

Putting it negatively, the myth of eternal returns states that a life which disappears once and for all....is like a shadow, without weight, dead in advance, and whether it was horrible, beautiful or sublime, its horror, sublimity, and beauty mean nothing. We need take no more note of it than a war between two African kingdoms in the 14th century, a war that altered nothing in the destiny of the world, even if a 100,000 blacks perished in excruciating torment....

Let us therefore agree that the idea of eternal return implies a perspective from which things appear other than as we know them: they appear without the mitigating circumstance of their transitory nature. This mitigating circumstance prevents us from coming to a verdict. For how can we condemn something that is ephemeral, in transit...?

Not long ago, I caught myself experiencing a most incredible sensation. Leafing through a book on Hitler, I was touched by some of his portraits: they reminded me of my childhood. I grew up during the war; several members of my family perished in Hitler's concentration camps; but what were their deaths compared with the memories of a lost period of my life, a period that would never return?

This reconciliation with Hitler reveals the profound moral perversity of a world that rests essentially on the nonexistence of return, for in this world everything is pardoned in advance and therefore everything cynically permitted.


But, of course, Buddhists, like most other religious denominations, offer up an "antidote": their own particular denominational "spiritual" path connecting here and now with there and then.

Okay, fine. But how exactly does that actually unfold in the course of living one's life as a Buddhist? From day to day to day? How are value judgments embodied on this side of the grave reconfigured into existence on the other side? And how does one go about bridging the gap between what one believes in his lor her head about all this and how one goes about substantiating it as in fact true?

Especially given that there are hundreds and hundreds of alternative spiritual paths out there...and with so much that is at stake.

gib wrote: The part about suffering and the alleviation of it through enlightenment follows from that.


Yes, if you swallow the assumptions -- the intellectual contraptions -- that Buddha concocted in his head all those years ago. Sure, human suffering itself staggers on at an ever more ghastly rate but at least Buddhists have found a way to subsume it on their own spiritual path.

I get that part. But do they get the parts that I suggest instead? Ah, but why on earth would they? An essentially meaningless human existence that ends for all of eternity in oblivion?

Instead, from my frame of mind, it's straight back up into the "spiritual" clouds:

gib wrote: Once we realize this deep truth, all our worries and our angst disappear, all our suffering, which is based on our desires to achieve things in this illusory world, for this world to be a certain way--for us to have certain things, to gain wealth, to be adored, to be free of sickness and pain--vanishes. Why? For the same reason our longing and suffering vanishes when we wake from a dream. Realizing it is all a dream means realizing there is nothing to long for, nothing to desire. Whatever way we wanted the world to be, whatever we wanted to have, however we wanted to fix our lives, it could never have been in the first place--none of it was real--so we breath a sigh of relief, understanding that there is no need to struggle, to strive, to wallow in the fact that our life is like this and not like that.


Now, you tell me: What on earth does this sort of thing really have to do with the world as we know it today? The pandemic, the economic travail, the social unrest. The realities embedded statistically here: https://ourworldindata.org/hunger-and-undernourishment

Well, obviously, if you can think yourself into believing what Buddhists do, everything right?

iambiguous wrote:First, we'll need a context. "Dogmatism" or "just objective sounding statements" about what? Values revolving around what actual behaviors in what set of circumstances in which enlightenment, karma, reincarnation and Nirvana are broached, examined and assessed.


gib wrote: Precisely. It depends on the behaviors, circumstances, dilemmas, etc. When the stakes are extremely high, people are more apt to fall back on their fundamental beliefs and values and defend them more rigorously. <-- These are the contexts in which they might "insist" or be more "dogmatic". But in other calmer, more relaxed, situations, they may be able to tolerate and entertain differing points of view, admit that while they believe what they believe, maybe they don't know it with absolute certainty.


All Buddhists can do here then is to note actual examples from their own life. Connecting the dots between the behaviors that they choose, what they believe about enlightenment, karma, the four noble truths etc., and how that becomes intertwined in their head with reincarnation and Nirvana.

gib wrote: And I think it depends on the person too. Two people from the same religion, with faith in the same beliefs, may differ noticeably in terms of how much they insist that they are right and that they know the truth.


Okay, to the extent particular Buddhists might acknowledge this, I would then ask them to delve into the manner in which I construe human identity here, with respect to differing or conflicting value judgments, as the embodiment of dasein. Again, not an illusive "I", but "I" situated out in a particular world understood in a particular way. A world which sans God and religion precipitates a fractured and fragmented sense of identity. An argument outlined in my signature threads.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Ecmandu » Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:30 pm

You guys are all still in illusion. Though I point this more to iambiguous.

Being awake is extremely simple!!

All you need to understand to be awake is that zero sum realities never work. Positive non zero sum realities solve all of your problems iambiguous because there are no longer mutually exclusive or conflicting goods.

Sure iambiguous, you are correct in harping on this world as insolvent, but in doing so, you missed WHY!

It’s because this is a zero sum world!

Once you understand the root of all problems in existence (zero sum realities) you are an awakened one. You are awake.

Part of the hurdle for people to wake up is this wall around them that they can fix this world. They struggle to maintain that wall and the more they do, the more they suffer. They want to be the important one that conquers or fixes the world.

Existence will always eventually destroy that wall.

I don’t want everyone to be like me, that’d fucking suck! I do want everyone to be awake.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:44 pm

Ecmandu wrote:You guys are all still in illusion. Though I point this more to iambiguous.

Being awake is extremely simple!!

All you need to understand to be awake is that zero sum realities never work. Positive non zero sum realities solve all of your problems iambiguous because there are no longer mutually exclusive or conflicting goods.

Sure iambiguous, you are correct in harping on this world as insolvent, but in doing so, you missed WHY!

It’s because this is a zero sum world!

Once you understand the root of all problems in existence (zero sum realities) you are an awakened one. You are awake.

Part of the hurdle for people to wake up is this wall around them that they can fix this world. They struggle to maintain that wall and the more they do, the more they suffer. They want to be the important one that conquers or fixes the world.

Existence will always eventually destroy that wall.

I don’t want everyone to be like me, that’d fucking suck! I do want everyone to be awake.


But I repeat myself... :lol: :wink:

I have told you repeatedly that I am of the opinion -- and that is all it is, my own personal opinion -- that you are afflicted with a "condition" that prompts you to post things here at ILP that make absolutely no sense at all. Surreal, bizarre things. You pummel us with all of these assumptions about everything under the sun but you fail to convince me that you are actually able to demonstrate that they are true much beyond you believing that they are.

Something is proven only in the fact of you having posted it.


And this is certainly no exception. Or, rather, not to me.

Again, unless we're both wrong. And I certainly have no doubt that I may well be.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:05 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:In Buddhism language is not used nor is it viewed in the same way that language is used in either most Western academic contexts nor in most Western common sense uses of language views. IOW much of this discussion is extremely naive philosophically, because it is just assumed that 'self' 'Karma' 'reincarnation' and all the other words Iamb wants to treat like nouns are used in Buddhism just like in common sense use of nouns and how nouns are used in science.

And in the actual practice of Buddhism a great deal of work is done to undermine how language is normally used and how thought about 'things' proceeds.

Since these assumptions are not even discussed and Iamb has no consciousness of his own assumptions in the philosophy of language, he might as well be discussing quantum theory with his kindergarten teacher.

Elsewhere Phyllo pointed out his tendency to hijack threads. Well the whole fucking thread is hijacked by his (non-existent) 'interest' but also by the general lack of knowledge of both Buddhism and the philosophy of language.

And then further by a heady approach to something that is learned by doing.

Like using flash cards to become a good husband or parent.

This is all mental wanking to a hilariously anti-Buddhist degree. Shut the fuck up, try meditating or don't. But the pretense that there is any real interest on Iamb's part is lie number one.

Anyone care to convince all rational people that Iamb is interested in Buddhism or interested in learning about it?

You don't just dismiss whole sections of posts as gibberish if one is interested. You actually get into specific questions about what you don't understand.
For example.

One is asked to accept this claim at face value and spend time engaging in a 'dialogue' based on this claim of interest.
Well, one could try out Buddhism based on a similar assumption.

But for some reason the latter needs to have an argument designed to convince every rational person to spend time doing Buddhism.
The former claim, and the whole activity of posting in a philosophy forum, does not require any such argument.

The entire enterprise of Iamb's criterion is based on a lie. You're engaging with a liar. Not that he has the insight to notice this himself.


A stooge on steroids?!

Probing me?! Exposing me?! Pummeling me?!

Note to others:

Having only just skimmed this latest "thumping" from him, is there anything at all that strikes you as worth my while? A point raised that I really should address?

Oh, and don't forget to include an actual context.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:00 pm

You completely ignored this part:
KT wrote :
In Buddhism language is not used nor is it viewed in the same way that language is used in either most Western academic contexts nor in most Western common sense uses of language views. IOW much of this discussion is extremely naive philosophically, because it is just assumed that 'self' 'Karma' 'reincarnation' and all the other words Iamb wants to treat like nouns are used in Buddhism just like in common sense use of nouns and how nouns are used in science.

And in the actual practice of Buddhism a great deal of work is done to undermine how language is normally used and how thought about 'things' proceeds.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:32 pm

phyllo wrote:You completely ignored this part:
KT wrote :
In Buddhism language is not used nor is it viewed in the same way that language is used in either most Western academic contexts nor in most Western common sense uses of language views. IOW much of this discussion is extremely naive philosophically, because it is just assumed that 'self' 'Karma' 'reincarnation' and all the other words Iamb wants to treat like nouns are used in Buddhism just like in common sense use of nouns and how nouns are used in science.

And in the actual practice of Buddhism a great deal of work is done to undermine how language is normally used and how thought about 'things' proceeds.


Wow, that's the part I would have pointed to as well!

But: you know me...

My interest in language on this thread revolves around the words used by religious folks to describe the behaviors they choose on this side of the grave. Coupled with the words used to describe what they imagine the fate of "I" to be on the other side of the grave.

And then their capacity to demonstrate that what they think these words mean "in their head" can be reconfigured into actual experiences that are able to convince others that they should share in this meaning. I merely connote "I" here as an existential contraption rooted in dasein.

Buddhists, Christians, Eastern, Western.

It's all basically the same thing to me: Morality here and now, immortality there and then. Religion [existentially] in a nutshell. Words you concoct in your head. Deeds that bear them out.

After all, nouns in science are one thing, nouns in religion are, well, another thing altogether?

You know, depending on the context.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:53 am

Let's say you suffer from feelings of malaise or depression....

You decide to spend more time in nature. You read about this, give it a try. You find you feel a bit better. So, you add in camping or the occasional canoe trip. Or you take ac course in wild edibles or tracking animals, or move to the country...or...increase whatever seems like the part of 'more time in nature' that makes you feel better.

Is this something everyone should do? Who knows and probably not, people being different, having different needs and tastes. For someone else perhaps Buddhism might work...

They try the meditation while commuting. They notice they have more energy or are less disturbed by pressure at work or.....
so they go to the local temple and get some mentoring.

Should everyone do this? Who knows and probably not, people being different, having different needs and tastes.

Maybe someone tries nature and notice no changes or find it boring. Maybe someone tries Buddhism and has the same results. Maybe someone tries posting online and notices no real changes in their emotional state or maybe this works for them.

A certain amount of trial and error, guided by intuition (fallible, but also connected to the individual) in finding things that make one feel better.

Everyone has already made choices that they spend a lot of time on and they cannot convince everyone that their choices should be everyone's. EVeryone has already arrived, via non-scientific means, at a way of living that is working and not working to those degrees it does and doesn't.

That's what humans do. Of course they can try to be more scientific or more intuitive (since it is their own live own tastes and needs they are trying to aid).

But here we are, already having invested all our time for the last year in priorities of activities that we cannot demonstrate all others should copy.

Interests lead, rationality help or muddy, intuition has to be involved.

Time is passing.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:48 pm

Taking the first step requires being open to change. Believing that some states of existence are better than others and that those states are attainable. Accepting that some pursuits may turn out to be "a waste of time".
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:13 pm

Some assumptions allow you to move, other assumptions hold you back.

These assumptions cannot be demonstrated or proven correct.

One could not do science without the assumptions of science.

At best, they turn out to be useful assumptions.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:59 pm

phyllo wrote:Taking the first step requires being open to change. Believing that some states of existence are better than others and that those states are attainable. Accepting that some pursuits may turn out to be "a waste of time".
Yes, and of course, there is that risk. Of course not doing anything new is also a risk - not that you are saying anything different, just adding to what you said. We do our best or try to. Or we don't try.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:19 pm

The Role of Karma in Buddhist Morality
Barbara O’Brien

Karma

The Sanskrit word karma (or kamma in Pali) refers to volitional action. A doctrine of karma, then, is one that explains the effects of volitional action. Many religions of Asia have doctrines of karma. However, they are not the same doctrines.


The assumption then being that men and women [mere mortals] have free will. No omniscient God to explain away. On the other hand, how do Buddhists demonstrate the existence of human autonomy other than by way of simply assuming it? And how specifically is karma understood differently from, say, fate or destiny?

This is an important point, because I hear people dismiss karma as superstitious nonsense when I can tell they don’t actually know what Buddhism teaches about karma. Especially if you are new to Buddhism, I suggest putting aside any concept of karma you might already have and approaching the subject with an open mind.


Here, however, my own interest in karma -- karma understood by the most enlightened of Buddhists -- is how this comprehension/appreciation is made applicable in grappling with the existential relationship between morality here and now and immortality there and then. What of karma then? How are the behaviors we choose manifested through karma into one rather than another manifestation of "I" upon shuffling off this mortal coil that, here and now, is all we know?

First, the Buddha taught that karma is a kind of natural law, not directed by any sort of supernatural intelligence. The is no Big Giant Karma Director in the sky handing out rewards and punishments.


A "kind" of natural law? Okay, in regard to the pursuits of science, natural laws have come to be understood with extraordinary precision. This very technology that we use to exchange points of view for example. And the knowledge that medical doctors have come to grasp in dealing with biological afflictions has accumulated leaps and bounds.

But what of karma as a "kind of natural law"? Specifically in regard to the things that interest me here? And, if not a "Big Giant Karma Director in the sky handing out rewards and punishments", what then?

What could the Buddha have grasped about karma centuries ago when even today it is conjectured that...

"It turns out that roughly 68% of the universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 27%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the universe."

Try to even imagine Buddha being confronted with natural laws of this magnitude.

Or this:

iambiguous wrote:Light travels at approximately 186,000 miles a second. That is about 6,000,000,000,000 miles a year.

The closest star to us is Alpha Centauri. It is 4.75 light-years away. 28,500,000,000,000 miles.

So, traveling at 186,000 miles a second, it would take us 4.75 years to reach it. The voyager spacecraft [just now exiting our solar system] will take 70,000 years to reach it.

To reach the center of the Milky Way galaxy it would take 100,000 light-years.

Or consider this:

"To get to the closest galaxy to ours, the Canis Major Dwarf, at Voyager's speed, it would take approximately 749,000,000 years to travel the distance of 25,000 light years! If we could travel at the speed of light, it would still take 25,000 years!"

The Andromeda galaxy is 2.537 million light years away.

Or this:

"The universe is about 13.7 billion years old. Light reaching us from the earliest known galaxies has been traveling, therefore, for more than 13 billion years. So one might assume that the radius of the universe is 13.7 billion light-years and that the whole shebang is double that, or 27.4 billion light-years wide."

For all practical purposes, it is beyond the imagination of mere mortals here on planet Earth to grasp just how staggeringly immense the universe is.

As for situating "I" in all of this...?


Really, how on earth do Buddhists factor karma into all of this?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:11 pm

One can always start with what one is doing now.
What is the evidence that it works or makes life better or is supported by science or....
one could evaluate what one does now by whatever values one uses: is what I am doing now fun? Do I miss something else that I value?

One can collect all the information one has about what one does now?
Does it meet the criteria I demand of activities I have no participated in?
For ex. Does it seem to be moving me towards my goals?
Do I seem to be developing in the direction I would like=
Is there any chance it will improve my life? How much chance?
Does it help me achieve what I value?

Then one can use this to decide whether to look for anything new at all. And also one can compare the level of evidence/satisfaction
with what evidence there is that the other activities might help or lead to satisfaction or both.

One is never on neutral ground. One has already invested a huge amount of energy in activities that likely cannot be demonstrated to all rational people, for example, that these should be engaged in by everyone.

Should everyone be convinced that posting in a philosophy forum is something that everyone should do? Watching films? Whatever the list of current activities are.

If these activities, the ones one is currently engaged in do not meet that criterion, then it is not a valid criterion in relation to a new activity. It has to be a comparative one. Or an interest based one.

And since other activities generally are safe to explore for short periods in limited ways, there is no loss in exploring, unless one is utterly satisfied and also thinks what one is doing now is something all rather people should be convinced to engage in and only those activities.

So, if one is satisfied with what one is doing epistemologically AND in terms of satisfaction, well there is no problem.
If one's current activity does not meet the epistemological demands one makes on others, one is being hypocritical. And also, happily enough, one is free to explore.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:24 pm

For me the choice of not being a Buddhist is based on experience and the goals of Buddhism. The practice related goals, for example, are not my goals. It doesn't match what I value. My experience of Buddhist practices as opposed to other activities I do engage in leads me to the conclusion that Buddhism is not leading me towards what I want for myself, or would not. I do something that could be called meditation, but for me it does not lead to a split between urge and action, nor between the limbic system and the neocortex.

This took time for me to understand. I do not regret my practical, immersed exploration of Buddhism. But it is not for me.

It is nto like I think, however, that all rational people should do what I do, should engage in my activities. They don't share my goals, values, tastes, interests and much more.

Buddhism tend to lead, also, from what I have experienced in both the East and WEst, to certain ways of relating to oneself and others that I do not want. These are tendencies, strong ones I think, but not universal ones. But when you engage in practices the practices, even posting here, will lead to certain kinds of relations with others and yourself. Join the military and you have tendencies towards certain traits. Follow Phish as a groupie in social contact with other groupies and this will lead to certain tendencies, not universally, but statistically. What you do affects how you relate. Corporate culture, anarchist communes, monasteries, English football clubs...likewise.

I think it's probably better for most people to follow what they are drawn to, so it fits them. But even that has exceptions since some people seem to like cultures and practices that feel bad or that don't fit them but they love or value the struggle to fit something they don't fit well.

If you want to observe but not identify with your limbic system, well Buddhism might be a good fit.
If you want quiet and peace, but not rajasic experience (pardon the cross-tradition metaphor) then Buddhism might be a good fit.
If want control as opposed to full expression as prioritized value then Buddhism might be a good fit for you.

No unviersals. No proofs.

We are immanent, we have challenges. And a lot of things cannot be known in advance of experience.

Time is passing.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:31 pm

And by the way, my writing here might make it sounds like I consider this easy. I don't.
I mean, i suppose it might be for some, but these kinds of things have not been easy for me. Time, experience, poor choices, rechoosing, being confused, disappointment and a lot of other not easy or unpleasant things happened.
My tone is in relation to idea of proof, this third person, I won't move unless it is proved to me, childish attitude, which in the end is extremely extremely idealistic and hallucinated. It's not that easy, in fact, is part of my point.
It's not something one gets like a self-help books in the mail, there's the answer, whew now I am happy or great or enlightened or not suffering or living forever or whatever one's goals are.
Reading shit is not going to address the issues that experiencing and exploring might address, if they are given the chance.
But one can hold one's metahorical breath and expect the adults to save you.
Time is passing.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby MagsJ » Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:04 am

iambiguous wrote:
MagsJ wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Note to Buddhists/Hindus:

Choose a set of circumstances in which to discuss Brahman. That way I can distinguish between words that, in my view, define and defend other words alone, and words that, in my view, focus in on actual human behaviors relating to morality on this side of the grave and the fate of "I" on the other side.
What would or does your set of circumstances look like, for a discussion of Brahman based on Your view? Is that onus not on You, in setting out the terms of that which you want to understand?
Well, for one thing, my set of circumstances are such that existentially I actually did come into contact with the spiritual/intellectual contraption that is said to be "Brahman". No doubt the preponderance of human beings around the globe are completely oblivious to it.

In other words, the part embedded subjectively in dasein. The part where my own understanding of it is rooted in the actual sequence of experiences, relationships and access to information and knowledge that I have accumulated in the course of living the life that I have.

And, in turn, assuming that others who have lived very, very different lives are likely to understand it differently.

I’d ask for an elaboration, but I’m not sure that you’d care to.. if said experience was personal and therefore unsharable.

Brahman/Atman, or.. Rta, of which the former were spawned from, precedes the religions that made them theirs, and so is neither a Buddhist or Hindu concept.. but a human one, of which the irreligious adhere to its principles, alongside their religious counterparts.

I’d say.. religion is simply the vehicle, in which to drive the concept of a socio-political mantra through..

So then we are left with the task of sifting through all of that and coming up with the most enlightened understanding of Brahman. And that I presume [on this thread] would come from those who call themselves Buddhists or Hindus.

On the other hand, my own interest in religion revolves more around connecting the dots between the behaviors that we choose on this side of the grave and how that will impact the fate of "I" after death.

And here the enlightened either can or cannot, will or will not take Brahman.

That’s a task that You have set yourself.. I have set myself no such task.. I am taskless.

Does seeing the Dharmachakra mean seeing the light?
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ


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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:40 pm

Someone with a social phobia wants to know if having close relationships actually improves life. So far that person has avoided social contacts.
(this is a metaphor or a parallel for Buddhism)
It improves life for some, this can be demonstrated by their own evaluations and evaluations of levels of stress hormones, for example)
The person who is socially phobic can point to people who do not engage in close social relations and seem content.
The person who is socially phobic demands an argument that proves that everyone should have close relationships.
Well, there isn't one.
The person who avoids contact, on the other hand, does not have an argument that proves everyone should avoid them.
IOW the socialphobe invests energy creating a life that is merely based epistemologically on unsupported choices. But to engage in other activities they demand rigorous epistemological processes.
How does one move from social phobia?
Well, there are lots of ways, all involving exploratory experience. Could be explorations of memory related to trauma and family relationships, could be via phobia challenges where the person explores tiny exposures often combined with checking to see if assumptions about social contact are true.
If the person has no desire or interest in this, well they don't end up wiht a professional who is helping them unlearn the pattern.
If one has no interest in Buddhism, well duh, there's no reason to try it. If you are satisfied with your life and

your
own
unproven to be effective or correct for all persons choices

Then you have not motivation to go through the challenges one faces learning....

ANYTHING

But if one has an interest, well try meditating....

There is a fundamental confusion in thinking that choosing to engage in Buddhism is an epistemic parallel to publishing a physics paper on the existence, say, of a particular fundamental particle. And that's being charitable. I think it is more likely it is not a confusion but a charade.

Time is passing engaged in current activities that are not supported by an argument every rational person should be convinced by.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:37 pm

But if the point isn't to get some relief ... if the point is to confirm your current beliefs, then setting very high requirements and not engaging in any practices is effective. It also does not involve much effort or work.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:32 pm

MagsJ wrote:
Brahman/Atman, or.. Rta, of which the former were spawned from, precedes the religions that made them theirs, and so is neither a Buddhist or Hindu concept.. but a human one, of which the irreligious adhere to its principles, alongside their religious counterparts.

I’d say.. religion is simply the vehicle, in which to drive the concept of a socio-political mantra through..


Okay, connect that to my own interest in Brahman: how it becomes intertwined in the lives that Hindus/Buddhists live. Lives that involve distinguishing between behaviors thought to be enlightened and behaviors thought not to be; and how that becomes intertwined in the understanding of "I" on the other side of the grave.

In regard to your own life for example.


On the other hand, if that is not of significant concern to you in regard to Brahman, we'll just have to move on to others.

So then we are left with the task of sifting through all of that and coming up with the most enlightened understanding of Brahman. And that I presume [on this thread] would come from those who call themselves Buddhists or Hindus.

On the other hand, my own interest in religion revolves more around connecting the dots between the behaviors that we choose on this side of the grave and how that will impact the fate of "I" after death.

And here the enlightened either can or cannot, will or will not take Brahman.


MagsJ wrote:That’s a task that You have set yourself.. I have set myself no such task.. I am taskless.


Okay, in regard to the political prejudices you embody relating to, say, vaccines or Donald Trump, what does it mean then to be "taskless"?

Also, is there any way possible that Brahman can be discussed by the faithful in regard to morality here and now and immortality there and then? Or does it ever and always come down merely to how you think about it "spiritually" in your head? How comforting and consoling one's assessment of it is sustained.

MagsJ wrote:Does seeing the Dharmachakra mean seeing the light?


You tell me.

But: we'll need a context of course.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:55 pm

phyllo wrote:But if the point isn't to get some relief ... if the point is to confirm your current beliefs, then setting very high requirements and not engaging in any practices is effective. It also does not involve much effort or work.

Yes, good point. I agree. Though I am not just or even mainly responding to Iamb's general position ( and from memory only now ). It's more like his assumptions and attitude inspire me to mull over the processes many of us in fact do use to choose/to learn, change, etc. and also to mull over our predicament/situation/options. There is something unreal in the proof without experience model of learning. But then, what is the model that I follow and some others follow? I ask myself. To end up in Buddhism or somewhere else, in part or in whole? How do people actually, at least many of them, develop, change, learn something? So, it's a mulling, with Buddhism in the background, about at least one way to change if that was an interest. If that were an interest? If...
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby MagsJ » Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:05 am

iambiguous wrote:
MagsJ wrote:How the ancients practised their Dharma and why.. or whatever their local nuanced Practice was, is not pertinent for today’s needs, so the How and Why are based on the Here and Now, to aid the individual in the There and Then.. whatever that There and Then might be.
Well, I can't explore this with the ancients of course so it's between me and those who are reading these words. And my interest in religion revolves almost entirely around connecting dots existentially between morality here and now and immortality there and then. Given the fact that there are hundreds and hundreds of different spiritual paths to choose from. And, in turn, given what is at stake. Why yours and not theirs? Why should a No God atheist believe there is an afterlife at all? How do the faithful demonstrate it? Through leaps of faith? Okay, fine. But with all the paths out there [and that's just on this planet] what are the odds that theirs is The One?

Why our path over someone else’s? because one is not supposed to stray too far from their inherent Dharma is why, otherwise one would become open to coercion, corruption, abuse, etc.

And to what extent have those who have chosen a path explored the extent to which choosing here is itself predicated largely on the manner in which, in regard to value judgments, I construe the "self" as an existential contraption rooted in dasein.

You tell me? as you’re the one questioning it, not I.. perhaps it’s a reason why one should be practicing their Dharma, then perhaps there’d be less questions and more self-actualised answers.

MagsJ wrote:Words cannot always express a thought(s) or a feeling(s), that has become entrenched in a Nation’s psyche over millennia and therefore become innate.. an unspoken word, or is it a thought, passed on through genes but not necessarily memes.
Yes, that's how it works alright. Words become reflections of enormously complex historical, cultural and subjective interpersonal relationships rooted genetically and memetically out in a particular world understood by each individual given the manner in which "I" have come to understand human identity in the is/ought world.

Nicely put, and well-phrased.. :)

Even kin see and experience the world and things differently, at a certain cut-off point somewhere in their minds.

And yet the objectivists persist. Why? Because, in my view, "I" becomes invested all the more in what I call the psychology of objectivism: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296

Nice opening post..

I’d say.. that you’ve described the process of maturing/learning/individually-evolving/progression, so getting over one’s ego/getting over the-self, of which some reach there much more sooner than others.. some may never.. some don’t need to because they were already there.

Especially in our profoundly problematic postmodern age where, through such mediums as the internet, we can become exposed to countless [often hopelessly conflicted] depictions of "reality".

Then I’d say.. we need to choose our reality wisely.. the one that we want to fit into the objective state of the formative/the causative, that all thoughts and actions finally find themselves arriving at.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ


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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby gib » Wed Jul 08, 2020 6:29 am

iambiguous wrote:Note to Buddhists here:

Please note where/when, in your view, "I" becomes part of the world -- of human interactions -- as illusion. In particular, as it relates to the behaviors that you choose here and now as that pertains to the fate of "I" there and then beyond the grave. What can you pin down here and what is merely that which you believe to be the case "in your head".

Note an example of how this all unfolds for you by focusing in on a particular context in which you choose one set of behaviors rather then another. In the either/or world.

Is there an agreed upon assessment of this by all Buddhists?


I will leave it to the actual Buddhists to answer this.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: With respect to the is/ought world, I can't say what a Buddhist would say, but I have an idea. So let me put my Buddhist cap back on. *Ah-hem* Well, Biggy, the self is an illusion because nothing is permanent. Everything eventually fades into oblivion. Even when it's here, it is always changing so that whatever it is in one moment, it ceases to be that in the next. We identify the things we see in our environment on the principle of permanence. We say: that is a chair, this is a fork, over there is my neighbor Ben. But is it really a chair? Is it really a fork? Maybe it was at one point. Maybe at one point the object I point to matched my conception of "chair" perfectly, but since then it has changed, and is therefore not the chair as I conceptualize it. Why would it be any different for myself? Maybe the self I conceptualize myself to be was that conceptualization perfectly, but since then I have changed, and I am no longer the self I imagine myself to be. In fact, I can never pin down myself. As soon as I think I've pegged myself for who I really am, I'm changed.


Forget chairs and forks and Ben. The is/ought world revolves instead around choosing behaviors derived from value judgments derived [in my view] from dasein. The part that revolves around conflicting goods construed by different people in different historical, cultural and experiential contexts. "I" then. "I" construed to be enlightened riding karma into the sunset and coming out on the other side re reincarnation and Nirvana.


Did my answer not suffice? I'd give the same answer whether we're talking about the either/or world or the is/ought world. The self is an illusion because it is not permanent. It is not permanent in the either/or world or the is/ought world. We're not just talking about molecules or energy transitioning in and out of the body, we're talking about my inner world--my feelings and thoughts, my values and beliefs, my memories, my character, my experiences--all of which are extremely hard to pin down in the either/or world.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: So there's an intellectual contraption if there ever was one, and a typical response from an average Buddhist as I understand Buddhists (if I'm wrong, it's what this Buddhist responds with). If you say this falls short of an objective demonstration that all rational men and women are obligated to concur with, I would agree. But it does expose the logic and reasoning going on inside this Buddhist's mind, that which underlies his position on the self and its illusory nature. So what's your next move? What do you do with this?


Again, we'll need an actual context. One that most here will be familiar with. Connecting the dots between what we think you mean by these words and how they would be applicable to the behaviors we choose...given the extent to which "I" is understood to be or not to be an illusion.


Sure. So let's take a common Buddhist practice that involves morality. Say the alleviation of suffering. Suffering is a very real part of life for the Buddhist (despite life being an illusion), and it is important to alleviate it for as many souls as we can. Therefore, as one who has been enlightened and has found a path out of suffering, it is incumbent on the Buddhist to bring others out of their suffering by showing them the path to enlightenment. The way out of suffering leads to the disillusionment of the 'I'. With that, there is no more 'I' to suffer, and there is no more 'I' to reincarnate. One is therefore not only free from suffering but from the wheel of Samsara itself.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: So I'll take this to mean you're asking me directly (as opposed to asking me what I'd do when confronted with other "unsavory" people demanding an irrefutable demonstration of my beliefs). As this Buddhist character I'm playing, I would probably appeal to the argument about permanence again--seems to be the founding pillar of the whole Buddhist philosophy, or at least that part of it that takes everything to be illusion--I would say that it follows from the impermanence of everything that everything we think we know about the world is false.


...

Okay, fine. But how exactly does that actually unfold in the course of living one's life as a Buddhist? From day to day to day? How are value judgments embodied on this side of the grave reconfigured into existence on the other side? And how does one go about bridging the gap between what one believes in his lor her head about all this and how one goes about substantiating it as in fact true?


In much the same way as I explained above. The path to salvation according to Buddhist teaching is to become enlightened to the truth about reality--about its illusory nature--for this alleviates one of all earthly suffering. The moral obligation of the Buddhist is to show this path to others so that their suffering may be alleviated too. The practice is by meditating and following the eight-fold path: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Eightfold_Path. This is connected to the fate of the 'I' in the afterlife by allowing one's self to let go of the self, to let it dissolve, thereby leaving nothing behind to cling to, nothing to bring one back into this life reincarnated. One essentially "escapes" the wheel.

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:The part about suffering and the alleviation of it through enlightenment follows from that.


Yes, if you swallow the assumptions -- the intellectual contraptions -- that Buddha concocted in his head all those years ago. Sure, human suffering itself staggers on at an ever more ghastly rate but at least Buddhists have found a way to subsume it on their own spiritual path.

I get that part. But do they get the parts that I suggest instead? Ah, but why on earth would they? An essentially meaningless human existence that ends for all of eternity in oblivion?

Instead, from my frame of mind, it's straight back up into the "spiritual" clouds:


Is that the note you like to end on? A dismal look at your nihilistic point of view and how glaringly it contrasts with the religion of the spiritualist or the objectivist, with a slant for more grounded realism on your side, and in-the-clouds phantasmagoria on the other? Is this an expression of dissatisfaction with where your inquiry leads or the final jab you ultimately aim to deliver?

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote: Once we realize this deep truth, all our worries and our angst disappear, all our suffering, which is based on our desires to achieve things in this illusory world, for this world to be a certain way--for us to have certain things, to gain wealth, to be adored, to be free of sickness and pain--vanishes. Why? For the same reason our longing and suffering vanishes when we wake from a dream. Realizing it is all a dream means realizing there is nothing to long for, nothing to desire. Whatever way we wanted the world to be, whatever we wanted to have, however we wanted to fix our lives, it could never have been in the first place--none of it was real--so we breath a sigh of relief, understanding that there is no need to struggle, to strive, to wallow in the fact that our life is like this and not like that.


Now, you tell me: What on earth does this sort of thing really have to do with the world as we know it today? The pandemic, the economic travail, the social unrest. The realities embedded statistically here: https://ourworldindata.org/hunger-and-undernourishment

Well, obviously, if you can think yourself into believing what Buddhists do, everything right?


Right, now I want to know where you go with this? I've answered your question. What is your next move? Is this it? Just to point out that the suffering and injustices of the world go on in spite of the spiritualist's/objectivist's views? In spite of how he "connects the dots" between those views and how that plays out in specific moral context here and now? In spite how he re-connects that with the afterlife and the fate of the 'I' there and then? Is your goal to show how it's all in vein no matter how tightly he thinks those connections are forged? Really, I want to know what you're ultimately trying to accomplish with all this inquiry.

iambiguous wrote:All Buddhists can do here then is to note actual examples from their own life. Connecting the dots between the behaviors that they choose, what they believe about enlightenment, karma, the four noble truths etc., and how that becomes intertwined in their head with reincarnation and Nirvana.


I believe I've shed enough light on that with my responses above.

iambiguous wrote:Okay, to the extent particular Buddhists might acknowledge this, I would then ask them to delve into the manner in which I construe human identity here, with respect to differing or conflicting value judgments, as the embodiment of dasein. Again, not an illusive "I", but "I" situated out in a particular world understood in a particular way. A world which sans God and religion precipitates a fractured and fragmented sense of identity. An argument outlined in my signature threads.


Filling in for that Buddhist, I would ask for a more detailed account of how you construe the 'I' you want me to comment on. To hear that you have a fractured and fragmented sense of identity is no shock to a Buddhist given he thinks the ego we all believe in is a false one anyway, and under certain pressures and rude awakenings, the cracks always begin to show. But I'd need a clearer picture of your construel of 'I' (particularly what dasein means to you) to make this my formal comment on the matter.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Ecmandu » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:47 pm

Buddhism is absurd on its face.

1.) I have no attachment to dharma

2.) I have no aversion to anti-dharma

If you follow Buddhism by the letter anyone (including the Buddha) will go insane. That’s suffering raised to the second power!
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Wed Jul 08, 2020 4:55 pm

That's because you're thinking in the western binary way ... it has to be one or the other ... mutually exclusive.

Eastern philosophy does not work that way.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Ecmandu » Wed Jul 08, 2020 5:49 pm

phyllo wrote:That's because you're thinking in the western binary way ... it has to be one or the other ... mutually exclusive.

Eastern philosophy does not work that way.


Bullshit. The three poisons are binary. The 8fold path is binary. The 4 noble truths are binary.
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