Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by lixluke, Sep 15, 2009.
What the hell is the deal with you and Bill Clinton?
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Either buddhism claims to know exactly how the self came into existence, claims to have some speculations about it, or claims it has no idea.
According to lg, Buddhism claims to know exactly how the self came into existence. And he posts this 12 nianas. It claims the self came into existence out of ignorance. What's that supposed to mean? Why?
What difference would it make in our lives to know how the universe was created when we do not even know how to deal with the real immediate facts that surround us? Such as getting along with others, wars, drugs, loneliness and other mundane facts. To me, our mind is too limited yet to be able to grasp that answer , and it would be a distractor, we should be focus on what we can solve and answer.
THE MADHYAMIKA DOCTRINE IS SUNYAVADA OR VOIDISM. IT CLAIMS THAT EXISTENCE ITSELF IS A CONTRADICTION, FOR ACCORDING TO THE BUDDHIST THEORY OF EVER-CHANGING EQUILIBRIUM, ALL THINGS THAT NOW EXIST AROSE FROM THE DESTRUCTION OF OTHER THINGS, JUST AS TREES AROSE FROM NOW-DESTROYED SEEDS. THUS EXISTENCE DOES NOT ARISE FROM ANOTHER EXISTENCE. VOIDISM ARGUES THAT EXISTENCE DOES NOT ARISE OUT OF NONEXISTENCE (ABHAVA) EITHER, JUST AS A TREE CANNOT ARISE FROM A ROASTED SEED. IT FURTHER CLAIMS THAT EXISTENCE DOES NOT ARISE FROM ITSELF, FOR THAT VIEW WOULD SUPPORT THE DOCTRINE OF ATMA (PERMANENT IDENTITY), WHICH THE BUDDHA REJECTED. NOR DOES EXISTENCE ARISE IN ANY OTHER WAY THAT MIGHT BE CONSIDERED. THEREFORE THERE IS NO CREATION. IF THERE IS NO CREATION, THEN THERE IS NO DESTRUCTION. CREATION, DESTRUCTION, CAUSE, EFFECT, BEING AND NON-BEING ARE ALL UNREAL. THE ONLY REALITY IS SUNYA, VOID. VOID REQUIRES NO EXPLANATION OF ORIGIN, FOR IT IS SELF-EXISTENT AND SELF-PROVED.
BUT IN FACT THE VOID THEORY DISPROVES ITSELF, FOR IF ALL THE MEANS OF KNOWLEDGE AND ARGUMENT ARE UNREAL, THEN THE VOID THEORY CANNOT BE ESTABLISHED.
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I think a colloquial answer to "how was the physical universe created?" is that it hasn't been created and actually does not exist. What is called physicality is a product of consciousness' flaw to pursue desire and construct desirable things to satisfy the craving. So the answer to that question degenerates into another one - how was consciousness created? I have no idea how to approach that question...
As for the human...
Since the human-being / physical-body are physical things, they are illusions to satisfy consciousness' desire for pleasure. But the human being has a special place in Buddhism - it is endowed with self-consciousness unlike other physical things (animals, plants). Self-consciousness allows the consciousness to reflect on itself and "realize" the human body and other things are unreal and products of consciousness' endless desire.
The human being is just a pit-stop on the road to becoming "enlightened" - there are physical things behind it and immaterial beings far ahead of it. It's a pivot point that endless suffering and enlightenment teeter on.
Other than that metaphysical peculiarity, the human being is just another physical thing that is illusory like all other physical things. The creation of the human being is not a special topic.
As for why? Well, that degenerates back to the question of why consciousness even exists. Since consciousness is the root of all these illusory physical things, including humans' beings, the question of why consciousness is so powerful and basic-to-existence is really the point-of-origin for all creation/cosmology Buddhist questions. And like I said before, I don't know how to address this.
I agree, Buddhism is to be commended for this honest attitude.
My wife once pointed out that it's always men who invent religions. The reason, she says, is, "You guys just can't stand to answer a question with, 'I don't know'." So we throw together some clever sophomoric bullshit and then claim that we know the answer to whatever question was asked.
When the question is about the origin of "life, the universe and everything," as the cliche goes, the clever sophomoric bullshit is based on faith in the existence of an unobservable supernatural universe populated with creatures (or at least one creature) who is exempt from the laws of nature. We end up calling the bullshit a "religion."
But Buddhism is so different from the Abrahamic religions that now dominate this poor planet. How could the Buddha--who lived long before DNA was discovered and gave us a tantalizing glimpse into the possible origins of life and long before physicists worked out the Big Bang model and gave us a tantalizing glimpse into the possible origin of the entire universe--possibly have any insight into those questions??? People in those days didn't know that bacteria cause disease, that proteins and vitamins support healthy life, that the continents are moving, that light travels at a finite speed, that Jupiter has moons, that birds dream... Based upon their meager (and often laughably inaccurate) knowledge how could they make a meaningful hypothesis as to how the self came into existence?
At least the Buddha realized that. The Abrahamists should be so lucky as to have such frank, modest prophets.
Moses, Jesus and Mohammed yell, "Follow me, I know the way!" Buddha tells you to find your own way, and even if you don't find it, the search will enlighten you.
BTW, it is arguable whether Buddhism satisfies the definition of a "religion," since it has no deity and its supernatural component is very slight.
yes, I was wondering the same thing.
Buddha taught a path to a goal...called the eightfold path to enlightenment.
Enlightenment, as explained in Buddha's doctrine of dependent origination, means the end of attachment to the material world, and therefore the end of rebirth into this world after death.
Its basis is the firm affirmation of a spiritual dimension.
Its amazing to me how modern westerners who dont know squat about Buddhism try to project their own materialistic hedonism unto Buddha...as if he was some kind of Asian hippie who wanted everybody to 'do their own thing'!
None of these people would last even a week in a real Buddhist monastery.
Or you don't understand Buddhism and are expecting it to act like what you think you understand.
LG is posting quotes from a vedic advocacy group. Do you turn to Kali for your information about xtianity?
Like I said its not really important and its more than a little obtuse, but here is an analogy that might make it more understandable.
Think of it like the water cycle. There are discrete points we like to think of like evaporation and condensation which we use as talking points about how water moves about. Does water come from condensation? No, its just moving around. We could go into more depth and talk about how hydrogen formed in the big bang and oxygen is formed as a star dies and how this is ultimately where water comes from, but really if you are thirsty you need to know how to access drinkable water from you immediate environment. The last is what Buddhism is about - how to find a drink when you are thirsty.
There are various buddhists who have recorded various opinions about all the rest of that based on what they knew at the time, but none of that is really important to buddhism. Being able to drink when you are thirsty without getting side tracked in the non essential is what buddhism is concerned with.
The foundation of buddhism is: Anatta (no inherant nature, lit. no soul), anicca (imperminance) and dukkha (dissatisfaction) but its ok, most buddhists don't get it.
The eight fold path is based on sila (moral compassion), pranna (insightful wisdom) and samadhi (focused attention).
If you find "the firm affirmation of a spiritual dimension" in that, then your definition of "spiritual" works for me.
Anything which contradicts these six basic core concepts is just to get bodies in the pews so the priests can keep busy.
I do know I'd last a week, but so what? Being a monk isn't anything special. Not being a monk isn't anything special either.
Its called jealousy.
You know quoting people who not only don't get it, but have a vested interest in not getting it really isn't going to further your understanding.
feel free to indicate how the reference doesn't get it
actually its a commentary on the buddhist doctrine ... the op was asking for doctrinal references while simultaneously posing problems inherent with buddhism.
The link provides both.
You on the other hand are simply throwing your luke warm speculations out there as if they are significant.
This was a real gem
Its painfully evident that your source is just presenting strawmen that it can knock down and therefor "disprove" buddhism. What point is there in participating in your charade?
Even if these were legitimate sources what point is there in attempting a serious discussion with you when you are consistantly disingenuos in all your dialogs?
I wonder why you even bother? Do you secretly hate the beliefs you advocate???
I wasn't posing any problems inherent in buddhism. I was looking for how buddhist doctrine explains creation. Either buddhism has an explanation or it doesn't. Whether or not this is a problem is up to you.
So basically Buddism:
Does not know how or why the self came into existence.
Claims that man cannot know how or why the self came into existence.
Therefore, it is pointless to figure out something man cannot intellectualize pre-enlightenment.
So the objective of the game is enlightenment. A higher level of consciousness beyond the parameters of the 3D based logical intelligence that the brain is incapable of thinking beyond. So pre-elightenment, it is impossible to know how you (the self) came about, and why you came about.
Anatta. So buddhism claims that there is no inherent nature. But what about all the buddhists claiming that the nature of the self is buddha?
Anicca. Does anicca not apply to pre-enlightenment? Isn't the attainment of enlightenment permanent?
Dukkha. Obviously, you cannot attain enlightenment without buidling karma or progressing the self. All growth entails discomfort. As long as you continue reaching for what is comfortable, you will never do what is uncomfortable, and expand your control over your thoughts, feelings, actions. Thus, dukkha will always be there. However, as far as I know, enlightenment is freedom from dukkha.
Insightful wisdom is easy. Focused concentrated attention is damn near impossible for most people who have no control over their thoughts. So all of this is explained in buddhism including that we are not to know how or why we (the self) came into existence.
once again, feel free to indicate why the summaries of buddhism, like say the cycle from avidya to jaramarana, aren't legitimate.
Turning to religion for truth doesn't work because religion has nothing to do with it. The answers to your questions are likely found in science.
Actually its philosophy that deals with "why" questions ..... so turning to science may not be so helpful in that regard since it doesn't have a rigorous philosophical component.
While there are buddhists that have taken a stab at it, buddhism itself avoids this question.
Neither. It doesn't address the question. Suppose you have a question like "explain how this puzzel works?" And I answer "3 pounds of flax."
Do I have an explanation? Maybe yes, maybe no. I'm not addressing the question so you can resolve the status of my knowledge.
This is a different question. Your personal experience of self is brought into existence as a misunderstanding arising from ignorance.
Actually thinking enlightenment is an objective is a a hinderence which must be discarded to realize enlightenment. Ditto for thinking it is "higher."
how = ignorance. why = irrelevant since you already are.
Buddha is not an inherant nature.
Enligtenment is a realization. It is the extinguishing of the fires of your discontent. But it isn't a thing.
Dukkha is both comfort and discomfort. It is also neither comfort nor discomfort. It might be easier to think of it as something you inflick on yourself with whatever happens to be at hand while enlightenment is realizing you can just stop.
Then you are lucky to have one down.
Thus the emphasis on practicing meditation to develop it.
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