Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by Overdose, Dec 9, 2003.

  1. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member


    Huh. Here all this time I though that attacking someone who can't effectively fight back was the definition of a bully.
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  3. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    I said strategery, not strategy (joke)! Don't misquote.

    Like China attacking Tibet?

    Schoolyard analogies don't really apply here, because we are talking about large armies of people that can die. In the schoolyard, the only thing you are likely to lose is pride. Don't hang on too tight to your definitions, they are useful only in the limited context in which they are created, not universal.
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  5. spookz Banned Banned


    You can criticize the Dalai Lama as much as you like, if you've got any valid criticism, but do a bit of research first. Especially on the long and complicated relationship between China and Tibet, what Buddhism actually is, the role of the Dalai Lama, and what he actually says and writes.

    my angle dealt specifically with an image of the dalai lama that the average westerner has. hence the history with his dealings in the west. history prior to that is another matter altogether. you are right however in that i need to be knowledgeble about it. for instance, i do not know if tibet had always been a province

    And you're going to have a very hard time arguing that the Tibetan method for choosing and educating its leaders, given the nature of the nation, is worse that ours as far as results go.

    why would i want to do that?

    There is more sense and wisdom in the DL's little finger than Bush and Blair would even be able to comprehend given a couple of lifetimes to catch up. This is why people rate him, not because he's some kind of hereditary King picked by lottery to be a figurehead for a hellhole nation of anti-Chinese guerillas.

    i respectfully disagree. people rate him because he is the "in" thing. not because they understand buddhism or even where tibet is on the map. again i fail to see why you think i am making comparisons. perhaps i do so with an ideal as the yardstick by which he is measured. certainly not with bush/blair

    *in order to fathom your point of view, it might help if you laid some stuff down. seriously tho, i do not see any argument here. the rhetoric might be inflammatory but hey, thats my style

    *i would'nt mind a discussion on tibetan buddhism. as always these mahayana types, tho very erudite and sophisticated in their metaphysics, fail to impress with their approach. i like my buddhism lean and mean. get aquainted with the basics of meditation and off you go. anything less is a compromise and indicates mere lip service. i too do this but yet recognize it as such. (the mind is willing but the flesh is weak)

    *what is buddhism really?

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  7. Canute Registered Senior Member

    Re: canute

    It's never been a province as far as I'm aware. In fact the reverse is true. Tibet (as an administration) once included parts of what is now China. Still, all I know of this is scraps picked up by accident. I've never read the proper history. Perhaps someone here can post a potted version to help clarify things.

    Sorry, I thought you were doing it.

    I'm sure you're right, some people do rate him for that reason. But they are not Buddhists. I agree that Bush and Blair are straw men, but they are our leaders, God help us, so the unflattering comparison between our systems of choosing leaders isn't unfair. (Just easy)

    You usually post really good stuff, that's why I was surprised by what you were saying here and felt I had to ride into battle.

    Same here. Only in my case the flesh is willing but the mind is weak. I like to talk about it more than do it. This is so stupid I can't believe I've just admitted it.

    In a way I also agree about 'mahayana types' although in my case I happen to agree with them. I'm not a Buddhist, but accidently arrived at the same view of reality through philosophy and science, with no intentional 'meditation', just a lot of sitting around and thinking introspectively.

    I've tried many times to write something sensible about what Buddhism is and never even come close. Still, I like the challenge. Remember I'm no expert on Buddhism, I just agree with everything Buddhists say.

    The first thing to say is that the non-dual view that lies at the heart of Buddhism is inexplicable ex hypothesis, so don't be too hard on my attempt here.

    'Buddhism' is a system of teaching, behaviour and practice derived from, in fact logically entailed by, a non-dual metaphysic. Unlike say Christianity, this metaphysic preceeds everything else. In other words once one believes or knows the central truth all the rest follows (compassion, right action. middle way etc).

    For this reason Buddhism expressly discourages practitioners from believing in anything Buddhists say or write on the grounds of authority, tradition or even knowledge. The words are designed to help one find the truth for oneself, not some dogma to be swallowed. If you don't know that they're true then you are expected to question them as hard as you can until you've made your mind up. I say this just to make it clear that Buddhism is not a religious doctrine in a normal sense.

    Neither is it a philosophy, or philosophical system. 'Non-dual philosophy' is usually avoided as a phrase and 'non-dual affirmation' used instead. Adherents do not adopt non-duality as a hypothesis or unproven axiom, they know it is true from personal experience and rational enquiry. (Yes , I know they might be deluded, but that's the problem with first-person knowledge, nobody else can know it).

    Many people believe that Buddhism is mystical in some way. This isn't actually the case, it's about as prosaic as it's possible to be. However the fact that all our thoughts, concepts, perceptions and language are dual, while fundamental reality is not, means that not only can the Buddhist view of reality not be proved true, it can't even be explained properly. Worse still there is nothing completely true or false that can asserted about reality in this view. Under these circumstances it's not surprising that Buddhists get accused of talking mystical nonsense by non-Buddhists.

    However, and I'm trying to stop waffling, honest, the logic of Buddhist ontology and epistemology is absolutely impeccable, and does not contradict any known observation of science or Western philosophy. It never will, for the same reason that idealism will never be falsified.

    Why not? Because Buddhism is founded on an 'apperception' of the non-dual nature of reality, what actually lies outside Plato's cave. This is a big claim, but one made by all people who explore the nature of existence in depth, whether Buddhist or not.

    Very briefly Buddhists claim that what is fundamental to the existence of the Universe is, in scientific terms, nothingness. Thus something does come from nothing. But in Buddhism nothing is not nothing, it is something, for there is 'something that it is like' to be nothing. That is, consciousness is more fundamental than matter and more so even than 'phenomena', which are the shadows from which our cave is constructed. These shadows are underlain by 'emptiness'. (Have you come across the 'problem of attributes' from analytic philosophy? It's one way of thinking about it)

    (This is not a shifting of the 'creation' problem onto consciousness, but that's a big topic in itself).

    Buddhists affirm and assert this because they've been there and done it. We are not separate from that reality, that emptiness, we are part of that reality, we are that reality, and can access it with a bit of practice. It's really not such a big deal, but it does require a paradigm shift.

    I'm going to stop there. That's a very scrappy outline and my understanding is not all that it should be.

    I've come at this from a strange angle and therefore assert things that maybe Buddhists don't usually assert. To me the Buddhist metaphysic is capable of explaining why Zeno's paradoxes are paradoxical, why Goedel's theorems are true, why we can't explain the existence of matter, why the brain-mind relationship is such a scientific puzzle, and many other things. That doesn't make it true, but the more you explore it the more it makes sense.

    Btw I'm happy to discuss it until you die of boredom. (In case you hadn't noticed

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  8. spookz Banned Banned

    so don't be too hard on my attempt here.

    actually canute, i follow your lead on these matters. you have the knack of articulating stuff that would have me on a meltdown

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    anyway, i'll read and see if i can contribute

    Btw I'm happy to discuss it until you die of boredom

    while phil and pf have some decent consciousness discussions, sciforums was lacking until you came along. for this i thank you.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2003
  9. Canute Registered Senior Member


    Thanks for that.

    I just reread my post and it was very garbled. I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't mean much to you. Anyway, here are some other people saying relevant things that you might find interesting. The scientific literature is overflowing with findings that support the Buddhist view, and I've started a collection.

    “When we encounter the Void, we feel that it is primordial emptiness of cosmic proportions and relevance. We become pure consciousness aware of this absolute nothingness; however, at the same time, we have a strange paradoxical sense of its essential fullness. This cosmic vacuum is also a plenum, since nothing seems to be missing in it. While it does not contain in a concrete manifest form, it seems to comprise all of existence in a potential form. In this paradoxical way , we can transcend the usual dichotomy between emptiness and form, or existence and non-existence. However, the possibility of such a resolution cannot be adequately conveyed in words; it has to be experienced to be understood.”

    Stanislav Grof (physicist) – The Cosmic Game – 1998 State University of New York

    “The view of the new physics suggests: ‘The vacuum is all of physics.’ Everything that ever existed or can exist is already there in the nothingness of space…that nothingness contains all being"

    Heinz Pagels – 1990 The Cosmic Code –New York-Bantam Books

    “The idea behind modern phenomenalism would be that neither the transcendental object not subject exists in any concrete sense. Instead, one would postulate various possible combinations of phemomenal objects, the most coherent, complex and structured of which could be viewable as constituting emergent conceptual minds such as our own. In this case, the universe could be seen as fundamentally rooted in phenomena or mind.”

    Edward Barkin (JCS Vol 10, 8 p 5)
  10. Firefly Registered Senior Member

    Man, I'd love to go to Tibet.

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    This thread makes interesting reading, thanks guys. I have a question ... I thought the Chinese Govt (or whoever's holding Tibet, I'm not up to date) had the next Dalai Lama (a young boy) in political custody or something?

    I read some sites a while back (pro-Tibetan independance) about the treatment of Tibet's political prisoners, it was terrible, mostly the thought of female nuns being raped and tortured for just having a faith. Though I guess that's war... Even though Tibet aren't physically fighting.

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    Oh, and whoever said religion unifies people, don't miss that it irreconcileably divides them too.
  11. Canute Registered Senior Member

  12. Awake Just BE! Registered Senior Member

    Actually, it is not the Dalai Lama that the Chinese are holding but the Panchen Lama. A much lesser known lama. He, too, is highly regarded by the Tibetan people ("like a vice-president"). This is why the Chinese govt is holding him hostage. From my understanding they are basically indoctrinating him with their communist beliefs so that they can control the Tibetans through him. Here is a site to know more about him.
  13. Ozymandias Unregistered User Registered Senior Member

    To set the record straight, Tibet "started it" in 763 by attacking and ravaging Chang'an, the Chinese capital during the Tang dynasty. Then the Mongols attached Tibet to itself in a more or less friendly fashion...

    So stop saying 'China started it, Tibet is a country based on non-violence!'

    It was Tibet.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2004
  14. Awake Just BE! Registered Senior Member


    To me it does not matter who started it. What matters is how a people and their culture are being treated. It seems to me that as a society we might have learned a few things since 763 and would not treat people so horribly.

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