The Dunyain and Buddhism

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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2013, 04:56:15 pm »
Quote from: KRST IS
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Metaphysically, it is not an indifferent universe, since belief shapes reality

Belief shapes reality...or does it? I would venture that beliefs, or various qualia - the seemingly certain appearances of what we define and bound as "reality" DO stimulate the waves of changing forms of that-which-we-cannot-name.

It's tough to converse about this here. We can SAY that beliefs do have this certain essence about them; but ultimately, we can't have any conviction about anything concerning essence. Once it is inquired of, it eludes us.

So, the belief in "free will" also happens to be just another qualia. You can't have free will if you don't have a belief about it; But, as beliefs are multitudinous and impermanent, they are ultimately just appearances and do and do not simultaneously constitute the Ground. In other words, the appearances of belief emanate from the essence/Ground but do not ULTIMATELY will or move itself. As long as we convince ourselves that we have "free will" we mistake beliefs for the essence. We are not wrong in this conviction, but rather in error. Semantically, you can SAY we are wrong on this conviction about reality, because "wrongness" is a judgment which is always a cup half full. So, observing the whole cup, I can accept both the empty half and the full half.

And, the more I type for clarification, the more I feel like I am losing myself in madness. ;)

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« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2013, 04:56:22 pm »
Quote from: bbaztek
Well, I was talking about belief shaping reality in Earwa's universe, ie "there are no crimes when no one is left alive", the Inchoroi wanting to stop the damnation machine by weakening the objective morality that drives it through the genocide of Earwans. Apparently, objective reality in the Bakkerverse is derived from collective subject experience. I couldn't even begin to parse out how that would work, but hey there you have it. The borders between the universe and the Outside are most porous in Earwa, which might explain why Earwans can exert so much influence over reality through sorcery and influencing its morality.

Everything else you said was totally right. Well said. The placebo effect, the exact dynamics of the mind-body connection, all point that there is as yet an undefinable link between our subject experience and objective reality where one seems to influence the other. I can't even begin to fathom what it might be.

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« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2013, 04:56:29 pm »
Quote from: KRST IS
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Well, I was talking about belief shaping reality in Earwa's universe, ie "there are no crimes when no one is left alive", the Inchoroi wanting to stop the damnation machine by weakening the objective morality that drives it through the genocide of Earwans.

Hmm...

I'm personally not certain even about Earwa's universe. The "there are no crimes when no one is left alive" is one belief IN Earwa, but how do we know if this is absolute? The above assumption/judgment/belief quoted above is valid, but ultimately questionable because, first of all, what constitutes "crime" and consequently, what constitutes exactly what/who "one" is? (perceived as a bodily individual)

As usual, we're not privy to any answers. ;)

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« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2013, 04:56:37 pm »
Quote from: bbaztek
No doubt about it. It's very iffy but I'm hoping Bakker will explain the particulars in TUC. Here's hoping.

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« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2013, 04:56:44 pm »
Quote from: KRST IS
Writing on this thread has been a fun experience. Good topic you brought up here, bbaztek. :)

But what synchronicity! Prior to posting on this - I gotta tell you - I was reading Scott Bakker's blog, Three Pound Brain, then your post came up. Here is a topic where I can apply and share with you what I just learned and experienced on his web blog. Just fascinating stuff there! http://rsbakker.wordpress.com/

Then, after applying some fun philosophical views with you, I stumbled onto a philosopher who is just as fascinating and was discussing the same things Bakker was in his blog writings. Come to think of it, I think their philosophies would mesh pretty well.

Anyway, since you love Buddhism like I do, I would like to share some links which you might find fun and resourceful, if you haven't heard about it already.

Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nejlthea-rM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vEQ9BuqOn0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLePaBCZpMk&feature=relmfu

http://www.themysteryexperience.com/

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« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2013, 04:56:51 pm »
Quote from: Church
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So, the belief in "free will" also happens to be just another qualia. You can't have free will if you don't have a belief about it; But, as beliefs are multitudinous and impermanent, they are ultimately just appearances and do and do not simultaneously constitute the Ground. In other words, the appearances of belief emanate from the essence/Ground but do not ULTIMATELY will or move itself. As long as we convince ourselves that we have "free will" we mistake beliefs for the essence. We are not wrong in this conviction, but rather in error. Semantically, you can SAY we are wrong on this conviction about reality, because "wrongness" is a judgment which is always a cup half full. So, observing the whole cup, I can accept both the empty half and the full half.

Very interesting discussion - I've been meaning to write more myself here for a while, but after a day of studying I don't feel like writing anything more in the evening! But it's a Sunday now, so here goes...

I found what KRST IS said in the quote above really interesting. Nice to say that belief in free will is not wrong, but rather an error where we think we know exactly how reality is structured; also useful to think about how that relates to Buddhism as compared to Christianity. I've been reading Rowan Williams (the Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the Anglican Church) recently, and I think he really nails the distinction. The following passage from his book Lost Icons is a bit wordy, but trust me it's worth it:

Quote
Buddhism, which has invested so much, with such sophistication, in the language of absence, not-self and so on, insists that any actual imagining of the sheer 'that' which makes us free and lies beyond desire and self-representation will return us ultimately to the bondage of desire. It is an important and serious challenge to the insistence of the eastern Mediteranean religious traditions that, whatever the risk we have no choice but to speak at some point about gift or love, and therefore to recognise in the Other something like intelligence and action. Better the admitted paradox of a self-dispossessing divinity, say these traditions, better the puzzling evocations of an agency that is unqualified gift or 'bestowal' than the risk of the unqualified abstractness of the Buddhist discourse, the pointing to a wholly indeterminate There or That

What that says to me is that Buddhism isn't as unproblematic as it might claim to be. In its claim that it has thrown away ultimate metaphysics to let people get in touch with some unconceptual but somehow compassionate reality, it really does seem to point to a kind of abstractness which isn't really that helpful, at least if we do what human beings normally do and talk about our experience. Coming back to what I said a while ago, how does Buddhism convince someone who is causing pain and suffering to others that they should stop what they're doing? Using abstract concepts like no-self, emptiness and so on really only has an effect if the person takes on those concepts and gives them personal meaning, and many people causing suffering have absolutely no motivation to do that. At a more philosophical level, don't we ultimately have to have some idea about how reality is shaped in order to live good lives, even if that idea is radically attenuated and potentially self-serving?

The Christian claim coming from the quote above would be that we can make statements about reality which are not self-serving, but only if a belief in the self-dispossessing nature of God is present. And it's at that point that this becomes an entirely different and much longer conversation, so I think I'll leave it there for today! (and despite what I just wrote here I'm still meditating btw)

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« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2013, 04:56:59 pm »
Quote from: bbaztek
Thank you for the relevant posts, KRST. It's nice to see I'm not the only one who shares a lot of these views. I'm not, in fact, crazy then lol

Quote
What that says to me is that Buddhism isn't as unproblematic as it might claim to be. In its claim that it has thrown away ultimate metaphysics to let people get in touch with some unconceptual but somehow compassionate reality, it really does seem to point to a kind of abstractness which isn't really that helpful, at least if we do what human beings normally do and talk about our experience. Coming back to what I said a while ago, how does Buddhism convince someone who is causing pain and suffering to others that they should stop what they're doing? Using abstract concepts like no-self, emptiness and so on really only has an effect if the person takes on those concepts and gives them personal meaning, and many people causing suffering have absolutely no motivation to do that. At a more philosophical level, don't we ultimately have to have some idea about how reality is shaped in order to live good lives, even if that idea is radically attenuated and potentially self-serving?

Buddhism's love affair with negation - non-self, impermanence, emptiness - is easy enough to grasp intellectually, but deep experiences of awakening take years and years of hard practice to happen. I even remember reading a study somewhere that the areas of the brain believed responsible for object-subject categorization, probably the physiological basis for the ego, is reshaped and molded by this practice to accommodate a more all-encompassing view of yourself and the cosmos. The point is, I don't think emptiness, nonself, etc. are fancy shmancy abstractions but an actual and very profound mode of life that must be honed through practice. Whether or not it is "valid" in some larger picture is irrelevant. Buddhism teaches there is no larger picture. Just do you*, and the rest will come.

Even the Dalai Lama admits the wisdom about the true nature of reality that comes from training is exactly that - wisdom that comes from training. Meditate first, let fall your preconceptions, and eventually you will begin to get some inkling of what the masters are talking about. Once again, we are caught by the snags of intellectualization, trying to integrate Buddhism into some holistic framework of the universe and reality. But isn't the most profound reality one that is experienced moment by moment as it comes, divorced from all divine labels, however holy? The universe is so enormous and we are so small it's kind of presumptuous of us to even have the slightest idea of how it works on our little ball of rock. Take things as they come.

As for our harmful friend, I have no remedy for the inner pain he feels in his life that compels him to hurt other people. At least nothing that I can force him to do. It's why you never see Buddhists preaching on street corners. The impetus from change comes from oneself.

*a phrase I've heard everywhere, from Lil Wayne songs to self-help books. I think all religions touch on a universal, cosmic wisdom and it takes a real master to cut through the bullshit to get at it.

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« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2013, 04:57:05 pm »
Quote from: KRST IS
Quote
Using abstract concepts like no-self, emptiness and so on really only has an effect if the person takes on those concepts and gives them personal meaning, and many people causing suffering have absolutely no motivation to do that.

Per my own studies in Non-Duality, my opinion is that we in the West have a need to update what, years ago, we took away from the East. We adopted a perennial philosophy which we hardly understand. Part of this philosophy is Buddhism, for example, which has had a strange and unfortunate transformation in its doctrines once it began being imported to the West. Doctrines, for example, that *seemingly* have to do with "no-self," or "eliminating the ego," or "the complete liberation of the human being from suffering," or "it takes years practicing meditation and other disciplined forms to attain enlightenment or nirvana."

These are all unfortunately watered-down concepts, ultimately, that have little to do with the original Indian, Sanskrit teachings or practices.

However, there have been a number of "non-dualistic" teachers who have come out of the woodwork from the West, and this is fortunate. In non-duality, rather than eliminating the ego, we work with our ego and accept that dark side to our Selves. The ego is there, an emanation from Awareness, to create that sense of an individual's personal story or journey. Instead of discriminating everything "faulty" as the ego, or that error which comes from Mind, we rather accept the Reality that there really isn't any "ego" to point to. I like the analogy: once you look, scrutinize that tiger under the bed, you soon discover it actually doesn't exist. The ego, like belief, and AS a belief, is another qualia, an appearance, that exists only in your imagination. So, we ultimately can't even point to THAT belief as the boogeyman, or we find ourselves doing what the mainline Abrahamic religions do: they have a belief in a boogeyman. Theirs is Satan. On a side note, what I've found is that "satan" in the original Hebrew meant anyone who opposed another, judged another, and so forth. In my mind that matches the imaginary ego. Jesus said to Peter, "Get behind me satan!" They are all archetypes for our shadow self. That which disappears as soon as you look at it.

But it's fine to have an imaginary friend. Your consciousness/awareness emanates, holds within this qualia. I think you can do years of meditation and training if you wish, but with non-duality, the realization of both/and, we can just "rest" via accepting our "dark" side as well. No training necessary to "silence," "eliminate" or bypass the "ego." There is no "enlightenment" to attain, if we can accept who we are already.

Here are a couple of good articles:

On the history of the importation/connection between India and Greece:

http://www.josephwaligore.com/greek-philosophy/indian-influence-on-hellenistic-philosophy/

Non-duality/advaita teachers:

Rupert Spira: http://www.rupertspira.com/

Jeff Foster: http://www.lifewithoutacentre.com/

http://endless-satsang.com/advaita-nonduality-oneness.htm

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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2013, 04:57:13 pm »
Quote from: Jorge
The resemblance is superficial.

The Dunyain doctrine seeks to achieve a 'self-moving soul' which is a very different goal than Enlightenment is for Buddhists (the latter is effectively to end one's constant return to the world due to reincarnation).

Dunyain monks use a eugenic breeding program (the resemablance to the Inchoroi breeding pits is probably not a coincidence). Dunyain monks use their "rejects" as experimental subjects to teach their children about neurological conditioning. Dunyain monks isolate themselves from the world completely, and self-immolate if contaminated.

Bhuddhists are non-violent. Dunyain are highly trained in violent methods, including a profound kind of mental violence that is mediated by language and expression.

I could go on and on...

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« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2013, 04:57:20 pm »
Quote from: Bastard of Godsgrace
Quote from: Jorge



Bhuddhists are non-violent.


Followers of Bushido would probably disagree.

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« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2013, 04:57:28 pm »
Quote from: Ajokli
Quote from: Bastard of Godsgrace
Quote from: Jorge



Bhuddhists are non-violent.


Followers of Bushido would probably disagree.

And several Mongol Khans used it as a means of unifying their empires a la the Christian Churches.

Similar to Christians, they are non-violent in theory.

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« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2013, 04:57:38 pm »
Quote from: bbaztek
Quote from: Jorge
The resemblance is superficial.

The Dunyain doctrine seeks to achieve a 'self-moving soul' which is a very different goal than Enlightenment is for Buddhists (the latter is effectively to end one's constant return to the world due to reincarnation).

Dunyain monks use a eugenic breeding program (the resemablance to the Inchoroi breeding pits is probably not a coincidence). Dunyain monks use their "rejects" as experimental subjects to teach their children about neurological conditioning. Dunyain monks isolate themselves from the world completely, and self-immolate if contaminated.

Bhuddhists are non-violent. Dunyain are highly trained in violent methods, including a profound kind of mental violence that is mediated by language and expression.

I could go on and on...

Well, yeah... that's what's interesting. Two philosophies that are so superficially similar but radically different in their core. It's reframed how I think about the central tenets of Buddhism - the Dunyain use the same techniques and disciplines to achieve a completely opposite effect. It's fascinating.

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« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2013, 04:57:46 pm »
Quote from: sologdin
Bhuddhists are non-violent

ahimsa is a part of buddhism, IIRC, but not so strong as for the jains.