Buddhism: both rational and trans-rational

topic posted Fri, April 8, 2011 - 1:22 PM by  Mark
Thought this was an interesting article.

Many Western Buddhists subscribe to a Post-modern, Western science,
Psychotherapy view of Buddhism along the lines of Stephen Batchelor's
"Buddhism Without Beliefs" and "Confession of a Buddhist Atheist."
While Buddhism is generally rational and atheistic, it isn't Materialist
or Nihilist.

I'd invite comment.
posted by:
SF Bay Area
  • What I really like about buddhism is its ability to mold into whatever you wish it to be as long as you hold to the Four Noble Truths and the eight fold path. I have been play the field for years in the spiritual and religious realms but my deep love for the Buddha and meditation has remained. The more I wander and apply my buddhism to different beliefs the more I learn about myself and the world around. Of couse I still study the Dharma, but the others tend to give it more of a twist. I have been reading a bit on fringe science here and there, quantum, chaos, and parallel universes and find Buddhism in almost all of it. For me there isn't a more perfect match then science and The Buddhadharma. I am reading this book "Buddhism and Science" by Donald S. Lopez which touches in the Intro on the possibility that The Buddha foretold the theory f Relativity. I am excited to read more. See ya Mark, Matthew
    • I don't think Buddhism is either atheistic or nihilistic.

      and I think trying to analyze Buddhism through academic disciplines is a big mistake.

      the only way to understand Buddhism is to enter into its practice.

      If you don't like it or the fruits it produces, then try something else.

      But give the practices a chance to work and then you can see and judge for yourself.

      it is like can have some intellectual discourse about giving soup to a homeless person. And that is all fine. But we really don't have a direct experience and understanding of depth, until we actually go to a soup kitchen and personally hand food to a hungry person.

      That look in the person's eye has more wisdom in it than 1000 books.

      meditation is the same.

      If you are in deep stress and turmoil and you enter into meditation...and some truly powerful meditation clicks in, some powerful peace comes down like you have never experienced in your life and you are awed into silence....then you have the path directly. Before that, it is just very very very rough guesswork.
      • Re: Buddhism: both rational and trans-rational

        Thu, June 9, 2011 - 10:45 AM
        Did you read the article in question?

        Lord Buddha taught three wisdom tools:
        listening to the teaching, contemplating them, then
        implementing them at an experiential level through

        Now it is true that certain Zen monasteries historically
        adopted an anti-scripture stance-- the library of sutras
        and commentaries was kept under lock and key-- but
        that was anomalous and extreme. It is far more common
        in Buddhist tradition and practice for study and reason to
        serve *AS* a practice of accumulating merit, purification
        and wisdom. You see this in Theravada; you see this in
        Chan; in Hua Yen Buddhism; you see this in Tendai, you
        see this in Rinzai Zen; and certainly in the historical Indo-
        Tibetan as well as modern Tibtan Buddhism. So anti-
        intellectualism has no place in Buddhism. Some traditions
        emphasize devotion more than reason, but there simply is
        no Buddha-dharma separate from reason.
      • Unsu...
        ....and I dunno about finding 1000 books of wisdom in a homeless person's eye when serving them. Maybe the wisdom is only because the experience humbled you a bit but really you will still not know anything more than internet unless you yourself smoke some crack and become mentally ill and lose your family and job and house yourself AND have a criminal record so kosher people will never have anything to do with you and then you may deal with some happy self-righteous person with all the food trying to read the 1000 books of wisdom in your eye and THEN you will maybe perhaps have a slight clue.
        But probably not hahahahahahahaha!

        As buddha said judge for yourself don't take my word for it.

      • Unsu...
        because the only way to understand Homelessness is to enter into its practice Smithers's.
        • Re: Buddhism: both rational and trans-rational

          Fri, June 10, 2011 - 10:26 PM
          is that so?
          • Unsu...

            Re: Buddhism: both rational and trans-rational

            Sat, June 11, 2011 - 9:00 AM
            Yes this same reasoning is why all good kings send their prince sons to live with peasants for at least a year so they will understand true nature and plight of common folk.

            I didn't start to understand buddhism until I was kicked out of buddhism! When I always shut the world out in my selfish ritual practice trying to be a dirty bodhisattva wrapped in a condom with my self-absorbed adority of the sweet nothings of Tibetan Buddhist icons, this actually created a denial to truth that made my eyes shut to actual reality with planet-sized ladles of happy buddha lard. When my master's cardboard compassion crumbled like an old bag of cheap potato chips, all that was left was a greasy feeling and a stomach ache. The guts I have learned are called the second brain because guts are the only organ that is not directly connected to brain-stem it is it's own authority.

            So I say opposite of you Smithers's. One must be kicked out of buddhism to truly understand buddhism. Use guts if brains don't help you. I would be a dead man in hell if not for my guts!!!

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