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The truth of reality

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Comments

  • @Jason said:
    But this POV does veer away from most forms of Buddhism by taking a theistic and/or pantheistic overtone. At any rate, it seems to me that Shankara's Brahman is very similar to Spinoza's God. Shankara, for example, says of Brahman, "There exists nothing that is not Brahman!"

    Existence is certainly something. As a whole it is nothing without the somethings. Bits of the something have attributes; braman, pantyman, wo-woman. ;)

    I would put it like this: look for the ultimate as if subjective. We might say Christ or Nirvana as the limits of knowing. Knowing what? Knowing without object, subject or limitation ...

    This is a job for cushionman!

    TravellerDavid
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    It's funny because it seems like truths dealing with the world of subjectivity can only be proven objectively (water boils at a certain temperature) and objective truths can only be confirmed subjectively (interconnectivity).

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @FoibleFull said:

    “Holding onto any truth blocks true wisdom. The truth could knock on our door and we would not see it because of our fixed ideas. “
    Pema Chodron

    This is why I feel agnosticism is the healthiest position.

    Hozan
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Annihilation and a complete end are not to be feared, I feel, although I’m reliably informed they get more scary as one gets older.

    Really worse would be living in some metaphysical post-death reality as an outcast, a monster, a cripple or a slave or some combination. There are a few visions that I would term nightmarish for a human being.

    As I understand Buddhism, these things are possible, if you’re karma is really poor and you get a rebirth in a non-earthly realm. Perhaps leaving the realm of samsara is only possible through enlightenment, a mountain that few can climb.

    Snakeskin
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    Annihilation and a complete end are not to be feared, I feel, although I’m reliably informed they get more scary as one gets older.

    Really worse would be living in some metaphysical post-death reality as an outcast, a monster, a cripple or a slave or some combination. There are a few visions that I would term nightmarish for a human being.

    As I understand Buddhism, these things are possible, if you’re karma is really poor and you get a rebirth in a non-earthly realm. Perhaps leaving the realm of samsara is only possible through enlightenment, a mountain that few can climb.

    Robert Thurman likes to say that in Buddhism rebirth isn't the promise of continued existence beyond death, it's a threat.

    TravellerSnakeskinlobsterDairyLama
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @FoibleFull said:
    “Holding onto any truth blocks true wisdom. The truth could knock on our door and we would not see it because of our fixed ideas. “
    Pema Chodron

    This is the Zen story about drinking tea in miniature. But I don’t think it’s entirely correct, as truths build on truths... look at science, it’s a giant inter-connected edifice of individual truths. You could say it is ultimately inter-being extended into the realm of truths.

    “In Buddhism, all concepts are wrong.
    You are really only there when you let go of everything and you do not depend on fixed idea or belief for your sanity or happiness. There is nothing you can hold onto, so let go.
    The teachings of Buddhism are not the teachings of Buddhism … the essence of Buddhism lies in a certain kind of experience and the teachings are only an opening of the door to Buddhism. Buddhism is a ‘developing process’.”
    Alan Watts

    Again, I think this is very simplistic. There are certain things one can hold as truths. Skilful means vs unskillful means for one, or compassion and hope as a way forward to peace.

    Being in a state of let-go is very good, very blissful. But I’m not sure it is more an abdication of responsibility, just as the ‘holy life’ was a flight into renunciation away from the troubles of daily life. Western Buddhism doesn’t often aim to do this anymore, perhaps a new way has to be found for truth as well.

    TravellerSnakeskinlobster
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @FoibleFull said:
    “Holding onto any truth blocks true wisdom. The truth could knock on our door and we would not see it because of our fixed ideas. “
    Pema Chodron

    This is the Zen story about drinking tea in miniature. But I don’t think it’s entirely correct, as truths build on truths... look at science, it’s a giant inter-connected edifice of individual truths. You could say it is ultimately inter-being extended into the realm of truths.

    “In Buddhism, all concepts are wrong.
    You are really only there when you let go of everything and you do not depend on fixed idea or belief for your sanity or happiness. There is nothing you can hold onto, so let go.
    The teachings of Buddhism are not the teachings of Buddhism … the essence of Buddhism lies in a certain kind of experience and the teachings are only an opening of the door to Buddhism. Buddhism is a ‘developing process’.”
    Alan Watts

    Again, I think this is very simplistic. There are certain things one can hold as truths. Skilful means vs unskillful means for one, or compassion and hope as a way forward to peace.

    Being in a state of let-go is very good, very blissful. But I’m not sure it is more an abdication of responsibility, just as the ‘holy life’ was a flight into renunciation away from the troubles of daily life. Western Buddhism doesn’t often aim to do this anymore, perhaps a new way has to be found for truth as well.

    My understanding is that those quotes are talking about the wisdom/end goal of Buddhism, while you are talking about the skillful means/path goals.

    My experience of Buddhism in the west is that it does focus more on the compassion side while wisdom is more a means to facilitate those goals. Makes sense that it would be that way since achieving total release seems like a possibility only for someone without the responsibilities of worldly life.

    Snakeskin
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited February 16

    @David said:
    Nihilism would add that nothing means anything or has any real existence.
    For example, equating emptiness with nonexistence is nihilism.

    Nihilism refers to lack of meaning, not lack of existence.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilism

    And I don't know of anybody who equates emptiness with non-existence, it's a straw-man - and definitely not nihilism!

    lobster
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited February 16

    @person said:
    Having said that, I think you did manage to pin me down pretty well. I'm definitely a clutcher, mostly because I'm afraid and need the comfort.

    I feel like that too sometimes, and I have seen it in a lot of other people. It's a very understandable feeling, given that our human existence is brief and uncertain.

    The truth can be very uncomfortable of course.

    It can, what is the uncomfortable truth here that we're so certain of?

    I suppose the truth that there is no evidence for the things we might want to believe in or assume.

    Hozanlobster
  • Well said @DairyLama

    I want my cake and to eat it. In other words I find the straw man sky-cods, Thor (protypotype for Manjushri) as real as Ultimate Relatives (eg. the aunty or son of No-God but Allah).

    This is why I believe in the 108 snail martyrs as much as Dr Strange or do Buddhist Yidam practice ...
    https://jonas.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/eye-of-the-buddha-and-the-108-snail-martyrs/

    Now this may be skilful madness or temporary use of our child like delusions. As I said to the Buddha this morning, 'just because you are my imaginary friend, is no reason to not believe what you are saying' ...

    Did I go wrong again?

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @DairyLama said:

    @David said:
    Nihilism would add that nothing means anything or has any real existence.
    For example, equating emptiness with nonexistence is nihilism.

    Nihilism refers to lack of meaning, not lack of existence.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilism

    Must you do this every time?

    Where is the rolling eyes icon?

    Nihilism (/ˈnaɪ.ɪlɪzəm/ or /ˈniːɪlɪzəm/; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is the philosophical viewpoint that suggests the denial of one or more meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.[1] Moral nihilists assert that there is no inherent morality, and that accepted moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism may also take epistemological, ontological, or metaphysical forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or reality does not actually exist.

    That's from your own source. I mean gee whiz.

    This is another;

    1. Philosophy The doctrine that nothing actually exists or that existence or values are meaningless.
    2. Relentless negativity or cynicism suggesting an absence of values or beliefs: nihilism in postwar art.

    https://www.thefreedictionary.com/nihilism

    So then what do you think Nagarjuna meant by saying that everything is empty, not just the self and that the absolute truth is empty?

    Do you figure that the absolute truth being empty means there is no real truth?

    Snakeskin
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited February 16

    @lobster said:
    Well said @DairyLama

    I want my cake and to eat it. In other words I find the straw man sky-cods, Thor (protypotype for Manjushri) as real as Ultimate Relatives (eg. the aunty or son of No-God but Allah).

    This is why I believe in the 108 snail martyrs as much as Dr Strange or do Buddhist Yidam practice ...
    https://jonas.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/eye-of-the-buddha-and-the-108-snail-martyrs/

    Now this may be skilful madness or temporary use of our child like delusions. As I said to the Buddha this morning, 'just because you are my imaginary friend, is no reason to not believe what you are saying' ...

    Did I go wrong again?

    It does kind of seem that way to me but I can only speak for me and that doesn't mean I love you any less or that I see anything really harmful about your view.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited February 16

    @DairyLama said:

    It can, what is the uncomfortable truth here that we're so certain of?

    I suppose the truth that there is no evidence for the things we might want to believe in or assume.

    In my opinion, the fact that we have a subjective, conscious experience of the world is evidence. I think in science it gets categorized into one of an encyclopedia of of facts about the world rather than the all encompassing nature of what it actually means for us. It's the only thing that really matters, the only thing that we can say is beyond question. We could be a brain in a vat or living in the Matrix and could be mistaken about the whole world but we can't be mistaken about the fact that we are having an experience. It's not to the point of proof or certainty, only to the point of saying that physicalism isn't a certainty and we can choose.

    Let me point you to some respected philosophers and scientists that are actually working and thinking on the problem, no new agers here. Sam Harris certainly leans towards a physicalist explanation of consciousness but acknowledges that we don't know and is compelled by the hard problem that physicalist explanations don't really address, here, here, and here. Professor of philosophy and neuroscience at New York University David Chalmers here in Scientific American and here at TED, he has a pansychist metaphysics. Physicist Max Tegmark has a physicalist metaphysics of epiphenomenalism, but he acknowledges that the origins of consciousness are unknown here at TED. Another pansychist, Julio Tononi working on a mathematical theory of consciousness called Integrated Information theory here in Scientific American.

    My point is I don't think this is a settled fact we have evidence for, I don't think it is brave to act like we know the answer. I don't think we are compelled to deny our subjective experience of the world. From my understanding you have a physicalist metaphysics, not the truth.

    SnakeskinlobsterDavid
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @David said:

    @lobster said:
    Well said @DairyLama

    I want my cake and to eat it. In other words I find the straw man sky-cods, Thor (protypotype for Manjushri) as real as Ultimate Relatives (eg. the aunty or son of No-God but Allah).

    This is why I believe in the 108 snail martyrs as much as Dr Strange or do Buddhist Yidam practice ...
    https://jonas.wordpress.com/2010/01/09/eye-of-the-buddha-and-the-108-snail-martyrs/

    Now this may be skilful madness or temporary use of our child like delusions. As I said to the Buddha this morning, 'just because you are my imaginary friend, is no reason to not believe what you are saying' ...

    Did I go wrong again?

    It does kind of seem that way to me but I can only speak for me and that doesn't mean I love you any less or that I see anything really harmful about your view.

    Actually upon closer inspection I have to change that. I don't think you went wrong at all, sorry.

    Snakeskin
  • Tee Hee.

    Some aspects of experienced objectivity may be subjective. In other words the great Nirvana may be the closest, subject to the limitations of limitlessness as we know it. Tsk, tsk maybe the Buddha did not transcend Godliness, merely our current limited being ... ah well ... Back to the cushion ...

    Allahu Akbar (God is Greater?)
    Christ be With You
    Om Mani Peme Hum mmm ...

    David
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited February 17

    @person said:

    @DairyLama said:

    It can, what is the uncomfortable truth here that we're so certain of?

    I suppose the truth that there is no evidence for the things we might want to believe in or assume.

    It's not to the point of proof or certainty, only to the point of saying that physicalism isn't a certainty and we can choose.

    Sure, we can choose, but are those choices based on need and wishful thinking, rather than on the evidence of our experience?

    My point is I don't think this is a settled fact we have evidence for, I don't think it is brave to act like we know the answer. I don't think we are compelled to deny our subjective experience of the world. From my understanding you have a physicalist metaphysics, not the truth.

    I'm a phenomenologist, and therefore very much concerned with subjective experience. ;)

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited February 17

    @DairyLama said:

    @person said:
    Having said that, I think you did manage to pin me down pretty well. I'm definitely a clutcher, mostly because I'm afraid and need the comfort.

    I feel like that too sometimes, and I have seen it in a lot of other people. It's a very understandable feeling, given that our human existence is brief and uncertain.

    @DairyLama said:

    @person said:

    @DairyLama said:

    It can, what is the uncomfortable truth here that we're so certain of?

    I suppose the truth that there is no evidence for the things we might want to believe in or assume.

    It's not to the point of proof or certainty, only to the point of saying that physicalism isn't a certainty and we can choose.

    Sure, we can choose, but are those choices based on need and wishful thinking, rather than on the evidence of our experience?

    I think you can start with the view that all is matter and then would need evidence to compel you to think otherwise or you can start with the view that experience of a rock has a qualitative difference than a rock itself and would need evidence to compel one to think otherwise. ie. I find the hard problem compelling and physicalist explanations wanting.

    It feels to me like the choice is driven more by intellect than it is emotion but desires can be hidden deep and complex so there could be some wishful thinking. I don't think it is on the same level as say a young earth creationist clutching to their beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence against though.

    As a young child we experience emotions but are unable to categorize them or understand them. An adult who has first hand experience with the emotions and can understand what the child is feeling is able to explain to the child what emotions they are experiencing. It doesn't seem irrational to listen to someone with a lifetime of first hand experience watching the mind explanation on what the mind is. It could be wrong but it seems like it falls into a different category than an explanation from scripture or revelation.

    Competent and intelligent people disagree on possible explanations for the origin of consciousness, I think there is room in the uncertainty for people to have honest and rational ideas and disagreements on the matter.

    My point is I don't think this is a settled fact we have evidence for, I don't think it is brave to act like we know the answer. I don't think we are compelled to deny our subjective experience of the world. From my understanding you have a physicalist metaphysics, not the truth.

    I'm a phenomenologist, and therefore very much concerned with subjective experience. ;)

    I don't think phenomenology and physicalism are mutually exclusive you can be one with or without being the other.

    Snakeskin
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