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Fosdick · in its eye are mirrored far off mountains · Veteran


Alaska, USA
Last Active
Alaska, USA
  • Re: Word Association Game (2)

    Raven ( based on a vivid personal memory )

  • Re: Book of Eights: Chapter 8

    @Kerome said

    It would be very quiet if there was never a response, or an alternate idea communicated...

    Ah, wouldn't old RumpleTrumpkin like that, though!

    Fronsdal says in the chapter introduction that the discourse is concerned "with how views are held, not what the views are ... This doesn't mean the Buddha is suggesting one should have no views ... one should avoid holding tight to any view: there is no peace in clinging."

    So in looking for how these teachings might apply to me personally, I think I tend to read them in a more general and less specific way, and as advocating avoidance of clinging to much of anything, not just to philosophical/religious ideas.

    Probably the closest I've come to the specific situation discussed in the chapter has been in my various exchanges with Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses over the years. I've never attempted to debate them, exactly - what's the use? But for a long time I sought to get them to explain exactly how they came to the conclusion that their particular view was compelled by facts, and compelled by reasoning from those facts. In the end, one of them finally conceded that their view was held because they chose to hold it, not because it was necessarily true. Victory at last! I might have "roared like a hero", had I been so inclined.

  • Re: Funny Stuff

  • Re: Bodhi of Christ

    Much of the good stuff is in there, certainly, but Buddhism seems better organized, more coherent, easier to enter. It's got a raft, you know, and you can actually see it and get on it and start paddling.

    Christianity seems more like a pile of twigs and branches, some of which seem to be useless, and no rope to tie them all together. Have to make your own rope, I guess, and someone has to tell you that it can be done - perhaps that was my problem with Christianity - no guidance worth mentioning, and the focus seemed to be on the useless materials.

    Meister Eckhart may be the only Christian writer I've gotten anything very significant out of, but I haven't read all that many, either - I suppose I got tired of digging through the detritus looking for something solid.

  • Re: Is sentient same as conscious?

    Volition or will is the cognitive process by which an individual decides on and commits to a particular course of action. It is defined as purposive striving and is one of the primary human psychological functions. Wikipedia

    One could certainly do that, I guess. As I think consciousness itself spans a wide scale from very simple to very complex, so also would volition. But when does either one reach the point of simplicity where consciousness or volition ceases, and responses become merely biochemical ? We have no way of determining that, so far as I can see.

    I'm certainly willing to accept that viruses - the most abundant type of biological entity according to Wikipedia - are neither conscious nor sentient, but cell-based life forms are a little more problematic. In the end, I hold all life to be worthy of respect and compassion, sentient or not.

    I was a little uneasy using the word sentient in that post. Perhaps sapient would have been a better choice.