Eastern and Western

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by CobblersApprentice, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. Just a quick post. I'm going out and will answer more fully (both your posts) when sipping my Costa's coffee.

    Where is Stephen Batchelor arguing that there is no morality in the Buddhist tradition?
     
  2. Misunderstood I think. The "source" is Reality, this either God (theist) or simply Reality-as-is (non-dual, non-theist) Obviously morality plays its part on the path, as it were, and yes, the morals set out and proclamated are much the same across every Faith. BUT, this does not deny that genuine ethics are a by-product of each "teaching", irrespective of how they are practiced while "on the path".

    Speaking for myself, any overt attempt to be moral, to perform moral acts, ends either in defeat, or in a slowly developing self-righteousness that culminates in judgement of others who do not measure up to my own standards. It might just be me! A genuine ethical life can only be spontaneous and unselfconscious.

    "When I speak well of myself and ill of another, the autumn wind chills my lips" (Buson)

    Yes, Christianity asks us to be perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect*, yet C S Lewis insists, rightly, that seeing Christ as simply a moral teacher is not an option. "He came to die". Yes, Buddhism - especially Theravada, is predicated on a certain level of moral rectitude, yet:-

    "So this holy life does not have gain, honour and renown for its benefit, or the attainment of virtue for its benefit, or the attainment of concentration for its benefit, or knowledge and vision for its benefit. But it is this unshakeable deliverance of mind that is the goal of this holy life, its heartwood and its end."

    (The Simile of the Heartwood, from the Theravada text The Majjhima Nikaya)

    *Perfection? Again the zen koan:- "A clearly enlightened person falls into the well. How is this so? "
     
  3. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Thanks for clearing that up.

    You got me interested:

    How is what you describe not some impressive progress in the practice of ethics/morality? To reach this insight, I believe you had to apply the ethical teachings? It looks to me like the insight into what you call source is the by-product of the practice of these three factors of the path, not the other way around.
     
  4. Autobiographically, and trying to keep it short, I was deep into Theravada, and tied in with a couple of years of severe depression, I meditated virtually each day for about 15 years. After which I identified a need for Trust, rather than seeking "progress" towards anything, whether towards "perfection" or anything else you can name. With trepidation I ceased to meditate and, having learnt of the Pure Land way of total trust (I could waffle on for hours, consider yourself lucky!) I began simply saying the Nembutsu - simply put, "thank you, thank you" in ALL circumstances. It is a way of "no calculation". (If you wish to "calculate", reflect upon the zen injunction that if you wish to know the truth "then cease to cherish opinions")

    What comes first? I would not know. I really don't. As I said somewhere else, I have good reason to say that we are "saved" in spite of our beliefs rather than because of them. All I know is that any explicit attempt to be "moral" is NOT the Pure Land way.
     
  5. Perhaps not really totally relevant, but another take on the autumn wind, this from Stephen Batchelor:-

    After speaking of a pseudo integrity that responds to a moral dilemma only by repeating gestures and words of a parent, an authority figure or a religious text, he writes......(we sometimes act) "in a way that startles us. A friend asks our advice about a tricky moral choice. Yet instead of offering them consoling platitudes or the wisdom of someone else, we say something that we did not know we knew. Such gestures and words spring from body and tongue with shocking spontaneity. We cannot call them 'mine' but neither have we copied them from others. Compassion has dissolved the stranglehold of self. And we taste, for a few exhilerating seconds, the creative freedom of awakening."
     
  6. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Thanks for being so candid, @CobblersApprentice ! I can much better understand and appreciate where you are coming from, after reading this.

    You certainly struck a nerve in me when I thought the word "by product" was denigrating the role of morality in the spiritual circus. We have enough abusive gurus and priests, I thought, why give them carte blanche?

    Again, thanks for putting your words into perspective.
     
  7. Getting back to the original intention of this thread, a few comments in a recent book I have been reading concerning some forms of "western" logic and possible alternatives........


    Removing the law of identity leads to “nothing remains the same”. Removing the law of contradiction leads to the understanding that ‘“ A is B” and ‘A is not B’ are mutually compatible’”. Removing the law of the excluded middle leads to “all things cannot be divided”, and the understanding that “all things are connected (inseparable)”. All things are interrelated in this lemma way. In Buddhism, this phase of existence revealed when the three laws of logos are removed is called “dependent origination” (pratîtyasamutpâ da).


    Remembering a comment by Alan Watts:- "diversification is not separation"
     
  8. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    You're moving a little fast for me here. Do you have some context for those laws?
     
  9. I'm basically standing still.....:)

    The context is the contrast between certain forms of western logic, as given above, and eastern.

    As I see it, investigating and taking for granted, Being and beings, billiard balls. With Being as becoming, beings as becomings.

    Must go. Sorry.

     
  10. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    He wrote as the rock he was standing on moved att 30km/s.
    It's all about perspective, man.

    The laws are the western paradigm, and the absence of the laws make up the eastern? I dislike it when norms are established in dependent upon another, but as en experiment, sure!

    Would we like to loosen up some of these structures,? To look att Buddhism, confucianism Taoism, shinto... To see what tracks and what won't?
     
  11. We must share the same sense of humour.

    I must now be on one of the few trains in my region that now has wi-fi. They are "getting there" as the propaganda goes.

    You made me think of Ziggy Stardust......

    And so he took 2001’s Dave Bowman and Apollo 8 captain Frank Borman and created his own astronaut, called Major Tom, on a solo mission to the Moon. He leaves Earth a national hero but becomes overwhelmed by the intense alienation. Ground control lose radio contact with Major Tom who is left stranded alone in space, staring helplessly at the blue planet he once called home. A simple tune about a tragic spaceman. A hymn to human isolation and our planetary solitude in the wider universe. In wordplay homage to Kubrick, David called it ‘Space Oddity’.

    (From "Ziggyology")
     
    A Cup Of Tea likes this.

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