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 heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?

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Lise
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PostSubject: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:10 am

Friday ramblings.

I'm curious as to how "heresy" is dealt with in the
context of Buddhist theory, history, etc. By heresy I mean the standard definition you can find online,
such as "religious opinion or doctrine at variance with accepted doctrine
or belief". Does anybody know how the early literature (Pali Canon and
such) addressed the issue of heresy, if at all?


I'm thinking of what is sometimes seen in religious groups, where practitioners are encouraged to hold fast to that school's accepted doctrine (naturally), and friction arises when a person questions certain things, interprets scripture in materially different ways than others in the group, or uses terms of speech that make fellow members hyperventilate. When people are warned against "getting dangerously close to heresy", I find this really interesting -- the Buddha told us to question and examine, and not to believe anything simply because we've heard it said, or it's been written down by someone, or held out by teachers. When does it stop being okay to follow that advice? Let's say you've been part of a group for a number of years, kind of snoozing along with the theoretical aspects, then one day you get interested/curious again, start thinking, looking around a bit at other interpretations of Buddhist teaching. Maybe you start seeing things in another way -- isn't this all right?


I used to think the concept of "heresy" was mostly a Judeo-Christian thing -- does it also find a home in Buddhism?
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:26 pm

The 10th Precept is Do not defame the Three Treasures, which seems to suggest a warning against heresy is available to any authority who wants to find it (disapproving of a Teacher's angle could be defaming the Sangha, disagreeing with the texts could be defaming the Dharma).

I'll leave the questions about the Pali Cannon to the actual scholars.

*****************************

RM Eko used to more-or-less admit that:

a) many of the Mahayana Sutras could not have been written or even spoken by the Buddha, due to "anachronisms" dating the text to several centuries afterward. This was not limited to RM Eko.

b) the shastra Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana, which is traditionally attributed to Ashvaghosa, could not have been written by him.

However, when this type of discrepancy was mentioned it was sometimes followed by "keep an open mind," as if you're going to be in a position later on (maybe following a kensho?) to tell that all of the careful scholarship of the university historians is actually wrong, and that the Buddha's use of metaphors that simply weren't available in the 5th Century B.C.E. is just further proof of his great wisdom.

I thought that the admissions that some of the massive sacred literature was "accreted" over time (when not qualified with the admonition to pretend that magical things do occur) was pretty brave, and I took it as a sign that something strong and good--better than doctrine-bound, unreflective faith, anyway--was available at SA. By contrast, I've never heard an evangelical minister or imam or rabbi who was not also a college professor say in effect that "Yeah, we know our holy book wasn't completely authored in the way that it's traditionally claimed." So that was impressive to me.
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:58 pm

Hey Lise
I used to think the concept of "heresy" was mostly a Judeo-Christian thing -- does it also find a home in Buddhism?

(Spoiler alert) Yes it does to it's shame! This is a bit hardcore But from my zafu......

Heresy is just a concept that the spiritually lazy seem to use to keep their fellow peons in line. It has little to do with real religion but has everything to do with controling others while elevating the manipulative into an unquestionable positions of power.

Buddhism reserves the deepest of it's hells for heretics, which I think is funny since I see those who accuse others of being heretical as having already beaten the heretics to that destination.

Heresy really has nothing to do with Christianity or Buddhism except for the fact that both religions find homes for this concept with fools (both teacher & student alike) who find that their congregation members susceptibility to this kind of manipulation is too seductive a tool not to play with.

If religion is a transit system away from selfishness then I think that those who play the heresy card as just those still unready to take the ride.

Cheers
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:00 pm

"If religion is a transit system away from selfishness then I think that those who play the heresy card as just those still unready to take the ride."



Good one, Howard.
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:57 am

Interesting angles -- using the concept of heresy as a means to control others, which would feed the selfishness of those who do this. Probably their self-reflection doesn't show this, though.

I'm puzzled, actually more than that, I'm amazed, to think what it must feel like to decide that another's understanding is "wrong", that their opinions are poisonous and deranged, and that one's own understanding is the correct view. How does that thought process not break apart through the application of common sense and humility? Is it possible for anyone to know with certainty what "the" correct view is for another? Something must happen to people over the course of years of group-think and indoctrination. Maybe it's a result of being kow-towed to for many years as a senior who is presumed to be wise and correct mostly because they've been around longer than anyone else. Hmm.

What also puzzles me is that someone can be lauded for attaining "deep understanding" at one point in time, perhaps given a new title in recognition of this, but then later, if that person's understanding evolves beyond another's comfort zone, they'll be seen as deluded, willfully blind, etc. Well, which is it? They are wise so long as they conform to the group view, but deluded if they see something other than that, for themselves?

Is enlightenment only in the eye of the beholders?
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:46 am

I'm not sure if all traditions use the term "heresy" in the same way. But from what I can tell it is mostly a term with political origins. It's about power. In the history of Christianity when the Jesus movement subjugated itself to the Roman emperor, Constantine in exchange for the protection of the empire, he convened the Council of Nicea which determined what would be official doctrine and what would be denounced as heresy. He also indicated (to be adopted later) what would be the officially acceptable scriptures in what we now now as the Bible. The losers in this game were persecuted and frequently killed. The texts that were ruled heretical were burned, or hidden/buried, (some of them later dug up and rediscovered, such as the Nag Hamadi scriptures, which included the mystical Gospel of Thomas).

I have extrapolated from this that what is determined heretical is based on who are the winners and losers in the competition for power and control in a religious movement. Every tradition seems to have its own history of struggle and its own list of winners and losers. I can see that a tradition needs to have a central premise around which it is organized, at least a working hypothesis which is continually tested and retested, which every generation must discover for itself. But in order to be an open and healthy system, it must be able to assimilate new discovery, new insight, and adapt to new information. If not the paradigm will collapse and no longer be operable, and it will be abandoned in favor of a new paradigm.

The choice seems to be for a discovery mode of spiritual realization that is ever changing and growthful, or a fundamentalist adherence to established , fixed doctrinal concepts, that are never subject to new insight, modifcation, or change. That is a closed system, and leads to preoccupation with power, control, resistance to change, and inevitably to violence. As we can see today in the world, Buddhism, like other religions, has its own forms of fundamentalism which can lead to violence.
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:56 pm

There is an interesting review by Nicholar King, SJ, of a book, The historical Jesus of the Gospels / Craig S. Keener, in the TLS, June 17, 2011. I'd like to quote a short passage from it in response to Bill's comments on canonical vs apocryphal texts, incl. Gospel of Thomas, and Emperor Constantine.

"Much has been made in recent decades of the so-called apocryphal gospels. In some carefully argued pages, Keener demonstrates that as they stand, the non-canonical gospels do not derive from the first century, and that the claim that there were numerous gospels circulating until the Emperor Constantine cut them down to four bears no relation to the facts. Keenan observes that the apocryphal gospels are more like novels than biographies; that is to say, they fit the milieu of their readership, not that of their dramatic characters. Many people have come across the Gospel of Thomas, which is neither a gospel, nor by Thomas, and for which certain scholars have made exaggerated claims. Gently but impressively, Keener challenges the evidence that is advanced for a first-century dating of this document. He argues convincingly that the canonical gospels are best regarded as biographies in the Hellenistic sense, with a historical underpinnning."

I am not at all well-versed, or well-read in this area. I understand, though, that great attempts were made to unify the teachings of Christianity, partly - or largely - because Christianity was severely persecuted (before the conversion of Constantine), and was in danger of being eradicated altogether.

I like the Gospel of Thomas, and would find it very reassuring if one could consider it as faithfully representing the teachings of Jesus. It would be also reassuring if a case could be made that all the great religions ultimately embody the same, one and only, truth. However, it may not be so.
Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:06 am

@ Ol'ga

Actually these assertions by Keener are not supported by most scholars. The Gospel of Thomas is thought to be the earliest Gospel, and many think it is the Q text that circulated in the first century, along with many other texts as time developed. Given the review here is made by a Jesuit, I would expect him to marginalize and attempt to discredit the non-canonical texts that are not recognized by the Roman Church. What is clear to me is from the scholarship done and from the history is the arbitrary nature of choosing the scriptural Canon and doctrinal statements, essentially a military and political decision, resulting in the murder and persecution of the losers in that struggle. Essentially what happened is that Constantine saw the growing decline of the Roman Empire and made a calculation that forming an alliance with the Jesus movement could strengthen the Empire in its fight with various invasions. He actually was never baptized until he was on his deathbed, even though he dictated the outcome of the Council of Nicea, authorized it, and its proclamations. The texts of found in the Nag Hammadi area of Egypt were buried by monks who had been copying the non-canonical texts, and put them in clay pots and buried them, because they would have been killed if they were found in their possession.
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Sat Aug 06, 2011 4:16 pm

Hi Bill,
Thank you for your response.
I can't competently discuss this topic, really. I can only say that there are fashionable claims made about gnosticism, Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Judas, etc, which are not necessarily supported by anything resembling solid scholarship. It would be very interesting to study how the canonical texts of the Jewish Bible were chosen. Ultimately, Buddha's original teachings themselves, I would imagine, are also shrouded in myths, and they would have many co-authors, who possibly had personal axe to grind.
Romans often embraced different gods, forms of worship, purely out of expediency.
I read on these topic a little some time ago, but never have done proper study of it. Still, my impression is that the decision on which texts will be deemed canonical was not Constantine's doing, who, as you correctly say, was not a Christian in fact. There were theological debates, quite vociferous at times, raging throughout the times of early Christianity, before the Council of Nicea.
I am not partial to Jesuits, being raised Lutheran, in a country where there had been vicious counterreformation in its time. Still, it cannot be denied that Jesuits have counted superb scholars among them. I would not dismiss someone's views on this topic simply because he is a Jesuit.
I have not come across the claim that the Gospel of Thomas is in fact the Q, Quelle. I find it unlikely. Existence of Q itself is a hypothesis.
I find this topic frightfully fascinating. Alas, there is little time to make a good study of it.
Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:55 pm

Ol'ga wrote:
Hi Bill,
..can only say that there are fashionable claims made about gnosticism, Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Judas, etc, which are not necessarily supported by anything resembling solid scholarship. It would be very interesting to study how the canonical texts of the Jewish Bible were chosen. existence of Q itself is a hypothesis.
I find this topic frightfully fascinating. Alas, there is little time to make a good study of it.
Ol'ga

While claiming to competent to discuss this you seem to be making some serious claims.

I have spoken with Marcus Borg a recognized academic scholar of scripture, and prolific writer, and a member of the well known "Jesus Seminar" who said in my presence that the Gospel of Thomas is very likely a version of "Q", and that "Q" as an first century text with the sayings of Jesus is widely accepted among scholars.

I will also have to take issue about your broad-brush use of the word "gnostic." Mary King, a scholar (Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard University) who has published a book on the Gospel of Mary Magdalene states clearly, in her book that there is no discernible theory or coherent theology called "gnosticism", and that there is a wide swath of streams of spiritual thought erroneously called "gnostic" in North Africa and the Middle East at that time, some of which are quite mythical and dualistic and some which are more readily described as mystical and non-dual. This statement is repeated by Cynthia Bourgeault, an Episcopal priest, teacher of meditation, and a good friend of mine, who has written a similar book on the subject.

So I will have to dispute your claims and accept your first statement that you are not competent to discuss this subject.

That said, I believe this is far afield from Lise's question. So I will return to the original point, which is not about the examples I raised of Christian history of judgments of heresy and the resultant violence to heretics (of which perhaps the most well documented of crimes is the genocide against the Albigensian "heretics" in the 13th century, and the systematic murder of between one and two million men, women, and children in Southern France and Northern Spain, the extermination of entire villages over a period of 40 years.) My contention is that the function of the accusation of heresy and exclusive truth claims is for purposes of power and control. When any religious tradition makes the claim that they have a proprietary claim on conceptual truth, it becomes a closed system, incapable of learning or growing and is invested more in defining its own purity and who can belong and who must be rejected to that closed system. I'm inclined to think that characteristic applies to any religious system.

Bill R.
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:29 pm

[quote="cmpnwtr"] My contention is that the function of the accusation of heresy and exclusive truth claims is for purposes of power and control. When any religious tradition makes the claim that they have a proprietary claim on conceptual truth, it becomes a closed system, incapable of learning or growing and is invested more in defining its own purity and who can belong and who must be rejected to that closed system. I'm inclined to think that characteristic applies to any religious system. [quote]

So it seems.

This subject is interesting to me at the institutional level and also person-to-person, esp. as between those who are affiliated with the same school or tradition and find themselves disagreeing on fundamental points. To accuse someone of heresy seems like saying "you gave up the right to think differently when you joined this group". But, maybe it really is that simple; if you claim affiliation with a group, that is an implicit affirmation of the central, commonly-held beliefs, and others in the group could reasonably expect to hear the party line upheld all by members.

This has to be related to why I don't formally join up with religious groups. I want to be able to go on in thinking and understanding, and not be restrained by group norms saying "we don't believe that concept" or "that's not a word we use here". I've never felt the pull of "belonging" to be strong enough to trump free thought and curiosity.

I would be interested in hearing from others who don't share this view . . . who do see value in committing to one school's line of thought or way of doing things . . . and then building their trust & faith that the chosen course is "true". I'm not asking in order to de-bunk this approach, I really am interested in what that looks or feels like, from that point of view --

L.
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:44 am

Hey Lise

Well, those views from the other side have offered a week of silence to your question so although that might of been the perfect answer......heresy beckons.

I think it all depends on who leads the group or organization. I can feel my rant button being pushed so let me apologise in advance for the pronoucements that are likely to follow.

I've puzzled for years at how long term Sangha members could turn their back on fundamental meditative truths in favour of supporting a party line.

What I think I see is that for many, participation in the Sangha is their practise. Their place and acceptance within a Sangha mirrors the spiritual experience of acceptance & love. I specifically use the word mirror as representing the image of something substantial but actually having little substantial essence beyond it's own reflective surface.

Yeah..it sounds harsh to me too but while I keep waiting to see something different, this is what keeps showing up.

The real stickiness of this form of practise is that its adherents do receive a feeling of love and acceptance from their place within the Sangha but instead of finding this through the letting go of ones illusory limitations, their experience remains conditional to their place within the Sangha. This means they find a form of emotional certainty and security that is actually based on attachment. The scary part is that this fits the definition of a compounded delusion where a fundamental delusion remains hidden and intact beneath the mis direction of another, which is very tricky difficulty to address.

Within this type of practise I understand why they stay because to challenge it is to lose everything that they've experienced as spirituality. For a Master to allow this form of practise to develop is as self serving as it is dangerous because it encourages everyone to be on the same page, winnows out anyone who isn't and soon becomes a closed system that is cut off from reality. Once this system is firmly established it becomes a perpetual motion machine because outside of karmic entropy, almost all the factors that could slow it down have been eliminated.

Within this form of practise, all teachings pay first homages to the Sangha, much twisting of the Dharma is tolerated to keep the Sangha wheels greased, who's in the Sangha and who's not become the same as who questions and who doesn't, one can find an emotional certainty & security but lotsa luck with awareness or freedom.

I guess I think that perhaps growing beyond the confines of a group is really just a natural state of spiritual evolution that like leaving no wake, needs no one to wave a lot of flags announcing its passage. Perhaps a lack of investment in good or bad teachers & groups is just another sign on the path saying "this way is clear".
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:36 am

I think that some of those who refuse to visit a religious institution may be too concerned with their own purity, or too narcissistic to be in a place where their own views are not widely held. I see this with my fellow liberals who don't want to associate with conservatives, too. Oh those people, you know. Some folks simply aren't joiners, others prefer the chatter in their own heads to hearing what other people think. And some are always in between being by themselves and then being with others.

Really, whether you're in an organized group or not, self-congratulation, or thinking that you're more advanced than those people, is obviously setting your ego up for a good puncturing. We don't say this about bicyclists, for example, that people who go by themselves are intrinsically better/worse than those who go in a club.

As for heresy, nobody can force you to think what they think (well, they can, but it usually takes a lot of work--not to mention cruelty--to break another's will and reason!) So I guess that most people affiliated with an organized religion are heretics to some degree, in that they don't really believe everything the religious authorities around them have said.

I once told RM Daishin Yalon at SA that I simply didn't believe in the giant conclaves of Buddhas in some cosmic palace, such as that found in The Scripture of Brahma's Net, and he said something like "Keep an open mind,*" which in this case I thought was as fair as could be expected, considering I had just rejected the truth of a core OBC scripture.

I still think it's wishful thinking, but that's freedom for you. If I ever see one of these super-being jam sessions, or learn that they have been reliably detected with objective instruments, then I will believe in them. Meanwhile, no one has ever told me not to come back to SA because I have spoken my mind.

--Dan

*(I've heard the same thing from teachers at SA in other contexts as well, where it wasn't as easy for me to accept)
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:19 am

ddolmar wrote:
I once told RM Daishin Yalon at SA that I simply didn't believe in the giant conclaves of Buddhas in some cosmic palace, such as that found in The Scripture of Brahma's Net, and he said something like "Keep an open mind,*" which in this case I thought was as fair as could be expected, considering I had just rejected the truth of a core OBC scripture.

--Dan

Dan, I don't believe this comes even close to testing the system. I suggest approaching the monks and saying RM Jiyu Kennet was a flawed human being, that she herself said so on many occasions in response to her students placing her on a pedestal. So why can't the monks evaluate the choices she made for the community and judge for themselves whether they were always best, and whether they should be reconsidered in light of present circumstances? I don't think you will receive the same magnanimous response. And assuming I'm correct the question is why?
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:43 am

"I suggest approaching the monks and saying RM Jiyu Kennet was a flawed human being, that she herself said so on many occasions in response to her students placing her on a pedestal."



Well, okay then, Isan, when the time is right I think I should run that experiment and see what happens.



But you know the problem with me doing it? I didn't know RMJK, and I can't state those things as fact. Probably what I'd end up doing is asking "Some folks at OBC Connect are of the opinion that y'all consider RMJK to have been a perfect human being. Is that correct?" " Would that be close enough for you?
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:07 am

ddolmar wrote:
"I suggest approaching the monks and saying RM Jiyu Kennet was a flawed human being, that she herself said so on many occasions in response to her students placing her on a pedestal."

Well, okay then, Isan, when the time is right I think I should run that experiment and see what happens.

But you know the problem with me doing it? I didn't know RMJK, and I can't state those things as fact. Probably what I'd end up doing is asking "Some folks at OBC Connect are of the opinion that y'all consider RMJK to have been a perfect human being. Is that correct?" " Would that be close enough for you?

Good point Dan. Re the comment about RMJK being flawed (she referred to herself as having "clay feet"), you would have to say that you have it on "good authority", which would be myself, Kozan and quite a few other former monks who can confirm if need be.

I don't know that anyone at the Abbey would say they consider RMJK a perfect human being. I'm not sure how they would describe her, but she is revered to a degree that makes it impossible to engage in the kind of discrimination and review I described. To that extent I think it's an example of what Howard is talking about.


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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:20 pm

Isan--Then I don't think a layperson can really "test the system" as you suggest. Seems more like inside baseball.



Maybe I could ask something like whether they have had to review any of RMJK's other decisions, in light of the fact that she chose RM Eko as her successor. I'll think on this.
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:12 pm

ddolmar wrote:
I think that some of those who refuse to visit a religious institution may be too concerned with their own purity, or too narcissistic to be in a place where their own views are not widely held. I see this with my fellow liberals who don't want to associate with conservatives, too. Oh those people, you know. Some folks simply aren't joiners, others prefer the chatter in their own heads to hearing what other people think. And some are always in between being by themselves and then being with others.

Really, whether you're in an organized group or not, self-congratulation, or thinking that you're more advanced than those people, is obviously setting your ego up for a good puncturing. We don't say this about bicyclists, for example, that people who go by themselves are intrinsically better/worse than those who go in a club.
I probably wasn't clear in my post -- I didn't mean to imply that anyone is better or worse for joining or not joining a religious group (I think of this as "pledging allegiance" to a dogma or theory), or that even visiting or not visiting carries a connotation about one's attitude. I visit different Buddhist sects, attend one temple semi-regularly, but haven't pledged allegiance to any. My question had to do with how people decide -- or feel? -- that a particular theory or dogma is "the one" they should follow, and after that, have the other alternatives become "heresy"?

I think Howard's right -- it may be just as likely that most people choose a faith based on the social & psychological factors, including the desire to belong and not wanting to give up one's position within a known group; the sect's merits as a religious doctrine worth following may be secondary. I didn't think of this first, probably because I'm not wired like normal people.

For those who did settle into a religious group based on the merits of the teaching, rather than the other people flocking to the same place, I am still interested in hearing how that worked for you --
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:36 pm

Possible OBC connect heresy for breakfast.

I know, Lise, that you've still got an ongoing unanswered question going on but I'd still like to squeeze in one more thought before it arrives.

One of the most common Shasta dogma's used to be that staying with the program is good whereas leaving means you were not up for the challenge. It was so intrinsic to the core belief system that I still hear its echoes today even though most of the evidence before me says otherwise.

Rather than view a spiritual group or linage as a bastion of truth where sheer mental, emotional, spiritual or physical proximity to it is a reflection of the depth of your understanding, more credible evidence seems to say that perhaps a spiritual group or linage is simply a nest to rest in until your wings are capable or developed enough to fly on your own.

95 % of attendees seem to just do that. Take the expectation out of how long each persons wing development takes and perhaps the remaining 5%(who maintain the nest) are not much different than the leaving 95% except for the older tune they sing.

This might even mean that what's good or bad about the nest becomes less important than the fact it was just where we received wing strengthening exercises before leaving.

Perhaps the OBC connect's inertia is just our continued investigation of why so many of us are still carrying some of 5%'s older tune around.


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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:42 pm

Oh Lise I was just carping as I usually do, offering other angles for the heck of it.



If it was directed at you it probably would have been painfully clear (not necessarily a virtue).



As you were! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:46 pm

A few comments, if I may.

Howard wrote (4:44 p.m. posting):

I've puzzled for years at how long term Sangha members could turn their
back on fundamental meditative truths in favour of supporting a party
line.


Howard, what are "the meditative truths"? Are they the same for everybody, and so, absolute?

I find you write a lot about "them" - people who belong to a religious group - make a commitment to belong to it. I understand you don't (fair enough). Since you don't, would you have a reliable insight into their practice, their motives, etc?

Lise: the verb 'commit' is a transitive verb, i.e. it requires an object. Therefore you cannot say, "I commit to something", rather "I commit myself to something". It is because the verb is transitive, that it has a passive form. Yours is a common mistake, which, I believe, originated in the US, and spread everywhere. I imagine you may not mind my pickiness (that is, that you are a kindred soul). I'd appreciate your correcting my mistakes if I make them consistently.

Dan, as you said you can certainly ask the monks, if Jiyu Kennett's judgement was not gravely unsound (my words) when she chose Eko as her successor. I understand she did so years before she died, and so before her judgement may have been impaired by her illness during the last year of her life.
If you have any misgivings about any dogma that can be attributed to Jiyu (based on her writings, for example), try questioning it (the dogma) when talking to the monks. I would be very interested to hear how they would respond. I'm making no predictions.
Ol'ga


Last edited by Ol'ga on Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:50 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correction)
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PostSubject: Re: heresy? how does that fit into Buddhism?   Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:09 pm

Howard wrote:
Possible OBC connect heresy for breakfast.

I know, Lise, that you've still got an ongoing unanswered question going on but I'd still like to squeeze in one more thought before it arrives.
Howard, of course you should, and I hope there's more where that came from. yes It's just that I'm attached to my question du jour and want to give it a boost in the thread every now & then funny

Howard wrote:
One of the most common Shasta dogma's used to be that staying with the program is good whereas leaving means you were not up for the challenge. It was so intrinsic to the core belief system that I still hear its echoes today even though most of the evidence before me says otherwise.
I hear echoes too, actually it's more accurate to say I read them sometimes in what people send via PM and email. I'm told there is still a presumption that an Abbey monk "isn't serious about his/her training" if they are considering a path other than SA; as if training can be done in only one place in order to be seen as a genuine effort. If it's true that some Shasta monks say this to others in the community, it runs counter to so much of what is ostensibly taught there about clinging and the ability to let go.

Dan, no worries, I'm sure that if you had been speaking directly to me it would have been civil anyway. I did think my original post might not have been clear so I wanted to try again.


Last edited by Lise on Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:51 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarity)
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