Author Topic: Realism vs Buddhism..  (Read 558 times)

Offline BlackLooter

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Realism vs Buddhism..
« on: April 12, 2017, 07:46:27 pm »
Is being a Buddhist essentially the same as being a realist or pragmatist or existentialist?

In the idea of being aware of existence and all its laws of the subjective,..which would be the person-mind...and then the outside world which is the Tao..or the law of existence..or the physical extension of the Atma Buddhi...

Is this religion called Buddhism..Just about accepting reality for what it is?

Both Joy and suffering..but at different times or united stations of thought and experience?

And the journey of learning and going home..in an attempt to find Nirvana and Enlightenment!?
All the Girls and Spacemen will have a monkey on my back before I Attack, I do Shaolin, and Wing From Gui..the meaning of life is backwards and so are you!

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Realism vs Buddhism..
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2017, 04:12:56 am »
Hi BlackLooter. Hopefully you'll get lots of different replies, reflecting the wide range of people here. These are my personal responses. Hope they help.

1 Is being a Buddhist essentially the same as being a realist or pragmatist or existentialist?
Not really. The practice of meditation and being on the path makes it different to just being a philosophy to live by.

2 Is this religion called Buddhism..Just about accepting reality for what it is?
First you have to see reality for what it is, and with that comes insight and acceptance.

3 Both Joy and suffering..but at different times or united stations of thought and experience?
Suffering in the Buddhist sense is not the same thing. In any case, it is the attachment to joy and suffering that is often worked on.

4 And the journey of learning and going home..in an attempt to find Nirvana and Enlightenment!?
The same answer as 2 above.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Realism vs Buddhism..
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2017, 05:47:26 am »
Quote
Is being a Buddhist essentially the same as being a realist or pragmatist or existentialist?

I think this depends on the practitioner and their cultural and education background.  For example, my background is in the sciences.  So, I am going to see things during my study of suttas / sutras that others without that type of background are not.  My questions and pursuits are going to be affected as well as a result of my experiences throughout my entire life.  This is especially true for those of us who come from different religions and have changed to Buddhism as a result of various life experiences. 

In recent consideration to this question of yours I have deviated from the path of one tradition to explore what Buddhism would look like from another perspective, another tradition.

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In the idea of being aware of existence and all its laws of the subjective,..which would be the person-mind...and then the outside world which is the Tao..or the law of existence..or the physical extension of the Atma Buddhi...

Buddha's focus was on the identification and elimination of dukkha (birth, aging, disease, death, pain, suffering, and dissatisfaction).

Quote
Is this religion called Buddhism..Just about accepting reality for what it is?

See above.

Quote
Both Joy and suffering..but at different times or united stations of thought and experience?

There are several teachings which you might want to read, when you are ready, which cover this topic.

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And the journey of learning and going home..in an attempt to find Nirvana and Enlightenment!?

Something like that.  ; )
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 09:03:19 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline francis

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Re: Realism vs Buddhism..
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2017, 06:52:30 am »
Hi BlackLooter,

The Buddha understood human nature, and he was a realist. However, Buddhist reality is a bit more real than most people are prepared for because of their attachments, especially attachments to a self or a soul (atman).

The Buddhist reality is there is no self (anatman). What we consider a ‘self’ is comprised of nothing more than the five aggregates (skandhas) and what we call ‘self’ is an illusion.  Understanding the Five Aggregates is key to seeing through the illusion of ‘self’. 

Hope that answers your questions.

With metta
"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realises it is water." - Thich Nhat Hanh

Offline BlackLooter

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Re: Realism vs Buddhism..
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2017, 11:19:41 pm »
So what does it feel like to have no self..

How is this attainment possible.?

And thanks for the in depth replies I'm a bit happier knowing now that their is something special in Buddhism for me to discover....!

Radical!!
All the Girls and Spacemen will have a monkey on my back before I Attack, I do Shaolin, and Wing From Gui..the meaning of life is backwards and so are you!

Offline Pixie

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Re: Realism vs Buddhism..
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2017, 11:30:15 pm »
Deleted
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 12:58:50 am by Pixie »
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: Realism vs Buddhism..
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2017, 08:38:10 am »
So what does it feel like to have no self..


Well, that's an interesting question.

The thing is, you already have no self.  The problem lies in that you firmly believe you have a self.  The question might be better read, "What does it feel like to not believe there is a self?"

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How is this attainment possible.?

It's not as easy as it sounds.  Ceasing a belief in self is not as simple as saying you no longer believe in a self.  This belief is deeply rooted and so will take time and effort to cut away those root.  THink of it like that damned apple tree in the back yard that you had a tree service cut down  They even ground down the stump.  But doggone it, some root survived and they keep sending up new shoots.

What can you do?  Do what the Buddha did.  Meditate.

Offline Tigermelon

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Re: Realism vs Buddhism..
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2017, 09:33:42 am »
Something that might helps with the no-self struggle is the following:

1. Understanding the truth of no-self is not the same as fully accepting it and living through that understanding.  The first step is the academic meaning, then accepting (or potentially rejecting) that meaning, and then you can finally begin the journey towards the deeper and more abiding understanding where the real benefit is.

2. For me, at least, it isn't something I'm able to totally accept at all times because I am too rooted in the illusion of the reality that I have formed over so many years.  As such, really understanding and accepting no-self comes more in flashes--moments of clarity that I endeavor to experience with greater frequency.  I don't expect that I'll ever truly replace my deeply rooted delusions of self with the Buddha's clarity of thought in this lifetime, but I benefit from the attempt all the same.

The thing about Buddhism that sets it apart from many other paths is that it is, by it's nature, unique to you.  The various traditions didn't form because one was not good enough but because none are right for everyone.  This forum is a great place to gain insight via other people's experience and understanding, but ultimately what you accept or reject, find curious or find life-changing are entirely up to you.

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: Realism vs Buddhism..
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2017, 10:01:09 am »
Hi BackLooter,

No permanent, inherent self is emptiness. Forgive my laziness, but here's my "meditation" on that issue -- http://www.frogzen.com/meditations/

After integrating experiences of emptiness and no-separate-self, you get into relative and absolute (two truths) and finally co-dependent-arising and universal mind. But it's not really that linear. It's all here already, as Francis intimates.

I think it's best not to get too hung up on words and concepts, especially when first starting out. Meditative experience will eventually clarify this matter of the self.
My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at http://www.frogzen.com

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Realism vs Buddhism..
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2017, 02:36:04 am »
I think the problem is the negative expression 'no-self' that sounds rather like emptiness, but isn't really. It's possible to look at it the other way round, that our normal sense of self is separate from the reality of being part of everything. We let go of this limited, isolated self to find our real nature, which is being one with the whole. We see that what we had thought of as 'self' was never real, but a result of the delusion that we were separate. No-self is then the opposite of deluded-self, one born of the illusion that we were ever separate in the first place.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Pixie

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Re: Realism vs Buddhism..
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2017, 02:56:51 am »
Quote from: BlackLooter
So what does it feel like to have no self..

How is this attainment possible.?

Hi BlackLooter,

You might find something helpful in this discussion:

https://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/showthread.php?6655-NO-Self-in-Buddhism-and-Life

Best wishes,

Pixie _/\_


May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Realism vs Buddhism..
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2017, 04:30:31 am »
Quote
So what does it feel like to have no self..

Well, the first thing I noticed after pursuing understanding of "The No Self Teaching" and "The Not Self Teaching"  is that my meditations were taking on a whole new focus.  The experience generated vastly different results.  Instead of my head being full of worries and concerns regarding my family and home, and all of the possibilities of what could break next, and how I was going to repair it, and how I was going to pay for the parts, where was I going to get the parts, and etc., etc., etc........I began to realize that none of that mattered as much.  I began to take the advice of my advisor:  "Don't worry about it, unless it affects your breathing!"

The mind, which used to be full of that type of crap began to settle down, to become quiet."


Quote
How is this attainment possible.?

I began by looking in the mirror and then looking at my baby picture.  I could easily tell the difference between the "me" that was in the early photos and the me that was in the mirror.  Then there were the old family 8mm movies, and my memories of what I was capable of doing at the age of fourteen, twenty, thirty, and now at seventy two.  At each age, time, in each video, photo, and at each memory the me that is here now is not the same.

So, from the above realizations, I could see that there was no permanent self, no soul, no eternal being, just this mental image that changes second by second, this physical self that changes minute by minute, and this delusional self that is ever deteriorating, decomposing, and slowly but surely returning to the basic elements , which were created in the furnaces of creation in the nuclear reactors of stars.

 :r4wheel:

Quote
And thanks for the in depth replies I'm a bit happier knowing now that their is something special in Buddhism for me to discover....!

Thanks for your great questions.  That's why we are here:  "To learn from each other. "  In this way we are all much like blind men sharing what they have learned from touching different parts of an elephant they have discovered. :grouphug:
« Last Edit: April 15, 2017, 05:57:26 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline BlackLooter

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Re: Realism vs Buddhism..
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2017, 02:35:58 am »
So I know what no-self is...its like any other category in existence...

But how to actually feel this category perfectly...blends in well with co dependent or otherwise dependent origination...

Which means that there is a certain root...or route that the idea of No self occupies...

And therefore the question isn't about not having a self...but the complete factation of the no self idea..

Indeed to follow it to its bitter end..might be the revelation in and of itself..which is that it doesn't have an experience at all?

Maybe nothing leads on to nothing.. but something will always be connected to the now..and the past and the future..like a Rope over an abyss..
All the Girls and Spacemen will have a monkey on my back before I Attack, I do Shaolin, and Wing From Gui..the meaning of life is backwards and so are you!

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Realism vs Buddhism..
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2017, 03:11:43 am »
Hi BlackLooter. I would say that no-self is unlike any other category in existence. You have to let go of everything, even the idea of no-self. You go beyond everything, take the leap of faith holding on to no 'thing' whatsoever. And then you get to enlightenment. Which is the best experience of all. Nobody says that it is easy, though.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline BlackLooter

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Re: Realism vs Buddhism..
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2017, 03:26:42 am »
Interesting take on Buddhism..But I bet everything is empty none the less...

Maybe emptiness and no self are the same thing?
All the Girls and Spacemen will have a monkey on my back before I Attack, I do Shaolin, and Wing From Gui..the meaning of life is backwards and so are you!

 


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