Author Topic: which school of buddhism does this point towards?  (Read 895 times)

Offline Arkena

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which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« on: October 17, 2018, 08:43:55 pm »
So for me buddhism can be summed up in one sentence...

"buddhism is simply about getting closer to reality"

ie: you strip away beliefs  and fantasy until you are just left with pure reality. So to me buddhism is about being with and at peace with reality rather than having beliefs about the world etc.

Does this description of buddhism seem to fit particularly well with a specific individual school of buddhism and if so, which one?


Offline Chaz

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Re: which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 07:06:54 am »
So for me buddhism can be summed up in one sentence...

"buddhism is simply about getting closer to reality"

ie: you strip away beliefs  and fantasy until you are just left with pure reality. So to me buddhism is about being with and at peace with reality rather than having beliefs about the world etc.

Does this description of buddhism seem to fit particularly well with a specific individual school of buddhism and if so, which one?

Not really.  Bit's and pieces, here and there, but for the most part no.

Quote
So to me buddhism is about being with and at peace with reality rather than having beliefs about the world etc.

Isn't that a belief?

Let go of the thought, return to the breath and rest.

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 07:33:46 am »
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Arkena:  "buddhism is simply about getting closer to reality"

Just finished watching two series on Amazon Prime about the neurological nature of the human brain.  Apparently our brains neurological connections form links and networks with billions of fellow / sister cells in response to every experience through all the senses.  The goal of this behavior is to allow survival through lessons learned.  From these connections our "individual" perspective of our own individual and very personal reality arises in mind.  And this is constantly changing with each and every experience in our lives.  We are truly impermanent beings constantly being remodeled by our actions, thoughts, emotions, and our moment by moment interactions with the external environment and our internal environment.

Apparently, the conclusion of modern neurological science is that in no way does our minds' perceptions agree with reality.  And, there is no way for us to ever know what that reality is.  We are literally stuck inside our own brains.  All our brains know is the electro-chemical codes received as our perceptions detect and transmit these electro-chemical codes through and to our brains.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B01MSUBH59/ref=atv_hover_title

https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B016O9XESU/ref=atv_wtlp_wtl_35
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 07:37:24 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 Chaz

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Re: which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 09:12:27 am »
.....there is no way for us to ever know what that reality is. 

Sounds to me like you're trying to talk yourself out of being a Buddhist.

Offline Gibbon

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Re: which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2018, 09:36:23 am »
So, if modern science is right, it follows that the Fourth Noble Truth is invalid?

Offline Chaz

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Re: which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 09:42:18 am »
So, if modern science is right, it follows that the Fourth Noble Truth is invalid?

So it would seem, if modern science is right, that is.

As they say here in the South, looks like it's time to put out the fire and call in the dogs.

Offline Gibbon

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Re: which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2018, 09:45:41 am »
Well, I would rather put my trust in the Buddha, thank you very much!

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2018, 10:06:01 am »
Apparently, the conclusion of modern neurological science is that in no way does our minds' perceptions agree with reality.  And, there is no way for us to ever know what that reality is.  We are literally stuck inside our own brains.  All our brains know is the electro-chemical codes received as our perceptions detect and transmit these electro-chemical codes through and to our brains.

Yes, as I concluded in my recent post at frogzen.com "...we don’t function in reality, but a mental approximation of it."

It's impossible to grasp reality with the conceptual mind and even normal perception is inadequate. But what those neurologists are talking about is the physical brain, not what's referred to as "Mind" in Mahayana. That's also who we are, but at a deeper less individualistic level. Each one of us is that reality in this very moment and it can be realized directly. That's what makes Buddhism, and zen in particular, a religion instead of just psychology, philosophy or other normal ways of understanding reality.

It's actually pretty simple, but not so easy for most of us. As Dogen said, "It's like trying to put a broken key into a lock with no keyhole." That's zen practice.
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 Ron-the-Elder

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Re: which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 10:10:41 am »
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es, as I concluded in my recent post at frogzen.com "...we don’t function in reality, but a mental approximation of it."

Yes.  The human neurological system can be compared to a blip on a cathode ray tube of a marine radar scanner. " Blips are not ships." :wink1:
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 Chaz

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Re: which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2018, 12:03:50 pm »
what those neurologists are talking about is the physical brain, not what's referred to as "Mind" in Mahayana.

Yes,

I asked our Lama in Boulder what was the difference between the Brain and the Mind.  He replied that the Brain is an organ.  The mind is phenomena.


Offline Arkena

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Re: which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2018, 02:51:26 pm »
Quote
Arkena:  "buddhism is simply about getting closer to reality"

Apparently, the conclusion of modern neurological science is that in no way does our minds' perceptions agree with reality.  And, there is no way for us to ever know what that reality is.  We are literally stuck inside our own brains.  All our brains know is the electro-chemical codes received as our perceptions detect and transmit these electro-chemical codes through and to our brains.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B01MSUBH59/ref=atv_hover_title
https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B016O9XESU/ref=atv_wtlp_wtl_35

Reality has several layers and is a complex topic. Im sure given our subjective perception of the world we cannot ever perceive reality (your usage) in the way that reality is. However there are other levels of "reality" (my usage and multi layered) that we can perceive and can get better at perceiving/understanding...science is a western method of understanding a narrow band of reality eg: particles ,matter,forces etc. But understanding how our emotions work...how the world works (wisdom?) etc is within our capacity to understand, perceive etc. Perhaps our view is incomplete...

By reality being multi layered i mean there are several layers such as: physical reality, conceptual meaning (north,south etc), emotional reality etc.

"All our brains know is the electro-chemical codes received as our perceptions detect and transmit these electro-chemical codes through and to our brains".

I have some understanding of this topic as i studied "cognitive neural networks" at university while on my computer science degree...namely the study of neural networks and how they learn/process data.

In a computer chip (eg:cpu) you might find ones and zeros in many different places however depending on where these binary codes are found they will represent different things. eg: 0010 if is deemed to hold numerical data this could represent 2 (ie: the binary code is being send to a chip that handles numerical data). If this binary of 0010 is handled in another part of the cpu it could be deemed to represent an instruction number eg: the function "add" or "subtract".

Knowing the base unit (ones and zeros) a data processing network is not enough to understand what kind of data this network can handle and can understand. Its the same with the brain just because we understand the basic unit of information in the brain between neurons (mV micro volts i believe?) does not mean we can understand what the brain has the capacity to process, understand, store and manipulate. Its not just nerve impulses that are important but where these occur in the neural network (ie: what their function is in the network) as just like in the cpu the same signal can have vastly different meaning ...it is quite context sensitive.

So i would say that the statement "All our brains know is the electro-chemical codes" is not accurate. Our brain understands how to manipulate audio,visual etc data and how to manipulate them and perform complex operations on them. The above statement is far too reductionist and a view aware of emergent properties of the brain is needed to understand the basic data processing capabilities of the brain. eg: understanding that nerve impulses represent different things across a network of neurons...they might represent part of the data being received by a sense, they might represent a "learning" signal etc...this is complex.

Hope i dont sound like a know it all. apologies if i do.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2018, 02:28:05 am »
I think if you change it to 'points towards aligning with reality' you may be closer to the kind of reality we get to experience. Meditation doesn't uncover reality but allows us to experience reality in different ways, just as science does, or mathematics, or art, or philosophy, or whatever.
“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 zafrogzen

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Re: which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2018, 10:10:17 am »
It looks like concepts of reality are just products of mental activity, attempts to grasp the ungraspable and stop the unstoppable, because everything (and everyone) is impermanent, in constant change and movement -- so that ultimately, different realities are in the eye of the beholder.

Still, oddly enough, right in movement there is stillness.

« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 11:07:31 am by zafrogzen »
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 Arkena

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Re: which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2018, 04:19:12 pm »
I think that things like mathematics, science etc help us understand very specific parts of reality...the breadth of reality is ungraspable by us...thats why you get experts in singular fields as no one could comprehend it all.

But we dont need to grasp reality's breadth to be able to function in it...we prove that every day.
Science and logic...even common sense help us understand the world.

My inexperienced view on meditation is that it helps us uncover the reality of our inner world so we are more "masters of our own fates and emotions" instead of being tossed this way and that according to the outside world. It calms and focusses the mind so it can become more aware within its vast potential to do so.

I think we are downplaying the human capacity to learn and comprehend the universe...And probably the potential within each of us.

Offline philboyd

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Re: which school of buddhism does this point towards?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2018, 06:05:44 am »
For me Buddhism is about how we relate to what we perceive through our six senses. The aim being a mindfulness of our environment free of personal attachment. The practice involves turning the lens around one hundred eighty degrees and looking inside ourselves to gain an experiential understanding of reality.
Science and mathematics aim at a kind of third person focus on phenomena, "what is reality sans consciousness" .
With the aim of these schools being diametrically opposed, it seems futile to attempt to reconcile them.
Peace

 


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