Author Topic: Question: flavorless ice cream  (Read 1378 times)

Offline ZenFred

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Question: flavorless ice cream
« on: October 23, 2016, 07:13:10 am »
Dharmakara, before his passing, would frequently teach us that different schools of Buddhism are like different flavors of ice cream. Along the lines of the 84,000 dharma doors teaching. As I've studied mysticism and other faiths I think this is true of religion as a whole to some degree. But is there flavorless ice cream? They certainly don't sell it in stores :). But can you practice without a tradition or is that by definition impossible?  DK, I wish you could answer this one. I miss your guidance. But anyone else, please offer what help you can.

Gassho, Fred/Liang

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: Question: flavorless ice cream
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2016, 07:17:16 pm »
I might not be the best person to answer your questions, but here goes.

Ice creams do not have flavours. If you were to examine every molecule, chemical or compound within an ice cream, using the most sophisticated, modern, scientific equipment, you would not find any substance that could be correctly labeled as a flavour.

Flavour is an experience in the individual mind or consciousness. It does not exist outside of the mind.
However, it is a common human trait, which is embedded in the usage of  common language, to project our experiences related to the stimuli of our own senses, onto the external object that provoked the stimulus.

For example, in common-language usage we say a leaf is green. A logical deduction from such a statement, is that the leaf contains a particular property that can be described as the 'color green'.

Fortunately, modern science has revealed the falsehood of such statements. The reality is, or at least it is more correct to say, the leaf has the property of reflecting a particular range of light frequencies which produces in the 'normal' or average human mind a sensation of the color green. It is the sensation in the mind which is the color, and that color will differ according to the characteristics of the observer. A so-called color blind person might see orange when another person sees green. Another species of animal might see everything in black and white. Yet other species of animal will see colors in the ultra-violet range, or infra-red range, that are invisible to us homo sapiens.

This general principle is something which appears to have been understood in Buddhist teachings, long before our principles of modern science were developed.

As for your question, 'Can one practice without a tradition?', that depends on how broad your definition of 'tradition' is. The narrower your definition, the more positive the answer. The broader your definition, the more negative the answer.

Broadly speaking, everyone exists within a tradition. Language, thoughts, memes, practices, all have a traditional basis or historical foundation. Every new and apparently original thought or action is connected to some previous thought or action. We progress by stages from whatever position we are in at the present moment.


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