Author Topic: Buddhism for Degenerates  (Read 3030 times)

Offline jeramiah.parsons

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Re: Buddhism for Degenerates
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2013, 04:36:21 am »
I agree and disagree. I agree that this Jack Kerouac book does have a bit too much "unskilful" behavior in it such as the things I mentioned. However, The total emancipation from suffering and attachment is impossible for a westerner. The characters mentioned in this book were not monastic (this much is obvious), but neither are many common folk who practice buddhism in the cities and larger areas. Sex, travel, and indulgence is pretty much common place in the west and many people like Dzogchen Ponlop are paving the way for a fine mesh between western practices, meets eastern Buddhism.

I act in a much more refined manner, and take the reciprocity of energy very seriously. But we would be fools to label Jack and gang a crew of unskilful wanna-be Buddhists. Any practice that stifles desires is not necessary. The Buddha himself renounced living in self loathing, and instead embraced a much more open and humble phiolosophy. Not everyone here is a monk, and some of us would still call ourselves Buddhists even with the inclusion of delights of mind and body ;)

Likening Extremist Muslims into the same category as a lax buddhist is an asinine leap. Lets stay on target here.

Offline Richard

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Re: Buddhism for Degenerates
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2013, 07:16:11 am »
I agree and disagree. I agree that this Jack Kerouac book does have a bit too much "unskilful" behavior in it such as the things I mentioned. However, The total emancipation from suffering and attachment is impossible for a westerner

Is it? Why do you say that?


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The characters mentioned in this book were not monastic (this much is obvious), but neither are many common folk who practice buddhism in the cities and larger areas. Sex, travel, and indulgence is pretty much common place in the west

As it was in the Buddha's time and is it still is in many Buddhist countries, does the fact that it exists make it part of the path to Nibbana? The scriptures seem to think not, and this is why the Buddha prescribed means of avoiding such behaviour.

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and many people like Dzogchen Ponlop are paving the way for a fine mesh between western practices, meets eastern Buddhism

I'm afraid I'm not familiar with Dzogchen Ponlop, however I am familiar with many people who try to marry things from different traditions to suit there own philosophical standpoint - and on a personal level this is fair enough, but the Buddha said that people should not misrepresent his teachings, and condoning practices that he said were unskilful as 'Buddhist' is doing exactly this.

Please, please bear in mind I'm not judging anyone, I am quite happy for anyone to behave in anyway they deem fit, I'm happy for anyone (and would encourage anyone) to apply aspects of the Buddha's teaching to their lives - my only position here is that we shouldn't confuse Buddhism with something it is not - we shouldn't apply 'such and such' as part of Buddhism when it isn't, because the only outcome of doing so is that the genuine teaching will become watered down and people will not have access to the path to the end of suffering that the Buddha taught.

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I act in a much more refined manner, and take the reciprocity of energy very seriously. But we would be fools to label Jack and gang a crew of unskilful wanna-be Buddhists

Again I'm not sure who 'Jack' is (my apologies). I'm not labelling anyone unskilful wannabe Buddhists - I am saying outright that in accordance with the Buddha's teaching anyone who practices unskilfully (through choice) is not practicing in line with the Buddha's teaching. They may call themselves whatever they wish, that is neither my concern nor my business - but the Buddha himself really did come down quite heavily on those who 'misrepresented' him. My position is from what the scriptures say, not my own opinion. My best friend binge drinks, she doesn't claim to be Buddhist and I don't preach to her. If she was I would remind her that the scriptures encourage us not to drink - but i wouldn't condemn her for doing so, just like I am making no condemnation here.

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Any practice that stifles desires is not necessary. The Buddha himself renounced living in self loathing, and instead embraced a much more open and humble phiolosophy

Indeed he did, but he still had guidelines in the precepts for those who wished to follow those teachings. The precepts are not there to stifle desires, they are there to cultivate understanding of the nature of suffering. If you think the precept 'not to take intoxicating drinks' is a rule to stifle desire you are misunderstanding the precept - it is there to encourage skilful behaviour from which wisdom will develop. The details surrounding the rules of all the precepts are very well laid out, they are very clear as to why they are there - they are not merely 'thou shalt not's'. The Buddha was beyond the need for rules, he was beyond suffering - but that didn't mean he was ok to go and have ten pints on a Saturday night - he still lived in accordance with skilful behaviour.

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Not everyone here is a monk

Neither am I.

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and some of us would still call ourselves Buddhists even with the inclusion of delights of mind and body ;)

You are free to call yourself what you wish.

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Likening Extremist Muslims into the same category as a lax buddhist is an asinine leap. Lets stay on target here.

Is it? why?

Do you think extremist Muslims come out automatically believing what they believe when they are born?

I work alongside people of all faiths and the reason people take on 'extremist' attitudes is because they deviate from the scriptures (or more often are influenced by those that have) to suite their own agendas.

Sometimes those agendas are subtle, sometimes they can be extreme, but the trigger cause is always the same - somewhere down the line they want to fit their religious beliefs into their own personal/philosophical/political views and deviate from that scripture in order to so.

The Quran never once says kill apostates, stone women to death for adultery, or fly planes into buildings. And if those that carry out such acts were to act in accordance with the Quran they wouldn't do those things. So 'lax' Buddhists may not be extremist Muslims (although some Buddhist do kill people in the name of their religion - although it is very rarely reported in the west) but the psychological mechanism is the same 'I like the idea of Buddhism but it doesn't fit into my personal world view/behaviour so I'm going to modify it to suit me'.

Again anyone may do what they want/call themselves what they wish and I have no desire to say anyone's behaviour is 'wrong' (something that definately doesn't appear in Buddhist philosophy) - but is it in line with what the Buddha taught? Anyone partaking in that behaviour has to reconcile that within themselves.
Buddham saranam gacchāmi . Dharmam saranam gacchāmi . Sangham saranam gacchāmi

Offline sdjeff1

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Re: Buddhism for Degenerates
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2013, 11:48:59 am »
I agree and disagree. I agree that this Jack Kerouac book does have a bit too much "unskilful" behavior in it such as the things I mentioned. However, The total emancipation from suffering and attachment is impossible for a westerner. The characters mentioned in this book were not monastic (this much is obvious), but neither are many common folk who practice buddhism in the cities and larger areas. Sex, travel, and indulgence is pretty much common place in the west and many people like Dzogchen Ponlop are paving the way for a fine mesh between western practices, meets eastern Buddhism.

I act in a much more refined manner, and take the reciprocity of energy very seriously. But we would be fools to label Jack and gang a crew of unskilful wanna-be Buddhists. Any practice that stifles desires is not necessary. The Buddha himself renounced living in self loathing, and instead embraced a much more open and humble phiolosophy. Not everyone here is a monk, and some of us would still call ourselves Buddhists even with the inclusion of delights of mind and body ;)

Likening Extremist Muslims into the same category as a lax Buddhist is an asinine leap. Lets stay on target here.


I've always thought that Dogzhen Ponlop was an interesting character. I have to admit though that I've only seen a documentary on him and his son and the tension between them. It didn't really focus on the practice although I learned enough to say it's not hedonistic in any way and it wasn't so much an attempt to adjust Buddhism to the west as it was to simply introduce a different way of thinking.

With respect, I strongly disagree with the assertion that's it's impossible for a westerner to achieve some level of enlightenment. I've noticed that as my practice goes on, the more my tastes change. I'm no monk and I'm certainly far from good. However I plug away at it and I do my best. That's the point. People like us (and you know what I mean) have a harder time with practice. I just try to be mindful of my actions because we own our own kamma. The present moment is the most important time. Maybe not this lifetime, but I at least want a good rebirth.

One of the things about Buddhism is that it doesn't require you to be humble, rather respectful and courteous. You will eventually get it back in return. I'm just addressing that particular word. It may just be a case of semantics, though.

I agree that likening lax Buddhists to Muslim extremists is a bit of a leap. Perhaps the poster was thinking of Buddhists with wrong view. Sometimes my practice has to be lax for days or weeks by virtue of my disabilities.

If I came off a bit strong, apologies. Just my  :twocents:

You might like this:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nanamoli/wheel377.html#pt2

It's from a Theravadin website but I've found it to be true across most traditions.

With Metta
It's easier to push the cart rather than thinking of pushing the cart.
-anonymous monk

To be normal is the ideal aim of the unsuccessful.
-CG Jung

Offline Richard

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Re: Buddhism for Degenerates
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2013, 12:02:46 pm »
I agree that likening lax Buddhists to Muslim extremists is a bit of a leap. Perhaps the poster was thinking of Buddhists with wrong view. Sometimes my practice has to be lax for days or weeks by virtue of my disabilities.

My point was that if we fit the teachings into our own holes then we may justify any behaviour we want under the label of Buddhism. The principle behind this is the same principle as those Muslims who 'justify' their actions as Islamic even though they are not acting in accordance with the teachings of the Quran.

Maybe extremists was a bit strong, I know Muslims who eat bacon and drink but profess to follow the faith, I was trying to use an extreme example to get my point across, sorry to all if I offended, it was not my intention.

Buddham saranam gacchāmi . Dharmam saranam gacchāmi . Sangham saranam gacchāmi

Offline Lobster

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Re: Buddhism for Degenerates
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2013, 01:40:12 am »
Us degenerates, heretics and unskilful pseudo-Buddhists, like me, can always rely on the good sense, rigid proprietary, authenticated and franchised Buddhist orthodoxy.

However I will not retain the bath water with Baby Buddha, I will throw them both away (or 'kill' the Buddha as the Zennists so quaintly intone it)

What is retained? The Buddha Tub?




Offline Hanzze

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Re: Buddhism for Degenerates
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2013, 02:33:37 am »
You may try what ever you like, but the Buddha had just one "Buddhism for Degenerates" and that is work for better condition and maybe reach the path of the well generated one or this life. You could start with the "easiest" kind of letting go: Dana. But even this is hard for the degenerated.

 


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