Author Topic: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosphy onto Buddhism!  (Read 543 times)

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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I recently learned that Mahayana Buddhists believe original Pali Buddhism is "Essentialist".  :teehee:  :lmfao:

Since this term is not found in Pali Buddhism, we must search in Wikipedia for a definition:
Quote
Essentialism is the view that every entity has a set of attributes that are necessary to its identity and function.

Wikipedia

Therefore, the impression gained here is Mahayana Buddhist believe all discrete phenomena, such as consciousness, feelings, eye balls, water, toe-nails, kidneys, clouds, grains of sand, trees, atoms, etc, are "entities". Of "entities", Wikipedia says:
Quote
An entity is something that exists as itself, as a subject or as an object, actually or potentially, concretely or abstractly, physically or not. It need not be of material existence. In particular, abstractions and legal fictions are usually regarded as entities. In general, there is also no presumption that an entity is animate, or present.

Wikipedia

Now Pali Buddhism does not use the word "identity" as a "label" or "name". Instead, in Pali Buddhism, "identity" refers to the belief ('ditthi') that the grouping ('kaya') of five aggregates is a "self" or "me/mine" ('sa'), namely, 'sakkaya-ditthi', as follows:
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There are these five clung-to-aggregates, friend Visakha: form as a clung-to-aggregate, feeling as a clung-to-aggregate, perception as a clung-to-aggregate, fabrications as a clung-to-aggregate, consciousness as a clung-to-aggregate. These five clung-to-aggregates are the self-identification described by the Blessed One.

The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming: This, friend Visakha, is the origination of self-identification described by the Blessed One.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.044.than.html

However, Pali Buddhism does use "function" to define phenomena, as follows:
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"And why do you call it 'form'? Because it is afflicted, thus it is called 'form.' Afflicted with what? With cold & heat & hunger & thirst, with the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, & reptiles. Because it is afflicted, it is called form.

"And why do you call it 'feeling'? Because it feels, thus it is called 'feeling.' What does it feel? It feels pleasure, it feels pain, it feels neither-pleasure-nor-pain. Because it feels, it is called feeling.

"And why do you call it 'perception'? Because it perceives, thus it is called 'perception.' What does it perceive? It perceives blue, it perceives yellow, it perceives red, it perceives white. Because it perceives, it is called perception.

"And why do you call them 'fabrications'? Because they fabricate fabricated things, thus they are called 'fabrications.' What do they fabricate as a fabricated thing? For the sake of form-ness, they fabricate form as a fabricated thing. For the sake of feeling-ness, they fabricate feeling as a fabricated thing. For the sake of perception-hood... For the sake of fabrication-hood... For the sake of consciousness-hood, they fabricate consciousness as a fabricated thing. Because they fabricate fabricated things, they are called fabrications.

"And why do you call it 'consciousness'? Because it cognizes, thus it is called consciousness. What does it cognize? It cognizes what is sour, bitter, pungent, sweet, alkaline, non-alkaline, salty, & unsalty. Because it cognizes, it is called consciousness.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.079.than.html

Further, Pali Buddhism refers to "elements" (dhatu), which sound like the mistaken or convoluted Mahayana idea of "entites", but these elements are said to not be a "self", in Pali:
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And what is the earth property? The earth property can be either internal or external. What is the internal earth property?}[3] Anything internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid & sustained: head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, membranes, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents of the stomach, feces, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid, and sustained: This is called the internal earth property. Now both the internal earth property & the external earth property are simply earth property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.062.than.html

Therefore, it seems difficult, maybe impossible, to refer to Pali Buddhism as "Essentialism" because, contrary to "Essentialism", Pali Buddhism denies "identity", affirms "function" but has no notion "entities" that fall within the vague & broad definition found in both Western & Mahayana philosophy.

I hope beginners can start to discern how confusing this all is when imputing Western philosophy onto Buddhism!  :wacky:  :smack:


« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 06:23:08 pm by VisuddhiRaptor »

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosophy onto Buddhism!
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2017, 07:25:33 pm »
Another Western philosophical notion popular in 'monkey-mind-Buddhism' is "Materialism".

A Pali equivalent of this Western word 'materialism' is not found in original Pali Buddhism despite its popularity both in the East & West by monkey-minded-Buddhists. Wikipedia says:
Quote
Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental things and consciousness, are results of material interactions.

In original Pali Buddhism, there are many higher teachings that appear to state there can be no mentality without materiality, as follows:
Quote
Were someone to say, 'I will describe a coming, a going, a passing away, an arising, a growth, an increase, or a proliferation of consciousness apart from form (materiality), from feeling, from perception, from fabrications,' that would be impossible.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.053.than.html

Mentality-and-materiality (name-and-form) is the cause & condition for the manifestation of the consciousness aggregate.

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn22.82

Apart from a requisite condition, there is no coming-into-play of consciousness. Consciousness, monks, is classified simply by the requisite condition in dependence on which it arises. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the eye & forms is classified simply as eye-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the ear & sounds is classified simply as ear-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the nose & aromas is classified simply as nose-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the tongue & flavors is classified simply as tongue-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the body & tactile sensations is classified simply as body-consciousness. Consciousness that arises in dependence on the intellect & ideas is classified simply as intellect-consciousness.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.038.than.html

There are, Ānanda, these six elements: the earth element, the water element, the fire element, the air element, the space element, and the consciousness element. When he knows and sees these six elements, a bhikkhu can be called skilled in the elements.”

http://www.yellowrobe.com/component/content/article/120-majjhima-nikaya/321-bahudhtuka-sutta-the-many-kinds-of-elements.html

Therefore, it is silly & confusing to assert Buddhism does not include 'materialism'. Yet because the primary purpose of Buddhism is to understand & end suffering, obviously Buddhism is not 'materialism'.

In monkey-mind-Buddhism, some people use the word 'materialism' (similar to the words 'antisemitism', fascism or communism ) to attack & demonize others. 

:teehee: :lmfao:


Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosphy onto Buddhism!
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2017, 07:40:46 pm »
Another is "phenomenology", which even famous translators, such as Bhikkhu Bodhi, claims represents Buddhism.  :lmfao:
Quote
Phenomenology (from Greek  :lmfao: phainómenon "that which appears" and lógos "study") is the philosophical study of the structures of experience and consciousness.

Wikipedia

Since the Buddha discovered 'truths' or 'natural laws' that inherently existed in nature but were previously unknown, obviously Buddhism is not "phenomenology" since these truths & laws inherently exist outside of conscious experience.

Quote
Monks, whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands—this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All processes are inconstant.

“The Tathagata directly awakens to that, breaks through to that. Directly awakening & breaking through to that, he declares it, teaches it, describes it, sets it forth. He reveals it, explains it, & makes it plain: All processes are inconstant.

“Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands—this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All processes are stressful.

“The Tathagata directly awakens to that, breaks through to that. Directly awakening & breaking through to that, he declares it, teaches it, describes it, sets it forth. He reveals it, explains it, & makes it plain: All processes are unsatisfactory.

“Whether or not there is the arising of Tathagatas, this property stands—this steadfastness of the Dhamma, this orderliness of the Dhamma: All phenomena are not-self.

“The Tathagata directly awakens to that, breaks through to that. Directly awakening & breaking through to that, he declares it, teaches it, describes it, sets it forth. He reveals it, explains it, & makes it plain: All phenomena are not-self.”

https://suttacentral.net/en/an3.136

Therefore, it is confusing & silly to call Buddhism phenomenology because that would assert there is no objective reality. In other words, it would assert each enlightenment experience of each fully enlightened mind is not the same but, instead, unique to each.

:teehee:

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosphy onto Buddhism!
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2017, 08:02:38 pm »
Similar to 'materialism', another attack word used by 'monkey-mind-Buddhists' is 'ontology'.  :lmfao:
Quote
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence and/or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations.

The compound word ontology combines onto-, from the Greek  :lmfao: ὄν, on (gen. ὄντος, ontos), i.e. "being; that which is", which is the present participle of the verb εἰμί, eimí, i.e. "to be, I am", and -λογία, -logia, i.e. "logical discourse", see classical compounds for this type of word formation.

Wikipedia

While to enlightened Buddhists (who have gone beyond phenomenological volition & discerned the non-volitional interplay & lawfulness of natural phenomena) Buddhism may appear to have 'ontological' aspects, the Western philosophical school of 'ontology', being unenlightened, appears to include assertions & theories about the nature of 'self' as something intrinsically real.

For example, René Descartes said: "I think, therefore I am".  :lmfao:

Therefore, Buddhism appears to not be an example of 'ontology', despite Buddhism definitely not being 'phenomenology'. 

I think only unenlightened mind would assert the Western hubris that Western philosophy is superior to Buddhism and its terms therefore should be used as a benchmark to assess, judge & define Buddhism.

 :teehee:  :smack:

Offline ground

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Re: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosphy onto Buddhism!
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 08:05:46 pm »
...despite Buddhism definitely not being 'phenomenology'.


Quote
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.023.than.html

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosphy onto Buddhism!
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2017, 08:13:01 pm »
Quote
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.023.than.html


This is commonly mindlessly posted by the sheep at Dhamma Wheel.  :lmfao:  :teehee:

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosphy onto Buddhism!
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2017, 08:32:53 pm »

Quote
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.023.than.html


The above is a mistranslation because the word 'dhamme' does not only mean 'ideas'. If 'dhamme' means 'ideas' then impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, not-self, conditionality, Nibbana, etc, would be subjective 'ideas' or 'mental constructs' rather than objective realities. In other words, the Buddha would have mental constructed these ideas via thought function (rather than merely observed them).

Fortunately, the Pali suttas say Nibbana is asankhata, i..e, unconstructed & not dependent upon mind (apart from to experience it).

 :teehee:
Quote
Phenomenology (from Greek  :lmfao: phainómenon "that which appears" and lógos "study") is the philosophical study of the structures of experience and consciousness.

Wikipedia

The Pali explains there are material (rupa), immaterial/mental (arupa) & unconditioned (asankhata) elements. Thus not all things are mental. In other words, just because the mind passively phenomenologically observes certain objects does not mean those objects & their characteristics are related to phenomenology.


Quote
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.023.than.html


Yes. Eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors are included in 'The All" but these are not the structures of experience and consciousness. They are the objects of experience and consciousness.

Quote
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.023.than.html


This is commonly mindlessly posted by the sheep at Dhamma Wheel.  :lmfao:  :teehee:

Offline ground

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Re: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosphy onto Buddhism!
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2017, 08:33:42 pm »
Quote
The Blessed One said, "What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.023.than.html


This is commonly mindlessly posted by the sheep at Dhamma Wheel.  :lmfao:  :teehee:


I appreciate if you are seeking seclusion from the herd of so called 'buddhists'. However why then are you promulgating your individual interpretation of the suttas 'for beginnners' if not for the sole purpose of building up just another herd with you being the herdsman having the power?

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosphy onto Buddhism!
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2017, 08:39:35 pm »
However why then are you promulgating your individual interpretation of the suttas 'for beginnners' if not for the sole purpose of building up just another herd with you being the herdsman having the power?

I am not "interpreting". You continue to impute your own wrong methodology onto others. The Buddha did not generally teach to "interpret" his teachings. Please refrain. Thanks

As for the "herd", the only beginners I am targeting are named Ground & Spiny Norman.  :lmfao:  :teehee: :hapbd: =)) :cheer:

Offline VisuddhiRaptor

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Re: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosphy onto Buddhism!
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2017, 08:43:10 pm »
I appreciate if you are seeking seclusion from the herd of so called 'buddhists'.

Wrong. I post on enough forums & answer many diverse questions to many diverse inquirers.

I came here to get Johanne on the right path & have now realised you are in a similar position requiring similar help.  :teehee:

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosphy onto Buddhism!
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2017, 01:36:03 am »
As for the "herd", the only beginners I am targeting are named Ground & Spiny Norman.  :lmfao:  :teehee: :hapbd: =)) :cheer:

More patronising twaddle from the Buddhist Borg.  The truth is that you have a fragile ego, you simply cannot cope when people challenge your idiosyncratic dogma and so your instinct is to insult.

You also think you are a teacher, which is just delusional arrogance.   Element, you are an obnoxious fraud and egomaniac, no wonder you have been banned from most Buddhist forums.

Offline IdleChater

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Re: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosphy onto Buddhism!
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2017, 01:47:07 am »

I came here to get Johanne on the right path <snip>

Cyber-stalking?

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosphy onto Buddhism!
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2017, 03:46:20 am »
One could see the governing principles always as something negative (even stalking, so deep caught in private and personal hope and desire) but if smart and using it for one self, incl. such "silly" believes that there are many who do not only see by the outward seens, it's actually the best one can effort, if serious in gaining liberation.

Not so "negative", better remembering the Sangha and take good refuge all the time. One could easy beat it as long as not firm especially if running after others, one day beating this, one day beating that together, seeking friends and enemies...

Dhammadathu, Element, Visuddhiraptor... but also all others.

just saw this and thought for a while if it makes sense to write something, since it is for no one aside someone beyound easy to break a movie, especially if it has a kind of traumata as reason, and of course one would even not believe it. So first of all it's good that everybody keeps in mind that ones view is not for sure. Simply that would be enough. Easy spoken.

There are basics, basics that do not change as soon as one follows the path. Once they are not really gained, one can easily hurt one self in a real longtherm manner. So one is wise not to try to do the Zen teacher if not knowing mind really very good and not secure of breaking the basics.

One of the most effective means are the three governing principles, the self, the world (with it's Devas and Gods) and the friend on the path. If lacking all of them, that Mara really has every opening and just while thinking "I am so empty" one becomes so "drunken", as ones refuge, that one has no slightest idea whats going on.

It's good to hold firm on mundane right view and once so fare being able to really close the door from outside, then is the time and more urgend presents of the governing principles, that they are able to tame one in a way that really gets inwardly and binds one to stick on really wining a battle against oneself. Once one begann such, yet so much packed in his intellect but simply is not as able as one thought, like many here, it's really dangerous because one easy forgets what's goning on and not only that precious time runs out, wounds one has cut one self, might not hurt yet, still having some merits left, but they will burn and noboby (maybe) from near or far will give even slightes form for the most.

Remember Dhammakaras carriere for example, or many others. It's really nessesary. It takes an importand honest to one self to see that as long one has not entered the stream, one is still able to kill one on parents and you know what else.

So to make a point to the topics issue: keep in mind and train, deeper and deeper: "There is the case where a certain person is not covetous. He does not covet the belongings of others, thinking, 'O, that what belongs to others would be mine!' He bears no ill will and is not corrupt in the resolves of his heart. [He thinks,] 'May these beings be free from animosity, free from oppression, free from trouble, and may they look after themselves with ease!' He has right view and is not warped in the way he sees things: 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are brahmans & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is how one is made pure in three ways by mental action."

The sooner Dhammadathu get's really aware of what will come for sure, reminding against his grain how many maybe innocent even holly people he could have intentional have harmed, the better. It's one thing to reject things for "real" but it's another to bear that what long taken with laughts.

So there are always choices: to run even deeper like into this days;, to stop, and look good and long before following further a way, while taking really care, or make a turn and really finish that one actually, deep in heart want. It's hard, but it's possible to really get freedom and no more need to entertain in this or that way the illusions and ideas.

So this Atmas tiny words for Dhammadhatu, be sure that there are people beyound any illwill, even some with compassion but be reminded, that best "help" can just be taken, as it was given in the past and right here where you are. So there are all ways open to either really "plopp", what ever comes after, or foolish "plopp", which will be really for a long, long time... don't forget the past: tendencies to not come out of nowere and are not easy burned, even short on the surface, touching a little bit sun for a while.

Atma leaves you all "alone" hear and remember all the time: there is no other real refuge in this world aside the tripple Gems, so never, ever play around and destroy you boot. Deeds are riping also for childs and you know, if one having the luck to have learned and is used to basics of protection, those "normal" things found in the Mangala-Sutta, every day around the world where there is still some refuge, those are protected and really lucky, so seek just after that and leave where such can not be found, especially your own habits.

May you all find always good support to the path and may those having luck find their way to real happiness with ease. Mau all other as well find all that joy and welbeing that they desire in best harmless ways, not hurting each other to much in the meaningless rounds of birth, oldage, sickness and death, just a little food and gone again... like the short pleasure of some laughter, the wounds are not seen.
[ sangham.net Online monastery ✦ accesstoinsight.eu ✦ old used account Hanzze ]

Offline tj

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Re: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosphy onto Buddhism!
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2017, 08:06:50 am »
I am a product of western thought who explores many different ideologies, including Buddhism, for what wisdom I might gain. In a way that I think might be consistent with Buddhist teachings, I have to accept that my western upbringing is a fundamental ingredient of my life’s experience, an ingredient that can not be dismissed, ignored, or removed. (Anymore than one could ignore or remove the salt a scuffle.) It is something that simply must be accounted for in the pursuit of wisdom and compassion. So some degree I suspect every life, including one raised in one of the Buddhist traditions, faces obstacles in that pursuit.

I agree that the materialism of western thought has been a dead end in the pursuit of wisdom, often leading to nihilism, hubris, and an untenable selfishness. But that materialism is being challenged and, in my mind, utterly discredited by the discoveries of modern science, particularly in the field of quantum mechanics.  Matter isn’t the fundamental dynamic of the cosmos, it is a manifestation of energy. Everything that we tend to think of as real, of having substance and weight, taking up space and existing in time, is but energy. One is quite correct in thinking of matter as condensed light. Light has no weight, nor does it exist in space and time as we experience those phenomena. That knowledge is, to me, an extraordinarily challenging insight. Mystery and potential delight are all that remains when everything - every thing - is the flow of light (energy) interacting across the cosmos. At its very core “being” finds its foundations outside of time and space; not as a philosophical muse but as the actual way the universe evolves.

I’m not sure that any of our human ideologies, at this point in our own evolution, have fully integrated that knowledge.

Offline The Artis Magistra

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Re: For beginners: Avoid imputing Western philosphy onto Buddhism!
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2017, 05:42:23 pm »
One may have to not over-complicate things with difficult English terminology used in extremely complex and unusual ways.

Buddhism is extremely old, and the people and their language and ideas may not have been as complex as people are making them out to be right now or even among earlier intellectuals.

If one tries to understand the words in a very primitive way in an Ancient Indic context, it may give one a more authentic sense of how it might have been understood by the people of the period in their culture and language which was also inclusive of their cosmological notions and subtle and overt ideas regarding reality or the natural world or experience which was not likely the same as someone born a few years ago in modern Australia or modern North America. Ideas which are considered strange now were common back then, things rejected now were taken as granted and obviously true back then.

 


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