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July 10, 2011


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Thanks for posting this. Its right up my alley. As you probably know, I'm into Dzogchen.

What you may not know is that I am quite familiar with Chapman's teacher Ngak’chang Rinpoche and his path the Aro gTér.

I met and conversed with Ngak’chang Rinpoche at an all day retreat that he gave in San Francisco about seven years ago. Ngak’chang lives in Wales with his wife Khandro Dechen.

I was into studying the Tibetan Aro teachings and its Ngakpa and Ngakma lineage, about 10 years ago.

I agree with Brian.

I don't like the statement "Meditation gradually strips away the layers of ego."

The realization of no self completely
depersonalizes thought in an instant.
There are no stages to realization.

The use of the word Oneness irritates me.
It is true when the self disovles one
sees no personas in others. But, the fact
is, duality is real.

Enlightened people do not experience
Oneness. They simply see everything
moving without a mover.

The Buddhists speculate on a Self.
They rarely ever actually FEEL it.

They come up short of contact.

I am using Self as Substance here.
A power as Ramana would describe it.

"I don't like the statement 'Meditation gradually strips away the layers of ego.'
The realization of no self completely
depersonalizes thought in an instant"

Then who is it that gets irritated?

"Then who is it that gets irritated?"
quote cc

Of course there is no WHO (personalized thought),
in an enlightened person.

So, how does an enlightened person become
irritated ?

One could say irritation is irritated.
But, that isn't the truth. It is silly scapegoat
of a faulty logic.

Enlightened people are moved by compassion.

They can be happy, sad, angry, irritated, etc.

But, the reasons they have these emotions are
very much different from the person whom
still believes they have a self.

Enlightened people see pain in people and animals.

This pain is felt as ones own pain.

Therefore, an enlightened person acts against
all pain and cruelty on the earth.

They don't try to suppress emotion and act holy.

That's for the gurus to pretend.

@Tao, I met Ngak’chang Rinpoche's wonderful late Guru, Lama Kunzang Dorje Rinpoche, in Boudhnath, Nepal, back in 2009, a truly wonderful, crazy yogi and Master.

David is a nice chap, I have met him few times. His blogs are informative and pleasant to read due to his fluid style and warm logical approach, albeit slanted sometimes, but nevertheless.

What I do not understand is why we need religion or spirituality in the first place? Isn't art and science enough for a modern man?

"Monism: you, God, and The Entire Universe are All One....This is hokum. There is no Absolute, you are not the entire universe, and there is no “true self.” This stuff is simple wish-fulfillment; a fantasy of personal omnipotence and immortality. (As I will explain in plodding detail in the book.)"

There dumb versions of monism, to be sure, and less dumb versions. I'm interested in the difference, Mr Chapman appears not to be.

"There isn’t a true self. "

There isn't in whom? There isn't how defined? How do you know?

Suppose you need explain to someone that selfhood , or some other X, doesnt work in anything like the way they think. One way is to to say your current concept of the self is completely wrong...rip it up and throw it away. That's the no-self theory....or rather the no-self approach.

Alternatively, you could start with the concept that someone has, and change it incrementally until they end with the correct concept. The True Self approach says "OK, this is how selfhood really works".

The starting points are different, and apparently contradictory, the end point is the same. Going into a house by the front door does not contradict going into the house by the back door.

Perremialism or Monism, or the Standard Hippie Philosophy, or whatever you want to call it has an eighth precept in addition to the seven Chapman mentions: that ultimate reality is ultimately indescribable. Therefore, neither the No Self nor the True Self approach should be taken as final. In the context of Buddhism, this piece of advice is encapsulated in the teaching of the Middle Way.

Kartasian, we aren't talking about ultimate reality. We're talking about the nature of the human brain/mind. Scientific facts don't really correspond to the "Middle Way." It isn't that gravity exists, and also doesn't exist.

Gravity actually exists.

Likewise, modern neuroscience finds no evidence of an enduring soul or self in the brain that is separate from neurological goings-on. There is no place, so far as science knows, for a detached observer watching the contents of awareness. That feeling of being an observer is part of the experience of being aware, not separate from it.

Buddhist teachings came into being before modern science. It can't be expected to be correct about scientific stuff, though it is amazing and wonderful how closely non-religious Buddhism comes to current neuroscientific understandings.

" Kartasian, we aren't talking about ultimate reality. We're talking about the nature of the human brain/mind."

We are talking about what some people mean by the self.

"Likewise, modern neuroscience finds no evidence of an enduring soul or self in the brain that is separate from neurological goings-on. "

Define self as brain, it exists. Define it as immaterial mind-stuff and it doesn't. It's pointless to discuss the truth or falsehood of sentences, as strings of words, without considering what they mean. You can't disprove concepts you have never heard of.

Science can detect a material brain. It can't detect any other kind of self, but if it could it would , ipso facto, be material or energetic too..it would be more of the same. You can't disprove a revolutionary idea by noting, however correctly, that it is not a conservative extension of an accepted idea. Revolutions - and science has them too - require you to go back and rethink old ideas.

I once got into an argument with someone who thought relativity meant that some physical force causes clocks to speed up and slow down...that is to tell the time wrongly, He had heard of time dilation, but had interpreted in term Newtonian time. As far as was concerned, a clock that slows down is a wrong clock.

Revolutionary ideas will always seem wrong if you start from the assumption that the old ideas are just fine. That says nothing about the quality of the ideas.

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