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October 28, 2019


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We can't really know anything byond life but to misuse the karma idea is very bad.
Like the caste system is truely bad and idiot also childish.
Judging is terrible while it is done all the time even in schools..also about cloths..
So it seems a very human thing.
Maybe it's even nature??
About strong and weak and things..
I really like Sufi's because for them eveything is Love..Ishk..
I <3 that!!

Listen to these two podcasts in succession - they’re on the paradox of death. They talk about all different instances and how people attest to having a soul or some otherworldly safeguard that gives them false security in hoping that their faith will forever continue on their existence. A fascinating listen none the less.



Higher than truth is truthful living - Guru Nanak

Aka Practice > theory
There is no end to theories which are just speculations and stories about what the Ultimate truth is. Every 100 years or so we form new theories and discard old. rinse and repeat.

Keep it simple. Focus more on living a good life rather than playing endless mental gymnastics

Have come round to questioning what the use of such beliefs is. Certainly don't make me feel better. Don't need any more metaphysical panaceas. Keep coming back to the fact that I wake up to a 'solid' in your face physical reality that demands I engage with it, not to contemplating my past lives. As such these beliefs seem like an irrelevance and something that cannot ever be demonstrated (one way or another). Practically they are useless and as such have no real role in the Buddhist business of being free from suffering as best as we can.

I love these quotes about the practice of mindfulness...

“The aim of mindfulness is to know suffering fully. It entails paying calm, unflinching attention to whatever impacts the organism, be it the song of a lark or the scream of a child, the bubbling of a playful idea or a twinge in the lower back. You attend not just to the outward stimuli themselves, but equally to your inward reactions to them. You do not condemn what you see as your failings or applaud what you regard as success. You notice things come, you notice them go. Over time, the practice becomes less a self-conscious exercise in meditation done at fixed periods each day and more a sensibility that infuses one’s awareness at all times.”

― Stephen Batchelor, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist

“One of the most difficult things to remember is to remember to remember. We forget that we live in a body with senses and feelings and thoughts and emotions and ideas. We get caught up in rumination and fantasy, isolating us from the world of colors, shapes, sounds, smells, tastes, and sensations constantly bombarding our input sensors. To stop and pay attention to the moment is one way of snapping out of these mindscapes, and is a definition of meditation. This awareness is a process of deepening self-acceptance. Whatever it observes, it embraces. There is nothing unworthy of acceptance.”

― Stephen Batchelor, Buddhism without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening

The issue here, or point of departure, is that Stephen Batchelor is not an Anti-theist. He will tolerate a variety of beliefs.

In a physical world only one truth can be true, and therefore accepting a plurality of beliefs about the same thing doesn't seem truthful.

But in a social world, in a world of belief, any number of realities can exist in the same space.

Belief systems, including the one about survival of the fittest, can be used to justify cruelty, just as readily as the caste system. Atheism is no protection.

In some ways these are two independent topics. If people pick the belief system they like, it is used to justify their own personal beliefs. That can justify acts of self - sacrifice and selfless service, or acts of manipulation, domination and cruelty.

So I think we should figure out what want to believe, then find out or create the system that helps us.

That system could be a conceptual framework, an inspiring story about a wise and comforting teacher. A creation myth. These have truth value to us personally. This is how Joseph Campbell interprets beliefs, because he saw common elements. They serve a functional purpose in our lives.

The system is a belief system. It's truthfulness is measured in its utility.

Factual basis could be zip. Belief systems can't by used to evaluate or describe this physical creation. They aren't factual. But they might be truthful, in terms of psychological truths.

People do try to use their adopted system of belief to prove their belief or discredit others' beliefs. But that has no functional purpose.

Because it's not about the system.

It's about what you want to believe.

Just as an FYI, the notion that "now I'm seeing the physical Truth! Now I'm dealing man to man with reality! I'm in the here and now!" is just another belief system.

The human brain doesn't give you cild hard reality. It gives you symbols that you can handle.

The human brain doesn't give you now. It gives you a picture combining several different milliseconds of the past. A filtered and modified picture.

You are hard wired for symbols, not reality. And most of those symbols you made in your own brain, in your own imagination, consciously or subconsciously.

So "real Truth" is just another manufactured symbol that gives some people comfort.

But a good symbol, there's a lot of truth in it.

"I choose to hold you in my dreams....
For in my dreams you have no end."

Jen and Spence,
Nice posts.

"Religious and spiritual traditions throughout history have explained that death is not the end of life but that some part of us, perhaps all of us, somehow carries on.

Buddhism is no exception to this. It is undeniable that the historical Buddha accepted the idea of rebirth. He spoke of rebirth and frequently described, sometimes in considerable detail, how actions committed in this life determine the form of existence in a future world. He also spoke of enlightenment in terms of how many times one must be reborn before one will be freed from the cycle of birth and death. Although there are instances in his discourses (the Kalama Sutta, for example) where he says that the practice of dharma is meaningful, whether you believe in a hereafter or not, the overwhelming mass of evidence does not suggest that he held an agnostic position himself." -- Stephen Batchelor https://www.stephenbatchelor.org/index.php/en/rebirth-a-case-for-buddhist-agnosticism

Another intriguing write up Brian. Unfortunately I didn't hear the interview so there is little that I can add to your interpretation. You would think that Batchelor would have agreed with Harris in regards to rebirth/reincarnation, because in actuality he does, which is abundantly clear by the way he addresses these doctrines in his books and retreat lectures. Perhaps his emphasis was really on truth claims, and reincarnation just happened to be the concept he chose to run with as a demonstration. Another interesting feature worth noting about Batchelor is that he is somewhat of a Pyrrhonist, as in a person who has a tendency to neither deny nor affirm anything. In other words, Batchelor could have been showing the importance of analysing or questioning a belief, not so much to assent or reject it, but to demonstrate an introspective way of coming to terms with a concept on one's own, rather than rely on some authority to determine what is true or false. Yes it might be nice to see Sam and Steven in agreement about every single detail but where would the fun be in that. One final thought that may very well bring balance to your view on this matter was something that Batchelor wrote in After Buddhism: “As a pragmatist, what ultimately mattered to Gotama was not whether this or that opinion about reality was true or false but whether the opinion supported or impeded the practice of the fourfold task.”

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