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The Buddhist Path

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan,alt.magick.tantra,talk.religion.buddhism
From: nagasiva@luckymojo.com (nagasiva yronwode)
Subject: The Buddhist Path (was What Makes Valid Tantric Ideology ...)
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 19:44:41 GMT

50000517 IVom

Tang Huyen :
>
>
>What kind of trash is this?
>
>The Buddhist path is to do away with the self, and, along with it, 
>any sense of purpose. 

what kind of trash is this? :>

the buddhist path is too vast, too broad to make categorical descriptions
based on the fact that the foundation, the Four Noble Truths, is a formula
for success, not a prescription regarding specific practices.

the self cannot be "done away with" since it doesn't have any lasting
existence. instead the SELF-IMAGE, what we take to be the self, is
left behind for a direct perception of the present.

a sense of purpose is typically some conformity with preconceived 
notions about what "should be happening". since each individual is 
a different combination of elements these processes are largely
variable from one another and the general practice should vary so
that each may awaken to the real. traditions concretize around
particular methods, and this is well and good, but none of these
should be promoted as 'the best for all people'.

>The Buddhist sage is purposeless, planless, goalless (a-pranihita,
>literally he does not put anything in front of himself, Chinese 
>translation "wishless", Latin propositum means plan). The Buddhist 
>sage, if he acts at all (and he can choose not to act), acts 
>without effort (an-abhoga), which goes in the same direction.

as there is no consistent object in front of which to place things,
it would not be *possible* to do this, though this does not mean
that there is no discernable orientation or theme to the actions of
an arhat, bodhisattva, or buddha. otherwise you would be describing
completely 'random' acts. examine the life story of Padmasambhava
for some interesting 'motivations' ascribed to and described by
this individual (such as his motive for killing people!).
 
>If, as you say: "Those people who have no ideology in life are 
>not human beings", then the Buddhist sage is not a human being.

there is a supernatualist slant to some Mahayana Buddhism which I
find somewhat disturbing. it is comparable to the distance made
between the stories of Jesus Christ as a human being and as a Son
of the Biblical God. separating buddhas from human beings is a
severe and deplorable obstacle to place before the aspirant who
might otherwise understand the buddhist path to be available to
any and all whose nature is drawn to it. making it clear that
Gautama was a human being like any other, that multiple lives are,
as far as we can know, fictitious, and that nirvana may be
obtained by the diligent IN A SINGLE LIFETIME, goes some distance
to encouraging even the desperately deluded to improve their
condition. 

I know that you were contrasting your knowledge with that of
Dharma Dave, and I am merely responding to your expression here,
but I do find that a great deal of the fantasy surrounding 
mystical enterprises sufficiently complicates an approach to
awakening that they may daunt those whose nature steers them
toward more simplistic and simplifying routes.

namaste in metta,

nagasiva
-- 
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