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Guru System vs Buddhist Thougt?

To: alt.zen,alt.philosophy.zen,alt.tibetan.buddhism,alt.meditation,alt.magick.tyagi
From: !
Subject: Re: Guru System vs Buddhist Thougt?
Date: 27 Nov 1995 12:30:30 -0800

|>whether or not that tradition arises within the West or East, includes a
|> certain cosmology, or metaphysic in its teachings is irrelevant as compared
|> to the simple fact of waking up.  there is no self to be awake, and that
|> is the reason that 'being awake' is insuffient as a descriptor  
|>
|>there is wakefulness.  no-self does not admit of an 'it' which either wakes
|> or is awake.  therefore it is beneficial to speak of a process of waking
|> without speaking of what does the waking or how it may be accomplished

|...The existence of self depends upon which meaning of the word "self" you 
|are talking about.  

as far as I am concerned, the existence of self depends on everything
 else in the cosmos to make it up, though I gather you mean something a
 little different than this

the meaning of the phrase 'existence of self' certainly depends on the
 significance of each separate term in that phrase

|There is no fixed, eternal, atomistic self (i.e. soul).  

quite a strong statement.  how can you be so sure?

|There certainly is a conditional, impermanent, composite self.  

so you believe.  I am not convinced of either of these things.
 it seems to me that there are truths to both perspectives, much like
 'there is a rainbow' and 'there is no rainbow', or 'there is a mountain',
 and 'there is no mountain' (then there is)

|This "self" can be awake and realize its composite nature.  

I think there is room to argue that no self exists at all.  what we refer
 to as a 'self' is a fictional entity we mistakenly identify as constant
 in some fashion.  look at a wave in the ocean.  'a wave' is never the
 same water.  it is a concept of our minds and has no stable existence
 as a 'thing'.  it is a pattern which changes its basic and fundamental 
 essence (buddha-nature in the case of us) at every moment  

the *water* (this body) exists.  this I can more easily defend, though it
 is also false in a way.  I am a shooting star, man.  in an eternal realm
 of expression anything which has a termination point is not truly real 

the wave (the 'self') cannot be awake or realize anything.  it is but a 
 phantasm (great flick btw ;)

|There is thought but no thinker, and this thought creates the self -- not 
|the other way around.

thought without a thinker is somewhat meaningless to me.  all I know is the
 ascription of thought within the stage of my mind

|The core of Buddhism is being awake.  

given that most of us will not wake up within our lifetime,

given that the cosmologies associated with Buddhism are relevant/true,

given that Buddhism extends over many cultures throughout the world,

 the PRESENT core of Buddhism is the *awakening process*, the social
 mechanism which, in the Mahayana tradition, intends to secure the 
 liberation of all sentient beings from the Wheel of Samsara (this 
 is the meaning of 'vowing to save all sentient beings')

the only ones for whom the core is being awake are the buddhas and the
 bodhisattvas.  I am presently not of their number of which I am aware
 (though I have received suggestion to study the life story of Padmasambhava
 very carefully for reflections of my own life process), and I cannot verify
 that any of my friends or acqaintances are among their number.  I have heard
 that 'bodhisattva' is a common title but to many only means 'one who has
 taken the bodhisattva vows', thus I balk

|Putting it in terms of simply waking is nilhism -- denying the existence 
|of the conditional self.

nihilism?  I think it is just a matter of different levels of truth and
 accuracy within each.  I am here not denying the water only the wave as 
 such.  not denying the water: this is not nihilism.  challenging the wave:
 this is consistent with most religious philosophies

Christianity identifies a central, nonphysical substratum to the wave and
 to the cosmos as a whole (spirit, an aspect of God) which is separate both
 from the water of which we are made (matter/spirit dualism) and from the
 figmentary wave of the personality we may accrete within this flesh capsule 

Buddhism tends to reject not only the central substratum (atman), but also
 the ephemeral and changing features of consciousness as the essence or
 focus of awakening (these being limited of 'reality'/duration/permanence)

many religious traditions teach self-effacement as a means of humble 
 discipline, the wave, the personality, becoming the obstacle or the object
 of scorn.  I like to think of sunyata when I come upon such teachings,
 for the wave is also the buddha-nature, even if it does not exist except 
 in our minds.  wave and buddha-nature are empty empty empty, gone gone gone

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