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romansh

Batchelor's Agnostic Buddhism

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Yes, he writes very well and makes excellent points.

I can certainly relate to his opening paragraph concerning rebelling against Christianity (the tradition I was raised in) only to find that as I grow older I have begun in a strange way to recover my past, albeit a far, far cry from the Christianity I was indoctrinated with.  I take some things from Christianity which I think are useful and ignore or reject much of it.  But in doing so, I must say I am left with a very Buddhist Christianity!

What I take away from his article is that all these 'tools' we have to cope with life are just that - tools.  They're not answers to an afterlife, they're not Golden Rules where failure to adhere means tragedy, and they don't all work the same for everybody.  Of course, whilst Huxley may have coined the term, agnostic thought has been around since before Moses' day.

I like how he recognises agnosticism for what it is rather than how many portray it to be (laziness about not 'seeking' etc).  Such people already have all the answers so they don't seem to be able to entertain that they're thinking doesn't work for everybody.  Each to their own.  Whereas Buddhism says "this is the way, unless you find another".

Naturally humans get in their own way and start creating rules and dogma and beliefs which either must be adhered to or accepted.  I am sure neither Buddha or Jesus expected things to turn out the way they have concerning both traditions.

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On 11/7/2017 at 12:06 PM, romansh said:

I must admit I have a bias for Stephen Batchelor ... here's one of the reasons why.

The Agnostic Buddhist 

Thoughts?.

 

Open-mind-and-heartedness - premised on the suspicion-hunch-belief(?) that what one already knows and relates to (i.e. 'loves') surely doesn't encompass everything (under heaven) that there is to be known and loved strikes me as being the height of secure-in-being-insecure 'sanity'! B)

Edited by Davidsun

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On ‎2018‎-‎02‎-‎12 at 2:59 PM, Davidsun said:

Open-mind-and-heartedness - premised on the suspicion-hunch-belief(?) that what one already knows and relates to (i.e. 'loves') surely doesn't encompass everything (under heaven) that there is to be known and loved strikes me as being the height of secure-in-being-insecure 'sanity'! B)

My immediate reaction is: I don't really understand your point.

Second ... I have never met anyone who sees themselves as closed-minded ... but then I am likely missing a lot.

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21 hours ago, romansh said:

My immediate reaction is: I don't really understand your point.

Hello romansh - my quirkily stated 'point' was related to was said in the linked-to article (titled "The Agnostic Buddhist), which included: "Huxley began to develop the idea. He saw agnosticism as demanding as any moral, philosophical, or religious creed. But he refused to see it as a creed in the traditional sense of the word, and saw it far more as a method. The method he had in mind is broadly that which underpins scientific inquiry. It means, on the one hand, taking one's reason as far as it will go and, on the other, not accepting anything as true unless it is somehow demonstrable. Here there are very clear parallels with the Buddhist tradition. Although we may not find it so much in Zen, in the Indo-Tibetan tradition there is a strong emphasis on rational inquiry. I spent many years as a young monk not working on koans but studying formal logic and epistemology with Tibetan lamas. It is a very strong, rational tradition and I'm immensely grateful to have had that training. All traditions of Buddhism agree that one should not believe something simply for the sake of believing it, but only if it can somehow be demonstrated as true, if it can be realised in some practical way. Huxley even described his view as "the agnostic faith," thus giving it the kind of seriousness that one might otherwise expect only amongst religious people. ..."

My comment was a 'dig' at peeps who believed (without any doubt!) that the 'scriptures' (etc.) of their 'faith' encompassed 'the Whole Truth' (about Reality, Existence, Destiny etc.), who I regard as, in a way, being 'insane'. It takes the ability (maturity?) to comfortably entertain the idea that one doesn't know everything about whatever it is one is dealing with, that one doesn't have everything 'pinned down' (so to speak), to be sane in this 'crazy' :) world of ours, I think.

21 hours ago, romansh said:

Second ... I have never met anyone who sees themselves as closed-minded ... but then I am likely missing a lot.

But you've surely met peeps who thought they knew everything (at least everything of importance!) about a subject.

P.S. Even (so called 'Agnostic') Buddhists often get 'trapped' in their own version of 'insanity' (IMO) because they don't realize the fact that having directly experienced something to be 'true' once or even a thousand times doesn't (not rationally now!) mean that one's experience of said 'something' will necessarily be the same the next time one encounters it. Hence the idea of Beginner's Mind 'preached' in Zen traditions. B)

 

P.P.S. Apropos the idea of 'maintaining' "Beginner's Mind" as a rational philosophical base:

Consider the wisdom of Heraclitus’ saying:

“No man ever steps into the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” :)

Edited by Davidsun

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I find even with agnostic tendencies that I have to tread uncertain steps; having said that I can't help but think it would be foolish to throw away the thousand times something worked, just because it might not on the thousand and first step.

I have never met anyone who thinks they know everything ... perhaps you are confounding having an opinion on everything and knowing everything [of importance]? And I could ask are your posts opinions or are you stating some "knowing"?

And if I may ... I can't help but think the underlining and the mixture of cases and bolding detracts from clear expression.

 

Edited by romansh

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2 hours ago, romansh said:

I have never met anyone who thinks they know everything ... perhaps you are confounding having an opinion on everything and knowing everything [of importance]? And I could ask are your posts opinions or are you stating some "knowing"?

And if I may ... I can't help but think the underlining and the mixture of cases and bolding detracts from clear expression.

Everything I say or imply that I think or that I feel or that I have logically concluded is really what I think, feel, have concluded etc. So it may regarded as truly being what I know I think, feel and have concluded. Some may prefer to think :) etc. what I say  I think or that I feel or that I have logically concluded is really just my personal 'judgment', hence no more than 'mere'  opinion.

You may think, feel or conclude anything you choose(?) to about the style of my writing and whether and, in that case, how much it 'detracts' (in your opinion :) ) from 'clear' expression. It is, however, how I really choose to 'aim' to get my meaning(s) across. This amounts to a 'take it (for what it is) or leave it' response-declaration. I am OK with your doing or not doing either or partly doing  both. :D

I hope you grok that the strength of my above 'retort' is a function of my having 'fielded' just such kind of reaction/response from people either not being able or willing (or both) to relate to my chosen style of expression and so 'suggesting' I change it to suit what they think, feel and so conclude would be more desirable many times before so suggesting that it would be 'better' if I did so.

Sincerely - David

P.S. I write the way I write because it heightens the intensity of my engagement (of my thoughts and feelings) as I do so. YThe bolded and underlined words are 'said' louder 'in my head' :) and the italicized words indicating that I am thinking of a 'particular' meaning (english words often have many meanings!) in said regard. I very much enjoy doing so, and do so in a 'spirit' of fun!

Edited by Davidsun

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David,

I for one, am ok with your style. Also i am pleased that you enjoy it / receive some personal benefit from it. It may not edify all but as you say, one can take it or leave it for what it is.

Joseph

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