Re buddhism and pxnty


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Re buddhism and pxnty

  1. 1. being-in-love and being beloved as indispensable realizations for our journey to authenticity ... yes ... the consummation of lonergan's series of imperatives while buddhists are not w/o such realizations vis a vis their mutual encounter of one another (yes, as unique personal identities even though dynamic, fluid & processive rather than static, essentialistic & substantival), one can see the efficacy, in pxnty, of similarly relating to ultimate reality ( one way to measure this efficacy might be as a relational value that is augmented precisely in terms of an enhanced ego-self axis alignment as realized by virtue of an amplified numinous encounter, amplified, that is, by being intersubjective as well as intraobjective) such self-axis alignment value augmentations via numinous experience amplifications are not likely wholly lost (maybe not even overly diminished) on eastern traditions, however, due to their prominent devotional practices & objects, which include buddha(s), devas, boddhisatvas and sangha, all in a rather extensive iconographic & hagiographic context that expresses gratitude and aspires to virtuous emulation again, i think we can risk overstating the practical implications of these inter-faith conceptual distinctions vis a vis our comparative formative spiritualitues and various individuation paradigms a glossary might be helpful in better mapping concepts across traditions namaste, jb the empirical self is not denied only a metaphysical self; empirical personal identity is not in jeopardy only the essentialistic, substantival version; soul is okay phenomenologically just needn't be metaphysical, could be construed, for example, physicalistically, w/no violence done to essential pxn dogma; i think you imagine the buddhists to be denying the empirical self but the no-self description is adjectival not ontological, iow, they affirm continuity of identity but deny that it is static rather than dynamic; if you don't parse and disambiguate this properly you will engage a caricature (e.g. that no-self denies csc) as far as predicating the personal of God, i was affirming the apophatic and kataphatic and differentiating between the univocal, equivocal, analogical and metaphorical - some of those predications are the same between pxnty & buddhism but obviously not all hope this helps pax! 1
  2. 2. jb the practical takeaway from the neither self nor no-self a/c of such as buddhism(s) & deacon's peircean semiotic emergent a/c, then, is that we don't have a metaphysical self; but the empirical self in our phenomenological a/c suffices for all practical purposes one needn't go as far as either buddhism or physicalism (i still remain metaphysically agnostic but provisionally close as a nonreductive physicalist) and this applies to all the traditions, which, like pxnty, should remain in search of a metaphysic, need have no root metaphor, can function quite well with common sense understandings and phenomenology of essential dogma w/o overexplaining them w/systems talk, which eventually & inevitably collapses in incommensurabilities and self-contradictions we don't want to conflate pxnty w/robustly metaphysical concepts b/c when the ontology is found wanting the doctrines get called into question & they needn't be b/c they are immune to such critique methodologically iow, buddhism, for all of its metaphysical reticence and silence re primal ontological realities, abandons its own counsel when it comes to teleological realities pxnty advances resurrection as an essentially theological doctrine but buddhism, b/c it is nontheistic, necessarily must be making what are essentially metaphysical assertions re our personal afterlife destiny? as a buddhist, then, kw is predisposed (stuck really) w/his methodological conflations, saying more than we could possibly know positivistically & philosophically (cf helminiak) pxnty asserts more, too, but we recognize our leap past positivist & philosophic horizons, beyond the descriptive and normative to the interpretive, beyond the certain and probable to the plausible if kw is a self-described panentheist, he obviously wouldn't parse it as an indwelling but as the whole (One) being > sum of its parts (the Many) or as a pan-entheism vs our panen-theism getting the ego-self axis better aligned via numinous experience and/or spiritual practices is a topic we can engage (describe and norm) empirically via neuroscience and psychology and then interpret metaphysically and/or theologically; here the dialogue between buddhist and western psychology comes to bear (and jung engaged buddhism as a theosophical caricature, unfortunately) ... i have read some comparisons between psychotherapy and buddhist psychology but not much more ... exactly how we should treat ego consciousness (e.g. to what extent buddhists discourage it, as you suggest) on the way to transcendence, 2
  3. 3. individuation and or lonerganian conversion is something that's pivotal and worthy of some good compare & contrast analyses ... good point it is unfortunate that the phraseology of false self was ever employed or that dualist and nondualist approaches were ever presented in an over against way or that any of the furnishings of our epistemic suite were differentiated in a normative and/or evaluative hierarchy rather than affirmed holistically & integrally as indispensable gifts fr a generously donative reality the questions in my 1st paragraph were posed to probe what you thought buddhism was saying re: same and not what you thought BUT your response delivered some useful clarifications re your own approach have you given any thought to treating the relationships of self and ego to world and other? may provide useful foils to further elucidate distinctions between ego-self and ego-God and so on (we discussed this in prior correspondence if you can find it) you will likely find several references to terry deacon in my old splace contributions; my own approach is consonant w/his work, which would see our sense of self as a language-dependent phenomenon = symbolic selfreference, which is an emergent reality that i suspect is physical not metaphysical but that's not a sticking point if we deal with ego, self and other phenomenologically the sense of self in our nonreductive physicalism is pretty much consonant w/buddhist thinking in that self is not essentialist or substantial or soulderived but merely an intellectual construct (yet still an empirical reality), a useful fiction, so to speak, but this does not entail, in either buddhism or in the physicalist account (both nondual), the goal of dissolving the ego, rather, per both jungian and buddhist accounts, our ego-centric orientation can be transcended by our encounters with the numinous, which then better aligns the functioning of ego with self in a more robust ego-self axis, a transcendence, so to speak there are different takes w/in buddhism but generally the interpretation would be the typical 'neither self nor no-self' revealing, very crudely, that the buddha eschewed substance but embraced process metaphysics (that's uniquely MY hyperbole) we're talking fluid and dynamic but not static and essentialistic, not so fluid, however, that identity or agency get sacrificed also, the buddha is not atheistic but nontheistic, eschewing talk of origins not only of God but also the nature of a person's being the buddhist focus is practical and soteriological and not speculative and 3
  4. 4. ontological kw's chain of being resonates with this 'chutes and ladders' approach to reality but he departs fr buddhism proper when he gets robustly metaphysical (buddhism is much more vaguely metaphysical and open, in fact, to amendment, more hypothetical than systematic, hence the dalai lama's openness to science and evolution) but the practical takeaway for you is its optimism, an all shall be wellness that incl personal identity just not a personal God - but even in pxnty God is neither a person nor not a person explain what you mean by that deeper metaphysical identity or soul self? for example, would loved ones recognize each other in successive or afterlifes? pax, later jb yeah, i'm metaphysically agnostic re soul but suspect we are resurrected at death (discussed on splace previously & cited kung) i'll send a couple of articles re no self i'd be pleased to provide appendix material but maybe you could edit some of what i've already written or you could help me redevelop it dialogically; i have difficulty writing nowadays except when spurred on by concrete situations or prompted by others' inquiries pax, later jb ken wilber & monist implications d'accord re kw's epistemology, which i describe as arational rather than truly transrational what happens is, as you say, interdisciplinary lines then blur the way i say it is that he is being merely inclusive not truly integral those disciplines have distinct methods so are methodologically autonomous w/each necessary but none, alone, sufficient to optimally realize human values, hence they are methodologically autonomous but axiologically integral for kw, though, they are each methodologically autonomous AND axiologically autonomous, iow, yielding WHATEVER 4
  5. 5. re nondual stuff - epistemic approach, ontological outlook & phenomenal realization/experience for most westerners who 'go there' the nd would be developmentally ultimate not necessarily axiologically ultimate, meaning it comes last temporally but that's not the same as being the most highly valued the unitive intuition perhaps gifts us with HOW we interrelate (interpersonally) while the unitary speaks to HOW MUCH (intimately) is the way i like to put it in my vague panSEMIOentheism ... they don't compete axiologically to me, only complete our theo-ontological perspectives complementarily pxns already know about both the interpersonal and intimate nature of our interrelating fr divine revelation i don't view buddhism pessimistically no-self does not entail no personal identity but only no immortal soul (a view to which i'm inclined) its not unlike hartshorne's nonstrict identity (i'm also thus inclined) there's much room, indeed an imperative, for personal development and salvation (blissful even) for that personal identity, only it is not synchronic (think static & essentialistic) & substantival but rather diachronic (fluid thru time) and processive now, ultimate reality is impersonal but 'friendly' and karma, in part, serves to impart a type of continuity to personal identity the buddha is really treating the nature of ultimate reality & persons as having unfathomable depth dimensions buddhists are happy & peaceful when authentically practicing, even per neuroscientific accounts, and don't share your affective disposition toward monist reality - would not recognize themselves in your account we can and do appeal to interdisciplinary findings in making our theological tautologies more taut BUT those are really theologies of nature and not natural theologies, poetic and not philosophic ventures those who imagine that those are robustly truth-conducive rather than merely weakly truth-indicative are kidding themselves, proving too much BUT they do have some epistemic warrant and are existentially actionable even when not positivistically conclusive so, in the end, kw is offering a system but the only way we can profit from it is as a heuristic device and foil Sent from my iPhone 5
  6. 6. in short, the practical implications of the monist account, in general, and even buddhist account, in particular, needn't be considered that different from a phenomenal experience perspective in fact, the buddha really honors the unfathomable depth dimension of both ultimate reality & of our personhood, maintaining a respectful silence re much of their character even though affirming unitary being authentic buddhist practitioners are some of the happiest and most peaceful humans alive (consistent w/many neuroscientific studies) the nd has epistemic and ontological meanings but also refers to phenomenal experiences, which, as 'realizations,' don't necessarily entail metaphysical conclusions but rather convey sensibilities of deep solidarity leading to profound compassion Sent from my iPhone practical existential hermeneutic speculative evidential metaphysic i used caricature in the sense of purposeful misconstruction via advancing a strawman as a rhetorical strategy but of course dishonesty is nothing we could know as you say but there is another sense whereby, for all practical purposes, his misinterpretation of any given topic results in his presentation of a mere caricature and it would be fair to say that he, for example, engages caricatures of evolution, christology snd such does that sound reasonable? as for the unitary vs unitive conceptions of the journey, it is notable that among billions of practitioners of each approach over thousands of years, so many, who go deeply, will inevitably share a sense of solidarity coupled with a response of compassion while only an insidious indifferentism would suggest that ad majorem dei gloriam would not be at stake in getting our approaches as true, as good and as beautiful as practicable, i don't think we risk that vice in observing that the practical differences between some paths are often way overstated efficacies of right relationship to self, other, world & god (even if not conceptually competent) are realized from right practices orthocommunio results moreso fr orthopathy & orthopraxy and less fr orthodoxy, such realizations are likely much more implicit than explicit, the spirit's presence & influence being so generous & profuse, so radically incarnational don't need to understand the metaphysics & theology of eucharist or other 6
  7. 7. sacraments in order for their celebration to be efficacious, same is true with energy healing, same is true for a 20 minute sitting reality IS like the unitary interpretation but also like. the unitive interpretation, it IS a successful reference though not a successful description there IS more to be said literally through apophatic predication but there is no limit on what can be metaphorically affirmed through kataphatic affirmation the western dualistic mindset gets caught up in a zen conundrum re then there is no mountain b/c it doesn't finish the trialectic w/then there is, which returns one to the practical plane the unitary interpretation is but part of the truth but it refers to a LARGE reality w/enormous existential impetus the unitive interpretation is the most successful reference to our intersubjective reality while the unitary refers to our intraobjective realizations, the former suggesting the essential nature or HOW (intimacy) of our relationship, the latter suggesting the degree or HOW MUCH (infinite) the unitive w/o the unitary leads to deism, while the unitary w/o the unitive tends to quietism, held in creative tension they refer to created co-creators Sent from my iPhone as for the unitary vs unitive conceptions of the journey, it is notable that among billions of practitioners of each approach over thousands of years so many, who go deeply, will inevitably share a sense of solidarity coupled with a response of compassion while an insidious indifferentism would suggest that ad majorem dei gloriam would not be at stake in getting our approaches as true, as good and as beautiful as practicable, i don't think we risk that vice in observing that the practical differences between some paths are often way overstated Sent from my iPhone different of my friends get angry about how others' writings/behaviors close MANY fr considering the core pxtn msg some are very angry about various traditionalistic & reactionary catholics who chase people away - not just nonbelivers, but - incl their coreligionists, while others focus their anger on various fundamentalistic & evangelical protestants i've come to believe that such anger may sometimes precisely reveal a 7
  8. 8. charism of prophetic protest, a special calling to prayerfully & constructively engage a person or topic, that such angry feelings may help one discern a teaching ministry & fuel it w/passion BUT that the resulting teaching should be delivered only after that passion transmutes into (a peace-filled) com-passion for not only the misguided but the misguider you can see why kung got angry about rahner's coinage of anonymous pxn? people rightly resist having their beliefs appropriated on others' terms pxns can take their apophatic sensibilities & a panentheist theology of nature and resonate in part w/advaita but strict monists are doctrinally hamstrung, unable to fully reciprocate in principle but kw does reach out to differently minded & hearted & believing people, incl them in both practical & teaching aspects of his ministry making for an authentically inter-faith environment? it is one thing to reinterpret another's faith, which i do pneumatologically, myself, but that's not the same as caricaturizing it, which would preclude dialogue; we don't expect our dialogue partners to agree with us, only to respect us a caricature misrepresents what others claim about their faith while an interpretation appropriates elements of others' faith on one's own terms i think wilber mis-interprets a lot of stuff (christology, evolution, consciousness, healing arts, etc) but i don't feel like he's dishonestly caricaturized others' positions (but i haven't looked into his stuff and others' critiques enough to say so) many have been led away from caricatures of pxnty b/c they were raised on nothing but a caricature; that type of dis- belief is hygienic; if only they could get introduced to the real mccoy! hopefully, that's us :) pax, jb hey, i think i finished that last thought, but i'm not sure as the oven dinged and i dropped a pepperoni pizza cheese-down on da flo Sent from my iPhone wilber's gift is breadth & synthesis not depth & analysis; he covers SO much ground; he offers many citations b/c of this breadth but not many references on each category, so it's not only christianity that gets short shrift & you'll see, as u look further, that others similarly complain that this or that religion or science is given short shrift i sympathize w/ this type of 5ness but i label my grand syntheses as vague heuristic devices (due to my contrite fallibilism) while he considers his synthesis as THE grand metanarrative of the cosmos 8
  9. 9. he thus appropriates pxnty on his terms w/his categories not its own even his buddhism is conflated w/his monist ontology and thus imposes advaita - not only on pxnty, but - other buddhist sects & eastern traditions, all of which, like pxnty, have no need of any robust ontology as they are essentially practical existential hermeneutics not speculative evidential metaphysics Sent from my iPhone one wilberian irony that has amused me the most is that, re subtle energy healing claims 1) he recognizes some efficacies - good, so do i 2) he denigrates the many half-baked physical & metaphysical explanations good, so do i BUT 3) only b/c they don't coincide w/his own half-baked metaphysics where consciousness is a primitive (i suspect it is, rather, emergent, but content to remain agnostic w/sneaking physicalist suspicions) kinda funny to me Sent from my iPhone yes, my and helminiak's critique is primarily epistemic; having better developed my own axiological epistemology in more recent years, my critique would now be more clear & concise; his trans-rational is a-rational b/c his approach is not robustly integral just merely inclusive, hence aqal needs to be aqalat where at = all the time, where t= kairos of a full valuerealization not chronos of temporality (i think i posted that already); quite simple, really ... but rather consequential in that it restrains our pronouncements (he's WAY TOO free-wheeling, a strength practiced to a fault, as is our human enneagrammatic tendency) folks like groothuis and even kreeft are offputting to me b/c they juxtapose postmodernism w/an almost naive realism and they expect too much of philosophy and metaphysics, theologically, making their apologetic far too rationslistic BUT rationalism IS an improvement over arationalism you know, wilber fits in well w/ID theorists re evolution, which isn't helpful i don't mind csc lingo and subtle energy paradigms as heuristic devices but too many gurus employ such literally, which isn't helpful ... but i offer gentler corrections on such matters, nowadays, i hope our weather is like kansas storms today, interesting but dangerous! pax, jb remember this one? There was a little girl who had a little curl | Right in 9
  10. 10. the middle of her forehead | When she was good, she was very, very good | And when she was bad she was horrid. that describes wilber's work that will continue til he makes the johnboysian corrections that will make the a/rational truly trans/rational i'd present helminiak's critique rather than groothuis though (can't fight metaphysics with metaphysics) enjoy the equinox, pax! jb 10