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2014 gegužės 12 d., 13:47 atliko AndriusKulikauskas -
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See also: EightfoldWay

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{{Andrius}} [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/livingbytruth/message/354 August 4, 2003]

I'm appealing to fair use, for the purpose of study, to make use of the
following quotes expanding on the Eightfold Way. Andrius, http://www.ms.lt

The Buddha's Teaching In His Own Words. Texts selected, arranged, and
translated by Bhikkhu &amp;#323;anamoli
Copyright © 1999 Buddhist Publication Society. Reproduction without
consent of the BPS is prohibited, except for copies made for personal
use or to be given to friends.

-----------------------------------------------------------


"And what is the noble ones' right view? Any understanding,
understanding faculty, understanding power, investigation-of-states
enlightenment factor, right view as path factor, in one whose mind is
ennobled and taintless, who possesses the path, and who maintains it in
being: this is the noble ones' right view without taints, which is
supramundane and a factor of the path." MN 117
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/9280/bt-7.htm#View


"What is right intention? It is the intention of renunciation, the
intention of non-ill will, the intention of non-cruelty: this is called
right intention." SN 45:8; DN 22
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/9280/bt-8.htm

"What is right speech? Abstention from lying, slander, abuse, and
gossip; this is called right speech." SN 45:8; DN 22

"What is right action? Abstention from killing living beings, stealing,
misconduct in sensual desires: this is called right action." SN 45:8; DN 22

"What is right livelihood? Here a noble disciple abandons wrong
livelihood and gets his living by right livelihood." SN 45:8; DN 22
"Scheming (to deceive), persuading, hinting, belittling, and pursuing
gain with gain; this is called wrong livelihood (for bhikkhus)." MN 117
"There are five trades that a lay follower should not ply. What five?
They are: trading in weapons, living beings, meat, liquor, and poisons."
AN 5:177

What is right effort? Here a bhikkhu awakens desire for the non-arising
of unarisen evil unwholesome states, for which he makes efforts, arouses
energy, exerts his mind, and endeavours. He awakens desire for the
abandoning of arisen evil unwholesome states, for which he makes efforts
... He awakens desire for the arising of unarisen wholesome states, for
which he makes efforts ... He awakens desire for the continuance,
non-corruption, strengthening, maintenance in being, and perfecting, of
arisen wholesome states, for which he makes efforts, arouses energy,
exerts his mind, and endeavours: this is called right effort." SN 45:8;
DN 22

"What is right mindfulness? Here a bhikkhu abides contemplating the body
as a body, ardent, fully aware and mindful, having put away covetousness
and grief for the world. He abides contemplating feelings as feelings,
ardent ... He abides contemplating consciousness as consciousness,
ardent ... He abides contemplating mental objects as mental objects,
ardent, fully aware and mindful, having put away covetousness and grief
for the world. This is called right mindfulness." SN 45:8; DN:22

"What is the noble ones' right concentration with its causes and its
equipment? It is any unifiedness of mind that is equipped with the other
seven factors of the path. Right view comes first: one understands wrong
view, intention, speech, action, and livelihood, as wrong; one
understands right view, intention, speech, action, and livelihood, as
right, each of two kinds, that is, either associated with taints and
ripening in the essentials of existence, or supramundane and a factor of
the path. One makes efforts to abandon wrong view and the other four,
and to acquire right view and the other four: this is one's right
effort. Mindfully one abandons the wrong and enters upon the way of the
right: this is one's right mindfulness." MN 117 (condensed)
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/9280/bt-10.htm

----

JosephGoguen: [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/livingbytruth/message/355 August 7, 2003]

Dear Andrius,

What you quote is highly condensed and probably does not make a lot of sense
to people who dont know the larger context. I doubt that any Buddhist would
reject the 8 fold path, but it does get interpreted in different ways by
different traditions, and is more important in the theravadan tradition than
in the more recently developed mahayana and vajrayana traditions. I was not
able to find anything online that looked very good to me, but there is a very
nice discussion by S.N. Goenka, "Moral Conduct, Concentration and Wisdom,"
which appears in *Entering the Stream,* ed. Sam Bercholz and Sherab Chodzin
Kohn (Shambhala 1993). The book is a very good overview of Buddhism,
consisting of articles from all the major traditions. The Goenka article is
composed and condensed from three longer pieces by Goenka, and is quite well
done. There are also several other pieces in the same section of "Basic
Teaching" from the Theravada school. A short one by Bhikku Bodhi also gives a
short summary of the 8fold path, from which one sees that the first two
factors (understanding and thought) fall under Wisdom (sk. prajna), the next
three (speech, action, and livelihood) fall under Morality (sk. shila), and
the final three (effort, mindfulness and concentration) fall under
concentration (Sk. samadhi).

If you cannot get any of this material and are really interested, i can copy
it and mail it to you. But i would repeat that the import of all this is
practical: you have to try to do these things; and you need to have a living
teacher to be sure you are doing it properly. It is generally thought today
that meditation is the key, since it sharpens and unconfuses the mind;
probably it was the same in the Buddha's time.

More when i get time .....

== joseph

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{{Andrius}} [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/livingbytruth/message/356 August 12, 2003]

Joseph,

Thank you for your letters. And thank you for recommendation, I
purchased a updated edition of the book you suggested, I'm looking
forward to it. I also purchased the first volume of "The Nature of
Order" by Christopher Alexander, which just recently was printed, after
many years of waiting. He's the author of "The Timeless Way of
Building" and "A Pattern Language". I also bought an anthology of
religious history, in Lithuanian, which includes a couple hundred pages
of Buddhist texts.

I think of our space here as a "working group", by which I mean, first
of all, a workspace where people can work alongside each other, not feel
completely alone. Not requiring attention of each other, but making it
easy for us to give such attention, and be stimulated in unexpected
ways. So if I work on something incomprehensible, it doesn't need to be
read or understood, but perhaps a few chance words may spark your own
thoughts, and that is a lot. And any question that we raise here can
evolve. We gradually find a language, create a social fabric, and
sooner than later can actually apply our thoughts practically.

I value structure, and look for it, because I think it can go beyond
words, and present human meaning that transcends cultures. I look at
Buddha's eightfold way as having some kind of deep meaning, something
that he understood and expressed, but perhaps we're not clear about.
Bikkhu Bodhi's organization of the eightfold way is a bit helpful, but
I'm skeptical that this is what Buddha had in mind, it feels contrived
when compared with the structures that I am aware of that are practical
and solid.

I reflected just a bit on some explications that I found about Buddha's
eightfold way. I can't find it now, but somewhere there was a
discussion of "right concentration" as a giving oneself up. And I
thought that was very much in the spirit of love. So I would be
interested to find connection there. That they are, in fact, the same -
at least, if we consider how Buddha understood "right concentration",
and how Christ understood "love". Or, if not the same, then what is the
difference? But first to understand what they mean.


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JosephGoguen [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/livingbytruth/message/357 August 12, 2003]

Dear Andrius,

Wow, that sounds serious! Let me know what you make of it.... Im definitely
curious about the new Alexander book, ive skimmed his earlier stuff, and it
has had some influence in computer science, especially the software pattern
crowd.

I think the classification that Bikkhu Bodhi uses is very traditional, and if
i recall rightly, Goenka also uses it; maybe it is in the Buddha's original
writings somewhere. It's worth pointing out that in Buddhism, the original
words of the Buddha dont have the sort of weight that the bible does in
Christianity. Buddhism is considered a sort of experimental science, in which
you are supposed to discover for yourself what is true through practice; faith
has nothing to do with it except possibly providing some additional motivation
when things get rough. The modifier "right" is rarely used outside the 8 fold
way, so i will drop it, and concentration is considered a misleading term at
least in English, so i will speak of meditation, which indeed is a kind of
letting go of the self, and which has some similarities with love, except that
there is no particular "other" that is the object of love, and indeed, no self
to let go of either. Of course, this is all experiental, and it is difficult
to describe except to others who have had the same experiences, as a result of
similar intensive meditation practices, though indeed, there are people who
have had comparable experiences "from nowhere" or from very different
traditions, but can still somehow do the translation. I think of Rumi.

One more comment: i find it hard to take these numbers of categories very
seriously. Human experience can be divided up so many different ways, and a
continuum with 7 elements could just as well have 6 or 8, though the 8 fold
way is not a continuum.

Cheers,

joseph

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{{Andrius}} [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/livingbytruth/message/358 August 13, 2003]

It's great to evoke a Wow! and to get to think of love.

I'm looking forward to thinking through Christopher Alexander's book
"The Nature of Order". I hope we might do that here, whoever is
interested, especially with regard to values and pattern languages and
the nature of life. The first volume is out, there will be four volumes:
I) The Phenomenon of Life
II) The Process of Creating Life
III) A Vision of a Living World
IV) The Luminous Ground.
They are not cheap, &#036;64 each at Amazon.

With regard to love and meditation, I'll be thinking about that when I
read Buddhist texts, including the book you mentioned. I believe there
is one truth, and I think both Buddha and Jesus are sincere, so I think
there is a connection to be found.

I suppose the end result of meditation and love is quite similar, that
we lose ourselves, let go of ourselves. I think the key truth for Jesus
is that one can give oneself up for others. I think this is the very
literal sense in which he tells his disciples that the bread is his
flesh, and the wine is his blood. For it was his bread to eat, and so
had he eaten it, would be his flesh, and the wine his blood. In that
sense, it truly ever is. And by giving himself up, he is able to send
things on a different path. So that, literally, we eat his flesh and
drink his blood.

My own experimental understanding is that, as humans, we're not able to
let go of ourselves except by way of others, by taking up their
concerns. So this is a point on which I'm curious what Buddhists say.
I will spell out more what I mean, it is the point of the structures
that I am working on.

I'm also skeptical of categorizations in that they can easily be
arbitrary. However, I find there are some basic structuralizations that
recur which seem to be given by the limits of our mind. I think of
them as divisions of everything, of which the most fundamental are:

everything as two perspectives:
opposites coexist, all things are the same.
(I know of four representations:
free will / fate, outside /inside, theory / practice, same / different.)

everything as three perspectives:
taking a stand, following through, reflecting.
(I know of four representations, although I'm not sure how they match
up, I'm working on that: be / do / think; one / all / many; object /
process / subject; necessary / actual / possible.)

everything as four perspectives:
whether, what, how, why.
(I know of two representations, from the point of view of the thinker:
whether? what? how? why? and the thought: whether! what! how! why!)

I think there are such elementary structures. I also find that there
are more complicated structures that seem to be structured and organized
by these elementary ones. These more complicated structures serve very
practical purposes, and describe our intuition. They are just larger
than the size of our working memory, so that we feel that we are inside
of them. I am working to unify what I know about them, so I will be
writing.

I think that Buddha's eightfold way, to the extent that it is practical,
is related to one such structure. (Which I call the "eightfold way" and
which I think is also related to the axioms of Zermelo-Frankel set
theory, or the octave of musical chords.) As I learn more about
Buddhism, I will see if I'm on track or not, if I'm dealing with
something real.


----

JosephGoguen [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/livingbytruth/message/359 August 13, 2003]

andrius,

i want first to respond to something you wrote in an email that i seem to
have since lost, about toolkits for open society activists, in regard to
someone named "tom" and alexander's notion of pattern: i was glad to see
your negative reaction to an excissive emphasis on the positive; it is
only worth working in situations where there is some negative energy to
work with. (this is also a very tantric buddhist point of view.)

each such situation is its own little (or big) world, with its own truths;
i dont believe in "one truth" as you seem to, except perhaps at a very deep
level of the emptiness of all things. this seems to be "one truth" in the
sense that it has a basis in the way the human mind/body is wired, so that
all humans can experience it, though i dont think it is inherent in "the way
the universe" is wired (if there even is such a notion).

there have been numerous explorations of convergence between buddhist and
christian meditation and notions like love; thomas merton was one of the
great early explorers of this region. christian monastic traditions
definitely have some practices that are similar to some buddhist practices
but in general, christian monks involved in these exchanges have wanted to
learn more about buddhist practices so they can apply them in their own
spiritual growth. for just one example, naropa university has hosted a
number of these inter-faith dialogues, and there is something called the
Lilly Buddhist-Christian Theological encounter that is ongoing. one theme
has certainly been the similarity of jesus teaching with mahayana notions
of the bodhisattva, and in particular, similarities and differences among
notions of love (X) and compassion (B) [karuna in Skt].

the three major branches of buddhist take somewhat different views of your
question

My own experimental understanding is that, as humans, we're not able to let
go of ourselves except by way of others, by taking up their concerns. So
this is a point on which I'm curious what Buddhists say.

the theravadin branch is more concerned with individual salvation and the
eight fold path is part of that worldview (but the great teachers in this
tradition tend to go beyond that viewpoint). the mahayana branch is more
concerned with others, and indeed views this as a way to go beyond self.
you will see this clearly when you read the shambhala survey book. the
vajayana branch basically accepts the mahayana view but adds some more
advanced techniques for achieving its goals. (zen falls within the mahayana
branch)

the kind of non-dualities that you talk about (quoted below) are a kind of
foundation for vajrayana thinking.

everything as two perspectives:
opposites coexist, all things are the same.

and of course this also relates to the wisdom of alexander's patterns.

im much less convinced about your 4 member categories having some kind of
meaning that could not also be captured with a different structure, though
there is a classic tantric pattern that resembles your 3 perspectives, often
translated as: ground, path, fruition, and given a lot of deep meanings.

but i agree strongly that larger structures can be constructed to reflect and
support our intuitions, buddhism has hundreds of them, but it also cautions
about taking them too seriously and trying to find deep meanings in the way
things might seem to line up rather than in the underlying experiences. for
example, your analogy between octaves and the 8 fold path sounds completely
bogus to me. where are the steps and half steps in the 8fp? or specific
whole number ratios? (esp. the factor of 2) or the chance to go up and down
several octaves? or the twelfth root of 2? etc. i cannot believe theres
anything real there. ZF set theory sounds even more outrageous, but since i
dont know the details i wont complain too loudly.

the main point here would be the danger of getting lost in conceptual thought
at the expense of genuine insight and spiritual progress.

== joseph

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[http://groups.yahoo.com/group/livingbytruth/message/360 August 20, 2003]

Joseph, Thank you for your letters!

My books arrived, so I'll get to take one or two with me on my trip to
Croatia.

Joseph, I'm glad to find some common ground, and as a believer in "one
truth", always hopeful to find more. I'm curious what constructive
alternatives do we have to the idea that there is one truth. You write:

"each such situation is its own little (or big) world, with its own
truths; i dont believe in "one truth" as you seem to, except perhaps at
a very deep level of the emptiness of all things. this seems to be "one
truth" in the sense that it has a basis in the way the human mind/body
is wired, so that all humans can experience it, though i dont think it
is inherent in "the way the universe" is wired (if there even is such a
notion)."

but this in regard to:

"i was glad to see your negative reaction to an excissive emphasis on
the positive; it is only worth working in situations where there is some
negative energy to work with. (this is also a very tantric buddhist
point of view.)"

I think, as we are here, that we are able to intentionally work with
each other only by reference to a common ground, real or otherwise.
Some kind of hope that we can be understood, that the essence of our
outlook, experience, worldview can carry over. If we are able to
intentionally share any sort of truth, then I think in our intention we
make use of a presumption that our truth can perhaps be conveyed, and
therefore allow for some absolute ground by which it might be conveyed.
Which may perhaps be no more than the emptiness of all things, in the
sense that, in balance, there is no will that rules out that hope.

In that all things are empty, there is nothing to keep me from my purposes.

This is to say, I think consciousness takes me from the state "all
things are empty" (which I relate to a division of everything into no
perspectives) to a state where there are three perspectives that I need
to engage life: taking a stand, following through, reflecting. As you
write: "ground, path, fruition".

These last several weeks I've been working to unify four different
families of structures. I see that at the heart of each of these
families is this "taking a stand, following through, reflecting", and I
think each one of the families relates that to a different
representation of it. So I will be fleshing that out, describing the
significance of the more sophisticated structures, and trying to
understand them in terms of clear fundamentals.

Also, in traveling through the Balkans, I hope to find more Islamic
independent thinkers. I would like to make more explicit what they find
significant in life. In doing so, I look for structures that we may
have in common. In particular, I am curious to find where, if at all,
the idea of "taking a stand, following through, reflecting" may be found.

-----

JosephGoguen [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/livingbytruth/message/361 August 20, 2003]

Andrius,

Emptiness is a central concept of mahayana buddhism, but it has nothing to do
with the notions that bear that name in western thought, which are mostly
forms of nihilism. The buddhist idea is more that there are no Platonic ideal
forms of things, no "essence" of them, no eternal enduring truth about them.

Your search for Islamic independent thinkers intrigues me; I would imagine
that Sufis would have something similar to ground, path, fruition, since their
whole tradition is so close to tantrism, but i have no idea at all about more
orthodox sects.

Have a nice trip. We will be in Italy the next three weeks.

Cheers,

joseph
2014 balandžio 13 d., 20:00 atliko Andrius Kulikauskas -
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