PDA

View Full Version : Secular approaches are Taoism?



daverupa
01 Feb 15, 14:54
Note: Personally, I think that secular buddhists should face the fact that they are intrinsically and deeply Taoists; which Buddhism is not indeed. They are just fighting their own nature; as if they had to fight for something. A something that already exists and that is called Tao (empiricism at its best).

Since it's possible to describe lazy/inactive Buddhists and Taoists, and it's possible to describe committed/deeply engaged Buddhists and Taoists, and in addition to this difference there are whole swaths of differences between Buddhism A-Z and Taoism A-Z, suggesting that secular Buddhists are all 'Taoists' is so utterly vague that it makes no sense, as yet.

Additionally, given the fact that Taoism in general stresses the pursuit of Immortality while Buddhism stresses cessation and nibbana, it's again going to be a very complicated argument you need to make. Please address these relevant facets, as well as any others you feel are significant.

:read:

rob
01 Feb 15, 15:22
Since it's possible to describe lazy/inactive Buddhists and Taoists, and it's possible to describe committed/deeply engaged Buddhists and Taoists, and in addition to this difference there are whole swaths of differences between Buddhism A-Z and Taoism A-Z, suggesting that secular Buddhists are all 'Taoists' is so utterly vague that it makes no sense, as yet.

Additionally, given the fact that Taoism in general stresses the pursuit of Immortality while Buddhism stresses cessation and nibbana, it's again going to be a very complicated argument you need to make. Please address these relevant facets, as well as any others you feel are significant.

:read:

That is all in the delusion, sir. The delusion of stripping and adding to "make it fit". An exercise of style, so to speak. Call it BuTao. Or "zorba/buddha" as with people like Osho. Or club-med-itation, as far as I know and cares.
Anything indeed that can be far from the original message. Like Christianity instantly raging war when slapped on the face; in the name of Jesus. Hey!, maybe he never said to turn the other cheek! - You know! - Certainly profitable, but maybe not altogether truthful.

There is another way to call secular buddhism and that is tantrism, as well.
I believe they will have also to strip and add somethings out of it, to fit the 21st century.

daverupa
01 Feb 15, 15:46
Well, I can understand that different schools of thought teach different things, and that with different levels of skill.

Historically, Taoism meets up with Buddhism after only about 200 years of an independent existence, so when some old-School Buddhism as well as Mahayana get to China about the same time, right away they & Taoism & Confucianism come into an ongoing relationship. In this, it is complex to parse the various overlapping influences, so early Taoism is the best place to look for indications of what it meant at the front end.

So we can know the Dhamma as a different teaching than Taoism based on comparing the early phases of the latter with that fact that the former pre-exists the latter by at least two hundred years, and arose among a wholly different culture & people. There, it was an environment of wandering philosophers and meditators concerned with samsara, both how to appropriately define it as well as how to attain ideal states, or escape in various other ways, and all this in the face of Brahmanical traditions, and all of that within a broader cultural attitude about kamma.

---

Now, it's in the sense of a philosophy that a secular Buddhist will tend to first approach the Dhamma; the Western idea of secularism is to dissociate religious trappings while dealing explicitly with ideas, evaluations, 'oughts', and so forth through more generally philosophical modes of thought, perhaps scientific ones but not necessarily.

Given this, it seems to me that the scientific empiricism employed by the average secular individual more closely approximates the phenomenological empiricism of the Dhamma than it does the metaphysical & alchemical techniques of Taoism. Even barring that, a modern secular inquirer into the Good Life more closely approximates the average intelligent Wanderer of the Buddha's day than a mystical Taoist; perhaps the later sort of philosophical Taoist comes close, but that Taoist is under a few hundred years of Buddhist influence at that point.

---

Really, it seems Taoism is more similar to that Buddhism of those who engage in merit-transfer & chanting & dana to fill the merit-battery, or Mahayana Buddhists engaged in all manner of esotericism - including tantrism - than it does the striving of secular Buddhists...

rob
01 Feb 15, 16:01
Well, I can understand that different schools of thought teach different things, and that with different levels of skill.

Historically, Taoism meets up with Buddhism after only about 200 years of an independent existence, so when some old-School Buddhism as well as Mahayana get to China about the same time, right away they & Taoism & Confucianism come into an ongoing relationship. In this, it is complex to parse the various overlapping influences, so early Taoism is the best place to look for indications of what it meant at the front end.

So we can know the Dhamma as a different teaching than Taoism based on comparing the early phases of the latter with that fact that the former pre-exists the latter by at least two hundred years, and arose among a wholly different culture & people. There, it was an environment of wandering philosophers and meditators concerned with samsara, both how to appropriately define it as well as how to attain ideal states, or escape in various other ways, and all this in the face of Brahmanical traditions, and all of that within a broader cultural attitude about kamma.


Certainly - and much has been written on the subject to have a good idea about it.
It is a pretty fad thing lately and so déja vu; but not for the secular buddhists who see this at an upmost matter of discussion - Exercise of style, once more.



Now, it's in the sense of a philosophy that a secular Buddhist will tend to first approach the Dhamma; the Western idea of secularism is to dissociate religious trappings while dealing explicitly with ideas, evaluations, 'oughts', and so forth through more generally philosophical modes of thought, perhaps scientific ones but not necessarily.

The problem is that secular buddhists are simplistic to the point of considering Nāgārjuna and Hume as the only philosophers. Idealism and Empiricism. That looks like chimera to me.

Now, definitely this "religious" added stuff of the second period should be stripped of. This added renewal of rituals of the second period Buddhism. And that seems pretty ambivalent with secular buddhism.

Now, it is utterly perturbing to see how a Buddhist as Jayarava (http://www.buddhismwithoutboundaries.com/showthread.php?5732-quot-Rebirth-is-Neither-Plausible-nor-Salient-quot)goes raving against the nonsense of paranormal phenomeneon and, at the same time, take for the basis of his argument against rebirth, the story of Mara meeting a Bikkhuni. Are we at level 11 of the 31 planes of existence (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sagga/loka.html); or are we into pure modern science?




Given this, it seems to me that the scientific empiricism employed by the average secular individual more closely approximates the phenomenological empiricism of the Dhamma than it does the metaphysical & alchemical techniques of Taoism.

Please, do not mix the scientific phenomenology, with the philosophical phenomenology of a Husserl which is based on the study of human experience in which considerations of objective reality are not taken into account.
Not the same thing indeed.



Really, it seems Taoism is more similar to that Buddhism of those who engage in merit-transfer & chanting & dana to fill the merit-battery, or Mahayana Buddhists engaged in all manner of esotericism - including tantrism - than it does the striving of secular Buddhists...
Do you speak about later buddhism of the second (religious ritualistic) and third period (idealistic)? Do you speak about Tantrism? Do you speak of Nagarjuna (the great master of the secular buddhists) whose doctrine lead to the mystical yogavacaras. Because this is far from the Buddhism of the first period.

Poor Buddha!

daverupa
01 Feb 15, 16:06
So, secular Buddhists consider Nagarjuna and Hume as the only philosophers, and you assert again the idea that Taoism is a secular Buddhist "style" - you've added another inaccurate generalization to the first one, compounding the problem you face in explaining yourself while clarifying nothing.

It's rather unimpressive.

rob
01 Feb 15, 16:14
It's rather unimpressive.
I am not trying to impress.
I just want to say that "Materialistic Harmony" is the core precept of Taoism, and such is the core precept of secular buddhism.
Buddhism is not about putting your will in harmony with the natural universe.

Secular buddhism is a desperate attempt to make something out of many things, while keeping buddhism as a basis for it.
A Chimera, unless you give it a proper name.
Do they need to attach buddhism to secular, to support their inadequacies?

daverupa
01 Feb 15, 17:22
I just want to say that "Harmonious Matter" is the core precept of Taoism, and such is the core precept of secular buddhism.

Please demonstrate this assertion. Show that this is the case.

rob
01 Feb 15, 17:37
Please demonstrate this assertion. Show that this is the case.

See for yourself what Taoism means, and go to a good secular buddhist forum; and you will see the stunning similarity of that particular view.


Regards


Note:
1. read my posts again for I have added some.
2. Your assertion that I (Buddhist of the first period) might have fallen into some sort of "religious trapping", as you state above, is pretty deranging also; and should yield some demonstration.

daverupa
01 Feb 15, 17:41
Well, I think things are actually quite clear already.

rob
01 Feb 15, 17:59
Well, I think things are actually quite clear already.

Sounds like an assumption.

Aloka
01 Feb 15, 17:59
The problem is that secular buddhists are simplistic to the point of considering Nāgārjuna and Hume as the only philosophers

Hi rob,

Sorry but that's absolute nonsense, how can you possibly know which philosophers they all favour, there are thousands of Secular Buddhists! The common theme that seems to run in secular buddhism as far as I'm aware, is a rejection of superstition and unverifiable beliefs such as literal rebirth and other realms/ planes of existence.


Now, it is utterly perturbing to see how a Buddhist as Jayarava goes raving against the nonsense of paranormal phenomeneon and, at the same time, take for the basis of his argument against rebirth, the story of Mara meeting a Bikkhuni

There's no contradiction there as far as I can see. One of my favourite suttas is Soma Sutta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn05/sn05.002.bodh.html

I don't interpret Mara as being an independently existing being or 'paranormal phenomena'. In the context of that sutta he represents doubt, which is why he disappears when Soma gains condfidence in her practice.

...and no, I'm not a 'Secular Buddhist' myself.

Here are the the pinned guidelines for this forum and please could you take note of the last sentence:



Just for clarification, our forum ' Independent Buddhists ' was included on the website for the purpose of exploring the Buddha's teachings from a non- religious/non- superstitious point of view. With that in mind, we don't necessarily exclude any writings or talks with a secular flavour from teachers connected to the main Buddhist traditions.

This forum is also independent of existing secular Buddhist groups and isn't intended to be connected to them in any way. It is for the benefit of members of BWB who are interested in an independent approach to the Dhamma.

If you aren't interested in that approach yourself, please post elsewhere on the website.

Many thanks



Topic closed :hands: