Share on Facebook
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Thread: Abhidhamma

  1. #1
    Forums Member ModernLuddite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    Posts
    21

    Abhidhamma

    [Split topic from 'Juxtaposing Atheism and Buddhism']




    I am an atheist, more so I am very much a denier of the spiritual, and the existence of the non-observable.

    My first reaction to Buddhism was mixed in that respect, because it seemed to be a mystical way to lay out a very formalized, clear philosophy that emphasizes personal growth and service to your fellow man (and animals). But I've been reading through some of Narada's writings on the Abhidamma and Karma and "rebirth", and the concepts seem very much, to me, like some of the stranger elements of quantum mechanics......which also seem weird and spiritual, but are also observable truths (albeit only recently so :l). The concept of Karma and rebirth when viewed as a sort of physical explanation of sentience is rather mind blowing, and has me wondering when psychologists will start using particle accelerators.....

    I find these beliefs, when framed in terms of physical phenomena, make a great deal of sense.

  2. #2
    Forums Member ModernLuddite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    Posts
    21
    Oh snap, I should link to said writings:

    "The Buddha and His Teachings" (Start at chapter 18) - http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/bu...chingsurw6.pdf
    "A Manual of the Abhidamma" - http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/abhidhamma.pdf

    Both are massive, 900 page tomes, but rewarding to read.

    There is apparently a newer translation of the first book of the Abhidamma Pitaka as well by an Indian scholar that is quite good, and much better than the Pali Text Society version which is about 100 years old. If I can ever track a copy down and read it, I'll have more to say on the subject.

  3. #3
    Hi ML,

    There appear to be mixed views about the Abhidhamma. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the famous Thai teacher Ajahn Buddhadasa said it should be thrown in to the sea!


    Regarding Ajah Chah's comments from ''A still Forest Pool " ....


    The Chicken or the Egg?

    During his first visit to England, Ajahn Chah spoke to many Buddhist groups. One evening after a talk he received a question from a dignified English lady who had spent many years studying the complex cybernetics of the mind according to the eighty-nine classes of consciousness in the Buddhist abhidharma psychology texts. Would he please explain certain of the more difficult aspects of this system of psychology to her so she could continue her study?

    Dharma teaches us to let go. But at first, we naturally cling to the principles of Dharma. The wise person takes these principles and uses them as tools to discover the essence of our life.

    Sensing how caught up she was in intellectual concepts rather than benefiting from practice in her own heart, Ajahn Chah answered her quite directly,

    ''You, madam, are like one who keeps hens in her yard," he told her, "and goes around picking up the chicken droppings instead of the eggs."

    http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Bo...orest_Pool.htm

    and from Ajahn Sumedho's "Gratitude for Luang Po Chah":


    "What impressed me about Luang Por Chah was his emphasis on teaching the Four Noble Truths. I hadn’t come across this before with other teachers, or perhaps I just hadn’t picked it up – there was always a problem around language because I didn’t speak Thai.

    Many of the meditation techniques I learned were based on Abhidhamma teaching, which I found very boring. The last thing I wanted to learn was all that incredibly complex Abhidhamma.

    I remember going to an Abhidhamma teacher in Bangkok who gave lectures on it in English; I was never so bored in my life. I thought, “That is not what I want from this religion”.

    http://www.forestsangha.org/index.ph...edho&Itemid=25
    with kind wishes

    Aloka

  4. #4
    Forums Member ModernLuddite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    Posts
    21
    I have read that most traditions just sort of ignore the Abhidamma as well. It is a very long, very dry, very systematic approach to meditation.

    However, just as Sumedho does not want lectures on psychology in his religion, I do not want esoteric religion in my philosophy. But I do believe that this is the genius of the teachings as expounded over the years - the basic principles can/have been adapted to so many cultures and audiences that one can find what they wish to find and still have the truth of the teaching there.

  5. #5
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by ModernLuddite View Post
    I've been reading through some of Narada's writings on the Abhidamma and Karma and "rebirth", and the concepts seem very much, to me, like some of the stranger elements of quantum mechanics...
    .Any links to anything on this subject? As I am diving into this I have a somewhat atheist outlook. This is one of the things I was trying to get a better understanding.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by mhermann View Post
    .Any links to anything on this subject? As I am diving into this I have a somewhat atheist outlook. This is one of the things I was trying to get a better understanding.
    Hi mhermann,

    There's some information about Abhidhamma at the link below:

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/abhi/

    ....or did you mean karma and rebirth ? If you use our website search facility you'll find threads in which both of those are discussed.

    with kind wishes

    Aloka

  7. #7
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    9
    You might consider karma like this:
    If we are all the results of particular, conditioned patterns of space-time, and we recognize the 'I' thought as simply another thought, not in any way owned or associated with our particular physical bodies, and choose to reattach that 'I' to the very thing doing the experiencing, space-time itself...We end up in a position where 'I' am you, and as such the suffering of any sentient being is 'my' suffering. Ergo, if I cause distress to another sentient being, in a very real sense, I cause harm to myself -- I may not perceive it directly here and now, but it perpetuates the phenomena of suffering. Just one approach to consider that doesn't even rely on speculative QM and which is wholly compatible with a materialist view of the universe.

  8. #8
    Forums Member ModernLuddite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    Posts
    21
    I'm reading a book of essays right now on Science and Buddhism, and one essay shows a shocking lack of knowledge about scientific philosophy and only quotes a single scientist despite being a general essay, as well. Is it that damn hard to do a bit of research?

  9. #9
    Forums Member ModernLuddite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by mhermann View Post
    .Any links to anything on this subject? As I am diving into this I have a somewhat atheist outlook. This is one of the things I was trying to get a better understanding.
    I posted links to the two Narada books I cited. Very much worth a read.

  10. #10
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    172
    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    The Chicken or the Egg?

    During his first visit to England, Ajahn Chah spoke to many Buddhist groups. One evening after a talk he received a question from a dignified English lady who had spent many years studying the complex cybernetics of the mind according to the eighty-nine classes of consciousness in the Buddhist abhidharma psychology texts. Would he please explain certain of the more difficult aspects of this system of psychology to her so she could continue her study?

    Dharma teaches us to let go. But at first, we naturally cling to the principles of Dharma. The wise person takes these principles and uses them as tools to discover the essence of our life.

    Sensing how caught up she was in intellectual concepts rather than benefiting from practice in her own heart, Ajahn Chah answered her quite directly,

    ''You, madam, are like one who keeps hens in her yard," he told her, "and goes around picking up the chicken droppings instead of the eggs."

    http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Bo...orest_Pool.htm

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Los Angeles Mexico City London Colombo Kuala Lumpur Sydney
Mon, 1:12 AM Mon, 3:12 AM Mon, 9:12 AM Mon, 1:42 PM Mon, 4:12 PM Mon, 6:12 PM