Thread: The No Bull Eightfold Path

  1. #1

    The No Bull Eightfold Path

    Soto Zen teacher Brad Warner talks for approx. 12 minutes.



    Any thoughts in connection with the video?



  2. #2
    Moderator justusryans's Avatar
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    As always, Brad Warner tends toward? Not sure quite to call it. I was discouraged he would call Theravada a form of Hinayana. I thought other than that it was a well thought out video. I never know what to expect from Brad. I do know despite anything else I still read his work.





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    Brad always comes up with interesting talks which deal with fundamental issues in Buddhism. I would challenge a few things, not least that Buddhism represents the evolution of humanity. This isn't what evolution means, in the sense that most people understand it. I often had this discussion at the Buddhist centre I went to where it was taught that enlightenment would turn us into the next evolution of man, like Nietzsche's superman. Personally I think that the enlightenment experience is something natural to us as human beings, which living in societies has suppressed to the point of making it almost impossible to achieve.

    We have to unlearn a lot, and to develop the ability to allow the brain to settle, abiding in no thing. I think that before the rules of large societies developed with their insistence on shared world views, people had more time on their hands, perhaps tending the fire at night or watching an animal trail, or spending hours foraging for edible plants, when they would fall into meditative states, not thinking much but alert to danger. Enlightenment experiences would follow, to be interpreted, before the rise of specialist people like shamen, by the individual. Rather than life being merely nasty, brutish and short, people would live a better quality of existence for such experiences. Perhaps short, but lived with quality.

    The ethical dimension in Buddhism is to help us return to a natural state of existence to allow the arising of enlightenment and, more importantly perhaps, to help us understand what the experiences mean in terms of how we live afterwards. It is also a protection for us in that the more 'ethical' we have lived before enlightenment, the easier it is to live with ourselves afterwards, the less we have to regret. For me, an enlightened human being needs no ethical rules other than those which arise following the experience, given that nobody has stepped in to interpret (or as I would say, ruin) the experience for that person.

    It wouldn't surprise me that living an ethical life of the sort talked about in the eightfold path helps those wishing enlightenment experiences to make progress, but it also wouldn't surprise me that those having experiences develop an ethical life not too far away from the eightfold path. It certainly wouldn't surprise me that the more of those people in the world, the better the world would be.

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    This was posted many years ago on a long-forgotten "Discussion Board":

    In an effort to fully encapsulate the essence of a Western version of the 4 No-bull truths whilst reducing the cumulative effect of kalpas of socially defined and conditioned hegemonies, hermeneutic bias, and applied religiosity (which, incidentally, all previous versions display in a manner in which the present age and its perceived realities is subsumed in importance to the earlier 'Golden Age of Buddhist wisdom' as though anything from the past were infinitely more wise than anything of the present and therefore must be exalted hagiographically above and beyond our own empirical experience or phenomonological and perspectival knowledges emerging out of our unique and immediate lived experience; and also which promotes an ideology of the primacy of Eastern perspectives in contrast to western ones which serves to devalue the cultural and spiritual wealth and uniqueness of the contemporary western experience and its cultural expressions - including such pedagogically important aspects as personally mediated symbologies, empirically grounded phenomenology, internally referenced value systems and individual internal loci of evaluation - in favour of anything which seems to emerge out of anyone from anywhere east of the Persian Gulf and west of the international date line regardless of its intrinsic value, applicability or relevance) I present here, for your delectation, perusal and appreciation, a version which I consider to be fully grounded in western cultural linguistic, symbolic and semiotic conceptual ideology and popular culture whilst fully reflecting the essential dharmic reality supposedly encapsulated in the previous pathetic constructions.

    1. Shit happens!
    2. being alive is why shit happens
    3. There is a cure for shit happening
    4. The cure for shit happening is
    ..........the 8-roads-to-shitlessness-highway

    Eryu (The Fourth Wheel Discussion Board)
    clyde’s commentary: “The 8-roads-to-shitlessness-highway” can be summarized by “Don’t give a shit!”

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