23 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2021
  2. Dec 2020
    1. Zak Stein, who is a contributor to the aforementioned book Metatheory for the 21st Century, is one of the strongest proponents of post-Integral metamodernism in terms of ‘social justice’ (a term that the IDW has helped nullify). In the Integral conference debate in 2015, the “weak argument” Stein proposes is that Integral should at least become more informed about what capitalism is. The “strong argument” is that Integral should be, at the very least, post-capitalist. Given that Integral was doing neither, the way people used terms like “green meme” and “second tier” became, Stein says, substitutions for actual thought.

      This is also kind of true of e.g. Buddhism and many other spiritual traditions: they don't have a very thought out socio-political vision. Instead they have an advanced form of the "personal is political". I suspect this is part intentional, part accidental. Getting involved in critiques of capitalism, at least at a detailed level, tends to get political quickly and getting political in general a) risks obsolescence (and being wrong) b) risks alienating potential participants c) risks being wrong (and dangerously wrong, e.g. being misused to justify, say, authoritarianism).

      All that said, I think this is a major lacunae both of Integral and spiritual traditions.

  3. Nov 2019
    1. In effect Zhu Xi found a means of smuggling a needed element ofBuddhist transcendentalism into Confucianism. This new philosophy,both eminently rational and humane,

      neo-confucianism = confucius + buddhism (daoism?)

    2. Early China’s cosmology (her theory of the universe as an orderedwhole) shows striking points of difference with Western thought. Forexample, the early Chinese had no creation myth and no creator-lawgiver out of this world, no first cause, not even a Big Bang. As JosephNeedham says, they assumed “a philosophy of organism, an orderedharmony of wills without an ordainer.” This view contrasts with the in-veterate tendency elsewhere in the world to assume a supernatural deity.Westerners looking at China have continually imposed their own pre-conceptions on the Chinese scene, not least because the Chinese, thoughthey generally regarded Heaven as the supreme cosmic power, saw it asimmanent in nature, not as transcendent. Without wading further intothis deep water, let us note simply that Han thought as recorded in classi-cal writings built upon the concept of mankind as part of nature andupon the special relationship between the ruler and his ancestors, con-cepts that were already important in Shang thought over a millenniumearlier.

      Fascinating. Such a profound difference in thinking (and the Chinese is much more accurate in base intuiton, i think).

      Western thought got trapped in causation, in division, the law of the excluded middle, in agency.

      That quote: "a philosophy of organism, an ordered harmony of wills without an ordainer."

      No wonder Buddhism found such fertile soil in China.



    1. hindrances

      Five hindrances:

      • Sensual urge (sex, food, craving)
      • Anger (Rage, dissatisfaction, ...)
      • Sloth-torpor (sluggishness, mainly mental fatigue before physical fatigue)
      • Excitement (Overactivity, unable to stop, ...)
      • Doubt (Do not have confidence, no faith in the course of action, ...)
  4. Jul 2019
    1. dance

      Rathar than dice throwing? - a dance is not completely random but somehow predictable.

    2. I'll drive for 2 hours

      Brother, you gotta walk. A quote from, Chap. 11, Buddhism For Dummies:

      A woman named Kisa Gotami lived in the Buddha’s time. The death of her young son upset her so much that she went mad with grief. Clutching his lifeless form, she wandered from place to place looking for some medicine to cure her beloved child. Her friends felt sorry for her and said, “Gotami, why don’t you approach the Buddha? Perhaps he can help you.”

      With infinite compassion, the Buddha told Gotami, “Go to town and bring me one tiny mustard seed. However, make certain that this seed comes from a house where no one has ever died.”

      The distraught mother immediately began searching house to house for the seed. Although everyone was eager to help her, they all had the same story to tell. “Last year my husband died,” said one. “Three years ago, I lost my daughter,” said another. “My brother died here yesterday,” said a third. Everywhere she went, Gotami heard the same thing.

      At the end of the day, Gotami returned to the Buddha empty handed. “What have you found, Gotami?” he asked gently. “Where is your mustard seed? And where is your son? You’re not carrying him any longer.”

      “Oh, Buddha,” she answered, “today I have discovered that I’m not the only one who has lost a loved one. Everywhere people have died; all things must pass away. I realize how mistaken I was to think that I could have my son back. I’ve accepted his death, and this afternoon, I had his body cremated. Now I’ve returned to you.”

      It is said that the Buddha then accepted Kisa Gotami as his disciple and ordained her as a nun in his order. Her understanding of reality deepened with her practice of Dharma and she soon achieved nirvana — complete liberation from suffering.

  5. Jan 2019
    1. After that — well, of course, for him there just isn’t any After That....”

      In page 248 of Melford Spiro's book "Buddhism and Society: A Great Tradition and Its Burmese Vicissitudes", he writes: "In normative Buddhism there is no soul; hence, nothing survives death of the body."

  6. Nov 2018
  7. Feb 2018
    1. Despite the Beats' use of B

      Why, though? Kerouac was a lifelong scholar of Buddhism, and so were other Beats like Ginsberg and Snyder. Indeed, Gary Snyder officially became a Buddhist and a disciple of Miura, and Ginsberg had a student-teacher relationship (together with a friendship) with the known Buddhist master Trungpa Rinpoche. This should be enough to consider them, at least at some points in their life, as Buddhists.

    2. authentically Buddhist. Though the Beats lack a center, a center is not necessary (or even desired) - there is no such thing as a "center" to Buddhism, and if Buddhists believed there were a center, they would be bad Buddhists, because Buddhists are supposed to avoid "essentializing" and realize the inherent emptiness of concepts

      Central point about Buddhism which strictly relates to Beat spirituality.

    3. ent as a literary phenomenon, the only book-length treatment of Beat Buddhism I w

      The book is called "Big Sky Mind: Buddhism and the Beat Generation" (Carole Tonkinson). Consider finding or getting: https://www.amazon.com/Big-Sky-Mind-Buddhism-Generation/dp/1573225010. It contains essays, poems, photographs, and letters between different authors: seems very interesting and useful!

      How does this relate to my thesis? Spirituality would need to be an essential part of my thesis, since I wish to consider how the lifestyle of authors of the Beat Generation blurs the defines between what is usually considered "life" and what is usually considered "literature". If I aim to show that they were "practical artists", or "performative artists" in some way (need theoretical background here), their spirituality would be an essential part of this definition, as it was an essential part of their life.

      See how in the essay "Prose Contribution to the Cuban Revolution" he says "That's the karma I wanted, to be a saint" (The Essential Ginsberg). Being a saint comes before being a writer.

  8. Nov 2017
    1. we argue that “consciousness” contains no top-down control processes and that “consciousness” involves no executive, causal, or controlling relationship with any of the familiar psychological processes conventionally attributed to it.

      I think this ideas is somewhat similar to the mind as a "sixth" sense of Buddhism, that allows for perceptions of thoughts and awareness.

    1. This is more a ‘dark side’ of the secular mindfulness movement than of mindfulness per se (though there have been precursors of the issue in Zen).Most (all?) schools of Buddhism teach mindfulness in a broader ethical context which includes conscious cultivation of compassion & empathy as you write.But Buddhism also often claims that mindful insight reveals compassion to be intrinsic to the mind. Ethics then falls out of phenomenology, and its cultivation is therefore more like sharpening the senses than it is cultural indoctrination. This seems like its most interesting and important claim.
    2. It was shocking to hear, especially from a guy who has spent four decades doing mindfulness meditation in the foothills of the Himalayas. For Ricard, the Buddhist approach to mindfulness – unlike its secular counterpart – doesn’t have this problem of being ‘mindfulness without morals’, as it emphasises concepts such as compassion, caring, empathy and altruism.
    3. There are a lot of people speaking about mindfulness, but the risk is that it’s taken too literally – to just ‘be mindful’. Well, you could have a very mindful sniper and a mindful psychopath. It’s true! A sniper needs to be so focused, never distracted, very calm, always bringing back his attention to the present moment. And non-judgemental – just kill people and no judgement. That could happen!Ricard was only half-joking, because he knows that secular mindfulness courses have become popular in military training and amongst Wall Street bankers, who hope it will keep them calm and give them the edge when the financial stakes are high. He then told me about a study at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig showing that taking a mindfulness course can help you deal with stress but has no discernible impact on pro-social behaviour.
  9. Oct 2017
    1. Flanagan explains why Buddhism should be so appealing to philosophers. It offers a metaphysics anchored in such robust principles as impermanence, no-self, and the ubiquity of causation, an epistemology that is thoroughly empiricist, and an ethics that prizes compassion, while at the same time claiming "that there are logical connections between these three" (206). A philosopher working at the intersection of multiple "spaces of meaning" would find that these logical connections open up new possibilities for enhancing, refining, and expanding the range of philosophical arguments and possibilities.
    2. EudaimoniaBuddha and eudaimoniaAristotle are different, though perhaps complementary, experiments in living. By stressing the difference between these and many other ways of being-in-the-world, Flanagan is not championing the sort of ethical relativism one typically associates with Gilbert Harman or David B. Wong.
    3. It is primarily this synthesis of normativity and causal explanation that makes Buddhism special. If for Aristotelian flourishing comes from living a life of virtue (understood as human reason embodied), Buddhist moral concerns and aspirations for freedom are informed by such metaphysical principles as the no-self view (which Flanagan interprets in terms of psychological continuity and connectedness), the impermanence of all phenomena, and interdependent arising
    4. As a participant in the activities of the Mind and Life Institute, Flanagan is also privy to what those, like the Dalai Lama and his entourage (who both embody and represent one specific tradition of Buddhist theory and practice), say behind closed doors, so to speak. That is, he knows that even some of Buddhism's best known representatives are keenly aware that Buddhism might perhaps be an unfinished project and that some of its doctrines should in fact be revised to take into account the findings of cognitive science.
    5. The neuroscientific data, he argues, is inconclusive. Buddhism provides at best a modus vivendi that shares many features with the Aristotelian model of virtue ethics and, as such, is less special than some of its more ardent proponents would have it. It does not mean, however, that Buddhism does not offer something unique and special; it just isn't what those who champion the science of happiness think it is.
    1. I do think it is a philosophy for everyone, and I am convinced that the world would be a better place if more people prioritized their moral development over the acquisition of external goods. That said, there are clearly people for whom Stoicism immediately “clicks,” it comes natural, and others for whom it doesn’t. Then again, Stoicism isn’t the only positive philosophy of life. Buddhism is an excellent alternative, if it speaks more clearly to one’s personality or cultural background. What the world needs is more compassion (love in the broad sense, as you were saying earlier) and use of practical reason to solve human problems.
  10. Jul 2017
    1. Engaged Buddhism has to constantly invent “what the Buddha would have said” about them. Second, Engaged Buddhism inherits Mahayana’s weakness. Engaged Buddhism is all about having good intentions; it mainly fails to take effective action.

      What the Buddha would have said? Tantric attitude: I'm the Buddha!