The unconventional is always marginalized: marginalized in the sense of being unimportant or in a powerless position to affect change in the conventional system. However, the conventional world of settled beliefs is not always resting on a solid foundation. I would go so far as to argue that our conventional view is generally a makeshift view because the alternative will adversely affect an established system of power.
I can think of a number of examples in which the unconventional view is suppressed because it is more persuasive, in terms of evidence to support its thesis, than the conventional view in the example of the big bang theory vs. the unconventional electrical/plasma theory of the universe. More to the point the unconventional threatens the conventional system of power. This also applies to archeology or cancer research, for example . We might even say that there is always a persuasive minority report that is marginalized by the conventional systems of power.
When we look at Buddhism there is somewhat of a conventional or settled view that dominates. According to the conventional view, the Buddha attained enlightenment and by his enlightenment saw that the world was impermanent, painful and lacked a self and, more importantly, he saw that the cause of suffering was a belief in the self or the Hindu âtman.
Contrary to the conventional view, The Zennist blog presents the unconventional view or the minority report. According to The Zennist, the Buddha’s enlightenment was the realization of the unconditioned (nirvana) which transcended samsara (the unending cycle of birth and death). By this realization, the Buddha saw that the conditioned world was impermanent, painful and was without âtman, the âtman being the true refuge.
Needless to say, the ongoing minority report of The Zennist blog is unwelcome. It is saying that what we have taken refuge in is really the conditioned world, including our psychophysical bodies. By default, with our implicit denial of the âtman or any unconditioned absolute we are only left with samsara.