« The rise of the non-material | Main | Noble Buddhism vs secular buddhism »

December 02, 2014

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Ayahuasca is a good topic to explore. It has many proven facts about it's healing powers physically and mentally. This medicine should be studied more and make it available to many.

Something which is often overlooked is how warm mysticism is...within Buddhism of course it is easy to see how becoming acquainted with the buddha principle in the Mahayana contrasts with the cold morality of theravada. The Sufi too, at times "heretical" against the established order, had warmth and a type of intimacy with reality that provides comfort and assurance only known through faith. These dervish brotherhoods called "terikats" had immense spiritual influence and were beloved of the people even at a time when orthodoxy (in modernity this is akin to rational materialism and Cartesian logic) made sense, in a way, because it discouraged questioning into reality beyond the known. The materialists of american zen, sometimes even after a long spiritual career and much discourse as a teacher, have convinced themselves noble wisdom and delusion all amount to the same thing...that the buddha principle is probably some material conjugation of mind and one must merely stare at it until it goes away, in the same way that pain from a hammered thumb subsides, not a joke perhaps, but not entirely real in the way that transmigration to higher or lower realms is seen as something not entirely real. So, not understanding, the rational materialist concludes there is really not anything to understand. The mystic (and zen was mystical long before Descartes), in contrast, goes beyond the material, to a level of intimacy with reality so profound there is no fear of loss, because he sees not just in cold stark relief, as the materialist sees, but becomes aware that all reality and unreality (dharmata) hums with the buddha principle that is not known by forms or absence of forms, nor wall gazing until it all just slips into sunyata. Mystics will always be viewed with suspicion, because they learn to see with a dharma eye and point to that which the materialist has long given up hope of realizing.

Thanks for the plug on McEvilley’s work--Excellent resource!

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