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September 25, 2019


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> The Buddha’s enlightenment was not born from his own reason

Sure a lot of Buddhist traditions would have the story go "Buddha turned off his mind and was smacked with the truth." But I've been reading the first few pages of F.L. Woodward's 'Some sayings of the Buddha' today for the n'th time, and in the autobiographical suttas from Mahjima and Digha Nikayas that Woodward has placed at the beginning of the book under the "BEGINNINGS" section, Buddha represents his enlightenment as occurring to him through a series of thoughts clearly following a logical sequence. That is not to say that this logical chain of thoughts does not constitute "excellent knowledge and insight befitting the ariyans" or that it is "his own devising beaten out by reasoning and based on investigation" in the way that those who said that in the sutta you cited were saying that. There is clear spiritual insight in his logical chain of thoughts--yet at the same time there is logic there. In other words, his spiritual insight is not stoner-logic; it makes real logical sense. The doctrine of no-soul and the doctrine of the unity of all souls to the point of identity and even worse the doctrine of the unity and identity of all things to the point that both souls and dog dung are one and the same are all stoner logic that makes no sense. Its one thing to say that someone hammered out a system by logic with no special spiritual insight, and another to say that with special spiritual insight one discovered a system that is still actually logical.

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