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February 25, 2021

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TheZennist: I agree. I'd add that, at least in the Occident, there's this trend toward hyper-individuality, which is symptomatic of cultural dissolution. Ideology reigns supreme. People are guided more by their emotions than anything else. This is just human nature; however, I'd say that nowadays, with the help of social engineering, technology, mass media, it has reached a more extreme level. People attach themselves to various causes or political parties, not because they necessarily care about them, but because they are so spiritually dead, that they need to compensate with these superficial adornments, affiliations.

And it's not just politics -you see this in other spheres of life: Art, attire, "spirituality", etc. Transgenderism is probably one of the most grotesque consequences of this hyper-individuality. They think: "It's not my mind that needs to change, but nature." Or: "It's not my mind that needs to change; it's the Dharma that needs amends."

Only Platonists can understand Buddha, period. Therefore not one Asian nor Western atheist understands him. Period.

"One can have a very scholastic understanding of the Buddhadharma just by reading the Sutras, but until you actually live it, you're understanding will be superficial at best."

Which in plain English means you must be a Platonist before you read the suttas or you'll understand them literally backwards.

DANIEL J PAVLOVSKY: in a few words, the matter shifts to religion is a social construct, that is, the Buddha's enlightenment was socially fabricated. This, by the way, is the problem that we see with transgenderism. Gender is believed to be socially constructed and not biological. By analogy, all enlightenments are a social construct, of what I personally believe, not a fact in its own right which I am in the presence of.

"It is a given thus, for those with little sand in their eyes, that the Buddhist student seeking proof of the Buddha´s ascribed statements about the true self should be better off looking beyond the complicated dialectics..."

I think this is why Buddhism is so often misunderstood, and consequently misrepresented. One can have a very scholastic understanding of the Buddhadharma just by reading the Sutras, but until you actually live it, you're understanding will be superficial at best. Most people, however, aren't prepared for that kind of commitment, or don't have the necessary Karmic inertia that would propel them in that direction.

Especially these days, where people live an extremely comfortable lifestyle, their suffering never becomes acute enough, compelling them to reassess their views of the world.

Even though it took Shakyamuni, chauffeured on his chariot through town, being confronted with old age, sickness and death to compel him to search for a solution to this problem of suffering, it seems as though people now are too cynical or apathetic or etc. to pursue this most important question.

It's also worth noting that the cult of science has taken over and is slowly replacing spirituality -or has become a sort of pseudo-spirituality itself (spiritual materialism). Anything that isn't anchored to the phenomenological world (even a spiritual experience would be explained away by some rapid firing of neurons in the brain) is met with distrust, or even scorn.

In the sutras, a common theme in the dharma-ending age is people not believing or acknowledging the existence of other worlds, i.e. they live a purely skandhic existence, where "truth" for them can only be gleaned through the six sense organs. On top of that, they seem to put special emphasis on the 5th skandha, which has basically become synonymous with spirituality.

There is only truth, but not a truth that can be affirmed. Truth and falsehood is a duality to be put aside. Nor could all be error, since error has no existence, as the sutras say. What can be affirmed however, is correct or incorrect perception of that truth; but the truth is neither lost nor found, brought down nor raised up, hidden nor revealed, spoken of by a saint nor maintained in silence by a wooden statue. If one must speak truth, it is two iron cuckoos in the dharma hall. The rays of light emitting from the Buddha do not shatter falsehood; they dispel merely the false perception of the real, the true, the absolute as mere illusion or fata morgana, with an infinite variety of forms, sounds, feelings, thoughts, and desires, which dissipate suddenly like a dream, having neither arisen, nor gone out of existence, nor having any substance whatsoever, nor leaving anything lacking once dispelled. Such words, however serve only to mystify, for those who understand this principle directly, need no elaboration or the slightest explanation, and those who do not can hear it explained endlessly and still not realize the profound simplicity of the truth.

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