Sean recently shared with me an essay titled, "How Nonsectarian is 'Nonsectarian'?: Jorge Ferrer's Pluralist Alternative to Tibetan Buddhist Inclusivism." 

Here is the abstract, and the essay is attached below.

"This paper queries the logic of the structure of hierarchical philosophical
systems. Following the Indian tradition of siddhānta, Tibetan Buddhist
traditions articulate a hierarchy of philosophical views. The ‘Middle Way’
philosophy or Madhyamaka—the view that holds that the ultimate truth is
emptiness—is, in general, held to be the highest view in the systematic
depictions of philosophies in Tibet, and is contrasted with realist schools of
thought, Buddhist and non-Buddhist. But why should an antirealist or nominalist
position be said to be ‘better’ than a realist position? What is the criterion
for this claim and is it, or can it, be more than a criterion that is traditionspecific
for only Tibetan Buddhists? In this paper, I will look at the criteria to
evaluate Buddhist philosophical traditions, particularly as articulated in what
came to be referred as the ‘nonsectarian’ (ris med) tradition. I draw from the
recent work of Jorge Ferrer to query the assumptions of the hierarchical
structures of ‘nonsectarian’ traditions and attempt to articulate an evaluative
criteria for a nonsectarian stance that are not based solely on metaphysical or
tradition-specific claims."

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My vote is with Ferrer on this one! It doesn't bother me in the least that ultimately he has some Buddhist leanings at the core of his own person. Obviously, though, this methodology will only work with folks who are open and not closed in their way of thinking about life and reality. My hunch is that people who are closed to these ideas either have hidden agendas or are egotists disguised as altruists (wolves in she eps clothing).

Actually, in reality, the wolf/sheep metaphor is not my favourite. Terrible thing to do to those amazing creatures who strive for balance and ecology within their ecosystem. Contrary to social darwinian propaganda, these creatures; like most others, don't seek to dominate their environment; rather, they live within the parameters of a truly conservative economy . They have the built in intelligence to know that they will all die if they don't live this way. It's a shame that humans can't learn this intelligence. And while i rant; it's a shame to call the movie, The Wolf of Wall St., for the same reason. Better the Nephilim of Wall St. ! Much more apt, imo.

So, who are the people that have hidden agendas here and refuse to seek truth honestly and openly? What's with Dawkins? If we concede that science doesn't need spirituality, then what problem could he have with an open inquiry into the nature of reality? Or is it that he just wants to treat this issue like a competition and pick-off the easy targets. Wreaks of hidden agenda to me. And what about Sanquin? Could he not consider that any possible truth about god has not been told accurately ; especially since the council of Nicaea; that there was a glimpse of this with the advent of the printing press but the reformation churches never went far enough and to this day continue to promote distortion.

And what about Buddhism itself and its soteriological claims? If this century does see mass eco die off; massive inequality of wealth; a third world war; death of billions of people; the slow and painful demise of military industrial petrochemical default and associated atrocities; where is the bodhisattva in this? Can the bodhisattva really be this cozy with the god Ka$h?

 hi balder

i have to read that essay when i got some time , which is not now. just a quick word : i know that you k now that madyamika is notthe highest view of tibet . it is  dzog chen which is not at all madyamika. from the dzog chen view madyamika is....still provisional to use the "nice" word for ....but westerners have the tendency to lump everything into one pot, especially those ken´s ,  as long as it is eastern it has to be the same as ...

in tibet there are fundamental distinctions between the schools : they are not at all the same !! and you know that so... of course they got trashed by the chinese so now they stand together as ..tibetans , understandably , but if we go into the school details , hey , the differences are ......vast !

"in tibet there are fundamental distinctions between the schools."

Indeed. I explored the different Tibetan Buddhist schools and dogma in the Batchelor thread. That thread also references a prior Gaia thread on the same topic. I am much more of a Madhyamaka-kaka.

hi theurji

yeah i noticed that you are a madhymaka -kaka and thats just ...perfect with me .

but then , are you more a sakhya madhya or more a gelug madhya ,as you probably know they do not agree much .

oh.... if i remember correctly you are a tzongkapa fan , well thats then a bright yellow hat for you , bravo.

as long as we are clear that its just not

the same as dzog chen , we are good . so each manifests what he likes more. : )

as long as the "all is the same ,you know ,dude, we are all one " new age dogma......

is not applied , and i think i know that you do not do that ...

all is fine but then also that dogma is just ............perfect too : ))

mm

 

hi andrew

hey hey "And what about Buddhism itself and its soteriological claims? If this century does see mass eco die off; massive inequality of wealth; a third world war; death of billions of people; the slow and painful demise of military industrial petrochemical default and associated atrocities; where is the bodhisattva in this? Can the bodhisattva really be this cozy with the god Ka$h?"

you do not seem to know much about buddhism to bring this essential christian/jewish argument.

buddha said : i bring you the way BUT you got to walk it yourself. so much for soteriological claims

and 2. the buddha taught the 4 noble truth and they are based on an cause and effect chain.

if you do this this will result . if you do bad things , like make others suffer you will get suffering back

its a bit like the song "what goes around comes around" so if you do good things good things will happen

so its clear what you need to do : stop the bad and do the good. so far so simple but then it gets complicated because why are you not seeing the obvious ? because says buddha you are dumb , plain stupid : yep our ignorance is the cause for this mess.

so from this first diagnosis of our disease by doctor buddha comes the next step : the medication

well and here it depends on your case : each person is in is very own way stupid as a bat and therefore

many different medicines have been prescribed . these are called the different yanas or path. there are different collections of them vajrayana has either a 7 stacked model or a 9 and some have a 10 stacked model. this is a bit like school. one cannot teach a 7 year old algebra or rocket science its just over his head

so one starts with the alphabet and simple math like 2 and 2 is 4. then later IF the kid develops his capacity he gets into higher and higher education

but nowhere is there a god or bodhsattva who claims : if you belief in me i will save you. having said that , of course there is : ) but it is seen as a provisonal learning device by the higher educational levels , like those who are the directors of the school and therefore know the entire curicullum. so you see this is a very very different outlook then the usual chrisitian/jewish idea of god created all this ,like you and me and the universe , therefore he is responsible for the mess.

in buddhism its you and me and everybody else

which created this mess due to our stupidity . there is nobody else to blame !

so if i may advise you :

before you critizise other systems its a good idea to first learn what they actually are teaching.

be well

mm

well , after reading it,  i´d say :

so ferrer seems to have  developed another "4th " turning : ))

probably soon he will be invited

to join   ken .

 

Hey max, 

it's true that i am no expert on Buddhism and would never claim that but i wouldn't necessarily describe myself as ignorant either. This site, and integral in general, is mostly hostile to extremely hostile to theism; especially western theism. . Myself, i have always tried to show and be respectful even within those parameters of hostility especially given my irreverent nature and willingness to criticize everything and everyone. Okay, so no being critical of buddhism on this site. 

a quick link:

Indian religions[edit]

HinduismBuddhismJainism and Sikhism share certain key concepts, which are interpreted differently by different groups and individuals.[34] In those religions one is not liberated from sin and its consequences, but from the cycle of rebirth which is perpetuated by the passions and delusions, and its resultingactions.[35] They differ however on the exact nature of this liberation.[35] Salvation is called moksha[35] or mukti which mean liberation and release respectively. This state and the conditions considered necessary for its realization is described in early texts of Indian religion such as the Upanishads and the Pali Canon, and later texts such the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Vedanta tradition.[36] Moksha can be attained by parcticing Sādhanā, literally "a means of accomplishing something".[37] It includes a variety of disciplines, such as yoga and meditation.

Nirvana is the profound peace of mind that is acquired with moksha (liberation). In Buddhism and Jainism, it is the state of being free from suffering. In Hindu philosophy, it is union with the Brahman (Supreme Being). The word literally means "blown out" (as in a candle) and refers, in the Buddhist context, to the blowing out of the fires of desire, aversion, and delusion,[38][39] and the imperturbable stillness of mind acquired there-after.[38]

In Theravada Buddhism the emphasis is on one's own liberation from samsara.[39] The Mahayana traditions emphasize the Bodhisattva-path,[39] in which "each Buddha and Bodhisattwa is a redeemer", assisting the Buddhist in seeking to achieve the redemptive state.[40] The assistance rendered is a form of self-sacrifice on the part of the teachers, who would presumably be able to achieve total detachment from worldly concerns, but have instead chosen to remain engaged in the material world to the degree that this is necessary to assist others in achieving such detachment.[40] Other disciplines are not so desolate, and "each Buddha and Bodhisattwa is a redeemer", assisting the Buddhist in seeking to achieve the redemptive state.[40]

I'm not really interested in the efficacy of any one path on anyone individual per se. My initial post was alluding to the more or less complete annihilation of life on this planet and measuring the efficacy of any given belief system within that collective context. Within that context, if this century does bring life to an end on this planet then in my opinion only, all the worlds religions (including Buddhism) failed. 

"if i remember correctly you are a tzongkapa fan , well thats then a bright yellow hat for you , bravo."

I am not even Buddhist, so I'll skip the hats. Although I've made a case that the rangtong Gelug is more in line with postmetaphysics than is the shentong (including dzogchen), though not without its own metaphysical problems. I consider myself more of a pOOOntong practitioner.


hi andrew

critizise as much as you want ,......its obvious that you do not know what you critzise whic makes the exercise a little futile , dont´you think ??

in any case , if this world disappears ,  " Within that context, if this century does bring life to an end on this planet then in my opinion only, all the worlds religions (including Buddhism) failed."

there are many other ones , i think somewhere buddha speaks of 3000 world systems : )

so ...where is the problem ?

what makes you think that this is the only place in the entire universe ?? its a halluzination in any case

so if the halluzination disappears ...where is the problem ?

you are talking here , not noticing that you are just talking from your christian western background assumptions that you assume is also the "reality" for everybody else

but it is not .its only yours and the western world view. empty assumptions.

you assume that there are stupid people who need to be saved by some god

this is just an assumption , nothing else.

so all i do is pointing this out to you : your idea of buddhism is not very accurate, sorry .

thats good for you, to notice this , but of course ,if you like .......just keep them

you are free

mm


andrew said:

Hey max, 

it's true that i am no expert on Buddhism and would never claim that but i wouldn't necessarily describe myself as ignorant either. This site, and integral in general, is mostly hostile to extremely hostile to theism; especially western theism. . Myself, i have always tried to show and be respectful even within those parameters of hostility especially given my irreverent nature and willingness to criticize everything and everyone. Okay, so no being critical of buddhism on this site. 

a quick link:

Indian religions[edit]

HinduismBuddhismJainism and Sikhism share certain key concepts, which are interpreted differently by different groups and individuals.[34] In those religions one is not liberated from sin and its consequences, but from the cycle of rebirth which is perpetuated by the passions and delusions, and its resultingactions.[35] They differ however on the exact nature of this liberation.[35] Salvation is called moksha[35] or mukti which mean liberation and release respectively. This state and the conditions considered necessary for its realization is described in early texts of Indian religion such as the Upanishads and the Pali Canon, and later texts such the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Vedanta tradition.[36] Moksha can be attained by parcticing Sādhanā, literally "a means of accomplishing something".[37] It includes a variety of disciplines, such as yoga and meditation.

Nirvana is the profound peace of mind that is acquired with moksha (liberation). In Buddhism and Jainism, it is the state of being free from suffering. In Hindu philosophy, it is union with the Brahman (Supreme Being). The word literally means "blown out" (as in a candle) and refers, in the Buddhist context, to the blowing out of the fires of desire, aversion, and delusion,[38][39] and the imperturbable stillness of mind acquired there-after.[38]

In Theravada Buddhism the emphasis is on one's own liberation from samsara.[39] The Mahayana traditions emphasize the Bodhisattva-path,[39] in which "each Buddha and Bodhisattwa is a redeemer", assisting the Buddhist in seeking to achieve the redemptive state.[40] The assistance rendered is a form of self-sacrifice on the part of the teachers, who would presumably be able to achieve total detachment from worldly concerns, but have instead chosen to remain engaged in the material world to the degree that this is necessary to assist others in achieving such detachment.[40] Other disciplines are not so desolate, and "each Buddha and Bodhisattwa is a redeemer", assisting the Buddhist in seeking to achieve the redemptive state.[40]

I'm not really interested in the efficacy of any one path on anyone individual per se. My initial post was alluding to the more or less complete annihilation of life on this planet and measuring the efficacy of any given belief system within that collective context. Within that context, if this century does bring life to an end on this planet then in my opinion only, all the worlds religions (including Buddhism) failed. 

hi theurij

good for you , good for you

but dzog chen is not shentong,  nor any other concept.

thats a term  others use. its an attempt to lock dzog chen into their system : ))

but dzog chen is not captured inside any mental prison

 

there were many great dzog chen realizers ,  who were analphabets ...

and yet at the end of their life displayed their rainbow body realization publicly ,.......

not a one pure  madyamika  man ever displayed such a fruit , .....

: )

mm



theurj said:

"if i remember correctly you are a tzongkapa fan , well thats then a bright yellow hat for you , bravo."

I am not even Buddhist, so I'll skip the hats. Although I've made a case that the rangtong Gelug is more in line with postmetaphysics than is the shentong (including dzogchen), though not without its own metaphysical problems. I consider myself more of a pOOOntong practitioner.

You actually believe that those folks did not die and transformed into a rainbow body? You can't get any more metaphysically shentong than that.

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