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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"would i do it again? no, not worth the trouble."

One can only hope.


hey one more is still possible...."I'll drink from the well of verifiable scientific evidence" oh how noble

would you call the theoritical shambles of the different psychologies then ,äh,

well of pure science water ?

like the pontefications of jung and freud maslow and perls etc ? just opinions,

is that the pure science water you drink , the pure water ? : )

i am sure you know the joke of bringing the same dream to the different therapy "schools" and receive

each time a different meaning. thats how "scientific" they are. oh i forgot , for you the community of same minded people are the prove of the truth of that ....knowledge circle . sure . but is that the hard science of "verifiable scientific evidence" you drink from ?

opinions of the shrinkgroup of the day ?

because since WE are talking inner science and not nuclear science .i mean what happens to a mind in a sensory deprivation tank or room is certainly not the field of physics , agreed ? ,but psychology , no ? and it starts with the mind .....

stanilaus grof was not , the last time i looked ,famous for new utterings on  some physical laws , is he ?

and ayuawasca users (or any other of these psychedelic drugs) .......is that what ..hard science as well ?

do you really think this shrinkery  is hard science ? really you must be joking. 

 

so ...really theurj : what is it exactly that you react against ? why all these churchy examples

i never mentioned any....... ,just sensory deprivation tanks, what process that produces and the amazing

results that are appearantly  possible if one does it ...right. so. hm ? ...

 

hard sciences  : )) my ass !

and then you think that i am ...poisoned : )))

mm


theurj said:

I'll drink from the well of verifiable scientific evidence, not some poisoned magical-mythical watering hole. I'm reminded of our discussion of Trivendi, and this post pointing to a discussion in which Julian participated.  From his second comment July 23, 2010 at 2:45 am:

"As for the transcendent spirit discussion – thanks, yea i am familiar with the various sources and was ( as a long term meditator and yogi) quite impressed with the idea for some time – it no longer holds water for me and seems only slightly less inspired by wishful thinking and an overextending of subjective experience into objective reality than say, belief in the book of genesis. wilber fell time and again into a kind of intelligent design in indian drag trap – and most of his readers take this as a great argument for some kind of disembodied transcendent spirit/god/ghosty/sky-daddy by any other name."

Btw, relating this to the paper in the first post this is exactly one of the problems of Ferrer's kind of pluralism. On the one hand  he presupposes there is no ready-made metaphysical reality and accepts the postmeta notion of it being undertermined multiplicity. He also accepts that empirical knowledge should be verified by empirical grounds. Spiritual knowledge should be verified otherwise, one way being based on "the potency of its emancipatory effects." But what if the latter emancipate one in certain ways but is still interpreted in a way that conflates those effects with metaphysical, objectivist claims about empirically unsubstantiated survival of physical death?

It's not only a confusion of descriptive and proscriptive language, it allows the latter to override the former as if they are two completely separate domains. This premise seems to be a more subtle and unnoticed reduction of the very thing he claims to be against, the representation paradigm. And it also participates in relativism, unable to judge absurd claims as long as the paradigm effects "emancipation," a  pretty nebulous term that again presupposes whatever a tradition says it means, including rainbow bodies.


Not intentionally silent on this Max -- I've just been busy with my family this weekend.  It's sort of amusing that the first dust-up we've had on this site in awhile is on a thread about non-sectarianism...  On the rainbow body phenomenon, it seems to me that it is improbable, but I wouldn't declare it impossible.  I'm agnostic, leaning to the skeptical side, but I'm actually quite open to (and interested in) seeing evidence for it that is stronger than passed-on stories.  A postmetaphysical approach must demand more than stories from people we respect...although it also must include stories from people we respect.  From my side, I've had experiences which run counter to current scientific accounts of what is "possible," and that inclines me to keep a relatively open mind about some of these things.  And from my own practice, I know that Phowa, for instance, produces actual physical (and subjective/interior) results.  We also know from experiments that tummo practitioners are able to control their bodies in ways not anticipated by current neuroscience.  So, I think these practices and practitioners have something to teach us about what is possible for human beings.  But this doesn't mean that what they have to teach us will turn out to align with explanations from largely mythic-era civilization.  We've got to be open about that, too.

Hey max, 

before you leave just know that this dumbass'd talking' monkey is sincerely interested in what you're trying to get across here. I'm trying to grok as best as i am able with the cultural and language limitations just what it is you'e espousing here. If you are not interested in replying to this post, that's fine, but for my own understanding i am going to lay out what it is i think you are saying. If you want to correct point by point where i am misunderstanding you or not, please do , or not. 

1- the universe works on some kind of non-theistic involution/evolutionary process. 

2- In Tibet especially, there have been some humans that have discovered a way that allows some humans to 'modify' or 'manipulate' matter in such a way that their  physical bodies can be altered or transformed into some kind of rainbow/ethereal /astral body. 

3- that this knowledge is guarded by spiritual masters and can be passed on to initiates/student. 

4- that these evolutionary rainbow beings exist in some other dimension of reality and are in some manner interacting with talking monkeys today. 

5-that it is your understanding that they wouldn't necessarily be able to stop humans from completely destroying the earth if that is what humans choose to do.

Yes? No? Not even close? I am so low on the totem of human hierarchy that it's not even appropriate for me to even try and grok what you're saying?

The MOA-1 approximation of MOA-2 is to simply observe that we can validate and jump back and forth between different lenses. A more fully fleshed MOA-2 has to try to invent the structure which permits the alternatives to be stably entangled. The version of Ferrer's pluralism that Theurj observes here nicely illustrates two threads which need to be thought forward into creative convergence. One is the potency of emancipatory effects and the other is empirical verification. The "problem" of scenarios in which the former leads us to uncritically accept patterns which have direct consequences for the latter is not a stalemate but simply defines the set of the elements which must contribute to the higher level solution.

We require a notion of "survival beyond physical death" which evades objectivist metaphysical claims. Such a notion must self-assimilate the evidential boundary between gross and subtle realities, permit multiplicity within any concept of the "survival body", and attempt to rationally establish a structure which can operate both as fiction and fact and guides to toward complementary pathways of verification which may be applicable.

Discussions of the Rainbow Body get us nowhere fast if we approach with an "Is it or isn't it?" mentality. At minimum we must discuss on the basis of "Is there a set of subtle components, amenable to interpretation as "a body", which -- in the case of certain practices -- tend to be modified in ways that have post-organismic psychological and potentially material traces?"

Then we could set about establishing what would constitute these traces and what would constitute sufficient correlation to call them "as good as one thing". 

But, as necessary as that is going forward in our civilization, it is onerous and excessive relative to the function that various different ideas of "rainbow body" perform for individual belief and lineages of esoteric practice. So we also need to keep in mind what type of conversation is appropriate to the context of each individual. Those who wager that they have good reason to accept something which is usually conceived metaphysically are allies to the task of postmetaphysical spirituality insofar as they comprehend themselves as making a wager. Those who do not are also not available to a conversation which challenges their facts... but people who are not available to such a conversation should not be seen as its opponents. They are not yet in a position to be its opponents.

If anyone has kept reading this far -- happy easter! May your egg hatch and turn you into the many colors painted beautifully on the outside...


theurj said:

Btw, relating this to the paper in the first post this is exactly one of the problems of Ferrer's kind of pluralism. On the one hand  he presupposes there is no ready-made metaphysical reality and accepts the postmeta notion of it being undertermined multiplicity. He also accepts that empirical knowledge should be verified by empirical grounds. Spiritual knowledge should be verified otherwise, one way being based on "the potency of its emancipatory effects." But what if the latter emancipate one in certain ways but is still interpreted in a way that conflates those effects with metaphysical, objectivist claims about empirically unsubstantiated survival of physical death?

It's not only a confusion of descriptive and proscriptive language, it allows the latter to override the former as if they are two completely separate domains. This premise seems to be a more subtle and unnoticed reduction of the very thing he claims to be against, the representation paradigm. And it also participates in relativism, unable to judge absurd claims as long as the paradigm effects "emancipation," a  pretty nebulous term that again presupposes whatever a tradition says it means, including rainbow bodies.

Perhaps it might help to revisit Excerpt G, toward a comprehensive theory of subtle energies? I agree with Lingam when he says:

"If, in the following, I question the adequacy of some of these interpretations, I am not at all questioning the authenticity of the experiences or realizations of these great sages. I am simply suggesting that, as evolution itself continues to move forward, new horizons can be used to recontextualize and reframe these experiences in interpretive meshworks that are more adequate in the light of modern and postmodern contributions" (8).

I question some of his reframing as more of a rehash, but it's a place to start.

Lenny talks about god:

hey balder

happy easter to you too.

thanks for the balanced reply. i agree with you and what you are saying is more or less what have been saying or better intended to say : )) as anybody who has been around these teachings i have had my share of "weird " experiences , then there is the tummo practioners and the chülen as well. so ... its obvious that we need to see more clear evidence and results and IF westerners cant produce these then.....

but meanwhile its a big mistake to just throw out the whole thing without taking for first a very good look.

its interesting that now also some catholics are starting to notice BUT they still seem to think they can use this to corroborate their views. as i have said in another thread i think the effect will be the other way around . and that could be a very interesting situation in the future.of course that part is pure speculation on my part.but i guess you are familiar with the teachings involved and then you know that the case of jesus is quite ....particular and one can IF one wanted to , rethink him practically from scratch as  a pretty advanced dzog chenpa , who tried to liberate his homefolk from their superstitious views just like dzog chen is liberating buddhists from buddhism and bönpos from "bönism" but then they just killed him and since he was pretty advanced he manifested RBB in 3 days , so he was well into the 3rd light.in any case to do this one has to throw out most if not all of the christian theology.since you play with the idea of that book , i am sure you have noticed that too.i meanits not uncommon that stupid folk kill mahasiddhas , or at least try to, happened also to padmasambhava in tso pema.: ))

of course now we are talking myth again , or tall old stories, sure but how did dzog chen come to tibet (lets just forget about the homegrown bön version now ) ,some strange yogi came from oddiyana and had it in his backpack. and he had lots of resistance but managed to subdue the demons : ) and make them guardians , so same story could be spun for jesus ,just that the jews proved to be a lot worse ,a lot more violent , their vulcan god demanding blood, then the tibetans.....or maybe padmasambhava was better prepared , more realized, .....who knows , i certainly dont , but

that would of course turn the christian world upside down ....in any case ...some christians have begun to ....extend their feelers , ....so ...that can only be a good thing in my mind.

so open mind is ....well good enough but also the least we ought to bring to these teachings. and especially

one should have a discriminating look and not ignore evidence like for example the tummo practioners.

and thats just one ! aspect . if you know what the underlying knowledge is of those manifesting capacities you know that its the control of the elements , in the case of tummo its fire but then there are other possibilities with other elements . but those capacities have not even anything to do with RBB technology. its quite arrogant to assume just because the entire west has fallen for the tall jewish stories, that all this is just...more jewish stories.i am all for stopping the adherence to the jewish story machine , thats why i have pointed more then once to the archeological findings of for example israel finkelstein, who has proved, through his archaelogical work,imo once and for all, how that great story book has been put together and that it is just that : pure fiction.there is no history to it, in fact the actual history is quite different.this is quite important if one knows how the jewish/christian/islamic "logic" works, the film noah is a good example i that , but that principle is applied throughout that story book, and i guess theurj has such violent reactions due to that manipulation. i can understand that BUT.......

but , here we have though something a little different and potentially very interesting and the jury is still out ......so this essential difference should be seen by people who like to explain the world to others.! imo.

be well

mm

p.s. quite amazing how big brains like those around here fail to notice that even in the wiki site there are fundamental differences to the buddhist teachings of madhyamika starting with the terminology : for example dang rolpa and dzal . thats not the usual buddhist stuff , these terms one does not find in any buddhist  sutra , or the madhyamika texts , not even in the high tantras, like anutaratantra, no. so this clearly should indicate that this is ....something else . but no , everything is just thrown into the same bin. well well well.

no wonder the western culture has so far only made one contribution to the world mind :a steep increase of

clinical depression ! and that´s a scientific statistical fact ! real evidence : )

mm



Balder said:


Not intentionally silent on this Max -- I've just been busy with my family this weekend.  It's sort of amusing that the first dust-up we've had on this site in awhile is on a thread about non-sectarianism...  On the rainbow body phenomenon, it seems to me that it is improbable, but I wouldn't declare it impossible.  I'm agnostic, leaning to the skeptical side, but I'm actually quite open to (and interested in) seeing evidence for it that is stronger than passed-on stories.  A postmetaphysical approach must demand more than stories from people we respect...although it also must include stories from people we respect.  From my side, I've had experiences which run counter to current scientific accounts of what is "possible," and that inclines me to keep a relatively open mind about some of these things.  And from my own practice, I know that Phowa, for instance, produces actual physical (and subjective/interior) results.  We also know from experiments that tummo practitioners are able to control their bodies in ways not anticipated by current neuroscience.  So, I think these practices and practitioners have something to teach us about what is possible for human beings.  But this doesn't mean that what they have to teach us will turn out to align with explanations from largely mythic-era civilization.  We've got to be open about that, too.



andrew said:

Hey max, 

before you leave just know that this dumbass'd talking' monkey is sincerely interested in what you're trying to get across here. I'm trying to grok as best as i am able with the cultural and language limitations just what it is you'e espousing here. If you are not interested in replying to this post, that's fine, but for my own understanding i am going to lay out what it is i think you are saying. If you want to correct point by point where i am misunderstanding you or not, please do , or not. 

1- the universe works on some kind of non-theistic involution/evolutionary process. 

2- In Tibet especially, there have been some humans that have discovered a way that allows some humans to 'modify' or 'manipulate' matter in such a way that their  physical bodies can be altered or transformed into some kind of rainbow/ethereal /astral body. 

3- that this knowledge is guarded by spiritual masters and can be passed on to initiates/student. 

4- that these evolutionary rainbow beings exist in some other dimension of reality and are in some manner interacting with talking monkeys today. 

5-that it is your understanding that they wouldn't necessarily be able to stop humans from completely destroying the earth if that is what humans choose to do.

Yes? No? Not even close? I am so low on the totem of human hierarchy that it's not even appropriate for me to even try and grok what you're saying?


hi andrew

well , is a little more complicated then that but ....well , lets say that the talking monkey idea is the first mistake . : ) these ancient teachings , which were only conserved in tibet (islam wiped out all others who had this knowledge in north west india), have a completly different view of what it is to be a human being and what the actual capacities of humans can be then the modern or ancient west.they also have a tried and proven inner technology to actualize this.anybody can do it , you ,me anybody who follows these teachings and manages to actualize them. so there is no god in it. its just humans. but humans are not talking monkeys. monkeys cannot actualize these teachings because they would understand the steps necessary.

now as to the rest of the ideas  etc you can look up on wikipedia dzog chen . there you get an overview.

in any case previously , thats up to 1976, this knowledge was very hidden , very difficult to get.in 1976 dzog chen master chögyal namkai norbu opened this teaching without restrictions ,doing the first ever dzog chen teaching retreat in the west and he did it in subiaco ,near rome. those who have some historical  education...hear hear.:)

since then he has done over 500 dzog chen retreats worldwide and ......after first fiercly critizising him for a few years,......largely those (and even some who don´t) tibetans who have some dzog chen knowledge started to teach it a little bit to westerners.but before that ....

you had to travel to tibet and learn the language but even then it was very very unlikely that they would give it ,because even inside tibet very few people had access ,it was kept very secret,it was only in 2 of the 5 tibetan schools present and the most important school ,the gelugs, the one that ruled tibet , thought that it was heresy.....

so...difficult

but now it is easily available and updated you can make contact and start  even via internet : ))

but of course to get to RBB is very very difficult and it  happened rarely even in tibet ,

its a bit like advanced tai chi or chi gong : those who really master those teachings can do

amazing things,but they have to work a lot to get there, thats then called being a very good practioner, so this is in the same vein.

so i am not sure why guys like thurj deny its validity outright and call me

all sorts of ..names : )

well i say: wait and see.

if these teachings are valid then sooner or later there will be a RBB manifestation on video or publicly just like in tibet, some western dzog chen pa will do it.

and if that s not happening ,well , then we can still rethink ....

right now the jury is still out on this , it has to be , if one has an open mind.

 

mm

 and balder

this "But this doesn't mean that what they have to teach us will turn out to align with explanations from largely mythic-era civilization.  We've got to be open about that, too."

goes without saying .

i mean i am not exactly a moron just because i am not an academic . and btw the main reason why i

stopped working with the bönpos was exactly this point : too much preservation of unessential stuff.

the whole monastic hierarchy for example.

thats why i limited myself to work with chögyal namkai norbu more then 20 years ago ,since he understands what modernity means.in fact he is a  completely modern man.; ))

worked as university professor , is married with an italian , has 2 children.

and he is also a tertön and has ,through his termas ,updated dzog chen. which is kind of ...funny , to say the least , if you know what termas are , and i assume you do . so i call sometimes his teaching

dzog chen 2.0

now we have a urban world wide dzog chen community with a  modernized teaching that maintains all the essential

teachings but has cut all the cultural dross.we have many female/male teachers of the various practises for example , no power hierarchy , all centers are governed by yearly publicly (community) elected members

we have a series of sacred dance teachings (from a terma) that fit nicely into an urban setting ,and yantra yoga which is ancient and all the other tantric teachings but we use only the anuyoga mostly , everything

is tailered to exactly the modern world .time is scarce and work is necessary.

so .....you see , this old ..."oh the bad lamas try to poison me to abuse me trust and steal my money and my soul" is just so much boohey

we have no lamas to start with , no monks at all.no monasteries, everybody is urged to live a completly normal modern life in some city. marry work children pay taxes. thats the urban dzog chen yogi.

the cave is the tube to work.its your office or your shop. but practise all the time inside this circumstance. thats the key.

so you see , its not a calcified heavy situation.

its more like an optimization of your life to be

happy

and enjoy

mm



theurj said:

Perhaps it might help to revisit Excerpt G, toward a comprehensive theory of subtle energies? I agree with Lingam when he says:

"If, in the following, I question the adequacy of some of these interpretations, I am not at all questioning the authenticity of the experiences or realizations of these great sages. I am simply suggesting that, as evolution itself continues to move forward, new horizons can be used to recontextualize and reframe these experiences in interpretive meshworks that are more adequate in the light of modern and postmodern contributions" (8).

I question some of his reframing as more of a rehash, but it's a place to start.

hi theurj

yeah i really can´t wait to see kens integral subtle energies hash

thats going to be very interesting. my guess is that its almost (like 80%)

finished for the next ....say

20 years ? : ))

mm

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