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Is Buddhism a process theology?

Discussion in 'Buddhism DIR' started by Ozzie, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. Ozzie

    Ozzie New Member

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    Quoting Willamena's thread OP in the Philosophy section:

    My response to the OP
    .



    This bit sits well with a Buddhist concept of reality.


    This is an important insight that contradicts Buddhist notions of time and space.
    This is an intellectual explanation of the contradiction that appears from the two previous parts.

    This is a conclusion drawn from the paradox formed then described earlier



    Brad's interpretation describes a human cognitive limitation of ordinary consciousness.


    END



    Willamena's OP raises the question whether Buddhism is a process rather than intellectual theology.

    Buddhism does describe a process IMO

    Does it describe a process that is subconscious?

    Do other theologies describe conscious systems of belief that are theory driven?

    To what extent is Buddhism theory driven?

    Is the paradox between process and static models of religion/consciousness resolvable?

    Or is a better explanation of divergence between Buddhist and other models of consciousness based on a process v intellectual model?

    How do you as a Buddhist resolve the problem of bringing insights obtained from Buddhist practice into the reality of daily living?
     
  2. Engyo

    Engyo Prince of Dorkness!

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    Buddhism is a practice philosophy (NOT Theology). There is a process involved, but that process is driven by practice. As Nichiren said, "Without practice and study there is no Buddhism."

    I don't have any problem bringing the insights obtained by practice into the reality of my daily life - they are a part of my life. They aren't theories that have happened to someone else that I must process - the processing takes place as a result of my practice and the insights are the fully processed results of that practice. They are already a part of me - of my understanding, my outlook and my way of relating to the world. Once the insight is obtained it is already processed - it is fully available, and choices and actions are colored by that insight. It is probably harder to ignore that insight and choose NOT to use it; this sometimes does occur when emotion takes momentary control, but over time that also becomes less and less of a problem.
     
  3. Ozzie

    Ozzie New Member

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    I think Buddhism is ill-served by the label of philosophy. This sets up the argument of it being either religion or philosophy.
     
  4. Engyo

    Engyo Prince of Dorkness!

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    OK - I went with philosophy as opposed to theology. Let's say it's a practice-based religion, then.
     
  5. Willamena

    Willamena Just be there, doing that

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    How so? What distinguishes Buddhism as a religion from Buddhism as a philosophy in your eyes?
     
  6. Ozzie

    Ozzie New Member

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    If I was to answer your question in religion v philosophy terms I would fall into a trap.

    Buddhism describes a process. Its interpretation is theological when discussed. As Enygo says, Buddhism may be acted out but this is entirely personal. Buddhism is better interpreted as religious process than as a philosophical pyramid built on sound foundations.
     
  7. astarath

    astarath New Member

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    Merely because something has a process does not make it any less a religion I do not comprehend this argument pleas to be explain
     
  8. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    It does? If all of existence is interdependent, then it is interdependent throughout space and time. This has certainly been my experience during those brief moments of awakening.

    The term "process theology" usually means something rather specific - the view of reality as put forth by philosophers and theologians such as Alfred Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne. That doesn't seem to be what you're referring to?

    Buddhism is empirical. There is a "theory" behind it, but it is based on one's own direct experience having put its theories into practice. Theory is secondary to practice. The Buddha said so himself in the Kalama sutta.
     
  9. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

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    I have no problem viewing Buddhism both as a process theology and a religious philosophy. @ a certain level, every process involves some theology and every religion some philosophy. Any other conclusion is semantic.

    Goddess Tara and Amitabha Buddha are given godly worship every day in the Buddhist "faith".
     
  10. Engyo

    Engyo Prince of Dorkness!

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    Random -

    True - and I suppose all of us practicing Buddhists first consider how things are done in our own practice, only distantly remembering that there are other Buddhists who do things very differently.
     
  11. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

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    Of course all methods of observance in Buddhism are not the same for all practitioners, I understand that. But I think it's great that Buddha's are revered in this way!
     
  12. Ozzie

    Ozzie New Member

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  13. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    Which brings us back to "time," and what we perceive as the present being linked to what we perceive as the past and future. In the suttas there is reference to the Buddha being able to see into the past and future. Initially I had trouble with such references as I took them to be "supernatural" but having had a tiny glimpse of "temporal interdependency," I now think that there is nothing "supernatural" about it. The Buddha, because he was fully awakened and could see all conditions as they arise and pass away, could indeed see that so-and-so had done something in a previous life that would affect him now as karma came to fruition, or that such-and-such was a "stream-enterer" and would attain enlightenment within a couple of lifetimes.
     
  14. Ozzie

    Ozzie New Member

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    I don't think it detracts from the Buddha as an "all-knowing" individual one iota whether or not he had the ability to see into the past or future so long as he could perceive the present as it is. If he could do that, then he could indeed see the future and the past as a process.

    Time held no relevance for the Buddha. Or did it?

    What do the teachings say about that?
     
  15. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    Whether or not it detracts, what I'm saying is that I can see how he could do it.

    Why should time hold relevance for someone who is Unconditioned? But for the rest of us who are conditioned beings, time is of the essence, as we only have a limited amount in order to achieve Enlightenment. I don't quite understand why, but Buddhism has a stronger sense of urgency than Hinduism, where, if you don't make it in this life, eh, there's always the next.
     
  16. vandervalley

    vandervalley New Member

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    well in Buddhism time is important; Buddha said a person's life is between breaths. One may be breathing right at this moment but there is no guarantee that he/she will be breathing in the next millisecond. So in Buddhism it is important to know that life is short and there isn't much time to attain elightenment and break this suffering of death and rebirth.
     
  17. zenzero

    zenzero Its only a Label

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    Engyo,
    Your understanding of Buddhism is perfect but note that the basis of any discussion comes from the very MIND itself which is opposed to the state of no-mind of buddhism. The mind is the very trap and all answeres to questions coming and going are all from the same root.
    The circle will continue.
    Is it correct? is it wrong?
    Again the two sides taken by the mind.
    either are not real.
    All essential questions are also answered by existence itself and that itself is MEDITATION the very practice that leads each individual towards the universal.
    Love & rgds
     
  18. Engyo

    Engyo Prince of Dorkness!

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    Zenzero -

    Please continue practicing your Path towards enlightenment, and I will continue to practice mine. We will both be successful eventually.
     
    Ozzie likes this.
  19. Ozzie

    Ozzie New Member

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    Jeez that was diplomatic. frubals.
     
  20. zenzero

    zenzero Its only a Label

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    hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    No doubt that each being will ultimatly reach THERE.
    Love & rgds
     
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