Thursday, December 19, 2013

498: Buddhism (intro)

In the year 480 B.C. a small force of 300 Spartans, 400 Thebans and 700 men from Boeotian Thespiae fought against the Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae.

The Greco-Persian Wars (499–449 BC) and the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) cover the lifetime of  the historical Buddha, also known as Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, and Buddha Śākyamuni (c. 480 BC - c. 400 BC).

Philosophically we encounter Greek philosophers like Empedocles, Anaxagoras and Democritus. All members of the so-called Presocratics.

Buddhism derives its name from the Sanskrit word buddha (awakened, wise, or learned), which was one of the many epithets given to Siddhartha Gautama

He was born in Lumbini, in the Nepalese region of Terai, near the Indian border. He is one of the most important Asian thinkers and spiritual masters of all time, 

and he contributed to many areas of philosophy, including epistemology, metaphysics and ethics. 

The Buddha’s teaching formed the foundation for Buddhist philosophy, initially developed in South Asia, then later in the rest of Asia. Buddhism and Buddhist philosophy now have a global following.

Soon after his death, his disciples met and repeated all they could remember being taught by him, and these recollections were committed to memory.

All the rules he had set down for the community of his disciples were collectively known as the VINAYA. 

The collections of his other teachings on good character, contemplative exercises, and the theory behind them were known collectively as SUTRAS . 

The vinaya and sutras supposedly collected shortly after Gautama’s death became a closed canon for some Buddhists; other Buddhists eventually accepted as canonical a large corpus of other literature.

You may call it coincidence, but the same happened after the death of Jesus. The first gospel written was dated about 70 years after his death.

Then there seem to have existed quite a number of gospel like scriptures. We know about  apocryphal gospels, non-canonical gospels, Jewish-Christian gospels, and gnostic gospels.

Only from the 4th century, there existed unanimity in the West concerning the New Testament canon  as it is today.

What fascinates me in these matters is, that we time and again see the same pattern. A wise man (not a woman) appears on stage.

He appears to be rather influential with his teachings in his time. Then after his death a lot  of his teaching including all kinds of ideas added by others are committed to "paper". The same happened with Confucianism.

The thoughts and teachings survive centuries. People hold on to them. Uses them to organize their lives.

Then only a 350 years or so ago there develops a new way of thinking about life, or at least about certain areas of life. This way of thinking was called scientific thinking.

In the Western world we witness a battle between this new way of thinking about life  and the old ways, where the old ways of thinking loose ground in a sustained way.

This is an ongoing process, where the West began with men like Galileo Galilei, Kepler and Newton, Darwin and Freud.

We see it happen today in Chinese culture, as I pointed out in a previous lecture. We see it happen in certain parts of the Islamic world, where some convulsively cling to old thinking.

Most important to understand this picture is, that you don't think in terms of your own lifespan only. Think in periods of centuries.

These are processes in the evolution of mankind and in our time we are in the midst of a huge turmoil, where it is hard to imagine where it all will lead us.

How to position Buddhism in this ongoing process will be our fascination for the next lectures to come.

The Discussion
[13:28] herman Bergson: Thank you... :-))
[13:28] Gemma Allen: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:28] Daruma Boa: ↑↛☀яєαşє─☼↚★
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:28] Nectanebus claps
[13:28] Gemma Allen: i am looking forward to that
[13:28] Corronach: Thanks herman
[13:28] Nectanebus: Interesting comparison 'twixt the canons there
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: yes that will be interesting
[13:28] Dagg: very interesting points herman
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:29] herman Bergson: Thak you Dagg
[13:29] Guestboook van tipjar stand: Daruma Resident donated L$60. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!
[13:29] oola Neruda: Buddha spoke of a way of living...etc... but i also see a Buddhism that has many many "gods".... can you tell what happened there?
[13:29] herman Bergsonherman Bergson smiles
[13:29] herman Bergson: There are a number of lectures tocome oola...
[13:29] Nectanebus: Symbolism mainly
[13:29] herman Bergson: and indeed....
[13:29] herman Bergson: do gods belong to realbuddhist philosophy...
[13:30] herman Bergson: we'll investigate that subject of course
[13:30] Gemma Allen: i am not sure they do
[13:30] Dagg: I didnt think so
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: no, buddhism is different
[13:30] Gemma Allen: iam sorrry to leave have ot return to the playa
[13:30] herman Bergson: I neither do see gods in buddhism....
[13:30] Gemma Allen: hope you all get a chance to visit burn2
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: they dont define a god like in other religions
[13:30] Dagg: bye Gemma
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: cu gemma
[13:31] Nectanebus: bye Gem
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: going to burn a while after this too
[13:31] herman Bergson: ok are excused :-))
[13:31] Daruma Boa: bye gemma
[13:31] herman Bergson: Teh only "god" so far I see in buddhism is the self
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: buddhism pictures the founder of it (Sidharta) and not a supernatural being
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: (god)
[13:32] herman Bergson: What gods were you thinking of oola?
[13:33] oola Neruda: i don't really know their names but they are in all kinds of oriental art labled as buddhist
[13:33] Daruma Boa: the "self" is the only solution. and should ber the main point in every religion.
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: thats why i think buddhism is my fav religion
[13:33] herman Bergson: aren't you confusing buddhism and hinduism oola?
[13:33] oola Neruda: no
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: its only good stuff in it
[13:33] herman Bergson: Hinduism has dozens of gods
[13:33] oola Neruda: i was just going to say...that i wasn't confusing it
[13:33] Nectanebus: Thousands, possibly
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: yes they have so many i cant count theml lol
[13:34] oola Neruda: it is buddhist
[13:34] Nectanebus: It depends on term usage. Mahakala can look rather God like if one doesn't undestand what the noose is about, et cetera
[13:34] herman Bergson: We'll keep an open eye for this issue oola....
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: the word avatar btw comes from the hinduism picturing of their gods
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: its how they manifest themself to us
[13:34] Nectanebus: truth, Bejita
[13:34] herman Bergson: indeed Bejiita :-)
[13:34] herman Bergson: so we are all gods here :-))
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: in the same way our avatar is a digital representation of our rl self here
[13:35] Nectanebus: Lawnmower Man time
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: thats why its called avatara, its the same concept
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: only digital
[13:35] herman Bergson: Let's stick to buddhism first :-))
[13:35] Daruma Boa: we are!^^
[13:35] Bejiita Imako:
[13:36] Dagg: thats already tricky , its a - ism
[13:36] herman Bergson: point today was that there seems to be a pattern in human mind evolution
[13:37] herman Bergson: in different cultures we see the same pattern
[13:37] Dagg: yes I agree herman, my question is , was it guided or was it a natural eveolutionary proces ?
[13:37] Nectanebus: being what, exactly? For once I don't follow
[13:38] herman Bergson: and the remarkeble thing is that all those traditions are kind of disintegrated by the development of sience
[13:38] herman Bergson: If you remember my previous lecture Dagg, then you would see that my answer is that it is a natural evolutionary process...
[13:39] herman Bergson: It is howour brain is wired....
[13:39] herman Bergson: when you see two things after the other...
[13:39] herman Bergson: and you can that be...
[13:39] herman Bergson: you immedialtely apply causality to it...
[13:39] herman Bergson: A causes B.....
[13:40] herman Bergson: But now we have a name for that error.....
[13:40] herman Bergson: the post hoc proter hoc error...
[13:40] herman Bergson: propter
[13:40] oola Neruda: a need arises and is responded to... but then the culture "evolves" so the response needs to be revisited
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:40] herman Bergson: inmany cases there is causality indeed...but not in all cases...
[13:41] herman Bergson: yes oola....but the primary need we feel is to explain what happened....
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: indeed, those 2 events maybee are not related at all only folowing each other
[13:41] oola Neruda: yes
[13:41] herman Bergson: that is how our brain even has to work if we want tosurvive...
[13:42] herman Bergson: One important aspect here is our consciousness of time
[13:42] herman Bergson: some animals seem to have some kind of memory over time....
[13:43] herman Bergson: we we have it 100%....
[13:43] herman Bergson: that is special...
[13:43] herman Bergson: we remember past event and present event and can deduce future events...
[13:44] herman Bergson: In the past a serious disease was a punishment of God because of our sinful way of living...
[13:44] herman Bergson: now we go to the doctor eand get some medicine and recover
[13:44] NectanebusNectanebus is remembered of the processional in the seventh seal
[13:44] Nectanebus: And depends on the disease and the society
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: yes we understand much better today
[13:44] Nectanebus: let us not forget chinese medicine
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: at least most of us
[13:45] herman Bergson: Maybe chinese medicine is a bit overestimated .....
[13:46] Nectanebus: ?
[13:46] herman Bergson: Well...this is the perspective fromwhich I want to study buddhism....
[13:47] oola Neruda: i recently attended a kind of play that is comic and comes between Noh plays... the plot centered around a japanese doctor and the thunder god who was afraid of accupuncture
[13:47] oola Neruda: well i thought it was funny
[13:47] herman Bergson: So that god was stuck with a heavy headache, I guess :-))
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: hehe its sounds so for sure
[13:48] oola Neruda: yes
[13:48] Bejiita Imako:
[13:48] herman Bergson: Are there any questions left unanswered or remakrs not heard?
[13:49] oola Neruda: where did all those buddhist gods come from...
[13:49] NectanebusNectanebus chuckles
[13:49] herman Bergson: As I hear no remark, I guess it is good to thank you again for your participation and interest :-)
[13:49] herman Bergson: we'll look into that oola :-))
[13:50] Dagg: thank you :)
[13:50] oola Neruda: ty
[13:50] herman Bergson: Class dismissed
[13:50] Dagg: see you all
[13:50] herman Bergson: or regard it as your homework to find out, oola ^_^
[13:50] Bejiita Imako:
[13:50] Mikki Louise: ty professor, bye all
[13:50] herman Bergson: Bye Mikki:-))
[13:50] Corronach: thanks herman
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: this gets more and more interesting
[13:50] Nectanebus: Cheers, Herman
[13:50] Nectanebus: See you next time
[13:51] oola Neruda: baiee everyone
[13:51] herman Bergson: Tilll next time Nectanebus
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: aaa almost forgot, a thing for u
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: herman
[13:51] herman Bergson: ohh?
[13:52] herman Bergson: your outfit?
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: its from an anime i watch a lot
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: its awesome
[13:53] herman Bergson: Ahh the manga world
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: and when i think about it suitable for theis theme too since we talk about asian philosophies and such
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: My avatar is from Dragonball and my outfit from Naruto
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: so 2 in 1 basically
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:53] herman Bergson: a bargain :-))
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: dont know where i found this, think it was on the market
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: not too expensive
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: search Akatsuki
[13:54] herman Bergson: I'll have a look at that webpage first, bejiita :-))
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: aaa do so
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: lot of good info there
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: found there can be some spoilers in it though, often is
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: for ex about the guy Pain wich is where i am in the series now
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: and that is after in total almost 400 episodes
[13:56] herman Bergson: then you shouldnt read it :-))
[13:56] Bejiita Imako: i will go through some more of the series after ive been on burn now a while again
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: but i recommend that series, its totally genious
[13:57] herman Bergson: I am not such an admirer of TV comics
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: some things u think is in one way at the beginnig turns out to be in a complete other way as u proceed
[13:57] Bejiita Imako: many surprises
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: i dont get how they get it all together
[13:58] herman Bergson: good team of writers
[13:58] herman Bergson: and computers
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: japanese people have some "smart" gene or something
[13:58] Bejiita Imako: they come up with stuff no other in the world can do
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: amazing people
[13:59] herman Bergson: yeah,,,, it :-))
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: thats nice
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: tasted Ramen?
[13:59] Bejiita Imako: one of my fav
[14:00] Bejiita Imako: the name of the series and its main character naruto is in fact an ingredient in ramen
[14:00] Bejiita Imako: since he loves ramen
[14:00] Bejiita Imako: thats a bit funny
[14:00] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[14:00] herman Bergson: indeed:-)
[14:00] Bejiita Imako: oki time to go and BUUURN some more again

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