Buddhism


#1

there is quite a bit of anti buddhist sentiment on this site and i am curious as to where it comes from. any ideas?


#2

some background info…
i spent a year studying buddhism in nepal, s africa, france and the u.s. back in 2001. i thought it was the thing for me. it wasn’t. i purposely avoided zen due to its trendiness here in the west. now though buddhism, and zen in particular, is constantly coming up in my life.
i am finding a lot of buddhist princilples that apply to rewilding.
am i missing something?


#3

Speaking only for myself:

I only want to encourage fully informed consent in these matters. For me, this involves some real reflection on the roots, history, and present practice of buddhism.

Daniel Quinn, author of Ishmael, talks a lot about what he calls the ‘salvationist’ religions of civilization. Buddhism tries to “save you” from suffering, Christianity tries to save you from ‘sin’, etc. Problem #1: These religions essentially exist to mitigate the misery of the civilized life, and looking around us, they may or may not do this, but they certainly don’t dare address the underpinnings of the WAY of life. Animism doesn’t try to save you from anything; much as Taoism, it just enables you to live well in the world.

Another common thread: the salvationist religions separate humans from the world of nature. Buddhism separates the world into “sentient” and “non-sentient” beings, a notion fundamentally alien to animism. From what I understand ‘sentient’ literally comes from the root ‘to feel’, as in ‘sentimental’, ‘sense’, etc.

And as I pointed out in the Ken Wilbur thread, Zen Buddhist monks did the same evangelical purging of the shamans and folk elders among the indigenous peoples of China (etc.) as happened in the New World, and everywhere civilization has gone with its folk religions. As I quoted there:

What do we do with this info? Especially knowing that Buddhism has many ridiculously insightful and amazing things to say about how the human mind works, how to deal with fear, distraction, etc.?

I don’t know! Much like many issues of rewilding, I think simply admitting and understanding the underlying issues precedes any ability to move forward from there, much like understanding that producing more food to ‘feed the starving millions’ will always (has always) created more starving millions - but that doesn’t mean to ‘let them starve’, that means to make choices on informed consent.

Whew! Well, you asked, you know. :slight_smile: One man’s opinion.


#4

This is one of the ideologies that pulled me away from veganism, and Buddhism.I too thought it was for me,and though in some ways I feel guilty for abandoning that path(which could be chalked up to good old western religious gulit), I just found, and continue to find that it just presented too much of a discrepancy for me.I also felt that though it may be a path away from suffering,it still didn’t feel like liberation-not to sound too hyperbole…
I started to come up against issues such as a dichotomy involving the illusory nature of the world and the fact that the destruction and suffering I see first hand cannot simply be considered destruction and suffering due to merely my perspective or the world’s karma.


#5

NO one raised in our anal-civilization can consistantly connect to the animism of our world without first awakening our intuition through mind/body disciplines such as Yoga or Zen.

Remember, our orally-fixated and anally-retentive lives are, like Zombies, largely un-conscious, and seldom awake to our connection with the energy/material continuum revealed by animism.


#6

Though I do practice yoga,I found what I need in an animist world…
Yoga does indeed help identify and channel,but I am failing to see the full basis of your statement.I can’t say I am sure I agree with you.
There is a need, a hunger that is obviously strong enough to call us back to the real world, the one outside civilization, and I do not feel that it must take something such as a man made system as yoga or zen to activate such realizations.
To assume that it does is to assume that we must rely on civilization’s thought forms to get away from civilization.


#7

I enjoy ‘awakening’ the body-mind through hallucinogens of the not so synthetic varieties.


#8

whew, i am glad i asked. the non-sentient/sentient duality is what first pushed me away from buddhism. it set up a hierarchy of existence that i couldn’t understand.
and the violent murders committed by the monks and other buddhist figures, such as ashoka, convinced me that my decision was good for me.
but recently i have felt that killing in the name of religion is an excuse to kill whoever is in the way of some political agenda. and i would go so far to say those zen monks and buddhist kings were no more buddhist than the letters used to spell buddhist, but thats another spot.

i’ve simply been seeing lots of synchronicities with rewilding and taoism (massively influential in the cration of ch’an or zen) and buddhism

awakening through the use of hallucinogens has done very little for me so far as i can tell so i no longer partake in them.


#9

Yes, such synchronicities speak to me of not just dismissing Buddhism out of hand, or having “animist-approved” or “not-approved” labeling going on, but rather to deeply reflect and inquire , and see if they (things like buddhism, christianity, etc.) can still help us rewild in some unlooked for way.

One final note: I understood the taoist-buddhist connection quite differently than you hint at in this comment. I’d like to hear more of what history you’ve gathered of it. From my understanding, Zen Buddhism emerged in Buddhism, rather in the way the Jesuits emerged in Catholicism. A highly evangelical, austere order of religious professionals. I recollect that Folk Taoism (as opposed to the much later constructed State Taoism religion, established in China for nationalist purposes) varied highly, like any animist practice, has very few (and until the Tao Te Ching, none) written texts, and had a lot of similarities to Shinto practice in Japan, which also the government turned into State Shinto for nationalist purposes.


#10

I’m not so easily satisfied.

Animism is just another ism.

To be Wild is to exist in an existential State of Being;

To be Wild is to move in a pure State of Nature with the spontaneouos perfection of the eternal moment;

To be Wild is to leap as a bounding stag through the forest and strike my prey instantaneously without mental-hesitation.

The truely Wild are born and raised Wild.

No amount of Yoga or Zen or Animism will change that.

It is this exact hunger that has always driven Man to Yoga, Zen, and Animism.

Because we see in these practices characteristics seen in The Wild.

Moreover, that’s about as close as those raised in civilization get to The Wild.

Better to appreciate the half-full cup than to be perpetually frustrated over an unavoidable half-empty cup.

Neither you nor i will ever get away from civilization for more then a few precious moments or hours if we are real lucky, and our thoughts will nearly always be trapped in civilized forms.

Civilization is a State of Mind etched forever across our faces.


#11

[quote=“hoodie, post:10, topic:284”]Neither you nor i will ever get away from civilization for more then a few precious moments or hours if we are real lucky, and our thoughts will nearly always be trapped in civilized forms.

Civilization is a State of Mind etched forever across our faces.[/quote]

Not to come across rude-but you are joking right?
why the continual championing of things related to civilization???
As if civilization is inescapable, in body and mind.

I believe you put far too much stock in the abilities of civilization to scar our minds.
you give far too much power to that which would hold us captive forever had it the chance.

we are not linked to civilization, we are linked to the Earth.
Civilization will collapse,just as it has countless times before when it became destructive and overly indulgent.

To say that it is forever etched upon us or inescapable is a cop-out.

When you learn to speak a language other than the one you’re raised with
you begin to think in terms and concepts not entirely familiar to your native language.
If this is possible,then why is it not possible to relearn the language of the land and our undeniable connection to it???


#12

[quote=“tsuchi akurei, post:11, topic:284”]When you learn to speak a language other than the one you’re raised with
you begin to think in terms and concepts not entirely familiar to your native language.
If this is possible,then why is it not possible to relearn the language of the land and our undeniable connection to it???[/quote]

I like your language-learning metaphor, tsuchi. And I think your metaphor answers the question of rewilding from a civilized mindset. Even though you can learn a language and learn to think in it–dream in it, even–you still have the legacy of your first language dragging you down. You may become more and more steeped in the new language, but you will never have the same skill as one who grew up speaking the language. It’s like the curve of a hyperbole, getting ever closer to the axis, but never touching it.

But I think you can do a lot better than a cup-half-full, as well. My opinion lies somewhere between your perspective and hoodie’s. I don’t think we have to be daunted by the emptiness of our cup, but we will merely serve as the bridge generation to the children that come after us who grow up truly wild.

[quote=“hoodie, post:10, topic:284”]Animism is just another ism.

To be Wild is to exist in an existential State of Being;

To be Wild is to move in a pure State of Nature with the spontaneouos perfection of the eternal moment;

To be Wild is to leap as a bounding stag through the forest and strike my prey instantaneously without mental-hesitation.

The truely Wild are born and raised Wild.[/quote]

You just defined animism, hoodie. It may merely stand as another “ism” from our civilized perspective, since we need and “ism” to classify and contrast it from the other “isms” in our world. But to itself, animism represents living wild in a wild relationship with everything else wild. And when you strike your stag without mental hesitation, you also strike it with the respect due to your fellow earth-inhabitant–even though he doesn’t have human genes, he still lives as a person.


#13
Even though you can learn a language and learn to think in it--dream in it, even--you still have the legacy of your first language dragging you down. You may become more and more steeped in the new language, but you will never have the same skill as one who grew up speaking the language. It's like the curve of a hyperbole, getting ever closer to the axis, but never touching it.

I dated a chick back in highschool, she was adopted at the age of seven (or so, that’s the age they guessed she was) from Korea. It was in late highschool, so it was eleven or so years after her coming to America. She spoke not a word of Korean, had no recollection of her past there, and was going to college to teach ESL (english as a secondary language, right?), in other words, her English trumped that of just about anyone else I knew (and I used to be a bit of a spelling and grammar nazi [here’s to unlearning that shit!]). Whether she did not remember anything prior to America due to a traumatic experience (or numerous of them) she did not know.

Anyhow (and note this is rambling, not a rant directed at you, Rix), what I’m trying to get at is, we can escape past experiences, push off of them instead of drag them along with us, become something else not defined by the Ghost of Christmas Past. It may be assisted by forgetting, but what good is remembering something that causes us grief and that holds us back from becoming else, becoming more? I read something just last night about forgetting, I believe it was Gilles Deleuze speaking on Nietzsche. The gist of it: forgetting is not a lack of remembrance, but a coming to terms with the fact that you are no longer the person of those actions or experiences. I know I botched that, but hey.

I’ve never liked the idea that enlightenment takes several lifetimes, which may be a reason why I don’t much like thinking that one absolutely cannot uncivilize (rewild, undomesticate, etc. etc.) oneself in this life, sooner than later. Part of it, surely, is that there lies great difficulty in ferreting out the many aspects of civilization within us and our relations, but I believe that we think it’s all the harder because those civilized parts constantly tell us we cannot entirely escape, therefore, why try? It pains me to think that The Wild (as some sort of abstract ideal) is something separate from us, that it is an absolute and an unreachable one, that baggage shall always weigh us down and hold us back from it. We think we are civilized, therefore we must forget such thoughts.


#14
I dated a chick back in highschool, she was adopted at the age of seven (or so, that's the age they guessed she was) from Korea. It was in late highschool, so it was eleven or so years after her coming to America. She spoke not a word of Korean, had no recollection of her past there, and was going to college to teach ESL (english as a secondary language, right?), in other words, her English trumped that of just about anyone else I knew (and I used to be a bit of a spelling and grammar nazi [here's to unlearning that shit!]). Whether she did not remember anything prior to America due to a traumatic experience (or numerous of them) she did not know.

To carry on the metaphor: children definitely have the ability to develop into the something new–language, culture, etc–without the prior lingering because they still exist in a developmental state. I have known adults who have reached a similar competency with a new language, but they did not reach it easily, nor did they reach it as fully (I suspect) as your friend. Thus, I have a lot more hope for my son to find a completely wild life than I do for myself.

When I lived in Kazakhstan, I found at times that I forgot how to speak or even think in English–and I only lived there for a semester. One time, a “student” of mine tried to tell me “More Americans prefer to say ‘We will now to write the quiz.’” I knew that absolutely no Americans prefer to say that, but I couldn’t remember what we preferred to say. Not until I had lived back in the States for a few months did I suddenly realize that we prefer to say “We’re going to take a quiz now.”

Even though I had lost a lot of English competency from thinking so much in Russian, I did not lose all of it. At the same time that I forgot many American English concepts, I still made many of my new connections in learning through my understanding of English grammar. Living entrenched in the language helped, of course, to make my Russian learning more complete than otherwise, but I knew I would always have an accent. At best, I could pass for someone from a Baltic republic since my Russian sounded really good, but not completely Russian.

I believe that we think it's all the harder because those civilized parts constantly tell us we cannot entirely escape, therefore, why try?

“Why try?” never even enters the equation for me. Even if I can’t ever fully rewild in my lifetime, I get to serve as the vanguard that makes it more possible for the next generations.

Besides that, though, I think we can rewild enough to where the hyperbolic factor won’t matter. Even if I never reach a state as fully rewilded as someone who lived in this land before civilization crashed into these shores, I can live wildly. Plus, who cares whether the glass is partially full or partially empty as long I can keep filling it.


#15

Oh, do I ever like that.


#16

Rewilding, to me, means something that you do, not something that you “are”. Ergo, living in a new way from civilization means something that you do, that you work on, not something that you can achieve.

In Becoming Traditional, I wrote about the idea that even animists never finish “becoming animists”.

I mean whoah! Let me repeat that…

Even animists say that they never finish ‘becoming animists’.

Certainly as long as part of me engages with civilization, some part of me will have to understand it.

But yes, keep filling the glass! Genius Wilderix!


#17

thanks for the link to the college article, willem.

Sure, you may have just begun, but so has the world.

I love that!

I think the question for me now comes down to not “can I ever fully rewild?” but “can I keep rewilding?” and “can I get to a place in life (without the civ) where the process of rewilding flows more freely?”


#18

On the issue of Taoist influence on Zen, my understanding is that the essence of Zen arose in China (even though it ended up in Japan) when Buddhism encountered Toaism when it arrived from India.

From my reading I would say that Zen, in it’s non-institutional form, is very close to Taoist thought and for me I consider them pretty interchangeable.

Alan Watts is my main, although not sole, source as far as these things go.


#19

[quote=“WildeRix, post:14, topic:284”]“Why try?” never even enters the equation for me. Even if I can’t ever fully rewild in my lifetime, I get to serve as the vanguard that makes it more possible for the next generations.

Plus, who cares whether the glass is partially full or partially empty as long I can keep filling it.[/quote]

Very wise.

The Journey itself is the adventure.

Moreover, the more fixated we are on the destination the less awake we are in the here and now.

Who i am determines what i do.
Who i am is revealed in everything i do.

Religions are psychological tools that help us to mobilize our psycho-energy to more effectively focus on our psychological needs.

And, like all religions, Animism both reveals and expresses our psychological needs and deficiencies.

But like all religions, Animism is only a potential realization.

Look at the existential teachings of Jesus, and now consider how many of the two billion Christians actually live those teachings, and realize the experience of its existential potential.

World-wide, perhaps no more than a couple of hundred truely consider the lillies of the field and live not for the 'morrow.

Don’t worry about being rude.

Many consider me rude, because of the provocative things i say, and the blunt way i say them.

The things i say are not personal, but universal trends in which i’m included.

Moreover, we resent being reminded of the hairy smelly primate facts of life, because our egos work over-time deceptively draping them from our conscious minds.

Remember, in competitive social hierarchies, a primate’s most effective social strategy is deception.

And unfortunately no, i am deadly serious.

Is Van Gough linked to “The Starry Night”?!

Civilization is an intimate expression of our very psyche.

Civilization is a psycho-pathology.

A psycho-pathology whose infectious momentum is constantly increasing as it is handed down from one generation to the next for the last 500 generations.

A psycho-pathology?

Fears and insecurities that become neurotic inner-conflicts, preoccupying our sub-conscious minds with desperate insecure sex and aggression that deeply motivates our behavioral patterns.

Mass neurosis, that we attempt to hide with our collective psychosis of rationalized and justified delusions and denials which becomes the deceptive civilized drapery of hierarchical business, religion, and politics.

In other words the civilized reality we simply call normality.

Civilization is the collapse.

Civilization is the collapse of a balanced to an imbalanced psycho-dynamic.

Civilization is merely a symptom, not the psycho-dynamic root-cause.

[quote=“tsuchi akurei, post:11, topic:284”]To say that it is forever etched upon us or inescapable is a cop-out.
As if civilization is inescapable, in body and mind.[/quote]

Psycho-pathic civilization has a built-in escape; it’s called civilization’s universal death-drive.

We are all part of this great-escape; the un-conscious psycho-pathic death-drive which keeps us in rythm with civilization’s funeral-march to mass self-destruction.

The inevitable suicide of the psycho-path’s chronic suffering.

Who are you thinking of, the Mayan, the Olmecs?

Their cities may have collapsed, their numbers may have dwindled, their original language may have disapeared, but civilization remained etched in their psyches to this day as they continued not only agriculture, but the psycho-sexual organization of aggression and hierarchy.

[quote=“tsuchi akurei, post:11, topic:284”]When you learn to speak a language other than the one you’re raised with
you begin to think in terms and concepts not entirely familiar to your native language.
If this is possible,then why is it not possible to relearn the language of the land and our undeniable connection to it???[/quote]

Comparing the cognitive ease of learning a new language with the theraputic difficulties of curing the massive psycho-pathology of 6.5 billion inmates when the doctors are also inmates of the same assylum, is sugar-coating a deadly situation.

If the difficulties outlined here does not excite one with the challenge, but rather discourages one, then maybe one should re-think re-wilding.

Re-wilding is for the fearless who can face the hairy smelly truth about themselves.

And think about all the love and empathy that happens everday all around us in this world despite our irrational fears and insecurities.

[quote=“goatherd, post:18, topic:284”]From my reading I would say that Zen, in it’s non-institutional form, is very close to Taoist thought and for me I consider them pretty interchangeable.

Alan Watts is my main, although not sole, source as far as these things go.[/quote]

So true, and in the '60s and '70s, Alan Watts was one of the counter-culture’s wildest and most insightful influences.

I strongly recommend Alan Watt’s “The Book: or the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Really Are”, as well as “Psycho-Therapy East and West”.

And, if you think his books are wild, his audio-tapes are mesmerizing.


#20

willem
when buddhism came to china for the first time, it was brought over by bodhidharma, a buddhist master whose teachings were very unorthodox at the time and which developed into buddhism. this was around 500 or 600 ad. the earliest zen scriptures are dated to about 1029 ad.
to make it short, there existed a very particulary chinese mentality on spirituality and politics thanks to confucius and lao tzu. not until buddhism melded with tao did what we now call zen (ch’an in chinese) come to fruition. the main difference with zen is that contemplating the sutras and the thinking that meditating is the key to liberation are not necessarily of major importance in zen. bodhidharmas quotes “seeing into ones nature” has become the core of zen.
some scholars go so far to say that zen cannot be considered truly buddhist.

i like to turn this thread is taking