Do We Need the Wisdom of the East ?

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by Myles, Dec 26, 2007.

  1. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    You know, I think we are actually getting somewhere here. To address the first quote: No, there is nothing universally applicable in the essential teachings of Buddhism. That being said, it does describe an underlying moral code which is debatably useful for society. But basically, what Buddhism and Zen describe is a practice of personal transformation. Part of this practice is to go beyond the kind of knowledge that can be gained using words, at least in a deliberate, reasoned, literal fashion. They can be used like poetry to elude to something just out of their reach. This something can only be experienced, it's called insight or satori.

    Once this happens, all your future actions spring from this source, but to answer the second question: it cannot be called a philosophy. That is, it is not a body of reasoned verbal knowledge that can be remembered by anyone then called upon as the situtation requires. This kind of knowledge has a limited application. In the infinite universe, we cannot predict every situation, and so we must be able to generate the appropriate response spontaneously. Eastern wisdom is not the body of so-called wisdom about the practice as contained in books. It's a method of liberation from conditioned responses. It's not adding something to your mind, it's taking away.
     
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  3. Myles Registered Senior Member

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  5. greenberg until the end of the world Registered Senior Member

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    Myles -

    Do you suspect that the "Westerners" who are embracing some "Eastern" teachings and practices, are abandoning reason?
     
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  7. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    The question is - Do we want to be wise?
    Wisdom has no East or West.
     
  8. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    It depends on the teaching. From what I know I would say such people are abandoning reason.
     
  9. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Try telling that to those who would have us believe that the East has a superior sort of reason to offer. Ask Greenberg !
     
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    It isn't reason, as I explained. But neither is there any compulsion to abandon reason, it's just something different.
     
  11. Wisdom_Seeker Speaker of my truth Valued Senior Member

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    We definitely need the "wisdom of the East" because at least it brings fresh thoughts to an old Orthodox way of thinking. The fusion of the Eastern and Western civilizations is meant to be the peak of human experience; as it merges opposite cultures to become one and only true human culture.
     
  12. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    There are many more than two cultures, even within Europe.
     
  13. Wisdom_Seeker Speaker of my truth Valued Senior Member

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    but you can easily divide them in 2 mentalities, eastern or western. Eastern is more of a passive culture, western is aggresive. That is the reason why Jainism and Buddhism had stayed in the East for so long, no revolutions or conquests; and Christianity has been imposed on almost every culture on Earth.
    Western religions like Islam and Christianity have been obsessed with conquering everybody since the beggining and they continue to do so. Eastern traditions like Buddhism and Jainism have been known only for their attraction, not because they have been imposed on anybody. On the contrary, Eastern traditions have only been known recently in the west because of globalization, and not because they have conquered lands to convert people to their traditions.

    Western is male and Eastern is female consciousness... I´m talking about that merge of 2 cultures.
     
  14. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Don't turn this into a thread on religion. For me, the Western Intellectual Intellectual Tradition stretches from the time of Plato to the present day. Western philosophy is not about wars and conquest; it has virtually nothing to say on the subject. What it has done is to spawn science which is an offshoot of what was known as natural philosophy. It has shaped our society.

    Eastern philosophy can make no such claims. It seems to be mostly about escaping reincarnation in one way or another. This was particularly useful in India with its caste system. If you were an untouchable it was attributed to actions in a former existence. This type of belief leads to passivity when dealing with the problems of humanity. If someone is a cripple, it's his own fault and so on. The "agressive" West did not take such things lying down. We developed medicine, we improved the quality of life and we continue to do so.

    I don't need reminding that we also developed dreadful weapons but history suggests that there is a price to be paid for every advance.

    I am a great admirer of Gandhi. He got rid of the British in India without resorting to aggression. He had a largely Western education and was a man of action.
     
  15. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Not really. There are quite different mentalities even between Latvians and Lithuanians, not even speaking about the great differences between Spaniards and Russians. There are no two mentalities and no two cultures. You are simplifying to the extreme, a colourful picture turning into black and white, but it ain't so.

    Yes, due to globalization all cultures are mixing probably more than ever, but it's not two cultures, no in and jan.

    So - I agree to not agree with your simplistic picture.
     
  16. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    I'll think about what you are saying. Would William Blake, poet and mystic , fit the bill ?
     
  17. kmguru Staff Member

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    When I read this, the first thought came to mind is...you guessed it...The Matrix, and if you could not guess, there is still hope for you at the end of this world....

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  18. kmguru Staff Member

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    Yes, it seems that way. But reality is different. Had it not for Columbus who wanted to find rich India so bad...and the western people invading the natives, the America that may not have been and everyone in Europe would be singing Hi Hitler now!

    The Eastern Philosophy is more than reincarnation. It is about a continuous civilization against all invasion. It is about living in hamony with nature. It is about food, shelter and medicine.

    Do you know that specific foods are eaten specific times of the year to provide the exact nutrients that the body needs? Do you know that western pharma is trying to patent Neem, Turmeric and many other plant extracts that have been used thousands of years?

    The Europeans definitely developed a large chunk of science. The colder the place, more stuff came out of it. It is called necessity is the mother of invention....if you do not need it, why bother.

    And that was a mistake in the later version of the Eastern Philosophy including in the China where a certain king ignored a blue water navy, because he was happy with his concubines. Otherwise today, you would be speaking Chinese.

    The Eastern Philosophy got corrupted since about 800 BC. When people are happy and prosperous, the idiots rise to the top and mess up the society - which is happening now to USA. Just wait 30 years when USA will no longer be sustainable. It is definitely not the fault of the core American way of life. But the same type of people that you will blame, you will find them in the Eastern Hemisphere too.

    Deep down, people are the same everywhere. It is just that Eastern Philosophy allows to maintain the social dignity for a very long time...that is why, when I started this sub-forum, I told everybody, it is all about "Sanatana Dharma" - The Eternal Way of Life. A life style that can last mankind for eternity.

    If you can beat that, then that is Sanatana Dharma by any other name..
     
  19. Myles Registered Senior Member

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  20. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    I am interested in hearing your response to the points we discussed concernig suffering, medicine , etc.
     
  21. sowhatifit'sdark Valued Senior Member

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    Thought we might as well go

    'back to the things themselves' (ironic nod to LW)

    and oddly, and perhaps relevently, the above taoist quote was the first bit of 'Eastern Wisdom' that appeared from my googling.
     
  22. Myles Registered Senior Member

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    Thank you for that. Can you now explain why it is any wiser than what one instincively knows ? Do you think we need to be told, or is it in the presentation that the attraction lies ?

    Can you now supply another piece of advice to show how one recognizes insicerity ? Preferably something which I do not already know.

    Are you aware that there are similar books in the West offering advice on how to live ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2007
  23. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    It would appear so, however it is difficult to be sure until you define 'wisdom' as you see it, the wisdom you found within eastern cultures, and how they are found with western intellectual tradition.

    Jan
     

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