A New Day and the dew is on the grasses
Jan 14, 2003 11:49 PM
Hi. I have recently read some comments on Mahayana Buddhism with which I disagree. It is wonderful that Madame Blavatsky was interested in and admired Mahayana Buddhism, had some Tibetan Buddhist teachings (maybe) and aspired to be a Mahayana Buddhist. Her approach to certain material, however, does not appear to be that of a Mahayana Buddhist, as she speaks again and again of a first cause or a primal cause or a primal substance or whatever, and this is not how a Mahayana Buddhist is trained to handle material. Moreover, any advanced Buddhist has taken certain vows not to tamper with or distort Buddhist teaching. She does seem to refer to the idea of dependent origination in her writings and have a certain grasp of this concept, and some such material was recently quoted out here (I forget by whom), but this does not make her a Mahayana Buddhist, as talk of a primal cause OR substance refutes the concept of dependent origination, and no Mahayana Buddhist would present material in this way.
This is not necessarily bad or good. The fact remains that no material can serve as a BASE for the understanding of physical reality, as depending on differing causes and conditions, different people will approach physical reality with different subjective criteria, and this is the beginning of confusion. This brings to mind that she sometimes referred to the primal substance as the material prima of ancient alchemy. (I believe someone recently put a quote to this effect out here, too. Admittedly, the concept of material prima is not the quite the same as a primal cause. but htis still does not sound like Mahayana Buddhism (which has plently of alchemical references and even on occasion refers though teaching stories to the comcept of the philosopher's stone It is very difficult to sort this all out, and I wonder, IF it is even possible and if it is even valuable to do so.
It is very troubling to me to read one person's comments of Mahayana Buddhism, as through he seems to be well meaning, I believe he has little understanding of this subject and is doing more harm than good in the area. He himself has admitted to having no Mahayana Buddhist teachings or initiations, and to being opposed to the principle of Sangha.
To any people on this list who believe in the existence of God or a primal cause, I speak to you from a true Mahayana Buddhist perspective. It is better to be true to your God, whatever that means to you, with your whole self, whatever that is to you, than to follow a principle or idea which you do not understand and cannot relate to. I am thinking that if God can be with us on this list, this is closer to the teaching of the Buddha than someone talking about dependent origination who does not understand how to appropriately present this material. If you are interested in enquiring into the teaching of Mahayana Buddhism, maybe I can explain, from time to time, from a functional perspective. We can also look at the concept of monotheism as presented in the bible and try to understand the concept of transcendence from a Christian AND Theosophical perspective, as I believe they are very similar, and maybe even from a Mahayana Buddhist perspective, which VERY MUCH emcompasses the principle of transcendence and may be more similar to CXhristianity than most Buddhists realize.
The entire teaching of Mahayana Buddhism is built around the formation of Sangha or spiritual community. Jerry has said he doesn't believe in Sangha, but, in actually, the whole teaching of Mahayana Buddhism is established around the formation of Sangha, and, as it is both literal AND allegorical, there is much material to be plumed here. Without formal initiation and training it is hard to understand the great and profound significance of the concept of Sangha, but not impossible. The middle way is about Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, but without Sangha, there is no middle way and no teaching.
When there is a group of people who are dedicated to inspiring and encouraging each other in a search, the establishment of some form of community is essential. Another name for this could be called, a group. When a group of people are dedicated to a search, they form together in such a way that the force of the whole group can be harnessed to invigorate and inspire the individual. When this harnessing is accomplished, perhaps a certain spirit will enter and infuse the atmosphere. But what kind of effort is necessary to tame a wild stallion and to harness and to ride this horse? I am not quite sure, but the atmosphere on here seems to be changing for the better. Perhaps it is because of the appearance of
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