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[Pali] confidence in writings

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  • Gunnar Gällmo
    ... wrote quite a lot, especially considering that he is one who is sceptical about writings. ... How do you know? ... If you believe that, you have never
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 31, 2004
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      --- Frank Kuan <fcckuan@...>

      wrote quite a lot, especially considering that he is
      one who is sceptical about writings.

      > I'd like to point out that Ajahns mun, Chah,
      > and
      > many thai monks in the 20th century attained ariya
      > status (arahant, nonreturner, once returner, stream
      > enterer), 2000+ years after the buddha's death,
      > supposedly in this dhamma ending age.

      How do you know?

      > Anyone, and I mean anyone, can write a great book
      > or
      > commentary.

      If you believe that, you have never worked for an
      established publishing company! They all get a lot of
      manuscripts from people who think they can write, but
      who can't.

      > But who really has kung fu, the genuine
      > article, the mad dhamma skills?

      If I am correctly informed, Kung Fu is a concept in
      Chinese philosophy, not in Theravada Buddhism.

      Personally, I don't believe blindly in any writing,
      not even in our own canonical ones - as they
      themselves are warning us not to do; nor in the letter
      of Frank Kuan.

      The fundament of Buddhism is fundamentally
      anti-fundamentalistic.

      Gunnar Gällmo


      =====
      gunnargallmo@...

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    • Frank Kuan
      Hi Gunnar, kung fu, or gong fu actually has a pretty general meaning in chinese, and is not restricted to philosophy or martial arts. kung fu = skill level.
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 1, 2004
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        Hi Gunnar,
        kung fu, or gong fu actually has a pretty general
        meaning in chinese, and is not restricted to
        philosophy or martial arts. kung fu = skill level.
        For example one can have excellent kung fu in cooking,
        or no kung fu in the art of right speech.
        from [majjhima 139], one of the aspects of right
        speech is that we should not insist on using local
        language, and that principle extends to not insisting
        on using theravada buddhist terms. In fact, the Buddha
        took common words like dukkha, arahant, brahmin, etc,
        and gave those words a new spin. The purpose of
        language is to convey meaning. By using the term kung
        fu, I was reasonably certain the context would make
        the meaning clear, which again is the point of
        language. And even if one were to speak in pedandic,
        genuine 100% theravada terminology, there would still
        be instances where qualification and clarification is
        necessary. Thus I see no harm in using a little flavor
        occasionally.

        --- Gunnar G�llmo <gunnargallmo@...> wrote:
        > --- Frank Kuan <fcckuan@...>
        >
        > wrote quite a lot, especially considering that he is
        > one who is sceptical about writings.

        Don't worry Gunnar. You might not see another post
        from me on this list for the next 3 years. I wasn't
        saying that writing has no value. Writing obviously
        can have immense value. My use of hyperbole was to
        emphasize a proper balance of learning theory (via
        reading/oral tradition/etc) and application of that
        theory through practice. Studying sutras all day can
        only get you so far. Application of that study to
        moment to moment practice of 8fold noble path is the
        only way to move beyond the realm of discursive
        thinking, attitudes, views, and bring genuine dukkha
        transcending realizations.

        "anyone can write a great book...": If you look at the
        context of how I use that phrase, you'd see that the
        point I'm trying to make is that someone can sound
        like a enlightened being based on the eloquence and
        sophistication of their writing, yet have no more
        dhamma realizations than the average buddhist. No need
        to get so worked up and defensive about the profession
        of writing. Like any other discipline, excellent kung
        fu in writing would require dedication and work, and
        on a worldly level certainly merits respect and
        admiration.

        -fk


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      • Gunnar Gällmo
        ... It is practical, when adressing an Internet discussion group, to stick to the language(s) known by all members of that group, and to explain when using
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 2, 2004
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          --- Frank Kuan <fcckuan@...> likhi:

          > from [majjhima 139], one of the aspects of right
          > speech is that we should not insist on using local
          > language, and that principle extends to not
          > insisting
          > on using theravada buddhist terms.

          It is practical, when adressing an Internet discussion
          group, to stick to the language(s) known by all
          members of that group, and to explain when using terms
          from other languages. In this group, these languages
          are Pali and English; you can't take for granted that
          the group members understand a certain third language,
          such as Chinese.

          It is also a fact that when a word is imported from
          one language to another, its meaning tends to become
          more restricted. What's interesting to this group,
          when you use a term existing both in English and
          Chinese, is its meaning in English.

          > "anyone can write a great book...": If you look at
          > the
          > context of how I use that phrase, you'd see that the
          > point I'm trying to make is that someone can sound
          > like a enlightened being based on the eloquence and
          > sophistication of their writing, yet have no more
          > dhamma realizations than the average buddhist.

          Yes, someone - but not anyone. Even a charlatan needs
          skill (although not a wholesome one). Or as some
          Sinhalese friends of mine use to say: Any idiot can
          speak the truth, but it takes a genius to lie
          consistently.

          (Excuse me for being pedantic about details of
          language; but this is, after all, that kind of list.
          And even if a raft is to be abandoned after crossing,
          is should preferably be well constructed when the
          crossing is started.)

          In the dhamma,

          Gunnar


          =====
          gunnargallmo@...

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