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textual analysis and interpretation

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  • frank
    ... A University of Birmingham (England) professor, working from a third-century Greek text of the New Testament s Book of Revelation, found that the number
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 30, 2005
      This is an excerpt of a recent news story:

      ----------------------------

      A University of Birmingham (England) professor, working from a third-century
      Greek text of the New Testament's Book of Revelation, found that the number
      representing the Antichrist is probably not 666, but 616 (in that 616
      referred to the Emperor Caligula). (A Church of Satan official in New York
      had no comment except to say that his church will use whatever number
      Christians fear.) [The Independent (London), 5-5-05] [The Independent
      (London), 5-1-05]



      Comment:

      Often there is a lot of needless bickering over the precise meaning and
      choice of terminology and dogmatic and stubborn clinging to a particular
      interpretation of sacred text in religion, including Buddhism.

      What I love about this story is that COS (church of Satan) realizes the true
      purpose of 666 and thus they transcend the need to bicker over whether it is
      correct or the authentic word of a sacred text or surpreme being. If this
      kind of pragmatic spirit represents the other tenets of COS, their religion
      shows much more promise than most religions.



      -fk







      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • rjkjp1
      ... meaning and ... particular ... realizes the true ... religion ... Dear Frank, I respect your appreciation for the Church of Satan. But not sure that the
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 30, 2005
        --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "frank" <frank@4...> wrote:
        > This is an excerpt of a recent news story:
        > >
        > Comment:
        >
        > Often there is a lot of needless bickering over the precise
        meaning and
        > choice of terminology and dogmatic and stubborn clinging to a
        particular
        > interpretation of sacred text in religion, including Buddhism.
        >
        > What I love about this story is that COS (church of Satan)
        realizes the true
        > purpose of 666 . If this
        > kind of pragmatic spirit represents the other tenets of COS, their
        religion
        > shows much more promise than most religions.
        >++++++++
        Dear Frank,
        I respect your appreciation for the Church of Satan.
        But not sure that the message in the Buddhist suttas is that precise
        meaning and terminology is needless.
        The confounding of Saddhamma
        Anguttara Nikaya book of fives 155
        ""Monks these five things lead to the confounding, the disappearance
        of Saddhamma. What five?

        Herein monks, the monks master not Dhamma:. The sayings,
        psalms...runes.

        This monks is the first thing...
        they teach not others in detail as heard, as learned....
        They make not others speak it in detail....
        .They make no repetition of it in detail...
        Again monks, the monks do not in their hearts turn over and ponder
        upon Dhamma, they review it not in their minds.
        This monks is the fifth thing that leads to the confounding, the
        disappearance of Saddhamma"

        Robertk
      • frank
        Hi Robert, I don t believe I said anything that implies that discerning precise meaning of sacred texts is a bad idea, but since you have that impression let
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 30, 2005
          Hi Robert,
          I don't believe I said anything that implies that discerning precise
          meaning of sacred texts is a bad idea, but since you have that impression
          let me clarify what I meant.

          BTW, as I was typing "sacred texts", I misspelled it with the anagram
          "scared texts", which is quite fitting since dogmatic clingers get scared
          when new evidence challenges the authority of their "sacred texts". When I
          read the article about 616, I could imagine there were a lot of quivering
          fundamentalists out there who felt more than a little discomfort and
          insecurity, whereas the skillful Satanist was nonplussed, took it in stride
          and simply responded by saying that if 616 is adopted as the new standard,
          then that's what they'll use because they clearly comprehend the purpose of
          616 and realize the label is just a label, and not inherently significant.

          What I'm praising is the pragmatism of the Satanist leader who didn't
          waste any time or energy debating over whether the change to 616 was
          justified, authentic, or necessary.

          The lesson that the follower of the Buddha can take from this is that all
          of the sacred texts are only a map. Another Buddhist might have a map that
          looks different than yours, with different labels. Do all of these Buddhist
          maps show a path that leads to nibbana? You can spend your whole life
          debating with the Buddhists with maps different than yours, or you can put
          the map in your back pocket, start walking on the path, and only pull the
          map back out when necessary. In this way, by actually walking on the path
          you will come to know which of the differing Buddhist maps are genuine or
          not, and passionate arguments with other Buddhist mapholders can be avoided
          and transcended. I no longer have extraneous concerns over whether there was
          a single historical Gotama Buddha who uttered the words exactly as they
          occurred in any Buddhist sutra. My only concern over map authenticity is
          whether the map shows a path that leads to nibbana. If I walk the path and
          it leads to nibbana, I don't care what the labels on the map are, what color
          the font is, who it attributes as the mapmaker. The map could be made by a
          Christian, Taoist, Mahayanist, vajrayanist, Satanist, but if I walk the path
          it shows and it leads to nibbana, as far as I'm concerned it's the genuine
          word of the Buddha. Now obviously some discursive thinking and mundane
          discernment is necessary to help choose which map to try out, but when one
          realizes that the map is just a map, the letters and words on there are just
          meant to point the way on the path, and that ACTUALLY TREADING THE PATH IS
          WHAT'S IMPORTANT, one loses any motivation to debate [to any extent beyond
          what yields truly beneficial results for others].

          -fk
        • Gunnar Gällmo
          ... True - and a map is never an exact picture of the terrain; it s not meant to be, and if it were, it wouldn t be useful. It s a means to help us find our
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 30, 2005
            --- frank <frank@...> skrev:

            > The lesson that the follower of the Buddha can
            > take from this is that all
            > of the sacred texts are only a map.

            True - and a map is never an exact picture of the
            terrain; it's not meant to be, and if it were, it
            wouldn't be useful. It's a means to help us find our
            own way in the terrain, which is something different.

            So when the Buddha, according to the suttas, tell
            stories, the main thing is not whether these are
            literally true (I don't think his listeners believed
            in deer and human beings talking to each other, for
            example), but how they are supposed to help us. As he
            is told to have said, the only things he taught was
            dukkha and the end of dukkha.

            Gunnar


            gunnargallmo@...
          • Hugo
            Hello Robert and Frank, ... I can t remember any more details above of the following event, but somebody asked the Dalai Lama what would happen if scientists
            Message 5 of 7 , Aug 30, 2005
              Hello Robert and Frank,

              On 8/30/05, frank <frank@...> wrote:
              > insecurity, whereas the skillful Satanist was nonplussed, took it in stride
              > and simply responded by saying that if 616 is adopted as the new standard,
              > then that's what they'll use because they clearly comprehend the purpose of
              > 616 and realize the label is just a label, and not inherently significant.

              I can't remember any more details above of the following event, but
              somebody asked the Dalai Lama what would happen if scientists proved
              wrong some Buddhist beliefs, he replied "we would stop believing those
              beliefs".

              mmmm......I can see it now, the above is a proof that Buddhist and
              Satanists are a team!! :-)

              --
              Hugo
            • rjkjp1
              ... is that all ... map that ... concern over map authenticity is ... path and ... what color ... made by a ... walk the path ... +++++++ Dear Frank, that is
              Message 6 of 7 , Aug 30, 2005
                --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "frank" <frank@4...> wrote:
                >> The lesson that the follower of the Buddha can take from this
                is that all
                > of the sacred texts are only a map. Another Buddhist might have a
                map that
                > looks different than yours, with different labels. My only
                concern over map authenticity is
                > whether the map shows a path that leads to nibbana. If I walk the
                path and
                > it leads to nibbana, I don't care what the labels on the map are,
                what color
                > the font is, who it attributes as the mapmaker. The map could be
                made by a
                > Christian, Taoist, Mahayanist, vajrayanist, Satanist, but if I
                walk the path
                > it shows and it leads to nibbana,
                +++++++
                Dear Frank,
                that is fine, but we can't overlook the impotance of getting the map
                right. If the map has even small mistakes it can only make things
                more difficult. It is why the Theravada have so carefully preserved
                the word and meaning of the teachings.
                Robertk
              • jothiko
                ... in stride ... standard, ... purpose of ... significant. ... those ... sure, add that to the swastika, to the ariyan as the super man , simply forgeting
                Message 7 of 7 , Sep 1 5:50 AM
                  --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, Hugo <eklektik@g...> wrote:
                  > Hello Robert and Frank,
                  >
                  > On 8/30/05, frank <frank@4...> wrote:
                  > > insecurity, whereas the skillful Satanist was nonplussed, took it
                  in stride
                  > > and simply responded by saying that if 616 is adopted as the new
                  standard,
                  > > then that's what they'll use because they clearly comprehend the
                  purpose of
                  > > 616 and realize the label is just a label, and not inherently
                  significant.
                  >
                  > I can't remember any more details above of the following event, but
                  > somebody asked the Dalai Lama what would happen if scientists proved
                  > wrong some Buddhist beliefs, he replied "we would stop believing
                  those
                  > beliefs".
                  >
                  > mmmm......I can see it now, the above is a proof that Buddhist and
                  > Satanists are a team!! :-)
                  >
                  > --
                  > Hugo

                  sure, add that to the swastika, to the ariyan as the 'super man',
                  simply forgeting what Buddha's teaching is all about.

                  but even asian buddhists, uninformed, make that mistake.
                  recently in the inaugural meeting of the australian sangha
                  association, in Sidney, chao khun SAMAI, the senior thai monk
                  in Australia, has expressed his admiration for Hitler.
                  (Hi, dear moderator - try not to cut it out...)
                  so the mistake is not uncommon.
                  'my kinsmen shaddow keeps me cool' the Buddha said.
                  it is easily interpreted as a recourse to shallow nationalism.
                  and that's too is easy to explain, when you combine military-like
                  organisation and ignorance rhese things crop up.
                  check out Brian Victoria's books about 'zen in war',
                  the chilling night mare of commpassionless buddhism.
                  but back to the subject of the thread, and one that should be of the
                  site,
                  and buddhism as our way of life:a real practice, with a heart.

                  seems to me that a large misinterpretations of the teachings
                  were part of the problem, beside romantic stupidity and disregard for
                  the indian way of life as the real context, there was, and probbably
                  is still, a simple lack of wisdom, which, as a buddhist reading, is
                  part and parcel of goodness.
                  p.s.
                  'Lucifer' is the holder of light,
                  when the 'light is seen', Mara, 'the dark one' is also seen...

                  Bhikkhu Jothiko
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