Saturday, March 28, 2015


“One should pay no heed to the faults of others, what they have done and not done. Rather should one consider the things that one has oneself done and not done.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

That's not how I pictured it

Ted Seth Jacobs is an American painter.

The only way this photo makes sense to me is if these are Mara's daughters, but supposedly there were three. I guess it could have been more. And I thought he was under a tree. Oh well, maybe this is what Pat Robertson was talking about when he said not to work with Buddhists.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

reflections on Buddhist Modernism

Pat Robertson says don't work with Buddhists. How can you tell, they're so sneaky?!

In unrelated news, been reflecting on The Making of Buddhist Modernism:

By arguing that developments are Buddhism don’t occur in the original Pali cannon, makes me wonder if McMahan is Theravada Buddhist. The idea that there could be developments outside the Buddha—well, maybe they’re not enlightened developments, who knows. Great sages like Milarepa and others seem have great spiritual depth. 

The fear is that any old thing could be added in? Imagine the devote chanting for a big screen TV (that happens in a sect, but it’s because they value authenticity, and the hope is that eventually you will turn towards spiritual things, though I’m just speculating).

There are layers and layers of code in computers. The original layer is often seen as elegant, whereas later accretions give more functionality, but they lose the elegance.

The Boddhisattva idea—is that a new creation, or just an articulation of a reading of the Buddha’s life? Freud wrote a bunch of pregnant statements that have been developed by the community of psychoanalysts. There are many that have gone by the wayside. There was actually a book on the techniques involved in sleeping with your patient. That one fell by the wayside because the community of psychoanalyst decided it was misguided. Maybe Thich Nhat Hanh has developed “interbeing” in a way that really wasn’t in the early texts, but his bona fides as a monk are pretty good, he's connected to his community and friends, and maybe it's a useful modern Buddhist idea. 

Are we adapting Buddhism to the modern world? It seems like it would be artificial not to. The Buddha didn’t say to be Luddites. Of course he couldn’t because they came after his lifetime by a long shot, but you get my point.
McMahan could say, no no no, I’m just saying these ideas are modernist ideas grafted onto Buddhism, I don’t comment whether they’re good grafts are not. Just to be conscious of grafting is the point. That I can get on board with. And knowing what's origional and what's a later development can't hurt.