several miscellaneous questions

J C, modified 13 Years ago at 4/15/10 6:59 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/15/10 6:59 PM

several miscellaneous questions

Posts: 26 Join Date: 4/5/10 Recent Posts
1. Can one contact another member directly or only through a thread discussion?
2. Why is it necessary to create new terms like No Dog and The Simplist Thing, and Some Dog at this time in history. Buddhism has been around for a pretty long time without anyone else ever deciding upon the need for new terminology. New terminology just seems unnecessary. Alternatively to getting a discussion started on this since I am a new comer, maybe you could tell me how to access more in-depth discussion of these terms, why they are now necessary and/or desirable. Barring that possibility, I would humbly request more information beyong the (to me) bewilderingly vague discussion entitled "No Dog, Some Dog and the Simplest Thing." I would have thought the simplest thing would be not to invent new terminology amidst so much bewildering terminological variations amongst the many different schools and persuasions of international Buddhism, Vajrayana, Mahayana, Hinayana, Theraveda, and Tibetan Buddhism.
Daniel M Ingram, modified 13 Years ago at 4/16/10 1:15 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 4/16/10 1:15 AM

RE: several miscellaneous questions

Posts: 3269 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Good questions.

I'll do my best:

1) there is a personal messaging feature that works pretty well most of the time under the tab messages.

2) Why new terms? Well, I am not sure there one straightforward answer to this, but I offer the following:
a) The discussion that you chanced onto was a migration from our initial website on Wetpaint, and in the migration process, which was automated, the original essay didn't come along, such that the entire introduction which set up the whole discussion was lost, but has now been re-instated thanks to your fine question and observation that, without that essay, it doesn't make much sense. Thus, if you go back and read it again, hopefully it will make more sense. It was really a discussion between anagamis and arahats and the like who were hashing out some aspects of that territory, mostly, and I can see how that, using whatever terms, could be a bit much or seem quite arcane to someone not in that territory and also not familiar with the local slang.
b) Buddhist terms, while in theory always well defined, in practice often aren't, and thus, sometimes when a practitioner, such as Kenneth Folk, who coined the terms no-dog and the simplest thing, comes across something and wishes to describe it, that is what comes out, and who is to say that is so wrong? You may find yourself doing the same thing yourself some day.
c) Kenneth Folk and I have a very, very close relationship, like family, with a huge and complex history, and so discussions, complexities, controversies and misunderstandings, when they have arisen between us over whatever, have tended to take on dimensions that are strange to outside observers and can lead to a bit of a swirling subtext that sometimes has no clear surface explanation unless one notices that Kenneth and I are both involved in the discussion, and then, reading between the lines, that can become clear. Such was the case with much of that discussion. It also falls into a historical context of the previous discussions that had just occurred before it both publicly and privately, and so sorting out what was going on could be difficult unless you had access to enough of that.
d) Your point about too many terms already is valid, and yet language evolves, terms evolve, slang evolves, as a natural part of human expression, and I realize that can cause confusion. Sorry about that.