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Confused yet?

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Confused yet? Darrell 7/3/15 1:13 PM
RE: Confused yet? Chris Marti 7/3/15 1:51 PM
RE: Confused yet? Darrell 7/3/15 4:39 PM
RE: Confused yet? Eva Nie 7/4/15 2:46 AM
RE: Confused yet? Darrell 7/4/15 12:36 PM
RE: Confused yet? Eva Nie 7/4/15 3:02 PM
RE: Confused yet? Darrell 7/6/15 5:11 PM
RE: Confused yet? Eva Nie 7/6/15 7:34 PM
RE: Confused yet? Chris Marti 7/4/15 1:15 PM
RE: Confused yet? Darrell 7/6/15 5:00 PM
RE: Confused yet? Nicky 7/6/15 4:39 AM
RE: Confused yet? Darrell 7/6/15 5:14 PM
RE: Confused yet? Eva Nie 7/6/15 7:37 PM
RE: Confused yet? Nicky 7/7/15 6:45 AM
RE: Confused yet? Nicky 7/7/15 7:13 AM
RE: Confused yet? Eva Nie 7/7/15 11:37 AM
RE: Confused yet? Darrell 7/8/15 10:05 PM
RE: Confused yet? Noah 7/6/15 6:05 PM
RE: Confused yet? Eva Nie 7/6/15 7:47 PM
RE: Confused yet? Noah 7/6/15 9:54 PM
RE: Confused yet? Darrell 7/6/15 10:36 PM
RE: Confused yet? Noah 7/6/15 11:00 PM
RE: Confused yet? Don Merchant 7/7/15 4:35 AM
RE: Confused yet? Darrell 7/8/15 10:51 PM
RE: Confused yet? Don Merchant 7/8/15 11:25 PM
RE: Confused yet? Nicky 7/7/15 7:36 AM
RE: Confused yet? Eva Nie 7/7/15 11:57 AM
RE: Confused yet? Nicky 7/10/15 6:52 AM
RE: Confused yet? Nicky 7/10/15 5:52 AM
RE: Confused yet? Darrell 7/8/15 10:02 PM
RE: Confused yet? Nicky 7/10/15 6:55 AM
RE: Confused yet? Nicky 7/10/15 6:48 AM
RE: Confused yet? Eva Nie 7/10/15 4:33 PM
RE: Confused yet? Nicky 7/11/15 3:09 AM
RE: Confused yet? Eva Nie 7/11/15 1:57 PM
RE: Confused yet? Darrell 7/20/15 11:34 PM
RE: Confused yet? Distant Admirer 7/21/15 2:41 PM
Confused yet?
Answer
7/3/15 1:13 PM
Buddhism has it at least as bad a Christianity. There seems to be more disagreement than agreement on various matters. And I can't help but think that if Gotama had made sure everything was written down before he died, there would *still* be debate and disagreement. Or maybe not.

For your consideration:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4NR3nn4nfM

 
 Or this


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkHREw19eg8

I
t could argues that this person in the second video is just some guy with an opinion, and Thanissaro B. is an experienced, studied practitioner. I don't know anything about the fellow in video number two, he might have extensive credentials, if you will. Even if he doesn't, that doesn't mean much. Some would say the Buddha didn't have credentials per se, but was a spiritual autodidact, so to speak. It's the same thing as amateur scientists that have made imprtant discoveries that have advanced knowledge and technology.

Anyway, I find the disagreement within Buddhism to be frustrating, confusing and paralyzing at times. Just for starters, how does one reconcile that the words of the Buddha were transmitted via word of mouth for several hundred years, before anyone bothered to make a permanent written record of them? Word of mouth is another name for the telephone game children play. It's a guarantee of a distorting and scrambling of information.

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/3/15 1:51 PM as a reply to Darrell.
The path foward is to experiment and do your own research. That's the beauty of Buddhism - you don't have to believe anything or anyone except your own experience.

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/3/15 4:39 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Funny you should say that. I said essentially the same thing to my wife, last night. I agree with you, yet don't we all look for guidance or at least reliablr input from time to time? That is what is difficult to find. It's the primary reason I am a member here. I would think you, Chris Macie and many others are better at navigating these rather muddled waters, so I do look to folks like you for the benefit of your experience.

It does seem that the path seems to carry a person with reliability if they are sincerly and earnestly seeking. I don't think this means we should look for guides and guide posts along the way though. 

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/4/15 2:46 AM as a reply to Darrell.
Yep that was definitely my feeling when I first got here and it hasn't changed much. Also similar thoughts about the long stretch between Gautama's actual life and when his supposed words were actually written down.  I think in my mind, there is a feeling that if something is right and correct, then there should be some kind of agreement or general concensus on it between the ones most accomplished.  But that kind of assumes that the ones most accomplished can be accessed and told from the ones that just think or say they are the most accomplished (but aren't).  And it also assumes that truth about "all that is" can be decently translated into Earth speech and comprehension enough for there to be a concensus.  But maybe it's more of a case of all us 'Earthblind' types in this particular waking reality feeling different parts of the proverbial elephant and then arguing about why the perceptions don't match up and assuming the others must all be wrong.  ;-P
-Eva 

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/4/15 12:36 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva,

Sharing similar feelings, what drives/motivates your practice, whatever that might be?

For myself, I am hanging everything on those people who have found true liberation. It does appear that over the span of time from the Buddha up to now, many have really found freedom. It appears (I use that word with care) that the core method is viable, and even in those cases where it has been modified from what's in the Suttas, i.e. Zen and Thai/Burmese noting, etc.

And still, there's the possibility that no one is really achieving what Gotama did, or conversely that what he did achieve wasn't as mystical, deep, profound as myth and legend have led us to believe. All we're left with are the result of those who have practiced, and so many don't seem to get very far with it (Pema Chodron and her self described "crappy meditation").

I keep on because I have had some insight. It's not much, in fact, very little. But to see that awareness is empty was revelatory. Mind and body has been interesting. Beginning to tune into the three marks\characteristics\perceptions beyond a mere intellectual level has been the proverbial carrot. So on I go.

And still I don't know what to do with the questionable record of what may or may not be the actual words and teachings of the Buddha, and all of the orthodoxy, sectarianism and fundamentalism. Maybe I'll sort that in time, or it will be rendered irrelevant. That would be fine by me.

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/4/15 1:15 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Funny you should say that. I said essentially the same thing to my wife, last night. I agree with you, yet don't we all look for guidance or at least reliablr input from time to time? That is what is difficult to find.

It turns out finding good, solid and valid advice on any topic is mostly about knowing how to find the right authboritative sources. That means taking the time to look into the topic, read a lot about it, find out who has the experience and the trust of others in that field of endeavor. Random links found on youtube don't usually meet muster. The written or spoken comments of meditation teachers who've been in the game for a long time are probably a better source. Agreed?



RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/4/15 3:02 PM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:
Eva,

Sharing similar feelings, what drives/motivates your practice, whatever that might be?
Probably for most of my life, there were two main drives, one was I am a very curious person for some things and consciousness and the nature of reality are very high on my curiosity list.  I just kept coming to those subjects wanting to know and looking for clues.  The second thing was attempted avoidance of pain, exploring that, it soon became obvious in my mind that certain things like clinging and unresolved issues yielded feelings of pain so there was long standing search for how to lesson that pain be dealing with clinging and the like.  It probably wasn't the most efficient of paths but for someone like me that had no belief in buddhist stories, it was a more likely one.  I had very little strong opinion on things enlightenment for most of that time, mostly it just sounded like unsubstantiated legend like Bible stories to me.  Seems to me over time, stories tend to get exagerated and overblown, it's a strong human tendency. 

However, in recent years, I have experienced enough to make me suspect there may well be at least something to all those stories and that more information might actually be obtainable and that some of that buddhist stuff might actually happen for real.  Some things just were not on par with conventional societal belief systems but did seem related to some of that buddhist stuff, thus my curiousity for buddhist stuff started to grow.  I don't see any way to know if I will share any experiences with those long dead whose words may be distorted by history, but I have seen enough now to think it is worth my time and energy to go forward on my own path and see what lies ahead. 
And still, there's the possibility that no one is really achieving what Gotama did, or conversely that what he did achieve wasn't as mystical, deep, profound as myth and legend have led us to believe. All we're left with are the result of those who have practiced, and so many don't seem to get very far with it (Pema Chodron and her self described "crappy meditation").
The only thing I can say for sure is some of these experiences feel so very very wonderful and good, it was much much beyond anything I felt before, it was enough to strongly change my perspective on what is possible.  I am not experienced with hard drugs, but I would guess this might be how really good feeling drugs might feel, except that you don't end up penniless in the gutter with your teeth falling out afterwards.  ;-P 

And still I don't know what to do with the questionable record of what may or may not be the actual words and teachings of the Buddha, and all of the orthodoxy, sectarianism and fundamentalism. Maybe I'll sort that in time, or it will be rendered irrelevant. That would be fine by me.
I suspect there are a few issues, one is that it's hard to explain the experiences, you mostly just have to feel it yourself, language is weak and then translations across languages are even weaker.  Another is that different people get there in different ways and the exact mechanisms are not understood.  Lots of weird stuff happens that no one seems to be able to explain.  Another is that even after 4th path, it seems that personality and opinions and ego, although altered, are still present, and 4th path does not yield omniscience, so you get a lot of opinions backed in part by ego and authority of 4th path, fueled by people who want answers, that may still conflict.  Another assumption is that this stuff can be fully comprehended by Earth based consciousness, but it may be that by the time it gets filtered down to something humans can wrap their thoughts around, it is heavily altered via individual personalities, hence appearing to conflict. 
-Eva

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/6/15 4:39 AM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:

Anyway, I find the disagreement within Buddhism to be frustrating, confusing and paralyzing at times. Just for starters, how does one reconcile that the words of the Buddha were transmitted via word of mouth for several hundred years, before anyone bothered to make a permanent written record of them? Word of mouth is another name for the telephone game children play. It's a guarantee of a distorting and scrambling of information.

The essence of Buddhism is found in the following teaching of the Buddha, which is chanted every morning & evening throughout the monasteries in SE Asia. emoticon

Svâkkhato Bhagavatâ Dhammo
Sanditthiko
Akâliko
Ehi-passiko
Opanâyiko
Paccattam veditabbo viññuhiti

The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded
To be seen here and how;
Not delayed in time [immediately effective; bringing immediate results];
Inviting one to come and see;
Onward leading (to Nibbana);
To be known by the wise, each for him/herself

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/6/15 5:00 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Agreed?

Agreed. Although I should have used a better example. There was a video of an Ajahn I can't recall the name of (it might have been Amaro) discussing the Buddha's teaching of the Abhidhamma. Then shortly after that, I come across a video of Ajahn Brahm emphatically stating the Buddha did *not* teach the Abhidhamma.

Oh well.

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/6/15 5:11 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
The only thing I can say for sure is some of these experiences feel so very very wonderful and good, it was much much beyond anything I felt before, it was enough to strongly change my perspective on what is possible.  I am not experienced with hard drugs, but I would guess this might be how really good feeling drugs might feel, except that you don't end up penniless in the gutter with your teeth falling out afterwards.  ;-P  

While I suppose/suspect you've made your way further down the path than I, what I have experienced is in agreement with you. These experiences do feel wonderful and good. The expereince of having self drop away for several hours is something I find myself seeking, and yet trying not to cling to. Freed from self, yet who is feeling good?

I suspect there are a few issues, one is that it's hard to explain the experiences, you mostly just have to feel it yourself, language is weak and then translations across languages are even weaker.  Another is that different people get there in different ways and the exact mechanisms are not understood.  Lots of weird stuff happens that no one seems to be able to explain.  Another is that even after 4th path, it seems that personality and opinions and ego, although altered, are still present, and 4th path does not yield omniscience, so you get a lot of opinions backed in part by ego and authority of 4th path, fueled by people who want answers, that may still conflict.  Another assumption is that this stuff can be fully comprehended by Earth based consciousness, but it may be that by the time it gets filtered down to something humans can wrap their thoughts around, it is heavily altered via individual personalities, hence appearing to conflict.  
Good point. I tend to overlook that. All of the confusing and contradictory accounts of liberation, some of them so impossible, and a few seem questionable as to whether I'd want that (i.e. endless cycling throught the nanas). So what are the most common ways people get there, to your knowledge? And what is some of this weird stuff that happens that no one seems able to explain.

What you said in the quote above reminds me of the old saying about "those who know don't say..."

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/6/15 5:14 PM as a reply to Nicky.
The essence of Buddhism is found in the following teaching of the Buddha, which is chanted every morning & evening throughout the monasteries in SE Asia.

Okay, but this still assumes the Canon is correct and accurate. That's the issue. I've been doing some reading, and this issue of question the core texts isn't an isolated or unusual occurence.

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/6/15 6:05 PM as a reply to Darrell.
As a reply to OP:

I just wanted to share a thought, which may lie outside the arena of discussion here (whose main focus seems to be finding meaning/truth, etc.- which is obviously completely legit and worthwhile), and has to do with direct, personal experience, which is the only way any of us can ever know anything- through the sense doors and the medium of materiality-mentality (this includes energy, intuition, vision, emptiness, form, etc.).

Just that it might be the case for a large portion of practitioners that at a certain point the need for relief becomes greater than the need for finding meaning or truth.  At this transition, a focus on upaya (whatever works, whenever it works) might become more relevant than a focus on finding a stable truth that works across all situations.

Said simply, and in the form of admittedly unsolicited, personal opinion: Who cares about the distinction between focus on the physical breath and focus on breath as prana or something more subtle?  What personal problems do you have that you believe could be solved through intentional mind-hacking or behavior-hacking that is the buddhadharma and spiritual work in general?  What is your action plan for improving these life situations?  What technique, for how many hours, weeks and months, do you believe, when optimized, will provide a baseline relief?

Edit: I wanted to add that this current discussion might be part of the action plan.  The action plan might be 'find a sense of conceptual paradigm for truth-seeking that satisfies and motivates for this portion of the path.'  If that is the case, then explicit acknowledgement of such an objective might be helpful in establishing a spirit of play, experimentation or exploration... a general sense of not taking ideas too seriously, etc.

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/6/15 7:34 PM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:

Good point. I tend to overlook that. All of the confusing and contradictory accounts of liberation, some of them so impossible, and a few seem questionable as to whether I'd want that (i.e. endless cycling throught the nanas). So what are the most common ways people get there, to your knowledge? And what is some of this weird stuff that happens that no one seems able to explain.

What you said in the quote above reminds me of the old saying about "those who know don't say..."
Sorry, don't mean to sound super mysterious.  I have not taken the standard channels to get this far but I suspect that my way was mostly only a way that works for me.  I make no claims about what is best for others and maybe that I would have gone faster taking standard channels.  But I did not for a long time take that stuff seriously at all.  To be honest, I am not sure how I got this far, there was no special technique, I would not know how to replicate it.  Some things would probably maybe possibly work for others though.  I would say to be super curious will get you far.  It works MUCH better if you do something because you want to do it, than if you are doing it because in your mind you are 'supposed' to do it. If you are curious, you are searching often with a open nonjudgemental mind that is more willing to look outside the box.  Another thing I would say is try to be curious even about the bad stuff inside you, ie the shadow side.  IMO, it's good to be curious about all of it.  That's probably the main thing that got me to here, I was curious and really wanted to know the truth about things even if it meant changing my assumptions or finding out something I didn't want to find out. I just kept that up for years and years. I also enjoy looking at things from differnet perspectives, what if this were true, what if that were true?  It kind of loosens up the rigidity when you do that, then you aren't so attached to any one specific perspective being 'you.'  Not sure how much that accords with more standard enlightenment practices though.  ;-P   
-Eva 

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/6/15 7:37 PM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:
The essence of Buddhism is found in the following teaching of the Buddha, which is chanted every morning & evening throughout the monasteries in SE Asia.

Okay, but this still assumes the Canon is correct and accurate. That's the issue. I've been doing some reading, and this issue of question the core texts isn't an isolated or unusual occurence.
To further confuse things, you also could consider that Buddhism is a religion to some and just a tool to others and to yet others, it's something in between.  Since I am not in the religion camp, to me, it could be no more accurate than say the Bible is, both were written down quite some time after the death of the characters in question after all.  
-Eva 

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/6/15 7:47 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah S:


Just that it might be the case for a large portion of practitioners that at a certain point the need for relief becomes greater than the need for finding meaning or truth.  At this transition, a focus on upaya (whatever works, whenever it works) might become more relevant than a focus on finding a stable truth that works across all situations.
Very good point, the main issue, is the outcome worth the time spent?  But if you are in the beginning stages and have not seen any of it work for you yet, then how to justify the time spent?  I do think once you kind of see the dukkha aspect of the world, ie that nothing material satisifies long term, which can be fairly easy to see once you have been alive for a bit and tried over and over to find satisfaction only for it always to be fleeting, and you can see how miserable many of those rich famous people end up, IMO, that pretty much only leaves this one general path left to logically choose to explore.  So yeah, I agree the prospect of mental peace is probably a huge if not the biggest lure for most.  You'd just have to believe that prospect exists first, which I didn't for a long time, so that's why I was running mostly on curiosity instead.  I didn't know what I would find, peace or nothing, but I still wanted to know. 
Said simply, and in the form of admittedly unsolicited, personal opinion: Who cares about the distinction between focus on the physical breath and focus on breath as prana or something more subtle?  What personal problems do you have that you believe could be solved through intentional mind-hacking or behavior-hacking that is the buddhadharma and spiritual work in general?  What is your action plan for improving these life situations?  What technique, for how many hours, weeks and months, do you believe, when optimized, will provide a baseline relief?
Yes I agree, the question is does it work?  But you don't know if it works until after it works, kind of a stinker isn't it!!.  ;-P 
-Eva

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/6/15 9:54 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
So yeah, I agree the prospect of mental peace is probably a huge if not the biggest lure for most.
I notice that it has been a very complex process in which my motivations have matured over time.  Feel free to skip to the last paragraph if I'm tldr, but this is the summary of how desparation has evolved for me and how actual practice has taken president over the search for a certain, cognitively-held truth.

I used a lot of prayer and spiritual mind treatment.  For about a year from fall 2012 to fall 2013, I visualized getting better and feeling relief frrom bipolar and real world success for hours every day.  I also worked with a mantra I had been given by Amma.  I didn't do any vipassana though.

Then, serendipitously, my mother sent me to her psychotherapist colleague, who used emdr to completely rid me of social anxiety.

Later, when I was ready, I rediscovered the dho and mctb, and figured out how to mahasi note in daily life and have been dong so continuously for about 2 years.

About a year and a half in, I started up with Ron Crouch, who explained to me that regardless of how one might want to neatly separate the 3 trainings, getting 4th path WOULD either cure my bipolar disorder or make it so that I could definitely, with 100% certainty and effectiveness, treat it by other means.  Although I am not yet at 4th path, the activation of this healing process has already come to pass.

Long story short, what first worked for me was prayer/visualization/magick.  What later worked was synchronous circumstances that allowed me to find one successful treatment after another.  Then, an absolute promise and confidence in a totally grounded, reasonable, non-narcissistic teacher was useful.  Now, slowly, experiencing and understanding it for myself is working.

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/6/15 10:36 PM as a reply to Noah.
Hi Noah,

I've given some thought to what you've written. I don't feel I'm looking for meaning, and perhaps truth, depending on how you are using the word. I'm looking for truth in that I would like to have confidence that I'm doing the right things, on the path and not misleading myself. I'd *love* the benefit of a reliable teacher, but that hasn't happened for me yet. I'm not giving up on the idea, but until that day...

It will sound contradictory, but while I have doubts about so much of the available information and those providing it, I have no doubt about my doing the right thing, even if I'm fumbling wildly in the dark. I really don't feel I have any choice, it's pursue a path or be eaten alive by my own suffering. That's why I'm here to begin with, why I sit every day, why I have ceased listening to music and reading for pleasure in order to constantly be feeding my mind with the words of those who've been this way already. Sure, I've been meditating for ten years, big deal. It wasn't until last September when I very suddenly found myself in a world of fear and pain that I knew I had to do something. And so I began in earnest. And since last Fall, I've come to understand the suffering I cause myself and consequently, others. And I am determined to bring it to an end. But I have a profound need to make sure I don't BS myself, or allow others to BS me. And that's not all that easy when you're new to all of this.

I see what I've been told here. Throw yourself in, try things out, experiment, just go for it. I don't argue with that. I just don't want to waste the precious little time I have.

What technique, for how many hours, weeks and months, do you believe, when optimized, will provide a baseline relief?
Great question. That's something I'm still trying to figure out. I'm drowning in a sea of information, and everytime I turn around, there's a new method or technique. I feel like someone who hasn't eaten in weeks finding themselves in a restaurant where *every* dish is guaranteed absolutley superb, but unknown to them.

The action plan? Find a way to have enough confidence in the record of the description of the path so that I can proceed with a reasonable measure of self reliance. Or maybe it should be to give up fear and concern with regards to screwing this up and learn to trust the fact that I've even been carried this far by means I have no understanding of and explanation for.


RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/6/15 11:00 PM as a reply to Darrell.
Thanks for the response Darrell.  I believe you are going to figure it out for yourself soon enough, based on the perspective and attitude you express.

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/7/15 4:35 AM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell,

Hello, I'm glad to read your post. I've been there too about this stuff. Here are a few links that may help. If not, I tried :-).

https://thebuddhistcentre.com/text/three-jewels

http://www.vipassanadhura.com/sixteen.html#onec

I have been in your shoes, just recently in fact, like a few weeks ago. All I can say is that after studying the material on these sites to my satisfaction, I then began meditating on this issue of the 3 Jewels. Plus I had read other books relating to this topic. After some time, about 2 weeks, I had an experience where I was confronted by all 3 jewels, but distinctly apart. It was one gem, then another, as I confronted each. At each visualization, I was ran through all the information about each that I had read or heard about, then it was up to me to decide if I beileved this was a true gem or not. There was no judgemental feelings at all, just a decision was required. Did I believe it or not. After making each decision, the next gem appeared until I went through all 3. After that, I had an unshakeable belief that I could trust all 3. Now, do I consider myself a buddhist, no. I just simply "Know" that it (Buddhism) can be trusted. That's the best way, and shortest, to explain how I got past that issue. Will any of this help you? Who knows? I hope something does, because its hard to progress without belief in this "stuff".

I would also add that you will tell if something someone says resonates with you. As you read more about the core teachings, what someone says will either line up or not.

Here's metta to you on your quest emoticon

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/7/15 6:45 AM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:
The essence of Buddhism is found in the following teaching of the Buddha, which is chanted every morning & evening throughout the monasteries in SE Asia.

Okay, but this still assumes the Canon is correct and accurate. That's the issue. I've been doing some reading, and this issue of question the core texts isn't an isolated or unusual occurence.
 
My quote also states the Dhamma is to be experienced in the here-&-now by each insightful person for themself. Thus, making reference to this monk & that monk as some kind of authority is pointless. It is all about personal experience or verification.

Thus, from the scriptures, this quote is found as follows:
Knowing thus and seeing thus, would you say, 'The Teacher is our respected mentor. We speak thus out of respect for the Teacher'?"

"No, lord."

"Knowing thus and seeing thus, would you say, 'The Contemplative says this. We speak thus in line with the Contemplative's words'?"

"No, lord."

"Knowing thus and seeing thus, would you dedicate yourselves to another teacher?"

"No, lord."

"Knowing thus and seeing thus, would you return to the observances, grand ceremonies, & auspicious rites of common contemplatives & brahmans as having any essence?"

"No, lord."

"Is it the case that you speak simply in line with what you have known, seen, & understood for yourselves?"

"Yes, lord."

"Good, monks. You have been guided by me in this Dhamma which is to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the observant for themselves. For it has been said, 'This Dhamma is to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be by the observant for themselves,' and it was in reference to this that it was said.

MN 38

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/7/15 7:13 AM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:
The essence of Buddhism is found in the following teaching of the Buddha, which is chanted every morning & evening throughout the monasteries in SE Asia.

Okay, but this still assumes the Canon is correct and accurate. That's the issue. I've been doing some reading, and this issue of question the core texts isn't an isolated or unusual occurence.

The core and bulk of the scriptures are correct & accurate (despite some dodgy additions). However, what is often not correct or accurate is the translations & interpretations. 

If you actually read the scriptures themselves, you will find the same themes repeated over & over & over again, such as 'abandoning craving, attachment & self-view' and 'the five aggregates are not-self'. There is no ambiguity here. For example, if you yourself do not realise craving & self-grasping are the causes of suffering & their abandonment brings peace, how can you ever comprehend the scriptures? 

However, there are parts of the scriptures that are misunderstood due to language, such as the word 'birth' or 'jati', which in India, even today, primarily means 'social' or 'self' identity rather than physical birth. Many Buddhists believe they are practising to somehow end physical rebirths (rather than practising to end ego-births). 

In short, the entire scripture is about abandoning 'attachment' or 'clinging' or 'selfing' (upadana). 

Kind regards emoticon

When a bhikkhu has heard that nothing is worth clinging to, he directly knows everything; having directly known everything, he fully understands everything; having directly known everything, he fully understood everything, whatever feeling he feels, whether pleasant or painful or neither pleasant or painful, he abides contemplating (observing) impermanence in those feelings, contemplating (observing) fading away, contemplating (observing) cessation, contemplating (observing) relinquishment (letting go). Contemplating (observing) thus, he does not cling to anything in the world. When he does not cling, he is not agitated, he personally attains Nibbana. He understands: ‘Birth is destroyed, the holy life has been lived, there is no more coming to any state of being.’ Briefly, it is in this way, that a bhikkhu is liberated in the destruction of craving, one who has reached the ultimate end, the ultimate security from bondage, the ultimate holy life, the ultimate goal, one who is foremost among gods and humans.

MN 37



RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/7/15 7:36 AM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:

The man in the video is not a Buddhist. He believes in the Hindu Atman, which is the very opposite of what the Buddha taught, namely, anatta or not-self. The man like most people is unable to give up the 'self' idea, which is why most religions teach there is a 'self' or 'soul' (atman) that is reborn after death. Even the Buddha himself did not teach anatta to all people due to its unsuitability for many.

In Buddhism, language and experience are on two levels: (i) conventional/common; and (ii) enlightened. Thus the Buddha often used the word 'self' in a conventional or common way. Although he did this, this does not mean the Buddha believed in a permanent and lasting 'self' (atman). The Buddha explained 'self' is a conditioned idea and its manufacture by the human mind is also the experience of suffering.

Kind regards. emoticon

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/7/15 11:37 AM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:

If you actually read the scriptures themselves, you will find the same themes repeated over & over & over again, such as 'abandoning craving, attachment & self-view' and 'the five aggregates are not-self'. There is no ambiguity here. For example, if you yourself do not realise craving & self-grasping are the causes of suffering & their abandonment brings peace, how can you ever comprehend the scriptures?
IMO, the basic systems seem to work to get you to a place where you experience the basic things they describe.  There seems to be an order that many people experience them in.   The general order of how things are usually experiences has been broken down into various paths or stages by various groups.  People who travel the paths do seem to almost all agree that where it takes you is worth it.  What they do not agree on is jillions of details as well as even the nature of the universe.  It's can be kind of like botanists arguing over the classification of a new flower, they will tend to agree basically on some things but argue bitterly over other things.  I guess it's human nature.  People like to have one magic answer to everything.  Some people pick an answer and cling vehemently and it helps them feel secure but different people pick different answers.  Then they argue over who is right.  There are commonalities in how people develop but IMO, even at 4th  path, there is little agreement on the nature of reality.  There is agreement that 4th path feels good and people like it.  As for the details, I suspect that a lot of it is hard to comprehend with human Earth consciousness and that is why there are no easy universal answers written in plain language.  It's like trying to describe the taste of lobster to someone who has never had fish before, you can't really describe it with words, the person will have to find the lobster and taste for themselves.
-Eva 

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/7/15 11:57 AM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:


The man in the video is not a Buddhist. He believes in the Hindu Atman, which is the very opposite of what the Buddha taught, namely, anatta or not-self. The man like most people is unable to give up the 'self' idea, which is why most religions teach there is a 'self' or 'soul' (atman) that is reborn after death. Even the Buddha himself did not teach anatta to all people due to its unsuitability for many.
This is another thing that is not agreed on.  Many Buddhist groups teach reincarnation or rebirth.  The words are often interchanged but apparently there is supposed to be a difference according to what word is used: http://www.alanpeto.com/buddhism/understanding-reincarnation-rebirth/ .  I personally do not believe in a permanent UNCHANGING self.  To me, it seems obvious that at minimum, the self changes as influences and experience change.  As for what Buddha did or not do in his life, and his exact motivations for doing so, unless we are going the religious route, I would caution that we can't know that for sure, we can only conjecture. 
-Eva

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/8/15 10:51 PM as a reply to Don Merchant.
Thanks for your input Don. Many things I've heard, and also am reading in these responses on this thread resonate. Even though I'm unsure about somethings that Thanissaro Bhikkhu has to say, much of what he does say and write makes tremendous sense and has helped immensely. The same with Ahjahn Chah.

I believe buddhism as a path can be trusted also. The issue is that much has accreted over the years that clouds the way, and that has to be cut through somehow. If I didn't have some measure of trust in it at all, I wouldn't even bother at all. It makes me think of having a very old map to a very large, still thriving city. You can easily become lost in all that has grown up around what was originally there, and referencing the map tends to be confused by what is right in front of you.

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/8/15 10:02 PM as a reply to Nicky.
The man in the video is not a Buddhist

Right. I made mention earlier that this was abad example. The contradiction between Thanissaro Bhikkhu and many others about "no self" versus "not self" might be a better example. Or as i mentioned before, there was a video I saw of Ajahn X (can't recall who just now) discussing the Buddha's teachings regarding the Abhidhamma. A week or so later, I happened across a video in which ajahn Brahm states emphatically that the Buddha did *not* teach the Abhidhamma.

As to the character in the video - I stumbled, quite accidentally, across information about him. Not only is he not Buddhist, but he once had a webpage that went to some very dark, ugly places. I read some of his interactions with others at the Newbuddhist website from a few years back. It's easy to see he's very much mired in self.

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/8/15 10:05 PM as a reply to Nicky.
The core and bulk of the scriptures are correct & accurate (despite some dodgy additions). However, what is often not correct or accurate is the translations & interpretations. 

If you actually read the scriptures themselves, you will find the same themes repeated over & over & over again, such as 'abandoning craving, attachment & self-view' and 'the five aggregates are not-self'. There is no ambiguity here. For example, if you yourself do not realise craving & self-grasping are the causes of suffering & their abandonment brings peace, how can you ever comprehend the scriptures? 

However, there are parts of the scriptures that are misunderstood due to language, such as the word 'birth' or 'jati', which in India, even today, primarily means 'social' or 'self' identity rather than physical birth. Many Buddhists believe they are practising to somehow end physical rebirths (rather than practising to end ego-births). 

That's very helpful. Thank you.

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/8/15 11:25 PM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell,

I'm glad what I said made sense. I'm still wading through all this information too. Yes, It feels like you step into a deep, swift river, sometimes. Plus, like you said, figuring out the wheat from the chaff can be difficult. I just try to stick to basics right now. The finer points will become evident when I need them. Its a path that is our own. Just keep practicing and things will become clearer.

Metta to you on your journey Darrell.

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/10/15 6:52 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva M Nie:
Nicky:


The man in the video is not a Buddhist. He believes in the Hindu Atman, which is the very opposite of what the Buddha taught, namely, anatta or not-self. The man like most people is unable to give up the 'self' idea, which is why most religions teach there is a 'self' or 'soul' (atman) that is reborn after death. Even the Buddha himself did not teach anatta to all people due to its unsuitability for many.
As for what Buddha did or not do in his life, and his exact motivations for doing so, unless we are going the religious route, I would caution that we can't know that for sure, we can only conjecture. 
-Eva

If the mind is enlightened, i.e., can see clearly, it comprehends via its own wisdom that anatta is not suitable for all people. Since the scriptures also report the Buddha did not teach anatta to all people then it is obvious the scriptures are true since any mind with the slightest discernment would comprehend anatta is not an appropriate doctrine for all people.

emoticon

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/10/15 5:52 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva M Nie:

This is another thing that is not agreed on.  Many Buddhist groups teach reincarnation or rebirth.  The words are often interchanged but apparently there is supposed to be a difference according to what word is used: http://www.alanpeto.com/buddhism/understanding-reincarnation-rebirth/ . -Eva

There is no point reading the link provided because it is total misunderstanding & a hindrance to enlightenment.

The Pali scriptures clearly state for those interested in enlightenment, ideas about past & future lives are inappropriate. To quote:

~~This is how he attends inappropriately: 'Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?' Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: 'Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?'

~~Sabbasava Sutta

The Pali scriptures (apart from a few dodgy later additions) do not teach meta-physical post-mortem rebirth, which is why each 'Buddhist' school that believes in rebirth has a different theory about how it operates.

In the language of ultimate truth, when the Buddha used the word 'death', he referred to the death of 'beings', where 'beings' means the idea, thought, identification or convention of 'self'.

People who have never studied the scripture merely listen to myths & fables about 'Buddhism'. emoticon

If the scriptures below are not understood, Buddhism is not understand and remains mere mysterious teachings.

~~Now what is aging and death? Whatever aging, decrepitude, brokenness, graying, wrinkling, decline of life-force, weakening of the faculties of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called aging. Whatever deceasing, passing away, breaking up, disappearance, dying, death, completion of time, break up of the aggregates, casting off of the body, interruption in the life faculty of the various beings in this or that group of beings, that is called death.

~~Paticca-samuppada-vibhanga Sutta




~~'A being,' lord. 'A being,' it's said. To what extent is one said to be 'a being'?"

~~Any desire, passion, delight, or craving for form...feeling...perception...mental formations ....consciousness, Radha: when one is caught up there, tied up there, one is said to be 'a being.'

~~Satta Sutta


~~Then the bhikkhuni Vajira, having understood, "This is Mara the Evil One," replied to him in verses.

~~Why now do you assume 'a being'?
Mara, have you grasped a view?
This is a heap of sheer constructions:
Here no being is found.

~~Just as, with an assemblage of parts,
The word 'chariot' is used,
So, when the aggregates are present,
There's the convention 'a being.'

~~It's only suffering that comes to be,
Suffering that stands and falls away.
Nothing but suffering comes to be,
Nothing but suffering ceases

~~Vajira Sutta





RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/10/15 6:55 AM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:
The man in the video is not a Buddhist

Right. I made mention earlier that this was abad example. The contradiction between Thanissaro Bhikkhu and many others about "no self" versus "not self" might be a better example.


All these matters are straighforward. The Buddha of the scriptures taught 'anatta', which means 'not-self'. The word for 'no-self' is 'natthattā'. Based merely on language there should be no dispute about not-self vs no-self.

Also, the scriptures never deny the idea of 'self' arises in the human mind. To the contrary, how the idea of 'self' arises in the mind is one of the most important explanations in Buddhism since the 'self' idea is instrinctly linked to the arising of 'suffering'. Alternately, if there is no 'self-view' in the mind, there can be no suffering.

So Buddhism does not deny there is a ignorance-created-conditoned 'self', which is merely a thought concept.

There is nothing mysterious about Buddhism. The Buddha said his teaching was plain, open, straightforward, unconvoluted.

'Not-self' the Buddha taught in his 2nd sermon and used a very logical approach. He asked the question: "Is the physical body permanent or impermanent?". When the monks replied: "Impermanent", the Buddha then asked: "Can that which is impermanent be regarded as myself or belonging to myself?" The obvious answer was "No" thus the phsyical body was understood to be "not-self", i.e, "not-mine".

This elimates possessiveness from the mind. When there is no possessiveness there is no suffering.

For example, if you see your wife flirting with a strange man, what makes that experience suffering for you is your mind's possessiveness. If your mind regarded 'your' wife as 'not-self', there would be no possessiveness, no jealousy, no sense of betrayal, no hurt and no suffering. 

It is all very straightforward (theoretically).

It is important to understand the Buddha declared he taught about only 2 things: suffering & freedom from suffering. emoticon

~~Monks, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork.

~~What I teach now as before, O monks, is suffering and the cessation of suffering

MN 22

~~Form, O monks, is not-self; if form were self, then form would not lead to sickness/disease (roga) and it should be possible to obtain regarding form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus'; and indeed, O monks, since form is not-self, therefore form leads to sickness/disease and it does not obtain regarding form: 'May my form be thus, may my form not be thus.


~~What do you think of this, O monks? Is form permanent or impermanent?"

~~"Impermanent, O Lord

~~Now, that which is impermanent, is it unsatisfactory or satisfactory?"

~~Unsatisfactory, O Lord

~~Now, that which is impermanent, unsatisfactory, subject to change, is it proper to regard that as: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self'?"

~~Indeed, not that, O Lord."

~~Anatta-lakkhana Sutta

~~There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self. That assumption is a fabrication. Now what is the cause, what is the origination, what is the birth, what is the coming-into-existence of that fabrication? To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by that which is felt born of contact with ignorance, craving arises. That fabrication [of 'self'] is born of that. And that fabrication is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. That craving... That feeling... That contact... That ignorance is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen. ~~Parileyyaka Sutta

~~Ven. Ananda said to Ven. Sariputta, "Sariputta my friend, even if there were change & alteration in the Teacher would there arise within you no sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair?"

~~Even if there were change & alteration in the Teacher, my friend, there would arise within me no sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair. Still, I would have this thought: 'What a great being, of great might, of great prowess, has disappeared! For if the Blessed One were to remain for a long time, that would be for the benefit of many people, for the happiness of many people, out of sympathy for the world; for the welfare, benefit, & happiness of human & divine beings.'

~~Surely," [said Ven. Ananda,] "it's because Ven. Sariputta's I-making & mine-making and obsessions with conceit have long been well uprooted that even if there were change & alteration in the Teacher, there would arise within him no sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair."

~~Upatissa Sutta


~~Now, how is one afflicted in body & afflicted in mind? There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair over its change & alteration


~~And how is one afflicted in body but unafflicted in mind? There is the case where a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — who has regard for noble ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma — does not assume form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is not seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is not seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters, but he does not fall into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair over its change & alteration

~~Nakulapita Sutta


 

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/10/15 6:48 AM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:
The man in the video is not a Buddhist

 Or as i mentioned before, there was a video I saw of Ajahn X (can't recall who just now) discussing the Buddha's teachings regarding the Abhidhamma. A week or so later, I happened across a video in which ajahn Brahm states emphatically that the Buddha did *not* teach the Abhidhamma.



I have never read the Abhidhamma but the general understanding is it is not the Buddha's words. Many of the Abhidhamma teachings are ttheoretical rather than observable. For example, about mind-moments that arise & pass in millionths of a second (or whatever). This cannot be observed and thus cannot form an object of insight.

But when the Buddha taught a moment of consciousness arises with a breath and then ceases when that breath ceases; this can be observed and is sufficient to have insight into impermanence.

This brings one back to the original point I made in this thread, which is the Buddha classified what he taught as "observable & verifiable".

For example, the teachings commonly taken to be about 'rebirth' merely state: "Due to performing a good action, after the break up of the 'group' (kaya) , after 'death', the person appears in a happy state".

This we can observe and verify, namely, good actions bring happiness & bad actions bring trouble.

But these words 'kaya', which can mean 'body', and 'death', when interpreted materialistically, take one outside of the Buddha's teaching since they cannot be observed and verified.

But if we regard the word 'death' to mean the death of the ego state that performs a certain action, then it is all observable & verifiable.

emoticon

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/10/15 4:33 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
Darrell:
The man in the video is not a Buddhist

 Or as i mentioned before, there was a video I saw of Ajahn X (can't recall who just now) discussing the Buddha's teachings regarding the Abhidhamma. A week or so later, I happened across a video in which ajahn Brahm states emphatically that the Buddha did *not* teach the Abhidhamma.



I have never read the Abhidhamma but the general understanding is it is not the Buddha's words. Many of the Abhidhamma teachings are ttheoretical rather than observable. For example, about mind-moments that arise & pass in millionths of a second (or whatever). This cannot be observed and thus cannot form an object of insight.
LOL, if one person observes something, that makes it observable.  Things can be observed even at micro time lengths.  Buddha's stuff was also theory.  I have yet to see many people practicing belief in no self managing to eliminate all jealousy.  Maybe it's true but from what I've seen, it's not observed much either.  It's still theory.  Even the concept that if something is not permanent, it's not self.  Am I the same person as my 5 year old self?  Clearly I am different now but most people would still say I am the same person.  Common definition of self does not preclude change.  That's Buddha's thought methods that he probably found useful for leading people along a path that seemed to lead to a good place, but it's still theory and mind games just like the rest of it. 
But when the Buddha taught a moment of consciousness arises with a breath and then ceases when that breath ceases; this can be observed and is sufficient to have insight into impermanence.
You are making it sound like inbetween breaths, there is no consciousness. 
This brings one back to the original point I made in this thread, which is the Buddha classified what he taught as "observable & verifiable".
There is probably not one thing imaginable that at least one person has not seen.  Conversely, many buddhist teachings are observed by only a few.  That really puts everything into the 'observable' category doesn't it? 

For example, the teachings commonly taken to be about 'rebirth' merely state: "Due to performing a good action, after the break up of the 'group' (kaya) , after 'death', the person appears in a happy state".

This we can observe and verify, namely, good actions bring happiness & bad actions bring trouble.
That's not everyone's observation, hence the saying 'No good deed goes unpunished..' 

But these words 'kaya', which can mean 'body', and 'death', when interpreted materialistically, take one outside of the Buddha's teaching since they cannot be observed and verified.
You are sure that communication with the dead is impossible?  If I observe it, doesn't that make it observable? 
But if we regard the word 'death' to mean the death of the ego state that performs a certain action, then it is all observable & verifiable.
What is death of ego?  Enlightened ones IME still have preferences and even still get crabby, do things wrong, etc.  How do you know the ego is 'dead' totally?  It's all just belief that you observe through YOUR lens of belief systems.  You categorize and filter what you see according to your beliefs, as does everyone else of course. 
-Eva


RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/11/15 3:09 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Most people think you are the same person as when you were 5 years old? I cannot even remember when I was five years old.

I was referring to conscious awareness of a breath and then the ending of that breath and ending of that moment of consciousness. Unrelated to the gap; although the gap is another object of another moment of consciousness.

Moral karma about good& bad is a general law. It is not an absolute truth, which is why it is not related to enlightenment. Yes, the good can also bring suffering. But generally goodness avoids a lot of suffering. For example, not killing people in war will prevent some heavy suffering but being good to a loved one will not prevent suffering if something unfortunate happens to them.

You misunderstood what i posted about death. The scriptures define 'death' as the death of an ego state. For example, you get drunk. This is an ego state. Then you fall asleep. This is the death of the drunken happy ego state. Then you wake up and have a headache for the next day. That is the result of the death of your drunken state and your taking birth in a suffering state of having a headache.

When I referred to death  of ego, I was not referring to the enlightened state when ego ends. I was referring to the state of suffering when ego experiences loss, i.e., when ego suffers from grief, loss, despair, depression, etc, due to losing what it identifies with & is possessive towards.

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/11/15 1:57 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
Most people think you are the same person as when you were 5 years old? I cannot even remember when I was five years old.
Sure they do, if showing a photo of younger self, most people say something like, 'This is me when I was 5 years old.'  In common useage, change does not preclude concept of being the same person.  Seems like in general use, evolution and/or change is expected and linear connection is the main characterization of identity.  (there appears at least on the surface to be a linear trail of memory and existence from my younger self to now and yes, I can remember my 5 year old self, but you could use your 8 year old self if that works better).  In Buddhist teachings, there seems to be a redefinition of what the term means such that change means you are now a different person.  Not that I am sayin git's a bad thing, just an interesting way of changing definitions, probably with the plan to try to change thought patterns.  I suspect the goal is to loosen previous thought patterns and changing definitions is part of that.  Right from the beginning you are asked to accept alternate definitions of reality using different chains of logic that are not without their own gaps as well.  Perhaps something like that is the most efficient way to alter patterns of belief.
-Eva 

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/20/15 11:34 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
But when the Buddha taught a moment of consciousness arises with a breath and then ceases when that breath ceases; this can be observed and is sufficient to have insight into impermanence.
You are making it sound like in between breaths, there is no consciousness.  
The first quote struck me the same way it did Eva. I feel some explanation is in order.

RE: Confused yet?
Answer
7/21/15 2:41 PM as a reply to Darrell.
The issue is dogmatism, a person or a group of people can faithfully or even "accurately" record the existence of someone's words (consistently), but without understanding the spirit of the words or the principle they will disagree in matters of doctrine

The idea of dogmatism is explained succinctly on this front page: http://www.reichandlowentherapy.org/index.html

This is why Buddhism is subject to so much variation, the preservers of the doctrine consistently seek to "freeze" the dogma or the suttas, but without understanding what makes the suttas, the suttas, the suttas will slide in terms of content and doctrine, and without the preservers knowing it

The spirit of Buddhism always seemed to be pragmatic anyways, the point is to seek what the Buddha sought, the Buddha himself did whatever it was necessary to obtain what he wanted, and he did away with a lot of dogma at his time

Stream-entry is the insight into what makes the Dharma the Dharma, it's insight into the principle, if a student can understand mathematics, he no longer relies on the teacher, or the textbook, because he understands the idea, the principle, but without the principle, he needs mechanical, ruled, step by step guidance from a tutor or a textbook, get me?

The point is to understand, then you can know what is true and false, and impossible and possible, without that, then anything is possible, and anything goes, then Buddhism can become anything because it doesn't have a common thread

The doctrine of Buddhism doesn't seem to matter anyways, as it's purely expedient and pragmatic, comparable to a raft, you may believe whatever you want to get there, once you're there it doesn't matter though

(y)