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Stephen Batchelor
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12/15/16 1:02 AM
Does anyone know if Stephen Batchelor believes in awakening?

The leader of the mushroom meditation group I've been going to completely rubbishes the idea of it, and stops any conversation about it.  He follows Stephen Batchelor.

The group calls itself a secular buddhist group and it's terrible lol - they mostly sit and drift off into oblivion and think that's meditation. But they're mostly nice people and until I can find or organise a group myself, I'd like to continue going. 

RE: Stephen Batchelor
Answer
12/15/16 2:07 AM as a reply to synelg.
As far as I know he does not. I believe he redefined stream-entry as an ethical commitment to the dharma in one of his books.

If you have any interest in proselytizing to this group about awakening, you could discuss Jeffery Martin's research project for studying awakened people. The research isn't motivated by a religious agenda and the results are described in secular language. 

RE: Stephen Batchelor
Answer
12/15/16 4:22 AM as a reply to Matthew.
Matthew Horn:
As far as I know he does not. I believe he redefined stream-entry as an ethical commitment to the dharma in one of his books.

If you have any interest in proselytizing to this group about awakening, you could discuss Jeffery Martin's research project for studying awakened people. The research isn't motivated by a religious agenda and the results are described in secular language. 
THANKYOU MATTHEW!   You're a Star!  XX

RE: Stephen Batchelor
Answer
12/15/16 4:47 PM as a reply to synelg.
For me, Secular Buddhism is a cult that follows their god called S.B. 

S.B. does not believe the Buddha destroyed the mental defilements thus does not believe in full enligthenment. Instead, S.B. believes the Buddha was an ordinary man with cravings.

S.B. seems to also believe suffering ends with the mind stops attaching to craving (rather than suffering ends when craving stops).

Although I personally do not believe in rebirth, reincarnation, etc, as you can see, I am not a fan of Secular Buddhism.

The reason for this is they seem to reject many teachings of the Buddha (that are misinterpreted by the Buddhist mainstream) rather than attempt to fully understand those teachings in the correct way that relates to present here-&-now reality & experience. In other words, there is no need to coin a term: "Secular Buddhism" since the pure essence of Buddhism is unrelated to unknowable things. 

To me, Secular Buddhists are like Christian Protestants, in that they want to water-down the teachings & the path and not beleive in Saints but want to believe they themselves are Righteous by acquiring PhDs in Buddhist studies. 

I occassionally terrorize one of their websites with guerilla warfare, here: http://secularbuddhism.org/

emoticon


 

RE: Stephen Batchelor
Answer
12/15/16 4:48 PM as a reply to Matthew.
Matthew Horn:
As far as I know he does not. I believe he redefined stream-entry as an ethical commitment to the dharma in one of his books.


Steam-entry is enlightenment. Unwavering faith/trust in the Dhamma can only arise from enlightenment. The Nakhasikha Sutta states the stream-enterer has extinguished the majority of (but not all) suffering. The end of MN 22 clearly distinguishes the stream-enterer from the dhamma-follower & faith follower. Stephen is wrongly making out the stream-enterer is a 'dhamma-follower' or 'faith-follower'.

There are other comments at this video, such as S.B.'s questionable interpretation of stream-entry re SN 55.24:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbvKgvH9Occ&t=1s

emoticon

RE: Stephen Batchelor
Answer
12/15/16 4:50 PM as a reply to Nicky.
Nicky:
For me, Secular Buddhism is a cult that follows their god called S.B. 

S.B. does not believe the Buddha destroyed the mental defilements thus does not believe in full enligthenment. Instead, S.B. believes the Buddha was an ordinary man with cravings.

S.B. seems to also believe suffering ends with the mind stops attaching to craving (rather than suffering ends when craving stops).

Although I personally do not believe in rebirth, reincarnation, etc, as you can see, I am not a fan of Secular Buddhism.

The reason for this is they seem to reject many teachings of the Buddha (that are misinterpreted by the Buddhist mainstream) rather than attempt to fully understand those teachings in the correct way that relates to present here-&-now reality & experience. In other words, there is no need to coin a term: "Secular Buddhism" since the pure essence of Buddhism is unrelated to unknowable things. 

To me, Secular Buddhists are like Christian Protestants, in that they want to water-down the teachings & the path and not beleive in Saints but want to believe they themselves are Righteous. 

I occassionally terrorize one of their websites with guerilla warfare, here: http://secularbuddhism.org/

emoticon


 
lolol.   Thanks for this Nicky.  emoticon.   I must admit, the leader has annoyed me sufficiently that I feel like being naughty and 'terrorising' him a bit.   I'll try not to lol.

RE: Stephen Batchelor
Answer
12/15/16 10:54 PM as a reply to synelg.
Hi synelg,

Stephen is mistrustful of any meditative experience which involves an altered state of consciousness (1970's definition by Charlie Tart) or nonsymbolic consciousness (from the Jeffry Martin article that Matt cited). Since that is by definition what the path moment and fruits are, I would say that he is mistrustful of the paths.

Stephen's view of awakening follows that of Nagarjuna and the Mahdyamika school, in that he supports Nagarjuna's teachings on emptiness and that awakening is a kind of way of viewing reality in which the mind does not view reality as being composed of specific objects but rather as the arising and passing of conditions, a more process oriented view. However, in the Mulamadhyamakakaria, Nagarajuna distinguishes between people who have realized emptiness and those who have only arrived at it as the logical conclusion of a philosophical argument. My impression of Stephen is that he is in the latter category, though I can not of course say for sure. I believe to actually realize emptiness requires an ASC (or many of them), and clearly Stephen hasn't much experience with those.

That said, I support his teaching and believe he is contributing an important voice to the modern Dharma discourse. He very much views his role with respect to the Pali Canon as similar to that of the modern Protestant theologins and the Gospels. His teaching is especially attractive to folks who are mistrustful of traditional religion, but attracted to Buddhism because of its nontheistic nature. Unfortunately, some of his followers don't understand the philosophical nuances and therefore may go overboard and denature the Dharma to the point of New Agedness.

RE: Stephen Batchelor
Answer
12/16/16 4:22 AM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
Hi synelg,

Stephen is mistrustful of any meditative experience which involves an altered state of consciousness (1970's definition by Charlie Tart) or nonsymbolic consciousness (from the Jeffry Martin article that Matt cited). Since that is by definition what the path moment and fruits are, I would say that he is mistrustful of the paths.

Stephen's view of awakening follows that of Nagarjuna and the Mahdyamika school, in that he supports Nagarjuna's teachings on emptiness and that awakening is a kind of way of viewing reality in which the mind does not view reality as being composed of specific objects but rather as the arising and passing of conditions, a more process oriented view. However, in the Mulamadhyamakakaria, Nagarajuna distinguishes between people who have realized emptiness and those who have only arrived at it as the logical conclusion of a philosophical argument. My impression of Stephen is that he is in the latter category, though I can not of course say for sure. I believe to actually realize emptiness requires an ASC (or many of them), and clearly Stephen hasn't much experience with those.

That said, I support his teaching and believe he is contributing an important voice to the modern Dharma discourse. He very much views his role with respect to the Pali Canon as similar to that of the modern Protestant theologins and the Gospels. His teaching is especially attractive to folks who are mistrustful of traditional religion, but attracted to Buddhism because of its nontheistic nature. Unfortunately, some of his followers don't understand the philosophical nuances and therefore may go overboard and denature the Dharma to the point of New Agedness.

Thankyou svmonk.   I like this.   Very much appreciated.