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Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)

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Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Dm Mat 10/11/17 8:38 PM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Richard Zen 10/11/17 9:24 PM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Dm Mat 10/11/17 10:49 PM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Richard Zen 10/12/17 1:25 PM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) seth tapper 10/11/17 10:29 PM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Dm Mat 10/11/17 10:53 PM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) seth tapper 10/12/17 10:05 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Yilun Ong 10/11/17 11:25 PM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Dm Mat 10/12/17 12:02 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Yilun Ong 10/12/17 3:22 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Dm Mat 10/12/17 3:57 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Yilun Ong 10/12/17 6:25 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Dm Mat 10/12/17 6:12 PM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Yilun Ong 10/13/17 12:49 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Dm Mat 10/13/17 1:52 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Yilun Ong 10/13/17 3:17 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Dm Mat 10/13/17 11:16 PM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Yilun Ong 10/14/17 1:33 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Dm Mat 10/14/17 6:42 PM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Lewis James 10/13/17 2:14 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Dm Mat 10/13/17 3:01 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) baba ganoush 10/12/17 11:02 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) streamsurfer 10/12/17 1:48 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Dm Mat 10/12/17 2:03 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Yilun Ong 10/14/17 1:56 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Dm Mat 10/14/17 6:56 PM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Yilun Ong 10/14/17 7:58 PM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Dm Mat 10/14/17 11:54 PM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Yilun Ong 10/15/17 1:20 AM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) seth tapper 10/15/17 6:20 PM
RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic) Tom 11/5/17 5:08 PM
How important is the search for truth in the conventional sense? Dhamma traditions that I am familiar with and that I practice don't put emphasis on seeking truth other than the 4 noble truths. I agree those are the ultimate and most important truths to seek and realize. 

However, we also live in a world where truth in the day to day sense of media messages and dis-information is rampant. 

I have heard some Tibetan practices put emphasis on learning logic and debate. 

I think the study of logic can go hand in hand with dhamma practice. I am a teacher and I am currently studying traditional Western logic so that I can teach it. But I haven't met any dhamma practitioners who actively pursue truth in this sense. Why? 

I am interested to learn more about the Tibetan reasoning/debate practices as well but haven't started that exploration yet. 

Dustin

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/11/17 9:24 PM as a reply to Dm Mat.
The ones that are interested in science and working the sciences are interested in logical truth. The difficulty of course is that people can often whole-heartedly defend whatever they want and then people fight over this truth. What we think is truth now may look to future generations like antiquated barbarian curiosities. Truth is always open to change based on new information and as we continue to get new information, truth unfolds in a deeper way. This sometimes reveals prior truths as illusions. Heidegger shows that facts are always used in a particular way and being conscious of how we are using the facts can reveal unconscious intentions. 

If you are interested in truth in the conventional sense you still want to keep Heidegger's attitude of letting truth reveal itself. It's a kind of waiting meditation where you can always allow new truths to replace old ones. You don't latch onto a "this is it" when in reality there is always more to learn. You don't have to stop looking for truths while we still have some mysteries.

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/11/17 10:29 PM as a reply to Dm Mat.
If you apply logic to a search for truth, you find the Void immediatly.  How do you know anything? Why is this moment logically connected to the one before or after? If there is no observer, what exists?  Logic leads to a view of complete emptiness- no meaning, no nothin.  

If you drop external reality while hanging onto identification with a self, then you can end up in the dark night.  Since one can talk themselves out of believing in things outside yourself a lot easier than you can think yourself out of identification with Self, traditions avoid logical investigation for fear of people being trapped in existential angst.  

My suggestion is to get a dog and forget logic.  Love is all that matters - (good news is, it doesnt really matter either!) 

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/11/17 10:49 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
If you are interested in truth in the conventional sense you still want to keep Heidegger's attitude of letting truth reveal itself. It's a kind of waiting meditation where you can always allow new truths to replace old ones. You don't latch onto a "this is it" when in reality there is always more to learn. You don't have to stop looking for truths while we still have some mysteries.
Richard,
Thanks for your response. That is a good attitude to keep in mind. But it seems a little too passive. Do we just do a waiting meditation our whole lives, giving up our sense of personal power to make a difference in the world? For years this is what I have basically done. I work on myself instead of trying to change the world. Yet I sense the constant threat of illogic and ignorance in ordinary life. I don't want to talk specifics because then this thread will turn into a debate into whether those things are really true from my perspective. 

I also live in China. Just being in this particular system I can see the illogic and untruths in many aspects of discourse. I see it in the educational system where I teach. Even if I wanted to expose lies, it would just put me on the next plane back to the US, or worse. So how do we live with these things with integrity, health and personal power? 

A question always comes to me regarding Myanmar. How did a country with such strong dhamma become a repressive regime? Is there any connection with the passive way the "good" people just let truth reveal itself?

If anything, I want logic for myself. I may never take any overt action to prove what truth is to others, but at least I can feel confident in myself and my reasoning as an individual human being. At least I can help my students reason a little bit better than they would have if they never took my classes. 

My dhamma practice will help keep things in perspective. Instead of hating the deceptions I can try to patiently and compassionately find a way to handle it. 

Dustin

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/11/17 10:53 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
If you apply logic to a search for truth, you find the Void immediatly.  How do you know anything? Why is this moment logically connected to the one before or after? If there is no observer, what exists?  Logic leads to a view of complete emptiness- no meaning, no nothin.  


Seth, I cannot accept this unless while sitting in meditation. When in the outside world living day to day this view will be harmful. I am a free thinking individual, at least in the conventional sense. Reason is a tool, while having limits, is extremely necessary for life. 

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/11/17 11:25 PM as a reply to Dm Mat.
Dustin Mattison:
How important is the search for truth in the conventional sense? Dhamma traditions that I am familiar with and that I practice don't put emphasis on seeking truth other than the 4 noble truths. I agree those are the ultimate and most important truths to seek and realize. 

However, we also live in a world where truth in the day to day sense of media messages and dis-information is rampant. 

I have heard some Tibetan practices put emphasis on learning logic and debate. 

I think the study of logic can go hand in hand with dhamma practice. I am a teacher and I am currently studying traditional Western logic so that I can teach it. But I haven't met any dhamma practitioners who actively pursue truth in this sense. Why? 


Dustin
Everything the Buddha teaches comes with the urging to 'Find out the Truth for yourself' and most of them are related to 'Find out the Truth about Yourself'. I am not saying everything he says is true, but if one truly understands his teachings and practice well, many of what seem to be 'logic' gets systematically thrown out the window as truth reveals itself. Why? Logic comes from what one 'knows' to be true, whether by principles, modes of reasoning, interrelation of 'facts', decision-making factors, etc. When one walks in the path of the Buddha (of constant inquiry and reality-testing of everything in one's path), one realizes some/many of the above-mentioned logical processes no longer hold up to reality-testing, especially when faced with a multi-faceted change to the 'I'. When the base changes, everything relying on it changes. So where should one start with truth-finding? And which part of the Dhamma related to practice isn't about seeking truth?

There are a truckload of information that are abound, even in the suttas which I term 'useless' - to mean 'of no usefulness'. e.g. reincarnation, past lives, 33 God-levels and how to get there, etc. Spending a good amount of time searching for such truths is likely to end up with no answers or an answer afflicted by one's accumulated 'logic' which one will have a royally good time convincing the other ~7 billion 'logics'.

Or use the time to find out the truths that are literally right in front of you to reduce your own sufferings. And even though I have logically mapped this out, there will still be many other 'logics' that thinks I am illogical. Now, doesn't that explain logic well? emoticon

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/12/17 12:02 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun

When I refer to conventional truths, I mean the facts involved with everyday life. For example, a used car salesman trying to convince you to buy using deceptive methods. Emotion can be a powerful way to trick someone into believing something. (this is just a simple example). In the world of media and discourse, we are flooded with information, disinformation, and deception. This can also be true in religious and spiritual communities, including meditation groups. 

And check out books by novelists such as Ayn Rand who try to use the format of a story (with a foundation in traditional logic) to uncover deep ignorance at a societal level. Many argue her ideas were very prophetic, writing 50 years ago about things that are really happening today. (at least this is what some people believe). Others say she was a self-centered person. 

I guess you can say she should have just tried to become enlightened rather than fighting evil. But isn't there also value in taking a stand in life against something you believe is wrong? 

Regardless, there is no escaping these messy areas of life outside of the meditation hall. While I am pursuing awakening (the dissolving of the ego or self) I want to also keep working at developing my analytical abilities to spot contradictions, logical fallacies, and outright deception. I don't see how this is being paranoid. This is also awareness, and proper logic can help you spot your own inconsistencies, biases and flawed reasoning. 

I might check out some of the Tibetan books on logic. That could be a useful tool for practice and life in general. 

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/12/17 1:48 AM as a reply to Dm Mat.
Philosophy!!
Writings about logic and science theory will tackle your mentioned problem. Also, philosophy will build a complex, creative and individual way of thinking inside your head.
I love both meditation and philosophy and I noticed connections (perceptual theories like Descartes Meditations, construction of speech and world views, identity theories,....) but mostly each acts in its own realm. You can get a lot of the mix, but depending on the social/paradigmatic/experiential situation it can cause confusion.

It requires endurance to connect natural sciences and meditation, but it's probably even harder to find common ground for meditation amd philosophy (which is also a science, but unfortunately often forgotten or overseen in its cultural potential)

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/12/17 2:03 AM as a reply to streamsurfer.
streamsurfer:
Philosophy!!
Writings about logic and science theory will tackle your mentioned problem. 
For the first 10 years of my meditation practice I stayed away from any kind of philosophy. But how can you avoid it when dealing with the world of ideas and the world of action? When on retreat I drop all philosphies, observe sensations and the mind/matter interaction. But at home after I meditate my 2 hours a day I have to face the challenges of making choices, making sense of the world, finding a way to make meaning, being a good person, developing communication skills, professional skills, etc. 

I guess what I am searching for is a way to merge more of my insight practice into working life where using the discernment of the mind is important. 

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/12/17 3:22 AM as a reply to Dm Mat.
Dustin Mattison:


I guess you can say she should have just tried to become enlightened rather than fighting evil. But isn't there also value in taking a stand in life against something you believe is wrong? 
 

Can you entertain these possibilities?

1. You are on holidays in a 3rd world country trying to hail a taxi in sweltering heat. A taxi comes along after you waiting for 10 minutes asking for twice the usual (you googled), what will you do and how will you feel?

2. Your Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge exploded in your bag, you actually did your all possible research before buying it. What will you do and how will you feel?

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/12/17 3:57 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
[quote=
]1. You are on holidays in a 3rd world country trying to hail a taxi in sweltering heat. A taxi comes along after you waiting for 10 minutes asking for twice the usual (you googled), what will you do and how will you feel?

2. Your Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge exploded in your bag, you actually did your all possible research before buying it. What will you do and how will you feel?
Answer to number 1: I would probably feel angry. (but if at the time I am able to maintain equanimity I will observe sensations and keep calm) If I believe they are purposefully trying to take advantage of me I will not take the taxi. I will wait until I find another one, out of principle. I would probably rather walk than take the taxi. But if I find that that is really the market price, after 10 more taxis say the same thing, I would take the taxi and accept that this is the free market at work. I might also contemplate on what is the cause of this problem. There may be corruption in the city, thugs, etc taking a cut of the taxi drivers pay. Finding the cause of the problem would help me gain clarity and objectivity, rather than blaming and reacting with too much anger and resentment. 

Answer to number 2: I would feel angry. I would try to remember to maintain equanimity. I would report the danger to the media and to the company, try to get a refund and never buy their products again. Not doing these things would be irresponsible and would give tacit permission to the perpetrators they can continue producing bad quality products. I may also consider writing about how their product advertising is deceptive if I find contradictions or false claims made about the safety. I would contemplate whether my own shortcomings in analyzing information led to this disaster. What could I have done to prevent it? What will I do in the future to prevent it from happening again? 

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/12/17 6:25 AM as a reply to Dm Mat.
Dustin Mattison:
[quote=
]1. You are on holidays in a 3rd world country trying to hail a taxi in sweltering heat. A taxi comes along after you waiting for 10 minutes asking for twice the usual (you googled), what will you do and how will you feel?

2. Your Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge exploded in your bag, you actually did your all possible research before buying it. What will you do and how will you feel?

My answers:

1. I would gladly hop on it as it reduces my suffering of heat and waiting (probable difference in cost is less than a starbucks coffee back home) and he probably has more than 3 mouths to feed back home (even if he doesn't, it is still deemed a happy exchange!)

2. I will be glad no one is hurt and it didn't explode in my pants! I'll make sure I get paid fairly and be happy about the little windfall, plus it's such a silly incident to talk about for awhile.

You see, what I am trying to get at, is there is no way to insulate or control everything (vipassana should show that clearly along with shortening your thought pathways - my answers are a lot simpler than yours and there is really nothing more to it). To be happy is a choice; that by not controlling, by accepting, by not hedging bets on outcomes (and thus be disappointed), by enjoying whatever happens now, who cares even if the cabby 'cheats' me (I wish him well!), who cares if the world hates me so much that my phone has to explode? No one! Similar bad things happen to EVERYONE, to reduce suffering is to NOT allow the mind to suffer along with it.

So I shall continue to smile, note everything that happened (good or bad) and walk with a joyous bounce in my gait. If you follow behind me, you might be humming the same melody -> Collective consciousness...

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/12/17 6:12 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
[quote=Collective consciousness...
]
Yilun
What is collective consciousness? Does it come from Marxism/postmodernism? 

It sounds like a blind belief. Can you define what it means? 

This kind of surrender of the self is what I resist. I am not committed to that. I am committed to developing my awareness and equanimity, with sensations being the object of my meditation. Through that process I analyze the reality of the changing phenomena. This is a personal process of self investigation and has nothing to do with a collective. 

What if you had a guru. He says you need to give up your ego, drop the illusion of self and bathe in the luminosity of collective consciousness. Just accept things as they are. Don't get upset out GMO food, pollution, your body and health, don't talk about them, don't protest, these are all attachments to the self. Would this be your truth or his? Would it be externally imposed reality, or your false sense of self? 

What if this guru's guru told him the same thing to him. 

And what if that guru's guru is a marxist who has the intention of pulling people into a net of false belief for reasons of control? 

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/12/17 10:05 AM as a reply to Dm Mat.
Dustin, 

Dogs understand things better than humans and they dont use much reason.  Just love and accept love, the rest will work itself out on its own.  Reason only works within the bounds of the assumptions underlying the model of reality you are working within.  Since we know those assumptions are false, why bother? 

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/12/17 11:02 AM as a reply to Dm Mat.
Hey Dustin

twice you said you would get cross! Why would you aim to do that?

I concur w/ Yulin Ong, he seems to have a good plan.

Me i just spent a day w/ an old friend, decided i was getting used and got cross.  Now, its really obvious to me that that's because me personally, not you, me me me, i'm suffering from too much self importance. I can let this go. (i hope).  Off cushion practice, don't knock it!

I think (that's me me me, not you) that we should let the world take care of itself, it's too big for me to influence.
If stuff happens we still have to deal with it, better to have fun than to resist.

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/12/17 1:25 PM as a reply to Dm Mat.
Dustin Mattison:
Richard Zen:
If you are interested in truth in the conventional sense you still want to keep Heidegger's attitude of letting truth reveal itself. It's a kind of waiting meditation where you can always allow new truths to replace old ones. You don't latch onto a "this is it" when in reality there is always more to learn. You don't have to stop looking for truths while we still have some mysteries.
Richard,
Thanks for your response. That is a good attitude to keep in mind. But it seems a little too passive. Do we just do a waiting meditation our whole lives, giving up our sense of personal power to make a difference in the world? For years this is what I have basically done. I work on myself instead of trying to change the world. Yet I sense the constant threat of illogic and ignorance in ordinary life. I don't want to talk specifics because then this thread will turn into a debate into whether those things are really true from my perspective. 

I also live in China. Just being in this particular system I can see the illogic and untruths in many aspects of discourse. I see it in the educational system where I teach. Even if I wanted to expose lies, it would just put me on the next plane back to the US, or worse. So how do we live with these things with integrity, health and personal power? 

A question always comes to me regarding Myanmar. How did a country with such strong dhamma become a repressive regime? Is there any connection with the passive way the "good" people just let truth reveal itself?

If anything, I want logic for myself. I may never take any overt action to prove what truth is to others, but at least I can feel confident in myself and my reasoning as an individual human being. At least I can help my students reason a little bit better than they would have if they never took my classes. 

My dhamma practice will help keep things in perspective. Instead of hating the deceptions I can try to patiently and compassionately find a way to handle it. 

Dustin

I would say it's only meant to be passive in that you aren't fighting information that doesn't confirm a current thesis. You keep it open and are always ready for paradigm shifts. A lot of people emotionally invest and then get stressed when the paradigm shift appears. In regards to your teaching job, you may have to swallow lies to pay for your survival, but you can also start planning your exit when you find something that is considered Right Livelihood according to your standards. There is always a certain amount of lies in any organization, but toxic environments that are overtly abusive are ones you want to plan your exit to so you don't get morally compromised. Look at Harvey Weinstein. A lot of people closed their mouths to abuse because they want a paycheque. People will do anything for survival.

If you want a Buddhist understanding of being more assertive (compassionate wrath), there are some opinions you can study. It's a very difficult struggle for people to match up their beliefs with livelihood and you are not alone.

https://www.atpweb.org/pdf/masters.pdf
Compassionate Wrath

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/13/17 12:49 AM as a reply to Dm Mat.
Dustin Mattison:
Yilun Ong:
[quote=Collective consciousness...
]
Yilun
What is collective consciousness? Does it come from Marxism/postmodernism? 

It sounds like a blind belief. Can you define what it means? 

This kind of surrender of the self is what I resist. I am not committed to that. I am committed to developing my awareness and equanimity, with sensations being the object of my meditation. Through that process I analyze the reality of the changing phenomena. This is a personal process of self investigation and has nothing to do with a collective. 

What if you had a guru. He says you need to give up your ego, drop the illusion of self and bathe in the luminosity of collective consciousness. Just accept things as they are. Don't get upset out GMO food, pollution, your body and health, don't talk about them, don't protest, these are all attachments to the self. Would this be your truth or his? Would it be externally imposed reality, or your false sense of self? 

What if this guru's guru told him the same thing to him. 

And what if that guru's guru is a marxist who has the intention of pulling people into a net of false belief for reasons of control? 
RE: Collective consciousness - That was meant as a joke, sorry if it was a bad one! :p But wait, why/what did you read into that joke and evolving the trail of thoughts (Marxism?!) and reacted strongly and aversely to something innocuous? There is no collective consciousness involved in Vipassana, so even imagining it is and thus resisting something non-existent is worth looking into.

RE: Guru (This is a funny one by Pawel K...) https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/6684491
Angra Mainyu:
Imho anyone who think following a guru is a good idea deserves to be anally raped, chopped into little pieces and eaten... or in whatever other order guru things will be better for their souls
I do not/will not have a guru and there is a reason why the Buddha refused any successors. Look at how much Buddhism has changed without successorships of gurus and yet the suttas are coloured without such lineage of clear leadership. See the trouble it has caused in the past century alone. However if a guru said don't get upset about it? Heck yeah, do not get upset by everything if you can! Do what you can reasonably to avoid them e.g. polution: why do you justify it being okay living in a city, when you can come be a monk and live in the mountains with me (definite better air)? Obviously, reasonably take care of your health without obsessing over anything, GMO for e.g. How do you know they damage your health as a fact? If one buys into articles written for who-knows-what-objectives, studies done for the same unknown political/commercial/activist reason/s, with the outcome already dictated before the studies began, and you constantly buy into such as facts and thus keep adding such suffering on top of fundamental suffering, what is the point of living even when most of your time is digging into the past to worry about a future of many outcomes most likely to be not what you wish it will be (and why hasn't your Vipassana revealed the smashing-in-your-face-literally insight of "this is not me/I as I am not in control!")? - [Also please do not read this as surrendering of self.]

May I suggest re-looking at what Vipassana is about, it is about clear/uncoloured awareness of what happens in/with you, paying special attention to the 3Cs, observing sensate reality so that the truth/s will be revealed (with progressive reduction in suffering- which you clearly hug onto very dearly). Analysis, especially of external phenomenon is not insight meditation,they belong to their respective disciplines... 

May I also suggest developing Metta/Karuna/Mudita before Equanimity, if not developed in sequence, Upekkha is often mistakenly put on as a negative form of dispassion - one of not understanding thoroughly and not caring?

May I finally suggest that you reboot and find out your basest priority (happiness?) and map that out to what you desire to have e.g. analytical skills and debunking myths etc. and really look into how objectively these will work for you in your quest for your base priority which I guess is happiness. Although way simpler to say then to see it, but I think what you need is to rebuild your POV from scratch: all these desires/aversions are clearly the largest obstructions to the path of the Buddha and thus will surely block anyone's way to true happiness. When putting on such glasses coloured by fog/dirt/blood, even a person of greatest analytical skills cannot see the light (truth).

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/13/17 1:52 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilung and Angra

Good points. I agree. It is tricky to not get tangled and trapped into a subject of analysis. Even if my analysis is correct, if I allow it to pull me out of Vipassana practice it will create suffering. 

It is always a constant battle since I only practice 2 hours a day and do retreats once or twice a year. 

I won't give up my study of logic but I will try to continue to observe sensations when I react with negativity while analyzing wordly problems or when taking action/making decisions. 

Dustin

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/13/17 2:14 AM as a reply to Dm Mat.
Dustin Mattison:
Yilun Ong:
[quote=Collective consciousness...
]
Does it come from Marxism/postmodernism?  ... This kind of surrender of the self is what I resist. I am not committed to that ... This is a personal process of self investigation ... And what if that guru's guru is a marxist who has the intention of pulling people into a net of false belief for reasons of control? 
It sounds like you've been listening to a lot of modern right-wing conspiracy talks (at a guess - Jordan Peterson? Objectivism/Rand?). It'd be worth applying logic and reason (the formal systems, rather than just the noises in our heads that sound most reasonable to our prior biases!) to these things if so. Objectivism has been thoroughly discredited by almost every branch of philosophy. Peterson has some neat lectures on mythology but taking his opinion on Marxist plots of 'global control' as fact isn't wise, he seems pretty paranoid - ever since some students wanted him to refer to them by some name and he refused, they protested, now he seems to think the world is out to get him! Note that the philosophers he often mentions, Derrida for example, as behind this 'post-modern' plot weren't even given the time of day by contemporary post-modernists and were often mocked! So much for being masterminds of global power!

Actually all that's happening is impermanence. Attitudes change, the world changes, nothing stays fixed. Those that want to cling on to a vision of the past that never really existed come up with noises in their heads to try to create a narrative to explain the pain of dissonance due to that clinging. Believing those stories is far worse than simply observing the present with kindness. People's attitudes around sexuality, gender, identity, work, etc are changing? Are they changing due to global conspiracy, or are they driven by the suffering of worldly existence? One of those views allows for compassion and empathy at an individual level, the other just creates paranoia and suffering for oneself.

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/13/17 3:01 AM as a reply to Lewis James.
[quote=
]Yilun
I am glad to find someone that seems to pay attention to these issues. 

According to my current understanding, Objectivism is pretty much the philosophy of Aristotle. I don't see anything to debunk about Aristotle. 

I live in a country where Marxism has taken over. On the surface, you can say things are better.(because things were pretty bad) But step outside the system/matrix and you are a nobody. Using a historical perspective on what came before this and what the foundations of the system are based on, I wouldn't agree that clinging to a past that didn't exist is accurate. What could exist in the future? Is this the best we can do? Is there no free individual? If you are not part of the collective then who are you? The individual is being eradicated. 

On a personal level, I use this "philosophy" for living my life the way I want as a unique individual. It isn't easy. For example, I built a clay house in the mountains where I have a personal space "outside the matrix". No one can own land here, so I have to use creative ways to do it. Things are impermanent, but I am starting to feel that property ownership really is a right humans should have. Once those rights are taken, you can't get them back. You get assigned to a station and life, you get a number, you are tracked, you forget you are an individual. 

Others don't get why I do it. But I know why. I do what I can. I will try not to cling to what I can't control. But I won't give up my self for a collective. I am free to think my own thoughts and make my own judgments. 

But most importantly, I need to keep practicing Vipassana properly and diligently. 

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
Answer
10/13/17 3:17 AM as a reply to Dm Mat.
Dustin Mattison:
Yilung and Angra

Good points. I agree. It is tricky to not get tangled and trapped into a subject of analysis. Even if my analysis is correct, if I allow it to pull me out of Vipassana practice it will create suffering. 

It is always a constant battle since I only practice 2 hours a day and do retreats once or twice a year. 

I won't give up my study of logic but I will try to continue to observe sensations when I react with negativity while analyzing wordly problems or when taking action/making decisions. 

Dustin

Dear Dustin,

I sincerely wish you well and no please do not give up on your quest for greater analytical power nor abandon it when time calls for it. I wish only for you to know that they serve no direct relation to happiness, they are very useful when required, to be abandoned at times when unnecessary (e.g. it costs peanuts to me, he is a poor guy, I get relief -> let's go Jose! to the cabbie; any additional analysis is pretty pointless.) and to accept acceptance in your life (most things and all people are out of your control, it is much happier-living to accept whatever outcome than to attempt to control. Accept meaning not letting the outcome affect you aversely, not reducing your standards, although that helps too!)

If I may be an example to you: I used to head regionally for a UK-listed MNC, ran some very successful businesses, peaked at hobbies, had many relationships, honed my analytical skills to be at the top of the pile, including other varying skills, getting more than good at them, jumping from one to the other when things got weird upon accomplishments after accomplishments, never fundamentally happy... Till it hit me that common to all these accomplishments is that the one weird thing - is that they are empty. I gave everything away, exchanged iPhone 7+ for a Samsung J1 mini, maxed out MacBook Pro for a laggy (the slowness can entertain if you let it) 5 year old laptop, a small backpack of clothes and became a monk (I wasn't religious and am not sure if you can call me religious now haha). But never happier in my life. I say go for what you want, but know what they yield for you in terms of real happiness in the now and not what they might...

P.S. I may be wrong but I do not believe in heroic practice done forcedly - I average 2 hours or less daily of formal practice, but I power mindfulness even when typing this. Being mindful as much as one can be thoughout one's life, practicing when situation allows, especially listening to the mind/body, ready for their signal to you when it is time for practice (easy for me though, as a monk), being in a state of stillness with an eager, child-like curiousity, noticing phenomena (especially raptures - anything out of the ordinary) but not engaging them emotionally is key to gentle but sure progress.

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
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10/13/17 11:16 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun

Thanks for your feedback and sharing about your life. That helps. 

I am coming to a point where I can't give up Vipassana but I also can't give up finding a deep desire and making it a fact in the world. One desire I have is to teach my students how to think logically. To help them (and to help myself) become independent rational thinkers.

We are on earth to take action and create something, even if we say we don't want to create, that is also creation. 

Lately it seems I can practice Vipassana more strongly when I simultaneously give myself permission to imagine the life I want to create, to expand my imagination and logical thinking abilities. 

Logic is similar to developing samadhi. It strengthens your mind, clears your thinking, gives you stability and confidence to face complexity and chaos. Then imagination can come into play. 

While pursuing these desires, I sometimes simultaneously and naturally maintain awareness of sensations, of the interaction of mind and matter. It almost seems when I stimulate my imagination in the right way, awareness and equanimity towards sensations improves. 

Dustin

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
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10/14/17 1:33 AM as a reply to Dm Mat.
Dustin Mattison:


Lately it seems I can practice Vipassana more strongly when I simultaneously give myself permission to imagine the life I want to create, to expand my imagination and logical thinking abilities. 


Do you want to do yourself a huge favor and let someone diagnose where you are on your practice? When you say 'strongly' above,what do you mean? What do you experience in Vipassana and how do you practice, can you explain in detail?

I am going to state really simply: It will not be pleasant at all when after decades of said practice, you find out one day you have been dreaming instead of anything close to vipassana meditation. As your descriptions of it sounds more like projecting dreams.

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
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10/14/17 1:56 AM as a reply to Dm Mat.
Dustin Mattison :
On a personal level, I use this "philosophy" for living my life the way I want as a unique individual. It isn't easy. For example, I built a clay house in the mountains where I have a personal space "outside the matrix". No one can own land here, so I have to use creative ways to do it. Things are impermanent, but I am starting to feel that property ownership really is a right humans should have. Once those rights are taken, you can't get them back. You get assigned to a station and life, you get a number, you are tracked, you forget you are an individual. 
[quote=]
This smells dangerously like a self-fulfilling prophecy. A white guy builds a house in China illegally, gets arrested and loses his rights, earns a number in jail and forgets he is a human-being even...

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
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10/14/17 6:42 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
[quote=I am going to state really simply: It will not be pleasant at all when after decades of said practice, you find out one day you have been dreaming instead of anything close to vipassana meditation. As your descriptions of it sounds more like projecting dreams.
]
Yilun
Sorry, I wasn't clear. What I mean is when I am NOT meditating and when I am doing other tasks like imagining what I want to do with my life, with my work, etc. That is when sometimes sensations become more easily observed naturally without effort. Imagination is about non-systems, non-logic, spontaneousness and non-matrix. Sometimes during this process of imagining it releases something in the mind which then makes it easier to be aware of the present moment, and I naturally start observing real sensations. 

But during meditation I DON"T imagine. I focus on the reality of the present moment, the reality of the sensations that arise and pass away. I usually do a part by part observation. If my mind in concentrated enough I do more of a free flow observation throughout the body. I try to accept the reality of the sensations, whether pleasant or unpleasant. I try to observe when sensations arise and when they pass away, keeping in mind impermanence. 

Dustin

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
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10/14/17 6:56 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:
[quote=This smells dangerously like a self-fulfilling prophecy. A white guy builds a house in China illegally, gets arrested and loses his rights, earns a number in jail and forgets he is a human-being even...
]

Yilun, 
I have a Chinese farmer friend. I use his land. Yet it isn't his land either, the government owns all the land. He just gets to use it. It isn't illegal. The local authorities know I am here and they know what I am doing. It isn't my land and isn't my house. I am just a serf. I have no rights. I take the risk, I may lose everything at any time. 

But I still do I because I really want to build something with my own hands, to build a space for meditation, for being with nature, away from the crowds of people. To grow my own food. And in a way, I am escaping the matrix. Doing something different, my own way.

So I don't always accept things as they are. I imagine how things COULD BE. 

I know this seems to contradict Vipassana practice. But my current view is that I accept the reality of sensations I experience. But in the outside world I don't just accept everything as it is. I try to take action to create something which is more in-line with what I perceive to be right and good. 

I can't change the government policies about property rights, freedom, etc. But I can work on creative ways to live in this environment. 

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
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10/14/17 7:58 PM as a reply to Dm Mat.
It's a huge relief to know you aren't breaking Chinese law. But going halfway to gain some temporary peace from the world and then adding aversion, more conditioned principles and worries? Hardly a good trade-off but you rationalized that it is fine. I will be constantly checking on my self-rationalization process to make sure it is not me who is constantly lying to myself instead of always looking outwards for blame and pain...

You know what is the clearest and best way for you going forward? To break through all sankhara - conditioned mentality and phenomenon. It is my view that you are heavily coloured by such conditioning. And I gravely doubt I am wrong. Instead of being afraid of some sankhara and taking positions from often opposing sankhara's (which is also defective), clear your slate from all conditioning and re-investigate from maximum empiricism. This is a crucial part of Vipassana. Why not go the tried and tested Buddha's middle path instead of your add/subtract-as-you-like meditation practices? Do you think you are that unique as a human being? Do you think doing what feels good to you is correct?

Do yourself the largest favor and try it...

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
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10/14/17 11:54 PM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun

If we don't do what we believe is good, then what is the purpose of free will? Shouldn't we develop our own self-confidence, using our rational mind? Even with our imperfections, we MUST be confident in ourselves and do what we believe is good. If we don't have our own rationality, then we are surrendering to an outside source of authority and power. We are then trapped in the "matrix". 

Don't get me wrong, I am a dedicated practitioner of Vipassana. I don't deviate in my technique when sitting in meditation. I have experienced good results. I am not enlightened. I might not even want to become awakened. That is a new insight for me. Can I find joy in this life even if I never become awakened in this life? What if my goal is simply to continue to minimize the suffering I create, while maximizing the potential for creating a life of action and joy on this Earth? I don't accept the idea of a soul or unchanging self. But at the same time, I am not going to relinquish all desire for the sake of letting go of the ego. If it happens naturally I am all for it. I will try to accept that new reality if it presents itself as a by-product of daily practice. 

I can make choices about what I believe is good, keeping in mind that this will also change, it will be tied to suffering, and that is OK. I shouldn't feel guilty about it, or doubt myself too much. This is the reality at the moment. I am a being in this world who has desire, has rationality, has free will, creativity, imagination and wisdom (maybeemoticon) Many of may actions are motivated by fear, worry, ignorance. But, at a deeper level, they are motivated by compassion (as mentioned in the book written by Daniel Ingram) 

What has fueled so much hard work, pain, sacrifice and time that I give by walking this path? Why did I decide from my first meditation course that I wanted to continue on this path for life? It is my DESIRE. I want something better. I see there is suffering. I see how I create suffering and how ignorance towards the true nature of the reality of impermanence creates suffering. It is my DESIRE to be free from this that keeps me going. 

Skillful use of action, desire they only option. Desire is the flow of consciousness. While in this flow, might as well make the best use of it. When it is no longer meaningful, when the time comes, I guess I will desire to experience what is outside this flow. 

When I build my house, I am conscious of the fact that it won't last. It doesn't stop me from building because I can find joy in the process of building it. I have learned a lot from this experience, from pursuing a deep desire and making it fact in the world. I learned patience, perseverance, how to set realistic goals and achieve them, how to really truly enjoy being alone with myself, how to put something in this world which would never have existed if I didn't imagine it. 

I will also be willing to destroy it, to let it go. To go somewhere else and build again. 



 

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
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10/15/17 1:20 AM as a reply to Dm Mat.
Dustin Mattison:
Yilun

If we don't do what we believe is good, then what is the purpose of free will? Shouldn't we develop our own self-confidence, using our rational mind? Even with our imperfections, we MUST be confident in ourselves and do what we believe is good. If we don't have our own rationality, then we are surrendering to an outside source of authority and power. We are then trapped in the "matrix". 
 
Dustin, stop looking for the matrix, I know where it is, but you wouldn't believe me. Thus I can only wish you all the best with equanimity...

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
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10/15/17 6:20 PM as a reply to Dm Mat.
What makes you think your life is important?  Who is it important to?  

How would you feel if you suddenly discovered it isnt actually important at all.  That the whole thing really is nonsense? 

RE: Search for Truth (using reasoning and logic)
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11/5/17 5:08 PM as a reply to Dm Mat.
Dm Mat:

I think the study of logic can go hand in hand with dhamma practice. I am a teacher and I am currently studying traditional Western logic so that I can teach it. But I haven't met any dhamma practitioners who actively pursue truth in this sense. Why? 

I pursue truth in the way you described - using logical reasoning, and I also find it puzzling why it is so unpopular among buddhists. As you said (in some other comment) logical reasoning is helpful to spot your own inconsistencies, biases and flawed reasoning which I think is extremely important in the buddhist practice. After all, one of the most important things that cause our suffering are illusions we have about ourselves and about the world. Cultivating logical reasoning (along with mindfulness) can be very useful to dispel these illusions. 

I think teaching your students how to think logically and helping them become independent rational thinkers is a really good thing : )