The Dao Bums
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Kongming

  • Rank
    Dao Bum

Recent Profile Visitors

909 profile views
  1. Yes, no one denies that the 5 skandhas and all of phenomenal reality is "anatta" or without self. The question is whether there is a transcendental "Self" similar to the Hindu Atman. Admittedly a majority of Buddhists would say no, yet throughout Buddhist history there have been detractors to this view. Nibbāna as True Reality beyond the Debate by Potprecha Cholvijarn is a look at the debate in contemporary Thailand. That said in many Mahayana sources, particularly Tathagatagarbha literature but also in Mikkyo, etc. one of the four "gunaparamitas" or transcendental qualities of the Absolute element (Dharmakaya/Nirvana) is "Self". Here's a snippet from Susan Hookham's "The Buddha Within": The Four Transcendental Qualities. The Absolute Element is described as having four transcendental qualities (gunaparamita, yon tan pha rol tu phyin pa) when it fully emerges as the fruit of the path. "Transcendental" here is a translation of the Sanskrit word "paramita" meaning passed over to the other side; it is often translated as "perfection." The four transcendental qualities are, (1) transcendental purity (subha paramita, gtsang ba pha rol tu phyin pa), (2) transcendental self (atma paramita, bdag pha rol tu phyin pa), (3) transcendental bliss (sukha paramita, bde ba pha rol tu phyin pa), and (4) transcendental permanence (nitya paramita, rtag pa pha rol tu phyin pa.) Of course if you are more interested in a purely Theravada perspective, the previous article I linked and the book already mentioned are good ones, but other works explaining the differing perspective are those by George Grimm and Self & Non-Self in Early Buddhism by Perez-Remon. Well "eternalism" is the view of perpetual existence in time or as a particular individual, such as a Christian conception of "John Smith" living eternally in heaven. That said timelessness is another form (or rather the true form) of eternity and nirvana is often equated with timelessness and thus is eternal. Walpola Rahula from “Voice of Buddhism” magazine, Vol 20 No.1: Buddhism does not stop there. It goes a step further and says that there is a state which is beyond cause-effect and beyond space-time (akalika, Kalavimutta). That is the ultimate absolute “Truth” called Nirvana, which is outside the scope of physical science.
  2. There is a controversy running throughout the history of Buddhism, from split of the earliest schools to the Dolpopa controversy in Tibet to the modern Dhammakaya movement in Thailand, on the topic of the Self in Buddhism and what the meaning of "anatta" is. So it's not as clear cut as some may believe or portray. What is clear is that all conditioned phenomena and the 5 skandhas are "anatta" as well as "anicca" and "dukkha", namely impermanent and suffering. That triad of qualities is the mark of conditioned phenomena. Conversely, nirvana is seen as unconditioned, permanent, and bliss, the cessation of all dukkha. If the qualities of "anicca" and "dukkha" are reversed in the Buddha/nirvana, why not the other quality, namely "anatta"? Here's what Nan Huaijin had to say on the topic: When the Hīnayāna speaks of no self, it is in reference to the manifest forms of presently existing life; the intent is to alert people to transcend this level, and attain Nirvāṇa. But when this flowed into the world of learning, especially when it was disseminated in the West, some people thought that the Buddhist idea of no self was nihilism and that it denied the soul, and they maintained that Buddhism is atheistic. This is really a joke. An interesting article discussing the topic from the other perspective: http://lirs.ru/lib/tmp/Against_No-Atman_Anatta,Miri,AP,2002.pdf My whole point is that nirvana was conceived as the cessation of becoming, namely samsaric existence dependent on time/change, and thus the attainment of timelessness. Similarly Daoist celestial immortality was conceived of as the attainment of timelessness, at least as an internal state. Hence in their conception of the ultimate goal they don't differ greatly in that essential quality of timelessness, though as I stated previously they do differ in the details, approach, philosophy, etc.
  3. True enough that Buddhism's goal is release from samsaric existence, but samsaric existence is "becoming" and dependent on time for change. Daoist immortality and the goal of neidan is to enter a timeless state beyond (and also have power or control over) the changes or bianhua, as is the goal of other alchemical traditions, Hindu yogic traditions, etc. This transcendence of time was also a part of Buddhism. Here's a snippet from an article entitled "Nirvana, Time, and Narrative" by Steven Collins: Thus the Buddhist goal and ultimate ideal isn't too far removed from the Daoist notion of immortality in the essentials, though there is considerable differences in how this was imagined in the details and especially in their approach of this goal, with Buddhist tantra being the closest to Daoist methodologies as noted by Mudfoot. The identity of the Buddha and Daoist immortal was often stated in Daoist works after the Song Dynasty especially when the 三教合一 or "three teachings as a harmonious unity" was emphasized and coalesces in movements like the Wu-Liu school.
  4. A few related questions on two broad topics: 1.) What is Daoism's (especially authentic Quanzhen/Zhengyi, etc.) view on the gods? Who are the most important gods overall and what is their typical function? Are the gods made use of in praxis such as deities are worked with in Hinduism and Buddhism? Whats the relationship, if any, between gods and 仙 immortals/ 真人 "true men"? 2.) How does Daoism view the divinization of the body? It is known that Daoism views the body as a microcosm, as an alchemic crucible, as being of the substance of qi, etc. and that Daoists refine the body in its subtle and energetic forms as part of the path, the so called cultivation of 命 ming/life-destiny. So what is the final end of the body in Daoism? What exactly is the immortal body or 身外身 "body outside of the body" discussed in neidan literature?
  5. Thanks for the responses. On the one hand, I don't think of myself as being a highly advanced practitioner or initiate, and thus the idea that I could become enlightened at this point doesn't seem right. Yet the fear that spontaneously grips me is a bit how Lost in Translation described it....the ego clinging onto its existence in the face of seeming annihilation. The old mystical saying of "Die before you die" also seems apt. Though the experience isn't seemingly just the disappearance of the ego-self, but even the world...or the "world-ness" of the world as it were, the world as normally understood. The fear that comes on and subsequent attempt to reground myself in the mundane world and self as I know it seems a protective measure but one that goes against my actual intention of striving on the path. Perhaps as the user steve mentioned, part of the problem could stem from my current position of not being associated with any lineage, not having a guide, etc. essentially working on my own so far in other words.
  6. What is the cause and cure for the simultaneous search for Truth/enlightenment and experiences of fear of the same? To be more specific, I will describe what in my own case has happened multiple times over the years and just happened again yesterday: Essentially I will have a sudden insight when contemplating (even philosophically/thought based contemplation) the Absolute or timeless eternity or contingent nature of the body-personality. The experience is like that of my sense of normal self slipping away or disappearing or seeing it as illusion and feeling like I am standing at a precipice before an abyss, almost as though I were about to plunge into the infinite or at least have an experience of reality altogether unlike day to day experience. Now theoretically and according to the words of the sages, to be able to see through illusion and either witness, experience, or ideally unify with the Dao is supposed to be the highest good, true bliss, power, peace, etc. Yet when I begin to have experiences like those mentioned, instead I get a sense of primal fear or anxiety rushing onto me, to the point where I feel the need to either start looking away from the experience, consciously ignore the insight, or even talk myself back into mundane reality and my mundane identity/self. What's even stranger is what started me on this path was a similar experience in the past that I experienced as the greatest good/happiness/bliss/truth possible, and yet now this primal fear/anxiety attacks me. This fear is mostly spontaneous, which is why I use the word "primal", yet if I could rationalize it perhaps its that there is some fear that I will not be the same, that I won't be able to function in the world, or that I may learn something I'd rather not know about myself or reality, again despite the fact that I also theoretically know that the process is a positive one leading to the ultimate (the Dao, etc.) Why is this? How can I simultaneously be searching for Truth and yet whenever something like the above occurs feel primal fear or anxiety? How can I overcome this barrier?
  7. The Indo-European Urheimat is still a matter of controversy and not set in stone. It may well be that the old Northern European plain hypothesis is correct, it may be that the Kurgan hypothesis is correct, Anatolia could be correct, etc. we don't know for certain. In the end the IE Urheimat has no bearing on the racial or ethnic makeup of the proto-Indo-Europeans and later Indo-Europeans as they spread across Eurasia. Similarly while in large the Indo-European expansion is correlated to R1 genetics, with (most) R1b roughly correlating to the centum branch and (most) R1a to the satem branch (but not absolutely), there may have also been different genetic markers involved in the wider expansion. Furthermore ones genetic marker doesn't say anything about ones race since a white Englishman with R1b-L21 DNA could marry a black African and his son in turn could marry another African and the predominately black/African grandson would have the same genetic marker despite that genetic marker being strongly associated with the insular British Celts. Thus in turn DNA will not inform absolutely about the racial or ethnic make up of the proto-Indo-Europeans. Furthermore the presence of non-Indo-European linguistic influence on Indo-European languages says nothing about ones ethnic or racial makeup. Thus much of the information posted dealing with these facets does nothing to disprove the notion that the Indo-Europeans or Aryans were originally of a Northern European racial type, which was my claim, which was accepted by most pre-Second World War scholars, which is still accepted by many today, and which the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of. Again, it seems the main source of controversy and argumentation against these claims are "Nazis said this and some neo-Nazis believe this. Nazis are evil, therefore their claim is wrong." What must be relied on to determine the answer to this question is archaeology, ancient history, and observing modern populations while using genetics and other elements in support. When doing so we discover (recapping some what I stated earlier): --Celts, Germanics, Slavs, Balts, Italics, Greeks, etc. are European today and various isolated groups in the East, such as Kalash, Pamiris, Nuristani, etc. also share this appearance in significant degree. Various Kurds, Iranians, Armenians, etc. also share this appearance. --Tocharian mummies and ancient Chinese description of the Yuezhi also have this appearance. Ancient descriptions of the Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans, etc. also depict these people as of a Northern European type easily confused with Celts, etc. --As noted people model their gods after themselves and the red-bearded thunderer god Thor/Indra/Taranis, etc. has clear proto-Indo-European roots --While DNA studies again have flaws, Yamna DNA is most strongly present in population groups with the more stereotypical Northern European appearance:
  8. Here's another interesting thing to inquire upon: For anyone interested in the warrior way, some element of that mindset or spirit must be within them yet perhaps for some it may not have actualized to its fullest potential. What are some ways to further awaken and deepen the ideal warrior mentality and spirit in our own lives? How can we more closely imitate the kshatriyas, samurai, knights, Spartans, etc. of history and become more like them in mind and spirit?
  9. Speaking of Evola, I believe elsewhere he commented on the path of alchemy, specifically referring to Hermetic alchemy but likely applies elsewhere, as being more suited to the Kshatriya/Warrior mentality than perhaps pure contemplation. Another thing of interest is much of the Pali Cannon. Buddha, being a Kshatriya himself, often framed the Noble Path in military terminology, i.e. conquering Mara, making a fortress of your mind, etc. In the same vein the notion of "spiritual combat" or "unseen warfare" in Christian monasticism, Lorenzo Scupoli, etc. takes up a warrior framework in relation to self-mastery. While much of ancient Druidism has been lost to us, one of the few known Druidic sayings to come down to us is something like, "Worship the immortal gods, do nothing ignoble, and practice manliness." I suppose the samurai of the Edo period in Japan provide an interesting model of the warrior ideal in that the samurai remained warriors, practiced the martial arts, had the warrior mentality/spirit, and yet by and large lived in a time of peace. In other words they may provide an excellent resource for how to personally live as a peaceful warrior. You have figures like Zhang Sanfeng who are associated both with the martial arts and success in neidan, but how much really does the internal martial arts have to deal with Daoist spiritual goals?
  10. One problem with the idea that Western civilization is cancer is we have to be careful about what we are discussing. In my opinion what you see around you today--industrial and post-industrial civilization--is a late 19th, 20th, and 21st century phenomena that happened to originate in the West but on the whole is a symptom of a wider degeneration of Kali Yuga. McDonalds, Scientism, liberal democracy, capitalism, Marxism, widespread atheism and nihilism, unloosened passions, ugly modern art, etc. are sometimes seen as "Western culture" or "Western civilization" but really its more proper to say "modern culture" and "modern civilization." True Western civilization is that with roots in Greco-Roman Antiquity and the meeting of that civilization with the cultural groups of the Northern Celto-Germanic peoples, with the High Middle Ages perhaps being this Western civilization at its height. The culture and civilization of the medieval West and its sacred focus and orientation matches other civilizations and cultures, whether ancient China or India or Egypt, etc. Various forces in place since the Renaissance and in particular the secular liberal "Enlightenment" era has lead to what we see around us today. I wouldn't look at modern Communist China and think it represents the high culture of the Han or Tang Dynasties for example or modern Japanese anime and pop culture having anything to do with the samurai and old traditions. In other words, to see real spirit of Western culture look at Greco-Roman antiquity, Classical art and architecture, Gothic cathedrals, ancient Celtic art, the Megalithic cultures of Stonehenge, etc., Gregorian chant, JS Bach, Knighthood and chivalry, heraldry, the Arthurian tradition, Roman Catholicism for the exoteric religious tradition, Neoplatonism/Hermeticsm/Alchemy/Kabbalah, etc. as the esoteric tradition, the music of Richard Wagner, JRR Tolkien's legendarium, etc. What you see around you in modern America and Europe has little to nothing to do with this real Western culture. Though there are some who buy into the modern SJW orthodoxy nonsense which states that anything Western and anything emitting from the white man is always bad, negative, destructive, etc. period.
  11. On a personal end, I've had a pull to all things martial ever since childhood but I always neglected it. For example I joined Akido when I was 8-9 but it was a McDojo environment whereas I was looking to become something like a character from Mortal Kombat and so quit shortly thereafter. Then through my teens and early 20s I continued to admire the warrior but neglected integrating into my life favor of others things. In particular I worry about time commitments. The spiritual path or the idea of the Great Work has been important to me since I was a teen and I had the notion that as much time and dedication should be put forth into that area as possible since it is, after all, the great matter of life and death. I've also placed strong emphasis on aesthetic cultivation, both the creation of (musician, artist,) and appreciation of art. Throughout I've felt a neglect of something strong in me that's been with me my whole life, namely a drive toward the warrior spirit. And so recently I've been trying to get into peak physical condition, lift weights, learn boxing/self-defense, incorporate the warrior mindset more into my daily life, etc. The problem is I wish to continue but don't wish to distract myself from the greater goal of liberation. Thus the twin cultivation of the Great Work and the martial path interests me and I am interested in historical figures, guidelines, insights, etc. that deal with the topic. Any book recommendations in this regard?
  12. The realm of timeless transcendence also interpenetrates and subsumes space-time. Whether one is completely in space-time (ordinary mortals) or timeless transcendence operating in what others perceive as space-time (immortals, sages, etc.) is based on ones ontological status. Julius Evola mentions this in his book on Tantra: "According to this point of view there is no such thing as a relative reality and, beyond it, an absolute, impervious reality, but rather a relative, conditioned method of perceiving the only reality, and an absolute method." There are few things I am absolutely certain of due to experience, but a personal direct experience of transcendence is what put me on the spiritual path in the first place and its confirmation in the words of the world's sages leaves me without doubt of the truth of the matter. The root of the evil of modern civilization is the loss of the perception of the sacred and the abandonment of the sacred. That this will occur is part of the same cyclical process that occurs in all of nature: day turning to night, spring turning to winter, youth turning to old age, etc. The degenerative stage is known variously as Kali Yuga, the Dharma Ending Age/Latter Day of the Law, Hesiod's Iron Age, Ragnarok, etc. which we are currently in an advanced stage of. Well I know you have your own unique theory regarding mathematics, music theory, and solar calendars that you are continually propounding and sharing on this forum, and it's interesting, but I don't agree and, seeing as how passionate you are about these ideas, I can't expend time debating the finer details especially when I know it will ultimately fall on deaf ears. But it's not wrong. I never stated that Northern Europeans are white due to Indo-Europeans, I stated that the Indo-Europeans prior to admixture with other population groups were of a white/Northern European appearance. They mixed with pre-Indo-Europeans of Scandinavia who were of a similar appearance to them, but it doesn't change the fact that the Indo-Europeans originally were of that appearance as well.
  13. How does the warrior's spiritual path differ from other types, whether more purely contemplative types or your average Joe? How does one integrate the dual cultivation of spiritual perfection (immortality, Buddhahood, gnosis, etc.) and cultivation of the martial way? Are there particular paths or emphases more suited to those with a warrior mentality than other people? For example, I've heard it stated that Jnana Yoga or Vedanta perhaps is more suited to the more purely contemplative or priestly "Brahmin" type whereas Raja Yoga or Hatha Yoga/Tantra is more suited to the warrior or "Kshatriya" type. Similarly in Japan one often heard the saying that Shingon/Tendai and Zen were more suited to the samurai and Pure Land was for the peasantry. Where does Daoism in general and Daoist alchemy/neidan in particular fall in this matter? Daoism has a strong association with the internal martial arts, but is there a true connection to the path of the warrior or hero? Can a warrior succeed in neidan? Finally, for those who consider themselves of a warrior temperament or seriously involved in the martial path, what in particular have you found useful in integrating both high spirituality and warriorship? In short, please discuss any of the above or any other thoughts you may have on the path of the warrior in relation to that of the path of spiritual perfection.
  14. Louis Komjathy's view on the topic is of interest and one I largely agree with: Popular Misconception: Daoism consists of two forms, “philosophical Daoism” and “religious Daoism.”1 Informed View: The distinction between so-called “philosophical Daoism” and so-called “religious Daoism” is a modern Western fiction, which reflects colonialist and missionary agendas and sensibilities. The use of such categories, even in scare quotation marks, should be taken, ipso facto, as indicative of ignorance concerning Daoism. From its beginnings in the Warring States period (480–222 bce), “Daoism” consisted of religious practitioners and communities. Considered as a whole, Daoism is a complex and diverse religious tradition. It consists of various adherents, communities, and movements, which cannot be reduced to a simplistic bifurcation. Its complexity may be mapped in terms of historical periodization as well as models of practice and attainment. Popular Misconception: “Philosophical Daoism” is the original form of Daoism and is best understood as “philosophy” (disembodied thinking/ way of thought). Informed View: Outside of the modern world, there is no form of Daoism that is not “religious.” Although there are aspects of Daoism that are “philosophical,” the category “philosophical Daoism” fails to consider the centrality of embodied practice (way of being), community, and place in Daoism, especially in “classical Daoism.” It is based on a systematic mischaracterization of the inner cultivation lineages of Warring States Daoism and a misreading of the earliest Daoist texts, namely, the Laozi (Lao-tzu; a.k.a. Daode jing) and Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu), among others. Popular Misconception: Daojia 道家 and daojiao 道教 correspond to the Western categories of “philosophical Daoism” and “religious Daoism,” respectively Informed View: Daojia 道家, literally “Family of the Dao,” and daojiao 道教, literally “Teachings of the Dao,” are indigenous Chinese categories with no correspondence to the Western constructs of so-called “philosophical Daoism” and so-called “religious Daoism”. Each term has a complex history, with its meaning changing in different contexts. For example, in the fifth century, daojia referred to the Daoist religious community in general and the Daoist priesthood in particular. From: http://media.bloomsbury.com/rep/files/9781441168733_commonmisconceptions_daoisttradition.pdf
  15. Voidisyinyang, I am not sure what you are getting at. I've never claimed that only Aryans are white people-- the non-Indo-Europeans of Europe and other locales such as Western Russia and the Caucasus and even North Africa (various Berbers, etc.) were also "white people" you've noted. I've never claimed that modern Europeans are "pure Aryans." I've never mentioned the origins of white skin or other European features. The only claim I've made, which is absolutely certain, is that the original proto-Indo-Europeans and the early Indo-Europeans as they spread across Eurasia were of an ethnic type that mostly correlates to Northern Europeans, insofar as they were Caucasoids often with fair hair, skin, and eyes. Even the idea that there is some sort of supremacy involved in this claim is unfounded because often these Aryans invaded and conquered peoples who were more sophisticated than they were, such as the civilizations of Mesopotamia or the Indus Valley or the Mediterranean, much in the same way the less advanced Turco-Mongol steppe people often invaded and conquered the more advanced Chinese civilization. Though one area where the Indo-Europeans or Aryans certainly were advanced and influential is in religion, mysticism, esotericism, philosophy etc. The influence of various traditions ranging from Brahmanism to Zoroastrianism to Greek thought to Druidism to Buddhism to Manichaeism, etc. on other religious traditions and peoples has been massive.