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Date Posted: 06:57
Author: Hendrik - 25 May 2002
Subject: Re: Lankavatara Sutra
In reply to: Mike Carris - 24 May 2002 's message, "Lankavatara Sutra" on 06:56

the fundamental fact that the external world is nothing but a manifestation of mind

Well, what the Sutra fails to tell us is what the external world did consist of before the arrival of man and mind - i.e. 99.99% of the time period that it is commonly believed to be in existence yet. I suppose the world looked much the same then as it does know.

This sutra provokes the question whether - apart from the edifying value of the text - knowledge derived from an intuitive process is by its high degree of subjectiveness and anti-scientific stance significant for a materialistic understanding of the world.

A problem I have with sacred texts is that they tend to be very old. At times I wonder whether it may be true Buddhism and adjacent traditions have become so enamoured with the workings of the mind that they have lost understanding of other modes of existence by ascribing all existence to one single fact. It is interesting that Buddhism has come into existence around the same time the classical Greek philosophers were active. I do not know about the exact connections between East and West back then (there is some literature), but people appear to have been very fascinated with Reason then. But before the emergence of a philosophical mind among some representatives of mankind this sort of approach would have been impossible anyway. The fascination is always greatest with something newly discovered or matters of dire concern.

Now we are living in a scientific age and I wonder what will be the next step of approach to spirituality after both image-worship and jnana yoga will have run out of fashion. Myself I feel attracted to neither one.

Hendrik

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