A brief word on methodology. (Agnosticism)

by xeno6696 @, Sonoran Desert, Saturday, May 18, 2024, 02:16 (68 days ago) @ dhw

I've recalled a tendency not just here but even a couple years back where when I bring up how the practices of Buddhism have affected me personally.

That wasn't an attempt to put up some sort of a defensive wall (like, this is personal to me, don't criticize it).

In every case it's to attempt to make my point empirically.

1.) The practices do X to achieve Y
2.) The unwritten assumption is that my experiences are shared with my fellows, as in, my experiences aren't an outlier
3.) Any controversy that may arise in discussing the texts should always be resolved from the place of experience. Lacking experience, talk to someone who has it. They ought to help you get there.

Buddhism is the most empirical religion I've ever encountered. Usually, if a question seems thorny, a monk will either fill in the gaps with their own experience, or give you exercises to help you realize whatever sticking point you have in the text.

Obviously with the really big questions, there's a definite gap--not every monk achieves Nibbana for example, no monk can really train you beyond their own experience.

"Faith" in Buddhism doesn't quite mean the same thing as it does in Christianity. You build faith by applying the teachings and observing the results in your life. Supposedly, once you reach a particular point, you'll give up your doubts and you'll more or less believe the lot. I'm nowhere near close to that yet, but my experience thus far does track.

\"Why is it, Master, that ascetics fight with ascetics?\"

\"It is, brahmin, because of attachment to views, adherence to views, fixation on views, addiction to views, obsession with views, holding firmly to views that ascetics fight with ascetics.\"

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