Buddhism and KOBK: Kill-or-be-killed

Buddhism holds that the human realm is ineluctably characterized by delusion. That means the human realm, NOT individual humans.

KOBK is a deep feature of the human mind, at both societal and individual levels. At the societal level (more than a small group), KOBK cannot be eliminated. This is so because large groups always communicate on levels that do not represent the fullness of human subjective experience; and this causes serious mistakes to arise and accrue, leading to clashes, violence, war. From a Buddhist point of view, this might be thought of as the basis for the delusion that always binds human life until at an individual level, it is seen through and completely understood causing enlightenment or freedom from all delusion and the cessation of rebirth in the human realm.

In Buddhism, a full understanding of suffering, dukkha, the First Noble Truth yields complete enlightenment instantly.

Before we attain that stage of existence, Buddhism councils us to behave compassionately toward all other sentient beings while keeping our spiritual eye on ultimate wisdom, total liberation from the dukkha of the human realm.

Buddhism does not reject new ideas. KOBK is a game-theory explanation of one reason the human realm has always been characterized by delusion and suffering. This analysis of KOBK should not in any way encourage any intelligent person to consciously engage in KOBK behaviors (except in some kinds of self-defense). If KOBK is fully understood, it should help us as individuals and friends to better access the ultimate reality of the Buddha Mind, the Tathagata, Logos, God.

In Buddhism we did not “originally sin.” We are originally good but we are living in a pretty rough place. If we understand that many people with enormous earthly power feel forced to engage in KOBK, we will better understand this realm.

further reading: How to understand the deep strategy of earthly political power: KOBK

Portland State professor resigns claiming school has become a ‘social justice factory whose only inputs are race, gender, and victimhood’ where he was investigated and persecuted for daring to ask his students to think for themselves

Peter Boghossian, 55, quit his job as a philosophy professor at Portland State University in a public letter in Bari Weiss’s Substack, accusing the college of making ‘intellectual exploration impossible.’ He also claimed that the college has failed to protect him and even unfairly investigated him as it turns into a ‘social justice factory.’ ‘I witnessed students refusing to engage with different points of view. Questions from faculty at diversity trainings that challenged approved narratives were instantly dismissed. ‘Those who asked for evidence to justify new institutional policies were accused of microaggressions. And professors were accused of bigotry for assigning canonical texts written by philosophers who happened to have been European and male,’ he wrote.

link

The bad pushing out the good is a sure sign of national decline and we are seeing it everywhere. ABN

Boghossian’s letter was addressed to Portland State’s Provost Susan Jeffords

The spiritual imperative or Buddhism restated

The ultimate human game-theory game is kill-or-be-killed.

Historically, all empires, states, and political groups have proved this fact. Presently, covid biowarfare is proving this fact.

What can I do as an individual? Nothing to change the above. But many things to change yourself.

The briefest way to state what to do is Buddhist practice.

The First Noble Truth of suffering has always been true and is confirmed in our time.

The Second Noble Truth of the cause of suffering has always been true and is confirmed in out time.

The Third Noble Truth of the cessation of suffering largely depends on individual behavior, as defined by Buddhist practice. The human realm is trapped in the ultimate game-theory game, but the individual is not because the individual can let go of the causes of suffering and rise spiritually.

The Fourth Noble Truth of the way to end suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path. This way also largely depends on induvial behavior, diligence, concentration, and activity.

Buddhism is not nihilism, theism, or atheism. It is a stark recognition of the reality of the human realm. By our own efforts we can recognize our position in this realm and grow spiritually through Buddhist practice.

Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta: Setting in Motion the Wheel of Truth

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Deer Park at Isipatana (the Resort of Seers) near Varanasi (Benares). Then he addressed the group of five monks (bhikkhus):

“Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. (What are the two?) There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable.

“Avoiding both these extremes, the Tathagata has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment and to Nibbana. And what is that Middle Path realized by the Tathagata? It is the Noble Eightfold path, and nothing else, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. This is the Middle Path realized by the Tathagata which gives vision, which gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment, and to Nibbana.

“The Noble Truth of Suffering (dukkha), monks, is this: Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering, association with the unpleasant is suffering, dissociation from the pleasant is suffering, not to receive what one desires is suffering — in brief the five aggregates subject to grasping are suffering.

“The Noble Truth of the Origin (cause) of Suffering is this: It is this craving (thirst) which produces re-becoming (rebirth) accompanied by passionate greed, and finding fresh delight now here, and now there, namely craving for sense pleasure, craving for existence and craving for non-existence (self-annihilation).

“The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering is this: It is the complete cessation of that very craving, giving it up, relinquishing it, liberating oneself from it, and detaching oneself from it.

“The Noble Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering is this: It is the Noble Eightfold Path, and nothing else, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.

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Pramana as the Core of Hindu Epistemology

Epistemology, the study of knowledge, is not a centralized discipline that transcends space and time.

It’s deeply rooted in the humanistic context of culture, history, and religion. Thus, different places around the world have developed unique epistemological systems to account for human knowledge.

One of the most ancient of these systems is the Hindu concept of pramana (प्रमाण). Pramana encompasses the Hindu perspective on knowledge-making within the context of Indian culture and theology.

Yet it shares many similarities with Western epistemology and logic, not to mention other Indian and Eastern systems of knowledge-related thought.

The broad notion of pramana includes many diverse types of evidence that together compose an intellectual toolkit from which people can draw to gain knowledge.

link

Udaya’s Questions

To the one in jhāna—

seated, dustless, passionless, his task done, effluent-free,

gone to the beyond of all phenomena—

I’ve come with a desire for a question.

Tell me the gnosis of emancipation, the breaking open of ignorance.

The Buddha:

The abandoning both of sensual desires, & of unhappiness,

the dispelling of sloth, the warding off of anxieties,

equanimity-&-mindfulness purified, with inspection of mental qualities swift in the forefront:

That I call the gnosis of emancipation, the breaking open of ignorance.

Udaya:

With what is the world fettered?

With what is it examined?

Through the abandoning of what is there said to be unbinding?

The Buddha:

With delight the world’s fettered.

With directed thought it’s examined.

Through the abandoning of craving is there said to be unbinding.

Udaya:

Living mindful in what way does one bring consciousness to a halt?

We’ve come to ask the Blessed One.

Let us hear your words.

The Buddha:

Not relishing feeling, inside or out:

One living mindful in this way brings consciousness to a halt.

link to original with notes

Mittakali: No Time for Heedlessness

Going forth through conviction
from home into homelessness,
I wandered this place & that,
greedy for gain & offerings.
Missing out on the foremost goal,
I pursued a lowly one.
Under the sway of defilements
I surrendered the goal
of the contemplative life.

Then, sitting in my dwelling,
I suddenly came to my senses:
I’m following a miserable path.
I’m under the sway of
craving.
Next to nothing, my life —
crushed
by aging & illness.
Before the body breaks apart,
I have no time
for heedlessness.

After watching, as it actually was,
the rising & falling of aggregates,
I stood up with mind released,
the Awakened One’s bidding
done.

link

A psycholinguistic “process philosophy” combining both theory and action

I just learned the term “process philosophy” and am happy to say that FIML is “a psycholinguistic process philosophy combing both theory and action to both understand and improve what we are.”

Process philosophy is based on the premise that being is dynamic and that the dynamic nature of being should be the primary focus of any comprehensive philosophical account of reality and our place within it. Even though we experience our world and ourselves as continuously changing, Western metaphysics has long been obsessed with describing reality as an assembly of static individuals whose dynamic features are either taken to be mere appearances or ontologically secondary and derivative.

Process Philosophy

Another fundamental point is FIML is super objective within an area of cognition, perception, and belief that has traditionally been inaccessible to objective assessment and measurement.

first posted APRIL 23, 2021

How to understand why Buddhist rebirth does not require a self or soul

The basic reason no self or soul is reborn is neither exists independently of the mental universe that gave rise to our illusion of selfhood.

The mental universe within which we all exist is dynamic and so are we. In Buddhist terms, this dynamism is action or karma.

Buddhism does not say we do not exists. It only says that our selves are empty, that they do not ultimately exist. When we die our karma, the mental activity of this life, reconstitutes as a new being ensconced within the larger mental universe.

No one explains this better in modern terms than Bernardo Kastrup. In his essay Making Sense of the Mental Universe, he does not write about rebirth but rather about the conditions of our existence within the mental universe.

Nonetheless, his explanation of a “mental universe” shows precisely how rebirth can occur without there being any soul or pudgala or anything else that flies from the body upon death to transmigrate to another one.

I highly recommend reading the essay linked above. I have no idea if Kastrup is a Buddhist thinker. It’s even better if he is not, if his thinking arrived independently at a place consonant with original Buddhist thought.

Most Buddhists know that even Buddhists have trouble understanding how someone can be reborn without having a soul, self, or pudgala. What did the Buddha even mean by that? I know more than one university professor of Buddhist studies who explains Buddhist rebirth by saying, there is no such thing and neither is there such a thing as karma.

Those professors explain away karma and rebirth by claiming those fundamentals of Buddhist thought are nothing more than the Buddha “using the concepts of his day” to teach his moral doctrines and what amounts to his “atheistic Stoic” philosophy.

I mean no disrespect for the professors. It is hard to understand how something can be reborn and yet be empty of any perduring self or soul.

The essay linked above provides an excellent explanation of how that happens. I strongly encourage Buddhists or people who teach Buddhism or are interested in it to read Kastrup’s essay when you are in a good mood and want to learn something new and really interesting.

This essay can give you another angle on Kastrup’s thinking: Matter is nothing more than the extrinsic appearance of inner experience.

And here are some of my comments on Kastrup’s essay Making Sense of the Mental Universe.

first posted APRIL 2, 2020

Ethical Skeptic’s Take on the Preliminary Assessment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

Ethical Skeptic does a fine slap-down on phony skeptics as does the Preliminary Assessment itself. ABN

From ES:

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has issued its long awaited Report on the UAP phenomenon. Sorry UFO skeptics, but you lost this round of the argument. In addition, you were implicated by government and military officials for oppressive anti-science sociocultural impacts surrounding the issue. This Report was a spanking. Better get used to this happening over and over again.

…Despite what may be spun on the part of oppressive voices regarding the conclusions of this Report, nonetheless its implications are rather astounding and merit particular attention on the part of science. Although the document was deemed ‘preliminary’ in its release title, it also unequivocally identifies eight monumental disclosures within its structure – indeed six of an observational and two of an ontological nature.1

From: Ethical Skeptic’s Take on the Preliminary Assessment of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

From the report:

Disclosure #7: ‘Sociocultural stigmas’ (exempli gratia Social Skepticism) constitute a main obstacle to UAP research science. Risk of ‘disparagement and reputational’ harm ‘serves to keep many observers silent’. The Report stipulated that this suppression is waning, but also needs to be ended by means of formalizing a ‘recognized UAP reporting process’.

Meta-Q vs IQ

We need the term meta-Q which means “general meta cognitive ability,” or the ability to see the meta levels of several arguments at once including nuance and branch arguments.

IQ generally connotes being good at taking a test of reasoning, language, and some sort of abstract thinking.

People with high IQs probably also have high meta-Q. The advantage of adding this term is it distinguishes how arguments are presented and considered, how they are analyzed.

For example, mainstream medicine has usurped the meta-Q of virtually all covid reasoning. Fauci at the top either determined or became the spokesperson for what “the science” of covid is and no other view has been allowed. Literally hundreds of millions of people have been forced to agree with the irrational dictates of an irrationally narrow covid meta-Q. Big Tech aided and abetted this mockery of reason by censoring and deplatforming anyone who brought complexity and nuance into the prison yard.

The covid example is roughly the same with other issues of the day, such as election fraud, the January 6 “insurrection,” Critical Race Theory, equality of outcome, and so on. The country is divided because the meta-Q of public discourse is so low there can be no mixing of ideas, no synthesis, no rapprochement.

Magnates of meta-Q usurpation are most of the famous public “thinkers” in USA: Michael Shermer, Cass Sunstein, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Bill Maher, Fauci, Lakshmi Singh, famous actors, etc. These people are supported by editorials, talking-heads, politicians, terrible academics (most of them), and so on.

In private conversations, discussions always go badly when there are too many voices with low meta-Q training or ability in the room. Arguments become simplified and nuance is rarely acknowledged. Meta-Q is the ability to “see over” a problem, to see beyond the words, to what an argument is, how it was formed, what it will result in, how it moves through time, and what alternatives there are.

I am pretty sure most people could be trained to increase their meta-Q considerably and surely to at least know when it is called for and who is doing it well.

Free will and divine intervention

Action in the physical world is a smaller set of options than action within the mind.

Thus, the locus of free will is the mind not the body or its actions.

We always have many options in the mind. Many choices are available for what we choose to think or how we choose to frame something.

A related idea that is not necessarily part of the above is if God or Dharma Protectors or some other being in a higher realm wanted to influence us, they would be most likely to do so by influencing our minds.

This influence could be a subtle guiding of our thoughts, actual channeling of their thoughts, or even a vision when we are alone.

When we are alone because in those moments the influence will be primarily on our minds not our bodies. Our eyes may see and our ears hear, but if no one else is there the influence will ultimately occur in our minds and remain in our minds as memory.

When we are alone because if another person is present and they see or hear the same thing, the influence will impact the physical world to a much greater extent.

It will not be contained within one human mind. Two people will be astounded by it, talk about it, share it with others. This extends the influence well into physical reality causing it to have a much wider impact.

Visions influencing more than one person have happened, but these should not be the standard of proof that events of that type do happen.

Indeed, it makes sense to assume that interventions into human affairs from higher realms happen to individuals far more often than to pairs or groups of people.

This also makes sense from the point of view that the locus of free will is in the mind.

A higher being can influence the mind and the will in this way without causing major distortions in the physical world.

first posted as Free will: its locus is the mind on JUNE 8, 2017