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Opinion: The psychedelic renaissance is at risk of missing the bigger picture Options
 
Voidmatrix
#21 Posted : 5/31/2023 4:16:45 PM

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Guess I'm here again. Mainly to apologize for my tone in my previous post. I'm not doing very well.

I agree there are many forms of skepticism. If interested here's some of mine.

Your examples of flat earth theory and the Flying Speghetti Monster fall into the latter category of "magic" I was referring to earlier, among other things.

I agree about the nature of appropriation with some of these concepts. Unfortunately, it appears unavoidable, and to some degree, necessary. For people to receive, accept, and understand ideas and content that is foreign to their thought paradigms and culture, they often need to put things into terms they can better understand. Not to mention that the nature of translation seems to be largely a paraphrasing of what is being translated.

Can you explain why you feel that seeing Buddha as a skeptic is a misinterpretation? I tend to see Buddha very much as a skeptic that explained things through their appearance to them and that undercurrent of skepticism actually aids in non-attachment (though, this is not the only way in which i view him). And isn't everything subject to interpretation? Considering the farther back in time we go the less we can verify with less and less veracity and considering the nature of changes of linguistics and culture over time. I feel that interpretation is inherent to these matters and is evidently so by virtue of different sects of a given religion. Different sects interpret different things differently.

And thank you. I appreciate the insight in my contributions.

I understand you more now. Thank you for taking the time.

One love
What if the "truth" is: the "truth" is indescernible/unknowable/nonexistent? Then the closest we get is through being true to and with ourselves.


Know thyself, nothing in excess, certainty brings insanity- Delphic Maxims

DMT always has something new to show you Twisted Evil

Question everything... including questioning everything... There's so much I could be wrong about and have no idea...
All posts and supposed experiences are from an imaginary interdimensional being. This being has the proclivity and compulsion for delving in depths it shouldn't. Posts should be taken with a grain of salt. 👽
 

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OneIsEros
#22 Posted : 5/31/2023 5:02:23 PM

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No worries! I always appreciate your contributions.

And I do agree, we cannot take in everything - but I don’t think that’s necessarily what’s being asked. The issue for me is when people start speaking for other traditions about what their “true heart” is - like, say, when people I’ve met say the Buddha didn’t really teach rebirth in a literal sense, because to them that’s not true, and an enlightened being just wouldn’t be deluded. Cultural exchange I think is different. If someone wants to participate in Buddhism and learn from it while just saying outright: I don’t personally believe that teaching - that’s fine.

There is a kind of skepticism in Buddhism, particularly in the later Mahayana philosophical tradition of Madhyamaka. It is a very specific flavour of skepticism though, more having to do with anti-reductionism via infinite reductionism, yielding a non-absolutist world - than it is about, say, proof regarding rebirth. Tibetans tend to be pretty adamant about that being a literal phenomenon, and they are not contradicting their particular flavour of skepticism in doing so. They don’t think an ultimate account of the world is possible in principle any more than there is a final digit in the infinite series of numbers, but they do think the conventional bits we cut out are still readily described as truths.

However, the passage in the Pali canon many people who want a Socratic Buddha attach themselves to is a poor translation of a sutta, the Kalama Sutta, so poorly translated, that it leads to a gross misinterpretation of his meaning.

The misquote: “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

The real quote: “Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.“

Notice; he does indeed disavow himself as a basis of knowledge. But, contra the “common sense” misquoted translation, rational sense is also rejected as a source of authority. The only way to know is to “know for yourself that … these qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to welfare and happiness.” In other words, they need to be put into practice to be verified. This becomes clearer when the Buddha puts forward a proto-Pascal’s wager where he acknowledges that he cannot prove what he is claiming in a public epistemic sense, but still advocates it be put into practice - if it turns out to be true, it will be verified by having done so! https://www.accesstoinsi...taka/mn/mn.060.than.html

It becomes clearest when we consider Udana 1:8. Unlike the proto-Pascal’s wager, here we cannot say “Hey, what’s the harm?”. There is real harm done. The wager breaks down. There is no moral recuperation of this sutta without a very clear conviction on the Buddha’s part in the literal cosmology he taught - and it is a conviction that he is clear is not born out of probabalistic reasoning. Only practice can reveal that what he taught was true. Udana 1:8 is short, but stunning. It is clearly meant to sicken you. It is the biggest red underline I know of in the Pali canon for the following message: the Buddha was dead serious about the urgent need to renounce. No matter what. A metaphorical reading of his teachings would render the Buddha a moral monstrosity in this sutta - and that is precisely the point in this sutta. It cannot be intended metaphorically, in light of this short text. Note: men and women both abandoned their children regularly in the canon. This happened, more than once, you can be confident.

https://www.accesstoinsi.../kn/ud/ud.1.08.than.html
 
Voidmatrix
#23 Posted : 5/31/2023 9:10:40 PM

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Thank you very much for sharing this. While not ad in-depth (likely because I'm not Buddhist, Buddhism just has many aspects that resonate with me), this is generally my understanding of skepticism in Buddhism.

I have the same peeve that you first listed about people talking about what was actually meant by something based on their personal bias and not understanding of a system in question. It's always an overreach and tends to be laden with futile and unnecessary dogma.

I've always seen the teachings of rhe Buddha couched in this sort of way; "here are the insights and maxims I've discovered from my work. While my experience of this is subjective, I feel that it can benefit other subjective entities in a similar manner. However, it's up to you to figure out if this aligns with and works for you after steadfastly dedicating oneself to said insights and axioms." It's a part of Buddhism that very much appeals to me as it curttaila dogma. Though, I think we can agree, dogma in Buddhism cropped up regardless in some sects and circles.

And the complete rejection of even the rational is also something I've always noticed and aligned with.

I'm still at work so this all I can say for now, but thank you again.

One love
What if the "truth" is: the "truth" is indescernible/unknowable/nonexistent? Then the closest we get is through being true to and with ourselves.


Know thyself, nothing in excess, certainty brings insanity- Delphic Maxims

DMT always has something new to show you Twisted Evil

Question everything... including questioning everything... There's so much I could be wrong about and have no idea...
All posts and supposed experiences are from an imaginary interdimensional being. This being has the proclivity and compulsion for delving in depths it shouldn't. Posts should be taken with a grain of salt. 👽
 
CosmicRiver
#24 Posted : 6/1/2023 12:33:31 AM

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Didn't see this thread until today. Interesting article and discussion.

For sure I didn't expect psychedelic therapy to work any differently from everything else in this world. Unfortunately this thing won't change until our whole culture changes.

I think that the majority of researchers who work with psychedelics has never taken them, so in their mindset they're not different from other potential pharmaceutical drugs. Research in the last few years has been exploring psychedelic analogs that can have the same therapeutic effects without being psychoactive, and to me this looks like the final step towards the medicalization of psychedelics.

Of course I'm sad about this, but since we're on this path I think about the fact that maybe in the future psychedelics or their analogs will become just like regular drugs and many people will be able to take them without having to prepare for the experience.
This will strip them of much of their transformative potential, but at least we could have more effective medicines for people who suffer. It's still better than how it is now in my opinion.
 
BundleflowerPower
#25 Posted : 6/4/2023 8:07:25 AM

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Perhaps the medicine is too powerful to be controlled by modern medicine. Even modern medicine poeple perhaps think about the language they use when they read this. Leave the plants open for humans medicine people.
 
Voidmatrix
#26 Posted : 6/4/2023 3:28:09 PM

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BundleflowerPower wrote:
Perhaps the medicine is too powerful to be controlled by modern medicine. Even modern medicine poeple perhaps think about the language they use when they read this. Leave the plants open for humans medicine people.


Can you elaborate?

One love
What if the "truth" is: the "truth" is indescernible/unknowable/nonexistent? Then the closest we get is through being true to and with ourselves.


Know thyself, nothing in excess, certainty brings insanity- Delphic Maxims

DMT always has something new to show you Twisted Evil

Question everything... including questioning everything... There's so much I could be wrong about and have no idea...
All posts and supposed experiences are from an imaginary interdimensional being. This being has the proclivity and compulsion for delving in depths it shouldn't. Posts should be taken with a grain of salt. 👽
 
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