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To Chuck,Re: 07/10

Jul 11, 1996 05:51 AM
by Jim Meier

Hi Chuck --

Yeah, I could picture you in a tank, Patton-esque.

>Personally, I have no use for either the ignoble (sorry, there I go again,
>but it really bugs me) eight-fold path or the sermon on the mount.  As far as
>I'm concerned enlightenment has nothing to do with being a nice Pali and the
>only thing the meek inherit is the dirt.  So I view those teachings as being
>totally without any practical value.  I'm not even sure that the Buddha was
>really enlightened.  He may have had good press agent.  And I'll bet good
>money that Jesus was not the Son of God.

It is one thing to be skeptical, but you seem to have crossed over into
close mindedness, Chuck.  If enlightenment has nothing to do with Buddha, as
you say, then the word has no meaning at all, in any context.  Regarding the
meek: that's a literal (mis)translation of a Hebrew text.  I have a decent
Bible dictionary on line, but I don't have access to it at the moment;
perhaps someone else will pipe in with a comment or an appropriate Net site.
Also, change Jesus to Christ and I'll take that bet.  It may be a while
before we can settle up, but I'll remind you. :)

>I operate under a basic assumption.  All teachings are lies.  Some lies got
>popular and some did not, but there is not a word of truth in any of them.

Good grief, Chuck, that's what I mean about close-mindedness; what you've
written is a logical fallacy, because you are authoritatively (and
ironically) trying to prove a negative.  Can't be done.  At best, all you
can logically say is that "no teachings have yet been proven to you to have
any practical value."  To which a lot of folks would take issue, but not me. :)

>So I'm willing to accept as a basic premise that no matter what the system
>is, it will work for somebody and not necessarily for anyone else, and that
>includes any system I might come up with.  But the fact that the system works
>for any number of given individuals does mean that there is any actual truth
>behind the system, there is merely something there that resonates with the
>particular person involved.  Thus, in a very real sense, I believe that in
>the realm of the spiritual anything does go and everything is permitted.
>Chuck the Heretic

I think you left out a word.  If what you meant was "But the fact that the
system works for any number of given individuals does *not* mean there is
any... (for grammatical consistency), then

Nope.  What you wrote above is a direct contradiction of statistical
validity.  If a system (pick one) works for X number of people out of a Y
population, it has a validity which carries a mathematical certainty.  As
HPB said, mathematics is the only exact science we have (so far).  Most
folks who denigrate statistics don't understand mathematics, in my experience.  

But I'll take your comment a step further: no matter how whacko a method or
teaching is, there is somebody somewhere in a position to benefit from it...
which is a pretty meaningless statement since the population is so large; 1
out of a billion or so is "statistically insignificant."  Now it may be (as
you wrote in an earlier post) that there are no statistics on enlightenment,
but there is a (growing) body of evidence that suggests such historical
practices as Buddhism, Yoga, and the like to be instrumental in effecting
change in consciousness.  

Of course, whether or not you believe any of them is up to you.  Fortunately
for the rest of us, your belief is not required any more than mine (or
anyone else's) is for you.  :)

I'm still curious how you can be so certain about the spiritual status (or
lack thereof) of the Buddha and the Christ.


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