One's personality is both a composition and reflection, but if I have to choose one of them, I will choose reflection as the "self" is more important to me than "me". One's composition may change, walking across the cultural landscapes and climbing the social ladder but one's self is tied to one's reflections. The fun part is that reflections are not bound to "Time-Space" barriers ( it is not time-space) and respective mental constructs, which have grown so thick over ages, that they had reduced the image of humans to Sisyphus, rolling different sizes of boulders on hills of different heights.… As the name of this Blog indicates, knols are my perspectives on topics of interests, sweet/bitter experiences or just doodling :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cross-legged VS honest narration

I don’t know if you have heard about the Buddha’s Nobel Silence or not? The Buddha would not answer about any metaphysical speculation. His silence about the metaphysical inquiries is called Nobel Silence. It is said that the main reason of his silence was ineffectiveness of one’s opinion and intellectual position to one’s condition… for example... All human is mortal…. So the opinions or intellectual speculations of men will not change their condition of mortality… simply their opinions or system of thoughts will not make them immortal… Buddha was making a clear distinction between the system of thoughts/opinions and spiritual practices to strengthen the free will and developing self-reliance….In simple words, the Buddha was preferring practices over hypotheses….. Every Buddhist monk has to find the truth through meditation and self-practice……

If you have watched the Hollywood movie, “Matrix”… you might have found it presenting a series of engaging thought experiments on free will and nature of reality….the two unresolved philosophical issues but if you have watched this movie carefully, it favors Buddhist perspective of strengthening ….the free will by practice and individualistic quest for reality….

The Buddhist way of taking no intellectual position on issues seems logical but not having generalizations make the intellectual developments very slow…. to a level that…. over long period of time, it seems like no movements… It is believed the main reason of slow progress of Chinese civilization…… despite of its consistency and being most ancient civilization….. is the lack of speculations and relying on possibilities. On contrary the unmatched fast progress of modern Western civilization is because of its stress on possibilities… Hypotheses are where Sciences sprouts… Take out hypotheses and there will be no Science……

In most of the statues and pictures of the Buddha, Buddha has been pictured as a skinny man sitting cross-legged and meditating… It is why the individualistic pursuit of reality based on meditation is called cross-legged pursuit of reality…. Unlike scientific and philosophical pursuits that are based on common experiences and others can repeat the experiments and can validate the generalization, cross-legged pursuits are individualistic pursuit… Individual’s descriptions of their experiences are only means to see the reality they describe…

It is as ….world out there are composed of possibilities and chances (At molecular level is true… physical world is the result of subatomic probabilities…what we know as Principle of uncertainty…. And biological world is the result of genetic probabilities…what we know as genetic mutations)…. and every individual has its own map of reality and tries to fit the probabilities into his/her reality map… so there is the possibility of a common generalization…(to call truth)….. is very few or perhaps unlikely… Truths are individualistic generalizations…..

One sees a lot of stress on individualistic pursuits in cross-legged pursuits,

“Your own self is your master; who else could be? With yourself well controlled, you gain a master very hard to find.”….Dhammapada…..

And one sees condemnation of following generalizations,

“Foolish people, who scoff at the teachings of the wise, the noble, and the good, following false doctrines, bring about their own down-fall like the khattaka tree, which dies after bearing fruit.”….Dhammapada……

I look to Cross-legged pursuits as pursuits into human nature as it revolves around individualistic experiences… and from this perspective it is a practical means for physical and mental well being however it is not a pursuit of reality and truth…. as they are more generalized endeavors than individualistic endeavors….

Cross-legged is not the only means to human nature…..

Contrary to cross-legged pursuit into nature of men are the pursuits of psychologists, sociologists, writers, poets and so on who describe what they observe and feel in their own ways… I am not saying that there are no exaggerations in their accounts … but as common people can link their descriptions to their own experiences and judge them so they are more valid and applicable ways into human nature….

Even poetry that are dominantly exaggerated narrations of poet’s feelings find common grounds that help people smoothly express their feelings…..(that they are most of the times confused about)…………It is better to say these general pursuits as honest pursuit in human nature… Tragedies, love, loyalty, betrayals, compassion, revenge, kindness, jealousy, and so on are common topics of general pursuits and are not specialization of any authority….

General pursuits and cross-legged pursuits have their own strengths… we can’t discard one at the cost of another one… As Newtonian Universe is a macro-universe and Einsteinian Universe is a quantum –Universe …..So is general pursuit and cross-legged pursuits ……the general pursuit is a common pursuit into human nature and cross-legged pursuit is an individualistic pursuit into human nature…..

Choosing the general pursuits over cross-legged pursuits doesn’t solve the problem as general pursuits into human nature has its own philosophical questions and approaches…There are two big conflicting divisions about human nature in general pursuits…

Platonic approach that says, “Essence precedes existence” and existentialist approach that says, “Existence precedes essence”….

Which one of these two approaches is validated by common experiences?..... that is an unresolved question….

I think cross-legged approach can help in resolving the conflicts in common pursuits…. The opinions and speculations can’t change the conditions…. So, knowing the human nature and condition is good to extent that it help in choosing best practices in strengthening the free will and self reliance… Exposing self to opinions without practicing to strengthen the free will ….is just contaminating oneself …..

The concept of free-will and self are topics on their own… and it is beyond this small article so I would just say, it is all about living an examined life…as Socrates liked to put on……….

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