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Thread: Recommendations for books on Buddhism?

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    doing something along OP lines is a WOT.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Probably a bit of explanation is in order on my last comment. Unless you are going to become a buddhist you will 'gain' little by studying it. It is a systematic practice based on false premises of ancients like any other religion or practice. One can find inner this and that without having to subscribe to any particular practice or suite of behaviors. So my conclusion of Waste of Time.

    Does one become knowledgeable in psychiatry to become a Freudian? Of course not. One becomes a psychiatrist by studying what underlies behavior which is a bit like saying one becomes a saint by performing three miracles.

    How about I put it this way. Resolve your uncertainties by identifying them then finding means to improve them. You will probably become a scientist if you take that approach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    Probably a bit of explanation is in order on my last comment. Unless you are going to become a buddhist you will 'gain' little by studying it. It is a systematic practice based on false premises of ancients like any other religion or practice. One can find inner this and that without having to subscribe to any particular practice or suite of behaviors. So my conclusion of Waste of Time.

    Does one become knowledgeable in psychiatry to become a Freudian? Of course not. One becomes a psychiatrist by studying what underlies behavior which is a bit like saying one becomes a saint by performing three miracles.

    How about I put it this way. Resolve your uncertainties by identifying them then finding means to improve them. You will probably become a scientist if you take that approach.
    Yea I agree with this. I'm not looking at books on Buddhism to become a Buddhist, or with any notion that they actually lead to overcoming the human condition.

    But at the same time many Asian religions in particular have hit the nail on the head about how to live a good life, and also lend themselves toward an understanding the human condition. And also I just don't have anything else to read .

    Take buddhism:
    - the soul doesn't exist
    - we suffer because we're constantly worrying about our well-being
    - by exerting right effort, intention, concentration, wisdom etc one approaches harmonious living

    I don't think I'm going to reach some weird notion of nirvana by knowing this stuff, but they're pretty good ideas. Same with the origins of Indian philosophy and non-violence, karma. Or Taoism and Wu-Wei.

    So yea I guess it is kind of a scientific approach.. looking at religions and extracting the good parts. And also I need something to read and Buddhist history is turning out to be not totally like all the other things I've read.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Just seems to me that good choices rely on more current tools developed since some poop laden swami or guru or apostle or mentor dropped his or her load of opinions some time before running water in houses. My suggestion? No better. Try Total Quality function deployment Methodology if you want a group based system to get at best. Worked for Toyota.

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    Yea I agree, although I would say there is more wisdom in some of these philosophies than given credit for. Some of these ideas likely exist in modern form, but in a convoluted 500 page book written by a PhD, when all you really need to say is 'pay attention to what you're doing, learn, focus, work hard'.

    I don't think they're any kind of silver bullet, but buddhism in particular does end up accidentally distilling some important/useful ideas.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    ... buddhism in particular does end up accidentally distilling some important/useful ideas.
    Objectively patently false. Subjectively only if your belief systems are already congruent with such practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fromderinside View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    ... buddhism in particular does end up accidentally distilling some important/useful ideas.
    Objectively patently false. Subjectively only if your belief systems are already congruent with such practice.
    I think you're getting the impression that I'm taking these philosophies more seriously than I am.

    They're just nice sets of ideas, laid down by people who actually thought about what they were doing for a while. The ideas don't merit full blown religions, but a person can casually read what they came up with and parse through what might have value, and what's just bullshit.

    Taoism - Don't focus on how to execute well, focus on learning how to execute well until you do it naturally

    Buddhism - Focus on living properly and being aware that the world is transient

    These two ideas could be summed up by a couple chapters in a business book, but there's still value there. So yea I'm not really studying Buddhism, just parsing through some books because it's an interesting read, and if there is any value I can take from it, so be it.

  8. Top | #18
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    Buddhism is a psychology more than religion. I came to look at Buddha as the first self help guru. It is about mental health framed in his cultural metaphors. Buddhism describes psychological states.

    Rousseau's 'money mind' is rattling its cage. Plenty of metaphors in Buddhism and Asian thought.

    There are extreme practices that developed I doubt Buddha would have condoned.

    A body was unearthed. It was a monk buried in a box with straps keeping him in a setting position. The practice apparently involves withdrawing into a mental reality as one starves. The ultimate rejection of the world.

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