Monday, February 17, 2014

Perennialism and pluralism

Balder stated an IPS thread on this with a doc covering the Facebook discussion on the topic to date. The following is from the comments.

me: Tom Huston, 2/7/14, 10:43 am (p. 8 of the doc) said:

"Generally, overlooking a myriad of cultural and semiotic differences, I think the 'nonduality' in both Madhyamaka-inspired Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta is *essentially* resolved by all of the Buddhist traditions that made 'emptiness' into a noninvolved, Atman-like substratum of pure awareness/mind/rigpa/buddha-nature."

I and kela have argued against this for a long, long time. And I've long pointed out that this is in fact the remnant of Vedanta in those branches of Madhyamaka, also supported by Thakchoe's work.

Hal Blacker, 2/7/14, 11:24 am (p. 9) correctly notes that the above is typical of Vedanta, Mahamudra, Dzogchen and Shentong, while those that disagree are 'hard-core' Prasangika and the likes of Batchelor.

Balder: Towards the end of the thread, this topic comes up again (starting on p. 30, and specifically in Bonnitta's comments on Hartshorne).


I only got to p. 13 so far and Huston is making the point that there is a universal Reality to ground all of it variegated expressions. Does he or anyone (you?) in this discussion go into speculative realism(s)? Especially as it refutes Huston's apparent conviction that one can experience a state of union with Reality as such? No metaphysics of presence refutation?

Huston: "And since lots of traditions posit an awakening to that deep singularity as a supreme mystical attainment to trounce all other attainments, I refute the charge that 'No one supreme state of mystical awareness exists' toward which many, though yes, not all, traditions strive" (2/9/14, 5:39 pm, p. 13).

Balder: In the section I mentioned above, Bonnitta first critiques such a view as an example of misplaced concreteness and the reification of emptiness.  In responding to Bonnitta on p. 33, I mention the metaphysics of presence and draw some connections to other topics I've explored related to this (problematic aspects of Wilber's kosmic addressing of mystical experience, universal versus trope-bundle theories of experience or "quality," Panikkar's postmetaphysical handling of "universality" through the concept of homeomorphic equivalence, etc).

me: It seems Bonnitta's exegesis on pp. 30 - 34 has changed, where the r-terms are ontogenetically prior to the a-terms. (Fucken' a right man). And the way she applies this to Naggie is similar to how I've been doing so using rangtong over shentong. It seems she used to be an a-first shentong type and has changed? You bring up on 35 the shentong/rangtong meta- and postmeta issue. I'm also with her that this communal discussion and enaction is the fourth turning, not the Lingam's metaphyics (see this thread).

For reference see these prior threads in which Bonnie participated: Magellan courses; CR/IT symposium; context transcendent meaning.

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