[Buddha-l] liturgical languages

Richard P. Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Mon May 9 08:22:17 MDT 2005

On Mon, 2005-05-09 at 10:20 +0100, Mike Austin wrote:

> By doing plumbing, a plumber may be known as a plumber. Plumbing doesn't 
> exist in isolation.

And now perhaps you can explain what this observation has to do with the
axiom under discussion, which is "There are no enlightened people, there
are just enlightened actions.

> All I say is that positing enlightened actions is tantamount to positing 
> enlightened minds.

Not at all. Actions are observable. Minds do not exist except as
abstractions. Where we probably agree completely is that enlightenment
also does not exist except as an abstraction. Actions are just actions.
End of story. But when one approves of an action, one may call it
enlightened. But the approval is not part of the action at all. It is a
value judgement superimposed on the action.

> >I can't remember where I read that there is no enlightened person--only
> >enlightened actions.  Could this be part of the way to a saner Buddhism?
> I.e. actions exist, but the doers of action do not exist. That, to my 
> mind, is lopsided.

Thank you for reporting in on what you think. I wish I had some idea why
you think it, but apparently your rationale is something you'd rather
keep to yourself.

Richard Hayes
Department of Philosophy
University of New Mexico

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