[Buddha-l] monks, meditation and trauma

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Wed Apr 8 08:07:15 MDT 2009

Hi Steve,

> It's silly to invoke the past or some imagined advancement in science
> that's coming unless you weren't really familiar with what's out
> there,

It's arrogant to think "we" "now" are so much more enlightened about such
matters than were our predecessors, or, as this sort of self-aggrandizing
blindness is usually indicated, as ignoring the past when trying to
understand the present. Every generation has that conceit. That's one of the
things we learn by looking at Tomorrowland or history in general. We
certainly have a lot more data and methods for collecting data than we had
20 or 40 or 100 years ago, but our neural processors (our brains and minds)
have not advanced much in that time, and we make the same stupid mistakes,
and process the data into the same reductive categories and alternatives
(sive Nagarjuna).

>If it
> were the 1970's or even 1980's your 'the future is coming' lament
> might hold some validity, but really it just makes you sound like a
> religious professor who's out of touch with science.

Au contraire -- your cheerleading sounds like someone steeped in the
secondary, pop version of what is currently underway in the sciences. In the
actual research papers that are published, and in discussions with the
people actually doing such work, there is a keen understanding of the
theoretical, tentative, barely initiated nature of such work. Great
excitement because of great possibilities ("possibilities" means potential
acquisition and achievements in the future), mixed with a sense that a very
limited range of things have been subjected to serious experimentation as
yet, but since there is a great deal of experimentation on those limited
range of things (the hippocampus is one brain area subjected to a lot of
research and speculation) our notions of those limited things are getting
somewhat clearer, or at least our speculations are becoming better grounded
in empirical data.

Want to know where to start gathering primary data, rather than predigested
hype? Check

then go to PubMed

> Well let's be clear here, I'm not talking about the Tibetan community
> in general.[...]
> There may only be a few ever coming across with such capacities I'm
> speaking of.

Since you originally claimed that what now we may think of as "normal"
Tibetans (or "the Tibetan community in general") were the exception, not the
rule, it seems you have reversed yourself here. Since you like to quote
yourself, here is what you said:

"I would suspect the aforementioned example would be the exception
rather than the rule."

You have made clear that "aforementioned" in this sentence refers to the
Tibetan community, or the refugee community (do you count Tibetans born
outside Tibet as "refugees"?).

Your reversal means we now seem to be in agreement.

Have a nice day.


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