[Buddha-l] a worthwhile read--Red Pine (BIll Porter) interviewed

Dan Lusthaus vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Fri Oct 2 15:16:33 MDT 2009

> I read the scholars review of Bill Porters book "Two Entrances and Four
> Practices" (I can't find a reference now, but I remember the point),
> The review said the two entrances were called liru and xingru. Liru should
> have the meaning of "enterance by principle" and xingnu should have the
> meaning of "entrance by practice". And the first one means a kind of 
> sudden
> enlightenment entrance and the second one means a kind of gradual 
> practice.
> But Porter tanslated liru as "entry by rationality," which the reviewer 
> said
> is a complete misunderstanding.

The reviewer is full of crap. 理 li means a lot of things. "Principle" has 
become a kind of mindless default equivalent used by lots of so-called 
scholars, not realizing that they are buying into Neo-Confucian developments 
and usages of the term, not home-grown Buddhist usages. Li does mean reason, 
even logic, in Buddhist contexts. Porter obviously gave the matter some 
thought and decided as he did. Whether one agrees or not is another matter.

> But I think that from the practitioners viewpoint maybe we shouldnt worry 
> so
> much about these kinds of details and just accept all the translations as
> they are without criticizing.
> Elvin

Anyone, practitioner or otherwise, who does that is an idiot and a victim of 
his/her own idiocy. Buddhists should practice perspicaciousness, not 
voluntary blindness. Unless one is practicing a certain kind of tantra, 
there is a definite difference between "food" and "fecal matter," and one 
shouldn't accept both equally and with equanimity on one's plate. Basic 
nutrition -- and Buddhism, from its earliest days, has been concerned with 
nutriments of all sorts.


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