[Buddha-l] Article: The Death of the Scientific Buddha
vasubandhu at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 2 13:15:25 MDT 2012
> Show me an atom that has reached nirvana and I will accept the idea that a
> collection of atoms, a human in the scientific sense, can do the same.
Show me a person who has reached nirvana, and we'll examine his/her atoms
Asanga's Yogacarabhumi is filled with the cutting edge medical theories of
his day to explain everything from how cognition works, to what causes
premature death, to what causes insanity, intoxication, lightheadedness,
etc. -- even the key to how he defines perception -- this ridiculous schism
between "science" and "spirituality" is a product of the renaissance, when
religion had to either radically update its cosmologies and authority to
explain the history and circumstances of the human condition or divorce
itself from observable-verifiable evidence and sequester itself in its own
domain, which it called "faith" -- a quarantined room impervious to demands
for evidence. It chose the latter, and people are still swimming in the
aftertides of that decision. If you approve of science, then you will want
your Buddhism to be comfortable with science; if you think being spiritual
means transcending science's limitation, then the opposite. (Joanna's
complaint about the misuse of science could even more pointedly be aimed at
"religions", Buddhism included [cf. Critical Buddhism, for instance]).
Descartes split the universe into two discrete, isolated substances --
matter and mind (extension and cognition in his terminology), and everyone
has been trying to put the two back together ever since. Most typical
response is to think that task consists in reducing one to the other, so
materialists reduce thought to byproducts of physical processes while
idealists reduce physical stuff to cognitive impressions or creations.
Buddhism instead advises a middle way...
Buddhism is not science and not not science...
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