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Asian Philosophy Week Two Notes

by: Teresa Notetaker

Asian Philosophy Week Two Notes 216

Marketplace > University of Wisconsin Green Bay > PHIL-Philosophy > 216 > Asian Philosophy Week Two Notes
Teresa Notetaker

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About this Document

These notes cover the lectures and book readings in class during week two.
Asian Philosophy
Dr. Kim
Class Notes
Asian philosophy, philosophy, Buddhism
25 ?




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Teresa Notetaker on Sunday February 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 216 at University of Wisconsin Green Bay taught by Dr. Kim in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see Asian Philosophy in PHIL-Philosophy at University of Wisconsin Green Bay.

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Date Created: 02/07/16
2-1-16 & 2-3-16 Reading: In the Buddha’s Words CH 2&3  Thinking about: o Who is the Buddha? o Nirvana o How to become a Buddha? o Karma/The law of cause/effect  The Buddha, the Bringer of Light & Wisdom o Who is he?  Unique individual who has attained enlightenment  Not a mere human like us, he is one of the perfectly enlightened ones  Unique without a counterpart  Not a god  Many gods in this tradition  Not theistic, gods are just beings with more power  Gods in Buddhism can never achieve nirvana or enlightenment, which are both necessary in order to be a Buddha  A teacher (hence bringer of light and wisdom)  Here to teach us and not save us, unlike Christianity  He teaches us so we can save ourselves/Liberate ourselves from suffering  Explains things instead of bragging for being the Buddha  He will not  Be an object of worship  Give you more luck  And he wasn’t a mystical entity o Limitless amounts of Buddhas  Only Buddha we know is the enlightened one (~550 BC)  But Buddha is limitless manifestations of the enlightened one  There will always be a teacher/Manifestation of great truth  Infinite amount of Buddhas, but WHY  There aren’t “many buddhas” there are infinite Buddhas  Cannot be counted because you cannot possibly count all the past lives of Buddhas  No 1 or last point, no beginning or end, so like the Universe it is infinite  This opposes Christianity’s view of a beginning of time and space o How Buddha we know was born  Also subject to human things, pain/aging/death  Prince in an empire who was spoiled  Buddha’s dad, the king, never wanted the Buddha to know sadness so kept all harsh things from him  He searched for Nirvana, and was enlightened by himself with direct knowledge  Direct knowledge explained  1 Knowledge o Knowledge of his past lives o Self-knowledge  2 ndKnowledge o Karma as a universal law of cause/effect o Rebirth/Reincarnation o Wrong and Right view  Wrong being the view that causes pain and suffering rd  3 Knowledge o The solution o Realize that life is painful, this is suffering o Nirvana: He saw the path to liberation  He taught for 50 years and tried to bring peace, actively engaged with the world  Nirvana: Liberation from suffering o There is no perfect eternal world to live in, because existence is suffering  Double suffering: Mental pains that come along with physical pains  Ie. I am dying from a disease and I also develop depression because of it  Monks train to not have this o The monks who set themselves on fire and ‘feel no pain’ o Things are constantly changing  We want to hold on to things/stay here longer o Buddha’s function is to help us reach Nirvana and finish this life with courage o Attachment/Desire is the base of suffering  If a stranger is killed in another country, you don’t care as much as if someone in your neighborhood is killed  You care because you are attached to them, therefor your suffering is because of this attachment  The killing/bad things that happen don’t cause the suffering, the attachment/desire causes the suffering  Monks shave their heads to get rid of earthly attachments symbolically  Karma: The law of cause and effect o Whatever happens, there is a cause  Effect is determined by the cause  So what is the cause of suffering?  For Christians, it is Adam and Eve o Unpleasant actions yield unpleasant results  Wholesome actions/mental state=Long term welfare/happiness  Unwholesome actions/mental state=Harm and suffering to yourself o Way you react comes into play as well  If you are a hateful person, you will have an unpleasant life o Karma will always catch up to you, whether it is in this life or the next o Point is not to blame the past, but to live now in a way that will give you pleasantness in the future o Effect only results if you intended the cause, without intent, you do not get the effect  Becoming a Buddha/The path to Buddhahood o Bodhisatta, Bodhisattva  Being who is to become a Buddha, undertakes long course of spiritual development consciously motivated by aspiration to attain future Buddhahood  A saintly being o Must undergo long course of spiritual development  Development is over several lives/Several years of cosmic time  Assumes reincarnation o Must want to be Buddha out of compassion and not selfish desire to have more  It’s a desire grounded in compassion, so still a desire but a good desire o Buddha we know is gone  Achieved Nirvana at the end of his life  Was not reincarnated o Must have great compassion for living beings o In last life, achieves supreme enlightenment o Long lost path to liberation/boundless freedom of Nirvana  Life of a Buddha o After achieving enlightenment, mission is teaching o Teaches fullness of Nirvana to humanity so they can find liberation o Trying to teach the 4 noble truths  Buddha we knew hesitated to teach the 4 noble truths, because it’s perfect true knowledge and Hinduism was the main religion in that time  He was weary to think so many people would not accept the knowledge  A monk had to persuade him to teach  Buddha was human, he hesitated to go against the norms  Couldn’t teach things that could be confirmed, so emphasized figuring out if it was true for yourself  Emphasized direct experience, don’t need to believe to know, need to know to believe  Kalamas o Buddha passed through this town, and they asked him to clear their doubts o He assured them the doubt was okay  “Find out for yourself what is true” o Tradition shouldn’t hold you down, don’t just accept what people tell you o “You’ll always doubt if you don’t find out for yourself” o Presented himself as the proof that his teachings were true  “Analyze me, and see if you can find unwholesome desire in me”  Monks couldn’t find any  4 Noble Truths (2 out of 4, assuming to be continued next class) o 1. Life is suffering (Dukkha) st  1 layer: Everyone subject to sickness/aging/death  We can endure the suffering with courage but nothing can protect us from it  Buddha said it’s neither optimism or pessimism, it’s realism   2ndlayer: Nothing is permanent/everything changes  5 aggregates (no permanent identity) o Physical, Sensing, Perceiving, Willing, and Process of Consciousness  Have to be mindfully aware of today because in 30 years we won’t be the same person so why worry about it  Liberate from the obsession to retain yourself o Live your days fully, and happily, if you don’t have to worry about 30 years from now you  In Christianity, individual life is guaranteed, “You can live forever with God!” o But why? What will life be like then?  Life is empty, there is no substance  Substance: There’s something there that doesn’t change, like a soul, something that retains you (this is denied by Buddha)  Buddha doesn’t deny happiness in this life o Material happiness and Spiritual happiness o When the things that make us happy change, we feel pain, so ultimately happiness turns to pain o Love is attatchment which ends in ultimate separation o 2. Arising/Origin of Dukkha  Tanha: Thirst, craving, passionate greed  Thirst for sense pleasure  Thirst for existence/becoming  Thirst for non-existence/destruction  Gives rise to all forms of suffering and continuity of beings  We die with the desire to continue existing  Rebirth continues desire, you are born again because you are not enlightened to the fact that being born again is suffering, and Nirvana is freedom


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