Buddhism and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka (S U N Y Series in by Patrick Grant

By Patrick Grant

Appears to be like at how a religious culture will be appropriated via these thinking about ethno-nationalist clash.

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By Patrick Grant

Appears to be like at how a religious culture will be appropriated via these thinking about ethno-nationalist clash.

Show description

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Additional info for Buddhism and Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka (S U N Y Series in Religious Studies)

Sample text

If there is no soul, it becomes difficult to explain this continuity, and this is a difficulty that cannot just be dismissed as idle speculation. 29 Perhaps our deep desire to propagate ourselves genetically is mirrored in our persistent beliefs about personal survival after death. Certainly, at the popular level, many Buddhists find that a thoroughgoing disjunctive approach to such matters is somehow counterintuitive, and they seek instead for more reassuring, positive ways of imagining. One such way is supplied by a common-stock idea widely disseminated in Hindu culture, maintaining that a dying person’s last thought is the first connecting link to rebirth.

Such a thing cannot happen because the aggregates (like the parts of the chariot) fall apart and disperse at death. Yet kammic patterns endure in the form of the habits that have shaped consciousness, and in the desires and clinging that make consciousness an im- Buddhism 25 pediment to nibbana. These kammic patterns reenter the cycle, rather as a wave reenters the ocean and is remanifested as another wave, neither identical to nor different from its predecessors. If a candle is used to light another candle, the new flame is not the same, nor is it entirely different from the old.

With no other refuge? 40 The dialogical form of the Discourses as a whole is especially useful for conveying how truth is, as this passage would have us understand, a process of discovery by a self-sufficient, responsible human agent “with no other refuge,” rather than a consequence of belief in received practices, priestly mediation, or ritual observance. Consequently, dialogue remains at the core of the Buddha’s teaching insofar as it enables a compassionate understanding of how individual people struggle with their own kamma, prejudices, and habits of thought as they attempt to grapple with the Dhamma and its implications.

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