The-Bodhicaryavatara-A-Guide-to-the-Buddhist-Path-to-Awakening-World-s-Classics-

Review :

010420: can this actually be seven years since read apparently so. and i remember it well. the only difference is that by now i have read some other indic philosophy, advaita-vedanta and jaina, some 'primary texts', some sutras, some work as 'the fundamental wisdom of the middle way' https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... but my philosophical stance has not altered. as inspiring and fascinating as buddhism is, i still do not identify with it as religion, but learn from it as philosophy...

311213 first review: i do not myself identify as Buddhist, though i have read many secondary books on the 'Way', fewer books on the historical Buddha, fewer yet actual primary works of Buddhism. here i am mostly commenting on the preface, introduction, translators introduction. i am so very glad there are translators, humble, self conscious, aware of limitations and philosophical and textual complexity...

this is beautifully rendered into English. i will read this, think of this, it continues as background for religion, science, and philosophy, background ethical if not entirely ontological ground, of which other elements of thought emerge, of which itself insists on its own values. as sartrean existentialism persists in all readings of phenomenology for me, as read deeply first, so Buddhism is also first read and thought of. i live in a nominally Christian society yes, and perhaps there are equally thoughtful philosophical or theological texts in Christianity- but i am given to understand it is not possible to 'be' Christian if you do not believe in the divinity of Jesus, or Muslim if you do not think of Mohammed as the Prophet, or Jewish if you do not believe in a special relationship with God. i am not religious in any way. in philosophy i do 'believe', i do read, i do study, i do value, and think this is my best way to be human...

month later...

i have now read the text. often people will claim that, though not themselves in organized church or religious institution, they think of themselves, and think by, religious or better- 'spiritual' way. for some people this leads to alternate forms of practice, to ways of religion not common or to them 'used up' like words or phrases unmoored, meaningless, cliche- in religious ways eg. 'new age' or other new interpretations of ancient ways, particularly if it is unfamiliar or exotic. i have doubted whether my attitude could be similarly reduced to this sincere appropriation. reading this text, reading concurrently certain philosophy texts, even when i cannot claim to fully understand, intuitively and thus truthfully i must say that it is not any specific sacred text or texts or elaborations of familiar or exotic religions, but the very way of thinking, the tendency to reifying spiritual assertions, is not my way of being in the world. i do not think therefore i am less moral, less ethical, less open, to appreciating the world or aspects of it beyond my immediate or eventual sense. i do not decline to embrace merely a church, an institution, of any religion- i do not embrace any religious way of thinking. the only faith i proclaim is something of a metaphysical way of thinking, what merleau-ponty calls 'perceptual faith', of philosophy. and i am comfortable to be still working out what that means...

i had on here a few religious texts of Hawai'ian mythic intent, written by the descendant of some men considered kahunas- something like priests. i am only half-Hawai'ian, i am not local born and raised, i lived there one highschool year but i grew up mostly in Canada. i have always had already the good fortune to be atheist. i tried to read these books, then wondered, if this was not my heritage, would i keep reading. i checked GR. decided to stop...


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