I am interested in how we make sense of the Dhamma? How we determine what is meaningful and, what is not?
My question is not about our specific methods - our analytical tools and techniques. The question is not related to the history of the texts i.e. their development in a religious and social context. My question is not about a critical analysis of the teachings in the light of modern findings.
My question is related to our conditioning - our self-concept and the influence this has on our ability to understand the Dhamma. The stream of chittas is a conditioned process!
Without a proper understanding of the Buddha’s teachings there is no possibility of realising its purpose. We might as well give up and read spy-novels?
What sparked my interest was a comment made elsewhere on this site. The respondent made a distinction between their attitude with regard to science and, how they derived personal meaning - what they found meaningful in the Dhamma.
They seemed to be saying: they turned to science for understanding (the facts) and when it came to finding meaning to - or in - their existence (their ‘lived’ reality) they turned to the Dhamma.
There seemed to be no understanding - or interest - in their response as to how their use of scientific findings was related to what they find meaningful in the Dhamma. This was a prominent Secular Buddhist’s perspective on the place of science in their belief system.
If we don’t understand how our understanding of Dhamma is influenced by our conditioning, our underlying assumptions about our ‘existence’ - the way we are - then how are we going to wake up? This point is also relevant with regard to religious conditioning.
Nibbana is the not-conditioned!
How are we going to make our lives meaningful without understanding the Dhamma in the way that leads to awakening? How are we going to understand the Dhamma if we don’t understand ourselves?
Right-view is indispensable - not an optional extra - this is not a dress rehearsal.