What is the nature of the value of 'transmission'?

I begin with an expression of my intent:

  • How might I best understand the value that the wise place on direct personal experience ( ‘the transmission of wisdom’ ) as something that is best not digested alone?

My personal experience, stubbornly grasping at the self, is as one who has at times embraced western empirical methods. No ‘choice’ I make undoes my accumulated measurement of verity. It’s cardinal enumeration resists simple inputs as a function of method.

My ‘grasping’ to an empirical framework leaves me befuddled by EBP methods that give weigh the judgement of a transmitter’s ‘trustworthiness’ as much as the ‘trustworthiness’ of the content transmitted, when that transmitter is not the originator of the content in question.

My analogue
a) I read, study, write and repeat a study of Dharmakirtri’s writings, then discuss here.
b) I participate in the transmission of Dharmakirtri’s writings, communicated orally, ingested audibly.

How might b somehow be better than a?

The grasping self sees only the addition of an opportunity to empirically adjust my assessment of the verity of the transmitter and whispers to me worries that the transmitter’s ‘self’ is at risk of affecting my verity assessment of the transmitted content.

Perhaps in doing so, the self becomes less ‘self of one’ and more ‘self of many’?
I welcome your views.

  • Buddha said…XYZ
    Was he right? Empiricism suggests we associate one or many verity-weighted methods, and re-calculate, joining this measurement to all elements, recalculating the elements as well as the aggregate)
  • Humans wrote what Buddha said WXYZ (did they understand correctly? did they repeat the understanding correctly? We measure again)
  • More humans transmit what previous humans wrote that the Buddha said…etc, etc.

How does direct transmission not only add verity, but also add enough verity to offset the verity reduction that empiricism suggests comes with each iteration in re-communicating what is said already good enough to have been understood by the transmitter? (e.g. the telephone game)

Today, my grasping self raises many red flags in response to understanding this postulated value of transmission. I welcome other ‘angles’ from which I might better understand. I dont think I am trying to apply conventional logic to absolute truth, but I have many times counted trees searching for the forest. Perhaps verity is not within the postulate at all?

“Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.” - Siddhārtha Gautama

Thank you for joining me in the reality that I call ‘today’.

Dhamma must be verified through experience, that’s why investigation is the initiator in the seven factors of awakening. It is illustrated in the Buddha-to-be’s method of attaining awakening:

""And as I remained thus heedful, ardent, & resolute, thinking imbued with sensuality arose in me. I discerned that ‘Thinking imbued with sensuality has arisen in me; and that leads to my own affliction or to the affliction of others or to the affliction of both. It obstructs discernment, promotes vexation, & does not lead to Unbinding.’—MN 19

It is necessary to have an understanding of cause and effect, including that of thought. This is embodied in the second link of the noble eightfold path, ‘right thought’ (13m):

An important point is made about the difference between the purposive thought represented by the second link which is emotional, and right view, which is intellectual.

Hi @CloudShaper

I can feel that it is somehow very tempting, almost inavoidable, to read and study all those texts AND develop the conceit that one is really knowledgable, a knowledge master, a Dhamma-expert, one who sees and knows. But meanwhile ones grasping intensity, fear, passions, have not reduced, mind is not cooled. In a sense mind has become even more deluded in its growing conceit.

I do not say it is all the time like this with me but i can see there is this conceit to be a Dhamma-expert. It’s such a delusion because my heart is overgrown with passions, there are fears, defilements etc.

I can feel it is wrong to develop the idea and attitude “i am a dhamma-expert”. But i am inclined that way. It is a pitfall. I also think it is one of the biggest defilements and mistakes. It is more like dreaming.
Dreaming to be a Dhamma-expert. Dreaming to be a perfect high jumper while one can hardly raise one leg :innocent:

I very much like the sutta approach that one is only a dhamma-expert in as much one can really attest defilements have really weakened and ended. It is not about seeing and possessing absolute truth, special experiences or breaktroughs, but about how all these insights really purify your mind and the rest is conceit.

Thank you to all who join the conversation with me.

Love your analog, @Green, since I ran track, poorly. For two months my knees bled knocking down hurdles, after following my coaches every move as he cleared them one by one. Sometimes he held my leg and slowly moved it to not clear the hurdle. I bled, he winced. I stopped suffering with those hurdles once I had some time to self-discover my legs were not his legs. He was a short fellow. This coach then felt bad, and I felt bad that he felt bad. I quit hurdles but not track, allowing him to better teach those who were succeeding with his teaching. Staying put me in a position of competition, as determined by changes to how others saw my success outside his teaching.

My ‘illusion self’ finds two clenched fists with ‘new relationships that project authoritarian phenomena’. A not-uncommon pattern for western-culture teens of the 1980s.

To reduce my own state of self-suffering, I generally avoid other humans. My avoidance is the unintended result of my direct experiences. Thus, I am suspect of things ‘requiring direct experience’ when that experience is not from ‘self’. The me doesnt trust ‘others’, lets be honest, it trusts the evidence it grasps, which says not to trust others. If the ‘me’ is illusion, it follows that you are too.

If anyone says 'NEVER a transmission from video or audio recording, because like written scripture this not transmission…it might hint at experience outside self-dependent methods. Sharing a video of any transmission anywhere either reduces the experience to a conventional ‘self vs. other-self’, or suggests defilement of some divine nature.

Mix all that up and I think I am saying 'a choice without logic, is faith, and my choice lies with a choice to have faith in logic.

Is Transmission an element of faith, or one of logic? (Divine or Convention)
Forgive me if I make a complete circle of myself or cause any offense. :wink:

Thanks for reading!

Hi @CloudShaper,

Nice name :smiley:
Oh you are teens of 1980 …hopeless people :smiling_face:
And now I must fix this!!

I am wondering, have you found something truthful in the teachings? Something you do not need others to confirm it is truthful? Something you really trust?

I find it not easy to trust, apparantly you too. So i examine things my way. It is like you are looking for some grip or clues about what you can trust and not. I think the Buddha went exactly the same way. I think we must see this for ourselves. It’s not easy.