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Skype webinar with Elías Capriles - Monday 17th December 2012 18.00-20.00 CET

Recording of the session:

(40 MB, 1h50m)

Questions posed and answered:

Question 1 - kaliyuga

The information about the current phase of the “age of darkness” (kaliyuga) the mankind is now differs significantly in various sources, some claiming we are still in the early period, and a long continuous period of growing conflict, perpetuating ignorance and suffering is yet going to happen before the threshold level/reductio ad absursum is reached at the mass scale, giving rise to the new “Golden age”. Yet the perspective that the mankind urgently needs this change of direction otherwise it will face its own destruction within this very century is constantly appearing in the last decades (the Silent Spring, the Limits to Growth and the Club of Rome, and number of newer data supporting this claim). Could some excursion to the calculations of the different authors be made? It is particularly interesting in the light of the mass hystery caused by the popular conclusion that the Platonic year / the big cycle according to the Mayan calendar is going to end in “just a few weeks”…

Question 2 - Origin of various traditions on Mount Kailash

The historical conclusion that various traditions including the Indian ones, the Zurvanism, etc., originate from Mount Kailash is yet not a widespread one - at least not taught this way at Czech universities where religious studies (religionistics) are being studied. Even prof. Tucci didn't used this explanation and it is perhaps largely the contribution of Ch. Namkhai Norbu that he made the effort to have a critical look over the traditional historical myth how the indian culture spread into Tibet, and so on. Are there more contemporary works that deal more in depth with this topic, particularly the texts of the proponents of those specific traditions that have their source at Mount Kailash in the ancient Bön teachings originating from Shenrab Miwo(che)?

Question 3 - distinction of samsaric states and instances of nirvana in psychotherapy

It has been asserted that the contemporary psychedelic, antipsychiatry, transpersonal psychology, phenomenological and existential philosophy movement, if pointing towards some of the extraordinary experiences of some kind of consciousness expansion (being it called the “peak experience” by Maslow and by various other names by other authors), generally fails to have the view specific to the genuine spiritual paths as the higher vajrayana or atiyana-dzogchen have, that is, being able to distinguish between the experience and of what is beyond experience; distinguishing between the samsaric states of kamaloka-rupaloka-arupaloka, the experience of void/emptiness/kunzhi lungmaten, and the instances of nirvana. For such a distinction is rarely possible without getting in contact with these particular teachings that employ the genuine methods for distinguishing these, and that traditionally require the contact with the master to receive the initiation/empowernment and proper instructions, it is difficult to imagine a conventional western psychotherapeutic session dealing with these extraordinary states so this absolutization of certain samsaric experiences doesn't happen. Your critique of the transpersonal psychology movement doesn't give much help to the therapists what to do in these settings when the client is not particularly open to meet some master to start following some authentic spiritual path. Have you elaborated this topic somewhere more in detail, not just analyzing the flaws in the theories of those transpersonal movement authors particularly the Ken Wilber or Stan Grof?

Question 4 - interpretation of Heraclitus' fragments (Theory of value – Chronicle of Fall, p.3)

Can Heraclitus' thoughts and insight be considered similarly as when doing the elaborate critique of the works of Ken Wilber et alli., when for Heraclitus where only fragments are known, and for Wilber/Hegel/Heidegger and all the modern authors, extensive volumes of their work are available. So it can be possible to interpret some fragments of Heraclitus as being pretty well in accord with the atiyoga-dzogchen point of view, but it is virtually impossible to do so in the complete texts where evidently there are severe logical inconsistencies. If imagining let's say the cricitised Wilber's work would be known only in the fragments like the Heraclitus' ones are, would we be able then to reinterpret it in a significantly different way?

Question 5 - improving western so-called-postmodern philosophy (Beyond Being, p.57 and many other places)

Do you have some ideas how to advance the “postmodern” approach in the social sciences taught at the universities etc., so more people could overcome the typical limitations (where the phe- nomenological worldly experiences are not considered as the dharmas sustained by the fully fledged avidya in all the three senses of the term)? (In fact, the limitation of the concepts by the imperative of having the genus proximum and differentia specifica is al- ready somehow acknowledged in the social sciences, being inspired by the so called postmodern thinking, for example in the qualitative research paradigm which is often aware of this inherent limitation, using terminology that tries to re - peatedly emphasize the interpretations put by any conceptualization are only “working hypothesis”, “tentative” or “pro- visional” truths/meanings. For example, in the discoursive, collaborative, “post-modern” approach to counseling and psychotherapy, there exists a “not-knowing approach” (re)introduced recently by Harlene Anderson et alli. The approach considers any experience experienced and/or described by the client as fully legitimate with the thera - pist having no right to judge it, to recommend something, etc., for the therapist (according to the “not-knowing” stance) cannot directly and accurately know what should be “good” for the client. However it seems there is quite lacking any vision/direction of either the aim/intention where to actually go in such a “therapy”, or of any consideration of what is the nature or some “true character” of the experiences of the client. So the cluster of approaches like that one seems quite “descending” for not rejecting some types of experiences and prefering certain others, but still it seems to me as not satisfactory enough, for it “embraces” anything as “natural” and legitimate, but not giving any plausible view and a key like the one Buddhist view posits, that is, the consideration of the experiences and their multitude of cognitive con - tents as being delusorily valuated because of the avidya…)

Question 6 - Should we go back to the trees? (Beyond History v1.1 footnote 15, p.997-8)

The Alan Watts' law of inverted effect where in the short term the actions seem to produce the de- sired effects but in the longer run the results start getting the very opposite of the original intention seems a very unpopular in all the scientific circles where there anything except for continuing in the very same “progress” of the body of knowledge, etc.etc. is absolutely beyond imagination, for the typical response is something like “Should we go back to the trees?”. In the academic courses of “Sustainability” there is a very commonly used the concept of a “demographic transition” where it is said, showing the demographic data of the “developed” countries, that the problems with the ex- cess usage of the natural resources, etc., are caused not just by the individual level of consumption but also by the increase in the world population, and in the longer run it is somehow necessary to stop the geometric growth of the population by 1…2…3 % a year in some of the developing coun- tries … and the growth of the GDP and increase of the education are considered as the main modera- tion factors that are the key to “make” the “demographic transition”. Of course, the argument for the necessity of increasing the nation's wealth is so often misused to argue for deploying the green revolution and “modern agriculture” of Syngenta+Monsanto and many other similarly controversial means, that I wonder whether one can nowadays produce a “myth” with some directions that although being delusory, still could be wholesome. I feel some of the interpretations present in the “permaculture” movement could be used for that purpose. What are your experiences in the Latin America regarding this approach and its outcomes?

Question 7 - dharmakaya, logos, common to all? (Beyond Mind, p.392nn. - Laing and the spiral of pretenses)

Could the various new age ideas and techniques of “returning home” to some kind of primordial condition of the child qua tabula rasa, before the first iteration of the pretenses began, yet in fact usually inducing certain samsaric experiences where the mind functioning is somehow paralyzed/crippled, or giving some extra value to the bodily sensations etc., considering these to be somehow “nearer the Center/essence/Ground”, be considered as the error in failing to distinguish between the logical negation and the phenomenological negation, where the double negation is not the same as the original condition? It seems that in these systems there is multiple errors and distor- tions occuring simultaneously, one of them being the one just described and another one being the typical mismatching of the experience of emptiness or some other more or less pleasant experiences for the supreme aim of the spiritual systems, combined perhaps with the erroneous view copied per - haps from the theosophy that “all spiritual traditions have in fact the same aims and realizations”, and/or there exists some “universal Mind” or consciousness common to all (an interpretation that could be also drawn from the particular fragments of Heraclitus, considering the logos as some “world consciousness” or so… Could you expose the structure of the errors in these views in a more elaborate and precise way? (It seems it has already been explained quite well by Igor Berkhin in his 2011 article “Why Altered States Are Not Enough, A Perspective from Buddhism” in the IJTS and it seems it is almost perfectly consistent with what you are exposing in your works)

bb-bm-bh-2012/capriles.txt · Last modified: 2016/05/31 02:23 (external edit)