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Jayarava Attwood
Feral essayist
Feral essayist
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Found this analogy... I love these...

Philosophy is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat.
Metaphysics is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn't there.
Theology is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn't there, and believing you have found it.
Science is like being in a dark room looking for a black cat using a flashlight.

extending this analogy

Buddhism like being a in a dark room looking for a black cat you were sure was there, but not being able to find it and concluding that cats don't exist.

Pureland Buddhism is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn't there; but deciding to worship a lovely red cat from another universe instead.

Lay Theravāda is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn't there. But quickly giving up the search and leaving a bowl of food for it.

Monastic Theravāda is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn't there, by dissecting all the cats into their constituent parts and declaring that cats don't exist (anymore).

Madhyamaka Buddhism is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn't there and being smug because you knew it was neither there, nor not there, nor neither, nor both; and though no one knows what this means, it is a great way to win arguments.

Yogācāra Buddhism is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn't there; except... [reverb] the room is your mind [/reverb].

Tantric Buddhism is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn't there; but instead of looking you try to become the cat by imagining that you are the cat. oṃ āḥ hūṃ cat svāhā.

Triratna Buddhism is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn't there, except we discover there's an elephant in the room instead.

... incidentally...

Advaita Vedanta is like being in a dark room and looking for a black cat that isn't there and concluding that you are the cat.
...

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Heart Sutra Anomaly
Kuījī It was apparent, even to the late 7th Century commentators Woncheuk and Kuījī that the Heart Sutra contained quotations from the Pañcaviṃśatisāhasrikā-prajñāpāramitā-sūtra (PPS) (Nattier 1992: 206-7, no. 33). In this essay I will compare and contrast ...

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Further Problems with the Heart Sutra: acittāvaraṇa
In this and the previous essay I am summarising and discussing Huifeng's article on terminology in the Heart Sutra. To reiterate, in this essay we are assuming that the Sanskrit Heart Sutra is a translation from a Chinese text (though not one of the survivi...

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Further Problems with the Heart Sutra: aprāpti
Ven. Dr Huifeng (釋慧峰) In this essay I will attempt to summarise and critically assess the article Apocryphal Treatment for Conze’s Heart Problems by Huifeng (2014). The article is long and complex. It deals with three philological problems in Conze's Sanskr...

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Time for a Change
Zeno was an ancient Greek famous for inventing paradoxes. The third [paradox] is … that the flying arrow is at rest, which result follows from the assumption that time is composed of moments … . he says that if everything when it occupies an equal space is ...

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The Ship of Theseus. FTFY*
The Ship of Theseus has been a staple of philosophical discussion and teaching for millennia. The folk version of this conundrum is grandfather's axe , in which the axe in question is favoured despite having had its head and handle replaced many times. Can ...

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Experience and Reality
In this essay I look at how an interpretation of experience can make sense, feel right, according with previous experience, and accord with the testimony of the wise, and still be wrong.

One of my main examples is the illusion that when I watch a sunset I am standing still and the sun is moving.

Making these mistakes is natural and understandable. I'm not trying to make out that people are stupid. When I look at a sunset from the hill across the road, I know for a fact that I am at rest and that if there is motion it must be the sun moving. And yet I also know for a fact that this is wrong. I'm moving at Mach 1.5 on the surface of a spinning oblate spheroid!

The whys and wherefores of this illusion and a couple of others are illuminating and important for understanding how we interpret experiences. 

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