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Enlightenment as Experience and as Non-Experience

by Sangharakshita

Exposing a modern disease of frustrated craving for experience, Sangharakshita suggests that spiritual life is better seen in more concrete ways; as growth, work, and duty.

Talk given in 1975.

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. Buddhism: the path and the goal; thinking of Enlightenment in terms of an experience (6:05) 
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2. What do we mean by experience? Why do we think of Enlightenment in terms of an experience? Elightenment as expressed in the Scriptures (9:00) 
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3. Buddhism in the light of the religious history of Western Europe (10:23) 
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4. What is our usual approach to life? What do we turn to? (13:36) 
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5. An emphasis on experience, both natural and neurotic (7:29) 
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6. Attainment and acquisition; motives in approaching Buddhism (6:35) 
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7. Thinking of Enlightenment as an experience that will come from somewhere; three syndromes: i. pseudo-spiritual exoticism (5:50) 
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8. ii. pseudo-spiritual projection (6:14) 
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9. iii. pseudo-spiritual technism (2:32) 
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10. Thinking of Enlightenment as a non-experience; Nirvana and the Unconditioned (4:37) 
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11. Three ways of thinking of religion as non-experience: i Growth - humanity as a bed of lotuses; Parable of the Rain Cloud in the White Lotus Sutra; advantages and limitations of thinking in terms of growth (13:39) 
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12. ii. Work - the productive expenditure of energy (2:47) 
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13. iii. Duty - what is the duty of a Buddhist? (2:26) 


Total running time: 1:31:13

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