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Contents of Buddha by Trevor Ling - The

by Sangharakshita


SANGHARAKSHITA IN SEMINAR

TREVOR LING'S "THE BUDDHA"
(Published by Temple Smith, London 1973 - and in Penguin)
CONTENTS

1
Introduction
1-6
"Some Reasons for Western Interest in Buddhism"
2
Buddhism - a noble tradition of scholarship
2-26
Is Buddhism a religion?
3-4
"More" than the individual?
5-6
Dharma rather than Buddhism - distinguishing between
6-12
"Buddhism and the Sacred"
7
The statistical individual and collective values
8-10
Trans-polytheistic monism
Bodhisattvas and polytheism
10
Ling's interest as sociological rather than spiritual
11
Tibet - a Buddhist state par excellence!
12-

"The Historical Perspective"
13
The literalist approach/Absolute truths
16-17 The limitations of the academic approach
17
Historical critical approach
The struggle between the medium and the message
Academics miss the point of actual experience
18-26 The academic approach versus experience
18-21 Buddha, Marx and alienation
22
The 'sacred' sanctions the individual
23
An ethnic phenomena
24
Suggesting that Buddhist civilization is Buddhism
26-33 "Modern religious pluralism"
27-

Western Buddhism as part of the local religious culture
29-33 Ling's oblivion to why Buddhism is socio-revolutionary.
Private consolation and spiritual uplift rather than a means of growth
33-37 "'Great Religions' as residual civilization"
Buddhism is more than one of the religions
34
The difference between Buddhist and Christian civilizations (legally enforced
dogma)
34
Universal or ethnic religion
35
Great religious systems - total prescriptions for human affairs
37-40 Hindu civilization
Distinguishing between ethnic and universal religion - Ling's confusion
39
"Dharma" in the Hindu sense
40-41 "Islamic civilization"
Submission to the one god
41
"Judaeo-Christian Civilization"
42-43 The limitations of the social/political viewpoint
Presenting religion in terms of civilization
43-44 "Modern Societies and Theistic Belief"
The function of theistic belief to legitimize the civilization

45-

"Alternatives to theism"
The vision of a new civilization or the vision of an enlightened person
Ling's lack of consideration for the individual
46-47 "The weakness in the introduction is the Ling does not see the dharma as
dharma or the Buddhism as dharma. He does not think of the dharma in terms of the
development of the individual therefore doesn't think in terms of the individual at all and
therefore sees Buddhism, religion, purely in ethnic terms, as civilization, and quite unable to
distinguish ethnic religion from universal religion"
48-49 The individual, the group and the spiritual community
49-52 Bhikkhu Arkasa's letter from Ceylon
52-65 Part 2 - "North India in 6th Century BC"
The Indian Middle Country - text giving the background of the physical,
economic and social environment in North India at about the time of the
Buddha
53
The Heart of the Middle Country
55
" A land of abundant food" etc., and forest
56
The Aryanisation of the Middle Country
58
Rice cultivation and the population increase
59
Development of Urban Life
61
Six cities of the Middle Country
62
The Buddha and his disciples - long journey on foot
65-74 Parallels of development between the East and the West.
The industrial revolution and the exploitative and appropriative attitude of the
West
Christianity and the rise of Capitalism
67
The price of new technology in human terms
71
The inventor and the exploited
72
The importance of financial independence within the Movement - right
livelihood.
73-74 Mao, Gandhi's salt march - revolution!
74
"Republics in Decline" an increase in size and power of the monarchy
75
Tribes and caste systems
The Kshatriyas, shakyans and the Brahmans
77
The Shakyan republic
78-79 The rival interest of different groups rather than undisciplined individuals or
undisciplined individualism
79
Monarchy versus republic
79-84 "Theories of kingship" - the most handsome
82-84 Kings/devas - the Buddha's use of the terms
84
"The disadvantages and advantages of monarchy"
85
Justice and karmic consequences
Injustice of criminal law
88
Coercion and picketing
89
The child and the socialisation process
90-92 Justice and Fairness
93-94 "The King as the Supreme Individual"
94
"The Emergence of Individualism"
96
Ling's definition of individual

97
Specialisation and individualisation
Awareness of being and individual
99-102 "You must establish your own positive relationship with the society to which you
belong"
Jitari's cave!
103-112 Contributory factors to the process of individualisation
Being aware that your manners and customs are not absolutes
Queries, conflicts and acceptance within the group
Natural development
110
Dukkha
111
Chaka Zulu
112
Individualism as a consequence of urbanism and Monarchy -
The lack of real evidence for the hypothesis
113
Personal differentiation or individuality
114
'Participation Mystique' - group consciousness and losing one's self-
consciousness or reflexive consciousness

117-119 Being with other people but not being a group
Enjoyment and mindfulness
120-128 Self awareness and communication with others
122
The order and levels of commitment/implementation
123-125 "To be aware of other people you've got to be aware of yourself" (reflexive
consciousness)
125-126 Log's dubious "Cause-effect" sequence
126-128 The tradition of the wandering sadhu
Refinement in the city
128-131 "A Time of Religious Change"
131
The sacrificial system of the Brahmans
132-136 Kutadanta Sutta
The Buddha's use of irony
135
The six preferable forms of sacrifice
136-138 Presenting Buddhism as the fulfilment of someone's ideal
138-151 "Popular cults and beliefs"
138-139 The 'low arts' forbidden to the Buddha's Order
140-

Brahma - another facet of conditioned existence
142-143 'Anadisamsara' - the beginningless samsara
The universe has no perceptible first point of origin
144
The Buddha's tolerance to belief in supernatural beings
Mara - a "bridge concept"
145-146 The irrational fear and looking inward
147-151 Degrees of disapproval
"... Righteous indignation and passionate denunciation is quite out of place"
152-

"The Mendicant Philosophers
'Ajivakas'
154-155 Monarchy control through guilds in England and India
155-156 The "visible fruit" of the shramana
156
Dangers of being amenable within society
158
The Bodhisattva is not a social worker

159
The positive group and the spiritual community
159-160 Individual rather than individualistic
160
Using the term 'Movement' to describe the FWBO
161
Skilful ways of explaining what one "does"
162
"It's the function of the group to produce an individual"
'Rajapurisa' - not ordaining the king's man
163-164 Effects of unsympathetic governments on Buddhist sects
Bhante's own experience in Kalimpong
164-169 "The Ajivakas"
166-169 The inevitability of progress negating the possibility of spiritual life
New Age mentality
168-169 Maharishi - dawning of the Age of Enlightenment
169-170 The Jains
170-

The Materialists
- a more refined hedonism
171-173 Devoting oneself to pleasure is self-defeating
173
The Sceptics
174-175 The Buddha's points of contact with other schools
Our present day parallels
175
Pagan - 'pertaining to the village'
175-176 The Stoics
176-

Part 3 - Buddhist Civilisation in Principle
177
The Buddha's Historicity
Early worship of the Buddha, relics and image
The word of the Buddha as paramount to the ...

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