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Contents of Higher Evolution of Man - Unchecked

DISCLAIMER - This transcript has not been checked by Sangharakshita, and may contain mistakes and mishearings. Checked and reprinted copies of all seminars will be available as part of the Complete Works Project.

by Sangharakshita

MEN STUDY GROUP LEADERS' QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON:

“THE HIGHER EVOLUTION OF MAN”
CONTENTS
Page Topic
1Is Bhante’s view of evolution an acceptable alternative to Mechanist or vitalist
theories as far as scientists are concerned?
2/6The mechanistic and reductionist views
6Is bhante' s language to be taken as a literal explanation or a poetic metaphor?
7Progressive conditionality rather than absolute mind?
Anatta. Development and evolution
8/10The language of duality
10/13The emergence of the new qualities - where, when and how
13/17differences between human and self consciousness
15The other realms and evolution
16Different classes of ' body'
17Point ' 0' as sub atomic level or modern bacteria
18/20The 'duty' to become fully human!
20/21The Buddhist cosmological myth - involution and evolution
21/22 Changing the diagram!
22/26The age of human evolution
25/26Knowledge and the primitive man
27 Mantras - the primal roots of language
27/32 Previous Buddhas and history
The parable of the ancient road and the ancient city
Connections in the middle east
32/33The myth and philosophy
33/34The relation between the ages of 'man' and individual streams of consciousness
35/43The Axial Age, 'new men' and sympathetic conditions for production
The expanding FWBO
39/43Have things been slipping since the Axial Age?
The great names of this golden age
43/46 The prophets as new men
46/48Are the four segments of human history arranged hierarchically
48/49True self consciousness has a degree of awareness of the Transcendental!
49/50Simple self consciousness to rudimentary ego consciousness
50/51 The qualities of the 'new man' evolving
51 /52Productivity and creativity within the ages
52/53 Production and new values
53/55Objective criteria for judging art
56/57 Genius, the muse and inspiration
57/63 The definition of art
63/65Creative philosophy as art - the sixth sense
64Mathematics as art
66Modern times and creativity
67Greek artists as stream entrants
68The symbols of Bhante' s chart
69[page 69 is blank]
70/71Should young monks be supported to practice and not work?
72Dependance on the laity
72/73The six kinds of ordination
Yasha and the first disciples spreading the oharma
Dependance on the laity/abusing the laity
74The five factors for the decline of Buddhism in india
Correlation with the FWBO?
State dependance
75Pseudo-spiritual homogenisation!
Did the early sangha suffer from a lack of centralisation?
76Cistercian 'visitation system for 'checking' monks
Is Christianity a ‘spent force’bearing in mind the rise of Evangelism
in the USA?
76/77The current power of the roman catholic church and its dissolution
Pope John 22nd and the Vatican Council
78/79 Factors in the rise of fundamentalism
79/80 Is chrisitanity a universal religion?
Intolerance
Gibbons (not funky)
81Can christianity be used' by the fwbo?
81/82Using christianity's symbols, seeing 1t as poetry
83A healthy ethnic religion for the west
83/84Characteristics of paganism
85Welcoming permissiveness?
86Cultivating ethnic roots
87Arts activities
88/9Mahapajapati- criteria for dharma/not dharma
Clarification of term ' development'
Rationalisation of doing what you want to
89/90Selection/rejection of doctrines -
Puttlng aside irrelevant practices
Not readv for some practices
Later developments
Tathagatagarbha doctrine
91Teaching approach - skilful means,
Appropriate practices & doctrines
91/93Evolutlon of collective consciousness -
General rise in consciousness
The ' group' is always renewed
Projected evolution
More common sense
93Biological evolution - intellect not enough!
94 Spiritual development: - dialectic or augmentative
Dialectic - movement fft~r-n extremef)
Spiral augmentative) cont~in~ dialecttca~ ~1flvf~fnt
94/99 Intensive course: tuscany ftc
More intense than usual retreats
New practices
Drawing class
Pali class
96Spiral path operative on lower evolution - gradual emergence of Higher factors
97Conditionality/causality - mean1ng of terms - ‘conditions’
98/99 First seven nidanas and dhyana - correlations between them
-
pritil- skilful and unskilful
99 Tension release - nature of
100 Factors of dhyana - sraddha cfaith)
-
religious element in skilful mental states
101 Aesthetic experience versus dhyana - is faith present?
Effects of dhyana - temporary
102Ethical basis for skilful states (dhyana) - 'human' state
-
dhammapada
102/3 Cognitive element of nidanas - feeling and reflection
-
'seeing' the value of the three jewels
-
faith - the 'total' response
-
cumulative progresslon through the nidanas
103Intensity of experience - strong emotional/physical experience
-
general level of positivity
104/5 'Unfinished business' - childhood/parents etc
-
trauma
-
levels of positivity
Is Buddhism in the minority - India
The west
106The ‘ordinary’ a mind and dhyana - union of conscious and unconscious mind
-
horizontal or vertical integration?
107Dispassion and imperturbability -
Was gautama a stream entrant?
Arahantship and stream entry
108/9 Bodhisattva/arahant path -
Deterministic approach
Free will
109Does the bodhisattva avoid stream entry?
109Is there a lower devolution? Help from bodhisattvas
-
spirit/matter split
110End of the world cycle - where does the 'spirit' go?
-
brahmalokas
Unconscious gods
112Morality, meditation and wisdom: -
Gravitational pulls of conditioned and unconditioned
The ethical life: everything against you
Limitations of classifications and charts
Why be ethical?
Natural morallty
Eightfold path mundane and transcendental
Self consciousness and imagination
117Literal mindedness and how to deal with it
117Cosmology of the wheel of life - evolution of buddhist cosmology
How does this apply to us today?
119The asuras and how they fit in - god or not?
Power and happiness (of asuras)
Later Incorporation?
121Is Islam a universal religion?
Moral responsibility?
Sufism
121Universality Of christianity and islam
Individuality in monotheism
Answering God back!
122Decline of christianity into ethnic religion
Gospels contine outline of universal religion
Cathars
123Are the gospels universalistic?
A question of selectivity
124 Christ - a new man'?
124Indian Mahayana - was the Bodhisattva Ideal really practical?
High caste indians look down on work
Mahayana in china
Necessity of work
125Mahayana Sutras : too universalistic?
125Ex-untouchables - cut off from their ethnic roots
Nationalistic approach
127The asuras - the aryans
Succession myth in greek mythology
127Meditation and the hara
Source of hara centred practices
Chakras; lower and higher
129(ugas) and astrology - determinism in the FWBO
130 Adisthana (grace) - relation to faith
Buddhas sphere of influence
Hevajra tantra
131Ten fetters - the Buddha’s teaching or later?
Lower and higher fetters
Once returners ‘weaken’ fourth and fifth fetters
Stream entry - ' guaranteed' development
Is a stream entrant conscious that he is one?
134Does self view imply a god view?
Non theistic ‘divine’ element
135Dependance on rites and ceremonies - third fetter
In the FWBO
Superficiality
Going through the motions
The advantages of co-ops in this connection
Offerings to the shrine
Giggling in pujas
Ashamed of devotional feelings
139Breaking the first three fetters - one by one?
140Dealing with tricky questions
Free will and determinism
Not a problem
Abstract problems
Questions never arisen in the East
Hypnotism
Both (free will and determinism) are impossible
141Origins of the wheel of life - (diviavadana?)
Avalokitesvara - buddha or bodhisattva?
141Does god exist? - does it matter?
142Development of Buddhism in India
Archaic Buddhism
Hinayana/Mahayana
144Origins of the tantras - when did they appear?
145Bodhisattva Ideal - connection with bodhisattva tradition
The Buddha's previous lives
146The bodhicitta - is it found in the five skandhas?
148Stream entry - the bodhicitta - irreversibility
Parallel development of different schools
The element of compassion
The cosmic perspective of the bodhisattva - can we take it on personally?
Bodhicitta - altruistic aspect of stream entry
Self power/other power
Jodo shin shu
Going ...

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