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Contents of Higher Evolution of Man - Unchecked

by Sangharakshita

DISCLAIMER - This transcript has not been checked, and may contain mistakes and mishearings.

MEN STUDY GROUP LEADERS' QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON:

“THE HIGHER EVOLUTION OF MAN”

CONTENTS

Page Topic


1 Is Bhante’s view of evolution an acceptable alternative to Mechanist or vitalist
theories as far as scientists are concerned?
2/6 The mechanistic and reductionist views
6 Is Bhante's language to be taken as a literal explanation or a poetic metaphor?
7 Progressive conditionality rather than absolute mind?
Anatta. Development and evolution
8/10 The language of duality
10/13 The emergence of the new qualities - where, when and how
13/17 differences between human and self consciousness
15 The other realms and evolution
16 Different classes of 'body'
17 Point '0' as sub atomic level or modern bacteria
18/20 The 'duty' to become fully human!
20/21 The Buddhist cosmological myth - involution and evolution
21/22 Changing the diagram!
22/26 The age of human evolution
25/26 Knowledge 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
32/33 The myth and philosophy
33/34 The relation between the ages of 'man' and individual streams of consciousness
35/43 The Axial Age, 'new men' and sympathetic conditions for production
The expanding FWBO
39/43 Have things been slipping since the Axial Age?
The great names of this golden age
43/46 The prophets as new men
46/48 Are the four segments of human history arranged hierarchically
48/49 True self consciousness has a degree of awareness of the Transcendental!
49/50 Simple self consciousness to rudimentary ego consciousness
50/51 The qualities of the 'new man' evolving
51/52 Productivity and creativity within the ages
52/53 Production and new values
53/55 Objective criteria for judging art
56/57 Genius, the muse and inspiration
57/63 The definition of art
63/65 Creative philosophy as art - the sixth sense
64 Mathematics as art
66 Modern times and creativity
67 Greek artists as stream entrants
68 The symbols of Bhante' s chart
69 [page 69 is blank]
70/71 Should young monks be supported to practice and not work?
72 Dependance on the laity
72/73 The six kinds of ordination
Yasha and the first disciples spreading the Dharma
Dependance on the laity/abusing the laity
74 The five factors for the decline of Buddhism in india
Correlation with the FWBO?
State dependance
75 Pseudo-spiritual homogenisation!
Did the early sangha suffer from a lack of centralisation?
76 Cistercian 'visitation system for 'checking' monks
Is Christianity a ‘spent force’ bearing in mind the rise of Evangelism
in the USA?
76/77 The 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 Christianity a universal religion?
Intolerance
Gibbons (not funky)
81 Can Christianity be ‘used' by the fwbo?
81/82 Using Christianity's symbols, seeing 1t as poetry
83 A healthy ethnic religion for the west
83/84 Characteristics of paganism
85 Welcoming permissiveness?
86 Cultivating ethnic roots
87 Arts activities
88/9 Mahapajapati- criteria for dharma/not dharma
Clarification of term 'development'
Rationalisation of doing what you want to
89/90 Selection/rejection of doctrines -
Puttlng aside irrelevant practices
Not readv for some practices
Later developments
Tathagatagarbha doctrine
91 Teaching approach - skilful means,
Appropriate practices & doctrines
91/93 Evolutlon of collective consciousness -
General rise in consciousness
The 'group' is always renewed
Projected evolution
More common sense
93 Biological 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
96 Spiral path operative on lower evolution - gradual emergence of Higher factors
97 Conditionality/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
102 Ethical 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
103 Intensity 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
106 The ‘ordinary’ a mind and dhyana - union of conscious and unconscious mind
-
horizontal or vertical integration?
107 Dispassion and imperturbability -
Was Gautama a stream entrant?
Arahantship and stream entry
108/9 Bodhisattva/arahant path -
Deterministic approach
Free will
109 Does the bodhisattva avoid stream entry?
109 Is there a lower devolution? Help from bodhisattvas
-
spirit/matter split
110 End of the world cycle - where does the 'spirit' go?
-
brahmalokas
Unconscious gods
112 Morality, 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
117 Literal mindedness and how to deal with it
117 Cosmology of the wheel of life - evolution of buddhist cosmology
How does this apply to us today?
119 The asuras and how they fit in - god or not?
Power and happiness (of asuras)
Later Incorporation?
12 1Is Islam a universal religion?
Moral responsibility?
Sufism
121 Universality Of Christianity and Islam
Individuality in monotheism
Answering God back!
122 Decline of christianity into ethnic religion
Gospels continue outline of universal religion
Cathars
123 Are 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
125 Mahayana Sutras : too universalistic?
125 Ex-untouchables - cut off from their ethnic roots
Nationalistic approach
127 The asuras - the aryans
Succession myth in greek mythology
127 Meditation 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
131 Ten 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?
134 Does self view imply a god view?
Non theistic ‘divine’ element
135 Dependance 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
139 Breaking the first three fetters - one by one?
140 Dealing 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
141 Origins of the wheel of life - (diviavadana?)
Avalokitesvara - buddha or bodhisattva?
141 Does god exist? - does it matter?
142 Development ...

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