Seeing and Knowing by Fred I. Dretske

By Fred I. Dretske

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Example text

11 But then as one goes more deeply into it, one finds that it isn't quite like that. One finds that while reason is given a definite and honoured place in Buddhism, it is by no means enthroned as its governing principle. But one remains a Buddhist because one has gone deep enough not only to be able to put reason in its proper place, but also to find other aspects of Buddhist practice profoundly meaningful. Thus Going for Refuge is an experience – a spiritual experience – that is deepening and growing more multidimensional all the time.

The vast majority of people undoubtedly develop most rapidly, and even most easily, in the company of others – or at least in contact with others. 14 However, although there are a number of canonical references to them, it is significant that all these solitary Buddhas are located in the remote and legendary past. There appear to be no historical examples. We generally need the stimulation, reassurance, and enthusiasm of others who are going in the same direction as we are. We are naturally stimulated by someone who shares our special interest in something.

This, of course, has shaped the teachings themselves. For example, the chapter entitled ‘Being a Buddhist parent’ is based on a talk given to Buddhist parents, and some of the other chapters have their origin in talks given on the occasions of Buddhist festivals, while yet others are based on public lectures intended for those with little or no knowledge of Buddhist practice. However, our aim has been to present all the material here in a way that is accessible to everyone. The talks were given in a variety of settings, and work on the book has taken place in many locations too.

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