We see many general teachings attributed to the Buddha, and some nice expositions of individual Suttas. But it’s rare to see an overview of the whole teaching of the Buddha in an understandable format. Educated people love charts and graphs, so here is a chart depicting the overall view of the Buddha’s teaching in the Theravāda Suttas.
Ordinary life is an obsessive process of becoming driven by ‘I’-making and ‘mine’-making, culminating in failure, loss and suffering. The cause of this suffering is the sequence of paṭicca-samuppāda, or Dependent Origination, discovered by the Buddha. Ordinarily, at each death the cycle of becoming begins anew; that is saṃsāra, the round of birth and death. Release from this cycle is possible via a special process of becoming, leading to the end of becoming. That is the Buddha’s teaching, this very Noble Eightfold Path.
An interesting feature of the Buddha’s teaching is that the cause of suffering and the cause of release are the same process of becoming. Only becoming in saṃsāra is done in ignorance, and becoming on the Path is done in full knowledge.
For more on Dependent Origination and the source of this diagram, see Practical Dependent Origination by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu.
Some notes and links on the subjects discussed in the video: Continue reading Rebirth: Context of the Buddha’s Teaching
For some time I have been considering the feasibility of an online ontology (OWL, RDF + Reasoner + NLP… stack) of the Buddha’s teaching in the Suttas. I’m not happy with the structure of the Abhidhamma. It’s supposed to be a sort of ontological analysis of the Suttas—but it’s not terminologically consistent or ontologically coherent enough for behavioral computer analysis and natural-language interface. I wanna be able to talk with the Buddha in VR! Continue reading Neo-Abhidhamma and VR
We all want to live our dreams. What gets in the way, more often than not, is our education—or actually, the lack of one. Schooling is not education. In fact, in many ways it is the opposite. According to John Dewey of Decimal System fame, one of the founders of American education policy:
“Every teacher should realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth. In this way the teacher is always the prophet of the true God and the usherer in of the true kingdom of heaven.” — Dewey, Pedagogic Creed (1897)
Continue reading Compulsory Education Spoils Success
John Taylor Gatto’s The Underground History of American Education is an eye-opener. It describes the origin and design philosophy of the American public school system.
“The secret of American schooling is that it doesn’t teach the way children learn and it isn’t supposed to. It took seven years of reading and reflection to finally figure out that mass schooling of the young by force was a creation of the four great coal powers of the nineteenth century. Nearly one hundred years later, on April 11, 1933, Max Mason, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, announced to insiders that a comprehensive national program was underway to allow, in Mason’s words, ‘the control of human behavior’.”
That is why we developed Matrix Learning based on the original teaching of the Buddha.
John Taylor Gatto’s The Underground History of American Education
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