Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dialogical Awareness & Monological Thinking


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"In tracing the history of chod in the Bon tradition, I found myself entangled exploring the possible interrelations of the chod practice in both Bön and Buddhism and, to some extent, trying to determine "which came first." In this study, I aim to bring a "dialogical" awareness -borrowing Mikhail Bakhtin's term -to the chad practice, which will illuminate chod as an example of the interplay between Tibetan cultural practices in general and their reinterpretation and recontextualization by Buddhist scholastic schemes.~ Bakhtin, a Russian linguist and literary critic, approaches texts and practices "dialogically." Instead of treating a text or practice monologically as a linear, self-contained unit (i.e., like a monologue), Bakhtin treats it as in constant dialogue with other texts, literary works, authors, practices, and even contexts. It is thus a more expansive and inclusive approach, con¬tinuously informed by, and in communication with, multiple "others:' where various approaches can coexist."….Chod Practice in the Bon Tradition…Chaoul, Alejandro....

"In this book, I will be using Bakhtin's dialogical approach in the simplified manner that Stan Mumford does in Himalayan Dialogue, where he describes three stages in a dialogical process: "ancient matrix' "individual life sequence" of a new directional identity, and "historical becoming" that unites both….. Using Bakhtin via Mumford in this way will serve as a functional lens that can help us see earlier strata of significance of the chö.d practice and the way these were historically transformed, without having to adhere to one single form or label. I believe that the beauty of this rich, intricate, and often misunderstood practice, is to be found in the coexistence of many different views, which can expand beyond the traditional horizons delimited by social, academic, and sectarian boundaries. This, I will argue, is part and parcel of what the chöd practice itself facilitates."….Chod Practice in the Bon Tradition…Chaoul, Alejandro.....

"Mikhail Mikhailovich Bakhtin….(1895 – 1975) was a Russian philosopher, literary critic, semiotician and scholar who worked on literary theory, ethics, and the philosophy of language. His writings, on a variety of subjects, inspired scholars working in a number of different traditions (Marxism, semiotics, structuralism, religious criticism) and in disciplines as diverse as literary criticism, history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology and psychology. Bakhtin’s works and ideas gained popularity after his death, and he endured difficult conditions for much of his professional life, a time in which information was often seen as dangerous and therefore often hidden. The Dialogic Imagination that Bakhtin introduces the concepts of heteroglossia, dialogism and chronotope, making a significant contribution to the realm of literary scholarship….For Bakhtin, all language — indeed, all thought — appears as dialogical. This means that everything anybody ever says always exists in response to things that have been said before and in anticipation of things that will be said in response. In other words, we do not speak in a vacuum. All language (and the ideas which language contains and communicates) is dynamic, relational and engaged in a process of endless redescriptions of the world."….

Himalayan Dialogue: Tibetan Lamas and Gurung Shamans in Nepal….Stan Mumford….Univ of Wisconsin Press, 1989…."In the mountain valleys of Nepal, Tibetan communities have long been established through migrations from the North. Because of these migrations over the last few centuries, Tibetan lamaism, as one of the world's great ritual traditions, can be studied in the Himalayas as a process that emerges through dialogue with the more ancient shamanic tradition which it confronts and criticizes….Here for the first time is a thorough anthropological study of Tibetan lamaism combining textual analysis with richly contextualized ethnographic data. The rites studied are of the Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist tradition. In contrast to the textual analyses that have viewed the culture as a finished entity, here we see an unbounded ritual process with unfinished interpretations…..Mumford's focus is on the "dialogue" taking place between the lamaist and the shamanic regimes, as a historic development occurring between different cultural layers. The study powerfully demonstrates that interrelationships between subsystems within a given cultural matrix over time are critical to an understanding of religion as a cultural process."….

"Monological (one-dimensional) thinking: Thinking that is conducted exclusively within one point of view or frame of reference: A person can think monologically whether or not the question is genuinely monological. (For example, if one considers the question, "Who caused the Civil War?" only from a Northerner's perspective, one is thinking monologically about a multilogical question.)"….

JAMGON KONGTRUL (Lodro Taye: 1813-1899)... "One may wonder why this description of the universe does not accord with that of other systems. The Buddhas did not view any aspect of either the environment or the inhabitants of our world system as ultimately real. Therefore, the teachings are not one that, based on a belief in a single view, sets forth a particular system as the only valid one. Instead, the Buddhas spoke in response to the various levels of capabilities, interests, and dispositions of those to be guided to enlightenment." . ….In Tibetan religious literature, Jamgön Kongtrül's Treasury of Knowledge in ten books stands out as a unique, encyclopedic masterpiece embodying the entire range of Buddhist teachings as they were preserved in Tibet. In his monumental Treasury of Knowledge, Jamgön Kongtrül presents a complete account of the major lines of thought and practice that comprise Tibetan Buddhism. This first book of The Treasury which serves as a prelude to Kongtrul's survey describes four major cosmological systems found in the Tibetan tradition—those associated with the Hinayana, Mahayana, Kalachakra, and Dzogchen teachings. Each of these cosmologies shows how the world arises from mind, whether through the accumulated results of past actions or from the constant striving of awareness to know itself…"….Jamgon Kongtrul: Myriad 166)…..The Treasury of Knowledge: Myriad worlds. ….Koṅ-sprul Blo-gros-mthaʼ-yas, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Taye, Snow Lion Publications, 2003

"…Diversity…. It’s based on the knowledge that the best ideas do not grow in a culture of sameness….. multiple points of view be presented and different disciplines offer their best thinking — without any ego-antics."….

"The emergence of civilization is generally associated with the final stages of the Neolithic Revolution, a slow cumulative process occurring independently over many locations between 10,000 and 3,000 BCE, culminating in the relatively rapid process of state formation, a political development associated with the appearance of a governing elite. This neolithic technology and lifestyle was established in the Middle East (for example at Göbekli Tepe, from about 9,130 BCE), and Yangtze and later in the Yellow river basin in China (for example the Pengtoushan culture from 7,500 BCE), and later spread. But similar "revolutions" also began independently from 9,000 years ago in such places as Norte Chico in Peru and Mesoamerica at the Balsas River. These were among the six civilizations worldwide that arose independently. Some researchers suggest the Kuk Swamp in Papua New Guinea also independently developed civilization… This revolution consisted in the development of the domestication of plants and animals and the development of new sedentary lifestyles which allowed economies of scale and productive surpluses….Viktor Sarianidi, in the Kara-Kum desert of Turkmenistan…. has turned up the remnants of a wealthy town protected by high walls and battlements. This barren place, a site called Gonur, was once the heart of a vast archipelago of settlements that stretched across 1,000 square miles of Central Asian plains. Although unknown to most Western scholars, this ancient civilization dates back 4,000 years—to the time when the first great societies along the Nile, Tigris-Euphrates, Indus, and Yellow rivers were flourishing….the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex. Bactria is the old Greek name for northern Afghanistan and the northeast corner of Iran, while Margiana is further north, in what is today Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Through the region runs the Amu Dar'ya River, which was known in Greek history as the Oxus River. Western scholars subsequently used that landmark to dub the newly found culture the Oxus civilization."…..

The Internet is the Silk Road of my generation.....…S. Jobs


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….December 2013


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