This Classic Course explores the unfolding of the genius and wisdom in each of us in the quest for the liberating insight into selflessness. In the context of our modern quest for a new vision of reality, Robert Thurman discusses the deepest issues of reality and non-reality, transcendent and the relative. Dr. Thurman's brilliant dissertation on the masterful works by the illuminated Lama, Tsong Khapa (1357-1419), on The Buddhist Theory of Relativity makes this an astounding must-have set of recordings.
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I live in Columbia Maryland not Columbia Moldova! I haven't turned into a Groucho Marx character yet.
At first I found Thurman's discourse uneven and disconnected. After listening to the audio several times I realized he was unpacking several Buddhist writers in a way that fit together brilliantly.
If one wants an audio listen to with patience and diligence one's effort will likely produce an invaluable awareness of emptiness. The audio is like s fine price of music. Each listen strikes a different tone even down to a sudden eye opener with a single sentence that had been passed over several times before,
Robert Thurman is most definitely a Precious One - as in Rinpoche, as he is a true link for a Westerner like me, to that absolutely precious and delicate Dharma. When I first heard my very first audio book recorded by him I was very annoyed by his loud, and seemingly brash performance and wondered if I could continue. However, as I have continued on, I quickly realized that Robert is no ordinary man and that his skill at conveying and translating THE MOST IMPORTANT works is a true blessing! Like Robert, I cannot accept illogic, I am a "mind person" as my lama has me labeled - but true Dharma is and must be beautiful, pure and simple logic - otherwise how can it ever reach one's core? Robert, just as Tsongkhapa was instructed to publish his work, you MUST continue!! I would also like to add, that your voice has become sweet and gentle and that I rerun your books countless times on my 3 days a week Metro North ride from/to Connecticut.
Better, its better to hear Robert Thurman deliver his presentation live, with all his incredible energy and insight
Some brilliant insights
His powerful critique of contemporary rationalistic materialism which has remain unchanged since Sir Issac Newton, despite the extraordinary evolution of thought brought about by Quantum physics that directly correlate with Buddhist thought but the ' Carl Sagan" world of " nothing" prevails..why?
Some of Roberts Thurman's descriptions of certain meditative states
Robert Thurman waxes and wanes , sometimes flashes of pure brilliance, sometimes long pedantic intellectual descriptions of certain mind states.
His ironclad " critique" about our present scientific materialism about " nothingness" prevails once again. Pointing out how contemporary science remains "stuck "in a Newtonian world of " things and objects".. that the scientific community itself is not even up to speed with the theory of relativity and quantum physics which re-introduces the value of the observer into the equation.
To which the Buddha had long understood how there is no " separate intrinsic object" but an infinite chain of inter-dependencies ,relationships that cannot exist in a " vacuum of separateness " How we can become confused about realty by how language is used. Like he says. the name Bob, is a name that was " assigned " to him by his parents but that when he searches for " Bob" he can't find him.
The fallacy that the person we see in the photo taken when we were 4 years old is the same person that is present today, the same " Bob" is somehow miraculously " unchanged" and remains the same, immune to the transitoriness of life.
Thurman also hammers away at the " unspoken religion" of the self evident views of " me/ myself and " I"...all accepted by society without carefully thinking them through.
Our societies penchant for materialistic rationalism that denies the reality of the world of " soul and spirit" because it cannot be measured or quantified.
The lecture tends to drift at times into long " wordy" dissertations and " analytical " descriptions of Buddhist concepts. Thus blunting some of the more brilliant energy that bursts forth here and there from his own direct experiences.
Thurman has delivered with greater simplicity and eloquence these same ideas on a more gut level presentation at other times.
To conclude, there are some excellent ideas that are presented here with great energy and verve and is worth a second or third listen, but be ready to travel through some boring segments that drag on into excessive " spiritual nomenclature"
I love Robert Thurman but this was definitely one of the more confusing of his lectures. That is the listeners error and not his though!! :-)
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