Reply To: Thai Forest Tradition


Imagine if someone were to propose that 2+2=4.3. In support of their argument, they say “the professors who say that 2+2=4.3 graduated from Ivy League schools, have taught for decades, have done peer reviewed research and are published authors”.

Then in response, someone systematically goes through the maths problem, giving evidence that the value of 2 is in fact 2 and that therefore, the answer could only possibly be 4. Would the appropriate response be to take issue with their ‘strong views’? No. Sadly though, that’s what many Buddhist seem to do.

Getting onto and progressing along the path involves the opposite of cognitive dissonance; someone makes a claim that challenges your understanding. You then investigate the premises of their claim to see if it has any validity. If it does, you adjust your understanding accordingly. If their claim doesn’t have any merit to it, you’ll understand precisely why that’s case by having identified the contradictions and inconsistencies.

The suttas share countless examples in which The Buddha corrected people’s wrong views in this fashion. All of this is to say that I hope you don’t perceive this as an attack but rather, an opportunity. We’re all trying to achieve the same thing here.