Mahayana has developed both Buddhist philosophy and doctrine into very high 
levels. Is it moving away or enhancing Buddhism itself? 
On the other hand, if there was no mahayana, there would not be zen.

--- On Sat, 6/11/10, ED <seacrofter...@yahoo.com> wrote:

From: ED <seacrofter...@yahoo.com>
Subject: [Zen] Reality in Buddhism not necessarily illusory
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Date: Saturday, 6 November, 2010, 12:43 PM


Reality in Buddhism is not necessarily illusory, but it does have a diverse set 
of contrasting interpretations. See below.
"Buddhism evolved a variety of doctrinal/philosophical traditions, each with 
its own ideas of reality. 
"The Buddha promoted experience over theorizing. According to Karel Werner,

Experience is ... the path most elaborated in early Buddhism. The doctrine on 
the other hand was kept low. The Buddha avoided doctrinal formulations 
concerning the final reality as much as possible in order to prevent his 
followers from resting content with minor achievements on the path in which the 
absence of the final experience could be substituted by conceptual 
understanding of the doctrine or by religious faith, a situation which 
sometimes occurs, in both varieties, in the context of Hindu systems of 
The Mahayana developed those statements he did make into an extensive, diverse 
set of sometimes contrasting descriptions of reality "as it really is."[5]
The Theravada school teaches that there is no universal personal god. The world 
as we know it does not have its origin in a primordial being such as Brahman or 
the Abrahamic God. What we see is only a product of transitory factors of 
existence, which depend functionally upon each other. 
'The Buddha is said to have said: "The world exists because of causal actions, 
all things are produced by causal actions and all beings are governed and bound 
by causal actions. They are fixed like the rolling wheel of a cart, fixed by 
the pin of its axle shaft." (Sutta-Nipata 654)[4]
The word 'illusion' is frequently associated with Buddhism and the nature of 
Some interpretations of Buddhism teach that reality is a coin with two sides: 
impermanence or anicca and the "not-self characteristic" or anatta, referred to 
as "emptiness" in some Mahayana schools."
Above excerpts are from: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality_in_Buddhism :

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