This was a spur of the moment thing. As mentioned in the audio, I was getting tired of writing and have been meaning to delve into sound. The original was over 8 minutes, full of anecdotes from my studies in India (1987-89), which I felt backed up my points. Realizing, however, that the stories were situation dependent and, not wanting to be guilty of generalizing, I made some edits. I also edited some minor verbal stumbling that detracted from the flow but left enough in to keep it “live.”
The scant notes for this were hastily prepared: Two or three dates, scribbled down on a piece of paper… quickly memorized before recording. The rest is from memory, so there is some imprecision. Here are a few clarifying points that you might want to look over while listening:
- Earliest surviving New Testament scripture: circa 125 CE (not 200 to 300 CE as I indicate… although the bulk of extant Christian scriptures and fragments do fall into these dates)
- Some would argue that because Buddhism flows out of Hinduism, the roots of Dhamma are traceable to the Hindu (Vedic) notion of rta (eternal, sacred laws)
- Closing comments about “looking in” and “looking up” are adapted from http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/great-minds-of-the-western-intellectual-tradition-3rd-edition.html (2000 edition).
One of the things I’ve realized about talking is that you can’t get too complicated. What I’ve said here is both general and incomplete. I’d be happy to further discuss any of the points made here in the comments area. It’s easy to be a coward and insult people behind their backs. Much harder to engage them in a positive way and see if maybe there was a bit more to their thinking than initially presented. 🙂