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The Middle Way in the Buddha’s Early Life


 
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1. Title Title of document The Middle Way in the Buddha’s Early Life - The Buddha’s Middle Way
 
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Robert Ellis; Middle Way Society
 
3. Subject Discipline(s) Buddhist Studies
 
4. Subject Keyword(s) Buddha; Middle Way; Palace and the Forest; Buddhism; Buddhist tradition
 
6. Description Abstract This section offers a pragmatically based interpretation of the way in which the Middle Way can be found in the stories of the Buddha’s early life, and thus also ways that this story can reflect a universally available process of human development. After the Buddha’s origins in the Palace, representing absolutized conventional values, the ‘Four Sights’ introduce the necessary element of frustration that we require to break the closed feedback loops of habitual assumption. The Buddha then ‘goes forth’, initially in counter-dependent reaction to the Palace. His subsequent recognition of the limitations of his spiritual teachers and of the fruitlessness of asceticism prepares him for the discovery of the Middle Way, taking him beyond that polarised reaction into increasingly integrated balanced awareness. It is argued that the Buddha’s discovery of the Middle Way, not his Awakening, is the crucially significant moment in the Buddha’s development, because it offers a universal method whereby absolutising assumptions of all kinds can be integrated by embodied contextualisation. The Middle Way is analysed into five interdependent principles. A case is made for the interpretation of the Awakening that follows in the story in terms of its archetypal meaning, rather than as a basis for absolutising belief that would conflict with the Middle Way.
 
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
 
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
 
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 13-May-2019
 
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
 
11. Type Type
 
12. Format File format PDF
 
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier https://journals.equinoxpub.com/books/article/view/36782
 
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.36782
 
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; The Buddha’s Middle Way
 
16. Language English=en en
 
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
 
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd