Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shoulder to the Wheel

[graphic swiped from this blog]

The wheel is the symbol of the Noble Eightfold Path: Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. Like spokes on a wheel, each of the "Rights" supports movement, in this case toward the ultimate goal of enlightenment, or in the Mahayana traditions, enlightenment for all [sentient] beings. (Personally, I tend to leave out the "sentient" part, but it's not really correct to leave it out, so I sort-of included it.)

If you followed the Noble Eightfold Path link, you would find a mostly not-too-bad article about the subject, with a jarring and bizarre snippet at the end about cognitive psychology, as if that had anything to do with it. Who is Gay Watson and why on Earth should we care what he/she/it thinks about the intersection of Buddhism and cognitive psychology? There's no link to Gay Watson -- because there's no Wiki page or author's web-site or anything to link to (except Amazon, as above, which would violate Wikipedia's rules). There is also no link to Wikipedia's cognitive psychology page, which of course does not mention Buddhism at all, but which does have a fairly extensive list of "influential cognitive psychologists" that Gay Watson is not on. There is also no link to the Wikipedia page on Buddhism, which not only does not mention Gay Watson, but also does not mention cognitive psychology, not surprisingly, since they are not related. There has been some discussion about this oddity of the Noble Eightfold Path wikipage on the Talk:Noble_Eightfold_Path page that has yet to result in removal of the offending blurb about what some obscure psychotherapist/author (it turns out she's female) thinks of the usefulness of Buddhist ideas in cognitive psychology.

I love Wikipedia, so I mean this in the nicest way possible, but it's a timesink I don't want to get sucked into. I'm sure as heck not an appropriate person to be officiating about Buddhism, but c'mon, this is common sense. What's a leamur to do?

No comments: