Diana, when you posted this:
>I was responding to your point in an another post in which
>you questioned whether Enlightenment could be an object
were you referring to the following?
>As I understand it, Buddhism says that _any_thing that a
>disciple gets attached to could prevent enlightenment. If so,
>wouldn't distinguishing between one object of attachment
>(sign) and another (wonder) be irrelevant?
The above was written by me, not Nancy. It doesn't question "whether Enlightenment could be an object of attachment." I'm at a loss to understand why you construed it that way. It speaks of attachments that could _prevent_ enlightenment. It was written in response to your post that talked about attachments that could prevent enlightenment:
>he was always asked for miracle stories, which he said were a
>sign along the non-rational path that could prevent enlightenment
>if the disciple got attached to them.
>I see a connection here to Eliot's distinction between signs and
What connection could you have seen, given that currently you say:
>"Wonders" and "signs" seem equivalent to me; I don't get the
I thought Jerry did a great job of explaining the difference, but let me give it a shot. There's a wide range of phenomena -- everything from cascading waterfalls to dead people coming back to life -- that inspire astonishment, awe, and WONDER. A few of these wonders, however, go beyond being spectacular in and of themselves. They also symbolize something else or point to something else the way that SIGNS do. For example, thunder is wondrous to listen to, but it's also a sign that rain is coming. Some people in the gospels fail to recognize that various wonders they've witnessed are not just wonders, but also signs -- specifically, signs of Jesus's divinity. Mistaking these signs for wonders, they keep asking for what they've already been given.