Given that the Buddha’s theory of mind is purely materialistic (with conscious awareness being a special arrangement of matter due to the evolutionary process as described by the Buddha in the Agganna Sutta), why is Buddhism still often misrepresented as a ‘religion’?
Today, through the use of advanced technology and mathematics we know that this is scientifically correct. This would suggest that Democritus had an experience no less important than the enlightenment of the Buddha, as it radically redefined humanity’s perception of reality and existence, and yet generally speaking, there are no temples containing statues of Democritus, or people applying a meditative method to replicate his mode of thought.
Therefore, it must be truthfully stated (as Plotinus does), that a continuously changing beauty exists beyond any concepts of ‘static’ beauty, and that such a beauty with regards to that which lives is ‘beautiful’, but that even that which is ‘dead’ is also ‘beautiful’ when viewed in a certain way. Although Plotinus advocates (for a time) a ruthlessly ‘looking within’, he does not permanently ‘reject’ the physical world he strives to ‘look beyond’.
Not only is a traditional ‘form’ or ‘kata’ a vehicle for martial excellence, but through the specific shapes (and psychological and physical conditioning required to perform these ‘forms’), longevity and health are a by-product of proper and correct martial practice.
The Buddha explains that the world is experienced through the six senses, which in the Buddhist teachings includes the ‘mind’ as a sense-organ. Whether or not an ‘idealist’ position exists within later Buddhism is a matter of academic dispute.
Without regularly ‘looking within’ during form practice, inner mastery will never occur, and the practitioner will not advance his or her knowledge beyond the superficial level.