The above is a quote from 'Humphreys, Christmas. Buddhism: An Introduction and Guide'p145.
Is it true that the main aim of Buddhism (Mahayana) is for reason to destroy itself?
That really sound too colorful and worst than nihilism itself
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Reason is “killed” in a sense since reason is created and conditioned. When one awakens, one reaches that point of “unborn”, which is the origin of reason within mind. Reason is then no longer necessary and mind conforms to this new state. As long as you hold on to the idea that you are this conditioned mind, you will not awaken to this understanding.
Good question. That's a rather crude statement, albeit a nice first approximation.
More precisely I would say, the aim is to clearly see the Value, the Limitations, and the Danger of having subjective experience entirely subsumed within a framework made of models and concepts (taken at their face values as being the reality itself, aka "reified"), to see how this mistake is universal, inevitable, and intrinsic part of sentient life, to see the mechanisms behind arising of said conceptually conditioned experience, and finally to master the practical means of manipulating said mechanisms towards liberation from the confines of said framework to the reality of authentic suchness.
The main aim of Buddhism is to understand and be free of suffering.
SN56.11:7.2: ‘This noble truth of the cessation of suffering should be realized.’ Such was the vision that arose in me …
Reason is an aspect of consciousness devoted to inference and applied to resolving choices. Choices informed by ignorance lead to suffering.
SN12.23:6.1: So ignorance is a vital condition for choices. Choices are a vital condition for consciousness.
Reasonable people have noted that ignorance easily leads to the Tragedy of the Commons. Specifically, reason concludes that the myopia of identity view leads to adverse outcome, suffering. Understanding this, it is clearly reasonable to restrain identity view. Indeed, one might wonder, "is identity view itself reasonable?" One might be inclined to explore this reasonable question:
MN26:16.5: This teaching is such that a sensible person can soon realize their own tradition with their own insight and live having achieved it.’
At one point, one might reasonably conclude that identity view is unreasonable:
MN64:6.1: But an educated noble disciple has seen the noble ones, and is skilled and trained in the teaching of the noble ones. They’ve seen good persons, and are skilled and trained in the teaching of the good persons. Their heart is not overcome and mired in identity view, and they truly understand the escape from identity view that has arisen. That identity view, along with any underlying tendency to it, is given up in them.
And in that conclusion, one would have used reason and practice to extinguish the grasping aggregate of consciousness, that perceived and unreasoning urge to consider consciousness as self. One would reasonably conclude that grasping and craving are unreasonable. One would realize that what conventionally passes for "reason" is far too often simply self-justification and rationalization.
So the quote that "reason is used to destroy itself" is a bit of hyperbole with a ring of truth. What is destroyed is not reason itself. What is destroyed is the unreasonable urge to use reason (i.e., inference) in sole service of (it-)self. The assumed axiom of the imperative of identity view fails. It is not reason that is killed. It is the reliance on an improper basis for reason.