I don't get Buddhism

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I don't get Buddhism

Postby gib » Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:05 pm

I don't get Buddhism. And I'm bothered by it. I feel like I get something as outrageous as Christianity better than I get Buddhism. Christianity has some pretty outrageous claims, yet I feel like I understand it more than I understand Buddhism... and I don't even believe in Christianity. I get science too. Science I can believe in more, and it too has some pretty outrageous claims, yet it's 1000 times more clear to me than the far simpler picture of Buddhism.

I'm not sure why Buddhism bothers me so much. I've chocked it up to this: it seems to offer the best, most convincing, hope of man's salvation, and that it is within his grasp here in this life, yet this state of salvation is so far away and so incomprehensible that it's more like a tease than a life raft. At least with Christianity, it's easy: you just surrender your soul to Jesus Christ and trust that God will take care of everything in the afterlife; or if you don't believe in all that, at least you're not taunted by the possibility. And science doesn't taunt and tease the way Buddhism does either. It's a straight shooter, no obscurity about what it takes to get things done or to improve your life. It really leaves it up to you to decide what you want to do with your life, how you want to fix it. But Buddhism teases you. It shows you its sages, these men who have gone before you, how happy they are, how fulfilled, and it tells you: this could be you... but it lays before you a path that, for all you know, goes nowhere, and you're left wondering: how did you become so happy, so fulfilled? It boasts clarity, but only clarity to the enlightened, and mysticism to those in the dark.

To me, Buddhism teases like a "get rich quick" ad campaign. You don't doubt that the guy in the infomercial had a way of getting rich, but you know if you take the path he's offering, you still only stand a chance of 1 in a million of getting to where he is.

As you can probably tell, I'm having a hard time trying to articulate what I want to say. I do have other things to say, but I don't feel like typing it all out here. I think I'll just start with this. In a nutshell, I'm sick and tired of Buddhism continually knocking at my door saying "I am the way." I keep wanting to tell it: "No, you're just another religion; why can't you be just another religion?" But it's persuasive in a way that no other religion or science is.
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We're in a situation now where students can go to university and come out dumber than when they went in. They are infantalized by safe space and trigger warning culture, the idea that interogating a new idea, coming into contact with a school of thought or a person that doesn't conform to your prejudices is somehow problematic, that it gives rise to trauma.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby promethean75 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:15 am

as far as organized religions are concerned, buddhism is the least frivolous and completely free of any outlandish storyline or mythology. it's got all the typical issues with guys thinking they're messiahs and sages, sure, but the doctrine itself is much cleaner and more scientific than any other religion. if you wanna read an outstanding analysis of buddhism in contrast to christianity, check out nietzsche's antichrist. what he's essentially doing is comparing what he considered nihilistic religions - religions that are life denying and 'otherwordly' - and while he classifies buddhism as a form of nihilism, he makes a distinction between how each religion expresses their nihilism. for example, buddhism and christianity both emphasize the importance of suffering... but christianity interprets this suffering as a consequence of 'being in sin', while buddhism interprets this simply as a condition of a purposeless, meaningless existence. there is no gnawing conscience in the buddhist... no paranoia, no sense of guilt. an ascetic cheerfulness best characterizes the buddhist mentality, while the christian/jew is a nervous wreck. yeah but you'd like the analysis. i think it's in the second chapter. you'll have to google around for it.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby gib » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:50 am

promethean75 wrote:as far as organized religions are concerned, buddhism is the least frivolous and completely free of any outlandish storyline or mythology. it's got all the typical issues with guys thinking they're messiahs and sages, sure, but the doctrine itself is much cleaner and more scientific than any other religion.


Do you think we can split off the messiahs and the sages from the underlying doctrine itself? Treat them as two separate things? I mean, if all I knew of Buddhism was the doctrine, would I be so bothered by it? Able to toss it aside as just another religion?

I think this is a large piece of the issue for me. I've been watching a lot of youtube videos lately of Doshin Roshi; here is a man who radiates peace, compassion, and enlightenment:



He seems like one of these sages, doesn't he? Doesn't he seem like he's somehow made it to the end, to enlightenment? Or at least far enough along the path there that for all practical purposes for us, there is no difference?

And it's these occasional men who convince me that there's something to this Buddhism thing, that it actually works; well, maybe "convinced" is a strong word--maybe feel "persuaded" a little bit.

But then I wonder: maybe he's just naturally like that, maybe he's just one of these lucky ones who's born with a certain brain chemistry, one that lends itself easily to happiness and contentment with life. Or maybe enlightenment isn't a matter of meditating long enough, or of following the eight fold path with enough discipline, maybe it just happens spontaneously, maybe the brain just one day goes through a switch and gets "turned on" and Buddhist practitioners just attribute it to all the hard work they've been doing in their meditation and discipline. Followers of other religions may go through the same thing--men and women who seem "holy" or in touch with something spiritually higher--but they attribute it to the practices or beliefs or values of their religion; maybe it's just the placebo effect; maybe if you believe something for so long and practice it for so long, you eventually start to feel it's working on you and it becomes real. God knows we see this in a lot of the evangelistic churches in the West--the way members of the congregation get all worked up in a flurry when they're swept up by the words of the preacher and the song playing and they claim to have these vivid religious experiences. Is this just the mind making it real for itself?

^ These are just some of the psychological questions I have about the Buddhist. I also have a lot of philosophical questions... such as: how can there be no self? What is the "emptiness" that you are suddenly aware of when you're, as they say, "awakened"? And if this is all just a dream, or something like a dream, why should I trust the words of a sage or a messiah who tells me to follow the eight fold path? Aren't these words, and the eight fold path itself, just a fabrication of the dream? Don't people wake from dreams through a mechanism outside the dream, not by something they do in the dream?
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...we hear about the wage gap, the idea that women are paid significantly less than men--seventy two cents on the dollar--that's absolute shear nonesense--it is absolute nonesense--in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in America, women make 8% more money than men do in their peer group. That wage gap is growing, not shrinking.
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We're in a situation now where students can go to university and come out dumber than when they went in. They are infantalized by safe space and trigger warning culture, the idea that interogating a new idea, coming into contact with a school of thought or a person that doesn't conform to your prejudices is somehow problematic, that it gives rise to trauma.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:00 am

gib wrote: But Buddhism teases you. It shows you its sages, these men who have gone before you, how happy they are, how fulfilled, and it tells you: this could be you... but it lays before you a path that, for all you know, goes nowhere, and you're left wondering: how did you become so happy, so fulfilled? It boasts clarity, but only clarity to the enlightened, and mysticism to those in the dark.
All religions, self-help programs, random folk psychologies and common sense, spiritualities, whatever have to be obscure. They more or less have to be. You can't really know what a state of mind that is radically different from your current one would be like. You have to go through long term practices to make changes. If you aren't interested in doing it or doing it enough, then it probably won't come soon. You say Christianity is more understandible. Well, sure the culture you grew up in was likely embedded with Xtian concepts and the culture has been influeced by Xtianity for a long time. I don't think the process of getting saved is as simple as you describe it, but what does surrender your soul to Jesus mean? I mean, like I get out of bed and I do that`? What do I actually do? via what criteria do I determine I did it`? did it well enough? I never met the guy. How do I know I surrendered it to him? What does that feel like? And that's even taking your simple version of Xtianity as the right one. Which Christianity`? catholicism, baptism....then the preachers and priests are going to be telling me stuff that I should and should do. The attitudes I should and shouldn't have.

I don't like Buddhism, but it seems to me you are expecting to understand something before participating. We are, in life, especially about important things - take love for example - faced with situations where we must take first steps without knowing what it will all be like later on. That's just a given. If you are married, compare what you thought love was when you were 12 with what you know now.

To me, Buddhism teases like a "get rich quick" ad campaign.
And Christianity isn't? If Xtianity is like you say it is, it's this simple one step surrendering. That's getting rich quick and easy. Accept Jesus in your heart - or is it surrender yourself to Jesus? or are these the same - and bang eternal bliss is coming. And actually it seems to me Buddhism pretty much announces that it is a process, possibly a very long one, possibly involving many lifetimes, with a lot of discipline. Sure there are Zen type stories of sudden enlightenment, but any Zen center is going to have you on the mat meditating and not telling you you are almost there after day one.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby gib » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:10 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:You say Christianity is more understandible. Well, sure the culture you grew up in was likely embedded with Xtian concepts and the culture has been influeced by Xtianity for a long time. I don't think the process of getting saved is as simple as you describe it, but what does surrender your soul to Jesus mean? I mean, like I get out of bed and I do that`? What do I actually do? via what criteria do I determine I did it`? did it well enough? I never met the guy. How do I know I surrendered it to him? What does that feel like? And that's even taking your simple version of Xtianity as the right one. Which Christianity`? catholicism, baptism....then the preachers and priests are going to be telling me stuff that I should and should do. The attitudes I should and shouldn't have.


These questions arise for you. They don't for me. I think you're right that Christianity seems clearer and simpler to me only because it was all around me when I was growing up. The idea seems trivially simple: you pray to God, he hears your prayers and he knows what's in your heart (what you mean to convey in your prayers). So if you pray: "God, Jesus, I surrender my soul to you," he knows what you mean and he takes your soul into his hands. You know it's done because you said it in your prayer and you meant it. <-- That's how some fundamentalist friends once explained it to me. That's how I understand it.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I don't like Buddhism, but it seems to me you are expecting to understand something before participating.


I'm expecting a firmer guarantee that the practice works before devoting years of my life to something that might, in the end, be a sham. Impossible, I know. Unrealistic, I know. But pretty normal, I'd think.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
gib wrote:To me, Buddhism teases like a "get rich quick" ad campaign.
And Christianity isn't? If Xtianity is like you say it is, it's this simple one step surrendering. That's getting rich quick and easy.


Yes, but it isn't a tease. If you believe it, then the job is done as soon as you surrender. There's no waiting and trying harder and gotta do it more, there's no "why isn't this working?" (There can be plenty of that if you're praying to God to improve your life and you're not getting results, but I'm talking about just believing that what you're doing is working somehow in some transcendent world).
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I don't care about income inequality, I care about the idea that there are people who have actual obstacles to success.
-Ben Shapiro

...we hear about the wage gap, the idea that women are paid significantly less than men--seventy two cents on the dollar--that's absolute shear nonesense--it is absolute nonesense--in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in America, women make 8% more money than men do in their peer group. That wage gap is growing, not shrinking.
-Ben Shapiro

We're in a situation now where students can go to university and come out dumber than when they went in. They are infantalized by safe space and trigger warning culture, the idea that interogating a new idea, coming into contact with a school of thought or a person that doesn't conform to your prejudices is somehow problematic, that it gives rise to trauma.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:12 am

gib wrote:These questions arise for you. They don't for me. I think you're right that Christianity seems clearer and simpler to me only because it was all around me when I was growing up. The idea seems trivially simple: you pray to God, he hears your prayers and he knows what's in your heart (what you mean to convey in your prayers). So if you pray: "God, Jesus, I surrender my soul to you," he knows what you mean and he takes your soul into his hands. You know it's done because you said it in your prayer and you meant it. <-- That's how some fundamentalist friends once explained it to me. That's how I understand it.
I do think some people think it's that easy, but you are way too complicated to buy that and a great many Christians certainly do not. Prayer, confession, making up for sins, dark nights of the souls, the entire Jesus reframing of the ten commandments meaning that even if one acts well, but one's attitude is bad, one is sinning and perhaps not a good person, the need for contemplation, and so on. YOu can participate in Buddhism in utterly low level effort ways also, certainly in the East, where people go through the motions of some Buddhist rituals, donate money to monks, get monks to bless their tourist bungalow project and figure they will reach enlightenment some life way in the future.

I'm expecting a firmer guarantee that the practice works before devoting years of my life to something that might, in the end, be a sham. Impossible, I know. Unrealistic, I know. But pretty normal, I'd think.
You have any guarantee for whatever you are doing now? Likely a mix of trying to not have certain problems, perhaps using heuristic plucked from here and there, following advice and ideas likely trickling through dozens of systems and experts. You are investing time right now in all sorts of activities - you have any guarantee they are helping? If that's all going fine, well then there's no motivation to engage in Buddhism or any other possible solution, since it is supposed to be a way to deal with and end suffering or end suffering's bite, so to speak. But it seems to me you are taking yourself out of the equation. If you are not drawn to Buddhism - because you are satisfied with your own methods, or becuase you don't feel you are suffering much, or because something feels off about it - then don't try it. If you are interested and have strong motivation, then you need to do something, and yes, we have to use our intuitions, to a great degree AS WE ALREADY ARE in how we try to solve these things. Obviously I am not selling Buddhism, since I don't like it. But I am trying to put it in a context. You already have a set of things you do to make things better. That's your religion, philosophy, self-help thingie. How many years do you think it will take you to figure out if it is working? How many years will it take to work? If you aren't doing much to try to fix things, but just basically like most people muddling through as best you can, well that has no guarantee of anything at all. It is what it is. Not saying that's wrong, but you are investing ALL of your time and energy in that. Satisfied, well, obviously choosing a spiritual path of any kind would be sort of odd unless you thought it sounded fun or you were just curious. If you think a one shot ritual can save you, well, that seems like an obvious choice. But you don't, at least it seems you don't so that version of Christianity, which I actually think is in practice extremely rare, is not for you.

There is scientific evidence that Buddhist meditation has certain effects, expecially for long term practitioners. If you want those effects, well, you actually have science on your side.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
gib wrote:To me, Buddhism teases like a "get rich quick" ad campaign.
And Christianity isn't? If Xtianity is like you say it is, it's this simple one step surrendering. That's getting rich quick and easy.

Yes, but it isn't a tease. If you believe it, then the job is done as soon as you surrender. There's no waiting and trying harder and gotta do it more, there's no "why isn't this working?" (There can be plenty of that if you're praying to God to improve your life and you're not getting results, but I'm talking about just believing that what you're doing is working somehow in some transcendent world).
These seems like some version of Christianity you would never buy. And it is precisely a get rich quick scheme. Monday morning you are heading back to that job. If you think you can flip a switch in your brain and believe that you solved all those problems that easily, you're a lucky guy even for a fundamentalist. I am pretty sure many fundamentalists worry, suffer, fear god (isn't that their phrase), wonder if what they just thought or did means they are going to hell, grieve tremendously when loved ones die despite them supposedly being in Heaven and so on. And I am sure many have times when they wonder if they really have surrendered to Jesus. They may not talk about this, though I will bet many do, but the US, for example, puts a premium on branding oneself and being positive.
If all they have to do is surrender, then they don't need to go to church and they don't need to pray, except to ask for things. And why get pissed off about things like gay people. Perhaps some of them say this one phone call to God is all you need, but they aren't buying it either.

And, of course, there are lines of worship and participation in the Christianity that mirror those in Buddhism. Long processes of deepening faith and connecting to God, though religious practice, and not easy to spot markers a long the way.

I don't like Christianity either, by the way. For different reasons from why I don't like Buddhism.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby promethean75 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:25 pm

Do you think we can split off the messiahs and the sages from the underlying doctrine itself?


in buddhism, absolutely. the B wasn't a 'prophet', believed in no god, and certainly didn't think of himself as some kind of emissary like all the dudes in the abrahamic religions did. the doctrine only consists of a series of reflections, skeptical in nature, and the conclusions drawn from them. philosophical as they were, the B's ideas would be accessible to anyone inclined to follow his lines of reasoning, and therefore are not dependent on him... which is to say, you don't need a paul or jesus or muhammad to receive this wisdom. so no, there is nothing special about the B, except maybe the feeling he had of himself as being the founder of some profound truth. but that comes with the territory; you're gonna get a little excited when you notice none of your contemporaries have come up with the same stuff. so 'founder', sure, but certainly none of that megalomania that's found in self-proclaimed prophets.

He seems like one of these sages, doesn't he? Doesn't he seem like he's somehow made it to the end, to enlightenment?


i don't watch guru videos (no offense), and there is no such thing as 'enlightenment'. okay maybe max stirner was 'enlightened', but i'd not want to use that word because of its association with fruit-cake philosophers and mystics.

And it's these occasional men who convince me that there's something to this Buddhism thing, that it actually works; well, maybe "convinced" is a strong word--maybe feel "persuaded" a little bit.


now see you're talking about buddhism as if it were some kind of instructional CD set you buy off amazon, bro. what do you mean 'works'? it's not really a 'solution' to anything... just a relatively major attitude adjustment toward the world. i guess if you're looking to become more tolerant, compassionate, forgiving, sympathetic, and in general more peaceful, this is probably the one for you. or you could go the zen samurai route and be a warrior who has stilled his mind and centered his heart and stuff.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Ecmandu » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:27 pm

Well gib...

You should be pissed at Buddhism.

It teaches not to be attached to an outcome, which is an outcome the teachings teach to be attached to.

It's internally inconsistent.

My religion, my higher power, is "unceremonious dedication to non contradiction"

Buddhism contradicts itself immensely, and should generate distrust and dislike.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:06 pm

You call yourself a Buddhist, you call yourself a Christian, you call yourself a Hindu, you call yourself a Shinto, you call yourself a Muslim, you call yourself a Jew.

For me though it always comes back to the same crucial factors:

1] how is what you call yourself embedded historically and culturally in the world that you were fortuitiously "thrown" into at birth?

2] how is what you call yourself embedded existentially in the particular sequence of experiences I perceive as the embodiment of dasein?

3] how are you able to demonstrate substantively, empirically, phenomenally etc., that what you believe about God and religion, others are obligated to believe in turn?

4] how do you connect the dots between a] what you believe about God and religion b] the behaviors you choose in interacting with others that come into conflict over value judgments and c] what you imagine your fate to be after you die?

Given a particular context.

Also, in assuming that human beings have some measure of free will; and in just accepting that you will almost certainly never comprehend the relationship between "I", all of this and a complete understanding of existence itself. Including all the mind-boggling alternative realities -- solipsism, sim worlds, dream worlds, matrix worlds etc. -- out at the very end of the metaphysical limb.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:19 pm

Ecmandu wrote:Well gib...

You should be pissed at Buddhism.

It teaches not to be attached to an outcome, which is an outcome the teachings teach to be attached to.

It's internally inconsistent.

My religion, my higher power, is "unceremonious dedication to non contradiction"

Buddhism contradicts itself immensely, and should generate distrust and dislike.
Buddhism, at least some versions of this, does explain this contradition. That this desire to eliminate contradictions is, once the others are dissolved, also dissolved. It is part of the process to use this heuristic in the earlier stages. And there are many learning and training processes where heuristics in the early states are NOT good ones to use later, but trainers will suggest them early on. So this criticism does not hold.

There is truth as some timeless statement that mirrors reality. And there are instrumental truths, ones that elicit actions and processes and states. Everyone wants to start at the end. To have the end in their hands. Now I don't like the Buddhist end, but to deal with their ideas from a very specific idea about what a truth is, is to limit the processes we can use to get somewhere. Heuristics are trying to get people to a next stage. And from that stage new things can happen. This is true for learning golf, how to play poker hands, singing techniques....whatever. Once you have reached the next platform, new rules apply and others may not.

People here, online, have so much faith in words on a screen. Or words on a page.

Learning, especially learning things like how to suffer less, are experiential processes. And words and sentences are not used in the same ways. In Zen, sometimes this is called pointing. What do the words do.

But everyone here thinks sentences are supposed to be perfect mirrors. And Buddhism is good in one way in showing that that model of truth has many problems. The map and the territory are not the same.

I dislike Buddhism because of its ideas about what parts of us we must cut out. But it is not an inconsistant system.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Ecmandu » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:18 pm

Karpel,

It's totally inconsistent!

You should not be attached to non attachment.

It's like the mark twain quote, "everything in moderation including moderation"
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby promethean75 » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:10 am

Pfft. The Buddha did more work in the field of consent violation study than you'll ever do. In fact his whole thesis was on the problem of consent violation. And he solved the hyperdimensional mirrors, too.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Ecmandu » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:25 am

promethean75 wrote:Pfft. The Buddha did more work in the field of consent violation study than you'll ever do. In fact his whole thesis was on the problem of consent violation. And he solved the hyperdimensional mirrors, too.


You're trolling.

If the problem of consent violation through hyperdimensional mirror realities had been solved by the Buddha , none of us would be in the shit show we are.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby promethean75 » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:29 am

Hint: grunge band from the 90s.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Ecmandu » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:36 am

promethean75 wrote:Hint: grunge band from the 90s.


Well, if you're going to be an asshole if it, so will I

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FklUAoZ6KxY
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby promethean75 » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:38 am

that man is brilliant.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby gib » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:41 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I do think some people think it's that easy, but you are way too complicated to buy that and a great many Christians certainly do not.


How complicated I am is only part of the picture. I also don't believe in Christianity. I have no stake in the matter. So why do I care whether it's naively simple or more realistically complicated? If I wanted to believe in Christianity, I may be understandably unsatisfied with the simplistic picture, and I might invest in a more complicated, more demanding picture since those are usually more realistic. But since I don't believe in Christianity, how realistic the picture seems to me is not a priority. I guess the need for parsimony takes over in that case.

I can't dismiss Buddhism quite as easily for some reason.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:You have any guarantee for whatever you are doing now? Likely a mix of trying to not have certain problems, perhaps using heuristic plucked from here and there, following advice and ideas likely trickling through dozens of systems and experts. You are investing time right now in all sorts of activities - you have any guarantee they are helping?


It comes down to faith. Guarantee was a poor choice of words. I require more faith in the methods of Buddhism, which is nurtured quite substantially by understanding how it works, in order to be motivated to follow it. I have a lot more faith in the methods I'm currently working with than I am the methods Buddhism offers. I have doubts in the methods of Buddhism.

promethean75 wrote:in buddhism, absolutely. the B wasn't a 'prophet', believed in no god, and certainly didn't think of himself as some kind of emissary like all the dudes in the abrahamic religions did. the doctrine only consists of a series of reflections, skeptical in nature, and the conclusions drawn from them. philosophical as they were, the B's ideas would be accessible to anyone inclined to follow his lines of reasoning, and therefore are not dependent on him... which is to say, you don't need a paul or jesus or muhammad to receive this wisdom. so no, there is nothing special about the B, except maybe the feeling he had of himself as being the founder of some profound truth. but that comes with the territory; you're gonna get a little excited when you notice none of your contemporaries have come up with the same stuff. so 'founder', sure, but certainly none of that megalomania that's found in self-proclaimed prophets.


You may be right, though I'm not sure how you can know this (the guy lived 2500 years ago). That's beside the point though. Whether or not he was a megalomaniac self-appointed prophet, all we have of his wisdom and teachings today is the doctrine. This allows us to compare and contrast the doctrine with the words and behavior of those who come across as sages and prophets today. But from what I understand of Buddhism, you're right to say that the doctrine present Buddhism as something that is accessible to everyone directly (i.e. without a mediator), which suggests this is what the Buddha taught.

promethean75 wrote:now see you're talking about buddhism as if it were some kind of instructional CD set you buy off amazon, bro. what do you mean 'works'? it's not really a 'solution' to anything... just a relatively major attitude adjustment toward the world. i guess if you're looking to become more tolerant, compassionate, forgiving, sympathetic, and in general more peaceful, this is probably the one for you.


^ Yes, of course, isn't that what everyone expects out of Buddhism? Isn't this what it's renowned for?

promethean75 wrote:or you could go the zen samurai route and be a warrior who has stilled his mind and centered his heart and stuff.


^ That's a nice second.

But generally speaking, your phrase "...as if it were some kind of instructional CD set you buy off amazon," strikes at the heart of my angst over Buddhism. If the eight fold path is not a glorified set of instructions for enlightenment, what is it? (There's literally 8 steps!) What is Buddhism good for if not this? This is a serious question for me. I want to know.

The vast majority of people gravitate towards religion because they want something deep or meaningful out of it. Relief of suffering, the meaning of life, a purpose, wisdom, salvation... and in an attempt to offer this to people, religion has always sold itself by provided a method to achieve these. Calling this an instructional CD set found on Amazon makes it sound cheap and overly simplistic, but it can work as a crude analogy (the Christians facetiously say that Bible is an acronym for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth).

I'm not denying that you could be right--that Buddhism is not well understood as a method for achieving enlightenment--that it might only be the imparting of a deep truth discovered by the Buddha without any promise that it works as a "quick fix" for everyone's plight (though it seems to work for a great many anyway)--but then that just makes it really obscure to me... and quite useless. One thing I've always refused to do is to pretend to understand something just because it would make me seem wise. If I don't understand something, I'm going to say I don't understand. If you're saying Buddhism is not a set of instructions for achieving enlightenment (despite the way it's been presented to me), what would you say it is?
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:37 am

gib wrote:How complicated I am is only part of the picture. I also don't believe in Christianity. I have no stake in the matter. So why do I care whether it's naively simple or more realistically complicated? If I wanted to believe in Christianity, I may be understandably unsatisfied with the simplistic picture, and I might invest in a more complicated, more demanding picture since those are usually more realistic. But since I don't believe in Christianity, how realistic the picture seems to me is not a priority. I guess the need for parsimony takes over in that case.

I can't dismiss Buddhism quite as easily for some reason.
One mght argue that not being able to dismiss an idea does not indicate something negative about that idea.

It comes down to faith. Guarantee was a poor choice of words. I require more faith in the methods of Buddhism, which is nurtured quite substantially by understanding how it works, in order to be motivated to follow it. I have a lot more faith in the methods I'm currently working with than I am the methods Buddhism offers. I have doubts in the methods of Buddhism.
You say 'more faith'. YOu need more faith to believe in Buddhism than.....?
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:01 am

Ecmandu wrote:Karpel,

It's totally inconsistent!

You should not be attached to non attachment.

It's like the mark twain quote, "everything in moderation including moderation"
You did not interact with my argument, you simply repeated yours. You are treating Buddhism as using a correspondance theory of truth. It isn't. The 'language is a mirror of reality' type thinking is questioned by Buddhism, and further....all that I argued above.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby ralfy » Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:47 pm

That's not how Christianity promotes salvation.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:04 pm

Ecmandu wrote:
You should not be attached to non attachment.

It's like the mark twain quote, "everything in moderation including moderation"


Yep, that's how tricky this can all become when we realize that, in any number of contexts, the gap between the words we use to describe the world and the world as it would be understood re an omniscient, ontological understanding of existence itself, is always there.

We can articulate what Buddhism has come to mean to each of us as individuals. The part I root in dasein. But to the extent that we argue that others ought to argue the same is the extent to which we simply shrug off that gap above.

Then the part from Wittgenstein: "whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent".

But! He has to bring that up in order make the point itself.

Me, I'm sticking with what I construe to be the more fundamental factors about all this above. Knowing however that at any time a new experience, a new source of information might prompt me to change my mind.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:04 pm

Ecmandu wrote:
You should not be attached to non attachment.

It's like the mark twain quote, "everything in moderation including moderation"


Yep, that's how tricky this can all become when we realize that, in any number of contexts, the gap between the words we use to describe the world and the world as it would be understood re an omniscient, ontological understanding of existence itself, is always there.

We can articulate what Buddhism has come to mean to each of us as individuals. The part I root in dasein. But to the extent that we argue that others ought to argue the same is the extent to which we simply shrug off that gap above.

Then the part from Wittgenstein: "whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent".

But! He has to bring that up in order make the point itself.

Me, I'm sticking with what I construe to be the more fundamental factors about all this above. Knowing however that at any time a new experience, a new source of information might prompt me to change my mind.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:20 am

Note this;

Buddha's 4NT-8FP -A Life Problem Solving Technique
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=187395&p=2516029&hilit=Problem+solving#p2516029

'To get Buddhism', one need to cut through its forms to understand its fundamentals, i.e.
Buddha's 4NT-8FP -A Life Problem Solving Technique

The fundamental of Buddhism is basic like a doctor's approach in diagnosing a patient's medical problems.
In the case of Buddhism, it a self-diagnostic technique to deal with one's existential issues and its related sufferings.

The core existential issues are reflected in the Buddha's Story [a myth] as the inherent anxieties and Angst by every human being on the issue of sickness, old age and inevitable mortality.

In the Buddha Story, Gautama the prince was prevented by the palace to be exposed to the realities of life. Somehow he got out of the palace and saw sick and old people who were suffering and a corpse signifying inevitable mortality which stirred anxieties and Angst in Gautama. Therefrom he left the palace to seek solutions of all the sufferings arising from the above existential issues.

The essence of the story is every human being is in the same shoe as Gautama the generic human being with the above inherent existential issue and its related existential sufferings.

The Buddhism's 4NT-8FP -A Life Problem Solving Technique provide a self-analysis of the existential issue and solutions to deal with the inherent existential anxieties and Angst.
It is not easy for the majority to accept Buddhism-proper [not pseudo Buddhism] because it require some mental effort on the part of the believer to help him/herself.

The Buddhism-proper program is like the program to cure alcoholism, addictions, obesity, where the participants need to do the necessary mental and physical exercises in alignment with the principles within the Noble-8-Fold-Paths.
Examples of effort require are consistent meditations [samartha], mindfulness [vispasanna] reading the Sutra, Right Thinking, Right Actions, etc.

For those who are not inclined to put in the spiritual effort it would be more effective for them to accept any of the Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam where upon mere declaration of belief in God, viola! one is saved. How this approach has its cons beside the immediate pros.

There are some Buddhist schools that promise some sort of salvation upon acceptance beliefs, but they are pseudo-Buddhism. Such approach also has its pros and cons. There are the usual scandals associated with organizational pseudo-Buddhism.

Buddhism-proper also has its pros and cons, but being self-diagnostic, it will strive to resolve whatever negatives that result via its iterative mechanisms.

The essence of Buddhism-proper is to provide one with a self-managing Life Problem Solving Technique to deal with one's existential issues.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:43 am

For those who are not inclined to put in the spiritual effort it would be more effective for them to accept any of the Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam where upon mere declaration of belief in God, viola! one is saved. How this approach has its cons beside the immediate pros.


Let's get one thing straight though. Before you can attempt this, you must first be able to actually subsist from day to day to day. And that means, among other things, getting all the bills paid. And, for most of us, there is not a whole lot of "spirituality" involved in accomplishing this.

So there is still the part where the religious narrative has to be in sync with one of another political narrative.

After all, there are few things the ruling class and those who own and operate the global economy want to sustain more than folks who are eager to expend considerable chunks of their time in the pursuit of religious enlightenment.

Rather than, say, organizing politically to change things.
Last edited by iambiguous on Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Exuberant Teleportation » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:45 am

Exuberant Teleportation wrote:Inner Peace leads to the enlightenment of the sleeping Dragon. God wears a mask that helps us to animate His divine enlightenment. We must become 1 with God and the harmony of the whole universe to understand existence. The Dragon Mind flows from Slowking in totems of Red, Blue, and Yellow. Examine Your world from all angles and You will see the interconnection of all things. Even that which is humble can be the key to greater things. You must learn Focus and learn from Your environment at all times. The lesson of perception may be the greatest goal.

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