I don't get Buddhism

For intuitive and critical discussions, from spirituality to theological doctrines. Fair warning: because the subject matter is personal, moderation is strict.

Moderator: Dan~

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:16 pm

gib wrote:
Well, Biggy is definitely predictably formulaic... to the point where you could treat his arguments as a set of predicates the variables of which can be swapped out. One size fits all with Biggy.


Come on, we live in a world where down through the ages there have been literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of vast and varied religious narratives across the globe. Almost all of them insisting that only their own take on morality here and now and immortality there and then reflect the real thing.

The part that I root existentially in dasein. The part that "I" explore on this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529

One size fits all?!

Note to Phyllo:

Tell him about the stooges. :wink:
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36146
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:12 pm

No, Biggus is far more interested in exploring how any and all religious/spiritual folks connect the dots existentially between the behaviors they choose on this side of the grave and the fate of "I" on the other side. Morality -----> Immortality.
Buddhism isn't about immortality.
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 11904
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:52 pm

phyllo wrote:
No, Biggus is far more interested in exploring how any and all religious/spiritual folks connect the dots existentially between the behaviors they choose on this side of the grave and the fate of "I" on the other side. Morality -----> Immortality.
Buddhism isn't about immortality.


Note to Buddhists:

You die tomorrow. What then becomes of that which you know as "I" here and now? How is who you think you are here and now intertwined in what you think here and now is encompassed in reincarnation and Nirvana?

Here is one take on it:

Buddhism and Immortality, by William Sturgis Bigelow

There is a Japanese proverb that says, "There are many roads up the mountain, but it is always the same moon that is seen from the top." The Japanese themselves, with a liberality worthy of imitation, apply this saying to different forms of religious belief. The mountain may well typify matter, and the summit the highest accessible point on which a climber can stand and maintain his separate individual existence in terms of consciousness drawn from the material world. This peak may be accessible by any religion, or without any religion; but Buddhism and its genetically associated systems look beyond. The mountain top is the apotheosis of personal existence, the highest form of consciousness that can be expressed in terms of separate individuality,—a sublime elevation, where many a pilgrim is content to pause. Below him are the kingdoms; above him are the stars; and kingdoms and stars alike are his. But it is not the end. Deeper than the kingdoms, and higher than the stars, is the sky that holds them all. And there alone is peace,—that peace that the material world cannot give,—the peace that passeth understanding trained on material things,—infinite and eternal peace,—the peace of limitless consciousness unified with limitless will.

That peace is NIRVANA.


But how is this anything other than an intellectual contraption on spiritual steroids? Sure, if you can believe it and it brings you a comforting sense of serenity and peace of mind, good for you.

I'm just not able to make a leap like that anymore.

Then this part [for me]:

How are the behaviors that you choose on this side of the grave relevant to whatever you think becomes of "I" on the other side of it?

Finally, how do you go about demonstrating [if only to your self/"self"] that what you believe "in your head" is in fact what does unfold?

Why what Buddha says and not what hundreds of other religious advocates down through the ages have argued instead?

Is there the possibility that you have thought yourself into believing in Buddhism because, mentally, emotionally and psychologically, it simply comforts and consoles you to believe it?
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36146
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby gib » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:51 am

iambiguous wrote:Again, my main interest in religion revolves around the existential relationship between morality here and now and immortality there and then. So, someone who believes that Brahman is real is either willing and able to relate it to that or they won't/can't. In particular in regard to human interactions that come to collide as a result of conflicting moral and political value judgments.

Again, in turn, assuming that Brahman is not merely another inherent/necessary manifestation of human interactions wholly in sync with immutable laws of matter/nature.

Given human autonomy, there is the particular individual's subjective assessment of right and wrong behavior. Assessments rooted in dasein in my view. There is also a possible objective truth. Finally, there is the particular context involved.

And then there's...Brahman? What on Earth does that mean?

So, sure, tell us what you think it means "in your head". Then demonstrate to us why all "enlightened" men and women are obligated to think the same thing.

What else is there here "for all practical purposes".

And then the part [for me] where one's beliefs about this are connected to what one construes the fate of "I" to be on the other side. Reincarnation? Nirvana? How so? How does that get intertwined in Brahman as well?

So, suppose someone believes that Brahman is real and is confronted with a context relating to, say, vaccinations. The state demands/requires that their children be given the new covid-19 vaccine. They believe vaccines are dangerous and refuse. What of Brahman given a set of circumstances such as this?

Also, how is the coronavirus now stampeding around the globe to be understood as part of "the world as illusion"?

And how would the existence of something as terrible as the coronavirus itself be understood given Brahman? Now, with a religion like Christianity, things like this are merely subsumed in a God, the God's "mysterious ways". But in a No God religious narrative?


* Uuugh *

Never mind, Biggy. I just wanted to know why you said that Brahman can only be a real thing in a deterministic universe.

iambiguous wrote:I am considerably less inclined to question the existence of my self -- my self -- in the either/or world. Here [for me] that becomes problematic only to the extent that solipsism or sim worlds or dream worlds or The Matrix might be reality instead. In fact, I can imagine Brahman as the manifestation of our physical laws from the perspective of materialism or naturalism.

But introduce the "spiritual" realm and "I" becomes considerably more problematic for me. What here is able to be demonstrated as true and what is not.

Instead, the "I" that interest me far more is the embedded in the is/ought world.


That's fine. But how do you expect an exchange about the spiritual 'I' in the is/ought world to go down between you and a Buddhist--that is, one who believes the 'I' is an illusion?

I ask because your approach always seems to hinge on a disillusionment eventually happening--pulling the rug from under the objectivist's pillars, fragmenting the 'I' of the one who believes so firmly in it. A Buddhist is committed to letting that go, to embracing the disillusionment.

So let's say that I'm a Buddhist, and you approach me with your questions about the 'I' (I don't know how well I'll do this since I'm not Buddhist but I'll try to respond as I think a Buddhist would respond). How do you want to challenge my preconceptions about the 'I'?

iambiguous wrote:Come on, we live in a world where down through the ages there have been literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of vast and varied religious narratives across the globe. Almost all of them insisting that only their own take on morality here and now and immortality there and then reflect the real thing.


Possibly. And there's no reason you couldn't apply your manner of inquiry to the vast majority of them. They probably fit the bill and you'd probably get the results you'd expect. But speaking as someone who didn't fit the bill on several encounters with you, I'll take the liberty of commenting on your inflexibility to adapt to such exceptional cases, rare as they may be. For example, I remember on a few occasions having to insist that my beliefs on consciousness and the fabric of reality don't inform my morality, or prescribe any manner of behavior that would have an effect on my fate in the afterlife, but you didn't seem to be able to process that kind of response. Every belief or value system, you seem to believe, must have implications for morality and how we ought to behave.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9001
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:16 am

gib wrote:
* Uuugh *


And * Uuugh * right back to you.

You know, whatever that means.

gib wrote:Never mind, Biggy. I just wanted to know why you said that Brahman can only be a real thing in a deterministic universe.


Really? Cite me arguing that.

All I am trying to do is to reconfigure the use of the word Brahman [as conveyed above] into a well known context that, out in the world we live in, is anything but an illusion. My own example being vaccination in the age of covid-19.

That and how/why such a terrible disease is embedded at all in a world where, "Brahman alone Is. The world is Brahman".

The part where the discussion does not revolve almost entirely around a "world of words".

iambiguous wrote:I am considerably less inclined to question the existence of my self -- my self -- in the either/or world. Here [for me] that becomes problematic only to the extent that solipsism or sim worlds or dream worlds or The Matrix might be reality instead. In fact, I can imagine Brahman as the manifestation of our physical laws from the perspective of materialism or naturalism.

But introduce the "spiritual" realm and "I" becomes considerably more problematic for me. What here is able to be demonstrated as true and what is not.

Instead, the "I" that interest me far more is the embedded in the is/ought world.


gib wrote:That's fine. But how do you expect an exchange about the spiritual 'I' in the is/ought world to go down between you and a Buddhist--that is, one who believes the 'I' is an illusion?


On the contrary, in so many ways, "I" is anything but an illusion. I either contract covid-19 or I don't. I either die from it or I don't. I live in a particular community bursting at the seams with all manner of empirical/factual interactions relating to an extant relationship between government, government policy, citizenship and the corona virus.

Now, someone can argue that, "Brahman alone Is. The world is Brahman", and simply detach that from the actual lives that we live. Or they can at least make an attempt to intertwine the two given that which is of interest to me: mortality here and now and immortality there and then.

gib wrote:I ask because your approach always seems to hinge on a disillusionment eventually happening--pulling the rug from under the objectivist's pillars, fragmenting the 'I' of the one who believes so firmly in it. A Buddhist is committed to letting that go, to embracing the disillusionment.


That's your rendition of my rendition. Though, sure, particular Buddhists can congregate in a community of Buddhists and avoid altogether the conflicting goods that, time and time again, rend the lives of all the rest of us. And certainly not just in regard to global health calamities. But what on earth does it mean to be enlightened then? And how is being enlightened connected to karma connected to the fate of "I" on the other side?

gib wrote:So let's say that I'm a Buddhist, and you approach me with your questions about the 'I' (I don't know how well I'll do this since I'm not Buddhist but I'll try to respond as I think a Buddhist would respond). How do you want to challenge my preconceptions about the 'I'?


Again, to those here who do call themselves Buddhist, how is your understanding of self/"self" in the either/or world a manifestation of the world as an illusion? And how do you connect the dots between enlightenment/karma and what most other religious denominations refer to as immoral or sinful behavior. How, as well, is that connected to one's fate on the other side of the grave...given that, again, most other religious denominations subsume this in God and Judgment Day and an immortal soul and salvation.

And are your beliefs here basically just leaps of faith or do you have hard evidence to back up what you believe "in your head"?

iambiguous wrote:Come on, we live in a world where down through the ages there have been literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of vast and varied religious narratives across the globe. Almost all of them insisting that only their own take on morality here and now and immortality there and then reflect the real thing.


gib wrote:Possibly.


Just possibly? How about closer to irrefutably? Again unless human history as I have come to understand it really is just part of an illusion...or way out there on the metaphysical linb where reality is nothing at all like we think it is.

Again, given the existence of human autonomy.

As for this...

gib wrote:And there's no reason you couldn't apply your manner of inquiry to the vast majority of them. They probably fit the bill and you'd probably get the results you'd expect. But speaking as someone who didn't fit the bill on several encounters with you, I'll take the liberty of commenting on your inflexibility to adapt to such exceptional cases, rare as they may be. For example, I remember on a few occasions having to insist that my beliefs on consciousness and the fabric of reality don't inform my morality, or prescribe any manner of behavior that would have an effect on my fate in the afterlife, but you didn't seem to be able to process that kind of response. Every belief or value system, you seem to believe, must have implications for morality and how we ought to behave.


...what can I say.

As I note to others time and again, this is just another example of what I call a "general description intellectual contraption". A world of words.

We need to bring them out into the world of actual flesh and blood human interaction. A set of circumstances in which things like religion and enlightenment and morality and faith and consciousness and reality are encompassed and described given actual behaviors we choose and our reaction to the behaviors that others choose.

That's the part I want Buddhists to discuss Brahman regarding. The part I intertwine in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy.

Otherwise we end up with what I construe to be abstract [even silly] exchanges on threads like this: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=195793

21 pages of preposterous assumptions in which everything revolves almost entirely around words defining and defending other words.

"Cosmological arguments" indeed!
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36146
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:06 pm

gib wrote:
Never mind, Biggy. I just wanted to know why you said that Brahman can only be a real thing in a deterministic universe.



Really? Cite me arguing that.

Seems to be right here :
“The world is illusion. Brahman alone Is. The world is Brahman.” Shankaracharya

Brahman?

"Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes." Wikipedia

Come on, realistically, how could this be true in any other but a wholly determined universe?
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 11904
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:23 pm

'I' is like a cat that walks across a room. The cat at the end of the walk is not the same cat that started walking. It's changed ... it's aged, it has shed some hair, it has worn its claws, it has crushed some cells and grown some new ones, it has digested some food or grown hungry, it may have become aware of some thing, it may have forgotten some other thing. A vast number of changes.

We say that it's the same cat because we ignore the details. This is part of the illusion.
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 11904
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:51 pm

The Role of Karma in Buddhist Morality
Barbara O’Brien

I see people claim that Buddhist morality is no different from that of other religions, because the basic rules are about the same (don’t kill, don’t lie, don’t steal). But in Buddhism, the way the rules are understood and applied are considerably different.


If for no other reason then that with the preponderance of religions around the globe, an omniscient/omnipotent God is around to ensure that 1] no one can "kill, lie or steal" without it being known by God and 2] no one who does these things can ever hope to escape punishment.

How then is that part applicable to a religious denomination that has no actual omniscient/omnipotent entity to bring this about?

As in other traditions, Buddhist institutions often have resorted to promises or threats about a next life to market morality to the laity. But this is something like telling your four-year-old that the stork brought her baby brother. You figure you’ll give her the real story when she’s ready for it. So let’s assume we’re all ready for it and look at what the Buddha actually taught.


Really? Telling a 4 year old that the stork brought her baby brother is readily rebutted when as a 14 year old she is introduced to sex education in school. What can the Buddhists actually teach this 14 year old about morality and immortality? What can be demonstrated here given a particular set of circumstances such that it is the equivalent of the stork being replaced by sex education. For example, what if the 14 year old is told that she does not have a baby brother because Mommy aborted him?

Although Buddhism has Precepts, the Precepts themselves are not the absolute basis of morality. You could say the real basis is deep insight into the causes of wrong-doing — the greed, anger, and ignorance that cause us to harm others and ourselves. Until we fully appreciate for ourselves the truth of the Four Noble Truths, until we tame our own restless, grasping impulses, we will continue to do harm. And this is true no matter how many rules we follow.


Guess what? This cries out for a context.

You pick one and we can explore the practical implications of grasping words like these placed in this particular order.
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36146
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:02 pm

phyllo wrote:
gib wrote:
Never mind, Biggy. I just wanted to know why you said that Brahman can only be a real thing in a deterministic universe.



Really? Cite me arguing that.

Seems to be right here :
“The world is illusion. Brahman alone Is. The world is Brahman.” Shankaracharya

Brahman?

"Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes." Wikipedia

Come on, realistically, how could this be true in any other but a wholly determined universe?


Here however the assumption must be that our discussion of Brahman on this thread is not an inherent/necessary manifestation of a wholly determined world. Why? Because if we assume the opposite even the very words that I type and the very words that you read are just another inherent/necessary manifestation of the only possible reality there can ever be.
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36146
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:22 pm

phyllo wrote:'I' is like a cat that walks across a room. The cat at the end of the walk is not the same cat that started walking. It's changed ... it's aged, it has shed some hair, it has worn its claws, it has crushed some cells and grown some new ones, it has digested some food or grown hungry, it may have become aware of some thing, it may have forgotten some other thing. A vast number of changes.

We say that it's the same cat because we ignore the details. This is part of the illusion.


Okay, but these changes are rooted in the either/or world. Changes in which the details can in fact be noted and understood by particular experts in, among other things, zoology.

No, my "I" revolves far more around the construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of the self/"self" among our own species out in the is/ought world. And from the cradle to the grave.

And, on this thread in particular, the extent to which "I", given a sequence of actual experiences, relationships and access to ideas, comes into contact with the chief components of Buddhism -- enlightenment, karma, reincarnation, Nirvana.

"I" might come to understand them differently over the course of a life bursting at the seams with contingency, chance and change. But is there the most enlightened manner in which to grasp them?

And how is this related to the behaviors that one chooses here and now as that pertains to what is anticipated for "I" there and then?

After all, if you come back as a cat, is not the "I" you know now essentially obliterated? Or, if you are a particularly superb cat is there a possibility that in your next incarnation you can become one of us again?
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36146
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:41 pm

iambiguous wrote:
phyllo wrote:



Really? Cite me arguing that.

Seems to be right here :
“The world is illusion. Brahman alone Is. The world is Brahman.” Shankaracharya

Brahman?

"Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes." Wikipedia

Come on, realistically, how could this be true in any other but a wholly determined universe?


Here however the assumption must be that our discussion of Brahman on this thread is not an inherent/necessary manifestation of a wholly determined world. Why? Because if we assume the opposite even the very words that I type and the very words that you read are just another inherent/necessary manifestation of the only possible reality there can ever be.
We don't need to make any assumptions about determinism. And any assumptions don't change squat.


Determined or not determined, you still wrote the things that you wrote.
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 11904
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:56 pm

phyllo wrote: We don't need to make any assumptions about determinism. And any assumptions don't change squat.


Determined or not determined, you still wrote the things that you wrote.



Gasp! You have your take on this, I have mine.

Note to the Buddhists here:

So, where does Brahman fit into something like this? Am I more likely to be reincarnated into, say, a cat? 8)

Edit: https://youtu.be/KSgiN0HMbVg

In other words, here it becomes the equivalent of the Christian God's "mysterious ways". Mere mortals are not able to put it into words. How convenient. So, it can really become anything you want it to be. Anything you need it to be.
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36146
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:26 am

In other words, here it becomes the equivalent of the Christian God's "mysterious ways". Mere mortals are not able to put it into words. How convenient. So, it can really become anything you want it to be. Anything you need it to be.
Of course, if they do put it into words, then you criticize them for creating a "world of words".

So you are always right, aren't you?

What a stacked game.
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 11904
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jun 26, 2020 1:39 am

phyllo wrote:
In other words, here it becomes the equivalent of the Christian God's "mysterious ways". Mere mortals are not able to put it into words. How convenient. So, it can really become anything you want it to be. Anything you need it to be.
Of course, if they do put it into words, then you criticize them for creating a "world of words".

So you are always right, aren't you?

What a stacked game.



Sigh. Back again to stooge retorts. #-o

Note to Buddhists/Hindus:

Choose a set of circumstances in which to discuss Brahman. That way I can distinguish between words that, in my view, define and defend other words alone, and words that, in my view, focus in on actual human behaviors relating to morality on this side of the grave and the fate of "I" on the other side.
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36146
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby gib » Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:44 am

iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:Never mind, Biggy. I just wanted to know why you said that Brahman can only be a real thing in a deterministic universe.


Really? Cite me arguing that.


Here's what you said:

iambiguous wrote:"Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes." Wikipedia

Come on, realistically, how could this be true in any other but a wholly determined universe?


Were you thinking about "yet is the cause of all change" specifically?

iambiguous wrote:That and how/why such a terrible disease is embedded at all in a world where, "Brahman alone Is. The world is Brahman".


Well, you've come to the right thread. I'm asking similar questions, though most likely with wildly different motives.

iambiguous wrote:On the contrary, in so many ways, "I" is anything but an illusion. I either contract covid-19 or I don't. I either die from it or I don't. I live in a particular community bursting at the seams with all manner of empirical/factual interactions relating to an extant relationship between government, government policy, citizenship and the corona virus.


That's great. But I didn't ask what you thought of the 'I', I asked how you think an exchange would go down between yourself and a Buddhist (who thinks the 'I' is an illusion).

iambiguous wrote:Again, to those here who do call themselves Buddhist We'll just say that's me, how is your understanding of self/"self" in the either/or world a manifestation of the world as an illusion? Everything is an illusion. The self is no exception. The self is an invention clung to by desire as a means to attain satisfaction. And how do you connect the dots between enlightenment/karma and what most other religious denominations refer to as immoral or sinful behavior. There isn't much of a connection. Buddhism doesn't prescribe much in the way of morality. Why would it if all is an illusion? That isn't to say I, as a Buddhist, am not moral, but that my morality stems from something else. How, as well, is that connected to one's fate on the other side of the grave... Ah, now that is a question of more substance. We are all caught in the wheel of Samsara, the unending cycle of birth and death and rebirth. There is no getting off the wheel unless one attains enlightenment in this life. Then one simply resigns to nothingness upon his final death. This isn't a moral prescription, but is a way out from the suffering of human existence. given that, again, most other religious denominations subsume this in God and Judgment Day and an immortal soul and salvation.

Alas, the soul is not immortal. Neither is it mortal. One cannot die if one never existed. By God, you must mean Brahman--it is the closest thing to God in Eastern philosophy--Brahman is the wheel of Samsara, recycling us all through endless reincarnations until we wake up to the truth.

And are your beliefs here basically just leaps of faith or do you have hard evidence to back up what you believe "in your head"?


There is a lot of faith involved in what I believe, but I've also seen the benefits of walking the eight-fold path in my peers and the in monasteries I'v frequented--in those who practice meditation and those, rare as they may be, who truly seem enlightened.

iambiguous wrote:Just possibly? How about closer to irrefutably?


Geez, for someone who casts doubt all knowledge claims, you sure seem certain about this one.

iambiguous wrote:Again unless human history as I have come to understand it really is just part of an illusion...or way out there on the metaphysical linb where reality is nothing at all like we think it is.


I don't think we have to go that far. But you're claim that "...down through the ages there have been literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of vast and varied religious narratives across the globe. Almost all of them insisting that only their own take on morality here and now and immortality there and then reflect the real thing...." is certainly a hyperbole. Can you actually list hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of religious narratives that have seen the light of day? I think a huge part of what makes these religions "vast and varied" just is the fact that they aren't all unanymous in their beliefs in morality and immortality. Like I said above, Buddhism doesn't give much of a prescription on moral behavior. And did you know that Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe in an afterlife? Generally speaking, I tend to stay away from claims of certainty, trying my best to recognize the limits of my knowledge.

iambiguous wrote:As I note to others time and again, this is just another example of what I call a "general description intellectual contraption". A world of words.


Actually, it's a lived experience. It's my report on what it's like being grilled by you--a concrete example of a real world interaction if there ever was one. Or is labeling things "intellectual contraptions" your way of avoiding counter-examples?

iambiguous wrote:Otherwise we end up with what I construe to be abstract [even silly] exchanges on threads like this: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=195793


That we can agree on.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9001
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Ecmandu » Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:33 am

‘Being awake’ is extremely simple.

It’s the knowledge that zero sum worlds are hell realms (winner and a loser or winner and 8 billion losers). Once you know that you’re currently in a hell realm... you are enlightened. That’s all it is.

Positive non-zero sum worlds attached to individual desire matrices is where every living organism/being needs to go.

That’s all enlightenment is. Very simple.

Anything else? Lies / hell realm.
Ecmandu
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 10117
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:22 am

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:21 pm

Buddhism doesn't prescribe much in the way of morality.
Really?
The Five precepts (Sanskrit: pañcaśīla, Pali: pañcasīla); or five rules of training (Sanskrit: pañcaśikṣapada, Pali: pañcasikkhapada; [4][5])[note 1] is the most important system of morality for Buddhist lay people. They constitute the basic code of ethics to be undertaken by lay followers of Buddhism. The precepts are commitments to abstain from killing living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication. Within the Buddhist doctrine, they are meant to develop mind and character to make progress on the path to enlightenment. They are sometimes referred to as the śrāvakayāna precepts in the Mahāyāna tradition, contrasting them with the bodhisattva precepts. The five precepts form the basis of several parts of Buddhist doctrine, both lay and monastic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_precepts

Buddhist ethics are traditionally based on what Buddhists view as the enlightened perspective of the Buddha, or other enlightened beings such as Bodhisattvas. The Indian term for ethics or morality used in Buddhism is Śīla or sīla (Pāli). Śīla in Buddhism is one of three sections of the Noble Eightfold Path, and is a code of conduct that embraces a commitment to harmony and self-restraint with the principal motivation being nonviolence, or freedom from causing harm. It has been variously described as virtue,[1] moral discipline[2] and precept.

Sīla is an internal, aware, and intentional ethical behavior, according to one's commitment to the path of liberation. It is an ethical compass within self and relationships, rather than what is associated with the English word "morality" (i.e., obedience, a sense of obligation, and external constraint).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_ethics

Everything is an illusion. The self is no exception. The self is an invention clung to by desire as a means to attain satisfaction.
Who is on the path of liberation? Who will become enlightened?
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 11904
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby MagsJ » Fri Jun 26, 2020 2:53 pm

iambiguous wrote:Gasp! You have your take on this, I have mine.

Note to the Buddhists here:

So, where does Brahman fit into something like this? Am I more likely to be reincarnated into, say, a cat? 8)

What has Brahman got to do with that? Nothing, is what.

Such thinking occurred after the fact, of what Brahman initially was, by those who weren’t born under it's societal umbrella.. otherwise, they would know and understand exactly what it is.. they would breathe it, feel it, bathe in it.. like one does in the Ganges river or the Bengal Bay.

In other words, here it becomes the equivalent of the Christian God's "mysterious ways". Mere mortals are not able to put it into words. How convenient. So, it can really become anything you want it to be. Anything you need it to be.

Sounds.. malleable :D

It’s about a place.. a place in time, but not in space.. a place in the mind, that sprang, from one place.
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ


Nobilis Est Ira Leonis | Om Surya Devaay namah | Manus justa nardus
User avatar
MagsJ
The Londonist: a chic geek
 
Posts: 19952
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:59 pm
Location: London, NC1 … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …Suryaloka.. the sun

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:21 pm

Buddhism: Suffering and the Problem of Evil
From the Patheos web site

The first sermon that the Buddha preached after his enlightenment concerned the Four Noble Truths. This is the most well known of Buddhist doctrines in the west, and there are some fairly standard English translations....but the standard translations are somewhat misleading. First, these are not truths that are noble, but truths that have been realized by the (spiritually) noble. They might more accurately be called four realities of life known to those who are spiritually aware. These four realities are: the truth of suffering, the truth of arising, the truth of cessation, and the truth of the path.


The truth in what sense though? A "spiritual" truth whereby the already committed are all in agreement on what they conclude the meaning of suffering, arising, cessation and the path mean?

That's what I suspect. After all, religious denominations around the globe have their own component "lists" that the faithful subscribe to.

But, if, given any particular set of circumstances, these lists are all over the map in regard to how different denominations react to one or another actual situation, what then?

"What then?" given the fact that in any particular community, behaviors are going to be either rewarded or punished. And, in turn, that there is always going to be a connection made between this and what is thought to be the consequences of our behaviors for "the other side"

Suffering: The word often translated as suffering has no English equivalent. The meaning of the phrase is not that "life is miserable," as the English translation might seem to indicate, but that some pain is inevitable in life. Birth is painful, sickness is painful, aging is painful, death is painful. It is painful to experience unhappiness and displeasure; it is painful to want something and not be able to have it; it is painful to have something and lose it; it is painful when a pleasurable experience ends.


Okay, then back again to this:

With most other religious denominations suffering is subsumed in God. In His mysterious ways, as a test of faith, as the work of the Devil.

There are other explanations: https://www.josh.org/10-biblical-reason ... suffering/

What then of the explanations that Buddhists offer given that there does not appear to be a God, the God, my God embedded in their belief system. That's what the author will explore here. This and the "problem of evil".
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36146
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby gib » Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:48 pm

phyllo wrote:
phyllo wrote:
Buddhism doesn't prescribe much in the way of morality.
Really?
The Five precepts (Sanskrit: pañcaśīla, Pali: pañcasīla); or five rules of training (Sanskrit: pañcaśikṣapada, Pali: pañcasikkhapada; [4][5])[note 1] is the most important system of morality for Buddhist lay people. They constitute the basic code of ethics to be undertaken by lay followers of Buddhism. The precepts are commitments to abstain from killing living beings, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication. Within the Buddhist doctrine, they are meant to develop mind and character to make progress on the path to enlightenment. They are sometimes referred to as the śrāvakayāna precepts in the Mahāyāna tradition, contrasting them with the bodhisattva precepts. The five precepts form the basis of several parts of Buddhist doctrine, both lay and monastic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_precepts

Buddhist ethics are traditionally based on what Buddhists view as the enlightened perspective of the Buddha, or other enlightened beings such as Bodhisattvas. The Indian term for ethics or morality used in Buddhism is Śīla or sīla (Pāli). Śīla in Buddhism is one of three sections of the Noble Eightfold Path, and is a code of conduct that embraces a commitment to harmony and self-restraint with the principal motivation being nonviolence, or freedom from causing harm. It has been variously described as virtue,[1] moral discipline[2] and precept.

Sīla is an internal, aware, and intentional ethical behavior, according to one's commitment to the path of liberation. It is an ethical compass within self and relationships, rather than what is associated with the English word "morality" (i.e., obedience, a sense of obligation, and external constraint).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_ethics

Everything is an illusion. The self is no exception. The self is an invention clung to by desire as a means to attain satisfaction.
Who is on the path of liberation? Who will become enlightened?



You gotta cut me some slack here, phyllo. I'm trying my best to respond to Biggy as if I were a Buddhist. It's hard because I'm not a Buddhist. If I were, maybe I would be more aware of Pāli or Śīla and bring it up. But drawing on what I understand of Buddhism, nothing really matters in this world just like nothing really matters in a dream. So ethics doesn't have a leg to stand on.

I will say this though: the excerpts you posted only indicate that there is an ethical system in Buddhism--I would expect every religion or ideology to have something to say about ethics--but unless I have a wildly different understanding of Buddhism from everyone else in the world, ethics certainly don't take center stage in Buddhism--not like they do in Christianity. Again, I don't claim to be qualified to speak for all humanity, but I think most people understand Christianity to be highly wrapped up in ethics. The word 'sin' is world renown as coming from Christianity. Does anyone know an equivalent term in Buddhism? Punishment for the wicked in Hell, reward for the pure in Heaven--everyone knows about these Christian concepts; is there anything comparable in Buddhism. Obviously, there's something in Buddhism that speaks to ethics as your quotes above indicate, but it seems like very esoteric knowledge to me, not common knowledge.

Who's on the path of liberation? Who will be enlightened? The false self.

Doesn't make sense? Join the club. This is just what I would say playing the role of a Buddhism. But as gib, this makes as little sense to me as it probably does for you--hence this thread.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9001
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Ecmandu » Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:22 pm

Gib,

No Buddhist hells? One of the 5 realms you can be incarnated to is the hell realm!

Buddhists don’t fuck around either! I’d rather be sent to Christian eternal damnation than a Buddhist one!

Seriously, Buddhists don’t fuck around!

One of the Buddhist hells is that if you reach the top of a mountain, your hell will end. Slight problem... the entire mountain has knives sticking out of it, making it impossible to get to the top! Ever!

No, Buddhists don’t fuck around!

Another Buddhists hell is that you are always starving and then you get one grain of rice every 10 trillion years - forever.

Both of those are EASY Buddhist hells!

Like I said, Buddhists wrote the book on hell!

Like, seriously, these people don’t fuck around!
Ecmandu
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 10117
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:22 am

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:19 pm

You gotta cut me some slack here, phyllo. I'm trying my best to respond to Biggy as if I were a Buddhist. It's hard because I'm not a Buddhist.
Yeah, I got what you were doing ... as absurd as it is.
But drawing on what I understand of Buddhism, nothing really matters in this world just like nothing really matters in a dream. So ethics doesn't have a leg to stand on.
Of course stuff matters. You suffer and continue to be reborn until you attain enlightenment. That's no dream.
I will say this though: the excerpts you posted only indicate that there is an ethical system in Buddhism--I would expect every religion or ideology to have something to say about ethics--but unless I have a wildly different understanding of Buddhism from everyone else in the world, ethics certainly don't take center stage in Buddhism--not like they do in Christianity. Again, I don't claim to be qualified to speak for all humanity, but I think most people understand Christianity to be highly wrapped up in ethics. The word 'sin' is world renown as coming from Christianity. Does anyone know an equivalent term in Buddhism? Punishment for the wicked in Hell, reward for the pure in Heaven--everyone knows about these Christian concepts; is there anything comparable in Buddhism. Obviously, there's something in Buddhism that speaks to ethics as your quotes above indicate, but it seems like very esoteric knowledge to me, not common knowledge.
You live in the west so you have some knowledge of Christianity ... mostly evangelical Protestantism. As do the participants in this forum.
Who's on the path of liberation? Who will be enlightened? The false self.

Doesn't make sense? Join the club. This is just what I would say playing the role of a Buddhism. But as gib, this makes as little sense to me as it probably does for you--hence this thread.
There is a 'you', it's just not the 'you' that you think it is.

That's something you have to discover through practice.
phyllo
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 11904
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:41 am

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby MagsJ » Sat Jun 27, 2020 1:48 pm

iambiguous wrote:Note to Buddhists/Hindus:

Choose a set of circumstances in which to discuss Brahman. That way I can distinguish between words that, in my view, define and defend other words alone, and words that, in my view, focus in on actual human behaviors relating to morality on this side of the grave and the fate of "I" on the other side.

Again, and every time? #-o

What would or does your set of circumstances look like, for a discussion of Brahman based on Your view? Is that onus not on You, in setting out the terms of that which you want to understand?
The possibility of anything we can imagine existing is endless and infinite.. - MagsJ

I haven't got the time to spend the time reading something that is telling me nothing, as I will never be able to get back that time, and I may need it for something at some point in time.. Wait, What! - MagsJ


Nobilis Est Ira Leonis | Om Surya Devaay namah | Manus justa nardus
User avatar
MagsJ
The Londonist: a chic geek
 
Posts: 19952
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:59 pm
Location: London, NC1 … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …Suryaloka.. the sun

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby gib » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:16 pm

Ecmandu wrote:Gib,

No Buddhist hells? One of the 5 realms you can be incarnated to is the hell realm!

Buddhists don’t fuck around either! I’d rather be sent to Christian eternal damnation than a Buddhist one!

Seriously, Buddhists don’t fuck around!

One of the Buddhist hells is that if you reach the top of a mountain, your hell will end. Slight problem... the entire mountain has knives sticking out of it, making it impossible to get to the top! Ever!

No, Buddhists don’t fuck around!

Another Buddhists hell is that you are always starving and then you get one grain of rice every 10 trillion years - forever.

Both of those are EASY Buddhist hells!

Like I said, Buddhists wrote the book on hell!

Like, seriously, these people don’t fuck around!


You see? Who has heard of these hells?

phyllo wrote:Of course stuff matters. You suffer and continue to be reborn until you attain enlightenment. That's no dream.


Then I don't understand. Every Buddhist source I've come across says the world is an illusion and that the dream analogy fits.

Obviously, analogies shouldn't be taken literally, so maybe the unreality of dreams is one aspect of the analogy that doesn't carry over well, but I thought this was the key reason enlightenment brings so much peace of mind.

Now we could say that though a dream isn't real, someone in the midst of a nightmare experiences real fear, and maybe we have a moral obligation to wake him up to relieve him of his fear. Is that what you have in mind?

phyllo wrote:There is a 'you', it's just not the 'you' that you think it is.


Yes, the false self.
My thoughts | My art | My music | My poetry

In fact, the idea that there's more differences between groups than there is between individuals is actually the fundamental racist idea.
- Jordan Peterson

Here's a good rule of thumb for politics--attribute everything to stupidity unless you can prove malice.
- Ben Shapiro

right outta high school i tried to get a job as a proctologist but i couldn't find an opening.
- promethean75

Ahh... gib, zombie universes are so last year! I’m doing hyper dimensional mirror realities now.
- Ecmandu
User avatar
gib
resident exorcist
 
Posts: 9001
Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: in your mom

Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:31 pm

gib wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
gib wrote:Never mind, Biggy. I just wanted to know why you said that Brahman can only be a real thing in a deterministic universe.


Really? Cite me arguing that.


Here's what you said:

iambiguous wrote:"Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes." Wikipedia

Come on, realistically, how could this be true in any other but a wholly determined universe?


Were you thinking about "yet is the cause of all change" specifically?


Not really sure what you mean here.


In my view, once you assume the existence of 1] a determined universe in which matter interacts entirely in accordance with immutable laws, and 2] that the human brain is just more of it, then Brahman much like everything else is merely an inherent/necessary manifestation of the only possible reality. Or, as some argue, embedded in the psychological illusion of human autonomy.

But, once human autonomy is presumed instead, then the assumption would be that we are free to interpret the meaning of Brahman. And that can/will result in conflicting assessments. So, which assessment can those in possession of free will pin down as the actual correct assessment?

And in what particular context?

iambiguous wrote:That and how/why such a terrible disease is embedded at all in a world where, "Brahman alone Is. The world is Brahman".


gib wrote: Well, you've come to the right thread. I'm asking similar questions, though most likely with wildly different motives.


Okay, fair enough. But, in regard to religion, I can't think of a more potent motive than the one that, historically and culturally, revolves around exploring the actual practical ramifications of connecting the dots existentially between morality here and now and immortality there and then. What could possibly be of more importance than that? For the lives that we live.

iambiguous wrote:On the contrary, in so many ways, "I" is anything but an illusion. I either contract covid-19 or I don't. I either die from it or I don't. I live in a particular community bursting at the seams with all manner of empirical/factual interactions relating to an extant relationship between government, government policy, citizenship and the corona virus.


gib wrote: That's great. But I didn't ask what you thought of the 'I', I asked how you think an exchange would go down between yourself and a Buddhist (who thinks the 'I' is an illusion).


Well, okay, for those Buddhists here among us, let's choose a particular set of circumstances and explore the extent to which the "self" either can or cannot be deemed illusive. First in the either/or world. Then in the is/ought world.

Now, my distinction here is that in the either/or world of 1] biological imperatives 2] social, political and economic demographics and 3] empirical facts, the Buddhist self is as substantial as all the rest of ours. Whereas, in the is/ought world, I deem the "self" not to be entirely illusive, but elusive. An ever evolving existential contraption rooted in dasein from the cradle to the grave.

Sure, if some can convince themselves that "Everything is an illusion. The self is no exception. The self is an invention clung to by desire as a means to attain satisfaction", what can I say. We'll just have to agree to disagree about that.

Same here...

And how do you connect the dots between enlightenment/karma and what most other religious denominations refer to as immoral or sinful behavior.


"There isn't much of a connection. Buddhism doesn't prescribe much in the way of morality. Why would it if all is an illusion? That isn't to say I, as a Buddhist, am not moral, but that my morality stems from something else."


Yeah, if you can think yourself into believing this and then choose to live in a community consisting entirely of other Buddhists who have thought themselves into thinking the same, fine. If that works to bring you a far more comforting and consoling sense of reality, more power to you.

But: if you choose to interact with folks of other religious denominations and atheists and the nihilist who own and operate around the globe that we all reside on, be prepared to have your own sense of identity challenged. See if there are not some very, very real aspects of the self that are challenged by others.


For example, others might insist that you actually demonstrate to them what your own morality "stems from". In regard to, say, the very real parameters of abortion, or animal rights, or gender roles, or sexual behaviors. What are you going to do, plead "illusion" when they challenge the things you say and do?

How, as well, is that connected to one's fate on the other side of the grave...


"Ah, now that is a question of more substance."


Actually, that can be seen as the least substantive question, in that Buddhists are no more able to demonstrate what one's fate on the other side of the grave will be. Unless, of course, the Buddhists here are able to link me to such proof.

"We are all caught in the wheel of Samsara, the unending cycle of birth and death and rebirth. There is no getting off the wheel unless one attains enlightenment in this life. Then one simply resigns to nothingness upon his final death. This isn't a moral prescription, but is a way out from the suffering of human existence."

"Alas, the soul is not immortal. Neither is it mortal. One cannot die if one never existed. By God, you must mean Brahman--it is the closest thing to God in Eastern philosophy--Brahman is the wheel of Samsara, recycling us all through endless reincarnations until we wake up to the truth."


This is just intellectual gibberish to me, the sort of religious mumbo jumbo that the faithful [Buddhist or otherwise] are able to think themselves into believing but are entirely impotent in regard to substantiating. Again, from my perspective, the whole point is not in what you believe but that you believe it. It is the belief itself that instills the equanimity enabling one to deal with a world that is ever and always bursting at the seams with so many terrible things. And that's before oblivion.

iambiguous wrote:Just possibly? How about closer to irrefutably?


gib wrote: Geez, for someone who casts doubt all knowledge claims, you sure seem certain about this one.


But I don't cast doubt on all knowledge claims. Instead, I make a distinction between objective knowledge derived from human interactions in the either/or world, and subjective assessments relating to identity, value judgments and political economy. On this thread as that relates to behaviors deemed enlightened/unenlightened on this side of the grave and one's fate on the other side of it.

iambiguous wrote:Again unless human history as I have come to understand it really is just part of an illusion...or way out there on the metaphysical limb where reality is nothing at all like we think it is.


gib wrote: Can you actually list hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of religious narratives that have seen the light of day? I think a huge part of what makes these religions "vast and varied" just is the fact that they aren't all unanymous in their beliefs in morality and immortality.


Start here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_r ... ock%2Dwise

Even in regard to Buddhism itself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schools_of_Buddhism

And, come on, with so much at stake in regard to the fate of "I" for, say, all the rest of eternity, what could possibly be more crucial than to pick the right one?
Last edited by iambiguous on Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
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
User avatar
iambiguous
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 36146
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:03 pm
Location: baltimore maryland

PreviousNext

Return to Religion and Spirituality



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users