I don't get Buddhism (2)

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I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Tue May 12, 2020 11:47 pm

Gib wrote: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.


I love this post. It’s honest and refreshing

Image

I’d like to put in my two cents but as the original thread has been hijacked, I’ll fork this into a new one and stick to the OP.

PLEASE DON'T HIJACK THIS THREAD.

I’m going to use the term Advaita (meaning ‘not two’) because the term ‘Buddhism’ is too restricted. Advaita existed long before Buddhism and it focuses on the essence of what I believe Buddha, Zen masters, Taoists and Christ were speaking about: the individual’s personal realization of Truth rather than intellectual concepts of Truth.

The following posts are going to be quite random and hopefully, quite simple because I don't want to overly complicate things. This is a bit of an experiment for me so let's see if it works....
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Wed May 13, 2020 12:06 am

Most people don’t ‘get’ Advaita/Buddhism because it’s counter intuitive.

Advaita/Buddhism is like a Chinese thumb trap; the more you try to pull your thumbs out of the bamboo cylinder, the tighter the bamboo wraps around them.

The way to get out of the trap is to do the opposite of what you would expect -- i.e. rather than pull your thumbs outward, you push your thumbs inward and the bamboo releases its grip.

IOW, you can’t understand Advaita/Buddhism via the intellect. The intellect (egoic mind) is the thumb trap. The more you strain to understand it, the more you'll become trapped and just go around and around and around.

Advaita/Buddhism can only be understood experientially. The intellect plays a part in the preparatory stage but must be abandoned if you wish to go further.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Wed May 13, 2020 1:00 am

Most of the intellectual stuff we need to know is about correcting false notions. In that respect, the intellect is very useful but it's NOT useful in creating new notions, new concepts and new ideas.

For instance, the person/ego/self which wants to become Enlightened, is not that which will become Enlightened.
Enlightenment is the absence of self.
That's the definition. It’s nothing more than that.
You (the self) doesn't get anything and you (the self) doesn't arrive anywhere.
You (the self) doesn't exist and when this is experientially realized, it's called Enlightenment.

The irony is that the self wants to experience its own absence.
This is why it might seem like a 'get rich quick' scheme that promises something great but never seems to deliver.

Think of it like this: your dream character (the one that slays dragons and saves the pretty princesses) never wakes up in the morning no matter how much you may want to during the dream. What actually happens is the imaginary dream character vanishes and you find yourself in the position of the dreamer.

The Enlightened master realizes something similar but on a higher conscious plane. The Enlightened masters is just a lucid dreamer who hasn't quite left the dream. He/she remains to show us how we can become lucid dreamers.



to be continued...
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 13, 2020 7:01 am

Chakra Superstar wrote:I’m going to use the term Advaita (meaning ‘not two’) because the term ‘Buddhism’ is too restricted. Advaita existed long before Buddhism and it focuses on the essence of what I believe Buddha, Zen masters, Taoists and Christ were speaking about: the individual’s personal realization of Truth rather than intellectual concepts of Truth.
..

I don't seem to be able to reconcile 'advaita' as generally understood, with Buddhism.

The term Advaita refers to its idea that the true self, Atman, is the same as the highest metaphysical reality of the universe, Brahman.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Vedanta


Meanwhile;

In Buddhism, the term anattā (Pali) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to the doctrine of "non-self", that there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul or essence in phenomena.


Thus "advaita" and Buddhism are not similar, since Buddhism do not believe in the likes of Atman nor Brahman the highest metaphysical reality of the universe.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed May 13, 2020 7:24 am

Prismatic567 wrote:
Chakra Superstar wrote:I’m going to use the term Advaita (meaning ‘not two’) because the term ‘Buddhism’ is too restricted. Advaita existed long before Buddhism and it focuses on the essence of what I believe Buddha, Zen masters, Taoists and Christ were speaking about: the individual’s personal realization of Truth rather than intellectual concepts of Truth.
..

I don't seem to be able to reconcile 'advaita' as generally understood, with Buddhism.

The term Advaita refers to its idea that the true self, Atman, is the same as the highest metaphysical reality of the universe, Brahman.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Vedanta


Meanwhile;

In Buddhism, the term anattā (Pali) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to the doctrine of "non-self", that there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul or essence in phenomena.


Thus "advaita" and Buddhism are not similar, since Buddhism do not believe in the likes of Atman nor Brahman the highest metaphysical reality of the universe.
Your both generalizing, but there are absolutely many strains in Buddhism that belief something utterly parallel, though they use different words. In fact descriptoins of the experiences are striking in their parallel stages, timing, and predictability in relation to practices. Buddhism came out of Hinduism, the practices are actually extremely similar. A Westerner atheist seeing the name of a deity brings a huge set of baggage and assumptions. And then you get discussions where people with little experience think they can use deduction about things they know little aobut.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 13, 2020 7:52 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:
Chakra Superstar wrote:I’m going to use the term Advaita (meaning ‘not two’) because the term ‘Buddhism’ is too restricted. Advaita existed long before Buddhism and it focuses on the essence of what I believe Buddha, Zen masters, Taoists and Christ were speaking about: the individual’s personal realization of Truth rather than intellectual concepts of Truth.
..

I don't seem to be able to reconcile 'advaita' as generally understood, with Buddhism.

The term Advaita refers to its idea that the true self, Atman, is the same as the highest metaphysical reality of the universe, Brahman.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advaita_Vedanta


Meanwhile;

In Buddhism, the term anattā (Pali) or anātman (Sanskrit) refers to the doctrine of "non-self", that there is no unchanging, permanent self, soul or essence in phenomena.


Thus "advaita" and Buddhism are not similar, since Buddhism do not believe in the likes of Atman nor Brahman the highest metaphysical reality of the universe.
Your both generalizing, but there are absolutely many strains in Buddhism that belief something utterly parallel, though they use different words. In fact descriptoins of the experiences are striking in their parallel stages, timing, and predictability in relation to practices. Buddhism came out of Hinduism, the practices are actually extremely similar. A Westerner atheist seeing the name of a deity brings a huge set of baggage and assumptions. And then you get discussions where people with little experience think they can use deduction about things they know little aobut.

Yes there are many sects of Buddhism and various forms of practices.

Buddhism and Hinduism has many similarities but what I presented above are the core principles which are different.
There is no compromise with the core principles.

Buddhism and Hinduism have common origins in the Ganges culture of northern India during the "second urbanisation" around 500 BCE.[1] They have shared parallel beliefs that have existed side by side, but also pronounced differences.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_and_Hinduism


The Buddha went through a string of gurus of of Hinduism [Vedas based] and found none to his satisfaction and he finally found a method of his own which is distinctively different from Hinduism [Vedas] in terms of its core principles, e.g. anatman versus atman as presented above.
However Buddhism has more similarities with Jainism where both are non-theistic.

Since the emergence of Buddhism from 500BCE, the Buddhists had been seriously debating with Hinduism [Vedantists] till now in terms of their core principles.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Thu May 14, 2020 2:33 am

Well that little experiment didn’t last long. Thanks guys.

I specifically asked that people NOT hijack this thread because I wanted to address Gib’s post on a practical level and prevent it from deteriorating into a bunch of dick-fighting posts like Gib's original thread.

Prismatic, I didn’t suggest Advaita and Buddhism were similar in every respect so posting definitions is irrelevant. As I said in the op, I wanted to extend the focus from Buddhism to encompass similar practices because the crux of their message – Enlightenment – is the same for all. I wanted to focus on Gib’s issues about the practical aspects of Enlightenment – not argue about theories, definitions, historic developments or creeds.

I had a lot to say about this that I haven’t seen posted here before, but you’re just going to jump in and argue about some other irrelevant point and others are going to jump in and argue back, so I’ll leave you to it. It was an experiment after all and unfortunately, it just didn’t work. :cry:

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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu May 14, 2020 7:46 am

Chakra Superstar wrote:Well that little experiment didn’t last long. Thanks guys.

I specifically asked that people NOT hijack this thread because I wanted to address Gib’s post on a practical level and prevent it from deteriorating into a bunch of dick-fighting posts like Gib's original thread.

Prismatic, I didn’t suggest Advaita and Buddhism were similar in every respect so posting definitions is irrelevant. As I said in the op, I wanted to extend the focus from Buddhism to encompass similar practices because the crux of their message – Enlightenment – is the same for all. I wanted to focus on Gib’s issues about the practical aspects of Enlightenment – not argue about theories, definitions, historic developments or creeds.

I had a lot to say about this that I haven’t seen posted here before, but you’re just going to jump in and argue about some other irrelevant point and others are going to jump in and argue back, so I’ll leave you to it. It was an experiment after all and unfortunately, it just didn’t work. :cry:

.

I believe the grounding truth is very critical.
"Enlightenment – is the same for all" is false.

If your presentation is solid, true and sound, I would not have bothered at all.

The approach to "enlightenment" within Buddhism is significantly different from Vedanta [Hinduism] and other religions like the Abrahamics [salvation].

Since you are addressing to Gib [apparently uncertain of Buddhism], I believe she should be exposed to the truth and alternative views rather than you forcing views into her.
This sharing of views is after all the purpose of this philosophy forum which is not to promote one person's propaganda.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby phoneutria » Thu May 14, 2020 1:13 pm

Yeah but you could copy his post into the other thread where there is already a discussion going, and leave this one alone as requested by the op, you twat.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri May 15, 2020 10:22 am

Chakra Superstar wrote:Well that little experiment didn’t last long. Thanks guys.
My apologies. I will not make any more off subject posts in this thread.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby gib » Sat May 16, 2020 8:26 am

Woaw, a sequal!!! I seem to have returned to ILP at just the right time. How's everybody enjoying COVID?! :romance-grouphug:

Shakra, your posts are as much appreciated as you appreciate mine. I get out of them quite the same as what you got out of mine: refreshing honesty.

Still tho, they are intellectual responses, which, as you said, are less than satisfactory. But what else can you do?

I've always found the dream metaphor to be the best for what, I gather, Buddhism teaches. It's the only thing that makes some modicum of sense.

But according to the dream metaphor, nothing that happens in the dream is to be trusted--it's all dreamt up anyway--and this includes everything Buddhism has to teach. It's all together possible that when I wake up, I will say: "Can you believe I had a dream that there was this religion called 'Buddhism'"? It seems to also suggest that what wakes one up is not to be found in the dream, or in anything one does in the dream, but something in the waking world--a proverbial alarm clock, for example--almost as though something pulls one into enlightenment without even having to ask. So much for the eight-fold path. When I become enlightened, then I will know what brought me there.

I think this nicely wraps up why Buddhism strikes me as such a tease--because while it beacons me to believe there is such a state as enlightenment, the very concept entails that I've just dreamt it up.

Chakra Superstar wrote:Well that little experiment didn’t last long. Thanks guys.


What exactly was the experiment? What were you hoping for?

We could just ignore all the hijackers, couldn't we? Discuss around them? Or did you not even want a discussion?

Prismatic567 wrote:Since you are addressing to Gib [apparently uncertain of Buddhism], I believe she should be exposed to the truth and alternative views rather than you forcing views into her.


Don't worry about me, Prismatic. I'm not the kind of girl who needs to be shown the truth amongst alternative views. I much prefer coming to my own truth and contributing my own alternative views to discussions like this.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby felix dakat » Sat May 16, 2020 6:12 pm

Welcome back gib! I had begun to think that imagining you would post on the topic you started was like waiting for Godot!
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Gloominary » Sat May 16, 2020 7:12 pm

It's one thing to entertain the notion you don't exist, it's another thing entirely to believe in it.
You can only get the, cremation of care so to speak if you actually believe you don't exist.
While I believe I do exist (at least in some sense, in another there's no stark, if any division between you and everyone/thing else, just as there's no stark, if any division between say your arm and your hand, the notion of self, like all notions, is sort of a psychosocial construct), sometimes I imagine what it would feel like to believe I don't, and it feels good, for if you don't exist, you don't have to worry about what happens to you, or anyone else for that matter, you can just mesh with everything.
I also think it's sort of a false dichotomy, like you can loosen your sense of self/other, without abandoning it altogether.
Just loosening it can give you some piece of mind.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby gib » Sat May 16, 2020 7:14 pm

felix dakat wrote:Welcome back gib! I had begun to think that imagining you would post on the topic you started was like waiting for Godot!


Meh, what can I say. I got bored. I returned to this topic only because I felt like posting something last night and I found I don't get Buddhism (Part 2). I was like 'Hey!' and I had to post.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby felix dakat » Sat May 16, 2020 7:30 pm

gib wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Welcome back gib! I had begun to think that imagining you would post on the topic you started was like waiting for Godot!


Meh, what can I say. I got bored. I returned to this topic only because I felt like posting something last night and I found I don't get Buddhism (Part 2). I was like 'Hey!' and I had to post.

We don't determine our interests, they determine us.
The purpose of my life would seem to be to express the truth as I discover it, but in such a manner that it is completely devoid of authority. By having no authority, by being seen by all as utterly unreliable, I express the truth and put everyone in a contradictory position where they can only save themselves by making the truth their own.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Gloominary » Sat May 16, 2020 7:53 pm

The point of Western Spirituality (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) tends to be to hold onto your sense of self/other even more tightly (I'm me, you're you and God is God, I have an immortal soul (and body) and so do you), the point of Eastern Spirituality (Hinduism, Buddhism and Daoism) is to let go of your sense of self/other.
But both are united in that whether you exist, and are immortal, or whether you don't exist, and all is one, you can't be harmed, you can only be harmed if you exist, and are mortal, which leads to existential angst, despair and trying to create subjective meaning out of objective meaninglessness, which's modern Europe's contribution to man's quest for meaning.
Spirituality is the opposite of Existentiality.


For me, spirituality is about transcending our mortality/finitude.
There's different ways to do this.
One is by believing you're (a) God.
Another is by believing (a) God is looking out for you.

And another is by believing all people, places and properties are essentially one and interdependent, like your head is not separate from your neck, your neck is not separate from your torso.
In the same way, you're not separate from the sky above, nor the earth below.
If you're part or a feature of the cosmos, and the cosmos is immortal/infinite, then by extension, so are you.
This is monism (atman is brahman, Hinduism).
There's different forms of monism: theistic, idealistic, naturalistic, dialectical...

Yet another is by believing you don't exist, or nothing can be objectively said about you, not that you exist, nor that you do not exist, for everything is dynamic, ephemeral and in flux, infinitely divisible, ontologically impure.
This is nihilism, Cratylism or anatman, Buddhism.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Sun May 24, 2020 12:48 am

gib wrote:Woaw, a sequal!!! I seem to have returned to ILP at just the right time. How's everybody enjoying COVID?! :romance-grouphug:

Ha!! I take it the ‘sequal’ is a code joke? If so, it was going to be MySQL.

Don’t get me started on the COVID-1984. It’s ironic that the mask is the symbol of this authoritarian take-over and repression… and it’s only just started...

What's interesting is that there's a burst of spiritual awareness that I haven't seen since the 60's. It's far more sophisticated than it was 50 years ago and when the economic pyramid collapses, the millions of people who have been holding it up, will be forced to find a better way. It won't be fun but we've shown we won't change unless we're forced to change. So be it.


gib wrote:Chakra, your posts are as much appreciated as you appreciate mine. I get out of them quite the same as what you got out of mine: refreshing honesty.

Still tho, they are intellectual responses, which, as you said, are less than satisfactory. But what else can you do?

The intellect is fine so long as we’re undoing misconceptions and not building new ones.

The Hindus have a saying about using a thorn to remove a thorn -- i.e. use the intellect to remove the blocks created by the intellect -- then throw both thorns away.

In the early stages, we often need metaphors and word salads but, in the end, a serious explorer will go beyond the intellectual mind trap and explore Consciousness through Consciousness, directly. This is what thousands of masters over thousands of years have all been pointing to.

"The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me;
my eye and God's eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love."
- Meister Eckhart

"What you’re looking for is what is looking." ― St. Francis of Assisi

We're like the guy wearing glasses who turns the house upside down searching for his glasses all the time not noticing he's looking through them.

The "I" or eye, or looking, or glasses, all refer to Consciousness. Consciousness is so close, so subtle, so intimate, we constantly overlook it because we're looking for a 'thing' and we're looking for that thing outside ourselves. This is the sort of intellectual stuff we need to know.

“I have lived on the lip of insanity,
wanting to know reasons,
knocking on a door
It opens.
I've been knocking from the inside.”

― Rumi

gib wrote:I've always found the dream metaphor to be the best for what, I gather, Buddhism teaches. It's the only thing that makes some modicum of sense.

The dream metaphor is a great metaphor for a number of reasons but the best reason is because it posits that Enlightenment is just the process of waking up – becoming more conscious. Remove the dream/illusion and what remains is Reality.

When Buddha was asked if he was a god, a demigod, a saint, an angel, a mystic or several other exotic Hindu beings he replied ‘no’ to each of them.
When asked, ‘Then what are you?’ He said “I am Awake’

It's that simple. It's the mind that makes everything so complicated.

gib wrote:But according to the dream metaphor, nothing that happens in the dream is to be trusted--it's all dreamt up anyway--and this includes everything Buddhism has to teach. It's all together possible that when I wake up, I will say: "Can you believe I had a dream that there was this religion called 'Buddhism'"? It seems to also suggest that what wakes one up is not to be found in the dream, or in anything one does in the dream, but something in the waking world--a proverbial alarm clock, for example--almost as though something pulls one into enlightenment without even having to ask. So much for the eight-fold path. When I become enlightened, then I will know what brought me there.

I think this nicely wraps up why Buddhism strikes me as such a tease--because while it beacons me to believe there is such a state as enlightenment, the very concept entails that I've just dreamt it up.

Nice insight, Gib.

In Absolute terms, that’s correct – it’s all bullshit. EVERYTHING!!!! There is no Enlightenment. There’s absolutely nothing to attain and no 'self' to attain it but this is all correct from the timeless Absolute perspective. Before time, there is no reincarnation, no karma, no birth and death samsara cycle etc.

In the relative sphere -- this universe -- time and space exist as do various processes of Awakening. They are real, but they're not Reality.

"It is not important that something be done,
but it’s extremely important that you do it. "
- Krishnamurti ?

I haven't answered this well. I'll have to think about a better way to put it because it's a very good point you make.

Chakra Superstar wrote:Well that little experiment didn’t last long. Thanks guys.
gib wrote:What exactly was the experiment? What were you hoping for?

We could just ignore all the hijackers, couldn't we? Discuss around them? Or did you not even want a discussion?


I was hoping to make a series of short posts about things people rarely bring up when talking about Enlightenment.

I wanted to get some of the main issues posted BEFORE opening it up for discussion but it didn't work out. Not a problem. I’m a bit of a fatalist. I prefer to go where the flow is taking me.

I enjoy your insights and questions, gib, but my available time has become too fragmented to post consistently so I'll stick to the hit-and-run posts.
Hope all's well in your world.
.

PS: Thanks Phon and Karpel :)
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Re: I don't get Buddhism (2)

Postby Chakra Superstar » Tue May 26, 2020 1:28 am

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