I don't get Buddhism

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby felix dakat » Sat May 02, 2020 10:14 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
Ha ha. You're feigning ignorance. It seems I struck a nerve. Actually, you proved my point. You invade subjecting your own behavior to evaluation. There is the motivation for your nihilism. Better to deny all objective standards then to apply any of them to yourself. Hence your obsession with undermining religion as you understand it.


You forgot this: :wink:


More evasion. Seems to be all that's left to you bro.
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

Postby iambiguous » Sat May 02, 2020 10:22 pm

felix dakat wrote:
More evasion. Seems to be all that's left to you bro.


Me evading you? On this thread :lol:

Unless of course I am. :wink:

How about this: we leave it up to others here to decide for themselves?

Or, there is always this: [-o<

Do Buddhists pray? 8)
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 felix dakat » Sun May 03, 2020 3:14 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
More evasion. Seems to be all that's left to you bro.


Me evading you? On this thread :lol:

Unless of course I am. :wink:

How about this: we leave it up to others here to decide for themselves?

Or, there is always this: [-o<

Do Buddhists pray? 8)


Thanks for helping me feel less fragmented bro.
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

Postby iambiguous » Sun May 03, 2020 10:05 pm

felix dakat wrote:
Thanks for helping me feel less fragmented bro.


I have nothing to do with that. And, believe it or not, I never have.
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 felix dakat » Sun May 03, 2020 10:55 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
Thanks for helping me feel less fragmented bro.


I have nothing to do with that. And, believe it or not, I never have.


Haha. From what I've seen, you deny all things personal and most especially personal responsibility. Hey that could be a kind of Buddhism. He denied the existence of a self. You could start your own sect.
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

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 04, 2020 1:01 am

felix dakat wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:
Thanks for helping me feel less fragmented bro.


I have nothing to do with that. And, believe it or not, I never have.


Haha. From what I've seen, you deny all things personal and most especially personal responsibility.


Note to others:

Can you believe this? No, seriously. He actually believes that I deny all things personal! That I deny personal responsibility!

He has not a glimmer of understanding of how, in regard to "I" in the is/ought world, I root all of this in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy in my signature threads. Then reconfigured into the points I make on this thread.

Uh, just like you, right? :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
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby felix dakat » Mon May 04, 2020 3:42 am

iambiguous wrote:Note to others:

Can you believe this? No, seriously. He actually believes that I deny all things personal! That I deny personal responsibility!

He has not a glimmer of understanding of how, in regard to "I" in the is/ought world, I root all of this in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy in my signature threads. Then reconfigured into the points I make on this thread.

Uh, just like you, right? :wink:

Bullshit. Nothing but mental contraptions there bro.
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

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Mon May 04, 2020 5:17 am

felix dakat wrote:Thanks for helping me feel less fragmented bro.


iambiguous wrote:I have nothing to do with that. And, believe it or not, I never have.


felix dakat wrote:Haha. From what I've seen, you deny all things personal and most especially personal responsibility.


iambiguous wrote:Note to others: Can you believe this?


Since you are asking, sure. In a few ways.

No, seriously. He actually believes that I deny all things personal! That I deny personal responsibility!

In the abstract, in the clouds, you certainly focus on the personal, as in personal history, dasein.....
He has not a glimmer of understanding of how, in regard to "I" in the is/ought world, I root all of this in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy in my signature threads. Then reconfigured into the points I make on this thread.

That is, in your philosophy you focus on the personal. Your philosophy focuses on how individual/personal history, culture, experiences (etc) affect what one believes. Peachy. You're right you are centered on the personal...in your philosophy, in the abstract or in the clouds as you like to put it.

Above, Felix is, I would guess, focusing on your not having any community sense at all. You have nothing to do with his coming to feel less fragmented. Though your posts are often presented as you trying to get help with your F & F, people sharing their approaches and justifying them, for your sake.

And then in the context of Buddhism, this thread, there is the Buddhist idea that one's own suffering is intertwined with the suffering of others and compassion for and helping others helps one's own pain and fragmentation reduce. But since you know next to nothing about Buddhism and as a participant in ILP show very little interest in such things, what Felix might mean would be missed by you. So, he gets told, yet again, what you have written before countless times as if it is a relevent response.

You certainly elict quite a bit of angry, critical responses. But even when people share their approaches without criticism, approaches that might help what you present as the negative, searching state you are in, they get told what they are saying is all in their heads, or a contraption, even if their approach has more science behind it than yours. The main point here however is your responses are anti-communal, anti-Buddhist, anti-compassionate. The second being relevant in this thread.

And then there is you inability to take responsibility, here, for your actions! In your philosophy sure...in any particular interpersonal interaction here, no.

You simply cannot, as far as I have seen, take any responsibility for what you do. You were never wrong about things. If someone critiques a behavior, it was was not what they say happened. Always.

Hence, you cannot take personal responsibility, here, in any case.

Up in the clouds you would readily admit that you might be wrong. But in any specific interaction, nah, you never notice that you were. Humility in the clouds, but here on the ground in concrete interactions, never.

Last, another way you get rid of the personal is that you present your goal, often, as finding that which every rational person should do. Rather than, for example, what you would want to do as a single person. And you will not try anything, other than your habits, unless it can be demonstrated that every single human should do X. That is also an elimination of the personal, presuming there is the one best path for every human, as if we were ciphers.

That last point I don't think is what Felix is getting at.

In any case, up in the clouds you talk about the powerful affects of the personal on what people believe.

Unfortunately we interact with you here on the ground where you do not take responsibility for your individual actions and choices.

which is....
Uh, just like you, right? :wink:

You literally could not see what he was writing about. You saw it in a way that 1) allowed you to repeat your philosophy and 2) removed any need to look at yourself as someone interacting with others in certain specific ways.

When you read the posts of someone you have had a number of interactions with and you find yourself thinking

this is a good moment to repeat my philosophy, that's what they need to hear....

consider that you are most likely utterly wrong. They don't need to hear it (yet again). You are literally not seeing them and merely habitually repeating yourself.

You haven't read what they wrote well.

And if you think there is no context here because we are not talking about my or Felix's ideas about, say, abortion, you are not seeing the very specific, concrete context of your response to Felix above. These are contexts, your interactions here with individual posters here at ILP. That was one moment, one act on your part. Where you utterly failed to understand or even show the least interest in trying to understand another mind. Where you interpreted out of a kind of functional narcissism.

How ought you live?

i dunno, when you find your scientifically demonstrated rules someday, it won't matter because you won't be able to even notice other people. At least, so it seems, from your behavior here.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 04, 2020 5:16 pm

felix dakat wrote:Bullshit. Nothing but mental contraptions there bro.


Now you're catching on!!! =D>
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 felix dakat » Mon May 04, 2020 5:40 pm

iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Bullshit. Nothing but mental contraptions there bro.


Now you're catching on!!! =D>


Just so you evade avoid and deny the personal.
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

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 04, 2020 5:44 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Thanks for helping me feel less fragmented bro.


iambiguous wrote:I have nothing to do with that. And, believe it or not, I never have.


felix dakat wrote:Haha. From what I've seen, you deny all things personal and most especially personal responsibility.


iambiguous wrote:Note to others: Can you believe this?


Since you are asking, sure. In a few ways.

No, seriously. He actually believes that I deny all things personal! That I deny personal responsibility!

In the abstract, in the clouds, you certainly focus on the personal, as in personal history, dasein.....
He has not a glimmer of understanding of how, in regard to "I" in the is/ought world, I root all of this in the manner in which I construe the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy in my signature threads. Then reconfigured into the points I make on this thread.

That is, in your philosophy you focus on the personal. Your philosophy focuses on how individual/personal history, culture, experiences (etc) affect what one believes. Peachy. You're right you are centered on the personal...in your philosophy, in the abstract or in the clouds as you like to put it.

Above, Felix is, I would guess, focusing on your not having any community sense at all. You have nothing to do with his coming to feel less fragmented. Though your posts are often presented as you trying to get help with your F & F, people sharing their approaches and justifying them, for your sake.

And then in the context of Buddhism, this thread, there is the Buddhist idea that one's own suffering is intertwined with the suffering of others and compassion for and helping others helps one's own pain and fragmentation reduce. But since you know next to nothing about Buddhism and as a participant in ILP show very little interest in such things, what Felix might mean would be missed by you. So, he gets told, yet again, what you have written before countless times as if it is a relevent response.

You certainly elict quite a bit of angry, critical responses. But even when people share their approaches without criticism, approaches that might help what you present as the negative, searching state you are in, they get told what they are saying is all in their heads, or a contraption, even if their approach has more science behind it than yours. The main point here however is your responses are anti-communal, anti-Buddhist, anti-compassionate. The second being relevant in this thread.

And then there is you inability to take responsibility, here, for your actions! In your philosophy sure...in any particular interpersonal interaction here, no.

You simply cannot, as far as I have seen, take any responsibility for what you do. You were never wrong about things. If someone critiques a behavior, it was was not what they say happened. Always.

Hence, you cannot take personal responsibility, here, in any case.

Up in the clouds you would readily admit that you might be wrong. But in any specific interaction, nah, you never notice that you were. Humility in the clouds, but here on the ground in concrete interactions, never.

Last, another way you get rid of the personal is that you present your goal, often, as finding that which every rational person should do. Rather than, for example, what you would want to do as a single person. And you will not try anything, other than your habits, unless it can be demonstrated that every single human should do X. That is also an elimination of the personal, presuming there is the one best path for every human, as if we were ciphers.

That last point I don't think is what Felix is getting at.

In any case, up in the clouds you talk about the powerful affects of the personal on what people believe.

Unfortunately we interact with you here on the ground where you do not take responsibility for your individual actions and choices.

which is....
Uh, just like you, right? :wink:

You literally could not see what he was writing about. You saw it in a way that 1) allowed you to repeat your philosophy and 2) removed any need to look at yourself as someone interacting with others in certain specific ways.

When you read the posts of someone you have had a number of interactions with and you find yourself thinking

this is a good moment to repeat my philosophy, that's what they need to hear....

consider that you are most likely utterly wrong. They don't need to hear it (yet again). You are literally not seeing them and merely habitually repeating yourself.

You haven't read what they wrote well.

And if you think there is no context here because we are not talking about my or Felix's ideas about, say, abortion, you are not seeing the very specific, concrete context of your response to Felix above. These are contexts, your interactions here with individual posters here at ILP. That was one moment, one act on your part. Where you utterly failed to understand or even show the least interest in trying to understand another mind. Where you interpreted out of a kind of functional narcissism.

How ought you live?

i dunno, when you find your scientifically demonstrated rules someday, it won't matter because you won't be able to even notice other people. At least, so it seems, from your behavior here.


Sorry, but this is just not the sort of context I had in mind.

My interest in Gods and religions revolves around those who tell us that they already know how to live. Why? Because in being a Christian or a Buddhist they have access to a "script". And if they follow that script here and now -- behaving in an enlightened manner, not committing a Sin -- they get rewarded there and then.

I then ask them to note how, for all practical purposes, that actually works for them in their interactions with others when value judgments relating to morality and mortality come into conflict.

And, to the best of their ability, explain how they would actually go about demonstrating that what they do believe is in fact true. In other words, able to be demonstrated.

You take issue with this given all the accusation you make about me.

But you won't focus in on the sort of context that would generate the sort of discussion that would allow you to point out more specifically why/how your accusations above are correct.

Either that, or, again, it's a personal problem. Something about me just ticks you off.
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 Bob » Tue May 05, 2020 8:17 am

Talking about the belief-systems of Religion we have to play a kind of “what if?” game.

As we are discovering the cosmos, we are discovering more and more complexity, inwardly, in the very small and outwardly, in the very large. In the universe the sheer vastness of it is awe inspiring, and to think that this had a beginning like the ancients believed, mind-boggling. It is namely here that many of the ancient traditions began. The complexity if the cosmology of the great Religions is akin to what we have been discovering recently. Obviously, they didn’t have science or the rational language that we have today, but they attempted a philosophy that has held up over millennia.

The big question that science hasn’t answered is what consciousness is and how could it arise, if indeed we follow a mechanistic understanding of reality. If everything is just material and a result of accident or coincidence, then the sentient human being is not explainable. The ancients have also noticed this and assumed that it was intended from the beginning. Human beings have been said to straddle the heavens and the earth. We belong in both spheres of existence according to these traditions, having received our “spirit” from the ground of being, the gods, or God.

Another observation has been integral in Religion, the ability to love or selflessly devote oneself to another or others. This too, so the ancients, must have a higher source. In Christianity, Religion culminated in selfless love. This, they reasoned, has a far different quality than our “love” and was seen in Christ as the highest realisation of what was intended from the beginning of time. This inspiration calls for a reaction, and is seen to be our own devotion to love and to our fellow human beings.

So, what if our sentience is installed into our bodies at birth and returns somewhere at death? There has been an argument for this in the various traditions over millennia. What if, at the end of life, we enter the presence of the source of beginning, and come to realise how badly we had encountered life? What if the realisation of such a reality shocks us into realisation that we had negated its possibility all our lives and turned away from it. The only hope we would have is of forgiveness and deliverance from our missing the mark.

This is what Christianity sees as having happened in the Cross of Christ. The culmination of love and forgiveness in one act. A sign, held up high so that whosoever looks upon it should be healed. How do Buddhist answer this question? Karma and rebirth?
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue May 05, 2020 9:50 am

Bob wrote:Talking about the belief-systems of Religion we have to play a kind of “what if?” game.

So, what if our sentience is installed into our bodies at birth and returns somewhere at death? There has been an argument for this in the various traditions over millennia. What if, at the end of life, we enter the presence of the source of beginning, and come to realise how badly we had encountered life? What if the realisation of such a reality shocks us into realisation that we had negated its possibility all our lives and turned away from it. The only hope we would have is of forgiveness and deliverance from our missing the mark.

..
This is what Christianity sees as having happened in the Cross of Christ. The culmination of love and forgiveness in one act. A sign, held up high so that whosoever looks upon it should be healed. How do Buddhist answer this question? Karma and rebirth?

Nah .. not Karma and rebirth which are side issues of Buddhism.

The central issue for any religion, theistic or non-theistic is dealing with an inherent unavoidable existential crisis.

Buddhism provide the potential, i.e.
Buddha's 4NT-8FP -A Life Problem Solving Technique
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=187395&hilit=4NT
to deal with all problems and issues arising from the inherent unavoidable existential crisis.

Unfortunately whilst Buddhism has the potential, it's potential is not fully realizable for all yet due to various constraints and limitation of the majority in their present psychological states on existential issues.

Given the current psychological states of the majority, at present [not future] the most optimal option for the majority would be Christianity [with 'pacifist' advantage over Islam and others], i.e. just surrender then believe and viola, one is saved and the relief from the cognitive dissonance is immediate.

Whilst theism and religions has pros which outweigh their cons at present, the evident trend towards the future is the cons of theism and religions are slowly outweighing whatever pros they have at present.

Since the inherent unavoidable existential crisis is a permanent feature, it would wiser for humanity to explore the potentials of Buddhism and extract its principles to develop non-religious alternatives to replace theism and religions in the future.
Note it is for the future generations not for the present. The current theists can cling to their theistic crutch to deal with the inherent unavoidable existential crisis.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Bob » Tue May 05, 2020 10:27 am

Prismatic567 wrote:The Buddha's 4NT-8FP is a very sophisticated Life Problem Solving Technique.
By going through the process systematically and diligently, one would be able to resolve any mental problems (btw not physical or those that need serious psychiatric treatments) and live one's life optimally.

The four noble truths (4NT) can be summarized as follows:
1.The truth of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, stress, angst)
2.The truth of the origin of dukkha
3.The truth of the cessation of dukkha
4.The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha -8FP*

*8FP = Noble Eightfold Paths

Whilst I think of these steps as helpful (I have both 4NT & 8FP in my meditation journal) I agree with James that these methods have not been more successful than Christianity. Having used several problem solving techniques in my professional life, I know that dedication is the main aspect. Without dedication, no technique is successful.

Prismatic567 wrote:The 4NT-8FP when transposed as a conventional problem solving technique is as follows;

1. Defining the problem.
NT1 -The truth of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, stress)
NT2 -The truth of the origin of dukkha -12 Nidanas

2. Generating alternatives.
NT3 -The truth of the cessation of dukkha -Reverse 12 Nidanas

3. Evaluating and selecting alternatives.
NT4 -The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha -8FP

4. Implementing solutions.
8FP -Right View, Intention, Speech, Action, Livelihood, Effort, Concentration, Mindfulness

F5. Feedback and Control
Right View - Is the problem resolved?
Yes, -seek improvement
No, -Check 1 and repeat process

The above is just a model.

The implementing solutions would, of course, need further explanation since they can be separated into three areas: ethical conduct, mental discipline and, finally, wisdom. Mental discipline being what ethical conduct and wisdom is reliant upon. In the Christian model, devotion and prayer have the same importance. Here, the probability of not attaining completeness is taken into account and forgiveness is guaranteed if you integrate your dark side and do not pretend it isn’t there.

I know that the 8FP provides the understanding that we must always continue to return, so it is a circular motion, as you have shown. However, many problems are not so easy to capture by your method and I miss the higher principle of Agape (selfless love) as a guide along the path. So I appreciate the usefulness of Buddhism, and I believe that Buddha is right as far as it goes. It is just that Christianity gives me more.

Prismatic567 wrote:Plus point is, it is an objective model and it provide a framework as a guide for anyone to work on.
To put into actual effective practice, it will entail complex, many processes and detail work. The details can be found within the various sutras from the various Buddhist schools. What is needed is to compile the various sets of practices from different schools into one common practice.

The above model works best when the Buddha story is deemed as a myth, where one's effort is focused on the model and the Buddha's core principles.

Views?

I appreciate the story of the Buddha being a myth, but one that can teach us something too. In one way, Guatama was in his own garden of Eden until he discovered suffering and started the search for a solution. The conflict led through a number of trials until he realised that continually doing things was killing him. So he sat down and listened, and awoke to the nature of things.

The story of Jesus pre-supposes the story of Adam and Eve and he becomes a new Adam, who understands the nature of things. You see, Adam/ mankind was intended for good things and be a bridge between heaven and earth. When he fell, these realms were separated but the new Adam joined them together again, and enables his followers to do so as well. This is the profound myth of Christianity.

The myth enhances the principles and help us follow them. Principles can also be considered to be laws, just as Israel had laws, but they have to be transcended and not just followed, otherwise they bind us and prevent our freedom. In Christianity, it is said that the Spirit is more important than the letter (of the law), in Buddhism it is the Spirit of the Buddha story that enables people to follow the 4NT & 8FP.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue May 05, 2020 1:10 pm

Bob wrote:Whilst I think of these steps as helpful (I have both 4NT & 8FP in my meditation journal) I agree with James that these methods have not been more successful than Christianity. Having used several problem solving techniques in my professional life, I know that dedication is the main aspect. Without dedication, no technique is successful.
The West has put, in general, a greater emphasis on belief and moral behavior (participation in what I would call more passive rituals) then Eastern religions. This a huge generalization, I get that. But Christianity has a tradition (certainly amongst monks and nun orders and mystics) where practices intended to change one's experiencing/relationships/participation in life (and also to help reduce suffering) parallel in many ways Hinduism and Buddhism. Ken Wilber has a lot of great writing on this and also can connect people to other resources. For example this rather short book....
https://www.amazon.com/Integral-Spiritu ... 1590305272

Some of my generalization comes from the fact that when you come from the West to Eastern religions you are coming in contact generally with monks, masters, gurus, so the religion is presented by people who are not just doing the equivalent of 'going to church on Sunday' so this can skew the sense of things. But in general, from my experiences in the East, I would say there is a little clearer sense that being a good person and believing in Shiva or the Buddha is not enough. One must engage in practices that radically change the self. Perhaps in a future life, or perhaps when retiring from work when the kids have moved out, but at some point. Whereas with Christianity believing the right things and being good is oftne presented as enough, at least implicitly. People do of course talk about taking Jesus into your heart and there is prayer. But this is still quite different from steady ongoing transformational practices with great discipline.

I just realized this could seem like I disagree with you. Actually I agree. I think in the WEst the mystical side and the transformational practices aspect of Christianity has gotten lost for the masses. Many in the East never move into a temple or ashram or hit the road with a blanket and a bowl. Most. But I think there is a more widespread understanding that full achievement of the sort of equivalent to heaven will require, someday, and/or in some futher life, tremendous dedication, time and energy. Some Christians think this also, but it is less out there for most people.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Bob » Tue May 05, 2020 2:10 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:The West has put, in general, a greater emphasis on belief and moral behavior (participation in what I would call more passive rituals) then Eastern religions. This a huge generalization, I get that. But Christianity has a tradition (certainly amongst monks and nun orders and mystics) where practices intended to change one's experiencing/relationships/participation in life (and also to help reduce suffering) parallel in many ways Hinduism and Buddhism. Ken Wilber has a lot of great writing on this and also can connect people to other resources. For example this rather short book....
https://www.amazon.com/Integral-Spiritu ... 1590305272

I’m familiar with Ken Wilber, and with Thomas Merton & Bede Griffiths, who in their own ways showed how the traditions can be integrated and something more profound can arise. Merton, of course, remained a Trappist monk, but Bede Griffiths blended Hinduism and Catholicism and was considered a holy man by the Hindus. What is important to remember is that the tradition you are brought up in never really lets you go. At least, one can say, your conscience is guided by early connection to a tradition. It is this with which many people struggle later in life, despite having supposedly changed Religions.

The Eastern Orthodox Church has maintained more the mystical traditions, to which I am attracted, but I think that the lack of faith in the West has been due to the lack of Soul, or crippled Soul if you like. The onslaught of Reason tried to drive out Faith and Soul, so that we have incredible numbers of people with mental health problems and addiction. I have too gone through a phase of darkness and feel that I have now come out of it, strengthened. The most important experience I had was that it wasn’t just practise that brought me out of it, but love. I feel this is the most important part. Listening to and reading Jack Kornfield has made this more obvious, even though he is Buddhist.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Some of my generalization comes from the fact that when you come from the West to Eastern religions you are coming in contact generally with monks, masters, gurus, so the religion is presented by people who are not just doing the equivalent of 'going to church on Sunday' so this can skew the sense of things. But in general, from my experiences in the East, I would say there is a little clearer sense that being a good person and believing in Shiva or the Buddha is not enough. One must engage in practices that radically change the self. Perhaps in a future life, or perhaps when retiring from work when the kids have moved out, but at some point. Whereas with Christianity believing the right things and being good is oftne presented as enough, at least implicitly. People do of course talk about taking Jesus into your heart and there is prayer. But this is still quite different from steady ongoing transformational practices with great discipline.

I’m not sure that you can claim that the East is better with regard to discipline. People are different there, I’ll acknowledge, but I wouldn’t say they were more devout. Having traveled there a lot, they are people who are trying to make a living, and their generally honest, but there are some bad ones amongst them. I spoke to a Buddhist guide in Sri Lanka many years ago who had studied in Europe. He told me that, as far as Religion goes, there similarities despite the differences. We left the hotel early on Sunday morning and came across a huge crowd of people wearing white, bustling about. He said, “you see here, these people are all going to their temples, churches, mosques etc. and you can’t tell the difference. That’s how it’s supposed to be.”

I believe too, that the spiritual work done in the East after (early) retirement would be of great value to people in the West, because many people sink into lethargy when the don’t have to work anymore. I am fortunate and have just entered retirement and am able to do just that. It will have to gain some form, but COVID is interrupting that at present.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:I just realized this could seem like I disagree with you. Actually I agree. I think in the WEst the mystical side and the transformational practices aspect of Christianity has gotten lost for the masses. Many in the East never move into a temple or ashram or hit the road with a blanket and a bowl. Most. But I think there is a more widespread understanding that full achievement of the sort of equivalent to heaven will require, someday, and/or in some futher life, tremendous dedication, time and energy. Some Christians think this also, but it is less out there for most people.

Yes, for the reasons I gave above. When you feel the want to speak about an experience today, it has to be PC, otherwise you’re a nut. After some harrowing time as a manager, I am glad to be out of it and doing something I consider worthwhile.
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Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue May 05, 2020 2:18 pm

Bob wrote:Yes, for the reasons I gave above. When you feel the want to speak about an experience today, it has to be PC, otherwise you’re a nut. After some harrowing time as a manager, I am glad to be out of it and doing something I consider worthwhile.
Great! I suppose my main circles have been in the Left often the fringe Left, anarchists and hippies. I have tended to feel more at home there, more aligned. At the same time there is a great deal of hatred of spirituality, religion, anything that smacks of the supernatural, the numinous. I have sympathy for the historical and cultural reasons for this, I do. But it ends up just being a kind of secular church with its own shunning, shaming and guilt tripping. Of course the Right can do all this also, in secular and religious contexts both, but I was surprised to find many things rejected in a facile and really rather hateful manner. People simply get triggered and are very confident in their assessments, when they are triggered.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 05, 2020 4:55 pm

Bob wrote: Talking about the belief-systems of Religion we have to play a kind of “what if?” game.

As we are discovering the cosmos, we are discovering more and more complexity, inwardly, in the very small and outwardly, in the very large. In the universe the sheer vastness of it is awe inspiring, and to think that this had a beginning like the ancients believed, mind-boggling. It is namely here that many of the ancient traditions began. The complexity if the cosmology of the great Religions is akin to what we have been discovering recently. Obviously, they didn’t have science or the rational language that we have today, but they attempted a philosophy that has held up over millennia.

The big question that science hasn’t answered is what consciousness is and how could it arise, if indeed we follow a mechanistic understanding of reality. If everything is just material and a result of accident or coincidence, then the sentient human being is not explainable. The ancients have also noticed this and assumed that it was intended from the beginning. Human beings have been said to straddle the heavens and the earth. We belong in both spheres of existence according to these traditions, having received our “spirit” from the ground of being, the gods, or God.


From my frame of mind, this is basically just another "thought experiment". It's something that matter having evolved into a conscious mind is [somehow] able to "think through". But the highly speculative conclusion is not able actually to be demonstrated as in fact true.

In other words, "what if" there is another altogether different "thought up" explanation? And we've encountered a few of them here, haven't we?

Also, it bears no real relevance to that which most preoccupies me here: the existential relationship between morality and mortality. Which, however one "thinks up" an explanation for the intertwining of the cosmos, human consciousness and religion, is surely the most fundamental explanation for why people practice religion down through the ages. With God you get a font from which to judge human behaviors here and and now. And with God you gain access to immortality and salvation there and then.

Only with Buddhism, there does not appear to be a God. So what then accounts for and reconfigures mere mortals in the process of reincarnation? What set into motion and sustains Nirvana?

Bob wrote: Another observation has been integral in Religion, the ability to love or selflessly devote oneself to another or others. This too, so the ancients, must have a higher source. In Christianity, Religion culminated in selfless love. This, they reasoned, has a far different quality than our “love” and was seen in Christ as the highest realisation of what was intended from the beginning of time. This inspiration calls for a reaction, and is seen to be our own devotion to love and to our fellow human beings.


And yet given the history of inquisitions and crusades and jihads, another integral aspect of relgion seems to anything but love and devotion to our fellows. Or love and devotion only to those who are "one of us" in sync with a God, the God, our God. It's easy enough to ascribe all the "good" things to God. But what about all the "bad". And what about all the "natural disasters" and "extinction events" and things like, say, the coronavirus?

Bob wrote: So, what if our sentience is installed into our bodies at birth and returns somewhere at death? There has been an argument for this in the various traditions over millennia. What if, at the end of life, we enter the presence of the source of beginning, and come to realise how badly we had encountered life? What if the realisation of such a reality shocks us into realisation that we had negated its possibility all our lives and turned away from it. The only hope we would have is of forgiveness and deliverance from our missing the mark.


And what if it's not? Again and again and again [for me]: with so much at stake -- both here and now and there and then -- how does any particular one of us go about actually pinning this down?

Through more or less blind leaps of faith it would seem.
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

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 05, 2020 5:03 pm

felix dakat wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Bullshit. Nothing but mental contraptions there bro.


Now you're catching on!!! =D>


Just so you evade avoid and deny the personal.


Okay, let's explore this then.

Let's agree on a context that most here will be familiar with. A set of circumstances in which to examine Buddhism and karma and enlightenment and reincarnation and Nirvana.

Then as the discussion unfolds you can note more specifically how I evade and deny the personal.

Here or on a new thread.
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

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Bob » Tue May 05, 2020 5:53 pm

iambiguous wrote:From my frame of mind, this is basically just another "thought experiment". It's something that matter having evolved into a conscious mind is [somehow] able to "think through". But the highly speculative conclusion is not able actually to be demonstrated as in fact true.

In other words, "what if" there is another altogether different "thought up" explanation? And we've encountered a few of them here, haven't we?

From the Dhammapada: “All experience is preceded by mind, led by mind, made by mind.” So where do you start from? You are very active on this forum, conducting mind-experiments over and over again, so why have you got something against those people who were first. In the lack of proof, intelligent speculation seems to be the way ahead, as long as it doesn’t get me into trouble. The ancients were looking for something to guide them, and idea that helped them find their bearing in a world of mysteries. There were those who had what they called God or gods in the equation and some who did not.

iambiguous wrote:Also, it bears no real relevance to that which most preoccupies me here: the existential relationship between morality and mortality. Which, however one "thinks up" an explanation for the intertwining of the cosmos, human consciousness and religion, is surely the most fundamental explanation for why people practice religion down through the ages. With God you get a font from which to judge human behaviors here and and now. And with God you gain access to immortality and salvation there and then.

Only with Buddhism, there does not appear to be a God. So what then accounts for and reconfigures mere mortals in the process of reincarnation? What set into motion and sustains Nirvana?

Paraphrasing a Buddhist (because I can’t find the book anymore), “Buddhism isn’t atheistic, it just doesn’t address the subject.” If there is karma there must be, as you asked, some sort of order installed. Does order come natural to the universe? Some say yes, but others point to entropy as the course of the universe.

You want an answer to the relationship between morality and mortality? Well, Bert Brecht once told a story:
A man asked Mr. K. whether there is a God. Mr. K. said: “I advise you to consider whether, depending on the answer, your behavior would change. If it would not change, then we can drop the question. If it would change, then I can at least be of help to the extent that I can say, you have already decided: you need a God.”

iambiguous wrote:And yet given the history of inquisitions and crusades and jihads, another integral aspect of relgion seems to anything but love and devotion to our fellows. Or love and devotion only to those who are "one of us" in sync with a God, the God, our God. It's easy enough to ascribe all the "good" things to God. But what about all the "bad". And what about all the "natural disasters" and "extinction events" and things like, say, the coronavirus?

Of course, the old counter-argument which doesn’t change the integral message of Christianity, regardless of how many Christians failed to meet it. I think one problem you have is to focus on the bad, which, under circumstances we have at one time discussed, is probably understandable. However, this leads you in a vicious circle leaving you to disappear up your rear end if you’re not careful. The answer is to break the cycle and break out of the circle, with whatever means available.

iambiguous wrote:And what if it's not? Again and again and again [for me]: with so much at stake -- both here and now and there and then -- how does any particular one of us go about actually pinning this down?

Through more or less blind leaps of faith it would seem.

Really, if you are honest about it, you are scared out of your wits and need proof to soothe your troubles. However, proof has never been available, however, people have broken the cycle with faith.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 05, 2020 6:48 pm

Bob wrote:
iambiguous wrote:From my frame of mind, this is basically just another "thought experiment". It's something that matter having evolved into a conscious mind is [somehow] able to "think through". But the highly speculative conclusion is not able actually to be demonstrated as in fact true.

In other words, "what if" there is another altogether different "thought up" explanation? And we've encountered a few of them here, haven't we?

From the Dhammapada: “All experience is preceded by mind, led by mind, made by mind.” So where do you start from? You are very active on this forum, conducting mind-experiments over and over again, so why have you got something against those people who were first. In the lack of proof, intelligent speculation seems to be the way ahead, as long as it doesn’t get me into trouble. The ancients were looking for something to guide them, and idea that helped them find their bearing in a world of mysteries. There were those who had what they called God or gods in the equation and some who did not.


Okay, but with regard to God and religion and morality, I am most interested in reconfiguring our thoughts about these things into a discussion of how, given our interactions with others in which what we think precipitates actual conflicts, we are able to more or less demonstrate how and why what we think permits us to choose particular behaviors here and now that we think are most in sync with what we want for "I" there and then.

Again, it is this that, to me, "for all practical purposes" down through the ages, has been the most important function of religion. Sure, some take time to go further out on the metaphysical limb, but my aim is more existential. So, those who react to your focus here may well be interested in reacting to mine as well. I don't sneer at people who are fascinated with the points you raise, I am just more inclined to focus instead on morality and mortality.

iambiguous wrote:Also, it bears no real relevance to that which most preoccupies me here: the existential relationship between morality and mortality. Which, however one "thinks up" an explanation for the intertwining of the cosmos, human consciousness and religion, is surely the most fundamental explanation for why people practice religion down through the ages. With God you get a font from which to judge human behaviors here and now. And with God you gain access to immortality and salvation there and then.

Only with Buddhism, there does not appear to be a God. So what then accounts for and reconfigures mere mortals in the process of reincarnation? What set into motion and sustains Nirvana?


Bob wrote: Paraphrasing a Buddhist (because I can’t find the book anymore), “Buddhism isn’t atheistic, it just doesn’t address the subject.” If there is karma there must be, as you asked, some sort of order installed. Does order come natural to the universe? Some say yes, but others point to entropy as the course of the universe.


Of course [for me] this just evokes the part where the cosmos and human consciousness and religion and everything else are actually "at one" only with the immutable laws of matter. Karma as determinism. Entropy as merely another manifestation of that too. Embedded in the psychological illusion that "I" am "free" to think it up in order to describe that which "I" was never able not to describe. God and religion then being just another inherent, necessary component of whatever brought into existence nature/reality itself.

Bob wrote: You want an answer to the relationship between morality and mortality?


No, I am far more curious to determine if there is an fact an answer at all. Objectively, as it were.

Bob wrote: Well, Bert Brecht once told a story:
A man asked Mr. K. whether there is a God. Mr. K. said: “I advise you to consider whether, depending on the answer, your behavior would change. If it would not change, then we can drop the question. If it would change, then I can at least be of help to the extent that I can say, you have already decided: you need a God.”


Yes, my point in turn revolves around the assumption that if there is no God, then He must be invented. Why? Because He is the necessary/inherent component of objective morality. And He is the necessary/inherent component of immortality/salvation.

Now, if someone here were able to demonstrate to me that beyond all doubt Christianity or Buddhism reflected the one true reality, I would still need to know which particular behavior in which particular context it would be obligatory for me to change given what could be demonstrated further to be the consequences for me on the other side if I choose not to change it.

Wouldn't that be the same for you?

iambiguous wrote:And yet given the history of inquisitions and crusades and jihads, another integral aspect of relgion seems to anything but love and devotion to our fellows. Or love and devotion only to those who are "one of us" in sync with a God, the God, our God. It's easy enough to ascribe all the "good" things to God. But what about all the "bad". And what about all the "natural disasters" and "extinction events" and things like, say, the coronavirus?


Bob wrote: Of course, the old counter-argument which doesn’t change the integral message of Christianity, regardless of how many Christians failed to meet it. I think one problem you have is to focus on the bad, which, under circumstances we have at one time discussed, is probably understandable. However, this leads you in a vicious circle leaving you to disappear up your rear end if you’re not careful. The answer is to break the cycle and break out of the circle, with whatever means available.


Whether one chooses not to focus on the bad, doesn't make it go away. And not "good" or "bad" in the manner in which mere mortals describe vice and virtue. Rather, it is good or bad embedded in the either/or world. God or whatever is "behind" Buddhism teleologically has brought the coronavirus into existence. It is pummeling the planet with all manner of ghastly pain and suffering for millions and millions.

But: What on earth does that have to do with, "this leads you in a vicious circle leaving you to disappear up your rear end if you’re not careful."?

Instead, the faithful fall back on their own tried and true rationalizations: God's mysterious ways, tests of faith, being "at one" with whatever is behind the universe.

After all, what else is there? Take away God and the tenets of religions like Buddhism, and one may well find himself confronted with the possibility that the covid-19 pandemic is but the embodiment of an essentially meaningless world that, for those who perish as a result of it, ends for all eternity in oblivion.

So, of course Gods and religions will be invented!

iambiguous wrote:And what if it's not? Again and again and again [for me]: with so much at stake -- both here and now and there and then -- how does any particular one of us go about actually pinning this down?

Through more or less blind leaps of faith it would seem.


Bob wrote: Really, if you are honest about it, you are scared out of your wits and need proof to soothe your troubles. However, proof has never been available, however, people have broken the cycle with faith.


My guess: Few things are more the embodiment of dasein than thinking like this.

And, of course, like mine.
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

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 06, 2020 6:33 am

Bob wrote:The myth enhances the principles and help us follow them. Principles can also be considered to be laws, just as Israel had laws, but they have to be transcended and not just followed, otherwise they bind us and prevent our freedom. In Christianity, it is said that the Spirit is more important than the letter (of the law), in Buddhism it is the Spirit of the Buddha story that enables people to follow the 4NT & 8FP.

I believe Christianity is the most optimal positive religion for the majority of people at present [not future].
Thus if all Muslims were to convert to Christianity, the world as it is now would be a better place without Islam.
But the relevance of the above is only for the individual at the present.

The downside of Christianity [as with other Abrahamic religion] is the immutability of its holy text and doctrines which is from a God which is illusory and believed based on faith.
The individual[s] are totally reliant upon God for the salvation to deal with the inherent unavoidable existential crisis.
Since the doctrines from God are immutable, there is only one fixed way to deal the inherent unavoidable existential crisis.
However the immutable doctrines from God which are non-negotiable whilst has positive elements also has negative elements which hinder humanity's progress in the longer run, e.g. anti-evolutionary, etc.
Thus because of the immutable doctrines, the negative elements therein are permanent.
The problem is many of these negatives are time-based and will not be effective in future and Christianity is stuck with them while circumstances changes.

Buddhism on the other hand do not have immutable doctrines by merely present a generic iterative model to solve life problems in any circumstances and at any time.
This is the advantage Buddhism's dynamism as over Christianity's immutable doctrines.

Unfortunately, Buddhism is too far advance for the majority in their present psychological state.
But humans are continuing to evolve and note the trend of the exponential expansion of knowledge, technology, wisdom, etc. within humanity.
Thus there will come a time where Buddhism will tilt to be more effective than Christianity for the individuals and the whole of humanity.

However, in the future it will not be Buddhism per se that is relevant but the core principles and practices mainly from Buddhism and others will be incorporated into a non-religious generic 'spiritual' self-improvement program for all individuals to optimize their well being.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Bob » Wed May 06, 2020 8:31 am

Prismatic567 wrote:I believe Christianity is the most optimal positive religion for the majority of people at present [not future]. Thus if all Muslims were to convert to Christianity, the world as it is now would be a better place without Islam. But the relevance of the above is only for the individual at the present.

I don’t believe that conversion is the solution, and it is hardly realistic. If Islam were open to reforms and the position of intellectual Muslims were widely accepted, there would be less problems. The problem is that Islam in itself is conflict-ridden. The Sunnis and the Shiites even massacre each other in their mosques. Secondly, they see the West as actively trying to destroy their culture, which is rich, despite the historical turbulence that blew some of it out of sight. Karen Armstrong wrote a very good book about Mohammed.

Christianity is, having gone through much of the problems of Islam early on, largely in agreement about main points, although the West/East divide has left these schisms each with a different emphasis. The Reformation has been a very bad thing for millions of people, and even today, Protestant Churches sprout up all over believing that they can all read the Bible adequately. I don’t believe they can in many cases. Added to this, the problem with sexuality and abuse has arisen out of the catholic western churches due to celibacy, which is a relatively new idea (from about 1100 I believe) and has gone terribly wrong.

The main lesson of all this is that all Christians are human, just as all Buddhists are, and these movements suffer human problems. The teachings arise out of experience of the world, from observations and clearly a lot of thinking. Our problems today arise out of the fact that about 500 years ago, philosophers started thinking differently and since then a materialistic view has become overbearing and very dogmatic (the very thing they criticised) and we have lost our readiness to read the Bible as it was meant. We still have the capacity, which we show elsewhere, but with regard to the church it has been thrown out.

Prismatic567 wrote:The downside of Christianity [as with other Abrahamic religion] is the immutability of its holy text and doctrines which is from a God which is illusory and believed based on faith. The individual[s] are totally reliant upon God for the salvation to deal with the inherent unavoidable existential crisis. Since the doctrines from God are immutable, there is only one fixed way to deal the inherent unavoidable existential crisis.
However the immutable doctrines from God which are non-negotiable whilst has positive elements also has negative elements which hinder humanity's progress in the longer run, e.g. anti-evolutionary, etc. Thus because of the immutable doctrines, the negative elements therein are permanent.
The problem is many of these negatives are time-based and will not be effective in future and Christianity is stuck with them while circumstances changes.

The immutability of scripture is not only something that Christians struggle with, it is also the same with Buddhist texts, which may have new translations but Buddhists want the original meaning. The Dhammapada is one example which is lying here on my desk. As I said above, it is the readiness to understand Judaeo-Christian texts that has been reduced. We use the same yardstick as with Literature or even Science, but the Bible has its own method of exegesis. It is also holistic in its approach to telling stories. The Bible texts don’t leave out the down-side, the shadow that accompanies us, and is criticised for that, although it is very realistic. Some of the consequences of human behaviour are attributed to God, but often, it is just the way it is, given the deeds done. At least Christ plays with these consequences when he asks “if you know these things, what tells you that you will be spared?”

Prismatic567 wrote:Buddhism on the other hand do not have immutable doctrines by merely present a generic iterative model to solve life problems in any circumstances and at any time.
This is the advantage Buddhism's dynamism as over Christianity's immutable doctrines.

Unfortunately, Buddhism is too far advance for the majority in their present psychological state.
But humans are continuing to evolve and note the trend of the exponential expansion of knowledge, technology, wisdom, etc. within humanity.
Thus there will come a time where Buddhism will tilt to be more effective than Christianity for the individuals and the whole of humanity.

However, in the future it will not be Buddhism per se that is relevant but the core principles and practices mainly from Buddhism and others will be incorporated into a non-religious generic 'spiritual' self-improvement program for all individuals to optimize their well being.

It’s funny that you should say this, but I also believe that Christianity has become too advanced for many Christians. We need to accept that Christianity, as well as Buddhism is very much a monastic tradition, which has all but disappeared in the West. When you look at the Temple in the Bible, there is an area for the high priest, an area for the other priests, an area for lay people and a very large area for everyone else. This areas move outwards. That is to say that those on the fringe have no idea, those in the next area are at least nominally believers, the priests have access to scripture and the high priest access to God. We believe as Christians that this was pushed aside on the cross at Calvary and the faithful had the Holy Spirit as a guide, but effectively, the same order has remained in Cathedrals and Churches except that the high priest is Christ.

Having been in Buddhist temples where people encouraged us to come in and take part, there remains a lay-folk who are just nominally Buddhists, a group who are more informed etc. A Buddhist monk gave my wife and I a “blessing” whether or not we were Buddhists. That is where Buddhism is very open but you will have to agree, there are aspects of Buddhism in the East that we do not entertain in the West.
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Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed May 06, 2020 10:39 am

Bob wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:I believe Christianity is the most optimal positive religion for the majority of people at present [not future]. Thus if all Muslims were to convert to Christianity, the world as it is now would be a better place without Islam. But the relevance of the above is only for the individual at the present.

I don’t believe that conversion is the solution, and it is hardly realistic. If Islam were open to reforms and the position of intellectual Muslims were widely accepted, there would be less problems. The problem is that Islam in itself is conflict-ridden. The Sunnis and the Shiites even massacre each other in their mosques. Secondly, they see the West as actively trying to destroy their culture, which is rich, despite the historical turbulence that blew some of it out of sight. Karen Armstrong wrote a very good book about Mohammed.

Having put in a great amount of time and effort into researching Islam, I would consider myself and expert in Islam.

The majority of 1.5 billion of Muslims are normally good but a % [say 20% best guess - that's a pool of 300 million :o ] are born with active evil tendencies - the evil prones.

What is critical here is the holy texts of Islam from Allah contain very evil and malignant elements that exhort Muslims to kill non-believers upon very vague threats to the religion. Note Quran 5:33 and many other evil laden verses.

The evil laden verses will influence the % evil prone Muslims to commit terrible evil and violence on non-Muslims with sanction by Allah, to gain extra merit to paradise. This is so evident from the evil and violence that emerged from Muslims since Islam was founded.

On the other hand, Christianity is inherently good with an overriding pacifist maxim of 'love all -even enemies' thus absolutely has no room at all for any Christian to commit evil in the name of Jesus or God.

Thus if all Muslims were to convert to Christianity [just a thought, impossible in practice] then there will be no Islamic-driven evil and violence at all.

Christianity is, having gone through much of the problems of Islam early on, largely in agreement about main points, although the West/East divide has left these schisms each with a different emphasis. The Reformation has been a very bad thing for millions of people, and even today, Protestant Churches sprout up all over believing that they can all read the Bible adequately. I don’t believe they can in many cases. Added to this, the problem with sexuality and abuse has arisen out of the catholic western churches due to celibacy, which is a relatively new idea (from about 1100 I believe) and has gone terribly wrong.

The problem from Christians are due to the believers not due to the doctrines of Christianity from Jesus.
If only all Christians were to adhere to the 'love all -even enemies' maxim there would be less issues from Christians giving a bad name to Christianity.

The main lesson of all this is that all Christians are human, just as all Buddhists are, and these movements suffer human problems. The teachings arise out of experience of the world, from observations and clearly a lot of thinking. Our problems today arise out of the fact that about 500 years ago, philosophers started thinking differently and since then a materialistic view has become overbearing and very dogmatic (the very thing they criticised) and we have lost our readiness to read the Bible as it was meant. We still have the capacity, which we show elsewhere, but with regard to the church it has been thrown out.

That is why it is critical to differentiate the doctrines of the each religion from the believers comprising the good, bad, and evil ones.
In this case, progress of moral good has to made within the brains of the believers.
In this case Buddhism is very focus to improve the neural connections of the believers via knowledge [right view], meditation, mindfulness, practices, right action, as listed in the Noble 8 Fold Paths.

Prismatic567 wrote:The downside of Christianity [as with other Abrahamic religion] is the immutability of its holy text and doctrines which is from a God which is illusory and believed based on faith. The individual[s] are totally reliant upon God for the salvation to deal with the inherent unavoidable existential crisis. Since the doctrines from God are immutable, there is only one fixed way to deal the inherent unavoidable existential crisis.
However the immutable doctrines from God which are non-negotiable whilst has positive elements also has negative elements which hinder humanity's progress in the longer run, e.g. anti-evolutionary, etc. Thus because of the immutable doctrines, the negative elements therein are permanent.
The problem is many of these negatives are time-based and will not be effective in future and Christianity is stuck with them while circumstances changes.

The immutability of scripture is not only something that Christians struggle with, it is also the same with Buddhist texts, which may have new translations but Buddhists want the original meaning. The Dhammapada is one example which is lying here on my desk. As I said above, it is the readiness to understand Judaeo-Christian texts that has been reduced. We use the same yardstick as with Literature or even Science, but the Bible has its own method of exegesis. It is also holistic in its approach to telling stories. The Bible texts don’t leave out the down-side, the shadow that accompanies us, and is criticised for that, although it is very realistic. Some of the consequences of human behaviour are attributed to God, but often, it is just the way it is, given the deeds done. At least Christ plays with these consequences when he asks “if you know these things, what tells you that you will be spared?”

The core principles of Buddhism, i.e. impermanence do not provide for immutability of the Buddhism's doctrines..
It you heard or observed such, it is due to the ignorance of the believers.

Note the Dalai Lama assertion re the Buddhist Doctrines;

“If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”

― Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality


On the other hand, there is no compromise for many of the verses from the Gospel.
Surely the Christian Gospel cannot compromise on
    “I am the Way, and the truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).

and many other critical verses.

Prismatic567 wrote:Buddhism on the other hand do not have immutable doctrines by merely present a generic iterative model to solve life problems in any circumstances and at any time.
This is the advantage Buddhism's dynamism as over Christianity's immutable doctrines.

Unfortunately, Buddhism is too far advance for the majority in their present psychological state.
But humans are continuing to evolve and note the trend of the exponential expansion of knowledge, technology, wisdom, etc. within humanity.
Thus there will come a time where Buddhism will tilt to be more effective than Christianity for the individuals and the whole of humanity.

However, in the future it will not be Buddhism per se that is relevant but the core principles and practices mainly from Buddhism and others will be incorporated into a non-religious generic 'spiritual' self-improvement program for all individuals to optimize their well being.

It’s funny that you should say this, but I also believe that Christianity has become too advanced for many Christians. We need to accept that Christianity, as well as Buddhism is very much a monastic tradition, which has all but disappeared in the West. When you look at the Temple in the Bible, there is an area for the high priest, an area for the other priests, an area for lay people and a very large area for everyone else. This areas move outwards. That is to say that those on the fringe have no idea, those in the next area are at least nominally believers, the priests have access to scripture and the high priest access to God. We believe as Christians that this was pushed aside on the cross at Calvary and the faithful had the Holy Spirit as a guide, but effectively, the same order has remained in Cathedrals and Churches except that the high priest is Christ.

Having been in Buddhist temples where people encouraged us to come in and take part, there remains a lay-folk who are just nominally Buddhists, a group who are more informed etc. A Buddhist monk gave my wife and I a “blessing” whether or not we were Buddhists. That is where Buddhism is very open but you will have to agree, there are aspects of Buddhism in the East that we do not entertain in the West.

I believe monastic traditions of the Christian mystics represent the fringe of Christianity where the mystics adopt spiritual principles from those of Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.
I would say, these Christian mystics are 40% Christian and 60% Eastern Religions and the likes. It has a lot with their neural competence to manage and modulate the inherent unavoidable existential crisis.

True there are aspects of Buddhism in the East that are not entertain in the West and actually some of the practices are not even in accordance to core Buddhist principles.
Buddhists are so tolerant, they are willing to compromise [as long there is no harm] because they understand the lay-person cannot change immediately or even for generations.
Example, praying to large statues with joss-sticks is not strictly Buddhism, but as long as it is not harmful, the serious Buddhist will not make a fuss. They are now phasing out joss-sticks since it is now recognized they contribute to smoke pollution and it not healthy for the lungs.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Bob » Wed May 06, 2020 11:46 am

Prismatic567 wrote:Having put in a great amount of time and effort into researching Islam, I would consider myself and expert in Islam.

The majority of 1.5 billion of Muslims are normally good but a % [say 20% best guess - that's a pool of 300 million :o ] are born with active evil tendencies - the evil prones.

What is critical here is the holy texts of Islam from Allah contain very evil and malignant elements that exhort Muslims to kill non-believers upon very vague threats to the religion. Note Quran 5:33 and many other evil laden verses.

The evil laden verses will influence the % evil prone Muslims to commit terrible evil and violence on non-Muslims with sanction by Allah, to gain extra merit to paradise. This is so evident from the evil and violence that emerged from Muslims since Islam was founded.

First of all, I don’t believe that a Muslim child is any different from a Christian child at birth. It is through the way they are brought up and taught that differences occur. Having worked with Muslims, I found that the malignant aspects of Islam have come about when they feel threatened. I’m not sure a militant Christian, feeling threatened in a similar way, would be much different. The language of the OT is that of a people under duress, that is why it also has militant views. Christianity should have overcome that but that’s not what I am seeing.

Prismatic567 wrote:On the other hand, Christianity is inherently good with an overriding pacifist maxim of 'love all -even enemies' thus absolutely has no room at all for any Christian to commit evil in the name of Jesus or God.

Thus if all Muslims were to convert to Christianity [just a thought, impossible in practice] then there will be no Islamic-driven evil and violence at all.
The problem from Christians are due to the believers not due to the doctrines of Christianity from Jesus.
If only all Christians were to adhere to the 'love all -even enemies' maxim there would be less issues from Christians giving a bad name to Christianity.

I’m also not comfortable with your portrayal of Christianity, although I will grant you that Jesus was not a warrior like Mohammed. For the reason above I see a pacifist maxim only in very few Christians. I agree though, that the teaching of Christ leaves no room for militancy, but it is a difficult path to take – as he himself said.

Prismatic567 wrote:That is why it is critical to differentiate the doctrines of the each religion from the believers comprising the good, bad, and evil ones.
In this case, progress of moral good has to made within the brains of the believers.
In this case Buddhism is very focus to improve the neural connections of the believers via knowledge [right view], meditation, mindfulness, practices, right action, as listed in the Noble 8 Fold Paths.

The core principles of Buddhism, i.e. impermanence do not provide for immutability of the Buddhism's doctrines..
It you heard or observed such, it is due to the ignorance of the believers.

Of course, that is the point I’m making. They’re human and therefore they will have these faults, like all of us do. That is why dedication is the key word here and also the reason why I pointed out that both are monastic traditions – even the parishes that Paul “planted” were mixed monasteries if all be known. Dedication brings one back to the teachings over and over again, whether by meditation, contemplation or devotional reading.

Prismatic567 wrote:Note the Dalai Lama assertion re the Buddhist Doctrines;

“If scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.”

― Dalai Lama XIV, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality


On the other hand, there is no compromise for many of the verses from the Gospel.
Surely the Christian Gospel cannot compromise on
[list=]“I am the Way, and the truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).[/list]
and many other critical verses.

They’re human beings ...

Prismatic567 wrote:I believe monastic traditions of the Christian mystics represent the fringe of Christianity where the mystics adopt spiritual principles from those of Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.
I would say, these Christian mystics are 40% Christian and 60% Eastern Religions and the likes. It has a lot with their neural competence to manage and modulate the inherent unavoidable existential crisis.

True there are aspects of Buddhism in the East that are not entertain in the West and actually some of the practices are not even in accordance to core Buddhist principles.
Buddhists are so tolerant, they are willing to compromise [as long there is no harm] because they understand the lay-person cannot change immediately or even for generations.
Example, praying to large statues with joss-sticks is not strictly Buddhism, but as long as it is not harmful, the serious Buddhist will not make a fuss. They are now phasing out joss-sticks since it is now recognized they contribute to smoke pollution and it not healthy for the lungs.

Today the monastic traditions are only a fringe movement, that is true. However, reading the NT, I can’t overcome my feeling that this movement needed the tightly knitted companionship of a monastery. The second influence is the one you mentioned: The Mystics. They are much better represented in Christian Orthodoxy, since the Catholic church struggled with them. They are being read more today I think, but as you say, it is only a % of believers who follow their teaching. Orthodox Christianity prefers the small congregations and integrate much mysticism into their services.

Buddhists have always been friendly and I have had long talks with some of them but they rarely speak of a “mystical” Buddhism. Is there such a thing?
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
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