OrthodoxChristianity.net
October 21, 2014, 10:20:01 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 3 All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The Many Forms of Buddhism  (Read 7167 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« on: October 05, 2009, 04:46:13 PM »

CONTEXT NOTE:  The following thread started here:  What was your previous religious background? (poll)  -PtA


Born and raised Assembly of God.  Then, at 17 when I got my first car, I stopped going to church altogether.  At 23, I converted to Islam and remained there for nearly 10 years.  When I began doubting the Qur'an, my cradle-Muslim wife began doubting our marriage and we ended up divorcing after 5+ years.  By way of Buddhism and Hinduism, I discovered Eastern Orthodoxy (or I should say Christ introduced my to Eastern Orthodoxy).  It's been a rough ride since October 9, 2004, and at times you'd be hard pressed to find any signs of Christ in me (I have a fierce Irish temper), but I know in my nous that I'm home.  

Which form of Buddhism?

I could never make up my mind which one I thought worked better for me; Mahayana (specifically Ch'an [Zen] or Theravada.  There are several aspects of each that I truly find helpful to this day.  Aside from the Holy Bible, I still enjoy reading from the Dhammapada (I have several translations).  From time to time, I'll read a little from Eight Mindful Steps To Happiness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana about how to practice the Eightfold Path.  But I also have several books on Zen as well.  I suppose if I had to choose (and Christianity wasn't an option), I would go with Theravada.   

Theravada/ Really? I would think the Bodhisattva ideal of saving others would fit a Christan World View Better..
Theravada contains the Bodhisatta ideal as well. Mahayanists don't have a monopoly on that (though they may think they do).
Quote
Theravada is more about how to save yourself.
What 'self' are Theravadans trying to save? Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 10:34:53 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Alveus Lacuna
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,917



« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2009, 04:52:54 PM »

What 'self' are Theravadans trying to save?

 Cheesy
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 04:53:06 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,076


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2009, 04:55:20 PM »

Born and raised Assembly of God.  Then, at 17 when I got my first car, I stopped going to church altogether.  At 23, I converted to Islam and remained there for nearly 10 years.  When I began doubting the Qur'an, my cradle-Muslim wife began doubting our marriage and we ended up divorcing after 5+ years.  By way of Buddhism and Hinduism, I discovered Eastern Orthodoxy (or I should say Christ introduced my to Eastern Orthodoxy).  It's been a rough ride since October 9, 2004, and at times you'd be hard pressed to find any signs of Christ in me (I have a fierce Irish temper), but I know in my nous that I'm home.  

Which form of Buddhism?

I could never make up my mind which one I thought worked better for me; Mahayana (specifically Ch'an [Zen] or Theravada.  There are several aspects of each that I truly find helpful to this day.  Aside from the Holy Bible, I still enjoy reading from the Dhammapada (I have several translations).  From time to time, I'll read a little from Eight Mindful Steps To Happiness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana about how to practice the Eightfold Path.  But I also have several books on Zen as well.  I suppose if I had to choose (and Christianity wasn't an option), I would go with Theravada.   

Theravada/ Really? I would think the Bodhisattva ideal of saving others would fit a Christan World View Better..
Theravada contains the Bodhisatta ideal as well. Mahayanists don't have a monopoly on that (though they may think they do).
Quote
Theravada is more about how to save yourself.
What 'self' are Theravadans trying to save? Roll Eyes

Start a Buddhist Thread if you would like to. I'd play.

Btw.. Buddhism does not = nilism.
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,988


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2009, 09:59:50 PM »

Born and raised Assembly of God.  Then, at 17 when I got my first car, I stopped going to church altogether.  At 23, I converted to Islam and remained there for nearly 10 years.  When I began doubting the Qur'an, my cradle-Muslim wife began doubting our marriage and we ended up divorcing after 5+ years.  By way of Buddhism and Hinduism, I discovered Eastern Orthodoxy (or I should say Christ introduced my to Eastern Orthodoxy).  It's been a rough ride since October 9, 2004, and at times you'd be hard pressed to find any signs of Christ in me (I have a fierce Irish temper), but I know in my nous that I'm home.  

Which form of Buddhism?

I could never make up my mind which one I thought worked better for me; Mahayana (specifically Ch'an [Zen] or Theravada.  There are several aspects of each that I truly find helpful to this day.  Aside from the Holy Bible, I still enjoy reading from the Dhammapada (I have several translations).  From time to time, I'll read a little from Eight Mindful Steps To Happiness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana about how to practice the Eightfold Path.  But I also have several books on Zen as well.  I suppose if I had to choose (and Christianity wasn't an option), I would go with Theravada.   

Theravada/ Really? I would think the Bodhisattva ideal of saving others would fit a Christan World View Better..
Theravada contains the Bodhisatta ideal as well. Mahayanists don't have a monopoly on that (though they may think they do).
I've encountered this argument many times over and, it seems, that's it's central to the way these two schools of thought acquired their names.  In calling themselves "Mahayana" (Big Circle, Wheel) , they termed the older school "Hinayana" (Little Circle, Wheel).  The older school didn't take too kindly to the term and, quite aptly, began using the term "Theravada" (Teachings of the Elders).  I'm sure you and Marc already knew this but I wanted to throw some meanings behinds the terminology.  And as far as I was able to discern from my studies, you're correct in saying that the Mahayana school doesn't hold a monopoly on the Bodhisattva ideal.  There are many Theravada missionaries who have helped to spread their message.  And, of course, Theravadans point to the Buddha himself as the consummate Bodhisattva.
   
Quote
Theravada is more about how to save yourself.
What 'self' are Theravadans trying to save? Roll Eyes
Smiley
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,988


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2009, 11:03:05 PM »

Lest my affinity for Buddhism is misunderstood, let me quote Blessed Fr. Seraphim Rose:

 "Buddhism is good as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough."
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
Rosehip
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 2,760



« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2009, 11:27:19 PM »

I never could understand all the enthusiasm over Buddhism. I keep constantly telling myself I need to understand this so as to be a proper, sophistocated person, and so I force myself to read a little, but I always end up totally bored and unable to continue on. It always strikes me as a little on the "cold' side.
Logged

+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,076


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2009, 02:57:21 PM »

Born and raised Assembly of God.  Then, at 17 when I got my first car, I stopped going to church altogether.  At 23, I converted to Islam and remained there for nearly 10 years.  When I began doubting the Qur'an, my cradle-Muslim wife began doubting our marriage and we ended up divorcing after 5+ years.  By way of Buddhism and Hinduism, I discovered Eastern Orthodoxy (or I should say Christ introduced my to Eastern Orthodoxy).  It's been a rough ride since October 9, 2004, and at times you'd be hard pressed to find any signs of Christ in me (I have a fierce Irish temper), but I know in my nous that I'm home.  

Which form of Buddhism?

I could never make up my mind which one I thought worked better for me; Mahayana (specifically Ch'an [Zen] or Theravada.  There are several aspects of each that I truly find helpful to this day.  Aside from the Holy Bible, I still enjoy reading from the Dhammapada (I have several translations).  From time to time, I'll read a little from Eight Mindful Steps To Happiness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana about how to practice the Eightfold Path.  But I also have several books on Zen as well.  I suppose if I had to choose (and Christianity wasn't an option), I would go with Theravada.   

Theravada/ Really? I would think the Bodhisattva ideal of saving others would fit a Christan World View Better..
Theravada contains the Bodhisattva ideal as well. Mahayanists don't have a monopoly on that (though they may think they do).
I've encountered this argument many times over and, it seems, that's it's central to the way these two schools of thought acquired their names.  In calling themselves "Mahayana" (Big Circle, Wheel) , they termed the older school "Hinayana" (Little Circle, Wheel).  The older school didn't take too kindly to the term and, quite aptly, began using the term "Theravada" (Teachings of the Elders).  I'm sure you and Marc already knew this but I wanted to throw some meanings behinds the terminology.  And as far as I was able to discern from my studies, you're correct in saying that the Mahayana school doesn't hold a monopoly on the Bodhisattva ideal.  There are many Theravada missionaries who have helped to spread their message.  And, of course, Theravadans point to the Buddha himself as the consummate Bodhisattva.
   
Quote
Theravada is more about how to save yourself.
What 'self' are Theravadans trying to save? Roll Eyes
Smiley

Theravada is actually just one sect of Hinayana Buddhism. All the rest have died off.

I am certainly no expert in Hinayana. I read a great book by a guy named Timothy Ward about his experiences in a Thereveda Forest Monastery. The idea, as I understood it, was to generate as little new Karma as possable and get off the wheel of rebirth. A Bodhisattva in terms of the Mahayana understanding is someone who refuses to get off the cycle of rebirth until all sentient beings can do so too. I don't think that is a part of Hinayana thinking, but as I said, I don't know for sure.

In the school Japanese Buddhism which I practiced, the Buddha is not a Bodhisattva, he is fully enlightened and shares his enlightenment with others. The Lotus Sutra teaches that the story that he was first enlightened under the Bohdai Tree is an expedient means of teaching. The actual truth is that the Buddha is Eternally Living and has always been enlightened. In Christian terms,  sort of a Supreme Being without being The Creator... This gets complicated Smiley
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
John Larocque
Catholic
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox
Posts: 530


« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2009, 03:37:41 PM »

I went through a Buddhist phase a couple of years ago and while I don't consider myself a Buddhist by any means, there are things that I took from it. Mostly I focused on Zen, although Thich Nhat Hanh's books come close to a universal Buddhism. In particular I would recommend "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching". "Old Path White Clouds" is a biography of Shakyamuni Buddha, and is derived mostly from Theravada scriptures. If you spend some time with key scriptures of Zen such as the Heart and Diamond Sutras, and koan collections such as Blue Cliff and Mumonkan, you get a sense of some of the main ideas. Buddhist detachment isn't inhuman, you hold on to things when you need them and let go when you don't need them any more. Buddhist doctrine is the raft that takes you from one side of the river to the other, but once you have crossed, you leave the raft behind. The five agregates give you a distorted idea of what we perceive to be "real" - Buddhism seems to be concerned more with detaching ourselves from false perceptions and ideas then presenting us with true ones. It is neither dualistic nor monistic, "neither one nor two." Or simultaneously embracing two contradictory ideas - the equation "A is Not A and that is what makes A truly A." Life is like a wave of the ocean, which has its own lifespan and rises and false, but which dissolves back into the larger body of water, where there will be new waves. Karma is a piece of luggage that gets passed back and forth from one train (lifetime) to another.

There is a Buddhist heresy which is simultaneously authentically Buddhist. It is an example of the contrarian and negative orientation of the religion. The Hindus of their day believed in a Universal Soul. The Buddhists then responded in the belief in "Non-Self". But there was a group of Buddhists who embraced the concept of "Self" because the "Non-Self" adherents embraced it as a doctrine, when what they should have been doing was viewing the "Non-Self" teachings as simply departing from the false notions of the Hindus. The focus should be on the negative - doing away with false notions - rather than affirming (and attaching itself docmatically) to a particular truth. If there is an "objective reality" it's something that is not immediately perceivable with our senses or intellect, which will always come up short and sometimes deceive us.

One aspect of Zen is the concept of sitting - training yourself to put to sleep discursive thought. It's goals are not the same as that of the hesychasts, but it's something that caught my eye when I first saw references to the Orthodox practice. Also, I don't know if there's any relationship between Buddhist prayer rope, the Islamic ones (which could have come from the Buddhists), or the Orthodox version. I'll bet good money the Catholic Rosary was influenced by the Eastern prayer rope, as opposed to spurious visions reputed to have been received St. Dominic (long after the saint was dead). The Japanese prayer beads involve reciting the name of Amida Buddha, who is a Christ-like figure in the Pure Land sects who delivers people to the Western paradise. The Islamics meditate on the names and titles of God.

Can you tell I enjoyed my time with the Buddhists... ?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 03:40:51 PM by John Larocque » Logged
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2009, 03:54:14 PM »

Born and raised Assembly of God.  Then, at 17 when I got my first car, I stopped going to church altogether.  At 23, I converted to Islam and remained there for nearly 10 years.  When I began doubting the Qur'an, my cradle-Muslim wife began doubting our marriage and we ended up divorcing after 5+ years.  By way of Buddhism and Hinduism, I discovered Eastern Orthodoxy (or I should say Christ introduced my to Eastern Orthodoxy).  It's been a rough ride since October 9, 2004, and at times you'd be hard pressed to find any signs of Christ in me (I have a fierce Irish temper), but I know in my nous that I'm home.  

Which form of Buddhism?

I could never make up my mind which one I thought worked better for me; Mahayana (specifically Ch'an [Zen] or Theravada.  There are several aspects of each that I truly find helpful to this day.  Aside from the Holy Bible, I still enjoy reading from the Dhammapada (I have several translations).  From time to time, I'll read a little from Eight Mindful Steps To Happiness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana about how to practice the Eightfold Path.  But I also have several books on Zen as well.  I suppose if I had to choose (and Christianity wasn't an option), I would go with Theravada.   

Theravada/ Really? I would think the Bodhisattva ideal of saving others would fit a Christan World View Better..
Theravada contains the Bodhisatta ideal as well. Mahayanists don't have a monopoly on that (though they may think they do).
Quote
Theravada is more about how to save yourself.
What 'self' are Theravadans trying to save? Roll Eyes

Start a Buddhist Thread if you would like to. I'd play.

Btw.. Buddhism does not = nilism
I agree that Buddhism is not nihilistic. The Theravadan idea of "anatta", or "non-self", acts as a tool that one applies to anything material or mental that one experiences. One's body is not truly one's own (you  have some control over your body, but not total control, otherwise you would chose to make your body eternal); the same is true with one's mind (thoughts, feelings). Whatever one experiences with the five senses, or with the mind, is "non-self", because one is not all-powerfully able to control all things at all times. A "self" in Buddhism is defined as something totally one's own, totally within one's power to control at will, at all times. (I'm coming from the Theravada perspective; Mahayanists may say slightly different things about "non-self" and "self".)

I think part of the problem with Christians understanding Buddhism is understanding what Buddhism means by "self".
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
John Larocque
Catholic
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox
Posts: 530


« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2009, 04:45:33 PM »

The way Nhat Hanh treats the subject, Non-Self means that autonomy is an illusion. (This would make the Ayn Randists unhappy). None of us exists independently of anybody else. Further, there are elements of non-self in every self - he uses the example of one's lunch that you ate sitting in your belly. A is Not A and that is what it makes it truly A. Self and Non-Self = True Self. Non-self is an affirmation of interdependence, nothing exists as a completley independent entity. There are things that we identify with because of the five agregates (eg. our apetites) that are not part of our idenitty, and are an illusion. Remove the illusions, and you become aware of your Buddha self, what you already are. Illusion is the source of dischord / unhappiness / suffering. So removing the illusions removes the causes of suffering.

I remember years ago coming across from this from a Sufi perspective (and a Christian filter). The soul is a mirror that is meant to reflect God's brilliance, but it become dirty with sin. Sin blocks God from being reflected in us. Reading Lossky a few days ago gave me an Eastern Christian perspective of this. The "soul as a mirror" IMHO is a powerful analogy.

Edit: Here is a Sufi (Islamic Mystical) look at the soul and the mirror analogy:

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Al-Ghazli_as_Sufi

Quote
A more favourite figure with Al-Ghazali, however, is that of the mirror. The human soul is a mirror. It reflects the realities of the spiritual world. On account of its imperfections and on account of the spots and blemishes which mar its originally bright surface, it reflects these imperfectly or even in a distorted fashion.

Thus, knowledge is the image of the soul of the realities which it reflects. And the highest knowledge of the soul and that which alone causes it true joy, is the reflection of God Himself.

What prevents men from knowing God, is not that God is far away or that He hides Himself, but that the mirror which ought to reflect Him is for some one of many reasons unable to give a correct image of Him.

It's Al-Ghazali versus Augustine...

http://www.answering-islam.org/God/ghazali.html

Quote
Muslims believe that each individual is created by God good and without sin. Al-Ghazali affirms this presupposition when he compares the heart or the soul to a mirror. Al-Ghazali is very clear what he means by the heart: "man is formed of a body and a heart - and by the heart I mean the essence of man's spirit which is the seat of knowledge of God" (McCarthy 1980:101). The heart (soul) is compared to a mirror that is given to each person when they are born in a state of high polish. According al-Ghazali, the person that presents their soul to God in the same state they received it will gain entrance into paradise. "If man sins he allows vapor and filth to encrust itself upon the surface of the mirror ... Once a mirror begins to dull it must immediately be cleansed and polished" (Stern 1990:18). But how does one go about polishing the heart in order to keep it presentable before God?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2009, 05:12:22 PM by John Larocque » Logged
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2009, 05:24:50 PM »

The way Nhat Hanh treats the subject, Non-Self means that autonomy is an illusion. (This would make the Ayn Randists unhappy). None of us exists independently of anybody else. Further, there are elements of non-self in every self - he uses the example of one's lunch that you ate sitting in your belly. A is Not A and that is what it makes it truly A. Self and Non-Self = True Self. Non-self is an affirmation of interdependence, nothing exists as a completley independent entity. There are things that we identify with because of the five agregates (eg. our apetites) that are not part of our idenitty, and are an illusion. Remove the illusions, and you become aware of your Buddha self, what you already are. Illusion is the source of dischord / unhappiness / suffering. So removing the illusions removes the causes of suffering.

I remember years ago coming across from this from a Sufi perspective (and a Christian filter). The soul is a mirror that is meant to reflect God's brilliance, but it become dirty with sin. Sin blocks God from being reflected in us. Reading Lossky a few days ago gave me an Eastern Christian perspective of this. The "soul as a mirror" IMHO is a powerful analogy.

Edit: Here is a Sufi (Islamic Mystical) look at the soul and the mirror analogy:

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Al-Ghazli_as_Sufi

Quote
A more favourite figure with Al-Ghazali, however, is that of the mirror. The human soul is a mirror. It reflects the realities of the spiritual world. On account of its imperfections and on account of the spots and blemishes which mar its originally bright surface, it reflects these imperfectly or even in a distorted fashion.

Thus, knowledge is the image of the soul of the realities which it reflects. And the highest knowledge of the soul and that which alone causes it true joy, is the reflection of God Himself.

What prevents men from knowing God, is not that God is far away or that He hides Himself, but that the mirror which ought to reflect Him is for some one of many reasons unable to give a correct image of Him.

It's Al-Ghazali versus Augustine...

http://www.answering-islam.org/God/ghazali.html

Quote
Muslims believe that each individual is created by God good and without sin. Al-Ghazali affirms this presupposition when he compares the heart or the soul to a mirror. Al-Ghazali is very clear what he means by the heart: "man is formed of a body and a heart - and by the heart I mean the essence of man's spirit which is the seat of knowledge of God" (McCarthy 1980:101). The heart (soul) is compared to a mirror that is given to each person when they are born in a state of high polish. According al-Ghazali, the person that presents their soul to God in the same state they received it will gain entrance into paradise. "If man sins he allows vapor and filth to encrust itself upon the surface of the mirror ... Once a mirror begins to dull it must immediately be cleansed and polished" (Stern 1990:18). But how does one go about polishing the heart in order to keep it presentable before God?

So, to use the mirror analogy: (1) Al-Ghazali believed that we are born with pure mirrors, and we should ideally die with pure mirrors, even if in the middle part of our lives, we dirty the mirror with sin; (2) Orthodox teaches that we are born with pure mirrors that exist in an environment of floating dirt, such that it is very easy (perhaps inevitable for most) for the dirt to settle on the mirror; theosis is the process of taking the dirt off and keeping it off; and (3) Buddhism (at least Theravada) teaches that the origin of the mirror does not start with our birth, so any dirt that was on the mirror before our birth, is on the mirror at our birth; awakening to nibbana is wiping the mirror free of dirt.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,076


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2009, 09:15:24 PM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,647


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2009, 02:10:14 AM »

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley
So, I heard once, were some of the Desert Fathers. Wink  (Though I digress from the topic of this discussion...)
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 02:10:31 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,988


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2009, 02:36:18 AM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley

I've read in a few books (for whatever that's worth) that Zen masters could be pretty brutal when they wanted to "help" their students break free from the "monkey mind".  Shocked
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2009, 04:56:52 PM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley

I've read in a few books (for whatever that's worth) that Zen masters could be pretty brutal when they wanted to "help" their students break free from the "monkey mind".  Shocked
What's the sound of one God clapping?
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Taylor
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Posts: 75



« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2010, 05:02:02 PM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley

This, I think, is a much bigger issue than some people may realize.  At my college I at first studied Chinese religions, especially Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, with a professor who is well known even in China as an expert on the subject.  The big thing I took out of those classes is that what most people in the West think of as Buddhism is absolutely nothing like Buddhism at all.  Originally, Buddhism was very ritual, practice (meditation) and study based (and study was always done under a teacher or elder).  The emphasis was on the monastic life, and early on the lay people only existed to serve the monastic community. Only monastics through rigorous practice and study could hope to achieve enlightenment, which was the end goal.  The hope was that by serving the monastic community the lay people would have a favorable reincarnation where they would have the chance to live as a monastic. This was a problem in China, where the cultural emphasis was on the family. Monastic life was an abandonment of family life.  So when Buddhism became established in China, new emphasis appeared there where one could attain enlightenment outside the monastic life as a lay family person.  Today, the emphasis with most actual Buddhist practitioners around the world is still on ritual, sacrifice, and prayer.  The vast majority of Buddhists (since most today are lay people) have never practiced meditation and have never heard of the four noble truths.  When Buddhism developed in the west, the emphasis was placed on the abstract theories of ancient Buddhism, but without the mythology, ritual, self-sacrifice and devotion. It was "demythologized".  Popular Western Buddhism became a system wherein Buddha meditated and came to enlightenment, and we can all do the same thing if we hold to certain principles, occasionally help someone, and try to go to some meditation classes or read some books on the subject.  My professor called it "Ameriyana Buddhism".  Another scholar, Donald Lopez, came to my school and lectured on this very topic, the "demytholigizing" of Buddhism in Europe in America, and how many Buddhist groups in Asia find it incredibly offensive that such people call themselves Buddhist.  Then again, some groups support it and claim that it is up to each generation and place to decide what it means to be Buddhist (sounds a lot like Evangelical protestantism to me).  Tibetan Buddhism falls into this camp (which is not surprising considering that is exactly how Tibetan Buddhism itself developed, as a radical reinterpretation of Buddhism combining it with the indigenous Tibetan mythology).  Tibetan Buddhism and Zen (originally a Chinese Mahayana sect called Chan) are the most popular forms of "Buddhism" in the West, but each are very much separate and different from Buddhism as it initially appeared in India.  
Logged
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2010, 05:38:59 PM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley
The emphasis was on the monastic life, and early on the lay people only existed to serve the monastic community. Only monastics through rigorous practice and study could hope to achieve enlightenment, which was the end goal.
Lay people could, of course, focus on giving donations to the renunciates, but lay people could also practice meditation intently towards nibbana. In the Pali texts, full freedom from bondage was mostly the area of the monastics, but lay people were fully capable of attaining anagami status, in which they would never again take rebirth on earth. An anagami would die, and be re-born in a "pure land" (a very high heavenly realm) from which they would realize nibbana, the full freedom from bondage.

Later forms of Buddhism in China and Japan would develop this "pure land" idea even more.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2010, 06:26:08 PM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Well, that's true of any religious system that I know of. But it should be noted that in some sections of Tibetan and Chinese Buddhism, at least, rigorous scholarship, debate, and other academic pursuits are valued very highly.  The anti-intellectualism one encounters in some Zen groups is a bit of an overreaction to this. It made sense in places where everyone knew the basics of Buddhism and perhaps some people got too enmeshed in the theory at the expense of experience. In the West, it's proven to be a disaster, and now Westerners who are ignorant of large areas of the Buddhist tradition are becoming "Zen masters" and teaching classes.



Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,076


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2010, 09:49:55 PM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley
The emphasis was on the monastic life, and early on the lay people only existed to serve the monastic community. Only monastics through rigorous practice and study could hope to achieve enlightenment, which was the end goal.
Lay people could, of course, focus on giving donations to the renunciates, but lay people could also practice meditation intently towards nibbana. In the Pali texts, full freedom from bondage was mostly the area of the monastics, but lay people were fully capable of attaining anagami status, in which they would never again take rebirth on earth. An anagami would die, and be re-born in a "pure land" (a very high heavenly realm) from which they would realize nibbana, the full freedom from bondage.

Later forms of Buddhism in China and Japan would develop this "pure land" idea even more.

I mainly know about Japanese forms of Buddhism which was primarily transplanted from China.

Their conception of time actually works backwards in terms of spiritual development. As we move further away from the time of the Buddha, it gets harder and harder to practice. Therefore, Japanese Buddhist "Saints" like Nichiren and others sought to encapsulate the Buddha's enlightenment within simple formulas that the unlearned could employ. Faith amd practice are the pivotal components, not understanding. 
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
JamesRottnek
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Anglican
Jurisdiction: Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
Posts: 5,121


I am Bibleman; putting 'the' back in the Ukraine


« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2010, 10:52:36 PM »

What do people who know more about Buddhism than I do think about the idea of belief in God while being a Buddhist?  I know a few people who claim to be Buddhist (I say claim to because they are the type of Buddhist who reads books by/about Buddhists/Buddhism and say they agree with it, but never do anything other than be vegetarian) yet also say they believe in God, and I believe I recall The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism saying that you can believe in God or can choose not to believe, yet still be Buddhist.  However, I've also read a news article a while back about a Zen master from Japan who came to the US (I don't recall the name) and at one point while talking to the journalist he started criticizing American Buddhists who believe in God as not being Buddhists.
Logged

I know a secret about a former Supreme Court Justice.  Can you guess what it is?

The greatest tragedy in the world is when a cigarette ends.

American Spirits - the eco-friendly cigarette.

Preston Robert Kinney (September 8th, 1997-August 14, 2011
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2010, 11:55:09 PM »

What do people who know more about Buddhism than I do think about the idea of belief in God while being a Buddhist?  
It depends upon how you define "God". Some ideas of "God" are more compatible with Buddhism than others.

Just take one example: let's say someone believes that "God" is that which is both (1) all-powerful; and (2) all-loving. Buddhism would critique this sort of "God" because such a "God", being all-powerful, should have the power to end suffering and evil, and such a "God" should have the desire to do so, because this God is all-loving as well. Now, the fact that suffering and evil do actually exist, means that a God that is both all-powerful and all-loving does not exist. The Buddha himself made this sort of argument against this particular idea of "God".

One might think that Christianity teaches that its God is both all-powerful and all-loving, but that would not actually be the case. In Christianity, God might be theoretically, or ultimately, all-powerful, but, in practice, in real life, the Christian God is not all-powerful, because the Christian God does not violate human free-will. The Christian God lacks all-power. Thus, such a God would not fall under the Buddhist critique -- or, at least, not the critique mentioned above.

I should clarify, though. There is a special type of Christian God that Buddhism would reject, and that would be the Calvinist God, because such a God does have all-power, due to the lack of human free-will in the Calvinist system.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2010, 11:57:24 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2010, 06:49:38 AM »

I can't see any room for the Christian God in the Buddhist cosmology. In terms of traditional pagan deities, they are considered a class of beings which, while being very powerful and living extremely long lives, are still mortal and bound to the wheel of samsara like everyone else. On a more absolute level, there are Buddhist concepts like tathagatagharba or "Buddha-nature", which express some universal reality or ground of being, but these are too abstract and impersonal to be anything like our God.

While Jetavan is right that the Buddha never made a critique specifically of an all-powerful God who voluntarily limits his power to permit free-will, he did reject any idea of an abiding "self," in anything. While this is most usually applied to the concept of an immortal soul, it is also directed at the divine absolute "atman" and could just as well be applied to any personal deity.

Due to the vast number of spiritual dilletantes attracted to Buddhism (or romantic concepts of Buddhism) it's no surprise that some American "Buddhists" believe in God.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2010, 06:51:16 AM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley
The emphasis was on the monastic life, and early on the lay people only existed to serve the monastic community. Only monastics through rigorous practice and study could hope to achieve enlightenment, which was the end goal.
Lay people could, of course, focus on giving donations to the renunciates, but lay people could also practice meditation intently towards nibbana. In the Pali texts, full freedom from bondage was mostly the area of the monastics, but lay people were fully capable of attaining anagami status, in which they would never again take rebirth on earth. An anagami would die, and be re-born in a "pure land" (a very high heavenly realm) from which they would realize nibbana, the full freedom from bondage.

Later forms of Buddhism in China and Japan would develop this "pure land" idea even more.

I mainly know about Japanese forms of Buddhism which was primarily transplanted from China.

Their conception of time actually works backwards in terms of spiritual development. As we move further away from the time of the Buddha, it gets harder and harder to practice. Therefore, Japanese Buddhist "Saints" like Nichiren and others sought to encapsulate the Buddha's enlightenment within simple formulas that the unlearned could employ. Faith amd practice are the pivotal components, not understanding. 

If you take the Buddha's teachings about Dharma-decline seriously, we are living in an age where the Dharma is no longer capable of saving anyone.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2010, 10:05:11 AM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley
The emphasis was on the monastic life, and early on the lay people only existed to serve the monastic community. Only monastics through rigorous practice and study could hope to achieve enlightenment, which was the end goal.
Lay people could, of course, focus on giving donations to the renunciates, but lay people could also practice meditation intently towards nibbana. In the Pali texts, full freedom from bondage was mostly the area of the monastics, but lay people were fully capable of attaining anagami status, in which they would never again take rebirth on earth. An anagami would die, and be re-born in a "pure land" (a very high heavenly realm) from which they would realize nibbana, the full freedom from bondage.

Later forms of Buddhism in China and Japan would develop this "pure land" idea even more.

I mainly know about Japanese forms of Buddhism which was primarily transplanted from China.

Their conception of time actually works backwards in terms of spiritual development. As we move further away from the time of the Buddha, it gets harder and harder to practice. Therefore, Japanese Buddhist "Saints" like Nichiren and others sought to encapsulate the Buddha's enlightenment within simple formulas that the unlearned could employ. Faith amd practice are the pivotal components, not understanding. 

If you take the Buddha's teachings about Dharma-decline seriously, we are living in an age where the Dharma is no longer capable of saving anyone.
The Buddha also said that as long as there are those who practice the Eightfold Path, the world would not lack Arhats or Realizers of Nirvana. Thus, many Buddhist folks in South-East Asia, for instance, would take issue with the idea that Buddha-Dharma is dead.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2010, 10:28:19 AM »

I can't see any room for the Christian God in the Buddhist cosmology. In terms of traditional pagan deities, they are considered a class of beings which, while being very powerful and living extremely long lives, are still mortal and bound to the wheel of samsara like everyone else. On a more absolute level, there are Buddhist concepts like tathagatagharba or "Buddha-nature", which express some universal reality or ground of being, but these are too abstract and impersonal to be anything like our God.

While Jetavan is right that the Buddha never made a critique specifically of an all-powerful God who voluntarily limits his power to permit free-will, he did reject any idea of an abiding "self," in anything. While this is most usually applied to the concept of an immortal soul, it is also directed at the divine absolute "atman" and could just as well be applied to any personal deity.
A personal deity, in Buddhism, would be a being with a spiritual body, existing in a spiritual realm (a heaven, for instance), a being who has intention, desires, and motives. The idea of 'not-self' does not deny that such persons, or beings, exist, whether in spiritual realms or in physical realms (like this Earth).

What 'not-self' critiques is the possibility of pointing to any "thing" that exists without change, without mutability, without impermanence. Clearly, "I" still exist, even if the 'not-self' idea is accurate, because "I" am a body (that changes, that is impermanent) and a mind (that also changes and is impermanent).

If there is any "thing" -- that is, any thing that one can empirically sense, or any idea, feeling, though, concept, percept in one's mental state -- that does not change, or that is permanent, then the existence of such a "thing" would refute the 'not-self' idea and fatally undermine Buddhism. But I have yet to see any such a "thing".

Now, if one defines "God" as that which is "not a thing", then such a "God" lies outside the definition of 'not-self', and "God" would not be the object of the 'not-self' critique. Of course, the problem with talking about "no-things", like "God", is that people begin to argue that their idea of "no-thing" is superior to another person's, and since there is no empirical way to judge the accuracy of one person's idea of "no-thing", these arguments lead to "no-where".

This does not mean that "no-thing" does not exist. Indeed, Nirvana is the one "no-thing" in Buddhism, but you don't realize Nirvana by talking about it. Nirvana is realized by means of  one's spiritual practice, centered on "things" one can empirically sense (e.g., matter) or mentally conceive (thoughts, feelings, intentions -- like love, compassion, wisdom, etc.).

Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,076


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2010, 06:28:31 PM »

What do people who know more about Buddhism than I do think about the idea of belief in God while being a Buddhist?  I know a few people who claim to be Buddhist (I say claim to because they are the type of Buddhist who reads books by/about Buddhists/Buddhism and say they agree with it, but never do anything other than be vegetarian) yet also say they believe in God, and I believe I recall The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism saying that you can believe in God or can choose not to believe, yet still be Buddhist.  However, I've also read a news article a while back about a Zen master from Japan who came to the US (I don't recall the name) and at one point while talking to the journalist he started criticizing American Buddhists who believe in God as not being Buddhists.


It all depends.......  Some sects acknowledge a Supreme Being called the Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni ( as opposed to his temporal form as the Buddha who gained enlightenment under the Bhodai Tree). The Lotus Sutra tells "the rest of the story" that the Buddha has existed eternally and will never cease to exist. His enlightenment and existence is Eternal. he also grants enlightenment via a form of grace, through Faith.

So the faithful develops the Believing Mind or The Mind of Faith and there in the Buddha dwells. He is not however the Creator. But he is in a way the Supreme Being.

Most Buddhism in the West is a sort of Gnostic Buddhism. They teach that all people are inherently a Buddha (on the inside) and after practicing Buddhism you "Realize" this already existing Buddha hood... Very popular.. Not very authentic. Also, some parts of Buddhism have devolved into Heath Wealth and Happiness Cults.

Zen makes no comment. Which is good Smiley

The Buddha was asked: "Is there a God?" He remained silent.

Then he was asked: "Is there not a God?" He remained silent.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 06:34:50 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,076


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2010, 06:40:34 PM »

I can't see any room for the Christian God in the Buddhist cosmology. In terms of traditional pagan deities, they are considered a class of beings which, while being very powerful and living extremely long lives, are still mortal and bound to the wheel of samsara like everyone else. On a more absolute level, there are Buddhist concepts like tathagatagharba or "Buddha-nature", which express some universal reality or ground of being, but these are too abstract and impersonal to be anything like our God.

While Jetavan is right that the Buddha never made a critique specifically of an all-powerful God who voluntarily limits his power to permit free-will, he did reject any idea of an abiding "self," in anything. While this is most usually applied to the concept of an immortal soul, it is also directed at the divine absolute "atman" and could just as well be applied to any personal deity.
A personal deity, in Buddhism, would be a being with a spiritual body, existing in a spiritual realm (a heaven, for instance), a being who has intention, desires, and motives. The idea of 'not-self' does not deny that such persons, or beings, exist, whether in spiritual realms or in physical realms (like this Earth).

What 'not-self' critiques is the possibility of pointing to any "thing" that exists without change, without mutability, without impermanence. Clearly, "I" still exist, even if the 'not-self' idea is accurate, because "I" am a body (that changes, that is impermanent) and a mind (that also changes and is impermanent).

If there is any "thing" -- that is, any thing that one can empirically sense, or any idea, feeling, though, concept, percept in one's mental state -- that does not change, or that is permanent, then the existence of such a "thing" would refute the 'not-self' idea and fatally undermine Buddhism. But I have yet to see any such a "thing".

Now, if one defines "God" as that which is "not a thing", then such a "God" lies outside the definition of 'not-self', and "God" would not be the object of the 'not-self' critique. Of course, the problem with talking about "no-things", like "God", is that people begin to argue that their idea of "no-thing" is superior to another person's, and since there is no empirical way to judge the accuracy of one person's idea of "no-thing", these arguments lead to "no-where".

This does not mean that "no-thing" does not exist. Indeed, Nirvana is the one "no-thing" in Buddhism, but you don't realize Nirvana by talking about it. Nirvana is realized by means of  one's spiritual practice, centered on "things" one can empirically sense (e.g., matter) or mentally conceive (thoughts, feelings, intentions -- like love, compassion, wisdom, etc.).



Some schools go further and teach something called "The Three Truths" ( as opposed to two).

I am Marc ( conventional Truth)

I existed essentially in an Absolute sense past Worldly conventions or designations of this and that. ( Absolute Truth)

and Three..Both are True ( Conventional and Absolute) simultaneously.
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2010, 06:54:28 PM »

I can't see any room for the Christian God in the Buddhist cosmology. In terms of traditional pagan deities, they are considered a class of beings which, while being very powerful and living extremely long lives, are still mortal and bound to the wheel of samsara like everyone else. On a more absolute level, there are Buddhist concepts like tathagatagharba or "Buddha-nature", which express some universal reality or ground of being, but these are too abstract and impersonal to be anything like our God.

While Jetavan is right that the Buddha never made a critique specifically of an all-powerful God who voluntarily limits his power to permit free-will, he did reject any idea of an abiding "self," in anything. While this is most usually applied to the concept of an immortal soul, it is also directed at the divine absolute "atman" and could just as well be applied to any personal deity.
A personal deity, in Buddhism, would be a being with a spiritual body, existing in a spiritual realm (a heaven, for instance), a being who has intention, desires, and motives. The idea of 'not-self' does not deny that such persons, or beings, exist, whether in spiritual realms or in physical realms (like this Earth).

What 'not-self' critiques is the possibility of pointing to any "thing" that exists without change, without mutability, without impermanence. Clearly, "I" still exist, even if the 'not-self' idea is accurate, because "I" am a body (that changes, that is impermanent) and a mind (that also changes and is impermanent).

If there is any "thing" -- that is, any thing that one can empirically sense, or any idea, feeling, though, concept, percept in one's mental state -- that does not change, or that is permanent, then the existence of such a "thing" would refute the 'not-self' idea and fatally undermine Buddhism. But I have yet to see any such a "thing".

Now, if one defines "God" as that which is "not a thing", then such a "God" lies outside the definition of 'not-self', and "God" would not be the object of the 'not-self' critique. Of course, the problem with talking about "no-things", like "God", is that people begin to argue that their idea of "no-thing" is superior to another person's, and since there is no empirical way to judge the accuracy of one person's idea of "no-thing", these arguments lead to "no-where".

This does not mean that "no-thing" does not exist. Indeed, Nirvana is the one "no-thing" in Buddhism, but you don't realize Nirvana by talking about it. Nirvana is realized by means of  one's spiritual practice, centered on "things" one can empirically sense (e.g., matter) or mentally conceive (thoughts, feelings, intentions -- like love, compassion, wisdom, etc.).



Some schools go further and teach something called "The Three Truths" ( as opposed to two).

I am Marc ( conventional Truth)

I existed essentially in an Absolute sense past Worldly conventions or designations of this and that. ( Absolute Truth)

and Three..Both are True ( Conventional and Absolute) simultaneously.
Yeah, that's part of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, both which contain ideas that are much more reconcilable with Christian ideas, even the Christian idea of a Creator God.

Theravada Buddhism, though, presents more of a challenge in terms of understanding in Christian terms, which I why speak from the Theravada perspective. angel
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 06:55:48 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2010, 11:14:48 PM »

It seems to me any form of Buddhism is essentially incompatible with Christianity. Firstly, it is ontologically Monist (except for Zen which goes even further) and not trinitarian, there is no persistent self, only the 5 skandas, therefore the self that makes the decision is different from the self that carries out the decision etc and this undermines all forms of moral responsibility, and the meditations are designed to destroy, or go beyond, the "prison house" of language, but Christians believe in a God who communicates!

I don't deny the obvious therapeutic benefits of buddhist practice; but spiritually it dissolves discernment not sharpens it by making the particulars an illusion, only the "one" existing.
Logged
chatelaa
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia)
Posts: 30


« Reply #29 on: September 07, 2010, 03:33:19 PM »

 I was a practicing Tibetan Buddhist for over 35 years before being 'led' to Orthodoxy.  It can be practiced (1) as a philosophy and/or (2) as a religion.  Even tho there is no Creator God in Buddhism, it practices compassion towards all living things, more than any other religion I've encountered.  It also (and this is very important if one wants to become a Hesychast) teaches one to sit still.  Sounds simple, but it's very, very difficult; they begin by having the student learn how to concentrate, which is another very difficult thing to do.  Then there is the concept of EMPTINESS which isn't really emptiness at all (a terrible translation of the experience itself) but rather when one reaches that state, an overwhelming energy/feeling of light and Compassion Love surrounds and penetrates the heart and mind (by the way, Buddhists mean 'the heart' when they say 'the mind'--another terrible translation).  It was then that I met the Christ and uncreated Light and Love and from there I found myself in front of a Russian Orthodox Church......
Logged
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2010, 03:56:39 PM »

I was a practicing Tibetan Buddhist for over 35 years before being 'led' to Orthodoxy.  It can be practiced (1) as a philosophy and/or (2) as a religion.  Even tho there is no Creator God in Buddhism, it practices compassion towards all living things, more than any other religion I've encountered.  It also (and this is very important if one wants to become a Hesychast) teaches one to sit still.  Sounds simple, but it's very, very difficult; they begin by having the student learn how to concentrate, which is another very difficult thing to do.  Then there is the concept of EMPTINESS which isn't really emptiness at all (a terrible translation of the experience itself) but rather when one reaches that state, an overwhelming energy/feeling of light and Compassion Love surrounds and penetrates the heart and mind (by the way, Buddhists mean 'the heart' when they say 'the mind'--another terrible translation).  It was then that I met the Christ and uncreated Light and Love and from there I found myself in front of a Russian Orthodox Church......


Yes, I practiced Zen and being still is the most difficult thing I've ever tried to do!

However the great difference is that Christianity is a faith of speech and dialogue, therefore Hesychast's always have content to their practice, specifically Christ; whereas many forms of buddhist meditation dissolve the structures of language itself.

I assume you must have chanted the famous 'Om Mani Padme Hum' which is actually active idolatry, as it is in praise to the pagan deity Chenrezig - whom the Dali Lama is said to be an incarnation of.
So, perhaps without you knowing it, you were praising a man as a god!

More importantly it undermines the centrality of speech in Christianity.

 In the words of Kalu Rinpoche,
Quote
"Through mantra, we no longer cling to the reality of the speech and sound encountered in life, but experience it as essentially empty. Then confusion of the speech aspect of our being is transformed into enlightened awareness."

Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov), who was experienced in yoga (‘union’) before becoming a hesychast – monk, and disciple of St. Silouan of the holy mountain, wrote this from personal experience:
Quote
"All contemplation arrived at by this means (Yoga, etc.) is self-contemplation, not contemplation of God. In these circumstances we open up for ourselves created beauty, not First Being. And in all this there is no salvation for man."


Logged
chatelaa
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia)
Posts: 30


« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2010, 04:05:54 PM »

I'm not sure why you are 'pointing out'  what you term as evils of Tibetan practice to me--chanting; As I mentioned, Tibetan Buddhism, as all Buddhist practice can be divided into two segments: (1) a philosophy and (2) as a religion.  I don't recall stating which one I practiced.  However, I did stress the fact that the sitting practice is VERY beneficial for everyone and it would be very silly (ignorant) to brush it aside when so much wisdom can be gathered from it.

There is no dissolving of the Self; but rather the UN-real self.  In that, Buddhism is much closer to Jungian psychology.  There's a LOT of misinformation out there, believe me.

By the way, the Dalai Lama isn't a form of Chenrezig; that's what other people (basically, the traditional Tibetan public) term him.  The Dalai Lama considers himself simply a monk.  He told me so!  :-)
Logged
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2010, 04:08:02 PM »

It seems to me any form of Buddhism is essentially incompatible with Christianity. Firstly, it is ontologically Monist....
Not Theravada.
Quote
and not trinitarian
Quite naturally, since Trinitarianism is specifically Christian.
Quote
there is no persistent self, only the 5 skandas
There is also nibbana, which is not a skanda. The reality of nibbana then leads to the question, What experiences nibbana? That "what" is to be discovered.
Quote
therefore the self that makes the decision is different from the self that carries out the decision etc and this undermines all forms of moral responsibility
The moral responsibilty comes in when one realizes that the "you" at time t and the "you" at time t+1 are connected by a continuity of kamma-vipaka (action-and-result). True, the "you" at t and the "you" at t+1 are "different", but they are also the "same" because of the continuity, the connection. Not only that, "you" are also connected to all other "not-yous".
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 04:37:25 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
chatelaa
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia)
Posts: 30


« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2010, 04:24:03 PM »

For those who are interested in learning about How to Sit Still (for deep prayer), there's a wonderful book (Orthodox):  BEING STILL; REFLECTIONS ON AN ANCIENT MYSTICAL TRADITION by Jean-Yves LeLoup. 

In the book, he mentions other religions who also emphasize the need to sit still; however, the book is about the steps one needs to take before praying the Jesus Prayer (Prayer of the Heart) and Hesychasm.

Basically, sitting still is about calming the mind because the calming of the Mind is the calming of the Passions.

Wonderful book.
Logged
czzham
...at work in the sonic Monastery...
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Posts: 65

...in pursuit of Divine Mystery...


« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2010, 04:38:20 PM »

Before my journey to Orthodoxy became evident to me (November-ish 1997), I had practiced Chan for a rather longish time. About 5 years after my Chrismation I had the great blessing to visit Taiwan for a week or so, and spent the greater part of a day at the Pure Land Monastery there. Very nice people, and a triune set of Bosatsu in the main Temple: Sakyamuni, Avalokitesvara, and Quan Yin. They seemed to represent an image of the Trinity: Origin, Love, and Mercy. Hmm...  Smiley
Also, in Fr Damascene's wonderful "Tao of Christ," the author notes the discovery of carvings of Christian symbology underneath the facades of very old & ostensibly "Buddhist" temple ruins...  Grin
Logged

Non-liturgical lyrics are wasted space between solos.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2010, 04:39:01 PM »

I'm not sure why you are 'pointing out'  what you term as evils of Tibetan practice to me--chanting; As I mentioned, Tibetan Buddhism, as all Buddhist practice can be divided into two segments: (1) a philosophy and (2) as a religion.  I don't recall stating which one I practiced.  However, I did stress the fact that the sitting practice is VERY beneficial for everyone and it would be very silly (ignorant) to brush it aside when so much wisdom can be gathered from it.

There is no dissolving of the Self; but rather the UN-real self.  In that, Buddhism is much closer to Jungian psychology.  There's a LOT of misinformation out there, believe me.

By the way, the Dalai Lama isn't a form of Chenrezig; that's what other people (basically, the traditional Tibetan public) term him.  The Dalai Lama considers himself simply a monk.  He told me so!  :-)

Sorry, I didn't mean to insult you, but as I've already said, although obviously therapeutically beneficial everything I've read from the Christian perspective cites its spiritual dangers, as I've listed them and why.

I didn't mean to suggest there was any dissolving of self.

Incidentally, almost all the criticism of Gnostic mysticism I almost invariably see lobbed at Jungian psychology, which I must say I agree with.
Logged
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2010, 04:55:07 PM »

It seems to me any form of Buddhism is essentially incompatible with Christianity. Firstly, it is ontologically Monist....
Not Theravada.
Quote
and not trinitarian
Quite naturally, since Trinitarianism is specifically Christian.
Quote
there is no persistent self, only the 5 skandas
There is also nibbana, which is not a skanda. The reality of nibbana then leads to the question, What experiences nibbana? That "what" is to be discovered.
Quote
therefore the self that makes the decision is different from the self that carries out the decision etc and this undermines all forms of moral responsibility
The moral responsibilty comes in when one realizes that the "you" at time t and the "you" at time t+1 are connected by a continuity of kamma-vipaka (action-and-result). True, the "you" at t and the "you" at t+1 are "different", but they are also the "same" because of the continuity, the connection. Not only that, "you" are also connected to all other "not-yous".

Thats interesting.
I've only met one Theravada practiioer, and what she said was that the self was like thousands of candles , each one coming into and going out of existence, although obviously concected, and therefore the person who thinks of an act and cause the act is not the same person, which is why no person can ever be morally blame or praise worthy.

Of couse all morality is illusury in buddhism anyway,
Wiki puts it like this :
Quote
Dukkha (suffering): Craving causes suffering, since what is craved is transitory, changing, and perishing. The craving for impermanent things causes disappointment and sorrow. There is a tendency to label practically everything in the world, as either "good", "comfortable" or "satisfying", as opposed to "bad", "uncomfortable", and "unsatisfying". Because we label things in terms of like and dislike, we create suffering for ourselves. If one succeeds in giving up the tendency to label things and free himself from the instincts that drive him towards attaining what he himself labels collectively as "liking", he attains the ultimate freedom. The problem, the cause, the solution and the implementation, all of these are within oneself, not outside.

But Christians beclive that in objective morality, that some things really are bad and good, not because I think so, but because God has ordained these things, just as 2+2=4.

Christianity is the only system I found that soved the One and the Many - it upholds all particulars as actual and real and the One. Plus it affirms form, whereas Nirvana is akin to total freedom. 

Wiki says this, which leads me to belive that Theravada IS monist,
Quote
Anicca (impermanence): Change is. All conditioned phenomena are subject to change, including physical characteristics, qualities, assumptions, theories, knowledge, etc. Nothing is permanent, because, for something to be permanent, there has to be an unchanging cause behind it. Since all causes are recursively bound together, there can be no ultimate unchanging cause.

Not only does this contradict Christianity's idea of a personal creator God, but it sounds like monism....
What then is the ground of being according to Theravada?
Logged
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2010, 07:35:54 PM »

Thats interesting.
I've only met one Theravada practiioer, and what she said was that the self was like thousands of candles , each one coming into and going out of existence, although obviously concected, and therefore the person who thinks of an act and cause the act is not the same person, which is why no person can ever be morally blame or praise worthy.
The Buddha did use the term "self" when referring to the common-sense notion of self, person, identity: e.g., "By oneself is evil done; by oneself is no evil done." At the level of the common-sense notion of self, there certainly is someone who does good (and thus praiseworthy) or does non-good (and thus blame-worthy). In fact, the Buddha himself praised those who did good, and corrected those who did non-good; and the Buddha encouraged his followers to do likewise.


Quote
Of couse all morality is illusury in buddhism anyway
"Illusion" is not part of Theravada vocabulary. It may be found in Mahayana, but in the sense of "that which changes", not "that which does not exist." And morality in Buddhism does not change, because morality is based on Nibbana, which is the Deathless, Changeless.
Quote
Wiki puts it like this :
Quote
Dukkha (suffering): Craving causes suffering, since what is craved is transitory, changing, and perishing. The craving for impermanent things causes disappointment and sorrow. There is a tendency to label practically everything in the world, as either "good", "comfortable" or "satisfying", as opposed to "bad", "uncomfortable", and "unsatisfying". Because we label things in terms of like and dislike, we create suffering for ourselves. If one succeeds in giving up the tendency to label things and free himself from the instincts that drive him towards attaining what he himself labels collectively as "liking", he attains the ultimate freedom. The problem, the cause, the solution and the implementation, all of these are within oneself, not outside.
I wouldn't trust Wikipedia if I were you. Discriminating between the good/skillful/beneficial and the non-good/non-skillful/harmful is a necessary part of Buddhist practice. The anti-labeling method is more of a Zen approach, not Theravada.
Quote
But Christians beclive that in objective morality, that some things really are bad and good, not because I think so, but because God has ordained these things, just as 2+2=4.
Likewise, in Buddhism, the Dhamma is the Eternal Law, which never changes.

Quote
Christianity is the only system I found that soved the One and the Many - it upholds all particulars as actual and real and the One. Plus it affirms form, whereas Nirvana is akin to total freedom.
In Theravada, all particulars are real, as well. They arise, exist, and pass away, in a very real fashion. 

Quote
Wiki says this, which leads me to belive that Theravada IS monist,
Quote
Anicca (impermanence): Change is. All conditioned phenomena are subject to change, including physical characteristics, qualities, assumptions, theories, knowledge, etc. Nothing is permanent, because, for something to be permanent, there has to be an unchanging cause behind it. Since all causes are recursively bound together, there can be no ultimate unchanging cause.
"Nothing is permanent" is obviously false, because Nibbana is permanent. The Dhamma is permanent.

Quote
Not only does this contradict Christianity's idea of a personal creator God, but it sounds like monism....
Monism is the idea that all things are actually one substance. That might be Mahayana, but it's not Theravada.
Quote
What then is the ground of being according to Theravada?
The Buddha was asked this very question. The answer he gave did not make his many formerly-Hindu disciples happy. In the Mulapariyaya Sutta, the Buddha stated that there was no thing -- not even Nibbana itself -- that could be regarded as the root cause (the "ground of being") of all things.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2010, 08:44:48 PM »

Thats interesting.
I've only met one Theravada practiioer, and what she said was that the self was like thousands of candles , each one coming into and going out of existence, although obviously concected, and therefore the person who thinks of an act and cause the act is not the same person, which is why no person can ever be morally blame or praise worthy.
The Buddha did use the term "self" when referring to the common-sense notion of self, person, identity: e.g., "By oneself is evil done; by oneself is no evil done." At the level of the common-sense notion of self, there certainly is someone who does good (and thus praiseworthy) or does non-good (and thus blame-worthy). In fact, the Buddha himself praised those who did good, and corrected those who did non-good; and the Buddha encouraged his followers to do likewise.


Quote
Of couse all morality is illusury in buddhism anyway
"Illusion" is not part of Theravada vocabulary. It may be found in Mahayana, but in the sense of "that which changes", not "that which does not exist." And morality in Buddhism does not change, because morality is based on Nibbana, which is the Deathless, Changeless.
Quote
Wiki puts it like this :
Quote
Dukkha (suffering): Craving causes suffering, since what is craved is transitory, changing, and perishing. The craving for impermanent things causes disappointment and sorrow. There is a tendency to label practically everything in the world, as either "good", "comfortable" or "satisfying", as opposed to "bad", "uncomfortable", and "unsatisfying". Because we label things in terms of like and dislike, we create suffering for ourselves. If one succeeds in giving up the tendency to label things and free himself from the instincts that drive him towards attaining what he himself labels collectively as "liking", he attains the ultimate freedom. The problem, the cause, the solution and the implementation, all of these are within oneself, not outside.
I wouldn't trust Wikipedia if I were you. Discriminating between the good/skillful/beneficial and the non-good/non-skillful/harmful is a necessary part of Buddhist practice. The anti-labeling method is more of a Zen approach, not Theravada.
Quote
But Christians beclive that in objective morality, that some things really are bad and good, not because I think so, but because God has ordained these things, just as 2+2=4.
Likewise, in Buddhism, the Dhamma is the Eternal Law, which never changes.

Quote
Christianity is the only system I found that soved the One and the Many - it upholds all particulars as actual and real and the One. Plus it affirms form, whereas Nirvana is akin to total freedom.
In Theravada, all particulars are real, as well. They arise, exist, and pass away, in a very real fashion.  

Quote
Wiki says this, which leads me to belive that Theravada IS monist,
Quote
Anicca (impermanence): Change is. All conditioned phenomena are subject to change, including physical characteristics, qualities, assumptions, theories, knowledge, etc. Nothing is permanent, because, for something to be permanent, there has to be an unchanging cause behind it. Since all causes are recursively bound together, there can be no ultimate unchanging cause.
"Nothing is permanent" is obviously false, because Nibbana is permanent. The Dhamma is permanent.

Quote
Not only does this contradict Christianity's idea of a personal creator God, but it sounds like monism....
Monism is the idea that all things are actually one substance. That might be Mahayana, but it's not Theravada.
Quote
What then is the ground of being according to Theravada?
The Buddha was asked this very question. The answer he gave did not make his many formerly-Hindu disciples happy. In the Mulapariyaya Sutta, the Buddha stated that there was no thing -- not even Nibbana itself -- that could be regarded as the root cause (the "ground of being") of all things.

Very interesting! Thanks for the insightful responses.
Where does "Dhamma the Eternal Law" come from?
The problem would be that, if the law does not come from a personal being, there is no reason one ought to follow it - in other words, there is no such thing as moral obligation.

I mean, we HAVE to follow gravity, but theres no reason, or telos, one would choose to be moral or not without a moral law giver.

Also, the ground of all existence is what then? If its no-thing, then it's not a personal God.

I have alot of experience and knowledge with Zen, but Theravada is very foreign to me, so thanks.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 08:46:08 PM by spiltteeth » Logged
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,076


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #39 on: September 07, 2010, 09:18:55 PM »

It seems to me any form of Buddhism is essentially incompatible with Christianity. Firstly, it is ontologically Monist (except for Zen which goes even further) and not trinitarian, there is no persistent self, only the 5 skandas, therefore the self that makes the decision is different from the self that carries out the decision etc and this undermines all forms of moral responsibility, and the meditations are designed to destroy, or go beyond, the "prison house" of language, but Christians believe in a God who communicates!

I don't deny the obvious therapeutic benefits of buddhist practice; but spiritually it dissolves discernment not sharpens it by making the particulars an illusion, only the "one" existing.

I agree. When I became a Christian I was happy to be a person again.

A very good book that compares Buddhism and Christianity is by Paul Williams a Professor of Buddhism at Cambridge I think. He converted to Rome but the book is excellent, just skip the Roman stuff but there isn't much.


Unexpected Way: On Converting from Buddhism to Catholicism by Paul Williams
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #40 on: September 07, 2010, 09:35:39 PM »

Regarding Buddhsim, I like what Fr. Seraphim Rose had to say; "Buddhism is good, as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough." 

When I was young I spent a little time at Fr Sophrony's monastery in Tolleshunt Knights discerning my vocation as a monk.  As you know, Fr Sophrony had his own Buddhist period as a young man back in the days when it was quite a serious thing to do and not just playing with incense and butter lamps.  Smiley

Fr Sophrony would say that the attraction of Buddhism is that it calls out to the human heart to return to the nothingness (nirvana) from which we are created.   A very strong pull, spiritually and psychologically.  Fr Sophrony thought that as the West becomes more and more despondent and disheartened the call of Buddhism will be attractive to many.   But a Christian cannot return to the void of nothingness.  He is called by God to a greater destiny, to grow ever closer and closer to God in the process of theosis which will go on through eternity. 
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2010, 09:47:19 PM »

I wonder how many young Christians have felt the call of Buddhism and felt drawn to
the sacrificial path of a Bodhisattva?

When I was a teenager in the early 1960s, Buddhism was an attractive proposition
- probably because I went and saw the old black and white Seven Years in Tibet
three times at the local cinema :-) and devoured all the books by the (pseudo)
Lobsang Rampa and the more serious ones by Christmas Humphreys. Oh, and
Alexandra David-Neal. There was very little available in bookshops in the 1960s
- paperbacks were just beginning to appear. Then I discovered Evan-Wentz'
translation of the Life of Milarepa and he still has a special place in my
heart.

Two of my close friends are in Buddhist monasteries, one has been in a Bon
monastery in Nepal for around 19 years.  This saddens me a great deal. 
They came from Presbyterian and strict Calvinist backgrounds and knew
only these forms of Christianity.  I always felt that if they could have
experienced the monastic and spiritual life in Orthodoxy they would have
chosen the worship of Christ and the deep riches of Orthodox spiritual life.

I was looking at these two wonderful serendipity stories of how
Christ called out to two young men and claimed them for Himself. These are
stories which could benefit any young people feeling the same attraction to
Tibetan Buddhism -and there seem to be quite a few.

1. Through The Eastern Gate - From Tibetan Buddhism to Orthodox Christianity

By Nilus Stryker
May 2, 2007

Read on the Webb at
http://strannik.com/watchful_gate/node/5
or
http://www.pravmir.com/article_216.html

-oOo-

2. Himalayan Ascent to Christ
By Ryassophore Monk Adrian

Read on the Web
http://www.pravmir.com/article_317.html
Logged
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,076


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2010, 09:52:01 PM »

Regarding Buddhsim, I like what Fr. Seraphim Rose had to say; "Buddhism is good, as far as it goes, but it doesn't go far enough." 

When I was young I spent a little time at Fr Sophrony's monastery in Tolleshunt Knights discerning my vocation as a monk.  As you know, Fr Sophrony had his own Buddhist period as a young man back in the days when it was quite a serious thing to do and not just playing with incense and butter lamps.  Smiley

Fr Sophrony would say that the attraction of Buddhism is that it calls out to the human heart to return to the nothingness (nirvana) from which we are created.   A very strong pull, spiritually and psychologically.  Fr Sophrony thought that as the West becomes more and more despondent and disheartened the call of Buddhism will be attractive to many.   But a Christian cannot return to the void of nothingness.  He is called by God to a greater destiny, to grow ever closer and closer to God in the process of theosis which will go on through eternity. 


Father, while your analysis is spot on there is another attractive thing about Buddhism that Fr. Seraphim pointed out. It is a spiritually Sober religion. For example, Buddhist Monasteries follow a very similar disciple to Christian Monasteries. They seek to quell the passions. Steadiness is considered a mark of spiritual maturity.

I  remember a story from a book, it may have been from "The Empty Mirror" an account of a westerner living in a Japanese Buddhist Monastery.

The author was sitting with a Zen layman at a table in a restaurant in Kyoto when a rather strong earthquake hit. Most people panicked and were running for their lives. But the Zen layman simply put down his cigarette in the ashtray and sat still without displaying any fear or emotion. When the shaking stopped, he merely picked up the cigarette and picked up the conversation at the point they had left it.
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2010, 10:09:39 PM »

Very interesting! Thanks for the insightful responses.
Where does "Dhamma the Eternal Law" come from?
The problem would be that, if the law does not come from a personal being, there is no reason one ought to follow it - in other words, there is no such thing as moral obligation.
One Theravada teacher translated the Bible into Thai; when the Bible had "God", he wrote "Dhamma". So, in many ways, Dhamma is analogous to God, especially in the sense that both Dhamma and God are eternal, and asking where Dhamma comes from is like asking where God comes from. Likewise, if you follow Dhamma, you find your life becoming richer. The ability to be moral is simply the ability to do what creates a richer life for yourself as well as for others. (And 'richer life' does not necessarily mean 'easier life'.)

Quote
I mean, we HAVE to follow gravity, but theres no reason, or telos, one would choose to be moral or not without a moral law giver.
I find that being moral creates a richer life for me and those around me, so that's reason enough to be moral. I'm pretty sure that when God tells the Jews to follow the 10 commandments, He is telling them to do something that has real, positive benefits in their lives on earth.

Becoming Buddhist means adopting the moral responsibility of doing good, renouncing evil, and purifying the mind. That's a pretty heavy, challenging, and rewarding obligation.

Quote
Also, the ground of all existence is what then? If its no-thing, then it's not a personal God.
According to some Orthodox Fathers, God is in fact "no thing".

« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 10:12:49 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #44 on: September 07, 2010, 11:28:37 PM »

Very interesting! Thanks for the insightful responses.
Where does "Dhamma the Eternal Law" come from?
The problem would be that, if the law does not come from a personal being, there is no reason one ought to follow it - in other words, there is no such thing as moral obligation.
One Theravada teacher translated the Bible into Thai; when the Bible had "God", he wrote "Dhamma". So, in many ways, Dhamma is analogous to God, especially in the sense that both Dhamma and God are eternal, and asking where Dhamma comes from is like asking where God comes from. Likewise, if you follow Dhamma, you find your life becoming richer. The ability to be moral is simply the ability to do what creates a richer life for yourself as well as for others. (And 'richer life' does not necessarily mean 'easier life'.)

Quote
I mean, we HAVE to follow gravity, but theres no reason, or telos, one would choose to be moral or not without a moral law giver.
I find that being moral creates a richer life for me and those around me, so that's reason enough to be moral. I'm pretty sure that when God tells the Jews to follow the 10 commandments, He is telling them to do something that has real, positive benefits in their lives on earth.

Becoming Buddhist means adopting the moral responsibility of doing good, renouncing evil, and purifying the mind. That's a pretty heavy, challenging, and rewarding obligation.

Quote
Also, the ground of all existence is what then? If its no-thing, then it's not a personal God.
According to some Orthodox Fathers, God is in fact "no thing".



This is what I originally thought , that Buddhism has no foundation of morals.
If your definition of moral is whatever makes life "richer" for you, than that is not objective but differs person to person.
The richest life (to push things to a somewhat silly extreme)  for a Nazi is to live in a world without Jewish peoples, since their existence is a bane to his life, and, according to Buddhism, the Nazi has no moral obligation to care about others; no reason to want a richer life for others.

Even if these moral rules are objective - and without revelation how in the world do you know that! - there's no obligation to follow them.

And whatever else God is or isn't, one can have a personal relationship with Him. Are you saying Dhamma IS God? Or that God did not create Dhamma? In which case God is not the Christian God, Who created all.
  
But as I say, there are no room for moral agents in Buddhism, plus one has no moral obligation to follow a path to a 'richer life.'
« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 11:57:48 PM by spiltteeth » Logged
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,076


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #45 on: September 08, 2010, 09:24:07 AM »

Very interesting! Thanks for the insightful responses.
Where does "Dhamma the Eternal Law" come from?
The problem would be that, if the law does not come from a personal being, there is no reason one ought to follow it - in other words, there is no such thing as moral obligation.
One Theravada teacher translated the Bible into Thai; when the Bible had "God", he wrote "Dhamma". So, in many ways, Dhamma is analogous to God, especially in the sense that both Dhamma and God are eternal, and asking where Dhamma comes from is like asking where God comes from. Likewise, if you follow Dhamma, you find your life becoming richer. The ability to be moral is simply the ability to do what creates a richer life for yourself as well as for others. (And 'richer life' does not necessarily mean 'easier life'.)

Quote
I mean, we HAVE to follow gravity, but theres no reason, or telos, one would choose to be moral or not without a moral law giver.
I find that being moral creates a richer life for me and those around me, so that's reason enough to be moral. I'm pretty sure that when God tells the Jews to follow the 10 commandments, He is telling them to do something that has real, positive benefits in their lives on earth.

Becoming Buddhist means adopting the moral responsibility of doing good, renouncing evil, and purifying the mind. That's a pretty heavy, challenging, and rewarding obligation.

Quote
Also, the ground of all existence is what then? If its no-thing, then it's not a personal God.
According to some Orthodox Fathers, God is in fact "no thing".



Just like Christianity, there are many differing forms of Buddhism. Many sects that follow the Lotus Sutra (Hokekyo)  as their primary scripture do believe in a  Supreme Being, The Eternal Buddha Shakyamuni. They say that in the second half of the Sutra ( "Honmon") the Buddha reveals his Eternal Nature, saying that his enlightenment under the Bohdai Tree and his passing away are merely an expedient means of teaching. In Truth, his enlightenment/existence has no beginning and no end. His Dharma, or essential teaching ( His "Word" in Christian parlance) is of course then Eternal as well  the "Buddha-Dharma".

Chapter 16, verse:

From the time I attained Buddhahood,
The eons that have passed
Are limitless hundreds of thousands of myriads
Of kotis of asamkhyeyas in number.
I always speak the Dharma to teach and transform
Countless millions of living beings,
So they enter the Buddha Way.
And throughout these limitless eons,
In order to save living beings,
I expediently manifest Nirvana.
But in truth I do not pass into quiescence.
I remain here, always speaking the Dharma.
I always stay right here,
And using the power of spiritual penetrations,
I cause inverted living beings,
Although near me, not to see me.
The multitudes see me as passing into quiescence.
They extensively make offerings to my sharira.
All cherish ardent longing for me,
And their hearts look up to me in thirst.
Living beings, then faithful and subdued,
Straightforward, with compliant minds,
Single-mindedly wish to see the Buddha,
Caring not for their very lives.
At that time I and the Sangha assembly
All appear together on Vulture Peak,
Where I say to living beings
That I am always here and never cease to be.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 09:26:05 AM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,076


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #46 on: September 08, 2010, 09:34:37 AM »

Very interesting! Thanks for the insightful responses.
Where does "Dhamma the Eternal Law" come from?
The problem would be that, if the law does not come from a personal being, there is no reason one ought to follow it - in other words, there is no such thing as moral obligation.
One Theravada teacher translated the Bible into Thai; when the Bible had "God", he wrote "Dhamma". So, in many ways, Dhamma is analogous to God, especially in the sense that both Dhamma and God are eternal, and asking where Dhamma comes from is like asking where God comes from. Likewise, if you follow Dhamma, you find your life becoming richer. The ability to be moral is simply the ability to do what creates a richer life for yourself as well as for others. (And 'richer life' does not necessarily mean 'easier life'.)

Quote
I mean, we HAVE to follow gravity, but theres no reason, or telos, one would choose to be moral or not without a moral law giver.
I find that being moral creates a richer life for me and those around me, so that's reason enough to be moral. I'm pretty sure that when God tells the Jews to follow the 10 commandments, He is telling them to do something that has real, positive benefits in their lives on earth.

Becoming Buddhist means adopting the moral responsibility of doing good, renouncing evil, and purifying the mind. That's a pretty heavy, challenging, and rewarding obligation.

Quote
Also, the ground of all existence is what then? If its no-thing, then it's not a personal God.
According to some Orthodox Fathers, God is in fact "no thing".



This is what I originally thought , that Buddhism has no foundation of morals.
If your definition of moral is whatever makes life "richer" for you, than that is not objective but differs person to person.
The richest life (to push things to a somewhat silly extreme)  for a Nazi is to live in a world without Jewish peoples, since their existence is a bane to his life, and, according to Buddhism, the Nazi has no moral obligation to care about others; no reason to want a richer life for others.

Even if these moral rules are objective - and without revelation how in the world do you know that! - there's no obligation to follow them.

And whatever else God is or isn't, one can have a personal relationship with Him. Are you saying Dhamma IS God? Or that God did not create Dhamma? In which case God is not the Christian God, Who created all.
  
But as I say, there are no room for moral agents in Buddhism, plus one has no moral obligation to follow a path to a 'richer life.'

In Mahayana Buddhism ( which has been the most practiced form of Buddhism for long time) the Nature of Practice is indeed based on what is called The Bodhisattva Way, which is a type of Golden Rule philosophy, living for others. The Bodhisattva pledges not to enter heaven ( Nirvana) until all Sentient Beings are saved before him.
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #47 on: September 08, 2010, 12:50:03 PM »

This is what I originally thought , that Buddhism has no foundation of morals.
If your definition of moral is whatever makes life "richer" for you, than that is not objective but differs person to person.
In Buddhism, what makes life richer for me is what also makes life richer for you. For instance, the Five Precepts outline the practical actions that make for a richer life, and these actions are based upon an eternally existing, objective moral order.

Quote
Even if these moral rules are objective - and without revelation how in the world do you know that! - there's no obligation to follow them.
In Buddhism, the Buddha is the realizer and the embodiment of the revelation. One does have an obligation to follow the objective moral order -- that is, if one wants a richer life. Of course, not everyone wants that, and so not everyone follows Dhamma.

Quote
And whatever else God is or isn't, one can have a personal relationship with Him. Are you saying Dhamma IS God? Or that God did not create Dhamma? In which case God is not the Christian God, Who created all.
The Buddha is the embodiment of Dhamma on earth: "If one has seen me, one has seen the Dhamma", said the Buddha. And the Buddha's disciples had a personal relationship with him, and that personal relationship continues today in anyone who follows Dhamma.
  
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #48 on: September 08, 2010, 01:26:41 PM »

This is what I originally thought , that Buddhism has no foundation of morals.
If your definition of moral is whatever makes life "richer" for you, than that is not objective but differs person to person.
In Buddhism, what makes life richer for me is what also makes life richer for you. For instance, the Five Precepts outline the practical actions that make for a richer life, and these actions are based upon an eternally existing, objective moral order.

Quote
Even if these moral rules are objective - and without revelation how in the world do you know that! - there's no obligation to follow them.
In Buddhism, the Buddha is the realizer and the embodiment of the revelation. One does have an obligation to follow the objective moral order -- that is, if one wants a richer life. Of course, not everyone wants that, and so not everyone follows Dhamma.

Quote
And whatever else God is or isn't, one can have a personal relationship with Him. Are you saying Dhamma IS God? Or that God did not create Dhamma? In which case God is not the Christian God, Who created all.
The Buddha is the embodiment of Dhamma on earth: "If one has seen me, one has seen the Dhamma", said the Buddha. And the Buddha's disciples had a personal relationship with him, and that personal relationship continues today in anyone who follows Dhamma.
  


For a moral obligation to exist one must be obligated TO someone, your talking about a personal preference - some people like chocolate some like vanilla - some like killing people some like saving people, some people like a 'richer' life some don't.
A Nazi's version of a richer life actually might differ from what you or the Buddha consider 'richer' - (freer or less suffering; which is also contrary to what Christians are told to desire ie to know God, freedom comes through submission etc)

Obviously to have a personal relationship with someone they have to be in some sense a person and existing - are you saying Buddha is still around? Objective moral laws are not people, you can't have a personal relationship with them.
I was always told the Dhamma was not a person or being but just the way things are - impersonal.

Also, if Buddha realized the Dhamma, it was not a revelation, it was not revealed to him by some other person/god/being.
So I guess unless one realized this objective moral order one must just take Buddha's word on it, and even then there's no reason to follow it, especially if it conflicts with ones personal preferences.

Finally, as endless evolutionary biologist's have pointed out, unless the universe was created specifically with humans in mind, it is utterly impossible to explain the existence of objective morals - I mean, if objective, what use would they have before people were around!
Only a moral law giver could make sense out of objective morals.
 as Richard Taylor explains,

"A duty is something that is owed . . . . But something can be owed only to some person or persons.  There can be no such thing as duty in isolation . . . . . "

Really all ethics begin with the proposition that people are objectively and intrinsically valuable, but unless we are made in the image of God - why think that?

So, with Buddhism there are no moral duties or moral accountability, for to whom are you accountable to?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 01:42:38 PM by spiltteeth » Logged
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #49 on: September 08, 2010, 02:44:40 PM »

For a moral obligation to exist one must be obligated TO someone, your talking about a personal preference - some people like chocolate some like vanilla - some like killing people some like saving people, some people like a 'richer' life some don't.
The moral obligation is to the Buddha, and to the Sangha (the community of practitioners and realizers).
Quote
A Nazi's version of a richer life actually might differ from what you or the Buddha consider 'richer' - (freer or less suffering; which is also contrary to what Christians are told to desire ie to know God, freedom comes through submission etc)
From a Buddhist perspective, the Nazi would be mistaken, and sorely deluded. There is a distinct path that constitutes the richer life, and many people mistakenly think that they are headed towards that richer life. 

Quote
Obviously to have a personal relationship with someone they have to be in some sense a person and existing - are you saying Buddha is still around? Objective moral laws are not people, you can't have a personal relationship with them.
I was always told the Dhamma was not a person or being but just the way things are - impersonal.
Yes, the Buddha is still present. The Dhamma is not a person, but neither does the Dhamma exclude the person.

Quote
Also, if Buddha realized the Dhamma, it was not a revelation, it was not revealed to him by some other person/god/being.
The Buddha is a revelation to the disciples of the Buddha. The Buddha himself reveals the path of Dhamma. The Dhamma revealed itself to the Buddha. All these statements are true.
Quote
So I guess unless one realized this objective moral order one must just take Buddha's word on it, and even then there's no reason to follow it, especially if it conflicts with ones personal preferences.
The Buddha often stated that the effects of following the Dhamma are visible "here and now". Yes, faith, or trust (Pali: saddha) in the teachings of the Buddha is often necessary in the beginning stages, but as one practices, one finds out the truth of the Buddha's statements more and more. However, even from the very beginning, one can gain personal experience and verification of the truth of the Dhamma. But, yes, for most Buddhists, the Buddhist path begins with faith and, I would add, a sense of adventure.

Quote
Finally, as endless evolutionary biologist's have pointed out, unless the universe was created specifically with humans in mind, it is utterly impossible to explain the existence of objective morals - I mean, if objective, what use would they have before people were around!
Only a moral law giver could make sense out of objective morals.
Since we are humans, with a body and a mind, we often think in terms of nature as being the product of someone with a body and a mind (well, at least with a mind, or spirit). Theravada Buddhism doesn't use the idea of "person" to describe the source of objective moral law, because such an idea does not necessarily follow from the existence of an objective moral law. However, insofar as the Buddha himself revealed the Dhamma, then one can say that, for all practical purposes, the Buddha is the "law giver" since he revealed something that was not discoverable by the average person.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #50 on: September 08, 2010, 03:59:01 PM »

For a moral obligation to exist one must be obligated TO someone, your talking about a personal preference - some people like chocolate some like vanilla - some like killing people some like saving people, some people like a 'richer' life some don't.
The moral obligation is to the Buddha, and to the Sangha (the community of practitioners and realizers).
Quote
A Nazi's version of a richer life actually might differ from what you or the Buddha consider 'richer' - (freer or less suffering; which is also contrary to what Christians are told to desire ie to know God, freedom comes through submission etc)
From a Buddhist perspective, the Nazi would be mistaken, and sorely deluded. There is a distinct path that constitutes the richer life, and many people mistakenly think that they are headed towards that richer life. 

Quote
Obviously to have a personal relationship with someone they have to be in some sense a person and existing - are you saying Buddha is still around? Objective moral laws are not people, you can't have a personal relationship with them.
I was always told the Dhamma was not a person or being but just the way things are - impersonal.
Yes, the Buddha is still present. The Dhamma is not a person, but neither does the Dhamma exclude the person.

Quote
Also, if Buddha realized the Dhamma, it was not a revelation, it was not revealed to him by some other person/god/being.
The Buddha is a revelation to the disciples of the Buddha. The Buddha himself reveals the path of Dhamma. The Dhamma revealed itself to the Buddha. All these statements are true.
Quote
So I guess unless one realized this objective moral order one must just take Buddha's word on it, and even then there's no reason to follow it, especially if it conflicts with ones personal preferences.
The Buddha often stated that the effects of following the Dhamma are visible "here and now". Yes, faith, or trust (Pali: saddha) in the teachings of the Buddha is often necessary in the beginning stages, but as one practices, one finds out the truth of the Buddha's statements more and more. However, even from the very beginning, one can gain personal experience and verification of the truth of the Dhamma. But, yes, for most Buddhists, the Buddhist path begins with faith and, I would add, a sense of adventure.

Quote
Finally, as endless evolutionary biologist's have pointed out, unless the universe was created specifically with humans in mind, it is utterly impossible to explain the existence of objective morals - I mean, if objective, what use would they have before people were around!
Only a moral law giver could make sense out of objective morals.
Since we are humans, with a body and a mind, we often think in terms of nature as being the product of someone with a body and a mind (well, at least with a mind, or spirit). Theravada Buddhism doesn't use the idea of "person" to describe the source of objective moral law, because such an idea does not necessarily follow from the existence of an objective moral law. However, insofar as the Buddha himself revealed the Dhamma, then one can say that, for all practical purposes, the Buddha is the "law giver" since he revealed something that was not discoverable by the average person.

So the Buddha is a living transcendent being? And we have a moral duty to follow these laws he discovered?
If he merely discovers the law I see no reason to be obligated to him.
Also why would I be obligated to the community of practitioners - I don't even know any!
Does he or they hold me morally accountable?

Before you said one only follows the Buddha IF he wants  to live a richer life (and only the Buddha gets to decide what a richer life consists in) now you say we have a duty, weather we want a richer life or not, to follow the Buddha?

So your saying something is 'wrong' only if it does not lead to a richer life? And that is why Nazi's are 'wrong' not because it is objectively evil.

As I keep saying, if the Buddha did not create the Dhamma, then he is not the moral law giver, but the moral law 'discoverer' and there is no such thing as a moral obligation to an impersonal law.

I mean, it is not EVIL to say 2+2 = 5, it is simply wrong. According to Buddhism the Nazi's are not EVIL for slaughtering people, they are simply wrong in the sense that they don't see thing cleerly.

But as you say, IF they don't want a "richer life" (whatever that means) then they have no reason to stop - Nazi's would rather have a jew-free planet than a richer life I imagine.

An objective moral law need not come from a person/being, but as I say, a duty to follow that law DOES necessitate a person  -
 Why is it that we ought to do certain things and ought not to do other things?  Where does this ‘ought’ come from?  as Richard Taylor explains,

"A duty is something that is owed . . . . But something can be owed only to some person or persons.  There can be no such thing as duty in isolation . . . . The idea of political or legal obligation is clear enough . . . . Similarly, the idea of an obligation higher than this, and referred to as moral obligation, is clear enough, provided reference to some lawmaker higher . . . . than those of the state is understood.  In other words, our moral obligations can . . . be understood as those that are imposed by God.  This does give a clear sense to the claim that our moral obligations are more binding upon us than our political obligations . . . . But what if this higher-than-human lawgiver is no longer taken into account?  Does the concept of a moral obligation . . . still make sense? . . . . the concept of moral obligation [is] unintelligible apart form the idea of God.  The words remain, but their meaning is gone."

 The best answer to the question as to the source of moral obligation is that moral rightness or wrongness consists in agreement or disagreement with the will or commands of a holy, loving God.
Logged
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #51 on: September 08, 2010, 04:17:15 PM »

So the Buddha is a living transcendent being?
"If you have seen the Dhamma, then you have seen me". Theravada leaves it at that.
Quote
And we have a moral duty to follow these laws he discovered?
"We" who? If you're Buddhist, then, yes, that is your duty.

Quote
I mean, it is not EVIL to say 2+2 = 5, it is simply wrong. According to Buddhism the Nazi's are not EVIL for slaughtering people, they are simply wrong in the sense that they don't see thing cleerly.
The Theravada term for "evil" is "akusala". The Nazis practiced actions that were akusala, "evil".

Quote
The best answer to the question as to the source of moral obligation is that moral rightness or wrongness consists in agreement or disagreement with the will or commands of a holy, loving God.
The qualities of "holy" and "loving" that in Christianity are attributed to "God", are in Buddhism attributed to the Triple Gem: the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha. Dhamma is, to use a Western philosophical term, "transcendent (ultimately beyond all language)"; the Buddha and the Sangha would be "personal" and describable (in many ways) in terms of language.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2010, 04:18:34 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #52 on: September 10, 2010, 09:54:17 PM »

So the Buddha is a living transcendent being?
"If you have seen the Dhamma, then you have seen me". Theravada leaves it at that.
Quote
And we have a moral duty to follow these laws he discovered?
"We" who? If you're Buddhist, then, yes, that is your duty.

Quote
I mean, it is not EVIL to say 2+2 = 5, it is simply wrong. According to Buddhism the Nazi's are not EVIL for slaughtering people, they are simply wrong in the sense that they don't see thing cleerly.
The Theravada term for "evil" is "akusala". The Nazis practiced actions that were akusala, "evil".

Quote
The best answer to the question as to the source of moral obligation is that moral rightness or wrongness consists in agreement or disagreement with the will or commands of a holy, loving God.
The qualities of "holy" and "loving" that in Christianity are attributed to "God", are in Buddhism attributed to the Triple Gem: the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha. Dhamma is, to use a Western philosophical term, "transcendent (ultimately beyond all language)"; the Buddha and the Sangha would be "personal" and describable (in many ways) in terms of language.

Thanks for clearing that up!
So the Buddha and Sangha are literally, not metaphorically, living and in some way personal, and places moral obligations on people, but morality only becomes binding when and if you believe in them - is this more or less correct?

The only thing though is that you say one only has moral duties to the Buddha IF one is a Buddhist, so the Nazi's - the non-buddhist ones - did evil, but, morality is wholly non-binding for them.
 Even with objective moral values, they are irrelevant because there is no moral accountability (for non-buddhists), although they obviously do have consequences.

Plus I still don't see how Buddhism offers reason to consider Human beings intrinsically valuable

If moral duties are conditional on a persons beliefs than they -the DUTIES -are NOT objective.

Objective duties would apply, just like the objective law of gravity, to all people's, regardless of their religious orientation - so again, Buddhism may have 'objective morals' but there is no such thing as a duty to follow them, its up the person.

So you could say the Nazi did evil things, but you couldn't say they "OUGHT" to have done different, since they have no moral obligation. 

A Christian could say the Nazi's did evil AND they would be morally justified to stop the Nazi's, since the Nazi's OUGHT not be doing such things, since it goes against God's personal command, even if the Nazi's do not believe in such commands. etc

Logged
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #53 on: September 10, 2010, 10:25:25 PM »

Thanks for clearing that up!
So the Buddha and Sangha are literally, not metaphorically, living and in some way personal, and places moral obligations on people, but morality only becomes binding when and if you believe in them - is this more or less correct?
The moral laws are always in effect, or "binding", whether you are Buddhist or not.

Quote
The only thing though is that you say one only has moral duties to the Buddha IF one is a Buddhist, so the Nazi's - the non-buddhist ones - did evil, but, morality is wholly non-binding for them.
The Nazis will experience the effects of their actions, based upon whether their actions are consistent or inconsistent with the eternal Dhamma. So, in that sense, morality is "binding" for Nazis.

Quote
Plus I still don't see how Buddhism offers reason to consider Human beings intrinsically valuable.
Not considering humans as intrinsically valuable means that you would violate basic laws of Dhamma, including, for instance, the law regarding violence or harm.

It's a common Buddhist understanding that being born as a human is the most precious type of birth, because only as a human, may one realize Nibbana. So, humans are definitely intrinsically valuable.

Quote
So you could say the Nazi did evil things, but you couldn't say they "OUGHT" to have done different, since they have no moral obligation.
Well, usually people define something as "evil", with the understanding that people "ought" not to do it. Wink

Quote
A Christian could say the Nazi's did evil AND they would be morally justified to stop the Nazi's, since the Nazi's OUGHT not be doing such things, since it goes against God's personal command, even if the Nazi's do not believe in such commands. etc
You're speaking about maintaining social stability, by means of defensive war and criminal punishment. Such things are not incompatible with Dhamma. Indeed, the Buddha often advised kings and government officials who had to deal with the criminals, wrong-doers, and aggressive invading armies. The Buddha, for instance, supported wars of self-defense, but he was also careful not to imply that war should be glorified.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 10:27:23 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #54 on: September 10, 2010, 11:21:25 PM »

Quote
The moral laws are always in effect, or "binding", whether you are Buddhist or not.

Before I asked if one has a moral duty to follow the laws, you said only if one is a buddhist.

In Zen, which I used to do, there are really no morals, moral laws are akin to impersonal natural laws - the difference being you have no choice weather you obey gravity or not, but you do have a choice with morality.

In Zen there is no "OUGHT" - because that would require a moral obligation. Rather it is like math - IF you hurt someone X Y & Z will happen - such as you will yourself end up suffering more and be less free.
But there is no moral obligation NOT to kill - in Zen Buddha was just a man, there is no obligation to him. 

Quote
The Nazis will experience the effects of their actions, based upon whether their actions are consistent or inconsistent with the eternal Dhamma. So, in that sense, morality is "binding" for Nazis.

But they have no duty to follow the Dhamma if they do not believe in Buddha, so as long as they are willing to live with the consequences it is morally neutral whether they obey or not.

Many Nazi's reported they were damming themselves for some of the things they did - but they did it for a greater cause - Hitlers germany.

Quote
Not considering humans as intrinsically valuable means that you would violate basic laws of Dhamma, including, for instance, the law regarding violence or harm.

I thought you said if you are not a Buddhist you have no duty to uphold the Dhamma,so a non-Buddhist could violate the Dhamma if they didn't care about the natural consequences - they are not obligated to follow it.

Quote
It's a common Buddhist understanding that being born as a human is the most precious type of birth, because only as a human, may one realize Nibbana. So, humans are definitely intrinsically valuable.

Why does that make a living thing intrinsically valuable? In philosophy that is usually called speciism - some other may say the ability to have large muscles is what makes a thing intrinsically valuable, or being able to run fast etc

Quote
Well, usually people define something as "evil", with the understanding that people "ought" not to do it. Wink

Thats part of my point, since Buddhism has no 'ought' nothing is really evil or good. Saying evil is 'that which obstructs people living richly as defined by Buddha' is a completely arbitrary notion of evil.

However! Many Nazi's considered murdering children evil - they accepted it was really objectively evil - but they said they did it for a greater 'good' which they defined as a humanity without Jewish peoples.

Quote
You're speaking about maintaining social stability, by means of defensive war and criminal punishment. Such things are not incompatible with Dhamma. Indeed, the Buddha often advised kings and government officials who had to deal with the criminals, wrong-doers, and aggressive invading armies. The Buddha, for instance, supported wars of self-defense, but he was also careful not to imply that war should be glorified.


Oh no, picture a man about to smash a child in the head. What would you say? "Hey, 'you' are going to feel consequences that will make you live a less rich life!"

But if he is not Buddhist he has no obligation to Budddha to stop, and it would be unintelligible if you would stop him. On what grounds? Does he owe you a duty?

One of the reasons I left Zen was because it lacked this very telos.
Logged
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #55 on: September 11, 2010, 05:32:44 PM »

Before I asked if one has a moral duty to follow the laws, you said only if one is a buddhist.

In Zen, which I used to do, there are really no morals, moral laws are akin to impersonal natural laws - the difference being you have no choice weather you obey gravity or not, but you do have a choice with morality.

In Zen there is no "OUGHT" - because that would require a moral obligation. Rather it is like math - IF you hurt someone X Y & Z will happen - such as you will yourself end up suffering more and be less free.
But there is no moral obligation NOT to kill - in Zen Buddha was just a man, there is no obligation to him.
Well, being "just a man" in Buddhism is to have a greater potential than the greatest Deity. This is one example of how Buddhist and Christian language often say different things, but with similar words, leading to misunderstanding.

Theravada monks have an obligation to follow the Patimokkha Rules, violation of which may lead to expulsion from the monastic order. That seems like obligation to me. In addition, lay people are given responsibilities and obligations as well. Yes, the Buddha was a "man", but he was also more than a man -- and it's that "more" that is the reason for someone voluntarily undertaking the obligations of following the Dhamma.

Buddhism in the West often stresses the "impersonal" aspects of Buddhism, thus Western Buddhism is often attractive to Westerners seeking to escape the "theistic" aspects of their Christian or Jewish heritage. The "impersonal" aspect is certainly there, but it has been over-emphasized, and the devotional, "personal", and -- dare I even say it? -- "theistic" aspects of Buddhism (even Theravada Buddhism) have been neglected in the West.

Quote
But [the Nazis] have no duty to follow the Dhamma if they do not believe in Buddha, so as long as they are willing to live with the consequences it is morally neutral whether they obey or not.
Actually, it is morally harmful if the Nazis decide to not follow the Dhamma. That is, not following the Dhamma will harm the Nazi's moral and spiritual state.

Quote
I thought you said if you are not a Buddhist you have no duty to uphold the Dhamma,so a non-Buddhist could violate the Dhamma if they didn't care about the natural consequences - they are not obligated to follow it.
If you are not a Buddhist, then you have no duty to follow the Dhamma as understood by Buddhists. That does not mean that you will not suffer the negative moral consequences of not following the Dhamma. For instance, if you are Christian, then you have a duty to follow the Dhamma (or "Truth") as understood by Christians, but that doesn't mean that if you  are not Christian, you can escape the negative effects of not following the Dhamma.

Quote
Why does that make a living thing intrinsically valuable?
Each living thing, including yourself, is capable of happiness and wants happiness, so increasing the happiness of living beings leads to one's own happiness. This is one of the eternal laws of Dhamma.

As far as human life being especially precious, that is due to the unique ability of humans to realize Nibbana, the "highest Happiness".

Quote
Thats part of my point, since Buddhism has no 'ought' nothing is really evil or good. Saying evil is 'that which obstructs people living richly as defined by Buddha' is a completely arbitrary notion of evil.
It's not arbitrary for someone who has taken Refuge in the Buddha. In that case, the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha provide the visible proof of the efficacy of the Path. Commitment to the Dhamma is, by definition, a commitment to the "oughts" that lead to greater understanding and devotion to the Dhamma.

Quote
Oh no, picture a man about to smash a child in the head. What would you say? "Hey, 'you' are going to feel consequences that will make you live a less rich life!"

One of the reasons I left Zen was because it lacked this very telos.
Another over-emphasis in Western Buddhism is the monastic emphasis. Western Buddhists often think that they are capable of really being radical renunciating monastics, whereas oftentimes that is not the case at all. That's why in Japan, the samurai balanced their militant/aggressive/protective side with the practice of Zen.

But, in the West, Western Buddhism has a decidedly "liberal" slant, which tends to be wary of the masculine/aggressive aspect of life. That's an imbalance that should be corrected, if Buddhism is to flourish in the West.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2010, 05:33:10 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #56 on: September 11, 2010, 07:05:39 PM »

Quote
Theravada monks have an obligation to follow the Patimokkha Rules, violation of which may lead to expulsion from the monastic order. That seems like obligation to me. In addition, lay people are given responsibilities and obligations as well. Yes, the Buddha was a "man", but he was also more than a man -- and it's that "more" that is the reason for someone voluntarily undertaking the obligations of following the Dhamma.

Yes, you keep repeating that. I absolutely understand that if a person chooses to follow rules that he has an obligation to do so, which he can then choose not to. This really stretches the definition of 'obligation' since it is self-imposed and not objective, as in Christianity, but Ok.
But since it is conditional upon weather you are a Buddhist or not, The DUTY is not objective. As I keep saying, unless I'm mistaken, a non-buddhist has no obligation to restrain himself from killing or raping etc
Also, a Buddhist wouldn't try to put a stop to it, as long as it is a non-buddhist doing the raping, a buddhist has no ground to object.
He could only point out it will lead to suffering. 

Quote
Actually, it is morally harmful if the Nazis decide to not follow the Dhamma. That is, not following the Dhamma will harm the Nazi's moral and spiritual state.

Yes, I said that if you look back. I actually even pointed out the Nazi's realized they were damning themselves in certain cases, but were willing to do so for their stated ends.
Again, they have no obligation or duty to stop - so a Buddhist has no argument of why they OUGHT not to commit genocide etc

Quote
If you are not a Buddhist, then you have no duty to follow the Dhamma as understood by Buddhists. That does not mean that you will not suffer the negative moral consequences of not following the Dhamma. For instance, if you are Christian, then you have a duty to follow the Dhamma (or "Truth") as understood by Christians, but that doesn't mean that if you  are not Christian, you can escape the negative effects of not following the Dhamma.

Actually, in Christianity there are no negative effects, God is conceived not in some mechanical fashion, like Karma is perceived. There is no cause and effect - God is free in that specific sense, He can forgive a Nazi completely and the Nazi would not suffer the 'effects' - which is a difference of Christianity.
Plus there is the matter of Grace.

However, even if a person is NOT a Christian, from the Christian viewpoint, that person is still responsible because we believe God has writ the moral law on every persons heart, that he may know right and wrong.
Because of that, every person is born knowing the moral law and has a duty to follow it
I'm not sure how a non-buddhist, from yr view, would even know what right and wrong is, unless they are as intelligent as the Buddha.

So Christians would stop a rape or murder since it violates the law and we have a personal duty to God.
 
Quote
Each living thing, including yourself, is capable of happiness and wants happiness, so increasing the happiness of living beings leads to one's own happiness. This is one of the eternal laws of Dhamma.

I do believe that! Although, with Kierkagaard, I am really not interested in happiness or peace for myself, it seems a rather selfish petty thing.

Quote
As far as human life being especially precious, that is due to the unique ability of humans to realize Nibbana, the "highest Happiness".

You seem to keep changing the terms slightly! Twisting words around and there meaning to fit you.
However I said the very beginning of ethics rests not with things being "especially precious" but intrinsically valuable.
We can use that term though. For whom is this ability to be happy precious too? I must say a Nazi probably wouldn't care how happy a Jew could be. So, again, it it not intrinsic but arbitrary and conditional.
In Buddhism there is no ground for people to be objectively intrinsically valuable in themselves.
Unless I've misapprehended you! Then I apologize.

Quote
It's not arbitrary for someone who has taken Refuge in the Buddha. In that case, the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha provide the visible proof of the efficacy of the Path. Commitment to the Dhamma is, by definition, a commitment to the "oughts" that lead to greater understanding and devotion to the Dhamma.

IF it depends on a person taking refuge in the Budddha then it is conditional and does not apply to anyone else, as I keep pointing out.
It is up to individuals. Unlike Christianity where ALL ought to be good - which is set forth by God's will and known through conscience.
So a Buddhist OUGHT not rape, but a non-buddhist has no obligation, and a Buddhist would not stop him and be coherent.

Quote
Another over-emphasis in Western Buddhism is the monastic emphasis. Western Buddhists often think that they are capable of really being radical renunciating monastics, whereas oftentimes that is not the case at all. That's why in Japan, the samurai balanced their militant/aggressive/protective side with the practice of Zen.

But, in the West, Western Buddhism has a decidedly "liberal" slant, which tends to be wary of the masculine/aggressive aspect of life. That's an imbalance that should be corrected, if Buddhism is to flourish in the West.

That's an interesting analysis - Zen and the art of War is a good book on it. Traditionally I've always thought of Zen as very militaristic.
Anyway, I'm not sure what that has to do with my point, which was as follows :

Picture a man about to smash a child in the head. What would you say? "Hey, 'you' are going to feel consequences that will make you live a less rich life!"

Buddhism has no grounds to stop that person (IF he is a non-buddhist) but Judaism/Christianity/ and Islam do, having a personal moral lawgiver which one is obligated to follow.

Logged
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #57 on: September 12, 2010, 03:29:17 PM »

Also, a Buddhist wouldn't try to put a stop to it, as long as it is a non-buddhist doing the raping, a buddhist has no ground to object.
He could only point out it will lead to suffering.

I'll just quote a tale from The Jataka, a collection of narratives describing the Buddha's past-lives as the Bodhisatta, in which the Bodhisatta not only objects to evil among people who are non-Buddhist (in fact, the Bodhisatta himself is a non-Buddhist in many of his past-lives), but he actually finds a creative way to stop such evil.

This is from the Dummedha-Jataka:

Quote
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was reborn in the womb of the Queen Consort. When he was born, he was named Prince Brahmadatta on his name-day. By sixteen years of age he had been well educated at Takkasilā, had learned the Three Vedas by heart, and was versed in the Eighteen Branches of Knowledge. And his father made him a Viceroy.

Now in those days the Benares folk were much given to festivals to 'gods,' and used to shew honour to 'gods.' It was their wont to massacre numbers of sheep, goats, poultry, swine, and other living creatures, and perform their rites not merely with flowers and perfumes but with gory carcasses. Thought the destined Lord of Mercy [i.e., the Bodhisatta] to himself, "Led astray by superstition, men now wantonly sacrifice life; the multitude are for the most part given up to irreligion: but when at my father's death I succeed to my inheritance, I will find means to end such destruction of life. I will devise some clever stratagem whereby the evil shall be stopped without harming a single human being."
  
In this mood the prince one day mounted his chariot and drove out of the city. On the way he saw a crowd gathered together at a holy banyan-tree, praying to the fairy who had been reborn in that tree, to grant them sons and daughters, honour and wealth, each according to his. heart's desire. Alighting from his chariot the Bodhisatta drew near to the tree and behaved as a worshipper so far as to make offerings of perfumes and flowers, sprinkling the tree with water, and pacing reverently round its trunk. Then mounting his chariot again, he went his way back into the city.

Thenceforth the prince made like journeys from time to time to the tree, and worshipped it like a true believer in 'gods.'

After his father dies, and he becomes king, the Bodhisatta tells his ministers that he had made a promise to the tree gods, that if he becomes king, he would perform a sacrifice to the tree gods:

Quote
"My vow," said the king, "was this:--All such as are addicted to the Five Sins, to wit the slaughter of living creatures and so forth, and all such as walk in the Ten Paths of Unrighteousness, them will I slay, and with their flesh and their blood, with their entrails and their vitals, I will make my offering. So proclaim by beat of drum that our lord the king in the days of his viceroyalty vowed that if ever he became king he would slay, and offer up in a sacrifice, all such of his subjects as break the Commandments...."

The news of the king's vow was proclaimed to the citizens of the country, all of whom, of course, were guilty of committing the "Five Sins" and following the "Ten Paths of Unrighteousness".

Quote
Such was the effect of the proclamation on the townsfolk that not a soul persisted in the old wickedness. And throughout the Bodhisatta's reign not a man was convicted of transgressing. Thus, without harming a single one of his subjects, the Bodhisatta made them observe the Commandments. And at the close of a life of alms-giving and other good works he passed away with his followers to throng the city of the devas.

There are many ways to stop evil being done by another person. The best way is do stop evil without violence. Non-violence not being possible, then violence may be the best way to stop evil. But, clearly, the preferred way among Buddhists is non-violence.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 03:34:09 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #58 on: September 13, 2010, 01:38:00 AM »

Also, a Buddhist wouldn't try to put a stop to it, as long as it is a non-buddhist doing the raping, a buddhist has no ground to object.
He could only point out it will lead to suffering.

I'll just quote a tale from The Jataka, a collection of narratives describing the Buddha's past-lives as the Bodhisatta, in which the Bodhisatta not only objects to evil among people who are non-Buddhist (in fact, the Bodhisatta himself is a non-Buddhist in many of his past-lives), but he actually finds a creative way to stop such evil.

This is from the Dummedha-Jataka:

Quote
Once on a time when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisatta was reborn in the womb of the Queen Consort. When he was born, he was named Prince Brahmadatta on his name-day. By sixteen years of age he had been well educated at Takkasilā, had learned the Three Vedas by heart, and was versed in the Eighteen Branches of Knowledge. And his father made him a Viceroy.

Now in those days the Benares folk were much given to festivals to 'gods,' and used to shew honour to 'gods.' It was their wont to massacre numbers of sheep, goats, poultry, swine, and other living creatures, and perform their rites not merely with flowers and perfumes but with gory carcasses. Thought the destined Lord of Mercy [i.e., the Bodhisatta] to himself, "Led astray by superstition, men now wantonly sacrifice life; the multitude are for the most part given up to irreligion: but when at my father's death I succeed to my inheritance, I will find means to end such destruction of life. I will devise some clever stratagem whereby the evil shall be stopped without harming a single human being."
  
In this mood the prince one day mounted his chariot and drove out of the city. On the way he saw a crowd gathered together at a holy banyan-tree, praying to the fairy who had been reborn in that tree, to grant them sons and daughters, honour and wealth, each according to his. heart's desire. Alighting from his chariot the Bodhisatta drew near to the tree and behaved as a worshipper so far as to make offerings of perfumes and flowers, sprinkling the tree with water, and pacing reverently round its trunk. Then mounting his chariot again, he went his way back into the city.

Thenceforth the prince made like journeys from time to time to the tree, and worshipped it like a true believer in 'gods.'

After his father dies, and he becomes king, the Bodhisatta tells his ministers that he had made a promise to the tree gods, that if he becomes king, he would perform a sacrifice to the tree gods:

Quote
"My vow," said the king, "was this:--All such as are addicted to the Five Sins, to wit the slaughter of living creatures and so forth, and all such as walk in the Ten Paths of Unrighteousness, them will I slay, and with their flesh and their blood, with their entrails and their vitals, I will make my offering. So proclaim by beat of drum that our lord the king in the days of his viceroyalty vowed that if ever he became king he would slay, and offer up in a sacrifice, all such of his subjects as break the Commandments...."

The news of the king's vow was proclaimed to the citizens of the country, all of whom, of course, were guilty of committing the "Five Sins" and following the "Ten Paths of Unrighteousness".

Quote
Such was the effect of the proclamation on the townsfolk that not a soul persisted in the old wickedness. And throughout the Bodhisatta's reign not a man was convicted of transgressing. Thus, without harming a single one of his subjects, the Bodhisatta made them observe the Commandments. And at the close of a life of alms-giving and other good works he passed away with his followers to throng the city of the devas.

There are many ways to stop evil being done by another person. The best way is do stop evil without violence. Non-violence not being possible, then violence may be the best way to stop evil. But, clearly, the preferred way among Buddhists is non-violence.

Well, that was an interesting story!
The Bodhisatta gained power over everyone and then threatened to slaughter everyone who disobeyed his will...There are many similarities to Stalin. I strain to kind a corollary in Christian literature...

I'm afraid I saw no justification in his actions. His justification to force his will on people is...a vow he made? To whom? It seems to himself!
 Why should (OUGHT) others submit to his "vow" -(other than out of fear from his political power to destroy them)

The fact that he had to rely on sheer political Power and brute threats clearly demonstrates that in fact he had no justification of Moral authority.

Yes, as a former Zen student we did much good. And most  Buddhists I know are definitely extremely moral people and God bless them all!

However, as this story quite clearly shows, Buddhism has no moral obligations, no Telos, no moral justification, no moral authority and indeed offers no ground of morality at all.

I don't deny Buddhist do good! They certainly even recognize objective good and bad - along with atheist and all other people (The bible tells us this information is written on every heart)

I did read the Pali texts 15 yrs ago or so and recall some stories, and like the above story most Buddhists act inconsistent with Buddhist beliefs and act AS IF there were really moral obligations that apply to everyone (even to the above superstitious tree worshipers) but this only makes sense in a Christian context - if you had a personal Moral law giver to whom everyone ought to obey because we are all made in his image etc

The Boddhisata's, the Zen friends I have, and even the Buddha himself - all their moral actions only make sense within a Christian context/worldview.

Every Buddhist must act either inconsistent with their own beliefs, remain intellectually dishonest, or fail to understand the full impact of their worldview to act morally.

Every time a Buddhist does good, or prevents evil, for others, he betrays Buddhism but affirms Christianity.

As i keep saying, Buddhism offers no grounds, no justification for preventing evil, or upholding objective moral obligations.

The above Bodhisatta acted like a Christian - as if there was an objective moral law that everyone can know and that everyone OUGHT to obey.

For nonbuddhists - like the tree worshipers - according to Buddhism who imposes moral duties upon them?  Why is it that they ought to do certain things and ought not to do other things?  Where does this ‘ought’ come from?  Traditionally, moral obligations were thought to be laid upon us by God’s moral commands.  But if we deny a Christian personal law-giving God, then it is difficult to make sense of moral duty.
After all, the Bodhisatta even says he gave himself the vow!
Logged
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #59 on: September 13, 2010, 11:10:52 AM »

However, as this story quite clearly shows, Buddhism has no moral obligations....
Well, I reckon we'll just have to agree to disagree. angel
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
spiltteeth
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 92



« Reply #60 on: September 13, 2010, 03:40:45 PM »

However, as this story quite clearly shows, Buddhism has no moral obligations....
Well, I reckon we'll just have to agree to disagree. angel

I certainly love how nice, polite, and loving Buddhists are !

If you think of any reasons why you disagree let me know.

If we can find the justification for moral duties/obligations within a Buddhist worldview it would go a long way to opening dialogue between Christian and Buddhists in the philosophical circles.
Logged
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,076


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #61 on: September 15, 2010, 05:04:41 PM »

However, as this story quite clearly shows, Buddhism has no moral obligations....
Well, I reckon we'll just have to agree to disagree. angel


The Zen  teacher Chozen Bays said, "We just keep on working, we are patient with ourselves, and on and on it goes. Little by little our life comes more into alignment with the wisdom that gives rise to the precepts. As our minds get clearer and clearer, it's not even a matter of breaking or maintaining the precepts; automatically they are maintained."

http://buddhism.about.com/od/theprecepts/a/preceptsintro.htm
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,076


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #62 on: September 15, 2010, 05:07:10 PM »

However, as this story quite clearly shows, Buddhism has no moral obligations....
Well, I reckon we'll just have to agree to disagree. angel

I certainly love how nice, polite, and loving Buddhists are !

If you think of any reasons why you disagree let me know.

If we can find the justification for moral duties/obligations within a Buddhist worldview it would go a long way to opening dialogue between Christian and Buddhists in the philosophical circles.

Er....................  The Japanese, Buddhists all, behaved rather badly in WW 2.  Unfortunate
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #63 on: September 15, 2010, 05:31:10 PM »

However, as this story quite clearly shows, Buddhism has no moral obligations....
Well, I reckon we'll just have to agree to disagree. angel

I certainly love how nice, polite, and loving Buddhists are !

If you think of any reasons why you disagree let me know.

If we can find the justification for moral duties/obligations within a Buddhist worldview it would go a long way to opening dialogue between Christian and Buddhists in the philosophical circles.

Er....................  The Japanese, Buddhists all, behaved rather badly in WW 2.  Unfortunate
Buddhists Behaving Badly. Sounds like a Reality show. Grin
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #64 on: September 15, 2010, 05:57:51 PM »

However, as this story quite clearly shows, Buddhism has no moral obligations....
Well, I reckon we'll just have to agree to disagree. angel

I certainly love how nice, polite, and loving Buddhists are !

If you think of any reasons why you disagree let me know.

If we can find the justification for moral duties/obligations within a Buddhist worldview it would go a long way to opening dialogue between Christian and Buddhists in the philosophical circles.

Er....................  The Japanese, Buddhists all, behaved rather badly in WW 2.  Unfortunate

There's a book out called Zen at War which details how the various Zen sects became enthusiastic propagandists for the war effort (of course, all of the major Buddhist sects did this). I believe a tiny handful of Buddhists protested the war and, predictably, ended up in jail. Among them was the founder of Sokka Gakkai. Maybe that's the only positive thing that can be said about SG.

For more examples of "Buddhists behaving badly," have a look at Tibetan history (REAL history, not the romantic nonsense that's usually peddled). Few people know that the Dalai Lamas became the theocrats of Tibet thanks to a bloody intervention by Mongol troops after years of war between the various Tibetan Buddhist sects and their supporting political factions. The rival "red hat" sects were all suppressed, and the Jonang sect was virtually wiped out, surviving only because of monks who fled to remote, inaccessible mountains.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,076


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #65 on: September 19, 2010, 01:10:59 PM »

However, as this story quite clearly shows, Buddhism has no moral obligations....
Well, I reckon we'll just have to agree to disagree. angel

I certainly love how nice, polite, and loving Buddhists are !

If you think of any reasons why you disagree let me know.

If we can find the justification for moral duties/obligations within a Buddhist worldview it would go a long way to opening dialogue between Christian and Buddhists in the philosophical circles.

Er....................  The Japanese, Buddhists all, behaved rather badly in WW 2.  Unfortunate

There's a book out called Zen at War which details how the various Zen sects became enthusiastic propagandists for the war effort (of course, all of the major Buddhist sects did this). I believe a tiny handful of Buddhists protested the war and, predictably, ended up in jail. Among them was the founder of Sokka Gakkai. Maybe that's the only positive thing that can be said about SG.

For more examples of "Buddhists behaving badly," have a look at Tibetan history (REAL history, not the romantic nonsense that's usually peddled). Few people know that the Dalai Lamas became the theocrats of Tibet thanks to a bloody intervention by Mongol troops after years of war between the various Tibetan Buddhist sects and their supporting political factions. The rival "red hat" sects were all suppressed, and the Jonang sect was virtually wiped out, surviving only because of monks who fled to remote, inaccessible mountains.

I hate to be the one to burst your only positive opinion of the Soka Gakkai but their leaders, Toda and Magaguchi did not oppose the War.

They went to jail based on their refusal to accept a Shinto Talisman in their homes. The Japanese Government required all citizens to place this Talisman on all alters, home and Temple, in support of their troops. They did not reject the Talisman because they did not support the Japanese War effort, they rejected it based of a long standing Nichiren Buddhist doctrine called " Fuju Fuse".    

"Fuju Fuse" means "no give or take" from heretics. Strict Nichiren Buddhists can not accept anything from other religions or Buddhist sects nor donate anything to them. Accepting a Talisman is a cause for falling to Hell. Toda and Magaguchi refused because of this doctrine, not based on any objection to the War.

The Soka Gakkai was most popular in the USA in the 1970's when many young people still viewed politics through the experience of opposing the Vietnam War. The Gakkai, ever dishonest, changed the story of Toda and Magaguchi a bit to play into their recruiting efforts. They falsely posed them as Anti-War activists, which they certainly were not.

However, in and of itself, the upholding of Fuju fuse ( to the death in Magaguchi's case) was commendable IMHO

 
« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 01:14:59 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #66 on: November 29, 2010, 06:58:36 PM »

The main thing to understand about practicing Buddhists is that ..they practice. This entails many hours of either sitting or chanting or bowing or numerous other methods. Theoretical discourse is something that supports practice, it is not the actual practice of Buddhism.

Occasionally while I was practicing Buddhism I would be approached by folks claiming to be Buddhists too. Most often they would say they were Zen Buddhists. I would inquire about their meditation, Rinzai or Soto etc etc. 90% of the time they would say "Oh I don't actually meditate, I have just read some books and agree with what  Buddhism teaches".

Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley
And pull their noses. They do this to other masters, too. (See Gateless Gate, Case 2 Hyakujo's Fox)
Logged
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #67 on: November 29, 2010, 07:01:42 PM »

However, as this story quite clearly shows, Buddhism has no moral obligations....
Well, I reckon we'll just have to agree to disagree. angel

I certainly love how nice, polite, and loving Buddhists are !

If you think of any reasons why you disagree let me know.

If we can find the justification for moral duties/obligations within a Buddhist worldview it would go a long way to opening dialogue between Christian and Buddhists in the philosophical circles.

Er....................  The Japanese, Buddhists all, behaved rather badly in WW 2.  Unfortunate


The Japanese weren't--and aren't--"Buddhists all," but the Buddhists, particularly the hierarchy, did indeed behave exceptionally badly.
Logged
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 13,076


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #68 on: November 29, 2010, 07:18:51 PM »

However, as this story quite clearly shows, Buddhism has no moral obligations....
Well, I reckon we'll just have to agree to disagree. angel

I certainly love how nice, polite, and loving Buddhists are !

If you think of any reasons why you disagree let me know.

If we can find the justification for moral duties/obligations within a Buddhist worldview it would go a long way to opening dialogue between Christian and Buddhists in the philosophical circles.

Er....................  The Japanese, Buddhists all, behaved rather badly in WW 2.  Unfortunate


The Japanese weren't--and aren't--"Buddhists all," but the Buddhists, particularly the hierarchy, did indeed behave exceptionally badly.

Today Japan is about 70% Buddhist. I bet higher during WW 2.
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #69 on: November 29, 2010, 07:20:53 PM »

However, as this story quite clearly shows, Buddhism has no moral obligations....
Well, I reckon we'll just have to agree to disagree. angel

I certainly love how nice, polite, and loving Buddhists are !

If you think of any reasons why you disagree let me know.

If we can find the justification for moral duties/obligations within a Buddhist worldview it would go a long way to opening dialogue between Christian and Buddhists in the philosophical circles.

Er....................  The Japanese, Buddhists all, behaved rather badly in WW 2.  Unfortunate


The Japanese weren't--and aren't--"Buddhists all," but the Buddhists, particularly the hierarchy, did indeed behave exceptionally badly.
At least some Zen leaders saw Japan's expansionism as a type of "holy war", partly a defense against the imperialism of Western countries (which itself was often supported by various ecclesiastical hierarchies). Zen in Japan has long had close ties with the martial spirit of bushido.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #70 on: November 29, 2010, 07:26:41 PM »

I'm not sure why you are 'pointing out'  what you term as evils of Tibetan practice to me--chanting; As I mentioned, Tibetan Buddhism, as all Buddhist practice can be divided into two segments: (1) a philosophy and (2) as a religion.  I don't recall stating which one I practiced.  However, I did stress the fact that the sitting practice is VERY beneficial for everyone and it would be very silly (ignorant) to brush it aside when so much wisdom can be gathered from it.

There is no dissolving of the Self; but rather the UN-real self.  In that, Buddhism is much closer to Jungian psychology.  There's a LOT of misinformation out there, believe me.

By the way, the Dalai Lama isn't a form of Chenrezig; that's what other people (basically, the traditional Tibetan public) term him.  The Dalai Lama considers himself simply a monk.  He told me so!  :-)

The very last sentence is so important. Buddhism isn't primarily something to think about. It is an active practice. Chatelaa can tell you first-hand how HH the Dalai Lama refers to himself, whatever books may say.

Imagine someone speaking in a definite way about Orthodoxy who had never attended an Orthodox liturgy or spoken with an Orthodox priest? They might have interesting things to say, but they wouldn't be based on first-hand experience. All forms of Buddhism, whether of Hinayana, Mahayana, or Vajrayana schools, stress the primacy of first-hand experience. I am most familiar with Zen, and I can say there is nothing in Zen practice would necessarily undermine your Christianity. And the practice of zazen could help. At the very least, some of the stabilization exercises (especially the Tibetan Lojong teachings) could help anyone wishing to deepen whatever form of meditation they do practice.

To me, large portions of the church fathers read very much like they are people deeply familiar with Buddhism. The region of the northwestern Indian subcontinent, occupied at one time by troops of Alexander the Great, was from the first century BCE on an area of exceptionally deep spiritual unfolding. It was also an area with a lot of caravan traffic and trade of various kinds. So it would be very surprising to me if there had never been any contact among all the esoteric practitioners--Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, and later Muslim--of the Eastern Mediterranean and along the Silk Route.
Logged
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #71 on: November 29, 2010, 07:37:13 PM »

I'm not sure why you are 'pointing out'  what you term as evils of Tibetan practice to me--chanting; As I mentioned, Tibetan Buddhism, as all Buddhist practice can be divided into two segments: (1) a philosophy and (2) as a religion.  I don't recall stating which one I practiced.  However, I did stress the fact that the sitting practice is VERY beneficial for everyone and it would be very silly (ignorant) to brush it aside when so much wisdom can be gathered from it.

There is no dissolving of the Self; but rather the UN-real self.  In that, Buddhism is much closer to Jungian psychology.  There's a LOT of misinformation out there, believe me.

By the way, the Dalai Lama isn't a form of Chenrezig; that's what other people (basically, the traditional Tibetan public) term him.  The Dalai Lama considers himself simply a monk.  He told me so!  :-)

The very last sentence is so important. Buddhism isn't primarily something to think about. It is an active practice. Chatelaa can tell you first-hand how HH the Dalai Lama refers to himself, whatever books may say.

Imagine someone speaking in a definite way about Orthodoxy who had never attended an Orthodox liturgy or spoken with an Orthodox priest? They might have interesting things to say, but they wouldn't be based on first-hand experience. All forms of Buddhism, whether of Hinayana, Mahayana, or Vajrayana schools, stress the primacy of first-hand experience. I am most familiar with Zen, and I can say there is nothing in Zen practice would necessarily undermine your Christianity. And the practice of zazen could help. At the very least, some of the stabilization exercises (especially the Tibetan Lojong teachings) could help anyone wishing to deepen whatever form of meditation they do practice.

To me, large portions of the church fathers read very much like they are people deeply familiar with Buddhism. The region of the northwestern Indian subcontinent, occupied at one time by troops of Alexander the Great, was from the first century BCE on an area of exceptionally deep spiritual unfolding. It was also an area with a lot of caravan traffic and trade of various kinds. So it would be very surprising to me if there had never been any contact among all the esoteric practitioners--Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, and later Muslim--of the Eastern Mediterranean and along the Silk Route.
Clement of Alexandria knew about the Buddha. How much he knew, though, is up for debate:

Quote
The Christian intellectual, Clement of Alexandria (d. c. 215), mentions Buddhism briefly in his Strom. 1.15.71(6):

εἰσὶ δὲ τῶν Ἰνδῶν οἱ τοῖς Βούττα πειθόμενοι παραγγέλμασιν. ὃν δι’ ὑπερβολὴν σεμνότητος ὡς θεὸν τετιμήκασι.

Among the Indians are some who follow the precepts of Buddha, whom for his extraordinary sanctity they have honored as a god. (tr. John Ferguson).

On this passage, John Ferguson, Clement of Alexandria: Stromateis Books 1-3 (Fathers of the Church 85; Washington, D.C.: CUA, 1991), 76, n.338, notes:

The reference to Buddha is exceptionally interesting: Pantaenus [Clement’s predecessor in Alexandra] may have travelled in the East. But the veneration of the Buddha does not give him the title of a god, although he is the Lord.

Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #72 on: July 16, 2011, 01:34:34 PM »

At least one Orthodox priest has argued (starting at 9:20) that the Renaissance produced, in a very practical sense, a form of Buddhism for Europeans. His characterization of Buddhism, I would suggest, is a bit misleading (but it's an interesting thesis). For instance, the good priest states that early Buddhism (the Buddhism of the Pali texts) taught that there was no "intermediary" needed between the unenlightened human being, and Nibbana/Nirvana. That's a common misunderstanding in the West. In fact, the Pali texts show that whoever realizes Nibbana/Nirvana, realizes it by studying under a living Buddha. No one becomes a Buddha, without studying under a Buddha.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 01:43:10 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: +
Posts: 1,253



« Reply #73 on: July 16, 2011, 04:07:14 PM »

At least one Orthodox priest has argued (starting at 9:20) that the Renaissance produced, in a very practical sense, a form of Buddhism for Europeans. His characterization of Buddhism, I would suggest, is a bit misleading (but it's an interesting thesis). For instance, the good priest states that early Buddhism (the Buddhism of the Pali texts) taught that there was no "intermediary" needed between the unenlightened human being, and Nibbana/Nirvana. That's a common misunderstanding in the West. In fact, the Pali texts show that whoever realizes Nibbana/Nirvana, realizes it by studying under a living Buddha. No one becomes a Buddha, without studying under a Buddha.

Sorry, Jetavan, but I believe the good priest is correct on this one. Studying with a sangha, and if possible under a meditation master, is certainly the ideal in Buddhism. But Gotema himself achieved Nibbana on his own! If the need for an intermediary exists anywhere in the Pali text, I'd very interested to see it.
Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him." - Thomas Merton
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #74 on: July 16, 2011, 10:49:29 PM »

At least one Orthodox priest has argued (starting at 9:20) that the Renaissance produced, in a very practical sense, a form of Buddhism for Europeans. His characterization of Buddhism, I would suggest, is a bit misleading (but it's an interesting thesis). For instance, the good priest states that early Buddhism (the Buddhism of the Pali texts) taught that there was no "intermediary" needed between the unenlightened human being, and Nibbana/Nirvana. That's a common misunderstanding in the West. In fact, the Pali texts show that whoever realizes Nibbana/Nirvana, realizes it by studying under a living Buddha. No one becomes a Buddha, without studying under a Buddha.

Sorry, Jetavan, but I believe the good priest is correct on this one. Studying with a sangha, and if possible under a meditation master, is certainly the ideal in Buddhism. But Gotema himself achieved Nibbana on his own! If the need for an intermediary exists anywhere in the Pali text, I'd very interested to see it.
The Buddhavamsa (and the Commentaries to the Buddhavamsa) is part of the Pali canon, and it describes the lives of the previous 24 Buddhas, as well as the past-lives of Shakyamuni.

The first Buddha described in the Buddhavamsa is the Buddha Dipankara. It was during the lifetime of Dipankara that a rich merchant named Sumedha (Sumedha #1: a past-life of Shakyamuni, when Shakyamuni was a bodhisatta) was also alive. It was in the presence of Dipankara that Sumedha decided, not to merely realize nibbana as an arhat, but to realize full Buddhahood, as Dipankara had done. Dipankara, likewise, prophesied that Sumedha, eons in the future, would realize Buddhahood, by practicing the ten bodhisatta virtues (from generosity to equanimity). In his subsequent lifetimes, Sumedha (Shakyamuni) would re-asssert his vow to realize Buddhahood, and the Buddha alive at that time, would prophesy his eventual realization of Buddhahood.

Theravada Buddhism holds that what Sumedha/Shakyamuni went through, everyone (who wants to realize Buddhahood) must also go through: that is, anyone can aspire to Buddhahood, but one's actual success in realizing Buddhahood must be confirmed by a prophesy proclaimed by a living Buddha, while one is in the company of that living Buddha.

So, yeah, Shakyamuni did realize Buddhahood "on his own" -- but in the sense that he realized Buddhahood when no other living Buddha existed (but, then again, that's how all Buddhas before Shakyamuni, and all Buddhas after Shakyamuni, realized or will realize Buddhahood). But Shakyamuni did not do all this "on his own" once one takes into account the previous lifetimes of Shakyamuni -- and that would be true for all other Buddhas as well: if you want to become a Buddha, you need to enter into the personal presence of a living Buddha who then would confirm and prophesy one's future realization of Buddhahood. You can't "do it alone".
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 10:58:03 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: +
Posts: 1,253



« Reply #75 on: July 17, 2011, 12:02:22 AM »

I understand that in the Pali canon there are stories of the Buddha Shakyamuni in his past lives meeting up with previous Buddhas, but I don't think there is any place in the canon where the Buddha insists that one cannot reach Nibbana without him (or another Buddha). When he was asked who his successor would be, the Buddha said: "Let the Dhamma be your guide." Digha Nikaya 16

Then there is this from the Maha-parinibbana Sutta: Last Days of the Buddha:
 
33. "Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge.

"And how, Ananda, is a bhikkhu an island unto himself, a refuge unto himself, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as his island, the Dhamma as his refuge, seeking no other refuge?

34. "When he dwells contemplating the body in the body, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world; when he dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, the mind in the mind, and mental objects in mental objects, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world, then, truly, he is an island unto himself, a refuge unto himself, seeking no external refuge; having the Dhamma as his island, the Dhamma as his refuge, seeking no other refuge.

35. "Those bhikkhus of mine, Ananda, who now or after I am gone, abide as an island unto themselves, as a refuge unto themselves, seeking no other refuge; having the Dhamma as their island and refuge, seeking no other refuge: it is they who will become the highest, [20] if they have the desire to learn."

Sounds like alone is the way it's done, enchanting tales of prophecy aside. And even if one needed to know a Buddha in a past life (according to the teachings of Buddhism), one likely wouldn't know he had met one in a past life until he was enlightened already!
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 12:03:31 AM by stavros_388 » Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him." - Thomas Merton
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #76 on: July 17, 2011, 12:41:24 AM »

I understand that in the Pali canon there are stories of the Buddha Shakyamuni in his past lives meeting up with previous Buddhas, but I don't think there is any place in the canon where the Buddha insists that one cannot reach Nibbana without him (or another Buddha).
The texts do contain discourss in which the Buddha teaches, either implicitly or explicitly, that nibbana is realized only via the teachings of the Buddha.

For instance, before the Buddha's parinibbana (passing away into final nibbana), a wanderer named Subhadda wanted to ask the Buddha one final question before he passed away: do any of the many teachers, or teachings, or groups of recluses, that exist in the world, really know what they are talking about, do they really have direct knowledge of reality? The Buddha replied that true knowlede is found only where the noble eightfold path is found, and the noble eightfold path is only found in the teachings of the Buddha. Non-Buddhist teachings are empty of true knowledge.

Quote
When he was asked who his successor would be, the Buddha said: "Let the Dhamma be your guide." Digha Nikaya 16

Then there is this from the Maha-parinibbana Sutta: Last Days of the Buddha:
 
33. "Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge.

"And how, Ananda, is a bhikkhu an island unto himself, a refuge unto himself, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as his island, the Dhamma as his refuge, seeking no other refuge?

34. "When he dwells contemplating the body in the body, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world; when he dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, the mind in the mind, and mental objects in mental objects, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world, then, truly, he is an island unto himself, a refuge unto himself, seeking no external refuge; having the Dhamma as his island, the Dhamma as his refuge, seeking no other refuge.

35. "Those bhikkhus of mine, Ananda, who now or after I am gone, abide as an island unto themselves, as a refuge unto themselves, seeking no other refuge; having the Dhamma as their island and refuge, seeking no other refuge: it is they who will become the highest, [20] if they have the desire to learn."
All these quotes presuppose that one knows what "Dhamma" actually and truly is, where the true teachings of Dhamma are taught; and the Buddha revealed the answers to those questions in his response to Subhadda.

Quote
Sounds like alone is the way it's done, enchanting tales of prophecy aside. And even if one needed to know a Buddha in a past life (according to the teachings of Buddhism), one likely wouldn't know he had met one in a past life until he was enlightened already!
I don't see how anyone who knows about the Buddhist teaching of pratitya-samutpada (dependent origination) could argue that anyone does anything alone, or that anything happens in total isolation from anything else. If "doing it alone" were truly the case, then there would be no need for the Buddha, the Dhamma, and no need whatsoever for the Sangha; there would be no need for the scriptures, no need for the "spiritual friendship" which the Buddha said was half of the holy life, no need for humility in going for refuge in the Triple Gem; no need for saddha, or faith/trust, in the possibility of freedom from dissatisfaction and frustration.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 12:45:57 AM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: +
Posts: 1,253



« Reply #77 on: July 17, 2011, 08:14:17 AM »

Quote
For instance, before the Buddha's parinibbana (passing away into final nibbana), a wanderer named Subhadda wanted to ask the Buddha one final question before he passed away: do any of the many teachers, or teachings, or groups of recluses, that exist in the world, really know what they are talking about, do they really have direct knowledge of reality? The Buddha replied that true knowlede is found only where the noble eightfold path is found, and the noble eightfold path is only found in the teachings of the Buddha. Non-Buddhist teachings are empty of true knowledge.

Indeed, the Buddha had discovered the 4NT and the 8FP, and his mission was to teach them to others so that others could experience the freedom of awakening.  He was confident in his teaching. His path alone worked for him, so I don't find it surprising that he would say this.

Quote
I don't see how anyone who knows about the Buddhist teaching of pratitya-samutpada (dependent origination) could argue that anyone does anything alone, or that anything happens in total isolation from anything else. If "doing it alone" were truly the case, then there would be no need for the Buddha, the Dhamma, and no need whatsoever for the Sangha; there would be no need for the scriptures, no need for the "spiritual friendship" which the Buddha said was half of the holy life, no need for humility in going for refuge in the Triple Gem; no need for saddha, or faith/trust, in the possibility of freedom from dissatisfaction and frustration.

I never argued that anything happens in total isolation from anything else. When you speak in terms of dependent origination, and in regards to the need for the Buddha's teachings, the importance of Sangha, and spiritual friendships, and so on, I am totally in agreement with you that, in a manner of speaking, one doesn't "do it alone". But saying that everything is somehow interconnected, or saying that without the Buddha's teachings put into practice one cannot achieve Nibbana, is much different than saying a Buddhist cannot achieve Nibbana without practicing under a living Buddha. With all due respect, it is with this latter statement that I remain in disagreement.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 08:20:10 AM by stavros_388 » Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him." - Thomas Merton
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #78 on: July 18, 2011, 09:34:52 AM »

But saying that everything is somehow interconnected, or saying that without the Buddha's teachings put into practice one cannot achieve Nibbana, is much different than saying a Buddhist cannot achieve Nibbana without practicing under a living Buddha. With all due respect, it is with this latter statement that I remain in disagreement.
I agree (as the Pali texts indicate) that someone can realize Buddhahood without contemporaneously (in that particular lifetime) studying under a living Buddha.


Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Xenia1918
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Praying for Divine guidance
Posts: 569



« Reply #79 on: July 18, 2011, 10:37:09 AM »

What form of Buddhism do most Cambodians practice? Theravada or Mahayana?

My "sort of" adopted brother and former neighbor is a Cambodian and a Buddhist, but we've never discussed religion (his family came to the US from Cambodia in the 1970s to escape the Khmer Rouge; his father was so emotionally shattered that he could not raise him, so my family did.) We attended the funeral for his father a few years ago, which was held in a Buddhist temple (that used to be my childhood synagogue...talk about culture shock!), but I still don't really know much about their specific form of Buddhism.
Logged

"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

REAL RC: http://www.traditionalmass.org
REAL OC: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #80 on: July 18, 2011, 10:38:39 AM »

What form of Buddhism do most Cambodians practice? Theravada or Mahayana?

My "sort of" adopted brother and former neighbor is a Cambodian and a Buddhist, but we've never discussed religion (his family came to the US from Cambodia in the 1970s to escape the Khmer Rouge; his father was so emotionally shattered that he could not raise him, so my family did.) We attended the funeral for his father a few years ago, which was held in a Buddhist temple (that used to be my childhood synagogue...talk about culture shock!), but I still don't really know much about their specific form of Buddhism.
Cambodians mostly practice Theravada.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Xenia1918
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Praying for Divine guidance
Posts: 569



« Reply #81 on: July 18, 2011, 10:40:29 AM »

What form of Buddhism do most Cambodians practice? Theravada or Mahayana?

My "sort of" adopted brother and former neighbor is a Cambodian and a Buddhist, but we've never discussed religion (his family came to the US from Cambodia in the 1970s to escape the Khmer Rouge; his father was so emotionally shattered that he could not raise him, so my family did.) We attended the funeral for his father a few years ago, which was held in a Buddhist temple (that used to be my childhood synagogue...talk about culture shock!), but I still don't really know much about their specific form of Buddhism.
Cambodians mostly practice Theravada.

Thanks!
Logged

"O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals to whom Thou gavest the earth as their home in common with us..." (from the Prayer of St Basil the Great)

REAL RC: http://www.traditionalmass.org
REAL OC: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #82 on: July 18, 2011, 11:15:06 AM »

Quote
For instance, before the Buddha's parinibbana (passing away into final nibbana), a wanderer named Subhadda wanted to ask the Buddha one final question before he passed away: do any of the many teachers, or teachings, or groups of recluses, that exist in the world, really know what they are talking about, do they really have direct knowledge of reality? The Buddha replied that true knowlede is found only where the noble eightfold path is found, and the noble eightfold path is only found in the teachings of the Buddha. Non-Buddhist teachings are empty of true knowledge.

Indeed, the Buddha had discovered the 4NT and the 8FP, and his mission was to teach them to others so that others could experience the freedom of awakening.  He was confident in his teaching. His path alone worked for him, so I don't find it surprising that he would say this.
That's one way to interpret what the Buddha said here, though I don't think one can ignore the role of Subhadda himself. To some persons who were not his followers, the Buddha did not claim that his teaching was the one true teaching; but to Subhadda, the Buddha did make that claim. I think this points to the idea that the Buddha knew that Subhadda (even though not yet a follower of the Buddha) already had faith in him, and thus Subhadda could 'handle' such 'exclusivistic' statements and use them to grow spiritually; whereas, many other persons, not followers of the Buddha, and not having deep enough faith in the Buddha, were best served by statements that they could understand from whatever spiritual level they were currently at.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
primuspilus
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America - Western Rite Orthodox
Posts: 6,478


Inserting personal quote here.


WWW
« Reply #83 on: July 18, 2011, 02:14:23 PM »

As I read this thread only one thing strikes my mind. So THIS is what man trying to save himself looks like.......

primuspilus
Logged

"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #84 on: July 18, 2011, 02:18:46 PM »

As I read this thread only one thing strikes my mind. So THIS is what man trying to save himself looks like.......

primuspilus
Well, one's own effort is certainly part of Buddhism. Whether that counts as "saving yourself" is an interesting question. Smiley
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #85 on: July 18, 2011, 10:45:15 PM »

The fourteenth Dalai Lama this week appeared on the Australian version of Masterchef.

Discuss.
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,019


"My god is greater."


« Reply #86 on: July 18, 2011, 10:56:19 PM »

Some people who are virulently secular in a Western context seem to have no problem with old Tibet's theocracy. I guess if it's an "enlightened" theocracy in a far away, enchanted land... 
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #87 on: July 18, 2011, 11:05:24 PM »

The fourteenth Dalai Lama this week appeared on the Australian version of Masterchef.

Discuss.
I thought you were just kidding:

Quote
The Dalai Lama yesterday made a bizarre appearance as guest judge on the Aussie version of MasterChef.
 
Stunned contestants prepared lunch for the Tibetan spiritual leader – but he refused to rate their offerings, saying it would be against his Buddhist principles.
 
In a special episode of the hit TV show, the religious figurehead was presented with several sweet and savoury veggie dishes as he took time out from his official duties on a visit Down Under.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
primuspilus
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America - Western Rite Orthodox
Posts: 6,478


Inserting personal quote here.


WWW
« Reply #88 on: July 19, 2011, 10:40:14 AM »

Dalai Lama = A guy with sweet looking clothes that needs Christ just as bad as everyone else.

primuspilus
Logged

"I confidently affirm that whoever calls himself Universal Bishop is the precursor of Antichrist"
Gregory the Great

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern." St. John Maximovitch, The Wonderworker
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #89 on: July 19, 2011, 03:57:08 PM »

Dalai Lama = A guy with sweet looking clothes that needs Christ just as bad as everyone else.

primuspilus

The Dalai Lama was good friends with Thomas Merton, and he wrote about their friendship and religious understanding in a NYTimes op-ed:

"....
Granted, every religion has a sense of exclusivity as part of its core identity. Even so, I believe there is genuine potential for mutual understanding. While preserving faith toward one’s own tradition, one can respect, admire and appreciate other traditions.

An early eye-opener for me was my meeting with the Trappist monk Thomas Merton in India shortly before his untimely death in 1968. Merton told me he could be perfectly faithful to Christianity, yet learn in depth from other religions like Buddhism. The same is true for me as an ardent Buddhist learning from the world’s other great religions.

A main point in my discussion with Merton was how central compassion was to the message of both Christianity and Buddhism. In my readings of the New Testament, I find myself inspired by Jesus’ acts of compassion. His miracle of the loaves and fishes, his healing and his teaching are all motivated by the desire to relieve suffering.

I’m a firm believer in the power of personal contact to bridge differences, so I’ve long been drawn to dialogues with people of other religious outlooks. The focus on compassion that Merton and I observed in our two religions strikes me as a strong unifying thread among all the major faiths. And these days we need to highlight what unifies us."

Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
akimori makoto
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Non-heretical Christian
Jurisdiction: Fully-sik-hektic archdiocese of Australia, bro
Posts: 3,126

No-one bound by fleshly pleasures is worthy ...


« Reply #90 on: July 19, 2011, 09:21:53 PM »

Some people who are virulently secular in a Western context seem to have no problem with old Tibet's theocracy. I guess if it's an "enlightened" theocracy in a far away, enchanted land...

I think the fourteenth Dalai Lama is also good at telling such people what they want to hear.
Logged

The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,094


Goodbye for now, my friend


« Reply #91 on: July 19, 2011, 09:27:38 PM »

Video

Don't know if all the quotes in that video are accurate. And, the Pope would certainly have agreed with many of the quotes attributed to the Dalai Lama. Still an interesting vid, IMO.
Logged

Paradosis ≠ Asteriktos ≠ Justin
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #92 on: July 19, 2011, 09:46:52 PM »

Video

Don't know if all the quotes in that video are accurate. And, the Pope would certainly have agreed with many of the quotes attributed to the Dalai Lama. Still an interesting vid, IMO.
Yes, the quotes (or at least their general meaning) are all accurate. From the perspective of Tibetan Buddhism, abortion, homosexual activity, and sexual indulgence: none of these will particularly accelerate you on your journey towards nirvana, or the end of suffering (but neither will they, by themselves, definitively prevent the realization of nirvana, either).
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 09:47:35 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Hermogenes
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 493



« Reply #93 on: August 01, 2011, 03:07:21 PM »



Zen Masters are known to occasionally hit people  Smiley
A lot of Western Buddhists aren't actually Buddhists on account of believing the truth of Lord Buddha's teachings. They want to have a spritual practice and believe Buddhist in one of the easier ones. (They should dig a little deeper...) I call them Un-Christians or Un-Jews, because their spritual practice is more about what they are not and what they do not believe than it is about what they do. Orthodoxy isn't devoid of this attitude. I know many who began their path to Orthodoxy because they didn't like what the Anglicans were doing or didn't like the updates in the Catholic church. They didn't necessarily feel drawn to Orthodoxy for what it is, but rather, more for what it is not.
Logged
Tags:
Pages: 1 2 3 All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.468 seconds with 121 queries.