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« Reply #90 on: August 09, 2011, 08:43:06 PM »

Imo, Buddha himself is irrelevant to the conversation. Even if he is a secret saint, and whether Buddhism has many positive traits (which it does), the fact is those statues are used by Buddhists for sinful purposes.

If I had the "icon" by Robert Lentz which depicts David and Jonathan in a homosexual embrace I wouldn't hesitate to the throw the thing out just because it happens to depict two Saints of God. Doesn't the purpose for which it is made count? If Siddhartha Gautama is in Heaven right now, he is surely begging God to have mercy on the millions mislead by the movement he spawned. I'm sure he deeply dislikes being depicted as the quintessential Enlightened One in a cosmology in which Christ and His Church are, at the least, nonessential.
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« Reply #91 on: August 09, 2011, 09:31:50 PM »

I understand that it revolves around whether one should keep these idols or destroy them.

Then maybe I am the one who missed the suggestion to keep them. I beleive what we have been discussing is how to best dispose of them.

Oh and you may want to read some things by very well respected Orthodox who are  former Buddhists. Fr. Seraphim Rose and Fr. Abbot Damincene of Platina Monastery for example. They say not to worry too much about people going through a Buddhist phase. They say Buddhism while certainly incomplete, is a SOBER religion to quote Fr. Seraphim and that it can serve to preserve people's soul's until they are ready to receive Christ.

 

Seriously?  What about those who are Buddhist and happy to remain so....and never "receive" Christ?



 The topic here is a bit different. Go back and read from the beginning.
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« Reply #92 on: August 09, 2011, 09:41:27 PM »

When the Buddha was asked "Is there a God" he remained silent.

He was then asked "Is there not a God" he remained Silent.

That's so deep.  He's definitely a secret saint then.

I find it amusing that some on here seem to be attacking our knowledge of Buddhism.  That would be understandable if we were on buddhismnotchristianity.net, but we're not.  I have a decent, if relatively superficial and academic understanding of Buddhism, have friends that are Buddhists and such, I appreciate Buddhist art, architecture, history, temple construction, etc.  Apart from this though, I've had little other reason to delve further.

In other words, please explain, from an Orthodox perspective, why the OP needs to whisper sweet nothings into the Buddha statues' ears before placing them on silk pillows and burying them in platinum vaults.

Yes, Fr. Seraphim Rose was a Buddhist. St. Augustine was a Manichaean.  And?  Does that somehow mean that these images are, by association, Orthodox now?

A couple things, from my infintesimally small understanding of Buddhism... so far as I understand, saying that "we get reincarnated" isn't exactly right, if by "we" you mean a specific soul or whatever continuing into another life;
Right, but my point is that he wasn't teaching Christianity or anything within that framework.

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... and many "buddhist" beliefs also weren't given directly from St. Buddha...
Cheesy I love it!
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« Reply #93 on: August 09, 2011, 09:43:42 PM »

I found a web page called "From Buddhism to Orthodox Christianity" which made several good points;

http://www.angelfire.com/pa3/OldWorldBasic/Buddhism_to_Orthodoxy.htm

I am one of at least 8 people that I know who have become Orthodox Christians after having been Tibetan (usually Nyingmapa) or Zen Buddhists. There is a good possibility that there will soon be a book with the stories of such people, and how their conversion took place. I can offer you a few sample perceptions that I have developed on the way as to why Orthodox Christianity makes sense to Buddhists:
 

• Buddhism has always been primarily monastic and ascetic in nature, with an emphasis on spiritual practice and development more than just mental assent to a list of truths. There is an organic unity between understanding of precepts and the quality of practice in Buddhism that serves well when learning about Orthodoxy.

• Buddhism has always had some form of ‘iconography’.

• Buddhists venerate the lives of ascetics, relics and ‘saints’.

• Buddhists (at least the Tibetans) have highly complex and developed forms of liturgical practice, including chanting, incense, etc. (e.g. they aren't intimidated by the typicon :-))

• Buddhists understand that it is wise not to live for the present life, but to struggle for the future one.

• Buddhists understand the value of dispassion and mental stillness.

• Americans who become Buddhists usually are fervent spiritual seekers, who get used to struggling with foreign languages and cultures, and pushing themselves outside of their ‘comfort zone’ in order to imbibe a deeper spiritual life.

• Buddhists are already used to the idea that fervently seeking spiritual growth will cause pain in the legs :-) :-).

 

Now as to why someone moves from Buddhism to Orthodoxy - everyone's story is different - some are miraculous - some are frightening - some are fairly ordinary. But a common denominator seems to be that; if a person has even the smallest history of knowledge of Christ before becoming a Buddhist, then even the smallest of such impressions, even from early childhood, will cause a Buddhist to reach a point beyond which they cannot grow as a Buddhist. There are Buddhist practices that serve to ‘open the heart’. Such a practice will often not work for one whose heart has been visited even briefly by Christ - their heart will open only for Him. More than one Buddhist has caught himself chanting a mantra that he or she had previously chanted over 100,000 times, that somehow, one day turns into ‘Lord have mercy’. And He does have mercy!

 

Fr Seraphim (Rose), also a convert from Buddhism to Orthodox Christianity, said of Buddhism, ‘It’s fine as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough’.

 
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« Reply #94 on: August 09, 2011, 09:56:13 PM »

Marc,
Thank you for the information, and I apologize if you feel that this has turned into an attack on Buddhism; that really wasn't my intent. 

At the same time, I don't believe that some of the advice given to the OP represents particularly objective Orthodox Christian viewpoints.  As I mentioned, my priest, while he would probably acknowledge many positive aspects of Buddhism, would have no qualms about disposing of Buddhist statues.  He is not a careless man or priest.

Again, if the OP has some sort of Christian connection to these statues, and believes they helped him find Orthodoxy, that's probably a different story.  Either way, I think I've helped to drown him out of his own thread.   Smiley   
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« Reply #95 on: August 09, 2011, 10:04:12 PM »

Assuming that Buddha did teach the existence of a God who isn't the Creator, as opposed to simply refuse to speak about God, I fail to see how that is a good thing.  Clearly, he didn't believe this God was essential to enlightenment, he didn't believe that this God was someone we need to think about very much, or someone we need to worship and honor.  I fail to see how a "God" who isn't the Creator and Sustainer, really counts as believing in GOD as opposed to god (such as the pagans believed in).
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« Reply #96 on: August 09, 2011, 10:49:25 PM »

I remember once being at a funeral banquet which had to take place in Holy Week.  The Serbs, with customary hospitality had prepared for the mourners plates of food which were both fasting and non-fasting.   One old priest happened to be sitting at the point where the fasting and non-fasting dishes met.   He asked the bishop:  What should I eat?  And the bishop replied:  It's your choice.

I think that this applies to the OP of this thread.  It is his choice -to destroy the Buddha statues or to keep them.  He is able to judge if he can treat them dispassionately as works of art and part of his former religious philosophy or whether they constitute a present danger to his faith in Christ.



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« Reply #97 on: August 09, 2011, 10:54:52 PM »

Marc,
Thank you for the information, and I apologize if you feel that this has turned into an attack on Buddhism; that really wasn't my intent. 

At the same time, I don't believe that some of the advice given to the OP represents particularly objective Orthodox Christian viewpoints.  As I mentioned, my priest, while he would probably acknowledge many positive aspects of Buddhism, would have no qualms about disposing of Buddhist statues.  He is not a careless man or priest.

Again, if the OP has some sort of Christian connection to these statues, and believes they helped him find Orthodoxy, that's probably a different story.  Either way, I think I've helped to drown him out of his own thread.   Smiley   

As I recall he asked how to dispose of them.. I suggested that he return them to a Buddhist Temple (by mail is fine) so they can properly dispose of them.... That's about it.
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« Reply #98 on: August 09, 2011, 11:04:39 PM »

Assuming that Buddha did teach the existence of a God who isn't the Creator, as opposed to simply refuse to speak about God, I fail to see how that is a good thing.  Clearly, he didn't believe this God was essential to enlightenment, he didn't believe that this God was someone we need to think about very much, or someone we need to worship and honor.  I fail to see how a "God" who isn't the Creator and Sustainer, really counts as believing in GOD as opposed to god (such as the pagans believed in).

Buddhism tends to teach in an apophatic manner, much like the Orthodox. His silence was not a "refusal".

I agree with you. A sense of God who didnt Create and sustain all there is not the full Truth IMHO. But the Buddhist concept of the Eternal Buddha is that he is Eternally Living and the basis of all illumination. So he is The Supreme Being. Buddhists just have a very partial glimpse. But it is at least a glimpse which is far more than I can say about many many other philosophies and religions,
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« Reply #99 on: August 09, 2011, 11:16:28 PM »

Buddhism tends to teach in an apophatic manner, much like the Orthodox. His silence was not a "refusal".

No but it wasn't an affirmation either. Christianity is about a relationship with God, and thus a necessary component of Christianity. By not acknowledging God, it is also not placing much importance on God.
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« Reply #100 on: August 09, 2011, 11:21:31 PM »

If Siddhartha Gautama is in Heaven right now, he is surely begging God to have mercy on the millions mislead by the movement he spawned. I'm sure he deeply dislikes being depicted as the quintessential Enlightened One in a cosmology in which Christ and His Church are, at the least, nonessential.

Well, that's a bit on the speculative side, I'd say. If I were to speculate, too, I would think that the Buddha would be in good favor with God for at least giving countless people around the world - people who pre-dated Jesus by up to 600 odd years, people who have little to no access to Christianity, or people who are for some reason indisposed towards Christianity - a systematic and peaceful path for developing mental well-being and compassion for all living things.
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« Reply #101 on: August 09, 2011, 11:30:34 PM »

I think that the Buddha discussion is for another thread.

I think this all comes down to our personal ties and feelings about certain other faiths. I am sure that there are people on this site who would have absolutely no problem flushing a Qur'an down the toilet. Based on my studies and work with Muslims, I have feelings about them and I like certain aspects of the faith, although I don't believe in it as a religion. I have Qur'anic verses in Arabic calligraphy and a copy of the book itself.

I have no ties to Buddhism whatsoever, so like Liza, I wouldn't have a problem disposing a Buddha statue by simply putting it out with the trash. Same with any other far-Eastern faith. I don't mean any disrespect, because God is the ultimate judge, but I see no reason to keep the items around. While I don't disrespect the people of those faiths to the point where I will burn the item and put it on YouTube, I see no reason to return an item to a temple either.
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« Reply #102 on: August 09, 2011, 11:39:41 PM »

If Siddhartha Gautama is in Heaven right now, he is surely begging God to have mercy on the millions mislead by the movement he spawned. I'm sure he deeply dislikes being depicted as the quintessential Enlightened One in a cosmology in which Christ and His Church are, at the least, nonessential.

Well, that's a bit on the speculative side, I'd say. If I were to speculate, too, I would think that the Buddha would be in good favor with God for at least giving countless people around the world - people who pre-dated Jesus by up to 600 odd years, people who have little to no access to Christianity, or people who are for some reason indisposed towards Christianity - a systematic and peaceful path for developing mental well-being and compassion for all living things.
I don't believe in being 90% acceptable to God. Buddhism is better than cow worship, yes. But it's devotees still fall short of the fullness of God. If a Buddhist never comes to believe in Christ, he is still as sinful and wretched as anyone else without Christ no matter how mentally healthy he might be in natural terms.
I think that the Buddha discussion is for another thread.
I'll defer to the mods.
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« Reply #103 on: August 10, 2011, 12:12:55 AM »

Buddhism tends to teach in an apophatic manner, much like the Orthodox. His silence was not a "refusal".

No but it wasn't an affirmation either. Christianity is about a relationship with God, and thus a necessary component of Christianity. By not acknowledging God, it is also not placing much importance on God.

Maybe  Smiley
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« Reply #104 on: August 10, 2011, 09:57:35 AM »

I think that the Buddha discussion is for another thread.

I think this all comes down to our personal ties and feelings about certain other faiths. I am sure that there are people on this site who would have absolutely no problem flushing a Qur'an down the toilet. Based on my studies and work with Muslims, I have feelings about them and I like certain aspects of the faith, although I don't believe in it as a religion. I have Qur'anic verses in Arabic calligraphy and a copy of the book itself.

I have no ties to Buddhism whatsoever, so like Liza, I wouldn't have a problem disposing a Buddha statue by simply putting it out with the trash. Same with any other far-Eastern faith. I don't mean any disrespect, because God is the ultimate judge, but I see no reason to keep the items around. While I don't disrespect the people of those faiths to the point where I will burn the item and put it on YouTube, I see no reason to return an item to a temple either.

How you personally feel may not be the most important thing.

Statues certainly are easy for us to dismiss as our culture has so much aversion for them. But how about Mandalas which are icons very similar to what we use? They often depict "Heavenly Realms" and such the like and are "Blessed" by Buddhist Priests. Most mandala's and even statues undergo what is called in Japanese a "Kaigenkuyo" ritual, the "Opening of the (spiritual) Eyes" of an object of veneration.

So even though this discussion is now just an academic exercise, I would still advise caution and not monkey around with objects that shouldn't be messed around with. I would handle them with care, no matter if they are for the good or demonic and send them back to a Buddhist who knows how to handle them..

On a personal "Feeling" level, how would you like it if a person of a different religion trashed your icons? I say, stay humble and respectful because the law of karma can be understood as "What goes around, comes around"

img/ http://i3.ytimg.com/vi/-Z35B9qz3sU/0.jpg \img
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« Reply #105 on: August 10, 2011, 10:09:41 AM »

Look, I've got a lot of sins to worry about, and putting a Buddha statue in a trash can, if it is a sin, is honestly the least of them.

I'm not trying to discount your personal feelings or those of anyone in this thread, but I do think that they are playing a big part in our decisions on this matter. I don't care about Buddhism, so I would see no problem with throwing out a statue if I did have one. But I would also never destroy the erected statues that are out there. If people want to keep them up, fine with me.

And the blessed, sacred items that I would even hesitate on are icons or items blessed by the Church. I don't have any compulsions to prevent me from throwing away my prophecy tapes and Benny Hinn books (but I couldn't throw away a rosary, a scapular, or a crucifix).

Now, since I have a personal connection to Islam and Muslims, I would have a harder time destroying those items. Not because I necessarily consider their items blessed, but because I have respect for certain aspects of the culture and faith.

Am I wrong -- that your personal experience with Buddhism is weighing heavily on your opinion here, Marc?
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« Reply #106 on: August 10, 2011, 10:32:21 AM »

On a personal "Feeling" level, how would you like it if a person of a different religion trashed your icons? I say, stay humble and respectful because the law of karma can be understood as "What goes around, comes around"

img/ http://i3.ytimg.com/vi/-Z35B9qz3sU/0.jpg \img
I would expect someone of a different faith to not do it in front of me, and that's about it.

If a Buddhist friend stopped by after my conversion and said, "Hey, can I have that?" I'd probably give it to them out for friendship's sake. But I'm not obligated to return it or send it to a temple.

And even if it's blessed by someone, it doesn't have any spiritual power or effect on me, so in my eyes, I don't care about the blessing. Maybe I'm wrong on that, but that's how I see it. Most Orthodox can barely swallow Protestant baptism being valid -- and now we have to consider other religions? It's a stretch, at the least.

If I hesitated, it would only be for respect of the people behind the faith, not the item or the supposed sacredness of the item itself.
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« Reply #107 on: August 10, 2011, 10:54:05 PM »

Look, I've got a lot of sins to worry about, and putting a Buddha statue in a trash can, if it is a sin, is honestly the least of them.

I'm not trying to discount your personal feelings or those of anyone in this thread, but I do think that they are playing a big part in our decisions on this matter. I don't care about Buddhism, so I would see no problem with throwing out a statue if I did have one. But I would also never destroy the erected statues that are out there. If people want to keep them up, fine with me.

And the blessed, sacred items that I would even hesitate on are icons or items blessed by the Church. I don't have any compulsions to prevent me from throwing away my prophecy tapes and Benny Hinn books (but I couldn't throw away a rosary, a scapular, or a crucifix).

Now, since I have a personal connection to Islam and Muslims, I would have a harder time destroying those items. Not because I necessarily consider their items blessed, but because I have respect for certain aspects of the culture and faith.

Am I wrong -- that your personal experience with Buddhism is weighing heavily on your opinion here, Marc?

Maybe the second time will be the charm  Smiley

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« Reply #108 on: August 11, 2011, 01:07:06 AM »

I say, stay humble and respectful because the law of karma can be understood as "What goes around, comes around"

The Orthodox karma card?
If a joke:  Cheesy
If not:  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #109 on: August 14, 2011, 02:13:30 PM »

I think that this applies to the OP of this thread.  It is his choice -to destroy the Buddha statues or to keep them.  He is able to judge if he can treat them dispassionately as works of art and part of his former religious philosophy or whether they constitute a present danger to his faith in Christ.

This approach strikes me as most sensible. Based on many of the posts in this thread, it seems that Greece  should waste no time in tearing down the Parthenon and destroying every vestige of its pre-Christian art, down to the smallest trinket statute of Artemis.
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« Reply #110 on: August 14, 2011, 02:14:39 PM »

I say, stay humble and respectful because the law of karma can be understood as "What goes around, comes around"

The Orthodox karma card?
If a joke:  Cheesy
If not:  Roll Eyes

I wouldn't be so quick to roll my eyes. Will we not be forgiven but only to the extent we forgive others?
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« Reply #111 on: August 14, 2011, 02:19:21 PM »

I say, stay humble and respectful because the law of karma can be understood as "What goes around, comes around"

The Orthodox karma card?
If a joke:  Cheesy
If not:  Roll Eyes

I wouldn't be so quick to roll my eyes. Will we not be forgiven but only to the extent we forgive others?



....karma?
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« Reply #112 on: August 14, 2011, 02:47:39 PM »

I say, stay humble and respectful because the law of karma can be understood as "What goes around, comes around"
The Orthodox karma card?
If a joke:  Cheesy
If not:  Roll Eyes
I wouldn't be so quick to roll my eyes. Will we not be forgiven but only to the extent we forgive others?

Are you serious?  Never disagreed with anyone? 

Jog on, oh perfect one.
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« Reply #113 on: August 14, 2011, 03:40:09 PM »

I say, stay humble and respectful because the law of karma can be understood as "What goes around, comes around"

The Orthodox karma card?
If a joke:  Cheesy
If not:  Roll Eyes

I wouldn't be so quick to roll my eyes. Will we not be forgiven but only to the extent we forgive others?



....karma?
...which is defined simply as "intention", in Buddhism. Each "karma" has a subsequent "vipaka", or "result".
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« Reply #114 on: August 14, 2011, 04:52:15 PM »

I say, stay humble and respectful because the law of karma can be understood as "What goes around, comes around"
The Orthodox karma card?
If a joke:  Cheesy
If not:  Roll Eyes
I wouldn't be so quick to roll my eyes. Will we not be forgiven but only to the extent we forgive others?

Are you serious?  Never disagreed with anyone? 

Jog on, oh perfect one.

I don't understand your point. I never said that I have never disagreed with anyone.
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« Reply #115 on: August 14, 2011, 07:11:32 PM »

^My point: Lay off the lecturing.

If I'm going to be judged/damned because I used an eye-rolling emoticon to express the silliness of a forum comment, then I'll make sure to pack for the warm weather in eternal heckfire.   
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« Reply #116 on: August 14, 2011, 07:57:14 PM »

I say, stay humble and respectful because the law of karma can be understood as "What goes around, comes around"

The Orthodox karma card?
If a joke:  Cheesy
If not:  Roll Eyes

I wouldn't be so quick to roll my eyes. Will we not be forgiven but only to the extent we forgive others?


What does "forgiveness" have to do with pitching a statue of Buddha in the trash?  Karma?  Seriously?

Someone seems to be confusing Buddhism with Orthodoxy.

I think that this applies to the OP of this thread.  It is his choice -to destroy the Buddha statues or to keep them.  He is able to judge if he can treat them dispassionately as works of art and part of his former religious philosophy or whether they constitute a present danger to his faith in Christ.

This approach strikes me as most sensible.


The OP was asking other's opinions.  Therefore, we feel free to reply with our opinions. 

It seems to me the heart of the matter is NOT how Ansgar perceives these statues, but, what effect will these statues have on others, depending on his mode of disposal of them.

Should he pitch them in the trash, thereby, ensuring nobody bows down and prays before them?  Or should he donate them to a Buddhist temple, where misguided Buddhists (and yes, that's what they are...no matter how peaceful and loving they are) will strengthen their faith when looking upon said idols.  Or does he simply donate them to the thrift shop, where someone happens upon the "pretty" statue, takes it home, and then decided to read up on Buddha and join said misguided Faith.

The decision is completely his, but, my vote is to PITCH the piece of porcelain, jade, ceramic, plastic, whatever-it-is, in the trash, for it is NOTHING MORE than a piece of porcelain, jade, ceramic, plastic or whatever-it-is.


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« Reply #117 on: August 14, 2011, 08:01:44 PM »

Doesn't karma, on some level, equal the Christian idea that you reap what you sow?
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« Reply #118 on: August 14, 2011, 08:16:06 PM »

^My point: Lay off the lecturing.

If I'm going to be judged/damned because I used an eye-rolling emoticon to express the silliness of a forum comment, then I'll make sure to pack for the warm weather in eternal heckfire.   

I wasn't lecturing anyone, and I do not understand why you are so quick to take offense where none was intended.

Since it seems I must spell it out, I was simply drawing a parallel between the Buddhist concept of karma and the Christian concept that we reap what we sow e.g. we will be forgiven only as we forgive others. (I prayed this at Divine Liturgy today)
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« Reply #119 on: August 14, 2011, 08:22:42 PM »

I say, stay humble and respectful because the law of karma can be understood as "What goes around, comes around"

The Orthodox karma card?
If a joke:  Cheesy
If not:  Roll Eyes

I wouldn't be so quick to roll my eyes. Will we not be forgiven but only to the extent we forgive others?


What does "forgiveness" have to do with pitching a statue of Buddha in the trash?  Karma?  Seriously?

Someone seems to be confusing Buddhism with Orthodoxy.

Apparently I need to spell this out for another person. I was simply drawing a parallel between the concept of karma and the teaching that we reap what we sow e.g. we are taught that how we treat others will bear greatly on how God will treat us.

I think that this applies to the OP of this thread.  It is his choice -to destroy the Buddha statues or to keep them.  He is able to judge if he can treat them dispassionately as works of art and part of his former religious philosophy or whether they constitute a present danger to his faith in Christ.

This approach strikes me as most sensible.


The OP was asking other's opinions.  Therefore, we feel free to reply with our opinions. 

It seems to me the heart of the matter is NOT how Ansgar perceives these statues, but, what effect will these statues have on others, depending on his mode of disposal of them.

Should he pitch them in the trash, thereby, ensuring nobody bows down and prays before them?  Or should he donate them to a Buddhist temple, where misguided Buddhists (and yes, that's what they are...no matter how peaceful and loving they are) will strengthen their faith when looking upon said idols.  Or does he simply donate them to the thrift shop, where someone happens upon the "pretty" statue, takes it home, and then decided to read up on Buddha and join said misguided Faith.

The decision is completely his, but, my vote is to PITCH the piece of porcelain, jade, ceramic, plastic, whatever-it-is, in the trash, for it is NOTHING MORE than a piece of porcelain, jade, ceramic, plastic or whatever-it-is.

[/quote]

I never said that you should not voice your opinion. I was merely stating my agreement with Irish Hermit's.

And, you present a false dichotomy. There is a third choice: the OP can elect to keep the statutes. So long as he does not worship it, I do not see the issue with a statue of Ganesha as an objet d'art.

I guess a lot of people here were scandalized by My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Here we had an Orthodox family, but they had statues of pagan Greek gods in their front yard. Even worse, they held the wedding reception at "Aphrodite's Palace". Heaven forfend!
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« Reply #120 on: August 14, 2011, 08:37:44 PM »

objet d'art.

hogh hogh
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« Reply #121 on: August 14, 2011, 09:32:36 PM »

From my experience in Tibetan Buddhism, a statue of the Buddha which is used in worship is typically "consecrated" in such a way that the Buddha or other deity depicted is supposed to actually inhabit the statue. The texts on taking refuge will often say something to the effect that images of the Buddha are to be worshiped as the Buddha himself, as expressions of his 'nirmanakaya'. In this sense I think it could be argued that some Buddhist images really are idols.
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« Reply #122 on: August 14, 2011, 09:45:00 PM »

From my experience in Tibetan Buddhism, a statue of the Buddha which is used in worship is typically "consecrated" in such a way that the Buddha or other deity depicted is supposed to actually inhabit the statue. The texts on taking refuge will often say something to the effect that images of the Buddha are to be worshiped as the Buddha himself, as expressions of his 'nirmanakaya'. In this sense I think it could be argued that some Buddhist images really are idols.

This is not my experience from my undergraduate and graduate studies, or years in Asia. Buddha is not worshipped.
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« Reply #123 on: August 14, 2011, 09:51:52 PM »

From my experience in Tibetan Buddhism, a statue of the Buddha which is used in worship is typically "consecrated" in such a way that the Buddha or other deity depicted is supposed to actually inhabit the statue. The texts on taking refuge will often say something to the effect that images of the Buddha are to be worshiped as the Buddha himself, as expressions of his 'nirmanakaya'. In this sense I think it could be argued that some Buddhist images really are idols.

This is not my experience from my undergraduate and graduate studies, or years in Asia. Buddha is not worshipped.


You majored in Buddhism?
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« Reply #124 on: August 14, 2011, 09:55:00 PM »

From my experience in Tibetan Buddhism, a statue of the Buddha which is used in worship is typically "consecrated" in such a way that the Buddha or other deity depicted is supposed to actually inhabit the statue. The texts on taking refuge will often say something to the effect that images of the Buddha are to be worshiped as the Buddha himself, as expressions of his 'nirmanakaya'. In this sense I think it could be argued that some Buddhist images really are idols.

This is not my experience from my undergraduate and graduate studies, or years in Asia. Buddha is not worshipped.


You majored in Buddhism?

Japanese history. Was teaching it at a top 20 university by 21.

One sect of Buddism, Pure Land (aka Amida) Buddhism has some striking similarities to Christianity and was cracked down upon quite hard by the Tokugawa.
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« Reply #125 on: August 14, 2011, 09:55:29 PM »

From my experience in Tibetan Buddhism, a statue of the Buddha which is used in worship is typically "consecrated" in such a way that the Buddha or other deity depicted is supposed to actually inhabit the statue. The texts on taking refuge will often say something to the effect that images of the Buddha are to be worshiped as the Buddha himself, as expressions of his 'nirmanakaya'. In this sense I think it could be argued that some Buddhist images really are idols.

This is not my experience from my undergraduate and graduate studies, or years in Asia. Buddha is not worshipped.


Yes he is. My studies and time in Asia are better than yours.
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« Reply #126 on: August 14, 2011, 09:57:24 PM »



I guess a lot of people here were scandalized by My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Here we had an Orthodox family, but they had statues of pagan Greek gods in their front yard. Even worse, they held the wedding reception at "Aphrodite's Palace". Heaven forfend!

I guess that is why Greek Orthodox Priests are sometimes asked if they still worship Zeus?

Greek gods and pillars are often displayed on the Greek Orthodox AHEPA floats at the Rose Bowl parade.
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« Reply #127 on: August 14, 2011, 10:04:06 PM »

From my experience in Tibetan Buddhism, a statue of the Buddha which is used in worship is typically "consecrated" in such a way that the Buddha or other deity depicted is supposed to actually inhabit the statue. The texts on taking refuge will often say something to the effect that images of the Buddha are to be worshiped as the Buddha himself, as expressions of his 'nirmanakaya'. In this sense I think it could be argued that some Buddhist images really are idols.

This is not my experience from my undergraduate and graduate studies, or years in Asia. Buddha is not worshipped.


Yes he is. My studies and time in Asia are better than yours.

This is not the case. However, you may make your argument. First, you may begin by describing which sect(s) of Buddhism worship the Buddha. Being a fellow Asia hand, you know that "Buddhism" is as broad a term as "Christianity".
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« Reply #128 on: August 14, 2011, 10:40:23 PM »

Doesn't karma, on some level, equal the Christian idea that you reap what you sow?

Yes, but on steroids. This is because Buddhists beleive in reincarnation. You make some sort of cause that may or may not have a result in this lifetime. However, it will eventually have a result even if it manifests in some future life.

So this can make for some level of indifference.  If you are suffering with something in this life, it may be a result of a cause you made in an earlier lifetime that in just now manifesting. Or some suffering could be a path you chose between lives to expiate some sort of long standing karma. So if you are poor or challenged in some way it's a result of a karmic seed you yourself had planted in the past. No sympathy is warranted... Kinda harsh IMHO
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« Reply #129 on: August 14, 2011, 11:48:17 PM »

So if you are poor or challenged in some way it's a result of a karmic seed you yourself had planted in the past. No sympathy is warranted... Kinda harsh IMHO
Uh, you are aware of mudita (sympathetic joy in the happiness of others) and bodhicitta, right?
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« Reply #130 on: August 14, 2011, 11:54:19 PM »

So many things to correct, so little time.

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« Reply #131 on: August 15, 2011, 05:42:57 AM »


And, you present a false dichotomy. There is a third choice: the OP can elect to keep the statutes. So long as he does not worship it, I do not see the issue with a statue of Ganesha as an objet d'art.


It is not surprising that after so many posts, the subject of the OP gets lost amid a more abstract debate (c.a. the reference to "the OP", rather than using his username, Ansgar - I have been guilty of this myself, in an earlier post having to check who actually started this thread  Embarrassed).

But since you have invoked Ansgar's opening post, it's worth mentioning that he said quite clearly:

Quote
I mostly bought them because they were pretty but now when I have found Orthodoxy I have come to realize that I cannot have in my room anymore, but I am not sure what to do with them.

So your "third option" is not an option at all. You might be able to make that argument about using objects from other religions as ornaments in a general sense, but seeing as you yourself mentioned "the OP" then I think its right to pull you up on this point: Ansgar doesn't want to display these objects as "objet d'art".

Therefore Liza's options are really the only credible options that have been presented so far: dispose of the statues, donate them to a temple, or sell them. There may be other ideas, but using them as ornaments isn't one of them - that is Ansgar's current situation and he doesn't feel comfortable about it.
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« Reply #132 on: August 15, 2011, 06:39:00 AM »


Therefore Liza's options are really the only credible options that have been presented so far: dispose of the statues, donate them to a temple, or sell them. There may be other ideas, but using them as ornaments isn't one of them - that is Ansgar's current situation and he doesn't feel comfortable about it.

Ansgar can post them to me and they can join my grandparents' Buddha statue at the back of the cupboard.
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« Reply #133 on: August 15, 2011, 10:04:21 AM »

+
So if you are poor or challenged in some way it's a result of a karmic seed you yourself had planted in the past. No sympathy is warranted... Kinda harsh IMHO
Uh, you are aware of mudita (sympathetic joy in the happiness of others) and bodhicitta, right?

What I have in mind is an experience I had after the big Earth Quake in Kobe Japan where one of the Priests I was close with and his congregation lived.

Their attitude was very stoic concerning the loss of life and injuries to people. While in the West we would be crying up a storm for those we had lost, they were a bit mechanical. The attitude towards death and suffering and events like Earth Quakes and such the like is simple cause and effect. Either these people had chosen ( between lives) to be there or they were reaping what they had sown previously.

bodhicitta: How Buddhists proceed to "Save" others is quite a bit different than in Christianity. They endeavor to spread the Dharma by planting the seed of enlightenment in others. This is done by getting other people to have some sort of contact with Buddhism. This initial cause is the karmic seed that can now grow to full illumination. While that is considered the ultimate kindness towards others, the aspect of Christian-like Mercy is very underdeveloped.

I once asked a venerable old Buddhist Priest about Christian Compassion. He said something to the effect that "We have that too" but it was pretty clear it was an afterthought.   

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« Reply #134 on: August 15, 2011, 11:44:42 AM »

But since you have invoked Ansgar's opening post, it's worth mentioning that he said quite clearly:

Quote
I mostly bought them because they were pretty but now when I have found Orthodoxy I have come to realize that I cannot have in my room anymore, but I am not sure what to do with them.

So your "third option" is not an option at all. You might be able to make that argument about using objects from other religions as ornaments in a general sense, but seeing as you yourself mentioned "the OP" then I think its right to pull you up on this point: Ansgar doesn't want to display these objects as "objet d'art".

Therefore Liza's options are really the only credible options that have been presented so far: dispose of the statues, donate them to a temple, or sell them. There may be other ideas, but using them as ornaments isn't one of them - that is Ansgar's current situation and he doesn't feel comfortable about it.

Does he only have one room?
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