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Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2012, 05:46:30 PM »
The St. Nikolai quote is from Prayers By the Lake. The entire poem is a praise of various pre-Christian prophets who reinforce aspects of the Christian worldview. There is nothing syncretistic about this poem, IMO, and what he does for Buddha is no different than what the Fathers did for Plato.

I really think it needs context, though. If St Nikolai is not intending anything by "nirvana" other than something like "virtue", your point would be valid. When it comes to Plato, for instance, the Fathers accept what's true and reject what isn't. With Buddhism, the same should apply. Maybe someone of St Nikolai's stature can say these things about nirvana without falling into error, but I think ordinary people are likely to be misled. As far as I know, the Buddhist conception of nirvana, understood in its entirety, is not compatible with Orthodox teaching about purification, illumination and theosis. So endorsement of nirvana in the way St Nikolai put it needs some qualification.

The fathers didn't reject everything that isn't true, they rejected everything that contradicts the Scriptures. In many cases, however, they accepted plenty of philosophical conjectures made by certain pagan philosophers which are nowhere mentioned in the Scriptures, and may or may not be true.

I would say that if these philosophical concepts weren't true, the Fathers wouldn't have used them. What are you thinking of when you say this?

Offline Iconodule

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2012, 05:54:33 PM »
Perhaps St. Nikolai is connecting nirvana to apatheia (another pagan concept incorporated in Orthodox spirituality.)

That would certainly make sense. But is that all there is to nirvana? I thought nirvana implied something more, such as a kind of abrogation of the will to exist, which I think is a strange and foreign concept to Orthodoxy.

In all the classic Buddhist presentations of the concept, nirvana is neither existent nor non-existent. Because the Buddha (at least in the Hinayana texts) was unwilling to name any positive features of nirvana, only saying what it wasn't, this has led to many people misinterpreting Buddhist nirvana as a self-annihilation. This misinterpretation is regularly rejected in the classic Buddhist texts as the heresy of "annihilationism."

EDIT: I should clarify that Buddhists believe that nirvana is attainable during life. I am referring above specifically to what happens to someone after death who has attained nirvana.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 06:02:35 PM by Iconodule »

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #47 on: September 25, 2012, 05:55:33 PM »
Make the sign of the cross and eat. The Buddha statue is probably just a decoration anyway without any real meaning.
Fat Buddha would be offensive to actual Buddhists I would think as he is said to have lived a very aesthetic life.
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Online sprtslvr1973

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #48 on: September 25, 2012, 05:58:13 PM »
this touches on something I have always wondered about. Is it a sin to have statues of deities know to be false (Thor, Zeus)? I have always liked classic mythology. On the other hand, since some people actually think that Orthodox Christians maintain a degree of Greek Mythology (seriously) I tend to avoid keeping those things around, lest I give the Enemy fodder to use
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #49 on: September 25, 2012, 06:00:24 PM »
Make the sign of the cross and eat. The Buddha statue is probably just a decoration anyway without any real meaning.
Fat Buddha would be offensive to actual Buddhists I would think as he is said to have lived a very aesthetic life.

Like someone mentioned above, the fat Buddha statues are actually not of Gautama Buddha but of a legendary Chinese monk. He is genuinely revered in East Asian Buddhism but he is not to be confused with the Buddha. He is sometimes identified as an emanation of Maitreya (the future Buddha).

Offline Cavaradossi

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #50 on: September 25, 2012, 06:01:16 PM »
The St. Nikolai quote is from Prayers By the Lake. The entire poem is a praise of various pre-Christian prophets who reinforce aspects of the Christian worldview. There is nothing syncretistic about this poem, IMO, and what he does for Buddha is no different than what the Fathers did for Plato.

I really think it needs context, though. If St Nikolai is not intending anything by "nirvana" other than something like "virtue", your point would be valid. When it comes to Plato, for instance, the Fathers accept what's true and reject what isn't. With Buddhism, the same should apply. Maybe someone of St Nikolai's stature can say these things about nirvana without falling into error, but I think ordinary people are likely to be misled. As far as I know, the Buddhist conception of nirvana, understood in its entirety, is not compatible with Orthodox teaching about purification, illumination and theosis. So endorsement of nirvana in the way St Nikolai put it needs some qualification.

The fathers didn't reject everything that isn't true, they rejected everything that contradicts the Scriptures. In many cases, however, they accepted plenty of philosophical conjectures made by certain pagan philosophers which are nowhere mentioned in the Scriptures, and may or may not be true.

I would say that if these philosophical concepts weren't true, the Fathers wouldn't have used them. What are you thinking of when you say this?

Just look at Basil's understanding of how rational beings encounter things. We encounter something's energies and form a mental understanding of the thing. Then we mentally interact with our understanding of the thing, forming what he calls epinoiai (meaning that they are processes above the primary noetic process of experiencing something), which are best translated as conceptualizations. Now surely he did not learn this sophisticated understanding of the mind from the Scriptures. He surely would have picked up on it from his education in Athens. However, despite the fact that it is not demonstrable purely through the scriptures nor was it universally accepted as a theory of mind at the time, Basil's concept of epinoiai forms a bulk of his argument against Eunomius. Even to this day, however, I don't think there is any way to show that this model of how we encounter things can be demonstrated to be true.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 06:03:22 PM by Cavaradossi »
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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #51 on: September 25, 2012, 06:34:25 PM »
this touches on something I have always wondered about. Is it a sin to have statues of deities know to be false (Thor, Zeus)? I have always liked classic mythology. On the other hand, since some people actually think that Orthodox Christians maintain a degree of Greek Mythology (seriously) I tend to avoid keeping those things around, lest I give the Enemy fodder to use
I would tend to think that if you just believe that these are just images of your ethnic and cultural past and not actually revere them as actual deities, it's not a sin, as a matter of fact, they could be shown for just what they were, myths.

I actually love a good statue of the Roman gods as a show of the talent from my ancestral talents.

I also think the Norse and Greeks produced many notable images from their mythology.
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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #52 on: September 25, 2012, 06:59:38 PM »
Perhaps St. Nikolai is connecting nirvana to apatheia (another pagan concept incorporated in Orthodox spirituality.)

That would certainly make sense. But is that all there is to nirvana? I thought nirvana implied something more, such as a kind of abrogation of the will to exist, which I think is a strange and foreign concept to Orthodoxy.
Buddhists distinguish "craving" (tanha) from "desire" (chanda). Craving is what leads to suffering. The craving for existence and the craving for non-existence both lead to suffering.

However, the desire to exist, and to do what needs to be done in order to create the greatest happiness for oneself and others, is necessary in order for nirvana (the end of suffering, and, thus, the "highest happiness") to be realized. Nirvana is impossible without the exercise of the will, the desire, in a positive direction, rather than in a craving direction.

What is remarkable about St. Nikolai is that, unlike many other Europeans at the time, it seems that he realized that nirvana was not a mere extinction, a mere going out of existence, that the Buddha did not often speak about exactly what nirvana was, because the Buddha was taking an apophatic approach, since words could never describe nirvana in any event.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
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Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #53 on: September 25, 2012, 07:24:17 PM »
Perhaps St. Nikolai is connecting nirvana to apatheia (another pagan concept incorporated in Orthodox spirituality.)

That would certainly make sense. But is that all there is to nirvana? I thought nirvana implied something more, such as a kind of abrogation of the will to exist, which I think is a strange and foreign concept to Orthodoxy.
Buddhists distinguish "craving" (tanha) from "desire" (chanda). Craving is what leads to suffering. The craving for existence and the craving for non-existence both lead to suffering.

However, the desire to exist, and to do what needs to be done in order to create the greatest happiness for oneself and others, is necessary in order for nirvana (the end of suffering, and, thus, the "highest happiness") to be realized. Nirvana is impossible without the exercise of the will, the desire, in a positive direction, rather than in a craving direction.

What is remarkable about St. Nikolai is that, unlike many other Europeans at the time, it seems that he realized that nirvana was not a mere extinction, a mere going out of existence, that the Buddha did not often speak about exactly what nirvana was, because the Buddha was taking an apophatic approach, since words could never describe nirvana in any event.

Thanks! I see I had been laboring under the same misunderstandings about Nirvana as many others. Directing of the will in the right direction is certainly something that plays a big role in Orthodox tradition. I suppose one would need to unpack this idea of not "craving" existence. It seems to me that in Orthodoxy, our attitude to existence is not itself something to concern ourselves about, but rather our attachment to our earthly, carnal life is what we try to extricate ourselves from. Our spiritual life, on the other hand, is our primary focus, but it doesn't really address the soul's existence, which is taken for granted, but its orientation towards God. Does Buddhism make this kind of distinction as well?

Offline Jonathan Gress

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #54 on: September 25, 2012, 07:30:33 PM »
The St. Nikolai quote is from Prayers By the Lake. The entire poem is a praise of various pre-Christian prophets who reinforce aspects of the Christian worldview. There is nothing syncretistic about this poem, IMO, and what he does for Buddha is no different than what the Fathers did for Plato.

I really think it needs context, though. If St Nikolai is not intending anything by "nirvana" other than something like "virtue", your point would be valid. When it comes to Plato, for instance, the Fathers accept what's true and reject what isn't. With Buddhism, the same should apply. Maybe someone of St Nikolai's stature can say these things about nirvana without falling into error, but I think ordinary people are likely to be misled. As far as I know, the Buddhist conception of nirvana, understood in its entirety, is not compatible with Orthodox teaching about purification, illumination and theosis. So endorsement of nirvana in the way St Nikolai put it needs some qualification.

The fathers didn't reject everything that isn't true, they rejected everything that contradicts the Scriptures. In many cases, however, they accepted plenty of philosophical conjectures made by certain pagan philosophers which are nowhere mentioned in the Scriptures, and may or may not be true.

I would say that if these philosophical concepts weren't true, the Fathers wouldn't have used them. What are you thinking of when you say this?

Just look at Basil's understanding of how rational beings encounter things. We encounter something's energies and form a mental understanding of the thing. Then we mentally interact with our understanding of the thing, forming what he calls epinoiai (meaning that they are processes above the primary noetic process of experiencing something), which are best translated as conceptualizations. Now surely he did not learn this sophisticated understanding of the mind from the Scriptures. He surely would have picked up on it from his education in Athens. However, despite the fact that it is not demonstrable purely through the scriptures nor was it universally accepted as a theory of mind at the time, Basil's concept of epinoiai forms a bulk of his argument against Eunomius. Even to this day, however, I don't think there is any way to show that this model of how we encounter things can be demonstrated to be true.

That's very interesting. Actually, from what I know about linguistic semantics, this model of conceptualization makes much sense: we have a range of conceptual representations in our mind that is distinct both from the words that refer to or denote these concepts, and the objects in the real world that the concepts represent. But I don't know to what extent these epinoiai correspond to the models of modern cognitive science.

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #55 on: September 25, 2012, 07:55:42 PM »
Perhaps St. Nikolai is connecting nirvana to apatheia (another pagan concept incorporated in Orthodox spirituality.)

That would certainly make sense. But is that all there is to nirvana? I thought nirvana implied something more, such as a kind of abrogation of the will to exist, which I think is a strange and foreign concept to Orthodoxy.
Buddhists distinguish "craving" (tanha) from "desire" (chanda). Craving is what leads to suffering. The craving for existence and the craving for non-existence both lead to suffering.

However, the desire to exist, and to do what needs to be done in order to create the greatest happiness for oneself and others, is necessary in order for nirvana (the end of suffering, and, thus, the "highest happiness") to be realized. Nirvana is impossible without the exercise of the will, the desire, in a positive direction, rather than in a craving direction.

What is remarkable about St. Nikolai is that, unlike many other Europeans at the time, it seems that he realized that nirvana was not a mere extinction, a mere going out of existence, that the Buddha did not often speak about exactly what nirvana was, because the Buddha was taking an apophatic approach, since words could never describe nirvana in any event.

Thanks! I see I had been laboring under the same misunderstandings about Nirvana as many others. Directing of the will in the right direction is certainly something that plays a big role in Orthodox tradition. I suppose one would need to unpack this idea of not "craving" existence. It seems to me that in Orthodoxy, our attitude to existence is not itself something to concern ourselves about, but rather our attachment to our earthly, carnal life is what we try to extricate ourselves from. Our spiritual life, on the other hand, is our primary focus, but it doesn't really address the soul's existence, which is taken for granted, but its orientation towards God. Does Buddhism make this kind of distinction as well?
I think the "craving" for existence might reflect the attempt to stay alive no matter what happens, the attempt to save one's bodily life even at the expense of violating what is right. But that's just my guess.

Buddhists distinguish dhamma-chanda from kama-chanda. Dhamma-chanda is will/desire ("chanda") directed towards what is right ("dhamma"). It is essentially the life of spirituality and non-bondage (or "non-attachment").

Kama-chanda is will/desire that is governed by lust, anger, and delusion. It (ultimately) only leads to more suffering and bondage, though it does often "feel" good at the moment.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
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"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline Cavaradossi

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #56 on: September 25, 2012, 09:11:47 PM »
The St. Nikolai quote is from Prayers By the Lake. The entire poem is a praise of various pre-Christian prophets who reinforce aspects of the Christian worldview. There is nothing syncretistic about this poem, IMO, and what he does for Buddha is no different than what the Fathers did for Plato.

I really think it needs context, though. If St Nikolai is not intending anything by "nirvana" other than something like "virtue", your point would be valid. When it comes to Plato, for instance, the Fathers accept what's true and reject what isn't. With Buddhism, the same should apply. Maybe someone of St Nikolai's stature can say these things about nirvana without falling into error, but I think ordinary people are likely to be misled. As far as I know, the Buddhist conception of nirvana, understood in its entirety, is not compatible with Orthodox teaching about purification, illumination and theosis. So endorsement of nirvana in the way St Nikolai put it needs some qualification.

The fathers didn't reject everything that isn't true, they rejected everything that contradicts the Scriptures. In many cases, however, they accepted plenty of philosophical conjectures made by certain pagan philosophers which are nowhere mentioned in the Scriptures, and may or may not be true.

I would say that if these philosophical concepts weren't true, the Fathers wouldn't have used them. What are you thinking of when you say this?

Just look at Basil's understanding of how rational beings encounter things. We encounter something's energies and form a mental understanding of the thing. Then we mentally interact with our understanding of the thing, forming what he calls epinoiai (meaning that they are processes above the primary noetic process of experiencing something), which are best translated as conceptualizations. Now surely he did not learn this sophisticated understanding of the mind from the Scriptures. He surely would have picked up on it from his education in Athens. However, despite the fact that it is not demonstrable purely through the scriptures nor was it universally accepted as a theory of mind at the time, Basil's concept of epinoiai forms a bulk of his argument against Eunomius. Even to this day, however, I don't think there is any way to show that this model of how we encounter things can be demonstrated to be true.

That's very interesting. Actually, from what I know about linguistic semantics, this model of conceptualization makes much sense: we have a range of conceptual representations in our mind that is distinct both from the words that refer to or denote these concepts, and the objects in the real world that the concepts represent. But I don't know to what extent these epinoiai correspond to the models of modern cognitive science.

The three Cappadocian Fathers in general are just interesting for study, because their philosophical background is hard to put into a neat category. It is hard to say that they were Neoplatonists, Platonists, Aristotelians, Stoics, Epicurians, etc., because it seems that they took ideas from several different schools of philosophy combined with a heavy grounding in the Scriptures and made a genuinely Christian synthesis of them (given the education two of them received at the academy in Athens, they would easily have been in a position to make such a synthesis). I sometimes wonder if they will become a more popular topic of study in the years to come, given some of the contemporary scholarship that has been done on them.
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Offline Shiny

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #57 on: September 25, 2012, 09:24:48 PM »
The St. Nikolai quote is from Prayers By the Lake. The entire poem is a praise of various pre-Christian prophets who reinforce aspects of the Christian worldview. There is nothing syncretistic about this poem, IMO, and what he does for Buddha is no different than what the Fathers did for Plato.

I really think it needs context, though. If St Nikolai is not intending anything by "nirvana" other than something like "virtue", your point would be valid. When it comes to Plato, for instance, the Fathers accept what's true and reject what isn't. With Buddhism, the same should apply. Maybe someone of St Nikolai's stature can say these things about nirvana without falling into error, but I think ordinary people are likely to be misled. As far as I know, the Buddhist conception of nirvana, understood in its entirety, is not compatible with Orthodox teaching about purification, illumination and theosis. So endorsement of nirvana in the way St Nikolai put it needs some qualification.

The fathers didn't reject everything that isn't true, they rejected everything that contradicts the Scriptures. In many cases, however, they accepted plenty of philosophical conjectures made by certain pagan philosophers which are nowhere mentioned in the Scriptures, and may or may not be true.

I would say that if these philosophical concepts weren't true, the Fathers wouldn't have used them. What are you thinking of when you say this?

Just look at Basil's understanding of how rational beings encounter things. We encounter something's energies and form a mental understanding of the thing. Then we mentally interact with our understanding of the thing, forming what he calls epinoiai (meaning that they are processes above the primary noetic process of experiencing something), which are best translated as conceptualizations. Now surely he did not learn this sophisticated understanding of the mind from the Scriptures. He surely would have picked up on it from his education in Athens. However, despite the fact that it is not demonstrable purely through the scriptures nor was it universally accepted as a theory of mind at the time, Basil's concept of epinoiai forms a bulk of his argument against Eunomius. Even to this day, however, I don't think there is any way to show that this model of how we encounter things can be demonstrated to be true.

That's very interesting. Actually, from what I know about linguistic semantics, this model of conceptualization makes much sense: we have a range of conceptual representations in our mind that is distinct both from the words that refer to or denote these concepts, and the objects in the real world that the concepts represent. But I don't know to what extent these epinoiai correspond to the models of modern cognitive science.

The three Cappadocian Fathers in general are just interesting for study, because their philosophical background is hard to put into a neat category. It is hard to say that they were Neoplatonists, Platonists, Aristotelians, Stoics, Epicurians, etc., because it seems that they took ideas from several different schools of philosophy combined with a heavy grounding in the Scriptures and made a genuinely Christian synthesis of them (given the education two of them received at the academy in Athens, they would easily have been in a position to make such a synthesis). I sometimes wonder if they will become a more popular topic of study in the years to come, given some of the contemporary scholarship that has been done on them.
What are some good books to buy of the writings of the Cappdocian Fathers. How are the translations?

I need some new reading material instead of posting on here while I'm at "work".
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 09:25:15 PM by Achronos »
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Offline William

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #58 on: September 25, 2012, 09:27:43 PM »
The St. Nikolai quote is from Prayers By the Lake. The entire poem is a praise of various pre-Christian prophets who reinforce aspects of the Christian worldview. There is nothing syncretistic about this poem, IMO, and what he does for Buddha is no different than what the Fathers did for Plato.

I really think it needs context, though. If St Nikolai is not intending anything by "nirvana" other than something like "virtue", your point would be valid. When it comes to Plato, for instance, the Fathers accept what's true and reject what isn't. With Buddhism, the same should apply. Maybe someone of St Nikolai's stature can say these things about nirvana without falling into error, but I think ordinary people are likely to be misled. As far as I know, the Buddhist conception of nirvana, understood in its entirety, is not compatible with Orthodox teaching about purification, illumination and theosis. So endorsement of nirvana in the way St Nikolai put it needs some qualification.

The fathers didn't reject everything that isn't true, they rejected everything that contradicts the Scriptures. In many cases, however, they accepted plenty of philosophical conjectures made by certain pagan philosophers which are nowhere mentioned in the Scriptures, and may or may not be true.

I would say that if these philosophical concepts weren't true, the Fathers wouldn't have used them. What are you thinking of when you say this?

Just look at Basil's understanding of how rational beings encounter things. We encounter something's energies and form a mental understanding of the thing. Then we mentally interact with our understanding of the thing, forming what he calls epinoiai (meaning that they are processes above the primary noetic process of experiencing something), which are best translated as conceptualizations. Now surely he did not learn this sophisticated understanding of the mind from the Scriptures. He surely would have picked up on it from his education in Athens. However, despite the fact that it is not demonstrable purely through the scriptures nor was it universally accepted as a theory of mind at the time, Basil's concept of epinoiai forms a bulk of his argument against Eunomius. Even to this day, however, I don't think there is any way to show that this model of how we encounter things can be demonstrated to be true.

That's very interesting. Actually, from what I know about linguistic semantics, this model of conceptualization makes much sense: we have a range of conceptual representations in our mind that is distinct both from the words that refer to or denote these concepts, and the objects in the real world that the concepts represent. But I don't know to what extent these epinoiai correspond to the models of modern cognitive science.

The three Cappadocian Fathers in general are just interesting for study, because their philosophical background is hard to put into a neat category. It is hard to say that they were Neoplatonists, Platonists, Aristotelians, Stoics, Epicurians, etc., because it seems that they took ideas from several different schools of philosophy combined with a heavy grounding in the Scriptures and made a genuinely Christian synthesis of them (given the education two of them received at the academy in Athens, they would easily have been in a position to make such a synthesis). I sometimes wonder if they will become a more popular topic of study in the years to come, given some of the contemporary scholarship that has been done on them.
What are some good books to buy of the writings of the Cappdocian Fathers. How are the translations?

I need some new reading material instead of posting on here while I'm at "work".

Christology of the Later Fathers edited by Edward R. Hardy. Recommended to me by Iconodule. It's got stuff by each Cappadocian, On the Incarnation, and every doctrinal declaration from the first six ecumenical councils.
Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant

Offline Shiny

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #59 on: September 25, 2012, 09:58:24 PM »
Oh good, it's 45% off at Amazon.com.

I usually purchase books at my parish's bookstore, regardless of the ridiculous markup just to support them. But they don't have that volume.
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Offline JoeS2

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #60 on: September 26, 2012, 12:02:56 AM »
Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?

Not order from the right side of the menu............

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #61 on: September 26, 2012, 12:06:04 AM »
Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?

Not order from the right side of the menu............

My nephew who is a practicing Buddhist has a Buddhist shrine in his home.  We sometimes have dinner at his house and it simply doesnt bother me at all. 

Offline JamesRottnek

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #62 on: September 26, 2012, 10:28:44 AM »
I have a very devout Catholic friend who has asked me to post here as she does not have Internet service.

To put mods at ease: she has never been a member here.

Anyway, sometimes she asks me to accompany her to visit a fellow Catholic who is in the hospital (more in than out due to ongoing health issues).

We usually stop at a restaurant on the way back home, but the pickings are not that great.

The food at Denny's and Coco's is not even freshly prepared except for the salads and those are GMOs, which she cannot have. So, all we can have there is tea.

However, Chinese food seems to be the only place where one can get freshly prepared veggies that taste good. The only problem she has is that the Thai and Chinese restaurants around here seem to have a Buddha prominently displayed. Some even have food offerings placed in front of it.

She wants to know if there are any Holy Canons in the Church (Catholic and/or Orthodox) which forbid one from entering those restaurants because of the Buddha.

I do what all the great saints would have done: smash the thing to bits while proclaiming the Word of the Lord!  Though, I should say I haven't been in a pagan restaurant or other business in some months; the fines just became way too much.
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #63 on: September 26, 2012, 01:50:40 PM »
The only problem she has is that the Thai and Chinese restaurants around here seem to have a Buddha prominently displayed.
Is the Buddha made out of meteorite? It might be worth something:

Quote
It sounds like an artifact from an Indiana Jones film: a 1,000-year-old ancient Buddhist statue which was first recovered by a Nazi expedition in 1938 has been analyzed by scientists and has been found to be carved from a meteorite. The findings, published in Meteoritics and Planetary Science, reveal the priceless statue to be a rare ataxite class of meteorite.
....
The statue was discovered in 1938 by an expedition of German scientists led by renowned zoologist Ernst Schäfer. It is unknown how the statue was discovered, but it is believed that the large swastika carved into the centre of the figure may have encouraged the team to take it back to Germany. Once it arrived in Munich it became part of a private collection and only became available for study following an auction in 2009.
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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #64 on: September 26, 2012, 01:59:10 PM »
Far more distracting are the huge Chinese families that eat at the big tables.  Although their presence is always a good sign, some families can get quite loud just because there are 15+ people eating and talking at the same time eight feet away from you. :)

 :o racist!  :laugh:
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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #65 on: September 26, 2012, 01:59:52 PM »
Far more distracting are the huge Chinese families that eat at the big tables.  Although their presence is always a good sign, some families can get quite loud just because there are 15+ people eating and talking at the same time eight feet away from you. :)

 :o racist!  :laugh:
Maybe Schultz is Chinese? ::)
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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #66 on: September 26, 2012, 02:33:21 PM »
One of our favorites restaurants has a Buddha in the foyer.  I usually avert my eyes,  cross myself and say softly "Lord, have mercy."  Then I enjoy my meal.

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #67 on: September 26, 2012, 02:55:55 PM »
I wouldn't worry. I mean heck, if Buddha were Orthodox he would probably be a Saint. And I do seldomnly believe that Siddhartha is in Orthodox Heaven right now hearing intercessions.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 02:56:58 PM by JamesR »
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #68 on: September 26, 2012, 03:01:47 PM »
And I do seldomnly believe that Siddhartha is in Orthodox Heaven right now hearing intercessions.
No.
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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #69 on: September 26, 2012, 03:26:51 PM »
I wouldn't worry. I mean heck, if Buddha were Orthodox he would probably be a Saint. And I do seldomnly believe that Siddhartha is in Orthodox Heaven right now hearing intercessions.
Maybe he is. See the story of St. Josaphat.
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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #70 on: September 26, 2012, 04:00:33 PM »
Quote
Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?

Personally, I would order Szechuan chicken and salt and pepper squid.
"This is the cross - to become dead to the whole world, to suffer sorrows, temptations and other passions of Christ; in bearing this cross with complete patience, we imitate Christ's passion and thus glorify our God the Father as His sons in grace and co-heirs of Christ." --St. Symeon the New Theologian

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #71 on: September 26, 2012, 04:27:52 PM »
I have a very devout Catholic friend who has asked me to post here as she does not have Internet service.

To put mods at ease: she has never been a member here.

Anyway, sometimes she asks me to accompany her to visit a fellow Catholic who is in the hospital (more in than out due to ongoing health issues).

We usually stop at a restaurant on the way back home, but the pickings are not that great.

The food at Denny's and Coco's is not even freshly prepared except for the salads and those are GMOs, which she cannot have. So, all we can have there is tea.

However, Chinese food seems to be the only place where one can get freshly prepared veggies that taste good. The only problem she has is that the Thai and Chinese restaurants around here seem to have a Buddha prominently displayed. Some even have food offerings placed in front of it.

She wants to know if there are any Holy Canons in the Church (Catholic and/or Orthodox) which forbid one from entering those restaurants because of the Buddha.

I do what all the great saints would have done: smash the thing to bits while proclaiming the Word of the Lord! 

Exactly.  :D

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #72 on: September 26, 2012, 05:45:52 PM »
I have a very devout Catholic friend who has asked me to post here as she does not have Internet service.

To put mods at ease: she has never been a member here.

Anyway, sometimes she asks me to accompany her to visit a fellow Catholic who is in the hospital (more in than out due to ongoing health issues).

We usually stop at a restaurant on the way back home, but the pickings are not that great.

The food at Denny's and Coco's is not even freshly prepared except for the salads and those are GMOs, which she cannot have. So, all we can have there is tea.

However, Chinese food seems to be the only place where one can get freshly prepared veggies that taste good. The only problem she has is that the Thai and Chinese restaurants around here seem to have a Buddha prominently displayed. Some even have food offerings placed in front of it.

She wants to know if there are any Holy Canons in the Church (Catholic and/or Orthodox) which forbid one from entering those restaurants because of the Buddha.

I do what all the great saints would have done: smash the thing to bits while proclaiming the Word of the Lord!  Though, I should say I haven't been in a pagan restaurant or other business in some months; the fines just became way too much.

This is too funny. I won't add any further comment.

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #73 on: September 26, 2012, 05:48:30 PM »
Quote
Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?

Personally, I would order Szechuan chicken and salt and pepper squid.

I LOVE THE SALT AND PEPPER SQUID!!!

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #74 on: September 26, 2012, 05:49:09 PM »
Christology of the Later Fathers edited by Edward R. Hardy. Recommended to me by Iconodule. It's got stuff by each Cappadocian, On the Incarnation, and every doctrinal declaration from the first six ecumenical councils.

I got this, too, after seeing his recommendation. It's a party--can't wait till I get to read the whole thing.

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #75 on: September 26, 2012, 06:07:25 PM »
Uh, the Buddha is a saint.

Proof? I am sure the statue depicts him as a saint with a halo and all.  ::)

What would Father Vasily of 18th Century Holy Russia say? Is outrage!

"The royal son of India teaches my soul to empty herself completely of every seed and crop of the world, to abandon all the serpentine allurements of frail and shadowy matter, and then in vacuity, tranquillity, purity and bliss to await nirvana. Blessed be the memory of Buddha, the royal son and inexorable teacher of his people!" --St. Nikolai Velimirovic

Wow. Is there some context to this, or was St Nikolai really being a complete syncretist here? I know he had an early liberal ecumenist phase until after WW1, when he turned around and became very conservative and traditional. Is this quote from one of his early writings?
It's not syncretism to note that a non-Christian can inspire you in your Christian walk.

And from the end of St. Nikolai's same prayer:
Quote
Be wise, my virgin, and cordially receive the precious gifts of the wise men from the East, intended for your Son. Do not glance back toward the West, where the sun sets, and do not crave gifts that are figmental and false.
http://www.manastir-lepavina.org/arhiva/novosti/index.php/engtext/detaljnije/prayers_by_the_lake/

Interesting.

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #76 on: September 26, 2012, 06:48:47 PM »
I believe the traditional explanation behind the wise men is that they inherited prophetic traditions from Prophet Daniel when he was in Persia, i.e. no prophetic powers were attributed to the followers of Zoroastrianism per se. In fact, Tradition seems generally silent about the existence of any prophecy or revelation outside of the Old Testament patriarchs and prophets. Non-Israelite religions seem to be treated more as true to the extent that they reflect the kind of truth about God that can be understood simply from observing the world, but it is not the source of any supernatural revelation. So I'm not aware that Plato or Aristotle were ever considered saints. Exactly what happened to them when Christ preached in Hades only He knows. I know there's this one church with "icons" (without halos) of Plato and other philosophers, but that really doesn't seem representative to me.

I still feel the Prayers by the Lake to be kind of dubious. I note that it was endorsed by St Justin Popovic, but again this was in 1922. St Justin's anti-ecumenist polemics seem to date from much later, and this still appears to fall into St Nikolai's early, ecumenist period. I imagine St Justin was always under the influence of St Nikolai, and parroted whatever his master believed. This work seems to be the product of a certain Orientalist "traditionalist" mania that you see in e.g. Frithjof Schuon. They like to reject Western religion as too "rational", while anything Eastern, whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Taoist, is considered to reflect the same "perennial religion", because it's "mystical".

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #77 on: September 26, 2012, 08:23:44 PM »
Quote
Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?

Personally, I would order Szechuan chicken and salt and pepper squid.

I LOVE THE SALT AND PEPPER SQUID!!!

I would just get their tofu. General tsos tofu is good :) (Even though general tsos anything is not traditional Chinese cuisine, and was created in Manhattan  :laugh: ).
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 08:24:25 PM by Eastern Mind »

Offline Ergib

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #78 on: September 27, 2012, 02:35:24 PM »
If it is blessed/offered to any gods (including halal meat), we’re not supposed to eat it *at lease in Tewahedo Orthodoxy*. If you do, you need to confess.

If you don’t know how the animals are slaughtered/prepared, then just cross the food and enjoy.

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #79 on: September 27, 2012, 02:43:04 PM »
Another potentially inane thread made quite interesting by more than a few posters.

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #80 on: September 28, 2012, 12:15:47 AM »
I didn't know Buddhists worshipped Buddha as a god. He certainly claimed he was no deity at all.

The earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the Scripture says. People can offer whatever they want to whomever they want, but they are the ones who err, not that which is offered. No one but God can, ultimately, receive offerings because it is the nature of the Giver of Life to receive back from his creatures.
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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #81 on: September 28, 2012, 01:38:11 AM »
Uh, the Buddha is a saint.

Proof? I am sure the statue depicts him as a saint with a halo and all.  ::)

What would Father Vasily of 18th Century Holy Russia say? Is outrage!

"The royal son of India teaches my soul to empty herself completely of every seed and crop of the world, to abandon all the serpentine allurements of frail and shadowy matter, and then in vacuity, tranquillity, purity and bliss to await nirvana. Blessed be the memory of Buddha, the royal son and inexorable teacher of his people!" --St. Nikolai Velimirovic
Would you please post a link to the source for this material some time within the next 72 hours? Send it to me in a private message, and I'll even append it to your post.  Thank you.

-PtA
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 01:39:01 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline Eastern Mind

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #82 on: September 28, 2012, 09:38:39 AM »
I didn't know Buddhists worshipped Buddha as a god. He certainly claimed he was no deity at all.

The earth is the Lord's and everything in it, the Scripture says. People can offer whatever they want to whomever they want, but they are the ones who err, not that which is offered. No one but God can, ultimately, receive offerings because it is the nature of the Giver of Life to receive back from his creatures.

Buddhists do not worship Buddha as a god. However, some Vaishnava Hindus worship Buddha as one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu.

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #83 on: September 28, 2012, 09:51:24 AM »
The Buddha definitely gets worship in Buddhism... whether it's "as a god" is a complicated question.

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #84 on: September 28, 2012, 01:33:41 PM »
I didn't know Buddhists worshipped Buddha as a god. He certainly claimed he was no deity at all.  
Buddhist theology defines a "god" as a person living in the higher spiritual realms, composed of a spiritual body, and having a limited (even if eon-long) lifetime. Buddhist cosmology posits that many, if not all, humans have, at some point, taken rebirth as a "god", due to their practice of dharma, or "what is right". The Buddha's previous lives included many lifetimes as a "god".

However, it is true that the Buddha's final lifetime, was spent as a human. A human can realize the end of suffering ("nirvana"), whereas a "god", in general, can't. It would be more accurate to say that Buddhists worship/venerate Shakyamuni as a Buddha; to worship/venerate him as a mere "god" would be to insult him.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 01:36:36 PM by Jetavan »
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Offline Cantor Krishnich

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #85 on: September 28, 2012, 08:44:17 PM »
I didn't know Buddhists worshipped Buddha as a god. He certainly claimed he was no deity at all.  
Buddhist theology defines a "god" as a person living in the higher spiritual realms, composed of a spiritual body, and having a limited (even if eon-long) lifetime. Buddhist cosmology posits that many, if not all, humans have, at some point, taken rebirth as a "god", due to their practice of dharma, or "what is right". The Buddha's previous lives included many lifetimes as a "god".

However, it is true that the Buddha's final lifetime, was spent as a human. A human can realize the end of suffering ("nirvana"), whereas a "god", in general, can't. It would be more accurate to say that Buddhists worship/venerate Shakyamuni as a Buddha; to worship/venerate him as a mere "god" would be to insult him.

What many people dont understand is that Buddhism is a very diverse philosophy with many schools of thought (denominations). The most authentic Buddhists dont worship a God. There are some Buddhists who are Polytheistic such as those who worship Hindu Gods or those who worship Shinto or Chinese Gods in addition to those who practice ancestor worship. There are also some Buddhists who have deified the Buddha and worship him, but thats not the mainline teaching of Buddhism.
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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #86 on: September 28, 2012, 09:00:44 PM »
I didn't know Buddhists worshipped Buddha as a god. He certainly claimed he was no deity at all.  
Buddhist theology defines a "god" as a person living in the higher spiritual realms, composed of a spiritual body, and having a limited (even if eon-long) lifetime. Buddhist cosmology posits that many, if not all, humans have, at some point, taken rebirth as a "god", due to their practice of dharma, or "what is right". The Buddha's previous lives included many lifetimes as a "god".

However, it is true that the Buddha's final lifetime, was spent as a human. A human can realize the end of suffering ("nirvana"), whereas a "god", in general, can't. It would be more accurate to say that Buddhists worship/venerate Shakyamuni as a Buddha; to worship/venerate him as a mere "god" would be to insult him.

What many people dont understand is that Buddhism is a very diverse philosophy with many schools of thought (denominations). The most authentic Buddhists dont worship a God. There are some Buddhists who are Polytheistic such as those who worship Hindu Gods or those who worship Shinto or Chinese Gods in addition to those who practice ancestor worship. There are also some Buddhists who have deified the Buddha and worship him, but thats not the mainline teaching of Buddhism.

It's a highly dubious enterprise to distinguish between a supposedly pure Buddhism and a corrupted Buddhism. It is certainly "mainline" among Mahayana Buddhists to see the Buddha as the eternal, underlying reality (and thus, comparable to concepts of God). It is also very "mainline" for Hindu, Chinese, and Shinto deities to be revered by Buddhists as "dharma protectors" or even as emanations of Buddhas. For example, the Hindu goddess Saraswati is revered in Tibet as a bodhisattva. Rather than completely supplanting local cults, the usual Buddhist practice was to bind the gods as protectors of the dharma, and this is a very orthodox Buddhist practice.

Also, while there are many different strands of Buddhism, I think it's safe to say that they are far more unified in fundamental beliefs than the various Hindu or Christian sects.

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #87 on: September 28, 2012, 10:33:12 PM »
I didn't know Buddhists worshipped Buddha as a god. He certainly claimed he was no deity at all.  
Buddhist theology defines a "god" as a person living in the higher spiritual realms, composed of a spiritual body, and having a limited (even if eon-long) lifetime. Buddhist cosmology posits that many, if not all, humans have, at some point, taken rebirth as a "god", due to their practice of dharma, or "what is right". The Buddha's previous lives included many lifetimes as a "god".

However, it is true that the Buddha's final lifetime, was spent as a human. A human can realize the end of suffering ("nirvana"), whereas a "god", in general, can't. It would be more accurate to say that Buddhists worship/venerate Shakyamuni as a Buddha; to worship/venerate him as a mere "god" would be to insult him.

What many people dont understand is that Buddhism is a very diverse philosophy with many schools of thought (denominations). The most authentic Buddhists dont worship a God. There are some Buddhists who are Polytheistic such as those who worship Hindu Gods or those who worship Shinto or Chinese Gods in addition to those who practice ancestor worship. There are also some Buddhists who have deified the Buddha and worship him, but thats not the mainline teaching of Buddhism.

It's a highly dubious enterprise to distinguish between a supposedly pure Buddhism and a corrupted Buddhism. It is certainly "mainline" among Mahayana Buddhists to see the Buddha as the eternal, underlying reality (and thus, comparable to concepts of God). It is also very "mainline" for Hindu, Chinese, and Shinto deities to be revered by Buddhists as "dharma protectors" or even as emanations of Buddhas. For example, the Hindu goddess Saraswati is revered in Tibet as a bodhisattva. Rather than completely supplanting local cults, the usual Buddhist practice was to bind the gods as protectors of the dharma, and this is a very orthodox Buddhist practice.

Also, while there are many different strands of Buddhism, I think it's safe to say that they are far more unified in fundamental beliefs than the various Hindu or Christian sects.

I doubt that.

Have you been to various strands of Buddhism and tried to present their variations as normal?

I think you would be very unwelcome unless you happened to present their particular beliefs without any deviations.

There are religious zealots in all religions. I am sure that Buddhism has their zealots too.
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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #88 on: September 28, 2012, 10:56:44 PM »
I didn't know Buddhists worshipped Buddha as a god. He certainly claimed he was no deity at all.  
Buddhist theology defines a "god" as a person living in the higher spiritual realms, composed of a spiritual body, and having a limited (even if eon-long) lifetime. Buddhist cosmology posits that many, if not all, humans have, at some point, taken rebirth as a "god", due to their practice of dharma, or "what is right". The Buddha's previous lives included many lifetimes as a "god".

However, it is true that the Buddha's final lifetime, was spent as a human. A human can realize the end of suffering ("nirvana"), whereas a "god", in general, can't. It would be more accurate to say that Buddhists worship/venerate Shakyamuni as a Buddha; to worship/venerate him as a mere "god" would be to insult him.

What many people dont understand is that Buddhism is a very diverse philosophy with many schools of thought (denominations). The most authentic Buddhists dont worship a God. There are some Buddhists who are Polytheistic such as those who worship Hindu Gods or those who worship Shinto or Chinese Gods in addition to those who practice ancestor worship. There are also some Buddhists who have deified the Buddha and worship him, but thats not the mainline teaching of Buddhism.

It's a highly dubious enterprise to distinguish between a supposedly pure Buddhism and a corrupted Buddhism. It is certainly "mainline" among Mahayana Buddhists to see the Buddha as the eternal, underlying reality (and thus, comparable to concepts of God). It is also very "mainline" for Hindu, Chinese, and Shinto deities to be revered by Buddhists as "dharma protectors" or even as emanations of Buddhas. For example, the Hindu goddess Saraswati is revered in Tibet as a bodhisattva. Rather than completely supplanting local cults, the usual Buddhist practice was to bind the gods as protectors of the dharma, and this is a very orthodox Buddhist practice.

Also, while there are many different strands of Buddhism, I think it's safe to say that they are far more unified in fundamental beliefs than the various Hindu or Christian sects.

I doubt that.

Have you been to various strands of Buddhism and tried to present their variations as normal?

That is the basic principle behind "skillful means" in Mahayana Buddhism. The varied practices and doctrines are considered fundamentally unified. There have been different schemes as to how this unification pans out and which teaching is most fundamental, but they all agree that the many Buddhist dharmas are one.

Might I politely ask that you restrict your opinions to subjects you actually know something about?

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Re: Buddha - What would you do if there was a Buddha in a Chinese Restaurant?
« Reply #89 on: September 28, 2012, 11:01:49 PM »
I didn't know Buddhists worshipped Buddha as a god. He certainly claimed he was no deity at all.  
Buddhist theology defines a "god" as a person living in the higher spiritual realms, composed of a spiritual body, and having a limited (even if eon-long) lifetime. Buddhist cosmology posits that many, if not all, humans have, at some point, taken rebirth as a "god", due to their practice of dharma, or "what is right". The Buddha's previous lives included many lifetimes as a "god".

However, it is true that the Buddha's final lifetime, was spent as a human. A human can realize the end of suffering ("nirvana"), whereas a "god", in general, can't. It would be more accurate to say that Buddhists worship/venerate Shakyamuni as a Buddha; to worship/venerate him as a mere "god" would be to insult him.

What many people dont understand is that Buddhism is a very diverse philosophy with many schools of thought (denominations). The most authentic Buddhists dont worship a God. There are some Buddhists who are Polytheistic such as those who worship Hindu Gods or those who worship Shinto or Chinese Gods in addition to those who practice ancestor worship. There are also some Buddhists who have deified the Buddha and worship him, but thats not the mainline teaching of Buddhism.

It's a highly dubious enterprise to distinguish between a supposedly pure Buddhism and a corrupted Buddhism. It is certainly "mainline" among Mahayana Buddhists to see the Buddha as the eternal, underlying reality (and thus, comparable to concepts of God). It is also very "mainline" for Hindu, Chinese, and Shinto deities to be revered by Buddhists as "dharma protectors" or even as emanations of Buddhas. For example, the Hindu goddess Saraswati is revered in Tibet as a bodhisattva. Rather than completely supplanting local cults, the usual Buddhist practice was to bind the gods as protectors of the dharma, and this is a very orthodox Buddhist practice.

Also, while there are many different strands of Buddhism, I think it's safe to say that they are far more unified in fundamental beliefs than the various Hindu or Christian sects.

Tell that to the Dalai Lama or the Hardcore Theravada Monks in Thailand, Im sure they wont agree that worshiping these deities or the Buddha would be acceptable according to what Buddha preached. However, these practices are well accepted by a very large number of Buddhists.
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