View Full Version : Buddhism=psychology?
10-12-2001, 04:07 AM
I have begun to study Buddhism. The first book I just finished, which I thought was really well written, is "Buddhism Made Plain", by Antony Fernando.
From what I understand of it, and these are points the author made plain, it seems that the TRUE (not the popular religion) teachings of Buddha (and also Christ, I think) do not concern themselves with a God or an afterlife. Fine by me, but then how is it considerd a religion without a deity? Isn't it "merely" posive thinking, or ancient psychology? I highly respect what he has written, and find much wisdom in it, but don't see how self-help equals religion.
10-12-2001, 05:05 AM
The more everyone else is wrong, the more you seem right.
If a lot of people are trying to apply it, it might be called religion to further the ends of those who seek support~.
To many, the Actual doesn't matter. There is Religion. And there is what is Called Religion.~
Very some such, perhaps might have been, likely say some, some not.
10-12-2001, 09:07 AM
Buddhism = psychology (yes)
Buddhism = religion (not technically)
Buddhism = science of mind (yes)
BUddhism = understanding at experience level (yes)
10-12-2001, 10:52 AM
So basically, according to Buddha we are supposed to accept things as they are, realize everything pretty much sucks, or will suck at some future time, and there ain't no getting around it? Bummer.
I do think he developed an amazingly positive and humane philosophy, and it is something to strive for towards personal development; but I want answers to the questions he ignores. Which is everything outside the realm of the mind.
And I think its sad if the author is correct about popular religion adding nirvana as an actual afterlife, and whatever else makes them happy, because apparently Buddha didn't mean it that way, and to add stuff just to make people go "Yay! After I die I have a place to hang! I am no longer scared to die so much!" is nothing but an inappropriate lie, and very lame and sad.
Scott R. Brown
10-12-2001, 07:00 PM
I don’t have the time to go into too much detail right now, because I am at work. Buddha did not address the afterlife because that was not what he was concerned about. He did not intend to start a religion, but to address the cause of suffering in the world and devise a means of releiving that suffering. The Four noble truths have been compared to a doctor’s visit.
1) Life is suffering = Statement of the problem
2) Suffering is caused by desire = Diagnosis of the problem
3) Suffering can be eliminated = Prognosis of the problem
4) Suffering can be eliminated by following the 8-fold path = Prescription for healing.
Buddha believed that to address occult, afterlife or psychic matters would distract one from what was truly important in life which is to eliminate suffering. Everything that has been added to Buddhism is an after-thought by those that came after him to address the emotional need of humans to know these things. They are not truly important. The need to have reassurance is an emotional need that would resolve of itself if the individual would address and resolve the casue of suffering in himself.
If you have any specific questions or principles you do not understand, post them and others and I would be happy to give our views.
Your comment about just accepting life as it is is not entirely correct. I will address it tonight when I get off work.
10-13-2001, 03:10 AM
No kungfucowboy, Buddha did not create a religion of attrition nor atheism.
Buddha's way was that of BALANCE. Suffering and joy - both are NECESSARY parts of life.
As far as the deity part, we as humans are every bit a part of the totality of REALITY as are the chairs we sit on and the air we breathe.
To a Buddhist like me, God does not exist outside of US.
Scott R. Brown
10-13-2001, 04:50 AM
Buddha’s original philosophy was about learning to free oneself from the bonds of suffering. This was to be done by realizing that desire causes our suffering. The suffering he is addressing is psychological suffering. The desire he speaks of is simply wanting what we cannot or do not have. Whenever I want something I cannot have I experience internal stresses cause by that desire. This results in anxiety, anger, frustration, unhappiness depression, etc.
Humans have the tendency to expect life to conform to our wishes, which is somewhat ridiculous because even simple experiences will demonstrate to us that life does not care what we want; life was not put here for our personal conveniance. It is our responsibility to conform ourselves with the process of life. In China this is called following the Tao. That is, bringing ourselves into accord with the natural rhythms and flow of life. We are not guaranteed success, or riches, or true friends or anything else. Any time we depend on such things for our happiness and lose them, we experience an emotional crisis. This is depending on transitory phenomena for our wellbeing.
This does not mean that we have to be passive, sit back and take whatever life dishes out. It means that we are to not depend our happiness upon what the world system provides us. All these things are fleeting and impermanent and therefore illusion. When I depend on others to make me feel valuable as a person, or I depend on money to make me feel secure or free, I am depending on transitory phenomena. When these things are removed from my life I experience emotional pain and personal dissonance. We are responsible for creating our own suffering through the state of mind that we choose to have. When we live in the world, but are not emotionally attached to the processes and events that occur, we are free. We experience an abundance of energy because we are not dissipating our energy on transitory emotional phenomena.
Buddha did not address the afterlife, god, mystical experience, etc. because these are phenomena that cannot be proven to others and have no real bearing upon happiness or the elimination of suffering. For example: the fear of no afterlife, or fear of hell, or hope for a pleasant afterlife comes from an emotional need to be reassured about the continuance and condition of our identity after death. When an individual feels in this manner, their comfort or happiness is dependent upon a fact or phenomena that cannot be proven or experienced until one dies. No matter what an individual chooses to believe in this life, it is only a belief and cannot be proven until they die. So why become preoccupied with phenomena that are ultimately un-provable when there is an attitude of life one can cultivate that will make such concerns unimportant. These fears only bring dissonance and unhappiness. The consequence of attaining Buddhahood or nirvana resolves these concerns for the individual.
Further, these concerns are based upon the illusion of an individual identity that continues. This is an illusory perception. We are not what we believe ourselves to be. Our personal identities are based upon the continuum of time. We appear to ourselves to be the same person as we live our life. This is because the process of growth occurs in a manner such that our personal identity experiences no drastic, sudden changes. Imagine if you were 5 years old and woke up one morning and you were the person you were when you were 15 years old. Without the process of time you would experience a mental breakdown because you would have thoughts and memories that you have not experienced as a process, they would have appeared suddenly and you would not recognize yourself as you. You would think you were someone else. Who you were at age 5 is related to whom you were at age 15 years and age 20 years and at age 50 years, but you are not the same identity. You have changed over time. You are related to each of those identities, but you are not those identities.
Who we truly are is that something, often called the super-ego or higher-self or atman (in Hinduism) that transcends the limitation of who we believe ourselves to be. Think of it as: Our true identity is the pallet upon which we paint our lives and we confuse the painting which is transitory with the pallet which is eternal.
I hope some of this addresses your concerns.
Where do you get your views about Buddhism?
Scott R. Brown
10-13-2001, 07:21 AM
30 years of introspecting, meditating, thinking, praying, reading, questioning, analyzing and applying.
10-13-2001, 08:09 AM
Scott, I have to say that you have a suprisingly western view of Buddhism.
Not to be annoying, but the Buddha did definitely speak of the afterlife, spirituality and even hell.
Buddhism in China also attached "merits" and "demerits" to an individual based upon whether or not good deeds were accomplished or forgone.
Although the Buddha Guatama detached himself, in the end his teachings became a bonafide doctrinezed and dogmatic religion. visit a temple and it is there plain to see. Ritual without understanding, hierarchies of monks, and so on.
The desire to attain Nirvana is still a desire, yes?
I'm sorry, but I think that what you have stated can be equated to putting a "pop-psychology" spin on what "Buddhism" is.
Buddhism is no more "psychology" than catholicism and as a "religion" holds no more merit than any other. Sub categories of all religions are there to break from the main and to express a different interpretaion of the words given by various "masters" such as the buddha, and buddha befores him and after him as well as any other so called illuminated teacher.
Don't get me wrong, Live and let live is a great concept no matter who says it.
But the lesson in Buddhism regarding ending suffering via quelling ones desire is only ONE lesson he gave and is not the hefty meat and potatoes of the religion.
Martial Arts Links (http://members.home.net/kunglek)
Scott R. Brown
10-13-2001, 09:36 AM
I do not take offense, but thank you for your concern for my feelings.
Being a westerner it would be impossible for me to have any other perspective.
I may not have made myself clear or we have very different ways of understanding.
I strongly and vehemently disagree with the belief in merits and demerits. The Zen/Chan perspective poo poos that concept completely as well as true Christian thought. See the Book of Romans for Paul’s perspective on the matter.
It is important to understand that it was men not Buddha that formed the bona fide doctrines and dogma of Buddhism and Christianity for that matter. None, it could be argued, were Buddhas or Christs or had their level of understanding.
Also it is important to understand that religions eventually seek to become political powers and then no longer are able to promote the true teachings because the true teachings are neither popular nor lend themselves to political control, The truly wise separate themselves emotionally, not always physically, from the world system and are thus not controllable. Which is the purpose of political organizations, that is, to control the populous.
“Buddhism is no more "psychology" than catholicism and as a "religion" holds no more merit than any other. Sub categories of all religions are there to break from the main and to express a different interpretaion of the words given by various "masters" such as the buddha, and buddha befores him and after him as well as any other so called illuminated teacher.”
I agree totally, however there is a difference between a religion and the path one follows to discover the truth. The two are not synonymous. The deeper meanings in most major religions will still guide one to the truth, however the popular practice of all religions do not benefit the true seeker on their journey.
The sources you accept as true report that the Buddha addressed the afterlife etc. Mine asserted he did not. We could then bicker back and forth about who’s sources are the correct ones. Ultimately, it does not matter, because the truth is, it does not matter whether there is an afterlife or not. Belief in an afterlife is not pertinent to attaining realization. It is the emotional attachment of the individual that makes it important. I addressed it in my above post. It is unimportant whether you accept it or not it as the truth and whether you or I or anyone else believes it or not will not change the truth of the matter. But I do not expect you to take my word for it, nor should you. If you are a sincere and persistent seeker, you will realize it on your own eventually.
I am always at your service.
10-13-2001, 11:01 AM
Karma, as explained by Buddha, is the cause and effect of rebirth and the cycle of life.
Definitely connotations about afterlife and the reason to choose a better rebirth ie. in Nibbana
But he never said to believe it, simply experience it by meditating on the breath and Vipasyana.
Hey I didn't know this was here!
:( and sadly I can't stay long.
Hmmm I'll try a little bit of posting.
Well there's very good knowledge going on in this thread first of all. Scott has some great knowledge as does Kung Lek, and others.
Buddhism, if we are talking about the original Theravada school of thought does has a very "psychological, self-help" aspect to its teachings. Basically, the doctrine of "by ourselves evil is done, by ourselves goodness is done," tends to hint at the major philosophy of it. Our ability to find the causes and the treatments to suffering are up to us. While Nirvana is not seen as a "God" or anything in the sense western minds think of it, Nirvana is still Nothingness which IS something. From a lot of my studies I am tending to believe that Nirvana was their way of understanding that one could not truly phathom what lies beyond so to speak. Remember that Buddha was an Indian prince, and the major religion at that time was Hinduism. Buddha himself believed in an afterlife, I truly think, but the "divine message" he recieved was that people tend to look for "outside" influence too much instead of doing things themselves.
Mahayana Buddhism added the religious aspects of their respective cultures towards the religion, and also were the first to introduce the "Boddhisattva" into the teachings. Basically a Boddhisattva is a being who is ready to cross over into Nirvana, but who comes back to "earth" to lead others towards it (and that doesn't mean Evangelically LOL) The Boddhisattva is a being with such unyielding compassion, empathy, and wisdom that he is actually a "part" of the "divine" or a part of the beyond.
Putting this philo with the likes of Jesus Christ and God gives some very interesting things to contemplate. However it's my own little spin.
Remember that because Buddhism is a middle path, it tries to see all things from ways cleared of extremes. And that means that the obsession to never be extreme with something is also an extreme in itself.
While it is true that Buddhism seems to claim that "God" is within us, we must understand that we have to look at things from a much larger picture. If "God" is only within or without, we again have extremes.
If "God" can be at the same time within and without, a part and seperate, Outside and Inside, it becomes a bit easier to believe the phrase "God is omnipotent and within everything"
Anyway that's my take on it for now.
Remember too that a lot of this is my own thoughts and philosophies from my various studies.
I rarely regurgitate things I simply "learn"
The challenge is to find out what YOU think.
"One who takes pride in shallow knowledge or understanding is like a monkey who delights in adorning itself with garbage."
Scott R. Brown
10-14-2001, 03:56 AM
Very informative. Thank you for the contribution.
10-14-2001, 08:42 AM
Thanks to everybody, especially Scott for sharing your insight. I am enjoying learning about Buddhist thought. A question I have is, is it fair to the originator or a philosophy to alter it to suit ones needs, or does that alter the truth (whatever that means) of their teachings? Shouldn't there be one defining form? If not, at what point then does function abandon the form?
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> We are responsible for creating our own suffering through the state of mind that we choose to have. When we live in the world, but are not emotionally attached to the processes and events that occur, we are free.
I see the mechanism at work here, the mind is a powerful tool, but I am wondering on whose terms it works. It seems to me to use this method of detachment one has to give up valid emotion, or at best have a dry sentimental sorrowful/happy wistfulness. It seems a little like a defeat to me. While I see how this might relieve suffering sort of, it seems more like becoming an emotional mute. Can't one embrace what feelings one has, and also realize the impermanance of it all? It might be quite a bit sadder, more bittersweet, but it is being honest at least.
10-14-2001, 11:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The desire to attain Nirvana is still a desire, yes?[/quote]
I thought that the root of suffering was the attachment to desire not the desire itself? I don't have much knowledge on the subject, this is just what I have picked up from other posts and a bit of reading.
10-14-2001, 11:51 AM
Then you should desire to create Boddhicitta :)
10-14-2001, 06:17 PM
Have you tried reading any Taoist philosophy?
10-14-2001, 09:15 PM
"but then how is it considerd a religion without a deity?"
That's exactly what I love about Buddhism and Taoism - they're not about WORSHIP. They're about helping you to find your own way to awakening. Anyone who's actually been enlightened, like Buddha and Lao Tzu, realizes that it's a path unique to every individual and thus does not try to impose his individual experience on everyone else (ie - "dogma") (see 'Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic' by the ever-controversial Osho). Or amass power by getting everyone to follow them. Worship of a prophet or diety is a sign that the path has been corrupted into a power tool. It may work to some degree, but then you are continually at the mercy of whoever's *ss you're kissing (see "voluntary slavery"). All childish promises of Heaven/H*ll aside, and all you really get in return is some temporary worldy gain, which only sidetracks you off even further from the Tao.
[This message was edited by origenx on 10-15-01 at 12:23 PM.]
10-14-2001, 09:23 PM
Not really, tanglangman. I've read the chronicles of Tao, and some stuff on the internet, and would like to read more. Can you or anyone recommend a good intro book? Thanks!
10-14-2001, 09:41 PM
Maybe you want to be a tool? :)
Scott R. Brown
10-14-2001, 10:03 PM
You are correct it is the attachment that causes the dissonance that one experiences. It is the attitude of needing what we desire in order to be happy that creates an emotional inbalance. The best example of this is when one experiences a broken heart, this occurs because the individual depends on the approval of another to validate their existence. The individual “believes” they cannot live without the love of their beloved. The source of the pain experienced originates in the insecurities of the individual and not the separation from the beloved. When we realize our own inherent value as individuals we are able to love others without depending upon the return of their love. That does not mean we cannot enjoy the love of another it merely means that we do not depend on their love for our own happiness.
Excellent question! It was one I pondered when I understood that “negative” emotions were the cause of suffering. The conclusion you came to is not entirely accurate.
To begin with we must understand exactly what role emotions play in our lives and where they originate. Emotions add quality to our experiences. The variety and intensity of emotions humans experience, along with higher reasoning ability and self-consciousness are what separate humans from the animals. An experience devoid of an associated emotion is merely an event and not truly an experience. This is because events are experienced subjectively. It is what we personally bring to the event through our individual and unique perspective that will give that experience value to us. We value an experience based upon on the quality of emotion that is associated with that experience. Happiness comes from an experience that pleases us, unhappiness results from an experience that displeases us, that does not meet our expectation or desire. It is the expectation or desire for a specific result that causes us pleasure and pain. When I get what I desire, I am happy, pleased, joyful, or tickled pink. When I do not get what I what I desire, I am angry, unhappy, frustrated, depressed, etc. Positive emotions result from getting what I want and negative emotions result from not getting what I want.
So, as you asked, if I learn to not attach my happiness to what I desire, how is it possible to live in a world devoid of emotional experiences? The answer is you do not live in a world devoid of emotion, just the lower emotions of anger, depression and hate. The positive emotions remain, just experienced slightly differently. You do have to give up the “in love” feeling one experiences when they fall in love, but not the feeling of love. Your love for your beloved is not dependent on their love or acceptance of you. One feels happiness and sadness, but they are slightly different in the impact they have on your life. They do not upset your emotional balance because you do not expect the circumstances in which you experience them to follow your expectations. The emotions are closer to compassion or empathy for sadness and closer to joy for happiness. The compassion or empathy is felt in accord with the pain others are experiencing and not a result of personal pain. This is because hypothetically, you are already free from the attachments that cause the pain others experience. This is also why Bodhisattvas choose to remain in the world to assist others in attaining the further shore. They remember what it was like for them when they were caught in the illusion of the world system. These higher emotions cannot be accurately explained with words, you must recognize them by experiencing them for yourself.
Scott R. Brown
10-14-2001, 10:19 PM
Your observations are accurate, however the original purpose of dogma has never been to control the populous, but to provide a formula of belief and ceremony devised to lead individuals to higher understanding. Dogma and ceremony are tools religions use to assist individuals in attaining high levels of understanding. The danger, which is universal to all religions, is the tools of growth become more important than their original purpose, which is the attainment of the goal, enlightenment. In other words, people begin to believe, and ignorant and power hungry religious authorities reinforce, that the understanding sought cannot be attained without the specific tools of said religion. This is when statements such as,” You cannot be saved unless you accept Christ as your savior”, or “You must meditate in such and such a position with such and such a breathing pattern in order to reach enlightenment” occurs. The proper and definitive use of the tools (the finger pointing the way) become more important than, and confused with, the original purpose, which is the attainment of enlightenment (the moon).
10-14-2001, 10:35 PM
Hi Scott, thanks for taking the time to address my questions. Here's another:
Scott wrote:<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> This is also why Bodhisattvas choose to remain in the world to assist others in attaining the further shore. [/quote]
What do you mean here? Do they otherwise will their deaths, commit suicide, or what? Are you also implying that there are some enlightened beings hanging around in dimension X? Is that tax deductible? Thanks!
Scott R. Brown
10-14-2001, 11:22 PM
Since death is an illusion no one truly dies. Suicide does not occur when an enlightened being chooses to die because they realize they are not dying, but merely moving to another dimension or level of existence. They make this move according to circumstances of their own choosing and beyond the understanding of those of us attached to the illusion of life. The societal prohibition on suicide is based on spiritual truths that are apparently no longer realized by the general populous.
If we can agree that life is an arena for personal growth, similar to a school where lessons are taught and learned, then suicide is similar to ditching school isn’t it. The lessons we skip out on will still have to be learned at a later date in the school of life. The lessons in the school of life are for our own benefit and the sooner we learn them the better and more enjoyable our existence will be. So skipping out on class merely prolongs our suffering because we are avoiding the very lessons that are designed to lead us away from suffering and towards peace.
If I attend a class in school for half of a semester and then skip out on the class, I cannot come back the next semester and just take the part of the class I skipped. I have to take the whole class all over again. It is the same if I skip out on life. No matter how much pain we have endured in a particular life, it would be much more preferable to finish out the lesson than relive it all over again.
Wanted to jot something down from Kant's theories of metaphyics of morality.
Even if you believe death is an illusion, we are in this life now governed by karma. To take our own lives (in a selfish manner, and not sacrificing to protect someone else, etc) is still an act of killing and murder, and is seen in Buddhist terms as the same kind of Karmic disbalance.
Now onto Kant.
Someone used the notion of suicide and reason to give an example of Kant's writings. Suicide, in the way we know it, seems illogical (therefore not of good will according to Kant)in that if everyone in the world committed suicide, there would be no life, no realization, no growth, etc. It is contradictory to logic in the sense of something right (beneficial to all in the world)
Hmmm kinda jumbled my thoughts, but it is something to that effect. :)
"One who takes pride in shallow knowledge or understanding is like a monkey who delights in adorning itself with garbage.
Scott R. Brown
10-15-2001, 12:17 AM
“Suicide, in the way we know it, seems illogical..”
The key word being “seems”, just because something “seems” illogical does not make it illogical.
“that if everyone in the world committed suicide, there would be no life, no realization, no growth, etc. It is contradictory to logic in the sense of something right (beneficial to all in the world)”
This presumes that we can decide what is beneficial for the world. This is called humanism, where man is the measure of all things right and wrong. Since this is an assumption about life it is by necessity possibly wrong. It also assumes that there is nothing better on the other side. Also an assumption and therefore, possibly wrong.
I am not picking on you. Just having fun with logic, it is my day off today so I have time to play.
No problem. Besides, that's Kant's example, not mine.
As far as Buddhism is concerned, suicide as a way out of "suffering" is simply more negative karma.
It is the killing of a body, yours. :)
If we want to get into more down to earth stuff, suicide is a permanent solution to a problem that can have the potential to be fixed in a less dramatic fashion.
And for the record, Kant would not say it "seems" illogical. He would say it is illogical.
I prefer the Buddhist way of thinking about it.
"One who takes pride in shallow knowledge or understanding is like a monkey who delights in adorning itself with garbage."
Scott R. Brown
10-15-2001, 05:47 AM
Except that suicide is not a permanent solution, which was my above point. It perpetuates the problem or creates a new one.
It perpetuates the problem or creates a new one.
All the more reason not to do it. :)
"One who takes pride in shallow knowledge or understanding is like a monkey who delights in adorning itself with garbage."
Scott R. Brown
10-15-2001, 07:36 AM
I never meant to imply a justification for suicide. If it appeared so, I appologize to everyone.
10-15-2001, 08:30 AM
Suicide is a rough subject that I usually don't like to get involved with unless people are prepared to act maturely and seriously. I have seen that topic go from seriousness to anger/emotions in a blink of an eye. Especially when families/loved ones etc try to get an understanding, yet don't want to hear the truth or gain a true understanding. It is one of the most difficult subjects to speak upon.
10-15-2001, 09:14 PM
I have had a small interest in this subject as well; my mom followed Buddhism for several years, and I occasionally went to the temple to hang out, and I have my Bachelor's in Psych. The boot below is titled The Roots of Buddhist Psychology; I saw it in a catalog a long time ago and remembered the title. I haven't read it, but it seemed like an interesting book.
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about
life. IT GOES ON.
10-28-2001, 09:52 PM
Turiyan gold, Brahmin caste, Ordos clan
"A Brahmin, coming into existence, is born as the highest on earth, the
lord of all created beings, for the protection of the treasury of the
(natural) law. Whatever exists in the world is (by right), the
property of the Brahmin; on account of the excellence of his origin
(primogeniture and eminence of birth) The Brahmin is, indeed, entitled
to it all" --C1V99-V100 The laws of manu
10-29-2001, 06:06 PM
You asked the question:
From what I understand of it, and these are points the author made plain, it seems that the
TRUE (not the popular religion) teachings of Buddha (and also Christ, I think) do not
concern themselves with a God or an afterlife. Fine by me, but then how is it considerd a
religion without a deity?
I cannot speak on Buddism matters. I can say what I know on Christianity on the matter of diety. The entire Christian faith as a faith apart from Judiasm is built on the premise that Jesus is a diety. Just to throw out some quick quotes of Jesus that I have in memory here, "He who has seen me has seen the Father", and "The Father and I are one". He also claimed to be the 'Son of God', and when asked by those crucifying him when asked this quesiton, he replied, "It is as you say". Being the son of God, God of Abraham would be at least some form of diety claim even in a rudimentary sense. Christ claimed to be the 'bread that came down from heaven' and that he was the TRUE Manna that God gives to the world for LIFE. All of these claimed certainly should give conotations of being some form of a deity.
In John chapter 6, Christ speaks at length on the afterlife. Not sure where you get the idea he was not concerned with the afterlife. In another place, "I go to prepare a place for you."
Where do you get your views on Christianity? Just curious, and I am not flaming you at all. I just have a background in Christianity from multiple angles and have studied the matter a lo
10-29-2001, 09:38 PM
"The bread that came down from Heaven" Umm... that would make it (Him) "Soul food". ;) So, Jesus did use humor (a form of Koan?) in his teaching. Just find it fansinating. No Offense.
Contraria Sunt Complementa
10-29-2001, 11:06 PM
Sorry to be dry on this one...but no there is no humor there. I see your point.
Jesus also said, 'He who does not eat my flesh and drink my blood has no life in him". The way He instituded this manefestation to his Apostles, was with bread and wine, in a ritual known as the Eucharist, which means 'the work of the people', known also as the Mass (bad translation) in todays vernacular. Also known by many today as the 'Lord's Supper' in other circles.
BTW, these statements are a tinder box for Christian debate as to sacrement or sybolism. I hope we do not go that direction in this forum as it would surely bore most of you guys to terrible death.
The whole premise is 'soul food' indeed. But it just has not humor in it thats all. In fact, after Jesus' exposition on these things in John 6, many of his followers left him and no longer followed him. (That is in the text too
10-29-2001, 11:45 PM
CD Lee, how are you and Jesus Christ different, and how are you the same?
10-29-2001, 11:58 PM
He is a deity, I am not
He is sinless, I am not
He is has a glorified body, I do not
He is the Bread, I eat the Bread
(Without delving into classical Christology...)
He was fully man and God, I am fully man
He had human desires, I have them too
I'll have to think a lot longer to come up with some real answers on why we are the same. I am afraid I come up short on this one.
10-30-2001, 12:03 AM
I sense your leading question. Give me some input. I am not as close minded as you might imagine.
10-30-2001, 08:00 AM
I would like to add that those quotes are not from Jesus. They are quotes from people who wrote about Jesus. Even though, they quoted him.
I dont know about Buddah, but Lao Tzu and Confucious both have direct teachings to quote from.
10-30-2001, 06:09 PM
You are correct. Jesus did not write one letter down. Do we assume then that Christianity is a massive conspiricy??? This has been hashed out pretty well by intense scholars on both sides. That fact speaks volumes about the *nature* of the Church. Many demoninations of Christian followers toady might be shocked by your statement! But you are on the mark.
The REAL question is...do you believe them?
Josh McDowel wrote a book entitiled "Evidence that Demands a Verdict". If you are ever intersted in following this line of interst, it is an incredible book by an athiest set out to prove Christianity wrong in every respect. However, the work presented in this book is just amazing. He even goes over Plato and others.
You might also be interested in scholars who have discovered spurious(false) works throught history, not just of Chirstianity. Thier scholarship is incredible, and amazing at the same time. When you start to examine some of their methods, you talk about an amazing education..
10-30-2001, 07:26 PM
Do I believe?
Well, in the Catholic sense, no.
Personally, I believe, and so do many others, that many of the early writers of the New Testament (Jesus's diciples) were politically motivated.
However, CD Lee, I would also like to stay away from such debates and look more into buddism.
10-30-2001, 07:32 PM
Not only politically motivated, but also persecuted, and very good writers for thier time.
10-30-2001, 07:46 PM
I did not think we were debating...and I do not debate religion on a CMA forum :D
I have email for that stuff. And I was not REALLY asking if YOU believe. I'm just bantering the subject around as the waves come in.
Never the less, this is a totally cool forum.
Scott R. Brown
10-30-2001, 09:56 PM
Without continuing as a debate;
You will find many similarities in the manner in which Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity have developed over the centuries. The similarities demonstrate more about the characteristics of men than the intentions of each religion’s founder. The need for Icon worship, the need for a feminine deity, the re-interpretation of scripture to meet specific needs. I even have a book that discusses a major doctrinal issue that occurred in Tibetan Buddhism about how we can know what we know as the Truth.
It could be argued that the Tao Te Ching is “reported” to have been written by Lao Tzu. It is supposedly over 2,000 years old so who really knows whether it is the true transmission or not. Much of what is attributed to Confucius is probably not from him but his followers as well.
We care about sources because it lends authority to our claims of our personal understanding of the Truth. However, Truth is Truth and exists whether someone has apprehended it or not. Lao Tzu, Buddha, Confucius, Christ communicated versions of Truth; they did not invent or create Truth. All Truth should be verified by the individual seeker and not accepted blindly. The apprehension of Truth is always an individual accomplishment. All Truth will stand the test of questioning, falsehood will not. No matter what the tradition, it is best to investigate and verify the Truth for yourself; this makes the Truth yours and you will not need to quote sources as support for your position. When you discuss a matter you will be able to refer to your direct knowledge and understanding and not scriptures that can always be argued against by a clever logician.
10-30-2001, 10:33 PM
I am only recently beggining to study buddism.
Is there text out there that is reported to have been written directly by 'The Buddah'?
Scott R. Brown
10-30-2001, 11:16 PM
I am sure if you looked hard enough you would be able to locate a text somewhere that claims to be written by the Buddha, but it will most likely be spurious. There are a number of texts and sutras that claim to record the “true” teachings of the Buddha. I always recommend reading a variety of sources and a number of different translations, then look for the similarities in the teachings and provisionally accept these as accurate until you can confirm them through personal investigation.
It is common for different religious traditions and branches of each tradition to espouse their method as being the “true” teachings of their religion and everyone else is wrong. This confuses the issue. If everyone believes they have the true teachings how is one to determine which tradition or branch of a tradition is actually teaching something worth learning? This is why it is each individual’s responsibility to investigate the Truth for themselves and determine which tradition is appropriate for their needs and inclinations. When you decide which tradition appeals to you search for the foundational teachings. The ones without all the ceremony and rules attached to them. They will be the teachings that the rest of the tradition is based upon. These teachings are frequently hidden behind ceremony and liturgical paraphernalia. The foundational teachings will be similar to the foundational teachings of all other great religions. These are the principles that should be investigated and made your own. The other related activities are just tools and window dressing initially designed to assist one along the path and are not truly essential to achieving realization.
10-31-2001, 12:59 AM
Peace. Harmony. Calm. Cultivate and you will be ok!
11-04-2001, 06:57 AM
Here's a thought I've entertained about Buddhism for a while, that I'll throw into the mix.
The goal is reached by avoiding suffering. One avoids suffering by doing away with desire. This usally includes living a monastic life with no sexual contact as well as no desire for worldly goods, etc.
If that's true and everybody became Buddhist, there'd be no more humanity. The great race of Buddhists would be the last generation of humans to live. Is that the ultimate aim of Buddhism!?
What do you think?
11-04-2001, 07:19 AM
There are 3 levels of Buddhism
1. Those who do good deeds and abstain from bad
2. Those who meditate, live as a lay person
3. Those who sacrifise all worldy pleasures
They are called Sanghas, most Buddhist do not need such level of sacrifice.
11-04-2001, 07:58 AM
Can all three "step off the wheel"?
Scott R. Brown
11-04-2001, 08:03 AM
It is a common misconception that the goal of Buddhism is to eliminate suffering/desire. This is not the case. The goal is to eliminate “attachment” to the results of actions or desires. In other words, I can want something, I merely avoid “needing” my desire in order to be happy or in balance. It is impossible to not desire. Every decision a person makes is based upon wanting a certain result. It is when you depend emotionally upon a result to occur for your happiness that the trouble begins.
Sexual desire is a natural function of life. To live in balance with the Tao one must flow with their humanness and not fight against it. To strictly force ourselves to not have sexual desire, if it exists, is contrary to living in balance. Excessive sexual desire can be a sign of unhealthy attitudes, however a sex life is both necessary and healthy for most people. Contrary to the belief of some religions, it is not a sign of a higher spiritual level for one to be celibate or have no sexual desire.
11-04-2001, 12:48 PM
Hmm, I have been reading up on the subject, and it seems (surprise, surprise) that there is no definitive answer to what is buddhism. On the one hand, there is all the supernatural/reincarnation stuff, while another belief is that buddhism is NOT a religion, but merely a philosophy (albeit a very, very good one). Since the originator is not around anymore, and are no definite scriptures that can be traced back to the buddha himself, it would seem that its whatever you want it to be, especially considering how things evolve from their source over time.
At the very least, I am sure that what is being practiced today as buddhism is somewhat different (and therefore probably inaccurate) from what came out of the buddha's mouth. Shouldn't it remain true to his own interpretation of his word? And if nobody REALLY knows what that is, then can it really be called buddhism?
11-04-2001, 09:09 PM
8 fold path is more or less asceticism in moderation. We have to understand that eastern cultures believe in self-help; whereas, the western counterpart believes in relinguish control to a single higher athourity be it government or God. Although Judaism seems somewhat ascetic baised for the most part, it is more concerned with "the contract/the deal" with God (the embodiment of Law and Order). All you have to do is to say I believe.
Spirituality and sexuality, IMHO, is closely related. Strong tendency in Partical orgasm leads to Patriarchy religions (Judaism, Christians, etc.) and strong tendency in Wave orgam develops inclination towards Matriachy religions (Hindu, Buddhism, Taoism, etc..) Look at the social-cultural development of any community and look at their religious believes you will see what I mean.
Anyway , my point is that trantric (sexual practice) for male is to allow for an experience in the wave orgasm. Anyway... getting off topic here. Sorry.
Contraria Sunt Complementa
11-04-2001, 11:10 PM
But its so clear to me but so unclear to you, perhaps books arent a good source. Try sitting down and meditating :)
Do realise Buddhism is taught to differing peoples differing ways, however, they are all exactly the same.
Though once intellectualised, it becomes different and difficult to understand.
As always, I mean no offense...
11-05-2001, 12:14 AM
I realize I know nothing. No offense taken. :)
11-05-2001, 01:02 AM
That is not what I meant...
You do know much, just reading from books is not a good way to learn Buddhism. Perhaps try practising a technique that best suits you ? Maybe you could find a guru/lama and have them recommend a technique for you. I didnt mean to come across forcefully, I do apologise, I am quite careless with the choice of words used.
Practise practise and more practise, and things will become very clear, I guarantee it. I practised for many years before picking up other meditation books to read, as per instructions of my guru. I hope you find a good clear path soon. May you find peace and happiness no matter which path you take.
11-05-2001, 01:19 AM
Sorry prana, I didn't mean that to sound like it did. I appreciate your help. :)
11-05-2001, 02:22 AM
Scott and I began to touch this...
Buddha (if that was his name) didnt create or preach 'Buddism' there was a guy who talked, thought, and taught about life.
After he died, or shortly before, his diciples and other people began the process that leads us to buddism.
Whats this talk about wave orgasms and partial orgasms.
Lol? or ?
11-06-2001, 11:14 AM
Does the buddhist law of not killing any living thing extend to bacteria, viruses, mowing the lawn, or things like that?
11-07-2001, 01:16 AM
I myself is unknowledgable in this regard but I will try and remember what Lama Yeshe said.
It is sometimes due to their karma that beings are borned, for example, in your stomach. It is unfortunate and they sure as hell did not wish to be borned there.
So if they ARE destined to be killed, then it is best to understand that they are to be killed with the unequalled thought for them to be borned in a higher realm for they have repaid their karma, for they have suffered.
When one realises the Boddhicitta, one starts to try and avoid ants and insects when even walking. This has happened to me. However, if unavoidable, such as when driving in a vehicle in the dark and insects get in the way, same applies above. A good story about Lama Zopa Rinpoche's van is located somewhere on the net, I have read before.
I am unsure now as to whether viruses are regarded as sentient beings. That is still to be asked. Perhaps we could find something on this ? But remember, you also need to take care of YOUR body as it is sacred. GIve what you can afford, not without wisdom. That has always been the advice given...
11-07-2001, 12:07 PM
Wow, what an interesting thread - I'm certainly going to have to read it over :)
I just wanted to dip into two currents.
1) Buddhism as psychology
Buddhism seems to me a unique form of phenomenology, which has always been a legitimate "philosophy of psychology" (or "metapsychology") but is lately shunned for "scientific psychology". I think scientific psychology is good, because it generates information that anybody can apply with some degree of confidence that it will have the outsome they want and predict. For the more advanced (and useful) stuff - even on a daily interaction level - you really need a deep understanding of people, and I doubt that most psychiatrists and clinical psychologists actually posess that to such an extent that they are able to treat mental diseases intuitively. Everyone gets into trouble if a therapist (in the broadest sense) behaves like a master but is not one.
On a slight tangent, there is an anuual conference held here in Australia (in Melbourne to be exact) on buddhism and psychotherapy. I accidentally caught a few talks last year, and it was really incredible stuff. I'm neither a buddhsit nor a psychiatrist, but I'm considering becoming the latter and I would love to be able to do for people what some buddhist teachers can. It may be a lofty goal, but there are certainly people out there who are integrating buddhist knowledge into their medical practise. To me it seems dangerous if done haphazardly, but wonderful if done well. But it is quite possible that the therapists should be keeping to their discipline. Maybe I'll end up going back to philosophy myself (where buddhist phenomenology can quite safely be investigated ;-)
Kant would have said that suicide is always wrong, whether comitted by one person or all people, for any reason. It is a utilitarian move to bring groups of people into the picture - if suicide is wrong because it is selfish, that means that it is wrong because it creates, on balance, more bad than good (for instance, the human race dying out if everyone does it). I'm leaving aside the question of what actually constitutes "utility". Sorry to drag the conversation off topic again :(
11-07-2001, 02:09 PM
But then if there is no human race, then there is no one to suffer, therefore there is no longer suffering. Is that not a good thing?
11-07-2001, 02:36 PM
Yeah, but what about all the non-human life? I must admit that the idea is amusing, though :D. I think Scott pointed out that the greater aim is actually non-attachment.
BTW, Ryu, I take back tha Kant crap. I can see what you were getting at now (I just got hung up on the word "selfish", which doesn't enter into the imperative).
I think I've just illustrated my own point about false expertise :D
11-07-2001, 02:48 PM
Well, I was thinking in terms of total planetary annililation; along with no survival of those spore thingies that can survive interstellar space travel to impregnate new worlds, or whatever the theory is. :D
Here are some resources I found on Buddhism:
all that is seen is endless in motion.
that which falls will fall again,
the tide moves back and forth,
people thin and thicken,
know all end all,
true colour is infinite.
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