Atheists' view on Buddhism

holda2nd
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Atheists' view on Buddhism

Hi,

It's common to find atheists disagree with theism (Abrahammic religions.) I wonder what atheists think about Buddhism. Buddhism is not theism, nor atheism (it doesn't fit the definition of atheism on this website.) Care to share your thoughts?

 


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I flirted around

I flirted around with Buddhism for a short while after leaving the religion of my youth, and while I am not an expert on it, and I  reject it.

There is a possibility that cultural memes plays a large role in the public perceptions of Buddhism and many people do not know a whole lot about it (and I'll reiterate that I am no expert). When they hear Buddhism, they are seeing Kung-Fu and the grasshopper wisdom from TV or a bunch of pleasant guys in robes, with all this serene peace. The do not realize that the Tibetan Lamas visited all sorts of cruelty upon the peasants of Tibet. Punishments like torturing people to death were quite common. But, due to so many Hollywood types that love to brush shoulders with the Dalai Lama, the public has this perception of Buddhism as being peaceful, loving and kind. Mind you, I am not supporting the Chinese occupation of Tibet, but when I see some of these new-agey, wannabe Buddhists that talk on and on about freeing Tibet and speak of it like some sacred place, I have to tell them that Tibet under the Lamas was anything but.

There were several so-called "masters" that were later known to be everything from con-artists to using their positions for sexual favors. While it may sound all good from the outside, the pestilence of human nature permeates it like all other religions.

I don't buy into any of the koans that I read ( i.e. what is the sound of one hand clapping), don't buy into the idea of reincarnation, (although reincarnation is not a part of all buddhism sects) do not buy into the Four Noble Truths (all though it sounds good on the surface) and in general believe that enlightenment and nirvana are nothing more than religious clap trap.

To be fair though, I will say that I have encountered some well meaning and well intentioned Buddhists. I will say that I have had Buddhists that do not show any form of idealized aggression towards me being an open Atheists.

I will say that the majority of Buddhists that I have encountered will generally respect me if I respect them and none of them have ever pushed to convert me. Which is a LOT more than I can say about Christians and such.

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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By the way

By the way, while this is not the religion of Buddhism, my significant other is a non-practicing Wiccan. (By non-practicing, I mean that she has not been involved with any active covens since she left her hometown of San Francisco, although she still has her prayers, rituals and such) and while I do find a bit more of a tolerant attitude from the pagan community as a whole, I still do not believe her religion is real.

Strangely enough, there are some Wiccans/Pagans that look upon their religion as more symbolic and conceptual, while others, like my significant other, see actual deities in nature and such ( there is more than one god and goddess in her religion).

I say this for the New Agey/ Wiccan/ Pagan/ religion. They do not go out seeking converts (score one for them) they have no actual holy book of archaic commandments that one must have to abide by (score another one for them) and they are not calling for any legislature or laws to force other people to swallow their practices. They tend to just want to have the right to exist and be left alone.

So, while I may find some of these Wiccan/Pagan religions to be utter nonsense, I don't perceive them as a threat to the public in general.

Plus, a lot of Wiccans have openly admitted to me that their religion is largely just made up (something that I have yet to see a single other religion do).

I just thought that I would cover that subject as well, since you brought up Buddhism and brought up some of the Atheistic viewpoints of it.

I will say that living with someone who is a pagan has proved tolerable, something that I do not think could have ever happened with any religious fundamentalists.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster wrote:I

harleysportster wrote:

I flirted around with Buddhism for a short while after leaving the religion of my youth, and while I am not an expert on it, and I  reject it.

There is a possibility that cultural memes plays a large role in the public perceptions of Buddhism and many people do not know a whole lot about it (and I'll reiterate that I am no expert). When they hear Buddhism, they are seeing Kung-Fu and the grasshopper wisdom from TV or a bunch of pleasant guys in robes, with all this serene peace. The do not realize that the Tibetan Lamas visited all sorts of cruelty upon the peasants of Tibet. Punishments like torturing people to death were quite common. But, due to so many Hollywood types that love to brush shoulders with the Dalai Lama, the public has this perception of Buddhism as being peaceful, loving and kind. Mind you, I am not supporting the Chinese occupation of Tibet, but when I see some of these new-agey, wannabe Buddhists that talk on and on about freeing Tibet and speak of it like some sacred place, I have to tell them that Tibet under the Lamas was anything but.

There were several so-called "masters" that were later known to be everything from con-artists to using their positions for sexual favors. While it may sound all good from the outside, the pestilence of human nature permeates it like all other religions.

I don't buy into any of the koans that I read ( i.e. what is the sound of one hand clapping), don't buy into the idea of reincarnation, (although reincarnation is not a part of all buddhism sects) do not buy into the Four Noble Truths (all though it sounds good on the surface) and in general believe that enlightenment and nirvana are nothing more than religious clap trap.

To be fair though, I will say that I have encountered some well meaning and well intentioned Buddhists. I will say that I have had Buddhists that do not show any form of idealized aggression towards me being an open Atheists.

I will say that the majority of Buddhists that I have encountered will generally respect me if I respect them and none of them have ever pushed to convert me. Which is a LOT more than I can say about Christians and such.

I agree with you assessment of the different "leaders" or holy men of buddhism. Like all situations involving people in power there is all too often corruption. Buddhism started to fall apart when Siddhartha died and his original followers broke up in to three main sects. Hundreds of years later, as they squabbled over meaningless stuff, they lost sight of what was the focus of Siddhartha's original teachings.

Because of this corruption I reject 99.99% of all the so called leaders of buddhism. I reject their commercialism and their worldly desires to use the red and orange robes as a status symbol. They fail as wise men and fail to show by example how one can improve their life by giving up the illusion. I reject the many different forms of buddism which have splintered off from the original teachings. They are proof that man has a way of twisting and manipulating truths for fullfilling their personal desires.

As for the Four Noble Truths, people who reject it do so because they believe in the "self". It is the "I think therefore I am" point of view which separates followers from non-followers. I view my life as an illusion. I do not exist in the self. I am merely a product of my environment. I would get in to reincarnation but talking about it would be like discussing baseball with a person who doesn't care for the sport.

As for not wanting to "convert" you, it is because buddhism focuses on the individual. I think on the other hand that christians have been taught to convert people so that the "strength in numbers" is valid. The church does this so it can have more members, more money, more power. I reject their claim that it is because they want to save souls, while there are a small number of followers who actually think they are doing good.

 

 


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digitalbeachbum wrote:I

digitalbeachbum wrote:

I agree with you assessment of the different "leaders" or holy men of buddhism. Like all situations involving people in power there is all too often corruption. Buddhism started to fall apart when Siddhartha died and his original followers broke up in to three main sects. Hundreds of years later, as they squabbled over meaningless stuff, they lost sight of what was the focus of Siddhartha's original teachings.

Because of this corruption I reject 99.99% of all the so called leaders of buddhism. I reject their commercialism and their worldly desires to use the red and orange robes as a status symbol. They fail as wise men and fail to show by example how one can improve their life by giving up the illusion. I reject the many different forms of buddism which have splintered off from the original teachings. They are proof that man has a way of twisting and manipulating truths for fullfilling their personal desires.

 

I think you've aptly summed up what I was trying to convey about Buddhism. It's the fact that a lot of the people have jumped on the bandwagon of commercialism to supposedly push for feel good wisdom.

I did meet some very sincere, honest and dedicated people in that religion that really walked the walk and such.

I did find some value in some of the ideas expressed in "be of the world and not in the world" and it took me some time to understand that this was not about indifference or feeling above other people. I also found some value in forgetting about egotistical self importance.

But on the whole, I think that Buddhism is one of those paths that a person would have to sift through a lot of crap to find some truths. Perhaps I just didn't have the patience and tolerance that would be necessary to do so. I can't say for sure, because I did not really pursue it.

For instance, one particular person gave me the question : " What was my original face before my mother and father were born ?" to follow. Follow is not the right word, because he said that if one follows the words, one would never get it. I tried it for only a while and then just gave up. Perhaps I had too many mental attachments to get past it all. I don't know.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster wrote:I

harleysportster wrote:
I think you've aptly summed up what I was trying to convey about Buddhism. It's the fact that a lot of the people have jumped on the bandwagon of commercialism to supposedly push for feel good wisdom.

I did meet some very sincere, honest and dedicated people in that religion that really walked the walk and such.

I did find some value in some of the ideas expressed in "be of the world and not in the world" and it took me some time to understand that this was not about indifference or feeling above other people. I also found some value in forgetting about egotistical self importance.

But on the whole, I think that Buddhism is one of those paths that a person would have to sift through a lot of crap to find some truths. Perhaps I just didn't have the patience and tolerance that would be necessary to do so. I can't say for sure, because I did not really pursue it.

For instance, one particular person gave me the question : " What was my original face before my mother and father were born ?" to follow. Follow is not the right word, because he said that if one follows the words, one would never get it. I tried it for only a while and then just gave up. Perhaps I had too many mental attachments to get past it all. I don't know.

Commercialism can corrupt something good.

Cool.

My one truth was the four noble truths. lol.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_face

I understand "zen"  but avoid it except THE SPHINX "He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions."

http://www.quotefully.com/movie/Mystery+Men/The+Sphinx

 


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i am not an expert on

i am not an expert on buddhism either, but i'll wager i'm currently the closest thing this forum has to one.

before i begin, allow me just to emphasize that the dalai lama and his retinue do not represent buddhism, nor even tibetan buddhism, as a whole.  they are members of the gelugs-pa tradition (probably not transliterating that right; my grasp of sanskrit and pali terminology is pretty good, my tibetan pretty much zilch), which took political control of tibet about 4 or 5 centuries ago in sort of a donation of constantine type situation.  the authority of any tibetan lama outside of tibet was widely unknown, aside from an expat community in india, until the early 20th century, thanks first to the theosophical society, then to hollywood.

now to it.  i agree with buddhist scholar paul williams when he says (in the introduction to mahayana buddhism: the doctrinal foundations) that to look for some authentic "core" in buddhism is simply unrealistic.  buddhism being distilled into "essential doctrines" is largely a response to curious westerners.  sure, these models can be helpful scholastically, but in and of themselves they should not be used to make value judgments of what "is" or "is not" buddhism.

that being said, can an atheist be a buddhist?  certainly, with no trouble at all.  same goes for a theist of any stripe, including a christian.  does buddhist doctrine accept theistic teachings like christianity as being on a par with its own?  emphatically no.  these are lesser, tentative truths (most buddhist "philosophy," particularly in mahayana traditions, recognizes various levels of truth).  the ultimate truth, however, is realization of nibbana for the theravadin, sunyata ("emptiness" ) for those (like tibetans) who hold to the madhyamika schools of thought, or the buddhadatu ("buddha nature," either individual or universal) for most east asian buddhists.  personal, devotional theism may be expedient for the seeker in some stages of his or her journey, but ultimately will have to be abandoned (though not necessarily in a discursive sense).

is buddhism atheistic?  of course, this depends on how one defines every word of that sentence, but if we want to take "buddhism" as any tradition that consciously identifies itself as "buddhist" and "atheistic" as meaning nothing more nor less than "absence of a god" (the definition recognized by most of the posters on this site, including its founders), then i have to say largely yes.  theravada as it is practised by most sinhalese, burmese, and thais is most definitely atheistic.  nothing to the theravadin has any intrinsic existence, except perhaps at the highest levels of abhidhamma discourse, where some schools (sauntrantika, for example) have developed something akin to lucretian atomic theory.  but even these "atoms" (dhammas) do not possess an unconditioned existence.  i recall reading in swami agehananda bharati's autobiography how amused he was when he went to teach hinduism to classes of theravada monks in thailand.  the idea of the brahman (which cannot be called "god" either, but at least has a positive, unconditioned existence) just did not compute with them.

as for mahayana, well, still, for the most part yes.  it is true that mahayana has held over a lot of the old brahmanic pantheon, thus perhaps we can say that as such it can broadly be called "theistic," but such theism has little meaning for us.  it also depends on whether or not we should unqualifiably equate the sanskrit deva with the english "god."  i am not convinced of that, but regardless, the brahmanic "gods," in buddhist estimation, are just as subject to death and rebirth as all of us, and in some traditions even a lowly monk is ranked above a god, since a monk, unlike a god, has turned his back on samsara.  the vast majority of tibetan schools (including gelugs-pa) can firmly be called atheistic, as they recognize the infinite negation of prasanghika madhyamika as the supreme wisdom.  if theravada abhidhamma can be considered atheistic (and it can), then that goes double for prasanghika madhyamika.  both indian and tibetan mahayana, however, refuse to assign any sort of unqualified existence to these "gods."

things start to get muddy when we look at china and japan, where the idea of buddhadatu gave birth to the esoteric cults of universal buddhas like vairocana, which started to take on the qualities of a positive, absolute, unchanging substratum of reality.  however, a buddha simply is not a god.  otherwise, we would render it as such.  as i said in another thread, buddha has no semantic equivalent in english, therefore we don't translate it.  it is true that all buddhist traditions offer devotion to the buddha--theravada as nothing more than a memory to be emulated, and much of mahayana as a universal, active principle that manifested itself in gautama for our benefit--but it seems asinine to me to argue that devotion to someone or something a god makes.  that muddies up the terminology beyond all usefulness, which is never good for dialogue on any level.

 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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My view on Buddhism is the

My view on Buddhism is the same as it is with any other ancient made superstitous cult. Evolution exists with or without a religious label, and has long before any of our written myths. And evolution will continue regardless if we ditch the ones we have now, or make up new ones in the future.

Our morals are not label based, and no religion invented human behavior. Our actions, good or bad, have always been part of a range in evolution.

"The New Atheism" Victor Stenger spends a later chapter discussing all the world's major religions, and the oriental ones including Janism and Taoism, along with the gods of Abraham and Buddhism as well. He shows all the similarities that point to our evolution, and way from the necessity of any label.

My view is that it is merely a societal and or personal predilection. But no label is required to make babies or do good or bad.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Brian37 wrote:My view on

Brian37 wrote:

My view on Buddhism is the same as it is with any other ancient made superstitous cult. Evolution exists with or without a religious label, and has long before any of our written myths. And evolution will continue regardless if we ditch the ones we have now, or make up new ones in the future.

a statement with a strong buddhist affinity.

 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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harleysportster wrote:
I don't buy into any of the koans that I read ( i.e. what is the sound of one hand clapping),

a spanking

 

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harleysportster wrote:For

harleysportster wrote:

For instance, one particular person gave me the question : " What was my original face before my mother and father were born ?" to follow. Follow is not the right word, because he said that if one follows the words, one would never get it. I tried it for only a while and then just gave up. Perhaps I had too many mental attachments to get past it all. I don't know.

the koan is very much a zen strategy.  i never found it helpful myself, especially in the form of simple, unadorned questions like those.

the chinese masters wrote most of the koans and usually they take the form of stories of encounters between monks, or between a learned monk and someone like a lord.  they can be found in collections like the blue cliff record.  usually questions like you mentioned are lifted out of their narrative context, and i find that unfortunate.  not that the narratives make a great deal of discursive sense, either, but they do make for more interesting reading.

i always enjoyed the zen autobiographies much more than the koans, like hui neng's platform sutra of the sixth patriarch.

the fact of the matter is that a serious meditative path in any branch of buddhism, except perhaps the jodo shinshu or nichiren sects (which i have little respect for), cannot be laicized or popularized.  it goes hand in hand with monastic discipline.  a koan will not work without daily zazen, which is why i don't mess with them, because i haven't the means nor interest to enter a monastery.  perhaps i might give it a shot when i'm old; there is such a thing as taking temporary vows in almost all buddhist traditions, and most japanese traditions, zen included, do not require celibacy of their monks (many roshis are married).

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:i am not an

iwbiek wrote:

i am not an expert on buddhism either, but i'll wager i'm currently the closest thing this forum has to one.

What is a buddhist?


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holda2nd wrote:

Hi,

It's common to find atheists disagree with theism (Abrahammic religions.) I wonder what atheists think about Buddhism. Buddhism is not theism, nor atheism (it doesn't fit the definition of atheism on this website.) Care to share your thoughts?

I start by saying I have achieved what they call enlightenment. By that I mean I understand what they constantly say can't be talked about and it cannot be talked about. However there is one saying that matters. Before enlightenment one carries water and hews wood. After enlightenment one carries water and hews wood. There is one change but it cannot be talked about either.

Can't talk about means simply it is something that ls realized at a non-verbal level. As with water and wood there is no change other than the obvious one in that one stops searching. Which leads to a couple observations. Anyone who claims to have been changed by enlightenment is lying. Anyone who claims special knowledge from it also a liar and likely a con artist.

With all that I can say enlightenment requires no special meditation or practices. I saw enlightenment during a Star Trek movie and for weeks afterwards would break out in hysterical laughter at myself for thinking there was something to it. There is no religious component, neither ritual nor belief nor taboo. There are no statues, incense, chants. saffron robes nor is there anyone who can teach or explain how to gain enlighenment.

Also using the words achieve and gain are misleading. It is sort of the opposite of that but it is mostly neutral.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

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digitalbeachbum wrote:iwbiek

digitalbeachbum wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

i am not an expert on buddhism either, but i'll wager i'm currently the closest thing this forum has to one.

What is a buddhist?

someone who has taken refuge in the buddha, the dharma, and the sangha.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:holda2nd

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

holda2nd wrote:

Hi,

It's common to find atheists disagree with theism (Abrahammic religions.) I wonder what atheists think about Buddhism. Buddhism is not theism, nor atheism (it doesn't fit the definition of atheism on this website.) Care to share your thoughts?

I start by saying I have achieved what they call enlightenment. By that I mean I understand what they constantly say can't be talked about and it cannot be talked about. However there is one saying that matters. Before enlightenment one carries water and hews wood. After enlightenment one carries water and hews wood. There is one change but it cannot be talked about either.

Can't talk about means simply it is something that ls realized at a non-verbal level. As with water and wood there is no change other than the obvious one in that one stops searching. Which leads to a couple observations. Anyone who claims to have been changed by enlightenment is lying. Anyone who claims special knowledge from it also a liar and likely a con artist.

With all that I can say enlightenment requires no special meditation or practices. I saw enlightenment during a Star Trek movie and for weeks afterwards would break out in hysterical laughter at myself for thinking there was something to it. There is no religious component, neither ritual nor belief nor taboo. There are no statues, incense, chants. saffron robes nor is there anyone who can teach or explain how to gain enlighenment.

Also using the words achieve and gain are misleading. It is sort of the opposite of that but it is mostly neutral.

to talk about enlightenment is not to talk about buddhism.  buddhism is not necessary to an awakened person.  once one crosses the river, one doesn't bother to carry the raft any further.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:holda2nd

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Before enlightenment one carries water and hews wood. After enlightenment one carries water and hews wood.

Ahmen

 


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iwbiek wrote:digitalbeachbum

iwbiek wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

i am not an expert on buddhism either, but i'll wager i'm currently the closest thing this forum has to one.

What is a buddhist?

someone who has taken refuge in the buddha, the dharma, and the sangha.

What is it to take refuge?


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iwbiek wrote:Brian37

iwbiek wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

My view on Buddhism is the same as it is with any other ancient made superstitous cult. Evolution exists with or without a religious label, and has long before any of our written myths. And evolution will continue regardless if we ditch the ones we have now, or make up new ones in the future.

a statement with a strong buddhist affinity.

 

No, it is a statement  of the obvious. Buddhists were not around 500,000 years ago. Just because they say stuff that seems to work, is no different than saying the sky is blue. You can say "The sky is blue" but not know why humans view the sky as blue in a scientific manor.

They have the same concepts of self control, honor, environment, cooperation, happiness. And when you look at that religion's history it also has had it's internal powers struggles and violence.

They were not ahead of Darwin and your word "affinity" is just patently absurd. It is easy to gain appeal in a moment in time and parlay those pretty words into a movement.

Buddhism is popular for the same reason any other religion is, marketing, not truth of claims.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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digitalbeachbum wrote:What

digitalbeachbum wrote:

What is it to take refuge?

While we're on the subject, does anyone on here know if the dog has buddha nature or not ? To say yes or no means that you lose your Buddha nature. I guess I can not answer the question, because if I could, I would be enlightened.

I DID have an experience, right before I quit toying with it, that is somewhat similiar to what Nony was talking about.

I was asking myself : " What was my original face ?" and suddenly just laughed out loud. I realized that all of this bullshit that I thought I was and was supposed to be, was just a lie that I was telling myself. Well, that it's not quite the context of what I realized, but that is the closest thing that I can describe to it. There was no "hysterical laughing fits" for "weeks after." But, like iwbiek stated, I didn't incorporate the suggested Zazen daily and did not pursue it with the dead seriousness that the person who gave me that question said I should.

Perhaps if I had endured, something would have taken place. But then again, I am pretty content right now. Enlightened ? No. But content. I'll settle with that.

In the meantime, if I See the Buddha, I will kill the Buddha ( another one that I never figured out).

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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iwbiek wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

i am not an expert on buddhism either, but i'll wager i'm currently the closest thing this forum has to one.

What is a buddhist?

someone who has taken refuge in the buddha, the dharma, and the sangha.

But mostly in the sangria.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

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iwbiek wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

holda2nd wrote:

Hi,

It's common to find atheists disagree with theism (Abrahammic religions.) I wonder what atheists think about Buddhism. Buddhism is not theism, nor atheism (it doesn't fit the definition of atheism on this website.) Care to share your thoughts?

I start by saying I have achieved what they call enlightenment. By that I mean I understand what they constantly say can't be talked about and it cannot be talked about. However there is one saying that matters. Before enlightenment one carries water and hews wood. After enlightenment one carries water and hews wood. There is one change but it cannot be talked about either.

Can't talk about means simply it is something that ls realized at a non-verbal level. As with water and wood there is no change other than the obvious one in that one stops searching. Which leads to a couple observations. Anyone who claims to have been changed by enlightenment is lying. Anyone who claims special knowledge from it also a liar and likely a con artist.

With all that I can say enlightenment requires no special meditation or practices. I saw enlightenment during a Star Trek movie and for weeks afterwards would break out in hysterical laughter at myself for thinking there was something to it. There is no religious component, neither ritual nor belief nor taboo. There are no statues, incense, chants. saffron robes nor is there anyone who can teach or explain how to gain enlighenment.

Also using the words achieve and gain are misleading. It is sort of the opposite of that but it is mostly neutral.

to talk about enlightenment is not to talk about buddhism.  buddhism is not necessary to an awakened person.  once one crosses the river, one doesn't bother to carry the raft any further.

Nor, obviously, is Buddhism necessary for enlightenment. And if one is not "seeking" enlightenment why in the fuck are they bothering with Buddhism? And since nothing can teach enlightenment what is the point in any method as none can work.

Keeping in mind enlightenment is a big nothing, are there any studies showing it is more commonly achieved with Buddhism than without?

It is my impression that the western version of it is "coming to terms with ones self or stopped obsessing or don't sweat the hard stuff.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

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digitalbeachbum wrote:iwbiek

digitalbeachbum wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

i am not an expert on buddhism either, but i'll wager i'm currently the closest thing this forum has to one.

What is a buddhist?

someone who has taken refuge in the buddha, the dharma, and the sangha.

What is it to take refuge?

depends on who you ask.  are these honest questions or are you trying to make some point?  if so, i'd prefer you just make it.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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Brian37 wrote:iwbiek

Brian37 wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

My view on Buddhism is the same as it is with any other ancient made superstitous cult. Evolution exists with or without a religious label, and has long before any of our written myths. And evolution will continue regardless if we ditch the ones we have now, or make up new ones in the future.

a statement with a strong buddhist affinity.

 

No, it is a statement  of the obvious. Buddhists were not around 500,000 years ago. Just because they say stuff that seems to work, is no different than saying the sky is blue. You can say "The sky is blue" but not know why humans view the sky as blue in a scientific manor.

They have the same concepts of self control, honor, environment, cooperation, happiness. And when you look at that religion's history it also has had it's internal powers struggles and violence.

They were not ahead of Darwin and your word "affinity" is just patently absurd. It is easy to gain appeal in a moment in time and parlay those pretty words into a movement.

Buddhism is popular for the same reason any other religion is, marketing, not truth of claims.

I'm not going to go around and around with you again, but I want to say this one item.

 

Buddhism is what it is. It doesn't claim to be an answer for every one. It doesn't claim to be the oldest. The wisest. The most efficient. What it does claim is that some one, a long time ago, was wondering why there was so much suffering in the world. They realized that our minds and are ego are battling each other. The suffering comes from that battle. (excluding physical suffering for the lesser advanced understanding).

Everything else within buddhism is an experience. It's a realization. It's seeing through the illusion.

You and your "labels" are fine, but they weren't around 500,000 years ago either so you are merely putting labels on labels. You think you have the right answers but they are only right for you. You see truth and logic in your way of thinking but it is only because you have labeled things in a specific way that it becomes logical, for you.

So stop with your pretty words. You are just like the people you criticize.

 


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harleysportster wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

What is it to take refuge?

While we're on the subject, does anyone on here know if the dog has buddha nature or not ? To say yes or no means that you lose your Buddha nature. I guess I can not answer the question, because if I could, I would be enlightened.

I DID have an experience, right before I quit toying with it, that is somewhat similiar to what Nony was talking about.

I was asking myself : " What was my original face ?" and suddenly just laughed out loud. I realized that all of this bullshit that I thought I was and was supposed to be, was just a lie that I was telling myself. Well, that it's not quite the context of what I realized, but that is the closest thing that I can describe to it. There was no "hysterical laughing fits" for "weeks after." But, like iwbiek stated, I didn't incorporate the suggested Zazen daily and did not pursue it with the dead seriousness that the person who gave me that question said I should.

Perhaps if I had endured, something would have taken place. But then again, I am pretty content right now. Enlightened ? No. But content. I'll settle with that.

In the meantime, if I See the Buddha, I will kill the Buddha ( another one that I never figured out).

Every thing has the buddha nature. Every tree, every rock, every dog, every human.

In an attempt to explain in simple terms, we are talking about rocks and humans, both have the potential to be something else. Eventually the rock will  break down and be ingested by a living being. While those elements are not the buddha nature, they make up something greater which will eventually become buddha. It's sort of like having all the puzzle pieces put together, one piece is only the beginning but as a whole, they make up the end.

I have those fits of laughter often enough that it makes me wonder. I realize the truth to things and then it fades. It has made me realize their are different levels of awarness which make up buddha. Only when you have complete control over all of it are you truly awake.

 


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:iwbiek

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

i am not an expert on buddhism either, but i'll wager i'm currently the closest thing this forum has to one.

What is a buddhist?

someone who has taken refuge in the buddha, the dharma, and the sangha.

But mostly in the sangria.

 

lol


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iwbiek wrote:digitalbeachbum

iwbiek wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

iwbiek wrote:

i am not an expert on buddhism either, but i'll wager i'm currently the closest thing this forum has to one.

What is a buddhist?

someone who has taken refuge in the buddha, the dharma, and the sangha.

What is it to take refuge?

depends on who you ask.  are these honest questions or are you trying to make some point?  if so, i'd prefer you just make it.

I'm not testing you, just checking to see if you realized something.


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harleysportster wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

What is it to take refuge?

While we're on the subject, does anyone on here know if the dog has buddha nature or not ? To say yes or no means that you lose your Buddha nature. I guess I can not answer the question, because if I could, I would be enlightened.

As buddha nature is BS it is highly unlikely. Now did Siddharta have dog nature? He worked a great scam if the stories are true.

Quote:
I DID have an experience, right before I quit toying with it, that is somewhat similiar to what Nony was talking about.

I was asking myself : " What was my original face ?" and suddenly just laughed out loud. I realized that all of this bullshit that I thought I was and was supposed to be, was just a lie that I was telling myself. Well, that it's not quite the context of what I realized, but that is the closest thing that I can describe to it. There was no "hysterical laughing fits" for "weeks after."

Perhaps my face is funnier. I had spent a long time trying to figure out what they were talking about. You indicate you were just starting. Longer effort, greater reaction? There must certainly have been many more odd ideas on my side for the time involved.

Quote:
But, like iwbiek stated, I didn't incorporate the suggested Zazen daily and did not pursue it with the dead seriousness that the person who gave me that question said I should.

You laughed. You realized there was nothing serious about it.

Quote:
Perhaps if I had endured, something would have taken place. But then again, I am pretty content right now. Enlightened ? No. But content. I'll settle with that.

In the meantime, if I See the Buddha, I will kill the Buddha ( another one that I never figured out).

You are not searching for enlighenment. You have arrived.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

harleysportster wrote:
I don't buy into any of the koans that I read ( i.e. what is the sound of one hand clapping),

a spanking

 

Laughing out loud

This actually reminds me of the fable where the dead serious student asked the master what enlightenment was ? The teacher responded, words to the effect of : "dirty toilet paper."

 

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Quote:
But, like iwbiek stated, I didn't incorporate the suggested Zazen daily and did not pursue it with the dead seriousness that the person who gave me that question said I should.

You laughed. You realized there was nothing serious about it.

Indeed, that could be what it was. That's about the sum of what it was to me at the time.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

You are not searching for enlighenment.You have arrived 

Right again. Arrived ? Hmm. Don't know.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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digitalbeachbum

digitalbeachbum wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

But mostly in the sangria.

 

lol

What do you mean digital ?

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster wrote:While

harleysportster wrote:

While we're on the subject, does anyone on here know if the dog has buddha nature or not ? To say yes or no means that you lose your Buddha nature.

not all buddhists believe in a buddha nature, but as far as those who do, most, particularly japanese buddhists, would say yes.

harleysportster wrote:

In the meantime, if I See the Buddha, I will kill the Buddha ( another one that I never figured out).

really?  that's one of the easiest ones.  it has to do with nonattachment: getting attached to the idea of the buddha is just as much a hindrance as getting attached to anything else.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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digitalbeachbum wrote:I'm

digitalbeachbum wrote:

I'm not testing you, just checking to see if you realized something.

so spit it out.  i think i made it quite clear i'm not into the zen method.  my specialty is scholastic buddhism, particularly the indian schools.

and i don't "realize" anything: i learn and i study.  i'm a religion scholar, not religious.  i have a keen interest in the history of buddhist thought, and indian thought in general, but i am not a buddhist.  i have not taken the three refuges, nor have i ever meditated according to any method.

my interest in buddhism is academic and, i freely admit, aesthetic.  i put myself forward as the closest thing this forum has to an expert on buddhism because i have seen nothing in the 5 years or so i've been on this site that indicates to me that anyone else here has read, thought, and talked as much about the buddhist traditions as i have.  i could very well be wrong about that, and will freely and cheerfully admit it.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:harleysportster

iwbiek wrote:

harleysportster wrote:

In the meantime, if I See the Buddha, I will kill the Buddha ( another one that I never figured out).

really?  that's one of the easiest ones.  it has to do with nonattachment: getting attached to the idea of the buddha is just as much a hindrance as getting attached to anything else.

Ah, I see. Pretty simple now that you pointed that out. Probably one of those things a person could see quite easily if they were not walking all over it.

It's almost like striving for non-attachment can be an actual attachment.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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harleysportster wrote:It's

harleysportster wrote:

It's almost like striving for non-attachment can be an actual attachment.

precisely, hence the goal of the koan, to transport you completely beyond discursive thought.  enlightenment cannot be obtained by the subjective conscious.  focusing on anything in a subject-object dichotomy, even an edifying thing, is a barrier to enlightenment. 

different branches of buddhism employ different methods to overcome this.  in japan, the soto zen school calls for long periods of meditation on a koan given to one by the roshi.  the rinzai school (historically favored by the warrior aristocracy) relies on sudden enlightenment brought about not only by a koan, but often by shocks like the roshi shouting, stamping his foot, or even hitting the student.  it's a situation where enlightenment is like falling over a cliff: a good roshi can see when a student is just on the brink and needs only an extra little nudge.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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harleysportster wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

harleysportster wrote:
I don't buy into any of the koans that I read ( i.e. what is the sound of one hand clapping),

a spanking

Laughing out loud

This actually reminds me of the fable where the dead serious student asked the master what enlightenment was ? The teacher responded, words to the effect of : "dirty toilet paper."

Remember I said it cannot be spoken simply because the recognition is on a non-verbal level? Any words are good enough because none can describe it.

I can describe exactly what it is and it is something I knew about before the event. It is simply realizing that the words in one's head to express an idea appear after the formation of the idea. You would not be playing word games with yourself if the formation did not come first. So you are "doing it to yourself." Enlightenment is when that ceases to be an intellectualization and is observed fact.

All those "one hand clapping" and "turn off the inner voice" things are there just to realize they are impossible but one tries simply because the preverbal thing can and does get the word thoughts running in circles. When you stop the preverbal part it all goes away and realizing all the dumb attempts to change the effect instead of the cause are just downright funny. It is like trying to turn of the light by covering the bulb in duct tape instead of throwing the switch.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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harleysportster wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Quote:
But, like iwbiek stated, I didn't incorporate the suggested Zazen daily and did not pursue it with the dead seriousness that the person who gave me that question said I should.

You laughed. You realized there was nothing serious about it.

Indeed, that could be what it was. That's about the sum of what it was to me at the time.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

You are not searching for enlighenment.You have arrived 

Right again. Arrived ? Hmm. Don't know.

You still "hew wood and carry water." There is no change other than you are no longer searching. If you expected something else, what was it and why did you expect something else? Why? You were clearly told there is no change that there is no difference by any honest person.

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:Nor,

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Nor, obviously, is Buddhism necessary for enlightenment. And if one is not "seeking" enlightenment why in the fuck are they bothering with Buddhism? And since nothing can teach enlightenment what is the point in any method as none can work.

Keeping in mind enlightenment is a big nothing, are there any studies showing it is more commonly achieved with Buddhism than without?

It is my impression that the western version of it is "coming to terms with ones self or stopped obsessing or don't sweat the hard stuff.

obviously the claims of buddhism cannot be verified empirically, which is precisely why it is a religion.  nothing irritates me more than when someone says buddhism (or any religion for that matter) is a philosophy or "way of life."  philosophy (or good philosophy, anyhow) is here to explain to us how language works and what we can do with it and what we can't, nothing more.  as for "way of life," any fucking thing is a way of life.  playing tennis is a way of life.

methods work and they don't work, depending on what you want.  the buddha's mission was to bring the way to moksa to everyday people from the ivory towers of the brahmins and the forest hermits.  he was imminently practical and believed that the path to nirvana need not be complicated, nor does one need to be born into the right class, nor does one need to go through the four asramas, nor does even need the vedas (which is why buddhism can never in any way be equated with "hinduism" ).  there was also probably a huge influence from the fact that gautama came from a ksatriya family (as did mahavira and nanak, incidentally).

you're right in saying he didn't say anything we can't arrive at through our own western cultural aesthetic.  if anything i might venture that sanskrit, pali, and prakrit are languages more conducive to discussing concepts like enlightenment and the most expedient path to it (depending always on the individual) than english or any other european language, just as german is much more suited to discussing materialism than sanskrit.

 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:obviously the

iwbiek wrote:
obviously the claims of buddhism cannot be verified empirically, which is precisely why it is a religion.  nothing irritates me more than when someone says buddhism (or any religion for that matter) is a philosophy or "way of life."  philosophy (or good philosophy, anyhow) is here to explain to us how language works and what we can do with it and what we can't, nothing more.  as for "way of life," any fucking thing is a way of life.  playing tennis is a way of life.

The path of buddhism can be either a religion or a non-religious experience. Buddhism is not a religion to me. I treat it as a philosophy. I do not worship or believe in a creator. It does not rule my life nor do I have any dogma to follow. I have no days with attempting practices or prayer. I only realize that every single living being that has come before me, is now with me and will come after I cease, will experience suffering. Suffering is needless. It is the by-product of the illusion brought forth by the desires of the ego to fill an endless craving.

 


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:You are

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

You are not searching for enlightenment. You have arrived.

 

 


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harleysportster

harleysportster wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

But mostly in the sangria.

 

lol

What do you mean digital ?

He has a sense of humor.

 

 


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iwbiek wrote:my interest in

iwbiek wrote:
my interest in buddhism is academic

I've definitely noticed this, you are a walking encyclopedia. There is more information in one of your posts than I have in my entire memory bank.

I've always wondered what it would be like to remember more than a few pages of any book I read.

 


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digitalbeachbum wrote: The

digitalbeachbum wrote:

 

The path of buddhism can be either a religion or a non-religious experience. Buddhism is not a religion to me. I treat it as a philosophy. I do not worship or believe in a creator. It does not rule my life nor do I have any dogma to follow. I have no days with attempting practices or prayer. I only realize that every single living being that has come before me, is now with me and will come after I cease, will experience suffering. Suffering is needless. It is the by-product of the illusion brought forth by the desires of the ego to fill an endless craving.

 

i respect this position because, in actuality, i hold much the same position: i treat buddhism as a sort of "philosophy" (i really hate to use that term with indian thought in general, except perhaps for the schools of indian logic, with which i've had no truck, but i know of no better approximation) but i must recognize that it emphatically is not, according to its scriptural canons (pali, tibetan, and chinese) and according to its major interpreters.  science, religion, and philosophy may try to answer "how?", religion and (bad) philosophy may try to answer "why?", but in my unoriginal and no doubt poorly formulated opinion, only religion may try to answer "whence?" (in an existential and/or metaphysical sense).  kant does not attempt to answer this, nor does plato, nor does wittgenstein, but gautama does.

this is why i do not call myself a buddhist.  i accept some of gautama's precepts, in particular (like you) the notion of duhkha, but i don't necessarily accept his presuppositions (reincarnation and the need for liberation from it) or his goal (i'm not convinced there is such a thing as nirvana or any abiding enlightenment--i am, however, enamored with the zen concept of satori).  i do believe the noble eightfold path is as good as any for treating our duhkha in this plane of physical reality.  i think the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path are perhaps the best basis any religion has to offer for a global ethic (in hans kung's terms).  i think that all the legal and moral codes of monotheism look small and mean-spirited in comparison.

i apologize if i seem prickly on this subject, but i take my studies of indian thought and buddhism in particular as seriously as i can, outside of an education in sanskrit or pali, which i have no access to here.  one consequence of this is that i have run afoul of a lot of half-baked mystics who read a couple books by krishnamurti or the dalai lama or thich nhat hanh, get a lot of hippy ideas into their heads, and then get pissed at me when i burst their bubbles.  i admit, i'm perhaps needlessly hard on such people--mainly because i used to be one.  i certainly have never thought you're one but still, my knee tends to jerk a bit.

 

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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digitalbeachbum wrote: I've

digitalbeachbum wrote:

 

I've definitely noticed this, you are a walking encyclopedia. There is more information in one of your posts than I have in my entire memory bank.

I've always wondered what it would be like to remember more than a few pages of any book I read.

 

thank you for the compliment.  my memory is not a fraction of what i wish it was.

still, this can be a curse in one respect: the more information one retains over the years, the more one realizes the staggering volume of conflicting information.  thus, one ceases to trust anything or any one, especially one's own memory.

my talent for and love of retaining information is one of the main factors that has made me a bitter, cynical drunk.  my love for beautiful, intelligent women is the other.

speaking of which, i have an inordinate amount of champagne, beer, and bailey's in me right now, how 'bout you?  i drink to you.

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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harleysportster wrote:While

harleysportster wrote:

While we're on the subject, does anyone on here know if the dog has buddha nature or not ? To say yes or no means that you lose your Buddha nature. I guess I can not answer the question, because if I could, I would be enlightened.

iwbiek is right, not all Buddhists accept the concept of Buddha nature.

It makes more sense to say that every sentient being has the seed of Buddhahood, which means all sentient beings (worms, ants, etc) have potentiality to become a Buddha (of course not in its current life.)

harleysportster wrote:

I DID have an experience, right before I quit toying with it, that is somewhat similiar to what Nony was talking about.

I was asking myself : " What was my original face ?" and suddenly just laughed out loud. I realized that all of this bullshit that I thought I was and was supposed to be, was just a lie that I was telling myself. Well, that it's not quite the context of what I realized, but that is the closest thing that I can describe to it. There was no "hysterical laughing fits" for "weeks after." But, like iwbiek stated, I didn't incorporate the suggested Zazen daily and did not pursue it with the dead seriousness that the person who gave me that question said I should.

Perhaps if I had endured, something would have taken place. But then again, I am pretty content right now. Enlightened ? No. But content. I'll settle with that.

In the meantime, if I See the Buddha, I will kill the Buddha ( another one that I never figured out).

Be careful with the term "Enlightenment". Its meaning has been diluted from time to time until eventually no one knows what the Ultimate one is.

 

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holda2nd wrote:Be careful

holda2nd wrote:

Be careful with the term "Enlightenment". Its meaning has been diluted from time to time until eventually no one knows what the Ultimate one is.

 

As I have already stated, I do not believe in Enlightenment or any of the rest of it.

I was merely stating what had happened.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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iwbiek wrote:digitalbeachbum

iwbiek wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

 

The path of buddhism can be either a religion or a non-religious experience. Buddhism is not a religion to me. I treat it as a philosophy. I do not worship or believe in a creator. It does not rule my life nor do I have any dogma to follow. I have no days with attempting practices or prayer. I only realize that every single living being that has come before me, is now with me and will come after I cease, will experience suffering. Suffering is needless. It is the by-product of the illusion brought forth by the desires of the ego to fill an endless craving.

 

i respect this position because, in actuality, i hold much the same position: i treat buddhism as a sort of "philosophy" (i really hate to use that term with indian thought in general, except perhaps for the schools of indian logic, with which i've had no truck, but i know of no better approximation) but i must recognize that it emphatically is not, according to its scriptural canons (pali, tibetan, and chinese) and according to its major interpreters.  science, religion, and philosophy may try to answer "how?", religion and (bad) philosophy may try to answer "why?", but in my unoriginal and no doubt poorly formulated opinion, only religion may try to answer "whence?" (in an existential and/or metaphysical sense).  kant does not attempt to answer this, nor does plato, nor does wittgenstein, but gautama does.

this is why i do not call myself a buddhist.  i accept some of gautama's precepts, in particular (like you) the notion of duhkha, but i don't necessarily accept his presuppositions (reincarnation and the need for liberation from it) or his goal (i'm not convinced there is such a thing as nirvana or any abiding enlightenment--i am, however, enamored with the zen concept of satori).  i do believe the noble eightfold path is as good as any for treating our duhkha in this plane of physical reality.  i think the four noble truths and the noble eightfold path are perhaps the best basis any religion has to offer for a global ethic (in hans kung's terms).  i think that all the legal and moral codes of monotheism look small and mean-spirited in comparison.

i apologize if i seem prickly on this subject, but i take my studies of indian thought and buddhism in particular as seriously as i can, outside of an education in sanskrit or pali, which i have no access to here.  one consequence of this is that i have run afoul of a lot of half-baked mystics who read a couple books by krishnamurti or the dalai lama or thich nhat hanh, get a lot of hippy ideas into their heads, and then get pissed at me when i burst their bubbles.  i admit, i'm perhaps needlessly hard on such people--mainly because i used to be one.  i certainly have never thought you're one but still, my knee tends to jerk a bit.

 

I am the complete opposite of you when it comes to studies. I can't remember much from any thing I read nor do I wish to be regimental about my learning. I have a desire to disconnect from life and focus on things which most people ignore.

I like your views. I am in agreement with it as a whole or so it appears. I'm sure there are some things we differ on.

I stay away from the hippie aspect of buddhism. I stay away from those leaders who would attempt to satisfy one niche of the community because it is profitable.

I believe a point of view we differ on is reincarnation. I do not believe I will continue to exist after death. The self, my ego, will cease. However, in some unexplained phenomenon, of which I have yet to rationalize, the consciousness will continue to exist.

I reject this material world and the illusion which is created by the desires of my ego. I see the attachment which brought me so much suffering previously. I see how it affects others every day.

I reject the idea of non-reincarnation for one reason. This Universe exists in its own way, with matter and energy. It gives no cause to us but our bodies are a by-product of its existence. It has a period of non-existence and will eventually return to that status.

If this Universe has a "starting point" and an "ending point" then what is beyond those given points? Does time warp and loop around giving rise to continuous a Universe? If this is not the first or last time this Universe existed, has "ME" existed previously? Mathematically I must have existed previously and these words I'm typing have been typed previously to a person exactly like you (and I mean down to the atom, exactly).

So, in that respect, it appears we differ.

(must run off so if my post seems to have skipped around it's because I am preoccupied with other thoughts).

 

 

 


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iwbiek wrote:digitalbeachbum

iwbiek wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:

 

I've definitely noticed this, you are a walking encyclopedia. There is more information in one of your posts than I have in my entire memory bank.

I've always wondered what it would be like to remember more than a few pages of any book I read.

 

thank you for the compliment.  my memory is not a fraction of what i wish it was.

still, this can be a curse in one respect: the more information one retains over the years, the more one realizes the staggering volume of conflicting information.  thus, one ceases to trust anything or any one, especially one's own memory.

my talent for and love of retaining information is one of the main factors that has made me a bitter, cynical drunk.  my love for beautiful, intelligent women is the other.

speaking of which, i have an inordinate amount of champagne, beer, and bailey's in me right now, how 'bout you?  i drink to you.

I used to drink, among other things, in my youth. I came to a realization, an enlightening if you will, that reality is a better place for my mind to be. I'd rather face my illusions head-on and deal with them rather than run away from them.

I am not saying that is what you do, so if it seems implied know I don't think that. Some people drink just because it feels good and are not masking reality.

I toast you for your insight and knowledge.

 


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digitalbeachbum wrote:I

digitalbeachbum wrote:

I believe a point of view we differ on is reincarnation. I do not believe I will continue to exist after death. The self, my ego, will cease. However, in some unexplained phenomenon, of which I have yet to rationalize, the consciousness will continue to exist.

I reject this material world and the illusion which is created by the desires of my ego. I see the attachment which brought me so much suffering previously. I see how it affects others every day.

I reject the idea of non-reincarnation for one reason. This Universe exists in its own way, with matter and energy. It gives no cause to us but our bodies are a by-product of its existence. It has a period of non-existence and will eventually return to that status.

and these are of course the basics of the buddhist doctrine of pratityasamutpada and indian cosmology in general.  attractive hypotheses, i admit, but i stop short of saying, "it is so."

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:
and these are of course the basics of the buddhist doctrine of pratityasamutpada and indian cosmology in general.  attractive hypotheses, i admit, but i stop short of saying, "it is so."

Seems to me the only useful view of cosmology is the one that can be tested and verified. I therefore would recommend Stephen Hawking over any long dead guy with to many syllables in his name.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:iwbiek

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

iwbiek wrote:
and these are of course the basics of the buddhist doctrine of pratityasamutpada and indian cosmology in general.  attractive hypotheses, i admit, but i stop short of saying, "it is so."

Seems to me the only useful view of cosmology is the one that can be tested and verified. I therefore would recommend Stephen Hawking over any long dead guy with to many syllables in his name.

 

pratityasamutpada is not a person.  it's a sanskrit term usually translated as something like "dependent origination."

and cosmologies can only be tested and verified by those living billions of years.  and imo, no cosmology is useful.  what use could cosmology have, except for those who want to say, "ha ha, i was right"?

"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson


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iwbiek wrote:and these are

iwbiek wrote:
and these are of course the basics of the buddhist doctrine of pratityasamutpada and indian cosmology in general.  attractive hypotheses, i admit, but i stop short of saying, "it is so."

Here is where I stand...

I rationalize the following:

1 - I am a product of an environment.

2 - There is no free will.

3 - "I think therefore I am" is a falsehood.

If there was a "big bang", then there must have been non-space before the expansion. If this is so, there must be an edge to space, an interior and exterior. What exists outside this Universe? If there is an outside, then where are the edges of that environment? How many interiors and exteriors are there? Is there an end or a beginning to the environment?

Every thing I observe in this environment is matter or energy. The remaining forms I see are illusions. They are filled with opinions, desires and emotional attachments. If a person dies, no matter how terrible the loss, they are dead and there is nothing you can do about. The desire to have them alive is the illusion and the source of suffering. It is a falsehood.

If this Universe is an expansion of an event, then Universes must be created elsewhere. If this is so, then there is a source to the creation of the Universes. Therefore there is an timeless number of Universes. Which leaves me to observe that this Universe, down to the atoms, was created previously, and will be created again and endless number of times.