If you think Buddhism is free from typical religious stupidity, read this

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If you think Buddhism is free from typical religious stupidity, read this

By DIKKY SINN, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 19 minutes ago

HONG KONG - Something was strange about the little brown bird found dead from bird flu in one of Hong Kong's busiest shopping districts.

The scaly breasted munia usually lives in rural areas of the territory. So how did it and five others come to be in a bustling urban district — raising the threat of exposing residents and tourists to the virus?

Experts think the birds may have been used in a Buddhist ritual that frees hundreds of birds to improve karma. So, with worries rising in Asia about a new outbreak of bird flu, officials are urging that the religious practice be stopped to protect public health.

Hong Kong is hypersensitive about disease outbreaks — especially bird flu. The illness first appeared here in 1997 when it jumped to humans and killed six people. That prompted the government to slaughter the territory's entire poultry population of 1.5 million birds, and the disease has since largely spared this city of 6.9 million people.

But authorities remain on alert, particularly with new outbreaks in other parts of Asia.

In Japan, agricultural officials announced Saturday that the H5 strain of bird flu had been identified in thousands of chickens that died at a poultry farm in the south. Further tests were under way to determine if it was the H5N1 strain, which has killed 157 people worldwide since 2003.

Indonesia said two more of its people died from bird flu, raising the toll this week to four in the latest cases to strike the country worst hit by the virus. Sixty-one Indonesians have died since H5N1 first appeared in the its commercial poultry stocks and backyard chickens in 2004.

Indonesian authorities said all four dead were believed to have caught the virus directly from chickens and were not known to have had contact with each other.
Bird flu remains hard for humans to catch, but international experts are keeping close watch for signs it has mutated into a form that could spread easily between humans and potentially set off a worldwide pandemic.

When Hong Kong officials discovered that a scaly breast munia found dead on New Year's Eve tested positive for the H5 virus, they held a televised news conference to alert the public. A few days later, they said further tests showed the bird had the H5N1 strain.

The scaly breasted munia is native to Hong Kong, but is usually found in tussocks in rural areas, said Lew Young, a manager at the Chinese territory's Mai Po bird sanctuary.

"Six scaly breasted munia being found dead at the same spot at one time easily leads one to suspect whether they were being released," he said.

The birds are commonly used in the Buddhist ceremonies, Young added.

"They are usually transported to Hong Kong from the mainland in boxes. If one of the birds is sick, the rest are likely to be sick as well since they are crammed in one box," he said.

Aidia Chan, a postgraduate student in ecology who studied the releases for her thesis last year at Hong Kong University, said the frequency of releasing birds in Hong Kong is far more than had been suspected.

She contacted 229 religious groups in the city and 48 admitted they released birds to seek blessings. The groups practice the ritual one to 18 times each year, releasing as many as 3,000 birds each time, she said.

"Based on the figures they gave me, I estimate they released a range of 400,000 to 600,000 birds in 2006," Chan said.

"There are also people who buy and release birds individually, and there's no way for me to quantify them, so there should be more other than these 48 groups," she said.

One Buddhist group said many of its followers had stopped releasing birds since the bird flu outbreak was reported in Hong Kong.

"Some of the followers do not feel comfortable getting in touch with birds since bird flu cases were reported. They were worried the birds might be infected," said Winnie Lam, a spokeswoman for the Hong Kong Buddhist Cultural Association.

Lam said the group used to free more than 1,000 birds at one time, but now release hundreds of fish into the sea each month. "We believe releasing life can build up one's benevolence and life belongs to the nature," she said.

The Hong Kong government has called on the public not to free birds but it declines to comment whether it has considered a formal ban on releases.

Young said while releasing life is a virtuous deed, people should realize the birds are caught somewhere else before they can be released to perform the ritual.

"It may take more than 150 (birds) to provide 100 birds" for releasing, Young said. "Many might have died before they were delivered in Hong Kong. So are they doing a good cause?"

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Sam Harris has been on

Sam Harris has been on Buddhism's case. Here is an article he wrote called "Killing the Buddha"

 

Hopefully we can get an atheist who is more knowledgable about buddhism on the show to talk about it's fallacies. I'd be interested.

The Enlightenment wounded the beast, but the killing blow has yet to land...


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Who was it that said "All

Who was it that said "All religions are incompatible with freedom of thought?" - I think Robert Ingersoll.

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so much for another glimmer

Sad so much for another glimmer of hope for the people of the world


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To be honest, logistically,

To be honest, logistically, and morrally, there are very few points that atheists cannot agree with in Buddhism. Most Buddhists I know understand that their texts are purely symbolic, and only speak of greater truths, rather than historical accuracies as the xtians believe. Of all "religions" (and I use this term loosely when addressing buddhism), they are the ones I respect the most, and I whole heartedly agree with Harris where he says:

"Students of the Buddha are very well placed to further our understanding on this front, but the religion of Buddhism currently stands in their way."

That is to say, that their intentions are in the right place, but as always, the actions of the few outwiegh the thoughts of the many. In the end, though, I'm no expert on Buddhism. I have read a bit and I have a friend (who's brain I've picked) who used to be a Buddhist Monk, and he has called me "very Zen" in my worldview more than once. I do not presume to fully understand their faith, but then, niether would any true Buddhist. As for them participating in an act that could unleash an epidemic, some of the cells in asia are fairly isolated. I find it hard to beieve that they would knowingly participate in something that could have a negative affect on the human population. That would be bad kharma, but, I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time, lol.

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In the last few years I

In the last few years I have travelled in several countries with significant Buddhist presence, including Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Mongolia.

Whenever I travel, I try to observe thoughtfully what I see of the culture in my relatively brief encounter, typically a week or so at most.

I have observed that practice of selling captured birds to free for karma points, and definitely find it a negative reflection on the Buddhist culture in general.

Some of their petty ritualistic rules I also found tiresome, like how you shouldn't stand with your feet pointing certain ways in front of their shrines and statues.

I am prepared to acknowledge they may be one of the 'least harmful' world-views, and they may well have some interesting and possibly useful mental disciplines. But I still sense way too much irrationality for my taste.

They point that really sticks in my mind is that their passivity and/or turning away from worldly things, or something, allowed the abomination of Pol Pot to arise in an almost entirely Buddhist country, the home of one of the biggest historic Buddhist Temple complexes in the world, Angkor Wat. I couldn't bring myself to visit a 'killing field' display across the road from where we were staying in Siem Reap.

I can't help judging the ultimate worth and effectiveness of a major world-view by the history of societies strongly dominated by it.

When people protest that I shouldn't judge a 'religion' by the any apparently negative example, I sense a version of the 'not a True example of the religion', ie the no True Scotsman fallacy.

I would say that any religion which, when dominant in a society, still fails to prevent such serious atrocities or other injustices to occur, has failed to establish its credentials as force for general good, if it is that easily ignored or perverted. If its only virtue is as a way of comforting an individual practitioner and allowing him/her to experience some sublime mental or spiritual high while all around innocent people may be suffering, I have no respect for it. At best it is a physiologically less harmful drug than the chemical ones indulged in and condemned in our own society.

Even the sight of Buddhist monks riding as passengers on a motor-bike, bare-headed, where there appeared to be strong regulations for wearing helmets I found jarring, a triumph of irrational rule-folowing over reason.

Just a few of the observations and thoughts, which combined with some research on the basic doctrines, have left me less than impressed with Buddhism in general...

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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This vaguely reminds me of

This vaguely reminds me of The Dirty Bible story I read a The James Randi Institute's website. Edit: I screwed up my HTML

"Sometimes even the wisest of man or machine can make an error."

-Optimus Prime


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I don't think I'd realy

I don't think I'd realy class Buddhism as a religion - more of a philosophy.  I'm sure that at it's core the teachings would not condone the imprisonment of birds merely to allow their release again as by the act of catching the bird you are causing suffering and by releasing it into an unnatural habitat you are causing more suffering.

"The World is my country, science my religion" - Christiaan Huygens


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Buddhism itself also carries

Buddhism itself also carries a tradition of questioning its own tenets, looking for contradictions, so it's hard to actually find contradictions in the philosophical texts of Buddhism that philosophers within this tradition haven't questioned themselves. The conclusion of Buddhism is compassion. To an atheist/skeptic, I suppose the burden would be on the Buddhist to prove that compassion is in fact the conclusion.


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A while back I came across

A while back I came across this article on global bioethics:

 http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1621096

 

Executive summary: Thailand has a universal health care system, and is predominantly Buddhist. Most doctors in Thailand refuse to withdrawl life support on the basis that Buddhism forbids killing. Taken very literally this applies to people who are only alive because they're hooked up to machines. Turns out there are a signficant amount of people who'll never, ever recover being kept alive by machines due to someone else's beliefs, and this is all being paid for by the government. 

 Also, if you believe in the concept of karma, there's no reason to feel sorry for or even help anyone who suffers from any kind of accident or misfortune -- they're the victims of poverty or violence or whatever because of something they did in this life or the last.


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extreme cold weather

extreme cold weather wrote:

Also, if you believe in the concept of karma, there's no reason to feel sorry for or even help anyone who suffers from any kind of accident or misfortune -- they're the victims of poverty or violence or whatever because of something they did in this life or the last.

Except that, if the conclusion of Bhuddism is compassion as someone mentioned, being compassionate surley earns you karma.   You don't have to feel sorry for someone to act compassionately. 

"The World is my country, science my religion" - Christiaan Huygens


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Buddhism, and most Eastern

Buddhism, and most Eastern Religions in general, is a non-theistic religion.  And because most atheists are used to arguing against the theist standpoint, we are usually just left confused and mystified and don't try to debate it.  And while I find Taoism the most intriguing of all religions I have come across, I would like to see it debated some.

As for the avian flu, read what Greg Easterbrook said yesterday.

Quote:
September 2005: David Nabbaro, a World Health Organization official, says a bird flu pandemic might kill 150 million people worldwide. February 2006: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health, says, "It's almost certain that within a reasonable period of time we will experience an influenza pandemic." March 2006: Michael Leavitt, secretary of Health and Human Services, advises Americans to stockpile six weeks' worth of food, water and medicine in their homes in case the United States economy collapses during a bird flu pandemic. April 2006: the WHO formally warns of up to 7.4 million global deaths. May 2006: ABC airs a made-for-TV movie that depicts half the United States population dying nearly overnight from bird flu. May 2006: The White House avian flu response plan warns of 2 million Americans dead and says the president should be prepared to send the United States Army into cities to put down bird flu riots. Total actual deaths worldwide from avian influenza since the disease was identified in 2003: 166.

Of course 166 deaths represents 166 tragedies. But more than 4 million people have died in traffic accidents worldwide during the same period in which 166 perished from bird flu -- statistically, traffic deaths look exactly like a pandemic, yet no government or media organization seems particularly concerned about road safety. And of course the determined response of the global public-health community has helped stave bird flu off. (The reasons a mass outbreak of avian influenza seems unlikely are summarized here, in article I wrote for Slate.) During the same period that governments and the media have pressed the panic button over a small number of bird flu deaths, 1.5 million people worldwide have died from rotavirus, which unlike bird flu is actually spreading and killing in significant numbers. Rotavirus is confined to the poor nations of the developing world, so no one in the West cares. There is a vaccine for rotavirus, but it costs $200 per course -- prohibitive for poor nations. White House, how about an emergency plan to stop rotavirus? Television networks, instead of sci-fi silliness on bird flu, how about some coverage of the world's actual disease emergency?

 

I hope that when the world comes to an end I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.


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Are you talking about the

hello wrote:
Buddhism itself also carries a tradition of questioning its own tenets

Are you talking about the Kalama Sutta? Because, apparently the Kalama Sutta in context is basically the Buddha trying to show why he's the best enlightened being to follow: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/bodhi/bps-essay_09.html .


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   Thanks so much for

   Thanks so much for this thread ....

Buddhism = Seeking Knowledge , we call it science in the west .... it's nothing more .... 

Words, definitions and silly superstitous fundys are the problem of any wisdom .... 

We are all buddhists on different levels .... we are god , all is god .... even confussion ....

To claim to be be an "atheist" in the west is a high Buddhist kind of realization .... 

please do understand Buddhism ....

This is pretty cool,  http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071112182746AAkPDTL 

, could google "define a buddhist" etc etc

I wouldn't believe a word of it said the Buddhas ! Trust yourself only, not even Google ..... !

Einstein was a Buddha deluxe !

I am one with the father said Buddha then Jesus ! YEAH ..... ONE we ARE !  

 


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Hitchens included an old

Hitchens included an old joke about Buddhism in 'god is not great'

A guy walks up to the buddhist hot dog vendor and says, "Make me one with everything." and gives a $20. The vendor makes the dog covered and hands it over. Seconds go by and finally the guy says, "Where's my change?" to which the monk replies, "Change comes only from within." 

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  Hitchens is a dandy

  Hitchens is a dandy cool Buddhist, the way I read it , Jesus too ....

What's the difference ?  Yeah fuck silly Buddhists,

fuck all silly shit .... all is one one , the wise ones said ....

Call it xyz , abc , 123 , hey infinity , did I hear Zero ?

 Explain GOD  ? , the buddhas said we are fucking nuts , the way I read wisdom ....  

Jesus too

geezz God  ? , WTF , what a joker that other devil god is !

Ain't funny you fuckers, you devil worshipers

LIERS ..... I AM GOD .....     

 

 

 

  

 

 

 


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IAGAY, Nothing but love

IAGAY,

Nothing but love for you personally, my Budda friend.  However, I have to ask... Isn't telling us that there are some things wrong with Buddhism but we need to look into it to find the positives the same cherry picking Christians use?  You're not the only atheist I've come across that implements  Buddhist practices (specifically meditation) in their life.  Nonetheless, I have to wonder if Buddhism really is nothing more than 'seeking knowledge' with the one true path to enlightenment and all.


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Religion is just organized

Religion is just organized superstition. Newer versions throughout history are mere attempts to avoid the pitfalls of prior religions, but still excapt the fact that it is nothing more that attempting a ritual much like crossing your fingers when you lie, or when you make a wish on a 4 leaf clover or throw a coin in a wishing fountain.

This ritualistic superstition example in Buddhism is no different. It throws up a wall that retards the ability to seek out reality, otherwise these stuborn people WOULD, if it werent for the "tradition for tradition's sake" attitude, could see the dammage they are doing to others and would be willing to give it up, if they truely understood, which they dont, which is why they continue.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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    Please

   

Please read , 

'Killing the Buddha' By Sam Harris http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?Itemid=244&id=2903&option=com_content&task=view

"For this reason, the methodology of Buddhism, if shorn of its religious encumbrances, could be one of our greatest resources as we struggle to develop our scientific understanding of human subjectivity.
 

There is much more to be discovered about the nature of the human mind. In particular, there is much more for us to understand about how the mind can transform itself from a mere reservoir of greed, hatred, and delusion into an instrument of wisdom and compassion.

Students of the Buddha are very well placed to further our understanding on this front, but the religion of Buddhism currently stands in their way."

---------------- 

short read,

The Four Kinds of Buddhism Today http://www.amtb.org.tw/e-bud/releases/4kinds.htm

---------------

long read, XLINT

I recommend pasting it into a folder and tweak for easier reading

 

A Chinese Illustration of Multuple Religious Participation http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/INTLVIEW/intlvi02.htm

-------------------

"The 'religion' of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism." - Albert Einstein

Interesting book - Einstein A N D Buddha http://www.amazon.com/Einstein-Buddha-Parallel-Thomas-McFarlane/dp/1569752745

---- I have much more to say on all this, gotta run now ..... thanks


 


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  bump ! buzzed ! giggles

  bump ! buzzed ! giggles ! LOVE YA ....

Looking seriously into religion a fews yrs back I found the atheistic eastern ideas. I truly felt a sense of relief and re-newed hope, and less embarrassment about being a human . It really was/is a breath of fresh air while surrounded by all this god of abe BS here in the west. Yeah seems nothing is prefect about being a human ..... but hey, evolution is working on it, cause we/god cares .... !

One of the biggest mistakes I've make growing up was to generalize people. I had no clue that people are/were so diverse. So utterly stupid / So amazingly smart. I took for granted the importance or effect of the individual.

-----------------------------

FYI, lost post , you never see this stuff from the god of abe followers

   

FYI, Buddhist Channel, RSS News Feed, allies of RRS. "come together"

( this is just a partial summary of me surfing thru the "Buddhist Channel" all day, and wanted to share. Mabey paste into a folder for later viewing. Some xlint science vids too, do see the 2 at end ) Wake up the neighbors .... I didn't organize this message ....

It matters when Mother Teresa doubted God's existence http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=22,5583,0,0,1,0

Buddhists are fortunate that the Teacher never traded in illusions, promises, or panaceas. He taught us to look at the nature of things directly in order to understand it as it really is. What will we see?

The world is swept away.
It does not endure.

The world offers no shelter.
There is no one in charge.

The world has nothing of its own.
One has to pass on, leaving everything behind.

The world is insufficient, insatiable,
A slave to craving.
--Majjhima Nikaya (82) ~~~~

The Burmese monks' spiritual strength proves religion has a role in politics [ ? ] http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=8,5441,0,0,1,0

( That's a misleadiing Times headline because Buddhists are atheistic and non dogmatic )

New York, USA -- In recent months, militant atheists have tried to convince us religion ought to be expelled from public as well as private life. It is not hard to imagine how their salon wisdom would have fared last week in the streets of Rangoon, where ordinary Burmese [ basically atheists ] protesting against a military dictatorship rallied behind Buddhist monks - the "highly revered moral core", as the New York Times put it, of Burmese society.

A "salon" is a gathering of stimulating people of quality under the "roof" [ or direction ] of an inspiring hostess or hosts.

LIke our "The Four Horseman", See: Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens sat down for a first-of-its-kind, unmoderated 2-hour discussion, in 2 parts Xlint http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-869630813464694890

"Web Content" , a bunch of cool Buddha related and science vids, etc. Not all play but mabey found in youtube etc .... some are wacky like the controversial "Secret" .....[ of greed ? ] maybe that is why it's in the list ??? I had fun here, http://www.dharmaflix.com/wiki/Web_Content

To Cool , Trip Out , "The Machine is Us/ing Us" , 4 min http://www.dharmaflix.com/wiki/The_Machine_is_Us/ing_Us

Buddha Rising 3 min National Geographic http://www.dharmaflix.com/wiki/Buddha_Rising

"In major cities all over the United States, Americans are setting aside type A lifestyles and embracing the calming compassionate practices of Buddhism. Photographer Steve McCurry discusses his journey into a spiritual marriage of East and West." ~~~

Bob Thurman: Becoming Buddha -- on the Web from Ted.com A Cool Western Guy Video 14 min http://www.dharmaflix.com/wiki/Bob_Thurman:_Becoming_Buddha

Inspired talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers, more videos http://www.ted.com/index.php

After training in biochemistry at the Institute Pasteur, Matthieu Ricard left science behind to move to the Himalayas and become a Buddhist monk -- and to pursue happiness, both at a basic human level and as a subject of inquiry. http://www.ted.com/index.php/speakers/view/id/171

Dan Gilbert: Why are we happy? Why aren't we happy? Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert says our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/97

The viewer comments are telling ..... also see "Related talks and themes"

Dan Dennett: Can we know our own minds? Dennett's hope is to show his audience that "Your consciousness is not quite as marvelous as you may have thought it is." http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/102

Steven Pinker: A brief history of violence "An Optimistic Future View" http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/163 ~~~

..... I'm not a buddhist, but a fan. I don't much understand many of them. I miss buddhist fans Alan Watts .... John Lennon, and Hendrix and Martin Luther King, Gandhi, yeah Jesus? too ...... regarding talented bad boy Paul/Saul .... who's best writting is on love ! .... go figure .... I say WOW what a mess of things ONE MAN can make .... for good or bad.

Hey RRS, summon the buddhist fans, all the more to tame the "god of abe" .....

Hope some get to enjoy some of this, .... yeah humor is more fun .... keep us current. Thanks, I AM , you.

Pass this on , "The Holographic Universe" , 6 min http://www.dharmaflix.com/wiki/The_Holographic_Universe

and hey DG , Surviving the Singularity 20 min http://www.dharmaflix.com/wiki/Surviving_the_Singularity , evolution of consciousness and the foundations of mathematics available at www.WhatWillBe.com , with 2 more videos

L-O-V-E is Macho, War is Redardo .... and my eyes are hurting O .... Smile

.... thank you eastern brothers and sisters .... let's party .....


darth_josh
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New book title: The zen of

New book title:

The zen of online Buddhism

    by: Guru mahatma IAGAY 

I made it through three of the videos.

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Quote: By DIKKY

Quote:

By DIKKY SINN,...

Ok, I had to snicker at this guy's name...I know, grow up Tongue out


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 hey darth_josh  that

 hey darth_josh  that 'Guru mahatma' doesn't compute for me .... ?

What's the meaning of your message ???

Try hippie Alan Watts, on the "Zen" thing ....  

 

 

 

 


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    hey HC Grindon, don't

    hey HC Grindon, don't give up exploring this planet


HC Grindon
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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:
hey HC Grindon, don't give up exploring this planet

Umm, ok, sure thing Undecided

*searches site for IAGAY Deciphering Council thread*

Wink


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  hey HC Grindon , you

  hey HC Grindon , you did laugh I hope ?

Here to help .... all my best to ya  .... Laughing


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

hey darth_josh that 'Guru mahatma' doesn't compute for me .... ?

What's the meaning of your message ???

Try hippie Alan Watts, on the "Zen" thing .... 

I marvel at your ability to stay so focused on things that every click of your mouse was like a note on the musical scale of buddhist dementia as seen through the eyes of a true LaVeyan atheist. Your stoic posts remind me of my #2 friend on myspace. Meanwhile, your regular posts give me an idea of what Willy would be like stoned. lol.

Whether or not you like my label for you, believe me when I say it in an endearing manner. 

 

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     So clever,

     So clever, "endearing darth_josh " , You know me pretty well.

..... about "The zen of online Buddhism by: Guru mahatma IAGAY. "

Dumb me, I read that as a message to me - "I AM", to check out 'Guru mahatma'. Which one I was thinking ?, ... shit me .....

.... you may know more about eastern ideas than I ....

anyhow ME ?, "musical buddhist focused dementia LaVeyan", sounds about right .... but some clarity;

buddhist? , well as a chain smoker I can't meditate ....

dementia? we are all fighting that one, hey beer helps ....

I'd like to meet that "Willy" ( "willy silly" or "willy nilly" ? )

thanks for the giggles you all, really, from me so silly

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QUESTION: What does the Buddha say when ordering a hot dog?

ANSWER: One with everything. Laughing