Buddhism vs. Religion

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by kr8m3r_78, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. Roman Banned Banned

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    perception x experience / individuals. Reality is a collective decision. It's not real unless there's a witness, and the more witnesses, the more real it is.
     
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  3. kula (Memes enclosed) within Registered Senior Member

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    Yeah, cool, I'd go for that !

    I wonder if this could be the mechanism for 'unexplained' phenomena, like ghosts and ufo's, because they are not 'observed' enough to become more real. (Would the environment also be able to make a measurement ?) sorry, veering off track a bit...

    kula
     
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  5. Apostrophes Registered Member

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    Recent breakthroughs in neurology have discovered that happiness is processed by our left-brain: the logical, reasoning, analytical side. Experiments on Tibetan Buddhists, with the full backing of the Dalai Lama, have revealed scientific support for the benefits of meditation.

    It should also be said that Buddha himself instructed us to not take his teachings on faith, but to test them and, if they are found wanting, dismiss them.

    Apostrophes
     
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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Meditation is not the search for happiness or relaxation, but the banishment of delusion. The result will not benefit you in any way, that is why it is so valuable. Enlightenment is it's own reward. It can't be found by seeking, but only seekers find it.
     
  8. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    i actually distrust 'meditation' when it becomes religion. it is from monastic cultures with monks drilled mechanically in monastry institutions in theocracies. dont fancy that

    of course i am not averse to just sitting, as there is not much fuss with that. a cat, dog, etc will jsut sit when theys feels like it, but dont create a religion outta it
     
  9. kula (Memes enclosed) within Registered Senior Member

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    Good trance music can have a similar effect to meditation. Ancient practices have also evolved to accomodate the modern world !

    kula
     
  10. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    HI...Yes, i am much more interested in orgia. this means open free celebratory ecstatic expression of emotions inspired with hallucinogens

    What i notice about Buddhism--as is shown to the public and to many of the practitioners both East and West etc--is how it shars a prohibition regarding 'intoxicants'

    i once was a member of a zen-forum online, and i explored these issues there. one Zennist explained a bit why the hallucinogens weren't preferred. because they "entanlge one in 'Mara' ("delusion") i was told

    his reponse greatly inspired me to explore about that taboo.

    before i relate me response. can i ask those here if they have any thoughts on this. you don't have to, but......
     
  11. Apostrophes Registered Member

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    Duendy,

    Meditation is not the preserve of monastic cultures. Nor are monks necessarily drilled 'mechanically' in theocracies, not least of all because meditation and theocracy are not mutually exclusive. I, for instance, practice Zazen. I sit before no representation of god and there is not a priest in sight. My statue of Buddha, who is, of course, not a god, is there to serve as a reminder of my own Buddha nature.

    Buddhism was not created from 'just sitting'. Anyway, meditation is far more than just that. Done properly, it can be a daunting and tiring experience – though ultimately rewarding. Done incorrectly, it can even sometimes be dangerous.

    Meditation may well not be for you, but before dismissing it from your life, look more closely at it.

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  12. Apostrophes Registered Member

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    Spidergoat,

    Ultimately, meditation is, indeed, a path toward enlightenment. However, in the shorter term, it really can help a person relax and be happy, I'm sure you'll agree; and, if that's as far as we get in this lifetime, it will have done it's job. It's certainly done me the world of good.

    Apostrophes
     
  13. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    well, you are entitled to your opinion, but i have learned that monastries whether Buddhist or Christian DO function in a very mechanical way. having times for this times for that.
    But i feel that the crux of what i am wanting to explore with my question is being ignored, which is: why do you feel Buddhism prohibits the use of intoxicants, which will also include hallucinogenic inspiration?
     
  14. Apostrophes Registered Member

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    And what of the countless non-monastic cultures in which meditation is rapidly becoming more popular? Meditation in the UK, for instance, is on the rise; but I do not notice monastaries being built in every town centre. I meditate in a corner of my house as do most other people I know (their houses, not mine!). Monastaries provide discipline for those who need it. There really is nothing more to it than that. That kind of life is not really for me, either. That's why I follow the Soto school of Zen. And no religion was ever created out of 'just sitting'.

    As for your question, some Buddhist traditions may well advise against the use of such drugs, but no one is going to be expelled for dabbling. I practice Zazen meditation. Practitioners are advised not to drink alcohol, eat meat or take drugs and reasons are given, but that's as far as it goes. If I want to sit down to meditate with a glass of wine in one hand and an acid tab in the other, that's up to me. I happen to think it'll only hinder and not help me, but that's my look out.

    When I meditate it is my original mind or true self I want to find (putting it crudely). Any form of stimulant or mind-bending drug will only steer me away from that. Moreover, I can meditate on a crowded train with no one noticing. I can do it at the office or sitting in traffic; I can't pop a pill just any time I like. And the benefits of meditation stay with me whereas the effects of drugs wear off.

    (I should add the caveat that I have never taken such drugs, so my personal understanding of them is limited.)

    Apostrophes
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2004
  15. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    As someone interested in both Zen and hallucinogens, I can tell you that Zen is far more subtle and personally rewarding. Hallucinogens do tend to expand one's conciousness and encourage new ways of thinking about things, and there is some value in this, but I think Zen is even more revolutionary. If you are interested in hallucinogens, that's fine, but Zen is something else entirely. Zen is another kind of "technology of the mind", and a certain preparation of the body might be necessary to abolish confusion. Even a vegetarian diet will have an effect on the mind's chemical reactions. With hallucinogens, mindset and setting are of primary importance, and the same is true of Zen. If you have not experienced enlightenment, you might want to take the advice of those who have, and prepare the ideal conditions for it to happen by removing obstacles to understanding, see for yourself if it works.

    If you are feeling relaxed while meditating, I don't think you're doing it right, where is the problem you are trying to solve? ...it should consume you completely until a breakthrough happens. You need to want Satori more than life itself. There is time to relax later.
     
  16. kula (Memes enclosed) within Registered Senior Member

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    Zen is is like chilling with god, hallucinogens are like having a party with him. Different ways of getting to know people, different ways of getting to know yourself. Apparently on DMT, ego's can manifest as architypes, allowing you to see yourself as all the characters in a virtual reality movie ! Ketamine can cut you off from your senses whilst maintaining your awareness.

    I'd be a little weary of any system that advises against natural hallicinogens, like mushrooms. Most cultures must have come across them and should therefore understand about their usefulness !
     
  17. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    ((Apostrophes(

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    Meditation may not be for you, but before dismising it from your life, look more closely at it.....'

    well, i have done. but maybe not in the way you mean. for example, i question the very usual definition of 'meditation'....ask most people and they will say sitting cross legged eyes half shut...? well i dont think of it that way. i do, being aware of how you are feeling, no matter how shitty, or whatever. just that.
    i also like to look more closely at its history, and behind the scennes of accepted forms of meditation and so on. theres always behind-the-scenes....

    you continue: "..ultimately it [meditation] is a path to enlightenment"

    ahaaaa, that old chestnut/carrot, 'enlightenment'. have you found it? whats it like? why should i believe you when you say you've got it? please define it

    you continue, "when i meditate it is my original mind or tue self I want to find..."
    IF you are looking for your true self. what is it you got already? you not true self? this would mean that youare constantly dis-trusting yourself. and this is precisely the danger i see with the accepted version of Buddhism, Zen, 'meditation'. THe idea that you are not NOW 'right' and must strive to GET 'right'. right?

    ".....Any form of stimulant or mind-bending drug will only steer me away from it"...you mean from your quest to fund your 'true self'? But like i say, what IS this true self? how do you know this aint a scam from movements, cults, etc to keep you keepin on, and thus supporting their membership quota?

    "...I am meditate on a crowded train [etc]. I can't pop a pill just any time. And the benefits of meditation stay with me whereas the effects of drugs wears off"

    well, i feel we are a continuum of dynamic experience. we could polaraize the portential from so-called 'mundane' to 'ecstatic'. of COURSe one can't stay at one end, ie 'ecstatic' forever, for we are a cotinuum. the important thing of ecstasy as inspired from hallucinogenic experience is Integration

    ((Spidergoat(

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    If you have not experiences enlightenment, you might want to take the advice of those who have, and prepare the ideal conditions for it..."

    bu like i say. HOW can you trust someone who says they are enlightened and you aint? they might be fooling you. do clever body language etc to make you feel inadequate, and that you must wnat what they got. then yer hooked!

    "If you arerelaxed while meditating, I don't think you are doing it right..."

    well, to me this sounds like an Eastern version of the western protestant ethic.
    you get this idea even with the threapeutic-oriented psychedelic people who warn of terrible things one must go through in 'order' to really resolve your 'wrongness'. ie., again porpaganderizing that how you ARE is 'not'right'

    ((Kula(

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    cotinued below
     
  18. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    (yes, my system cuts me off from internet after so lon, sos i have to be careful not to lose text. BOY does THat wind you up!!)

    so, continued from above:
    ((Kula(

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    "I'd be a little wary of any system that advises against natrual hallucinogens, like mushrooms. Most cultures must have come across them, and should therefore understand their usefilness!"

    Yes, you really resonate with me Kula.

    This is exactly WHy i question Buddhism and Zen, and most Eastern religion, precisely because of their stance regarding hallucinogens, which incidentally is commensurate with the Abrahamic religions, and our secular drug war propaganda!

    This is what i am exploring
     
  19. Apostrophes Registered Member

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    Duendy,

    My true self. I see it as I do a mirror, except this mirror is mucky with the accumulated dirt of many, many years. Meditation helps me to clear that muck away.

    To answer your question, no I am not enlightened! But how do I know I haven't just bought into a lie designed to boost numbers? Well, I don't belong to any organisation nor have I ever been asked to join one. I visited a Buddhist temple recently. One of the nuns showed me around, answered my questions and gave me a chocolate. That was it. No pressure at all. She just smiled and went back to peeling carrots when I left.

    Zen allows me to do my own thing, where I want, when I want and if I want. I understand your reservations, but I just have never had any experience of what you are worried about. You're supposed to ask questions, to challenge and to find out for yourself anyway. If you need help, it's there. That's all.

    One thing struck me about your post, though. This thing about Buddhism saying you're not right, as you are now. I don't think that is necessarily true. Not of Zen anyway, but I really think you'd be more suited to Taoism, particularly philosophical Tao.

    As a matter of fact, Taoism is where I am coming from. I appreciate Zen for its simplicity and direct experience; but Tao is what resonates with me. It's taken me years to even begin to understand it; and first I had to conclude that I didn't understand it and probably never would. I know that sounds unsatisfactorily paradoxical and wishy-washy, but it really isn't. Not if you stick to it.

    I'm sure you know that, though. You come across as someone who spreads his or her net far and wide. I'm just sigressing; so I'll stop right here!

    Apostrophes
     
  20. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    When I suggest taking the advice of those who have, I don't really mean finding a particular person this is rare (and how are you supposed to judge?) but acknowledging the collective wisdom that has been passed down through the years - of quietness, meditation, simplicity, etc... that includes avoiding intoxicants. The Buddhist prohibition is not like drug war propaganda, but more like, um, navy flight school, you can't fly a fighter plane to the best of your ability while you're tripping, can you? It's not that drugs are so bad, just that it is kind of beside the point.

    There real prohibitions are for monks, who chose to accept certain vows because enlightenment is their life's work, if you are really really determined to attain enlightenment then you will do everything you can to acheive it.

    Relaxation during meditation is sort of incidental. It is a relaxed state, but also very alert and attentive. The goal is not relaxation, because that is easily accomplished with other methods (massage). It is mistake to think there is no object or direction to meditation. No one should suffer for suffering's sake, but it does take some discipline to learn anything new. Then again, sometimes it just happens by accident.
     
  21. Apostrophes Registered Member

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    "If you arerelaxed while meditating, I don't think you are doing it right..."

    There is no right or wrong in meditation. You just do it. What happens next, happens next. I have been extremely agitated during meditation. I have laughed out loud. I have even had a psychadelic experience.

    It all counts.

    A
     
  22. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    Dear Apostrophes and spidergoat.... i am not suggesting you quit doing what you seem to love doing...no. what i do challenge howevr is the philosophy behind it. the belief in getting TO 'enlightenment'. what i feel this does is catch you in spychological time. ie/. you now have A goal to get to. and util you reach it you heaven't. are you with me. for example, i ask you "are you 'enlightened'?" you reply "No". surely this means you feel, mean, you are NOT enlightened now, right? but 'eventually' you will reach that goal. that's logical isn't it? what I am saying is i have no time for that belief system. Sure i can see the benefits of just siting. animals do it. people--more so from the country, and indigenous cultures far away from mainc city life--do it quite natrually, wihOUt making a song and dance or religion outta it. but where we part is this 'enlightment' idea. i cannot tke it seriously, it is stasis. i go through periods of that, but also shitty periods. a whole range od dynamic shifting emotions. saome Buddhists would say that isn't 'enlightened'. i respnd..'according you your belief, not mine. for i am not claiming there is a constant state or goal to get to called 'enlightenemt'...there is constat learning, exploring, yes

    i admit to being more attracted to philosophical Taoism than Buddhism, but am not a 'Taoist'...i am unique me which is changing changing exploring questioning...such is life
     
  23. Apostrophes Registered Member

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    Duendy,

    Abour Buddhism and drugs: I spoke to a Buddhist friend who pointed me in the direction of the Five Precepts, the fifth being:

    Avoid alcohol and drugs which diminish clarity of consciousness.
    ********************* I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.
    ********************* Refrain from intoxicants that cloud the mind.***

    "Refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs, which lead to carelessness." 'Carelessness' for me being the key word there. I should also add these precepts are not hard and fast rules. They are just, in general, take it or leave it advice.

    Changing the subject slightly, I invariably find that words get in the way when talking about this sort of thing. I have come to the conclusion that it really is best to know the person you're talking to so that you might choose your language to suit. Words like 'enlightenment' are, for me, general, catch-all terms that often work, but sometimes do not. I used it here in this thread, but that was a mistake.

    I honestly do not know if enlightenment is a real thing or if it is just a dangling carrot that takes us on a journey – the journey being the point. I really do not meditate for any reason except to quieten my mind a bit so that I might see more cleaerly. See what? I don't know. Myself? Truth? Maybe. The point is I am continually evolving and day to day life has become easier because of the insights I have gained. This is why I do it. For me it is not a religion. I am not a Buddhist. I only talk about here because it is a discussion forum. Other than that, it is a psychological exercise. I may be alone in this but that is what I think Buddha was: a great psychologist. It is more a mechanical act to me than a spiritual one that's more affective, for me, than lying on a couch.

    I don't know why I do it exactly. I do it and it helps. What will happen next I have no idea about. I can see why religions would sprout from that for the simple reason if you are not particularly disciplined you might need a kick. I get by on my own, however. I don't even always sit. I paint. I chop fresh vegetables. I jog. It's all good.

    Pleasure chatting. I mean that. (I hope the fiftth precept helps clearr things up a little bit.)
     

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