Buddhism vs. Religion

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

  1. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Duendy, you are horribly, horribly wrong about enlightenment, it is a very real phenomenon which I have indeed experienced. It is not stasis, it is a change in conciousness, a change in thought patterns, a realization about the illusion of self, but all these descriptions are intellectual, it is rather beyond description and has nothing to do with standard thought patterns or ideas. You still feel emotions, happiness and sadness, but they become less problematic, I mean how can you take yourself seriously when "yourself" is merely an idea. My breakthrough seemed to last a day, with several short periods thereafter, and was not influenced by any substances. The only difference is that Buddha's enlightenment was a permanent state, and mine was temporary, and thus more of a Satori, a glimpse of what's possible. But, maybe that's how it works, that the bliss of it is just the initial shock, like jumping into cold water. It does take you back to where you started, before the delusions of culture influenced your thinking, that is why certain masters imply that there is nothing necessary to be done. Buddhism does not have the monopoly on enlightenment either, but they have had a good success ratio.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2004
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  3. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    "Meditation will not give you enlightenment.
    No technique will ever give you enlightenment;
    enlightenment is not technical. Meditation can only
    prepare the ground. Meditation can only do something negatively;
    the positive--enlightenment--will come
    on its own. Once you are ready, it always comes."

    OSHO
     
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  5. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    "Satori is like lightning - you can see a glimpse of the whole, all that is there, and then it disappears. But you will not be the same again. It is not final enlightenment, but a great step towards it. Now you know. You have had a glimpse, now you can search for more of it. You have tasted it, now buddhas will become meaningful".
    Osho, And the Flowers Showered
     
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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    This state is a state of not knowing; you really don't know what you are looking at. I may look at the clock on the wall for half an hour -- still I do not read the time. I don't know it is a clock. All there is inside is wonderment: "What is this that I am looking at?" Not that the question actually phrases itself like that in words: the whole of my being is like a single, big question mark. It is a state of wonder, of wondering, because I just do not know what I am looking at. The knowledge about it -- all that I have learned -- is held in the background unless there is a demand. It is in the 'declutched state'. If you ask the time, I will say "It's a quarter past three" or whatever -- it comes quickly like an arrow -- then I am back in the state of not knowing, of wonder.

    U.G. Krishnamurti
     
  8. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    You can never understand the tremendous peace that is always there within you, that is your natural state. Your trying to create a peaceful state of mind is in fact creating disturbance within you. You can only talk of peace, create a state of mind and say to yourself that you are very peaceful -- but that is not peace; that is violence. So there is no use in practicing peace, there is no reason to practice silence. Real silence is explosive; it is not the dead state of mind that spiritual seekers think. "Oh, I am at peace with myself! There is silence, a tremendous silence! I experience silence!" -- that doesn't mean anything at all. This is volcanic in its nature: it's bubbling all the time -- the energy, the life -- that is its quality. You may ask how I know. I don't know. Life is aware of itself, if we can put it that way -- it is conscious of itself.

    U.G. Krishnamurti
     
  9. Apostrophes Registered Member

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    I personally try to steer clear of telling someone they are horribly, horribly wrong about anything, especially somehting I have no direct eperience with.

    A
     
  10. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    HI spidergoat, i dont discount your experience at all, but i feel you have misunderstood me.words can be difficult as we know. but i will try to be as clear as i can:
    i hear you have had a very powerful experience. good. but then you say that it changed, right? THAT you know. i also know cahnge. i am sure most of us here do too. everything is changing changing all the time. often this experience can be VERY very frightening. you dont know whats gonna happen, you can lose things, people, animals you love, etc etc

    but then you speculate....listen...you speculate eg., 'Buddha will have had this experience of enlightenment permanently' or words to that effect

    how do you know?......you really don't know do you? you have read about he may have had, etc, and ou have maybe built an image of what such a permamnet state might be. what you only got a taste of, right?

    now what I am saying is that i dont BELIVE in permanent states. they are stasis. yu cant be hot all the time can you? for how would you KNOW hot less you knew cold. it only makes sense when we have complimentary experience. that is life. that is CHANGE. and i think it is change that is feared by many--errr especially men, and so they have created dreams of escaping it so as to arrive at states which are 'forever blissful'..ie., 'enlightement' as it is popularly understood
     
  11. Gravity Deus Ex Machina Registered Senior Member

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  12. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Apostrophes, that is a wise policy, I also avoid telling somebody they are horribly, horribly wrong unless I know it to be true. Enlightenment is not like a static, unemotional, indifferent transcending of reality, but the rediscovery of our true potential to wholeheartedly live in the present moment. More and more, people are being encouraged to do the opposite.

    Duendy, I know Buddha's experience (as well as many others) was a more powerful and permanent version of my own, because I have read many accounts of enlightenment which I did not understand until it actually happened to me. Then I could recognize instantly what they were talking about. He was also much more determined and disciplined in his approach, he made it his life's work, which is difficult for most people with real jobs. In a similar way, if I describe a rare exotic kind of fruit to you, however detailed my description, you will not know what it tastes like unless you taste it. You may not believe in permanent states, but change is a permanent state in the universe as we know it, and enlightenment is the complete embracing of change, both in nature, and in your own mind.

    Gravity, Alan Watts has an excellent book called, "Buddhism, the Religion of No Religion".
     
  13. Gravity Deus Ex Machina Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, I've long been interested in Zen Buddhism from a personal standpoint. But from a symantec view: the point stands, Buddhism VS. Religion is a silly title. It *IS* a religion.

    When I was younger Watts "The Book: On the taboo against knowing who you are" was one of my favorites. I'm not lost and searching anymore, but thanks for the recommendation.
     
  14. beyondtimeandspace Everlasting Student Registered Senior Member

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    As I have been told, Buddhism is more a philosophy on right living than anything. So, because I am in agreement with their codes of ethics/morality, I do not wish to question this aspect of Buddhist belief. Also, since most Buddhists would say that Buddhism is not a religion, and one of the original aims of Buddhism was philosophical discussion in attempt to enlightenment, I would like to engage in that discussional tradition.

    I was wondering how illusion originated, if that can be answered? According to Buddhist thought, we know that right now there is illusion, false concepts of self, etc... but how did such concepts come about? If there is no self, then to what does the illusion attach itself?

    Also, I spoke to a Buddhist monk. He said that in reincarnation only the soul, or spirit of the person moves into a new body... reincarnation is entirely non-physical (according to Buddhist thought). However, I, being aware that there are cases of apparent reincarnation in which physical attributes of a person were also reborn, I asked how such cases were possible, as reincarnation was entirely spiritual. He said that he did not know, and did not have an answer for me. For any Buddhists here, perhaps you have an explanation?

    Anyway... those are just a couple of questions that I have about Buddhist beliefs.
     
  15. jimmy Registered Member

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    "Beyondtimeandspace" said
    I was wondering how illusion originated, if that can be answered? According to Buddhist thought, we know that right now there is illusion, false concepts of self, etc... but how did such concepts come about? If there is no self, then to what does the illusion attach itself?

    Once upon a time we had the understanding/consciouness that we were souls (soulconsciousness) / spirits - ie not physical beings but non physical beings in a physical body - or a Jesus Christ put it - "in the world but not of the world".

    Having been in this soulconscious state for some time, the close connection of the soul with the physical body had the affect of slowly reducing soulconciousness until eventually we started to identify with the body. Being a body is a bad deal compared with being a soul. A body exists in a physical world, whereas a soul is beyond the needs of the physical. So as limited bodies we started to look outside ourselves into the physical world in order to satisfy our needs.

    Clearly a body has a limited lifespan, it needs to be looked after, protected, fed, reproduce, bodies look different - some better than others etc. So as time passed humans began to accumulate more than they needed (greed), they derived and became dependent for their happiness on possessions/people etc (attachment), people developed strong desires for things especially other bodies/people (lust), frustration at not being able to get what we wanted occured (anger) - and all of these vices originated in and further developed our new growing sense of what we were/are - our ego.

    So the illusion is orinibates in the false belief that "I am a body" and this belief is held by the soul - the soul being what we are.


    This change from soul conciousness to bodyconsciousness is "the fall" in Christianity. The acquisition of the fig leaf by Adama nd Eve illustrates their new consciousness of the body. Also Christ replied to the question from the disciples - when will we know we are cooked seeds? (ie fully enlightened). Christ reputedly replied - when you can stand in front of the Pharasies with no cloths on and not turn a hair.

    Also in the Hindi version of the Holy Trinity, The Trimurti, Shankar is often shown completely naked. Shankar represents the role of burning away the vices and returning to soul consciouness.




    "Beyondtimeandspace" said
    Also, I spoke to a Buddhist monk. He said that in reincarnation only the soul, or spirit of the person moves into a new body... reincarnation is entirely non-physical (according to Buddhist thought). However, I, being aware that there are cases of apparent reincarnation in which physical attributes of a person were also reborn, I asked how such cases were possible, as reincarnation was entirely spiritual.

    My understanding is the same as the monk - only the soul moves from body to body. At a guess - the soul carries with it the deep traits/habits (sanskaras) acquired during previous births so perhaps a deep subconcious memory of some physical attributes may seep from the previous birth into the consciousness of the "new person". Elsewhere on this site someone has reported that some experiments have shown that stigmata can be produced psycosomatically.


    Source of this information - I studied Buddhism (Titbetan) for a couple of years but it didn't really suit me so I wasn't a very advanced student. At a reasonable advanced level, the so called "mystical" wings of most religious traditions hold very similar views - usually expressed in different contexts with different emphasis - but essentially similar. I learnt about spirituality from the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University which teaches core spiritual laws which run through all faiths (once you get behing what the believers are taught on Sunday mornings).

    Jim
     
  16. kula (Memes enclosed) within Registered Senior Member

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    Hi, my understanding of buddhism is that pure awareness, or consciousness, is the goal of enlightenment. Illusion is also delusion, or the the thoughts and meanings we put onto things. These things have arisen out of a need to survive, lust for procreation etc. These delusions of the world are also called ego's.

    We can be aware without having thoughts chattering in our heads, without putting meaning onto what we experience and without being a slave to our 'emotions' (ego's can act like instincts)

    The more complex intelligence becomes, the more our brains are able to invent new patterns of meaning to overlay on the pure experience of being. In some ways buddhism is like being conscious of everything without adding extra thoughts to what already is.

    Another way of looking at it could be, follow and harmonise with the flow of nature, go along with the balanced expansion of the universe. Using free will to fight nature or add meaning to nature is not required and infact creates chaos. So it begins to get more obviously religious when we see that it defines a 'perfect' universe/creation and gives instructions on how to preserve it. We can choose to go against the flow of nature and introduce chaos (a bit like choosing to be evil in other religions). It's all about preserving the perfection of what is and the perfection of our relationship with it.

    I'm not sure about reincarnation, but i am guessing that buddhism believes in one consciousness manifesting through individual physical living things. Once that consciousness reincarnates it can choose to include qualities of personality to continue learning/exploring from certain angles.

    This is a personal interpretation and not nescessarily correct at all.
     
  17. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    ((spidergoat))).....i also am VERy familiar with Alan Watts. Of all the interpreters of Buddhism, he is the best, ...but i still sometimes feel he could be a bit of an apologist for Eastern beliefs. ie., suggesting one gets involved with them, and allowing their double-binded insistance to kick yu off the trip your on. life's too short. i say, see though it, and look somewhere's else.
    THe insight from Alan regarding the Buddhist concepts of 'samsars' (the wheel of life and death) and 'nirvana' (popularly known as 'escape' from the wheel, IS that deeply they are the SAME!
    now THAt is pagan...earth religious, and NOt the usually understood version of Buddhism, EVEN by experienced practicing buddhists. i know this, and am presently having this insight forcified by my experiences talking to several Buddhists online, all of whom believ that "eventuall" in " time" they are gonna become "enlightened" and escape the "wheel of birth"
    Uour faith spidergoat is on words. words that you've read which claim A 'Buddha' achived all the time enlightenemnt. however you confuse me when you interpret this to mean the 'embracing of change'....? i know alan meant this, but WHy call it the term 'enlightenemnt' then....why call this embrace a permanent state. for as Alan knew it means really feeling what you feel, as any ordinary person would. as you know, Alan's last book was devoted to Taoism. that's where i think his heart was rather than Buddhism

    ((beyondtimeand space))) "I was wondering how illusion originated, if that can be answered?
    According to Buddhist thought, we know that right now there is illusion, false concepts of self etc...but how did such false concepts come about? If there is no self, then what does the illusion attach tself?

    Great questions.

    The Eastern concept of "illusion" comes from their cncept of "Maya".....sometimes translated popularly as "illusion"...meaning that Nature is deceptive, and can keep the spirit in delusion.
    when we look at the etymomolgy of "Maya" we see it is connected with "measure" and "mother" and "matter". of course 'woman' has to be involved, bcause buddhism is basically patriarchal !

    what is being indoctrinated is the idea that Nature and our natures are 'wrong'...are caught in illusion, and thus seek to free themselves through reading Eastern writings, meditation and so on. and eventually you will be able to release your self. for the Hindus this means realizing your 'atman' is 'brahman' and for Buddhists that your 'self' is illusory

    but i question all of this, and see it as completely manipulative and authoritarian. what it does, similar to what Abrahamic religion does, is it makes you distrust your very natrual self. it make syou feel you are not-right. sooo, many of the practitioners of this belief system, who have faith in it are willing to sacrifice their time/lives to reading all about it, and 'practiscing' sitting still/meditating so as to 'dissolve the "self"......they are willing to take this gamble. i am not. i am more into exploring. now we have the internet at our fingers (well some of us)..we dont have to be victim to authoritarin belief systems no more!
     
  18. beyondtimeandspace Everlasting Student Registered Senior Member

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    Hmm... just a couple of thoughts from the responses that I've received. jimmy, you say that being a body is to be limited (which I don't disagree with). To me, it seems that you imply that soulconsciousness, or being a spirit, means no limitations? If this is true, then how do such soulconsciousnesses exist "within" a body? Furthermore, if a soul is not limited (as a body is), then how could it come to be confused as to what it is? Also, if we are not a body (don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily believe that we are a body, I'm just arguing the point), then why is it that we understand the universe in a physical sense... understanding even the abstract in physical likenesses? If we are entirely spiritual beings, then how is it that we are able to understand the world physically?

    I don't know if anyone here has heard of the "God Code?" Well, I'm not going to explain what it's all about, but it has been discovered that the ancient teachings of the four elements (water, wind, earth, fire), were actually teachings of the elements hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. When I learned that they discovered this, a new thought came to mind. Perhaps the old terms about the physical and the spiritual are actually (in our terms) matter and energy (or constructs thereof). If this is the case, then matter and energy, the physical and the spiritual (according to E=MC^2) are different forms of the same thing. Chew on that thought for a bit, and then ask what it means to be a purely spiritual being, a purely physical being, and a unison of the two. If this thought proves to be true, it could change the way the world looks at ancient religious thought.
     
  19. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    ((beyondtimeandspace)))...."perhaps....mattr and energy, the physical and the spiritual (according to E=MC^2) are different forms of the same thing.."

    well, according to Christian de Quincey, you are using "energy talk"....let me briefly explain, then i will link you up to his more indepth talk about this

    matter is now seen to be matter-energy. many people confuse this with 'consciousness or spirit when trying to talk about the latter. ie., the use 'energy-talk' to explain consciousness or spirit

    now matter-energy can be measured, as -no matter how subtle-it has extension is space, eg fields, waves, and so on. but does consciousness? how can you measure consciousness? it hasn;t got extension in speace, YEt is the interior FEELINg of matter-energy. the two always go togther but are distinct. for example when we say the 'interior' feeling of matter-energy, this isn't to say it is 'inside' like a brain in a skull. yet it is the way matter-energy organizes itself. matter is active intelligence

    here's the link
    http://www.datadiwan.de/SciMedNet/library/articles/9711141100.htm
     
  20. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    Interestingly enough, seeing through the double bind of contemplating the self in order to transcend the self is just what the Buddha ordered. My faith no longer rests on an intuition that the many Buddhas were correct, but upon a direct experience. Yes, samsara and nirvana are the same, advanced Buddhists would acknowledge this, but not to their struggling students for whom such a statement could serve as an excuse to quit before they realized this in more than just an intellectual way. If the ways described by Eastern philosophers don't suit you, by all means do something else.

    Embracing of change is an intellectual idea, following this idea is not enlightenment, but elightenment suggests it. It would be wise not to be too hung up on the concepts of or the term enlightenment, just to know that the brain can undergo radical changes in its basic operating system. I see enlightenment not so much as a permanent state, but just a term for this radical transition in perception. Certainly some drugs can force radical changes in perception, too, perhaps that's all enlightenment is- an alternative but stable balance of brain chemistry.

    Yes, but with the ordinary person it doesn't stop there, we obsess with the past and future, we fear things that aren't there, we fear death. Even if we are happy, we are concerned with holding on to that experience in pictures, with accumulating happy experiences like vacations, even if the past has no reality in the present. If have heard enlightenment described as being "just like ordinary reality, but 2 inches off the ground". If you are not concerned about our increasing dissatisfaction with ordinary life, then there is really nothing to compell you to get to the bottom of it. Buddha doesn't need followers, he only invites you to become Buddhas, too.
     
  21. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    An analogy would be the art of Kung-Fu. You might say, oh, that's just twisting and kicking, no big deal. Well, yes, but it's also a very special type of twisting and kicking, and even if you learn the form of the technique, you haven't really mastered it unless you can put it into practice as though it was second nature.
     
  22. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    ..."interesting...seeing through the double-bind of contemplating the self in order to transcend the self is just what the Buddha ordered"

    well, spidegoat, i dont WANt to trasncend the 'self' cause therer is no 'self' to transcend, what i feel i is like is a dynamic being of changing feelings and moods and emotions. and i don't take orders, even from a 'Buddha'...

    "Yes, samsara and nirvana are the same, advanced Buddhists would ckowledge this, but not the striggling students for whom such a statement could serve as an excuse to quit before they realized in more than just an itellectual way"

    I would find that patronizing. the idea of others imagining themselves to be more 'advanced' than me, and not spillin the beans (tellin the truth)...i would feel patronized and pissed off. Also, who is needing who is a question not usually asked within the confines of this belief system. sure you agree that for the 'advanced' ones to FEEL 'advanced' the NEED those they believe are NOT advanced, no? and whose getting the money is a question i often ask, when i study institutions!

    "If the ways described by Eastern philosophies don't suit you, by all means do something else"

    hehe..i AM doing, i am challenging you.

    "Perhaps all enlightenment is-an alternative but stable balance of brain chemistry"

    that -in a sinister way-sounds like what our pharmacratic western paradigm demands--a 'stable balanced brain chemistry'...ie., the dictate what the 'norm' should be. I am afraid i have lately been looking more closely at this ocrelation. for example, in our culture if you are considered to be not-right, 'mentally ill', they will give you 'medication' that messes with brain chemistry and atrophies emotions. well, when i think of rows of stone-buddhas passin their lives away, of no threat to an oppressive system, i see a connection i am afraid. you saying that reminded me of this

    Ihad said: For as Alan knew it means really feeling what you feel as an ordinary person would

    "Yes, but with ordinary person it doesn't stop there, we obsess with the past and future, we fear things that aren't there, we fear death. Even if we are happy, we are concerned with holding onto that experiences in pictures, with accumulating happy experiences like vacations, even if the past has no reality in the present..."

    hmmmmm, yip. that's being HUMAN. being what you IS. but you see when belief systems like Buddhism come along, all of a sudden you must be 'guilty' to feel human and spean time and effort trying to become 'above-ordinary'. i am staying with the ordinary people, they dont make a fuss about it, and are real.

    "If you are not concerned about our increasing dissatisfaction with ordinary life, then there is really nothing to compell you to get to the bottom of it."

    please dont feel my feelings. my PASSION is exploring the depthlessness...this creative amazing happening. of course i am not insenstive, i can see the horrors of the conflict between humans in the world. i just dont think Buddhism has been or will be the answer. It has become rigid dogma like other belief systems

    And about analogizing enlightenment with Kung Fu. some people can dance--i am a natrual mover--and some may not look so good. dont batter THEM.
     
  23. Hideki Matsumoto ñ{ìñÇÃóùâ?ÇÕêSÇÃíÜÇ©ÇÁóàÇ ÈÅB Registered Senior Member

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    As a Buddhist myself I see some of you are quite confused about trying to compare X-inanity to "Buddhism". Here is something to remember Buddha is not a god, nor a supreme being, he was a human being "just as Mr. J.Christ and Mohammed" was. Buddhists are also NOT monotheistic nor exculsive. Buddhists will except mixed religions this is to say!
    I would say that Buddhism isn't so much of a religion as much as it is a way of seeing, like an extra set of eyes that sees how to live without conflict!
     

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