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  1. #91
    #005645 phthalocyanine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xNTP View Post
    Or alternatively, the Kingdom of God is a reference to a psychological place, not a physical one, with God being a reference to perceiving the universe in its original, non-dual state (free from the veil of projections and associations). Both religions used kindness as a tool to shift focus away from the self and towards others, and away from the head and towards the heart.
    that's certainly an acceptable interpretation (and one i personally prefer). but it does seem a more gnostic way to see things... popular christianity is generally more on the physical level in terms of wording and interpretation.

    it's concepts like the rapture that are hardest for me to understand because of the physical nature - it seems strangely juxtaposed with the spiritual, transcendental aspects of the faith to me... though the idea of a great feast sounds pretty appealing; i wouldn't mind if that one was literal and came true

    bolded your last point because i think it's important.

  2. #92
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phthalocyanine View Post
    that's certainly an acceptable interpretation (and one i personally prefer). but it does seem a more gnostic way to see things... popular christianity is generally more on the physical level in terms of wording and interpretation.

    it's concepts like the rapture that are hardest for me to understand because of the physical nature - it seems strangely juxtaposed with the spiritual, transcendental aspects of the faith to me... though the idea of a great feast sounds pretty appealing; i wouldn't mind if that one was literal and came true
    I don't know the answer to the rapture. My guess is that Christianity, Judaism, and even Islam (which I understand means submission, which is very much related to the idea of meditation) have a mystical core which was later reinterpreted and misappropriated by politicians and intellectuals.

  3. #93
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phthalocyanine View Post
    fixed.
    So, it is your opinion that Theravada Buddhism views the aim of the religion to be a type of immortality? Cause, uh, that's not my understanding at all.

  4. #94
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    So, it is your opinion that Theravada Buddhism views the aim of the religion to be a type of immortality? Cause, uh, that's not my understanding at all.
    I wouldn't call it an aim either, but one can argue that it's related to the end of suffering:

    "The Heart Sutra begins with the Hinayana experience of emptiness and takes it one more step. The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path of Hina yana reflect a path which perceives that everything is suffering, and which then leads to stopping suffering, stopping birth and death. This is nirvana." ~Seung Sahn on the Heart Sutra, from here

    Sorry, I don't mean to take over the conversation. I'm just procrastinating.

  5. #95
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    I take it that Buddhist have to believe in reincarnation? (and thus need to 'stop the birthing and death' through nirvana) Otherwise, why dont they just kill themselves if they are so sick of reality?

  6. #96
    The Memes Justify the End EcK's Avatar
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    All the answers to the OP AND MORE in the movie : Man from Earth

  7. #97
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xNTP View Post
    stopping birth and death.
    Yes, but what about after? Its my understanding that Theravada Buddhism assumes that nirvana equates to oblivion, while Mahayana Buddhism assumes some sort of afterlife?

  8. #98
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    And there's actually an even more Buddhist-like version of Christianity; in the Gospel of Thomas. But it didn't make the final cut.
    Gnosticism and Buddhism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I am pretty sure I read this one in this progressive bible study in which I participated in college. Also the Gospel of Mary. I really actually liked the more ephemeral (?) approach to Christianity discussed in those texts. I can hardly remember anything specific, just that it seemed to resonate with me a lot more than a lot of other stuff.

    I really suspect that there are a lot of underlying commonalities in all religions and philosophies in terms of transcendence and the cultivation of our noble human (divine?) qualities.

  9. #99
    #005645 phthalocyanine's Avatar
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    some gnostics believed the creator god/god of the old testament was a retarded abomination called yaldabaoth, who wished to mistreat humanity.

  10. #100
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xNTP View Post
    Blackmail! doesn't know what he's talking about.

    "??nyat? ["Nothingness"] signifies that everything one encounters in life is empty of absolute identity, permanence, or an in-dwelling 'self'. This is because everything is inter-related and mutually dependent - never wholly self-sufficient or independent. All things are in a state of constant flux where energy and information are forever flowing throughout the natural world giving rise to and themselves undergoing major transformations with the passage of time.

    "This teaching does not connote nihilism. In the English language the word "emptiness" suggests the absence of spiritual meaning or a personal feeling of alienation, but in Buddhism the realization of the emptiness of phenomena, at basic level, enables one to realise that the things which ultimately have no independent substance cannot be subject to any irreconcilable conflicts or antagonisms. Ultimately, true realisation of the doctrine can bring liberation from the limitations of form in the cycle of uncontrolled rebirth." Source: Wikipedia entry on Shunyata.

    The idea behind emptiness isn't to feel nothing. That's really off. The aim is to see the everything is interdependent and fleeting, changing, including the contents of your experience, as well as the things you try to make permanent (money, relationships, status). Understanding this helps you shake your fixations and fears, since you're no longer trying to make your SELF permanent. Since desire (thirst) is the ultimate cause of suffering, and the illusion of self is the ultimate cause of desire, insight into the empty nature of self (empty of an inherent, solid identity called "me" or "I") relinquishes desire and suffering and opens the door to peace, interconnection, and love.

    Moreover, many Buddhists (especially those from a Vipassana tradition) practice meditations on metta which translates to kindness or universal/fraternal love. Quite the opposite from trying to feel nothing, wouldn't you say?
    I thought this was both a very good post and a very good explanation. A much better explanation than what I managed to put together last night


    Quote Originally Posted by sLiPpY View Post
    Traleg Kyabgon I'll check that one out. uhh, Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche?

    I'd be interested in locating audio material. I have the two core of Chodron's audio presentations, a lot of what she has out there seems to be a little repetative?

    I like audio in that hearing voice inflection seems to impart more information and context than the written word. Face to face is even better, but have no intention of traveling to find someone to sit with.
    Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche, correct. I've never dealt with audio recordings of such teachers. Tami Simon runs a company out of Boulder called "Sounds True" they do audio recordings of people teaching and stuff.

    Its a dvd not an audio recording but "Spirituality in the Modern World: A dialogue with Ken Wilber and Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche" is like 3 hrs long or so and has segments with each of them. Fwiw, there are many teachers and gurus who I enjoy reading there books and recognise a "transmission" if you will from them, but often find listening to them in person either slow, dull, or REALLY boring...

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