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  1. #41
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    One would think such "parables" would be presented as such within Buddhist religious text; the entire concept of reincarnation seems crucial to the theological assumptions and structure of all branches of Buddhism.

    Incidentally, why would "life" absent whatever meaning or utility our imaginations give to it be something one would wish to experience?
    Thing is, the whole notion of reincarnation -- that there is a three-dimensional universe moving forward of unilateral time, and that this universe is more or less identical to our perception of it and exists sans perception -- is at odds with the teachings of most types of Buddhism, Zen in particular. I may be mistaken (as my knowledge of the subject is solid but hardly comprehensive), but to the best of my knowledge no major school of Zen teaches of reincarnation.

    To answer your question in extremely simple terms, because life is not the meaning we assign it; it is whatever it is, and only as we learn to dismiss the urge to assign names and meanings to everything in the universe can we begin to experience reality as it is. Like removing the thousands of post-it notes to find out what they're actually sticking to.

    (Yes, yes, this is why I'm not a Buddhist scholar.)
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  2. #42
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Thing is, the whole notion of reincarnation -- that there is a three-dimensional universe moving forward of unilateral time, and that this universe is more or less identical to our perception of it and exists sans perception -- is at odds with the teachings of most types of Buddhism, Zen in particular. I may be mistaken (as my knowledge of the subject is solid but hardly comprehensive), but to the best of my knowledge no major school of Zen teaches of reincarnation.
    I know Korean Soto Zen definitely acknowledges it. In fact, if you read Compass of Zen, the Introduction is all about reincarnation, meat-eating, and Capitalism. It's actually very interesting.

  3. #43
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xNTP View Post
    I know Korean Soto Zen definitely acknowledges it. In fact, if you read Compass of Zen, the Introduction is all about reincarnation, meat-eating, and Capitalism. It's actually very interesting.
    Well there you go! I'll have to look into that when time allows.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  4. #44
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venom View Post
    Buddhism is nihilism, dressed up in optimistic clothing...
    Old bump....

    Nothing stays the same... The irony. Here I am years later totally disagreeing with myself. I think Buddhism has a sort of valley of nihilism one must cross through to get to the "ecstasy but without the drug" on the other side. I honestly think much of the problem is literal "attachment" to whatever Buddha himself said.

    The spirit of Buddhism in ONE word is Gratitude. I find it much easier to focus on that one word and thus viscerally understand the 8 fold path. If one tries to memorize every stupid little word and advice about various things you will be over intellectualizing it and be open to the nihilism many mistake Buddhism to be.

    I understand the issue: if you have no attachments, and have equal compassion and gratitude for everyone, how could you ever "love" and attach to one person in a relational way?:

    <> Buddha was not God. No one should blindly attach to his view of eschatology or cosmology. With those taken care of, one is free to tackle love and nihilism a little differently: ending suffering doesn't have to focus on reincarnation, but ending suffering in order that we enjoy
    <> when one fully detaches from their attachments and accepts the impermanence of both the good and the bad:
    <> Existence can then be ecstasy, but without the drugs: mindfulness in all the wonderful sensual aesthetics of existence, and zero fear

    Could a little more attachment develop from having a relationship? Maybe, but maybe extra mindfulness could make up for it .

  5. #45
    Senior Member wildflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    There are many aspects to Buddhism, and its gets taught or propagated in some pretty different ways/views. So I'm hesitant to say that "Buddhism says/teaches...", nor do I want to elaborate on a variety of different Buddhist schools and their take on things. With all that preface, one point of view is to say Buddhism takes a very "be in the present moment" attitude towards things, and "accept things as they are, with neither attachment nor aversion." That second one is more open to interpretation, and likely to trigger reactions in others ["Are you saying that Buddhism says we shouldn't try to change things, that we should avoid politics, that we should ignore social engagement???"].

    I would say, since you asked for our opinions, having relationships isn't wrong and its definitely part of being human. Non-attachment would come in more along the lines of "accepting people for who they are" instead of trying to change them or wish they were different, and also "being in the current moment" and enjoying your experience right now, instead of living in the past or spending all of your time fantasizing about how the future might be.
    interesting thread. i am curious as to what you do mean by "accepting people for who they are instead of trying to change them or wish they were different" when someone is say a murderer? or cheating on there spouse? or a child abuser? is there a sense of morality or ethics in buddhism that would cause one to intervene? i am guessing you will say a buddhist would get involved but not get attached. is that it? also, how does a buddhist know what is right or wrong and whether or not to get involved?

    i know in catholicism (i'm a follower of jesus but not catholic) there is the idea of ordering one's desires. i find that to be helpful. meaning if one desires a romantic relationship they can choose dating leading to marriage as opposed to something like dating and sleeping with a bunch of people at once which would be considered disordered desire. the desire for relationship isn't considered wrong but how we go about fulfilling that desire can happen in good and healthy ways or in wrong and unhealthy ways.

  6. #46
    Riva
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    If one has a goal in life (which is sincerely wanted to achieve) the process becomes clearer does it not? This way it is easier to relate Buddhism/or any other teaching to life. The goal in Buddhism is Nirvana, the process is Vipassana (aka noble eight fold path aka middle path).

    Without having a proper goal in mind (Nirvana) trying to implement the teachings leading to Nirvana (Vipassana) becomes a burdensome chore, as it is in any goal in life.

    Love is not a barrier to Buddhism. But if one looks very closely one would realize that love is no matter how deep, is based on Tanha/cravings. Very very very rarely it is not based on Tanha.

    The way a parent loves it's children is a good example for this.

    The issue in Buddhism is people believe Nirvana (the goal) is a burdensome thought and that Nirvana is based on isolation and sadness. On the contrary Siddhartha went looking for pure, everlasting happiness. And then he figured out how to be eternally blissful (Nirvana) and found the process to it (the noble eight fold path).

    And Nirvana is supposed to feel like an eternal orgasm .


  7. #47
    Sniffles
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    Hmmmnn....don't understand why this thread got revived.

    Oh well.....
    Quote Originally Posted by wildflower View Post
    i know in catholicism (i'm a follower of jesus but not catholic) there is the idea of ordering one's desires. i find that to be helpful. meaning if one desires a romantic relationship they can choose dating leading to marriage as opposed to something like dating and sleeping with a bunch of people at once which would be considered disordered desire. the desire for relationship isn't considered wrong but how we go about fulfilling that desire can happen in good and healthy ways or in wrong and unhealthy ways.
    Yes this is true. St. Dominic gave a good summary of this principle:

    "A person who governs his passions is master of the world. We must either rule them, or be ruled by them. It is better to be the hammer than the anvil."

  8. #48
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I think buddhism is much more sinister than a lot of people suspect, it tells people to live in the present and have no thought for the future, there's no God, no hell, no personal salvation or personal afterlife, all of which I think makes it highly compatible with contemporary secularism but I dont believe will deliver happiness here or here after.

  9. #49
    Senior Member captain curmudgeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I think buddhism is much more sinister than a lot of people suspect, it tells people to live in the present and have no thought for the future, there's no God, no hell, no personal salvation or personal afterlife, all of which I think makes it highly compatible with contemporary secularism but I dont believe will deliver happiness here or here after.
    Someone clearly isn't learned.


    Buddhism encourages people to approach things from the right angle, do things for the right reasons, and maintain a proper outlook. You can't possibly say the noble eightfold path doesn't encourage these things.

    Of course, because of your faith, the fact that another way of life could encourage such things without a guarantee of salvation and eternal life won't compute in your head no matter what.

  10. #50
    Senior Member wildflower's Avatar
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    shoot, i was hoping someone had answered my questions. i was not trying to take over the conversation to one about christianity by posting what i did but merely trying to understand the differences and similarities to buddhism. personally, i don't think it's helpful for people of one faith (or none) to come onto a thread about another and disparage that faith and/or start a debate about the veracity of said faith. i don't think that is respectful at all. agreement is not necessary but a bit of respect would do nicely around here from all quarters.

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