Author Topic: Christians piss me off  (Read 14646 times)

Daiho

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Christians piss me off
« on: March 13, 2011, 03:01:50 PM »
It happened again today when I heard someone say about Japan that "God is in control."   I mostly ignored it at the time, but that little voice popped up in my mediation today and the immediate reaction was evident - increased heart rate and faster breathing.  It also kicked off an internal dialog - if God is in control, he's asleep at the wheel or a sadist.  Those friking Christians, etc, etc, etc. 

I can't figure out why.  I don't really expect anyone here to know, either, just thought I'd share.  Muslims, Hindus, Jews - I don't have quite the same reaction to their stupidity as I do with Christians. I wonder if I'll ever get over it.   :-[

Morning Dew

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2011, 05:02:59 PM »
Quote
I wonder if I'll ever get over it.

Just keep sitting and observing that commentator in your head reacting to such issues and keep calming into the body, you'll be just fine my friend  ;D

Che

Daiho

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2011, 05:08:48 PM »
Insha'allah.

Morning Dew

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2011, 09:04:56 PM »
allah-who?

 ;D

as always, C h e  :angel:

kidnovice

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2011, 09:07:09 PM »
With a title like this, I immediately wondered if this thread would be skillful or not! Its so easy to get caught in the delusion that our problems are caused by EXTERNAL conditions.

So, I just wanted to commend your approach, Daiho. We all have things that piss us off, but I was struck by how inward your attention was directed. It was inspiring to see.

I have no doubt that you WILL get over it, in time. Just keep doing what you're doing: watching your inner processes, seeing how your reaction causes you to suffer (the heart rate, the breathing, the irritated voices). Keep watching and accepting in this way, and the rest of your body/mind will naturally see what "you" see. 

Thanks for your candor,
KN
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Andrew

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2011, 12:03:05 AM »
Hi Daiho,

I don't think we have spoken before, good to meet you!

As an ex-christian I know exactly what you mean, these sort of seemingly throw away phrases that get passed of as 'spiritual' can be very agitating. But there are many more attitudes in the world and ourselves which show the same level of callous disregard for Truth.

Ask yourself, if there is no control, no order, no karma, no beginning and end what would life be?  Phrases like this are people trying to assert some order and meaning on the world. It doesn't need them to, but they do it for themselves alone. Like all of us, they believe that the very thing they need to contemplate themselves is the very thing the rest of us need to hear!

It is annoying, and honesty is always the best place to start, though I wouldn't think that your own assertion of control is where it should stop. Go beyond.

love

andy


getting it done

Jeeprs

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2011, 01:40:09 AM »
my take is that those Christians who are worth their salt are out there helping, not sitting around philosophizing or trying to figure out God.

Daiho

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2011, 02:18:25 AM »
Ask yourself, if there is no control, no order, no karma, no beginning and end what would life be? 


No imagination required.  That is exactly what we are living - a mystery upon which homosapiens write their desires. 

Nice to meet you, too, DD.

Jeeprs

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2011, 02:30:16 AM »
do you think there is dharma, then? Are events lawful, or arbitrary?

Daiho

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2011, 02:36:29 AM »
I don't see any evidence for karma, if that's what you mean.

Jeeprs

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2011, 02:50:24 AM »
that is interesting. Karma strikes me as self-evident. 'As you think, so you become', 'what goes around comes around', 'as you sew, so shall you reap'. You don't think so?

Daiho

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2011, 03:00:21 AM »
Those Japanese communities that as of this past Friday no longer exist - what have they been sowing?

Jeeprs

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2011, 03:20:25 AM »
I don't think that either everything is a result of karma, or it is a result of accident. Hazard, accident, does definitely exist. It is misunderstanding to say that being hurt in an accident or falling ill is a result of karma. Karma sets up basic character traits and circumstances within which you operate. The idea that karma can be blamed for misfortune of this kind is completely wrong, I agree with that. It is useful insofar as it enables people to take responsibility for their situation, not as a means of apportioning blame or saying 'this must have happened because they deserved it'. I would agree that this is entirely reprehensible thinking.

dragoneye

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2011, 03:30:16 AM »
Quote
Those Japanese communities that as of this past Friday no longer exist - what have they been sowing?
Maybe, the system of karma, really applies to humanity as a whole; the Japanese (or Libyans, or Afghanis, or Sudanese, or Tibetans....,) are experiencing the karma of all of us.
It is easier to, then, see the ultimate benefit of our journeys on the path (or not,) being universal as well.
Our loving kindness, rippling out through the universe, or our un-skillful actions, deadening all of the life in its path.
God bless all of these tortured peoples, and hope for them with our compassionate and peaceful intentions.
Warm regards,
DE
Dragoneye

Jeeprs

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2011, 03:54:52 AM »
well indeed, but you can go nuts trying to figure karma out. All you need to know is that wholesome actions generate good karma. That is the important part.

Andrew

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2011, 05:04:30 AM »
It is our incessant need to explain everything that causes these questions to arise so strongly in our minds; Why was I born in the circumstances I was? What determines this? Why are the Japanese suffering? and so on.

It is a mystery, which is akin to saying 'god is in control' thought the personification of god makes this a brutal statement. god is not a person, or some being or anything we could possibly understand. so saying there is no god is entirely valid, for us there is no god we can understand. Pin the tail on the donkey is a children's game played with a blindfold and dizzy kids! So is blaming things that we don't understand.

I personally don't believe in sowing and reaping or any other chronological 'justice' built into the system. I believe it is simply events lined up in logical order and beings experiencing them. As there is only One of us, like DE said, when one suffers we all suffer, when one finds joy we all find joy (on some level). I think it is only compassion at times like this that is appropriate, as that is the healing fluid that will cause us to move towards this wound with the help that is needed.

Jesus on two separate occasions hints at this mystery when he said "these things must come, but woe to him through whom they come" talking about his own betrayal by Judas. Not because god would punish Judas, but that Judas betrayed his own friend and in guilt, he hung himself.  And on another occasion when asked if it was the cripple or his parents who had sinned he answered "Neither, this is so that god may be glorified in it" To Jesus, who saw himself as god , that glory was compassion. No questions asked, no judgments laid, compassion. He then healed him.

He essential says, it is a mystery and I will show compassion.

Anyone who otherwise thinks they know why all of this is happening, should rather extend compassion and also make friends with the 'realm of action' (which is what karma means). The options otherwise are dark and confusing, I should know I've been there long enough! 

love

andy
getting it done

Matthew

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2011, 05:05:35 AM »
It happened again today when I heard someone say about Japan that "God is in control."   I mostly ignored it at the time, but that little voice popped up in my mediation today and the immediate reaction was evident - increased heart rate and faster breathing.  It also kicked off an internal dialog - if God is in control, he's asleep at the wheel or a sadist.  Those DUCKING Christians, etc, etc, etc. 

I'm literally agnostic about God but if you pushed me I'd say the evidence suggests he's not home - and if I am wrong he needs some serious psychotherapy before creating more universes.

I can't figure out why.  I don't really expect anyone here to know, either, just thought I'd share.  Muslims, Hindus, Jews - I don't have quite the same reaction to their stupidity as I do with Christians. I wonder if I'll ever get over it.   :-[

Maybe this is relevant:

Quote
But the Westerner who is attracted by Zen and who would understand it deeply must have one indispensable qualification: he must understand his own culture so thoroughly that he is no longer swayed by its premises unconsciously. He must really have come to terms with the Lord God Jehovah and with his Hebrew-Christian conscience so that he can take it or leave it without fear or rebellion. He must be free of the itch to justify himself. Lacking this, his Zen will be either "beat" or "square," either a revolt from the culture and social order or a new form of stuffiness and respectability. For Zen is above all the liberation of the mind from conventional thought, and this is something utterly different from rebellion against convention, on the one hand, or adopting foreign conventions, on the other.

Alan Watts, Beat Zen, Square Zen and Zen
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Andrew

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2011, 05:52:07 AM »
It is a great article that one. I read it when going through past posts. Very good points. He certainly was an enigma in himself, his Wikipedia article is fascinating.

IMO, All conversations with god are conversations with ourselves. This is the reality that I believe Jesus walked in. Hence we will always be products of our time and culture, just as Jesus was and just as Gotama was. Agnosticism in this context, is consistent with there being uncertainty that oneself exists. I can't prove my own existence outside of my own experience, so it's not inconsistent with reason. Many times I have felt very unreal.

Each life unfolds in it's own way, there is no requirement that they all cross the same paths.

love

andy
getting it done

Jeeprs

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2011, 05:54:37 AM »
I quoted a paragraph from Nyanaponika Thera in another thread regarding Buddhism and atheism:

"Those who use the word "atheism" often associate it with a materialistic doctrine that knows nothing higher than this world of the senses and the slight happiness it can bestow. Buddhism is nothing of that sort. In this respect it agrees with the teachings of other religions, that true lasting happiness cannot be found in this world; nor, the Buddha adds, can it be found on any higher plane of existence, conceived as a heavenly or divine world, since all planes of existence are impermanent and thus incapable of giving lasting bliss. The spiritual values advocated by Buddhism are directed, not towards a new life in some higher world, but towards a state utterly transcending the world, namely, Nibbana."

In this sense, I don't believe in God, but I am also not an atheist. This will sound like a contradiction to many people, obviously. But it is because I don't believe in a God, father-figure that needs to be propitiated, who creates earthquakes and punishes sinners. If that is God, then I am atheist. In fact I have the view, probably controversial, that this view is basically pagan. It is very much the view of those who worshipped Zeus or Jupiter or the Sky Gods. It is the view of many Christians. But I also believe you can be Christian without believing in a God of that type. And in fact I still have a strong residual belief of that kind. It is not something over which I have much control. I was born with that belief.

As for 'why is there this immense suffering'. The world, as we all know, has a solid crust, and a molten interior. Were it not so, life would not have evolved. But a consequence of this is that the crust is unstable, the earth is constantly changing shape, continents actually move about, mountain ranges rise and fall. From the viewpoint of being a small mammalian creature that builds structures, this is far from ideal. But it is not  intentional evil, or anything of the kind. It is simply the way the world is, and it can be no other way. People, on some level or another, choose to be born. Put it down to the natural instinct of all kinds of creatures to breed. We have an 'urge to live', and need a place to live on. As it happens, the place we live on is prone to earthquakes, tidal waves and volcanoes. I don't think 'God' has anything to do with it, unless you think there is volcano god who can be persuaded by the appropriate rituals not to blow up. And plenty of people do think that.

I suppose if I were in my home, and there was a big bushfire nearby  - this happens where I live - I would pray, like any other person 'please God spare my home'. I bet I would say that. But at the same time, if it burned down, even though it would be a dreadful thing to happen, I would not 'blame God' for that. This is the way the world is.  Bushfires and earthquakes and all manner of catastrophe, just go with the territory. We have to face that. At least through Dharma we can learn to face it with some kind of equanimity.

Andrew

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2011, 07:41:45 AM »
It has occurred to me lately, as we have discussed this topic of religions a few times, that there is a direct co-relation in the New Testament between the demise of miracles and the writing down and formation of dogma. One receded as the other increased.

jesus/early disciples/apostles -all recorded as have miraculous events as part of there lives. This is the period up to around AD 70 (the destruction of jerusalem). Around this time the first 'proto-bibles' started emerging and greater orthodoxy and dogma appeared in those called 'christians'. the greater the orthodoxy became, the more the supernatural receded. Almost a one for one co-relation.

Buddha is also recorded as having performed miracles, and like Jesus, he wrote nothing down. there is plenty recorded hundreds years after he died, and also little trace of the path he proclaimed. All we have are hearsay on both their accounts, unless we believe in the infallibility of scripture. 
It is likely the more dogmatic a person is, the more they think they understand god/nirvana, the less they will transcend.

"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." is a tag line that a great guy on another forum uses in his avatar, i like it. though, does typing count as speaking? because as usual, I think all of this is for myself. :D ;D



But it is because I don't believe in a God, father-figure that needs to be propitiated, who creates earthquakes and punishes sinners. If that is God, then I am atheist. In fact I have the view, probably controversial, that this view is basically pagan. It is very much the view of those who worshipped Zeus or Jupiter or the Sky Gods. It is the view of many Christians. But I also believe you can be Christian without believing in a God of that type.

Wouldn't that be nice if they had written that down instead. The bible would be a much more pleasant read, and the catch phrases much less irritating! :D.


love

andy
getting it done

Jeeprs

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2011, 08:00:23 AM »
I have studied history of religions, in fact my first degree was in Comparative Religion. It is a very big subject, with much more in it than meets the eye. Almost every sentence that begins with 'religion is...', ends with a false generalization. Plenty of people think they know what it is, but few have any real insights into it.

As far as 'churchianity' is concerned, I left it in late childhood, but I have since come to realize I am actually quite a 'religious' person - whatever that means. So this is why I have spent so much time reading and talking about it since then. I had spiritual experience in my teens, mainly via you-know-what. I thought, well this is great, how to make this part of your life. Eventually I discovered yogic meditation, of which Buddhism is a form. Now I think, as you have been saying, this type of understanding was originally existent in Christianity also. It was most likely a form of gnosticism. But the 'Romans' with their superior organizing and legalistic skills, crushed the gnostic movement and instituted Churchianity.

Now this is a very shallow caricature, and plenty of Christian apologists would take issue with it. So I am not putting it out there as gospel  (ha ha.) But there is definitely an element of truth. Have a look at this essay. I can't vouch for its provenance and it has some extremely questionable statements in it. But there is some truth in it, too.

Buddhism is actually very close to many types of gnosticism. In fact the Buddhist jñāna is to all intents a Sanskrit version of the word 'gnosis'. But to understand all the issues takes a lot of reading. Gnostics were also an extremely heterogenous lot some of whom you definitely would not want to mix with.

And 'that of which we cannot speak...' is from modern philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Andrew

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2011, 09:12:24 AM »
Great article Jeeprs. thanks


love

andy
getting it done

Stefan

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2011, 02:08:04 PM »

I'm literally agnostic about God but if you pushed me I'd say the evidence suggests he's not home - and if I am wrong he needs some serious psychotherapy before creating more universes.


Maybe we got what we asked for ... and now we're welcome to learn the consequences.
I believe that we are here on our free will ... he didn't want to lock us up in paradise ...  ;)
I think he created a rather fantastic universe ... it suits wicked souls like you & me. So we choose to sit ...  ;)

Our free will is a law of god.
But to what use we put our free will is not always gods will.

Still, what could he do? Transform us into puppets dancing on his strings? No free will any more?

Metta, Stefan

PS. to all: Please don't start a discussion on wether there is god or not. It would be as ridiculous a discussion as "how it is going to be when we are enlightened" and similar stuff. If you are agnostic, then still my post bears a metaphoric truth.


« Last Edit: March 14, 2011, 02:12:37 PM by stefan »
anicca

Matthew

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Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2011, 05:00:11 PM »
You only have to read the Gnostic Gospel Of Thomas or other Gnostic Gospels to know that Christ the man was a Gnostic/Mystic and had more in common with Buddha than with most "Christians" alive today.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Christians piss me off
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2011, 05:11:59 PM »
...
Maybe we got what we asked for ... and now we're welcome to learn the consequences. .....

According to theistic religions Man was made in God's image - and according to Buddhism God did not create the world or man. You're mixing your religions' thinking up a bit here - Buddhist Karma and Theistic creationism mix ... about as well as a decision to stick to the precepts and a decision to get drunk and laid daily in your local brothel.

And I'm not starting a discussion about God .. I already admitted 1) my strict agnosticism and 2) what you get if you push me for an opinion on the matter.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~