Author Topic: Is our Life already Programmed/decided?  (Read 4869 times)

Is our Life already Programmed/decided?
« on: April 19, 2008, 04:05:44 PM »
I went to an astrologer (Naadi methodology) and he had told things that had happened in my life. I was a bit surprised as he had told things no one in the world knew other than me. He also told my future. Till date what he has told has also happened.

I attended one Vipassana 10 day course one time. In that course, if I remember correctly, respected SN Goenka also mentioned that expert meditators can see their future and next birth life.

Is our life already decided as how we are going to live?

I understand that a person is good because he stayed in a good company, he is patient because he stayed with patient people, is a terrorist because he stayed with terrorist, is an english because he stayed with English speaking people. So one's life is totally reactive to other peoples behavior/habits/skills around him , not only just because of him. So is this the logic( that our life/behaviour  is dependent on other people's behaviour and maked us good /happy or bad/sad) that life is predictable.

Or, is life ahead not predictable. If its predictable, why is it that some people will be more happy inn their life and some less ( Refer thread http://vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php/topic,163.0.html)

Thanks.
Vipassana Beginner.

Matthew

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Re: Is our Life already Programmed/decided?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2008, 04:37:37 PM »
Our life is not decided as to how we are going to live. This was a fundamental teaching of Gautama Buddha and a positive reaction to the views of Brahmanism (the forerunner of Hinduism) that was the main religion in his time. This religion said our life was destined. Not only that but that we would continue to suffer the same fate again and again forever. Buddha said we could change ourselves, he recognised that we have free will underlying our cultural conditioning.

We have choices. We excercise them daily. One of the wonderful consequences of vipassana meditation is that the choices we make become more and more obvious to us, more conscious - that is to say we become more aware that we are making choices and how we come to make them.

Most people, most of the time have no idea why they are doing what they are doing. They have eaten the bread and drunk the water of their upbringing, education, society, culture and language and have been programmed by it into near robots. The more you meditate the less you are a robot.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Flipasso

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Re: Is our Life already Programmed/decided?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2008, 01:27:42 AM »
If you want to change, you can.
It doesn't matter if there is a destiny and if someone knows it. - To me only God, the Universe, It, can know that, and It doesn't tell anyone.
If there is somekind of guiding line to your life and you want to change, then the guiding line in your life is that you will change.

happiness&strengh@you.all

Re: Is our Life already Programmed/decided?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2008, 10:09:21 AM »
There is one more confusion/ignorance in me, regarding God. Earlier I prayed to God (Idol Worship) asking god to make me rich, intelligent and what not. I believed in God because my parents told me. Later I believed in science subject and became an atheist. Later I considered knowledge/hardwork as my God. But I am sure of one thing, I am confused :-).

I am just trying to understand more, not denying the existence of God.

If we pray to God, will be become better? Then whosoever is just praying should have become great person.
I don't think God gives only to praying people, if so why should we pray God of any religion/place... ?

So the question is as per mediating people, who is God, why should we pray God, what happens to people who don't pray God, who doesn't pray god and does good of others?


To me the only advantage God( As per my current knowledge God is some super power and also knowledge, but am not convinced) gives is a bit of hope that he will help me fix things when am into a very bad thing.

thanks,
One Curious confused person    ::)


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: Is our Life already Programmed/decided?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2008, 06:48:03 PM »
Dear Vipassana Beginner

Christ said "know yourself", Buddha taught direct methods to know yourself, Mohammed in the Koran taught Jihad which is the knowing of oneself, nothing to do with war.

Christ said the kingdom of heaven is within, he said if someone tells you it is in the sky the birds will arrive their before you.

There is not much point thinking about these ideas of "God" - you already recognise that they are conditioned ideas. Had no one ever mentioned "God" to you I think it very unlikely you would have come up with the idea of him/her/it on your own.

There is not much point focusing on things you do not have direct experience of. Use meditation to gain direct experience, to know yourself, more and more intimately, to remove these conditioned and habituated patterns of thinking.

Do not indulge your mind in mindless speculation on cosmic matters or out of fear (for most who believe in "God" are taught to fear "God" so they do what the preacher says).

Instead concentrate your efforts on knowing who and what you are through deeper and deeper insight gained through repeated meditation. When you know yourself you know the world and your place in it.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

deanmw

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Re: Is our Life already Programmed/decided?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2008, 10:17:47 PM »
So the question is as per mediating people, who is God, why should we pray God, what happens to people who don't pray God, who doesn't pray god and does good of others?

I think the word God means many different things to many different people, so I don't think there is one definitive point of view - despite what the world religions might have us believe.

I think the concept of God arises quite naturally from human needs & experiences. Most people have a deep need to feel connected to something bigger than themselves and for their life to have meaning - it is natural to wonder why we or anything else exists. And it is easy (although not necessarily correct) to attribute a grand designer to the complexity we see in the world around us. It is also important for people to feel there is someone/something that is looking out for them, especially if they are experiencing difficulty in their lives. And then there are the direct spiritual / religious experiences that individuals have, both now and in the past. So I think these factors have come together time and again over the centuries across many cultures to give all the forms of religious belief & worship we see today and throughout history.

The problem with religious beliefs as I see it (and beliefs in general, as opposed to objective facts), is as soon as you start to buy into something that is not validated by your own direct experience, you start to accumulate baggage, either created by yourself or (more usually) other people. So as soon as you start asking other people about God & spirituality, unless they stick to their own direct experience, there is a good chance they are going to be cascading in yet more baggage they have collected along the way.

I suspect that many spiritual & religious concepts around the world have been distorted over time, both unintentionally and intentionally. I think politics has had a detrimental impact on many teachings, shaping the "truth" consumed by the masses to control their behaviour. I also think there has been a lot of unintentional corruption due to poor translation and incorrect understanding being introduced. We're only human after all! So I'm a bit skeptical about theological scriptures and I'm not overly impressed by those that might try to tell me how it is.

This doesn't mean I don't have belief in a higher force of nature (my formulation for what others might call "God"). It's just that I recognize it as belief, know I could be wrong, and continue to adapt my understanding.

Of course ones own experience is also no guarantee of truth, because ultimately it's going to be filtered by the perceptual / thinking mind. I know from my own experience it's easy to lose the plot and start making up your own ideas of how reality works. The mind has a knack for filtering perceptions to reinforce your ideas. If you're in a susceptible state of mind and form the opinion that you have been transported to the realm of the undead or that aliens are landing, your perceptions will be adjusted to oblige the fantasy (especially where there is ambiguity, which is most of the time!).

So to cut a long story short, my current belief is that genuine appreciation of a higher force of nature ("God" for want of a better word) will only come through a non-verbal direct experience obtained through non-ordinary states of consciousness (e.g. meditation).

And to answer your question about prayer, if the prayer is meditative (i.e. the thinking mind is not wandering) and practiced regularly, then I would imagine you would gain all the benefits that meditation can bring in terms of spiritual opening, inner peace and equanimity.

Kind regards,
Dean

Flipasso

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Re: Is our Life already Programmed/decided?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2008, 11:23:06 PM »
If we pray to God, will be become better? Then whosoever is just praying should have become great person.
I don't think God gives only to praying people, if so why should we pray God of any religion/place... ?

You should only pray if it feels right for you, likewise with meditation. Both intelectually/intuitionally (faith) and experientially.

So the question is as per mediating people, who is God, why should we pray God, what happens to people who don't pray God, who doesn't pray god and does good of others?
The Old Testament gives us a image of a jellous and punishing God. Christ gives the image of a punishing God.
I don't understand the reasons of so much suffering in the world (not through Karma, not through a punishing God). I believe God understands our limitations and forgives our mistakes, and that he wishes for us to evolve, to become better. But trying to figure it all out, inspite of entertaining, is useless. There's an amount of thinking that can be good but too much is useless.

To me the only advantage God( As per my current knowledge God is some super power and also knowledge, but am not convinced) gives is a bit of hope that he will help me fix things when am into a very bad thing.

thanks,
One Curious confused person    ::)
I sometimes pray. When I do, I usually ask for things. But I do it also as a form of self-knowledge. When I ask for help to quit smoking I usually get the answer... "Try". And it has happened, that sometimes after praying things become easier to do. If you do a kind of meditation/prayer always thinking of God (like Teresa of Avilla) you know what's the right thing to do all day long. - This is not always pleasant, 'cause at some point you may find yourself wanting (or thinking you should) go to Africa and help the poor.
Basically I don't think God helps you get rich or score a lot of ladies/men or other selfish desires, I believe God can guide you in your evolution process.
Ask the question, you'll get the answer.

"Between God and me, lies(spl?, to lay) my consciousness..." - Mundo (Dealema) - "Entre eu e Deus está a minha consciência..."

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: Is our Life already Programmed/decided?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2008, 11:29:20 AM »
I don't understand the reasons of so much suffering in the world (not through Karma, not through a punishing God). I believe God understands our limitations and forgives our mistakes, and that he wishes for us to evolve, to become better. But trying to figure it all out, inspite of entertaining, is useless. There's an amount of thinking that can be good but too much is useless.

The reason there is so much suffering in the world is that the three root poisons of greed, hatred and ignorance remain unchallenged by the vast majority of humans. In meditation we progressively challenge ourselves to be less greedy, less hatefull and more aware (or less ignorant). We therefore, with our thoughts, words and actions create less suffering for ourselves and those around us.

The fruits of our thoughts, words and actions are called karma. They result from the conditioning we experienced as children (previous karma) - but we have free will which we can learn to excercise, to a greater and greater extent, through the practice of meditation and the reduction of habituated conditioned responses.

This is the Buddhist path in a nutshell with all speculative cosmology removed. God does not come in to the picture anywhere, basically.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Re: Is our Life already Programmed/decided?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2008, 02:05:29 PM »
I agree and understand what you say TIB, 100%.


Thank you.

Vipassana Beginner. 8)

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: Is our Life already Programmed/decided?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2008, 08:03:39 PM »
I agree and understand what you say TIB, 100%.

Thank you.

Dear Vipassana Beginner

Glad to be of assistance.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Re: Is our Life already Programmed/decided?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2008, 03:20:24 PM »
Respected S N Goenka became an atheist, correct? He says be believes Truth as God, but did change his God after Meditation.  If Buddha and Buddhism are atheist, is S N Goenka also atheist? Just curious.


Thank you,
Vipassana Beginner.

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: Is our Life already Programmed/decided?
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2008, 04:41:09 PM »
I don't know what Goenka's position is. I have never studied with his school.

I do know that I don't know if "god" exists or not. That is: I know I am agnostic (from Greek "a" = negation "gnostic" = knowing). I also know I don't care if "god" exists or not because it does not make a difference to how I live my life.

However, I suspect the balance of probability suggests that either (a) "god" does not exist or (b) if "god" does exist he/she/it needs psychotherapy before creating any more worlds.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Flipasso

  • Guest
Re: Is our Life already Programmed/decided?
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2008, 11:11:23 PM »
However, I suspect the balance of probability suggests that either (a) "god" does not exist or (b) if "god" does exist he/she/it needs psychotherapy before creating any more worlds.

LLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

Agree TIB 100%. That's my main problem when it comes to God. Why the frik did he/she/it create a world like this?!?!?!?

Vipassana_Begginer it's up to you to decide whether you believe in God and which path to follow. Or maybe to not decide after all...
You can follow the buddhist path and believe in God if you ask me...  I think most Buddhist teachers would be fine with it.
Then again, I'm no buddhist nor buddhist teacher so...
« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 02:56:43 PM by Flipasso »

Flipasso

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Re: Is our Life already Programmed/decided?
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2008, 02:58:37 PM »
You can check out http://www.here-and-now.org
It's a very good website of God(or Source)-Believing-Buddhist.
He has very good texts on how meditation works, I think some of them are in this forums Resources section.