Author Topic: Where is God in Buddhism?  (Read 16219 times)

VinceField

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #50 on: June 22, 2014, 11:17:33 PM »
Matthew

If I appeared to be rude I apologize, as this is not my intention, but I am curious exactly how you perceived my words as rude.  I have not directly insulted anyone or insinuated anything of a negative nature about anyone that I can recall.

As I have stated before, I started this topic to get other's opinions about God and information about Buddhist philosophies about God.  It was not intended to be a debate on the validity of my own personal experiences, I simply related my ideas about God to give others a clearer idea of what exactly I meant by "God."

Your perception of a "holier than thou" or superior attitude is simply that, a perception, and not a fact of reality.  There are times when it is necessary to remind people that first hand experience is the only way to truly know and understand something.  I do not feel superior for having these experiences, and I don't see how it is egotistical to state the fact that without experience of these states, one does not have true knowledge about the nature of them and thus is an inadequate judge of them, especially when posters are coming across in a manner that would indicate they are in need of this reminder.  If I have done anything else to appear boasting I encourage you to tell me exactly what it was, for I will address the issue within myself and rectify it to the best of my ability.

Thanks

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #51 on: June 23, 2014, 04:48:15 AM »
If we're speaking English (or most other common languages) and we bring up the word God, we should be referring to some sort of definitive, supreme being, and not a largely incomparable subjective experience we choose to interpret as God.
Also from Wikipedia:
"As of the early twenty-first century, it was estimated that 54% of the world's population (3.8 billion people) considered themselves adherents of the Abrahamic religions, about 30% of other religions, and 16% of no organized religion."

I guess we’re splitting hairs now (funny how much you’re willing to flesh out anything other than questions asked of you), but I think it would be more than reasonable to expect most people, in a Western society especially, to invoke thoughts of an Abrahamic God (whether they actually believed in it or not) at the suggestion of the word.  To try and apply it in the pretences you’re putting forward is more likely going to require either greater clarification or greater debate.

If you don’t believe me, pick out 6 local churches at random, go in and ask to talk about God and see how much they deviate from your experience.

A more apt word for what you've got going on is Qualia.

VinceField

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #52 on: June 23, 2014, 06:35:03 AM »
The version of God that best suits (almost perfectly) what I have experienced is the New Age definition of God. 

According to New Age belief, God is the impersonal life force, consciousness, ultimate truth and reality, the incorporeal, formless cosmic order personified within all people and matter. God is all and all are God.  The New Age view of the world and the universe is monistic and pantheistic, which means that everything that exists is of One essence, and that One essence is God. Everything is a different form of that essence and the Divine Force is what holds everything together.

Regarding the popularity of this definition:

One source (George Barnia, "The Index of Leading Spiritual Indicators", Word Publishing, Dallas TX, 1996) quotes, "A longitudinal study from 1991 to 1995 shows that New Agers represent a steady 20% of the population, and are consistently the third largest religious group."  I would assume that number has increased dramatically since then, as the New Age movement has been the country's fastest growing religious/spiritual group for many years. 

A good majority of my spiritually-oriented friends have a similar belief of God as what I have experienced and described in this thread.  I have also personally spoken with several forum members (on other forums) over the years who have had strikingly similar higher-level experiences of this "God" force in the out of body state, as well as many other members concurring with the conceptual validity of the experiences, descriptions, and definitions.  I actually recently described these experiences to my uncle who is a very religious Christian and even he agreed with almost every characteristic of the experiences as being attributes of God (although he is a bit more open minded than your average Christian). 

In conclusion, the ideas I have presented are far more common than you believed and the language I have used to describe them has been absolutely reasonable.

In response to your comment that I have avoided questions, If I have overlooked a question that you have asked and you would like a reply, please let me know and I will address it if it has not already been addressed.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 07:55:51 AM by VinceField »

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #53 on: June 23, 2014, 08:50:36 AM »
In conclusion, the ideas I have presented are far more common than you believed and the language I have used to describe them has been absolutely reasonable.
They're about as common as I thought (i.e. a minority rather than a common view). Your anecdotal circle of friends isn't representative of society as a whole (and the claim of 20% doesn't gel with any accepted demographics), so really what you're talking to is a rather niche view about God as some sort of "force" people need to try and define. It could more plausibly be established as "existence" or "the forces of nature" if one so wanted to define things but I guess your core definition is open ended enough so as not to require greater qualification.
In response to your comment that I have avoided questions, If I have overlooked a question that you have asked and you would like a reply, please let me know and I will address it if it has not already been addressed.
I guess it boils down to definitions. If stating you don't want to reply or circling around what is being asked is addressing a question, then I guess you have addressed most of what's been asked of you. If addressing something involves elaborating on it as requested, then perhaps you have not.

For me (and just for me, others might see things differently), if I feel strongly enough about something to express it, then I'm able to address and talk about it at length and have others scrutinise it, for that is the true test of objectivity, instead of something I've conjured up as being empirically "true". I don't come in here to expect a feedback loop to validate my opinion, in fact its generally through other's picking apart my assumptions and beliefs that I truly learn.

But this is all conjecture, my opinion is you are a far cry from observing the inner mechanisms of your mind for what they are, and you are of the opinion there is more external that is observable that I perhaps deny. Matthew mentioned something about running down to the hill to the village that struck a cord with me, there's been times where I've experienced things I've felt I wanted to talk to someone about, but hindsight as shown I was wiser to keep quiet and carry on, for my mind doth deceive me, and my perspective doth change.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 09:08:55 AM by Dharmic Tui »

VinceField

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #54 on: June 23, 2014, 09:38:51 PM »
I choose not to respond to questions or comments when doing so would be unproductive or unnecessary, or when doing so would simply be giving in to my own or another's egoic urges and behaviors.  There comes a point in certain discussions when the potential for productivity and learning is replaced by a struggle of competing viewpoints and needless debate.   When I feel like I am put into a position where it seems I have to prove myself or my experiences, I realize that the engagement is probably a conflict of egos and I choose not to give in or partake, as I have nothing to prove to anyone and do not need to force my opinion onto others.  This is different from sharing personal knowledge to enlighten or broaden the perspectives of others with a helpful intent, and when I see this is not possible I choose not to engage, as doing so would simply be a response of the ego.  And I have no problem with others scrutinizing my experiences and beliefs, despite their motivations, but I will certainly be sure they have proper qualifications to make their claims before I take their opinions seriously. 

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #55 on: June 24, 2014, 02:09:18 AM »
That does create a paradox of sorts. If you make others ignorant by withholding information you have disqualified them automatically.

I can appreciate how you might view such discourse as a personal affront and a battle of egos.

VinceField

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #56 on: June 24, 2014, 02:51:21 AM »
People are responsible for their own ignorance.  The drives of the ego only create states of further ignorance, regardless of what information one may be seeking or finding.  According to my understanding, not feeding into that ignorance- the ignorance of ego identification and attachment- is what the Buddha teaches, and is what brings one out of ignorance.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #57 on: June 24, 2014, 04:51:29 AM »
Well, that and honest, well communicated information.

Im not sure how open minded an environment one can create if they're veiled and willing to qualify people they're conversing with under such circumstances. It runs risk of circular reasoning.

VinceField

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #58 on: June 24, 2014, 06:20:35 AM »
If one goes around taking everyone's opinions as if they all had the wisdom of the Buddha, that person is most likely going to be extremely misled and could end up making some very poor choices.  One must use discernment, which includes discerning a person's experience and knowledge regarding any given subject that person might be offering "advice" on.  I believe that open-mindedness and discernment must go hand-in-hand. 

It just occurred to me how off topic this thread has gone, so I am signing out for now.  DT I expect you'll probably find something about this post to break apart and confront or raise an issue with, but I won't be responding.  I think I have shared enough and I don't think continuing on is going to benefit anyone.  Perhaps I'll join back in if this thread manages to get back on track.  Peace and Love to all.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 06:32:45 AM by VinceField »

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #59 on: June 24, 2014, 11:25:59 AM »
Sometimes off topic can be more enlightening than on-topic (although if a moderator wishes to close this thread or wrap me on the knuckles I certainly wouldn't blame them). Ultimately the nature of discourse here lends itself more heavily to the self, mind, and ego, than externalities. For me, how we interpret, how we react and how we process and form thoughts is as important, if not more important than the object of those thoughts. One minute it might be getting pissed off at a partner or boss, the next we might be experiencing God, then remembering something we forgot to do that we should have, or wondering what we might cook for dinner. On the weekend I had a surreal experience with an apple, almost feeling guilty I was consuming another living entity, then later on that night I happily tucked into a sausage casserole. In the moment these things seem so real, we feel them and hold them important, and then like a flash, it's gone.

I suppose to some, maybe this is weak and lacking conviction on my behalf, that I don't hold very strong values and beliefs, but I find ultimately if I conduct myself in a certain manner then the beliefs and values are partially window dressing that makes me inflexible.

And don't worry, this isn't a tennis match, if you'd like to respond, then respond, or if you don't, then don't, there's no need to hand off a "last word". Doing so creates a barrier to any further input from fear of going back on a vow that at the time seemed somehow important to make. I also respect if you only want to talk about subjects or objects which interest you or you are willing to talk about.

And yes anyone professing the wisdom of Buddha could very well find themselves misled. Although someone mentioned Occam's Razor also. If it looks like a chicken and clucks like a chicken, and so on and so forth. That might contribute to discernment, it is hard to say. I think it useful to be prepared to be wrong at almost any moment. Kills the surprise a bit, but also reduces disappointment, shame, that sort of thing.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 11:30:27 AM by Dharmic Tui »

Matthew

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #60 on: June 24, 2014, 02:52:27 PM »
Sometimes off topic can be more enlightening than on-topic (although if a moderator wishes to close this thread or wrap me on the knuckles I certainly wouldn't blame them). Ultimately the nature of discourse here lends itself more heavily to the self, mind, and ego, than externalities. For me, how we interpret, how we react and how we process and form thoughts is as important, if not more important than the object of those thoughts.
...

'Off-topic' can often lead to insights not gained elsewhere. I have no intention of closing this thread or rapping anyone on the knuckles.

There are many contradictions and areas of discussion in this thread I would like to go into more deeply but I'm not feeling particularly well right now so for now they will remain unexplored on my part.

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

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #61 on: June 24, 2014, 05:06:42 PM »
I hope you're feeling better soon Matthew.

Good you're ok with off topic, some moderators aren't into it, but I've found in life the lessons and gems can more often than not come from where you're not intending them to.

Matthew

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #62 on: June 24, 2014, 08:27:14 PM »
I hope you're feeling better soon Matthew.

Thank you DT, it's a long term deteriorating condition and at the moment the deterioration is rapid, but it goes through stages. What will be will be.

Good you're ok with off topic, some moderators aren't into it, but I've found in life the lessons and gems can more often than not come from where you're not intending them to.

There are limits. This discussion is about perception and labeling and how the conditioned mind enters into that picture - it's not the discussion Vince was looking for perhaps but in the context of the forum it hasn't been unhealthy.

When members request accounts each one is reviewed and some are refused (not many). Example's would be members of certain cult-like organisations with a tendency to proselytise or persons who are clearly coming from wholly different perspectives and those looking to sell things.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Billymac629

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #63 on: July 12, 2014, 04:02:52 PM »
Quote
Beliefs aren't useful. Knowledge is.

I was simply asking why Buddha did not have or did not disclose knowledge of God if he was in fact enlightened. And I would like the knowledge of what other Buddhist practitioners believe about God. :)  And I would disagree that beliefs are not useful, but I don't want to get off topic so I'll leave it at that. 
The Buddha did not discuss belief in a god because it would not help with the ending of suffering/stress.  In other words it would not help one reach nibbana.

The buddha did talk of other realms and beings that lived in those realms but this was more in a karmic way.  Having rebirths in other realms and so on.  One realm was one of devas (god like beings).
Nothing in this world is to be clung to as I, me, or mine...

branowillis

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #64 on: August 07, 2014, 08:05:54 AM »
It is not easy for anybody to achieve enlightenment unless he "believes". What you believe you get that. If people thinks there is no God then all their life they will never see any God or get holy experience!
newbielink:http://www.aquinasandmore.com/ [nonactive]

Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #65 on: August 07, 2014, 07:29:32 PM »
It is not easy for anybody to achieve enlightenment unless he "believes". What you believe you get that. If people thinks there is no God then all their life they will never see any God or get holy experience!

But belief without experience has no room in buddha's teaching

branowillis

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #66 on: September 27, 2014, 06:02:10 AM »
I'm very eager to learn about Buddhism. These days I have been reading several scriptures. I'm on last few chapters away to finish newbielink:http://www.aquinasandmore.com/catholic-books-gifts/new-american-bible-revised-edition/category/2542 [nonactive]. Could anyone please tell me the good books written on Lord Buddha and Buddhism? Can I get it free from the Internet?
newbielink:http://www.aquinasandmore.com/ [nonactive]

Goofaholix

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #67 on: September 27, 2014, 07:53:43 AM »
You can read online or download Buddhist scripture and other resources from Access to Insight http://www.accesstoinsight.org/

Nicky

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #68 on: September 27, 2014, 11:20:54 AM »

It is not easy for anybody to achieve enlightenment unless he "believes". What you believe you get that. If people thinks there is no God then all their life they will never see any God or get holy experience!

If I believe in Martians, will I see Martians? Possibly. By conjuring them via the imagination.

The Buddha taught what is 'holy' is a mind free & purified from greed, hatred & delusion. Jesus is said to have taught: "Blessed are the pure in spirit, they will see God". John said: "God is love". The Buddha taught the way to God (Brahma) is to radiate unlimited love in all directions.

Therefore, it sounds like what the Buddha & original Christians believed what God & Holiness was (purity & love) were the same. So what about you? What is this 'God' you believe you will experience?

 :angel:

Nicky

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #69 on: September 27, 2014, 11:37:59 AM »

I'm very eager to learn about Buddhism. These days I have been reading several scriptures. I'm on last few chapters away to finish New American Bible Revised Edition. Could anyone please tell me the good books written on Lord Buddha and Buddhism? Can I get it free from the Internet?

Start here: http://en.booksee.org/book/1888591

Then here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.intro.budd.html

Nicky

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Re: Where is God in Buddhism?
« Reply #70 on: September 27, 2014, 11:55:43 AM »

My understanding of Buddhism is that the idea of God is not taught or believed in.


In Buddhism, the idea of a 'creator God' is not believed in. To quote:

Quote
Having approached the brahmans & contemplatives who hold that... 'Whatever a person experiences... is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation,' I said to them: 'Is it true that you hold that... "Whatever a person experiences... is all caused by a supreme being's act of creation?"' Thus asked by me, they admitted, 'Yes.' Then I said to them, 'Then in that case, a person is a killer of living beings because of a supreme being's act of creation. A person is a thief... unchaste... a liar... a divisive speaker... a harsh speaker... an idle chatterer... greedy... malicious... a holder of wrong views because of a supreme being's act of creation.' When one falls back on creation by a supreme being as being essential, monks, there is no desire, no effort [at the thought], 'This should be done. This shouldn't be done.' When one can't pin down as a truth or reality what should & shouldn't be done, one dwells bewildered & unprotected. One cannot righteously refer to oneself as a contemplative. This was my second righteous refutation of those brahmans & contemplatives who hold to such teachings, such views.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.061.than.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Quote
I am curious as to people's opinions about this, what your belief in God is and how it ties in with the Buddhist philosophies and practices that you follow. It seems a bit odd that an enlightened being such as the Buddha wouldn't have first hand knowledge or insights into the true nature of God. Perhaps I am missing some perspective that can be offered by those more knowledgeable on the subject.

The Buddha taught God (Brahma) is love. To quote:

Quote
And he lets his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of Love, and so the second, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, does he continue to pervade with heart of Love, far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure.'

`Just as a mighty trumpeter makes himself heard and that without difficulty in all the four directions; even so of all things that have shape or life, there is not one that he passes by or leaves aside, but regards them all with mind set free, and deep-felt love.'

`Verily this is the way to a state of union with Brahmà (God).'

http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/1Digha-Nikaya/Digha1/13-tevijja-e.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Quote
I understand that there are different definitions of God- the definition I am referring to is the core divine consciousness that is fundamental to all creations in existence, comprising the very core essence of the entire multidimensional infinite universe, God is an incomprehensibly vast, intelligent and unconditionally loving power, the creator of everything, experiencing itself in an infinite variety of expressions through it's own creations.

Buddhism does not teach there is a core essence. Buddhism teaches the God mind is the mind of love and all mind is impermanent.

If the question is looked at from a old Biblical perspective, God is Law. That said, Buddhism teaches extensively about Law (Niyama).

Quote
I have experienced the reality of God in the terms I have just described during some of my higher-level out of body experiences in which I shed through the coarser levels of my self and accessed a higher divine aspect of my being, experiencing myself as One with God and all consciousness in existence in a state of inconceivable divine bliss and unconditional love, and experienced direct knowledge of the higher/deeper dimensions of my being which included experiencing the nature of God first hand, although much of the insight gained during these experiences cannot be fully comprehended by my limited physically-oriented mind or accurately translated or described by our limited terms and language.

You may have had an 'out of body experience' but the Buddhist view is this experience is simply an 'out of body experience'. You did not experience 'God'. You only experienced 'out of body'. 'God' is simply a name or label for your experience.

Quote
So if an unenlightened being such as me, or many of the other explorers of consciousness in higher spiritual realms, or individuals having near death experiences, if us laymen can gain glimpses into the true nature of God, why is there a disconnect from this in Buddhist philosophy?

Your disconnect is creating the personification of 'God' and the personification of "I" & "me". If the mind is enlightened, it does not have the thought: "I had an out of body experience". Instead, it comprehends: "The mind had an impermanent & selfless out of body experience".

 :)



« Last Edit: September 27, 2014, 11:59:16 AM by Nicky »

 

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