Author Topic: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)  (Read 10856 times)

Flipasso

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Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« on: December 04, 2008, 10:59:30 PM »
Recently I noticed, while reading a book "What do Buddhists Believe?", that buddhism isn't my religion.
I like the tone of some western, counter-culture buddhiists, but when it comes to buddhist from the east I get the creaps... [except maybe Ven. Henepola Gunaratana and S.N.Goenka]
There's too much enphasis on suffering and the afterlives etc.. And by the way, I believe in god untill proven otherwise.
I'm happy with Vipassana, though. I've first heard about it by a man with no religion (explicitly, at least) and only much later found out that it originated in buddhism.
I've only yesterday found a current of Hinduism, that much suits my beliefs...
Here's a piece of the article on wikipedia about Advaita Vedanta a school that tells there's no difference between you(Atman) and God(Brahman).
Quote
The soul or the self (Atman) is identical with Brahman. It is not a part of Brahman that ultimately dissolves into Brahman, but the whole Brahman itself. Now the arguers ask how the individual soul, which is limited and one in each body, can be the same as Brahman? Adi Shankara explains that the Self is not an individual concept. Atman is only one and unique. Indeed Atman alone is {Ekaatma Vaadam}. It is a false concept that there are several Atmans {Anekaatma Vaadam}. Adi Shankara says that just as the same moon appears as several moons on its reflections on the surface of water covered with bubbles, the one Atman appears as multiple atmans in our bodies because of Maya. Atman is self-proven, however, some proofs are discussed—eg., a person says "I am blind", "I am happy", "I am fat" etc. The common and constant factor, which permeates all these statements is the "I" which is but the Immutable Consciousness. When the blindness, happiness, fatness are inquired and negated, "I" the common factor which, indeed, alone exists in all three states of consciousness and in all three periods of time, shines forth. This proves the existence of Atman, and that Consciousness, Reality and Bliss are its characteristics. Atman, being the silent witness of all the modifications, is free and beyond sin and merit. It does not experience happiness or pain because it is beyond the triad of Experiencer, Experienced and Experiencing. It does not do any Karma because it is Aaptakaama. It is incorporeal and independent.

When the reflection of atman falls on Avidya (ignorance), atman becomes j?va — a living being with a body and senses. Each jiva feels as if he has his own, unique and distinct Atman, called jivatman. The concept of jiva is true only in the pragmatic level. In the transcendental level, only the one Atman, equal to Brahman, is true.

Adi Shankara exposed the relative and thus unreal nature of the objective world and propounded the truth of the Advaita {One without a second} by analysing the three states of experience of the atman — waking (vaishvanara), dreaming (taijasa), and deep sleep (prajna).
This is just a bit, and explains the nature of self(atman) as opposed to non-self(anatta).
This is taken of context, so you may not understand the whole picture but, I'll try to explain my point...

In this quote the anatta (buddhist) theory, is explained with a God in it.
In the original article it is explained the nature of God(Brahman), the world(a byproduct of Maya-ignorance) and The God Concept(Ishvara - which is what I'm talking about afterall...).

Afterall I'm kind of lost here, but I basically just wanted to show you this version of things, that fits my beliefs much better, and gives an explaination of Anatta (non-self) involving the God concept.
Basically instead of us all not being anything at all (buddhist anatta).
Where all one and the same thing - Atman(Self) which is Brahman(God) under the mask of Maya(Ignorance).

It feels much better now, to believe I'm Everything... instead of believing I was nothing...

BTW - In "Zen in the art of Archery" he talks about how IT threw the arrow instead of him, I always understood IT as being the whole, God, Brahman...

Tell me what you think...
happiness@us.all

Matthew

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2008, 06:48:53 AM »
Recently I noticed, while reading a book "What do Buddhists Believe?", that buddhism isn't my religion.
I like the tone of some western, counter-culture buddhiists, but when it comes to buddhist from the east I get the creaps... [except maybe Ven. Henepola Gunaratana and S.N.Goenka]
There's too much enphasis on suffering and the afterlives etc.. And by the way, I believe in god untill proven otherwise.

I totally get where you are coming from with the emphasis on future rebirths, however be aware that Buddhist theories of rebirth are founded in but contradict Hindu theories of reincarnation. The two are different but you will not escape afterlives by becoming a Hindu. I am agnostic about reincarnation/rebirth and about God: I know I do not know the truth about either of them.

I'm happy with Vipassana, though. I've first heard about it by a man with no religion (explicitly, at least) and only much later found out that it originated in buddhism.
I've only yesterday found a current of Hinduism, that much suits my beliefs...

The point about Vipassana practice is that it does not rest on belief or religion. It rests on you doing the practice and seeing the truths for yourself. You can hold any set of beliefs but eventually these will come under the focus of your inward gaze in practice if you continue the practice.

Here's a piece of the article on wikipedia about Advaita Vedanta a school that tells there's no difference between you(Atman) and God(Brahman).

The Buddha used to refuse to talk about a lot of this stuff because he said cosmic speculation is not conducive to living a good life. I agree.

Quote from: Wikipedia
Atman is self-proven, however, some proofs are discussed—eg., a person says "I am blind", "I am happy", "I am fat" etc. The common and constant factor, which permeates all these statements is the "I" which is but the Immutable Consciousness. When the blindness, happiness, fatness are inquired and negated, "I" the common factor which, indeed, alone exists in all three states of consciousness and in all three periods of time, shines forth. This proves the existence of Atman, and that Consciousness, Reality and Bliss are its characteristics. Atman, being the silent witness of all the modifications, is free and beyond sin and merit. It does not experience happiness or pain because it is beyond the triad of Experiencer, Experienced and Experiencing. It does not do any Karma because it is Aaptakaama. It is incorporeal and independent.

When the reflection of atman falls on Avidya (ignorance), atman becomes jiva — a living being with a body and senses. Each jiva feels as if he has his own, unique and distinct Atman, called jivatman. The concept of jiva is true only in the pragmatic level. In the transcendental level, only the one Atman, equal to Brahman, is true.

Adi Shankara exposed the relative and thus unreal nature of the objective world and propounded the truth of the Advaita {One without a second} by analysing the three states of experience of the atman — waking (vaishvanara), dreaming (taijasa), and deep sleep (prajna).

"The common and constant factor, which permeates all these statements is the "I" which is but the Immutable Consciousness"

This is where the whole argument starts falling apart. It does not take deep Vipassana practice to see that the "I" is not Immutable. The sense of I is constantly changing and flitting around based on attraction and repulsion from sense objects, mental formulations etc. This is where the theory expounded above is in utter contradiction to Buddhist theory which states quite plainly: there is no "I", there are a series of ongoing parallel processes, one of which is the creation of this false ongoing sense of I out of the ephemeral and flitting contents of mind. This is my experience of the nature of mind that has arisen out of practice.

The piece also states that the "I" is present in the three states: waking, dreaming and deep sleep. The first two I agree with and have experience of. I do not find the third agrees with my experience of reality: "I" am not present when in deep sleep. In fact being waken from deep sleep unexpectedly reveals a lot about the "I" - as one woken from deep sleep is often utterly confused, even if for a moment, before they remember who they are, their story.

This is just a bit, and explains the nature of self(atman) as opposed to non-self(anatta).
This is taken of context, so you may not understand the whole picture but, I'll try to explain my point...

...

Afterall I'm kind of lost here, but I basically just wanted to show you this version of things, that fits my beliefs much better, and gives an explaination of Anatta (non-self) involving the God concept.
Basically instead of us all not being anything at all (buddhist anatta).
Where all one and the same thing - Atman(Self) which is Brahman(God) under the mask of Maya(Ignorance).

It feels much better now, to believe I'm Everything... instead of believing I was nothing...

BTW - In "Zen in the art of Archery" he talks about how IT threw the arrow instead of him, I always understood IT as being the whole, God, Brahman...

Tell me what you think...
happiness@us.all

I think your beliefs are subject to change and are therefore not a good source for basing understanding on. Examine your beliefs and see where they came from. Are they really even "your" beliefs? This is where the Buddhist approach differs entirely from other religions because the emphasis is on self-discovery through practical methods of inherent truths - and not belief in inherent uncertainties handed wholesale to you by others.

To choose to believe anything always implies choosing not to believe the opposite and will bring you into conflict and suffering with those of the opposing belief ... this is true of all beliefs .. nothing factual or real about them, merely some words describing an abstract concept rattling around the synapses of the brain and a rejection of the opposing concept. Just concepts. So choosing to "believe" one form of words truly describes reality leads you into potentially a lot of trouble both with yourself and the world around you. Mainly because the universe is seemingly not made of words, concepts and beliefs and there are therefore insufficient of them to fully describe it! Better to experience it for yourself in a more and more real way through practice than hide from it by choosing a random belief that has the same inherent value as any other. "I" am God is as meaningful as "I" am a box of chocolates. But less tasty.

As to not being a Buddhist, I am slowly coming to the opinion the label is meaningless, particularly in a world where there are probably at least 1,000 different schools teaching "Buddhism" with contradictory ideas, practices, beliefs etc and many of which bear no resemblance to the Dhama-Vinaya (truth-discipline) of Gautama Buddha.

However Shamatha Vipassana meditation, the four noble truths and the eightfold path are the starting blocks for me and from them, and working with them, I find my fears are no longer so scary, my confusion lessens daily, my attachment to silly forms and dogma dissipate and my wayward mind steadies.

The results seem dependent on the effort I put in. These things I was told would be true about this "religion" and have found them to be so. It has turned me from an atheist to an agnostic because I recognised that atheistic and theistic propositions are all of the same formulae i.e "Believe in X". The only different is for an atheist X = NOT (GOD) and for a theist X = GOD.

I have seen that beliefs are not good guides to reality and the more I practice the clearer this becomes to me. I have learned that beliefs don't clean the dishes: actually that beliefs have more in common with the stains on the dishes than any cleaning agent. They can seem to cling pretty hard to the pristine surface of the porcelain but enough right effort will get them off and leave a clean plate.

FlipAsso, from my knowledge of you there is an underlying ontological/existential insecurity you need to face. I do not think you will find solace in theories about God or belief in God. I think you will find solace in facing your false self head on on the meditation cushion if you push on with the practice. Maybe some cognitive behavioural therapy to help kick start the self awareness of thinking patterns would help you - but believing in God will unlikely lead to long term solace for your problems.

This is my personal experience of practice in a nutshell: God or not God become unimportant trivial questions. So does reincarnation or not reincarnation, rebirth or not rebirth. The old lady crossing the road I used to rush past I now stop and help. That matters a great deal. Where I used to get very easily pulled into other peoples games I am more resistant to foolery (though not always). The many wonderful small moments I often missed I now capture and with greater clarity. I put my foot in it less often (though am still quite able). Lots of people come to ask my advice about many and varied subjects because clarity of mind is subject-independent (largely and the more so the more you practice).

Last time we discussed your practice you were going to experiment with a greater focus on the simple calming stages of practice. How did the experiment go? Were you able to keep up the practice? PM me if you want to discuss off the board but I am interested to know how you jumped from that simple plan to reading Hinduism and enthusiasm towards cosmic speculation.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew

ps

I wasn't going to go into Dependent Origination but the second link Metta Fou provides does give you information about this Buddhist cosmology with all the connectedness you are seeking and with much less confusion. Good link Metta Fou. Hmmm you've deleted it lol --> HERE

pps

Buddhism was a reaction to Brahmanism. The Buddha's teachings undermined the caste system and do to this day. This is why Buddhist rebirth is not the same as Hindu reincarnation. The Buddha' system also removed the power of the priest class and placed it in the hands of individuals. Buddhism was a radical revolution of Brahmanism which was intimately political.

Your description "Buddhism with a God (Brahman)" is almost right. You need to put back in the caste system (which says you will forever come back as FlipAsso with the same conditions and suffering), then believe in Brahman (God) then give all your powers to the Brahmin Priest class as you are too lowly a being to connect with the God-Head.

The Buddha, you see, also saw quite clearly through the politics of religion.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 07:52:17 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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Matthew

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2008, 01:27:35 PM »
"Faith is a state of openness or trust. To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float. And the attitude of faith is the very opposite of clinging to belief, of holding on. In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe, becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to truth, whatever it might turn out to be."

~ Alan Watts
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Matthew

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2008, 01:30:16 PM »
" On EGO

   I find that the sensation of myself as an ego inside a bag of skin is really a hallucination. What we really are is, first of all, the whole of our body. And although our bodies are bounded with skin, and we can differentiate between outside and inside, they cannot exist except in a certain kind of natural environment. Obviously a body requires air, and the air must be within a certain temperature range. The body also requires certain kinds of nutrition. So in order to occur the body must be on a mild and nutritive planet with just enough oxygen in the atmosphere spinning regularly around in a harmonious and rhythmical way near a certain kind of warm star.

   That arrangement is just as essential to the existence of my body as my heart, my lungs, and my brain. So to describe myself in a scientific way, I must also describe my surroundings, which is a clumsy way getting around to the realization that you are the entire universe. However we do not normally feel that way because we have constructed in thought an abstract idea of our self."

~ Alan Watts
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 01:31:52 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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deanmw

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2008, 03:44:26 PM »
It feels much better now, to believe I'm Everything... instead of believing I was nothing...

I must admit that sometimes I have been led astray by taking things too literally, and have come to realize that taking a "reality check" is important, especially at times when I have been vulnerable - on the edge as it were.

I think that sometimes the language used by authors and teachers can give a wrong or incomplete impression. I guess translation is sometimes part of the problem, and also the ineffable nature of the subject matter. But it seems to me there is an element of taking extreme points of view in order to dislodge commonly held beliefs, and introduce new ways of thinking. I think there is a danger of taking things too far - either on the part of the writer or the part of the reader trying to make sense of it all.

For example the use of phrases such as "No Self" and "Nothingness" or "Emptiness". I don't think these can be taken literally. Obviously the context these words are used in is important - i.e. which kind of self are we talking about? It is clear to me, regardless of what anyone says, that there is something rather than nothing. Everyday physical reality is remarkably persistent and resilient. Things don't just disappear into thin air, whether we want them to or not. And after dramatic spiritual experiences, I understand, everyday reality does return and life goes on. As Jack Kornfield says "After the Escstasy, the Laundry".

Also as far as the self is concerned, it is clear to me that at the superficial level, our consciousnesses are separate. Superficially we are all independent witnessing conscious beings. I don't think anything can take away from that. You can add to that by providing a deeper explanation for reality, but whatever explanations are offered, they must include everyday reality as well in their framework. Transcend and include - as Ken Wilber likes to say. If you don't remember this, it can lead to psychotic beliefs.

Also, I think the term "Illusion" is overused and often used out of context. I've often heard it said that "reality is but a dream" or "is just an illusion". If that is used as a finger, pointing to a deeper awareness of reality, then fine. But if it is taken as a literal truth, meaning that that reality is not "real", then we descend into semantic nonsense.

I am agnostic about reincarnation/rebirth and about God: I know I do not know the truth about either of them.

I don't either, but some people claim to. And a lot of what they have to say makes sense to me. The scientist / yogi / Shinto priest Hiroshi Motoyama has a lot to say about his own experiences in helping others with serious illnesses by working through their family karma - allegedly involving past incarnations, and events which have been subsequently verified. He also gives detailed descriptions of what happens after death, in terms of dis-embodied existence in the Astral dimension. Some of the things he says ties in with my own experience of feeling the seat of my consciousness shift outside of my own body.

The Buddha used to refuse to talk about a lot of this stuff because he said cosmic speculation is not conducive to living a good life. I agree.

I can see how it can easily be a distraction from the path - what you do with this lifetime is what is important. And in the abscence of first-hand experience you may as well be debating the proverbial number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. (Sorry to bring that up, I'm sure it's a much over used phrase).

Nonetheless some people are just plain curious though, and I must admit that I find first-hand accounts from experienced yogis and meditators fascinating.

Kind regards,
Dean
« Last Edit: December 05, 2008, 04:07:55 PM by deanmw »

metta fou

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2008, 05:20:09 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependent_origination
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impermanence

what makes buddhism a religion and not the teachings of the buddha is when it demands you accept premises you haven't experienced or that don't make sense to you. it teaches not to hold on to fixed ideas because ideas are stagnant and the world of mind in matter isn't... so they can't hold true forever. not to cling to any dogma that holds a truth you aren't experiencing... just to observe as it is. as you observe anicca, anatta becomes more clear. its not that you don't exist,  but that you are not a fixed unchanging entity seperate from dependent origination ^ rather a changing process that can be broken down into aggregates. http://vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php/topic,324.0.html

Quote
God is truth, ultimate truth is ultimate god.
~ S.N Goenka
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 07:17:21 AM by metta fou »

Matthew

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2008, 07:19:31 AM »
God is truth, ultimate truth is ultimate god.

~ S.N Goenka

There is no traditional creator God concept in Buddhism as this countered the Buddha's invitation to avoid cosmic speculation - as it did not help in living the good life.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
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Matthew

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2008, 07:30:49 AM »
in other words whatever is true is god.

No. That definitely falls into cosmic speculation not least because you can not define God (by definition of those who define him!).

Unless you have personally experienced that "whatever is true is God" - it is cosmic speculation. However such an experience is one that can be had, by mistake, in an epiphany with a hint of delusion - so even then it's rocky ground.

In fact, unless you have personally met "God" the mere utterance of the word is speculative as by definition "He" is undefinable. Again, however, even such an experience is one that can be had, by mistake, in an epiphany with a hint of delusion.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
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metta fou

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2008, 07:33:51 AM »
in other words, whatever is true is god. not truth in the sense of speculation... its refering to gnosis beyond dualistic perseption, & phenomenological appearance, into directly seeing more and more subtle truth... and in nirvana eventually beyond the world of mind and matter 8) c'mon man you should take a goenka course & get wit it. 
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 08:19:03 AM by metta fou »

Matthew

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2008, 07:35:09 AM »
LOL

From Wikipedia:

"Tat Tvam Asi, a Sanskrit sentence, translating variously to "Thou art that," "That thou art," or "You are that," is one of the Mahavakyas (Grand Pronouncements) in Vedantic Hinduism. It originally occurs in the Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7, in the dialogue between Uddalaka and his son Svetaketu; it appears at the end of a section, and is repeated at the end of the subsequent sections as a refrain. The meaning of this saying is that the Self - in its original, pure, primordial state - wholly or partially identifiable or identical with the Ultimate Reality that is the ground and origin of all phenomena. The knowledge that this is so characterises the experience of liberation or salvation that accompanies the Unio Mystica."

The point is until/unless you have personally encountered "the ground and origin of all phenomena" any thinking about such is a process of speculation. By sitting we clear the speculation and get down to the main dish: the encounter.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 07:49:30 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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metta fou

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2008, 08:11:32 AM »
not to imply you didn't know those silly big words, but that's pretty much what that says.
hence i have chosen to quit the internet religion, and this will be my last respectful post.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 08:24:58 AM by metta fou »

Matthew

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2008, 08:42:21 AM »
not to imply you didn't know those silly big words, but that's pretty much what that says.
hence i have chosen to quit the internet religion, and this will be my last respectful post.


No the issue that confused was the indefinable short word God at the beginning. The big words I understand. Best wishes with your path.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 08:45:05 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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metta fou

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2008, 09:35:04 AM »
i know im breaking sila but, in other words:
Quote
the tao which can be said is not the eternal tao
still we call it the tao... yet it goes on undermining and beyond what's spoken.
i am just reflecting logically. god is truth, truth is god.
meant to remove the name from dogmatic connotations.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 10:50:11 AM by metta fou »

Matthew

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2008, 09:54:13 AM »
i know im breaking sila but, in other words:
Quote
the tao which can be said is not the eternal tao
still we call it the tao... yet it goes on undermining and beyond what's spoken.
that's how i would rationalize around that.   :P


Understood. And I don't think you are breaking discipline. You made a decision not to post and then you made another decision to post. No problem with that.

The point I was trying to make is that any form of trying to rationalize these issues is destined to failure because rationalization is a thinking process, limited by language and concepts.

Gnosis is direct knowing, not conceptualised "knowing". Pretty much all the sages, through the ages, have described the ground of being as 'indescribable' and something one must come face to face with oneself. In Buddhist meditation language we could say this is specifically because it is beyond the conditioned (limited, fettered) mind of language and concepts...

In the Dhamma,

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

Matthew

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2008, 10:21:16 AM »
cut off attachment to alluring words

That is a very refined phrase. Yes. Cut all attachment. Even attachment to cutting attachment.

First of all - cut attachment to "being right" because this is one of the keys to just "being" and cuts off rationalization at the root (desire to "be right"). This extends into meditation as well: cut attachment to doing meditation "right" and the quality of meditation can vastly mutate.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew



ps A poem from Basho, an ancient Chinese poet commenting on the "Tao Te Ching" by "Lao Tzu":

He who knows doesn't say,
he who says doesn't know.
So says Lao Tzu in a book
Of five thousand words.
If he knows so much,
How come he's such a blabbermouth?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 10:26:10 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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metta fou

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2008, 10:48:33 AM »
keep awareness and equanimity and you can have my consensus...  ;D

Matthew

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Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2008, 11:32:55 AM »
We are in full agreement if that is attachment to the qualities and not the words. Yet even this will be dropped in time.

:D

Matthew
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 11:34:16 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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greenhorn

  • Guest
Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2008, 05:54:13 AM »
I don't know how to use that 'quote' button, but excellent poem.

He who knows doesn't say,
he who says doesn't know.
So says Lao Tzu in a book
Of five thousand words.
If he knows so much,
How come he's such a blabbermouth?
[/quote]

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2008, 06:09:55 AM »
If you hit the quote button on the post you want to quote it puts that text in the post box including BB code (stuff in square brackets that tells the forum how you want it to look).

You can then edit out and just leave the bit you want in between the first:

[ Q U O T E  author=XXX]  and the closing [ /Q U O T E] (the extra spacing is only so you can see it)

I don't know how to use that 'quote' button, but excellent poem.

Indeed.

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

Green Tara

  • Member
  • Life is just a bowl of cherries
Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2008, 12:25:45 PM »

He who knows doesn't say,
he who says doesn't know.
So says Lao Tzu in a book
Of five thousand words.
If he knows so much,
How come he's such a blabbermouth?


I disagree with that, what Lao-Tzu meant was the description of  “what IS” “The Divine” “God” “The Tao“ "Life itself”. It is indescribable because it contains words, words don’t contain it. One of the problems of monotheistic religions is the emphasis they put on the description of the personal God and not enough on the universal one.
Lao-Tzu didn’t say more words than the Buddha or any other sage for this matter, and none of them could describe the "IT" in all of the books and suttas they left behind. In my experience words are very important, I had to hear millions of them to be able to start on my journey. Words are the finger that points to the moon. As long as you know that they are not the moon, then if you truly listen there is a chance you will see the truth in the space between the words.
 :)

tara
"Samsaric beings! Cling not to worldly pleasures.  Enter the great city of liberation”

deanmw

  • Guest
Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2008, 01:39:54 PM »
Only a fool mistakes the map for the territory, but without the map it's much harder to find your way around. However if the map is rubbish you're better off without it, and to make your own!
« Last Edit: December 28, 2008, 01:42:14 PM by deanmw »

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2008, 04:21:14 PM »
A Guide for the Perplexed by E F Schumacher

"Schumacher describes his book as being concerned with how man lives in the world. It is also a treatise on the nature and organisation of knowledge and is something of an attack on what Schumacher calls "materialistic scientism". Schumacher argues that the current philosophical 'maps' that dominate western thought and science are both overly narrow and based on some false premises.

However, this book is only in small part a critique. Schumacher spends the greater part of it putting forward and explaining what he considers to be the four great truths of philosophical map making:

    * The world is a hierarchical structure with at least four levels of being.
    * The principle of adequateness determines man's ability to accurately perceive the world.
    * Man's learning relates to four fields of knowledge.
    * The art of living requires an understanding of two types of problem: 'convergent' and 'divergent'."

~~~~~~
From wikipedia;

"Thinking outside the box

In 1955 Schumacher travelled to Burma as an economic consultant. While there, he developed the set of principles he called "Buddhist economics," based on the belief that individuals needed good work for proper human development. He also proclaimed that "production from local resources for local needs is the most rational way of economic life." He traveled throughout many Third World countries, encouraging local governments to create self-reliant economies. Schumacher's experience led him to become a pioneer of what is now called appropriate technology: user-friendly and ecologically suitable technology applicable to the scale of the community. He founded the Intermediate Technology Development Group (now Practical Action) in 1966. His theories of development have been summed up for many in catch phrases like "intermediate size," and "intermediate technology." He was a trustee of Scott Bader Commonwealth and in 1970 the president of the Soil Association.

By the end of his life, it can be said that Schumacher's personal development had led him very far afield from the ideas of John Maynard Keynes. Keynes, second only to Adam Smith, is widely regarded as the most influential modern orthodox economist. In contrast, Schumacher is one of the most widely recognized heterodox economists."



Schumacher was a most interesting man. He designed the economics of post WWII Germany, leading to the post war "economic miracle" of the West German economy. He also wrote "Small is Beautiful" - the seminal work on "Buddhist", "Anarchist" and/or "Small scale" economics. His mind was incisive. I thoroughly recommend reading "A Guide for the perplexed" if you want an insight to cultural habituation and myth and what it can and does lead to. He starts off discussing how the map of life he was handed by school missed all the important landmarks about life.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2008, 04:27:28 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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Flipasso

  • Guest
Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2009, 12:17:33 AM »
Interesting... I will investigate a bit more on the Schummacher guy later...
Did you see ZeitGeist II? They talk about the venus project and all that... What's your opinion on that? How does the whole ZeitGeist thing feel to you?

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: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2009, 10:17:23 AM »
I have seen both Zeitgeist movies yes and I have always believed 9/11 was an inside job. I feel it was part of a further "domestication" of the US livestock (citizens) by the farmers (rich elite). This further domestication has made Americans scared of each other and the whole world and therefore more pliable in terms of "Government" manipulation.

9/11 and the ensueing actions and wars, have enriched the Bush and Bin Laden families and their friends on the gravy train to an extent that would shock the hell out of most people. These criminal politicians who lied to set a trap for Iraq, their own citizens and the world have profited to the tune of Billions and continue to do so.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2009, 10:19:53 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

frepi

  • Guest
Re: Buddhism with a God (Brahman)
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2009, 06:54:15 PM »
I am a mechanical engineer and I am astonished everytime I see those 2 towers fall.  10 seconds...free fall speed. That means that no structural resistance whatsoever remained in the buildings, even at 10 floors below the impact. The 3 buildings collapsed on their footprint...This is less lickely than being hit by lightnening 10 times...

Whenever someone brings the possibility of an inside job, he gets tagged as cook who wears a tin foil hats and believes in ufos. I am not a conspirationist. I just try to understand how the 3 buildings (building 7 wasn't even hit) could have fallen the way they did with aircraft impacts. And the more I look, the less I believe that the airplanes caused the collapse.

I am convinced that Bin Laden was part of the whole organisation and that he is not in Pakistan but somewhere in Saoudi Arabia, well protected by Blackwater personnel.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2009, 05:48:42 PM by frepi »

 

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