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5 years ago  ::  Nov 02, 2009 - 8:29PM #1
sixth step phobia
Posts: 733

How about this?


Does this title sound strange?  God is believed by many to be the big cheese of the universe-the supreme galactic master of all.  Some believe God also created this planet which, I hasten to add, is not the best of all possible worlds.  It has a lot of problems.  There is too much gravity for one thing.  The geology is unstable, the life forms could have been better designed.  The list goes on of the imperfections.  But most of all, God treats his creations horribly.  One is forced to conclude that God is really one twisted deity who should be retired like all the gods of the past.


 


We really need to seriously think about transcending God.  Theology has outlived its usefulness if it ever was useful at all (which I can't imagine it was).  I am willing to bet that of the three hyper-evolved civilization types described in the Kardashev scale, all have transcended the idea of a God.  We can even imagine a hyper-evolved civilization where beings no longer inhabit finite, temporal bodies; who are not even bound to a planet or solar system.  We might consider these beings to be Buddhas or Buddha-like.  


 


Under this consideration, keeping in mind that the substance of the universe is a self-evolving medium which, figuratively speaking, more or less pulls itself up by its own bootstraps, evolution would complete itself when the medium recognizes all phenomenal externalizations to be itself.  Such an arrived at state of being is not, however, theological-nevertheless it is absolute.  


 


Such an evolutionary trajectory doesn't depend upon the fictions of prophets but, instead, begins with our own suffering (a kind of acute disharmony) and our seeking of its cause-just as Siddhartha did before he became a Buddha.  What the Buddha discovered, in a nutshell, is that our craving of the corporeal body of birth causes us to get sympathetically locked into the world of suffering which is very difficult to reverse.


 


Yet, with such a dark cloud there is a silver lining.  Each living creature or sattva is, at its core, the universal substance and medium of Mind which is naturally free.  Each creature can also advance beyond the veiling non-knowledge (avidya) of Mind and its ultimate freedom and become a Buddha or at least win rebirth in higher worlds.  


 


From this we may conclude that no creature need be a puppet of a creator God who, depending on how he feels at the time, might make his creatures feel bliss or woe as he sees fit, in the example of Job from the Old Testament

Spiritual awakening is awakening from the dream of thought
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2009 - 12:06PM #2
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 817

The only problem with your theory is that the Buddha taught that there is no Universal substance.


 


Anatta: Non-ego


Anatta is on of Three Characteristics of Existence. The Doctrine of Anatta states that neither within mental or bodily phenomenal existence, nor outside of them, can be found anything that in the ultimate sense could be regarded as a self-existing real ego-entity, soul or any other abiding substance. Nibbana is nothing more than the Extinction of those life-affirming cankers Greed, Hatred and Ignorance.


Criticism of the Buddhist Doctrine of Anatta


The Buddha taught that the Atta (ego) is impermanent and subject to birth, sickness, ageing and death. In the Abhidhamma he taught that Ultimate Reality is Fourfold:


Consciousness


Mental Factors


Matter


Nibbana


All of these are empty of any Atta, Ego, or any other abiding substance. These Ultimate Elements of Reality are unanalysable. These are final, irreducible components of reality, dhammas.


But, Nibbana, when fully realised at the final death of the Arahant is just Nibbana, Extinction.


According to Vedic Wisdom:


Brahman is God, beyond all dualities, One without a Second, Absolute, One Unanalysable Constituent of Reality. This can be proven scientifically:


When one takes the fourfold Reality of the Buddha and applies it to law of indices, any number raised to power of nothing is unity. In this way, 4 is resolved to unity. This unity is infinite and not finite. When The One manifests a Person (Purusha), the Atman of that Person is both Eternal and Indestructible, not subject to the Logic Chopping of the Buddha, beyond the Intellectual Powers and Reasoning of  Consciousness. Yoga and Devotional Service are the Path to God. Self-abnegation and absorption into the Atman of God is the way to God-realisation. The Guru knows the Atman and is the only viable conduit to the Absolute in this world.


Behaviour:


Man is Active, God is Passive. Thus, if the world is ugly or beautiful, filled with pain or painless, a heaven or a hell, all of that is due to the behaviour of man. The Dharma that rules all of this is called Karma. This Doctrine of Karma pre-dates Buddhism by not just thousands of years but millions of years.


The Buddha said that God is remote from human beings and all other beings. But, where were all of the Bodhisattvas, Arahants, and Eternal Buddhas on the day before Gotama Buddha became Enlightened because they were surely not active in this world and had not been for Four Incalculable Aeons and One Hundred Thousand World Cycles. Yeah, that is how long it took Sumedha to become Sidhartha Gotama Buddha the One Buddha who turned The Wheel of Dhamma. That is how long it took him to get his act together. The God that he maligned was always in the hearts of all those beings he protects, and the soul that he gave them is beyond Birth and Death, beyond the Buddha's Doctrine of Causal Genesis, as is Brahman, not to be confused with Brahma.


The Buddhist Doctrine of Dependent Origination is only relevant to compound beings. God is not a being. God is not compound. God neither exists nor does not exist. Nor does God Create the Universe in some kind of intergalactic Test Tube. But, when the Creation does become manifes,  God:


Is Existence


Is Non-Existence


Is Existence and Non-Existence


Is Neither Existence-nor-Non-Existence


Brahman is God and is beyond the power of Wisdom, the highest knowledge in Buddhism.


 

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2009 - 7:06PM #3
sixth step phobia
Posts: 733

That is very thorough and something inside of me feels there is great truth in the paradox you put forth but we need a practical answer to the problem at hand as i dont think our planet will survive long enough for me to have a thousand more lifetimes to get it right


Here is an idea on the subject from the zennist


'Someone says, "I want to save the planet" and so I think to myself, has this person sufficiently first saved himself?  Our first duty, according to the Buddha, is to work out our own salvation with diligence.  This doesn't mean deferring this task to some global project first and then when it is complete (most likely never) switch back to working out my own salvation.  


 It makes more sense to say that our planet will be saved when we really begin to dump our outworn life harming values taking up, instead, a proper spiritual path that leads us to seeing our true nature.  I should mention, also, that it is possible to pursue a proper spiritual path, become a member of the Sierra Club, use energy saving light bulbs, recycle, and get rid of the gas guzzling SUV or pickup.


 What I have noticed lately is that we are always trying to find some clever way to dodge our main task, that is, to work out our own salvation.  In fact, there are countless ways we can put off doing what, deep down inside, we know we should be doing.  If there is one diversion, there must be tens of thousands more.  This is also to say, I can always find some matter that requires my attention which means my spiritual practice has to be postponed again.


 To make up a term on the spot, we have importantized and made essential, the nonessential which means we're really living bizarrely.  We spend a great deal of our lives postponing engaging with the spiritual side of our being whence comes our real strength, intelligence, and wisdom.  Another way to picture this, we are like a country that lets its infrastructure fall into decay and disrepair choosing, instead, to indulge our desires all for the greater glory of our vanity."


Zen believes that enlightenment can occur right now not in ten thousand lifetimes 


 


 


 

Spiritual awakening is awakening from the dream of thought
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2009 - 10:21AM #4
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 817

 


Hi Sixth Step Phobia


From the standpoint of Brahmanism, the Buddha's Teaching that there is no God is ignorant; and the learned Brahmins can logically defeat the Buddhists in debate. Similarly, the learned Buddhists can defeat the Brahmins in debate.


What a pointless and childish waste of time!


There is no one religion or teaching in the world that can claim to be all things to all people.


With regard to Zen Buddhism:


if it works for you then that is fine.


With regard to the sorry state of the world, that is the same for everyone. It is the beginning of any Spiritual Path, accepting things as they really are. Dissatisfaction with the world is the point at which one must arrive in order to renounce the world and abnegate the self. It is actually a very healthy state of mind, if understood.


Hindus develop Prema, Divine Love to overcome sorrow whilst the Buddhists develop Metta.


Metta Meditation is extremely powerful. It can take one all the way to the realisation of Nirvana. But, in the short term, it pacifies a turbulent mind and helps one sleep at night:


Below is a link for a free ebook entitled


A Buddhist Way of Mental Training.


For an understanding of the power and the Benefits of Metta, I would recommend Chapter 13,


Four Kinds of Protective Meditation.


www.mahamakuta.inet.co.th/english/b-way....


METTA SUTTA


DISCOURSE ON LOVINGKINDNESS


web.ukonline.co.uk/myburma/p1metta.htm


"This discourse, as a matter of fact, is the Buddhist doctrine of Love, which promulgates the method of practice to disseminate Love in order to attain Purity and Peace to realize finally the Perfect Emancipation."


If reading the Scriptures or Books about Buddhism is not your style, or your preference, this website offers an audio chanting of the Buddha's Metta Sutta. One does not have to sit in excruciating pain waiting for Nirvana or for some such magical transformation from a Buddha-nature from within. One only has to sit at the computer and listen.


To find the English written version, just scroll down the page past the versions in Pali and Burmese.


One can focus entirely on Metta Meditation and go all of the way.


This website is run by a Theravadin Bhikkhu who began in Buddhism with Zen. His Dhamma name is Bodhidhamma. he has put together some audio meditations which can be downloaded. One may transfer them to a cd or simply sit at the computer and listen to them.


www.satipanya.org.uk/audio.htm


There are extremely potent and powerful Hindu Mantras that one can recite, which are unmatched in Buddhism. But, it is really safer to find a Hindu Guru for those.


One such Mantra which has great potency but which may be recited safely is this one:


Hare Krishna


www.iskcon.com/basics/mahamantra.html


One does not have to go to any temple or join any religious group or club. One can silently recite this mantra any time and anywhere. I used this Mantra back in 1989, and it transformed my life.


At the end of the day, it is not which Dharma one chooses, or whether one's religion is greater than another's, it is all about temperament. What suits you best? everything else can then be assigned to the trash can.


 

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 07, 2009 - 6:42AM #5
cindijh
Posts: 12

Sixth Step Phobia said:


Here is an idea on the subject from the zennist


 


'Someone says, "I want to save the planet" and so I think to myself, has this person sufficiently first saved himself?  Our first duty, according to the Buddha, is to work out our own salvation with diligence.  This doesn't mean deferring this task to some global project first and then when it is complete (most likely never) switch back to working out my own salvation.  


and


 What I have noticed lately is that we are always trying to find some clever way to dodge our main task, that is, to work out our own salvation.  In fact, there are countless ways we can put off doing what, deep down inside, we know we should be doing.  If there is one diversion, there must be tens of thousands more.  This is also to say, I can always find some matter that requires my attention which means my spiritual practice has to be postponed again.


 


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


This is so true.  I see it in myself and in those around me.  It reminds me of the teaching of Jesus when he talks about concnering ourselves with the speck in our brothers eye while ignoring the log in our own eye.  I see this in people who zealously throw themselves into causes...and not just environmental causes.  I see it in the anti abortion, anti-gay etc. movements.  Concerned with what our neighbors are doing to the point we take the focus off or ourselves.   


Cindi....


Mercy Not Sacrifice

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2009 - 8:28PM #6
sixth step phobia
Posts: 733

Thankyou glenn and cindi your advice is greatly appreciated


Can religion change the world?


Can religion (any religion for that matter or working in unison with others) change the world?  This is a thorny question; one that is not easy to answer.  Despite the thorniness, the imagination is permitted to fly above all present cares and envision a tomorrow somewhat utopian as if to say, yes, religion can change the world.  But on second thought, this is only a work of fiction and will remain such when we try to change the world globally by means of religion as if to impose change from the top down.


 


And then I stumbled across this.  It was written in 1904.  I found it in The Independent, Volume 57, page 1025.


 



"What will save the world to-day is not tradition, not dogma, not religious ceremonial, but a religion growing out of the deepest facts of man's spiritual life.  Men have become bewildered amid speculations, and traditions, and forms.  They can find safety only in a vital religious experience.  The vitalities of religion are eternal, and they will survive the forms.  The verities of religion will outlast the speculations of men.  Ecclesiasticisms, and traditions, and forms may pass away.  The critical spirit of to-day will sift out from the claims of religion all that cannot anchor itself in the indisputable facts of the spiritual life.  If we will catch the ear of this busy materialistic age, it will be because we can convince men that their present life touches the supernatural as well as the world of nature.  It will be because we can convince them that there is an open thoroughfare between the soul and the unseen.  This is the only foundation that the religion of to-day can build upon with safety."



 


At first I thought these words were somewhat quaint and for an era gone by.  This was composed right after the Wright brother's successful flight on December 17, 1903.  Still, I found this piece interesting.  Historically, these words came from a time when colonizing much of world with a particular brand of religion wasn't going so well.


 


And then I thought of Buddhism as it began to enter the West around this same time.  On the part of Buddhism, it wasn't a global campaign.  But it was doing something right even though it brought nothing in the way of a huge missionary effort.  Buddhism came at a time when many in the West were searching for a vital religious experience "growing out of the deepest facts of man's spiritual life." 


 


Indeed, Buddhism came to the West with an eternal vitality which had survived many forms and made new ones from cold ashes.  Buddhism, also was able to catch the ear of "this busy materialistic age".  Buddhism told the modern man there is an inner spiritual path.


 


While much of what we know as 'religion' seems, historically, to work horizontally, sweeping over foreign countries that have first fallen to the sword, Buddhism arrives in the West vertically.  There is no sword; no blood.  Not only does it speak with the voice of spiritual democracy, in that we all have the Buddha-nature, but it also comes with compassion insofar as it is able to push back the dark clouds of ignorance, hatred and greed.


 


One day the West will wake up in which the morning will be a Buddhist one.  There will be no need for temples or a huge Buddha statue sitting in the middle of Wall Street.  Buddhism will be carried deep inside of everyone.  Each person will realize, to some degree, that a part of them is eternal, free of suffering, and a little undeveloped Buddha.


More thoughts from the zennist?


 


 


 

Spiritual awakening is awakening from the dream of thought
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