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Source: (consider it) Thread: Dharmaphobia
Joesaphat
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I've got a serious question

I’m a Dharma brat, I was born into it, I was brought up on it and for the life of me I cannot understand why fellow Christians have a problem with it. I’m fed up with having to explain myself all the time as I don’t understand the objections. Would someone care to explain?

The New Testament is ridiculously short: four ‘biographies,’ largely overlapping and a set of letters. It has next to nothing to say about cosmology, the mechanics of human perception, the nature of our minds, the reality or non-reality of matter…. You name it. The Fathers and scholastics turned to Plato and Aristotle to articulate a position on these things, but these old philosophers’ thought is clearly not binding (and to me would be better forgotten). Unless you take the evangelical position that Scripture somehow explains itself if you look at it long enough, where do people get their hermeneutic these days?

What do people object to in Mr Sid. Gautama’s teaching? Which of the noble truths, which bit of the eightfold path? What’s the worry?

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Joesaphat
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Or re-phrased, why is it perfectly acceptable and respectable to see oneself as a Christian platonist, aristotelian, idealist, blah blah... but not Buddhist.

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Martin60
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Or Jew or Muslim or Hindu?

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Love wins

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Joesaphat
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Hinduism and the like make competing theological claims, the Buddha made none. And you certainly can be a Christian Jew.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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mr cheesy
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Isn't it something about seeing Buddhism as a competing metanarrative whereas being a Freudian Christian might seem odd but not contradictory.

Of course, in reality the majority of Christians have very little interaction with philosophy and forms of thinking that developed outwith of the framework of Christianity so lack the tools to interact or even engage with them.

And I'm pretty sure that there are many things which are actually contradictory wrt Christianity which are normal and uncontroversial.

So I'm sure it is about perception and a lack of understanding.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Hinduism and the like make competing theological claims, the Buddha made none. And you certainly can be a Christian Jew.

Apparently you can't: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism's_view_of_Jesus

Judaism also makes a competing theological claim, that the Messiah is yet to come and Jesus wasn't he.

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quetzalcoatl
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Joesaphat.

Do you find that a lot of Christians criticize you? I used to do talks and write articles on stuff like self-abandonment or non-dualism in both Christianity and Buddhism, and found plenty of interest.

But I was involved in very liberal Christian circles, I guess that evangelicals might be more critical.

There are some Christian writers who are popular in Zen, (well, some areas of Zen), obviously, Eckhart, but also, Merton, (who wrote a book on Zen), and people like de Caussade.

[ 08. December 2016, 09:08: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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no path

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Or re-phrased, why is it perfectly acceptable and respectable to see oneself as a Christian platonist, aristotelian, idealist, blah blah... but not Buddhist.

I should think a large element is xenophobia.

A less prevalent and more respectable motivation might be that while some heavyweight theologians have done quite a lot of work into integrating Platonism and Aristotelianism with Abrahamic monotheism, I don't think that work has been done so convincingly for Buddhism or Hinduism.
You need to sort out which elements of each tradition are non-negotiable, which are valid insights, and which ought to be abandoned in the light of the other tradition. Attempts to take Buddhism on board in Christianity and vice versa need to avoid throwing out the baby Jesus with the bathwater on the one hand and on the other hand just adopting a few Buddhist sayings into what is still an unchanged Christian framework.

There seem to be two chief sticking points. The one is simply that in so far as theological categories are neutral for Buddhism it is not compatible with Christianity, since Christianity sees God as the aim and goal of spirituality. That said, what is meant by 'God' is one of the things up for discussion. Related to this is the nature and role of non-attachment. I think Traherne is deeply orthodox when he says, (not exact words) you can never love anything too much; merely in the wrong way or other things too little. That I think is in tension with Buddhist spirituality.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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quetzalcoatl
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Depends on which Buddhists you talk to. I know some who talk of little but love, and assert that there is nothing but. Well, that's not orthodox! But you can see a connection here between non-attachment and love, since attachment usually precludes it, since it grabs. Noli me tangere. (Do not touch me). Yes, I know this is one particular interpretation, merry Christmas.

[ 08. December 2016, 10:32: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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no path

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mr cheesy
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I suppose it must be stating the obvious - the extent to which buddhism can co-exist with Christianity must depend on which buddhism and which christianity one is talking about.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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quetzalcoatl
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I was thinking of Christians I know who take part in Zen retreats (pretty heterodox in terms of Buddhism, but there you are), and I can see one of the dangers, from the point of view of Christianity. This is that the technique is a meatgrinder. You go into it, and many things, such as your philosophical assumptions, start to get chewed up and spat out.

Some of them may not survive, of course. And here you may find that the notion of a saviour, and the need for same, gets chewed up in the meatgrinder. Still, some of these Christians are still Christians, so it hasn't happened to them, but it might be a fear for some people.

I remember a talk that one of my teachers gave, and a Jewish guy stood up and asked, 'what will this give me as a Jew?', and the teacher said, 'you might find out you're not a Jew'. Well, danger! But generally, love survives the meatgrinder, in fact, love is the meatgrinder. Ho ho ho, 'tis the season to be jolly.

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no path

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Hinduism and the like make competing theological claims, the Buddha made none. And you certainly can be a Christian Jew.

Apparently you can't: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism's_view_of_Jesus

Judaism also makes a competing theological claim, that the Messiah is yet to come and Jesus wasn't he.

I mean you can be born Jewish , be Torah observant and yet follow Christ. Many do.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Joesaphat.

Do you find that a lot of Christians criticize you? I used to do talks and write articles on stuff like self-abandonment or non-dualism in both Christianity and Buddhism, and found plenty of interest.

But I was involved in very liberal Christian circles, I guess that evangelicals might be more critical.

There are some Christian writers who are popular in Zen, (well, some areas of Zen), obviously, Eckhart, but also, Merton, (who wrote a book on Zen), and people like de Caussade.

It transpires in my preaching as well. Some, even a lot of Christians (and I sure count myself as one) respond well, some get wary once they become aware of the provenance of certain ideas, others are downright vicious and would have you defrocked. Bp Kevin Forrester, for instance, was given a pretty hard time on the matter. The meditation group at St Martin's in the Fields has also come under fire.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Or re-phrased, why is it perfectly acceptable and respectable to see oneself as a Christian platonist, aristotelian, idealist, blah blah... but not Buddhist.

I should think a large element is xenophobia.

A less prevalent and more respectable motivation might be that while some heavyweight theologians have done quite a lot of work into integrating Platonism and Aristotelianism with Abrahamic monotheism, I don't think that work has been done so convincingly for Buddhism or Hinduism.
You need to sort out which elements of each tradition are non-negotiable, which are valid insights, and which ought to be abandoned in the light of the other tradition. Attempts to take Buddhism on board in Christianity and vice versa need to avoid throwing out the baby Jesus with the bathwater on the one hand and on the other hand just adopting a few Buddhist sayings into what is still an unchanged Christian framework.

There seem to be two chief sticking points. The one is simply that in so far as theological categories are neutral for Buddhism it is not compatible with Christianity, since Christianity sees God as the aim and goal of spirituality. That said, what is meant by 'God' is one of the things up for discussion. Related to this is the nature and role of non-attachment. I think Traherne is deeply orthodox when he says, (not exact words) you can never love anything too much; merely in the wrong way or other things too little. That I think is in tension with Buddhist spirituality.

As was said, in its Mahayana forms, the ideal is to become a bodhisattva and achieve boundless compassion, mama karuna.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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Joesaphat
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maha karuna, even.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Hinduism and the like make competing theological claims, the Buddha made none. And you certainly can be a Christian Jew.

Apparently you can't: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism's_view_of_Jesus

Judaism also makes a competing theological claim, that the Messiah is yet to come and Jesus wasn't he.

I mean you can be born Jewish , be Torah observant and yet follow Christ. Many do.
Well, yes, but then you're not following Judaism any more, according to most Jewish thought on the matter.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Joesaphat.

Do you find that a lot of Christians criticize you? I used to do talks and write articles on stuff like self-abandonment or non-dualism in both Christianity and Buddhism, and found plenty of interest.

But I was involved in very liberal Christian circles, I guess that evangelicals might be more critical.

There are some Christian writers who are popular in Zen, (well, some areas of Zen), obviously, Eckhart, but also, Merton, (who wrote a book on Zen), and people like de Caussade.

It transpires in my preaching as well. Some, even a lot of Christians (and I sure count myself as one) respond well, some get wary once they become aware of the provenance of certain ideas, others are downright vicious and would have you defrocked. Bp Kevin Forrester, for instance, was given a pretty hard time on the matter. The meditation group at St Martin's in the Fields has also come under fire.
Yes, you've reminded me that when I was involved at St James's Piccadilly, we had a big programme of talks called Turning Points, (still going, I think), and it came under fire a lot, for inviting pagans and New Age weirdoes, like Thomas Moore ('Care of the Soul' guy)!

But Donald, the rector, somehow held the fort. We did do meditation also.

One odd thing about this is that it was doing Zen retreats that brought me back to Christianity, after a period of absence. In fact, it fired me up big time. Alas, alack, sir, the sedge is withered from the lake, and no birds sing.

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no path

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Martin60
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We all make competing theological claims within our individual narratives. We are full of contradiction. We HAVE to create new synergies with non-Christian religious and other cultures, ethnes without lying to people that we'll be their family now. That is how Christianity developed after all in Jewish then Greco-Roman cultures and beyond. Not without culture clash. We must learn from that.

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Love wins

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
[qb] Hinduism and the like make competing theological claims, the Buddha made none. And you certainly can be a Christian Jew.

Apparently you can't: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism's_view_of_Jesus

Judaism also makes a competing theological claim, that the Messiah is yet to come and Jesus wasn't he.

I mean you can be born Jewish , be Torah observant and yet follow Christ. Many do.
Well, yes, but then you're not following Judaism any more, according to most Jewish thought on the matter.
Jewishness is both a religious identity and an ethnic-cultural identity. One can be a religiously non-observant Jew, or a Jew who engages in religious practices other than Judaism, and still be Jewish.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
We all make competing theological claims within our individual narratives. We are full of contradiction. We HAVE to create new synergies with non-Christian religious and other cultures, ethnes without lying to people that we'll be their family now. That is how Christianity developed after all in Jewish then Greco-Roman cultures and beyond. Not without culture clash. We must learn from that.

Yes, we must, and if we cling too tightly to the Greco-Roman packaging of our faith, we won't be able to talk to the world.

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Martin60
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Absolutely.

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Love wins

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quetzalcoatl
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My current Zen group has Sufis, Christians, Buddhists, and of course the gnarly atheists. Well, we seem to find a common language, and of course, it's about luuurve. Love is the drug I'm thinking of. (Full lyrics on Google Play Music).

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no path

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
[qb] Hinduism and the like make competing theological claims, the Buddha made none. And you certainly can be a Christian Jew.

Apparently you can't: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism's_view_of_Jesus

Judaism also makes a competing theological claim, that the Messiah is yet to come and Jesus wasn't he.

I mean you can be born Jewish , be Torah observant and yet follow Christ. Many do.
Well, yes, but then you're not following Judaism any more, according to most Jewish thought on the matter.
Jewishness is both a religious identity and an ethnic-cultural identity. One can be a religiously non-observant Jew, or a Jew who engages in religious practices other than Judaism, and still be Jewish.
Well yes, but the context of this thread is compatibility of different religious strands, so I was talking about being a religiously observant Jew and also following Christ, which most of Judaism says is not possible.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
My current Zen group has Sufis, Christians, Buddhists, and of course the gnarly atheists. Well, we seem to find a common language, and of course, it's about luuurve. Love is the drug I'm thinking of. (Full lyrics on Google Play Music).

I think I'll revise the gospel to the Hitchhikers' Guide version: one man nailed to a tree for saying what a wonderful idea it would be if people were nice to each other all the time.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
[qb] Hinduism and the like make competing theological claims, the Buddha made none. And you certainly can be a Christian Jew.

Apparently you can't: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism's_view_of_Jesus

Judaism also makes a competing theological claim, that the Messiah is yet to come and Jesus wasn't he.

I mean you can be born Jewish , be Torah observant and yet follow Christ. Many do.
Well, yes, but then you're not following Judaism any more, according to most Jewish thought on the matter.
Jewishness is both a religious identity and an ethnic-cultural identity. One can be a religiously non-observant Jew, or a Jew who engages in religious practices other than Judaism, and still be Jewish.
Well yes, but the context of this thread is compatibility of different religious strands, so I was talking about being a religiously observant Jew and also following Christ, which most of Judaism says is not possible.
Still not sure, why could you not keep Torah and yet confess Jesus as the Messiah? You might not qualify as orthodox, but you still can be observant, and I have yet to meet any Jew who'd claim that you've ceased being Jewish because of your conversion.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
My current Zen group has Sufis, Christians, Buddhists, and of course the gnarly atheists. Well, we seem to find a common language, and of course, it's about luuurve. Love is the drug I'm thinking of. (Full lyrics on Google Play Music).

I think I'll revise the gospel to the Hitchhikers' Guide version: one man nailed to a tree for saying what a wonderful idea it would be if people were nice to each other all the time.
I can't tell if that's sarcastic or not. What about, self-abandonment as a path through emptiness to fullness? Well, that comes out as love, doesn't it?

No, scrub 'path'. No path.

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no path

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Martin60
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Orthodox Jews have had funerals for converts to Christianity. Muslims can faithfully behave the same and worse. "You're dead to me.". And make it so. So do secular families of course, in that spirit. Not surprisingly considering some flavours of Christianity.

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I can't tell if that's sarcastic or not. What about, self-abandonment as a path through emptiness to fullness? Well, that comes out as love, doesn't it?

Being nice to each other, indeed, self-abandonment, is very honourable. I have plenty of inter-faith interaction and seek more. But I nevertheless believe Jesus to have been somebody distinctive and to have done something unique to mankind's benefit.

If all he did was embody being nice to people then I see no reason to bother with Christianity.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Orthodox Jews have had funerals for converts to Christianity. Muslims can faithfully behave the same and worse. "You're dead to me.". And make it so. So do secular families of course, in that spirit. Not surprisingly considering some flavours of Christianity.

Ha! You'll remain a dead Jew! Still Jewish, just dead to them.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
[qb] Hinduism and the like make competing theological claims, the Buddha made none. And you certainly can be a Christian Jew.

Apparently you can't: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism's_view_of_Jesus

Judaism also makes a competing theological claim, that the Messiah is yet to come and Jesus wasn't he.

I mean you can be born Jewish , be Torah observant and yet follow Christ. Many do.
Well, yes, but then you're not following Judaism any more, according to most Jewish thought on the matter.
Jewishness is both a religious identity and an ethnic-cultural identity. One can be a religiously non-observant Jew, or a Jew who engages in religious practices other than Judaism, and still be Jewish.
Well yes, but the context of this thread is compatibility of different religious strands, so I was talking about being a religiously observant Jew and also following Christ, which most of Judaism says is not possible.
Still not sure, why could you not keep Torah and yet confess Jesus as the Messiah? You might not qualify as orthodox, but you still can be observant, and I have yet to meet any Jew who'd claim that you've ceased being Jewish because of your conversion.
You could try reading my reference.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Trudy Scrumptious

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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
[qb] Hinduism and the like make competing theological claims, the Buddha made none. And you certainly can be a Christian Jew.

Apparently you can't: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism's_view_of_Jesus

Judaism also makes a competing theological claim, that the Messiah is yet to come and Jesus wasn't he.

I mean you can be born Jewish , be Torah observant and yet follow Christ. Many do.
Well, yes, but then you're not following Judaism any more, according to most Jewish thought on the matter.
Jewishness is both a religious identity and an ethnic-cultural identity. One can be a religiously non-observant Jew, or a Jew who engages in religious practices other than Judaism, and still be Jewish.
Well yes, but the context of this thread is compatibility of different religious strands, so I was talking about being a religiously observant Jew and also following Christ, which most of Judaism says is not possible.
Still not sure, why could you not keep Torah and yet confess Jesus as the Messiah? You might not qualify as orthodox, but you still can be observant, and I have yet to meet any Jew who'd claim that you've ceased being Jewish because of your conversion.
I think a lot of Jews, maybe even most Jews, would claim you had ceased to be Jewish if you converted to Christianity. But this is really the fault of Christians for persecuting Jews and generally being dicks to them. I would guess most Jews think the Lubavitch Hasidim (who believe their dead Rebbe is the Messiah and is going to make a comeback sometime) are crazy, but they don't think they're non-Jews. In fact the theological claim of the Lubavitchers is almost exactly the same as that of Christians -- so it's not wacky beliefs about your dead-but-coming-back Messiah that put you outside the camp as far as most Jews are concerned; it's allying yourself with the group that has historically been responsible for so much persecution of and hatred towards Jews.

That is of course quite a tangent from the original OP having to do with Buddhism, but I don't think Buddhism makes theological claims that are quite as starkly black and white as those of Christianity. I would guess most liberal Christians would be perfectly OK with someone practicing Buddhist teaching alongside their Christianity, and most conservative Christians would be horrified.

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Books and things.

I lied. There are no things. Just books.

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I can't tell if that's sarcastic or not. What about, self-abandonment as a path through emptiness to fullness? Well, that comes out as love, doesn't it?

Being nice to each other, indeed, self-abandonment, is very honourable. I have plenty of inter-faith interaction and seek more. But I nevertheless believe Jesus to have been somebody distinctive and to have done something unique to mankind's benefit.

If all he did was embody being nice to people then I see no reason to bother with Christianity.

Fair enough. Well, I think we all do something unique to mankind's benefit, don't we?

I would add that being nice to others is actually fiendishly difficult, I would say, almost impossible. Well, I can fake it, of course!

To really be nice often requires going through hell, and hopefully, back again. I do agree that Jesus embodied this and other things. However, I think other people do also, is it Bonhoeffer who talks about the next person you meet being Christ, probably rather an inexact paraphrase. Even more amazing, the next person you meet is also Jim, or Mary, or Fred, or whoever.

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no path

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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Yes to all that. But Jesus makes a claim to achieve redemption on our behalf. I'm with those who think that claim cannot be separated from his actions.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Yes to all that. But Jesus makes a claim to achieve redemption on our behalf. I'm with those who think that claim cannot be separated from his actions.

I was going to ask Joesaphat a question about that, as some of the radical Zen teachers say that nobody is enlightened, since 'somebody' contradicts enlightenment (no-self). In fact, I think this is quite common throughout Buddhism.

If you translate that into Christian language, then nobody is redeemed, since it's the obstacle of the self which hinders redemption. Hence, self-abandonment, or what de Caussade calls the sacrament of the present moment (which annihilates ego).

Hence, the crucifixion, and the abandonment by God, which strips God of 'God', (the reification). (Similarly, kill the Buddha).

However, I think the translation doesn't quite work, and FFS, who is going to preach this from the pulpit?

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no path

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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In my limited experience, interfaith work with Buddhists is far more taxing than with the "religions of the book" because the very concept of God is so different. I have also found that for all the talk of love & peace, the Buddhists prove to be the most fractious and difficult to please [Angel]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
In my limited experience, interfaith work with Buddhists is far more taxing than with the "religions of the book" because the very concept of God is so different. I have also found that for all the talk of love & peace, the Buddhists prove to be the most fractious and difficult to please [Angel]

Yes. I used to run therapy groups with a co-leader, and we used to groan if a Buddhist joined, as they were usually bastards. The other hideous people were professional dancers. Now, this isn't being very nice, eh?

There's a nice story of a Tibetan teacher being interviewed. The journalist said to him, 40 years of meditation, you must have shrunk the shadow to a tiny dot, and the Tibetan groaned, 'no, no, shadow now huge', and opens his arms to indicate the magnitude of the shit that confronts him daily. Now, many Christians would resonate with that.

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no path

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quetzalcoatl
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Actually, people do preach about the reification of God, I remember Donald Reeves used to light fires in people's eyes, on this topic.

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no path

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Lyda*Rose

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# 4544

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And what about multiple reincarnations vs. one afterlife? And that finding nirvana in those reincarnations seems to be works-based rather than grace-based? Or do we look at Buddhist exercises as means of sanctification as opposed to salvation? Enquiring minds...

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Joesaphat
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# 18493

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quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
And what about multiple reincarnations vs. one afterlife? And that finding nirvana in those reincarnations seems to be works-based rather than grace-based? Or do we look at Buddhist exercises as means of sanctification as opposed to salvation? Enquiring minds...

The Buddha taught rebirth, one of the three main tenets of his teaching is anatta/anatman (no self or no soul), there is no soul that transmigrates, though he did teach that your 'attachments' would cause other lives to happen, till you finally free yourself from all defilements... not that different from purgatory, really.
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Joesaphat
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# 18493

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
In my limited experience, interfaith work with Buddhists is far more taxing than with the "religions of the book" because the very concept of God is so different. I have also found that for all the talk of love & peace, the Buddhists prove to be the most fractious and difficult to please [Angel]

Yes. I used to run therapy groups with a co-leader, and we used to groan if a Buddhist joined, as they were usually bastards. The other hideous people were professional dancers. Now, this isn't being very nice, eh?

There's a nice story of a Tibetan teacher being interviewed. The journalist said to him, 40 years of meditation, you must have shrunk the shadow to a tiny dot, and the Tibetan groaned, 'no, no, shadow now huge', and opens his arms to indicate the magnitude of the shit that confronts him daily. Now, many Christians would resonate with that.

I don't know, Eutychus. I'd be sorely tempted to argue that 'concepts' of God are idols. The best of our tradition is quite as apophatic as Buddhism is. But then again I also tend to think that modern Christianity and its talk of God as having some sort of personality is utter nonsense.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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Joesaphat
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# 18493

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
[qb] Hinduism and the like make competing theological claims, the Buddha made none. And you certainly can be a Christian Jew.

Apparently you can't: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism's_view_of_Jesus

Judaism also makes a competing theological claim, that the Messiah is yet to come and Jesus wasn't he.

I mean you can be born Jewish , be Torah observant and yet follow Christ. Many do.
Well, yes, but then you're not following Judaism any more, according to most Jewish thought on the matter.
Jewishness is both a religious identity and an ethnic-cultural identity. One can be a religiously non-observant Jew, or a Jew who engages in religious practices other than Judaism, and still be Jewish.
Well yes, but the context of this thread is compatibility of different religious strands, so I was talking about being a religiously observant Jew and also following Christ, which most of Judaism says is not possible.
Still not sure, why could you not keep Torah and yet confess Jesus as the Messiah? You might not qualify as orthodox, but you still can be observant, and I have yet to meet any Jew who'd claim that you've ceased being Jewish because of your conversion.
You could try reading my reference.
I did, I disagree with wikipedia, gasp.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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Joesaphat
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# 18493

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Yes to all that. But Jesus makes a claim to achieve redemption on our behalf. I'm with those who think that claim cannot be separated from his actions.

I was going to ask Joesaphat a question about that, as some of the radical Zen teachers say that nobody is enlightened, since 'somebody' contradicts enlightenment (no-self). In fact, I think this is quite common throughout Buddhism.

If you translate that into Christian language, then nobody is redeemed, since it's the obstacle of the self which hinders redemption. Hence, self-abandonment, or what de Caussade calls the sacrament of the present moment (which annihilates ego).

Hence, the crucifixion, and the abandonment by God, which strips God of 'God', (the reification). (Similarly, kill the Buddha).

However, I think the translation doesn't quite work, and FFS, who is going to preach this from the pulpit?

Yes, but that's a very protestant point of view, y'all. Salvation, as far as I'm concerned, involves hard work. The Eastern church is right: Orthodoxy is semi-Pelagian, sorry, Augustine be damned. Christ has not 'achieved salvation on your behalf,' if by that you mean he's doing the lifting for you. We still have to lose our lives with him in order to find them eternally, which IS quite compatible with Buddhist teaching: dying to self and all that.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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quetzalcoatl
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# 16740

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Joesaphat - hey, kid, you're alright.

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no path

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Joesaphat
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# 18493

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As you say, Trudy, 'I would guess most liberal Christians would be perfectly OK with someone practicing Buddhist teaching alongside their Christianity, and most conservative Christians would be horrified.' I don't get where the hostility is coming from. Maybe it's due to the fact that 'Buddhism' is lazily labelled a religion and that our idea of what a religion is, is Christianity with its insistence on doctrine and orthodoxy, but the Dhamma is primarily a practice and does not fit the bill.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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quetzalcoatl
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OK, we have Buddhism without beliefs, what about Christianity without beliefs?

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no path

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Callan
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# 525

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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
[qb] Hinduism and the like make competing theological claims, the Buddha made none. And you certainly can be a Christian Jew.

Apparently you can't: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism's_view_of_Jesus

Judaism also makes a competing theological claim, that the Messiah is yet to come and Jesus wasn't he.

I mean you can be born Jewish , be Torah observant and yet follow Christ. Many do.
Well, yes, but then you're not following Judaism any more, according to most Jewish thought on the matter.
Jewishness is both a religious identity and an ethnic-cultural identity. One can be a religiously non-observant Jew, or a Jew who engages in religious practices other than Judaism, and still be Jewish.
Well yes, but the context of this thread is compatibility of different religious strands, so I was talking about being a religiously observant Jew and also following Christ, which most of Judaism says is not possible.
Still not sure, why could you not keep Torah and yet confess Jesus as the Messiah? You might not qualify as orthodox, but you still can be observant, and I have yet to meet any Jew who'd claim that you've ceased being Jewish because of your conversion.
When Ed Miliband visited Israel a few years ago he mentioned in an interview that he would have liked to be the first Jewish Prime Minister. He was widely mocked by Tories who claimed that Benjamin Disraeli had already got the gig. Damian Thompson, IIRC, pointed out that Disraeli would have qualified under the Nuremberg Laws, which missed, I think, the fairly salient point that the opinions of the late Julius Streicher are not really considered authoritative in most Rabbinical Schools of Thought* It emerged that it is generally thought to be the case that not believing in God and eating bacon sandwiches makes you a bad Jew, in Orthodox terms, but becoming a Christian actually means that you stop being part of the community. (Disraeli was C of E because his dad had a falling out with the community and ended up getting Baptised, in response.)

The Israeli Law of Return, btw, essentially files Christians as non-Jews, in part at least, because of pressure put on the Israeli Government by the Rabbinate. Whatever the rights and wrongs of this I think that, if nothing else, Mr Miliband's reputation as a hapless blunderer would have been enhanced, rather than reduced, if he had gone to Israel and started a controversy along the lines of "Who is a Jew?" whilst explaining to his hosts that their definition was not really as good as the one drawn up by the editor of Der Sturmer

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:

I’m a Dharma brat, I was born into it, I was brought up on it and for the life of me I cannot understand why fellow Christians have a problem with it.

My understanding is that "orthodox" Buddhist belief includes a cycle of reincarnations, with your status in the next cycle dependent on your actions in this one. I don't know how to reconcile that with Christianity.

And so, whilst most Buddhist practices look of themselves like good, sensible things for people to do that no Christian could object to, there is a danger that this kind of syncretic "Christian +" approach can lead you in to error.

Or perhaps it could lead a bunch of Buddhists to Christianity. I don't think I have answers, but my instinct would be to treat someone describing himself as a "Christian Buddhist" as at least as heterodox as a Christian Science practitioner.

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Hinduism and the like make competing theological claims, the Buddha made none. And you certainly can be a Christian Jew.

Buddhism can get kinda amorphous, but non-theism is important. I do think that there is much compatibility, but I think the whole point of the type of God that Christianity espouses is not completely compatible with Buddhism.

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

If all he did was embody being nice to people then I see no reason to bother with Christianity.

But why? Loving your fellow humans is the point. Everything else is just secret handshakes, initiation ceremonies and merit badges.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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rolyn
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# 16840

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
OK, we have Buddhism without beliefs, what about Christianity without beliefs?

That's the kind I've generally preferred .

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Joesaphat
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# 18493

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Hinduism and the like make competing theological claims, the Buddha made none. And you certainly can be a Christian Jew.

Buddhism can get kinda amorphous, but non-theism is important. I do think that there is much compatibility, but I think the whole point of the type of God that Christianity espouses is not completely compatible with Buddhism.

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

If all he did was embody being nice to people then I see no reason to bother with Christianity.

But why? Loving your fellow humans is the point. Everything else is just secret handshakes, initiation ceremonies and merit badges.

That's a hugely Western kind of Buddhism, lilBuddha, most of my Buddhist mates worship the gods, the old Hindu ones. Most Japanese Buddhists I know have absolutely no problems with the Kami. Western Buddhists however tend to have Christian chips on their shoulders and desperately want the Dharma to be non-theistic. I regularly read the Sutras, this morning's had Gautama paying a visit to Brahma himself 'ascending there as quick as one flexes one's forearm.' Most of the Koreans here in my parish (and there are thousands of them) have no qualms revering Christ as a great bodhisattva. This is not my view, but it's far removed from a-theism.

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Opening my mouth and removing all doubt, online.

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