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Source: (consider it) Thread: Dharmaphobia
lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Oh utter fucking bullshit, Christianity is not essentially Western. The Gospels are written in Greek.

Greece is one of the founding pillars of western civilisation, so I am not sure how this disqualifies anything
quote:

jesus was Jewish, all the apostles and most Fathers were from the Middle East. Till the late Middle Ages, its centre of gravity was not the barbarian West.

Rome, where Christianity got its big boost, is also another pillar of Western Civilisation.

quote:

And to this days, millions of Christians are not western

And Millions of Buddhists are not Eastern. I did not say that Christianity need be exclusively viewed through a Western lens.
BTW, Africa, where Christianity is growing strongest; is neither West nor East in the classical sense.

quote:
Indeed, it is almost dead in the European world. Bullshit.

Europe is not the entire West.

quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
This time, I've had it. Good bye folks, enjoy the site.

A shame. I do think you are reading more into disagreement than is truly intended.

--------------------
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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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Lyda*Rose

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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
This time, I've had it. Good bye folks, enjoy the site.

It's a shame that you are taking this so personally. I don't think anyone is judging you at this point. They just have a different understanding of the relationship between Buddhist philosophy and Christianity than you do. It's a discussion. You won't always be able to persuade everyone to your POV, that's all.

Hope that you change your mind.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Rome, where Christianity got its big boost, is also another pillar of Western Civilisation.

Diarmuid MacCulloch notes in his History of Christianity that this is an artifact of Eurocentric history. The Christian communities in the Middle East beyond the bounds of the Roman Empire are ancient, and until the mass conversions to Islam (later than the Islamic conquest) may have been more than half of the total Christian population. Georgia and Ethiopia both converted to Christianity independently of Rome. Christianity at one stage had spread as far as China, and has had a permanent presence in India confirmed from the third or fourth century.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Rome, where Christianity got its big boost, is also another pillar of Western Civilisation.

Diarmuid MacCulloch notes in his History of Christianity that this is an artifact of Eurocentric history. The Christian communities in the Middle East beyond the bounds of the Roman Empire are ancient, and until the mass conversions to Islam (later than the Islamic conquest) may have been more than half of the total Christian population. Georgia and Ethiopia both converted to Christianity independently of Rome. Christianity at one stage had spread as far as China, and has had a permanent presence in India confirmed from the third or fourth century.
This doesn't exactly rebut what I have been saying, though it does suggest my emphasis is a little too strong on Christianity being Western. It does go to something that I have said more that once, that Christianity need not be tied to a Western POV.
Still, Western culture has a strong influence on a massive amount of Christians.

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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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More a case of Christianity selling out to Western Culture the day Rome threw it's weight behind it. But then it was either that or for it to fade into obscurity.
Personally I believe Jesus' ideas and teaching did originate from the East via desert communities which were the New travellers of their day.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
This time, I've had it. Good bye folks, enjoy the site.

It's a shame that you are taking this so personally. I don't think anyone is judging you at this point. They just have a different understanding of the relationship between Buddhist philosophy and Christianity than you do. It's a discussion. You won't always be able to persuade everyone to your POV, that's all.

Hope that you change your mind.

Well, apparently you cannot delete profiles anyway. I'm not here to persuade people or convert them, I was asking where the animosity came from, only to see a fair bit coming my way. I am taking it 'so personally' because people have been writing stuff like this:

Joesaphat, you haven't been that specific about your Buddhist background… are we talking about making Christianity appeal better to Westerners of a spiritually eclectic disposition?

Herein is madness. Either you (and the church!) decide that you match the belief profile of the organisation that employs you or you don't.

when we have such a rich tradition of our own, why should those of us who are not Buddhists feel any need to go pingling soupçons of Buddhism to titivate our taste buds?

There have been other Anglican priests in the past who have been defrocked on points of theology such as this.

if you did tell the bishop you'd have an interesting conversation which might lead to you being defrocked.

For me, I'm afraid, belief in reincarnation is inconsistent with the Anglican priesthood.

there is quite a difference between being a believer who can't quite match all the pieces together and in being a Christian minister who is supposed to be teaching the orthodox position.

I'm pretty sure belief in reincarnation would be rather a ministry-killer in most Baptist as well as Roman Catholic circles.

A lot of the language that you've used in this thread, however, comes across as more of a syncretic amalgam than a different toolbox.

it's the impression I get, which means you're setting off a whole load of warning bells.

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quetzalcoatl
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Hang on, the quotes are not right in the above post, are they?

Joesaphat, I was chatting to a friend about no-self, and he made the interesting point that various mystics and modern neuroscience have arrived there, or rather, not arrived there!

Another strange historical point, that Protestantism tended to erase this mystical aspect, I think. Presumably, the Prots need a self to be saved! I have heard Buddhists argue that its non-existence is salvation. Ho ho ho.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Hang on, the quotes are not right in the above post, are they?

Joesaphat, I was chatting to a friend about no-self, and he made the interesting point that various mystics and modern neuroscience have arrived there, or rather, not arrived there!

Another strange historical point, that Protestantism tended to erase this mystical aspect, I think. Presumably, the Prots need a self to be saved! I have heard Buddhists argue that its non-existence is salvation. Ho ho ho.

Yes, even Disney and Hollywood, as 'Inside out' showed... Protestantism in its modern evangelical incarnations is Pietism on steroids IMO, all about 'me' and God. I'm afraid I don't expect evangelicals to find anatman congenial to their theology.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Hang on, the quotes are not right in the above post, are they?

Joesaphat, I was chatting to a friend about no-self, and he made the interesting point that various mystics and modern neuroscience have arrived there, or rather, not arrived there!

Another strange historical point, that Protestantism tended to erase this mystical aspect, I think. Presumably, the Prots need a self to be saved! I have heard Buddhists argue that its non-existence is salvation. Ho ho ho.

Whether the quotes above are right or not, they do show why I take it a bit personally. I'm not thick skinned.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Hang on, the quotes are not right in the above post, are they?

Joesaphat, I was chatting to a friend about no-self, and he made the interesting point that various mystics and modern neuroscience have arrived there, or rather, not arrived there!

Another strange historical point, that Protestantism tended to erase this mystical aspect, I think. Presumably, the Prots need a self to be saved! I have heard Buddhists argue that its non-existence is salvation. Ho ho ho.

Yes, even Disney and Hollywood, as 'Inside out' showed... Protestantism in its modern evangelical incarnations is Pietism on steroids IMO, all about 'me' and God. I'm afraid I don't expect evangelicals to find anatman congenial to their theology.
Well, I wonder if the great mystics such as de Caussade, Eckhart, Traherne, 'The Great Cloud', and so on, have been erased by Prots? Maybe this isn't correct. I would think that the Orthodox keep the flame lit.

[ 18. December 2016, 13:43: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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hatless

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I think there were comments where posters, perhaps feeling uncomfortable, tried to close down the discussion. A good illustration of dharmaphobia.

I value Buddhism, in particular the stories and style of a Zen monk I know.

Jesus did not acknowledge boundaries, and repeatedly dragged his students onto ground where they felt ill at ease.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I think there were comments where posters, perhaps feeling uncomfortable, tried to close down the discussion. A good illustration of dharmaphobia.

I value Buddhism, in particular the stories and style of a Zen monk I know.

Jesus did not acknowledge boundaries, and repeatedly dragged his students onto ground where they felt ill at ease.

Also went close to no-self?

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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Hang on, the quotes are not right in the above post, are they?

Joesaphat, I was chatting to a friend about no-self, and he made the interesting point that various mystics and modern neuroscience have arrived there, or rather, not arrived there!

Another strange historical point, that Protestantism tended to erase this mystical aspect, I think. Presumably, the Prots need a self to be saved! I have heard Buddhists argue that its non-existence is salvation. Ho ho ho.

Yes, even Disney and Hollywood, as 'Inside out' showed... Protestantism in its modern evangelical incarnations is Pietism on steroids IMO, all about 'me' and God. I'm afraid I don't expect evangelicals to find anatman congenial to their theology.
Well, I wonder if the great mystics such as de Caussade, Eckhart, Traherne, 'The Great Cloud', and so on, have been erased by Prots? Maybe this isn't correct. I would think that the Orthodox keep the flame lit.
We Baptists have not had much interest in mysticism, and are suspicious of spirituality. But I don't think any more structured approach to religion is going to handle mysticism well. I believe Eckhart would have been tried if he hadn't died in time.

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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I think there were comments where posters, perhaps feeling uncomfortable, tried to close down the discussion. A good illustration of dharmaphobia.

I value Buddhism, in particular the stories and style of a Zen monk I know.

Jesus did not acknowledge boundaries, and repeatedly dragged his students onto ground where they felt ill at ease.

Also went close to no-self?
Yes, that's true, too.

--------------------
My crazy theology in novel form

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mousethief

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It seems to me if you say something happens to us in Purgatory, you're perforce presupposing there is something that is somehow contiguous with us that's there. Otherwise why use the pronoun? If it's just something happening to a something, it's not meaningful to say it's me. Is there something (like, say, a soul or self) that continues from the me in this life to the me that's there in Purgatory being purged? Or is it just a play of language?

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quetzalcoatl
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Anyway, my original point was that modern neuroscience seems to be expressing considerable skepticism about the reality of a self, or at any rate, a separate enduring self, and this has been an insight of the great mystics over thousands of years. Going across different religions also, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. Somebody should do a conference on science and mysticism, eh? (Joke). Please, no more.

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Enoch
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Now I'm feeling a bit guilty Joesaphat. Several of your citations come from me. I am sorry if you took it personally. It wasn't meant to be. I'm just puzzled, and still am, what the question is. I tried to set out what I thought were three different questions. They aren't the same, but I'm still not clear which of there three we're talking about.

I'll admit that I know next to nothing about Buddhism. I'd always thought I did have a reasonable knowledge of comparative religion. It was only when a family member was doing a short term job among Buddhists some years ago, that I realised my knowledge was restricted almost entirely to Judaism, Islam and paganism in the classical world.

So I just don't know enough to understand what phrases like 'no-self' mean.

I was intrigued a few years ago when I read an article by someone actively involved in interfaith dialogue that he's been both surprised and struck when a representative of another faith (not Buddhism) had told him that a key Christian belief - from memory, I think it was saving faith - was the answer to a question he'd never asked. He hadn't said this as though he was challenged by it. It was clear he wasn't asking it and it wasn't part of his spiritual universe.


I'd agree that a lot of Protestantism, with its fondness for worthiness and for all its strengths in daily living and social action has been a bit short on what we now call spirituality.

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quetzalcoatl
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That's an old joke about Christianity, that they found a solution, or solutions, and then had to spend centuries working out what the problem is. Or, shorter version, we have the answer, what is the question again?

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Whether the quotes above are right or not, they do show why I take it a bit personally. I'm not thick skinned.

I've read the same posts you have and do not see them as a personal attack on you. Indeed, I do not see them as an attack at all. Your premise is being challenged, that is part and parcel of Purg. I cannot tell what to feel, but I will say I think you are interpreting intention incorrectly here.

--------------------
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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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
It seems to me if you say something happens to us in Purgatory, you're perforce presupposing there is something that is somehow contiguous with us that's there. Otherwise why use the pronoun? If it's just something happening to a something, it's not meaningful to say it's me. Is there something (like, say, a soul or self) that continues from the me in this life to the me that's there in Purgatory being purged? Or is it just a play of language?

I would fairly predictably say it's a play of language, Mouse, a name put on a constantly changing and impermanent set of habits, abilities, faculties, etc. It's a word we can speak without only with the greatest difficulty, but it need not mean it has a real or permanent reference. Many Buddhist thinkers would have no problems talking loosely about a self as convention, or as a necessity to lead people to another, ultimate truth... as long as nothing like the Vedic-Hindy atman is envisaged.

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quetzalcoatl
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Interesting idea, that Catholicism and I assume the Orthodox, have kept their finger on the artery of mysticism, which goes all the way back, and of course, into Judaism, whereas for some reason, Protestantism tended to cut it.

So, it's not just Buddhism that Prots would have a problem with, but also Christian mystics, and of course, Sufism, mystical Judaism, and so on.

I'm not sure why this happened, partly maybe that Protestantism has to reify the self, in order to save it? Whereas the mystics (crudely put), surrender it, abandon it, annihilate it, and so on. 'The part of you that burns in hell, is the part that won't let go of your life', (attributed to Eckhart).

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Well, I wonder if the great mystics such as de Caussade, Eckhart, Traherne, 'The Great Cloud', and so on, have been erased by Prots? Maybe this isn't correct. I would think that the Orthodox keep the flame lit.

I think it's rather problematic to speak of those four authors as if they all fall into a group you can describe as 'the great mystics'. Looking at the two of whom I've read substantial amounts, Traherne and the author of the Cloud of Unknowing depart from what one might call the unmystical consensus in almost opposite directions.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Whether the quotes above are right or not, they do show why I take it a bit personally. I'm not thick skinned.

I've read the same posts you have and do not see them as a personal attack on you. Indeed, I do not see them as an attack at all. Your premise is being challenged, that is part and parcel of Purg. I cannot tell what to feel, but I will say I think you are interpreting intention incorrectly here.
Not for you to say what I should feel, politely put. And calls such as repeatedly telling me that I 'believe in reincarnation' when I deny both believing and reincarnation I find galling whether you think I should react so or not. It renders argument sterile. As for variations on 'some have been defrocked for less' or 'Anglican clergy cannot believe that and claim a stipend,' they bring very little light to the argument either. I cannot tell how they challenge my premises either. They do challenge me, however. They sound a little like threats as well. As I said, I may be thinned skinned.

[ 18. December 2016, 15:03: Message edited by: Joesaphat ]

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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We're seeing tons of deconstruction of the white, Eurocentric, "this is the way we've always done it therefore it is God's will", in the Canadian north, in Anglicanism. It is not merely translation of things into local languages. It is wholesale revamping and making relevant because otherwise it doesn't fit.

It's been going for a while. I am frankly confused as to why Christians would be hostile to Buddhism. Unless it is out of cultural imperialism, conversionism and ignorance. We are far better off talking than being jerks to each other. Murderous jerks if we pay attention at all to history. We need to be clear on the nightmare history of Christian Europe, and not just focus on its happy legacies.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Now I'm feeling a bit guilty Joesaphat. Several of your citations come from me. I am sorry if you took it personally. It wasn't meant to be. I'm just puzzled, and still am, what the question is. I tried to set out what I thought were three different questions. They aren't the same, but I'm still not clear which of there three we're talking about.

I'll admit that I know next to nothing about Buddhism. I'd always thought I did have a reasonable knowledge of comparative religion. It was only when a family member was doing a short term job among Buddhists some years ago, that I realised my knowledge was restricted almost entirely to Judaism, Islam and paganism in the classical world.

So I just don't know enough to understand what phrases like 'no-self' mean.

I was intrigued a few years ago when I read an article by someone actively involved in interfaith dialogue that he's been both surprised and struck when a representative of another faith (not Buddhism) had told him that a key Christian belief - from memory, I think it was saving faith - was the answer to a question he'd never asked. He hadn't said this as though he was challenged by it. It was clear he wasn't asking it and it wasn't part of his spiritual universe.


I'd agree that a lot of Protestantism, with its fondness for worthiness and for all its strengths in daily living and social action has been a bit short on what we now call spirituality.

Thank you, Enoch. I do tend to overreact. No-self is difficult to explain. Maybe we would be better advised to call it no-soul. It stems from the Buddha's repudiation of the late Vedic/early Hindy notion of atman, of something akin to the platonic soul, I guess, that travels from one physical, bodily life to another till it manages to free itself and merge with Brahman, God or ultimate reality, with which it is really identical (at least with which it is non-dual), as exposed in the early Upanishads.

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quetzalcoatl
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Difficult to explain, but not, I would venture, difficult to experience.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
We're seeing tons of deconstruction of the white, Eurocentric, "this is the way we've always done it therefore it is God's will", in the Canadian north, in Anglicanism. It is not merely translation of things into local languages. It is wholesale revamping and making relevant because otherwise it doesn't fit.

It's been going for a while. I am frankly confused as to why Christians would be hostile to Buddhism. Unless it is out of cultural imperialism, conversionism and ignorance. We are far better off talking than being jerks to each other. Murderous jerks if we pay attention at all to history. We need to be clear on the nightmare history of Christian Europe, and not just focus on its happy legacies.

That's how I feel as well. It's quite incredible how estranged you feel from some Western allegedly Christian notions when you don't grow up in the church and, like me and now millions, grow up in Buddhism in Western countries. You are constantly being asked to repudiate all manners of things that make perfect sense but people fail to spell out why. That's the source of my initial questions. What is it exactly they object to? I get the difficulties with rebirth. Fine. But the central tenets of Gautama's thought: impermanence, no-self, the nature of suffering, the eightfold path, co-dependent origination. The actual building blocks of Buddhism are never engaged. The nearest two engagement I've come across was T. Merton with Zen and Raimundo Panikkar, because of his own education as well, I guess. It seems to me Christianity insists, when it is even remotely conscious of it (and most "Biblical Christians' delude themselves in believing they have no philosophical presuppositions), that others use its largely hellenistic philosophical vocab. As somebody put it very well above, it is providing answers to questions others do not ask.

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Joesaphat
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Gosh, this is not good English. Sorry people, I managed to get viral conjunctivitis from kids in a school somewhere, this Christmas. I can't read on this white background.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Difficult to explain, but not, I would venture, difficult to experience.

Wow, I'd say you are lucky. I find it hugely difficult to experience. The ultimate and deepest-rooted delusion. I think I may have caught a glimpse of it a couple of times, something that vaguely sounded like Dogen 'collapse of body and mind.'

[ 18. December 2016, 15:35: Message edited by: Joesaphat ]

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quetzalcoatl
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Another irony, is that the crucifixion points to the crucifixion of self, no? So not-the-self has a central place within Christianity, often described as self-abandonment. Oh well. Jog on.

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
Difficult to explain, but not, I would venture, difficult to experience.

Wow, I'd say you are lucky. I find it hugely difficult to experience. The ultimate and deepest-rooted delusion. I think I may have caught a glimpse of it a couple of times, something that vaguely sounded like Dogen 'collapse of body and mind.'
I've always thought that in those dusty inconsequential moments of the day, ego collapses. That is, until one thinks, hello, I've had one of those dusty inconsequential moments, and I'm a fucking wizard now!

One of my teachers in Zen, used to shout at us, and say, 'you're missing the most obvious thing of all!'. Then she would yank at her sweater, and bellow, what is this stuff? Oh, what great memories.

[ 18. December 2016, 15:40: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]

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lilBuddha
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Jesus exhorts people to love more, to feel more.
Buddha instructs people to release those feelings.
Jesus taught release of the importance of the desires of self.
Buddha taught release of the concept of self.

[ 18. December 2016, 16:27: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
, that others use its largely hellenistic philosophical vocab.

This seems more important, about which I have limited understanding. The Greek basis.
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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Jesus exhorts people to love more, to feel more.
Buddha instructs people to release those feelings.
Jesus taught release of the importance of the desires of self.
Buddha taught release of the concept of self.

Pretty good.

Hui-Neng taught that after eating, one washes up.

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lilBuddha
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Interesting reference.

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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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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
Thank you, Enoch. I do tend to overreact. No-self is difficult to explain. Maybe we would be better advised to call it no-soul. It stems from the Buddha's repudiation of the late Vedic/early Hindy notion of atman, of something akin to the platonic soul, I guess, that travels from one physical, bodily life to another till it manages to free itself and merge with Brahman, God or ultimate reality, with which it is really identical (at least with which it is non-dual), as exposed in the early Upanishads.

Joesaphat, there's been quite a lot of argument recently, as you'll probably experienced, as to what the Christian as distinct from the Greco-Roman understanding of the soul originally was. It may be that I'm a heretic, but I don't think what you've described there is what Christianity believes about the nature of a person's identity either. So if Buddhism doesn't agree with that, nor, I don't think, do we.
quote:
But the central tenets of Gautama's thought: impermanence, no-self, the nature of suffering, the eightfold path, co-dependent origination. The actual building blocks of Buddhism are never engaged.

That may well be true, but most of us just don't have the knowledge to engage with them or answer them. We may even get the impression that, just like the person I mentioned earlier, they are asking questions most of us are not asking. Or possibly - e.g. the nature of suffering, and I must apologise that I've no idea what the Buddhist take is on this - that this is an area our own tradition engages with in a particular way which is constructively challenging but takes quite a lot of spiritual energy.

And, in my case, it's not that often that I encounter an active, practicing, Buddhist.


Going back to the more general point about mysticism and Protestantism, it isn't a totally mystic free zone. It only is if one construes Christian mysticism in rather a narrow 'no true mystic' way.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
It seems to me if you say something happens to us in Purgatory, you're perforce presupposing there is something that is somehow contiguous with us that's there. Otherwise why use the pronoun? If it's just something happening to a something, it's not meaningful to say it's me. Is there something (like, say, a soul or self) that continues from the me in this life to the me that's there in Purgatory being purged? Or is it just a play of language?

I would fairly predictably say it's a play of language, Mouse, a name put on a constantly changing and impermanent set of habits, abilities, faculties, etc. It's a word we can speak without only with the greatest difficulty, but it need not mean it has a real or permanent reference. Many Buddhist thinkers would have no problems talking loosely about a self as convention, or as a necessity to lead people to another, ultimate truth... as long as nothing like the Vedic-Hindy atman is envisaged.
I'm not sure what all that means, but it seems clear at least that it doesn't answer my question, which was very simple and straightforward. If *I* go to Purgatory, what is this *I* that goes to purgatory? If there's not something, then what does it mean to say that I go to purgatory? The theology of Purgatory isn't entirely clear to me, but it seems quite clear that the RCC church teaches that the thing that's in Purgatory is the same thing that is me here now on earth in some way.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
It's been going for a while. I am frankly confused as to why Christians would be hostile to Buddhism. Unless it is out of cultural imperialism, conversionism and ignorance.

Or because they find it incompatible with the beliefs of historic Christianity.

It seems on this thread there has been a lot of sidestepping of this issue. Any time such a contradiction is mooted, the Christian half of the pair of contrasting ideas/beliefs* is deconstructed or blamed on the infiltration Roman-Greco philosophy into some pure pre-Greek Christian faith (starts to sound like anti-Catholic Reformed rhetoric).

The idea seems completely rejected out of hand, at the outset, prima facie, that there are real contradictions between the two (Christianity and Buddhism). Further it is asserted that we who believe there are are being hostile and big bad blue meanies, especially if we continue to believe so even when presented with contrary opinion (I don't say "evidence").

It seems to me that if someone really wants to understand where another person is coming from, the thing to do when told where the other person is coming from is not to say, "No, you're wrong, you're interpreting your own religion incorrectly."
_____
*or whatever the fuck you want to call them

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
It seems to me if you say something happens to us in Purgatory, you're perforce presupposing there is something that is somehow contiguous with us that's there. Otherwise why use the pronoun? If it's just something happening to a something, it's not meaningful to say it's me. Is there something (like, say, a soul or self) that continues from the me in this life to the me that's there in Purgatory being purged? Or is it just a play of language?

I would fairly predictably say it's a play of language, Mouse, a name put on a constantly changing and impermanent set of habits, abilities, faculties, etc. It's a word we can speak without only with the greatest difficulty, but it need not mean it has a real or permanent reference. Many Buddhist thinkers would have no problems talking loosely about a self as convention, or as a necessity to lead people to another, ultimate truth... as long as nothing like the Vedic-Hindy atman is envisaged.
I'm not sure what all that means, but it seems clear at least that it doesn't answer my question, which was very simple and straightforward. If *I* go to Purgatory, what is this *I* that goes to purgatory? If there's not something, then what does it mean to say that I go to purgatory? The theology of Purgatory isn't entirely clear to me, but it seems quite clear that the RCC church teaches that the thing that's in Purgatory is the same thing that is me here now on earth in some way.
Yes, it does.

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
It's been going for a while. I am frankly confused as to why Christians would be hostile to Buddhism. Unless it is out of cultural imperialism, conversionism and ignorance.

Or because they find it incompatible with the beliefs of historic Christianity.

It seems on this thread there has been a lot of sidestepping of this issue. Any time such a contradiction is mooted, the Christian half of the pair of contrasting ideas/beliefs* is deconstructed or blamed on the infiltration Roman-Greco philosophy into some pure pre-Greek Christian faith (starts to sound like anti-Catholic Reformed rhetoric).

The idea seems completely rejected out of hand, at the outset, prima facie, that there are real contradictions between the two (Christianity and Buddhism). Further it is asserted that we who believe there are are being hostile and big bad blue meanies, especially if we continue to believe so even when presented with contrary opinion (I don't say "evidence").

It seems to me that if someone really wants to understand where another person is coming from, the thing to do when told where the other person is coming from is not to say, "No, you're wrong, you're interpreting your own religion incorrectly."
_____
*or whatever the fuck you want to call them

I certainly don't think you're a bad blue meanie because of what you believe. Not in the slightest. I was earlier on complaining that some people were making the arguments personal.

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Joesaphat
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Enoch:
Joesaphat, there's been quite a lot of argument recently, as you'll probably experienced, as to what the Christian as distinct from the Greco-Roman understanding of the soul originally was. It may be that I'm a heretic, but I don't think what you've described there is what Christianity believes about the nature of a person's identity either. So if Buddhism doesn't agree with that, nor, I don't think, do we.
[qb] [QUOTE]

I've tried to understand. I do think it's those who affirm the existence of a thing who have to provide evidence for its existence. I make no such claims. The only definition I've come across was from the recent Catechism of the Catholic Church. 'The soul is the divine principle in man (sic)' This, to me, says next to nothing at all. Does it mean that we already share in the divine nature? Surely this is supposed to be heresy. Does it imply that souls are not created? whatever is divine is uncreated, surely. What is it? How is it different from our minds and if so how does interact with our material bodies? If it does not, why is it even needed?

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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
It seems to me if you say something happens to us in Purgatory, you're perforce presupposing there is something that is somehow contiguous with us that's there. Otherwise why use the pronoun? If it's just something happening to a something, it's not meaningful to say it's me. Is there something (like, say, a soul or self) that continues from the me in this life to the me that's there in Purgatory being purged? Or is it just a play of language?

I would fairly predictably say it's a play of language, Mouse, a name put on a constantly changing and impermanent set of habits, abilities, faculties, etc. It's a word we can speak without only with the greatest difficulty, but it need not mean it has a real or permanent reference. Many Buddhist thinkers would have no problems talking loosely about a self as convention, or as a necessity to lead people to another, ultimate truth... as long as nothing like the Vedic-Hindy atman is envisaged.
I'm not sure what all that means, but it seems clear at least that it doesn't answer my question, which was very simple and straightforward. If *I* go to Purgatory, what is this *I* that goes to purgatory? If there's not something, then what does it mean to say that I go to purgatory? The theology of Purgatory isn't entirely clear to me, but it seems quite clear that the RCC church teaches that the thing that's in Purgatory is the same thing that is me here now on earth in some way.
What is this 'I' you're talking about that will somehow endure into the afterlife? I mean: at age six, 'I' was very different from who I am today a few physical characteristics aside. I cannot see what endures of the 6 year old in me now. It seems to me that physical death will be even more radical a change than ageing. What is this enduring self that is supposed to survive all these changes? What so many claims to be core Christian doctrine has received precious little attention from Christian tradition, it seems to me.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Historic means older. It means someone's tradition. It does not equate with better. It does not equate with right. Notwithstanding the apologists for the European ideas of it all. The peoples who haven't had their cultures and languages overcome by colonists and settlers will justifiably interpret Christianity just as validly as the Greek-Russians, Roman-Italians and their European affiliates. It is culturally imperialist and sometimes racist otherwise. (Thankfully the RCs and Anglicans are well willing to so adapt, at least here. After coming to terms with their egregious misbeviour on behalf of European cultures.)

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
If *I* go to Purgatory, what is this *I* that goes to purgatory? If there's not something, then what does it mean to say that I go to purgatory?

What is this 'I' you're talking about that will somehow endure into the afterlife?q
That's what I'm asking you. You want to posit Purgatory as some rough equivalent to Buddhist reincarnation. Purgatory, as I understand it, is a place where the soul is purged to make it ready for Heaven. Purgatory is not part of my faith tradition but yours. If you are going to appropriate Purgatory and try to fit it into Buddhist understanding of the afterlife, you are the one who has to answer for what it means and how to interpret it.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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RuthW

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Jesus exhorts people to love more, to feel more.
Buddha instructs people to release those feelings.
Jesus taught release of the importance of the desires of self.
Buddha taught release of the concept of self.

I think this comes pretty close to why I don't find Buddhism attractive.

I attend a weekly meditation group at my church where one of the things we do is read a passage from a book by Eknath Easwaran. Occasionally I find the passage helpful, but most of the time I find it rather off-putting. The life he describes seeking seems dull, boring, colorless -- honestly, a waste of the short time we have in this life. My experience of attempting to follow Christ has been that it encourages to be more myself, my best self.

Joesaphat, you began in the OP by saying,
quote:
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?
If you truly want to understand why some Christians have problems with it, you're going to have to first accept and to some degree be okay with the fact that we do have problems with reconciling Buddhism and Christianity.

If you can, great - whatever floats your boat. But I was born into Christianity, I was brought up on it, and it has supported the growth of my spiritual life quite sufficiently for many years. Christianity makes specific claims about the person of Jesus Christ which make it uniquely non-compatible with other religions. Whether one is an evangelical Christian who believes that accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is necessary for eternal life or someone like me more interested in the Christus Victor theory of the atonement, a Christian has by definition devoted her or his life to following Christ -- and however much other religions may hold him in great esteem or even teach some similar things, however much the specific practices of meditation they teach may be helpful to my prayer life, they don't make the same strong claims that Christianity does about Christ and are thus at that fundamental level incompatible with Christianity.

And I think I now have a stronger understanding of why Easwaran's writing doesn't do anything for me -- nothing I've read by him makes me want to be like him. And nothing I've read by him or anyone else about the Buddha makes me want to be like the Buddha or follow him.

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Lamb Chopped
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A tangent, maybe, but I find one statement above odd: Do you really find nothing of the six-year-old you-that-was in the present-day you-that-are-right-now? I see quite a lot of my childhood, even toddler self in me. Mainly personality traits.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Historic means older. It means someone's tradition. It does not equate with better. It does not equate with right. Notwithstanding the apologists for the European ideas of it all. The peoples who haven't had their cultures and languages overcome by colonists and settlers will justifiably interpret Christianity just as validly as the Greek-Russians, Roman-Italians and their European affiliates. It is culturally imperialist and sometimes racist otherwise. (Thankfully the RCs and Anglicans are well willing to so adapt, at least here. After coming to terms with their egregious misbeviour on behalf of European cultures.)

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
If you truly want to understand why some Christians have problems with it, you're going to have to first accept and to some degree be okay with the fact that we do have problems with reconciling Buddhism and Christianity.

My problem with reconciling the two is that I've simply never thought about it and don't feel the need to think about it. I realise that might sound a bit odd to someone who finds that Buddhism fills an important need. Probably as odd as it sounds to me when atheists say they've never felt the need to think about God.

The old joke about Christianity being a solution looking for a problem? For me that would be the addition of Buddhism to Christianity.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Ikkyu
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
And I think I now have a stronger understanding of why Easwaran's writing doesn't do anything for me -- nothing I've read by him makes me want to be like him. And nothing I've read by him or anyone else about the Buddha makes me want to be like the Buddha or follow him. [/QB]

Easwaran is not a Buddhist. I don't know what else you have read but using a Hindu meditation teacher to evaluate Buddhism is a bit suspect. Is like using Muslim ideas about Christ to judge Christianity.
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Joesaphat
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Joesaphat:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
If *I* go to Purgatory, what is this *I* that goes to purgatory? If there's not something, then what does it mean to say that I go to purgatory?

What is this 'I' you're talking about that will somehow endure into the afterlife?q
That's what I'm asking you. You want to posit Purgatory as some rough equivalent to Buddhist reincarnation. Purgatory, as I understand it, is a place where the soul is purged to make it ready for Heaven. Purgatory is not part of my faith tradition but yours. If you are going to appropriate Purgatory and try to fit it into Buddhist understanding of the afterlife, you are the one who has to answer for what it means and how to interpret it.
I don't think it's a rough equivalent. I don't even believe that an 'I' endures. I merely pointed out that not all Christian traditions envisage a simple heaven/hell fate in the world to come, neither does orthodox Judaism. Not trying to appropriate purgatory at all. As I said, I'm quite agnostic when it comes to rebirth (not reincarnation, that is exactly what the Buddha was up against)

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