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  • hardie karges 10:12 am on December 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddhanauts, , Deus Pater, Dyaus Pitr, monotheism,   

    Buddhism and Science: the Middle Path of Enlightenment… 

    The Middle Path is not so hard, but not so easy, either. That’s why it’s called the Middle Path. And if that sounds like a cop-out, an avoidance of decision, well I assure you that it can be much more than that and a metaphysical position in its own right, however sublime and shifting, but not shifty.

    If that sounds a lot like agnosticism, then there’s a reason for that. The best Buddhism is agnostic, IMHO, if not agnosticism itself. The problem of much, if not most religion, is simply that in its desire for certainty, it attaches itself to a position that may become untenable at some point in the future (notice how we say ‘the future’ as if only one were possible).

    But Buddhism does that, too, with varying results, and to the point that much of the Buddha’s original inspiration almost gets lost in the process. That’s because the holy trinity of rebirth, karma, and past lives is such a powerful paradigm, however unsatisfying it may be to a modern science-loving child of the Enlightenment.

    Notice how the term ‘enlightenment’ is used in both Science and Buddhism? But I didn’t say science-believing, now, did I? And that’s the difference, in answer to those who claim that believing in science is just as mistaken as a belief in anything else, because just look at how often science is later found faulty, as a new theory and hypothesis takes precedence.

    Exactly, that is the point. The best science is agnostic, also, and that is not just my opinion; that is definition. Science is a method, not a belief system, and Buddhism can function that way, also. Thus there is something for everybody in Buddhism, gods, hungry ghosts, and multiple levels of Hell for those who need it to stay straight in this life, rebirth in a lesser status for those who need the double dose.

    Still the best face of Buddhism is the recognition that there is suffering in this life and this world, and there is a way to mitigate it. If there is a better life in a better world, then bring it. After all, why would you want eternal life in a substandard existence, except out of fear of the unknown, as the monotheists’ Dyaus Pitr-God the Father-Deus Pater promises? I wouldn’t.

    But that doesn’t mean that I feel resigned to a miserable set of rebirths, either, regardless of my behavior in this one life and one world that I know. I don’t. That’s just another form of fear. The challenge of this life in this world is to explore the unknown and accommodate ourselves to it, without rank nor rancor.

    The innovation that Buddhism makes, long before modern Western psychology, is the recognition of inner space. Astronauts explore Outer Space. Buddhanauts must explore Inner Space, the deep sea, thalay, dalai, a hidden world so close that you can almost touch it. And in there is where many of the secrets to our existence lie…

     
  • hardie karges 5:40 pm on July 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cargo Cults, , , , Kant, maharishi, monotheism,   

    Buddhism 101: It’s What’s Inside that Counts… 

    If you’re looking for Gods out there, then good luck, because the source of all godliness is inside. And this pertains heavily to the preeminent issue in the history of religion, whether there is one god or many, and it turns out that the answer may instead be ‘none of the above,’ the Kantian solution to a Cartesian problem, any dualism only apparent, when the real issue is the One or the Many…

    The problem of plurality is obvious, just add a god or two for every new situation, even if you’re really just adding another statue or sculpture along the way, thus another manifestation or appearance of a primordial god, rather than a new god itself, him or herself. Because what is a god really and truly worth, if you can simply create a new one on demand?

    This gets into what I would call the ‘Cargo Cult Conundrum’ in which one might erroneously be led into thinking that a longer runway or a higher control tower might attract the really big cargo 747’s with the really good stuff, straight from some celestial factory drawn directly by the supplications of the sentimental and superstitious. But if God is really just an inner projection, then the outer trappings are just that, so much decoration and nothing more nothing less.

    Monotheism was a huge development in the history of religion, usually credited to the Jews, and the Christians and Muslims who came after them in droves, as if everything that came before was polytheistic, and lesser in development. If this is to assume that focus is better than the scatter-shot, then they may be on to something, but I don’t think that’s the heart of the matter.

    I think the gist is that multiple gods are simply too costly, in terms of time, effort, and money, and there you can find much logic. A superstitious view of religion is simply to assume that the more that is invested, then the greater the reward, when there is no evidence to support that. The only thing certain is that giving can feel good, when it is given with faith in deliverance, regardless of the whys and wherefores.

    So now we can simply skip the intermediate steps, if we all agree that God is but a manifestation of our innermost needs and desires, so the trappings can be laid aside and we can work on training our minds toward truth, beauty, and goodness without all the random superstitions tossed in for good measure.

    And that is what Buddhism does, at its best, it goes straight to the heart of the matter, all gods optional, all articles of faith tentative. Because to be a good Buddhist, you really don’t have to do anything. You can meditate in a cave all your life, and go down in history as a maharishi par excellence. Or you can give and donate till your pockets are bare, and it’s all the same.

    The most important thing is what you don’t do. Do no harm. Do no kill. Do not steal. Etcetera etcetera, Five Precepts are almost identical to the Ten commandments, and that is likely no accident. The only thing certain is negation, and that is quantifiable, and measurable. What you do is your choice, the sea of probabilities. We are all connected on the inside, and that is where it counts…

     
  • hardie karges 3:25 am on July 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , monotheism   

    Buddhism: Religion, Philosophy, and Psychology—God(s) Optional… 

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    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    Ever wonder what religion would be like without the Father Figure? That’s Buddhism. Can you imagine religion without all the rules and restrictions? That’s Buddhism. Can you envision a religion without pulpits nor pews? That’s Buddhism. And what about no Heaven or Hell? Again, that’s Buddhism. And can you imagine what religion would be like without a God on a throne? Yes, Buddhism is all of this and more…

    We’ve just got it in our heads that there is something preeminent and necessary about gods and goddesses, for the purposes of religion, and that may very well be true, call it the ‘primitive’ phase of religion, talking heads and sacred beds, divine revelations and karmic retributions. And in the beginning, capital ‘B’, the East and West were probably very similar, and probably closest to the Hinduism of today: the more gods and goddesses the better, and subvert the divine order at the risk of your own mortal and eternal suffering… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 5:43 am on September 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , monotheism,   

    Religion’s Final Quarter, Tie Score: Monotheism 1, Zero-theism 0… 

    IMG_1183

    Statue of Buddha in Kandy, Sri Lanka

    Christians and Muslims will always be at each other’s throats, because they’re both playing offense, which I find rather offensive. We Buddhists prefer to play defense. Don’t you wish the DOD did? It used to be called the Department of War, you know. Nothing’s changed. The best defense is a good offense in American football, but life is no silly game…

    In real life the best offense is a good defense, all kung fu’s and eastern martial arts based on the idea of letting the enemy’s own aggression destroy him–just facilitate the matter. China was for a long time, and is arguably still today, a Buddhist country. It certainly isn’t Communist, far from what Marx or Mao envisioned, with its state-sponsored capitalism, and keeping up with the Joneses… (More …)

     
    • quantumpreceptor 1:46 pm on September 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great read, thank you. I like how the Tibetans describe emptiness with the word DETONG, it has two parts, the first is empty of. And it might seem that I did not finish my sentence but I did 🙂 The second part is Joy. One might say that emptiness is the union of that which is empty of and joy. It is so simple but really a loaded statment. I might explain it this way that when one realises the empty nature of things composite that joy is the natural result.

      I have always been so disapointed of all the catholic missionaries that went to India and falsly translated the vedas and other scripts with the intention to paint Buddhism and Hinduism as a buch of nhilists wanting to disapear in to nothingness. How boring would that be? They demonised these two ways of life and purposly misrepresented them. Your entry is here to help clean this up, and we will all be better off when eastern philosophy is properly represented and understood.

      The idea of zero I find totally interesting. Zero is less dependent on one that one is of two or three. There is a logic here that a mathmatician might love. Anything that helps us get past the dependant origination of things is helpful. Does that make sense to you?

    • hardie karges 3:41 pm on September 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, yes, but it’s a huge subject, so could take days, years. My goal is to try to determine what Buddha himself meant, and the more I researched the concept of Zero, the more I became convinced that the coincidence with Buddhism was no accident…

    • davekingsbury 2:26 pm on September 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Fascinating account of the paradoxical power of non-assertion, not too far from what I was trying to say in my post – don’t know if you saw it – https://davekingsbury.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/me-ander/

      • hardie karges 4:04 pm on September 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        No, I didn’t, and yes, it IS a very similar treatment of a role for ego, just enough to get by, I’d say…

    • Christadelphians 8:38 am on March 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Instead of accusing all Christians and all Muslims you would better say ” Certain Christians and Muslims will always be at each other’s throats”. For real Christians would never go at any body’s throat, accepting all beings to be creatures to be created in the image of God,

      We too should like every body come at ease with ourself and find the emptiness but also the fullness in ourselves. We should try “to be one” with the universe and with our and the “being”.

      Real Christians should not aim to win against other people, they should win the race of them selves to the self (that is also what Jesus and his apostles are talking about).

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