The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Sanghamitta » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:40 pm

I hope you find what you need. Best wishes.

:anjali:
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.
Sanghamitta
 
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:22 pm

Namu Butsu wrote:You are right and no offense is taken. I admire the buddhist around me. That is why I am contemplating taking it as a path. But I am trying to be patient. I have already went to a theravada temple, Zen, and Tibetan center. Though I am taking my time. I have also went to two Hindu temples. I want to make sure my path is the path for me. But I do understand. I just wanted to see I guess if the description of Ultimate Reality and God Realization was the same. :buddha1:


Just a quick note. You are welcome here, and your questions are not out of line.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18372
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby christopher::: » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:45 pm

Sanghamitta wrote:I dont know if you ( or Christopher::: ) has actually spent much time with live Buddhists who practice, despite your name Namu Butsu :smile: And I am certainly not trying to offend, but I think if you do you will find them very uninterested in views and opinions...


This is indeed what i have found.

Thank you all for your posts and responses. I had an excellent meditation this morning, very empty, very clear. I recognize that i am a bit intolerant with what i perceive to be the intolerant views of others. Unfortunately that creates a catch 22 situation where my own mind becomes intolerant and doesn't stop spinning...!

The Buddha's Dhamma is medicine for our minds, superior to anything else i've come across. I just tend to view other spiritual paths and ideas as medicine as well, something beneficial for NonBuddhists who do not know of the dhamma.

Many of my friends and family members have addictive habits, problems with alcohol, food, tobacco, anger, career obssession, money fears, sexual desires, etc. These problems create great suffering for them, heavy dukkha.

One of my friends joined AA some time back, and has benefited greatly from their 12 step program. There are commonalities, imo, with the Buddha's teachings about the 4 noble truths and the 8 fold path. They also teach that its very helpful to have some kind of faith in a Higher Power, though how this is viewed is up to the individual. It's my personal opinion that this kind of faith, path and community provides a refuge of sorts, and is indeed very helpful to many people.

It's just a view though. Nothing worth arguing about.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
User avatar
christopher:::
 
Posts: 1315
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:42 pm

Namu Butsu wrote:Namaste,

I didnt want this to turn into a debate. I just wanted to see if people understood the hindu concept which it still seems like they dont.


It seems that they do. You are making an unwarranted assumption that what you have outlined is radically different from other god notions. It isn't, though your presentation of the Abrahamic god is not reflective of the depth of that sort of god notion.

Further, you have not really engaged in a dialogue here. You have not explained why you think what I (and others) have said does not address your concerns. You have not at all addressed the points raised. That is not dialogue.

Sogyal Rinpoche and he said. . . .


It depends upon the context as to what is said and how. And If I had to choose between Tibetan teachers, I'll take the Dalai Lama over Sogyal any day.

But buddhist dont believe in the concept of God, because in many ways no matter how good theconcepts of God does not do justice to the absolute, all the concepts of God does not describe the nature of god.
Shantideva said the Absolute is beyond the mind.
Since God is beyond mind it is beyond concepts, it means empty, free open like the sky
Its not empty like a empty cup of tea, not like this you know what im saying It means free limitless, open, uncompouded, uncreated."


Without looking at what Shantideva actually said and it is context, that is a wildly misleading quote. Shantideva was a Madhyamakin, and for such as he, emptiness is empty; the absolute truth is that there is no absolute truth. But if god is beyond concepts (which is itself a conceptual statement) then there is not a thing that can be said about the supposed god. Everything said about the supposed god is false, including the statement that anything said about the supposed god is false.

This is what the Hindus are saying. This also goes along with one of the Gathas that Thich Nhat Hanh was taught in his monastery in which you recite as you bathe. You recite "Unborn, Indestructable, beyond time and space, The transmitter and received are one in the Dharmadhatu" This is talking of the nature of reality and also how we are one with all that is because the Transmitter as Thich Nhat hanh explains that the Transmitter is the parents and the received are the offspring. They are one and the same. Anyways the Hindus talk about God as being Unborn Indestructable, beyond time and Space. He is one with us.


There are several problems here. TNH’s translations are sometimes get a little dodgy. Is this something he wrote, or is it something that is a translation? If it is the later, it would be worth looking at other translations of the same text. Secondly, if god beyond concepts, it is meaningless to say that the supposed god is Unborn Indestructable, beyond time and Space, he is one with us. You cannot possibly even know that. The other point here is that “Dharmadhatu” is a Mahayana concept. I would recommend a discussion of this with Namdrol on E-Sangha.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18372
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby chicka-Dee » Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:51 pm

christopher::: wrote:Thank you all for your posts and responses. I had an excellent meditation this morning, very empty, very clear. I recognize that i am a bit intolerant with what i perceive to be the intolerant views of others. Unfortunately that creates a catch 22 situation where my own mind becomes intolerant and doesn't stop spinning...!

The Buddha's Dhamma is medicine for our minds, superior to anything else i've come across. I just tend to view other spiritual paths and ideas as medicine as well, something beneficial for NonBuddhists who do not know of the dhamma.


Great to hear about your meditation and realizations! This is what it's all about! Looking inward and really seeing. Yes! "The Buddha's Dhamma is medicine for our minds" and I would just add, when taken in proper doses and used according to the directions.

christopher::: wrote:They also teach that its very helpful to have some kind of faith in a Higher Power, though how this is viewed is up to the individual. It's my personal opinion that this kind of faith, path and community provides a refuge of sorts, and is indeed very helpful to many people.


I think that until we are in a position to have this kind of faith in ourselves, we need to place our faith in something outside of ourselves, whether it be a faith in God, or a faith in the teachings of the Buddha. Through experience, we come to know ourselves, trust ourselves, have faith in ourselves. We, of course, need to find a sort of balance between trusting our inner voice, and using outside guidance as a sort of 'confirmation' that we are on the 'right track' (for instance, a teacher, the words of the dharma or similar teachings, books, spiritual friends who are a little further ahead than we are). It is so, so important to develop and start to trust in our own inner process. Our internal compass will point the way, if we only will stop and listen. This trust in our own intuition starts out slowly, slowly, and may take a long time for us to really start listening to it. But once we take those first small steps, it sometimes doesn't take long for us to be walking confidently, and even running! One of my favorite quotes from the Buddhadhamma:

"The one who has conquered himself is a far greater hero than he who has defeated a thousand times a thousand men."


:namaste: :heart:
"The image is a dream. The beauty is real. Can you see the difference?" ~Richard Bach from "Illusions"
User avatar
chicka-Dee
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:31 pm
Location: Western Canada

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:58 pm

christopher::: wrote:i am a bit intolerant with what i perceive to be the intolerant views of others.


Which in many cases here are my views. My question to you, are my views intolerant, or do they simply not agree with how you think things should be?

In the closed "tolerance" thread you started, I gave several examples of the Buddha's response to other religious points of view asking you if they were tolerant, and you completely ignored it. Let me repeat that msg:

christopher::: wrote:Should Buddhists be tolerant and respectful of other religions? I say yes, for myself, but also recognize that to tolerate intolerance may also be important.


Of course one should be tolerant, but there are also limitations, and there are contexts. Right now in Wisconsin there is a trial going on were a man is being prosecuted for the death of his 11 yr old daughter who died from diabetes. Rather than seek medical help, he and his wife prayed for her. How far and in what way does tolerance extend?

Of theist Makkhali Gosala, the Buddha stated it would have better that he never been born because his religious beliefs were for the detriment of all humankind, in that Makkhali Gosala denied the efficacy of moral action (AN I.33). Is that intolerant of the Buddha, Christopher?

Is the Buddha intolerant when he says:

"If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused the creative act of
a Supreme God [Issara-nimmana-hetu], then the Niganthas [Jains] surely
must have been created by an evil Supreme God."
MN II 222

How about here, is the Buddha intolerant:

"Again, monks, I [the Buddha] approached those ascetic and brahmins and said to them: 'Is it true, as they say, that you venerable ones teach and hold the view that whatever a person experiences...all that is caused by God's creation?' When they affirmed it, I said to them: 'If that is so, venerable sirs, then it is due to God's creation that people kill, steal ...[and otherwise act badly]. But those who have recourse to God's creation as the decisive factor, will lack the impulse and the effort doing this or not doing that. Since for them, really and truly, no (motive) obtains that this or that ought to be done or not be done...."' AN 3.61?

Are the suttas intolerant when we find them saying that God/Brahma state:

"God truthfully answers [the questions of the Buddha] in succession: 'Good sir, those views I previously held are not mine; I see the radiance the world of God as passing; how could I say that I am permanent and eternal?'" MN II 222? I am sure there are those theists who find this very offensive.

How this:

'As far as the suns and moons extend their courses and the regions of the sky shine in splendour, there is a thousandfold world system. In each single one of these there are a thousand suns, moons, Meru Mountains, four times a thousand continents and oceans, a thousand heavens of all stages of the realm of sense pleasure, a thousand Brahma worlds. As far as a thousandfold world system reaches in other words, the universe], the Great God is the highest being. But even the Great God is subject to coming-to-be and ceasing-to-be.' AN X 29?

And then there is this:

In Digha Nikaya 24 where the Buddha states:

"There are some ascetics and brahmins who declare as their doctrine that all things began with the creation by God, or Brahma."

And this singular god is characterized so:

"That Worshipful God, the Great God, the Omnipotent, the Omniscient, the Organizer, the Protection, the Creator, the Most Perfect Ruler, the Designer and Orderer, the Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be, He by Whom we were created, He is permanent, Constant, Eternal, Unchanging, and He will remain so for ever and ever."

which is a nice characterization of the brahmanical notion of the creator God one finds in the early Brahmanical and Ishvara literature, and it seems to fit for most every other creator God notion that has come down the pike.

The Buddha goes on in this discourse, using mythic language, to give a biting satirical re-telling of the creation myth of the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad making it quite clear that God is not quite what the absolute entity it imagines itself to be. It is not the creator, and we can see in this discourse by the Buddha and in other related ones that the idea of a single, absolute cause for the multiplicity of things, an infallible source of revealed knowledge that was different in kind from ordinary human knowledge, an unconditioned being that participates in any way in (even only as a witness to) the changes of human experience, and any kind of being that can interfere with the natural consequences of karma is rejected by the Buddha.

So, what is tolerance and what is intolerance? You really need to define tolerance here.
Maybe this time around, Christopher, you might take some time and carefully address this msg in some detail.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18372
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby christopher::: » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:09 am

Hi Tilt,

First off, i am in agreement with Chicka-Dee that what really matters is the change within ourselves, learning to trust or actualize our Buddha potential, walking the path Buddha taught. In other words, that we take the instructions the Buddha gave (or for nonBuddhists, the instructions of the wisest teachers they have come across) and actually come to live by those instructions. In other words, practice trumps views, dharma practice (aka, how we think and live and behave) is most essential and views are important mostly in how they assist us in that way.

I think Ben was making a similar point in the PM discussion we're having now (hope its okay that i mention that). Or as Sanghamitta wrote: " if you have actually spent much time with live Buddhists who practice... I think if you do you will find them very uninterested in views and opinions..."

So, while i will respond to your request for my "view" I think its important to not take it too seriously, its just one person's view, a NonTheravadin Buddhist at that..!!

What do I think of these quotes? First thing that popped out was that the Buddha seems to be presented in those pasages as one who did affirm the existence of God, which is kind of interesting. Second is that we are hearing mythic stories that have come down across time, over 2,000 years. So i approach passages of this sort with hesitation. Did Buddha really say these things, did he talk with Brahman, with devas? Did he truly have powers of omniscience, meaning that he knew everything when it came to metaphysics, to mysteries such as the existance or nonexistance of Gods, or the origins of our Universe?

It's impossible to know. But these are sacred texts, so I hesitate to be critical.

For me what is most important are not the metaphysical teachings of the Buddha, but rather what he said about the nature of suffering, the path to become free from suffering. What he taught about how our minds work, that is the core dhamma that interests me.

Metaphysical explanations and views attributed to the Buddha I tend to put in a category marked "spiritual hypotheses"... I try to be respectful of such views, but am a bit skeptical about their authenticity.

I like the approach Thomas Jefferson took, with the New Testament. He copied out passages that he felt represented the true voice of Jesus and ignored the rest.

Since I'm not nearly enlightened enough to make such distinctions about the voice of Buddha, I tend to be skeptical (that he actually said these things) yet uncritical.

Probably not the answer you were looking for.

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
User avatar
christopher:::
 
Posts: 1315
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby chicka-Dee » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:28 am

christopher::: wrote:In other words, that we take the instructions the Buddha gave and actually come to live by those instructions. In other words, practice trumps views, dharma practice (aka, how we think and live and behave) is most essential and views are important mostly in how they assist us in that way.


Yes! When I went on retreat, I had the opportunity to speak privately and one-on-one with the ordained Buddhist nun who led the retreat. This is just what she told me. It's not just about sitting on a cushion, it's about our whole lives. What we do off the cushion is just as important. Applying what we learn is critical! Applying it to our everyday situations and happenings. It's like a wet behind the ears brand new college grad, fresh out of school with all sorts of book smarts who doesn't have an ounce of work experience. Who finds out in their first week on the job, that they've learned as much, or more, than they ever learned in the books! We can't just go around memorizing a bunch of text and teachings.. that'll get us nowhere if we don't try to apply what we've learned.

So important!
"The image is a dream. The beauty is real. Can you see the difference?" ~Richard Bach from "Illusions"
User avatar
chicka-Dee
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:31 pm
Location: Western Canada

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby christopher::: » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:31 am

chicka-Dee wrote:When I went on retreat, I had the opportunity to speak privately and one-on-one with the ordained Buddhist nun who led the retreat. This is just what she told me. It's not just about sitting on a cushion, it's about our whole lives. What we do off the cushion is just as important. Applying what we learn is critical! Applying it to our everyday situations and happenings. It's like a wet behind the ears brand new college grad, fresh out of school with all sorts of book smarts who doesn't have an ounce of work experience. Who finds out in their first week on the job, that they've learned as much, or more, than they ever learned in the books! We can't just go around memorizing a bunch of text and teachings.. that'll get us nowhere if we don't try to apply what we've learned.

So important!


:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
User avatar
christopher:::
 
Posts: 1315
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby chicka-Dee » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:34 am

Ok, I'll climb down from my soapbox, now... :soap:

:tongue: :jumping:
"The image is a dream. The beauty is real. Can you see the difference?" ~Richard Bach from "Illusions"
User avatar
chicka-Dee
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:31 pm
Location: Western Canada

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby chicka-Dee » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:06 am

And I should mention that it was a reeeaally good friend of mine who first taught me this.. he said something like, 'you can't find it by just reading books! you gotta learn through your own experience'. Pretty smart friend, I'd say! We're so lucky when we find friends like this. :smile:
"The image is a dream. The beauty is real. Can you see the difference?" ~Richard Bach from "Illusions"
User avatar
chicka-Dee
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:31 pm
Location: Western Canada

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:21 am

chicka-Dee wrote:And I should mention that it was a reeeaally good friend of mine who first taught me this.. he said something like, 'you can't find it by just reading books! you gotta learn through your own experience'.

This is a common statement that you'll find from many Dhamma teachers from the Buddha on down (people love to quote Ajahn Chah saying that sort of thing).
As this chant puts it:
Svākkhāto bhagavatā dhammo,
The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Sandiṭṭhiko akāliko ehipassiko,
to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting all to come & see,
Opanayiko paccattaṃ veditabbo viññūhīti.
leading inward, to be seen by the wise for themselves.

That much is clear enough. The much more difficult problem is what conditions and teachings are required to be able to see the Dhamma for oneself...

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9619
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Ben » Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:26 am

Sadhu Mike, Sadhu!
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief
UNHCR Syria Emergency Relief AppealTyphoon Haiyan Relief AppealKiva: (person to person micro-finance)

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15793
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby chicka-Dee » Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:44 am

mikenz66 wrote:That much is clear enough. The much more difficult problem is what conditions and teachings are required to be able to see the Dhamma for oneself...

Metta
Mike


I mean this most sincerely, and it's not meant to be a smart-ass comment:

Image

And it takes much courage, dedication, and perserverence. At least this is what I've heard. But really, it's up to each of us to find for ourselves. Within ourselves. That's all I really know.
"The image is a dream. The beauty is real. Can you see the difference?" ~Richard Bach from "Illusions"
User avatar
chicka-Dee
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:31 pm
Location: Western Canada

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:41 am

christopher::: wrote:What do I think of these quotes? First thing that popped out was that the Buddha seems to be presented in those pasages as one who did affirm the existence of God, which is kind of interesting.


Affirmed the existence of God. Sure, a god that was deluded in its thinking that it was the supreme, eternal creator, a god that through its interactions with the Buddha came to the realization that is was a kamma bound, limited being.

Second is that we are hearing mythic stories that have come down across time, over 2,000 years. So i approach passages of this sort with hesitation. Did Buddha really say these things, did he talk with Brahman, with devas? Did he truly have powers of omniscience, meaning that he knew everything when it came to metaphysics, to mysteries such as the existance or nonexistance of Gods, or the origins of our Universe?


And this is the typical attempt at trying to side step what the tradition clearly teaches, particularly when what is taught is critical of, not in line with, one’s pet notions. These stories do not have to be literally true to make an important point about the nature of existence as the Buddha understood it, which sees that a god/godhead is an add-on to reality.

For me what is most important are not the metaphysical teachings of the Buddha,


That is not quite true, given that you have repeatedly posted msgs with numerous quotes that tried to co-opt the Buddha’s teachings into a particular metaphysical point of view. You have gotten a bit testy when that has been challenged with what the Buddhist tradition actually has to say about it.

but rather what he said about the nature of suffering, the path to become free from suffering. What he taught about how our minds work, that is the core dhamma that interests me.


And such understanding does not include the idea of a god as having any significance in the process of awakening or how the world works, but suggests rather strongly that the idea of a god as some sort of agent upon which we might rely can be a detriment to awakening.

Metaphysical explanations and views attributed to the Buddha I tend to put in a category marked "spiritual hypotheses"... I try to be respectful of such views, but am a bit skeptical about their authenticity.


The point is, which you seem to miss, is that the Buddha rejected metaphysics.

I like the approach Thomas Jefferson took, with the New Testament. He copied out passages that he felt represented the true voice of Jesus and ignored the rest.


Eisegesis, based upon what? Your own emotional predilections? Is that a reliable basis?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18372
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby christopher::: » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:50 am

tiltbillings wrote:
I like the approach Thomas Jefferson took, with the New Testament. He copied out passages that he felt represented the true voice of Jesus and ignored the rest.


Eisegesis, based upon what? Your own emotional predilections? Is that a reliable basis?


Hi Tilt,

I said:

christopher::: wrote:
Since I'm not nearly enlightened enough to make such distinctions about the voice of Buddha, I tend to be skeptical (that he actually said these things) yet uncritical.


I'm skeptical when i read certain things, that the Buddha actually said them. Such skepticism arises, and its not usually based on emotion. But i also recognize that i'm not nearly enlightened enough to make such distinctions, so i try (not always successfully) to be as open-minded and uncritical as possible.

This is one reason, probably, that I have been most attracted to Zen Buddhism. If you read the writings of Seng Tsan, Shunryu Suzuki and others its emphasized frequently to keep an open mind and not become attached to views, even when those views are presented in Buddhist texts as "truths"...

:namaste:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
User avatar
christopher:::
 
Posts: 1315
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:56 am

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:18 am

.Christopher::: I notice that you are in the habit of quoting out of context in order to support your own views. Please dont do that to my posts. You quote Sanghamitta saying that if you spend time with live Buddhists you will be aware that they are uninterested in opinions. It was quite clear from the context that I was not referring to Buddhist Doctrine, but to speculative views about gods etc. A correct understanding of Buddhist Doctrine does not fall into the catagory of speculative views and opinions. God talk does.
Clearly in discussion with you I need to express things in a way that minimises the possibility of your fashoning a soundbite which distorts what I am saying.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.
Sanghamitta
 
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:25 am

chicka-Dee wrote:And I should mention that it was a reeeaally good friend of mine who first taught me this.. he said something like, 'you can't find it by just reading books! you gotta learn through your own experience'. Pretty smart friend, I'd say! We're so lucky when we find friends like this. :smile:

Depends where we start from I should think. For some people a really good friend might say, you are not aquainted rightly with the Buddhas teaching, you need to do some Sutta study. I heard Ajahn Chah speak a number of times. One of the things everyone noticed about him is that he could quote whole passages from the Suttas and commentaries by heart effortlessly. If you meet any of his monks now they are in fact very learned. They sit lightly to the fact, but they know their doctrinal stuff .
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.
Sanghamitta
 
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:29 am

chicka-Dee wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:That much is clear enough. The much more difficult problem is what conditions and teachings are required to be able to see the Dhamma for oneself...

Metta
Mike


I mean this most sincerely, and it's not meant to be a smart-ass comment:

Image

And it takes much courage, dedication, and perserverence. At least this is what I've heard. But really, it's up to each of us to find for ourselves. Within ourselves. That's all I really know.

That is a doomed quest, for a number of reasons. In decades to come you will still be looking for yourself within yourself.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.
Sanghamitta
 
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:21 am
Location: By the River Thames near London.

Re: The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God.

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:46 am

christopher::: wrote:
I'm skeptical when i read certain things, that the Buddha actually said them. Such skepticism arises, and its not usually based on emotion.


So, it based upon what? Careful study? Years of practice? What?

But i also recognize that i'm not nearly enlightened enough to make such distinctions, so i try (not always successfully) to be as open-minded and uncritical as possible.


You have gotten very cranky when I have shown that the Buddha’s teachings do not quite say what it looks you want them to say, but then you can dismiss that stuff I point to as stuff of which your are skeptical. So, again, what is the basis of your skepticism?

Given that from the time of the Buddha onwards in India, Buddhists have rejected the idea of a god of the Hindus that surrounded them, and the Hindus have characterized Buddhism as atheist. Is this something you are open minded to?

In the Gita, chapter XVI, 8:

'The universe," they say, "is without truth [asat that which open to destruction and change, without an atman/brahman, the Absolute within each of us],"
Without basis/unstable [having no solid ground apratis.t.ham], without a God;
Brought about by a mutual union,
How else? It is caused by lust alone.'


This is a good caricature of the Buddhist position, and certainly the Buddhist position is that the world is unstable, constantly in change, without a basis or essence - an atman/brahman, and is without a god, "Brought about by a mutual union," and "caused by desire," all of which could be used to describe the Buddhist position, but no one else of the time.

And the Gita goes on, XVI, 9:

Holding this view,
These men of lost souls, of small intelligence,
And of cruel actions, come forth as enemies
Of the world for it destruction.


I would say that the authors of the Gita would not agree with you.

This is one reason, probably, that I have been most attracted to Zen Buddhism. If you read the writings of Seng Tsan, Shunryu Suzuki and others its emphasized frequently to keep an open mind and not become attached to views, even when those views are presented in Buddhist texts as "truths"...


And you are not attached to any view in this matter? And you are suggesting I do not have an open mind?

Last I looked Buddhism is not a make-it-up-as-you-go thing.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 18372
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

PreviousNext

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 7 guests