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 tiltbillings » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:48 pm

christopher::: wrote:Tilt, i'm on vacation. In 15 minutes we'll be taking my son into NYC to the Museum of Natural History. I'm not going to continue dialouge with you because for every comment i make you have more questions, and you dont seem to hear half the things i say!! (Like that I dont have time now to participate here).

Nobody is asking - or demanding - you engage in long detailed discussions - or any discussion - while you are vacation. The point is - was - that when you are ready to discuss Wright or your particular stance that if you want a genuine dialogue that you need to be open to listening to the criticisms of what it is that you are saying concerning your claims about what the various religions are supposedly saying. That is simple enough. Enjoy your vacation.

Also, we view things differently, we hold different beliefs about this.

And you have seemed (before you went on vacation) quite unwilling to explore this, and it seems that when you return from vacation that you are going to be quite unwilling to explore this topic you have repeatedly posted on.

But this is the General Theravada forum and I'm a Zen Buddhist with a Unitarian Universalist background. This is your turf, so i will disengage. I think that's a healthy response, not a copout.

There are other sub-fora within DhammaWheel where this could be appropriately discussed.

We see things differently. I don't see how continuing in this fashion is helpful to your or my dharma practice.

So, an exploration - and a better understanding - of differing points of view does not help Dhamma practice.
There are other topics related to Theravada Buddhism that i would rather spend my time focusing upon when i do have the time to visit here. I hope you will consider that too. Is this really an essential topic for you to be focusing so much attention on?
It is hardly an essential topic for me, but is seems the only topic for you, since you really have brought up here pretty much nothing else.
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: 18385
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 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:23 pm

Very interesting material, chris::: and Jechbi. Did God create us in his own image? Or did we create God in our own image? Or, is there any difference? Something to ponder.

Have fun with your son at the museum, chris:::!! and enjoy the rest of your vacation (forget all about everything else and just enjoy). :smile: I think this is good advice for anyone who might get too wrapped up in all these teachings and words.. go out and enjoy your family and friends, nature, a hobby you enjoy.. and just forget the whole thing for a little while. Soak up the sunshine for a change. I find these breaks are essential.. when we relax, then something that seems like wisdom is allowed to enter more easily.

Jechbi I love your comment about the weeds and flowers, lol.. my mom had a plant growing in her garden that her cousin told her was a weed, but she left it alone because she wasn't so sure, and lo and behold it produced beautiful flowers! What one might see as a weed, another will see potential in, and if given a chance, we might just find that it produces something lovely.

:namaste:
"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 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:15 pm

And just incase you can't get outside, or the sun isn't shinning where you are, here's a little musical sunshine to brighten your day..

"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 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:32 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
chicka-Dee wrote:And I should mention that it was a reaally 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


Hi everyone,

I just wanted to make one more point, with regards to Mike's comment... yes, it may be true that this is a fairly common understanding. It may be something that slides off the tongue almost like a cliche, for many. But once in awhile you meet someone who speaks from the heart, instead of more exclusively from intellect. And you listen closely because their words are backed by experience, by having lived these words. They come across as genuine.. and not just someone full of a bunch of 'knowledge', that without experience to back it up, means very little. I'm not sure if you've experienced this difference, but to me it's something significant.

Also, just because something seems clear or is a 'given', does not mean we should dismiss it.. rather, we should pay close attention, because often the cliches are overlooked and taken for granted, and therefore neglected. (And I know this is not what you meant, Mike, but I think it's just something that should be clarified).

Just a few thoughts I needed to work out. :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 Ordinaryperson » Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:48 am

Folks,

Slight hijack after reading this site.

Jechbi wrote:Here's a curiosity I stumbled across. I won't vouch for its legitimacy.

On a side note, please don't take this as a smart-ass comment (or do, I guess it doesn't matter), but I think it's possible to smile at the flower here. This topic is like a weed, but don't those things sometimes produce flowers?


Jechbi,

Thanks for the interesting link.

I have almost finished reading this article/site in detail but the accuracy of Buddha's Funeral might come into question.

For example, (near the conclusion or ending of the page)

" Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. 45When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. 46So Joseph bought some linen cloth (same with Buddha), took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock (same with Buddha ). Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.(same with Buddha) 47Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.-mark 14;44 Kshaye and akshaye


For everyone who reads the site please note that ... Buddha was not entombed !

This is how I remember the story by a quick google ... From this site http://nichirenscoffeehouse.net/Ryuei/TheBuddhasPassing.html but I am sure there are more credible sources that give better or similar account.

"At the end of the week they prepared the body and after some deliberation decided to carry it to the north of Kushinagara, then going in through the north gate they processed to the middle of the town and then out through the east gate. Ananda then instructed the Mallas in what todo, just as the Buddha had told him. First they wrapped the body in linen, and then wrapped it again in teased cotton wool, and then in a new cloth. This was repeated 500 times. Then they placed the body in an iron vat that was then covered with an iron pot. They then prepared to cremate the body on a scented funeral pyre."


"Back in Kushinagara the Mallas discovered that they were unable to light the funeral pyre. Aniruddha informed them that the gods were preventing them from doing so until Mahakashyapa arrived. When Mahakashyapa did arrive he circumambulated the funeral pyre three times, then he uncovered the Buddha’s feet and paid homage with full prostrations. When this was done the pyre ignited by itself. Once the body was cremated and the fires had burned out, the Mallas honored the relics for another week with more music, singing, dancing, and the offering of incense and garlands."


:anjali:
~Actively trying to destroy the Three Unwholesome Roots of Greed, Hatred and Ignorance~
User avatar
Ordinaryperson
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:09 pm
Location: West

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

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:43 am

chicka-Dee wrote: But once in awhile you meet someone who speaks from the heart, instead of more exclusively from intellect. And you listen closely because their words are backed by experience, by having lived these words. They come across as genuine.. and not just someone full of a bunch of 'knowledge', that without experience to back it up, means very little. I'm not sure if you've experienced this difference, but to me it's something significant.

Of course. I've met several teachers like that. I don't think it's particularly uncommon if you select genuine teachers.

In any case, it's rather pointless in my opinion to attempt to base a discussion about your un-named friend with unknown (to me) experience.

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 9633
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

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

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:41 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
chicka-Dee wrote: But once in awhile you meet someone who speaks from the heart, instead of more exclusively from intellect. And you listen closely because their words are backed by experience, by having lived these words. They come across as genuine.. and not just someone full of a bunch of 'knowledge', that without experience to back it up, means very little. I'm not sure if you've experienced this difference, but to me it's something significant.

Of course. I've met several teachers like that. I don't think it's particularly uncommon if you select genuine teachers.

In any case, it's rather pointless in my opinion to attempt to base a discussion about your un-named friend with unknown (to me) experience.

Metta
Mike


Pointless? Yeah. The above quote reads as a roundabout criticism of those who supposedly have only that naughty book learning stuff we see here in this thread. They clearly are not genuine, whatever that might mean.
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: 18385
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 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:38 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Pointless? Yeah. The above quote reads as a roundabout criticism of those who supposedly have only that naughty book learning stuff we see here in this thread. They clearly are not genuine, whatever that might mean.


Tilt, I appologize if it came through that way. :? It just seems some of us speak more from personal experience, and some of us more from learned knowledge. Either end of things is not the ideal. The best place to speak from is a balance of the two, so both 'sides' have some learning to do. Thank you for pointing this out. I am very sorry to have come across as critical. I still have a lot to learn.

Peace to you. With Metta.

Dee
"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 Dhammakid » Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:35 am

Hello all,

First, to everyone: what an informative and entertaining thread this is. I have learned so much about a whole lotta stuff. Also, I am hoping this thread isn't dying out since I'm deciding to post. I am doing so because I saw the last post was made earlier today. But if you all are done discussing, then you can ignore my post :tongue:

To chicka-Dee,
Please don't take this as harsh criticism, but rather as an observation. Judging from your first comment on personal experience:

chicka-Dee wrote:I just wanted to make one more point, with regards to Mike's comment... yes, it may be true that this is a fairly common understanding. It may be something that slides off the tongue almost like a cliche, for many. But once in awhile you meet someone who speaks from the heart, instead of more exclusively from intellect. And you listen closely because their words are backed by experience, by having lived these words. They come across as genuine.. and not just someone full of a bunch of 'knowledge', that without experience to back it up, means very little. I'm not sure if you've experienced this difference, but to me it's something significant.


it seems you were arguing for the supremacy of such over learned knowledge. That is why, I think (I could be wrong of course) Tilt made his comment. So to say after his comment you believe there should be a healthy balance of the two is to contradict what (we think, or maybe just what I think) you were trying to say in the first comment.

I could be wrong.

Some general statements:
I myself am unafraid to admit that I value personal experience over learned knowledge. But let's appropriately qualify such a statement - without Right View, your personal experience means nothing. Adhamma is adhamma, regardless of what you think you experienced. Right View, for the vast majority of us, arises from both learning Dhamma from teachers and scripture as well as proper meditation, concentration and insight. Those with credible personal experience are so because of lots of previous practice, in this and previous lives. To discount learned knowledge is to discount an integral part of Dhamma practice. Monks don't read, memorize and recite scripture for nothing ;) Meditation is a tool by which our learned knowledge is penetrated and understood, thus allowing us to develop proper Right View.

In my experience, the discounting of learned knowledge usually comes from those afraid to admit the tenuous nature of their arguments, to which it is resorted after their ideas have been thoroughly refuted and they are looking to save face. (Either that or the learned knowledge in question is actually false.) This is usually followed by statements such as "aren't we just wasting time anyway?" (even though time obviously wasn't an issue while they were defending their points) and "I don't see what this has to do with our practice" (a discounting of the importance of the topic, even though that too was not an issue while they were defending their points).

For these reasons, I found myself agreeing more with clw and Tilt. Hopefully that doesn't come off as a value judgment, but rather as a statement from an outsider who read the whole thread.

:anjali:
Dhammakid
User avatar
Dhammakid
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Georgia, USA

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

Postby christopher::: » Sat Aug 22, 2009 12:58 am

Hi all,

Concerning this new topic, I hold the personal opinion that until someone has learned to live by knowledge, the knowledge is not yet their own. They may sound like they know, but actually don't. Trouble is, this is extremely hard to judge unless you know someone really really well. And sadly sometimes you think you know someone well and then find out they were projecting an image that was a lie, large or small.

The opposite happens too. Someone seems unwise/foolish/ignorant etc but in reality they have a much deeper understanding and level of realization then you or anyone were aware of...

Most definitely, here on the internet with strangers, i think its close to impossible to ever know for sure. The person you thought was a jerk may actually be wise, and the one you thought was wise could have a lot more to learn...

P.S. Had a great time at the Museum yesterday! Off now to help get my son ready for bed.

: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 Dhammakid » Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:29 am

christopher::: wrote:Concerning this new topic, I hold the personal opinion that until someone has learned to live by knowledge, the knowledge is not yet their own.


The knowledge can never be yours. Where is this "you" to have knowledge? As Buddhists, we have faith that all the knowledge necessary for life - that is, the knowledge necessary for liberation, which is the only knowledge worth any real value - was expounded by the Buddha. And besides, there is nothing new under the sun. Everything that has been said has indeed been said before. The Buddha rediscovered the Path.

To me, it's more relevant to match a person's words with the Dhamma of the Buddha, fully expounded in the Tipitaka. I don't care whether or not they have lived it - if the knowledge matches what my Beloved Teacher said, then it can only help me. Their life is their life.

When I say "our learned knowledge" I mean to say the knowledge we have learned from proper Dhamma sources, but it doesn't belong to us because we didn't come up with it. And, again, the "us" who can come up with it cannot be found.

Learning the Dhamma yourself is more important than worrying whether or not another knows it. The only person you should worry about in terms of their Dhamma knowledge is your teacher. This is unless you are in a debate or discussion, by which you're going to want to guard yourself from false Dhamma by matching another's words with the Buddha's.

But I do get the jist of what you're saying, and I agree with you on a mundane level. I hope I'm not coming off as rude or conceited :smile:

:anjali:
Dhammakid
User avatar
Dhammakid
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Georgia, USA

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

Postby chicka-Dee » Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:30 am

Hi Dhammakid,

I find it interesting that there is such an interest in this point. I was hoping there would've been more interest in this comment:

Did God create us in his own image? Or did we create God in our own image? Or, is there any difference?


I think that I agree with you that there isn't a whole lot of value in getting into an 'experience vs knowledge' debate. But you have asked me to defend what you see as contradictions in my statements, so I'll try to briefly address this. But please know that I like to explore ideas openly much more than spend time defending view points. First off, I did mention about balance earlier:

"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)." (from back on pg.7)


But I also believe that experience holds more weight. Knowledge I see as the set of instructions (like a college diploma) to lead us to the experience we need (gaining employment and on the job training) in order to gain a thorough understanding of those instructions (career mastery). Without the diploma (background knowledge), one is unlikely to go very far, but sometimes we can have a natural talent that can lead us towards mastery with less instruction. We achieve 'success' more quickly, then need to go back and fill in the missing details. There are some who intuitively come to realizations that for others, it takes much work and study to arrive at the same place. But each is fully capable of arriving.

I guess maybe I just have a strong desire to see us all 'arriving', and it was seeming to me that it is easy to get tangled up in the teachings and lose sight of the whole point of these teachings. Yes, the teachings are important and an integral part of the process, but they are a means and not an end in themselves. I just wanted us all to see this.
"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 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:10 am

chicka-Dee wrote:But I also believe that experience holds more weight.


What kind of experience? Based upon what? How do you know if your "experience" - which may give you great certainty - is not leading you down the garden path?
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: 18385
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

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

Postby cooran » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:52 am

Hello all,

chicka-Dee wrote: But I also believe that experience holds more weight.


Tilt wrote: What kind of experience? Based upon what? How do you know if your "experience" - which may give you great certainty - is not leading you down the garden path?

Good point! Just as there is the Noble Eightfold Path, there is also the Wrong Eightfold Path. The Buddha taught that one needs to know the wording of the Dhamma (pariyatti).
Without both study and practice, there is grave danger of going astray - or missing opporutnities in this rare human birth.
Maggasaṃyutta (SN45/ 1(2): Connected Discourse on the Path:Ignorance is the Forerunner

Maggasaṃyutta (SN45.1: Connected Discourses on the Path:
Ignorance is the Forerunner
"On one occasion, Gotama Buddha was dwelling at Sāvatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. He expounded the Connected Discourse on the Noble Eight Fold Path (Ariyo Ațțhangiko Maggo) to his Buddhist disciples thus :
Ignorance is the forerunner in the entry upon unwholesome states, with shamelessness and fearlessness of wrong doing following along.
For an unwise person immersed in ignorance, wrong view springs up.
For one of wrong view, wrong intention springs up. For one of wrong intention, wrong speech springs up.
For one of wrong speech, wrong action springs up. For one of wrong action, wrong livelihood springs up.
For one of wrong livelihood, wrong effort springs up. For one of wrongeffort, wrong mindfulness springs up.
For one of wrong mindfulness,wrong concentration springs up. "

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7064
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

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

Postby Dhammakid » Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:42 pm

I think Tilt and Chris both covered my questions.

:anjali:
Dhammakid
User avatar
Dhammakid
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Georgia, USA

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

Postby chicka-Dee » Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:58 pm

Chris wrote:Without both study and practice, there is grave danger of going astray - or missing opporutnities in this rare human birth.


I completely agree. And we each must be responsible for telling the difference.

:namaste:
"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 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:43 am

.
Attachments
god.jpg
god.jpg (45.75 KiB) Viewed 295 times
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: 18385
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Turtle Island

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

Postby Ben » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:11 am

Nice one Tilt!
I think you should send them without delay to Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchins and Sam Harris!
What a hoot!
"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: 15797
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 Karma Dondrup Tashi » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:51 pm

Nice thread.

There is emptiness so the ultimate is not "person". Emptiness is also empty so the ultimate is not "no-person" either.

Ecumenism is BS. Let the Buddhists be Buddhists and the Christians be Christians. Squishing everything together into one soup tastes awful.

The only solution to the problem of evil is karma. Neither science nor God is the creator - you are.
User avatar
Karma Dondrup Tashi
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:41 pm

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

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:26 pm

This is an excellent documentary I recently watched:

http://www.thegodmovie.com/

User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7694
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

PreviousNext

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests