christopher::: wrote: Another even bigger question mark in my head though is how sure can we be that the Buddha really made these statements? I think its simply impossible to know.
That is one way to try to dismiss Buddhist teachings that make you uncomfortable. Given that this text is part of the Pali tradition and is also part of the Chinese version of what is found in the Pali suttas, what we have with this text is part of the larger early Buddhist tradition.
Who is the author of these statements about God, attributed to the Buddha, and have phrases been edited, mistranslated or added over time? How can we verify these statements about metaphysics, conversations with Gods and the underlying unseen nature of the Universe as truths?
You complain about the supposed anthropomorphized, literal god, and here you are responding to these things as if they are to be taken literally. Conversations with Brahma/God does not have to be taken as a literal fact to see that a point that is being made about what it is that the Buddha teaches concerning the supposed existence of something that is supposedly the cause of all existence.
Dalai Lama states:
"This principle [of Buddhism] means
that all conditioned things and events in the universe come into being only as a result of the interaction of various causes and conditions. This is significant because it precludes two possibilities. One is the possibility that things can arise from nowhere, with no causes and conditions, and the second is that things can arise on account of a transcendent designer or creator. Both these possibilities are negated."
The Buddha's teachings about how our minds work, about the 4 noble truths, 8 fold path, importance of precepts, the 4 brahma viharas, dependent origination and the ending of suffering have been verified by hundreds of thousands of practitioners across the ages. This is a recipe that has been handed to us, that we can test and apply ourselves, bringing observable results. Unfortunately, when it comes to statements about Gods and metaphysics, these teachings are unverifiable, we need to take them on faith.
Again, you have very literalistic response to these things. Using mythic language, a considerable amount of information can be gotten across. One does not need to take the mythic language literally for
the truth of what is being said to be understood.
There is a reason why a god view can be seen as a problem. It could be stated directly in this way:
"The assumption that a God is the cause (of the world, etc.) is based on the false belief in the eternal self (atman, i.e. permanent spiritual substance, essence or personality); but that belief has to be abandoned, if one has clearly understood that everything is impermanent and subject to suffering." Abhidharmakosha 5, 8 vol IV, p 1.
Or it could be expressed in mythic terms as we find in the Pali suttas.
I just wonder how helpful the idea of "No God" is for our practice, if asserted to as an essential truth to defend. It could obscure and hinder one's practice as much as the idea of God, if made too important, or held too tightly.
Because someone questions the notion of a god being presented repeatedly in a Buddhist context, that does not mean that they are holding too tightly to anything. What about the god-advocate who continually insists that god has a place here?
But at this point i have too many questions, few or no answers...
You might actually want to spend some time learning what it is that the Buddha taught.