Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby clw_uk » Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:09 pm

As Buddhists, I think we all need to get it straight: We too believe in heaven and hell and God and good and evil. We too strive for something else.



True but it depends on how one views them, some see them as real places after death and some view them as mind states and metaphors etc

This differs from most other religions views about heaven and hell etc as they see them as real places


Metta
Last edited by clw_uk on Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby genkaku » Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:12 pm

True but it depends on how one views them,


Right. It all depends on

Me.
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby kennycat » Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:20 pm

Hi all

I just happened to bump into this thread and this is my first post. :anjali:

Has anyone seen the sheer volume and type of feedback generated from people all over the world to the 'Just Be Good' website? http://www.justbegood.net/Comments.htm

Perhaps the results of the approach taken by the website to promote the Dhamma speak for themselves. :smile:
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby nathan » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:01 pm

Some will say Diamond Shreddies (trademark Post Cereal) are merely a state of mind (no more than surreal), others will insist that they have the same effects as the 'genuine' square shreddies do. Others say that the shreddies, formerly considered square are merely mythical or metaphorical and that now we glimpse the true diamond that was hidden within all along. Perhaps some will actually sort it out for themselves via appropriate practices in the lunch rooms and rest rooms at break times, of course no one is going to consider any of their input decisive either are they?
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby clw_uk » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:33 pm

Greetings


The site seems quite good, good introduction to Buddhism but it does seem to go into speculation to much talking about rebirth after death, planes of existence and so on which are in their very nature speculation but as it seems to be an introduction only to Buddhism i suppose they have their place there


The aiming for heaven bit i wouldnt agree with but it depends on the audience i suppose


Metta
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:44 pm

clw_uk wrote:
As Buddhists, I think we all need to get it straight: We too believe in heaven and hell and God and good and evil. We too strive for something else.

True but it depends on how one views them, some see them as real places after death and some view them as mind states and metaphors etc

This differs from most other religions views about heaven and hell etc as they see them as real places

This seems to me a silly thing to say. Just as in Buddhism there are individuals who depart from the mainstream teachings of heaven and hell as real places, in every other religion there are also individuals who similarly depart from the mainstream teachings. Buddhism teaches of literal heavens and hells, Christianity teaches of literal heavens and hells, and I have met plenty of Buddhists and Christians who personally regard these teachings as metaphorical.
- Peter

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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby clw_uk » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:59 pm

Peter wrote:
clw_uk wrote:
As Buddhists, I think we all need to get it straight: We too believe in heaven and hell and God and good and evil. We too strive for something else.


True but it depends on how one views them, some see them as real places after death and some view them as mind states and metaphors etc

This differs from most other religions views about heaven and hell etc as they see them as real places


This seems to me a silly thing to say. Just as in Buddhism there are individuals who depart from the mainstream teachings of heaven and hell as real places, in every other religion there are also individuals who similarly depart from the mainstream teachings. Buddhism teaches of literal heavens and hells, Christianity teaches of literal heavens and hells, and I have met plenty of Buddhists and Christians who personally regard these teachings as metaphorical.



Of course there are christians who consider heaven and hell and the like metaphorical, but they are considerably less in number than those who take them as real, there will always be slight exceptions
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby Lazy_eye » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:00 pm

If a Buddhist believes in literal rebirth, doesn't that imply the planes of existence are real destinations? Likewise, if one chooses to regard the latter as "metaphors" or "mind states", wouldn't that logically require seeing rebirth as metaphorical too?

Otherwise we have rebirth without a (literal) destination to be reborn into. The pegs don't quite line up.
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby clw_uk » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:08 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:If a Buddhist believes in literal rebirth, doesn't that imply the planes of existence are real destinations? Likewise, if one chooses to regard the latter as "metaphors" or "mind states", wouldn't that logically require seeing rebirth as metaphorical too?

Otherwise we have rebirth without a (literal) destination to be reborn into. The pegs don't quite line up.



If they hold a view of rebirth after death then yes of course one will see them as real places


Holding them as refering to psychological states that are entered into every day doesnt mean rebirth is a "metaphor" since this means rebirth happens everyday, this rebirth is very real and directly observable so its not speculating on what happens after death which the other rebirth view does (unless one can have insight into it)


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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:29 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Is promoting heavenly realms as a future destination a good or bad way to promote the Dhamma in the 21st century?

I think it is a good way for many people, but not all. Those more oriented toward faith and a better rebirth rather than "loftier" goals of nibbana, scholarly studies of the Suttas, Abhidhamma, etc.
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:30 pm

retrofuturist wrote:To borrow a line from the Mahayana tradition, I can see how this could well be one of the 84,000 Dharma Gates.

:thumbsup:
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:33 pm

appicchato wrote:the people (mostly one person) are based in Singapore and do many good works concerning Buddhism...including translating, and dispensing many books, CD's, and other material for free (postage too)...not everyone is 'on' the path, nor wants to be...these folks are reaching out, and I believe their hearts are in the right place...if I were asked... :heart:

:thumbsup: I agree. I like the website, it is not for all, but I think it represents a good teaching many Buddhists can relate to and can benefit from. I think it also shows the non-dogmatic nature of Buddhism, for example, the main premise that anyone can go to heaven. Compare with John 3:16, etc.
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:42 pm

clw_uk wrote:Of course there are christians who consider heaven and hell and the like metaphorical, but they are considerably less in number than those who take them as real, there will always be slight exceptions

It is the same in Buddhism.
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby nathan » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:57 pm

I've never been able to get my head around the point of preparing to deal with a metaphorical heaven or hell. I'd deal with the metaphorical suffering involved as well if that were the case. It makes about as much sense to me as working towards an allegorical awakening or a hypothetical maturation of insight wisdom. No need to weary me about how it is all happening in the present. Effectively speak to happening your way out of it continuing to happen from this present onward and you'll have my attention pronto. Spend that time trying to convince me that existence isn't happening also right now in a literal hell or a literal heaven and you are wasting both of our time. We are here, now. Best get to it before the hells or whatever else are as well. The whole modern inclination to blithely dismiss everything unknown to homo-prosaicus as unscientific is about to fall apart before everyone's eyes in the upcoming decades. It will be especially messy for those who have sheltered under the awning of that thin rhetoric. It does seem as if hell is willing to put in an appearance here on earth as an effective challenge to that conventional wisdom already. It also looks like the other team is probably going to sit this one out in the metaphorical grandstands.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby clw_uk » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:04 pm

Peter wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Of course there are christians who consider heaven and hell and the like metaphorical, but they are considerably less in number than those who take them as real, there will always be slight exceptions


It is the same in Buddhism.



My experience is roughly half each, at leas in west anyway
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby clw_uk » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:07 pm

nathan wrote:I've never been able to get my head around the point of preparing to deal with a metaphorical heaven or hell. I'd deal with the metaphorical suffering involved as well if that were the case. It makes about as much sense to me as working towards an allegorical awakening or a hypothetical maturation of insight wisdom. No need to weary me about how it is all happening in the present. Effectively speak to happening your way out of it continuing to happen from this present onward and you'll have my attention pronto. Spend that time trying to convince me that existence isn't happening also right now in a literal hell or a literal heaven and you are wasting both of our time. We are here, now. Best get to it before the hells or whatever else are as well. The whole modern inclination to blithely dismiss everything unknown to homo-prosaicus as unscientific is about to fall apart before everyone's eyes in the upcoming decades. It will be especially messy for those who have sheltered under the awning of that thin rhetoric. It does seem as if hell is willing to put in an appearance here on earth as an effective challenge to that conventional wisdom already. It also looks like the other team is probably going to sit this one out in the metaphorical grandstands.



Well they arent metaphorical as mind states, they are quite real

Spend that time trying to convince me that existence isn't happening also right now in a literal hell or a literal heaven and you are wasting both of our time. We are here,


I agree that there is heaven and hell right here, right now. They can be entered into at anytime via wholesome or unwholesome intentions

However Buddhism doesnt really hinge on if there is heaven or hell after death, the first noble truth states there is suffering, as in right here


Talking about heaven or hell that might be after death isnt really connected with Dukkha or its quenching and so its not the core of Buddhadhamma, its just going into speculation, reguardless of how real or not they are

To call something a foundation of the Buddhist Teachings is only correct if firstly, it is a principle which aims at the extinction of Dukkha [2] and, secondly, it has a logic that one can see for oneself without having to believe others. These are the important constituents of a foundation.

The Buddha refused to have any dealing with those things which don't lead to the extinction of Dukkha. Take the question of whether or not there. is rebirth. What is reborn? How is it reborn? What is its kammic inheritance [3] ? These questions are not aimed at the extinction of Dukkha. That being so they are not Buddhist teaching and they are not connected with it. They do not lie in the sphere of Buddhism. Also, the one who asks about such matters has no choice but to indis­criminately believe the answer he's given, because the one who answers is not going to be able to produce any proofs, he's just going to speak according to his memory and feeling. The listener can't see for himself and so has to blindly believe "the other's words. Little by little the matter strays from Dhamma until it's something else altogether, unconnected with the extinction of Dukkha.

Now, if one doesn't raise those sort of problems, one can ask instead, "Is there Dukkha?" and "How can Dukkha be extinguished ?". To these questions the Buddha agreed to answer and the listener can see the truth of every word of his answer without having to blindly believe them, see more and more clearly until he understands. And if one understands to the extent of being able to extinguish Dukkha, then that is the ultimate understanding. One knows that, even at this moment, there is no person living; one sees without doubt that there is no self or anything belonging to a self. There is just a feeling of "I" and "mine" arising due to the foolishness whereby one is deluded by the beguiling nature of sense - experience.

Therefore, there being no one born here, there is no one who dies and is reborn. So, the whole Question of rebirth is utterly foolish and nothing to do with Buddhism at all.


Ajhan Buddhadasa

http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... o_Tree.htm


Metta
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby kc2dpt » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:41 pm

clw_uk wrote:Talking about heaven or hell that might be after death isnt really connected with Dukkha or its quenching

Incorrect. They are precisely connected with understanding the full scope of dukkha.
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby salmon » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:13 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Salmon,

salmon wrote:I do not understand why people feel that this website (justbegood) is bad for Buddhism?


I do not think anyone has said it is.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Dear Retro,

Perhaps it is just my ignorant understanding of language, but when I read the following posts (quoted), it does ring out to me that some feel that the website will turn people away from the religion.

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Ed,

sukhamanveti wrote:For me it would have had the opposite effect (repulsion), if this had been my first exposure to Buddhism.


Mine too, on account of the reliance on sheer faith.



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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby fijiNut » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:58 am

Hi all,

I own a little booklet published by the author of the website, with the same title. It is a basic introductory booklet to Buddhism with a foreward by Ajahn Brahm who endorses this book, nothing else more to add in that regard.

Whether or not it is good or bad to just aim for 'heaven' or higher realms seems irrelevant to me, the fact that I'm born human in this life indicates without a doubt, there is more work to be done. :cry:

with metta,
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Re: Anyone can go to heaven, just be good

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:43 am

Greetings Salmon,

No, I just meant that it wouldn't have worked for me back in 2005 before I became Buddhist. Back then I found the Four Noble Truths a much better entry point.

As I said though, that's just me.... and not everyone is like me. Hence, why I wanted to find out whether "Anyone can go to heaven, just be good" would work as an entry point to the Dhamma for some people.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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