clw_uk wrote: wish thinking, false concept of morals or false concept of conditionality and so, for the most part, superstitious in nature.
no inherent meaning anymore other than having the ability to comfort ( and inspire art and poetry etc). Something that stands at odds with how we think, offering no evidence in support and so a system of non-thinking
People who are blind to the true reality (Dhamma) can speak only people language, the conventional language of ordinary people. On the other hand, people who have genuinely realized the ultimate truth (Dhamma) can speak either language. They can handle people language quite well and are also comfortable using Dhamma language, especially when speaking among those who know reality, who have already realized the truth (Dhamma). Amongst those with profound understanding, Dhamma language is used almost exclusively; unfortunately, ordinary people can't understand a word. Dhamma language is understood only by those who are in the know. What is more, in Dhamma language it isn't even necessary to make a sound. For example, a finger is pointed or an eyebrow raised and the ultimate meaning of reality is understood. So, please take interest in these two kinds of language - people language and Dhamma language.
To illustrate the importance of language, let's consider the following example. Ordinary, ignorant worldly people are under the impression that there is this religion and that religion, and that these religions are quite different, so different that they're opposed to each other. Such people speak of "Christianity," "Islam," "Buddhism," "Hinduism," "Sikhism," and so on, and consider these religions to be different, separate, and incompatible. These people think and speak according to their personal feelings and thus turn the religions into enemies. Because of this mentality, there come to exist different religious which are hostilely opposed to each other.
Those who have penetrated to the essential nature of religion will regard all religions as being the same. Although they may say there is Buddhism, Judaism, Taoism, Islam, or whatever, they will also say that all religious are inwardly the same. However, those who have penetrated to the highest understanding of Dhamma will feel that the thing called "religion" simply doesn't exist at all. There is no Buddhism; there is no Christianity and there is no Islam. How can they be the same or in conflict when they don't even exist? It just isn't possible. Thus, the phrase "no religion!" is actually Dhamma language of the highest level. Whether it will be understood or not is something else, depending upon the listener, and has nothing to do with the truth or with religion.
I'd like to give a simple example of people language, the language of materialism. "Water" will suffice. People who don't know much about even the simplest things think that there are many different kinds of water. They view these various kinds of water as if they have nothing in common. They distinguish rain-water, well-water, underground-water, canal-water, swamp-water, ditch-water, gutter-water, sewer-water, toilet-water, urine, diarrhea, and many other kinds of water from each other. Average people will insist that these waters are completely different, because such people take external appearances as their criteria.
A person with some knowledge, however, knows that pure water can be found in every kind of water. If we take rain-water and distill it, we will get pure water. If we take river-water and distill it, we will get pure water. If we take canal-water, sewer-water, or toilet-water, and distill it, we will still end up with pure water. A person with this understanding knows that all those different kinds of water are the same as far as the water component is concerned. As for those elements which make it impure and look different, they aren't the water itself. They may combine with water, and alter water, but they are never water itself. If we look through the polluting elements, we can see the water that is always the same, for in every case the essential nature of water is the same. However many kinds of water there may seem to be, they are all the same as far as the essential nature of water is concerned. When we look at things from this viewpoint, we can see that all religions are the same. If they appear different it's because we are making judgments on the basis of external forms.
On an even more intelligent level, we can take that pure water and examine it further. Then, we must conclude that there is no water, only two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. There's no water left. That substance which we have been calling "water" has disappeared, it's void. The same is true everywhere, no matter where we find the two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen. In the sky, in the ground, or wherever these parts happen to be found, the state of water has disappeared and the term "water" is no longer used. For one who has penetrated to this level of truth, there is no such thing as "water."
In the same way, one who has attained to the ultimate truth sees that there's no such thing as "religion." There is only a certain nature which can be called whatever we like. We can call it "Dhamma," we can call it "Truth," we can call it "God," "Tao," or whatever, but we shouldn't particularize that Dhamma or that Truth as Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, Judaism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, or Islam, for we can neither capture nor confine it with labels and concepts. Still, such divisions occur because people haven't yet realized this nameless truth for themselves. They have only reached the external levels, just as with canal-water, muddy water, and the rest.
Wikipedia has a pretty good one, but I adjusted it a little to include the "other worldly" dimension that I think is important and common in nearly all religions:
A religion is an organized approach to human spirituality which usually encompasses a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices, often with a supernatural or transcendent quality, concerned with life and morality in this world and some other world, be it a heaven or nirvana; that give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to a higher power of either:
concerned with life and morality in this world and some other world, be it a heaven or nirvana
Agnostics and atheists against religion:
Founders: Hume, Russell
Prophets: Harris, Dawkins
Texts: Ancient Greek works, European Enlightenment works
It merely means a person devotes themselves to a specific calling.
tiltbillings wrote:Since I first used the expression "religious impulse," what do think I might mean by it?
clw_uk wrote:Do you view nibbana as other wordly, wordly or both? I couldnt work out where you place it from what you said
I find this interesting. Atheists and agnostics are people who dont believe in some doctrine and some explain their reason for this to others. Lots of people dont believe in astrology and criticise it, are they part of some pseudo-religion?
How familiar are you with the history and origin of the idea of religion (the concept, not the phenomenon)?
.Religions are organizations or systems for spirituality and theology. Theology (theos) means, "An account of the gods," and spirituality (spiritus) means, "Pertaining to the spirit".
Since Buddhism rejects the soul and considers the gods to be minimally important, it is not a religion, because it is neither a form of spirituality or theology
zavk wrote:Hi all,NOTE: This was written for pink_trike in response to his questions in 'Buddhism and Religion'.
Ben wrote:Thank you Zavk that was a brilliant post. Earlier this morning I was talking to a co-practitioner about practicing Dhamma in daily life (with respect to the little renunciations and serving others) and what I was trying to communicate was a state of mind that borders on Caputo's all experience, has a religious character, .
Because of that, and because of what others have said with regards to the nature of Buddhist experience and how different it is from other conceptions or experiences of religion, I have found it nigh-on-impossible to give much of a meaningful response to Pink's original contention.
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