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  •  if this is the problem . . . . (7+ / 0-)
    I suspect that the problem is in the religiousity of it, and that in this aspect it inherits all the worst characteristics of religious tendencies.
    then try Zen.

    "Vast shapelessness, and nothing holy in it."  :)

    •  Or you can try HunterThompson-KurtVonnegutism. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dackmont, rat racer

      A non-religious religion.

      •  all the Asian mystic traditions are non-religious, (6+ / 0-)

        at their core. And oddly so are the Christian and Muslim mystical traditions. Zen in particular is vicious in its mockery of religious ceremonies, symbolisms, and rites.

        All of them boil down to essentially the same message----"be yourself". And that's a job solely and only for you--not even god can help you with that.

        •  Thats just not true (0+ / 0-)

          I mean, you can look at most religions eastern or western and find stuff in there that fits what you are saying, but to claim that this means that's what they are "at their core" is just wrong.

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:26:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  sure, it's true (0+ / 0-)

            Zen doesn't even have a god. "Vast shapelessness, and nothing holy in it".

            In Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism, there are zillions of gods, but all of them are just symbolic depictions of different aspects of reality.

            It has always amused me to watch atheists (and btw I do not assert or accept the existence of any god, gods, goddesses, or any other supernatural entity of any sort whatsoever) ponder Eastern mysticism.  They try desperately to push it into their "religion!!" pigeonhole---and it just doesn't fit.  :)

            •  Some Buddhism doesn't have a god (0+ / 0-)

              Some does.

              In Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism, there are zillions of gods, but all of them are just symbolic depictions of different aspects of reality.
              They are not just symbolic. Yes, in some strains they are, but not normally. Plenty of people who are practicing those religions would completely disagree with you on that.
              It has always amused me to watch atheists (and btw I do not assert or accept the existence of any god, gods, goddesses, or any other supernatural entity of any sort whatsoever) ponder Eastern mysticism.  They try desperately to push it into their "religion!!" pigeonhole---and it just doesn't fit.  :)
              It always amuses me to see Americans make broad claims about worldviews that they clearly aren't familiar with except in the American context. People actually worship the gods of Taoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. It isn't all just some giant metaphor. Sure, there are sects that take it all as a metaphor, but that's true with pretty much any set of beliefs that include supernatural beings. This whole "atheists just don't really understand Eastern religions/philosophies" thing is nonsense. Sure, there's ignorant atheists out there who make assumptions about these things, but there are plenty of atheists who actually understand eastern mysticism and "religion" quite well.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:56:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well sure. That's because the mystic traditions (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marina

                are all individualistic. Some people NEED that god-crutch, and so they get it.  Some people don't need it, so they don't get it.  (shrug)

                There are many many different levels of Buddhism. Some people never get further than the first few stages. Some people go all the way through (and the highest goal of Buddhism is to not need it at all).

                As I said before, the question to be asked of each view is not "is it right?", but "is it right FOR ME?"

                PS--I've been studying Taoism, Buddhism, Zen and Hinduism for almost 30 years now.  I'm a little bit familiar with them.  ;)

              •  ps--you are quite mistaken about this: (0+ / 0-)

                on gods and goddesses:

                They are not just symbolic. Yes, in some strains they are, but not normally. Plenty of people who are practicing those religions would completely disagree with you on that.
                That can be demonstrated pretty simply by merely asking "What is the name of god in Zen?"  (grin)

                But since there are plenty of Buddhists and Taoists right here, we can ask them right here: do you worship any Buddhist or Taoist gods?

                And I'll answer first:  Nope.  As I already noted, I do not assert, and do not accept, the existence of any gods, goddesses, or supernatural entities of any sort whatsoever, in any way shape or form.

                Your pigeonhole simply doesn't fit.  (shrug)

                •  Zen is just one sect (0+ / 0-)

                  And conflating Zen with the entirety of the tradition is just plain wrong. As I said, some of the sects have god(s) some don't.

                  But since there are plenty of Buddhists and Taoists right here, we can ask them right here: do you worship any Buddhist or Taoist gods?
                  I didn't say that people here necessarily believe in the various gods, in fact I would expect not. That is beside the point. How many people here are creationists? Does that mean that there are no Christians that are creationists? You're treating your experience with Buddhism as universal and it just isn't. You are the one pigeonholing Buddhism. I'm noting that that are a lot of different Buddhisms, and Taoisms, and Hinduisms, and that in a lot of them the gods are real, not just a metaphor. I don't see why you would be so resistant to admitting something that is obviously true.

                  If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                  by AoT on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:31:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I am resisting nothing. (0+ / 0-)

                    Indeed, I will simply quote myself again:

                    well sure. That's because the mystic traditions are all individualistic. Some people NEED that god-crutch, and so they get it.  Some people don't need it, so they don't get it.  (shrug)
                    Those who need a god-thing, can have one.  Those who don't, can not.  Buddhism doesn't care one way or the other.  (shrug)

                    What seems to be the problem with that?

                    You seem to be insisting that Buddhism has gods, then insisting you don't like it because it has gods---even though nothing in it requires any gods.

                    It's a pigeonhole that simply doesn't fit.  (shrug)

                    •  I never said I don't like it because it has gods (0+ / 0-)

                      I gave various other reasons for disliking Buddhism.

                      The problem here is that you've separated Buddhism out as a "mystic tradition" different from much of the actual practice of Buddhism so that you can claim it isn't really religious "at its core", along with all other "eastern mystic traditions" which you seem to define as those traditions that aren't really religious at their core. But that's not Buddhism in general, just a small bit of it. So yeah, what you're saying is true about some Buddhism, but not all by any stretch of the imagination.

                      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                      by AoT on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:44:30 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I can only repeat once more . . . (0+ / 0-)

                        Need a god-thing?  Have a god-thing.

                        Don't need a god-thing?  Don't have one.

                        It's all Buddhism. Buddhism doesn't have anything you "have to believe in".

                        That's what baffles the westerners. (shrug)

                        •  I'm not baffled at all (0+ / 0-)

                          In fact, that's exactly what I said, some sects have gods. You're pushing an orientalist view that makes these religions/philosophies more unitary than they are in fact. That's my issue. I am very well versed on Buddhism, both "mystic" and other sorts. The last thing I need is a lecture on how I just don't understand things because I'm an atheist. I made some points and your response was basically "man, but you don't understand." I do understand perfectly well.

                          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                          by AoT on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:31:34 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

      •  Bokononism 101 (0+ / 0-)

        "Live by the foma that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy."

        "Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so." - Robert Ingersoll

        by dackmont on Thu May 02, 2013 at 02:46:39 PM PDT

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    •  Someone told me that Zen does not have (0+ / 0-)

      reincarnation, as a consequence of passing through China. Can you confirm the absence of reincarnation?



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:31:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reincarnation is not Buddhist (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote, Catkin, Mindful Nature

        One of the basic doctrines  of all Budddhism- not just  Zen-  is anatman, or no-self. "You" and "I" are knots in the universe, or waves in the ocean of existence. The experience of  a self is essentially an illusion.

        the self-aggregate is not  eternal. When a being dies, it mostly collapses back into the universe. However, some of the energy of that being is the causation (or part of the causation) of a new being. Buddhists call  this doctrine "rebirth" to distinguish it  from the Hindu doctrine of reincarnation

        •  a standing wave (0+ / 0-)

          I wrote a a post on my blog over two years ago that discusses something very similar. Maybe I'll re-post it here.

          The opposite of life is not death, but indifference. -- Jaki Gefjon (A.A.Attanasio)

          by Max Wyvern on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:22:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ok, then, does Zen still have rebirth? (0+ / 0-)



          Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

          by Wee Mama on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:09:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why not? (0+ / 0-)

            (from the Heart Sutra)

            O
            Shariputra, here All things are pure for they are
            neither born Nor do theywholly die; they  are not
            stained Nor yet immaculate; increasing not, Decreasing
            not

            Is there a problem? You seem concerned.

            •  Did you read the earlier comment about (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              marina

              attributing a child's sexual abuse to their own prior actions? That is what strikes me as a concern about either reincarnation or rebirth if it attempts to connect our situation in this life to "our" (however you define it) own actions in earlier lives.



              Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

              by Wee Mama on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:33:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marina, AoT

                That's one of the creepier things about reincarnation to me. Of course, I tend to get creeped out by anyone dumping guilt on anyone. It often seems to say more about the dumper than the dumpee.

                You might enjoy my latest diary, actually written a couple of years ago, for an insight into the kind of reincarnation that makes sense to me.

                A standing wave

                The opposite of life is not death, but indifference. -- Jaki Gefjon (A.A.Attanasio)

                by Max Wyvern on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:00:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No guilt, no blame, no punishment (0+ / 0-)

                  If you let go the concept of punishment, it all works. This is the world of samsara, of unsatisfactory conditions. We don't believe in Someone Up There handing down punishment. Beings make mistakes. Bad things sometimes happen as a result of the mistakes.

                  A few months ago, a wonderful young woman I knew got run down in a crosswalk. It was an "accident." No one intended to kill her. But- the event happened due to natural laws of physics and of karma, of "causes and conditions." The world is not fair, as we use the term.

                  The Buddhist response is to have compassion for all beings, and to do the best we can to not add to the suffering of the world.

                  •  Perfect n/t (0+ / 0-)

                    The opposite of life is not death, but indifference. -- Jaki Gefjon (A.A.Attanasio)

                    by Max Wyvern on Fri May 03, 2013 at 01:08:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  On second thought (0+ / 0-)

                      Nothing is perfect ;)

                      The horrible tragedy you describe may have been an accident and the driver certainly didn't intend to kill, but some of the conditions that contributed could certainly have been in his or her power to avoid. He or she may have been drinking, texting, whatever. Should the Buddhist response be to simply forgive the driver? Maybe the best that can be done to not add to the suffering of the world would be to punish the driver for the avoidable mistakes they made with the hope that it would be a deterrent to similar behavior from others and consequently avoid future tragedies. In this case, the driver was probably sufficiently punished by the experience itself.

                      The opposite of life is not death, but indifference. -- Jaki Gefjon (A.A.Attanasio)

                      by Max Wyvern on Fri May 03, 2013 at 02:19:42 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  We cycle back to "What is good to do?" (0+ / 0-)

                        The driver, by the way, was charged with felony vehicular manslaughter.

                        The idea of forgiveness is to NOT act out of anger, or a desire to punish, but to decide "What is best to do in this situation." You are right that some punishment now may avoid more harm later. Also, some people are unable to function in society, and others should not be driving.

              •  No, I missed that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                la motocycliste

                However this notion of paying for past "sins" seems very much to be a judeo Christian import.  Mostly, rebirth seems wrapped up in ideas of dependent origination.  In an oversimplified summary, our actions and thoughts now give rise to our future self "reborn" in that the habits and attitudes we have shape who we are tomorrow. This is a constant process of rebirth dependent in part on our past actions.  Note, this is entirely different from the notion that some supernatural or divine force is punishing people for bad acts centuries ago.  That formulation is out of place in that Buddhism doesn't posit a judging god. Instead it is a lot more a phenenological description of how our consciousness evolves and shapes itself in a dialectical manner.

                Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

                by Mindful Nature on Fri May 03, 2013 at 01:00:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't think I used punishment in the original (0+ / 0-)

                  comment. In any case, leave out the idea of punishment. It is difficult for me to accept a world view that says that the sexual abuse of a child in this life is a consequence of her own actions in a previous one.



                  Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                  by Wee Mama on Fri May 03, 2013 at 07:52:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It seemed implied (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Wee Mama

                    In the formulation you described.  That seems punitive to me.  In my limited study I have not encountered any doctrine that would predict or explain that actions now would cause sexual abuse in the future.  

                    The key distinction is between suffering and pain. That is, by mental practice we can change our mental habits and reduce how much we suffer as the result of painful events (ie "external" events like disease or age or having bad things happen. Future suffering can be reduced by our actions since each moment we experience is shaped by our past attitudes.  However, I have never once encountered a single doctrine that would suggest that our past actions have any influence over the occurrence of pain.  Now, I don't subscribe to this notion of multiple lives and rebirth in that literal sense, and have been described by Bachelor and Rampula and others, this notion of  a soul being reborn is ultimately contradictory to the core Buddhist doctrine of no self ("anatman" in Pali, which could also be closer to a doctrine of "no soul".  The root "Atma" is the same as in "Mahatma" or great soul). Buddha seems to have been reasonably clear that the self is an illusion that emerges from perception.  Thus, if there is no soul, there is nothing to be reorn from one body to another.  Note though that many Buddhists, such as in Tibet, do believe in such reincarnation, but there is a question of whether this is a Buddhist idea or an older cultural idea held by some Buddhists.  Perhaps the closest analogue is the question of whether believing the sun revolves around the earth is a Christian belief of simply a common beleief that was held by Christians for a time historically.

                    So no, I think the statement that her past actions causes present painful external events makes no sense to me based on my limited understanding.  Present suffering, perhaps, but present pain?  Not so much.  

                    I could well be wrong though

                    Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

                    by Mindful Nature on Sat May 04, 2013 at 09:38:01 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Buddhist differ (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Wee Mama

        In this.  I follow a Theravada tradition that doesn't come by way of China and most of my teachers do not subscribe to reincarnation as a core tenet.  It varies quite a bit. Buddhism is extremely diverse

        Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

        by Mindful Nature on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:51:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  or any (0+ / 0-)

      of a host of other schools.   Many practitioners do not take a religious approach.

      Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

      by Mindful Nature on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:41:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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