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View Diary: I sucked at Buddhism last night (257 comments)

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  •  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

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              •  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

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                  •  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 ]

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