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Is Buddhism a philosophy or a religion?

buddhism philosophy religion

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#241    Paranoid Android

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:01 AM

View Postthe L, on 10 March 2013 - 06:39 PM, said:

There is place sort like Heaven where people who had good karma become sort like angel figures. You need to research a topic. :tu:
Perhaps in a transitory sense, though not all strands of Buddhism hold this to be true.  But for those that do believe it true, ultimately it will still result in returning to the cycle of rebirth and suffering, which is tragic and not the goal of Buddhism.  The goal of Buddhism is to escape the cycle of rebirth and suffering altogether by not accumulating Karma at all (good and bad included) and thus achieving "Nirvana", which is the extinguishing of your life force completely (like blowing out a candle). You need to research a topic. :tu:

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#242    Big Bad Voodoo

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 04:56 AM

View PostParanoid Android, on 11 March 2013 - 04:01 AM, said:

Perhaps in a transitory sense, though not all strands of Buddhism hold this to be true.  But for those that do believe it true, ultimately it will still result in returning to the cycle of rebirth and suffering, which is tragic and not the goal of Buddhism.  The goal of Buddhism is to escape the cycle of rebirth and suffering altogether by not accumulating Karma at all (good and bad included) and thus achieving "Nirvana", which is the extinguishing of your life force completely (like blowing out a candle). You need to research a topic. :tu:

Post 189. :tu:

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#243    sutemi

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 06:11 AM

PA. To research true Buddhism one must practice meditation. In the Buddha story he tried everything he could, but ONLY when sat and meditated did he achieve his goal. Direct experience through Meditation is the key.
“He is awake and finds joy in the stillness of meditation
The masters only point the way. But if you meditate and follow the dharma
You will free yourself from desire. Sit in meditation, sit in light. Choose your seat. Let wisdom grow.
Seeker! Do not be restless. Meditate constantly. Beyond the beyond, Where there is no beginning,
No end. Without fear, go. Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work, with mastery. By day the sun shines, And the warrior in his armour shines. By night the moon shines, And the master shines in meditation. The Dharmaparda.
Without meditation you will never understand, here’s a quote from Krishna Murti
” For the total development of the human being, solitude as a means of cultivating sensitivity becomes a necessity. One has to know what it means to be alone, what it is to meditate, what it is to die; and the implications of solitude, of meditation, of death, can be known only by seeking them out. These implications cannot be taught, they must be learnt. One can indicate, but learning by what is indicated is not the experiencing of solitude or meditation. To experience what is solitude and what is meditation, one must be in in a state of inquiry; only a mind that is in a state of inquiry is capable of learning. But when inquiry is suppressed by previous knowledge, or by the authority and experience of another, then learning becomes mere imitation, and imitation causes a human being to repeat what is learnt without experiencing it!” Krishna Murti


#244    Paranoid Android

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:18 AM

View Postthe L, on 11 March 2013 - 04:56 AM, said:

Post 189. :tu:
None of that takes away from the three points I am making:  1- Not all Buddhists believe in heaven, 2- those that do believe in heaven only believe in a transitory one and that because it still accumulates Karma it is therefore ultimately tragic, and 3- Nirvana is not "beyond heaven" as you wrote, but actually is an anti-heaven, pretty much the exact opposite of heaven as it is believed by other faiths.

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#245    Paranoid Android

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:30 AM

View Postsutemi, on 11 March 2013 - 06:11 AM, said:

PA. To research true Buddhism one must practice meditation. In the Buddha story he tried everything he could, but ONLY when sat and meditated did he achieve his goal. Direct experience through Meditation is the key.
I am not inclined to "experience" Buddhism via meditation.  I have found my path and am quite content where I am in my walk of life.  I'm also content knowing the basics of Buddhism intellectually without the experience of it.

That's not to say I've never meditated.  I do meditate, but not in a desire to purge my attachment and thus end any suffering, it's just a good way to relax sometimes.  One could even argue that prayer is a form of meditation.

Edited by Paranoid Android, 11 March 2013 - 07:46 AM.

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#246    eight bits

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 09:08 AM

PA

Quote

1- Not all Buddhists believe in heaven, 2- those that do believe in heaven only believe in a transitory one and that because it still accumulates Karma it is therefore ultimately tragic, and 3- Nirvana is not "beyond heaven" as you wrote, but actually is an anti-heaven, pretty much the exact opposite of heaven as it is believed by other faiths.

Which works out great, because the majority of Christians belong to churches which teach the desirable endstate is not to go to a place but to be in a specified kind of relationship with God.  This occurs eventually outside of time and space, and so necessarily not "in any place," except possibly a transitory one (before an embodiment in a "new heaven and new earth").

Given the fractious relationships among Christian churches over the centuries, it might be fair to describe eternal theosis as an "anti-heaven" (to the extent that some conceive of heaven as a place, and so, not as eternal, but merely everlasting). It is interesting that the dividing lines across the Great Schism include how nearly fully theosis can ne attained during natural life. In particular, the Roman and Eastern Orthodoxies dispute over whether it is possible for a natural living person to lose all "inclination to sin," which is a lot like "accumulating Karma."

Of course, simply to be wholly eternal would necessarily remove someone from participation in time and space. Buddhist articulation of "participation in time and space" would naturally favor antecedent Indo-European notions. Given that the subject matter is ineffable, it seems odd to quibble over two articulations of the same fundamental idea, couched in the language of their respective cultures of origin.

The core question of the thread is whether Buddhism can ever be described as a religion. Clearly, the proposition "a human being may exist wholly outside time and space" is facially religious, on pain of saying that Christianity can only be described as a philosophy and never as a religion. Since the Semitic monotheisms incorporate the ground of being into their respective Gods, even the state envisioned by Buddhists and beatific visionary Christians is parallel, except for the signature Christian and originally Pharisaic belief that the righteous will get bodies again.

Edited by eight bits, 11 March 2013 - 09:10 AM.

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#247    sutemi

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 09:49 AM

View PostAtentutankh-pasheri, on 10 March 2013 - 06:59 PM, said:

Is it possible to have two religions within your head? rather like holding two contradictory thoughts at the same time and believing both of them. I ask because in Japan they have Shinto which is clearly a religion, and they are Buddhists at the same time. So, do they see Buddhism as something not quite a religion. Any Japanese here?
Check out Morehi Ueshiba's book ,'The Art of Peace' it is free on the net although some will try to charge. He was Brought up in Buddhist type school in Japan but was into Shinto. It is a very beautiful but some of it is about trainig in the martial art of Aikido.
" Each and every Master, regardless of era or place heard the call and attained Harmony with heaven and earth. There are many paths to the top of mount Fuji but there is only one summit - Love" M.Ueshiba 'the Art of Peace'


#248    third_eye

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:15 AM

mysticism and why it is a problem for the western mind

Quote

' ... life and death carry on as they always have ~ and always will, only the dreamer is gone ~ behind the flow of imagination, beyond any effort to be still
dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions, only the dreamer is gone ~ the dream never ends
'

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#249    Frank Merton

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:45 AM

To me I suppose, after reading all these views, the Buddhism is philosophy with a few religious tics.

That is because I am seriously doubtful about the core Buddhist religious teachings: Enlightenment, Nirvana, Samsara, Rebirth (reincarnation).  I don't exactly reject them -- I tend to view them as more likely than other things religions teach, which strike me as simply absurd.  Still, I figure the odds are than when we die we die, end of story.

Where Buddhism helps is as a philosophy -- kinda the Asian equivalent of Stoicism.  We suffer for three main reasons -- because we desire things and then either suffer frustration when we can't have them or loss when we get them and later they go away -- because we are revolted or repulsed by things -- we make judgements about people or thngs that are "bad" and hence are bothered by them (especially physical discomforts) -- and finally we suffer delusions.

It takes time and study to understand how all this works.  The above paragraph must be confusing but once we understand it we see its truth and this enables us to deal with and be happy with whatever comes our way.

A second aspect of Buddhist philosophy is detached compassion for all other people, for all sentient beings (mainly animals) and for the world.  Generosity without foolishness, empathy, even love (although that is in my mind a Western romantic and excessive and unreal notion).

Finally there is the Buddhist moral construct, not based on any set of rules (although there are guides) but on what does the least harm.  This is tied in with karma, although karma is not the reason we do what is right, but the consequence.  I do not see karma as religious or mystical in any way, but just simply a description of how the world generally works.  The gambler in a casino may win in the short run, but usually not, and will always lose in the long run.  The same happens to those who do evil.


#250    third_eye

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:54 AM

View Postsutemi, on 11 March 2013 - 09:49 AM, said:

Check out Morehi Ueshiba's book ,'The Art of Peace' it is free on the net although some will try to charge. He was Brought up in Buddhist type school in Japan but was into Shinto. It is a very beautiful but some of it is about trainig in the martial art of Aikido.
" Each and every Master, regardless of era or place heard the call and attained Harmony with heaven and earth. There are many paths to the top of mount Fuji but there is only one summit - Love" M.Ueshiba 'the Art of Peace'

thanks for the recommended title :tu: :tu:

Edited by third_eye, 11 March 2013 - 10:55 AM.

Quote

' ... life and death carry on as they always have ~ and always will, only the dreamer is gone ~ behind the flow of imagination, beyond any effort to be still
dancing in the ebb and flow of attention, more present than the breath, I find the origins of my illusions, only the dreamer is gone ~ the dream never ends
'

GIFTS WITH NO GIVER - a love affair with truth ~ Poems by Nirmala

third_eye ' s cavern ~ bring own beer


#251    Br Cornelius

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 10:55 AM

A perfect summation Frank :tu:

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#252    Frank Merton

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 01:13 AM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 11 March 2013 - 10:55 AM, said:

A perfect summation Frank :tu:

Br Cornelius
Well thanks, but not quite.  I left out a whole bunch of things, in fact probably the more interesting things -- meditation and Buddhist teaching methods (fables, koans, etc.), Hindu/Buddhist cosmology, religious tolerance, and Buddhist psychology and the understanding of the essentially illusory nature of our world.


#253    sutemi

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:02 AM

Hi PA, Your 'not inclined to experience Buddhism through meditation', well of course not your a christian, but then you're not alone most lay buddhists dont want to meditate either, for them it is a religion/philosophy not a path to enlightenment.
'One could even argue that prayer is a form of meditation' One could try but One would be wrong. take care

'Where ever you go, go with all your heart' Confucius


#254    Babe Ruth

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 01:18 PM

I think Alan Watts' favorite 'religion' was Buddhism, the most respectable religion.  I have read much of Alan Watts' work and greatly enjoyed it.

Herman Hesse with 'Siddharta' and others also glorified the Buddhist philosophy.  I like it, and find it a good way to view life. :tu:


#255    Mr. Miyagi

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 02:13 PM

Drive by Miyagi posting!!

I haven't read the whole thread so excuse me if this point of view has already been presented. in answer to the OP... Honestly, it depends on the Buddhist and what they believe. Buddhism adapts to the culture of it's practitioners. At it's core it is a philosophy. The 4 Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path. That's the core. Belief in Karma and Rebirth, Nirvana, etc, do not require belief in order for them to exist, if they exist at all. They are results of our actions and not rewards or punishments for them to be issued by a god or gods. Buddhism has adpated to certain cultures over time that include the existence of deities and heavens and hells etc... However they are viewed merely as another form of existence and NOT the end result. Not Nirvana. One can be a god in a heaven and still not be enightened.

Back to the core here. Now some may argue that this point of view would not fall into "Right View". I argue that it must. As a Buddhist one strives to understand Anatta which is sometimes referred to as "no self" but more accurately translated as "not self". The notion of the self is constantly in flux depending on a variety of factors. The point is that there is nothing to become attached to in regards to the "self". We have no choice but to live from moment to moment. We cannot live yesterday or tomorrow therefore we musn't become attached to these concepts. One should not believe in Nirvana but wait to experience it. It's existence or non existence is irrelevant if one continues to live in the moment and follow the Eightfold Path. It's not a goal to achieve. It just happens.

In short, if one wishes to approach it as a religion, they may and there's a strong argument to be made in that regard. However, because we are dealing with what would be natural reactions to our actions, a belief in any metaphysical aspects of Buddhism are not required and I'd argue should be discouraged as they lead to attachment. In that regard it's a philosophy. A point of view to help us get from day to day in what can be a pretty miserable existance for people at times.


Thanks for reading!

Edit- Spelling and what not lol

Edited by Mr. Miyagi, 12 March 2013 - 02:24 PM.





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