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Is There A Life After Death

 
 
Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 12:41 am
The peace of your religion is counted in the grave stones of those killed to spread your religion. The cross and the sword; the sword of Islam.

What is your "knowledge" based on? Have you ever read a single Buddhist text? If you had even been reading posts by Buddhist here in the Spirituality and Religion forum, you would know that there are many different schools of Buddhism, each with somewhat different ways of expressing the fundamental beliefs of our religion. Let me repeat myself again, there are no gods in Buddhism. Those Buddhist schools that have large householder followers do use terms that can be translated as "heaven", but that is more of a metaphor than description of anything similar to the heaven you Christians and Muslims insist on. We also talk about "hells", but again what is being described is not any sort of objective reality.

Buddhism is centered on identifying the causes of suffering, and prescribing a means by which individuals can reduce their own suffering and the suffering of the world. Suffering comes from the mistaken notion that we live in a world of multiplicity, and our ignorance of the true nature of Ultimate Reality. Ultimately, the perceptual world is illusory; a dream. We become attached to the mistaken notion of self and ego. From that mistake, we follow our emotions and behave in ways that make suffering greater for ourselves and others. Many Buddhists have experienced the enlightenment of the historical Buddha, but it is a hard road to follow and most Buddhists choose to live in the mundane world.

Ah, well.
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satt fs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 12:58 am
Asherman..
I believe your knowledge on buddhism is correct.
However if you read scriptures of buddhism, some little parts of which I have read, not an explanatory pamphlet, you will find buddists talk about realms of heaven, animals, .. , or hell, from all of which they are trying to escape.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 01:06 am
To be enlightened is to be fully awake to Ultimate Reality. In that blessed state, there is no time or space. With out time, the enlightenment experience has no end, or beginning either for that matter. No self and no divisions of any sort exist in that state. The experience is ecstatic, far more profound than any experience we can have in the mundane world. Most often the individual who experiences non-duality, does return to the prosaic floating world to alleviate the common suffering.

With no creation of endings, Buddhism is based on the notion of infinity. There was no First Cause. In the absence of duality, there is no here or there. The idea of a god that exists outside of, and apart from the totality that is Ultimate Reality is laughable to knowlegible Buddhists. Ultimate Reality is undiffrentuated and without personality, it is the source of our dream that the perceptual world actually exists. There is however, an endless chain of cause and effect. Every thought, word and act we utter gives rise to effects, and most often those effects will lead to suffering. Buddhists tend to be very careful of what they think, say and do.

The Abrahamic god is a pygmy compared to Ultimate Reality.
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zgreatarteest
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 01:16 am
Asherman wrote:
Satt-focusable,

How is it that a non-Buddhist presumes to instruct and correct a Buddhist who has followed the Path for over forty years. I have degrees in Asian Studies, and did graduate work in Oriental Philosophy and Religion. My second language is Chinese, and I've been studying Buddhist texts since I was in my twenties. Perhaps, you have some authoritative citations from your profound studies that contradict my statement that in Buddhism there is no god? I'd be interested in having you deomonstrate your superior knowledge and understanding of my religion to me.

I think that tonight I'm on the prod. It seems that every little thing irks me today. The weather was cold, and I didn't get any studio time. Christmas presents sent to our youngest son didn't arrive, and we just recieved news of another death in the family; that's two this holiday alone. The ranks are thinning fast. Only one person left older than me. Oh well.


Well we do have something in common at least. I'm a nationally published
artist who didn't get any studio time today either. Dem bone do ache here
too. Sorry you have had a bad day.

I do will you wouldn't mix us Christians in with those Muslims whose
Allah is right out of the pit of hell. If you have any Christians with a
gun to your head trying to convert you, I will personally come to your
rescue and set them straight. The Koran demands you be converted
or killed. Don't call me when they show up.

You, Sir, are a very learned man in Buddism indeed. Some of the most
learned Christians I know are the dumbest most misguided people I
know. Some of the smartest Chrisitians I know cannnot read or write.
Thank God we don't have to be learned to follow Christ. He made it
so simple a child can understand it. It is not complicated, only the
LEARNED have tried there best to make it so. That's called religion.
Yes, there have many misguided nominal Christians throughout history.
You can't blame God for that. Blame the stupidiity of men.

As for the Pox, do Buddist cast spells? I know that Budda didn't want
to be worshiped, and that's about it. Since my God is in my heart instead
of my head I just don't have any reason to want to kneo more. I witness
his presence every day and believe in my heart that what He tells me
about being with Him for eternity or being seperated from Him for
eternity makes perfect sense in my heart by what I witness going on in
this world falling apart at the seams. I hope Budda will be there for you
when it gets much worse than it is now.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 01:18 am
All those "heavens" and "hells" are illusory, and the result of the mistaken notion that one can escape suffering through the pursuit of the senses, and attachment to the "self". In Buddhism there is no "self", or "soul", yet we talk about reincarnation. How can there be survival of that which is not? Properly presented reincarnation is the karmic residue of all our thoughts, words and actions. Reincarnation of the individual self is properly transmigration of souls; in Buddhism, no soul exists so no transmigration into a new life is possible. The same can be said about the notion of being consigned to some "heaven" or "hell" after death. For many lay Buddhists the cultural set of their national traditions are catered to as a means of transmitting the Teaching.

"What happens to the chairs deadmen sit on in your dreams after you have awakened?"
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zgreatarteest
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 01:26 am
Asherman wrote:
t Every thought, word and act we utter gives rise to effects, and most often those effects will lead to suffering. Buddhists tend to be very careful of what they think, say and do.

So do Christians for the very same reason.

The Abrahamic god is a pygmy compared to Ultimate Reality.


Hope you like Crow.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 01:33 am
Naw, I don't cast spells. Your willful blindness and unwillingness to accept the idea that you haven't the full, complete and total ownership of truth is its own curse.

Christian intolerance and use of force to convert others is well-known, and pervasive. The iron hand of the Church held Europe in its grasp for a thousand years by exterminating anyone who disagreed with it's basic tenents. When the printing press made dissent possible beyond small local communities, censorship was born. The wars of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation killed almost as many as the plague. One band of protestants, killed other protesants over the smallest deviation in dogma. The Holy Inquistion didn't just exist for a short while in a Spain, but was wide-spread, even in the New World. The Pueblo Indians of New Mexico were forcibly converted, and had feet cut off if they didn't abandon their own traditional religion. The Holy Inquisition must have had a field day as they tortured Amerinds for not believing in the loving nature of the Abrahamic god. Christian missionaries left their homes to harass and convert the Chinese, Indians, Pacific Islanders, Africans, et. al. No one asked them to come and make their lives generally miserable, but the Christians just kept coming as long as your sunday school pennies could be collected for "gods work".

How about showing us some of your work Zgreatarteest? You'll find a number of my paintings and drawings in the gallery. Currently, I have maybe half a dozen out in the public and several in progress. Almost all oil, with a few drawings. These days I'm mostly doing landscapes. Generally, when I'm painting I don't write much. That I've been writing a bit more lately is a sure sign I'm not in the studio. Got some nifty sable for Christmas, but I really wanted a studio easel. Oh well.
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satt fs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 01:37 am
Quote:
All those "heavens" and "hells" are illusory <..>

If all those "heavens" and "hells" were illusory, then your real life must be illusory. You mean everyting is illusory? Or you mean heavens or hells are in your mind and are illusory? Then your life as a minded existence must be illusory. What should be the distinction of real life as illusion and heavens or hells as illusion?
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 01:47 am
Yes, my life is illusory. Yes, everything we percieve is illusory. Yes, all "heavens" and "hells" are illusory.

The Floating World is a dream without a dreamer. The perceptual world where suffering is the norm, is without substance and is empty. The dream world we inhabit is maintained by our passions and attachment to the senses. There is no time and space, they only exist as part of our mistaken perceptions. The source of the illusion, or dream, is not a personality or separate entity of any sort. Ultimate Reality is without beginning, ending, or borders.

Ultimate Reality can only be fully grasped by those who experience enlightenment. What is it like not to exist as a separate ego? It sounds frightening to suddenly be without self, and outside of time and space. Actually, it is THE peak experience, and the means of transcending suffering. The transcending experience is one of "becoming" aware that we are, and always have been, indistinguishable from that single Reality that IS.

Imagine waking up to find that you are indistinguishably a part of your god. You were always god, and only your attachment to the World ever separated you from the devinity.
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satt fs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 01:54 am
If you love someone, life is not illusory.
If your life is illusory, why not seek better life in (illusory or real) life in heaven, with ideals?
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zgreatarteest
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 02:02 am
No I don't have the full, complete and total ownership of truth and do
not need it as long as my God has it. He is all knowing and guides
my path.

You are right about all you said about Christian intolerance. That
is the religion at work in the so called Christian church. That came
out of the religious church in Rome. I have no part of that bunch
today or ever will. A cult at best.

I do not yet have a website. Most of my pieces are commissioned
pieces by individuals, corporations and my publisher on the west
coast. I also have a background in engineering an design products
for manufacturing. I built a two story 1500 sq. ftl studio behind my
home a few years ago that I am enjoying greatly. My black lab and
constant companion and critic died this year and it a pretty lonely
place as a result. I could email you some samples or snail mail you a
couple of limited editions if you would like. I wound up building my
own large studiio easel. I would like to see some of your work. I
just turned 61, so we must be close in age.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 02:04 am
Love all you like, but love is also suffering. Form attachments that must always be broken, and you will suffer. Don't get me wrong, loving is better than hating, but not by very much since both are illusions that keep us from realizing the true nature of things.

The Buddhist does seek to escape the suffering naturally attendent upon living in the Floating World. That's what our religion is about, finding a means of stepping off of the wheel of causation and suffering. The historical Buddha, and many since who have experience enlightenment, have taught how we might best find enlightenment, and escape suffering. The path is hard, and only a few can spend their entire lives working at finding release. Most folks are content with trying to deal with the perceptual world, and accepting the suffering cards they are dealt. Some lay persons out of ignorance do "seek a better life in (an illusory) heaven. You can not escape the illusion by living illusionary lives. You only step off of the wheel, by experiencing enlightenment and banishing ignorance forever.
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satt fs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 02:11 am
Buddhism has enlightenment which brings about serene void, while another religion has delightful ideals (in heaven or in your mind) which buddhism lacks.
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 02:16 am
Zgreat,

Condolences on the loss of your dog.

The Christian Cult is everywhere, and it isn't confined to the formal churches whether based in Rome, or in East Prairiedog, Texas. Even the least intolerant of Christian sects, the Quakers, are known to burn books that even question the notion that anything other than their notion of Christianity might be correct. I've been a Buddhist since my early 20s in a culture that is dominated by narrow-minded followers of the Abrahamic god. I've yet to meet one who will honestly admit that their notion of god and Reality might be wrong. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting, and the taste of Abrahamic religion is intolerance, persecution, and blood.

I'll be 63 in March of the coming year ... old enough to know better. Some of my paintings and drawings can be seen on the gallery section of this site (A2K). You can upload digitals of your work there. I'll PM my Email address in a moment.

If you are "guided" by god, does that mean that you deny free will?
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Asherman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 02:19 am
We also lack the drive necessary to kill those who don't adopt our religion, and we generally avoid insulting people for having different beliefs. There has never been a war fought with Buddhism as its cause. Can you say the same for your religion?
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zgreatarteest
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 03:32 am
Asherman wrote:
Zgreat,

If you are "guided" by god, does that mean that you deny free will?


My God and me both insist on free will. Anybody that trys to force
anything on you to believe is not a Christian in the Biblical sense.

...I set before you life and death, blessings and cursing: therefore
choose life.......
Deuteronomy 30:19

A multiple choice with the answer given. I is a suggested answer and
not a command. A real no brainer. I can tell you have had some
bad experiences with religious Christians and have a bad taste in you
mouth just as I did. That is the reason I left denomonational churches
and am part of a Bible teaching church that will welcome you no matter
what you believe. If you are there to learn what we are about. All you
would do is sit and listen and you would not be indoctrinated. You could
make up you own mind. You want find that in a religious church. That
is why I keep telling you that I hate religion with a passion, just as my
God does. I don't want religion in any form called by any name.

"...and where the Spirit of the Lord is , there is liberty."
II Corinthian 3:17

Feedom in the Lord darn it........NOT RELIGIOUSNESS
Crazy Christians have made this so hard to get across to people.
Jesus mission on this earth wss to fight religion....and some Christians
insist on it anyway.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 03:47 am
While I find the teachings of Buddhism far more appealing than those of any other religion, and am a "part-time" Buddhist - if that makes any sense - and am prejudiced to agree with much of what you say - I think, Ash, that you are busy being as unjustifiedly dogmatic and righteous about your beliefs as z is being.

In the end, I agree that we cannot "know" the truth of either Buddhism, theist religions, or atheism - though we all tend to want to act as though we CAN KNOW what we merely believe.

The experiences in meditation of Buddhists, or those of mystical union with some deity or another for theists, while personally convincing for those who experience them, are nonetheless not proof of anything.
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zgreatarteest
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 03:49 am
Asherman wrote:
We also lack the drive necessary to kill those who don't adopt our religion, and we generally avoid insulting people for having different beliefs. There has never been a war fought with Buddhism as its cause. Can you say the same for your religion?


I can say that for true Christianity that follows the Bible and has
not been infected by RELIGIONESS.

No, I cannot say that about any religion. I know nothing about religion
that is true. It aways leads people astray one way or the other. Mostly by working on them from the outside in. The God I know works from the inside out. How can you mislead a person that is lead by his
heart and not his head? If you truly understand what I am saying by
that, your answer would have to be no. Otherwise, I am going to get
mumbo jumbo for and answer.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 03:58 am
So - anything with which you disagree, z, is, by definition "mumbo jumbo"?

You must hear little else...
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zgreatarteest
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2003 04:07 am
dlowan wrote:
So - anything with which you disagree, z, is, by definition "mumbo jumbo"?

You must hear little else...


No to the first part and yes to the second part. "Oh, me head", as you
would say. I think I'll just take a trip down under and bring some
shrimp and we can throw them on the barbie and talk about something
else. How's that sound?

Have a gooday, mate!
0 Replies
 
 

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