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I am a Buddhist and if anyone wants to question my beliefs then they are welcome to do so...

 
 
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 02:56 am
@vikorr,
vikorr wrote:

Is happiness then enlightenment?



It is the experience of enlightenment... enlightenment is beyond elaboration. So the experience of enlightenment is beyond elaboration but in words it is said to be unconditioned happiness. This means that it is an experience that persists even when in physical pain... and is not dependent on there being positive circumstances or negative for that matter.

It is not an experience that would distract one from helping others... that's all there is left to do... that is one's career from then on.. but one is happy at all times and in all circumstances but paradoxically one can still register physical pain... after all it is a form of wisdom in that it tells us something is wrong and if something can be done about it... we should try to alleviate the cause... even if it is only a temporary alleviation.

So, vikorr the experience of enlightenment is unconditioned happiness. Reality's innate quality.

igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 03:11 am
@tomr,
tomr wrote:

How does one end suffering?



In summary.. only one of many summaries. It is the best I can do at this moment.

By following the Buddha's teachings e.g. learning to meditate, learning how to reflect on the core teachings of the Buddha or the commentaries on those teachings. Requesting teachings from a qualified Buddhist teacher and then listening to them i.e. hear, reflect and meditate.

The whole path is to imitate the qualities of a Buddha until one has the causes and conditions to examine the true nature of reality and then realize its true nature directly in mediation. This puts an end to suffering and the experience of unconditioned happiness arises although even before this, mental suffering begins to diminish and innate happiness begins to arise from time to time.



Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 04:28 am
@igm,
igm wrote:

vikorr wrote:

Is happiness then enlightenment?



It is the experience of enlightenment... enlightenment is beyond elaboration. So the experience of enlightenment is beyond elaboration but in words it is said to be unconditioned happiness. This means that it is an experience that persists even when in physical pain... and is not dependent on there being positive circumstances or negative for that matter.

It is not an experience that would distract one from helping others... that's all there is left to do... that is one's career from then on.. but one is happy at all times and in all circumstances but paradoxically one can still register physical pain... after all it is a form of wisdom in that it tells us something is wrong and if something can be done about it... we should try to alleviate the cause... even if it is only a temporary alleviation.

So, vikorr the experience of enlightenment is unconditioned happiness. Reality's innate quality.


I thank you for your reply to me, igm, and I'll have more to say later about that. But something about this reply to Vikorr struck me as funny.

You might just as well be describing weed as Buddhism here.

Weed, apparently like Buddhism, doesn't end your pain, but it does tend to make you enjoy it.

There is something to be said for that...and I do not minimize it. But there is the irony.

My initial feelings are that Buddhism seems to effect its adherents the way Christianity effects Christians.

There is much talk about what the Buddha (Jesus or Paul) taught...and why those teachings are helpful in making a more pleasant and rewarding trip through life.

Golf can do that; tennis can do that; poker can do that; knitting can do that; movie going can do that; charity work can do that; education can do that; public service can do that; drugs can do that; killing other people can do that...and you get the picture.

I'll have more thoughts later...and a response to the response directed to me.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 05:40 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:


Weed, apparently like Buddhism, doesn't end your pain, but it does tend to make you enjoy it.

My initial feelings are that Buddhism seems to effect its adherents the way Christianity effects Christians.

There is much talk about what the Buddha (Jesus or Paul) taught...and why those teachings are helpful in making a more pleasant and rewarding trip through life.

Golf can do that; tennis can do that; poker can do that; knitting can do that; movie going can do that; charity work can do that; education can do that; public service can do that; drugs can do that; killing other people can do that...and you get the picture.




You make a very good point... I believe max went for heroin as an example, as opposed to weed, as you call it.

I thought christians believe that this was a 'veil of tears' i.e. The phrase vale of tears (Latin valle lacrimarum) is a Christian phrase referring to the tribulations of life which Christian doctrine says are left behind only when one leaves the world and enters heaven. In English, "valley of tears" is also used. Which I see as not giving much help in this very life.

The point to the Buddhist notion of happiness which is available to all... Buddhist and non-Buddhism alike... is that.. it is... unconditioned... it is just there. Whether one plays golf or not, takes weed or not, is health or unhealthy, rich or poor. Do you see what I'm saying?

The downside to the pleasure, that for example, can apparently be derived from golf is that it is impermanent and depends on certain causes and conditions e.g. you being healthy enough to play, the weather, how much disposable income you have etc... etc.. but the innate happiness that is just part of reality is unconditioned and depends on nothing or everything... it can't be tainted by the veil of tears.

0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 05:43 am
@igm,
As others have noted, igm, you seem to be operating in a mode consistent with most religious bents. Nothing “wrong” with that…nothing whatever “wrong” with belief systems. In fact, as has previously been noted, many people have their lives improved substantially by adherense to tenets of a belief system. Just want that clear before I say what I have to say here.

In any case, Christians can easily “see” that Jesus “died for their sins”…and then was resurrected. They can easily “see” that it makes sense for a god to “forgive their sins”, but only after they first torture and kill its son. Catholics can easily “see” that the god has three components…and that bread and wine transubstantiate into the body and blood of Jesus at consecration.

You can easily “see” that Buddha knew how to identify suffering…and knew how to “put an end” to it…and was able to establish landmarks to guide others to get to that particular golf course, so to speak.

I get that.

Do you also “see” that this may all be illusionary?

Do you also “see” that everything you are offering is simply glorified guessing about the REALITY?

Do you also “see” that Buddhism, no matter the inclusion or non-inclusion of a god like the gods of other religions…is just another belief system?

Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 05:45 am
@Frank Apisa,
By the way...I feel I obtain "contentment" (I do not use "happiness") from simply acknowledging that I do not know what the REALITY is...and from not making unnecessary guesses about it.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 08:42 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

Do you also “see” that this may all be illusionary?



I'm not sure what you are exactly referring to when you say, 'this'? I hope you'll agree that I might mistake the meaning you have in mind.

Frank Apisa wrote:

Do you also “see” that everything you are offering is simply glorified guessing about the REALITY?


What am I offering and does it represent all of the teachings that Buddha gave on understanding reality. Surely, you would only be in a position to make that assertion if you know what I am offering and you know what the Buddha taught on the subject. You can of course guess you are correct but you cannot assert it. It is like saying I don't know the way to this new golf course because I haven't got all the directions but I know that it won't lead me there.

Frank Apisa wrote:

Do you also “see” that Buddhism, no matter the inclusion or non-inclusion of a god like the gods of other religions…is just another belief system?




I am willing to see it but I'm not willing just to take your word for it... that would be foolish... you'll need to prove that it is just another belief system.

igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 08:49 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

By the way...I feel I obtain "contentment" (I do not use "happiness") from simply acknowledging that I do not know what the REALITY is...and from not making unnecessary guesses about it.


That's good, Frank! It would also be good if you took one of my points and refuted it. Just telling me you know something and that something is a correct assertion about Buddhism, without explaining why, can for the other person be a little unsatisfactory (I'm referring to your previous post to me). If you have explained one of your assertions must be correct and have given reasons then I apologize.. please point it out to me.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 08:53 am
@igm,
Quote:
Frank Apisa wrote:

Do you also “see” that this may all be illusionary?



I'm not sure what you are exactly referring to when you say, 'this'? I hope you'll agree that I might mistake the meaning you have in mind.


It is entirely possible that you could mistake my meaning...so allow me to clear it up.

The "this" in my comment refers to what I wrote immediately above it, "You can easily “see” that Buddha knew how to identify suffering…and knew how to “put an end” to it…and was able to establish landmarks to guide others to get to that particular golf course, so to speak."

Do you "see" that may all be illusionary?

Quote:

Frank Apisa wrote:

Do you also “see” that everything you are offering is simply glorified guessing about the REALITY?


What am I offering and does it represent all of the teachings that Buddha gave on understanding reality. Surely, you would only be in a position to make that assertion if you know what I am offering and you know what the Buddha taught on the subject. You can of course guess you are correct but you cannot assert it. It is like saying I don't know the way to this new golf course because I haven't got all the directions but I know that it won't lead me there.


I did NOT make an assertion, igm. I asked a question. Will you answer the question?

Quote:

Frank Apisa wrote:

Do you also “see” that Buddhism, no matter the inclusion or non-inclusion of a god like the gods of other religions…is just another belief system?




I am willing to see it but I'm not willing just to take your word for it... that would be foolish... you'll need to prove that it is just another belief system.


What do you mean "take my word for it?" It is a question...not an assertion. One way of answering it would be, "It is not a belief system." Then we could discuss that.

Rather than changing my questions (which you asked for) into assertions...would you mind actually answering them?


Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 08:54 am
@igm,
igm wrote:

Frank Apisa wrote:

By the way...I feel I obtain "contentment" (I do not use "happiness") from simply acknowledging that I do not know what the REALITY is...and from not making unnecessary guesses about it.


That's good, Frank! It would also be good if you took one of my points and refuted it. Just telling me you know something and that something is a correct assertion about Buddhism, without explaining why, can for the other person be a little unsatisfactory (I'm referring to your previous post to me). If you have explained one of your assertions must be correct and have given reasons then I apologize.. please point it out to me.



What assertions?
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 09:01 am
@Frank Apisa,
Ok Frank, I see... I apologise.. I now see they are questions... my answer is no to each question. My explanation is in the replies I gave in the post where you asked those questions. If you'd like clarification then please ask.
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 09:02 am
@Frank Apisa,
Please see my post above this one.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 09:15 am
@igm,
igm wrote:

Ok Frank, I see... I apologise.. I now see they are questions... my answer is no to each question. My explanation is in the replies I gave in the post where you asked those questions. If you'd like clarification then please ask.


So…igm…you are saying:

In answer to “Do you also “see” that this may all be illusionary?”…your answer is “NO.”

In answer to “Do you also “see” that everything you are offering is simply glorified guessing about the REALITY?”…your answer is “NO.”

In answer to “Do you also “see” that Buddhism, no matter the inclusion or non-inclusion of a god like the gods of other religions…is just another belief system?”…your answer is “NO.”

Well, with all the respect in the world, that is what so many theists do…they refuse to see the obvious; the contradictions that come from blindly accepting what is taught.

Buddhism apparently requires blind faith from you (I am not saying it requires it from all Buddhists)…and you are delivering.

Okay…that is your right, but defending that kind of thing seems absurd...and, if I may, a bit degrading to Buddhism.

Look at my questions again...and see if you did not respond to them in haste...and perhaps carelessly.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 09:26 am
@igm,
Igm,

Do you believe that the world view in Buddhism is better in any way than the world view of Christianity? I mean, do Buddhist have any better understanding of truth than Jehovah's Witnesses, or does the practice of Buddhism have any advantage to finding peace than the practice of Baptist worship? Are Buddhist beliefs any more true than the belief in the resurrection of Christ and the redemption of sin through faith?

Do you believe Buddhism superior in any way to Christianity?

igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 09:27 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

Well, with all the respect in the world, that is what so many theists do…they refuse to see the obvious; the contradictions that come from blindly accepting what is taught.



I will accept your conclusion if you show how I'm blindly accepting what is taught. I'm not by the way.

Frank Apisa wrote:

Buddhism apparently requires blind faith from you (I am not saying it requires it from all Buddhists)…and you are delivering.



I'd say I wasn't delivering but please explain how you have come to that conclusion? You haven't given any reasons.

Frank Apisa wrote:

Okay…that is your right, but defending that kind of thing seems absurd...and, if I may, a bit degrading to Buddhism.


What kind of thing am I defending? What ever it is why does it seem absurd to you? Why is whatever I'm defending, seeming to you to be degrading Buddhism. I am at a loss as you've not explained what you mean, nor have you given reasons for such an assertion.

igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 09:31 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Igm,

Do you believe that the world view in Buddhism is better in any way than the world view of Christianity? I mean, do Buddhist have any better understanding of truth than Jehovah's Witnesses, or does the practice of Buddhism have any advantage to finding peace than the practice of Baptist worship?

Do you believe Buddhism superior in any way to Christianity?



You might disagree but they are not the same thing. So they can't be compared. You have different vehicles for different destinations, for this reason alone neither is better just different e.g. a town car for town and an off-road car for dirt roads and mountain tracks. They are different so they cannot be judged.. apples and oranges.

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 09:36 am
@igm,
That is a cop out. You can compare apples and oranges if you specify how they are going to be compared. For example I can tell you which has more vitamin C, or which has more calories on average.

I am asking for a very specific comparison here.

Buddhism offers a view of what is truth and how to gain peace.
Christianity offers a competing view of what is truth and how to gain peace.

Is one superior to the other? Or are they both equally valid. For the record, I think they are equally valid.

Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 09:38 am
@igm,
Quote:
Quote:
Re: Frank Apisa (Post 5416235)
Frank Apisa wrote:

Well, with all the respect in the world, that is what so many theists do…they refuse to see the obvious; the contradictions that come from blindly accepting what is taught.


I will accept your conclusion if you show how I'm blindly accepting what is taught. I'm not by the way.


When you answered the question: “Do you also “see” that this may all be illusionary?” with a “NO”…you are asserting that you are accepting all that stuff blindly…without questioning it. How on Earth can you not see that it MAY be illusionary…without accepting it blindly?

Let's deal with this...and then go on to the others.


tomr
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 09:50 am
@igm,
Quote:
In summary.. only one of many summaries. It is the best I can do at this moment.

By following the Buddha's teachings e.g. learning to meditate, learning how to reflect on the core teachings of the Buddha or the commentaries on those teachings. Requesting teachings from a qualified Buddhist teacher and then listening to them i.e. hear, reflect and meditate.

The whole path is to imitate the qualities of a Buddha until one has the causes and conditions to examine the true nature of reality and then realize its true nature directly in mediation. This puts an end to suffering and the experience of unconditioned happiness arises although even before this, mental suffering begins to diminish and innate happiness begins to arise from time to time.


I have some problems with how the Buddha might have been the best guy to know about suffering. From the way I understand the account, and I believe the account of his life does vary somewhat, Siddhartha Gautama was a prince. He lived within palace walls for the first 20 - 30 years of his life. Then he went into the real world an percieved suffering. There was a sick person, and old person, etc... Then the Buddha went to reflect on these experiences and achieved enlightenment through meditation.

My problem is with the fact that the Buddha was an entitled person who had no first hand experience with pain himself. And I am of the opinion pain is not something you can really understand from watching someone in it. Now if the Buddha had actually experienced such suffering himself then he would be qualified to be an authority on it. But he lived in luxury for some time in his life and then goes outside and in a few years has it figured all out. When others have spent their whole lives suffering and no doubt trying to find a way to end that suffering. It looks suspicious to me. (But if you take it that reincarnation is real then he could have learned about suffering in a previous life and remembered those experiences in meditation. I don't.)

It is also my opinion that suffering is inherent in the mechanisms of the brain. Its not something you can wish away or meditate away. As long as you have consciousness suffering will be there. Meditation may help alleviate it (like a drug) but some ways to stop pain: is to not be conscious, or to fix the problem causing pain in the first place. Suffering is a like a system of protections that is built into your brain that tells you not to do something or to find a solution to some injury or illness. Why else would it exist?

My guess on what buddhists are actually doing is conditioning themselves to not be conscious. Or to distance themselves from pain through meditation. And/Or I suppose to promote a consciousness with sensations of happiness. Is this your understanding? Do you believe in reincarnation?
igm
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Aug, 2013 09:50 am
@Frank Apisa,
Frank Apisa wrote:

When you answered the question: “Do you also “see” that this may all be illusionary?” with a “NO”…you are asserting that you are accepting all that stuff blindly…without questioning it. How on Earth can you not see that it MAY be illusionary…without accepting it blindly?

Let's deal with this...and then go on to the others.


This is more like it Frank. Although others won't learn much about Buddhism now we are down to this level of discourse but if that is what you want then if I have time I'll oblige.

You have a 'may' in there Frank so what I'm saying is, 'No, reality, may not be, illusionary'. Show me how you can accuse me of blind faith when I say, 'Reality may not be illusionary'.

If you want to narrow my options down don't use words like 'may' and 'if'... it's entirely up to you of course.

 

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