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matteoam last won the day on December 23 2013

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About matteoam

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  1. "The Buddha taught that we hold our fate in our own hands. We have the means to put an end to suffering in this life, and end the cycle of future rebirths. This is not the Christian understanding of the nature of suffering. Suffering is seen as inevitable, and I think Jesus saw it in the same light. In any case, he didn’t actually “teach” an end to suffering in this life. That is not to say he didn’t think it was possible, only that he didn’t tell us how it might be accomplished." So now you're talking about the Eightfold Path - the cessation of suffering. The Buddha though he told us not to worship him - and it's a contended issue as to whether Jesus ever said that or that he was God, but that his relationship with God as he understood it to be - within the Jewish tradition - was so that he was intimate with it - and that we should not trust him, he still allowed himself to be venerated by his followers. Buddha may not be what he developed into by later Buddhists, again, an area of contention among Buddhists, but he always made himself front and center of the dharma. Jesus spoke about the nature of suffering, as did Buddha. Both of them had similar ways to alleviate suffering. Again, I am arguing not the Christ of tradition, but what can be gathered of the historical Jesus. Steve I think your statement that "when we reject this doctrine, a Christian must find a different way of explaining why we suffer in this world. There is just no good answer to this. God must be an evil god, or an uncaring one, to allow his creatures to suffer so" seems contradictory. First, you don't accept the doctrine of original sin, then you reject the notion that the Christians who believe it, then you reject the notion of God, which you don't believe in. ​My argument is what Jesus taught and not what some Christian theology teaches. There is no notion in the Hebrew scriptures of original sin. Ask any Jewish person who knows their books. Also, the doctrine of original sin is not even something ALL Christians agree upon and it is not something you say is a matter of orthodoxy or traditional. The Eastern Orthodox Church does not accept the notion of original sin as St. Augustine (and later the Calvinists built on) puts forth. The Mormons don't. The Swedeonborgians don't. PCers don't. So when you use the term "Christian" you should be specific what you mean. So, both Jesus and Buddha both talk about the nature of suffering. They both discuss ways in which suffering can be alleviate in this lifetime. In John 9 its clear that Jesus goes against the notion that people suffered but Jesus told them not to be afraid, Matthew 10, or not to worry in Matthew 6. . This to me points to right view and right intention. Jesus taught not to crave, to desire, to covet in Luke 12. Jesus taught to have right speech, action, and livelihood - an ethical code to live by. Jesus talked in the hear and now - the Kingdom of God - NOW. Not later - that is not what he taught. Jesus taught to be mindful - in the sense of mindfulness - in Matthew 18, Matthew 26, and Matthew 14. I fully accept the I AM statements Jesus made about himself NOT as him being God incarnate, but as his relationship with God, as he understood it in his tradition and in his time and place, as being as one. In John 9 through 14 and beyond, over and over again Jesus tells people about his "relationship" with God and they misunderstand him and ignore him. They accuse him of things he did not say as they misinterpret him. Maybe it was his fault and he wasn't clear enough. I don't see Jesus as Christ. I see him as Jesus, a flawed all too human being who had an incredible experience. i believe that there is enough of this humanness that is retained in the gospels. If the NT were onus the epistles and the other books, minus the gospels, I wouldn't accept Jesus as anything. You also haven't defined a "fundamental equivalent". But I sense that no matter what I say, you really don't care. Maybe Jesus had contact with Buddhism maybe be didn't. No one knows. There is no reason to discount the writings of those who say he did, however, as they simply point to the reality that Jesus was as much a human as all of us who was on a journey that whether any of us believe or not, still affects us and makes us react to it, positively or negatively. That alone points, like the Buddha, no matter what anyone thinks about him, to a fundamental equivalent in their respective traditions to address deep-seated and truthful existential problems that even the most ardent atheist ponders on some level.
  2. Is a fundamental equivalent the state or fact of something being equivalent; equal in valuer or force? If so, then the only way to determine the fundamental equivalent when discussing Buddhism and Christianity is not that they are the same, but that they hold similar beliefs. It's not a surprise that Elisabeth Clare Prophet and others have seen something in Jesus's teachings that make them think about Buddhism. They both deal with the human experience. They both offer similar, but not necessary identical ideas about what it means to be a human being and how to deal with the suffering that is in this world. Jesus says that suffering just is. I am not talking "original sin" because as a Jew living back then, from what I know, that concept did not exist. Paul did not outline original sin. At least that is not how I have come to re-read Paul. See Tom Holland's Contours of Paul's Theology. http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2009/01/original-sin-part-4-fyi-paul-never.html After meditating on scriptures, in my own experience, and in coming a across this book from this article (this website, Experimental Theology, is pretty good, by the way) I was really able to brush away any residue of original sin in my mind which was instilled in my upbringing. Jesus said nothing of original sin. Neither did the Buddha. That is just one example of something of fundamental equivalent between the two of them.
  3. "...if someone could explain some fundamental equivalents in both teachings that would certainly give me pause to reflect." What is a fundamental equivalent, then? Please define that as I may not understand what you are talking about.
  4. Steve and I disagree with your statement that you disagree with my statement. Why is it absurd? I am not trying to be a reductionist here. I agree there are differences between the traditions. I don't ignore the differences in world religions. "For your information, there are many Buddhists who, while not neccessarily dogmatic, are very concerned with "right view", one element of the Eightfold Noble Path. This "right view" is an understanding, acceptance, and ultimate realization of the Buddha's teachings." Yeah, and?
  5. This is the reading list the White Robed Monks have on their site. I have read most of them, but more than just being intellectually fulfilling, they have present me with the opportunity to go beyond the limitations within myself and allow me the see the idea that the same old arguments about this or that aspect of theology, or about this or that tradition, can and should be transcended. The Holy Rule of St. Benedict Abe, Masao. Zen and Western Thought Barnhart OSB Cam, Bruno and Joseph Wong OSB Cam. Purity of Heart and Contemplation: A Monastic Dialogue between Christian and Asian Traditions Bielefeldt, Carl. Dogen's Manuals of Zen Meditation Borg, Marcus (Ed.). Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings Carter, Robert E. The Nothingness Beyond God: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Nishida Quitter Cobb,Jr., John B. and Christopher Ives, eds. The Emptying God: A Buddhist-Jewish-Christian Conversation Epstein MD, Mark. Thoughts without a thinker Fry OSB, Timothy (Ed). The Rule of St. Benedict Funk, Mary Margaret. Thoughts Matter: The Practice of Spiritual Life Graham OSB, Aelred. Zen Catholicism: A Suggestion Griffiths OSB, Bede. The Marriage of East and West Gyatso, Tensin (Dalai Lama XIV). The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus Gyatso, Tensin (Dalai Lama XIV). Spiritual Advice for Buddhists and Christians Gunn, Robert J. Joourneys into Emptiness: Dogen, Merton, Jung and the Quest for Transformation Hackett, David G. The Silent Dialogue: Zen Letters to a Trappist Abbot Hanh, Thich Nhat. Living Buddha, Living Christ Henry, Patrick, ed. Benedict's Dharma: Buddhists Reflect on the Rule of St. Benedict Johnson, Willard. Riding The Ox Home: A History of Meditation from Shamanism to Science Kasulis, T.P. Zen Action/Zen Person Katagiri, Dainin. Returning to Silence Kennedy SJ, Robert F. Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit: The Place of Zen in Christian Life Lopez, Donald S and Steven C. Rockefeller (Eds). The Christ and the Bodhisattva Merton OCSO, Thomas. The Wisdom of the Desert Merton OCSO, Thomas. Zen and Birds of Appetite Mitchell, Donald W. & James Wiseman, eds. The Gethsemani Encounter: A Dialogue on the Spiritual Life by Buddhist and Christian Monastics Mitchell, Stephen. The Gospel According to Jesus Steindl-Rast OSBC, David. A Listening Heart: The Art of Contemplative Living Susuki, Shunryu. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind Teasdale, Wayne. A Monk in the World: Cultivating Spiritual Life Uchiyama, Roshi Kosho. Approach to Zen
  6. http://www.wrmosb.org/nonduality/index.html This is just one source which has opened my heart. I am a better Christian in my practice of Buddhism and in my knowledge if all world religions because I deeply believe that all strive to define what it means to be human. Even an atheist could draw do much non-theistic knowledge if what it means to be human. God isn't needed to be human.
  7. http://buddha-christ.info/faqs.html Now I don't know if Jesus had any contact with Buddhism. Since he was Jewish I can only see what the Judaism of his time had to say and there are many opinions. But there is enough interfaith dialogue between Christians and Buddhist with a bibliography that would be the length of your arm to suggest common ground in the human experience to say there are enough similarities in the traditions. Each are also unique in their differences which should be respected. Steve I disagree with you about the general statement " the more one penetrates the teachings of the Buddha, the fewer similarities one finds with the teachings of Jesus. Fundamentally, they are completely different, mainly because they employ contradictory axioms to arrive at their conclusions. Of course, if someone could explain some fundamental equivalents in both teachings that would certainly give me pause to reflect." Well yes I have stated that've get are different axioms. No one can deny that. But us shims is not a religion. One can be buddhist and still be a Christian, a Jew, and an atheist. Buddhism does not demand that you adopt a dogma like some Buddhist who are secular suggest. I became an oblate with Benedictine and in my continuing study of The Rule of St Benedict I have also practiced centering prayer AND have studied Buddhist disciplines. Many a Benedictine monk I know have a deep knowledge and experience with Buddhist disciplines. Enough that their commitment to the church is not the least bit threatened. I can suggest many books that might help you expand your view of the subject.
  8. Thought Provoking Movie

    I recommend Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies which released the same year as the vampire hunter movie. Though low budget it as preferable to see confederate zombies being slain.
  9. Watered Down?

    Norm Your point is accurate. Faith in these "laws" are necessary. Faith in the types of scientific methods are necessary. I'm not trying to start an argument about religion v. Science as it is really boring and is explored ad nauseam in other posts. My views are noted elsewhere. My point in this thread is the watering down of the beliefs of PC which bothers me. One need not be a PC to adhere to these points either. It seems too often than not that the usual suspects of these posts take an either/or stance on issues which to me is limiting in and of itself. This is my last comment on the matter.
  10. Watered Down?

    Norm That makes sense. If one is an atheist, an agnostic, or a secularist then there are other sets of "principles, rituals, rites, traditions, ancient texts, new revelations, and etc." which one abides by to obtain a goal or state of being. The so called scientific rationalist is as religious as that person who places their faith and hope in a spirituality. Belief in the religion of Science then is no different really. We all believe in something. The question is in what and how do we live our lives accordingly.
  11. Why Was Jesus Born

    Marcus Borg's view of the resurrection is as valid as any other Christian view or view of those who outright reject it whether literally or metaphorically. Why? Because it (the resurrection) is ultimately something that no one knows rationally no matter how McGhee they pour reason into it. That cup will not be filled.
  12. Why Was Jesus Born

    Where did I say anyone "must" believe?
  13. Why Was Jesus Born

    Norm As far as the resurrection when Christians like Marcus Borg discuss it then why not accept it. The view of the more fundamentalist Chrustian of the resurrection is no more or less true than the PC. For example the notion of different types of embodiments - subtle body, mental body, and spiritual body - are no less Relevant. I think resurrection is the transformation of matter to its original state. Not sure what state is as not even the most traditional, conservative, orthodox, fundamentalist of any denomination explain what that is. I don't believe in the supernatural either. All that is deemed thus is part of the natural.
  14. Why Was Jesus Born

    I like adding podcasts to some of there conversations. Here is a great one about Jesus. The podcast is Mormon Matters and is hosted by a Mormon who is very much a Progressive Christian in his views. The information is nothing new concerning the historical Jesus but is worth the listen if you choose to access it. At about an hour and a half into it there is a discussion on Paul which might touch on the issue of syncretism which has been brought up. http://www.mormonmatters.org/rssmm.xml
  15. Watered Down?

    What is the definition of a "successful" religion?