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JosephM

Quotes Attributed To The Buddha -What Do You Think Of Them?

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1. Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
2. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
3. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
4. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
5. Do not believe in traditions simply because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."

 

Joseph

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I really like them. I'm going to copy and paste them to a page on my hard drive so I have them available.

 

here's on for you:

 

What about believing in what you experience?

 

 

Cheers

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I like them and Elen's modification. If anything agrees with your experience (I think this is higher and encompasses reason) and is conducive to the greater good go for it.

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Hello Elen,

 

You ask: "What about believing in what you experience?" I think the short answer is "no", and I think it is implicitly included in the quotes attributed to the Buddha posted by Joseph.

 

I'm not going to give you a book definition of "experience", but I would say that "experience" is the contact of the one's mind with an object within that mind's field of awareness. It can be either mental or physical. The experience is dependent on this combination, but very colored by one's particular thoughts, ideas, notions, beliefs, etc. To the extent that a person harbors strict beliefs, notions, etc. (products of the mind), their experience of reality is nothing more than a creation, and does not reflect reaility "as it is".

 

As some schools of Buddhism teach, reality is merely an illusion; a projection of the mind, or a magical display of pure awareness This is a hard "belief" for most people to swallow, so the Buddha's advice is to find this out for yourself. At some point "belief" becomes "faith" in a particular path. And, I think that path can be virtually anything with a heart.

 

Peace.

Steve

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Hi Steve,

What about if some one experiences God? or has a Christ experience? and this, even when no one of their friends, family or community members are encouraging or wanting them to do anything like this.

 

The Buddha himself encouraged people to challenge and-or build on his ideas, this is one of the things I like about Buddhism.

 

Peace 2U2

 

E

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Hi Elen,

 

So, the question I think is really: "can we trust these experiences?", which are generally referred to as "mystical". I suspect you have had such experiences, as I'm sure many on this forum have, including myself. They are wonderful experiences and, personally, I see no reason we cannot trust them and accept all of the joy inherent in them. They are a beautiful expression of insight into the divine nature of things, if only for a brief moment.

 

But, they are also experiences which can and should be questioned, as to their nature. All of the great mystics and yogis/yoginis have put them to the test. St. Teresa of Avila often questioned her own ecstasies and was asked by others about theirs. The few times I have had these experiences, I have just been aware of it, enjoyed it, and when it subsided, gave it no more thought. This was the advice given to me by someone I consider a living Christian mystic.

 

Peace.

Steve

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Thanks Steve,

 

I concur with your statements most happily and glad heartedly.

 

I wouldn't mind hearing about some of your experiences of this kind if you are open to sharing them.

(if you'd rather keep them private please don't feel obligated or pressured)

 

Peace 2U2 again

 

E

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Hi Elen,

 

I'm going to have to pass on sharing these on the forum for the time being. It's not that they are terribly personal, but rather it might imply to others that I think myself somehow "special" for just having them! Nothing could be further from the truth. There is nothing at all special about me. I am an ordinary, unenlightened being, just like everybody else. There are many, many people who experience these momentary awakenings, and I don't think they are at all uncommon.

 

But, I will share this, which actually is a bit personal. I kept a journal of some of these experiences about ten or twelve years ago. At some point I decided I had learned everything I could from them, and didn't want any more. I think I was secretly yearning for more, but knew it wasn't right. Interestingly, I asked God to stop them, if He had been their cause. They stopped cold and I haven't had such an experience since! It sounds strange, but it is completely true.

 

So, back to St. Teresa, she once said: "Don't seek the consolations of God, but rather, the God of consolations." I have taken that to heart.

 

Peace.

Steve

 

P.S. Thanks for all of your thoughtful posts since you've joined!

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To be clear, I should add, parenthetically, that later I came to understand that the experiences I referred to above, were products of my mind, and had their source in my mind. While I briefly entertained the notion that it was an experience of the "presence of God", upon examination, I didn't believe it.

 

After a while, I think I "pulled the covers" on this very enjoyable trick of the mind, and solidified it with a ritualistic prayer to God. At that point, everything came to a halt.

 

The other thing I came to understand is that a very strong belief in an inherent, independent "self" was the fertile ground upon which my mind planted, and sowed the seeds for these experiences. Without a belief in the "self", there can be no mystical experience per se.

 

Humans have an uncanny ability to mistake the miraculous for the mundane. We want to arrive at an experience of the divine that we firmly believe is beyond the ordinary. But, in my opinion, existence is already miraculous, and it actually IS the ordinary. There is no point to gild the lily. It is all about recognizing this, rather than attempting to create an alternative reality.

 

Of course, these are my own opinions, and I suspect that others having similar experiences might disagree.

 

Peace.

Steve

Edited by SteveS55
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Humans have an uncanny ability to mistake the miraculous for the mundane. We want to arrive at an experience of the divine that we firmly believe is beyond the ordinary. But, in my opinion, existence is already miraculous, and it actually IS the ordinary.

 

Peace.

Steve

 

Yes, well said. To me also, Life itself is miraclulous.

 

joseph

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Steve,

 

I agree with Joseph and his last post about yours whole heartedly.

 

Sorry that I have not had more time for this post board, and am running way behind in keeping up with it.

 

Peace 2U2

E.

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The OP reads like an agnostic call to arms .... :rolleyes:

 

Regarding the mundane and the miraculous ... its all one, is it not?

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What about believing in what you experience?

 

I am not sure about this .... Personally I am very sceptical of my experience.

 

Here is some reading that seems to agree with my distrust:

Sleights of Mind by Macknick and Martinez-Conde

The Illusion of Conscious Will, Daniel Wegner

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain David Eagleman

The Self Illusion by Bruce Hood

Subliminal: How your unconscious rules behavior by Leonard Mlodinow

The Ego Trick: What does it mean to be you? by Julian Baggini

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I believe completely and implicitly in:

 

No book

 

No bible

 

No president

 

No pope

 

No priest

 

No preacher

 

No parent

 

No person

 

No celebrity

 

No song

 

No one

 

Except Christ and God

 

And them I could still get to know better

 

 

(I also don’t know very much at all about the Holy Spirit, so I’m just kind of leaving Em of my little list for right now)

 

 

I’m thinking that it’s a little humorous that this little “poem” or spiel of mine, which is about Christ and God, was inspired, by what looks like a profound, informative, long standing and deeply rooted set of Buddhist teachings; - them that’s found in the OP (Opening Post) of this discussion thread.

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"Regarding the mundane and the miraculous ... its all one, is it not?"

I'm really not sure if it is "all one", mainly because I don't know what that means. At least among Buddhist schools there is debate about this. If I say it is not all one, then I am a dualist, which has become a dirty word these days. But, I don't know what non-dualism looks like. I only have my perspective which changes from time to time. Sometimes reality is quite mundane, and sometimes it seems to be miraculous. Neither reality, nor my perspective seems to remain the same. Everything seems to include change and impermanence as a display of the "one", whatever that might be.

 

Peace.

Steve

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Mundane and miraculous I think are just states of the brain ... which in turn is a state of the universe unfolding.

 

Our language is dualistic ... we divide things into is and is not. We end up believing the products of our language.

 

The universe for me is a source of awe. And when I look deep inside of myself I see the universe quietly staring back at me.

 

In essence that what monism is for me.

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I don’t know if this has anything to do with what people are writing about, but I’m sure if Christ and God choose to be independent of each other for a while, I’m sure it’s up to them, and that they’re not messing things up by choosing to do this for a while. I just figure that it’s not my call and if they so choose then it’s not my business, whether or how much time they spend together or apart and to what degree or at what distances.



I figure they can both be trusted not to mess anything up when and if they are independent and certainly can be trusted to be doing the same if not more when they are together.



I guess it’s a matter of degree. I don’t think anyone is totally independent of God’s energy and light, (even if we don’t realize it, it’s still there).



But I think Jesus could act independently because He’s so full of light and energy and Love in His own right. But of course God could still see Him and would still be conscious of him.

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Hi Elen,

 

I think it's our reliance on classical logic that makes these things so hard to understand. In the case of Christ/God, is this one or two? Is God one or two? God cannot be both, because logically, we run right up against something called the "Law of the Excluded Middle", which comes from Aristotle's logic. Generally, it means that if two statements are contradictory, one must be affirmed, and the other denied. Put a different way, if one statement is affirmed, the other must be denied.

 

In theory, on an intellectual level, none of this can ever be understood. It all falls within the "excluded middle", which I would say is the ineffable.

 

So, there is this pretty well known Zen koan which goes: "If everything returns to the "one", where does the "one" return?" Personally, I'm still working on this!

 

Peace.

Steve

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Hi Steve,

 

I find the last part of your post (#21) a lot easier for me to think about.

 

Quoted from your post:

 

“So, there is this pretty well known Zen koan which goes: "If everything returns to the "one", where does the "one" return?" “

 

Someone could say that the “one” could return to es self. Then again, maybe the “one” doesn’t need to return to anywhere, the “one” just is. Or maybe the “one” moves on to new and greater things. Or maybe it’s a combination of these things, or these things at different times.

 

 

The first part of your post is quite difficult for me to see the structure of the ideas. I’m pasting it just below in the interest of making this exchange clearer:

 

I think it's our reliance on classical logic that makes these things so hard to understand. In the case of Christ/God, is this one or two? Is God one or two? God cannot be both, because logically, we run right up against something called the "Law of the Excluded Middle", which comes from Aristotle's logic. Generally, it means that if two statements are contradictory, one must be affirmed, and the other denied. Put a different way, if one statement is affirmed, the other must be denied.”

 

I kind of have two ways of resolving or coming to terms with this, one of which I’ve just thought up since I read your post about an hour ago. I have heard of this conundrum before though, and am aware that it comes up often.

 

 

This is completely off the cuff and may or may not be a good set of ideas, and please excuse if I’m not using the best words or way to try to explain it:

 

Ok, say you are a parent rising a child, and you’ve done perty well in your life so you try to raise em up to be just like you. Now I think most human parents kind of want their children to do better than them, and build on what they know and understand and in their own generation take things to the next level and so on. But with God this is not possible. God can’t actually expect Es child, in this case a son, to be more intelligent, enlightened, all knowing or loving. That’s because God’s God and there’s no limit to these kinds of things in God, so how can God actually expect more of Es child?

 

It doesn’t matter whether this child of yours actually looks like you, has your hair or is your gender, what’s important is that this child turns out to be like you as a person, on the inside and also in the way e spends es time and how e relates to people and places and even politics. What’s important is that this child has and shares your ideas, is as enlightened, is as loving (as God means loving) and caring, has possibly as much energy or near as much energy, has as much insight and understanding and so on and so forth. So this is the way this child grows up and really wants to grow up, and e accomplishes this very, very well. Now at a certain age you give or enable this child certain powers or things (which of course e completely earns in some sensible way or another), your car or a car just like yours, your plane, or a plane just like yours, your finesse in communicating, your understanding of geo-physics and the way the universe works, and a whole bunch of things, (one can use their imagination and just fill in a lot of stuff here). I guess that this child turns out to be perty amazing. Now, at a certain age this child is all grown up, and is perty amazing, and you can essentially say that you’ve created another you. Es hair might be a little different and e might be a bit younger but essentially e’s another you. Ta-da

 

Ok, I myself, don’t believe in an anatomical God so like your child might not have your hair or something this child does have some differences. I don’t think that God has hands and feet and arms and legs and a nose and ears and so on and so forth. However this child that God evolved out of the primordial sea and human evolution does. He also happens to be a boy, and this is good or important cause the people that he’s gonna be communicating listen to boys a bit better and there were also thieves going around beating up people sometimes that someone like a Samaritan might find and help out, so it might be a bit easier on the person if he was a boy. So anyways God raises up this child and teaches and finds ways to teach him everything E knows and eventually gives him all Es powers and gifts and abilities and things about God that I can’t even think about or put into words; but it could be things like time travel, and the ability to walk through walls, and the ability to be in many places and/or times at once and still be whole; and perfect understanding and judgment and Love beyond the ability of most of us to possibly even contain. And a lot more too, like I say, I myself can’t put it into words or understand all of it.

 

So at a certain point, just as you could say you have created or raised another you, with in and about the child you have raised. And people could say that in effect, you’ve created or raised another Steve. Maybe people could say that God has in a certain sense of the words, created or raised another Him or ‘God’. I don’t know if I’d say that Jesus is just as big as God in anatomical or structural senses of the matter, but in the ways that people will and do say “are important”, this is another ‘God’, so to speak, just as one might say of your child, that this is another ‘Steve’. And even if e looks a little different, or has a different hair or something (e’s also inherited all your talents and aptitudes too by the way). Or in a sense that this is another 'God' or 'God' cause he’s got so many of the qualities that count that there’s a really strong parallel and uniformity and similarities all going on here.

 

 

I really don’t know if this makes any sense at all or what kind of partial sense or senses it does make. Like I’ve said this is entirely off the cuff for me. And if it does make any sense I’m sure it could be put a lot more articulately and brilliantly and be reworked a few times at that. And maybe someone could add somethings to it, that would make more sense of it too.

 

Thanks for reading all this, and if you think it’s all pocket philosophy and even a bit of creative or vivid imagination there, that’s ok, cause that’s what it is.

 

Take the idea(s), if you will, and play with it in your head for a while maybe add things or switch things around a bit and/or try to put it all in another way and see if you come up with something - anything that makes sense to you. And if not that’s ok, I don’t even know if I think this way myself, the concepts are perty new to me too. Like I say I’ve just come up with them today and can’t really know what I think of it myself at this point.

 

 

I could go on but this post is already way too long as it is. Thanks for Reading

 

Cheers

 

E

 

PS - just another funny thought: If you’d named or called this child of yours Steve or Stevey then people might be even more likely to say that this is another Steve. If Gods real name could be sometimes thought of as I Am and Jesus’s nonwestern name is pronounced something like YesYouAre then people might find a certain parallel here too. Just a thought, and I don’t know if it quite fits in or if there’s really anything to it, it’s just a thought or an idea. It’s just that YesYouAre could be thought of as another form of I Am, though somewhat more subjective or objective way I suppose.

Edited by Elen1107

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Hi Elen,

 

There are some contemporary Christian thinkers who would say that the Incarnation was the activity of the Divine (God the unmanifest) creating its own human nature. "Christ" is the term used to designate the eternal union of universal human nature with the divine. Jesus was the exemplar of this union, but he was merely human and not divine. So, when these Christians refer to "Christ", they are referring to the union of God's created human nature with the divine nature, rather than Jesus the person.

 

Hopefully this doesn't muddy the waters for you, but I think this understanding has a similar ring to it as your idea of God regenerating itself. God is not technically able to recreate itself (at least as far as I know), but can unite itself with universal human nature, since He is source of creation in the first place.

 

In any case, these are very heavy theological issues which have been debated for two thousand years, and no one seems to have come up with a definitive answer. So, if your concept works for you, I say go for it, because no one else has any answers, they just claim to have them.

 

As for the koan, I don't claim to understand Zen. The only ones who do seem to be Zen masters. It is my understanding that Zen masters present these koans to their students, so that they will eventually understand the futility of trying to answer them relying on their own reasoning. When they finally do give the "correct" answer, it makes absolutely no sense to anyone except the student and the master. It is way too strange for me!

 

Peace.

Steve

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Hi Steve,

 

Thanks for being supportive or at least not being derogatory. I was really wondering if I totally blew it with that last post. Still, with all that’s said about Christ being Gods son, I was thinking that the parent child relationship might have something to tell us in this regard. I’m going to play with the idea(s) for a while and then see how I feel.

 

Sometimes I think that the simpler a concept can be put, the more divine it could be. Like Jesus is quoted as saying that God has made these things clear to little children and hidden them from the wise.

 

To me Jesus or Christ is more than just a person or just a man, though he may have been very much a regular person and regular guy at one time. I think he has evolved beyond and in ways that a lot of us can’t see or can’t quite understand. However I don’t think they are paths that we can’t follow in, though in our own time.

 

Sometimes I’ve thought that how Christ actually was begetted, so to speak, may well be none of my business, or anyone else’s at the same time. And then there's the question, do I need to know, to have my faith, and for Him to be Him or Jesus to be Jesus or Christ to be Christ, for me or in a more general sense.

 

Freedom and Peace

 

E.

Edited by Elen1107

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"And then there's the question, do I need to know, to have my faith, and for Him to be Him or Jesus to be Jesus or Christ to be Christ, for me or in a more general sense."

No, I don't think we have to "know" any of this stuff. I think it might be best just to find the path of compassion, like the one Jesus took, and relax into it.

 

Peace.

Steve

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