Buddhism

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Buddhism

Postby chrispy1 » Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:07 pm UTC

Broken off from here

chrispy1 wrote:...just to add another level of whatever to do this discussion, Buddhism sees no difference between thinking and doing - if you are capable of thinking something, you've already committed the first step in doing the action; the actual action itself is more or less secondary. Thinking "I'm going to hurt that person" is still a "violent" act.


Anyone here knowledgeable about Buddhism (specifically Tibetian, but I'll discuss anything...). I am fairly well read (my copy of the Dhammapada is very well-read), and I took an Eastern Philosophy class in Uni. So, thoughts?
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Postby Phenriz » Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:20 pm UTC

chrispy1 wrote:...just to add another level of whatever to do this discussion, Buddhism sees no difference between thinking and doing - if you are capable of thinking something, you've already committed the first step in doing the action; the actual action itself is more or less secondary. Thinking "I'm going to hurt that person" is still a "violent" act.


I'd say, in most cases that's a fair claim. However what if one were to say "i'm going to paint my house today" and it didn't happen? Aren't they committed to the act of painting their house? The have no real moral obligation to do so. So would thinking this and then not doing be a negative.

Or does this line of thought only apply to inherently negative ideas?
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Postby Vaniver » Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:58 pm UTC

Intention is not action.

Let us consider the story of a man. This man, for reasons neither he nor we know, is sexually attracted to small children. He knows that following through with his desires would be irreparably damaging to his victims.

Should we hate or punish this man for his desires? That hardly seems fair.

If he acts on his desires, knowing the harm they will cause, then it seems fair (and almost necessary) to hate or punish him. If he has the self-control to never act on his desires, it seems fair to commend him for his self-control. (Now, being a normal member of society rarely warrants much of a commendation, but that doesn't mean it requires little effort)


To say "intention is action" is to nullify the importance of self-control. You thought "I'd like to punch her," but stopped yourself? You're violent, just like the person that actually punched her. Anything that diminishes self-control strikes me as a vice, not a virtue.

Now, it is true that one should try not to think bad thoughts. But that's secondary to not acting on bad thoughts.
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Postby Belial » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:04 pm UTC

I don't think buddhist philosophy is, in theory, terribly concerned with punishment or enforcement. I think the point is more that removing bad thoughts from one's mind brings one closer to enlightenment, and that, for those purposes, the thought is as detrimental as the action, or at least detrimental in proportion to the action.
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Re: Buddhism

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:17 pm UTC

chrispy1 wrote:...just to add another level of whatever to do this discussion, Buddhism sees no difference between thinking and doing - if you are capable of thinking something, you've already committed the first step in doing the action; the actual action itself is more or less secondary. Thinking "I'm going to hurt that person" is still a "violent" act.


I would say this comes from a knowledge of Buddhist philosophy more than Buddhist practice. And you could say the same thing about Christianity.

Matthew 5:28 wrote:But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
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Postby Vaniver » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:28 pm UTC

And you could say the same thing about Christianity.
I was looking for that verse, but couldn't find it, and so didn't include it (and forgot to mention it, apparantly).
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Postby toysbfun » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:47 pm UTC

What if thinking about vice makes committing that vice more likely? Would that have an influence on whether or not the thoughts are bad?

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Postby Vaniver » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:56 pm UTC

toysbfun wrote:What if thinking about vice makes committing that vice more likely? Would that have an influence on whether or not the thoughts are bad?
I'm reading that differently than you are.

That, to me, seems to be documenting the impact of permissive questioning or thinking. If the students were asked "are you going to skip class this week?" that has a very different impact than asking "how many times are you going to skip class this week?" The first one operates under the assumption that skipping class is bad, and they're a bad person for doing it. The second one operates under the assumption that people skip class, and that it might even be normal. It's like Kinsey's questioning- instead of "have you ever had a sexual experience with another man" (of course not, who would do that?) it's "when was your first sexual experience with another man."
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Postby yy2bggggs » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:01 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
And you could say the same thing about Christianity.
I was looking for that verse, but couldn't find it, and so didn't include it (and forgot to mention it, apparantly).

Matthew 5:27-28.

There's an apocryphal rumor that Jesus had Buddhist influences; I'd be interested in hearing anything backing this up and/or refuting it (though "refute" would seem to suggest just questioning the "back ups").

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Postby toysbfun » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:14 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
toysbfun wrote:What if thinking about vice makes committing that vice more likely? Would that have an influence on whether or not the thoughts are bad?
I'm reading that differently than you are.

That, to me, seems to be documenting the impact of permissive questioning or thinking. If the students were asked "are you going to skip class this week?" that has a very different impact than asking "how many times are you going to skip class this week?" The first one operates under the assumption that skipping class is bad, and they're a bad person for doing it. The second one operates under the assumption that people skip class, and that it might even be normal. It's like Kinsey's questioning- instead of "have you ever had a sexual experience with another man" (of course not, who would do that?) it's "when was your first sexual experience with another man."


But permissive questioning, or any questioning, requires one to think about what is being asked in order to answer. It seems a reasonable extrapolation to say that thinking about an action makes it more likely. These questions merely made the students think about the action, which led to performing the action. There's also a distinction between Kinsey's questioning and this one: Kinsey's had to do with decisions already made while these questions dealt with decisions yet to be made.

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Postby Phenriz » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:17 pm UTC

yy2bggggs wrote:There's an apocryphal rumor that Jesus had Buddhist influences; I'd be interested in hearing anything backing this up and/or refuting it (though "refute" would seem to suggest just questioning the "back ups").


I've heard the same thing, it's always been something that was thrown around in my religion classes. Especially when we learned about Buddha and the path he revealed. Some of Jesus's teachings do have a Buddhist outlook, with clear Judaic overtones. Alot of people account for the "lost decades" of Jesus's life to a "far east" journey. I dunno if i buy it myself as it's a bit of a fanciful idea.

Until we can get someone outside the influence of the church into the archives of the Vatican, i feel we may never know. Now I don't feel it's a conspiracy situation just so much as there's alot more info we don't know and if any one place would hold a clue.... i'm sure it would be The Vatican.
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Postby toysbfun » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:32 pm UTC

yy2bggggs wrote:There's an apocryphal rumor that Jesus had Buddhist influences; I'd be interested in hearing anything backing this up and/or refuting it (though "refute" would seem to suggest just questioning the "back ups").


See Notovitch's "The Life of Saint Issa". It's historically suspect and most historians believe Jesus' influences were from the Essenes. Probably the most Christ and Buddha had in common was reaching out to the untouchables of their respective societies.

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Postby Vaniver » Mon Jun 25, 2007 5:35 pm UTC

But permissive questioning, or any questioning, requires one to think about what is being asked in order to answer. It seems a reasonable extrapolation to say that thinking about an action makes it more likely. These questions merely made the students think about the action, which led to performing the action. There's also a distinction between Kinsey's questioning and this one: Kinsey's had to do with decisions already made while these questions dealt with decisions yet to be made.
Kinsey's questioning had to do with the decision of whether or not to lie to the questioner, not the decision of whether or not to participate in certain forms of sexual behavior.

I don't think it's a reasonable extrapolation, because it's not really an extrapolation. It's saying that "it's not the attitudes of the questioners that is important, it's how much the subject thinks about it." That's moving sideways in a way that's not justified by the study. Your statement that "These questions merely made the students think about the action, which led to performing the action" strikes me as using its assumption to prove itself; since thinking about it leads to doing it, these questions only made people think about it, and that caused them doing it, and so we don't need to look for other things. You're dismissing out of hand other effects which are of critical importance. The Observer Effect is a well-known effect in psychology; intelligent subjects will tend to do what they think the observer wants them to do. I find it interesting that the students, once asked how often they expected to skip class, did so more frequently than they would have otherwise, instead of curtailing their negative behavior because they knew it was being watched. That strikes me as them seeing the researchers as affirming skipping.
Last edited by Vaniver on Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:19 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby toysbfun » Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:00 pm UTC

These questions merely made the students think about the action, which led to performing the action

Wow. Upon re-reading that, that was an incredibly poor phrasing. Let me amend that to "thinking about the action contributed to performing the action." Claiming the questioning was the sole contributor would be incorrect.

Vaniver wrote:You're dismissing out of hand other effects which are of critical importance. The Observer Effect is a well-known effect in psychology; intelligent subjects will tend to do what they think the observer wants them to do. I find it interesting that the students, once asked how often they expected to skip class, did so more frequently than they would have otherwise, instead of curtailing their negative behavior because they knew it was being watched. That strikes me as them seeing the researchers as affirmating skipping.

Ow...just, ow. I follow what you're saying, and that sounds about right from what psychology I remember, but that sounds so stupid on the part of the students.

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Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jun 25, 2007 7:14 pm UTC

toysbfun wrote:
toysbfun wrote:These questions merely made the students think about the action, which led to performing the action

Wow. Upon re-reading that, that was an incredibly poor phrasing. Let me amend that to "thinking about the action contributed to performing the action." Claiming the questioning was the sole contributor would be incorrect.


But now your statement becomes so obvious as to be meaningless. Of course thinking about it contributed to it, in that if they had never thought of it, they probably wouldn't have done it. But duh.

Vaniver wrote:You're dismissing out of hand other effects which are of critical importance. The Observer Effect is a well-known effect in psychology; intelligent subjects will tend to do what they think the observer wants them to do. I find it interesting that the students, once asked how often they expected to skip class, did so more frequently than they would have otherwise, instead of curtailing their negative behavior because they knew it was being watched. That strikes me as them seeing the researchers as affirmating skipping.

Ow...just, ow. I follow what you're saying, and that sounds about right from what psychology I remember, but that sounds so stupid on the part of the students.


The real importance of that study, I think, is showing that, even though both sets of students had the idea put into their head of skipping, there was still a difference based on how the question was asked.
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Postby Vaniver » Mon Jun 25, 2007 7:17 pm UTC

The real importance of that study, I think, is showing that, even though both sets of students had the idea put into their head of skipping, there was still a difference based on how the question was asked.
The control group was asked about flossing. The researchers didn't ask my question, and I wish they had (it would be interesting to compare control to neutral/disapproving to permissive).
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Postby toysbfun » Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:36 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
toysbfun wrote:
toysbfun wrote:These questions merely made the students think about the action, which led to performing the action

Wow. Upon re-reading that, that was an incredibly poor phrasing. Let me amend that to "thinking about the action contributed to performing the action." Claiming the questioning was the sole contributor would be incorrect.


But now your statement becomes so obvious as to be meaningless. Of course thinking about it contributed to it, in that if they had never thought of it, they probably wouldn't have done it. But duh.


I'm sure they thought of skipping class before they were asked about it.

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on thought and action

Postby DavidinChiangMai » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:28 am UTC

Hi, I'm new here, and am going back to the original thread concerning the potential equivalence of thinking and doing. From the way I understand Buddhism, we can look at the effects of our actions to see the difference: thinking is mental action, and doing is physical action. Thinking affects our mental world, doing affects our external world.

Thinking affects our momentary mental state and our overall mental baseline perspective. So by thinking something we have affected our mind. We thus receive internal feedback from our newly affected mind, which then conditions our new perceptions and thinking, which of course, are factors in our future actions. If I think about punching you, but don't do it, I have nonetheless disturbed my mental world. This disturbance has effects. The more intense the thought, the greater the internal feedback.

Doing affects our external environment. After we act physically, we will receive feedback from our newly affected external world. If I punch you, I have disturbed my external environment, and will thus receive corresponding feedback - perhaps a return punch, legal action, loss of friends, loss of respect, or perhaps, if you are a bad guy, praise for my bravery. All of this feedback effects me. The greater the impact my action has on my external world, the greater the external feedback.

None of this has any connection with punishment, reward, or judgment; it's just cause and effect.

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Re: on thought and action

Postby chrispy1 » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:31 am UTC

DavidinChiangMai wrote:Hi, I'm new here, and am going back to the original thread concerning the potential equivalence of thinking and doing. From the way I understand Buddhism, we can look at the effects of our actions to see the difference: thinking is mental action, and doing is physical action. Thinking affects our mental world, doing affects our external world.


Thank you for explaining it so well....
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Postby the Cow » Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:53 am UTC

Belial wrote:I don't think buddhist philosophy is, in theory, terribly concerned with punishment or enforcement. I think the point is more that removing bad thoughts from one's mind brings one closer to enlightenment, and that, for those purposes, the thought is as detrimental as the action, or at least detrimental in proportion to the action.


I agree with the above. My understanding of Buddhism is woefully meager (I have a religion degree, but we barely touched on Buddhism) so bear with me if I am entirely wrong.

I think that it is fair to say that there is little differentiation in Buddhism between thought and reality. Under Buddhism, you experience thought with the same mechanism by which you experience "reality". The difference between them is wholly illusory. Even the division between you the experiencer and you the experienced is nullified by enlightenment.

As to Biblical references to God judging us by our thoughts as well as our actions, there is 1st Samuel 16:7: "the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart"

Luke 16:15: He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts."

There are many more, but it is getting late and I hate quoting anything from the Bible out of context.
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Postby TimKoene » Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:15 am UTC

Belial wrote:I don't think buddhist philosophy is, in theory, terribly concerned with punishment or enforcement. I think the point is more that removing bad thoughts from one's mind brings one closer to enlightenment, and that, for those purposes, the thought is as detrimental as the action, or at least detrimental in proportion to the action.


While this is closer to the truth than most of the rest of the thread, it is not the whole idea. The whole idea is that thought, in itself, reinforces the idea that you are seperate from the universe. That "things" are really seperate out there in the world, instead of pointers and references in your own head/language. This illusion is called "maya" in Sanskrit. If you are thinking verbally (Which is always the case when you try to predict the outcomes of your action) you are separating the thinker from the thought.

While extreme acts, and it is easier to go to the extremes when doing "bad" things, reinforce the illusion more than good ones would do, when one tries to attain Nirvana, both good and evil thoughts should be avoided.

Btw, "tries to attain Nirvana" is a contradictio in terminis, because it involves a weird situation wherein "I" is going to change "me" to be a better buddhist so "I" can attain Nirvana, where "I" know that "I" and "The rest of the Universe" are not seperate. So one can not try to attain Nirvana. It either happens or it doesn't.

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Postby Bondolon » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:55 am UTC

[buddhistmodewithinthisthreadnonstop]
What place have thoughts among truth? The mu is truth, the truth is mu. For one to think such things, the mu exists not. Life is but a sequence of lies, and lie comes not from mu. In mu, truth is being, being is truth. For a man to exist in such a state as to desire suffering mentally, such man escapes not the actions of embracing such physically. For the "truth" to persist, life is naught, and need is a dream. Does the flower dream of rape? Does the lily desire wont? To think in this way IS to desire the "wrong". To dream of horror is to desire horror. What use it is, then, to punish a man who desires wrong? He learns nothing, and wants the same. The mu is clarity, the clarity is death. An animal kills, and understands naught. A human does not kill, for understanding is death. Life lies in vain.

The way of man is like an owl that was broken upon a path. The bowels spilled out and the animal died. A master came and said, "This is the work of nature", and the quell was silenced. One who understands these things understands the void.

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Postby unjovial » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:12 pm UTC

This is the little that I know.

Lately I've felt the boundaries of my willingness to be understanding and compassionate toward others pushed to its limits. When I was judged, wrongly accused and persecuted, I could easily have let myself go down a very negative spiral, but I actively challenged the thoughts that arose that were no good to anyone, least of all, myself. I'm not an avid student of buddhism, but I believe that the practice of challenging negative thoughts or the "conditioning of the mind" is a real and practical way of avoiding negative situations. At the very least, it has proven a useful technique for me in overcoming the mutlitude of obstacles hurtling in my direction these days.

It's easy to be compassionate to your friends and to people who are treating you well, but that's not true compassion. That's more like goodwill that is cultivated in you by your surrounding circumstances. If you try to be understanding and to show compassion when things aren't going in your favour, you're actually building on your ability to affect and alter your own state of mind, regardless of the external, situational factors.

But really, want I wanted to add to this discussion is that I saw the Dalai Lama give a presentation in Wellington last week and he was a really funny guy, with actually quite a realistic outlook. The first thing he did was show us what was in his "mysterious holy bag", pulling out a tube of toothpaste, then proceeded to crack jokes about airline food. Honest. And in answer to a question about whether the search for true love would hinder the journey of spiritual enlightenment, he suggested that when people grow tired of searching for fulfilment in romantic love, that they turn to buddhism and the world will have alot more "experienced" monks and nuns.

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Postby DavidinChiangMai » Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:01 pm UTC

Hi again,

I'm so enjoying the exchange. But in my limited view, I think we have to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater when we talk about thought and reality not being different, or all thoughts, good and bad, as something to be avoided.

Just because matter, energy, and time are intertwined doesn't mean we should throw out the concepts. They are extremely useful, and the product of hard fought mental effort. Maybe as we attain the higher reaches of comprehension in the world of physics, they truly merge into oneness, and the primitive concepts of matter, energy, and time will dissolve leaving an awesome new vista of comprehension. Cool. I want that.

But that's not where most of us are now - myself included. We are down here in the world of separation where I have my bank account and you have yours. And my mental and physical actions have different results because they are acting in different arenas. I thought about buying that stock, but didn't.

At this level, thought and reality have important differences. And if we are still unable to understand the truth of reality, only stopping our thoughts isn't going to bring us that understanding. Stopping useless thoughts will help. Understanding why we think such useless thoughts (by trying to stop them and watching what happens) will help immensely. Stopping illusory thoughts will then come easier - once we have understood how stupid and self-destructive so many of our thoughts are.

And eventually, using thought and understanding wisely, we may get to a point where our thoughts are mirrors of the truths of nature, and then it is time to step beyond them. When you get to the shore you don't need the boat any more. But, I'm not at that shore, and I need the boat.

So for now for me, I'm keeping my thoughts as my best tool to develop wisedom to understand the truth of this great journey I find myself inside.

One of the most fundamental teachings of Buddhism is the Eightfold Path. The way, the path, to reach permanent freedom.

The first two are:

Right Understanding: a proper understanding of things the way they are: specifically, understanding what suffering is, where it comes from, that it can be ended, and how to end it; thereby attaining permanent freedom from all unpleasantness.

Right Thought: the thoughts we extend to all beings should contain 1) a kind of selfless detachment - an absence of all forms of lust, 2) benevolence, and freedom from ill-will, 3) harmlessness and non-violence.

The Buddha advised using our minds. Not turning them off. But using them wisely - and learning to do that requires learning to control them, which requires as an interim step, learning how to turn our own minds on and off. Then, once no longer controlled by an adolescent 'monkey mind', we can use this fabulous tool to understand what's happening.

Not no-thought, but right-thought.

I too imagine that enlightenment transcends all such limited concepts, but before I transcend them, I've got to get to the threshold.

Cheers.

PS I meet with a very together (in my opinion) Thai monk every week. He got a BS in physics and was a professional photographer before becoming a monk. If you’ve got some specific questions, I’d be more than happy to pass them along.

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Postby DavidinChiangMai » Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:05 pm UTC

misspelling wisedom, is so me.

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Postby TimKoene » Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:31 pm UTC

Obviously, the point is not to stop thought. Thoughts are very useful and one of the most powerful tools we have. However, thought can conceal truth. By mentally separating the thinker from the thought, the feeler from the feeling and other such verb/noun-related dichotomies we are under the illusion that there is a well defined I vs the rest of the universe.
Mind you, most of this stems from our grammar and the way we have been brought up.

However, sitting down and sorting out which of your ideas about the universe (You have a neck, you have a head, you have shoulders. Point directly to the spot where your neck ends and your head starts...) survive logical scrutiny and which are just ideas you have never even given a second thought is starting to get really close to basic ideas a Zen master would try to make you see.

By recognizing that most of our mental imagery, grammar and classification of the universe is just a very very handy tool to understand the universe, but that it is not the absolute truth is a very good step along the way to enlightenment. The way I see it, the universe is like a moving multidimensional rorschach blot, a process. We mentally encircle parts of it for future reference and brevity of speech and thought. You can still call a chair a chair, but the group of molecules whizzing around beneath your buttocks aren't *really* organized as being a chair. The universe merely looks "chairy" at this point of space and time.

I really like discussing such matters and please, prefix most of my sentences with "In my opinion" ;)

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Postby SpitValve » Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:47 pm UTC

DavidinChiangMai, คุณเป็นคนไทยไมครับ​

And as for Jesus being influenced by Buddhism, I severly doubt it. Firstly, the exchange of knowledge was pretty slow at that time (except for e.g. within the Roman Empire). Secondly, Christianity really is very different to Buddhism. First of all is the idolatry - I don't really need to quote the Bible on that, it's pretty blatant about that throughout - but the Buddhist temple I visitted had hundreds of Buddhas of all shapes and sizes, covered with little pieces of gold foil that the worshipers stuck on. You could also worship dead monks and Hindu gods as well. Lots of the houses have these little spirit houses outside them, or little statues of Hindu gods and things. The temple also had a "high score board" of the top givers to the temple (many going above million baht).

But the worst thing was that they had lottery sellers in the temple. You go into the central part with the big Buddha, shake the little cup until one of the sticks falls out, read the number on it, then go buy a lottery ticket with that number on it.

The whole experience felt like it had a lot more in common with Roman paganism than the Buddhist philosophies I'd heard about before. Note that this doesn't mean anything in particular about the Buddhist philosophies in themselves - Christianity has in the past been turned into pretty much a pagan religion - but it seems to me that temple Buddhism in south-east Asia is more like paganism than a nice philosophy on life.

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Postby unjovial » Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:22 am UTC

Interesting point, Spittie.

I'd be interested to know whether Buddhist "law" (or whatever holy creeds are referred to in Buddhism) actually promotes and encourages idol worship or if it is admonished, yet pursued anyway, as in some christian religions.

Can anybody help with this one?

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Postby chrispy1 » Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:37 am UTC

I just skimmed my (very, very well-read) copy of the Dhammapada (the main Buddhist "Bible"). There is no mention of worshipping idols, nor of worshipping anything else that I can see. It is basically a "manual for life".
The chapter headings are:

Contrary Ways
Watchfulness
The Mind
The Flowers of Life
The Fool
The Wise Man
Infinite Freedom
Better than a Thousand (this is my favourite chapter)
Good and Evil
Life
Beyond Life
Self-Possession
Arise! Watch
The Buddha
Joy
Transient Pleasures
Foresake Anger
Hasten and Strive
Righteousness
The Path
Wakefullness
In Darkness
Endurance
Cravings
The Monk
The Brahmin
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Postby SpitValve » Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:51 am UTC

"The Monk" might be interesting - I wonder how much is tradition and how much is scripture. e.g. the saphron robes and the not touching women things.

I met a Thai guy who was a monk for a while - as many are. He spent a lot of time watching tv. He wasn't allowed to have a girlfriend while he was a monk, so they broke up before and got back together after...

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Postby chrispy1 » Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:06 am UTC

Passages from The Monk:

Good is the control of the body, and good is the control of words; good is the control of the mind, and good is the control of our whole inner life. When a monk has achieved perfect self-control, he leaves all sorrow behind. (361)

The man whose hands are controlled, whose feet are controlled, whose words are controlled, who is self-controlled in all things, who finds the inner joy, whose mind is self-possessed, who is one and has found perfect peace - this man I call a monk. (362)

Let him live in love. Let his work be well done. Then in a fullness of joy he will see the end of sorrow (376)

I am using the Penguin Classics Edition, (c) 1973. This edition was recommended to me by my prof of Eastern Philosophy at University, and I was ecstatic when I found it in a used bookstore. (My prof had written out his own translation, but I haven't seen his version published yet; he was fluent in Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetian, Hindi, Urdu, and another Indian Language I can't recall...)
Narsil wrote:For the record, I am not:
b)obsessed with penii, I just have bad luck and they follow me everywh...

SpitValve wrote:And as for Optimus being influenced by Buddhism, I severly doubt it.

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Postby SpitValve » Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:59 am UTC

Curious: while I agree that self-control is a good thing, I don't think that it will cause us to leave all sorrow behind. In fact, I reckon being self-controlled and "doing the right thing" will often lead you through hardship - at least in the short-term. Although you could argue you could obtain a deeper happiness that overcomes the sorrow, I think that's different to saying

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Re: Buddhism

Postby lukkucairi » Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:20 pm UTC

chrispy1 wrote:Broken off from here

chrispy1 wrote:...just to add another level of whatever to do this discussion, Buddhism sees no difference between thinking and doing - if you are capable of thinking something, you've already committed the first step in doing the action; the actual action itself is more or less secondary. Thinking "I'm going to hurt that person" is still a "violent" act.


Anyone here knowledgeable about Buddhism (specifically Tibetian, but I'll discuss anything...). I am fairly well read (my copy of the Dhammapada is very well-read), and I took an Eastern Philosophy class in Uni. So, thoughts?


the original quote made me think of the Christian concept of sin by thought - and I found this article via a Coptic Christian website based in the UK

relevant quote:
Law does not take your thoughts into account, but God judges you according to your thoughts. Hence, conscience is stronger and deeper than the law, for the person who takes care not to commit a sin by thought will find it difficult to do wrong in deed or action. Thus the purity of thought becomes a means for the purity of the human being as a whole.

If you wish to have a pure mind, keep far away from the means that cause the corruption of thought. Keep away from all things that bring to your mind a sinful thought. Such thoughts may come as a result of unsound readings, wicked things that are heard, or due to a sinful environment, bad company or wicked friendship. An evil thought may arise from another evil thought. Keep away from all this so as to keep your thoughts pure.


so this idea isn't just Buddhist. I think it's a basic tenet of the emotional continence that makes a humane society work, and is common to many religions. The difference is that some religions are more restrictive of what they define as "evil" e.g. homosexuality.

I'll say this about the trappings of Buddhism or any other religion - seems like the "stuff" (be it incense in the Catholic church, bits of gold foil on a Buddha, Mormon underwear etc.) provides a physical handle on the doorway for entry into the higher understandings of the philosophy.

Most religious philosophies approach the same central concept - "be good to other people, be responsible for yourself" - and pretty much all of them deal with human suffering in various ways. The underwear, incense, and gold foil isn't the point - but they form part of a tradition that can hold even people who don't care to seek anything more than a comfortable box to live in. It staves off societal anarchy, if you see what I mean.

it makes evolutionary sense, to put it another way.

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Postby Ranmaru » Sat Jul 07, 2007 1:37 pm UTC

Everything I know about Buddhism has just been from reading books by the Dalai Lama so I don't know which ideas are from Buddhism and which are just his own, but... most of the examples of Buddhist practice in this thread involve quelling negative thoughts and I think this could be a bad representation of Buddhism.

I don't think Buddhism is just about quelling your negative thoughts, it's also (probably moreso) about encouraging your positive thoughts eg. to generate the intention within yourself to help others. I think most people's reponses will be the same but I think it might be interesting to ask the same question again about positive intentions equalling positive actions.

Just a thought :)

Edit: Sorry, was browsing old threads and forgot I was reading a week old one!

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Postby Hawknc » Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:47 pm UTC

I don't have anything constructive to add, unfortunately, but I felt that this needed to be preserved for posterity:

SpitValve wrote:And as for Optimus being influenced by Buddhism, I severly doubt it.

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Postby chrispy1 » Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:55 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:I don't have anything constructive to add, unfortunately, but I felt that this needed to be preserved for posterity:

SpitValve wrote:And as for Optimus being influenced by Buddhism, I severly doubt it.


Totally sig'd. I love it. Transformers meets Eastern Philosophy...
Narsil wrote:For the record, I am not:
b)obsessed with penii, I just have bad luck and they follow me everywh...

SpitValve wrote:And as for Optimus being influenced by Buddhism, I severly doubt it.

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Postby niTworks » Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:22 pm UTC

You can be arrested for having intention to do kill someone...

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Postby SecondTalon » Sat Jul 07, 2007 5:14 pm UTC

.. yes, it's called Conspiracy to Commit Murder (at least in the States) and it's a crime. I'm not sure what it has to do with Buddhism, though.. beyond a comparison of though=action, I suppose.
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Postby Gazette » Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:51 am UTC

I used to follow Buddhism, and still a fan of Dalai Lama. Buddhism is more a way of life than the stereotypical "religion." While our western religions stress faith and gods, eastern traditions stress personal discipline and doctrines of thought (think martial arts).

Thoughts are the seeds of action. If your thoughts are impure, your actions will be impure.

It's elegant and pure. There's no other associations or meanings attached.

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Re: Buddhism

Postby __Kit » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:20 am UTC

Hi, came on looking for a bit of guidance and advice from intelligent and experienced people in regards to buddhism (philosophy, not religion).

About a month ago I had, in one way of describing it, a kind of enlightenment, where, essentially, I felt bliss and the feeling I was a small piece of conciousness that was part of a larger, infinite, universal conciousness :oops:

I don't know if it was caused by some sort of chemical imbalance in my brain, or if I'd somehow, subconsciously forced it upon myself, but either way it lead to a paradigm shift.
One where I went from athiesm, to some sort of believing in an eternal soul, not religious, but most definitely spiritual.

This lead to me feeling like I had some sort of neurosis, as my family is susceptible to such things. Then I felt like some investigation was in order. The internets lead me to watching lots of videos about buddhism and doing some light reading on the matter.

So after a month I sort of have these whole new "beliefs" I guess.

But I was wondering, is this just me being fooled by some sort of experience? Maybe someone on the fora can help.

I guess what I'm asking is buddhism as great as I think it is? I mean, it seems to make a lot of sense, ending suffering by letting go of addictions, ecaping this human drama, becoming master of your own mind etc.

I'm being long winded sorry, this whole thing is kind of scary, I find buddhism interesting but don't want to practice something that is 'wrong', or a waste of my life. I do like the phrase "explore everything, believe nothing".

So, what I'm asking for is really for someone to point out some things that are fundamentally wrong with buddhism, I mean, give me the reasons why you aren't a practising buddhist?

Thanks.

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