« Vastness might be us, not a separate self | Main | Relationship is the essential nature of reality »

October 04, 2010

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

So religiosity #1 = duality, while religiosity #2 = nonduality?

If 2 is the recognition of our ultimate interconnectness, is this not the same as 1 which expresses this interconnectness as union.

If 2 is the recognition there is no self, how is this different from 1 which upon union also recognises self to be of divine nature.

If there is only emptiness what causes the false perceptions of self?
It cannot be mind, because mind does not exist, nothing exists in emptiness.
If there is only oneness, ie mind, what causes my mind to think different thoughts to your mind?

George, the difference between Religiosity #1 and #2 is similar to the difference between those who say (1) the universe was created by God in seven days six thousand years ago, and those who say (2) the universe started off in a big bang 14 billion years ago.

I'm scientifically-minded. I consider that even though the human brain is only one way of perceiving the cosmos, there are more real and less real ways of viewing reality.

Science, particularly neuroscience, doesn't find any evidence of an enduring "self" or "soul" separate and distinct from the material world. Science also finds interconnectedness as, well, pervading the universe. Nothing stands alone, unaffected by anything else.

So what I call Religiosity #2 is firmly supported by science, while Religiosity #1 isn't.

You appear to equate no-self with oneness. This isn't the case in Buddhism (or Taoism). Things, including you and me, aren't separate and they also aren't all together. They are "empty," in the sense of interconnected, the product of all sorts of influences.

So when you say "mind does not exist, nothing exists in emptiness," this is wrongly equating "emptiness" and "nothingness." As alluded to in this post, the Buddhist conception of emptiness often is wrongly conceived as meaning that nothing is real.

Actually, it refers to the fact that nothing stands alone. Everything is the product of causes and conditions. I just didn't pop out of nowhere. I'm the end of a long line of people who had sex with other people, resulting in my mother and father giving birth to me. Then, after I was born my genetic heritage interacted with the environment ("epigenetics") to mold me in additional ways.

Hope this explains why I see Religiosity #2 as much more in tune with reality than Religiosity #1. I didn't call #2 "non-duality," because I don't resonate much with that term. Interconnectedness is a better way of referring to the notion of no-self, in my opinion.

Brian,

"By contrast, Buddhist and Taoist practices -- meditative or otherwise -- are focused on realizing that there is no "me" who needs to be saved."

--Could you describe the Taoist meditative practice that focuses on realizing that there is no "me" who needs to be saved.

--Again, a meditation practice, procedure.

Roger, I thumbed through my "Taoist Meditation" book (translated by Robert Cleary) and found a lot of approaches. Taoists aren't big on rigidity, so not surprisingly they're pretty loose about what meditation means.

Cleary's introduction says:

"Meditation is one element of Taoism that interests a broad spectrum of people, because the state of mind is central to the well-being and efficiency of the whole organism. Taoist meditation is for enhancement of both physical and mental health, as these two facets of well-being are intimately related to one another. Modern scientific understanding of the mind-body continuum confirms traditional Taoist beliefs about the effects of mental states on physical conditions and vice versa... There is no fixed system of thought or practice in Taoism, and many different methods have been articulated over the centuries."

Here's an excerpt from the book that offers a general view of one form of meditative practice:

"It is said that the human mind is like water -- when it is clear, it reflects every detail; but once it is disturbed, heaven and earth switch places.

We should know there are three paths of insight.

The first is called insight into the emptiness of the person. This means realizing there is no birth, no self, and no person.

The second is called insight into the emptiness of phenomena. This means realizing that the elements are conditional, temporary, and not actually real.

The third is called insight into the emptiness of emptiness. this means realizing that cognition and objects are both empty, and this emptiness is also empty."

Thanks Brian,

I can see the,

"Taoist meditation is for enhancement of both physical and mental health, as these two facets of well-being are intimately related to one another."

--However, maybe there is simply no meditation procedure for a "no-self" realization.

Roger, Buddhists have the most organized and clearly explained meditation practices, and they're aimed at the no-aim of realizing no-self.

Here's a little personal story. Yesterday I was kind of tired mentally when I went to my Monday Tai Chi class. Didn't get as much sleep as usual the night before.

Right away I could tell that I was doing more doing of Tai Chi, and less thinking about Tai Chi as I was doing it -- maybe because my mind wasn't as energetic and didn't want to go through the trouble of producing thoughts.

It was one of the more enjoyable Tai Chi sessions I've had for a while. I just did the forms and followed what everybody in the class was doing. I didn't look at the clock once, as I usually do, wondering what I'll do after this current doing is over.

Much if not most of the time, life goes more smoothly when we're aware but not excessively self-aware. To me this is the essence of realizing no-self, and also of meditation. Focusing on one thing, like a single-syllable meaningless mantra, can help keep the mind/brain from generating unnecessary thoughts.

I figure that if I really need to think about something, I will. And then I can just think, not think about my thinking (or worry about my worries, or feel about my feelings). We humans are necessarily complicated, but we can simplify our lives by not duplicating ourselves.

Meaning, I can just be whatever the heck I am and not add on a fixed sense of "self" on top of my experiencing. I'll try to talk more about this in a forthcoming blog post.

Brian,

I can see a Taoist meditation for enhanceemnt of the physical/mental health. However, i'm not sure I know what the exact meditation procedure is. What would the procedure be?

Roger, out of my boundless Buddha'ish compassion for all sentient beings, of whom I assume you are one (not sure about myself, at times), I shall initiate you into the Sacred Wu.

Wu Chi is the emptiness from which fullness flows, so you're going right to the source with this initiation. See;
http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2005/04/wu_chi_empty_fu.html

You do as little as possible with my not-so-secret meditation practice, since I wrote about it in a blog post:
http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2010/03/nothing-is-needed-for-enlightenment-.html

"Wu" is the key. Or "Mu" if you prefer Japanese and want to sound like a cow inside your head (highly recommended).

Here's another take on the Sacred Power of Wu:
http://www.samaelgnosis.us/practice/more_practices/mantra_wu.html

(Actually, any sound, syllable, or word will do. But if I didn't make something special out of "Wu," how could I initiate you into this ever-so-special practice?)

LOL, finally I am the center of attention.

---That said, I can resonate with the dualistic 'no-self' term, and no need for it to be saved. Likewise, I can resonate with the dualistic 'non-duality' term. Furthermore, there would be no resonating(no-thinking) of the meaning of non-duality. This is how I would use the 'realization' term. I have never used a meditation procedure to have this realization. Again, this 'realization' word is a dualistic term, and there is much dualistic conversation that can come from such.

No more thinking, grasshopper.

Do your Wu (or Mu) and let the woo-woo (or mooooooooooo...) cover your cognition with a silky tasty topping of just-so'ness, topped with a maraschino cherry of emptiness.

Then, like me, you will have attained to the highest Zen state of being -- without having to go through all the crap of lengthy sitting in meditation and being hit with a stick.

LOl...great message.

--well time for me to go...see ya'll tomorrow....

Believe this article will contribute to the discussion.

http://www.arrowriver.ca/dhamma/soul.html


Jon

Sant Mat says God is a person but God is the perfect idea and a person is imperfect. By teaching that God is a person Sant Mat leads the people astray. Sant Mat and a lot of Indian teaching is just yoga. It is practicing transformation but not into God. A yoga teacher is just human and his set of rules need to be interpretated and changed for each individual. I for instance have eaten meat yesterday and drank alcohol last week. I plan on eating eggs and it feels that I am finally on the right track again but this does not mean that this works for everybody. I have to eat meat because I sustained from it many years for the wrong reasons. The result is a mental weak body. By eating meat and throwing every SantMat thing away I experience much progress in my condition. I hope you will follow me and realize that no person can be God and no mind control can be sane.

Tomorrow, I plan to eat a hot dog, drink a beer, and I just might want to burn a book. I want you all to follow me too.
Please take a number and stand in line.

I want all my followers to be leaders :) So follow Roger please!

Brian

But you say #2 is backed up by science in that everything is interconnected - I can't see how you can say this with any certainty.

Who says our universe is fundamentally causal? If anything quantum mechanics implies that virtual particles continually pop into and dissapearing out of existence. The fundamental nature of our universe does not appear causal. How is one hydrogen atom connected with another at the opposite end of the universe? Are scientific laws themselves constant or indeterminant at the fundamental quantum level?

There is no scientific law of interconnectedness or emptiness.

Neither 1 nor 2 are supported by science.

They are philosophical or metaphysical speculations dealing with ontology (i.e. the nature of reality)

Both appear to be concerned with arriving at knowledge of reality as an undifferentiated whole whether it be through the metaphor of a soul in communion with the Divine or the budhist recognition of emptiness or interconnectdeness with the Universe.

Metaphysics, not physics.

Brian, I e-mailed you a couple of weeks ago about my biocentricity project, which puts a relational-physics twist on Robert Lanza's biocentrism. I'm struck by the similarities between Buddhist teachings and the relational view of physics. Relational physicists consider absolutism -- svabhava -- to be a persistent assumption that's at the root of the current crisis in physics. The relational view offers a way out of this crisis. It really should come as no surprise that a centuries-old tradition is based around a similar paradigm of the world.

George, I'm not sure what you mean when you say "the fundamental nature of our universe does not appear causal."

As I said in tonight's post, the universe clearly is causal. The laws of nature are nothing but causality defined and revealed. Life is nothing but causality. If the fundamental nature of the universe was chaotic randomness, we wouldn't be here discussing the nature of the universe.

Yes, quantum phenomena are probabilistic. But the astounding success of quantum mechanics testifies to the regularities found in the sub-atomic world. A high percentage of modern technology relies on our understanding of quantum physics, including computer technology.

I also disagree that interconnectedness is a metaphysical proposition. Rather, it is an obvious hallmark of reality. Causality and interconnectedness are one and the same. One thing can't cause another to act in a certain way without them being interconnected.

It seems that your view of interconnectedness is that everything in the universe is equally connected with everything else. This isn't the Buddhist perspective, nor is it mine. Obviously there are stronger connections between my fingers and my laptop keyboard than between my fingers and a galaxy five billion light years away.

Interconnectedness simply means (in my understanding) that nothing in the universe is separate and distinct from everything else -- like the notion of soul. Soul supposedly is eternal and unchanging, so if the universe failed to exist, soul would carry on unaffected. This is unscientific and unproven (though not entirely out of the realm of possibility, since it is impossible to prove with 100% certainty that something is impossible).

Interestingly, if everything were equally connected with everything else, seemingly this would be just about the same as saying that nothing exists.

What I mean is, if everything was equal, if everything was equally connected with every other thing, it's hard to see how any unique form could exist. We'd have formlessness.

Since the universe clearly exists, along with things in it, this shows that interconnectedness is its essential nature. Again, the laws of nature are essentially how humans have come to understand how matter and energy connect and operate.

The universe seems to have started off in a highly unified state. We know that electricity and magnetism aren't separate, but are aspects of electromagnetism. Likewise, the weak force and electromagnetism aren't separate, but are aspects of the electroweak force.

Eventually scientists hope to show how all the forces of nature can be unified in a Theory of Everything -- how they all are interrelated and connected. If they weren't differentiated by causal relations, the universe would exist in the state it had at the beginning of the big bang. So life and everything around us is testimony to the primacy of causality and interconnectedness.

Karl, I've got a "flag" by your email message in my inbox. I apologize for not having responded by now. Sometimes I'm hugely tardy at replying to emails. I'm interested in biocentrism, so will get around to considering your thoughts...before too long, hopefully.

No I disagree, you are confusing science and philosophy.
I repeat there is no scientific law of interconnectdness.
You make the mistake of conflating metaphysical philosophies (such as budhist interconnectness) with science.
In the 18th century the science of Newton and Laplace was deterministic (causal and interconnected), but quantum mechanics is based on indeterminacy.
Probabilities do not imply regularity or cause, they are merely the likelihood of something happening.
You cannot predict whether a toss of a coin will be heads or tails, all probability tells you is the likelihood of two unconnected outcomes from occuring.

If everthing is causal, what caused everthing?
What caused the universe and what caused the big bang?

As for a theory of everything, there is no grand unifying theory that everything is interconnected and causal. Quite the opposite. You said that you read hawkings book, well p112 makes quite clear there is no GUT, instead an adhoc standard particle model because it neither connects the electro weak and strong forces, nor does it account for gravity.

There is no accepted scientic law that everythng is interconnected or causal, in fact, the big bang,the quantum foam, heisenbergs uncertaity principle and evolution by natural selection rely on random unconnected acausal phenomenon.

George, do you see that if my perspective is "metaphysical," then so is yours?

I've read lots of books on quantum physics. I've never seen any scientist claim that the universe isn't interconnected and causal. We simply don't know what the ultimate nature of the cosmos is (assuming it is possible for us humans to know this).

Clearly the observable universe in which we live, breathe, and find meaning is interconnected and causal. Otherwise the laws of nature wouldn't exist that enable science, scientists, and you/me to exist and have this sort of discussion.

Question marks are found at the edges of existence, though. For example, at how quantum mechanics relates to relativity theory, and the ultimate nature of the big bang.

Replacing these question marks with answers/equations is the long-sought goal of a Theory of Everything. That such a theory seems possible testifies to the belief of scientists that everything is interconnected and explainable in some fashion. Otherwise a Theory of Everything (TOE) wouldn't be possible.

In his new book, Stephen Hawking doubts whether a single TOE is possible, because he favors M-theory -- where there are an infinite, or at least countless, number of universes, each with its own laws (or lack thereof). Rather, he says that we will probably end up with a bunch of theories, each of which does its own job of explaining phenomena.

I don't recall Hawking ever saying that some features of the universe will never be explained. But sure, some aspects of the cosmos almost certainly always will remain a mystery, because humans aren't equipped to know for sure what lies beyond the edges of what our consciousness is capable of knowing.

I think the source of our disagreement on this topic is that I'm focusing on the universe science knows about, not on the question marks that are unrelated to actual human life and human knowing.
For me (and Buddhism) life is eminently real and practical, not conceptual. We can hypothesize about the ultimate nature of things, but I no longer find this productive.

We live in a world where there are laws of nature. We live in a world where causes and effects are evident. We live in a world of ecology, interconnectedness, relationship. The brains and bodies with which we can ponder thoughts like "random" and "acausal" are themselves non-random and causal.

Hope this helps explain why I favor a view of reality, and a meaning of life, that is centered on interrelationships and our connections with the cosmos. That's what our human lives are all about. To deny this is to deny our humanity.

Brian, i am very much in agreement with your above response, which is both accurate and quite well put imo.

there definitely seems to be some sort of misinterpretation or mistaken conclusions - on the part of George - of what you had presented in your blog post.


Yep brian any speculation over the nature of reality are metaphysical regardless of who does them, you, me, 1 or 2.

The current scientific position is that there in no TOE and certainly no GUT. It may be that one day there will be a GUT which shows everything to he connected, but that is not the situation right now. There are growing numbers of science who question whether there will ever be a GUT especially with the implications of quantum mechanics. I have provided numerous scientific theories which show that everything is not causal or ordered.

Anyway, I guess thus is just my opinion, if you feel budhism is supported by science go right ahead, I don't believe in conflating the two.

Indeed many scientists do not accept there is a GUT since quantum theory has a fundamental indeterminacy built bro

About causality. Is it a law of nature or a principle (a priori) of awareness?
Kant said a law of nature can be recognized by its exceptions. I can think of a stone falling upwards in gravity I just don't observe them. But I can not think of an interaction not being causal. That points to the opinion that causality is in our glasses or awareness (a priori). We add causality to all we experience.
Nietzsche said we need to add causality because it makes us effective in hunting. Schopenhauer said that causality is an intuitive principle of awareness. We see everything as acting upon us, as if light hits our eye from outside to inside. We simple don't know what reality is without causality.
The problem that it also solves is that of the first cause that science can not solve. Philosophy from Kant does solve these antinomies. There is no first cause because causality is not in reality.

Nietzsche,

I liked,

"Nietzsche said we need to add causality because it makes us effective in hunting."

---What did N. say about those that didn't have a need?


"Schopenhauer said that causality is an intuitive principle of awareness."

---Did S mention other types of intuitive principles of awareness? This sounds interesting.

N. said basically that we see things in an abrupt fashion we suddenly see a movement while in fact everything is be continuously changing, not abrupt at all. We evolved with a causal intuition. But he also said that the identity hypotheses A=A is basically not correct, there is no equality or identity in nature but by seeing this identity we where able to easy pick out the right food etc. So the fundamental logic we use might be the result of evolution. It works but has nothing to do with what really is there. In his mind the reasonable logical way we interact with life is only possible because we don't see the immense the ununderstandable thing we reallly are.

S. mentioned different ways in which we explain reality. We always search for a causal ground to explain what happended. When we have found the causal ground than we consider something to be explained. But he went further in saying that we seem to have a causal intuitive mechanism that explains even before we start thinking. In fact one could say that the subject is created in this process just like the object. Both might be the result of this causal mechanism. S. Was very familiar with the Upanishads writings.

Nietzsche,

i recommend that you study the following treatise titled 'The Phoenix Revisited' (in PDF format) available here:

http://categoricalanalysis.com/category/pdf/Phoenix_Revisited.pdf

A brief abstract of The Phoenix Revisited:

Kant’s flawed analysis of the ground of being as the arbiter of value, named it the noumenal universe and defined it as totally unconditioned and inconceivable. Consequently anything associated with Kant’s noumenal universe, such as the concept of the heart as an atemporal knower (herein referred to as the Phoenix), was labeled "unscientific" or "metaphysics." According to Kant, only knowledge of the phenomenal universe based on the temporal knower (the Turtle) was scientific. This approach has led many to even banish the noumenal universe from existence itself. However Kant’s analysis was based on Bishop Berkeley’s scathing but ultimately flawed refutation of infinitesimals. This treatise traces western philosophical treatment of the noumenal universe from Kant up to the present and illustrates how Kant both informed and mislead the development of western philosophy. It is then demonstrated how certain developments in modern logic have not only invalidated Kant’s rationale for banishing the noumenal universe from rational scientific analysis but actually mandate bringing the noumenal universe and therefore the Phoenix into the realm of Science.


CategoricalAnalysis.com - main index:

http://categoricalanalysis.com/


I have studied Bhuddism, but I am far from a scholar. I couldn't teach a class in it. I wouldn't know what to say to fill up 45 min. or an hour. Nevertheless, I think I know enough to have this opinion.

Certainly Bhuddism has many branches, mahayana, tibetan, theravada, zen, etc. that could be clssified as 1 or 2. Ch'an is a little different than zen. Zen is ritualized ch'an which has at times been perverted as well. However, I think all these are just a creation of minds that do not understand it. I think I understand Bhuddism in a way that many writers, experts and some "masters" don't. Here it is:

There is nothing to Bhuddism. I mean absolutely nothing. No dogma. No eight-fold path. No rituals. No meditation. No goal. No enlightenment. Nothing. Not emptiness or fullness, not even the presence of the absence of either.
That's it. This is it. The Bhudda or whoever the guy was probably knew it but everyone made something of nothing. That's what people do who do not understand.

So, there is nothing metaphysical or physical about Bhuddism.

tAo

I am suprised to read that you appear to believe in such gobble-dee-gook bullshit-baffles-brains nonsense.

Its all hyfalutent semantic nonsense. I mean what the hell does Categorical Analysis even mean? Why don't people express things in clear language so everyone can understand the point they are trying to make.

Philosophy and Science are very interesting, but one of the reasons ppl are put off them is because they are expressed in language that no-one can decipher.

In my experience if a concept cannot be explained clearly and using plain simple language, it has not been properly understood.

what happened to the fine american tradition of richard feynman?

keep things simple, stupid.

instead serious fools like ken wilber and other twittering pseuds wrap their insubstantial ramblings in a veil of impenetrable verbose sophistry.

Get back to the days of Feynman, of simple yet profound and substantial thinking, strippers and bongo drums.

@tAo
I know this reasoning and I stumbled on it myself too. About the noumenal universe one can not even say that it exists. Kant went much to far in analysing this thing that we can not speak about (Wittgenstein: what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence).
The only thing that "I" can say about it is that it is "not" the phenomenal universe or at least it is different from it. But indead one can argue that it doesn't even exist there is no logical way to conclude to it.
That does not prove Kant wrong it just proves that he is not necessarily right :)
There is also the critique on Schopenhauer that he tries to speak about the unspeakable by calling it "Will to live". Nietzsche called it "Will to power". However Schopenhauer was honest in calling that an intuition and not a logical reasoning and he said it was allowed to use intuition in this case because we are the unspeakable ourself so we ought to know about it without using logic...

"However, I think all these (Bhuddist Branches) are just a creation of minds that do not understand it."
quote tucson

That's exactly what happenned. The
unenlightened started teaching and twisted
it back to their understanding.

" No dogma. No eight-fold path. No rituals. No meditation. No goal. No enlightenment. Nothing."
quote tucson

Right on the money. Since the enlightened
don't want other people to become enlightened, this brings up the question,
"Was Bhudda a fake jnani ?"

If the Bhudda was real, wouldn't he sound
like U. G. Krishnamurti ?

U. G. Krishnamurti said, "If you
knew what enlightenemnet was, you
would not touch it with a ten foot
barge pole."

Jiddo Krishnamurti was also enlightened
and yet he did not teach how to become
enlightened. Instead he spoke against
all religions and masters.

Susan Blackmore is enlightened yet
she does not tell you how to duplicate
her.

Enlightenment is not something you
wish on your best friends, enlightenment
is something you wish on your worst
enemies.

Have we not learned our lesson from Radhasoami masters ? Yet, we run out and
assume Bhudda was a real master.

Out of the frying pan, into the fire again.

Bhuddha was a fake jnani. The proof
of this was he taught about the way
of enlightenment.

U.G. Krishnamurti wrote a condemnation
book on enlightenment called, "The Mystique
of Enlightenemnt."

A true jnani will warn you off.

That is why if you see the Bhuddha walking
down the road "kill him."

Nietzsche,

Very good message. I liked,

N stated,

"So the fundamental logic we use might be the result of evolution. It works but has nothing to do with what really is there. In his mind the reasonable logical way we interact with life is only possible because we don't see the immense the ununderstandable thing we reallly are."

A table would be a transcendental object.

how can you kill the buddha?

this is surely not a very christian approach.

also its impossible, since the wee fat bugger is long dead.

what is enlightenment? those who believe they are enlightened have no way of knowing whether they are more or less enlightened as compared to anyone else, indeed the very extent of their knowledge can only ever be what they think they know.

I see an object that has a flat horizontal surface supported by four legs. I'm not saying I am the Knower of a Known. The object doesn't need to be called a table. The table, or whatever, a Knowable Infinitesimal? Or is the table really an Unknown something? How would a thing-in-itself or noumenon become a phenomenon table? If we could start with a definition section and use something or an unknown something, it could bring clarity to a Categorical Analysis.

Nietzsche,

according to what you said in your reply, i am not so sure that you really understood what i presented. so the following may helpt to give you some additional clarification in this area:

The Categorical Analytic Meaning of Truth:

http://categoricalanalysis.com/category/pdf/categorical-analytic_meaning_of_truth.pdf

Categorical Analysis:

http://categoricalanalysis.com/category/pdf/Cat_Analysis.pdf


@tAo
I need some time to studie your comments, I was too hasty. However considering that even today philosophers are heavily influenced by Kant I don't believe that his thinking was totally flawed. But you might not mean that. I however found it already enlightening to seriously doubt Kant. The best moments in philosophical rambling come from the moments that one realizes to be wrong ;) I hope so to be wrong :) Thanks, I'll studie it.

Ok, I think the critique is what Friedrich Fries wrote in his comment on Kant and I think I understood that the first time. Fries and Popper later solved this seemingly paradox by noting that every system has his arbitrary ground. So there is no flaw in logic but there is a seemingly paradoxm that can be solved on a technical matter with meta language.
What I take from Kant is the realisation that what I perceive is probable made up from two sources. The outside thing and my own way of perceiving. I find Kant acceptable because this way of thinking solves a number of antinomies that are paradoxes in the non Kantian realistic way of looking. Like the question for the first cause if one assumes causality to be a law of nature and the antinomie of the free will that is even a bigger paradox in the non Kantian realistic point of view.
But you are right every theorie that someone will present has his arbitrarily believe points. Wittgenstein toke the reader in 'on certainty' down that same rabit hole. You might find that interesting.
If you do not mean the paradox that I mentioned above please try to make your argument short as possible without citing whole books :)

nietzsche... i really don't have any argument, and i didn't cite any books. pretty much everything that i have to say on the matter, i have addressed within those three papers.


Ok, it is food for thought. But a general point I would like to add. I decided to read and use these philosophers in my posts because they have been criticized for a long time and the general opinion seems to be that what they said is still interesting.
Today you see all kinds of new age guru's bring their light and from what I see they either didn't think it through or it has been said already. But they hardly ever use critical methods to search for the logical flaws and mistakes in their own talking. In my opinion most of the time their contributions are a waste of time if you made a superficial study of the old philosophers.
The Sant Mat philosophy is very laughable in this regard too :) Boiling it down you are left with a system of mind control. Like the system in northern Korea nowadays.

The problem with the realist that take the phenomenological reality as the only one is that they think that they are so sober. They think they can not get drunk while we search for a way to rise above our drunkenness.
Free after N.

Yes Buddhists do believe in the Soul/Atman and God. The Gautama Buddha was a Satguru, therefore he was God!

Read this;
http://www.spiritualawakeningradio.com/Harmony8-ChapterThree.pdf

Jal, you should educate yourself about Buddhism. You're wrong. Buddhists don't believe in the Soul/Atman and God. You can start to enlighten yourself by studying these blog posts.

http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2012/02/no-need-for-a-creating-god-in-buddhism.html

http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2009/05/buddhism-and-taoism-deconstruct-religion.html

Your link isn't to a reputable Buddhism site. Good try at deceiving people. But truth is stronger than falsehood. Buddhism doesn't believe in the soul or God. Respect the teachings of Buddha; don't distort them by making up stuff from your own mind.

Look, Brian

Thia book was made by an Enlightened Master,just like the Geatuama Buddha. SO DON'T CALL IT WRONG!!!!!!

The original message of the Geatuama is lost. People have uninterrupted the Buddha's real message.

In fact, Buddhist literature contains multiple references to the soul (atta or atman), the Lord (Natha), and the maker of the body. Examples can be found even in the fairly short book Dhammapada, where Buddha elaborates on Soul or self (atta): "The atman is the lord of atman. What else could be the Lord? When the individual self jiivatman) is well subdued, a man finds the Lord (Natha) who is difficult to fathom" (Dhammapada 12/4).

Jai, as your understanding of Buddhism deepens and becomes less conceptual, likely you will begin to realize that abstractions like "soul" and "God" have no meaning or importance in Buddhism.

Everything is empty of independent existence. I suspect you don't understand what "empty" means, because you have a less than complete understanding of Buddhism.

Persist, and the light may dawn.

Here's a quote from the Buddhist scriptures for you to ponder:

"A sentient being does exist, you think, O Mara?
You are misled by a false conception.
This bundle of elements is void of Self,
In it there is no sentient being,
Just as a set of wooden parts,
Receives the name of carriage,
So do we give to elements,
The name of fancied being."

Look,

when the Buddhist text, talked about nothing. It was talking about the realm of Nirvana, where there is no maya/illusion and false bodies, and simply just Inner Light and Sound!!! And the Soul/God is made up of Inner Light and Sound!!!!!

"Absence of sound is not the end of hearing,
And sound when present is not its beginning.
The faculty of hearing, beyond creation
And annihilation, truly is permanent.
Even when isolated thoughts in a dream arise,
Though the thinking process stops, hearing does not end,
for the faculty of hearing is beyond
All thought, beyond both mind and body.....

Ananda and all you who listen here
Should inward turn your faculty
Of hearing to hear your own nature
Which alone achieves Supreme Bodhi.
That is how enlightenment is won.
Buddhas as many as the Ganges' sand
Entered this one gateway to Nirvana."
(The Surangama Sutra: Selections from the
Upasaka Lu K'uan Yu Translation,
Published by Rider and Company, London)

So Buddhism does believe in the Soul/God!

John, you have a HIndu view of nirvana, not a Buddhist view.

No, Buddhism doesn't believe in Soul or God. And Buddhism doesn't believe that nirvana is some form of "heaven" or the absorption of the soul into an absolute. Again, those are Hindu notions.

See:
http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/dharmadata/fdd43.htm

Look, Brian you are misinterpetating, what Jai and John, meant!! What they meant, was that Buddhism, does indirectly describe a God. God or Brahman, is not an old man, who sits up in the clouds! God, is an essence of love and goodness, present everywhere in the universe. The Buddha Nature, too is an essence of Love and goodness!!

Lets, put it this way, Hinduism had become impure!! The original meaning of the Lord and Krishna, was starting to change!! So the Buddha, created Buddhism, which was suppose to be a purification of the Hindu faith. With,no casting system, animal sacrifice or silly concepts of God!!

The quality of God or Brahman, is "NOTHING!!" In other words, Brahman(and the Atman(Soul), as the Atman, is part of Brahman), is literally "NOTHING!!" The SAME nothing, you mentioned this text, to Jai for;


"A sentient being does exist, you think, O Mara?
You are misled by a false conception.
This bundle of elements is void of Self,
In it there is no sentient being,
Just as a set of wooden parts,
Receives the name of carriage,
So do we give to elements,
The name of fancied being."

And Nirvana,as YOU and the Buddhanet website explained, is a experience of nothing!!! And Brahman, is NOTHING!!!!!!!!!! Atman, is NOTHING!!! BRAHMAN IS NOTHING!! GOD IS NOTHING!!! Suck khand and Moksha, are not heavenly realms. They, are exactly the same as the Buddhist Nirvana, of NOTHING!!!! It is just that many Hindus don't understand that Moksha, is like the Buddhists Nirvana, of aboutsely Nothing!! Therefore absorbing with Brahman, is the same as staying in a state of emptiness. The absolute is NOTHING!!!

You said, that Buddhism does not believe in the "absorption of the soul into an absolute." Although the Soul is NOTHING!! Brahman, is NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Besides the Buddha, was a Satguru, from a Sant Mat or purified Hindu/Vedic religion!! So, clearly he never denied the Lords existence!!!

Ineffable Divine and Silence

One person may say the true form of God is Nameless (transcending any human definition), a second person may say the true form of God is Soundless (nihshabda; beyond sound), and yet a third may keep silence in regard to the nature of the Divine. Is it logical to simply label the one who keeps silence an atheist? The wise person should reflect on this matter. If you say that the Divine Reality is nameless and then proceed to describe Him, are you not contradicting yourself! How can you describe something which is nameless? In thinking about this example, one might well conclude that the third person, who was silent when describing God, was actually closer to the nameless description of God.

Keeping silence in answer to the question of the nature of the Divine, is also found in the Upanishads. A prime example of this is found in the famous discourse between Sage Vashishta and Shri Ram in the Yoga Vashistha. Shri Rama had queried Guru Vasistha about the nature of Atman and Brahman (the Supreme Reality). In response the Guru remained silent. Ram repeated the question. Guru Vasistha remained silent. Shri Rama asked a third time, and still the great sage remained mute. With joined palms Ram asked his teacher Vasistha: "Reverend Sir! Are you displeased with me and therefore not answering my question, since you always assist me in understanding?" Guru Vasistha replied: "My dear son! I am not displeased with you. I have been answering the question which you have posed. The answer to your question is only given in silence, since the Divine is ineffable, unmanifest, and beyond the senses. How could I describe the nature of the reality which transcends the senses through these very sense organs (speech)?" The point here is that if we were to call the Buddha an atheist when he is silent on the question of the nature of the Divine, as some people have, then logically we must also call Guru Vasistha an atheist when he is silent in answer to the same question.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Was Buddha An Atheist?

By Sant Sevi Ji Paramahans Maharaj
The Harmony of All Religions: Santmat
[[[[[Copyright 2007, All Rights Reserved]]]]]
From the Chapter on Buddhism:

All the theistic religions of the world recognize the existence of God. The Divine Being is referred to by various names due to different languages: Brahman (Hindu), God (Christianity), Allah (Islam), Buddha (Buddhism), Tao (Taoism), Yahweh (Judaism), and Ahur Mazd (Zoroastrianism). We can say that a religion with a belief in God is a theistic religion. Religions which do not have a belief in God would be called atheistic.

Upon careful consideration, we can see that there are in fact two types of atheism: entirely atheistic and partially atheistic. The Belief Systems which do not have a belief in the existence of either God or soul are considered to be entirely atheistic. Those which do have a belief in the soul but not in God are considered partially atheistic.

In modern times some scholars have interpreted the Buddha’s silence on the issue of the existence of God as atheistic. In their opinion, Buddha refused to answer any questions regarding the existence of the Divine Reality and the Soul (Atman or Jivatman), and therefore they have concluded that Buddha was an atheist.

However, in my opinion these kinds of conclusions demonstrate limited knowledge and ignorance about the essence of the Buddhist texts. In fact, Buddhist literature contains multiple references to the soul (atta or atman), the Lord (Natha), and the maker of the body. Examples can be found even in the fairly short book Dhammapada, where Buddha elaborates on Soul or self (atta): "The atman is the lord of atman. What else could be the Lord? When the individual self jiivatman) is well subdued, a man finds the Lord (Natha) who is difficult to fathom" (Dhammapada 12/4).

Some scholars have interpreted the word ’lord’ in this verse as if it literally means ’lordship’. However, even a cursory examination of the words in Pali, the original language of these texts, yields the true meaning. In Pali the word ’lord’ is in the second case accusative, and therefore it would best be translated as ’to the lord’. The noted Buddhist scholar Bhikshu Rahul Sankrityayan has explained this in his rendering of this verse of the Dhammapada:

"A man is the lord of himself Who else then could be
the lord? If the self is wholly disciplined then he is able
to attain a lord who is difficult to be attained."

Buddha addresses the creator of the body:

"Oh maker of the house I have seen you."
(Jaravaggo)

"Impermanence" of Buddhism and "Maya" of the Vedic Dharma

In the Vedanta literature, the Upanishads, and in the literature of the saints, this physical world is said to comprise both name and form, and is referred to as maya. It is understood to be illusory and not real, to be ever changing, and dependent upon a higher reality In the Chandogya Upanishad, Brhidarnyaka Upanishad, Mundaka Upanishad, and Prashna Upanishad it is repeatedly stated that the nature of the world is transitory, destructible, and not real. Therefore, we must seek for that essence which is constant, true and unchanging by transcending these realms of name and form.

The world of name and form is also described as avidya (ignorance) in the Katha and Mundaka Upanishads. In the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, the world is also described as illusory maya. The Upanishads also explain that:

"The soul (atman), which is beyond name and form,
is brimming with joy and tranquility. In its Turiyatita
form (the fifth state -- a state of cosmic consciousness;
a state of unity with the source),
atman is beyond good and evil" (Teja bindu Upanishad).

Lord Buddha says:

"A mendicant is one who has no attachment to the world of name and form. He is one who does not grieve for what is not real (asat, the ever changing reality). This is the true mendicant. (Dhammapada, Bhikkhuvaggo)."

In the Ramcharitmanasa Saint Tulsida says:

"Name and form are the two obstructions to God."

All of these references from the Upanishads and the texts of the saints, show agreement with the words of the Buddha, not difference.

Ineffable Divine and Silence

One person may say the true form of God is Nameless (transcending any human definition), a second person may say the true form of God is Soundless (nihshabda; beyond sound), and yet a third may keep silence in regard to the nature of the Divine. Is it logical to simply label the one who keeps silence an atheist? The wise person should reflect on this matter. If you say that the Divine Reality is nameless and then proceed to describe Him, are you not contradicting yourself! How can you describe something which is nameless? In thinking about this example, one might well conclude that the third person, who was silent when describing God, was actually closer to the nameless description of God.

Keeping silence in answer to the question of the nature of the Divine, is also found in the Upanishads. A prime example of this is found in the famous discourse between Sage Vashishta and Shri Ram in the Yoga Vashistha. Shri Rama had queried Guru Vasistha about the nature of Atman and Brahman (the Supreme Reality). In response the Guru remained silent. Ram repeated the question. Guru Vasistha remained silent. Shri Rama asked a third time, and still the great sage remained mute. With joined palms Ram asked his teacher Vasistha: "Reverend Sir! Are you displeased with me and therefore not answering my question, since you always assist me in understanding?" Guru Vasistha replied: "My dear son! I am not displeased with you. I have been answering the question which you have posed. The answer to your question is only given in silence, since the Divine is ineffable, unmanifest, and beyond the senses. How could I describe the nature of the reality which transcends the senses through these very sense organs (speech)?" The point here is that if we were to call the Buddha an atheist when he is silent on the question of the nature of the Divine, as some people have, then logically we must also call Guru Vasistha an atheist when he is silent in answer to the same question.

Shunya and Transcendent Reality

Some scholars have discounted the Buddha’s teachings, claiming that he is promulgating a belief in "emptiness" or "nothingness." These scholars have concluded that the Buddha, does not believe in a Higher Reality (God). Therefore, they argue, his philosophy should be considered as nihilistic. According to their reasoning, it would follow that those who teach about "emptiness" or "nothingness" (shunya) [the transcendent form of Ultimate Reality is also referred to as shunya] cannot be theistic. However, teachings about shunyata (emptiness) are not only found in Buddhist literature, but are also prominent in the writings of many of the saints. Here are some examples:

Gorakh Nath Ji says:

"It (God) is neither existent nor non-existent (shunya),
its nature is beyond the reach of senses and thought."

Sant Kabir Sahab says:

"Meditation on the Formless (shunya)
is enjoyed by all knowers of Truth."

Guru Nanak Dev Ji says:

"In the thought-less state of Samadhi (sunna, emptiness),
neither maya (illusion) nor the web of mind exist.
Only the gracious God exists."

Paltu Sahab says:

"Staying in solitude and
meditate on emptiness (shunya)."

Saint Dadu Dayal Ji says:

"That Ultimate Reality is beyond the
dual categories of qualified and unqualified,
it is Emptiness which transcends emptiness (shunya)."

Saint Charan Das says:

"When the soul is absorbed on the
peak (highest inner realm) of emptiness,
then it experiences rapture."

This emptiness is also known as ether (akasha) or void (avakasha). In the Ramcharitamanasa, Goswami Tulsi Das Ji invokes Lord Shiva:

"I invoke the name of Shiva--Lord Shiva,
who dwells in the space of infinite knowledge (akasha)"

There are discussions about shunya in the Tantra Shastra and the Jnanasankalnii Tantra, where it says,

"Meditation is not meditation
unless the mind is united
with Shunya".

Maharishi Mehi says:

"Consciousness that is traveling beyond sunna (void)
and mahasunna (the great void) traverses the realm
of bhanvar gupha (the whirling cave). There it
experiences the sound of Truth (sat), which
is the Original Sound. This Sound embodies the essence
of the spiritual preceptor. 0 Practitioner! Hold on to that
sound and become one with that True Sound."

In the Upanishads there are multiple references to Emptiness or Space (shunya). In the fourth Brahmana of the Mandala Brahmanopanishad it is said:

"There are five kinds of celestial Shunya (ether)
which are increasingly more subtle: akasham,
parakasham, Mahakasham, Suryakasham and
Parmakasham. The infinite light permeates all
of these akasham, but the Parmakasham is
ineffable and is brimming with infinite bliss.
It is the essential element."

When one considers all these descriptions of Shunya (emptiness or void), the question arises whether the composers of the Upanishads and the saints were atheists. The unequivocal response is, of course, that they are not atheists. How then could one logically consider the Buddha to be an atheist? The Buddha regularly speaks of both nirvana and Shunya in almost identical terminology, and yet he is accused of atheism solely on the basis of his silence on this question about the nature of God.

-- Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj


Sant Sevi Ji Paramahans Maharaj

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/santmatfellowship/blog/2008/04/05/was-buddha-an-atheist-document-harmony-of-all-religions#


Buddha: The Refiner of Hinduism
Exploring Hindu-Buddhist Connections

By Subhamoy Das, About.com Guide
Ads: Dharma Hinduism Hinduism Holy Book Gold Refiner Buddha Temple in India Buddha

The Buddha

www.theholidayspot.com
Ads
Yin Yoga & Pilates
www.upaya.org.uk/
Morning classes in Caversham levels beginners/intermediate
Mindfulness Meditation
www.dechencholing.org
Intensive retreat in rural France, 2-4 weeks Buddhist meditation
"Shocking" Free Horoscope
www.PremiumAstrology.com
Insert your name and birthdate, and receive by email a free reading!
More Hinduism Ads
Dharma Hinduism
Hinduism Holy Book
Gold Refiner
Buddha Temple in India
Buddha
Ads
3-Minute Chakra Test
www.ChakraHealing.com
Take the Free Chakra Test to Find Out Which of Your Chakras Are Weak
Buddha Attunement Courses
mayastar.net/buddha_palm_reiki
Online energy attunement courses for healing & spiritual development
The Buddha's relation with Hinduism is so close that it's easy to confuse Buddhism with Hinduism. The two religions have close connections, and yet they are distinct. This was because of Buddha's reform movements and his refining of Hindu beliefs. It would not be wrong to state, then, that Buddha founded a noble religion by distilling Hinduism, and offering a commonsense approach to self-betterment to which the people can relate easily.

Swami Kriyananda (J Donald Walters) in his book The Hindu Way of Awakening, perspicaciously notes how Westerners confuse between these two closely connected religions, and why people mistakenly consider Buddhism and not Hinduism as the religion of India:

"Hinduism is often omitted from rosters of the world's great religions. Everyone knows, of course, that Hinduism exists. Even so, it is confused in many people's minds with what they think of as Buddhism. For Buddhism fits into their concepts of what a religion ought to be...

"Even if the Westerner holds good intention towards India… he may see Hinduism as containing some of the worst examples of Paganism. Small wonder, then, that many people look upon Buddhism as the noblest representative of India's religion, and turn to it when wanting an Indian religion to place among the great religions of the world.

"While Buddhism is relatively simple, Hinduism is complex…Buddhism seems, to Westerners especially, to offer a benign and palatable form of the Indian religious experience. Most students of religion know that Buddha tried to reform some of the ancient practices; they think of him as having brought order and sophistication to primitive chaos. When they prepare lists of the great world religions they think of themselves as demonstrating respect for the religion of India by calling it Buddhism. Most of them are not conscious of their mistake."

Buddha, as we know, began his meditation as a Hindu. He was awakened with a new enlightenment only to denounce Hinduism and emerge as the founder of a new religion. Therefore, to understand Buddhism fully, one should not separate it from Hinduism; while at the same time view it separately from Hinduism. Buddha's way of life was "the golden mean" and a relief from the pagan stigmas and caste system prevalent in Hinduism.

The Hindu caste system defined a person's position in society as determined by their birth. Buddha condemned the Hindu caste system and said that it is karma or the good and bad actions of a person and not birth that should determine a person's caste. He introduced the idea of placing morality and equality on a higher place than genealogy of a person.

Jesus had the same relationship to Judaism as Buddha to Hinduism. Both Hinduism and Judaism are ethnic and non-missionary traditions, and are characterised by an element of segregation between the castes and races, unlike Buddhism and Christianity.

Swami Kriyananda compares Buddha's position relative to Hinduism with Martin Luther's to the Roman Catholic Church: "Both men were reformers, and the structure reformed by each was not supplanted by his teachings. The Catholic Church survives to this day, and has in many ways been strengthened by Luther's reforms. Hinduism similarly was purified and strengthened by the teachings of Buddha, and was in no way replaced by them. Most Hindus today look upon Buddha as one of their own Avatars or Divine Incarnations."

Hindus believe that the purpose of the avatar of Buddha, like all divine avatars, was to re-establish dharma where "adharma" (irreligiousness) had become prevalent. Buddha is regarded by some sects of Hindus as an incarnation of Vishnu, or even as a Hindu. This is because Buddha's theistic beliefs are not contrary to Hinduism, but only a step ahead. This is also because the nature of Hinduism itself is such that all beliefs are recognized as being facets of the Ultimate Truth. It is interesting to note that the word "Nirvana" — used by Lord Buddha to describe the state of permanent bliss — is indeed a Vedic term.

The great unification of Buddhism and Hinduism is still prevalent in Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha. Ironically, Nepal is the world's only Hindu nation, where people don't consider the two religions distinct from each other.

http://hinduism.about.com/od/gurussaintsofthepast/a/buddha.htm

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Welcome


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.