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January 18, 2024


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"At least I'm moving in the right direction: away from the heights of religious supernaturalism toward a grounding in here-and-now reality."

In that case:
The path TOWARDS a point in the distance is the same as the path AWAY from that same point.... and nothing has changed.

The first strophes of Dante's HELL.

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say
What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,
Which in the very thought renews the fear.

So bitter is it, death is little more;
But of the good to treat, which there I found,
Speak will I of the other things I saw there.

I cannot well repeat how there I entered,
So full was I of slumber at the moment
In which I had abandoned the true way.

It is not about the path being lost ... but about BEING lost as human being

>> Maybe the biggest problem with life is believing there's a problem with life<<

As so many people are involved, the question is, HOW came people to ask these questions ... who, has , what question.

As we are born as self sufficient creatures, like every sentient creature, we are endowed with whatever is needed to keep ourselves in life.

What question might the crow have?

Why do we have questions that the crow doesn'tt have?

Why do we have questions NOW that nobody would have say before 1968?

What has happened to us that we ask ourselves questions about Zen, Free will, ..ponder over ADHD etc etc ...have we become kind of aliens compared to who and what we were before 1968.

Before 1968 humans were born male or female
later they no longer were considered as male an female
but .. wil it end with discovering that humans are either male or female?

Humanity became uprooted from nature and without sucking nutrienys from nature the tree they built themselves by necessity will die


That story comes to mind. You'd run a post about it one time. Monk walking through hilly woods, set upon by tiger, slips, hangs over gorge by holding on to vine. Snarling tiger on top. Steep fall and sure death below. Snake slithering down. And the vine's breaking.

But it isn't all bad. The view is nice. And there's this hive some way up, and drops of honey, that he can put out his tongue to catch. And he's still alive, for now.

Is that a problem? Depends on you! You can focus on the honey, and not worry about the rest. If you really mean it, then sure, there's no problem.

But nor is it unreasonable to see a problem there, if you're so constituted. That's what the Buddha saw, and taught.

Life is indeed suffering. For a number of reasons, chief of them because it ends.

But again, it's suffering only if you think of it as such. If you can focus on the drops of honey, and ignore the rest of
---- ignore the transitoriness of it, ignore losing one's near and dear, ignore losing everything, one's knowledge, one's personality, all of it, and not to mention the specific pains of life situations --- then that's perfectly fine! No sarcasm, that's truly a blessing, if like that guy on the cross, at the end of Monty Python's Life of Brian, one can sing out lustily, "Look on the bright side of life."

That's a great metaphor for life, that. Helps put it all in perspective.

Being a Taoist
If you describe yourself as “spiritual but not religious”... you might be a Taoist.

If you think that less government is better... you might be a Taoist. (Verse 57,58, 59 & 60)

If you believe that you can behave ethically without religious guidelines... you might be a Taoist. (Verse 19)

If you think that people should spend less time worrying about the meaning of life and more time living it... you might be a Taoist. (Verse 20, 46 & 48)

If you see yourself as just another part of the natural world, like a bird, or a rock, or a stream... you might be a Taoist.

If you're content with the fact that you're not a supernatural being, that when you die the chemical reaction sustaining your life ends and your atoms return to the universe. In fact, if you believe that you never really were separate from the universe so there is no returning to do... you might be a Taoist.

If you don't believe that there's an all-powerful, all-knowing god who listens to everyone's prayers and responds to only those he deems worthy... you might be a Taoist.

If you're an agnostic or an atheist... you might actually be a Taoist.

If you think Thoreau should have just said, “Simplify.” (instead of "Simplify, simplify.")... you might be a Taoist. (Verse 46, 48 &80)

If you think that all religious fundamentalists are nuts... you might be a Taoist.

If you think less money should be spent on crushing our enemies and more on making them our friends... you might be a Taoist. (Verse 30 & 46)

If you prefer the gentle peace of Tai Chi to the kicking and punching of Tae Kwon Do... you might be a Taoist.

If you understand that good and evil are human, not divine, definitions... you might be a Taoist. (Verse 5)

If you like Benjamin Hoff's “The Tao Of Pooh”... you might be a Taoist.

If you believe that no one, no religion, no philosopher, no charismatic leader knows the true answer... you might be a Taoist.

If you don't believe that you have done anything that you need salvation for... you might be a Taoist.
If you believe in living in the moment, not dwelling on the past, or worrying about the future... you might be a Taoist.

If you can see that by defining beauty you have defined what is ugly... you might be a Taoist. (Verse 2)

If you try not be one of the "people being persuaded to spend money they don't have on things they don't need to create impressions that won't last on people they don't care about"... you might be a Taoist. (Verses 44, 46 & 48)

If you don't believe in divinely inspired miracles, only amazing coincidences... you might be a Taoist.

If you can be a leader without trying to be in charge... you might be a Taoist. (Verse 10, 17, 58 & 59)

If you prefer NPR over Fox News... you might be a Taoist. ;)

If your definition of creationism is that man created gods... you might be a Taoist.

If you prefer to "go with the flow", slipping like water around all types of physical and mental obstacles... you might be a Taoist. (Verse 8)

If you know when you have enough and you don't need a lot... you might be a Taoist. (Verse 9&46)

If you think that groups that preach acceptance and then exclude large sections of humanity from joining them are hypocrites... you might be a Taoist.

If you know that you have a better understanding of what your spiritual needs are than some (self-)proclaimed holy man... you might be a Taoist.

If you're a vegan or vegetarian or a tree-hugging environmentalist... you might be a Taoist.

If you have a hard time reconciling proven historic and scientific facts with contradictory stories passed down by uneducated superstitious desert dwellers, edited and re-edited by generations of religious and government leaders for their own benefit, constantly quoted out of context by followers with their own agendas, about a god who's described as jealous, petty, indecisive, and ruthless, having murdered millions, including admittedly innocent victims... you might be a Taoist.

If you believe that “whatever happens, just happens”... you might be a Taoist.

If you love your fellow earthlings (human and non), just want to see us all get along and quit harming the planet... you might be a Taoist.

If you value others not only for their similarities but for their differences... you might be a Taoist.

If you think that if someone doesn't approve of gay marriage, then they shouldn't have one... you might be a Taoist.

If you believe that the laws of nature work better and make more sense than alleged "holy" laws... you might be a Taoist.

If you can see that the true path to enlightenment can only be found within you, that any human being who claims to know your path is lying... especially if they're asking for donations... you might be a Taoist. (Verse 1)

If you get that the hawk is not evil because she kills the chicken, the hawk is just being a hawk... you might be a Taoist.

If you have a hard time believing that a just and perfect god would punish a whole country by sending a hurricane to destroy good and bad alike... you might be a Taoist.

If you can see that you are living the perfect life for you, in a perfectly designed universe... you might be a Taoist.

If you understand that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step... you might be a Taoist. (Verse 64)

In short...
If you can conceive of an unnameable infinite power (call it Tao) that has always existed, that powers the universe, holds molecules together, makes the flowers bloom, birds sing, your heart beat, allows some things to evolve while others don't, allows the sun to shine and rain to fall on both the good and the evil, all without putting any demands on the recipients or having the need to be worshiped or even acknowledged... then you might be a Taoist. (Verse 25 & 34)

"Where Zen and Buddhism will say the truth, enlightenment, and so on can be reached through dedicated meditation and practice, a Tao master may sip some wine, fart, and go to sleep." from Daily Cup of Tao

Thinking a bit more about your post, Brian, and my response above: I guess where I'm at is: There's problems, and then there's problems. Not all are alike. Some of them are real, some aren't. The “problem” your astrologer might diagnose for you, or your preacher, is a pile of steaming bull. But the problems your doctor diagnoses are real. And nor is it fallacious special pleading to treat these two claims of problems very differently.

The problems that oafish religions like Christianity, and Islam, and Judaism, and the specifically karmic elements of karmic religions, and the overtly woo-woo theistic elements of karmic religions --- including RSSB --- I agree, in their case, in as much as the problems they purport to solve are themselves nonsensical, to that extent, yes, absolutely, the main problem is the problem having been formulated at all. Ditto theistic strands of Buddhism. Ditto even Daoism, AIUI, given that it exhorts an adherence to "The Way", without clearly explaining why exactly one is to do that, towards what end exactly; so that what iffiness and dodginess Daoism lacks in terms of unfounded superstitious oafish beliefs, it kind of makes up for in incoherence.

But not so the core of the Buddha's teachings. That life is suffering, is an existential truth. Sure, some specific individuals may be unaffected by it, by virtue of simply not caring. Good for them. Sure, some might be unaffected by virtue of understanding the insubstantial, ephemeral, chimerical nature of our consciousness and our self. But if we do this experientially, then we're only availing of the Buddha's solution to the problem he highlighted. And if we do this intellectually, then again we're availing of a quasi-Buddhistic solution to the problem. None of that negates the problem itself.

I'll say that alone among all religions, the problem that Buddhism sets itself to solve, is real. That problem being: Life is suffering, and is there a way out of this suffering?

Now we may disagree with the Buddha's solution. Or we may agree with his solution in principle, but in practice find it far too effort-intensive and in that sense impractical. We may choose some other solution to the problem than what the Buddha taught -- to wit, intellectual appreciation of no-self basis science. Or we may decide this problem has no solution, and so live our lives as best we can despite that, by focusing on other distractions, or maybe focusing on solving piecemeal as best we can such specific issues as crop up in life. Or we may buy the Buddha's solution in toto.

But regardless of what we do, there's no way we can dismiss the problem itself. Life is the inevitability of old age; life is the inevitability of illness; life is the inevitability of bereavement and loss; life is the inevitability of death. Life is suffering: that "problem" is real, and existential. Life is suffering: those pithy, sledgehammer words describe a very real problem, the one single religious problem that is not make-believe and nonsensical, the one religious/spiritual problem that is immediate and urgent, and very very real. Or so it seems to me.

Love Zen Buddhism. I cringe today when I think about having once been a member of RSSB because it was really more of a cult than a religion (and both are weird). But what does it say about us that we were once so vulnerable and gullible that we believed a human being to be God. It’s a completely absurd belief.
I like what the speaker says at 15min in the video above about why people join cults, and his suggestion that there really needs to be more mental health help for people in these situations.

The job of Gurinder singh Dhillon is to pretent to be a solution to the problems of your life. But did you know this demon baba and satanic rssb cults job is to create the problems so this fake ass baba of beas can come along as the saviour. This is why they say the sangats life becomes harder when they get initiated and they blame this on storage of karma - which is the bullshit mind prison , fear programs spread by rssb and so called fake ass saints. Gurinder then traps souls and takes them to his lord and master- kaal / satan/ jot niranjan and you go around the reincarnation cycle of suffering. Souls , it's time to wake up and retake your power; Gurinder you will face your karma for taking advantage of the innocent

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