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> Some Buddhism criticism(from a former Buddhist), My practice and withdrawl story + criticism.
Lao_Tzu
post Nov 03, 2009, 04:44 PM
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None of this is Zhenka's fault... (Zhenka, if you're still around, please forgive me for writing about you in the 3rd person). However, many of his (?) problems seem to have arisen from his attitude towards Buddhism. Many of them also arose from plain, simple (and tragic) misunderstandings of it. None of these are problems with Buddhism per se -- they could happen with any religion, or even with a nonreligious philosophy, if you go overboard on it.

To consider a philosophy circumspectly and carefully, to test it rigorously against your experience, and then (if it works for you) to integrate it in your life -- that is a tenable, useful process, and one that even an 'antireligious' person could approve of, at least in principle. But, from what I have read, it's not what happened here.

In the beginning, it seems that Zhenka thought that this or that religion of philosophy contained the ultimate ("objective") truth and would make him happy -- even though, ironically, Buddhism warns explicitly on that very point (e.g. the Tibetan saying: "seeking happiness outside yourself is like waiting for the sun in a cave facing north", or warning against become attached to the dharma). In the middle, he declined to engage his critical faculties in questioning what he witnessed in his friends and in the teachings (again, ironically, despite the Buddha's explicit encouragement of rigorous, critical questioning. Lots of people, like those friends he describes, are on unrealistic Buddhist 'trips' and sooner or later they, like all trippers, will inevitably find their trip coming up against reality, whereupon they will come down to earth, with a rather painful bump.)

In the end Zhenka became jaded -- and, at that stage, it's healthy that he did. But had his original approach been more realistic, and had he been more willing to engage critically with his experiences and the teachings, things could have been different.

Could have been. On the other hand, Buddhism is definitely not for everyone. When the Dalai Lama was asked "what is the best religion?" he didn't say Buddhism, he said "your religion". Christianity works wonders for some, Buddhism for others, atheistic humanism for others, etc. It may well be that Buddhism and Zhenka (like Nietzsche and Mother Teresa, or jackhammers and sewer pipes) simply don't go together very well, even though they're all pretty cool in their proper context.

My intention here is to make it clear that the 'problem' in this case is not with Buddhism as a religion or a philosophy. But I also want to express, not as a Buddhist but as a human, that I am sorry, in a heartfelt way, that Zhenka had a rough time. It can be a very confusing, harsh world sometimes. I'm sorry about any and all of the rough times that he and anyone has had with anything. This in particular seems like a very sad series of events. I hope that Zhenka will discover the peace and happiness that is beyond all labels, religions and philosophies.
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zhenka11230
post Nov 03, 2009, 08:41 PM
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Since my last post i had changed a lot, but most important out of all the changes was probably my realization that most if not all philosophy is b.s. Combination of Weitingstein, Quines "Two Dogmas of Empiricism", the Duheim Doctrine of Holism, Logical Positivism, American Pragmatism in combination completely eliminate anything useful for philosophy to do. Everything is to the root empirical -- even logic.

So if we want to be happy -- we do neuroscience and see what makes us happy. The brain is an organ after all. That goes for all questions that are supposedly the domain of philosophy. If science cannot answer it -- then philosophy surely cannot either.

My point is, yeah Buddhism makes some interesting hypothesis. What i am interested in is controlled experiments and data, not another "opinion" or meaningless semantics. So far, the combination of supplements, nootropics, CBT and spiriting makes me reasonably happy and i don't see what the hell is so special about Buddhism anymore.

I am still convinced it is just another religion, just another meme.
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post Nov 03, 2009, 09:56 PM
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QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 03, 2009, 05:41 PM) *

Since my last post i had changed a lot, but most important out of all the changes was probably my realization that most if not all philosophy is b.s. Combination of Weitingstein, Quines "Two Dogmas of Empiricism", the Duheim Doctrine of Holism, Logical Positivism, American Pragmatism in combination completely eliminate anything useful for philosophy to do. Everything is to the root empirical -- even logic.

So if we want to be happy -- we do neuroscience and see what makes us happy. The brain is an organ after all. That goes for all questions that are supposedly the domain of philosophy. If science cannot answer it -- then philosophy surely cannot either.

My point is, yeah Buddhism makes some interesting hypothesis. What i am interested in is controlled experiments and data, not another "opinion" or meaningless semantics. So far, the combination of supplements, nootropics, CBT and spiriting makes me reasonably happy and i don't see what the hell is so special about Buddhism anymore.

I am still convinced it is just another religion, just another meme.

Thanks for coming back! So, based on your last post, I am to assume that you've taken a turn towards reductionism?
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zhenka11230
post Nov 04, 2009, 05:23 PM
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I am not sure reductionism is a useful term. Yeah i do break concepts into pieces when it is required, and put them back together when not.
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Buddhist=)
post Nov 22, 2009, 04:13 AM
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Hi zhenka11230,

I am new to forums, and in fact i think this is my 1st post in any forum. I hope I could share with you what I have learn from practising Buddhism. I apologize and regretted that only until just now that I see your posts/know you have problems with Buddhism.

Yes, Buddhism has a lot of philosophies but if you think that being a Buddhist means only learning and/or just following and/or memorizing philosophies, then I think you have gone off Buddhism. If I am not mistaken, Buddha himself said that never believe anything you read or hear or ... and so forth.

With regards to empirical, you hit the jackpot =) you need to experience/'directly see it yourself' to get/know the truth =) That is why Buddhism encourages meditation. On some of your posts, you are right, you should feel depress initially while learning Buddhism. Yea again you hit the jackpot again on controlled experiments and data, in Buddhism, with many methods available (but you do not need to follow them if you do not wish), you are the experiment, the specimen, the scientist and everything needed for the experiment.

I agree with you that neuroscience or other medical studies or drugs and so forth may get you happy but I am certain that it is impermanent. That is, once the medicine and so forth wear out, you will be depress again, won't you? In Buddhism, we are suppose to discover/experience the true nature of things or some people put it as 'see things as they are' (mind you that it is not always easy to be done). Once we are able to do that, our fear, hatred or delusions or any other negative emotions will go off. Then, we will be able to confront the problem with ease.

Easy to say, hard to be done. Let me give you an example, let say you are having an headache or any other pain (not too severe of course, if not you should be in the hospital or so). (I assume you have some experience in meditation) just 'watch' or monitor what is happening to that part of your body. Initially you might be agitated or 'interfering thoughts' (to stop you from doing it) or so, just relax and go on watching (that is, you might notice 'pain, no pain, pain, no pain,...' or similar). Mind you, you might think 'how suffering this is' or similar stuff but this is only to show you how 'seeing the things as they are' helps you. After some time, you fear or aversion (or other negative feelings) towards the pain will go off. With a peace of mind, you will know what is appropriate to do to solve the problem. Say for the headache case, with a peace of mind, you could rest in peace without the headache disturbing you and/or continue to watch it and/or take medicine. Soon later, I believe your headache will be gone. What actually happens? you have cut through the delusion of 'the pain is really terrible or so' and see it as just pain - a feeling... some information...or so. By no means I am saying you should reduce anything to something else. This is where you mention Buddhism talk about beyond words.. I can't explain to you how you should understand the pain as it is but rather you have to experience it yourself, but first, deal with all the thoughts (this is where you complain that you got more depress, more on this later) and emotions as they interfere with your 'controlled experiment' (to see for yourself what pain really is). I am not saying that this is easy or you could 'see the pain as it is' and not affected by it, but at least less affected by it.

So what is the difference from you just taking the medicine (method1)? After all, both method works and maybe the medicine works must faster. Yes your right, medicine may work much faster. But once you get the headache again in future, you will still suffer from the headache (at least until the time you take the medicine) if you just deal with the headache with method 1. On the other hand, if you are 'good at see the things as they are' (many Buddhism methods available), you know the 'real nature of the pain'. Thus, the pain will just be the 'feeling... some information...' and it would not be any 'real problem to you'. Just like once you are young (I suppose) you are afraid of going in to dark rooms, and once you realise that dark rooms are 'just no light' and everything in the room are just the same as they are in light (I know this explanation is dumb but I don't know how to explain and hope you get it). Going back to the pain, by no means I am saying do not take medicine or take any appropriate steps but just see the real nature of things.

Most of the time, mind tend to 'play tricks', by exaggerating how the things are, such as how pain really is. Moreover, what we learn last time such as 'pain are really bad', which I wouldn't say is wrong, but having it pestering you while having headache and getting you feeling so depress and so on, is suffering. Many times, the problem is not the main thing that cause us to suffer. Rather, its our deluded mind, which does not apprehend the things as they are, that tortures us.

From personal experience, all problems that I encountered have either be solved by just 'seeing the real nature of things' or I will know what appropriate things to do, without any negative emotions or negative thoughts. Compared to last time, before I learn/understand Buddhism, it is a new life to me. But I must say that I did gone through a short period (few days or so) of being depress when understanding the 'real nature of things'. Note that this is not the problem of Buddhism but it is just how the things in nature are.

Repeated many times before, 'seeing the true nature of things' is really one of the most important things in Buddhism. Once you 'see the things as it is' and gained wisdom, you can then create your own philosophies =) I hope this post help. By no means, I am trying to get you into Buddhism or trying to convince you that I am right in any way or hoping you to thank me. I am doing this solely because you seem to be having problems =) And again let me remind you that do not just listen to anything I typed here =) I apologise if I have offended or hurt anyone and may all beings find happiness and stay happy ^^
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Nirvana
post Nov 20, 2011, 01:52 AM
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Anti-reason movement. => Mahayana idea, not what the Buddha actually taught. All we need is the 4 noble truths and the eightfold path.

Belief in magical karma. => Not a core Buddhism. People in India in the Buddha's time believed it as much as we believe gravity today, so naturally the Buddha also believed it. In any case, it has nothing to do what you can benefit from his teaching.

Aversion towards life. => Not sure where you got this. If anything, Buddhism is to help people live life in the fullest sense.

Rebirth. => same as karma, irrelevant. The Buddha's teaching is perfectly applicable even if there's no rebirth.

Belief in Enlightenment. => Another Mahayana idea. There's nothing to realize. The Buddha already figured it out and told us about it in no uncertain terms. The goal of Buddhism is not Enlightenment. It is Nirvana, "Blowing out of the 3 poisons." and you do it by taking the eightfold path.

Mindfulness as promised to cure all problems while generally only creating more strain on the mind. => Modern psychologists confirm mindfulness does alleviate mental stress. If it strains your mind, you're not doing it right. In any case, it's not to "cure all problems" but to train your mind which requires effort.

Meditation being promised a cure for many psychological problems which it never solves or does only temporary. => ditto


Belief that life IS suffering. => Only the samsaric life is suffering. The Buddha clearly shows you the solution to the problem.

Belief that desire is bad causing people to get depressed(no desire = depression easily) => This is not really a unique Buddhist idea anymore. All kinds of people throughout the history from Greek philosophers to eastern thinkers and modern day psychology confirm desire, greed, obsession, and craving aren't desirable. It's like a common sense. Why would anyone want to have a burning desire for anything? By the way, "no desire" is a symptom of depression, not the cause and we aren't talking about the same desire here anyway. It's more like motivation while the desire Buddhism talks about is craving and clinging.

Non-dual teachings that make people passive, indifferent and easily fallen under suppression of government(although always denied and instead marketed as being a source of compassion, truth and wisdom). => True, Buddhism is not a solution for world peace. But it's not a reason to abandon it. It still helps people immensely individually. You don't abolish psychology because it doesn't promote democracy, do you?

Master-student relationship where student follows everything blindly. => Problem of all modern religion which is ripe for abuse. Actually, it's always been a problem for all organized religions. If you can't find a qualified teacher, do it alone. It's still better than not doing it at all.

Belief that all bad things are caused by Karma and that one should not be cured but left to suffer to "purify" oneself. => see "karma" above

Selfish escapism. => Good to have lofty goals for the sake of other human beings, but please, save yourself first and you do not need to renounce the world to practice Buddhism and benefit from it.

Impossible ideals that only cause inner tension as they go against our nature and cause us to suppress the shadow to amazing extent. => Again, Mahayana idea.

False hope given to people. => You will probably level this kind of criticism to all religion and philosophies, not just Buddhism, so, I'll just skip it.

Self righteousnesses. => ditto

Masked utilitarianism. => Another attack on Mahayana aspect. In any case, I'm not interested in ethics, it's not that hard for me. I believe if people can draw some psychological help from Buddhism, it's already a great success. We don't even have to talk about Nirvana. It's like worrying about how to finish a marathon when you can barely walk.

Constant chase of happiness resulting in paradox because when you chase happiness it causes sadness. => The eightfold path is very specific on what you need to do and "chase happiness" isn't one of them. Happiness comes naturally when you follow the path. If there's anything Buddhism doesn't want you to do, it's "chasing" anything.

Happiness only happens as byproduct but never as the goal. => You are almost guaranteed to get happy "while" following the path and if and when you attain Nirvana. In any case, happiness, by nature, isn't something that can be grasped directly, it's like trying to grab a handful of air. You can't do that. It can only happen as a by-product. If you say, what about Nirvana then? I don't know what it will be like. But then, I don't really care. It probably won't happen to me anyway. Why bother with something with zero practicality? If you can become a far happier, stable, peaceful, strong, confident with character and live a life with some sense of meaning, purpose, and worth, shouldn't that be enough already? We can worry about all the ideals, truth and other novel concepts afterward, not now.

Thinking of this reality as almost hell(what Nietzsche would criticize as other worldly religion) => craving, anger, ignorance, old age, sickness, and death, that's the reality. He called it unsatisfactory, not hell. But no matter how you call it, I have to agree it is undesirable. I don't believe in just having a positive attitude and ignoring the reality makes you happy.
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ADGujral
post Jan 30, 2012, 06:20 AM
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I am extremely irritated by the Buddhist practice. I was also drawn toward it, seeing some of my "Happy" and energetic friends who would swear by this practice. Later they would call me almost all the time, to ask how many hours I chanted or did Gongyo.....at one point I thought religion is a very personal thing & anyone making loud noises by chanting in cars, airplanes etc is simply showing off to the world, how karmically superior they are.

I feel this can also lead to schizophrenia. I've seen people practicing Buddhism and they only become delusional day by day. They learn whatever they do to teach others, not realizing that the spiritual practice was meant for self-correction & not picking on others around you. Basically Buddhism works on the Human Psyche and thrive on making people fearful......they are making this as a cult practice, their leaders are all manipulative & very materialistic.

I am so glad to have gotten rid of foolish ladies who were after me selling Buddhism.










QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 14, 2007, 01:01 PM) *

Hi guys! I quit Christianity in hopes that i would rid myself of mind disease forever to only eventually be lured into Buddhism(another mind disease). I guess i could not live without meaning and a new set of beliefs which is i think quite natural to humans(human, all too human!). What attracted me at first was their anti-god and anti-Christianity attitude that prevailed throughout the followers that seemed to nurture my own hate towards those concepts.

Back then i was still a little brainwashed into thinking that there must be a true religion of some kind of divine origin, an ultimate truth. Basically i was still naively led by my desire of order. I feared chaos that would result in a world where everything is permitable and there is nothing that punishes that bad deeds or rewards the good. My mother being very "spiritual" conditioned me to desire to stay within the label "spiritual". I figured maybe Christianity was wrong but some other religions were not. I sleeked meaning and order so hard that eventually i was lured into the beautiful myth of Buddha who was enlightened and shared that objective truth of reality with us. I was promised happiness, rewards in new life and this one. I was promised answers that i could find myself.

I learned the four noble truths, i learned of many traditions and being quite philosophically inclined i found myself spending quite a lot of time trying to understand all the teachings. I learned to meditate. Back then i had many questions but i had faith that the Suttas and the Meditation will give me answers. A year passed and then another. There were only more questions and more contradictions but i still had faith. The hierarchy was supposed to have all the answers and it took me a long time to realize they didn't.

While studying Buddhism and practicing i found myself become more passive, less human, sometimes depressed and even contemplated on suicide(purely logically and mostly driven by the first noble truth - life is suffering). I was conditioned more and more to have aversion towards life and that only practice will save me - not even death can liberate. Right now i see many traditions of Buddhism as a direct road to suicide if only one element is removed - rebirth. The fear of rebirth is the only thing that keeps many Buddhist from suicide. I even know a few friends whose relatives suicided dew to Buddhism. The interesting fact is that whilst i was semi-depressed and passive i knew that i was supposed to be "happy" as seen on pictures of Buddhists masters. They always market Buddhism as the road to happiness. So i lived the illusion of happiness. I denied any feeling of unhappiness and pretended i was. Sometimes when i got way too depressed i just thought that it was due to my lack of practice and that only Buddhism would make me happy.

Any criticism of Buddhism i just rejected with some arbitrary and obscure quote that deep inside i knew was not really understood by anyone. They all claimed truth was "beyond words" and i believed them. Every time the quote did not make sense i thought that the truth was beyond so i just blindly accepted them. After a while i intellectually understood all the concepts like no-self and co-dependent origination and the four noble truth and the rest of it. But what hit me much later is that those concepts were not that "deep" or helpful. They were just some concepts by some philosophers that may or may not be helpful but i took them as some kind of divine truth. I reached some progress in meditation but i soon admitted that in fact i hated that state- it was a state of a veritable where life looses all color.

I pretended as if Buddhism was some kind of secret to life and happiness, some kind of sacred knowledge that only a few had karma to understand. I even got some Buddhist friends that i went to Buddhist class with and i found them acting happy even tho they weren't but i denied what i was seeing.

My cure was started with a book - an autobiography of one of masters where he explains that he is just a regular human and other make him to be all that. I started doubting the whole hierarchy. Another trigger to make me question was my best friend who couldn't take it anymore seeing what Buddhism was doing to me and just openly criticized me intensely. At first i got angry but now i thank him from all heart.

Soon another college semester started and luckily i was taking Psychology, Philosophy and Anthropology. I was faced with concepts like relativism, neurology, materialism, epistemology and i was learning to be more skeptical and "outside of box" type thinking.

My interest in Psychology and Philosophy grew and i found myself to be quite intelligent and talented in it. I still have hard to believing that back then i was a Buddhist - how the hell did i fall into that trap? I consider myself intelligent but i guess it has little to do with that. It is just a play on our desires of order and meaning. We fear chaos, uncertainty and permanent death.

The next and final step was Nietzsche, Sarte and other Existential philosophers that knew perfectly well how i felt and showed me another way to cure it - through freedom, choice and responsibility. Through individuality and facing of truth, through accepting rather then running away. Through giving life my own meaning and my own goals. Through new ideals.

Well that basically more or less brings us to where i am right now. And it is time for some criticism. I don't want to go into details but i will just list some things i find terribly wrong.

Anti-reason movement.
Belief in magical karma.
Aversion towards life.
Rebirth.
Belief in Enlightenment.
Mindfulness as promised to cure all problems while generally only creating more strain on the mind.
Meditation being promised a cure for many psychological problems which it never solves or does only temporary.
Belief that life IS suffering.
Belief that desire is bad causing people to get depressed(no desire = depression easily)
Non-dual teachings that make people passive, indifferent and easily fallen under suppression of government(although always denied and instead marketed as being a source of compassion, truth and wisdom).
Master-student relationship where student follows everything blindly.
Belief that all bad things are caused by Karma and that one should not be cured but left to suffer to "purify" oneself.
Selfish escapism.
Impossible ideals that only cause inner tension as they go against our nature and cause us to suppress the shadow to amazing extent.
False hope given to people.
Self righteousnesses.
Masked utilitarianism.
Constant chase of happiness resulting in paradox because when you chase happiness it causes sadness. Happiness only happens as byproduct but never as the goal.
Thinking of this reality as almost hell(what Nietzsche would criticize as other worldly religion)

Everything Buddhism promised had only resulted in the opposite effect.

If anyone had similar experiences - please share. Any comments are welcome except if you are gonna tell me that "i just got Buddhism wrong and misunderstood". I was one of these people telling others this kind of comments and believe me no- i got it right. I studied Buddhism long and hard and gave it plenty of chance. I was always leading philosopher in all my Buddhist classes.

Today i am very glad to be free of it. I am much more happier, realistic and enthusiastic about life. I am a Psychology/Philosophy major and perhaps psychology had became my religion but hey at least it is practical.

Thank you for reading, please comment.

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WHAT IS WHAT
post Feb 15, 2012, 11:10 PM
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Hi all,

I just want to share this, which I think is the fruit one could (or more correctly: should) expect from practicing Buddha Dharma.

The Essence of Interdependent Origination

"All dharmas (everything in the realms of samsara) are related with cause and effect. The Enlightened One has taught that cause and effect are the origin of reality. Freedom comes from realising that cause and effect are together."

Sarwa Manggalam
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post Feb 17, 2012, 09:30 PM
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QUOTE(WHAT IS WHAT @ Feb 15, 2012, 08:10 PM) *

Hi all,

I just want to share this, which I think is the fruit one could (or more correctly: should) expect from practicing Buddha Dharma.

The Essence of Interdependent Origination

"All dharmas (everything in the realms of samsara) are related with cause and effect. The Enlightened One has taught that cause and effect are the origin of reality. Freedom comes from realising that cause and effect are together."

Sarwa Manggalam

Thanks, Datta-Tsunami!!!
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Mystic1
post Jun 21, 2012, 04:35 PM
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QUOTE(code buttons @ Feb 17, 2012, 06:30 PM) *

QUOTE(WHAT IS WHAT @ Feb 15, 2012, 08:10 PM) *

Hi all,

I just want to share this, which I think is the fruit one could (or more correctly: should) expect from practicing Buddha Dharma.

The Essence of Interdependent Origination

"All dharmas (everything in the realms of samsara) are related with cause and effect. The Enlightened One has taught that cause and effect are the origin of reality. Freedom comes from realising that cause and effect are together."

Sarwa Manggalam

Thanks, Datta-Tsunami!!!



Hi

I am new to this forum. I have read some but not all of the responses on this thread and I would like to contribute.

For almost 15 years now I have been visiting a Buddhist monastery at least once a week. I even took a lower ordination and stayed their for almost a year. In addition I have met many, many other monks in different places. I would say therefore that I am reasonably well placed to express an opinion on this subject.

I would say that the original poster is right but for the wrong reasons.

Buddhist culture often is a farce. The net result is largely and necessarily the direct opposite of what the Buddha intended.

The problem is that Buddhism has to be both elitist - centred on monks and monasteries - and democratic at the same time. The monastic tradition has given rise to a culture of mutual dependency. When you first join a Sangha you 'take dependency on the Sangha'. In the Sangha, the junior monks are 'dependent' on their seniors. All of the Sangha are dependent, being alms mendicants, on the laity who in turn are encouraged to believe that they are emotionally dependent on the Sangha for punna (pronounced poonya) which means Merit, ie good fortune, luck etc. Monks work hard at cultivating their lay support. To be honest, this is now so deeply engrained in Asian culture now that they do not need to even try too hard. Asian people are desperate to chase after monks. What you have then in Buddhism is a philosophy and practice whose first principle is that attachment causes suffering (dukkha - more accurately translated as stress or unsatisfactoryness), but whose practical expression is the very embodiment of clinging and grasping. Buddhism is the crack-cocaine of clinging and grasping. Buddhists chase monks not because they want to understand what the monks have to say but because they believe that there is some benefit to be had from admiring them. The Buddhist lay person believes that he/she is excluded from understanding the Dhamma because they are not ordained. Only monks can understand the Dhamma. If they (laity) could understand the Dhamma, they would not need monks would they? And of course they need monks, or so they think. Actually, it is the monks who need the laity not the other way round. So of course it is very much in the monks interest, if he wishes to ensure his cherished lifestyle, that he convince his lay support that they need him.

I would like to illustrate the above with dozens of funny stories which have happened to me over the years. I could go on and on and on.

Now none of this means that I think that Buddhism is rubbish. Far from it.

There is real benefit to be had from meditation.

The Dhamma is to be understood 'independently by the wise'. So you do not have to be a monk.

The Dhamma has to be experienced directly. You cannot do it vicariously. Reading books is not where it is at.
'
It is not about 'doing something in order to get something'. There is truely 'nothing to get or get rid of.' Let that sink in! Think about it. The unconditioned is just that - unconditioned. It does not depend on conditions. Therefore it is entirely natural. The only time you can be enlightened is in the present moment. Right now. Not in twently years when I have done this retreat or taken this ordination or read this book or retired to the country when I have more time etc.

So why do men and women ordain as monks and nuns? Two reasons: because they like the life; and because they can.

It is inspiring to live in according to strict moral principles without creating any suffering for yourself or others; to spend your days in contemplation. There is a monastic form and there is a certain professional pride in maintaining it. It is a way of life which clearly suits some people.

My advice - just forget all the philosphy, that is just window dressing.

Just do it.

Buddhism properly understood, is not a religion. Believe nothing! This is a great contradistinction with Christianity which is a Creed Religion where the inmates waste their mental energies creating an elaborate and entirely false mental cage into which they volunarily emprison themselves for life!

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Abolitionist
post Jul 19, 2012, 11:21 PM
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Seeing the limits of Buddhism lead me to Abolitionism.

I have never met a master that didn't suffer or act like a human being.

Even the Buddhist scripture states that the Buddha suffered up until his death.

I do think that some Buddhist practices can be useful for stress relief and well being.



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post Jul 20, 2012, 09:13 PM
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QUOTE(Abolitionist @ Jul 20, 2012, 04:21 AM) *

I have never met a master that didn't suffer or act like a human being.
Interesting statement. Met a lot of masters have you?

Speaking personally, I've seen and experienced the difference between suffering, and feeling all the feelings the human body are capable of. Without thinking or feeling the bodies capabilities for thought and feeling were an an affront to the idea of being Human, there is no suffering. Suffering usually comes from feeling like something, or when anything that is experienced is thought of as forced upon ones self from some power outside of our own potential. The difference between the enlightened individual and the ignorant man is not only vision, but the tangible sensory connection to the immortal consciousness which gave birth to ones self, as well as all that is created. From that state of awareness there is no reality in personal suffering. That awareness however does not negate the reality that the ignorant man experiences himself as victim to nature and forces of the universe that are not his own forces, or his nature.
The enlightened individual can have compassion for the ignorant man but does not him/herself join in their suffering.
The idea of being human seems to have a history, yet it also has potential to reveal itself to man in future definitions that may be less superstitious than some.

If a Neanderthal who has never seen or heard of electricity and the modern day marvels we know today, were to meet modern man, we could say the modern man is more enlightened. To those who practice spirituality and have an understanding of the nature of reality but still walk among the ignorant, we could say there exists a degree of enlightenment. The Masters of historical myth have been said to have had understanding beyond the levels of the men and women of their time, but they themselves never preached that the people they met and walked among had any less of an ability to see and experience what they did.

I find it fascinating, all those who judge enlightenment or the enlightened. Those that are thinking they understand what it (enlightenment) is, and what the experience of it is. With all of that in their head, there is very little room for anything else.

QUOTE(Abolitionist @ Jul 20, 2012, 04:21 AM) *

Even the Buddhist scripture states that the Buddha suffered up until his death.

I'd be interested in what scripture you have read that makes reference to that particular belief.

http://acl.arts.usyd.edu.au/~hudson/buddhism_2.htm
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post Aug 08, 2012, 11:19 AM
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QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 14, 2007, 01:01 PM) *

Hi guys! I quit Christianity in hopes that i would rid myself of mind disease forever to only eventually be lured into Buddhism(another mind disease). I guess i could not live without meaning and a new set of beliefs which is i think quite natural to humans(human, all too human!). What attracted me at first was their anti-god and anti-Christianity attitude that prevailed throughout the followers that seemed to nurture my own hate towards those concepts.

Back then i was still a little brainwashed into thinking that there must be a true religion of some kind of divine origin, an ultimate truth. Basically i was still naively led by my desire of order. I feared chaos that would result in a world where everything is permitable and there is nothing that punishes that bad deeds or rewards the good. My mother being very "spiritual" conditioned me to desire to stay within the label "spiritual". I figured maybe Christianity was wrong but some other religions were not. I sleeked meaning and order so hard that eventually i was lured into the beautiful myth of Buddha who was enlightened and shared that objective truth of reality with us. I was promised happiness, rewards in new life and this one. I was promised answers that i could find myself.

I learned the four noble truths, i learned of many traditions and being quite philosophically inclined i found myself spending quite a lot of time trying to understand all the teachings. I learned to meditate. Back then i had many questions but i had faith that the Suttas and the Meditation will give me answers. A year passed and then another. There were only more questions and more contradictions but i still had faith. The hierarchy was supposed to have all the answers and it took me a long time to realize they didn't.

While studying Buddhism and practicing i found myself become more passive, less human, sometimes depressed and even contemplated on suicide(purely logically and mostly driven by the first noble truth - life is suffering). I was conditioned more and more to have aversion towards life and that only practice will save me - not even death can liberate. Right now i see many traditions of Buddhism as a direct road to suicide if only one element is removed - rebirth. The fear of rebirth is the only thing that keeps many Buddhist from suicide. I even know a few friends whose relatives suicided dew to Buddhism. The interesting fact is that whilst i was semi-depressed and passive i knew that i was supposed to be "happy" as seen on pictures of Buddhists masters. They always market Buddhism as the road to happiness. So i lived the illusion of happiness. I denied any feeling of unhappiness and pretended i was. Sometimes when i got way too depressed i just thought that it was due to my lack of practice and that only Buddhism would make me happy.

Any criticism of Buddhism i just rejected with some arbitrary and obscure quote that deep inside i knew was not really understood by anyone. They all claimed truth was "beyond words" and i believed them. Every time the quote did not make sense i thought that the truth was beyond so i just blindly accepted them. After a while i intellectually understood all the concepts like no-self and co-dependent origination and the four noble truth and the rest of it. But what hit me much later is that those concepts were not that "deep" or helpful. They were just some concepts by some philosophers that may or may not be helpful but i took them as some kind of divine truth. I reached some progress in meditation but i soon admitted that in fact i hated that state- it was a state of a veritable where life looses all color.

I pretended as if Buddhism was some kind of secret to life and happiness, some kind of sacred knowledge that only a few had karma to understand. I even got some Buddhist friends that i went to Buddhist class with and i found them acting happy even tho they weren't but i denied what i was seeing.

My cure was started with a book - an autobiography of one of masters where he explains that he is just a regular human and other make him to be all that. I started doubting the whole hierarchy. Another trigger to make me question was my best friend who couldn't take it anymore seeing what Buddhism was doing to me and just openly criticized me intensely. At first i got angry but now i thank him from all heart.

Soon another college semester started and luckily i was taking Psychology, Philosophy and Anthropology. I was faced with concepts like relativism, neurology, materialism, epistemology and i was learning to be more skeptical and "outside of box" type thinking.

My interest in Psychology and Philosophy grew and i found myself to be quite intelligent and talented in it. I still have hard to believing that back then i was a Buddhist - how the hell did i fall into that trap? I consider myself intelligent but i guess it has little to do with that. It is just a play on our desires of order and meaning. We fear chaos, uncertainty and permanent death.

The next and final step was Nietzsche, Sarte and other Existential philosophers that knew perfectly well how i felt and showed me another way to cure it - through freedom, choice and responsibility. Through individuality and facing of truth, through accepting rather then running away. Through giving life my own meaning and my own goals. Through new ideals.

Well that basically more or less brings us to where i am right now. And it is time for some criticism. I don't want to go into details but i will just list some things i find terribly wrong.

Anti-reason movement.
Belief in magical karma.
Aversion towards life.
Rebirth.
Belief in Enlightenment.
Mindfulness as promised to cure all problems while generally only creating more strain on the mind.
Meditation being promised a cure for many psychological problems which it never solves or does only temporary.
Belief that life IS suffering.
Belief that desire is bad causing people to get depressed(no desire = depression easily)
Non-dual teachings that make people passive, indifferent and easily fallen under suppression of government(although always denied and instead marketed as being a source of compassion, truth and wisdom).
Master-student relationship where student follows everything blindly.
Belief that all bad things are caused by Karma and that one should not be cured but left to suffer to "purify" oneself.
Selfish escapism.
Impossible ideals that only cause inner tension as they go against our nature and cause us to suppress the shadow to amazing extent.
False hope given to people.
Self righteousnesses.
Masked utilitarianism.
Constant chase of happiness resulting in paradox because when you chase happiness it causes sadness. Happiness only happens as byproduct but never as the goal.
Thinking of this reality as almost hell(what Nietzsche would criticize as other worldly religion)

Everything Buddhism promised had only resulted in the opposite effect.

If anyone had similar experiences - please share. Any comments are welcome except if you are gonna tell me that "i just got Buddhism wrong and misunderstood". I was one of these people telling others this kind of comments and believe me no- i got it right. I studied Buddhism long and hard and gave it plenty of chance. I was always leading philosopher in all my Buddhist classes.

Today i am very glad to be free of it. I am much more happier, realistic and enthusiastic about life. I am a Psychology/Philosophy major and perhaps psychology had became my religion but hey at least it is practical.

Thank you for reading, please comment.

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post Aug 08, 2012, 11:41 PM
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[quote name='zhenka11230' date='Nov 14, 2007, 01:01 PM' post='85365']
Hi guys! I quit Christianity in hopes that i would rid myself of mind disease forever to only eventually be lured into Buddhism(another mind disease). I guess i could not live without meaning and a new set of beliefs which is i think quite natural to humans(human, all too human!). What attracted me at first was their anti-god and anti-Christianity attitude that prevailed throughout the followers that seemed to nurture my own hate towards those concepts.

Back then i was still a little brainwashed into thinking that there must be a true religion of some kind of divine origin, an ultimate truth. Basically i was still naively led by my desire of order. I feared chaos that would result in a world where everything is permitable and there is nothing that punishes that bad deeds or rewards the good. My mother being very "spiritual" conditioned me to desire to stay within the label "spiritual". I figured maybe Christianity was wrong but some other religions were not. I sleeked meaning and order so hard that eventually i was lured into the beautiful myth of Buddha who was enlightened and shared that objective truth of reality with us. I was promised happiness, rewards in new life and this one. I was promised answers that i could find myself.

I learned the four noble truths, i learned of many traditions and being quite philosophically inclined i found myself spending quite a lot of time trying to understand all the teachings. I learned to meditate. Back then i had many questions but i had faith that the Suttas and the Meditation will give me answers. A year passed and then another. There were only more questions and more contradictions but i still had faith. The hierarchy was supposed to have all the answers and it took me a long time to realize they didn't.

While studying Buddhism and practicing i found myself become more passive, less human, sometimes depressed and even contemplated on suicide(purely logically and mostly driven by the first noble truth - life is suffering). I was conditioned more and more to have aversion towards life and that only practice will save me - not even death can liberate. Right now i see many traditions of Buddhism as a direct road to suicide if only one element is removed - rebirth. The fear of rebirth is the only thing that keeps many Buddhist from suicide. I even know a few friends whose relatives suicided dew to Buddhism. The interesting fact is that whilst i was semi-depressed and passive i knew that i was supposed to be "happy" as seen on pictures of Buddhists masters. They always market Buddhism as the road to happiness. So i lived the illusion of happiness. I denied any feeling of unhappiness and pretended i was. Sometimes when i got way too depressed i just thought that it was due to my lack of practice and that only Buddhism would make me happy.

Any criticism of Buddhism i just rejected with some arbitrary and obscure quote that deep inside i knew was not really understood by anyone. They all claimed truth was "beyond words" and i believed them. Every time the quote did not make sense i thought that the truth was beyond so i just blindly accepted them. After a while i intellectually understood all the concepts like no-self and co-dependent origination and the four noble truth and the rest of it. But what hit me much later is that those concepts were not that "deep" or helpful. They were just some concepts by some philosophers that may or may not be helpful but i took them as some kind of divine truth. I reached some progress in meditation but i soon admitted that in fact i hated that state- it was a state of a veritable where life looses all color.

I pretended as if Buddhism was some kind of secret to life and happiness, some kind of sacred knowledge that only a few had karma to understand. I even got some Buddhist friends that i went to Buddhist class with and i found them acting happy even tho they weren't but i denied what i was seeing.

My cure was started with a book - an autobiography of one of masters where he explains that he is just a regular human and other make him to be all that. I started doubting the whole hierarchy. Another trigger to make me question was my best friend who couldn't take it anymore seeing what Buddhism was doing to me and just openly criticized me intensely. At first i got angry but now i thank him from all heart.

Soon another college semester started and luckily i was taking Psychology, Philosophy and Anthropology. I was faced with concepts like relativism, neurology, materialism, epistemology and i was learning to be more skeptical and "outside of box" type thinking.

My interest in Psychology and Philosophy grew and i found myself to be quite intelligent and talented in it. I still have hard to believing that back then i was a Buddhist - how the hell did i fall into that trap? I consider myself intelligent but i guess it has little to do with that. It is just a play on our desires of order and meaning. We fear chaos, uncertainty and permanent death.

The next and final step was Nietzsche, Sarte and other Existential philosophers that knew perfectly well how i felt and showed me another way to cure it - through freedom, choice and responsibility. Through individuality and facing of truth, through accepting rather then running away. Through giving life my own meaning and my own goals. Through new ideals.

Well that basically more or less brings us to where i am right now. And it is time for some criticism. I don't want to go into details but i will just list some things i find terribly wrong.

Anti-reason movement.
Belief in magical karma.
Aversion towards life.
Rebirth.
Belief in Enlightenment.
Mindfulness as promised to cure all problems while generally only creating more strain on the mind.
Meditation being promised a cure for many psychological problems which it never solves or does only temporary.
Belief that life IS suffering.
Belief that desire is bad causing people to get depressed(no desire = depression easily)
Non-dual teachings that make people passive, indifferent and easily fallen under suppression of government(although always denied and instead marketed as being a source of compassion, truth and wisdom).
Master-student relationship where student follows everything blindly.
Belief that all bad things are caused by Karma and that one should not be cured but left to suffer to "purify" oneself.
Selfish escapism.
Impossible ideals that only cause inner tension as they go against our nature and cause us to suppress the shadow to amazing extent.
False hope given to people.
Self righteousnesses.
Masked utilitarianism.
Constant chase of happiness resulting in paradox because when you chase happiness it causes sadness. Happiness only happens as byproduct but never as the goal.
Thinking of this reality as almost hell(what Nietzsche would criticize as other worldly religion)

Everything Buddhism promised had only resulted in the opposite effect.

If anyone had similar experiences - please share. Any comments are welcome except if you are gonna tell me that "i just got Buddhism wrong and misunderstood". I was one of these people telling others this kind of comments and believe me no- i got it right. I studied Buddhism long and hard and gave it plenty of chance. I was always leading philosopher in all my Buddhist classes.

Today i am very glad to be free of it. I am much more happier, realistic and enthusiastic about life. I am a Psychology/Philosophy major and perhaps psychology had became my religion but hey at least it is practical.

Thank you for reading, please comment.
[Hi, I am new to this forum. I have had a similar story. Infact, mine was a longer journey. I jumped from one religion to another. First Hinduism, then Christianity, then Islam, then Zoroastrianism, then Buddhism, then Jainism and then perhaps what not. I do not claim that I know all of them, but, at last, I have found that I am satisfied with what I personally believe. While reading all the posts, I find that none is trying to answer the questions implied by your criticism but either correcting or buying what you said. We human beings spend a lot of our time throwing muck at one another and some guys simply join the game without knowing what the game is all about. In this way, the whole focus gets distracted. You are an individual capable of thought and contemplation. I've certain things to share (which have come about as a result of my own thought, kind of a new religion of my own). Please read them and answer if you agree or disagree.

$ Life is not suffering. Existence is suffering. Yet, the idea of sorrowful existence differs from individual to individual. A famishing child of Somalia would consider his condition sorrowful, but, perhaps, a famishing recluse would not, because he(correctly or incorrectly) believes it to be an exalted state. Each one of us wish to be an existence that is far from sorrow, again sorrow being a term whose connotation is different to different individuals.
$ Hence, we see that whatever knowledge is acquired is all based on speculation. From birth itself starts this process of speculation. "Mama- this probably means the lady I always breastfeed upon.", thus thinks a child(of course not in sentences, but he does so spontaneously). In this way, a language is learnt, a religion is learnt, a subject is learnt.
$ Therefore, truth is not absolute. Truth is conditional. Under so and so condition, X is equal to Y, otherwise, it's not. It is necessary to understand anything considering all standpoints from which the thing is understood.
$ Hence, there is (probably) not one reason for existence, not one reason for all phenomena. Karma is not the cause of all, but also not an insignificant factor altogether. Along with karma, work physical conditions( like climate, laws of motion ,etc.).
$ We are in a web of things. Now it is your choice whether you consider it sorrowful or blissful, whether you consider freedom from it blissful or merging in it for good. ]
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post Aug 14, 2012, 04:52 AM
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QUOTE(phenomenon @ Aug 08, 2012, 08:19 AM) *

QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 14, 2007, 01:01 PM) *

Hi guys! I quit Christianity in hopes that i would rid myself of mind disease forever to only eventually be lured into Buddhism(another mind disease). I guess i could not live without meaning and a new set of beliefs which is i think quite natural to humans(human, all too human!). What attracted me at first was their anti-god and anti-Christianity attitude that prevailed throughout the followers that seemed to nurture my own hate towards those concepts.

Back then i was still a little brainwashed into thinking that there must be a true religion of some kind of divine origin, an ultimate truth. Basically i was still naively led by my desire of order. I feared chaos that would result in a world where everything is permitable and there is nothing that punishes that bad deeds or rewards the good. My mother being very "spiritual" conditioned me to desire to stay within the label "spiritual". I figured maybe Christianity was wrong but some other religions were not. I sleeked meaning and order so hard that eventually i was lured into the beautiful myth of Buddha who was enlightened and shared that objective truth of reality with us. I was promised happiness, rewards in new life and this one. I was promised answers that i could find myself.

I learned the four noble truths, i learned of many traditions and being quite philosophically inclined i found myself spending quite a lot of time trying to understand all the teachings. I learned to meditate. Back then i had many questions but i had faith that the Suttas and the Meditation will give me answers. A year passed and then another. There were only more questions and more contradictions but i still had faith. The hierarchy was supposed to have all the answers and it took me a long time to realize they didn't.

While studying Buddhism and practicing i found myself become more passive, less human, sometimes depressed and even contemplated on suicide(purely logically and mostly driven by the first noble truth - life is suffering). I was conditioned more and more to have aversion towards life and that only practice will save me - not even death can liberate. Right now i see many traditions of Buddhism as a direct road to suicide if only one element is removed - rebirth. The fear of rebirth is the only thing that keeps many Buddhist from suicide. I even know a few friends whose relatives suicided dew to Buddhism. The interesting fact is that whilst i was semi-depressed and passive i knew that i was supposed to be "happy" as seen on pictures of Buddhists masters. They always market Buddhism as the road to happiness. So i lived the illusion of happiness. I denied any feeling of unhappiness and pretended i was. Sometimes when i got way too depressed i just thought that it was due to my lack of practice and that only Buddhism would make me happy.

Any criticism of Buddhism i just rejected with some arbitrary and obscure quote that deep inside i knew was not really understood by anyone. They all claimed truth was "beyond words" and i believed them. Every time the quote did not make sense i thought that the truth was beyond so i just blindly accepted them. After a while i intellectually understood all the concepts like no-self and co-dependent origination and the four noble truth and the rest of it. But what hit me much later is that those concepts were not that "deep" or helpful. They were just some concepts by some philosophers that may or may not be helpful but i took them as some kind of divine truth. I reached some progress in meditation but i soon admitted that in fact i hated that state- it was a state of a veritable where life looses all color.

I pretended as if Buddhism was some kind of secret to life and happiness, some kind of sacred knowledge that only a few had karma to understand. I even got some Buddhist friends that i went to Buddhist class with and i found them acting happy even tho they weren't but i denied what i was seeing.

My cure was started with a book - an autobiography of one of masters where he explains that he is just a regular human and other make him to be all that. I started doubting the whole hierarchy. Another trigger to make me question was my best friend who couldn't take it anymore seeing what Buddhism was doing to me and just openly criticized me intensely. At first i got angry but now i thank him from all heart.

Soon another college semester started and luckily i was taking Psychology, Philosophy and Anthropology. I was faced with concepts like relativism, neurology, materialism, epistemology and i was learning to be more skeptical and "outside of box" type thinking.

My interest in Psychology and Philosophy grew and i found myself to be quite intelligent and talented in it. I still have hard to believing that back then i was a Buddhist - how the hell did i fall into that trap? I consider myself intelligent but i guess it has little to do with that. It is just a play on our desires of order and meaning. We fear chaos, uncertainty and permanent death.

The next and final step was Nietzsche, Sarte and other Existential philosophers that knew perfectly well how i felt and showed me another way to cure it - through freedom, choice and responsibility. Through individuality and facing of truth, through accepting rather then running away. Through giving life my own meaning and my own goals. Through new ideals.

Well that basically more or less brings us to where i am right now. And it is time for some criticism. I don't want to go into details but i will just list some things i find terribly wrong.

Anti-reason movement.
Belief in magical karma.
Aversion towards life.
Rebirth.
Belief in Enlightenment.
Mindfulness as promised to cure all problems while generally only creating more strain on the mind.
Meditation being promised a cure for many psychological problems which it never solves or does only temporary.
Belief that life IS suffering.
Belief that desire is bad causing people to get depressed(no desire = depression easily)
Non-dual teachings that make people passive, indifferent and easily fallen under suppression of government(although always denied and instead marketed as being a source of compassion, truth and wisdom).
Master-student relationship where student follows everything blindly.
Belief that all bad things are caused by Karma and that one should not be cured but left to suffer to "purify" oneself.
Selfish escapism.
Impossible ideals that only cause inner tension as they go against our nature and cause us to suppress the shadow to amazing extent.
False hope given to people.
Self righteousnesses.
Masked utilitarianism.
Constant chase of happiness resulting in paradox because when you chase happiness it causes sadness. Happiness only happens as byproduct but never as the goal.
Thinking of this reality as almost hell(what Nietzsche would criticize as other worldly religion)

Everything Buddhism promised had only resulted in the opposite effect.

If anyone had similar experiences - please share. Any comments are welcome except if you are gonna tell me that "i just got Buddhism wrong and misunderstood". I was one of these people telling others this kind of comments and believe me no- i got it right. I studied Buddhism long and hard and gave it plenty of chance. I was always leading philosopher in all my Buddhist classes.

Today i am very glad to be free of it. I am much more happier, realistic and enthusiastic about life. I am a Psychology/Philosophy major and perhaps psychology had became my religion but hey at least it is practical.

Thank you for reading, please comment.


When you are happy, or when you are depressed, what is the source of this happiness or unhappiness? Where does it come from, and where does it gone? This is the truth that we need to find out. Buddhist or Psychology/Philosophy can not give any guarantee for ones happiness.






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post Sep 24, 2012, 02:52 PM
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How do you find it out?

Is there any guarantee at all?
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post Sep 25, 2012, 10:28 AM
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QUOTE(rainclear @ Sep 24, 2012, 07:52 PM) *

How do you find it out?
Find what out?
QUOTE(rainclear @ Sep 24, 2012, 07:52 PM) *

Is there any guarantee at all?

Of course. Might not be the guarantee that you imagine tho. Kinda like imagining having sex before you have ever had it, and the guarantee that it being what you imagined. Or growing up into the adult and it not being what you imagined.
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post Dec 02, 2012, 09:32 AM
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QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 14, 2007, 01:01 PM) *

Hi guys! I quit Christianity in hopes that i would rid myself of mind disease forever to only eventually be lured into Buddhism(another mind disease). I guess i could not live without meaning and a new set of beliefs which is i think quite natural to humans(human, all too human!). What attracted me at first was their anti-god and anti-Christianity attitude that prevailed throughout the followers that seemed to nurture my own hate towards those concepts.

Back then i was still a little brainwashed into thinking that there must be a true religion of some kind of divine origin, an ultimate truth. Basically i was still naively led by my desire of order. I feared chaos that would result in a world where everything is permitable and there is nothing that punishes that bad deeds or rewards the good. My mother being very "spiritual" conditioned me to desire to stay within the label "spiritual". I figured maybe Christianity was wrong but some other religions were not. I sleeked meaning and order so hard that eventually i was lured into the beautiful myth of Buddha who was enlightened and shared that objective truth of reality with us. I was promised happiness, rewards in new life and this one. I was promised answers that i could find myself.

I learned the four noble truths, i learned of many traditions and being quite philosophically inclined i found myself spending quite a lot of time trying to understand all the teachings. I learned to meditate. Back then i had many questions but i had faith that the Suttas and the Meditation will give me answers. A year passed and then another. There were only more questions and more contradictions but i still had faith. The hierarchy was supposed to have all the answers and it took me a long time to realize they didn't.

While studying Buddhism and practicing i found myself become more passive, less human, sometimes depressed and even contemplated on suicide(purely logically and mostly driven by the first noble truth - life is suffering). I was conditioned more and more to have aversion towards life and that only practice will save me - not even death can liberate. Right now i see many traditions of Buddhism as a direct road to suicide if only one element is removed - rebirth. The fear of rebirth is the only thing that keeps many Buddhist from suicide. I even know a few friends whose relatives suicided dew to Buddhism. The interesting fact is that whilst i was semi-depressed and passive i knew that i was supposed to be "happy" as seen on pictures of Buddhists masters. They always market Buddhism as the road to happiness. So i lived the illusion of happiness. I denied any feeling of unhappiness and pretended i was. Sometimes when i got way too depressed i just thought that it was due to my lack of practice and that only Buddhism would make me happy.

Any criticism of Buddhism i just rejected with some arbitrary and obscure quote that deep inside i knew was not really understood by anyone. They all claimed truth was "beyond words" and i believed them. Every time the quote did not make sense i thought that the truth was beyond so i just blindly accepted them. After a while i intellectually understood all the concepts like no-self and co-dependent origination and the four noble truth and the rest of it. But what hit me much later is that those concepts were not that "deep" or helpful. They were just some concepts by some philosophers that may or may not be helpful but i took them as some kind of divine truth. I reached some progress in meditation but i soon admitted that in fact i hated that state- it was a state of a veritable where life looses all color.

I pretended as if Buddhism was some kind of secret to life and happiness, some kind of sacred knowledge that only a few had karma to understand. I even got some Buddhist friends that i went to Buddhist class with and i found them acting happy even tho they weren't but i denied what i was seeing.

My cure was started with a book - an autobiography of one of masters where he explains that he is just a regular human and other make him to be all that. I started doubting the whole hierarchy. Another trigger to make me question was my best friend who couldn't take it anymore seeing what Buddhism was doing to me and just openly criticized me intensely. At first i got angry but now i thank him from all heart.

Soon another college semester started and luckily i was taking Psychology, Philosophy and Anthropology. I was faced with concepts like relativism, neurology, materialism, epistemology and i was learning to be more skeptical and "outside of box" type thinking.

My interest in Psychology and Philosophy grew and i found myself to be quite intelligent and talented in it. I still have hard to believing that back then i was a Buddhist - how the hell did i fall into that trap? I consider myself intelligent but i guess it has little to do with that. It is just a play on our desires of order and meaning. We fear chaos, uncertainty and permanent death.

The next and final step was Nietzsche, Sarte and other Existential philosophers that knew perfectly well how i felt and showed me another way to cure it - through freedom, choice and responsibility. Through individuality and facing of truth, through accepting rather then running away. Through giving life my own meaning and my own goals. Through new ideals.

Well that basically more or less brings us to where i am right now. And it is time for some criticism. I don't want to go into details but i will just list some things i find terribly wrong.

Anti-reason movement.
Belief in magical karma.
Aversion towards life.
Rebirth.
Belief in Enlightenment.
Mindfulness as promised to cure all problems while generally only creating more strain on the mind.
Meditation being promised a cure for many psychological problems which it never solves or does only temporary.
Belief that life IS suffering.
Belief that desire is bad causing people to get depressed(no desire = depression easily)
Non-dual teachings that make people passive, indifferent and easily fallen under suppression of government(although always denied and instead marketed as being a source of compassion, truth and wisdom).
Master-student relationship where student follows everything blindly.
Belief that all bad things are caused by Karma and that one should not be cured but left to suffer to "purify" oneself.
Selfish escapism.
Impossible ideals that only cause inner tension as they go against our nature and cause us to suppress the shadow to amazing extent.
False hope given to people.
Self righteousnesses.
Masked utilitarianism.
Constant chase of happiness resulting in paradox because when you chase happiness it causes sadness. Happiness only happens as byproduct but never as the goal.
Thinking of this reality as almost hell(what Nietzsche would criticize as other worldly religion)

Everything Buddhism promised had only resulted in the opposite effect.

If anyone had similar experiences - please share. Any comments are welcome except if you are gonna tell me that "i just got Buddhism wrong and misunderstood". I was one of these people telling others this kind of comments and believe me no- i got it right. I studied Buddhism long and hard and gave it plenty of chance. I was always leading philosopher in all my Buddhist classes.

Today i am very glad to be free of it. I am much more happier, realistic and enthusiastic about life. I am a Psychology/Philosophy major and perhaps psychology had became my religion but hey at least it is practical.

Thank you for reading, please comment.



Hello Zhenka! Your comments are very interesting. All comments of this topic are very interesting and they helped me to understand much better some things about religion.

The issue is that I think you have also a bias towards religions(at particular Christianity and Buddhism) . I mean, you have expected that some men in the upper hierarchy were ''semi-gods'' who knew the ''truth'' . I don't know if such people exist, but if they exist they would be few(extremly few) and I think their approach would only be closer to the truth, not the truth..

Christianity and Buddhism( etc.) are not ''only'' about books and learning. Ancient western philosophy was also not only for learning. It was for experience and living.

Of course there exist many people in all religions and vocations who don't have the right attitude , who suffer, who have a hypocritical attitude etc.

The point is to look at the ideal, and not to look at people .

Greetings !
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Joesus
post Dec 02, 2012, 09:42 AM
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QUOTE(forscher @ Dec 02, 2012, 02:32 PM) *

The point is to look at the ideal, and not to look at people .

I deals come from people..
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2012
post Dec 28, 2012, 09:14 PM
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Hi. First post. I stumbled upon this thread in this forum while looking for buddhism and its practices. It has been an entertaining read.

I just wanted to add a word of caution when discussing - and especially when asserting - religious practice. Zhenka, the original poster, had a rough time with buddhism and couldn't make it work for him. He claims, and I'm loosely paraphrasing, that buddhism, like all other religions, is bullshit. That its teachings are a collection of practices and ideas derived from people just like us. He rejects the teachings as being false based on his experience, knowledge, study, etc.

Next we have his opposite, Joesus. With spectacular condescension, Joesus (and others) propose that Zhenka was simply misinformed, did not learn the practices correctly or lacks information regarding enlightement. When pushed in one or other direction, the supporters of buddhism decline to push back, but instead step to the side and let the question go by entirely.

My argument comes implied in Joesus' last post: "Ideals come from people". This suggests there is no standard for enlightement, but that each of us must find our own path to enlightement and Buddha's teachings are merely a guide; the starting point, if you will. This also suggests that not only the path is subjective but the destination as well!

But if this is true and if we can't define enlightement (some of us haven't achieved it, those who have can't put it into words), then how do we get to it? More importantly, how do we know we have achieved enlightement if there is nothing to compare our experience to? What do people mean when they say they experienced reality from an elevated state? Is my Nirvana the same as my neighbor's? Is it possible that enlightement is something so intrinsically personal that having a school to teach its path runs counter to the very idea of personal enlightement?

Therein lies the danger, I think. There is no way for Zhenka or Jeosus to demonstrate their positions. All they can do is argue from ideas and never present any evidence; Zhenka can't prove non-existence whereas Joesus can't standarize enlightement.

However, we can talk in terms of likelihood and probabilities. For example, we can say it is highly unlikely that in the center of Saturn there is a clever invisible penguin dressed in fur, sipping martini to the melody of Beethoven's fifth, which only it can hear. Even if we managed to drill to the center of Saturn, the penguin is invisible in every way. On the other hand, I can say that it is very likely, almost certain, that there are other countries in the world, despite never having left my native land, simply based on the (rather overwhelming) evidence available.

The distinction is clear. One idea has evidence to back it and the other doesn't. Neither can be asserted to be true, but the probability of each idea being true can be quantified.

So to consider the penguin, what is our judgement to be? Is there such a penguin in Saturn? What if an "enlightened" fellow human is to come forth and proclaim he can see and hear the penguin? What if another "enlightened" fellow human were to come forth and declare the penguin is not a penguin at all, but a dancing elephant with cloven hooves for feet? What if these "prophets" propose to teach the methods they used to achieve this "enlightened" state that allows them to see the "truth"? Should we, from our unenlightened state, strive to follow it, if only to disprove it, taking into account that our "prophet" claims that having the potential to see it does not guarantee that what we see will be what they saw or that we will even see anything at all?

At what point does this path to "enlightement" become an excercise in futility?

I cannot disprove rebirth, karma or Nirvana, or Heaven or Hell or God, just like I can't disprove our magnificent penguin basking in Beethoven's tunes. I won't say a buddhist wastes his time striving for that elusive enlightement, and I won't say that Zhenka has the right of it by flat-out denying "Buddha's" claims. What I can say for certain is that if you wish to propose something as true and convince others of it, the burden of evidence falls upon you. (Evidence is not the same as persuasion). The greater your claim, the more spectacular your evidence need be.

Buddhism, like all religions, makes some rather astounding claims, whereas the lack of solid evidence for enlightement (Heaven, God, take your pick) allows Zhenka and people like him to make the relatively small claim that an unquantified, unmeasurable, subjective and personal experience is false.

I stand to the side of this, admittedly closer to Zhenka than to Joesus. I know some things to be true based on evidence, and I know the limits to what I know. However, as long as you don't cause harm to others, I encourage you to seek out your own truths, be them subjective or not.

From my perspective, the great thing about buddhism and jainism and precious few others is that they don't naturally lend themselves to conflict. They could be perhaps manipulated to fit that role, but the text itself tends to shy away from violence. This is not the case with most religions, with Islam as the foremost example.

Sorry for that wall of text and thanks for reading all the way if you did!
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Joesus
post Dec 29, 2012, 10:29 AM
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QUOTE(2012 @ Dec 29, 2012, 02:14 AM) *


Next we have his opposite, Joesus. With spectacular condescension

From my perspective...

Exactly.

The underlying reality of all ideals is more stable than the individual perspectives.
True liberation comes when identity with ideals and the relative personal experience is witnessed from the source of all thought feeling and action.

Otherwise it becomes my enlightenment/your enlightenment. Defined by the ego and its boundaries of personal measure.

There is this idea of finality within the infinite potential... When seeking enlightenment the I assumes an end all to what it dislikes, in favor of a supreme like...

When all becomes a reflection of the ONE supreme absolute, there is no permanence in any perspective and all beliefs change.
We know this when we experience many different perspectives of reality and in the experiences of objects and events. The event or object is not what makes us see the object or event, it is our desire to engage with the object or event which brings our attention to the object or event, and then the filters of our sensory tuned beliefs impress our ideas upon the object. This is why there are a thousand perspectives within a room filled with a thousand people who believe in their individuality and separateness from each other.

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered:

Man... Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.

This is a quote that touches many people, because many are living this quote.
We think of a future, but the future does not really exist. All that exists is the eternal present.
A key to understanding the present moment, is grasping time. Realize the relative inexistence of past and future. Everything that ever existed, and ever will exist, is contained in the eternal present. It's just from our perspective, that we find it linear.

"I will be that, later, I just have to…"

There is no "later". Change your mind now. In this very present.

"But I have to make plans for this weekend. I'm worried about it."

Then make plans now, then when the weekend comes, deal with it. Get your mind straight, get your present straight. All else is projected from belief and assumptions of reality.

Being in the present moment is inclusive of all potentialities as the now.
It is something to believe in it, and something else to experience it within all thought feeling and action.. all of the time.

QUOTE(2012 @ Dec 29, 2012, 02:14 AM) *

From my perspective, the great thing about buddhism and jainism and precious few others is that they don't naturally lend themselves to conflict. They could be perhaps manipulated to fit that role, but the text itself tends to shy away from violence. This is not the case with most religions, with Islam as the foremost example.


No religion, is absolute in its truth. All relative truths regarding the absolute are subjective, and free will facilitates the individual perspective.
The absolute is not free from conflict, because "all that is", is still all that is, and is inclusive of conflict. Contrast is what gives evolution and choice, strength in perception and experience.

What is natural about Buddhism and Jainism, is what gave birth to the names and what they (the names) represent. The nature of the absolute exists within all, and the exploration and contrived determinations made thru exploration is part and parcel to the reflections of evolution in consciousness.

"Split a piece of wood, or turn over a stone.. I am there"
- gospel of Thomas-

There is, the Absolute Truth within all faiths, religions and testiments to spirit. There is also the potential for ignorance, fear, violence and superstition in all faiths, religion and testiments to spirit.

Buddhists monks have drawn violence into their beliefs, practices and history, just as every religion has. They have been persecuted, murdered, and some monks have even set themselves on fire as an example to the rigidity of their belief.

There is no spiritual interpretation that is free from the nature of the evolving human. Driven by the fear of the ego and its twisted determination, no thing is sacred. Period.

There are those who have liberated themselves of interpretive impairments.

Yet even the greatest of them have found themselves attacked and persecuted by the ignorant, and those that are committed to the opposition of absolute truth. ph34r.gif
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Ari-Pamulang
post Apr 23, 2014, 04:35 PM
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Thanks for your post bro! Budhism is so tempting for those frustrated to seeing wars because of religion. I am glad Google led me to this forum.
I was born a moslem, but I never believed it since I was even a little kid. Not because my parents are bad parents, they are the best parents I ever know, but I cried deep inside my heart as I started to understand about what Islam teaches.
It was far-far away before I knew about Moslems were becoming terrorists (this worsened my view about the religion of course). The way I see it, Islam is so violent. I would be very sad to surrender myself to the very violent god and his wrath. It is also very against women (I am a male, but I love my mum so much, so I can't accept any form of discrimination against such gender).

But again, why Buddhism was so tempting? It was because I always wanted to seek answers why some people were born disabled, unfortunate, or even died at early ages. Why did I see a case where a daughter of a whore became a whore, why did I see some were extremely poor, extremely suffering during their lifetime ever since they came into this world. Why some were slaved, some were the slaver owner? Karma gave good answer to this.
This questions also tempted me to learn Buddhism: "In the war between two religious followers, each pray: please god help me to crush those stood against you."
Then whose god is listening? Or is it simply just "a blankspot" in every human mind that they need God's presence?
I turned to Christianity, it didn't help, as I see the god is as violent as in Islam. I read many blogs criticizing both religion and I share the same critics published there.

The most important part why I rejected all the Abrahamic religions (I can't become Jewish though) is that these religion made me feel like "God is enjoying a movie played by each of human individuals (which allows improvisation (a.k.a free will) " and he smiles back there, "there you go my creation, you do good, you will go to heaven or damn you my failing creation, you will go to hell."
And he said back there: "Hey, you can't see me, but you can feel me. I give you free will, but I can at anytime exterminate you, or force you to believe me"
I feel a great sense of unfairness, unlovingness in this kind of concept.

I rejected Hinduism as I don't like to imagine many gods having wars and hate the strata (I think it is insulting)

Still, I can't accept the concept of no Creator (not God). I share the same worries as you did, that I imagined if all in this planet believe in no Creator, then all will be in mess. All would kill people all they like, all will cheating each other, stealing each other.

I need to see a reason that keeps thing in order. I need to see a pattern in the creation of this universe, which I think "Hawkings" "Einstein" still fail to answer (It got me to learn into the relativity and quantum theory, which was a pain).

I have always tried to link the facts the scientists revealed with religion, which none of them match any religion I know (life came from very simple organism like bacteria -- I still think we are just the best creature evolution this mother earth has created). The closest one is Buddhism! As it believes in energy cycles, causalities.

But then strange things started to happen. I experienced nearly the same outcome after I started learning this religion (or philosophy - whatever).

I thought it was good, but somehow, it reduced my ambitions and my desires -- a very important aspect for me to stay on job and make money (I am a journalist btw). I felt like, why bother to be great in this world? Why bother to have desires (i.e. to have scoop news, chase great news sources, news stories). All I need to do, is to be calm, enjoy this human form, enjoy the beauty of the world, before you may be reborn again (as I may far from being enlightened) and start from zero again.

The result? No good at all, my wife asked me if I didn't eat much? like if I am lacking of vitamins for my stamina, like if I am lacking of enough nutrition to make good in sex.

Finally I realized that's not what a human meant to be. I deserves to have desires. I believe we are products of the most advanced life creature in this planet and therefore, deserves to have desires. (I thank to the earth, sun, not God)

Again, I had to comeback to my very personal belief: journalism. Emphasizing on the "Why" in the six basic principle a journalist must apply : 5W+H (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How).

At least, it keeps me critical on anything and it drives me to observes thing carefully. I even applies these questions in my daily life, it is quite practical. But again, I still share your earlier hope that there must be the right religion in this planet.

I learned one important dictionary though to describe myself: "agnostic", which I am happy to be embedded with, as it fits my conditions. Keep searching guys ... Well, God, or Creator, or Higher Intelligent Being, if you exist, would you appreciate this kind of thinking?

Cheers,
Keep sharing
Ari
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