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zhenka11230
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.


Rick
A very interesting story. I never got sucked into any religion, just lucky I guess. I was supposed to be a Protestant (born into it), but I never believed the unbelievable, so I went my own way too.
code buttons
Welcome Z-130! How did you find us? Just curious. Quite a tale you got there! The word freedom in your post resonates the most in my ears. Awekining from the deep sleep imposed on us by others through fear or false promises is sweet as honey isn't it? Akin to taking the red pill, it would seem! I was born into a Roman Catholic family, which then turn protestant while I was still a child. And I can tell you that I sympathyze with you on a lot of what you went through. Ha! Now I'm even more glad that I never felt into the Budhism "trap", as you put it. But I was tempted to do it as a younger man.
Just an observation. Please correct me if I'm wrong here. It would seem from your posts that Budhism is more harming to the female, especially the one of a western mentality, am I right? Could it be that our women are more vulnerable to harm from it because of the rigid rules of vanity and appearence that western societies impose on our women?
zhenka11230
QUOTE(code buttons @ Nov 14, 2007, 10:08 PM) *

Welcome Z-130! How did you find us? Just curious. Quite a tale you got there! The word freedom in your post resonates the most in my ears. Awekining from the deep sleep imposed on us by others through fear or false promises is sweet as honey isn't it? Akin to taking the red pill, it would seem! I was born into a Roman Catholic family, which then turn protestant while I was still a child. And I can tell you that I sympathyze with you on a lot of what you went through. Ha! Now I'm even more glad that I never felt into the Budhism "trap", as you put it. But I was tempted to do it as a younger man.
Just an observation. Please correct me if I'm wrong here. It would seem from your posts that Budhism is more harming to the female, especially the one of a western mentality, am I right? Could it be that our women are more vulnerable to harm from it because of the rigid rules of vanity and appearence that western societies impose on our women?


I don't think women really have it worse then men(well maybe a little)... The worship of beauty hurts both genders equally. For women it is the whole make up and 0 body fat and perfect everything but for guys while there is no make up/hair or skinny factor, there is a huge muscle factor. Guys feel more and more insecure without being like Arnold the governator of California.

Generally the people who are the most susceptible to Buddhism and other religions are usually ironically the most virtuous people. They are kind, compassionate individuals that cannot bare to see the world the way it is and look for answers. This is what saddens me, religion consumes 90% of the kindest people that would do the most good in our society if not religion.

But that is just my opinion. Most of the Buddhist folks i met were struggling individuals trying to live up to the impossible ideals but failing to realize that they are impossible.
zhenka11230
Oh and the way i found this forum was probably from something i typed in Google. What caught my interest is cognition enhancement (like all the short-long term memory and focus improvement)

And another questions, What drugs are actually safe? While i want to explore i do not want to end up F**KING myself for life from one drug.
Orbz
QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 15, 2007, 01:12 PM) *

And another questions, What drugs are actually safe? While i want to explore i do not want to end up F**KING myself for life from one drug.

Nothing really fun is ever completely safe. Just be prepared to know and accommodate for the dangers.

What drugs are you thinking of?

trojan_libido
Sorry to hear about your problems zhenka. I sympathise completely with your story, but I have doubts about whether your problem is Buddhism or some skewed idea you had of its teachings. I say this because there are many statements in Buddhist teaching that seem right on the money, for instance:

Desire causes suffering

Does this mean you should have no desire at all? If so then your right, no desire at all means you don't want to live. However I think it means we should not desire things which have a very high cost - electrical goods, cars, neighbours wife etc. I know many people, including myself, which blow money on stuff they have no real need for. Its this kind of impulse that I believe the statement relates to, free desires like passion for a craft, love of your family or gardening aren't material desires.

What I'm asking is simply whether its possible you were depressed or beginning to become depressed/delusional at the point you began Buddhism?

I would not be dabbling in any drugs whilst your recovering from a 'spiritual' problem. They are likely to make you go off the edge in another direction, like me! smile.gif
maximus242
In general I just avoid religions due to the dogmatic system of beliefs. I prefer to change my beliefs and ideas as I grow and change as an individual.
trojan_libido
I've never been into organised religion, despite the aparent cultural pressures to do so. I've never been taught by anyone, I only enjoy reading each religions main points and beliefs, taking the wheat and discarding the chaff as it were.
zhenka11230
QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Nov 15, 2007, 08:00 AM) *

Sorry to hear about your problems zhenka. I sympathise completely with your story, but I have doubts about whether your problem is Buddhism or some skewed idea you had of its teachings. I say this because there are many statements in Buddhist teaching that seem right on the money, for instance:

Desire causes suffering

Does this mean you should have no desire at all? If so then your right, no desire at all means you don't want to live. However I think it means we should not desire things which have a very high cost - electrical goods, cars, neighbours wife etc. I know many people, including myself, which blow money on stuff they have no real need for. Its this kind of impulse that I believe the statement relates to, free desires like passion for a craft, love of your family or gardening aren't material desires.

What I'm asking is simply whether its possible you were depressed or beginning to become depressed/delusional at the point you began Buddhism?

I would not be dabbling in any drugs whilst your recovering from a 'spiritual' problem. They are likely to make you go off the edge in another direction, like me! smile.gif


No offense but this is exactly the kind of reply i asked not to give me. I hate when people assume that i just didn't get something. Actually it was before i knew what Buddhism really was that Buddhism seemed all candy and wisdom. Desire being the cause of suffering is such a simplified, generalized and inferior statement that i dont know where to begin. Life itself is one big desire, that is how motivation works but i don't wona talk about it.

The way you talk right now is exactly how i sounded when i was getting slowly brainwashed in the whole hippy and Buddhist stuff. At a very early stage.

And no I was not Buddhist because i was getting depressed but Buddhism made me depressed inside(not major depression just like passivity kind of thing) but made me fake it on outside. How do i know this? Because the year before Buddhism was amazing for me.

But having said all that i said i did learn a whole lot from Buddhism. It was actually the good stuff that created the illusion that all is wise and not just those few lines of thought. I am even gonna say that it was nothing in Buddhism itself that helps but it is the questions it raised in me that helped by leading my thought in the right directions.
zhenka11230
Also i might add that what most people do with Buddhism is modify it to their liking and pretend like it is that way when in reality they just created a completely new philosophy using Buddhism as the basis but the new philosophy has little with what is actually taught. And it is actually a much healthier way to go about it but it no longer is Buddhism after the subjective biast conversion.

Also i am not "recovering" from anything that was long time ago and i am full of vigor.

It is however pretty interesting now that i reflect back a year ago. There was this philosopher i talked to. He claimed he knew about Buddhism and we talked about it quite a bit and then he said "i disagree with it" to which i replied something like "you just don't understand then". He then said "Why cant you just accept that i do understand and maybe more so then you but i just disagree". Back that it seemed impossible. It is funny how beliefs work but now i see exactly what he meant. Quite an insight into how biasm works.
code buttons
QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 14, 2007, 08:12 PM) *

And another questions, What drugs are actually safe? While i want to explore i do not want to end up F**KING myself for life from one drug.

You definetely don't have to worry about that! Drug addiction takes root in pre-disposed minds via weakness or flaw of character. Which in turn comes from ignorance in respect to your place in the universe due to inexperience or phsychological imbalances, IMO. From your posts I can almost guess that you don't fall in any of these categories.
From my younger years, I can tell you that the most trascendenthal experiences I ever had were through LSD. It warped reality for me in a way that nothing never had before. There were awesome trips were I went to other galaxies and back, and there were bad ones (like the day I went tripping with my best buddy and last I saw him he was being chased by a stop sign; literally!). I've heard that there is a certain kind of ecstasy (the blue pill, I think) that makes you hallucinate just as much. I've done mushrooms, pot and ecstasy, but none of them came even close to an LSD trip. But I've also heard LSD is not available anymore because the couple of labs that produced them in the eighties were finally found and put out of commission. Good luck on your quest!
code buttons
QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 15, 2007, 08:25 AM) *

QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Nov 15, 2007, 08:00 AM) *

Sorry to hear about your problems zhenka. I sympathise completely with your story, but I have doubts about whether your problem is Buddhism or some skewed idea you had of its teachings. I say this because there are many statements in Buddhist teaching that seem right on the money, for instance:

Desire causes suffering

Does this mean you should have no desire at all? If so then your right, no desire at all means you don't want to live. However I think it means we should not desire things which have a very high cost - electrical goods, cars, neighbours wife etc. I know many people, including myself, which blow money on stuff they have no real need for. Its this kind of impulse that I believe the statement relates to, free desires like passion for a craft, love of your family or gardening aren't material desires.

What I'm asking is simply whether its possible you were depressed or beginning to become depressed/delusional at the point you began Buddhism?

I would not be dabbling in any drugs whilst your recovering from a 'spiritual' problem. They are likely to make you go off the edge in another direction, like me! smile.gif


No offense but this is exactly the kind of reply i asked not to give me. I hate when people assume that i just didn't get something. Actually it was before i knew what Buddhism really was that Buddhism seemed all candy and wisdom. Desire being the cause of suffering is such a simplified, generalized and inferior statement that i dont know where to begin. Life itself is one big desire, that is how motivation works but i don't wona talk about it.

The way you talk right now is exactly how i sounded when i was getting slowly brainwashed in the whole hippy and Buddhist stuff. At a very early stage.

And no I was not Buddhist because i was getting depressed but Buddhism made me depressed inside(not major depression just like passivity kind of thing) but made me fake it on outside. How do i know this? Because the year before Buddhism was amazing for me.

But having said all that i said i did learn a whole lot from Buddhism. It was actually the good stuff that created the illusion that all is wise and not just those few lines of thought. I am even gonna say that it was nothing in Buddhism itself that helps but it is the questions it raised in me that helped by leading my thought in the right directions.

I was just about to make a comment about T_L's advise that was going to fall in the line of what you just said. So thanks. My opinion about your search for understanding, and all of ours for that matter, is best explained through a quote from a forum member here, whose ideas and opinions I respect very much: Rick. He lives his life by a very simple rule which I treasure dearly and hope to live by as well, and which is my gift to you:

"Love really is the answer and reason guides us to make the most of it."


http://brainmeta.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=7361&hl=
"
Rick
Thank you CB. Regarding zhenka11230's inquiry:

I have arrived at the position that I will never urge or recommend anyone to use consciousness expanding drugs. That is a decision for the individual after thorough investigation. A powerful psychedelic experience will change a person markedly. Certainly, every day's regular experience changes one incrementally. However, a major experience of consciousness expansion will divide a person's life into two distinct parts: before the experience and after. It is not something to be approached lightly.

In the end, there is no "bad" experience, but one should expect the possiblity of really unpleasant experience and be ready for it. Some say that there is no really productive experience without elements of unpleasantness. In many cases, at best, it will be an ordeal.
trojan_libido
I apologise zhenka, its just easy to take your own truth from these ancient doctrines, and many organisations aren't teaching the original religions if those even exist anymore.

I have not and will not get involved with religion, despite my own views being almost hippy like and spiritual at heart, I think religion opens you up to abuse.
I'm still dying to get involved with scientology though, to expose it for what it is to those old dears in my local town centre who are blindly giving up their lives and savings for an evil religion. I just get so embarrassed for them and me, I'm not really an extrovert to bust it wide open.
Flex
Is it just me, or didn't Siddhartha Gautama suggest that each much find his/her own path, and that there is no one path to enlightenment? Not to mention the eightfold path is just a guidline which is custom fit to the individuals, no different than the Golden Mean. It seems that anyone who claims to be a Buddhist to me, is not a true Buddhist, as they are not forging their own path but rather becoming indoctrinated.
code buttons
QUOTE(Flex @ Nov 16, 2007, 11:28 AM) *

Is it just me, or didn't Siddhartha Gautama suggest that each much find his/her own path, and that there is no one path to enlightenment? Not to mention the eightfold path is just a guidline which is custom fit to the individuals, no different than the Golden Mean. It seems that anyone who claims to be a Buddhist to me, is not a true Buddhist, as they are not forging their own path but rather becoming indoctrinated.

Great point, dude!!! If this is an original, you can consider yourself hereby certified as a bonafide genious!!!
Flex
QUOTE(code buttons @ Nov 16, 2007, 11:43 AM) *

QUOTE(Flex @ Nov 16, 2007, 11:28 AM) *

Is it just me, or didn't Siddhartha Gautama suggest that each much find his/her own path, and that there is no one path to enlightenment? Not to mention the eightfold path is just a guidline which is custom fit to the individuals, no different than the Golden Mean. It seems that anyone who claims to be a Buddhist to me, is not a true Buddhist, as they are not forging their own path but rather becoming indoctrinated.

Great point, dude!!! If this is an original, you can consider yourself hereby certified as a bonafide genious!!!


Lol I am a genious smile.gif
zhenka11230
QUOTE(Flex @ Nov 16, 2007, 02:28 PM) *

Is it just me, or didn't Siddhartha Gautama suggest that each much find his/her own path, and that there is no one path to enlightenment? Not to mention the eightfold path is just a guidline which is custom fit to the individuals, no different than the Golden Mean. It seems that anyone who claims to be a Buddhist to me, is not a true Buddhist, as they are not forging their own path but rather becoming indoctrinated.


Well at first it may seem to but again this type of thing is exactly what i mean. People make Buddhism into what they want to see but not what it actually is.
Rinzai Dharma
QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 16, 2007, 09:10 PM) *

QUOTE(Flex @ Nov 16, 2007, 02:28 PM) *

Is it just me, or didn't Siddhartha Gautama suggest that each much find his/her own path, and that there is no one path to enlightenment? Not to mention the eightfold path is just a guidline which is custom fit to the individuals, no different than the Golden Mean. It seems that anyone who claims to be a Buddhist to me, is not a true Buddhist, as they are not forging their own path but rather becoming indoctrinated.


Well at first it may seem to but again this type of thing is exactly what i mean. People make Buddhism into what they want to see but not what it actually is.

Maybe the problem is sometimes people use Buddhism as a cure, and sometimes it doesn't work, and this leads them to conclude that Buddhism is a farce. Stripped of all cultural trappings , verbal and linguistic complexity, in the final analysis , the ultimate goal of Buddhism is freedom-total and complete psychological freedom. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, especially if it gives you road maps and techniques to achieve it. Even the western philosophers with all their realizations and conclusions , theories and hypotheses , lumped together wouldn't match the accomplishments of the Buddha- for himself and for other people who used his teachings. The realizations of the westerns existentialists are second-hand, they did not experience freedom themselves. They don't know how. I don't think Nietzche, Kierkegaard and the rest of the gang attained this freedom during their lifetime. Their realizations reached their brains but not their hearts , their minds but not their souls. Maybe this is comparable to your experience. The Buddha as much as possible avoided speculations precisely to stop people from turning his teachings to an organized philosopy or religion. The Buddha's teaching is all about freedom and how to achieve it. All the rest are useless chatters and unnecessary additions that hardly do justice to the true psychological genius of all time - the Buddha.
zhenka11230
QUOTE(Rinzai Dharma @ Nov 17, 2007, 05:49 AM) *

QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 16, 2007, 09:10 PM) *

QUOTE(Flex @ Nov 16, 2007, 02:28 PM) *

Is it just me, or didn't Siddhartha Gautama suggest that each much find his/her own path, and that there is no one path to enlightenment? Not to mention the eightfold path is just a guidline which is custom fit to the individuals, no different than the Golden Mean. It seems that anyone who claims to be a Buddhist to me, is not a true Buddhist, as they are not forging their own path but rather becoming indoctrinated.


Well at first it may seem to but again this type of thing is exactly what i mean. People make Buddhism into what they want to see but not what it actually is.

Maybe the problem is sometimes people use Buddhism as a cure, and sometimes it doesn't work, and this leads them to conclude that Buddhism is a farce. Stripped of all cultural trappings , verbal and linguistic complexity, in the final analysis , the ultimate goal of Buddhism is freedom-total and complete psychological freedom. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, especially if it gives you road maps and techniques to achieve it. Even the western philosophers with all their realizations and conclusions , theories and hypotheses , lumped together wouldn't match the accomplishments of the Buddha- for himself and for other people who used his teachings. The realizations of the westerns existentialists are second-hand, they did not experience freedom themselves. They don't know how. I don't think Nietzche, Kierkegaard and the rest of the gang attained this freedom during their lifetime. Their realizations reached their brains but not their hearts , their minds but not their souls. Maybe this is comparable to your experience. The Buddha as much as possible avoided speculations precisely to stop people from turning his teachings to an organized philosopy or religion. The Buddha's teaching is all about freedom and how to achieve it. All the rest are useless chatters and unnecessary additions that hardly do justice to the true psychological genius of all time - the Buddha.


I assume your knowledge of Buddhism is limited to the Myth of Buddha(his life) but you never actualy read the suttas because again you are making shit up on the go....

If you want to simplify what he taught to one sentence it would be "suffering and how to put a stop to it"
in all my years of studying Buddhism i never heard word "freedom" used even once. Except maybe for "freedom from reaction". His focus of thought was human suffering. Freedom is a existential concept that he does not deal with at all. Nietzsche and the rest were perfectly aware of Buddhism while writing their works btw... It puzzles me how people like you keep coming up with these I KNOW THE ESSENCE OF BUDDHISM AND THE REST GOT IT WRONG type of responses. In my time i read like billion of them. Some will say Buddhism is about detachment, some love, some activism, some rebellion, some freedom...

Your response equals to a statement such as Christianity is about loving your neighbor! Isnt it like .000001 percent of it? It is like picking one sentence out of the whole bible and completely ignore the rest 99.9%. You did the same with Buddhism and your essentialist approach.
Flex
This is why I like Daoism... The Tao Te Ching is very short, and thus one does not need to depend on others interpretations out of laziness.
trojan_libido
There are good points is religion, the bits that stick out, like the 'essence' you mention, are what people pick up on. If the teaching is morally wrong then people would notice quickly. If its just bullshit then most people will break away like you have. But a lot of religion isnt in the original form, it has been added to by people who have claimed to be (or have wanted to be seen) as enlightened. If you jumped into a secular groups teaching of Buddhism then its upto you to wade through the wheat and chaff. But if the main teachings are BS, as you say they are, surely many others would feel the same? I just dont see the fallout from this religion as I do from cults like scientology.

I'm not saying any of it is right, but its possible the 99.9% of it you've studied is the chaff and that 0.1% is actually of value. I've not experienced being a member of any religion other than being dragged to christian church services, so forgive my ignorance on that. At least your out now, how does it feel?
Rinzai Dharma
QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 17, 2007, 11:29 PM) *

QUOTE(Rinzai Dharma @ Nov 17, 2007, 05:49 AM) *

QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 16, 2007, 09:10 PM) *

QUOTE(Flex @ Nov 16, 2007, 02:28 PM) *

Is it just me, or didn't Siddhartha Gautama suggest that each much find his/her own path, and that there is no one path to enlightenment? Not to mention the eightfold path is just a guidline which is custom fit to the individuals, no different than the Golden Mean. It seems that anyone who claims to be a Buddhist to me, is not a true Buddhist, as they are not forging their own path but rather becoming indoctrinated.


Well at first it may seem to but again this type of thing is exactly what i mean. People make Buddhism into what they want to see but not what it actually is.

Maybe the problem is sometimes people use Buddhism as a cure, and sometimes it doesn't work, and this leads them to conclude that Buddhism is a farce. Stripped of all cultural trappings , verbal and linguistic complexity, in the final analysis , the ultimate goal of Buddhism is freedom-total and complete psychological freedom. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, especially if it gives you road maps and techniques to achieve it. Even the western philosophers with all their realizations and conclusions , theories and hypotheses , lumped together wouldn't match the accomplishments of the Buddha- for himself and for other people who used his teachings. The realizations of the westerns existentialists are second-hand, they did not experience freedom themselves. They don't know how. I don't think Nietzche, Kierkegaard and the rest of the gang attained this freedom during their lifetime. Their realizations reached their brains but not their hearts , their minds but not their souls. Maybe this is comparable to your experience. The Buddha as much as possible avoided speculations precisely to stop people from turning his teachings to an organized philosopy or religion. The Buddha's teaching is all about freedom and how to achieve it. All the rest are useless chatters and unnecessary additions that hardly do justice to the true psychological genius of all time - the Buddha.


I assume your knowledge of Buddhism is limited to the Myth of Buddha(his life) but you never actualy read the suttas because again you are making shit up on the go....

If you want to simplify what he taught to one sentence it would be "suffering and how to put a stop to it"
in all my years of studying Buddhism i never heard word "freedom" used even once. Except maybe for "freedom from reaction". His focus of thought was human suffering. Freedom is a existential concept that he does not deal with at all. Nietzsche and the rest were perfectly aware of Buddhism while writing their works btw... It puzzles me how people like you keep coming up with these I KNOW THE ESSENCE OF BUDDHISM AND THE REST GOT IT WRONG type of responses. In my time i read like billion of them. Some will say Buddhism is about detachment, some love, some activism, some rebellion, some freedom...

Your response equals to a statement such as Christianity is about loving your neighbor! Isnt it like .000001 percent of it? It is like picking one sentence out of the whole bible and completely ignore the rest 99.9%. You did the same with Buddhism and your essentialist approach.



I assure you I have very extensive background on Buddhism- from the basic teachings of the Theravada to the celestial Mahayana to practical Zen upto magical Vajrayana. Your simplication to - "suffering and how to put a stop to it" only applies to Buddha's early teachings. That's possibly the reason you got depressed in Buddhism, you never transcended the elementary teachings. Without thorough knowledge of the higher teachings, Buddhism tend to be pessimistic, precisely to give a basic description of the human condition. Suffering, Impermanence, Not-Self and Dependent Origination. These are the basic concepts thought by the Buddha . But all the Buddha's teachings are like rafts, once you use it, you don't have to bring it with you. You go the next level. The higher teachings no longer focus on suffering and nirvana, but enlightenment, wisdom, mindfulness and freedom. You should read about Zen, or better do some Zen meditation.
zhenka11230
Zen was my focus as was meditation. The higher teachings you speak of are just more lame concepts. I hate the word "higher" and "noble" and all that bullshit. It makes it sound as if it is somehow amazingly out of this world wise while it is just another lame idea.

Does Buddhism have some original and cool/practical ideas? Sure. Most of it is extremely generalizing/simplifying/unrealistically idealistic and unnatural philosophy.

I have a good article for you to read:
http://www.johnhorgan.org/work17.htm

Problem with Buddhism is it is not focused on by critics. Most critics/septics focus on Christianity.
code buttons
QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 20, 2007, 11:44 AM) *

Zen was my focus as was meditation. The higher teachings you speak of are just more lame concepts. I hate the word "higher" and "noble" and all that bullshit. It makes it sound as if it is somehow amazingly out of this world wise while it is just another lame idea.

Does Buddhism have some original and cool/practical ideas? Sure. Most of it is extremely generalizing/simplifying/unrealistically idealistic and unnatural philosophy.

I have a good article for you to read:
http://www.johnhorgan.org/work17.htm

Problem with Buddhism is it is not focused on by critics. Most critics/septics focus on Christianity.

Zhenka, the more I read your posts, the more I like them. Keep' em coming, please. Question: How do you define enlightement in lue of what you've learned about Philosophy and Metaphysics?
zhenka11230
QUOTE(code buttons @ Nov 20, 2007, 03:53 PM) *

QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 20, 2007, 11:44 AM) *

Zen was my focus as was meditation. The higher teachings you speak of are just more lame concepts. I hate the word "higher" and "noble" and all that bullshit. It makes it sound as if it is somehow amazingly out of this world wise while it is just another lame idea.

Does Buddhism have some original and cool/practical ideas? Sure. Most of it is extremely generalizing/simplifying/unrealistically idealistic and unnatural philosophy.

I have a good article for you to read:
http://www.johnhorgan.org/work17.htm

Problem with Buddhism is it is not focused on by critics. Most critics/septics focus on Christianity.

Zhenka, the more I read your posts, the more I like them. Keep' em coming, please. Question: How do you define enlightement in lue of what you've learned about Philosophy and Metaphysics?


Your comments are very nourishing to my Ego : )
Thanks.

Hmm, i am not sure i am familiar with term Enlightenment outside of Buddhism/Hinduism.
But there is no Unified theory among Buddhism because in my opinion it just doesn't exist and people make up whatever they want it to be.
Among the theories there are such:
Non Dual state of mind(no preference or dislike towards anything)
Magically understanding how the universe works fully and completely(direct insight into reality)
Complete self control.
Unconditional Happiness.
Loss of identification with Ego.
State of complete non attachment and non desire.
code buttons
QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 20, 2007, 02:08 PM) *

Your comments are very nourishing to my Ego : )
Thanks.

You're welcome
QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 20, 2007, 02:08 PM) *

Hmm, i am not sure i am familiar with term Enlightenment outside of Buddhism/Hinduism.
But there is no Unified theory among Buddhism because in my opinion it just doesn't exist and people make up whatever they want it to be.
Among the theories there are such:
Non Dual state of mind(no preference or dislike towards anything)
Magically understanding how the universe works fully and completely(direct insight into reality)
Complete self control.
Unconditional Happiness.
Loss of identification with Ego.
State of complete non attachment and non desire.

All of them sound like a tall order to me!
Rinzai Dharma
QUOTE(code buttons @ Nov 20, 2007, 03:48 PM) *

QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 20, 2007, 02:08 PM) *

Your comments are very nourishing to my Ego : )
Thanks.

You're welcome
QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 20, 2007, 02:08 PM) *

Hmm, i am not sure i am familiar with term Enlightenment outside of Buddhism/Hinduism.
But there is no Unified theory among Buddhism because in my opinion it just doesn't exist and people make up whatever they want it to be.
Among the theories there are such:
Non Dual state of mind(no preference or dislike towards anything)
Magically understanding how the universe works fully and completely(direct insight into reality)
Complete self control.
Unconditional Happiness.
Loss of identification with Ego.
State of complete non attachment and non desire.

All of them sound like a tall order to me!


This is how you crudely define enlightenment in terms of words. In the real teachings of the Buddha, enlightenment is one of those things that you can't express, especially in words. That's why the Zen masters resort to actions, shouts, slaps, and other uncoventional techniques to convey their teachings. As Master Teshan said, "All these sutras and written teachings are nothing but a strand of hair in the ocean of wisdom". All those definitions of enlightenment are off the mark and just crude estimates.
zhenka11230
QUOTE(Rinzai Dharma @ Dec 05, 2007, 08:39 AM) *

QUOTE(code buttons @ Nov 20, 2007, 03:48 PM) *

QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 20, 2007, 02:08 PM) *

Your comments are very nourishing to my Ego : )
Thanks.

You're welcome
QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 20, 2007, 02:08 PM) *

Hmm, i am not sure i am familiar with term Enlightenment outside of Buddhism/Hinduism.
But there is no Unified theory among Buddhism because in my opinion it just doesn't exist and people make up whatever they want it to be.
Among the theories there are such:
Non Dual state of mind(no preference or dislike towards anything)
Magically understanding how the universe works fully and completely(direct insight into reality)
Complete self control.
Unconditional Happiness.
Loss of identification with Ego.
State of complete non attachment and non desire.

All of them sound like a tall order to me!


This is how you crudely define enlightenment in terms of words. In the real teachings of the Buddha, enlightenment is one of those things that you can't express, especially in words. That's why the Zen masters resort to actions, shouts, slaps, and other uncoventional techniques to convey their teachings. As Master Teshan said, "All these sutras and written teachings are nothing but a strand of hair in the ocean of wisdom". All those definitions of enlightenment are off the mark and just crude estimates.



The "can't express" in words is another way of saying "i don't know" and getting away with it. They just don't know and frankly i think no1 knows because it doesn't exist. From a viewpoint of epistemology the beyond words arguments is far from sufficient for me to believe it.
Joesus
QUOTE

The "can't express" in words is another way of saying "i don't know" and getting away with it.

The statement in itself is relating to the idea that the absolute and enlightenment cannot be contained in an expression of words, but it is not impossible to relate the experience of it or point in a direction.
If one does not have an experience then the direction will not fill one with any experience nor draw the experience out of the absolute to be handed over to the one asking to be shown.
Generally speaking the ego will stand fast with the excuse that it does not have to give up any judgment against something until it is proven wrong.

This does not mean something does not exist, it only means someone has drawn a line in the sand and refuses to cross it without a reason.

If you use the parent child relationship to relate the idea of adulthood, the parent will be able to express their experience of being an adult with all the positive and negative aspects but if the child then grows up expecting their adulthood to be what they imagined from their parents description then will it really manifest that way?
Most adults are filled with the disappointment of not having experienced the magical ideas that are fed to them as children and then facing a reality where they are also taught that life is a certain way, people will accept you if you are a certain way, etc. etc.

The first stage of enlightenment is realizing your life is not laid out for you by your parents, your friends and the media.
Then if you progress far enough beyond that you might discover that no one has God and enlightenment in a box and that no one can tell you what it is for you and how you will experience it.

QUOTE
They just don't know and frankly i think no1 knows because it doesn't exist. From a viewpoint of epistemology the beyond words arguments is far from sufficient for me to believe it.

If you don't believe it then any argument is speculation based on your own disbelief and your current experience of reality.

I'll bet there is something in all religions that intrigues you, but there is a stubborn personal grudge against the essence of all of it for not making itself clear to your liking.
Rick
There actually are many things that, even in principle, can not be expressed in words. A simple example is trying to explain a color to a person blind from birth.

Imagine being an intelligent bat trying to explain seeing in sonar to a human.
Rinzai Dharma
QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Dec 05, 2007, 08:19 AM) *

QUOTE(Rinzai Dharma @ Dec 05, 2007, 08:39 AM) *

QUOTE(code buttons @ Nov 20, 2007, 03:48 PM) *

QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 20, 2007, 02:08 PM) *

Your comments are very nourishing to my Ego : )
Thanks.

You're welcome
QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Nov 20, 2007, 02:08 PM) *

Hmm, i am not sure i am familiar with term Enlightenment outside of Buddhism/Hinduism.
But there is no Unified theory among Buddhism because in my opinion it just doesn't exist and people make up whatever they want it to be.
Among the theories there are such:
Non Dual state of mind(no preference or dislike towards anything)
Magically understanding how the universe works fully and completely(direct insight into reality)
Complete self control.
Unconditional Happiness.
Loss of identification with Ego.
State of complete non attachment and non desire.

All of them sound like a tall order to me!


This is how you crudely define enlightenment in terms of words. In the real teachings of the Buddha, enlightenment is one of those things that you can't express, especially in words. That's why the Zen masters resort to actions, shouts, slaps, and other uncoventional techniques to convey their teachings. As Master Teshan said, "All these sutras and written teachings are nothing but a strand of hair in the ocean of wisdom". All those definitions of enlightenment are off the mark and just crude estimates.



The "can't express" in words is another way of saying "i don't know" and getting away with it. They just don't know and frankly i think no1 knows because it doesn't exist. From a viewpoint of epistemology the beyond words arguments is far from sufficient for me to believe it.

You are implying that the only way to convey knowledge and the only way to see and explain reality is through words and verbal expressions. But we all know the limit of words and verbal expressions. They are only estimates and definitions of reality that are fundamentally inexpressible. Like when we say "the universe", we are only speaking about our concept of the universe, considering our limited vision. No one have really seen the whole universe, but we use the word for conventional expressions and conversations. Or "the perfect circle". No one has really seen or drawn a perfect circle, it's only a mathematical abstraction that can only be mentally constructed. Or "the Truth". No one has seen "the Truth". You perhaps? :-)



zhenka11230
I am well aware that not everything can be described in words. Saying i implied something that stupid is offensive to me. What i said is that enlightenment doesn't exist and the "beyond words" concept is abused by the gurus to lure people into believing it does.
Joesus
QUOTE
What i said is that enlightenment doesn't exist and the "beyond words" concept is abused by the gurus to lure people into believing it does.

Actually it does exist and people believe it does regardless of anyone saying it does or not.
Rinzai Dharma
QUOTE(Joesus @ Dec 06, 2007, 12:00 AM) *

QUOTE
What i said is that enlightenment doesn't exist and the "beyond words" concept is abused by the gurus to lure people into believing it does.

Actually it does exist and people believe it does regardless of anyone saying it does or not.

Saying something exists, arbitrarily and without proof is dogmatic, just like Christianity, Islam, and other religions. The Buddha's notion of enlightenment is experiential, and it's something that is directly seen, as directly as you see your own hands.

The Buddha was reluctant to teach because he had no dogma to start with. Just his own experience and some ideas on how to achieve it. And besides, only highly advanced yoga practitioners can grasp it. He only decided to preach when he was able to enlighten his first 5 disciples. He did not force his teachings to anyone, in fact, in the Kalama Sutra, he taught the Kalamas to doubt everything and anything. He taught to only believe something if you actually experience it yourself and if it is beneficial and good.

And not all teachers, even if they experienced it can pass it. Only a handful of Zen masters were able to convey their realizations. At present, there are only 2 Zen lines-Rinzai and Soto. Even Joshu, a highly accomplished master and is quoted in a alot of Zen koans , did not have a successor.

What more can you say about present gurus? They are nothing compared to the past masters. If you find them disappointing, don't blame the Buddha and his Dharma.

atha
When Bodhidharma became enlightened, for seven days he could not stop laughing... Do you understand why he was laughing ?
zhenka11230
Buddha is a F**KING myth, stop using a myth to prove something. It is like using the story of Santa to prove Santa exists. There is NO AT ALL NONE evidence over ages and ages after Buddhas death. No one was enlightened. There were only attempts to get enlightened. What does it tell you? Use your critical faculties.
trojan_libido
Please zhenka, theres no need to get that aggressive. Whether or not Buddha existed is not for us to decide, but given the amount of texts speaking of a 'Buddha' we should really assume its at least partially based on the original creator of Buddhism. Show me some ancient texts that deal with Santa in the same way and I'll apologise for my ignorance.

Buddhism was passed down orally wasn't it, which would explain why there is such a gap between the events and written literature. A comparitive religous history/myth is Jesus, I'm sitting on the fence on that one, but I think its generally accepted by archeologists that he did exist.
Joesus
QUOTE
Saying something exists, arbitrarily and without proof is dogmatic, just like Christianity, Islam, and other religions.

No its saying it exists without the need to back it up with proof for someone who doesn't either believe or have an experience. It wasn't an arbitrary statement it was a counter to the idea that someone said it doesn't exist without proof which is irrational.

QUOTE
The Buddha's notion of enlightenment is experiential, and it's something that is directly seen, as directly as you see your own hands.

Some get glimpses of something but it passes like gas. Others live it. How about you?

QUOTE
He taught to only believe something if you actually experience it yourself and if it is beneficial and good.

Well, people believe in a lot of things that aren't beneficial and good that is their experience and they aren't always real, and besides beliefs change even if they are beneficial and good.
QUOTE

And not all teachers, even if they experienced it can pass it.

But God still loves stupid people

QUOTE

What more can you say about present gurus?

Some are deluded and others aren't.

QUOTE
If you find them disappointing, don't blame the Buddha and his Dharma.

That would be silly, Buddhism is not a following. Scripture is only a description of enlightened experience, and reality as seen from ones refined inner and outer senses. It was never meant to be a standard.
Most seek to make a comparison and match experience for experience and that is not enlightenment.
zhenka11230
Given the amount of text actually does the opposite(especially if you consider how much it varies and often contradicts each other). It hints to us that Buddha was not a single man but more like a collection of philosophers that were gathered into one pseudonym - Buddha.

Perhaps original Buddha existed but it can be compared to something like if in 1000 years people will think that there was a guy named Existentialism. Yes someone did create Existentialism - no doubt; but right now it is much more then one person or one philosophy. When we say existentialism - we mean a collection of philosophers dealing with the same topic but if you are careful you will notice that their opinions are far from reaching a common consensus.

It is btw generally accepted that Jesus did not exist. There is a number of authors on the topic that talk about that. Jesus was also not one person. Jesus was just one of many gurus who happened to become the most famous and become a religion.

code buttons
QUOTE(zhenka11230 @ Dec 13, 2007, 10:29 AM) *

Given the amount of text actually does the opposite(especially if you consider how much it varies and often contradicts each other). It hints to us that Buddha was not a single man but more like a collection of philosophers that were gathered into one pseudonym - Buddha.

Perhaps original Buddha existed but it can be compared to something like if in 1000 years people will think that there was a guy named Existentialism. Yes someone did create Existentialism - no doubt; but right now it is much more then one person or one philosophy. When we say existentialism - we mean a collection of philosophers dealing with the same topic but if you are careful you will notice that their opinions are far from reaching a common consensus.

It is btw generally accepted that Jesus did not exist. There is a number of authors on the topic that talk about that. Jesus was also not one person. Jesus was just one of many gurus who happened to become the most famous and become a religion.

The sun of god is the Son of God. I thought that was common knowledge around here. If he did exist two thousand years ago, it was just a self-declared mesiah, and an impostor. A charlattan like so many we see around even nowadays.
Rick
QUOTE(atha @ Dec 13, 2007, 06:58 AM) *

When Bodhidharma became enlightened, for seven days he could not stop laughing... Do you understand why he was laughing ?

The Cosmic Joke?
Orbz
QUOTE(Rick @ Dec 14, 2007, 09:51 AM) *

QUOTE(atha @ Dec 13, 2007, 06:58 AM) *

When Bodhidharma became enlightened, for seven days he could not stop laughing... Do you understand why he was laughing ?

The Cosmic Joke?

Mania?
Joesus
QUOTE
Given the amount of text actually does the opposite(especially if you consider how much it varies and often contradicts each other).

It would appear that way from an unenlightened state of mind.
QUOTE
It hints to us that Buddha was not a single man but more like a collection of philosophers that were gathered into one pseudonym - Buddha.

More likely that what Buddha experienced and spoke of was not new nor restricted to a single experience, but that all experience from an enlightened perspective becomes Unified in the stability of One presence objectified multi-dimensionally.
QUOTE
Perhaps original Buddha existed but it can be compared to something like if in 1000 years people will think that there was a guy named Existentialism.
I suppose if you were really reaching and weren't that intelligent.
QUOTE
Yes someone did create Existentialism - no doubt; but right now it is much more then one person or one philosophy.

No, someone may have given a name to a condition of experience and perception, and that may have connotations amenable to many different beliefs in the condition, but no one created it, someone discovered a name for their experience.

QUOTE
When we say existentialism - we mean a collection of philosophers dealing with the same topic but if you are careful you will notice that their opinions are far from reaching a common consensus.
Then when you say we you stretch your imagination to believe others would assume what you do and that others will accept reality as you experience it without much conscious thought.

QUOTE
It is btw generally accepted that Jesus did not exist.

First I've heard of it. I guess I don't prescribe to generally accepted ideas without first checking into what's available to the awareness.

QUOTE
There is a number of authors on the topic that talk about that. Jesus was also not one person. Jesus was just one of many gurus who happened to become the most famous and become a religion.

There are a number of spiritual authors who would say that God is not one person, and that Jesus having said, "I and my Father are One" didn't mean that Jesus was the One God.

I haven't run into the multiple Jesus theory, but I fully accept and experience the Christ as multiple manifestations within humanity.

QUOTE

When Bodhidharma became enlightened, for seven days he could not stop laughing... Do you understand why he was laughing ?

Absolutely
atha
Relax deeply inside yourself -- into the eye of the cyclone -- and you`ll know...

"For narrow is the gate that leadeth unto Life..."
atha
For Rick...

"Chess is the game of the Gods. It has infinite possibilities." Vladimir Nabokov

"At the highest level, chess is a talent to control unrelated things. It is like controlling chaos." Garry Kasparov

"The Expert Mind", Scientific American, August 2006, vol.295, no.2
zhenka11230
Quotes quotes quotes... Where are the arguments from your mind.
Joesus
I believe the quotes refer to a greater truth in reality than argument.
Vision often comes in the wake of stillness and open mindedness.
atha
Zhenka,
When you will understand the meaning of Ka, you will stop complaining...

Zhen-KA = Zen-KA

Quote = KA - Wot ( Wot = to know ) -- Knowledge of Ka

Know = KA+Now
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