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The idea of original sin and the idea of karma do not disagree

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posted on Mar, 15 2009 @ 06:29 PM
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The whole point of the thread is in the title but I wanted to see it disussed and if people agree. I do not have a good understanding of how karma "really" works but this seems to me to be very related. In the thread I talk about 3 things really. 1) Original sin and Karma, 2) how these explain the world getting "crazier" and worse (in people's personal relationships, not the economy necessarily), and also 3) how Christianity can be enjoyed (and respected, and followed) from a Taoist or Buddhist standpoint, or point of view, or beginning. That's the cliff notes of the thread.

God, the Bible: they say that man's problems and difficulties and struggles are caused by an original sin. In Buddhism, they say our problems are caused by our past "sins" or transgressions, however you like to call it. Karma is a teacher, but it is also why we have some problems that are caused seemingly outside of our control. With Karma you have things happening to you and people affecting you that you must learn from, but there is also a way for you to start a new problem, to start rolling a new snowball down the hill with another new misdeed or sin. This could easily be called an original sin.

And if anyone has a good grasp (personally or scholarly, of course) of what karma is, I'd love to hear their own summary of what it is exactly. Lately I think I've been noticing it more and more.

Karma is also just as good an explanation/reason for the world getting crazier and worse as the "end times" revelations of the Bible. Look at how much more people/kids are shooting each other nowadays, high school shootings, kids killing their family, etc. Totally psychotic things going on that are near unexplainable

I think in both respects Christianity and Buddhism are on equal ground, they both have their merits and they really don't disagree in my eyes. I've been more into philosophy lately but some friends convinced me to attend their church and I went today and had a blast, enjoying the whole deal more like a Taoist would than a Christian, and I found myself more accepting of it in this way. And yes I've been reading about Alan Watts and his time spent as an episcopal priest, so no I didn't come up with the idea on my own, but it certainly worked! I even went up to the altar when they asked anyone too! What a rush that was, i could barely breathe and I certainly felt something amazing while up there.

Please feel free to add in anything and discuss. I am sure I have gotten some things wrong so do not hesitate to correct any misconceptions I have, on either side. Wanted to add my little story in at the end because it's what pushed me over the edge to start this discussion on ATS.




posted on Mar, 15 2009 @ 07:14 PM
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Yes, many ways to express the same truth. You are looking at the understanding behind them, rather than the literal words. Which is what allowed you to see the similarities.

Reap what you sow, same thing as Karma really. They really try to teach you the same basic things/principles.

A personal relationship with the father means having your own understanding and your own way of expressing it. Once you have that understanding, you will start to see it expressed in many different ways. It feels like synchronicity at first, but really those things were always there, you just didn't understand/notice before.

Thus you get an entirely new/different perspective of seeing the world. Both also express this. In Christianity, it is said you must become as a child again. In enlightenment, you must forget all that you know to be true. Why? Well when you become as a child again, what does a child do? A child will ask question after question after question. Only now rather than listening to the parent, or another man/person feeding them the answers, they are looking within/to the father. Enlightenment seems to also work in this manner.

Those who focus on the literal, like the scribes and there literal world never understand these things, they enter not and they do not allow others to enter.

I see alot of similarities in understanding. I imagine other religions also carry them as well if you can get past the idol/literal and get to the level of understanding.



posted on Mar, 15 2009 @ 09:38 PM
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Nice try at pluralism but the differences are vast.

Buddhism is atheistic.
Christianity is focused upon the worship of a sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, creator of the universe.

Buddhism see's mans problem as suffering and is focused on man.
Christianity see's mans problem as sin and is focused on God.

Karma is balanced by the works of mans effort.
Sin is forgiven by Jesus blood.

In conclusion, judge them by their fruit: Evaluate Buddhist cultures - like impoverished south east Asia and their infamous sex industry juxtaposed with cultures founded on Christian principles and "viva la difference".

The words of Jesus Christ dismiss pluralism:


13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


If the way is easy and the gate you're using is wide enough to include everybody - your at the wrong gate!



posted on Mar, 15 2009 @ 10:53 PM
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Badmedia, I obviously agree, thoughtful points there.

Edit: now in reply to BigWhammy: Equally thoughtful, but I disagree.

Well, long post I guess this is a discussion I've been wanting to have for a while cause the letters just keep adding up. I understand if you don't feel the need to answer my argument bit by bit since it's so long winded but here goes.

For the sake of useful argument, hopefully: How can that interpretation of the verse be correct when Christianity is the largest religion in the world? For the very same reason that a person who lives under Buddhist ideals can be a Christian. Because the typical answer to this question is "Those aren't true Christians," and thus they are simply putting a meaningless label on themselves that they do not live by. And thus, we can say that the term Buddhism can also be a meaningless label, any description can be. So you can't be a meaningless label if you are also this meaningless label? And if I told you to simply live in the now, and you didn't know anything about Zen Buddhism, then you would never think that by doing this you were offending Jesus, or God. And it's just as absurd to think that you are offending Him by doing that now, because with understanding you've now put a meaningless label on it.

In my understanding, Buddhism is not a "way" like Christianity, Buddhism is a conversation. It is atheistic by default yes, because it doesn't even talk about God. It doesn't even bring up the subject. This is exactly how it can agree with Christianity, you can include Christianity with it because it doesn't disagree with it. Just like you can be an Democrat and an American, or a Republican and an American. Democrat does not disagree with American, and Republican does not disagree with American. They do not disagree, they do not even argue, they are not mutually exclusive, not even close.

To me Buddhism isn't even doing or intended/intending to accomplish the same thing as Christianity. They are two very different schools, and focus on different goals.

This could well be a matter of you projecting your religion's goal and mission onto other religions. The other religions aren't even trying to do the same thing as Christianity and well, Islam. It seems to me that many of the other's can integrate with Christianity, if that's a person's focus. Not for everybody perhaps, but personally, sure.

[edit on 15-3-2009 by Novise]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 08:01 AM
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Originally posted by Bigwhammy
Nice try at pluralism but the differences are vast.

Buddhism is atheistic.
Christianity is focused upon the worship of a sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, creator of the universe.


As mentioned, Buddhism doesn't really talk about god. Neither for or against. It is agnostic at best with this I think.



Buddhism see's mans problem as suffering and is focused on man.
Christianity see's mans problem as sin and is focused on God.


Ummm, sin causes suffering and is focused on the man who sins. Buddhism would more call "sin" as "desire". That desires cause suffering.



Karma is balanced by the works of mans effort.
Sin is forgiven by Jesus blood.


This I just disagree with. IMO, those who see Jesus as a sacrifice see him as a sacrifice of truth so that the lie may live, and only those who live in the lie find salvation from such a thing. It is his example and his life and the message he showed, wisdom he gave, and example of how to live by the commandments correctly in the hopes you might believe and follow him that you find true salvation.

Overall, your religion is nothing like Buddhism. Because it lacks understanding and is only focused on the literal.

Christianity is like Buddhism in that enlightenment and being "reborn" are it's eventual goals. And in both cases it relies on gaining wisdom and understanding.



In conclusion, judge them by their fruit: Evaluate Buddhist cultures - like impoverished south east Asia and their infamous sex industry juxtaposed with cultures founded on Christian principles and "viva la difference".


Do you really want us to compare the cultures of Christianity? Like I dunno, the dark ages, the crusades, the inquisitions and so forth? Personally I think making an authority out of religion is silly in itself.



The words of Jesus Christ dismiss pluralism:


13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


If the way is easy and the gate you're using is wide enough to include everybody - your at the wrong gate!


Sorry, but that isn't what he was talking about. And btw, if that is what you want to call gates, then you had better take a look at your own religion, because with 2.1 billion members, Christianity is the widest gate in world.

What Jesus is talking about there is the actions of people and that is what determines there path. The road to destruction is wars, killing and all that kind of stuff, which we can point out plenty of in the history of Christianity. Those who do things in his name, but they do so in sin.

From the same chapter you quote. You will know them by their fruits(actions). And so it becomes a matter of if they are breaking the commandments of god or not in their actions.



20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:


For example. A crusade. The crusader might say "but lord, we have done so many good things in your name!", but yet their actions have been a path of death and destruction. They killed others, and broke commandments. They worked in sin(iniquity).

So this is why Jesus always talks about doing what he says, as in 24. He goes on to liken those who hear but do the other stuff to fools. And so it is by following his path and way that you find salvation, not in his "blood" or his death. He died because of the sins of man, and he did it when he didn't have to as an example to you.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 08:18 PM
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A good exploration OP S+F

I recently had a one on one with a Lama of Tibetan Buddhism for an afternoon. He is an official Teacher of Buddhism and has spent 3 yrs 3 months and 3 weeks in total retreat from others, just meditating and doing Buddhist prayers.

I think he knows his stuff, as he spent 15 yrs studying in an Buddhist University before doing so.

I asked him about Jesus, I was brought up as a Catholic, spent my formative years with monks teaching me, served on the local arch bishops alter, attended mass at least 3-4 times per week, have served at Funerals, baptisms, weddings and all the feasts etc. I had a strong faith when younger. My schooling was very very strictly religious by these Monks and priests.

I feel I to know a bit about Christianity

I have been studying (personally) the eastern cultures esp Buddhism for over 15 yrs now.

My question to this Lama was that though I do not believe in the lies of the modern message of Christianity, as anyone who has studied the available texts PROPERLY will know for sure that

  • Reincarnation was an accepted part of Christianity before Emporer Justinius (not Nicea)
  • This is as Judaism also has esp within Kabbalism accepted doctrines of Reincarnation.
  • Jesus himself said outright That John the Baptist was an reincarnation (do you know your bible?)
  • Jesus was referred to by John the Baptist also as Elijah etc.
  • There is some very very strong evidence that infact Jesus during the years not in the bible, from childhood until his sudden arrival back in the middle east was infact in the North india/Pakistan/Tibet area etc studying Yoga. he also studied on the Nile/Egypt in the temples of the chakras?stages on the way(this last bit has been discussed on ATS Mix Show by an respected researcher)
  • There is hardly no difference at all between the teachings of Jesus and the Buddhist teachings of Raja Yoga and Bodhissatvas. His sermon on the mount is a message recorded in text in a similar way by the Buddha 500 years before.

    Anyhow I mentioned none of the above to this Lama. I just asked him if sometimes believing in Jesus message, or even offering a prayer to him would be an issue if I was a practising Buddhist. Would it create any problems, or as known on the Buddhist path "Obstructions"

    He smiled and laughed much, saying "all the Lamas and Masters know Jesus was a Bodhissatva, no problem same same."

    On karma, and of interest within the Buddhist Philosophy as taught by the Buddha he realised the cyclic nature of life and cause and effect, what stops us from being like Jesus and Buddha themselves, what creates conditions as we experience them, and rebirths is symbolised by the Snake, Rooster and Pig. This creates Karma (very Simply the predisposition/illusion and drives that create Karma) Karma can very easily be said to be Sin. We suffer from the result of our bad actions. In Buddhism there are Hell relms as well.

    The snake within the three symbolises Hatred. Rooster Desire and Pig Ignorance.

    The snake of the garden of eden, the tempter/devil can easily be seen as the Snake in Buddhism. Hatred?

    The Jewish Mystics who wrote the Genesis notably Moses perceived the same as all great Sages the underlying reality of how we create Sin/Karma/Kamma. It is easy also to see that Eve eating the apple represents the Rooster Desire and Adam doing as she did even though he knew it was wrong Ignorance. Same chicken different feathers as they say.

    Now there is the difference of teachings globally within the two traditions in that when asked about God Buddha always remained silent.

    The early Jewish mystics though labelled a seperate entity. Though maybe this was a lack of realisation quite so close to the Buddha's, or the Buddha's better teaching skills. If you see a separate God you deny the divine in you, and ability to become yourself like Jesus or Buddha. Also you look outside yourself for the answers. Also if you say that a separate God exists and only certain people can contact him/her etc it is a way to control people and make them give you power over them.

    Ultimately the Buddha, Jesus was just a Man a Human being like other Sages who uprooted the hatred, desire and ignorance within himself to reach enlightenment. As Jesus said to his apostle who sank as he walked across the water/lake/sea with him when he started sinking, "why are you loosing Faith" the faith needed for this sort of experience life is more difficult if you assign it to some outside deity/force and can not see/hear/touch it.
    Did not Jesus say "Have I not said ye are Gods to" and "if you have the faith of a mustard seed or(sometimes translated as if two of you come together in prayer) and ye say to that Mountain get up and move, it will be done"

    When you find the faith within yourself, like westerners who today defied all known scientific laws, have walked across fire pits and not been burnt, because they accept the trance, suggestions of the organiser and see others doing it, they do to. This proven repeated daily practise breaks every "sceptic" "reality" "scientific" "law" that exists, bare skin on 500c coals walking with no burns (except for those who loose the faith during the walk). But people put this at the back of their minds, as it does not fit in with their "world view"

    So some things below of real interest.

    The Tibetan Buddhist Gospel of Jesus (Issa)

    There is an accepted and long standing cultural history of Both Jesus and Mary going to Pakistan mainly the Swat Valley Area and Kashmir after he was crucified "and rose from the dead" (ever thought who the Kings from the East were look into Tulkus/Rinpoches in modern Tibetan Practise, search parties looking for reincarnations of spiritual masters) within this area are Chapels to Mary and Jesus.

    Within the Islamic Tradition there is a Tomb with a great Islamic Saint who also is Buried as accepted by the Locals and religious leaders of the area with the prophet of Islam "Jesus". Jesus tomb is below if you would like to see it:



    A wonderful documentary showing the links between Jesus, Buddha and Islam, showing again the Tomb in Kashmir:



    Theologian Dr Robert Beckford investigates amazing parallels to the Christ story in other faiths, some of them predating Christianity by thousands of years. The Hindu god, Krishna, was conceived by a virgin and his birth was attended by angels, wise men and shepherds. Buddha was also the result of a miraculous birth and visited by wise men bearing gifts.



    Google Video Link


    A must see also a BBC research documentary "Did Jesus Die" showing more evidence of his presence found in the East and his missing years training there, part one of it here:


    A easy to understand explanation and picture of the Snake,Rooster & Pig in Buddhism & Karma The Three Poisons

    From the channel Enlightenmenton ATS video/Media some things as well, please join and contribute, explore etc:

    Below two short video teachings by Robert Thurman an scholar of the highest regard and close friend of the Dalai Lama, who kindly has allowed this media on ATS, giving teachings on the "Four Noble Truths" which is the basis of the Buddhas teachings on Karma and how it creates suffering, and how to redeem yourself from it. Wonderful Teacher and explanation:


    (click to open player in new window)


    Part 2 Here

    Please visit Bobs Audio/Video for more of the same.

    Uncovering Urban Myths About Buddhism

    Buddhas "Gospel" the Dhammapada his basic easy to understand teachings Very similar to Jesus and his Gospels

    Now also the Modern Christian Idea that "Jesus Died for our sins" is in no way at all any different from the choice and life of a Bodhissatva. These Saints/People/Holy Ones/Prophets etc reach enlightenment, and have removed their "original sin" or stopped any further Bad Karma. Therefore they do not have to be reborn in the Earth Plane, hells etc again if they do not want to.Rather than being selfish and living in nirvana/Heaven for eternity as a reward they Choose to come back, undergo the sufferings of the Flesh and the material plane to help Guide & lead others to Heaven/Nirvana.They do this out of love and Compassion, and vow to keep getting reincarnated and suffer here (for our Karma/Sins) until all living beings have also reached that place of Heaven/Nirvana. There is no difference in the philosophy or teachings at all!

    The Dalai lama on Karma and How to Create Good Karma

    Reincarnation The Wheel of Life and explanation of the "Snake" hatred in Buddhism

    As mentioned above the Jewish belief in Reincarnation can be found in the writings and teachings of Rabbi Gershom,who has done much research on the Holocaust and Jewish people being reborn since:
    On Wiki
    In Reborn in The West - Vicki Mckenzie- Page 104 He states

    Hasidic Jews Certainly beleive in Reincarnation,Infact in the Lubovitcher version of Hasidic prayer book contains a bedtime prayer in which the supplicant forgives"Anyone who has angered or vexed me in this incarnation or any Other


    Jesus Grew up learning this!

    Kind Regards,

    Elf

    [edit on 17-3-2009 by MischeviousElf]



  • posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 08:40 PM
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    Karma and Original Sin have nothing to do with each other.

    We believe we are all sinners, only by the grace of God do we become righteous. You can do all the good works under the sun, you are still a sinner.

    I think too many are trying to equate the philosophies of differing religions to each other. They are different for a reason.

    IMO this type of thing will help bring in the one world religion and AntiChrist.



    posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 10:42 PM
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    Reply to MischeviousElf:

    Thanks for all this information. I enjoyed listening to Bob Thurman, it's also nice to see people sitting around and enjoying their day like this.

    What he said about Buddha and trying to share bliss: that Buddha realized that if he tried to just share it with those who weren't "there" it would be like an assault on their "selves" and only cause recoil and further dissociation.

    Well to me this gives a bit of insight on how Jesus said you must believe in Him. For his healing to work, for his intervention to work, so you don't sink into the ocean, etc.. Buddha was not trying to intervene on behalf of anyone, he felt that it didn't work that way. Jesus intervenes, and since this is His way, then the person receiving his blessing must accept him, be on his wavelength, have their heart in the right place, otherwise it comes across as an assault on them and useless.

    It is yet another thing that on the surface it seems they disagree, one is saying you don't have to accept me, the other says you do. But one's reason for saying you don't have to accept goes along with the other's reason for saying you must.



    posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 07:09 AM
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    Originally posted by B.A.C.
    Karma and Original Sin have nothing to do with each other.


    It is plain that you do not have a very deep understanding of either Buddhism or Christianity then.

    You obviously have well have not explored anything I wrote above, or the links.



    We believe we are all sinners, only by the grace of God do we become righteous. You can do all the good works under the sun, you are still a sinner.

    Indeed the same as the Buddhist path, it is not just good works that stop you from producing Sin/Karma as Desire, Hatred and ignorance are still there.

    Same Philosophy. Only like Saints in the Christian tradition who reach enlightenment by uprooting Desire, Ignorance and Hatred can even the most deep and subtle sins and living like Christ no more Sin/Karma is created

    I have on the ATS video section some of St Francis teachings, his first text explaining why he choose to become a Searcher and motivation for his turning to God and the path. St Francis his explanation of Motivation.

    If you can point out ANY differences between his writings and those of the Bodhissatvas, Buddha etc you are obviously omnipresent yourself




    I think too many are trying to equate the philosophies of differing religions to each other. They are different for a reason.


    In my first post some links show very strong evidence that in Fact Jesus Learned his teachings in the East, Very strong indeed.

    What is the differences between the Sermon on the Mount and Buddhas teaching?



    IMO this type of thing will help bring in the one world religion


    This type of thing, exploring facts and documented evidence?

    Discussing the similarities?

    There is only one religion, though different people find there path there through different roads best predisposed to.

    that Religion is Unconditional Love and doing your best to act as your Beliefs teacher says, be it Jesus, Buddha, Krishna etc. It does not matter which religion you follow as long as your Preacher/Teacher Guru his pure and not using it as power over you, and acts like the original teachers message.

    That one Religion is Love, abstinence from Sin, treating your brother and enemy with Love and daily trying to act, think and be like your Faith's founder.

    Same Fruit as same seeds.



    and AntiChrist.


    Do you know your Bible?

    Where exactly is the Antichrist as in how many times mentioned in the bible?

    Also any truly spiritual person would be able to see through the surface lies and falsehood and never accept blindly any of such a supposed persons teachings. esp Buddhists as the Buddha said



    Do not accept these things because I say so, take them and like Gold test them for yourselves, only if you find it to be true and pure accept it



    Originally posted by Novise
    What he said about Buddha and trying to share bliss: that Buddha realized that if he tried to just share it with those who weren't "there" it would be like an assault on their "selves" and only cause recoil and further dissociation.


    Just the same as Jesus Teachings:

    Mark 4 v30 -34


    With so many parables he would give them his message, so far as they were able to receive it. He never spoke to them except in parables; but privately to his disciples he explained everything


    No difference again Novise.

    This is known in Tibetan Buddhism as me ngag pe khyu which means a Master will teach the Buddhas message, but only the most profound teachings to a select few who can handle, understand and are advanced enough to accept it.



    It is yet another thing that on the surface it seems they disagree, one is saying you don't have to accept me, the other says you do. But one's reason for saying you don't have to accept goes along with the other's reason for saying you must.


    Very well put. There is also a strong tradition in Buddhism when you do receive the advanced teachings of Total faith that the Buddha did reach enlightenment, and therefore if he could , and may have since that time (across faiths) as the Tibetan Gospel shows the Buddhist Masters believed Christ had to, so you must have Faith in their teachings if you find them true, and faith that you yourself can achieve this, that we can purify ourselves.

    Unfortunately what has happened in Christianity is that due to Nicea and Emporer Justinius, and the ego desire for power and worship by unenlightened men since, the "Guilt" trip of you are always tainted with this sin has come about. in Buddhism this is there, we all have Immeasurable Karmic/Sin influences to, but in Buddhism it is seen as not being everlasting we can purify this, though it takes many many many lifetimes to do so, and also is not easy.

    This is the fundemental Difference.

    The Kamma/Karma in buddhism is like clouds obscuring the sun, to use an analogy by blowing enough times, and clearing this the original purity of Human Nature below this layer of Sin/Karma individualy can be cleared and the Sun of Love and Wisdom enlightenment shine forth from our hearts and minds.

    In Judaism and Christianity the leaders of the Churchs and intervention by Romans etc have twisted the message (except Kabbalah in Judaism), so that all followers feel bad about themselves, feel it is hopeless, they have to go to the "oracle" or preacher/Priest to contact this God, supplicate and give money to them, be controlled by them. This is the only Antichrist there is, the distortion of the true teachings for personal gain, and not unconditional Love.

    Kind Regards,

    Elf


    [edit on 18-3-2009 by MischeviousElf]



    posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 06:32 PM
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    Thanks Badmedia, interesting about "being reborn" and good examples imo.

    MischeviousElf, I will certainly be making use of the media you've uploaded. Can't wait to print out the Dhammapada and the text about St. Francis. Even though it's a lot of pages it's worth it, cause it's easier to read that way. Also watched "The yogis of tibet," very humbling and sobering.

    For those who disagree with the idea behind the post, I really don't know what to say. I mean my parents are Christians of decades. I wouldn't expect them to after all those years suddenly start reading about the four noble truths, and the noble eightfold path, and start checking out the Tao. So no I don't think it's for everyone, but I think there are still a lot of people that can benefit from this sort of exploration into other cultures.

    And I think this sort of exploration can be done respectfully. Just because you are reading something other than the Bible or media that does not have the "Christian" label on it, does not mean you are disrespecting God, obviously I know. It's not what you do in this case, it is how you do it, imo. Even from a very rigid and strict Christian perspective, in this case it matters where the heart is. "Do not stray" right, well you don't stray, by keeping your heart in the right place as you explore with direction.

    One reason I brought this whole thread up is because in a podcast I thought I heard a Buddhist saying that the idea of original sin is a silly way to look at the world. Because you can't go on blaming your problem on something that person did years ago, cause then you must blame that person's parent's for having him, and their parents for having them, etc. There was probably something else he meant by it, but now I'm like, "hey wait a minute," Buddhism actually lends some credence to the idea of original sin, just look at the idea of karma.



    posted on Apr, 29 2009 @ 06:34 AM
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    Originally posted by Novise
    In Buddhism, they say our problems are caused by our past "sins" or transgressions, however you like to call it.

    Past errors is more like it. Buddhism doesn't formally recognize sin as a concept.


    If anyone has a good grasp (personally or scholarly, of course) of what karma is, I'd love to hear their own summary of what it is exactly. Lately I think I've been noticing it more and more.

    Karma is destiny. Karma is effect in a causally determined universe.

    Actions have consequences, both to the actor and to others. They also manifest themselves in actual events. These consequences are karma. Since people are frequently observed to suffer consequences quite at variance to their actions and apparent intentions, it is assumed that karmic influence is played out over succeeding lifetimes; what you do in this life has consequences for you in succeeding ones. Thus a belief in reincarnation is indispensable to the doctrine of karma.

    Karmic consequences include the conditions of a soul's rebirth. Acquiring a heavy burden of karma in this life will cause you to be reborn as an animal, or poor, crippled, ugly, or stupid... or worse still, dangerously healthy, wealthy, pretty or talented. Lighten your karmic load and you will be reborn into happier circumstances, perhaps even as a god or bodhisattva*. Free yourself of it altogether and you will cease to exist, as the Buddha is said to have at his demise.


    Karma is a teacher...

    Yes, in the sense that experience is a teacher.


    ...but it is also why we have some problems that are caused seemingly outside of our control.

    And that's where the problem arises. Because karma, a doctrine of cause and effect, is deterministic to the nth degree. Determinism is antagonistic to the idea of free will. And without free will, how can one commit sins or make mistakes?

    Moreover, Buddhism is essentially a practical course in reducing one's karmic burden by detaching oneself from desire and thus from the world of actions and consequences. How can one follow such an education without free will?

    Is choosing to free oneself of karma then also a manifestation of karma? I believe so.

    I don't see much resemblance between karma and original sin. The consequences of karma are played out in life. Those of original sin are not, according to most mainstream Christian doctrines; rather, original sin is among the transgressions a soul must answer to when it meets its maker - the sin of being human, if you like.

    The Calvinist doctrine of election holds that the elect (the saved) are blessed in earthly things by God, while foredoomed sinners must suffer all the pains of life in addition to the eternity of torment that awaits them in hell. But this doctrine implies predestination and is hence deterministic; again, the conflict with free will arises. And without free will, the sacrifice of Christ is made a bloody farce.

    The slowest threads are often the best. This one is great. Flagged.

     
    *By the way, although the Buddha said the gods are of no importance, the Buddhist scriptures are full of them.



    posted on Apr, 29 2009 @ 06:36 AM
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    reply to post by badmedia
     


    Those who see Jesus as a sacrifice see him as a sacrifice of truth so that the lie may live, and only those who live in the lie find salvation from such a thing.

    Magnificently put. If you thought that one up yourself, you've just become my hero.



    posted on Apr, 29 2009 @ 07:26 AM
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    One more and I'll stop hogging the thread.

    Novise, you mentioned Taoism in your first post, but it seems to have gone by the board since then. I am not - as at least one poster on this thread already knows - a religious person at all; or rather, I don't believe in a creator-god of the Middle Eastern variety. I was raised a Christian, a fairly ardent one, but lost my faith by degrees, commencing very early in life. Nowadays, I consider myself a naturalist - a scientific materialist.

    I am also, however, by inclination and practice a Taoist.

    The fundamentals of Taoism, as presented in the Tao te Ching, seem quite in accord with the scientific worldview; the interaction of complementaries - the weak force, the dipolar nature of electricity and magnetism, the interchangeability of matter and energy - lies at the heart of physics. Darwinian evolution, too, is a dance of complementary opposites: the conflicting claims of survival and reproduction, the eternal balancing of evolutionary costs and benefits. Sex itself is such a dance - vive la difference! A cyclic principle may not be central to all nature, but it's quite easy - given that pattern recognition is something humans are really, really good at - to see such cycles everywhere, from the phases of the moon to the ups and downs of the world economy.

    Buddhism and Taoism seem mutually quite accommodating, even though their respective congregations aren't always so. I live in a largely Buddhist culture, so I get to see the downsides of Buddhism westerners don't - its want of the ordinary consolations of religion, for example, which makes Buddhist societies both compulsively syncretic and politically unstable, and the very real violence, corruption, filth and misery from which good Buddhists sometimes cease to care about along with those thanha-promoting good things of life. But Taoism promotes the same detachment, perhaps even more severely because it enjoins the practitioner not to worry his head about that or, indeed, anything else, because worry is simply pointless. Most Buddhists - all credit to them - don't take it that far.

    In practical terms, the counsel of trying to keep an eye on the turning of the wheel and judging one's own actions accordingly, so that one accomplishes one's aim with the least possible effort and disturbance to the Tao, seems good to me. It reduces the number of collisions one experiences in life - which means, if you think about it, that one acquires less karma. I think Buddhism and Taoism go very well together.

    I cannot be a Buddhist because the concept of reincarnation seems absurd to me, especially when no-one, not even the Buddha, appears to be able to explain just what it is that is reincarnated. But the practical advice of the Buddha also seems very good to me. I except meditation, however. I prize my neuroses and my conflicts, my humanly skewed viewpoints and capacity for passion. All my life I have created things for fun and profit; these rakshasayo are the engines of my craft. I have no desire to silence them through meditation.

    I accept life warts and all, and in this, too, I am a Taoist.



    posted on May, 6 2009 @ 09:24 PM
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    reply to post by Astyanax
     


    Very interesting to read Asty,

    When I said karma is a teacher you said "in the sense that experience in a teacher." Well I look at it this way, I just don't think karma is petty or fickle. If it was merely a punisher that didn't teach anything, then it would not make sense. Same thing goes very much so for experience.

    I agree karma can be deterministic. Deterministic in situation, not in action, not in freewill. It can present a person with harsh circumstances (or illusory harshness more likely), but it can never make the choice for them, for their reaction or for their attitude going in. You said you live around a Buddhist culture, well why oh why is that not the accepted interpretation? Are they not victimizing themselves by this way of looking at it?

    Our quality of life (perceptually and lucid wise, no doubt) is dwindling overall, people are having less and less respect and attraction for eachother - what explains this better than the idea of karma. A taoist
    perspective or slant on karma that says that with expectation comes disappointment. (though not just a taoist perspective on it, also, an actual literal buddist standpoint that say's we will all become more dissapointing if all we do is expect from others ourselves)

    I think the original post and ideas have been explored and am happy enough that it has been explored.

    I will reread your posts, I like the way you think.

    [edit on 6-5-2009 by Novise]



    posted on May, 7 2009 @ 04:13 AM
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    reply to post by Novise
     

    Look at how much more people/kids are shooting each other nowadays, high school shootings, kids killing their family, etc.
    I do not think this the result of the Karma of individuals, but a lapse in the fulfilling of duty of the people in positions of authority. Harris and Kliebold were criminals and back in earlier times, they would have been in custody. In the current system, they were given anti-depressants and released to go on working evil against others around them.
    The end of the world may not be caused necessarily by people becoming more evil but by people not getting involved in how things work and leaving it to others who may not be properly motivated.
    So, I would have to say there are two Karmas, one from things you do directly which are bad, and another from failing to perform good things, which end up affecting others, as well.



    [edit on 7-5-2009 by jmdewey60]



    posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 05:27 AM
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    a reply to: Novise

    I wrote this in another discussion:

    The original sin were our first karma.
    But what were that original sin in practice?

    When we started incarnating as humans, we were like animals with all the desires and 'habits' of animals.

    These rules were our inherent karma we had to resolve.

    Our karma is expressed through rules, our opinions, that are based in previous not understood experience, in fear of the future.

    When we solve our karma, through understanding what's behind these rules, it becomes wisdom.

    When there are no rules/opinions any more, we are living in the now, the now tells us what we need, in Goetheanum sense as in buddhistic spence.

    Christ came to take the original sin on him, as it was not our fault, and it meant that he would help us to bear the sin, to resolve it, and he did that when Jesus entered the death world, the astral world.



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