Originally posted by AProphet1233
I'll put some questions on the queue. You can take your time answering them.
1. Is there a psychology for the eternal self such that one's transitory personality can identify with it? If not, can this "eternal self" be
considered a "self" at all or is it simply a means to a philosophical end?
2. I recognize both Buddha and Christ as being enlightened historical figures. By this I mean both knew/experienced the secret mystery of existence
and understood everything there is to understand about earthly life. Yet they had different concepts of God. One, the Buddha, saw God as a universal
harmony or the ocean from which everything flows. The other, Christ, named God his father and led what I see to be a slightly more pragmatic life.
In conclusion, how would you reconcile these two views not as religion but the way these two historical figures understood it.
[edit on 14-6-2010 by AProphet1233]
Hello, good questions.
1. The psychology of the Eternal Self is hard to describe, since it would be equating God with human characteristics. God does not need to get angry
because he is perfect, he could not become jealous because there is nothing to be jealous about. God is omniscient but also indifferent to what
happens on life, because he is the essence of all things, but not any one of them. The upanishads say "The Self sees without seeing, because nothing
is separate from it. Knows without knowing, because nothing is separate from it." God sees all things in an Eternal present, so the universe to God
is his image, and this image is a reflection of Goodness, so it does not make him happy since he could not be more perfect, but rather it allows other
beings a chance to be as blissful as God. God is perfect with or without us humans, but we humans can contemplate God and raise ourselves to an
exultant state of being. The psychology of an enlightened person would simply be the virtues: patience, tolerance, honesty, etc. These are said to be
close to God and therefore holier than the vices which imprison people in the body.
God's plan is essentially to create a universe in which unlimited number of beings can become generated and obtain enlightenment and understand God.
Without a creation, we could not comprehend the infinity of God. Our minds require a solid form as a base of understanding. This is because we think
in the physical realm, but our mind can be directed at the abstract which allows our inner energy to become awakened through spiritual knowledge.
2. I believe that the Buddha was a truth seeker that saw the positives of Brahmanism but also the absurdity. The Buddha is quoted as saying "A person
can become a Brahman through knowledge, not lineage." The Buddha stressed that all beings could become Buddhas. He did not preach about a creator of
the universe but rather an escape from samsara, which is the cycle of rebecoming. It is important to remember that the Buddha saw this cycle as
suffering, so for the Buddha there is really no reason to praise a creator, since it is a creation of suffering. In Brahmanism, Ishvara is the
creator, but Brahman is the Absolute Reality, The Self beyond all things. I.E. Nirvana. Thus, there was no reason for the Buddha to preach about a
Christ on the other hand, displaying suspiciously Eastern philosophical behavior quite different from the Old Testament prophets, is usually perceived
as a Buddhist in this sense. However, being perhaps a native to what was then Judaism, he kept the notion of God as a father. Remember that while the
Buddha did not preach about a God he was looked upon as a Supreme Lord. The Buddhist sutras always refer to the Buddha as the Supreme One, implying
that he is God. Perhaps Jesus was then attached to this ideal as so many Buddhists would later do after the historical Buddha. Then, after time, the
church removed any notion of meditation or spiritual knowledge, mostly through the persecution of the gnostics, and God became the creator once again.
What was left was a religion that exemplified their prophet as a sufferer, rather than Buddhism which exemplifies their leader as one who has
conquered suffering. No offense to Christianity, but what's the point of following a leader that has not quite overcome suffering? Even the Roman
guards were smart enough to ask Jesus "if you are the messiah why doesn't your God save you?" Seems like an obvious problem. Compare this to the
Buddha, who was poisoned but had foreseen his own death, choosing to end his death before his time. He was still 80 years old. And the poisoned item
he consumed was meat, something Buddhists usually do not eat. Perhaps this is symbolic of his philosophy, to not do harm to any being. It is perhaps a
little myth if not actual fact, but either way it is interesting.
[edit on 14-6-2010 by filosophia]