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Comparison of Christianity and Buddhism

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posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 04:21 PM
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very nice thread

i remember when i moved to Japan years ago and encountered buddhism, shinto and zen.. they all blend together so well, i suppose because more or less they are philosophies and ways of life, meant to be understood as truths, rather than dogmatic religion which the western world is full of

i beleive eastern thought is the most logical of all philosophical and spiritual thought

i know alot of people will have 'problems' with the original post, because basically alot of ATSers are westerners in some form or another so anyone to have been brought up in the christian or catholic beleif set will have their whole world challenged at the sight of reading the original post.. i know you didn't mean to challenge anyone's ego or lifetime of beleifs, but rather to enlighten people though

i can only imagine how fun it must have been to come up with this thread, since buddhism is so interesting and profound, as well as christianity and the like being somewhat rediculous beleifs when you get down to it and compare them ( i feel somewhat bad for saying it like that, but i suppose that's how i truely feel
)

anyways i think your breif comparison of the two was accurate




posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 04:30 PM
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Well, I still stand on my position that what you are doing is not very Buddhist-like at all. Buddhism is not about nobility


Then why are they called the four 'NOBLE' truths?


(go read the definition en.wikipedia.org...),


wikipedia? Really? how about www.attan.com


and definitely not about superiority over others.


So what you are implying is that the Buddha, the all-enlightened one, is not superior in any way to others? Including rapists and warlords? I beg to differ.


I don't know where you read or heard that, but that is wrong.


www.attan.com


Buddhism teaches many things, one being virtue which leads to compassion and wisdom.


while compassion is a virtue, it is not transcendence, which is the true goal of Buddhism


Pure compassion


this does not exist, the only thing that is pure is transcendence, no such thing as pure compassion.


will not let you judge others for purposes of claiming superiority and pure wisdom will make you wise enough to know you cannot, and so you shall not, try and convert others to your own beliefs.


sounds like you are just opposed to the true teachings of Buddhism


You can search within yourself and teach others what you have found, but to say your beliefs are superior to theirs is egotistical. Buddhism teaches the 'ego' is a false notion that must be overcome in order to reach nirvana.


what I teach is true and founded upon logic


You said "Buddhists engaged in great debates with other ideologies in order to disprove one and claim a superior system over another.",
can you name what Buddhists engaged in this and/or what debates you are talking about?


as I already stated, any type of Buddhism that simply teaches as you feel is not Buddhism.


Have you ever heard the Dalai Lama speak about other religions? He has very little to say and when he does have something to say it is compassionate and wise but without judgment or comparison.


And in doing this he has tolerance for evil, because anything that is devoid of comparison or judgement is devoid of any real intellection or reasoning. Buddhism is not about 'being nice' it is about transcendence.


Seems like you are bringing the same Judeo/Christian/Islamic ways that you despise, into Buddhism, as many Westerners do, which is why I stated previously to "keep it real or don't keep it at all".


The one thing that the Tathagata exists for is the fruit and emancipation by illumination.” [SN 5.73]

This means the Buddha is about transcendence, not compassion.


Just like your other post that was titled something like "Ask me any question about Buddhism/Nirvana and I will answer". This implies that you are an enlightened master and since it is obvious you are not, it shows that your desire to speak upon these matters ( I can't say teach) comes from the need to supplement your ego. In this day and age, realizing the ego is there and then realizing it is false and then finding the path to move beyond and without it is one of the most difficult things we must achieve. That is why there are a very small amount of truly enlightened ones and real gurus, while most who claim to be so only do so for either the same reason as you have (notoriety/attention/satisfaction of the ego) or to make money.


I could say the same thing about your desire to debunk my teaching. What motivates you to prove me wrong? None other than the ego.


So again, "keep it real or don't keep it at all"!


doing so.

[edit on 3-7-2010 by filosophia]



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 04:31 PM
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Originally posted by ApacheChief
reply to post by filosophia
 


what is making people all uppity is not that you or anyone else has made the assumption of superiority but that the title of your thread is a comparison but you then make a judgement. to me the whole concept is in one sense apples and oranges because there is an objective reality to the claims of many religions such as christianity stating that man is sinful and buddhism stating that life is suffering. in other words things are not believed for no reason, everyone has a valid reason to believe what they believe and to act according to belief.

I am not a universalist, but religions, one can say are really just different solutions to the same problems we all face in life such as suffering and sin.


I explained the one and only superiority statement and I stand by it.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 04:55 PM
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Could the OP state what branch of Buddhism he is refering to?

I think that would make it easier to discuss.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 04:59 PM
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reply to post by filosophia
 


You took so much of what I said out of context and played off it to benefit your argument.

The "Four Noble Truths" have no attachment to the definition of nobility as you are using it to describe superiority over others. That is why I supplied you with the modern (western) definition of it, as you are using it, so you can determine if that describes or relates to the "Four Noble Truths". I will come back a little later and go into further detail on this.

You said "while compassion is a virtue, it is not transcendence, which is the true goal of Buddhism". So in your own words, transcendence it the goal. But what your not accounting for is that one cannot truly transcend without becoming virtuous, and one cannot become truly virtuous until they are truly compassionate. So in short, one cannot truly transcend without being compassionate. This is why Buddha Gautama taught, that the two most 'noble' virtues are Wisdom and Compassion, because they are the two most important virtues (of many) that will lead one to becoming virtuous, and thus able to transcend.

And to say I am egotistical for trying to correct someone who is claiming to be an 'enlightened one' so others are not confused of Buddhisms meaning, makes no sense. Remember I am not the one creating threads making outrageous claims, like I know all and I am superior, as you have.

More later.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 05:15 PM
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Originally posted by filosophia
Buddhism is a superior philosophy to Christianity.

Christianity believes in a creator God that one must worship unquestioningly for the sake of achieving a heavenly reward.

Buddhism holds that one gains enlightenment through their own means, not through another's means or through a God's will or forgiveness.

Christianity holds that through acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Lord and savior, one is forgiven of their sins.

Buddhism holds that through gnosis of the cause of suffering, and the relinquishing of suffering, one gains unsurpassed nirvana, which is freedom from suffering (sin).

Christianity is based on the teachings of the bible, a book inspired by God.

Buddhism is based on the experience of enlightenment attained by the Buddha, which can be verified by everyone.

Christianity holds that the cause of suffering is Adam and Eve's sin of eating a forbidden fruit.

Buddhism holds that the cause of suffering is desire.

Christianity holds that God created all things, good and evil.

Buddhism states that all things are impermanent and subject to change.

Christianity believes that good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell.

Buddhism believes that life is the result of the causes preceding, and that each lifetime is co-dependent upon a preceding moment (the law of karma, which is the law of cause and effect).

Christianity believes that all of life can be traced back to Noah, the only person to survive the great flood.

Buddhism believes transcendence is more important than finding the origin of life (long since gone as it happened in the past).

Christianity believes the individual is born a sinner.

Buddhism believes the individual is a series of connected moments, called in temporary terms a 'self' but is in fact a series of dependent and therefore impermanent material states of consciousness.

Christianity believes that Jesus is the way, the truth, the life

Buddhism believes the Buddha-nature, found within all things, is the way, the truth, the life.



a few teachings of Buddhism and Christianity are or seem similar such as the sin in Eden and the cause of suffering in Buddhism, can't i argue that the sin in Eden was one of desire? the serpent enticed eve to eat and be like God knowing good and evil.

according to the bible, Noah wasn't the only one to survive the flood- he had his family too; and that isn't even a point in Christianity but only that God created a way for man to escape the doom and ruin of sin, though I and others subscribe to the belief that Noah's flood is a type of the second coming.

on the the subject of rewards; don't you find it a little disingenuous to state good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell? the bible says there is no one good, not even one. and while I cannot separate living righteous from the credo of faith it should be noted that the reward is by faith in Christianity not by being good.

you stated "Christianity holds that God created all things, good and evil.

Buddhism states that all things are impermanent and subject to change."

what does God creating anything have to do with its permanence? the bible states that things as they are will end and all things will be made new, therefore in a sense Christianity and Buddhism are similar in this respect.

and finally a judgment on my part, I'll personally side with Christianity because a simple look at the human condition tells me that our salvation or 'nirvana' cannot come from within, that is why God sent his son to save us from our desperately wicked selves. you'll have to forgive but I disagree with your initial statement.

[edit on 3-7-2010 by ApacheChief]

[edit on 3-7-2010 by ApacheChief]



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 05:53 PM
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OK, let's drill down a bit here.


Originally posted by filosophia
Buddhism holds that one gains enlightenment through their own means, not through another's means...

Please comment on the medieval Japanese Buddhist concept of Mappo, which specifically states that sentient beings in the current age are no longer capable of achieving enlightenment on their own and need intercession from bodhisattvas, Nyorai Buddhas, etc. The seminal text is the Candle of the latter law usually attributed (probably mistakenly) to the 8th/9th century Tendai Buddhist master Saicho (Dengyo Daishi). The concept of Mappo was enormously important for the development of medieval Pure Land Buddhism and Hongaku Shiso philosophical positions in medieval Buddhism. Consider also practices such as the chanting of the Nembutsu (南無阿弥陀仏).


Originally posted by filosophia
Buddhism holds that the cause of suffering is desire.

While it is true that desire is one of the basic klesas behind suffering, Avidyā or ignorance is considered primary and a deeper cause of suffering. Please refer to the Avija Sutra for more information. Also note that Avidyā (ignorance), rather than desire, is the first link of the Pratityasamutpada. Your assertion is not backed up by sutras, practice, or doctrine of any Theravada, Mahayana, or Vajrayana school.



Originally posted by filosophia
Buddhism states that all things are impermanent and subject to change.

Almost correct. Theravadins consider Nirvana an unconditioned state --see the Pundarika Sūtra (Lotus Sutra) as well as the Mahaparanirvana Sutra. Also, consider that an over-emphasis on impermanece runs afoul of Tathagataharba Buddhist theories.


Originally posted by filosophia
Christianity believes that good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell.

ALL forms of classical Buddhism (Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajarayana) believe in the existence of both heavenly realms and hells. Please see This link for a Theravadan perspective (the oldest strata of Buddhist cosmology) or do some googling for Mahayana and Vajaryana perspecives. I personally find Avici Hell to be rather interesting:



The Parinirvana Sutra says:

"Among the 8 great Hells, the worst is known as Avici Hell. Because one experiences immense suffering without any interval, thus it is given such a name."

The Ksitigarbha Sutra says:

"Avici Hells are hells reinforced with iron surrounded by iron walls, 8 millions miles wide and 1 million miles high. These Hells are fully filled with burning flames and are jointly linked up together with other Hells of different names. Among them there is one Hell by the name of Avici. The area of this Avici Hell is eight thousand square miles. The whole of this Hell, with iron walls, is packed with burning flames. Iron snakes and dogs with hot fire in this Hell run from the East to the West. Also, there is an iron bed and when one is cast there, he can see his own body filling it. Therefore, all beings are subjected to punishment according to their sins."

In Buddhist cosmology, Avici Hell is considered the worst & most severe of all the hell realms in existence. The Sanskrit term "Avici" means without interval, referring to the unceasing torments that sinners in that hell experience for an unimaginably long time. What type of beings get reborn into such a terrible place? Those who have committed any of the 5 heinous sins, namely:

1. Murdering one's father
2. Murdering one's mother
3. Killing an Arahant
4. Shedding the blood of a Buddha
5. Creating discord within the Sangha



There is much more I can say but to be honest I'm getting tired of typing. As the other poster above noted, please "keep it real" and educate yourself in basic Dharma before attempting to "speak for Buddhism."


[edit on 7/3/10 by silent thunder]



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 06:07 PM
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The funny thing is, I agree with the premise of what your saying just not the way you are presenting it. I def do not want to argue with you, as I respect many of your insights and thoughts, but maybe we can learn from each other by discussing these things.

I will just add this bit for now.

The pure Dharma was molded and shaped in accordance with the experiences of the lineage masters, who expressed the teachings most suited to the time, culture and dispositions of those training under them. Thus Buddhism came to have many faces, but the essence of all valid transmissions remains the same: to overcome negativity, to increase goodness and to cultivate and liberate the mind.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 06:08 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


good point about the relation of heaven and hell beleif and the reincarnation planes

i suppose one could say there is a unique relation between the idea that a person lives a good sin free life and goes to heaven / or lives a sinful life and goes to hell ( do i really need to post a link for that one? i think we all have heard this before hahahahaha )

and the idea that one's karma or actions in a life relate to the reincarnation into the next life... i suppose ( depending on the school of buddhism you follow ) you could say that means if you build up some good positive karma in one life, your next life might be very pleasant, or if you spent a life ignoring leasons you needed to learn then perhaps you might have to learn them all in the next life which might be stressful

or i guess the six realms could be a way to negotiate how your karma would effect your reincarnation, some beleive


The Six Realms are an allegorical description of conditioned existence, or samsara, into which beings are reborn. The nature of one's existence is determined by karma.

i suppose the conclusion of that would be, if you live a good karma life as a human, you can be reborn into higher realms, like as a god, or if you live a negative oriented life, you might reincarnate next into a lesser realm, like an animal or a 'hungry ghost'

i don't know what school of buddhism exactly teaches that exactly, although i can say the japanese buddhists ( whom mix their beleifs and philosophies with shinto zen and some tao intricately ) speak of very very similiar realms, possible the same thing passed down to japan long ago
japanese six realms

anyways, nice pointing out that singular similarity, perhaps there is some truth there



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by SkurkNilsen
Could the OP state what branch of Buddhism he is refering to?

I think that would make it easier to discuss.


original buddhism, here is a reference: www.attan.com



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 06:51 PM
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Originally posted by filosophia

Originally posted by SkurkNilsen
Could the OP state what branch of Buddhism he is refering to?

I think that would make it easier to discuss.


original buddhism, here is a reference: www.attan.com


"Original Buddhism?" Please be more specific. I assume you are referring to Theravada, which is the oldest doctrinal strain in current practice. Or perhaps you are referring to one of the extinct branches. Or pre-schismatic Buddhism, which is hard to define in that just about every definition would be very controversial.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy
The funny thing is, I agree with the premise of what your saying just not the way you are presenting it. I def do not want to argue with you, as I respect many of your insights and thoughts, but maybe we can learn from each other by discussing these things.

I will just add this bit for now.

The pure Dharma was molded and shaped in accordance with the experiences of the lineage masters, who expressed the teachings most suited to the time, culture and dispositions of those training under them. Thus Buddhism came to have many faces, but the essence of all valid transmissions remains the same: to overcome negativity, to increase goodness and to cultivate and liberate the mind.


What I say, I say because it is what I believe, I try not to water things down as much as possible. If someone comes along and shuts me up, I will bow to their wisdom, until then I must, for my own sake, stand my ground. Even now, I am editing my words in order to be 'nice' but I regret doing so. I'm tired of being nice.

Every teacher has a different method of teaching, for example, the Buddha did not go into perfect detail his metaphysical system, which is why many modern buddhists claims that the Buddha did not believe in a soul. And so while there is always room for a more logical system of metaphysics, the basic premise remains the same: transcendence, and if this is not the aim, then it is not accurate metaphysics.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 06:57 PM
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Originally posted by silent thunder

Originally posted by filosophia

Originally posted by SkurkNilsen
Could the OP state what branch of Buddhism he is refering to?

I think that would make it easier to discuss.


original buddhism, here is a reference: www.attan.com


"Original Buddhism?" Please be more specific. I assume you are referring to Theravada, which is the oldest doctrinal strain in current practice. Or perhaps you are referring to one of the extinct branches. Or pre-schismatic Buddhism, which is hard to define in that just about every definition would be very controversial.



" Original Buddhism is Buddhasasana (doctrine of the Buddha) which predates all revisionist sects such as Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Zen, and other radical hybrids which, while proclaiming to teach Buddhism, are very far indeed from the methodology illumined in the Nikayas (scriptures) of Buddhism for finding immortality. Contrary to modern misunderstanding, Buddhism never denied Vedic nor Upanishadic philosophy; in fact, the historical Buddha praised the Vedas numberless times in Sutta [Ud-A #55; Ud #3]. It is commonly misunderstood that the Nikayas 'belong to the Theravada tipitaka', however this is completely inaccurate as most experts will testify to, for Theravada itself did not exist prior to the 2nd century A.D. nor are the Nikayas, Vinaya (many versions), and Abhidhamma (numberless versions which post date the Nikayas by many centuries) homogenous works; and as G.C. Pande and others elucidate “The major portion of the Nikayas appear to have certainly existed in the 4th century B.C.E.” [Studies in the Origins of Buddhism p.15]. The only presectarian corpus of Buddhism exists within the ancient scriptures of the Pali Nikayas and are, unquestionably, the oldest group of materials that exist which can illuminate for us that which the historical Gotama Buddha did or did not teach and his philosophical system culminating in emancipation and immortality."

-www.attan.com



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 07:06 PM
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Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy
reply to post by filosophia
 


You took so much of what I said out of context and played off it to benefit your argument.

The "Four Noble Truths" have no attachment to the definition of nobility as you are using it to describe superiority over others. That is why I supplied you with the modern (western) definition of it, as you are using it, so you can determine if that describes or relates to the "Four Noble Truths". I will come back a little later and go into further detail on this.

You said "while compassion is a virtue, it is not transcendence, which is the true goal of Buddhism". So in your own words, transcendence it the goal. But what your not accounting for is that one cannot truly transcend without becoming virtuous, and one cannot become truly virtuous until they are truly compassionate. So in short, one cannot truly transcend without being compassionate. This is why Buddha Gautama taught, that the two most 'noble' virtues are Wisdom and Compassion, because they are the two most important virtues (of many) that will lead one to becoming virtuous, and thus able to transcend.

And to say I am egotistical for trying to correct someone who is claiming to be an 'enlightened one' so others are not confused of Buddhisms meaning, makes no sense. Remember I am not the one creating threads making outrageous claims, like I know all and I am superior, as you have.

More later.


Noble means superior, as in the opposite of inferior, so the four noble truths are the highest truths, superior to all others. Buddhism does not teach an equality for all, everyone is equal, since that would go against the definition of Karma.

Patience is a virtue, understanding is a virtue, compassion is a virtue, forgiveness is a virtue. While these are good, none of these are knowledge of the Absolute, which is the only thing that gives transcendence. Plotinus states that there is a difference between civic virtues and knowledge, as civic virtues are actions, whereas liberation/transcendence is a state beyond all things. Virtue can not be defined in a transcendent state, because there is no one or nothing to be virtuous to.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 07:12 PM
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Please comment on the medieval Japanese Buddhist concept of Mappo, which specifically states that sentient beings in the current age are no longer capable of achieving enlightenment on their own and need intercession from bodhisattvas, Nyorai Buddhas, etc.


This is a false guru-mentality in which enlightenment is dished out by a chosen one. Enlightenment is gained by knowledge. The only benefit of a guru is learning from one who has seen the way, but there must have come a time when the first guru was self-taught. The historical Buddha rejected the teachers who taught by way of extreme bodily austerity and instead achieved enlightenment of his own accord, not through a previous guru.




There is much more I can say but to be honest I'm getting tired of typing. As the other poster above noted, please "keep it real" and educate yourself in basic Dharma before attempting to "speak for Buddhism."


I will continue to speak for Buddhism and metaphysics until I encounter someone who proves me wrong.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 07:17 PM
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Originally posted by filosophia


Please comment on the medieval Japanese Buddhist concept of Mappo, which specifically states that sentient beings in the current age are no longer capable of achieving enlightenment on their own and need intercession from bodhisattvas, Nyorai Buddhas, etc.


This is a false guru-mentality in which enlightenment is dished out by a chosen one. Enlightenment is gained by knowledge. The only benefit of a guru is learning from one who has seen the way, but there must have come a time when the first guru was self-taught. The historical Buddha rejected the teachers who taught by way of extreme bodily austerity and instead achieved enlightenment of his own accord, not through a previous guru.


Wrong. Has nothing to do with "gurus." It is a devotionalist framework centered on the Nyorai Buddhas, not human teachers.

Please examine more carefully the doctrine of Jodo-shinshu, which is the largest branch of Buddhism in Japan, before criticizing this particular concept.

It is the height of arrogance to so casually -- and utterly inaccurately -- dismiss an interpretation of the Dharma held by literally hundreds of millions of people for long over a millenium.

You do not have to agree with this doctrine, but my point is that you cannot "cherry-pick" certain superficial, new-agey aspects of streamlined "Buddhism light" and presume that such interpretations speak for the totality of a 2,500-year-old tradition.



[edit on 7/3/10 by silent thunder]



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 07:19 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


If 1 billion people believed that a divine guru was necessary in order to achieve enlightenment, I would without hesitation say that that is 1 billion people who have it wrong. And I more or less did that by denouncing Christianity as inferior to Buddhism. Christians, as we know, believe a divine guru (Jesus) is necessary for salvation, and Christians number in the billions (although that could be a politically exaggerated claim, as I may be counted among those billion Christians).

The historical Buddha did not have a guru, so he goes against your theory. As for Buddhism "light" the only light worth mentioning is the primordial light of knowledge within the mind, which real Buddhism is meant to illuminate, not superficial morality.

“'The purification of one’s own mind/will', this means the light (joti) within one’s mind/will (citta) is the very Soul (attano)” [DN2-Att. 2.479]



[edit on 3-7-2010 by filosophia]



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by filosophia
reply to post by silent thunder
 


If 1 billion people believed that a divine guru was necessary in order to achieve enlightenment, I would without hesitation say that that is 1 billion people who have it wrong. And I more or less did that by denouncing Christianity as inferior to Buddhism. Christians, as we know, believe a divine guru (Jesus) is necessary for salvation, and Christians number in the billions (although that could be a politically exaggerated claim, as I may be counted among those billion Christians).

The historical Buddha did not have a guru, so he goes against your theory. As for Buddhism "light" the only light worth mentioning is the primordial light of knowledge within the mind, which real Buddhism is meant to illuminate, not superficial morality.

“'The purification of one’s own mind/will', this means the light (joti) within one’s mind/will (citta) is the very Soul (attano)” [DN2-Att. 2.479]



[edit on 3-7-2010 by filosophia]


I will say that is it comes down to worldview; you feel that christianity is inferior because you are buddhist and I feel christianity is superior. if you look at it jesus did not have a mentor either being he was God or if you argue it a human mentor.

but since christianity and buddhism a not related in any real sense it is like comparing apples and oranges.



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 08:33 PM
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What I say, I say because it is what I believe, I try not to water things down as much as possible. If someone comes along and shuts me up, I will bow to their wisdom, until then I must, for my own sake, stand my ground. Even now, I am editing my words in order to be 'nice' but I regret doing so. I'm tired of being nice.


I am glad you understand that it is just what 'you believe' and not fact. I don't think anyone wants to shut you up, but rather correct some things that you are promoting. I hope you do not 'bow' to anyone but rather learn from what they are saying, to better yourself and correct the message you are promoting. Please do not stop from 'being nice' if it so hard for you to do, or if you regret doing so. Although, that in itself doesn't sound very Buddha like at all now does it?

And don't give me that "Buddha was not a nice-guy" stuff. If you want to take some of Buddhisms teachings and create your own sect or religion, go ahead no one will stop you, but do not try and redefine what Buddha taught, for your own nefarious reasons.


Here is a great story you may like.



The Buddha was sitting under a tree talking to his disciples when a man came and spit on his face. He wiped it off, and he asked the man, “What next? What do you want to say next?”

The man was a little puzzled because he himself never expected that when you spit on somebody’s face, he will ask, “What next?” He had no such experience in his past. He had insulted people and they had become angry and they had reacted. Or if they were cowards and weaklings, they had smiled, trying to bribe the man. But Buddha was like neither, he was not angry nor in any way offended, nor in any way cowardly. But just matter-of-factly he said, “What next?”

There was no reaction on his part. Buddha’s disciples became angry, they reacted. His closest disciple, Ananda, said, “This is too much, and we cannot tolerate it. He has to be punished for it. Otherwise everybody will start doing things like this.” Buddha said, “You keep silent. He has not offended me, but you are offending me. He is new, a stranger. He must have heard from people something about me, that this man is an atheist, a dangerous man who is throwing people off their track, a revolutionary, a corrupter. And he may have formed some idea, a notion of me. He has not spit on me, he has spit on his notion. He has spit on his idea of me because he does not know me at all, so how can he spit on me?"

“If you think on it deeply,” Buddha said, “he has spit on his own mind. I am not part of it, and I can see that this poor man must have something else to say because this is a way of saying something. Spitting is a way of saying something. There are moments when you feel that language is impotent: in deep love, in intense anger, in hate, in prayer.

There are intense moments when language is impotent. Then you have to do something. When you are angry, intensely angry, you hit the person, you spit on him, you are saying something. I can understand him. He must have something more to say, that’s why I’m asking, “What next?”

The man was even more puzzled! And Buddha said to his disciples, “I am more offended by you because you know me, and you have lived for years with me, and still you react.” Puzzled, confused, the man returned home. He could not sleep the whole night.

When you see a Buddha, it is difficult, impossible to sleep again the way you used to sleep before. Again and again he was haunted by the experience. He could not explain it to himself, what had happened. He was trembling all over and perspiring. He had never come across such a man; he shattered his whole mind and his whole pattern, his whole past.

The next morning he was back there. He threw himself at Buddha’s feet. Buddha asked him again, “What next? This, too, is a way of saying something that cannot be said in language. When you come and touch my feet, you are saying something that cannot be said ordinarily, for which all words are a little narrow; it cannot be contained in them.” Buddha said, “Look, Ananda, this man is again here, he is saying something. This man is a man of deep emotions.”

The man looked at Buddha and said, “Forgive me for what I did yesterday.” Buddha said, “Forgive? But I am not the same man to whom you did it. The Ganges goes on flowing, it is never the same Ganges again. Every man is a river. The man you spit upon is no longer here. I look just like him, but I am not the same, much has happened in these twenty-four hours! The river has flowed so much. So I cannot forgive you because I have no grudge against you.”

“And you also are new. I can see you are not the same man who came yesterday because that man was angry and he spit, whereas you are bowing at my feet, touching my feet. How can you be the same man? You are not the same man, so let us forget about it. Those two people, the man who spit and the man on whom he spit, both are no more. Come closer. Let us talk of something else.”



posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 08:35 PM
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Noble means superior, as in the opposite of inferior, so the four noble truths are the highest truths, superior to all others. Buddhism does not teach an equality for all, everyone is equal, since that would go against the definition of Karma.


I agree with this statement, the "Four Noble Truths" are the greatest truths of all, making them 'noble', but this does not mean it is Buddhist-like to 'claim' or 'promote' superiority over others. It is to be known, not promoted. That is a Christian fundamentalist thing to do.

Once stability is found in the higher trainings of; discipline, meditative concentration and wisdom of emptiness, one contemplates, how not only oneself, but all living beings are immersed in samsaric suffering. Thus one generates the Bodhi Mind, the Mahayana attitude of universal responsibility that aims at the attainment of omniscient enlightenment as the supreme method of benefiting the world. This is what Buddha means by 'noble'. The superior method of practice, for the self, in reaching nirvana.



[edit on 3-7-2010 by LifeIsEnergy]



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