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Comparison of Christianity and Buddhism

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posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 11:49 PM
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Originally posted by silent thunder

Originally posted by filosophia

Explain this long unitive mystical tradition of Christianity. The last I checked, this means the gnostics, which were mostly killed through religious persecutions.


If you truly are interested in mystical Christianity, consider googling the following for starters, in addition to the Gnostics:

Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
The Cloud of Unknowing
St. John of the Cross
Meister Eckhart
John of Ruysbroeck
Apophatic theology
The "desert fathers"
Quietism
Eastern Orthodox mysticism (specifically Hesychasm)

Enjoy.


those aren't mainstream Christianity, in fact mainstream christianity, which I specifically targeted in this thread, would consider the above list to be heresies. Which is why there needs to be a comparison between the absurdities of mainstream christianity and a noble philosophy like Buddhism.




posted on Jul, 3 2010 @ 11:51 PM
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reply to post by ApacheChief
 


The problem I have with all that is, most followers of Jesus only know of a few of his teachings which only come from one source 'The Bible'. That is a book that clearly has been altered and distorted to benefit the church, and not solely the reader. Most of Jesus's teachings have been lost, destroyed or kept secret. Imo, and many others including the Dalai Lama, there are many, many similarities between Jesus and Buddha. Both sought enlightenment, both taught compassion and wisdom, both had disciples who were to learn and continue the teachings, both wanted to end the cycle of suffering and teach the path of finding heaven/nirvana.

It is also thought by many, even some respected Christian scholars who only want to know the truth and not just propagandize the church, that Jesus went to India during his 'lost years' to study from monks at some of the 'Mystery Schools' in that area. Buddha Gautama is also said to have traveled west to attend some 'Mystery Schools' during his search for enlightenment.

In retrospect of the OP, I would have to agree that Buddhisms teachings have been kept much closer to its original intentions than Christianity has. I would also agree that it offers a much clearer perspective of what all religions are basically teaching, and that is the reason I was lead away from Christianity and towards Buddhism. However, I still would not make the statement that one is superior to the other, that is for you to decide.

If you were to ask me which book you should pick up and read, the Bible or the Tripiṭaka, I would say both but hand you the Tripiṭaka (or maybe the first lamrim).



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 12:09 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


If you go and read that "attan.com" that he keeps referring us to, you will see this is where he is getting all of his knowledge about Buddhism from. Not saying he's completely wrong about everything, but it is safe to say one should not limit themselves to only one source of information, especially it being a website and being that we are discussing a 2500+ year old 'religion' that has hundreds of millions of followers.

Filosophia, Go talk to some different monks at different monastaries and ask some questions, and go buy some different books. That is, if you have not already.

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. " -Buddha



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 02:16 AM
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reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


Yes, agreed.

Interesting...I was over at my "My ATS" page a moment ago and I saw this thread title again. Scanning it quickly, I read it mistakenly as "Compassion in Christianity and Buddhism" instead of "Comparison of Christianity and Buddhism."

At this point, I really wish that had been the title. Wouldn't that have been nice?

Anyway, I've said my say so I'm out of here. May all beings be released from suffering, whatever gateway they take to get there...

[edit on 7/4/10 by silent thunder]



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 02:36 AM
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As a Christian, I always had a soft spot for Buddhism.

Both teach living a humble honest life, and service to others.
The only real significant difference is that Christians believe in a God Head, and Buddhists believe the divine spirit is present everywhere, in all of nature.

One thing though, that I have found profoundly disturbing.

Many main stream religions believe that we are facing the imminent coming of an antichrist. Fortold in the Koran, Bible and by many prophets of many religions.
The personification of pure evil, identified as the Mitreya.

Buddhists claim this coming "Mitreya" is the new Buddah.
Both cannot be right.

Mitreya is supposed to sweep up the gullible into a one world religion, followed by the coming New World Order, and lead us all into ruin, slavery, and spiritual death.

Even the Dali Lama has endorsed the coming Mitreya as a savior.

Yet Christians and Muslims want nothing to do with this coming antichrist.

How say you ?



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 03:14 AM
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Originally posted by Silver Shadow
Even the Dali Lama has endorsed the coming Mitreya as a savior.

Yet Christians and Muslims want nothing to do with this coming antichrist.

How say you ?


OK, even though I said I was leaving this thread, I can't let this one go by.

The concept of Maitreya is an ancient Mahayana idea of a "future Buddha" who will eventually manifest. The concept probably entered Buddhism sometime before 300 AD or so; nobody is really sure. Some people think Maitreya is a Buddhist reconfiguration of Mithra, a Zoroastrian diety, or perhaps even a garbled version of the Christ story grafted onto Buddhism. Throughout antiquity and late antiquity, there was a lot more cross-polination of ideas, both eastward and westward, than most people realize.

Whatever the origin, the idea of a future savior and linear eschatology in general (i.e., the idea that the world will eventually end in a kind of "last judgement" scenario and a savior) is more or less alien to early Buddhism and other Eastern religions, so the Maitreya story has always sat a bit uneasily within Mahayana Buddhism. It has been used as a basis for numerous "Maitreyan rebellions", in China in particular, as various populist leaders claimed to be Maitreya down through the ages...usually with rather disasterous results. However, much more benign configurations of this idea have also been spawned. In Korea, in particular, a less "wild" vision of this figure took root in the early medieval period.

The most recent name of note to grab attention with the word "Maitreya" is a new-age charlatan named Benjamin Creme. This man has nothing to do with Buddhism per se...his philosophy (if it can be dignified with that term) is basically a non-self-consistent hodgepodge of ill-formed, re-hashed occultism and general flakey-ness. It is this conception, rather than the more "historical" idea of Maitreya, that has drawn fire as a possible anti-Christ. Even so, as noted above, more traditional Maitreyan concepts, too, have often had a dark and blood-soaked pedigree within Buddhism.

Just remember that there is a difference between a) the historical use of the idea; b) the historical abuse of the idea; and c) the much more modern abuse of the idea. So "Maitreya" means all sorts of things to different people. Warning, proceed with caution...


[edit on 7/4/10 by silent thunder]



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 03:28 AM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


Yes, you are quite right.

But that does not jive at all with the beliefs of the Western religions, that fully expect Mitreya to be the antichrist and leader of a one world religion that is definitely satanic in nature.

One of us has to be completely wrong here.

According to the beliefs and prophecies of many faiths, we are now entering the end times. Time of war, time of economic collapse, time of increasing natural disasters.

We shall see........



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 04:13 AM
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reply to post by Silver Shadow
 


Although I do not know much about this Mitreya character as you have described him and never seen that name in the Bible, I am confident it won't be Buddhist or Hindu followers that will bring forth the 'end of the world'. If you look at the religions who are and have been actively at war for millenniums, it is the same ones who warn of this character being the 'anti-christ'. Does that seem odd to you that the same states and religions who warn of this (Jews-Israel, Christians-USA/Britain, Muslims-Arab world) are the same ones who are most likely to cause a world wide destruction? Again I will post this quote as I feel it is relevant to your search for answers.

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. " -Buddha

[edit on 4-7-2010 by LifeIsEnergy]



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 10:18 AM
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Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy
reply to post by silent thunder
 


If you go and read that "attan.com" that he keeps referring us to, you will see this is where he is getting all of his knowledge about Buddhism from. Not saying he's completely wrong about everything, but it is safe to say one should not limit themselves to only one source of information, especially it being a website and being that we are discussing a 2500+ year old 'religion' that has hundreds of millions of followers.

Filosophia, Go talk to some different monks at different monastaries and ask some questions, and go buy some different books. That is, if you have not already.

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. " -Buddha



I hope you are not implying that this is the only source of information I am getting my knowledge from, and even if it is just one website, it has hundreds of books and articles on it. But I'm sure the majority of people will be turned away from the website at the first sight of the swastika.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 10:19 AM
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Originally posted by silent thunder
reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


Yes, agreed.

Interesting...I was over at my "My ATS" page a moment ago and I saw this thread title again. Scanning it quickly, I read it mistakenly as "Compassion in Christianity and Buddhism" instead of "Comparison of Christianity and Buddhism."

At this point, I really wish that had been the title. Wouldn't that have been nice?

Anyway, I've said my say so I'm out of here. May all beings be released from suffering, whatever gateway they take to get there...

[edit on 7/4/10 by silent thunder]


you be the compassionate one, I refuse to lend compassion to a religion that indoctrinates children at early ages so they can corrupt their free spirit and ability to reason logically. It's not compassion , it's tolerance of evil.

You seem to be trying to hurt my feelings because it's not what a 'buddhist' would do, well I'm not a buddhists and I don't care about what some monk in China thinks is buddhism, I am merely pointing out that buddhism is superior to christianity, Original Buddhism, which anyone can read at www.attan.com, see and read it for yourself, and debunk it if you can, but if I were to take it as a religion i would be just as brainwashed as the christians.



[edit on 4-7-2010 by filosophia]

[edit on 4-7-2010 by filosophia]



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 12:21 PM
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This is a strange thread with many interesting viewpoints.

To correct one post:

There are no words of an antichrist in the Quran. This concept does though exist in the Muslim hadith.

Another thing is that some Buddhist have a notion of what they call ANNATA or no-self, something BTW in the past I have argued with many Buddhist as a mistaken notion of theirs regarding the Buddha. I think the Buddha meant—no permanent PERSONALITY, a big difference from no permanent SELF.

Regarding Christianity, it is true as some posters say; there is a rich tradition of esoteric Christianity outside the mainstream of exoteric Christianity that has similarities to Buddhism and is averse to exoteric mainstream sectarian Christianity, which just like mainstream exoteric Islam, and Judaism, is somewhat of a negative sectarian philosophy.

I would say most exoteric sectarian religions are problematic, and have primitive and sectarian elements not conducive to modern spirituality.

Though remember the exoteric fundamentalism in exoteric religions all have their more open and positive counterparts in for example, Sufism in Islam, Kabbalah in Judaism, and mystic Christianity [some forms of Gnosticism also], in Christianity.

I personally have no trouble following the best in all traditions.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy
reply to post by ApacheChief
 


The problem I have with all that is, most followers of Jesus only know of a few of his teachings which only come from one source 'The Bible'. That is a book that clearly has been altered and distorted to benefit the church, and not solely the reader. Most of Jesus's teachings have been lost, destroyed or kept secret. Imo, and many others including the Dalai Lama, there are many, many similarities between Jesus and Buddha. Both sought enlightenment, both taught compassion and wisdom, both had disciples who were to learn and continue the teachings, both wanted to end the cycle of suffering and teach the path of finding heaven/nirvana.

It is also thought by many, even some respected Christian scholars who only want to know the truth and not just propagandize the church, that Jesus went to India during his 'lost years' to study from monks at some of the 'Mystery Schools' in that area. Buddha Gautama is also said to have traveled west to attend some 'Mystery Schools' during his search for enlightenment.

In retrospect of the OP, I would have to agree that Buddhisms teachings have been kept much closer to its original intentions than Christianity has. I would also agree that it offers a much clearer perspective of what all religions are basically teaching, and that is the reason I was lead away from Christianity and towards Buddhism. However, I still would not make the statement that one is superior to the other, that is for you to decide.

If you were to ask me which book you should pick up and read, the Bible or the Tripiṭaka, I would say both but hand you the Tripiṭaka (or maybe the first lamrim).


I'll agree that some Christians may need to actually to read the bible for themselves for it to be of benefit, you made mention of teaching of jesus being lost or destroyed and I know of the gnostic traditions in early christianity, and I have heard of the Jesus in india theory but I'm more of the persuasion that jesus was not involved in the mystic tradition and dealt with the hebrew scripture without rabbinical tradition; and I also found that the Jesus in india theory was started at earliest mid 19th century and I could not find anything on the Buddha going to greece or egypt or any other place in the west to attend mystery schools. The similarity between christianity and buddhism are just coincidence.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 02:13 PM
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The attan.com site will at the very least for me give some perspective on buddhism, and any other site about buddhism will help. - though I am a christian I like to read about other religions.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 04:26 PM
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Discovering and exploring alternative spirituality is certainly a good way to better understand your own.

While the Mitreya is not named in the Bible, the appearance of a future antichrist certainly is.

While what little I know of Buddhism seems truly good, this coming Mitreya worries me a great deal.



posted on Jul, 4 2010 @ 07:35 PM
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Christianity is a distorted philosophy actually based on the idol worship of the master [divine teacher] archetype.

In this regard Buddhist are wise enough to say in one of their traditions:
“If you see the Buddha on the path, kill him”

It is useless worshiping the master or divine teacher, as Buddha taught, [or even some kind of transcendent abstract God for that matter as well] and it is worthless to make him a god or anything a God, since the true seeker should only attempt to cultivate the inner Buddha Nature, not waste their time worshiping anything.

A spiritual teacher is necessary such as Jesus and Buddha but idolizing and worshiping them is absurd when the goal is cultivation of the virtues.

A teacher can only lead you to water, it is you who must drink thereof.



posted on Jul, 5 2010 @ 12:48 AM
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reply to post by inforeal
 


within the worldview of Buddhism this maybe so but with the Islamic-Judeo-Christian worldview this is not the case. It is useless to compare two disparate religions as though they came from the same source; if this was a comparison among the different branches of Christianity or the different Buddhist branches- this thread would be more fruitful. the fact is Jesus and Gautama Buddha taught and believed different things there may have been similarities between the systems but these coincidence.



posted on Jul, 5 2010 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by ApacheChief
 


Indeed, the world views of these religions including Buddhism have striking similarities on an esoteric level.

Sufism, Buddhism, particularly Zen Buddhism, Vedanta Yoga, Taoism, Mystic Christianity, Kabala, all have similarities, and of course differences, but the more esoteric the more similarities.



posted on Jul, 5 2010 @ 05:52 PM
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Originally posted by inforeal
reply to post by ApacheChief
 


Indeed, the world views of these religions including Buddhism have striking similarities on an esoteric level.

Sufism, Buddhism, particularly Zen Buddhism, Vedanta Yoga, Taoism, Mystic Christianity, Kabala, all have similarities, and of course differences, but the more esoteric the more similarities.


so do you think they draw on a common belief within people as they get more and more esoteric? or is there something more external for the similarities?



posted on Jul, 5 2010 @ 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by ApacheChief

Originally posted by inforeal
reply to post by ApacheChief
 




so do you think they draw on a common belief within people as they get more and more esoteric? or is there something more external for the similarities?



That is a good question. But ironically the closer one gets to an esoteric system--belief and faith loose its grip on you.

That’s so because one finds out that to search for truth one has to have a degree of objectivity. That’s why esoteric systems dont indulge in fights and bickering, generally, and talk about whose going to hell and who isn’t that exists in exoteric religion. One learns that truth has no relationship with anything but itself . . . it favors nothing, therefore esoteric thinkers understand that their faith gets them no-where at the alter of truth.

If one only talks about the medicine and never takes it then what good is faith and belief?

Faith and belief is a vehicle to truth in esoteric systems; that’s the meaning of Buddha’s famous aphorism:

“When over the river discard the boat”

Or what the Sufis say:

“Phenomena is a bridge to the real”



posted on Jul, 5 2010 @ 08:02 PM
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reply to post by inforeal
 


but what then is faith good for? it would seem to me if one were to take up an esoteric tradition then there is no room for something so wispy as faith even initially. can you see these traditions in this light as a form of materialism?



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