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Christianity as extension of Buddhism: A thought experiment

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posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 04:08 AM
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Originally posted by Dragonfly79
Might be interesting to note reincarnation was once a theory in Christianity until it was finally dismissed as heresy in 553 AD.

Since the theory of reincarnation does not come out of the Bible, it was never a valid theory in Christianity, and it was never taught by any respected Christian theologians. I don't know which conciliar decree you have in mind, but it will have been a reaction to people attempting to introduce it, illegitimately. Your implication, that "reincarnation" was acceptable in Christianity until that moment, is not, in fact, true.

[edit on 26-7-2010 by DISRAELI]




posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 04:19 AM
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Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy Now, we know our Universe is not a linear progression, rather a cycle that will expand and then decrease (like our lungs), and as it decreases/shrinks the energy will again become more concentrated, allowing for greater amounts of energy for individual life forms to become stabilized. I don't think this is happening yet, nor will it happen any time soon, so as human populations grow, they will continue to become less stable. So we must use our great gift of intelligence, to figure out ways to counter this, so to ensure our survival. Although again the cause and effect of karma, may then still be working against that from happening. Anyway I am done for now,
, I need to think about it more.


Interesting theory, however buddhism states that everything has a cause (there isn't anything in existence which came to be out of it's own accord) so this must be infinity having no beginning and no end. Therefore the amount of energy in this existence is limitless, it all depends on our ability to tap into it but there is 'enough' for everyone with more coming into existence each moment, everywhere, forever.

Karma describes how to tap into it, do good deeds and receive more (rebirth in heaven), do bad and receive less (rebirth as an animal), just like training breathing is a good thing while smoking is bad.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 04:50 AM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI

Originally posted by Dragonfly79
Might be interesting to note reincarnation was once a theory in Christianity until it was finally dismissed as heresy in 553 AD.

Since the theory of reincarnation does not come out of the Bible, it was never a valid theory in Christianity, and it was never taught by any respected Christian theologians. I don't know which conciliar decree you have in mind, but it will have been a reaction to people attempting to introduce it, illegitimately. Your implication, that "reincarnation" was acceptable in Christianity until that moment, is not, in fact, true.

[edit on 26-7-2010 by DISRAELI]


Like I said, just "a" theory, indeed forbidden at one time to consolidate power. The ideas about reincarnation were already present in many societies before Christianity was introduced thus it was acceptable from a cultural point of view to talk about it using passages from the Bible but of course not by the Church which consolidated it's power by dismissing the whole concept. One has to wonder why the Bible or Jesus did not simply state there is no such thing as reincarnation altogether. But ofcourse you are right, reincarnation does not exist in modern day Christianity.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 05:20 AM
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Originally posted by Dragonfly79
One has to wonder why the Bible or Jesus did not simply state there is no such thing as reincarnation altogether.

Presumably this was because it didn't come up as a major issue, because it was not something which people in the immediate circle were believing or trying to introduce into Christianity.

But the New Testament is very positive that what happens after death is a one-off event- "We shall not all die, but we shall all be changed"- "Then shall we be always with the Lord".

The difference between Resurrection and Reincarnation is that Resurrection is a one-off event, and Reincarnation is repeated. The New Testament comes down so decisively for the first that it rules out the second.

I checked up on your reference to 553AD, and realised that it was about the condemnation of Origen.

To which I can now reply that even Origen was not teaching reincarnation. There was no suggestion in his teachings that anybody occupied a physical body more than once. His thought about "pre-existent souls" , which everybody attacked immediately, did not suggest that they had occupied bodies previously. The main objection to his teaching about the resurrection concerned his suggestion that absolutely everybody, including Satan, might be saved; they did not mention any suggestion that people would have other bodies. In other words, even in Origen, being "incarnated" is still a "one-off" event rather than a repeated one. Origen was not teaching reincarnation, and even the council that condemned him did not say that he did.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 05:59 AM
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Originally posted by Dragonfly79

Interesting theory, however buddhism states that everything has a cause (there isn't anything in existence which came to be out of it's own accord) so this must be infinity having no beginning and no end. Therefore the amount of energy in this existence is limitless, it all depends on our ability to tap into it but there is 'enough' for everyone with more coming into existence each moment, everywhere, forever.


I agree, but everything you said seems to back up my point. Everything has a cause and effect = karma. Yes this would be infinite with no beginning and no end but again not infinite as in a linear fashion. More so as in a vortex fashion, cycling in and out, like our lungs, providing the force of movement for energy and force of gravity for matter. Yes the amount of energy seems to me very possible to be limitless, so that is why I stated we must use our intelligence to ensure our survival (by ways, as you said 'tapping into that limitless energy', amongst other things). I believe our job is to use our intelligence to stabilize our own species and societies, then begin to search and inhabit the rest of the universe, while continuing our search for these difficult answers. Even though I am loyal to Buddhism and try to protect it and keep its message as pure as possible, I feel Buddha Gautama would of expected future generations to expand on its philosophies and teachings as our understanding of life and science expanded.



Karma describes how to tap into it, do good deeds and receive more (rebirth in heaven), do bad and receive less (rebirth as an animal), just like training breathing is a good thing while smoking is bad.


I think your talking about Dharma, the teachings of Buddha and way to Buddhahood. Karma is the law of causation and effect. Buddhist texts do not talk about tapping into energy, or energy being intelligent, or intelligent energy being what we labeled as our "souls" and "spirit", but again, because of our evolving/expanding understanding of science I think this very well could be that. Therefore, yes, through the practice of Dharma one would be able to control their karma and may be able to transcend into higher realms and karma may control how this intelligent energy reincarnates. I know all this talk of 'may' would disappoint most Buddhists, as they would say I lack faith, but I simply try to keep an open mind and not become blinded by faith as I continue to search for these answers.

Good convo, thanks!



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 06:06 AM
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reply to post by Dragonfly79
 


Here is something you may or may not be interested in, it describes some of the references of reincarnation that are in the Bible. I am also searching for some references about meditation I previously read in the Bible.




Jesus told his disciples John the baptist was Elijah . Origine, the most learned of the Christian fathers has clearly declared : Every man received a body for himself according to his desert,s in former lives. Solomon,s “Book of wisdom” states, To be born in sound body with sound limbs is a reward of virtues of the past lives. And the learned son of Islam stated, I died out of the stone and became a plant, I died out of the plant and became an animal, I died out of the animal and became a man, why then should I fear to die? When growth lies in dying? I shall die of man ans shall become an angel.
www.truth-revelations.com...

ETA:
DISRAELI

It seems you are correct, there is no solid evidence that Origen believed in reincarnation.
I will continue to read more about this. Thanks for that info.


[edit on 26-7-2010 by LifeIsEnergy]



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 06:16 AM
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Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy


JOrigine, the most learned of the Christian fathers has clearly declared : Every man received a body for himself according to his desert,s in former lives..

That comment comes from a modern internet writer, so I would want to see a more direct quotation from a specific Origen text.

Incidentally, before you go hunting Biblical texts about "meditation", please bear in mind this distinction;
Meditation on the Creator God is Christian.
Meditation upon one's inner self is not.
So if you find lots of passages mentioning the first, please don't think that you've proved the value of the second.



posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 06:25 AM
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Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy
[
ETA:
DISRAELI

It seems you are correct, there is no solid evidence that Origen believed in reincarnation.
I will continue to read more about this. Thanks for that info.

That very courteous reaction helps to raise the level of debate here on ATS.
Thank you.
I'm glad that we didn't have to resort to fisticuffs!



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 10:44 PM
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Originally posted by NewlyAwakened

But this is a problem for reincarnation. More souls are alive today than will be when the population stabilizes. The answer Revelation gives is that continued reincarnation in the happy Earth ("eternal life") is given to some and denied others according to some criteria.

One wonders then what happens to the denied souls that cannot continue to reincarnate. Are they destroyed?




Well, just because souls reincarnate doesnt mean that they would all have to reincarnate as humans. (Using the Buddhist line of thought here) reincarnation isnt a one way trip upward, you can slide down the scale too, and end up a cockroach again. So that is one possible solution to the problem of where all the souls would go if we had a population crash.

Also, if a soul becomes a Buddha, they escape from the cycle of birth and death. So, whatever apocalypse might come could result in a high percentage of people suddenly awakening to Buddha-hood and thus being freed from the need to reincarnate at all.

Just a couple possible solutions to the problem of where the extra souls might go.

And I tend to suspect that what Jesus, (but not Paul who came later, or Judaism that preceded him) was teaching was remarkably consistent with Buddhism. There have been books arguing that the "lost years" of Jesus (between the time he was mentioned as a child and then reappeared as an adult) included his wandering possibly into Buddhist areas and becoming familiar with the teachings.

I personally, (opinion here) suspect he did not. What I tend to suspect is that mystic experience is "real" in the sense that different persons in different times and places who have said experience all meet up with or experience the same "thing." (And I use the term "thing" loosely) There is a remarkable similarity running through many religious traditions buried in among various cultural rules and myths.

This could be because there has been a lineage, and this teaching has gone from one person to another, passed by travel, contact, etc., OR this could be because mystics anywhere if they have this experience all experience the same basic "thing." (Which is what I believe, that no lineage is required)

I suspect that Jesus, and probably John the Baptist too from the things Jesus says about him, had a mystic experience. And from this experience, Jesus did what all other mystics before him have done. Tried to share it with their people, and in doing so, incorporated elements and language from the existing religion(s) in their area.

Jesus takes Judaism in a very different direction from what came both before and after him. And while I dont think it could actually be called "Buddhism" because I doubt he had any contact with it, the core mystic revelation if you will is the same for all who have the experience, and so his teachings have the same underlying core message.



posted on Aug, 11 2010 @ 11:49 PM
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I'm sorry to inform you, but your concept of reincarnation is wrong.

You can believe in my words or you can only assume - but instead of that, i just want you to understand.

(Lets say)A "soul" must reach a certain "Awakening/Spiritual level/Concept of life/Understanding" in order to STOP reincarnating and MOVE ON with the next existence(Yes when you die, you only die physically).

As you experience physical and mental life state you gain knowledge, concept, understanding levels, spirituality, new points of view and finally awakening(s).
A "soul" would only reincarnate if it haven't reached that certain level in a physical lifetime. It would reincarnate in order to gain more understanding about the existence and spirituality(again and again until you reached a specific point which i mentioned in the first paragraph).


Now ask me anything about that.



posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 06:16 AM
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Originally posted by NewlyAwakened
I've got a thought experiment I'd like to share. I don't believe what I am about to say is necessarily true; I just wanted to share it.

Suppose reincarnation and karma are real. Consciousness "recycles", and improving karma means a better reincarnation.

(...)

But here's the rub. This will ultimately mean humanity, as a species, will be at peace with nature and not destroy it, for a degraded and toxic earth would not mean happy times.


this may be a thought experiment for you, but you've pretty much stated my philosophy/understanding in what you've said!
better than i can, probably.


i actually did this thought experiment several years ago, around a decade has passed, i think.


Now, our current population requires modern industrial civilization to sustain itself. When that fails (the oil runs out, etc.), then in dynamical terms, one might say the population is "too high" and will crash to something low in a sort of "apocalypse", before human-planet relations finally stabilize into something sustainable (in dynamical terms, "equilibrium" is established).


i figure that's where we are, currently; on the threshold, at the very least. but as most human events/watershed moments turn out to be, in true retrospect, we are often in the midst of what we are still anticipating at any given time. it is hard to see the forest for the trees, as they say.
but in a way, that is a blessing. it drastically curtails the mental misery and other suffering that we would endure if we were always fully aware of what is going on.




But this is a problem for reincarnation. More souls are alive today than will be when the population stabilizes. The answer Revelation gives is that continued reincarnation in the happy Earth ("eternal life") is given to some and denied others according to some criteria.

One wonders then what happens to the denied souls that cannot continue to reincarnate. Are they destroyed?


no.
the bible makes it clear that none will be lost - a portion of many will be lost in the fiery furnace of the spirit of GOD (the lake of fire) - all that is NOT love will be burned like chaff. that portion of our soul which is LOVE is light and that is what survives.


Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Corinthians 3:13-15)


"any man's work"..."he himself shall be saved"


For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4)


the only way that these ideas work out rationally is with the scenario of being allowed to come to the knowledge of the truth in each our own way and time - with free will and no time limits.
the only way to do this is to continue to reincarnate until the light of truth dawns in the soul.


EVERYONE has had some measure of love in their life, that is, that they've given away. the love we keep is the love we give away. truly.

as far as what you are understanding in Revelation, i don't get that at all. what i get is that the few, the smaller percentage of humanity, will no longer HAVE TO reincarnate.
and the remainder, the majority, will continue to reincarnate and progress on their individual paths back to the Creator, the life source. only it will be much smoother, happier, and more free because of the improved human condition in the new age/world/heaven & earth.


And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)


and those that no longer are subject to samsara, or the suffering of attachments, etc, from which nirvana liberates, are those that no longer bound within the wheel and no longer have to reincarnate, will continue on as servants to those who are still on their paths, helping and supporting their effort of spiritual evolution.
this also will make it easier for the majority still in samsara.


And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22:1-5)


these are known by the title bodhisattva in Buddhism and priest/kings in christianity (also "prophets", "first fruits", "firstborn", and "saints").


And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:6)


incidentally, the concept of dukkha in Buddhism is the same idea as that called "vanity of vanities" and "vexation of the soul" in the book of Ecclesiastes.



posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 08:22 AM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
OR this could be because mystics anywhere if they have this experience all experience the same basic "thing." (Which is what I believe, that no lineage is required)

I suspect that Jesus, and probably John the Baptist too from the things Jesus says about him, had a mystic experience. And from this experience, Jesus did what all other mystics before him have done. Tried to share it with their people, and in doing so, incorporated elements and language from the existing religion(s) in their area.

I tend to agree, from personal experiences of the past year and a half or so. In my process of trying to make sense of these things, I've read from, among other things, both Buddhist texts and the Bible (mostly the Gospels), and with each would very frequently find myself saying "yeah, that clicks." What's most remarkable is how much more the words in the Gospels mean to me now than they did during my Christian upbringing, and yet I'm pretty sure I don't consider myself a Christian these days.

Hence my somewhat dodgy attempt at reconciling the two dogmas.

I think what happens is you experience something that is just straight-up ineffable, cannot be described in words, and yet to you it is real and clear as day, understood on "another level" so to speak. So you feel like there must be a way to put it into words, if only you could find the right ones.

And yet as history shows time and time again, the content of the experience itself cannot be properly communicated in words. If you are eloquent and convincing enough, the best you can do is have others erect a structure of dogma around your experience and turn it into a religion. Could religions be just the failures of those who have seen and attempted to communicate in mere words?


[edit on 12-8-2010 by NewlyAwakened]



posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 08:37 AM
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Reply to post by DISRAELI
 


also- buddhism adamantly does not believe in god or anything being permanent. the are similar but to say they are the same at their core is an error.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 08:51 AM
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I'm not Buddhist but I think the OP wants something of a technical answer from a religion that doesn't seem that interested in the mechanics of it's theology.

It reminds me of when the Roman Catholics argued over the temperature of the fires of Hell. I don't think Buddhists entertain these kind of questions, they'd probably clap their hands together and tell you that you're asking the wrong question.



posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 09:43 AM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
Well, just because souls reincarnate doesnt mean that they would all have to reincarnate as humans. (Using the Buddhist line of thought here) reincarnation isnt a one way trip upward, you can slide down the scale too, and end up a cockroach again. So that is one possible solution to the problem of where all the souls would go if we had a population crash.

Also, if a soul becomes a Buddha, they escape from the cycle of birth and death. So, whatever apocalypse might come could result in a high percentage of people suddenly awakening to Buddha-hood and thus being freed from the need to reincarnate at all.

Just a couple possible solutions to the problem of where the extra souls might go.



Forgive me if I interrupt. I always fascinated by the idea of reincarnation although I do not necessary have to agree with it. I just want to ask thing that I don't understand.

There are 4 millions people at 10,000 BC. There are 6 Billion people at 1999 AD. My information is based from :

www.worldhistorysite.com...

Assuming the stats is correct, my question is, if soul is the process of recycling, where do this over 5 Billions souls come from?


[edit on 12-8-2010 by EasternShadow]



posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by monkcaw
I'm not Buddhist but I think the OP wants something of a technical answer from a religion that doesn't seem that interested in the mechanics of it's theology.

It reminds me of when the Roman Catholics argued over the temperature of the fires of Hell. I don't think Buddhists entertain these kind of questions, they'd probably clap their hands together and tell you that you're asking the wrong question.



very astute.
the buddha may have said "those questions are distractions from the real work of letting go of self. those questions only perpetuate the illusion of existence."
maybe. he definitely didn't waste time on speculations like that and im sure he addressed it directly in a talk.

i just found this page- www.wanderings.net...

its pretty good and to summarize in one sentence:
the only questions worth asking are those that will reduce suffering or create enlightenment (in buddhism)

arguing over the temps of hellfire (ive never heard that before- how masturbatory!) would be a worthless question by this definition because it has nothing to do with liberating the self, rather imprisoning the self with more "facts" and unprovable conclusions.


in my opinion as a student of religion (bachelor's degree, so im no expert) is that Jesus spent the time that is missing from the bible in India and studied both hinduism and buddhism before returning to israel to teach. but (and im sorry to offend anyone) he only thought he was fully enlightened. its almost as if he forced these beliefs on a people who were not ready for them. just my opinion. nother one (opinion) is that he keeps being reborn to see how he screwed things up. you know- the jews arrested him for working on th sabbath (raising lazarus) which is directly going against the will of G-D (in judaism). the torah is pretty explicit about that. so either he was a spiritual materialist or just the right guy in the wrong place. i mean, really, he's the original "neo"- a compilation of previous myths and astronomical dates ascribed to a simple man trying to make his way in the universe.
please don't be offended anyone- you can just take it all with a grain of sand.



posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by monkcaw
I'm not Buddhist but I think the OP wants something of a technical answer from a religion that doesn't seem that interested in the mechanics of it's theology.

It reminds me of when the Roman Catholics argued over the temperature of the fires of Hell. I don't think Buddhists entertain these kind of questions, they'd probably clap their hands together and tell you that you're asking the wrong question.

I've always been too fascinated by the orderliness of the physical universe to accept the whole "everything I see is nonsense" path.

I wonder how many physicists or biologists are also hardcore Buddhists. I would guess not many.



posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by Dragonfly79
 

Don;t be so sure about it, the light within you does not think, thought is a biological process. The soul does not possess a brain and I'm not talking about your astral shell. While we are in our bodies we have the capacity of thought "to think" good and bad is not a definition for the soul. Conciossnes is a phisical aspect of the soul. Without the body it can't be aware.

When you get brain damage you can't think for your self and soon you die because your brain forgets to tell your body to take in oxigen, you may still exist without thought and self awareness as energy"the soul" In other words the so called byproduct helps one be aware. There is no afterlife, only the waiting by not knowing it's waiting" Time, space and all of the sort
does not exist anymore until the soul has a body again.

The empty mind is just that, empty, nothing...nothing at all, absolute bliss in Zen and other eastern religion means nothing, it's a brainwashing mechanism intended to become one with the universe and give awareness away. In other words you don;t exist anymore.

Life is valuable, the ability to learn on your own as an individual and to decide what is good and what is bad gives great expiriance to the soul, ads to it's signature, makes it stronger in a positive or negative way.

It's just my opinion, we exist to feed the soul energy, but I'm sure others have other opinions.



posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 12:54 PM
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reply to post by NewlyAwakened
 


I agree, the order of the universe is an awesome wonder, but I think even very clever physicists are speechless to describe what lies beneath our world of measurable order.

I personally think it all springs from the (voice) strings of God.



posted on Aug, 12 2010 @ 01:03 PM
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Originally posted by monkcaw
I agree, the order of the universe is an awesome wonder, but I think even very clever physicists are speechless to describe what lies beneath our world of measurable order.

I personally think it all springs from the (voice) strings of God.

That's still a far cry from the whole "reality is nothing but ignorance" that you hear a lot from Buddhists.

This is kind of what I meant a few posts up by the followers of a prophet (for lack of a better equally concise term: by it I mean one who has had a significant spiritual experience and attracted a following sharing it) erecting a dogma around the original teachings.

I am quite convinced that Siddhartha became acquainted with some very interesting truths. But what you hear from his followers these days strikes of nonsense, often not without some irony when they start talking about "ignorance".



[edit on 12-8-2010 by NewlyAwakened]




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