Is Buddhism really that cool?
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08-01-2013, 10:14 AM
RE: Is Buddhism really that cool?
Precious (see what I did there Tongue), this reminds me of one my Portuguese teachers, who was telling me (ad nauseam) how everything in life is caused by positive/negative thinking. She had a cousin, whose sister was born with Down's Syndrome, and she'd been taking care of her her entire life, as their parents had died when she was still a girl. I can't imagine that lady caring much for this "explanation". And my teacher actually had the nerve to tell me how her cousin was lucky, 'cause she had inherited her parents houses and shit like this.

Man, after a month living in her house (it was this type of course), I could've strangled her with my bare hands (if she hadn't been so fat that I probably wouldn't've been able to put my hands around her neck Dodgy )

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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08-01-2013, 01:49 PM
RE: Is Buddhism really that cool?
Eastern philosophy was devised to justify that ancient oppression, little else.

"Damn that Emperor! why does he brutalise us so?"

"Well Kong-Ftze said it is our karma, and we are repaying for our ill deeds."

"Really? meh, I guess i shouldn't have been a bastard in my previous life."

Call that a cynical view, but I reserve prerogative to be cynical over a canon of belief that says humans should suffer and that mystic forces want us to suffer.
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08-01-2013, 02:22 PM (This post was last modified: 08-01-2013 02:26 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Is Buddhism really that cool?
(08-01-2013 01:49 PM)namiloveyou Wrote:  Eastern philosophy was devised to justify that ancient oppression, little else.

"Damn that Emperor! why does he brutalise us so?"

"Well Kong-Ftze said it is our karma, and we are repaying for our ill deeds."

"Really? meh, I guess i shouldn't have been a bastard in my previous life."

Call that a cynical view, but I reserve prerogative to be cynical over a canon of belief that says humans should suffer and that mystic forces want us to suffer.

King Ashoka after defeating Kalinga in India.
What have I done? If this is a victory, what's a defeat then? Is this a victory or a defeat? Is this justice or injustice? Is it gallantry or a rout? Is it valor to kill innocent children and women? Did I do it to widen the empire and for prosperity or to destroy the other's kingdom and splendor? One has lost her husband, someone else a father, someone a child, someone an unborn infant.... What's this debris of the corpses? Are these marks of victory or defeat? Are these vultures, crows, eagles the messengers of death or evil?




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashoka

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08-01-2013, 05:59 PM (This post was last modified: 08-01-2013 06:05 PM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: Is Buddhism really that cool?
Buddhism is one of my favorite religions to study as far as art and history is concerned. Some people have said it's a philosophy, others have said it's a religion. I personally think it's both. Buddhism at its very core is a philosophy, a way of life. The point, as others have stated, is to rid oneself of desire because this is the source of suffering. Suffering is what keeps one from experiencing enlightenment. A simple way of describing this is to not let your possessions or hobbies rule you. Sex is often used as an example of things that can exacerbate desire-induced suffering. Many people think Buddhists aren't allowed to have sex, but this is not entirely true. Monks tend to be celibate, but layman can and do have sex. It's important to note that early Buddhist stupas had decorations of voluptuous couples (mithuna) because they represented fertility and the givers of life. There would be no monks if people didn't have sex.

[Image: mithuna_at_karle1309718928455.jpg]

Buddhism on the surface is a highly complex world religion. The Mahayana, Vajrapani, Pureland (etc.) branches of Buddhism have a giant pantheon of gods with the Buddha at the very top. Adherents invoke the names of and worship images of various Buddhas. In fact, there was a taboo against depicting images of the historical Buddha (c. 500 BCE) until the 1st century CE. This is when anthropomorphized images of him began to appear on stupas holding relics from his body. Hardcore Buddhists go nuts over bodily relics just like the Catholics do. Buddhist temples are not considered official unless they have some kind of relic. Buddhism is not known for proselytism today, but it has a long history of it. There is no way it could have spread beyond India without it. Central Asian merchants were instrumental in bringing the religion to China. Buddhism thrived in China long after it had pretty much gone extinct in its Indian homeland. A few pogroms were aimed at it because of its foreign nature (the Chinese were really xenophobic), but it remained extremely popular for millennia. Just like the mega churches of today, many Buddhist monasteries soaked up wealth via land holdings and horded treasure. It happened in other countries as well. This just goes to show that no religion is safe from greed, even those that supposedly shun it.

Anyone can follow philosophical Buddhism, even atheists. It's only when you delve into the various religious sects that you come across the supernatural beliefs that we deem silly. However, I will say that superstition has led to some absolutely gorgeous art.
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09-01-2013, 01:17 AM
RE: Is Buddhism really that cool?
As far as in the "atheist movement," a big reason Buddhism isn't criticized like Christianity/Islam is because they aren't aggressively after control of people/governments.

Apart from the few Tibetan Monks who lite themselves on fire in protests to the Chinese each year; there is not any significant violence from the Buddhist populations.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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09-01-2013, 02:30 AM (This post was last modified: 09-01-2013 02:43 AM by fstratzero.)
RE: Is Buddhism really that cool?
The story of Ashoka is my favorite story of history, sad and beautiful.

What have I done? If this is a victory, what’s a defeat then? Is
this a victory or a defeat? Is this justice or injustice? Is it
gallantry or a rout? Is it valor to kill innocent children and women? Do
I do it to widen the empire and for prosperity or to destroy the
other’s kingdom and splendor? One has lost her husband, someone else a
father, someone a child, someone an unborn infant…. What’s this debris
of the corpses? Are these marks of victory or defeat? Are these
vultures, crows, eagles the messengers of death or evil? - King Ashoka

http://nirmukta.com/2010/01/10/how-ashoka-the-great-gave-brahmins-the-gift-of-a-song-with-which-they-conquered-india/

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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Bitcion:1DNeQMswMdvx4xLPP6qNE7RkeTwXGC7Bzp
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09-01-2013, 03:10 AM
RE: Is Buddhism really that cool?
(09-01-2013 01:17 AM)ClydeLee Wrote:  As far as in the "atheist movement," a big reason Buddhism isn't criticized like Christianity/Islam is because they aren't aggressively after control of people/governments.

Apart from the few Tibetan Monks who lite themselves on fire in protests to the Chinese each year; there is not any significant violence from the Buddhist populations.


And also because when you meet a Buddhist over here (Sing), it's about 50/50 that they are the atheist kinda Buddhist i.e. there is no supernatural element to their beliefs.

And, although I have not done a scientific study (just observation), the poorer and less educated they are (i.e. many of my Vietnamese and Thai friends) the more likely it is that they will to the whole shrine thing.

I tease my colleague (the other trainer we have here in Sing) that he (self-labelled Atheist/Buddhist) has picked the wrong half of the Utilitarian model:
From Wikipedia:
Utilitarianism is a theory in normative ethics holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes utility, specifically defined as maximizing happiness and reducing suffering.

But between us, we've got it covered.

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09-01-2013, 08:01 PM
RE: Is Buddhism really that cool?
Ok so I've learned (and am learning) from experience more or less as we speak that reading about buddhism and maybe agree to some point with a few wise words here and there is a completely different can of worms if you actually live in a place where it's being practiced. And now lemme tell you a story that actually took place just a day ago after I've started this thread. It seemed just like any other day, except that sometime in the afternoon there was supposed to be some new years party. Then, out of the blue, my co-workers tell me to leave office and follow them. While my brain was still processing the stuff I have been working on, it realized quite late that my body now was in a room full of chanting monks, hoping it won't last long because either my ass or knees would hurt from a quite familiar sitting position I remembered from my childhood... But my ass did hurt, yes it lasted longer than I was willing to, or I'm just getting old, but anyways... after the show was over, my co-workers had prepared some nice sheets for the dudes with the orange robes to sit on and enjoy some free food (oh, and free cash too, but shhhh....). All of that had to happen before our official lunchtime, for whatever reason and we were only allowed to eat our lunch, once the bunch was kindly done with eating.

Up to that point I still had no clue what the whole fuzz was about so I asked one of the staff who thankfully spoke english well enough so I could actually ask some deeper questions. So... the show was about giving the workplace and its stuff some blessings for the new year (eh?! Did the Buddhists steal this one from the Christians or the other way round?) and remind everyone to do/be good so next life gets better. [font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]The post above pretty much says it all how fucked up this concept can be. Apart from that, I'm going to list a few other things that came from that discussion:[/font]

[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]1. Lord (!) Buddha realized that everything is mortal (wow...) and he has set the famous 5 truths people shall live by. They are like commandments, but rather stripped to the basics, I have to give them that. BTW, that was the answer to my question if buddhism accepts science... [/font]

2. As a for the Dalai Lama, who stands for tibetan buddhism, which according to the staff lady (and possibly many others) is only reading and cherry-picking in terms of a philosophy, while her country is the only one who'd actually practice it (I head the true Buddhism between the lines) Uh-huh...

3. A bit bitching and moaning about the young people who don't care so much about the real teachings anymore and do it only to please their parents... (they just need Jeeeezussss, no, I mean Buddddddhaaaaah)

I then rather skipped the question if they have ever considered scientific prove for all the other creatures and ghosts they believe alongside Buddha and his bunch. And now, what's the moral of the story? (Every) religion is bullshit, go figure! Wink

"Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return, and we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." (Carl Sagan)
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