VonNoble

the non-religion version of Buddhism

Recommended Posts

I met a Buddhist monk as a child.    We were living in California at the time.    Of course, my parents encouraged me to go ahead and talk to the guy and see what I thought about it.   I did.  I liked it.  And promptly moved on with my life - which at that time meant lots of moving from city to city. 

 

At age 16 - I found a non-Buddhist meditation teacher (the teacher studied for some time with Buddhists) but he himself was not Buddhist.   In fact he was a Jesuit priest of all things.    I took to meditation right away.   But like many - I was not always consistent (am more so now.) 

 

So here is what i know after a half century of dabbling with the philosophy of Buddhism.   (I know the sects/schools of Buddhism differ re: rituals etc) but there are some basics that seem to work in every life.    You get to pick and choose with Buddhism.  There is a variation for those who want to involve spiritual beings - most do not.  But you can choose.  Either way you are still a Buddhist.    Some Buddhists believe everyone is a Buddhist :) - some just don't know they are yet.   Maybe they will in the next lifetime.   You don't have to sign a contract, dance around the May pole or anything else.  If you think you are - you are.   Most variations of Buddhism opt for practical, accepting and simple.  

 

There is no clergy required to "get" the message.   There is no tithe required to be in good standing (certainly like any other thing if you are using the electric in the building or taking lessons you should make an offering but no one has EVER required me to pay to learn or pray in a Buddhist building or class.)    By design the message is simple and clear.   Interestingly enough - not everyone takes away the same exact interpretation and it rarely matters.   Whatever you get - usually helps you to become better.   More aware of your own actions.  Also more aware of how your actions impacts the lives of others. 

 

When you are ready - you will absorb more and more understanding. of the message.   When you are ready a teacher will happen by to help you but they may not actually appear in the role of a teacher.   It might be a kid who speaks the truth.   Which I kind of like.  There have been many people who did not look like a teacher but they left an impression that changed you along the way.  

 

Anyone else want to throw in/out some generalities?  

von

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post

In the Dhampada, the oldest collection of Buddhist writings -- Buddha is questioned by a young man.  The seeker wants to be told about God.

 

Buddha tells him that God's existence might not be the case.

 

God doesn't exist?

 

God's nonexistence might not be the case.

 

The gods?

 

The existence of the gods might not be the case.

 

The gods don't exist?

 

The nonexistence of the gods might not be the case.

 

The soul?

 

The existence of the soul might not be the case.

 

There's no soul?

 

The nonexistence of the soul might not be the case.

 

Reincarnation?

 

Reincarnation might not be the case.

 

So it went.  Buddha regarded such questions as not worth bothering with.  That they were mere distractions on The Path.  

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post
15 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

In the Dhampada, the oldest collection of Buddhist writings -- Buddha is questioned by a young man.  The seeker wants to be told about God.

 

Buddha tells him that God's existence might not be the case.

 

God doesn't exist?

 

God's nonexistence might not be the case.

 

The gods?

 

The existence of the gods might not be the case.

 

The gods don't exist?

 

The nonexistence of the gods might not be the case.

 

The soul?

 

The existence of the soul might not be the case.

 

There's no soul?

 

The nonexistence of the soul might not be the case.

 

Reincarnation?

 

Reincarnation might not be the case.

 

So it went.  Buddha regarded such questions as not worth bothering with.  That they were mere distractions on The Path.  

 

 

Sounds like a lesson on being in the now. I'm sure that was the intent, for me.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Key said:

Sounds like a lesson on being in the now. I'm sure that was the intent, for me.

 

To my understanding, Buddha was interested in very basic things.  "Why is everybody suffering?  What can we do to reduce suffering?

 

What Buddha did not care about was theology, and other esoteric crap.  He was a practical fellow.  One of the statements attributed to him was -- "Fire is hot.  Ice is cold.  All the gods in all the heavens won't change this.".

 

The word didn't exist then.  I think Buddha was an Agnostic.  He didn't know and he didn't care.  Of course, I could be projecting my own bias.

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Share this post


Link to post

maybe,he did not know,nor did it matter.it was your choice to make.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, mark 45 said:

maybe,he did not know,nor did it matter.it was your choice to make.

 

 

I'm quite certain that Buddha would not get into an argument, over something so trivial, as arguing about "Agnosticism".  He would regard it as a mere distraction on the Path.   That was just me trying to crack funny.   Sometimes my attempts at humor really fail.

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I think Buddha was an Agnostic.  He didn't know and he didn't care.  

 

I agree. 

von

Share this post


Link to post

Criticism is that Buddhists allow too many choices.   Anything goes.  I find that is not the case.   The simple guidelines allow for a person to grow comfortably.   One size never fits all comfortably.   There is always more than one way to see things.    We are excellent at self deception.   Less so as you become self aware. 

 

von

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

How strange is it, that an Agnostic should come to be worshiped as a god?

 

:rolleyes:

 

 

 ....it is a strange world indeed.   :P

Share this post


Link to post

In Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clark -- The aliens gave Humanity a new technology.  It was now possible to verify all historic events.  They were now subject to being viewed.  No deception was possible.

 

Of all the religions, only Buddhism survived.  Even then, only "raified Buddhism".  

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, VonNoble said:

Criticism is that Buddhists allow too many choices.   Anything goes.  I find that is not the case.   The simple guidelines allow for a person to grow comfortably.   One size never fits all comfortably.   There is always more than one way to see things.    We are excellent at self deception.   Less so as you become self aware. 

 

von

 

 

At least in it's inception, Buddhism was never about salvation.  It was about ideas.  People who are drawn to ideas might want a teacher, but not a master.  They do their own thinking.

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

In Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clark -- The aliens gave Humanity a new technology.  It was now possible to verify all historic events.  They were now subject to being viewed.  No deception was possible.

 

Of all the religions, only Buddhism survived.  Even then, only "raified Buddhism".  

 

THAT is worth a repeat.   THX!   :thumbu:

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

People who are drawn to ideas might want a teacher, but not a master.  They do their own thinking.

:thumbu: :thumbu: :thumbu:

von

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, VonNoble said:

Criticism is that Buddhists allow too many choices.   Anything goes.  I find that is not the case.   The simple guidelines allow for a person to grow comfortably.   One size never fits all comfortably.   There is always more than one way to see things.    We are excellent at self deception.   Less so as you become self aware. 

 

von

i can look at the object and say its a book.  someone else might say its wood pulp and glue. someone else would say a nice collection of fairy tales while another would insist the bible i was referencing as a mere book is really the ultimate truth.  all different perspectives for the same object, multiple truths at the same time, like most of reality.  subjective, but also objective, and rarely is one perspective complete(if ever).

Share this post


Link to post
16 minutes ago, cuchulain said:

i can look at the object and say its a book.  someone else might say its wood pulp and glue. someone else would say a nice collection of fairy tales while another would insist the bible i was referencing as a mere book is really the ultimate truth.  all different perspectives for the same object, multiple truths at the same time, like most of reality.  subjective, but also objective, and rarely is one perspective complete(if ever).

 

Point WELL made... thanks 

von

Share this post


Link to post

One benefit of Buddhism as a philosophy is the strong current away from self recrimination and guilt.     

 

The approach encourages learning.   Every human has tons of past mistakes.   It is a given at birth we will learn from those mistakes.    Screw ups are sort of necessary for most of us to realize the wrong way to go about it :blink:   von

Share this post


Link to post

Realizing it is okay not to be perfect.

Not to be perfect yet. 

Not worrying about being perfect this time around.

 

Takes off some pressure. 

 

While i am far, far, far from perfect - i might be better than I was an hour ago.

I might not be in another hour - but at least I see the trail to find my way back to an inch better again. 

That's all I gotta do.  Keep inching when I am able to a teeny bit better.  

 Eventually that one inch will be a habit.   Then I can repeat.  As long as I need to....much less stressful

than other systems in that regard. 

von

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now