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Nathaniel

WHAT THE BUDDHA TAUGHT by Walpola Rahula

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On 3/16/2020 at 12:07 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

I encountered the Nichiren Shoshu back in the early 1970's.     

Everyone encountered Nichiren Shoshu back in the 197Os! 
 

They made, by comparison, the Chabaniks manning their mitzvah mobiles look shy and withdrawn.

Edited by RabbiO

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1 hour ago, RabbiO said:

Everyone encountered Nichiren Shoshu back in the 197Os! 
 

They made, by comparison, the Chabaniks manning their mitzvah mobiles look shy and withdrawn.

 

Did they Join?  I did.  Anyway.....

 

It's odd you would mention that.  When I was getting disgusted with Nichiren Shoshu, I had a Lubavitch friend.  He persuaded me that if I wasn't going to practice a religion -- I should not be practicing my own religion -- instead of their religion.  That was when I reverted and became a non-practicing Jew -- instead of a non-practicing Buddhist.

 

It is possible to be Jewish without being neurotic, but it helps.  "There is no God and we are his people."

 

:mellow:

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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2 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

 

Thank you Jonathan! What happened? Nothing much... tried a bit of humour... invain.

 

 

Please don't (think about it), just keep that ignore on... I'm pretty sure the Buddha also taught not to take everything that seriously... 

 

 

Two good people got off to a bad start.  I suggest letting it go.

 

 

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Hello Jonathan. The verses from the Pali Canon you have given are indeed the gist of a conversation the Buddha had. But the question of God was not the question posed to Buddha but whether or not the universe is eternal. He had similar conversations about Atman, Self, soul. He formulated Anatta/Anatman. We are the sum of our parts not more. There is not a thinker behind the thoughts, just thoughts. I find that American "Buddhists" reject the teaching of the Buddha, the teaching of Anatta/Anatman just as the seekers of the Buddhas day did. They reject this teaching as Nihilism but it is not. It takes much difficult thinking and analysis, just as it did the Buddha, to realize this truth of the Dharma. But America is not about study and analysis in depth but Wikipedia articles and You Tube videos. It would be grand if Meitreya would appear and clear out the nonsense and speak the Dharma to modern Buddhists, and the modern world, once more. 

Buddha did not reject the existence of "the gods." He accepted their reality and made fun of them. Especially the creator god Brahma (not to be confused with Brahman). Buddha presented Nibbana/Nirvana (Nir: Not. Vana: Flame. Not-Flame) as the Supreme and Final Reality. Buddha, unlike Mahayana, did not teach that "Nirvana is Samsara" correctly perceived. The opposite is the fact. Buddha contrasted Nirvana and Samsara in the strongest and clearest of terms. The Dhammapada is very short but even a cursory read of the simple introduction to the words of Buddha make it plain that Nirvana is not Samsara. Nirvana is, according to the Buddha, "the Unborn, the Ungrown, the Unconditioned, the Uncompounded, the Absolute."

I have never read anywhere (except in the words of the Buddha) the piercing truth, the Fact, that life is suffering, and craving is the cause of suffering (as well as of coming into existence). 

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Edited by Nathaniel
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Edited by Nathaniel
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RevBogovac. It would have been very good if you had introduced yourself and let me come to know you at least a little bit before you started in with the trolling. What if I had posted a sentence to you that implied you are a liar? Unless you are accustomed to being called a liar it would have bothered you too to be sullied by a stranger. I can join any Forum on the Net and be trolled by a troll. I do not need this forum for that. I would not concern yourself further with the matter RevBogovac as I am thoroughly unimpressed with this Forum (except for Jonathan who has engaged me in intelligent discussion) and will cease posting when I am finished smoothing your feathers. *Smoothes Revbogovacs feathers*

Namaste,
Venerable Lantian Xinshen

Edited by Nathaniel

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41 minutes ago, Nathaniel said:

Hello Jonathan. The verses from the Pali Canon you have given are indeed the gist of a conversation the Buddha had. But the question of God was not the question posed to Buddha but whether or not the universe is eternal. He had similar conversations about Atman, Self, soul. He formulated Anatta/Anatman. We are the sum of our parts not more. There is not a thinker behind the thoughts, just thoughts. I find that American "Buddhists" reject the teaching of the Buddha, the teaching of Anatta/Anatman just as the seekers of the Buddhas day did. They reject this teaching as Nihilism but it is not. It takes much difficult thinking and analysis, just as it did the Buddha, to realize this truth of the Dharma. But America is not about study and analysis in depth but Wikipedia articles and You Tube videos. It would be grand if Meitreya would appear and clear out the nonsense and speak the Dharma to modern Buddhists, and the modern world, once more. 

Buddha did not reject the existence of "the gods." He accepted their reality and made fun of them. Especially the creator god Brahma (not to be confused with Brahman). Buddha presented Nibbana/Nirvana (Nir: Not. Vana: Flame. Not-Flame) as the Supreme Final Reality. Buddha, unlike Mahayana, did not teach that "Nirvana is Samsara" correctly perceived. The opposite is the fact. Buddha contrasted Nirvana and Samsara in the strongest and clearest of terms. The Dhammapada is very short but even a cursory read of the simple introduction to the words of Buddha make it plain that Nirvana is not Samsara. Nirvana is, according to the Buddha, "the Unborn, the Ungrown, the Unconditioned, the Uncompounded, the Absolute."

I have never read anywhere (except in the words of the Buddha) the piercing truth, the Fact, that life is suffering, and craving is the cause of suffering (as well as of coming into existence). 

 

 

The core ideas of Buddhism seem like common sense, to me.  The whole idea of letting go of desires, passions and resentments.  The Middle Path of Moderation.  These are great ideas.

 

As for the gods -- I'm vague about where it's recorded.  "Fire is hot.  Ice is cold.  All the gods in all the heavens will not change this."  In modern terms -- The gods might be real, but so what?

 

Still, I find much of Buddhist thought difficult.  The authentic wisdom -- I find -- is obscured by the various traditions and cultures.  I'm clear that Buddha never meant to establish a professional class of beggar monk.  Of course, things got complicated.  A culture with an abundance of lawyers, will have complicated laws.

 

Some things are not complicated.  Starting with the monk's insisting, that the best karma comes from supporting the monks.

 

There is great value in Buddhist thinking.  There is also crap.  It's sometimes difficult evaluating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello Jonathan

It has always been very easy for me to divorce the teachings of the Buddha from extraneous matters such as those you mentioned. Other than ideas of karma and reincarnation his teachings are not tied to any culture. The trappings that Buddhism has acquired in its travels are irrelevant and unattractive to me too.

As for Buddhism being difficult, so is higher mathematics. So is relativity theory and quantum mechanics. If you have done much reading in the Suttas it will be obvious that the Buddha was not so much a mystic (though he was) as a extremely rational and thorough logician. His ability to take a situation or phenomena and analyse it into its constituent parts and show how they all work together and depend on each other is amazingly modern and scientific. Unlike the later Mahayana Buddhists who took metaphysical speculation and ran with it,  the Buddha eschewed it. That was the point of the conversation you paraphrased between a seeker and the Buddha, except it was not about God. Buddha said he would not engage in it because it had nothing whatsoever to do with Awakening. My point is that there is no reason why, in religion and spirituality, simpler is somehow better than complex. Truth can be presented simply but it is not simplistic. Truth always has great depth and breadth but can be stated in a way that even a child can understand. That is Buddhism. Read the classic I recommended by Walpola Rahula. It's short and to the point, quite well rounded, but it is simple. Any of the topics can be taken to an almost unbelievable depth of complexity in the Pali Canon. The complexity is very scientific and empirical, not the "complexity" of religious texts than ramble on an on..."The Ultimombo is connected to the Saskatoonia in Wombalonia, interspersed with Nagadociousness, sprinkled with Babaloobia and it all interprenetrates the Glickity Godhead of Goonyville." Christianity gets that way. It becomes very complex but it remains complicated nonsense that contributes nothing to the understanding of our specie and advances science not one whit. It's "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Also, the Buddha was not a Monist (as is Mahayana, Vajrayana, Ch'an, Zen, and Pure Land/Sukkhavati) but was a Dualist. All was not "one" to the Buddha and Samsara was not Nirvana. The Buddha warned that after his death his Dharma would become corrupted until it was unrecognizable and useless for Awakening. That certainly happened with the later schools that I enumerated above. Taoism shares many of the Buddhas' insights but is simpler, less scientific, more mystical and poetic. I like Taoism too. (Left and right hemispheres and all that.)

Thanks for the good conversation Jonathan. I may be back, I may not. 

Namaste,
VLX

Edited by Nathaniel

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4 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

It is possible to be Jewish without being neurotic, but it helps.  "There is no God and we are his people."

 

 

The joke as I first heard it  - A Jewish atheist hears that the best school in town happens to be Catholic, so he enrolls his son. Things are going well until one day the boy comes home and says, “I just learned all about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” The boy’s father becomes very angry. He takes his son by the shoulders and says, “Avi, this is very important, so listen carefully. There is only one God — and we don’t believe in him!”

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9 minutes ago, RabbiO said:

 

The joke as I first heard it  - A Jewish atheist hears that the best school in town happens to be Catholic, so he enrolls his son. Things are going well until one day the boy comes home and says, “I just learned all about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” The boy’s father becomes very angry. He takes his son by the shoulders and says, “Avi, this is very important, so listen carefully. There is only one God — and we don’t believe in him!”

 

:birgits_giggle:

 

It's an amusing variant.  The first time I heard it, my Lubavitch friends were talking about the Reconstructionists.  Of course, that was before Rabbi Wine's Humanistic Judaism.

 

:mellow:

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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10 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

It's an amusing variant.  The first time I heard it, my Lubavitch friends were talking about the Reconstructionists.  Of course, that was before Rabbi Wine's Humanistic Judaism.

 

Stop me if I've said this before..... Felix Adler, the founder of the Society for Ethical Culture, was the son of a rabbi and studied briefly for the rabbinate. Of him it was said, "There is no God and Felix Adler is his prophet. Years later, after Rabbi Kaplan had begun to publish his theories of Judaism, that saying was revised, with "Mordecai Kaplan" being inserted instead of Adler.

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6 hours ago, Nathaniel said:

RevBogovac. It would have been very good if you had introduced yourself and let me come to know you at least a little bit before you started in with the trolling. What if I had posted a sentence to you that implied you are a liar? Unless you are accustomed to being called a liar it would have bothered you too to be sullied by a stranger. I can join any Forum on the Net and be trolled by a troll. I do not need this forum for that. I would not concern yourself further with the matter RevBogovac as I am thoroughly unimpressed with this Forum (except for Jonathan who has engaged me in intelligent discussion) and will cease posting when I am finished smoothing your feathers. *Smoothes Revbogovacs feathers*
 

Now you've done it. This is no longer an issue as to whether RevBogovac's original reply was or was not appropriate. This is no longer whether in the abstract your reactions have been overly sensitive and way out of proportion to his post. 

 

With no real knowledge of RevBogovac you have relentlessly attacked his character and his motivation. This is what we, in my neck of the theological woods, call lashon hara - evil speech. You may be "thoroughly unimpressed with this Forum".  Personally, I feel that way sometimes.  Here's the thing though. Frustrated, angry, bewildered or driven crazy though I may be by some of the folks here, I've never been thoroughly unimpressed with a member until now. 

 

This forum and you may not be the best fit. No hard feelings if that is the case. 

 

 

Edited by RabbiO
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Are you all right? Calm down and reflect a bit. Your reaction is over the top, Rabbio. Also, you must be very used to being insulted by people you do not know and have not even met. I am unused to being called a liar. In 66 years that has happened maybe four times.
My advice to RevBogovac was simple and quite kindly albeit unadorned by niceties. It would do him well to alter his on-forum behavior with people he has not "met" or interacted with in any way. You would do well to place yourself in others shoes before exploding on them and being so intense and overdone. You said, "With no knowledge of RevBogovac you have relentlessly attacked his character and his motivation." Really? Relentlessly? I have no clue as to his motivation Rabbio, and did not mention it. My words and advice were as to his social behavior, not his unknowable (by me) motivations. Again, place yourself in the shoes of others. Out of the blue some fellow posts a snarky judgmental comment to me. No one takes such comments in a friendly way UNLESS the know the poster making the comment. I did not and do not know him. Now, my advice is for you to mind your own business and avoid my posts and comments. Thank you RabbiO!

 

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A person who cannot bear the perceived insults of other and cannot follow their own advice has a lot to be thankful for.  The obstacles encountered daily by such a person can only make them stronger, surely.

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4 hours ago, RabbiO said:

Stop me if I've said this before..... Felix Adler, the founder of the Society for Ethical Culture, was the son of a rabbi and studied briefly for the rabbinate. Of him it was said, "There is no God and Felix Adler is his prophet. Years later, after Rabbi Kaplan had begun to publish his theories of Judaism, that saying was revised, with "Mordecai Kaplan" being inserted instead of Adler.

 

 

You did say it before.  It's still funny and worth repeating.  If history repeats, we can add Rabbi Wine to the list.

 

:birgits_giggle:     Thank you.

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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On 3/18/2020 at 1:22 PM, Nathaniel said:

Are you all right? Calm down and reflect a bit. Your reaction is over the top, Rabbio. Also, you must be very used to being insulted by people you do not know and have not even met. I am unused to being called a liar. In 66 years that has happened maybe four times.
My advice to RevBogovac was simple and quite kindly albeit unadorned by niceties. It would do him well to alter his on-forum behavior with people he has not "met" or interacted with in any way. You would do well to place yourself in others shoes before exploding on them and being so intense and overdone. You said, "With no knowledge of RevBogovac you have relentlessly attacked his character and his motivation." Really? Relentlessly? I have no clue as to his motivation Rabbio, and did not mention it. My words and advice were as to his social behavior, not his unknowable (by me) motivations. Again, place yourself in the shoes of others. Out of the blue some fellow posts a snarky judgmental comment to me. No one takes such comments in a friendly way UNLESS the know the poster making the comment. I did not and do not know him. Now, my advice is for you to mind your own business and avoid my posts and comments. Thank you RabbiO!

 

I only wish I hadn't been away while this thread unfolded. I, too, can attest to RevBogovac's character from personal interaction here. He is a knowledgeable and level headed individual with a quick wit. From what I read, he was not intending to call you a liar, but was rather intending a bit of humor. (Which he also later explained.) Rather than accept this, you continued to feel offended and attack him.

Perhaps his humor was misguided, simply because neither of you are acquainted. But your continued dismissal of the intention has been equally misguided, IMO.

Now, as this is an open forum for anyone to post upon anyone else's comments, it is everyone's business of what is being read. Thus, your command for someone to avoid your posts and comments was a bit out of line.

How else does one get to know others unless by interactions, good and bad? Just saying.

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