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Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





Also, from experience, that poo poo can take a _while_ to not be a burning wound. It'll get better. The old standard ex advice of cutting off contact, not looking at them on social media, and doing what you can to not think about them applies. This gets easier as time passes. But none of that is particularly buddhist of course

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BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Nessus posted:


In the sense of the ethical systems, I do not believe there are great gulfs between Buddhist moral philosophy and Christian moral philosophy. I do think that there are aspects of the narrative of Jesus's life that conflict with aspects of the dharma, mostly involving Christ getting furious a few times and letting it rule his actions.


He was just acting as a wisdom king!

Dennis McClaren
Mar 28, 2007

"Hey, don't put capture a guy!"
...Well I've got to put something!

Achmed Jones posted:

Also, from experience, that poo poo can take a _while_ to not be a burning wound. It'll get better. The old standard ex advice of cutting off contact, not looking at them on social media, and doing what you can to not think about them applies. This gets easier as time passes. But none of that is particularly buddhist of course

Thanks. It took me a few minutes of contemplation, but the basis of jealousy being greed, hatred, and delusion is true, you're right about that. And when you break it down into its component parts, it becomes easier to understand and let go of.

echinopsis
Apr 13, 2004
Probation
Can't post for 6 days!


Nessus posted:

In the sense of the ethical systems, I do not believe there are great gulfs between Buddhist moral philosophy and Christian moral philosophy. I do think that there are aspects of the narrative of Jesus's life that conflict with aspects of the dharma, mostly involving Christ getting furious a few times and letting it rule his actions.

I'm inclined to believe this is more to do with humans taking the good from the bible and not the bad, especially as time went on, rather than pointing to the bible and saying this is a source of morals that is not entirely different from buddhist ethics. I mean, there's not a gulf between any moral philosophy that has been widely held I'm sure.

Most of the New Testament is just warbling stories are rambling. I was a Christian for a good decade or so, and after leaving the church, what a revelation to understand that the bible wasn't the writings of God, because bending all those ill-fitting puzzle pieces into one picture took a lot of mental gymnastics.

Spacegrass
May 1, 2013



One thing from a Christian that I know said ; "God could have created a perfect universe, but he chose not to, to make life important". This is the closest thing that I can find for mixing Buddhism with Christianity that makes the most sense to me.

Spacegrass fucked around with this message at 22:20 on Sep 25, 2020

WombatCyborg
Apr 2, 2011




Planning to attend a virtual workshop with the Rochester Zen Center on Saturday. Excited and nervous, this is something I've wanted to do for a while now but as a lifelong atheist have been hesitant to follow through with. I'm a little ashamed to admit it started with an LSD trip, where I had an experience that's hard to put into words, but made me believe in the cycle of rebirth and suffering in the buddhist sense. Not saying that's what I'm aiming to experience again, more like I was able to see through the window for a moment. I've had, a lot of issues in my life, mentally and emotionally, and I'm hoping this offers a sustainable path to find a better way to go about existence, a more peaceful way. I'll be sure to check back in after with how it went.

Nude Hoxha Cameo
Sep 29, 2007






WombatCyborg posted:

Planning to attend a virtual workshop with the Rochester Zen Center on Saturday. Excited and nervous, this is something I've wanted to do for a while now but as a lifelong atheist have been hesitant to follow through with. I'm a little ashamed to admit it started with an LSD trip, where I had an experience that's hard to put into words, but made me believe in the cycle of rebirth and suffering in the buddhist sense. Not saying that's what I'm aiming to experience again, more like I was able to see through the window for a moment. I've had, a lot of issues in my life, mentally and emotionally, and I'm hoping this offers a sustainable path to find a better way to go about existence, a more peaceful way. I'll be sure to check back in after with how it went.

I havenít had a chance to get to RZC in person, but Iíve listed to their podcast for a few years now, and Roshi Kjolhede seems like a pretty great teacher. Looking forward to your impressions.

WombatCyborg
Apr 2, 2011




The workshop went well! It was pretty basic, mostly covering the how and why of sitting. I'm oversimplifying quite a bit of course since that's such a huge part of zen, but it really got me in shape as far as posture and technique. Had a 20 minute sitting which I found really invigorating, definitely feel like this path is worth exploring for me now. Roshi Kjolhede is a really good orator, definitely instilled a lot of confidence in me as to his ability, and he was very gracious about my many questions that arose throughout the workshop. Going to start sitting on my own daily, and RZC is actually doing group sittings over Zoom twice a day so I think I will try to attend those when I can as well.

I inquired about outside practitioners joining for the sittings and the staff member I asked mentioned that if anyone wants to come go ahead and send them over an email for the Zoom credentials, if anyone is interested. Definitely an interesting experience, hopefully things can open back up again before too long so I can check out the practice in it's intended setting so to speak.

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


I was poking around Penrose's thoughts about consciousness, and suddenly thought: What do buddhists think?

Did the buddha ever say where consciousness comes from? Is the same consciousness reincarnated?

Herstory Begins Now
Aug 5, 2003


Paramemetic posted:

The "is it okay" phrasing makes the answer, for me, very straightforward: yeah, of course.

There are all kinds of ins and outs and what have yous in the sense of like "what do you mean by 'to be a Buddhist'" or "what do you mean by believing in Jesus?" But they don't really concern the question of whether it's okay.

To answer whether it's okay, I would suggest it depends on another question: who's judging?

Buddha doesn't really do a judging, it's just cause and effect, and if doing both gets you closer to the cessation of suffering, great!

Jesus supposedly judges, but if he judges you poorly for pursuing liberation from suffering for self and others, he'd be a dick. By all accounts he's not a dick, so that's fine.

You might judge yourself, but self is made up, so don't worry about it.

Basically if it works for you, then it works for you.

There are some other hardline answers from both camps, but they don't address whether it's okay, only whether they think it's okay.

There's a chapter in Walking an Uncommon Path where the Gyalwang Drukpa talks about a student of his who comes to confess they've recently become Christian, thinking he'd be upset. He basically responds "sounds good, seems like it's working for you, great!" If I recall correctly he spends the rest of the chapter talking about how religious dogma fucks us up and we've got enough in this world to gently caress us up without getting hosed up by firmly held beliefs.

Yeah there's very little intrinsically preventing anyone from either having a syncretic belief structure or even just finding both valid at the same time. Especially with a view of christianity that is primarily centred around jesus, the two are very compatible even if there would definitely be people from either camp who would probably have some objection. The only place it would maybe be a problem is if someone tried to be a full practicing member/vow taker in both a christian and a buddhist order. That said, there's a fair amount of overlap between christian and buddhist monastics on a practical level and i know of several christian orders of various types that clearly consider it fine to live and practice in a non-christian practice place.

So yeah the response i think largely comes down to 'what is someone's goal? what is their formal engagement with a specific tradition that might have some standards around this?' Otherwise, yeah it's nbd. It's not hard to consider jesus a sage or a saint or some such.

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




There's a reason Buddhism's the one major world religion where it always seems to just merge with the indigenous religion rather when it spreads to a new place rather than replacing it.

Herstory Begins Now
Aug 5, 2003


Eh there's been both a significant history of buddhist dogmatic orthodoxy as well as many other religions that spread in a similar manner. Tbh most religions at their most doctrinally established points start complaining about all the casually religious just practice whatever the hell asssortment of local customs they feel like and how it's literally impossible to get them to stop all the local traditions.

That said, buddhism being a generally non-evangelical religion does seem to make it's spread much more syncretic

Achmed Jones posted:

If you believe the four noble truths, you're a Buddhist. I'm not sure it's a necessary condition but it's certainly sufficient. I don't think you have to take refuge to be a buddhist. Then again, id say that since I haven't formally done so and consider myself a capital b buddhist, write "buddhist" for religion on demographic surveys, etc.

zhar posted:

Refuge in the three jewels isn't just some ceremonial thing. The dharma jewel is the last 2 truths (cessation and paths), sangha is whoever has made progress along the path and buddha jewel is both the physical buddha and maybe the culmination of the path (may be a little different in theravada).

After recognizing that there is suffering, one takes refuge from it by trusting the buddha as someone who had it worked out and that the path he taught is the way out of it. I think this may be the point at which one becomes a full-assed 'Buddhist'.

It's supposed to be a virtuous cycle where the benefits of practicing the path produce more faith in the buddha (as his teachings turn out to work) which deepens refuge and inspires further practice, so it can start very shallow and doesn't require belief in anything too crazy.

These two posts are accurate describe roughly where I'd see the line for 'can reasonably be considered a buddhist.' I'd probably add that some kind of tangible practice has been undertaken and sustained for a while, but I think that's largely secondary to the above (though it's probably the line for when other people, and in particular other buddhists, will start to consider you a buddhist).

Still there are situations where those aren't set in stone and imo the label is a lot less important than whether someone considers living by the precepts important. Or even just taking one or two of the precepts really seriously.

Herstory Begins Now fucked around with this message at 00:19 on Oct 16, 2020

Spacegrass
May 1, 2013



Herstory Begins Now posted:

Yeah there's very little intrinsically preventing anyone from either having a syncretic belief structure or even just finding both valid at the same time. Especially with a view of christianity that is primarily centred around jesus, the two are very compatible even if there would definitely be people from either camp who would probably have some objection. The only place it would maybe be a problem is if someone tried to be a full practicing member/vow taker in both a christian and a buddhist order.

The Mormons make the best sense to me as far as Christanity, (they believe in a male and a female God who created us). Though, but to be a true confirmed Mormon you cannot smoke, drink coffee or drink alcohol so there goes that for me lol. So the syncing is hard for me. But they are very nice people, regardless. Also, you have to be baptized to go to a nice place when you die in their view. I believe in karma strongly, it's just always very confusing.

XBenedict
May 23, 2006

YOUR LIPS SAY 0, BUT YOUR EYES SAY 1.



Spacegrass posted:

The Mormons make the best sense to me as far as Christanity, (they believe in a male and a female God who created us). Though, but to be a true confirmed Mormon you cannot smoke, drink coffee or drink alcohol so there goes that for me lol. So the syncing is hard for me. But they are very nice people, regardless. Also, you have to be baptized to go to a nice place when you die in their view. I believe in karma strongly, it's just always very confusing.

TBF, who wouldnít want their own planet when they die?

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Spacegrass posted:

The Mormons make the best sense to me as far as Christanity, (they believe in a male and a female God who created us). Though, but to be a true confirmed Mormon you cannot smoke, drink coffee or drink alcohol so there goes that for me lol. So the syncing is hard for me. But they are very nice people, regardless. Also, you have to be baptized to go to a nice place when you die in their view. I believe in karma strongly, it's just always very confusing.
I always thought the Mormons were considerate because their theory is that after you die, on judgment day or whatever, you will be greeted by angels and have everything explained to you, possibly by Jesus Himself, so you will be able to make a completely informed decision.

And you know, fair enough. I don't think that's how it works, but it shows a certain positive sentiment about the cosmos that a lot of these stories lack.

I wonder if they have any monastic orders...

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

At work (I work in a cafe inside a bookstore) we have an ant problem. They often congregate on the counter, and theyíre had to see, so Iíll wipe down the counter and pick up a dozen of those little guys. Iím stuck; I donít want to kill the ants, but I canít let them get around and into the food and drinks, for obvious reasons. It isnít my authority to call a professional, but can they do anything outside of termination? To me that sounds like being complicit in taking life. Iím curious about the Buddhist(s) perspective to this moral quandary. For the sake of the argument presume I took the precept vow not to take life.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Thirteen Orphans posted:

At work (I work in a cafe inside a bookstore) we have an ant problem. They often congregate on the counter, and theyíre had to see, so Iíll wipe down the counter and pick up a dozen of those little guys. Iím stuck; I donít want to kill the ants, but I canít let them get around and into the food and drinks, for obvious reasons. It isnít my authority to call a professional, but can they do anything outside of termination? To me that sounds like being complicit in taking life. Iím curious about the Buddhist(s) perspective to this moral quandary. For the sake of the argument presume I took the precept vow not to take life.
I think that your answer is ant repellent and keeping up cleanliness. If you inadvertently squash some ants while going about your business then I think that this is not held to have nearly as much karmic impact as doing so willingly.

I remember hearing a similar talk about a retreat center that had a mouse infestation that was getting to the point of nearly getting their building condemned or something. I believe they found some other way to resolve the issue (repellents? a cat? though a cat is just moving the problem around!) but the discussions were basically "Well, one of us is gonna have to do it, I guess we'll draw lots to see who has to go buy and deploy the mousetraps."

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Nessus posted:

I think that your answer is ant repellent and keeping up cleanliness. If you inadvertently squash some ants while going about your business then I think that this is not held to have nearly as much karmic impact as doing so willingly.

I remember hearing a similar talk about a retreat center that had a mouse infestation that was getting to the point of nearly getting their building condemned or something. I believe they found some other way to resolve the issue (repellents? a cat? though a cat is just moving the problem around!) but the discussions were basically "Well, one of us is gonna have to do it, I guess we'll draw lots to see who has to go buy and deploy the mousetraps."

Oh we heavily clean. These little SOBs are resilient! Iím not in the position to start using repellant, though thatís something I should bring up with the GM.

BIG FLUFFY DOG
Feb 16, 2011

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.




Thirteen Orphans posted:

At work (I work in a cafe inside a bookstore) we have an ant problem. They often congregate on the counter, and theyíre had to see, so Iíll wipe down the counter and pick up a dozen of those little guys. Iím stuck; I donít want to kill the ants, but I canít let them get around and into the food and drinks, for obvious reasons. It isnít my authority to call a professional, but can they do anything outside of termination? To me that sounds like being complicit in taking life. Iím curious about the Buddhist(s) perspective to this moral quandary. For the sake of the argument presume I took the precept vow not to take life.

maintaining purity is impossible while engaging with an impure world. this is the reason why monks go to monasteries where they don't engage with the world in order to train and purify themselves. do what you can, accept your bombu nature and that you are not capable of maintaining your purity in this matter, engage in merit transfer so the ants may be reborn in a less squishy form, and use this as a lesson in your own humility.

Spacegrass
May 1, 2013



Do any of you guys remember your past lives?? I just cannot understand how we were all born human by chance. I believe we are all souls in a body. And unless SA is a sacred place; I just cannot grasp it.

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





...what?

(Post/username?)

Yorkshire Pudding
Nov 24, 2006





SomethingAwful is a sacred place.

Achmed Jones
Oct 16, 2004





Goonsay goonsay paragoonsay parasamgoonsay bodhi svaha

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Namu Jefori Butsu

Herstory Begins Now
Aug 5, 2003


Thirteen Orphans posted:

At work (I work in a cafe inside a bookstore) we have an ant problem. They often congregate on the counter, and theyíre had to see, so Iíll wipe down the counter and pick up a dozen of those little guys. Iím stuck; I donít want to kill the ants, but I canít let them get around and into the food and drinks, for obvious reasons. It isnít my authority to call a professional, but can they do anything outside of termination? To me that sounds like being complicit in taking life. Iím curious about the Buddhist(s) perspective to this moral quandary. For the sake of the argument presume I took the precept vow not to take life.

I think I've posted about this before, but one of the big zen communities on the west coast opened one of their forest center/retreat places and long story short, a bunch of wideyed zen folks thought the rats that showed up were cute as hell and let them wander around and basically have the run of the place. Eventually someone with some sens came by and chewed them the gently caress out for having a massive vermin infestation that they did gently caress all about and they had to kill all the rats. I think about this story a lot because it's such a, idk, concrete clash of idealism and the realities of vermin infestation.

Also I had to kill a couple rats recently and it sucked. I say a little thing for them and try to make sure it's really quick, but ugh. Basically, do what you have to do to not put people at risk.

Herstory Begins Now fucked around with this message at 04:40 on Oct 31, 2020

Cheese Thief
Oct 30, 2020
Shut the fuck up Cheese Thief

I made a meditation thread without seeing this pop up. This is a topic I have a lot of passion for, but I think the theoretical aspects are much less important than engagement with the practice. The famous old story, that I don't like very much: The wise old master taking the student on a morning walk. The student says "The sun is so beautiful this morning," then the master banishes the student from any further participation. The story is harsh, but the point is taken.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





I actually don't get the point from that one, although it may have lost key details along the way.

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


Nessus posted:

I always thought the Mormons were considerate because their theory is that after you die, on judgment day or whatever, you will be greeted by angels and have everything explained to you, possibly by Jesus Himself, so you will be able to make a completely informed decision.

And you know, fair enough. I don't think that's how it works, but it shows a certain positive sentiment about the cosmos that a lot of these stories lack.

I wonder if they have any monastic orders...

This comes up between a good mormon friend of mine and me a lot. He has taken the Aaronian priesthood (sp?) and so has started baptizing his long dead protestant and catholic family members as mormons. He doesn't seem to see a problem in this, nor in baptizing other dead if he had the time and inclination.

As a devout member of another faith, I think this kind of knocking on my spirits door to be at best ignorant, and at worst hostile intrusion. If it was more like some mormons, when and if they turn out to be right (and only then), showing up to kindly let me into paradise if I agree to, that's a better situation.

Cheese Thief
Oct 30, 2020
Shut the fuck up Cheese Thief

Nessus posted:

I actually don't get the point from that one, although it may have lost key details along the way.

Someone who isn't me could relate these old Buddhist koans. I wish they would, I don't like explaining because I probably do it poorly.
I think it was Lao Tzu? He kicked the student out of the walk. The point is to appreciate the beauty. For example, a stargazer. Knowing the names of the constellations vs experiencing the beauty of the stars.
Or another example: Going to a restaurant and eating the menu, compared to eating the food.
Or worshiping the prescription a doctor writes compared to taking the medicine.

That words are only sign posts to meaning, and not a meaning within themself.

corn haver
Mar 28, 2020


Tias posted:

This comes up between a good mormon friend of mine and me a lot. He has taken the Aaronian priesthood (sp?) and so has started baptizing his long dead protestant and catholic family members as mormons. He doesn't seem to see a problem in this, nor in baptizing other dead if he had the time and inclination.

As a devout member of another faith, I think this kind of knocking on my spirits door to be at best ignorant, and at worst hostile intrusion. If it was more like some mormons, when and if they turn out to be right (and only then), showing up to kindly let me into paradise if I agree to, that's a better situation.
I can't comment on a spiritual dimension to that but if you respect someone, you have to acknowledge that they might have genuine disagreements with your beliefs that you can't magic away. Imagine somebody doing this publicly en masse in a Jewish cemetery. People would be justifiably be pretty upset about it and not out of a belief that it actually did anything.

Paramemetic
Sep 29, 2003






Fallen Rib

The Mormon thing with baptism of the dead is generally believed to be non-intrusive to Mormons and hinges on people still having free will. If you accept the Mormon doctrine on death, when you croak your soul goes to a spiritual purgatory similar to a prison or if you want to take a nicer view of it, not unlike a pure land for unenlightened beings where you hang out and get taught by Buddhas. For Mormons, you're taught by spiritual missionaries who tell you about the plan of salvation and so on.

But, for Mormons the physical proceedings are absolutely essential. You need a physical baptism by immersion. The baptism for the dead is a baptism by proxy where you offer your physical body in place of the dead person and get baptized in their stead. It's entirely up to them whether or not to accept that baptism, so it's not exactly forcing them. The theory goes that obviously they would accept it because they've been hipped to the whole thing with a more perfect and direct understanding, but they don't necessarily always do so.

For Mormons pretty much everyone gets some degree of paradise with very few exceptions (you have to have a full understanding of the plan of salvation and then consciously and willfully reject it), but to get Very Best Heaven you have to be baptized and then sealed in the temple to a wife who will be your god partner to make god babies so as to do the whole thing over again on another planet in the future.

There's a whole lot of really wild space for theological speculation within the esoteric canon (e.g., do all planets do the same plan? Are there planets that don't have a plan of salvation? Are all gods equal or is our heavenly father bigger than others? Are there megagods bigger than him?) But the answer to those is basically the same as Buddha's answer to unanswerable questions: don't worry about it, you're on earth now where we're doing the Jesus Plan, so do that as best you can, you can figure that rest out when you're a god.

There are a lot of things about the LDS that are strange but one thing I'll say in their favor is it's an internally consistent and reasonable take. They don't usually accept "because that's how it is" as an answer because that was Joe Smith's whole problem with mainstream christianity in the first place. It tends to be very literal as a result and the "deep doctrines" are not discussed up front in favor of the more standard "get baptized and accept Jesus so you can get saved" and they're generally not discussed in any public format but they can get absolutely wild. They also have a living prophet who they claim speaks directly to Jesus/the Shekinah in the temple in order to update revelations and make stuff work which gives them a degree of practicality.

Like other Christian sects, you can't really make it work 100% with Buddhism for a number of reasons (belief in an eternal soul, belief that you can be saved through the efforts of others, etc) but they wouldn't see an outright hostility. The Mormon inclination towards proselytizing is also consistent with the beliefs: if you know you can only get Very Best Heaven through baptism and temple rituals, then the compassionate thing to do is to try to make that available to as many people as possible.

Their answer to "why doesn't God just let everyone get to very best heaven" is answered in the Pearl of Great Price iirc, and it's back to that free will thing. Free will means the freedom to gently caress up, and the Jesus Plan is basically "let people gently caress up and I'll take the hit for them if they do all the stuff that needs to happen to become gods." Because the rituals are believed to be what makes it work, there's no way to do it except for to give people the freedom to get the rituals done and follow the rules. Another plan, one that doesn't involve free will, would only result in people being lame gods and not the best gods, because they'd lack the free will that is a characteristic of a god.

But yeah basically the whole idea hinges on "cows will never have lambs, apple seeds will never yield oranges, and so if we're the children of God then we obviously must grow up to become gods."

Paramemetic fucked around with this message at 20:07 on Nov 15, 2020

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Paramemetic posted:

The Mormon thing with baptism of the dead is generally believed to be non-intrusive to Mormons and hinges on people still having free will. If you accept the Mormon doctrine on death, when you croak your soul goes to a spiritual purgatory similar to a prison or if you want to take a nicer view of it, not unlike a pure land for unenlightened beings where you hang out and get taught by Buddhas. For Mormons, you're taught by spiritual missionaries who tell you about the plan of salvation and so on.

But, for Mormons the physical proceedings are absolutely essential. You need a physical baptism by immersion. The baptism for the dead is a baptism by proxy where you offer your physical body in place of the dead person and get baptized in their stead. It's entirely up to them whether or not to accept that baptism, so it's not exactly forcing them. The theory goes that obviously they would accept it because they've been hipped to the whole thing with a more perfect and direct understanding, but they don't necessarily always do so.

For Mormons pretty much everyone gets some degree of paradise with very few exceptions (you have to have a full understanding of the plan of salvation and then consciously and willfully reject it), but to get Very Best Heaven you have to be baptized and then sealed in the temple to a wife who will be your god partner to make god babies so as to do the whole thing over again on another planet in the future.

There's a whole lot of really wild space for theological speculation within the esoteric canon (e.g., do all planets do the same plan? Are there planets that don't have a plan of salvation? Are all gods equal or is our heavenly father bigger than others? Are there megagods bigger than him?) But the answer to those is basically the same as Buddha's answer to unanswerable questions: don't worry about it, you're on earth now where we're doing the Jesus Plan, so do that as best you can, you can figure that rest out when you're a god.

There are a lot of things about the LDS that are strange but one thing I'll say in their favor is it's an internally consistent and reasonable take. They don't usually accept "because that's how it is" as an answer because that was Joe Smith's whole problem with mainstream christianity in the first place. It tends to be very literal as a result and the "deep doctrines" are not discussed up front in favor of the more standard "get baptized and accept Jesus so you can get saved" and they're generally not discussed in any public format but they can get absolutely wild. They also have a living prophet who they claim speaks directly to Jesus/the Shekinah in the temple in order to update revelations and make stuff work which gives them a degree of practicality.

Like other Christian sects, you can't really make it work 100% with Buddhism for a number of reasons (belief in an eternal soul, belief that you can be saved through the efforts of others, etc) but they wouldn't see an outright hostility. The Mormon inclination towards proselytizing is also consistent with the beliefs: if you know you can only get Very Best Heaven through baptism and temple rituals, then the compassionate thing to do is to try to make that available to as many people as possible.

Their answer to "why doesn't God just let everyone get to very best heaven" is answered in the Pearl of Great Price iirc, and it's back to that free will thing. Free will means the freedom to gently caress up, and the Jesus Plan is basically "let people gently caress up and I'll take the hit for them if they do all the stuff that needs to happen to become gods." Because the rituals are believed to be what makes it work, there's no way to do it except for to give people the freedom to get the rituals done and follow the rules. Another plan, one that doesn't involve free will, would only result in people being lame gods and not the best gods, because they'd lack the free will that is a characteristic of a god.

But yeah basically the whole idea hinges on "cows will never have lambs, apple seeds will never yield oranges, and so if we're the children of God then we obviously must grow up to become gods."



Man, Mormon Deification (do they have a word for that?) vs Deification/Theosis in the Catholic/Orthodox understand is, as you said, WILD.

Buried alive
Jun 8, 2009


I have a vague notion that this has come up in the thread before, but I'm going to ask anyway.

What's y'all's take on Eckhert Tolle? His story (according to wikipedia) is that he spent many years being super depressed and then one night that all came to a head and forced what sounds like the death of his own ego. Spent some years wandering around, some in a buddhist monestary, and now he's some sort of spiritual guru with a couple of books out.

I find him slightly more attractive to listen to than most other spiritual things on Youtube (including other Buddhist things) but that might be because he vaguely reminds me of a hobbit and makes me think of the Shire.

Buried alive fucked around with this message at 03:17 on Nov 17, 2020

A Typical Goon
Feb 25, 2011


Buried alive posted:

I have a vague notion that this has come up in the thread before, but I'm going to ask anyway.

What's y'all's take on Eckhert Tolle? His story (according to wikipedia) is that he spent many years being super depressed and then one night that all came to a head and forced what sounds like the death of his own ego. Spent some years wandering around, some in a buddhist monestary, and now he's some sort of spiritual guru with a couple of books out.

I find him slightly more attractive to listen to than most other spiritual things on Youtube (including other Buddhist things) but that might be because he vaguely reminds me of a hobbit and makes me think of the Shire.

Low rent Alan Watts IMO. I wanted to like Tolle, and do actually like a lot of his teachings, but Iíve never been able to shake my first impression of him as being a grifter that doesnít actually believe in what he is saying.

My question to the thread would be: what do yíall think about psychedelics as a Ďshortcutí to enlightenment? It was my curiosity about Buddhism and Daoism that lead me to experiment with psychedelics. I feel I had a good intellectual understanding through meditation about the nature of non-duality but God drat there is such a huge difference between thinking you are the universe and actually experiencing physically and spiritually becoming the universe.

One 15 minute DMT trip completely removed any doubts I had about the true nature of reality and turned my from a committed atheist to someone with zero doubts that the universe is pantheistic and completely divine

Tias
May 25, 2008

Deyr fe,
deyja fraendr,
deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn,
at aldrei deyr:
domr um daudan hvern.


Good on you, but it will probably not lead to lasting enlightenment. Most DMT heads I've met keep doing it regularly and switch to smoking pure base in order to get 'more' enlightenment and/or out of despair with the world they live in.

The psychedelic FAQ which I read for the first time prior to doing my first mushrooms 15 years ago puts it well:

quote:

Some call the highest plateau Satori enlightenment, instant Zen, Nirvana etc etc. You may find many of these Eastern terms used in conjunction with psychedelic drugs. In my (humble) opinion, true Zen enlightenment is reached only when the ego has been completely overcome, only when the 'ox' has been tracked, tamed and ridden back to town. This, unfortunately cannot be achieved in the altered reality of the tripping universe. The 'flashes' of Satori which may be experienced by the fortunate whilst tripping, are perceived as momentary periods of absolute peace and calm, periods where for a short time, the ego is so diffused, that the mind is no longer enslaved by many of the passions that normally arise.

In other words, you have to train your mind to let go of the passions, desires and confusions that are somewhat removed by entheogenic drugs, if you want the real deal.

echinopsis
Apr 13, 2004
Probation
Can't post for 6 days!


I'm still intrigued by non-dual mindfulness because I am struggling to get there. I wonder if maybe I have experienced it, perhaps it's even common, but because I am not being "amazed" by it, it doesn't stand out. Is that possible that I am merely overlooking it?

Can I ask, it really feels like there are different perspectives within different buddhist school or what not, of the existence of what secularists would call a "metaphysical" world, rainbow body? inter-life reincarnation etc.. are these truths discovered from meditation, or concepts passed down through tradition?

A Typical Goon
Feb 25, 2011


echinopsis posted:

I'm still intrigued by non-dual mindfulness because I am struggling to get there. I wonder if maybe I have experienced it, perhaps it's even common, but because I am not being "amazed" by it, it doesn't stand out. Is that possible that I am merely overlooking it?

Can I ask, it really feels like there are different perspectives within different buddhist school or what not, of the existence of what secularists would call a "metaphysical" world, rainbow body? inter-life reincarnation etc.. are these truths discovered from meditation, or concepts passed down through tradition?

Iíve had a satori experience when completely sober after a particular bout of insomnia and intense meditation. It was one of the most amazing and peaceful experiences Iíve ever had, something I truly believe Iíll remember on my death bed. If I had died that morning I would have been perfectly content with my life and my place in life. It was utter serenity. My psychedelic experience was...not like that. It was utterly loving mind blowing insane. There is just such a difference between an intellectual understanding of nonduality and actually experiencing nonduality. If you had had the experience I donít think itís possible to overlook it.

Iíll stop talking about this if the thread thinks it off topic, but reading the OP he talks about how in Tibetan Buddhism they use Ďmagicí to try and short cut the enlightenment process, so I was curious as to what the Vajrayana tradition made of psychedelics

Paramemetic
Sep 29, 2003






Fallen Rib

Psychedelics provide altered states and some of those altered states have similarities to some characteristic of enlightenment but they don't deliver the Actual Goods.

I personally think they're fine, do whatever. They're especially useful got illustrating that much of our experience comes from within and that the world we experience is largely about what's going on in our mind and not something that exists outside of us. Dissociatives and deliriants can be useful for that too.

But the states you get from psychedelics don't really approximate the enlightened state as I understand it. They're transient and dependent on breaking faculties and not creating a recognition or accomplishment that persists.

So I personally think they're great for psychologists and psychonauts and philosophers and so on, but they aren't a shortcut to enlightenment. And strictly speaking neither are vajrayana rituals, which facilitate the conditions for liberation happening but don't really skip anything.

The other danger is that the psychonaut can confuse the psychedelic state for the real deal. I know a guy who is super convinced that LSD and shrooms showed him enlightenment. So, when he meditates, he's striving for an experience that resembles when he takes acid. If you're striving for an experience, you're never going to get the real deal. Hell, even when doing meditation, when you get a glimpse, the instruction is usually "okay neat but ignore that and keep meditating normally." It's super easy to get fixated on various experiences and then to grasp for them, but doing so can be a big mistake. So the real danger of psychedelics is thinking that these transient states are like the real deal, and then comparing meditation to the drug experience, and ruining the meditation as a result.

echinopsis
Apr 13, 2004
Probation
Can't post for 6 days!


A Typical Goon posted:

Iíve had a satori experience when completely sober after a particular bout of insomnia and intense meditation. It was one of the most amazing and peaceful experiences Iíve ever had, something I truly believe Iíll remember on my death bed. If I had died that morning I would have been perfectly content with my life and my place in life. It was utter serenity. My psychedelic experience was...not like that. It was utterly loving mind blowing insane. There is just such a difference between an intellectual understanding of nonduality and actually experiencing nonduality. If you had had the experience I donít think itís possible to overlook it.

Iíll stop talking about this if the thread thinks it off topic, but reading the OP he talks about how in Tibetan Buddhism they use Ďmagicí to try and short cut the enlightenment process, so I was curious as to what the Vajrayana tradition made of psychedelics

Thank you for that. I had heard stories of people who have apparently experienced non dualism and walk away with a underwhelmed vibe, this is posited as a reason to avoid showing people nondualism too early.

I wonder if some of that ďmagicĒ is stuff like the pointing out instruction. Iíve heard of a number of ways of attempting this, but nothing obvious occurs. So I assume I am missing it. Iím lead to believe it may initially be experienced as a glimpse, so I also wonder if I am getting it but missing it.

🤷‍♂️

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Herstory Begins Now
Aug 5, 2003


Paramemetic posted:

Psychedelics provide altered states and some of those altered states have similarities to some characteristic of enlightenment but they don't deliver the Actual Goods.

I personally think they're fine, do whatever. They're especially useful got illustrating that much of our experience comes from within and that the world we experience is largely about what's going on in our mind and not something that exists outside of us. Dissociatives and deliriants can be useful for that too.

But the states you get from psychedelics don't really approximate the enlightened state as I understand it. They're transient and dependent on breaking faculties and not creating a recognition or accomplishment that persists.

So I personally think they're great for psychologists and psychonauts and philosophers and so on, but they aren't a shortcut to enlightenment. And strictly speaking neither are vajrayana rituals, which facilitate the conditions for liberation happening but don't really skip anything.

The other danger is that the psychonaut can confuse the psychedelic state for the real deal. I know a guy who is super convinced that LSD and shrooms showed him enlightenment. So, when he meditates, he's striving for an experience that resembles when he takes acid. If you're striving for an experience, you're never going to get the real deal. Hell, even when doing meditation, when you get a glimpse, the instruction is usually "okay neat but ignore that and keep meditating normally." It's super easy to get fixated on various experiences and then to grasp for them, but doing so can be a big mistake. So the real danger of psychedelics is thinking that these transient states are like the real deal, and then comparing meditation to the drug experience, and ruining the meditation as a result.

This is well put. Two other things I would add to this:

1) psychedelics in particular add a great deal of confusion and the overall experience is very muddled in most respects and generally inhibits the ability to perceive the world, even while it strips away the sense of self. That's not to say psychedelics aren't cool or fun or people should never do them, but all the intoxication parts of the experience is just replacing one obscuration of some non-selfed state with another obscuration. It's essentially exchanging one hindrance for another.

2) Drugged states not being the way is one of a handful of things that trace back very directly to Buddha himself and he really was quite extensively clear on that and for how many other points he otherwise was more circumspect or suggested seeing things for oneself, it's notable that he was so emphatic that intoxicants are not a shortcut or even really any part of the path. Anyways that's all to be taken in the context of plenty of people from all over are buddhists and do all kinds of drugs and while, imo, it's not ideal, someone doing some drugs is not going to outweigh an otherwise rightly lived life. I just think it's useful to ponder why that precept against intoxication exists and that it's very much not an accident that it's a precept.

With that said, speaking as someone who did hella psychedelics, yeah they're good for getting you to start asking some good questions about just wtf is the nature of your perceptions, how much does mind or no-mind affect experience, or other similar sorts of questions.

echinopsis posted:

Thank you for that. I had heard stories of people who have apparently experienced non dualism and walk away with a underwhelmed vibe, this is posited as a reason to avoid showing people nondualism too early.

I wonder if some of that ďmagicĒ is stuff like the pointing out instruction. Iíve heard of a number of ways of attempting this, but nothing obvious occurs. So I assume I am missing it. Iím lead to believe it may initially be experienced as a glimpse, so I also wonder if I am getting it but missing it.

🤷‍♂️

For all the elaborate practices and art and imagery and stories or the bhakti-type practices and so on, fundamentally, buddhist practice is by and large extremely mundane, and especially so to an observer unfamiliar with the internal drama, so to speak. It just looks like someone leading their life and, to be fair, that's also what it is. There's often a misconception people have when showing up to buddhist communities that there's some super cool esoteric secret 'good poo poo' that they're holding out on and while it's true that there's some weird stuff that gets held back, all the 'good poo poo' is given free, up front.

Herstory Begins Now fucked around with this message at 03:38 on Nov 18, 2020

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