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Buddha lecture

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Kyriakos, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Due to reasons, i listened to one such lecture today. The lecture itself was nice, apart from one somewhat pompous announcement about possible impending fame of the academic's argument in the book. But for me, who had no idea or interest in buddhism it was certainly informative.
    According to the lecturer the main trait of buddhism is the theory that one gets returned to the world due to karma, and will just stop returning if karma gets depleted.
    What i found interesting is that apparently in most buddhism traditions there is no hope of life after return stops (?). If so i find it strange. I mean it is worse than the person who kills himself to leave life, cause in buddhism you have to reach apathy so as to expect that when you die you will die for good (?).
    Very...ehm...zen ;)

    -if any here are knowledgable re buddhism, i would be interested in reading whether you agree with what that uni professor said in his lecture.
     
  2. Thorgalaeg

    Thorgalaeg Warlord

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    Buddhism:

     
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  3. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Highlander wasnt buddhist ;)
     
  4. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    I would say that at it's core Buddhism begins with the premise that life is suffering and to suffer less one needs to reduce one's attachments to things. the eight fold path is how you do it. All of that is set in the context of reincarnation, where souls are reborn over and over again until the soul escapes from the great wheel of life and death through Nirvana. Buddhism like all religions gets far more complicated and has many varieties, but at it's core it is all about dealing with the suffering that is inherent in the world.
     
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  5. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Warlord

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    Did that professor really say "if karma gets depleted" like fuel ???
     
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  6. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Morose & Lugubrious

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    this. much more important than rebirth or karma or anything. life is suffering (and I mean that in the best way imagineable!).
     
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  7. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Yes suffering in Buddhism is not limited to having hot coals being put on your head but includes a broad definition that encompasses many psychological situations too.
     
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  8. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Morose & Lugubrious

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    “I know what you do for a living, Maxine, I know it’s all ethical trip- wires, and I don’t like to put in. Do I. OK. Listen anyway.” Shawn tells her the Buddhist Parable of the Burning Coal. “Dude is holding this burning-hot coal in his hand, obviously suffering a lot of pain. Somebody comes by—‘Whoa, excuse me, isn’t that a burning-hot coal in your hand, there?’
    “‘Ooh, ooh, ow, man, yes and like, like it really hurts, you know?’
    “‘I can see that. But if it’s making you suffer, why do you keep holding on to it?’
    “‘Well, duh-uhh? ’cause I need to, don’t I—aahhrrgghh!’
    “‘You’re . . . into pain? you’re a nutcase? what is it? Why not just let it go?’
    “‘OK, check it out—can’t you see how beautiful it is? lookit, the way it glows? like, the different colors? and aahhrrhh, **** . . .’
    “‘But carrying it around in your hand like this, it’s giving you third-degree burns, man, couldn’t you like set it down someplace and just look at it?’
    “‘Somebody might take it.’
    “So forth.”
    “So,” Maxine asks, “what happens? He lets go of it?”
    Shawn gives her a nice long stare and with Buddhist precision, shrugs. “He lets go of it, and he doesn’t let go of it.”
    “Uh, huh, I must’ve said something wrong.”
    “Hey. Maybe I said something wrong. Your assignment for next time is to find out which of us, and what.”
     
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  9. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Well, no... He said that karma is understood as weight (iirc he said it literally means 'action') from attachments to things through either fear or wish. He mostly spoke of the older buddhist core text (i forgot its name already :)).
    What i didnt get is what buddha based his estimate on re atachment creating reincarnation. That one seems rather random.
     
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  10. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    You can follow Buddhist principles without knowing or caring about reincarnation. Buddhism had its roots in Hinduism which also uses reincarnation as the context for its dogma. Buddhism was born as a reformation of Hinduism much the way the Protestant Reformation was born out of Catholicism. Many things carried over. Reincarnation was already a firmly established context for life in India when Buddha was alive. The same applies to karma. Buddha's revolution was the reorientation to to life is suffering and and the eight fold path can help you suffer less and eventually free your soul from the endless cycle birth and death and rebirth.
     
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  11. Thorgalaeg

    Thorgalaeg Warlord

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    And then what? You go to Heaven, or Nirvana or whatever? Or you simply cease to exist? Because the later would make the whole buddhist thing a bit depressing.
     
  12. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Within the Buddhist theology physical existence is an illusion, a non permanent state that we experience as life. The great wheel of reincarnation includes the highest gods and lowest demons as well as all people and animals. What is permanent and unchanging is the state of nirvana or release from the suffering of the physical world. The characteristics of Nirvana are dependent upon which school of Buddhism you are talking about. They range from eternal bliss to nothingness. And, different from both Hinduism and western religions, there is no soul that gets life after life. Instead it is the self a more vague term. Buddhism is not a simple religion; it is at least as complicated if not more so, than Christianity. It is older than Christianity by about 500 years. Hinduism goes back even further. The focus of Buddhism today is dong right action to build up the good side of one's karmic balance.
     
  13. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo https://thespacecadetblog.com/

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    I have been interested in Buddhism since I was a kid but I can't accept reincarnation. How easy is it to separate that doctrine from the daily practice of Buddhism? Are there any varieties which do not deal extensively with reincarnation?
     
  14. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    According to the lecturer, most buddhist schools (including the text attributed by tradition to students of the buddha) do not speak at all of gods or existence after death. Some later ones do.

    I still am not identifying the logic behind reincarnation or tieing it to karma etc. But the lecturer/academic did make special focus on presenting why/how buddhism is not a philosophy but a religion.

    Trivia: the first statues of buddha were built in the greek manner, cause prior to contact with alexander 's army and artisans the buddhists did not present statues of their religion 's founder.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  15. yung.carl.jung

    yung.carl.jung Morose & Lugubrious

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    for you, maybe. for me the idea of heaven or hell is inherently depressing.

    similiar to the concept (but much more grand in scope) of greek "ataraxia", which later also carried over into christianity to some degree. asceticist religions are always the best ones.

    also buddhism/hinduism essentially predicted/foreshadowed both existentialism and solipsism. pretty big brained if you ask me.

    excusez moi? why are you looking for "logic" in spirituality? your whole approach will not get you anywhere.

    while yes, many religions are indeed axiomatic systems, they are not axiomatic systems that follow formal logic in any way whatsoever.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  16. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Ok, but it cannot just be random :) it must had had some Iind of at least schematic reasoning
     
  17. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Warlord

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    Religions, philosophical systems, to be succesful, need to offer something valuable for all people, for all societal layers and groups, for all aspects of their lifes, for all stages of their lifes.
    That value can be obedient children for their parents, or obedient citizens for their rullers. It can be the comfort of the miseries of life or it can be the path for development, for a meaning of life, etc for individuals.

    Something valuable for all aspects of life.

    Like for food, shelter, warmth... there is no need for reasoning.

    There is however I think a need for ordening of the chaos, for some guide to predict in the chaos around you, a need for proto explanations, proto reasoning ? from a need how things fits together... where to fit in yourself... in what happens to you and around you.
    But that proto phase does not really need full precision and consistency.
    Our intuitive prediction machine only needs "good enough" precision and consistency. It has to be fast and be able to have ingroup conformity.
    Believe constructs work there much better than reasoning. The little effort needed also convenient.

    The drivers behind re-incarnation (Hindu) could be very, very old. Perhaps from already 70,000 BC when India became populated (and with 50% of the genes of people in India from that group of people as haplogroup research shows... why not already then ?)
    Re-incarnation could be the product of finding a place of our consciousness. "Am I really gone, when my body is dead ?" "Where I am going to be ?"
    Many beliefs do want the spirits of the dead to be at peace, to not to be haunted by them. Burial rituals full from that thought. Re-incarnation finding a solution ?
    IIRC Australian Aboriginals, at least some tribes, hold the belief that when a child dies at birth, the soul of that child will be in your next child when you give it the same name.
    Proto re-incarnation ?
    It fulfills for sure a need of the parents, a comfort in sorrow.

    In the mists of time we can only speculate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  18. Ironsided

    Ironsided Flower of happiness

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    You don’t have to look at Buddhism as a religion. Personally I view most religions as watered down or constricted perversions of their underlying philosophies. You can look at Buddhism more as a philosophy. This way also gives you room for a cognitive effort to shape your own morals in a commonly accepted ethical framework.

    One thing that I have taken from Buddhism is about accepting that our “natural human greed” or “strife to outcompete others” is not only detrimental to others but also to ourselves. If we can “grow up” through meditation or otherwise, that would be a beneficial value. Greed may make machines spin faster but that does not necessarily equal increased “value of life”.
     
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  19. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    according to the professor, buddhism is clealry a religion because it has a self-saving aspect. That in most buddhism the self saving just means end of reincarnation (possibly resulting to complete loss of self?) still does make it distnct from moral philosophy, which deals with life on earth. But according to the lecturer it is also distinct from metaphysical philosophy, due to the specific denial of old/core/most buddhism to accept meaning in thinking about metaphysics (the lecturer mentioned that according to canonic texts buddha himself claimed that there is no point in thinking about a god or other spheres etc).

    @Hrothbern : supposedly the arcaic belief that family members are reincarnated as future family members is why it is so common to see grandchildren named after the grandparent. In archaic times the grandparent would have died by then.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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  20. Truthy

    Truthy Titular character

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    Well, a lot of secular-minded Westerners seem content picking and choosing aspects of Buddhism they like. If your goal is to really study and understand Buddhism, I think that’s a totally wrong mindset that avoids understanding the religion on its own terms. The idea of taking a religion and extracting the philosophical and soterological bits strikes me as very Western and very modern. Buddhist tradition, to my knowledge, was always concerned with many things, including supernatural stuff like reincarnation, heaven and hell, appeasing deities and spirits, using prayer or ritual to create favorable weather or good health. I believe in most places monks didn’t just meditate and study; they performed rituals for laypeople, doing things we’d be tempted to call shamanism or paganism. And even the more monastic stuff developed lots of practices centered around deities like Boddhisatvas. That’s how people thought and saw the world. So yeah, I think if you want to learn about Buddhism, you can get a lot out of it, but I just don’t like the idea of molding ancient beliefs into something they’re not or shoehorning them into a modern outlook. But to be fair, I guess every religious person ever has tried to interpret things to suit their times and needs and that’s just part of how religion works.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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