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Bodhi of Christ

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited June 18 in Faith & Religion

Many of us were brought up as Christians or worse ... :surprised:
No doubt that is uncharitable. However many become atheists, nihilists or trekkies because their Buddhist from child upbringing provided little functional spiritual skills ...

Religion in itself is dependent on the depth of enquiry. That is why Christian mysticism is as deep as any path of revelation. As this is a Buddhist forum, the work of Meister Ekhart is often considered relevant ...

Just as I cherry pick my dharma, I remind myself of the good in Christ. For example:

Be humble
Be compassionate (a possible translation of sympathy through mourning)
Live simply (a possible translation of meek)
Be ethical (a possible translation of righteous)
Be merciful
Be pure of heart
Be a peacemaker
Do not live in fear to do what is right
Be an example to others (“the light of the world”)
Do not murder (the Buddhist First Precept)
Do not commit adultery (The Buddhist Third Precept)
Sin is not only found in action but in intention (the Buddhist concept of volitional action creating karma)
Keep your promises (The Buddhist Fourth Precept)
Turn the other cheek (The Buddhist concept of compassion or karuna)
Do charity because it is in your heart to do so (the concept of dana)
Do not judge (The Buddhist concept of the three poisons: hatred, greed and delusion)
Always be seeking and questioning ("seek and you will find .. ")
Beware of false prophets and judge them by the fruit they bear (the sutta of the Kalamas)
https://appliedbuddhism.com/2010/08/18/can-you-be-a-buddhist-christian/

So Easter? Christ dies! Ay caramba!
Can Christ help Christians? Buddhists? Just irrelevant? Too hard/unrealistic?

Dhammikaherberto
«1

Comments

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited April 6

    Much of the good stuff is in there, certainly, but Buddhism seems better organized, more coherent, easier to enter. It's got a raft, you know, and you can actually see it and get on it and start paddling.

    Christianity seems more like a pile of twigs and branches, some of which seem to be useless, and no rope to tie them all together. Have to make your own rope, I guess, and someone has to tell you that it can be done - perhaps that was my problem with Christianity - no guidance worth mentioning, and the focus seemed to be on the useless materials.

    Meister Eckhart may be the only Christian writer I've gotten anything very significant out of, but I haven't read all that many, either - I suppose I got tired of digging through the detritus looking for something solid.

    lobsterKeromeherbertoNadlatst
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @Fosdick said:
    Much of the good stuff is in there, certainly, but Buddhism seems better organized, more coherent, easier to enter.

    Indeed that possibility is more present for Western Buddhists who have cherry picked teachings.

    Having studied the internal Christ, I find value in the inward teachings
    I was not offered the very pragmatic teachings of Evelyn Underhill, I had to seek and find them
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Underhill
    The Cloud of Unknowing and many great inner teachings are not readily promoted ...

    Plus I feel Easter Eggs invented by the Pagans is worth exploring. Especially the empty ones ...

    herberto
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited April 6

    @Fosdick said:> Meister Eckhart may be the only Christian writer I've gotten anything very significant out of, but I haven't read all that many, either - I suppose I got tired of digging through the detritus looking for something solid.

    Yes, there are a few interesting bits, though I find them difficult to decipher. I used to do "silent worship" with the Quakers, which is like sitting in silence and waiting to connect with the "God within" ( or something ).

    herberto
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I'm still reading Living Buddha, Living Christ by our good friend Thich Nhat Hanh. It's an interesting book that shows a whole series of cross-over points in the respective lore, and a number of encounters between the writer and Christians.

    In particular I find it curious that he says that the Holy Spirit is the best point to truly approach Christianity from the perspective of a Buddhist.

    Enfin, I'm not that connected to Christianity, and so this part of my reading is more to join up the dots between current buddhistic leaning and the Christianity of my grandparents. The religion of my parents is more Osho, who was very all inclusive and often spoke about Buddhism as well.

  • yagryagr Veteran

    I found reconciliation with Christianity through the line: Christ is the Truth, the ....

    I'm good with seeking truth, in which case, according to the above line, I'm seeking Christ. I found a truth that is more easily digestible in Buddhism, hence I'm Buddhist...and maybe Christian too. I don't know, don't much care at this point either but I've explained it like this to those who care about such things as my eternal 'soul': I have never called myself a Christian, I've never had anyone mistake me for a Christian, but I think Christ might call me one.

    KannonherbertoNadlatst
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @lobster said:

    Many of us were brought up as Christians or worse ... :surprised:
    No doubt that is uncharitable. However many become atheists, nihilists or trekkies because their Buddhist from child upbringing provided little functional spiritual skills ...

    Religion in itself is dependent on the depth of enquiry. That is why Christian mysticism is as deep as any path of revelation. As this is a Buddhist forum, the work of Meister Ekhart is often considered relevant ...

    Just as I cherry pick my dharma, I remind myself of the good in Christ. For example:

    Be humble
    Be compassionate (a possible translation of sympathy through mourning)
    Live simply (a possible translation of meek)
    Be ethical (a possible translation of righteous)
    Be merciful
    Be pure of heart
    Be a peacemaker
    Do not live in fear to do what is right
    Be an example to others (“the light of the world”)
    Do not murder (the Buddhist First Precept)
    Do not commit adultery (The Buddhist Third Precept)
    Sin is not only found in action but in intention (the Buddhist concept of volitional action creating karma)
    Keep your promises (The Buddhist Fourth Precept)
    Turn the other cheek (The Buddhist concept of compassion or karuna)
    Do charity because it is in your heart to do so (the concept of dana)
    Do not judge (The Buddhist concept of the three poisons: hatred, greed and delusion)
    Always be seeking and questioning ("seek and you will find .. ")
    Beware of false prophets and judge them by the fruit they bare (the sutta of the Kalamas)
    https://appliedbuddhism.com/2010/08/18/can-you-be-a-buddhist-christian/

    So Easter? Christ dies! Ay caramba!
    Can Christ help Christians? Buddhists? Just irrelevant? Too hard/unrealistic?

    The teachings of Jesus can surely help but I've never been fond of this Christ business. I do prefer to celebrate the coming of spring this time of year as I admit to finding the whole Christian concept of Easter confusing.

    Celebrating the birth of Jesus on Christmas can easily be incorporated into the way I have come to celebrate that time of year but celebrating his execution and the birth of a zombie Jesus just doesn't make sense to me. And what does that say about the supposed sacrifice?

    The Jesus I can envision lived for us and was killed due to ignorance. That he came back from the dead just takes away from the meat of his words.

    herbertoNadlatst
  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran

    I agree @karasti and this is and has always been my issue with religion. The teachings are insightful and interesting but when you see the practice from Christians, something that Buddhists hold near and dear, it's lacking something extremely important. It is almost as if they don't understand what they are being taught or what they are reading.

    lobster
  • HozanHozan Veteran

    Unfortunately the scandals of the catholic church in ireland have made christianity a no go zone for me. Child abuse, misogyny, homophobia to name but a few problems. A shame that the power and corruption of the mens club in the vatican turns people away from the pure core of christianity which obviously has such a good message. Just because christianity isnt for me doesnt mean i dont completely respect the good origins of it. As for the vatican and the power and the corruption and the abuse, no thank you. A shame also that the original message of christianity has been warped to promote judgement, fear and sin. Those concepts dont sit well with me.

    Nadlatst
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @Hozan I agree, but I've found it helpful to keep that within Catholicism as a system. I found I had to, because Buddhism has many abuses similar to Catholicism in its history, as well, and I found I could not reconcile condemning all of Christianity due to the corrupt system that is the Catholic church yet remain a full-fledged Tibetan Buddhist practitioner. Accepting the teachings as valid doesn't have to mean accepting the crap that comes with the label of religion.

    HozandhammachickNadlatst
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    IMHO when it comes to Buddhism & Christianity ....Never the twain shall meet They are worlds apart.....

    Nadlatst
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Not sure what your point is? There is value to understanding the tenents of many religions, it helps greatly with understanding of the world and its people. That doesn't mean you have to adopt them all. Even agreeing that they make good points doesn't have to be in conflict with Buddhism (or anything else). Some people manage to make both work. Whatever works for them, doesn't affect my practice whatsoever. I don't practice Christianity. Just Buddhism, and perhaps a little Paganism that fits in nicely (or could be considered a broader part of Buddhism depending how you choose to view it). But I do believe the basis of what Christ taught was pretty good stuff for the most part. It's not his limited teachings I take issue with. It's the human interpretation of them.

    HozanNadlatst
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Shoshin said:
    IMHO when it comes to Buddhism & Christianity ....Never the twain shall meet They are worlds apart.....

    That tells me that you have insufficient knowledge of either.

    If HHDL, Thomas Merton, Jim Pym and TNH can find things to reconcile one with the other, what makes you so expert...?! :angry:

    dhammachickNadlatst
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Thanks guys, appreciate your perspective <3 I just had a couple of hot cross buns with butter and a cup of tea. No Buddha Wheel buns in the shop ... yet ... ;)

    Meanwhile ... 'Grace' is a special state of awareness that Christian Mysics enter. Perhaps most similar to Samadhi or intense mindfulness for Buddhists. Self goes.
    http://www.jesusjazzbuddhism.org/a-different-view-of-jesus.html

    herberto
  • HozanHozan Veteran

    @karasti said:
    @Hozan I agree, but I've found it helpful to keep that within Catholicism as a system. I found I had to, because Buddhism has many abuses similar to Catholicism in its history, as well, and I found I could not reconcile condemning all of Christianity due to the corrupt system that is the Catholic church yet remain a full-fledged Tibetan Buddhist practitioner. Accepting the teachings as valid doesn't have to mean accepting the crap that comes with the label of religion.

    Wise words @karasti :)

  • techietechie India Veteran

    @federica said:

    @Shoshin said:
    IMHO when it comes to Buddhism & Christianity ....Never the twain shall meet They are worlds apart.....

    That tells me that you have insufficient knowledge of either.

    If HHDL, Thomas Merton, Jim Pym and TNH can find things to reconcile one with the other, what makes you so expert...?! :angry:

    What's the proof that they are right? Maybe they are all wrong. Is that possible? Or because they are famous people, they ought to be right no matter what?

    Nadlatst
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited April 9

    @techie, you miss my point completely. Quelle surprise....

    Right or wrong about what, exactly?

    'Famous' isn't the point.
    Expert is more appropriate.
    Unless you wish to argue that, as a practising Buddhist, you're more 'expert' than they are....

    Nadlatst
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Is there really a right or wrong with this, @techie? I think holding staunch views of one religion versus another and an insistence that one is right over the other is the cause of a large portion of the world's problems. It's how churches in Egypt were attacked today. But holding views that it's us vs them and only one can be right in the end.

    Nadlatst
  • techietechie India Veteran

    @karasti said:
    Is there really a right or wrong with this, @techie? I think holding staunch views of one religion versus another and an insistence that one is right over the other is the cause of a large portion of the world's problems. It's how churches in Egypt were attacked today. But holding views that it's us vs them and only one can be right in the end.

    You are free to reconcile Buddhism with Christianity.
    Others are free to see both religions as distinct, unique, and beautiful in their own way - and therefore no reconciliation is necessary.

    Live and let live, that's all I am saying.

    Shoshin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    That's not how it came across at all.
    It's not a question of right or wrong, or even, if you like, trying to reconcile one with the other.
    It's more a case of respecting the individual viewpoints and seeing the similarities in the messages of both men. No Reconciliation is necessary. It's as plain as a pikestaff they were both coming from the same direction.... How can you reconcile that which is already linked?

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Can Christ help Christians? Yes (he wouldn't be doing his job if he couldn't ...for Christ's sake _)... Buddhists? Some (_those that way inclined)... Just irrelevant? For many(no interest)..Too hard/unrealistic? Time waster (better things to think about) :)

  • techietechie India Veteran

    @federica said:
    That's not how it came across at all.
    It's not a question of right or wrong, or even, if you like, trying to reconcile one with the other.
    It's more a case of respecting the individual viewpoints and seeing the similarities in the messages of both men. No Reconciliation is necessary. It's as plain as a pikestaff they were both coming from the same direction.... How can you reconcile that which is already linked?

    That's your view, that's all. Others are free to have theirs.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    As we know, Noble Silence (turning the other cheek) is the way to overcome the petty squabbles in our mind, Sangha, or other attempts at following the Right Way.

    Perhaps it is whether we follow our precepts, Son of God, Last Prophet, Dalai Trump (bad lobster) or our internal compass.

    I would suggest the ability to broaden our discernment does not mean we need a label such as Shamanic-Tibetan Buddhist, Ultra Theravadin, Buddhist with Christ bits or [insert egoic name call] etc.

    Christ Be With You. Buddha more So.
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/22/buddhists-easter

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    :)

  • 33_333_3 Veteran
    edited June 15

    I lived with Christian guilt for 50 of my 63 years. I was raised Presbyterian and learned to make paper airplanes out of offering envelopes and threw them from the church balcony.
    Church and the sermons made no sense. In late 69-73 I became a causality of the Jesus movement (US only?). I tried for yrs to be saved, etc. What was I suppose to ask for??

    During that time I got into George Harrison's solo records ... I felt a higher power touching me and opened me to Eastern practices and images.

    Also in 1970 Andwella's "World's End" referenced what seemed to be the same Lord...

    "I sing to you with no shoes on my feet ain't nobody in this world I'd rather be...but before my day is here gonna listen to the people that makes it the world's end..."

    https://youtu.be/nAIyA7xHEls

    Kannon
  • KannonKannon NAMU AMIDA BUTSU Ach-To Veteran

    @33_3 What a great song, just took a listen. Thanks for sharing

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @David said:
    I can't even reconcile the teachings of Jesus with Christianity

    I think that's a very good point. Jesus as the pivotal figure in Christianity has always seemed at odds with the doctrine of the church, where the one is about loving ones neighbour and the other seems very concerned with original sin.

    There are certain coinciding areas with Buddhism though - in Buddhism too we start off afflicted, although by ignorance, desire and anger. I've been reading Thich Nhat Hanh's Living Buddha, Living Christ and finding that a quite interesting comparison.

    Nadlatst
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited June 15

    @vinlyn said:

    @Kerome said:

    @David said:
    I can't even reconcile the teachings of Jesus with Christianity

    I think that's a very good point. Jesus as the pivotal figure in Christianity has always seemed at odds with the doctrine of the church, where the one is about loving ones neighbour and the other seems very concerned with original sin.

    There are certain coinciding areas with Buddhism though - in Buddhism too we start off afflicted, although by ignorance, desire and anger. I've been reading Thich Nhat Hanh's Living Buddha, Living Christ and finding that a quite interesting comparison.

    But here's my viewpoint: I can be a Buddhist and still be open to ideas from other religions. A good idea is a good idea, no matter who comes up with it.

    I can learn from Buddha's teachings.
    I can learn from Christ's teachings.
    I can learn from many people.

    In principle yes, but there is a question of teachings interfering with each other, or at least having to be seen in the right context.

    Take Christ's message of loving your neighbour. Seen by the standard western mind you could interpret that as bearing your neighbour the same love you bear your wife, your child, your favourite brother... but from a Buddhist point of view these loves all contain an element of attachment.

    So a Buddhist accepting Christs message is more likely to view his neighbour with loving kindness, rather than a western kind of love. He or she will see it in a different context than an average Christian. That's why I see Buddhism as a more useful beginners religion than Christianity.

    As the (biblical?) saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Which have been subverted by greed, delusion and other less-than-clear emotions.

    David
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    Some of the Christian mystics speak of disinterested love.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @vinlyn said:

    @Kerome said:

    @David said:
    I can't even reconcile the teachings of Jesus with Christianity

    I think that's a very good point. Jesus as the pivotal figure in Christianity has always seemed at odds with the doctrine of the church, where the one is about loving ones neighbour and the other seems very concerned with original sin.

    There are certain coinciding areas with Buddhism though - in Buddhism too we start off afflicted, although by ignorance, desire and anger. I've been reading Thich Nhat Hanh's Living Buddha, Living Christ and finding that a quite interesting comparison.

    But here's my viewpoint: I can be a Buddhist and still be open to ideas from other religions. A good idea is a good idea, no matter who comes up with it.

    I can learn from Buddha's teachings.
    I can learn from Christ's teachings.
    I can learn from many people.

    In principle yes, but there is a question of teachings interfering with each other, or at least having to be seen in the right context.

    Take Christ's message of loving your neighbour. Seen by the standard western mind you could interpret that as bearing your neighbour the same love you bear your wife, your child, your favourite brother... but from a Buddhist point of view these loves all contain an element of attachment.

    So a Buddhist accepting Christs message is more likely to view his neighbour with loving kindness, rather than a western kind of love. He or she will see it in a different context than an average Christian. That's why I see Buddhism as a more useful beginners religion than Christianity.

    Personally, I think it's more people interfering with the paths rather than the teachings themselves.

    YMMV of course.

    Hozanvinlyn
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Kerome said: .....Take Christ's message of loving your neighbour. Seen by the standard western mind you could interpret that as bearing your neighbour the same love you bear your wife, your child, your favourite brother...

    I hate to say it, but I think you greatly underestimate the 'standard Western Mind' and its understanding of this message.

    As an ex-catholic, I was never under the impression that this is what loving my neighbour meant, and it's not the way the Church either taught, or teaches this lesson.

    As we have discussed on this forum before, 'Love' has many different meanings.

    But taking your supposition, the 'Standard Western Mind' would therefore also consider Love of chocolate and doughnuts as being the same as loving our neighbour/loving our wife, child or favourite brother - which is patently not true at all.

    Are you therefore talking about everyone's 'standard Western Mind' - or just yours....?

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    @federica said:

    @Kerome said: .....Take Christ's message of loving your neighbour. Seen by the standard western mind you could interpret that as bearing your neighbour the same love you bear your wife, your child, your favourite brother...

    I hate to say it, but I think you greatly underestimate the 'standard Western Mind' and its understanding of this message.

    As an ex-catholic, I was never under the impression that this is what loving my neighbour meant, and it's not the way the Church either taught, or teaches this lesson.

    As we have discussed on this forum before, 'Love' has many different meanings.

    But taking your supposition, the 'Standard Western Mind' would therefore also consider Love of chocolate and doughnuts as being the same as loving our neighbour/loving our wife, child or favourite brother - which is patently not true at all.

    Are you therefore talking about everyone's 'standard Western Mind' - or just yours....?

    Very well stated!

    One thing I see with some converts to Buddhism is a sort of backlash against Christianity. And when I see that, I am always reminded of Gandhi's comment: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” A bit too much of an all-encompassing statement, I think, but nevertheless instructive. That's one reason that if I do look at Christian writings, it's usually only at the "Jefferson Bible"; I don't want all the baggage that has been added on by others.

    And this reminds me that I need to go back and reread "Living Buddha, Living Christ".

    I wonder how dismissive Buddha would be of Christ. I have a hunch that he wouldn't be very dismissive.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 15

    (At the risk of being labelled a pedant - and it wouldn't be the first time ! - it's actually not clearly documented anywhere, that Gandhi actually said that.... But I would understand it if he had....)

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @federica said:

    @Kerome said: .....Take Christ's message of loving your neighbour. Seen by the standard western mind you could interpret that as bearing your neighbour the same love you bear your wife, your child, your favourite brother...

    As an ex-catholic, I was never under the impression that this is what loving my neighbour meant, and it's not the way the Church either taught, or teaches this lesson.

    I've never been taught this lesson by a Christian priest. But if you're not supposed to apply the context of how you love other people in your life, then how do they explain this saying of Christ?

    the 'Standard Western Mind' would therefore also consider Love of chocolate and doughnuts as being the same as loving our neighbour/loving our wife, child or favourite brother - which is patently not true at all.

    Loving people and loving things are patently not the same.

    Are you therefore talking about everyone's 'standard Western Mind' - or just yours....?

    My mind is not a standard western mind, I got eastern philosophy in steady doses from age 7.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Kerome said: I've never been taught this lesson by a Christian priest. But if you're not supposed to apply the context of how you love other people in your life, then how do they explain this saying of Christ?

    It was explained to us in very much the same way as Buddhists understand it.

    Love means different things in different contexts. Loving your neighbour is not taught in the same context as loving your spouse.
    Frankly, it's common sense, and i'm not sure why you'd find fault, or seek to criticise it, if you've never been party to the same understanding of a Standard Western Mind.

    It's not advisable or skilful to pigeon-hole people in that way, if, by your own confession, you don't actually subscribe to their way of thinking.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I would say that any human's understanding of loving other humans begins with love of one's mother, and then expands to other members of the family and spouses/lovers. For many people it stops there.

    So if you are supposed to love your neighbour, it makes sense to love him as if he was a member of your family, your context for loving humans. You can't love him as if he was a doughnut or a pet, or something abstract, after all.

    It all comes back to context, our minds are built on ever expanding structures of learned context for what we perceive.

    Please don't take this the wrong way - the idea of a standard western mind is only a convenient shorthand, although you can't work in marketing without it.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    I recall Anwar Sadat once pointing out that human beings have a natural tendency to look more for how we differ, than what we share.

    Yesterday was my first day tutoring 2 Thai monks in English. Very good and interesting experience. We just worked on nouns and pronouns (the latter of which is significant for Thais, because Thai pronouns seem to rarely be gender specific, as in "Oh, look at her", and it's a man). Without thinking at one point I used an idiom, and they just looked at me like what the heck are you talking about? And I thought, oh gee, I've got to work on idioms, too. My point being that as we look at religions outside of how we self-identify, we need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. In this past winter of pneumonia, I came to realize that I am not sort of 50-50 Buddhist-Christian. I am far more on the Buddhist side of things, but that doesn't mean that I have to throw the baby out with the bath water. A good teaching, a good principle (from a good principal), is good no matter who is teaching it. In fact, I think it's helpful to analyze teachings in light of other teachings.

    Keromekarasti
  • HozanHozan Veteran

    I am following the Path of Buddha before Buddhism. Nothing supernatural comes near. My own Path. My own Responsibility.
    The reason I dislike the word Religion is because most of them have taken on unneccessary baggage and dogma and supernatural extras over the centuries and millenia. Thats why I am so much looking forward to reading The Buddha before Buddhism @DhammaDragon .
    Please don't mistake what I have just posted. I respect all religions and peoples right to follow any one or follow none at all.
    My own personal take is that the Buddha was an agnostic. So even though I am Buddhist, to me that isnt a religion or my religion - it is my Path and way of life.
    I suppose I am an agnostic buddhist really...and Irish...and left handed... and.....all just labels....😉😉

    KannonvinlynDhammaDragon
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I wasn't raised Catholic, but Lutheran. I pretty much determined by age 7 that it wasn't for me, at least not how i was being taught. I still had to go through confirmation etc and didn't stop going to church until I was around 16 or so and told my mom she'd have to physically force me to go. So, my memory is skewed by a kid/teen mind, FWIW.

    But I don't recall once. As in not ever. Being taught via religion class, confirmation class, sermon or vacation bible school, ever focusing on the idea of loving your neighbor. Our focus was almost always only on yourself and doing what you had to do to save yourself so you could be with your loved ones in heaven. That was always the main goal, and everything else was how to achieve that. Loving people was reserved for those like you. Not everyone. Most certainly not people very different from you. And most of all, you loved God and Jesus. More than yourself. More than your parents. More than anything, because loving God meant obeying God which meant not being separated from your loved ones when you all died.

    Now my understanding of what the man Jesus taught is very different. I am grateful for a better understanding. But from what I see here, the churches do not teach it any differently than they did when I was a kid. My son is 8 and has been told by classmates that if you don't believe in God you will go to hell. That is what they are learning. Including treating people different from them poorly because they do not go to their church. They are not taught "love your neighbor" by their church. The school tries, and the parents resist frequently on a religious basis. So, there's that. Every time it comes up that "we are going to support this different child and here is how we will teach it in school" religious parents remove their children from the school.

    Love your neighbor had no meaning to me until I found Buddhism. I had to learn it in reverse to understand Christianity. Because their teachers (in my experience) are awful at teaching their own subject. As someone else said, and I whole-heartedly agree, I can't reconcile the teachings of Jesus with Christianity either. That said, friends I know who are in Universalist churches seem to have the closest comparison I can grasp with what Jesus actually taught.

    Kannon
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 15

    @Kerome said:
    I would say that any human's understanding of loving other humans begins with love of one's mother, and then expands to other members of the family and spouses/lovers. For many people it stops there.

    You would say. Can't think of anyone I know who 'would say' the same.

    So, it seems to me as if you're saying that if our initial understanding of love stems from loving one's mother, then by that principle, as a man, (if you fail to shift that thought-pattern) you'd be considering an incestuous type of love with a woman.

    No. I don't think so....
    We learn the differences between different kinds of love, long before any religious instruction comes into play.
    I remember my daughters discussing this with me.
    I know my daughters loved me, and they attempted to explain how their love for their grandparents was equally evident but different. And they were young then.

    So if you are supposed to love your neighbour, it makes sense to love him as if he was a member of your family, your context for loving humans. You can't love him as if he was a doughnut or a pet, or something abstract, after all.

    I'm not sure where you are going with this, or even what you're trying to say or establish.
    Why would anyone require some kind of religious influence or teaching to understand this?

    It all comes back to context, our minds are built on ever expanding structures of learned context for what we perceive.

    Well, let's tackle this perception, shall we? Let's actually look at the instruction, about loving thy neighbour, as described, Biblically.

    Matthew 22, 36-40.

    Jesus' words, according to the Standard American Bible version are: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

    (It's the first one that came up in the search. Every other passage I've read, in English, says very much the same thing).

    And Buddhism, when describing the attainment of the 4 Sublime States, instructs:

    Loving-kindness is the first of a series of meditations that produce four qualities of love: Friendliness (metta), Compassion (karuna), Appreciative Joy (mudita) and Equanimity (upekkha). The quality of 'friendliness' is expressed as warmth that reaches out and embraces others....The practice always begins with developing a loving acceptance of yourself. If resistance is experienced then it indicates that feelings of unworthiness are present.

    This is very much in line with what Jesus taught.
    So I think, in my opinion, you might need to address that perception of yours... ;)

    vinlyn
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    Sometimes you encounter a person, and even though your explanation and concepts are elegant, they refuse to take hold :)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited June 15

    Tell me about it....! :D What is it you refuse to 'take hold' of? More importantly, ask yourself why.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran
    edited June 15

    I would encourage you to look more deeply, into the origins of love and the nature of it.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I haven't not taken hold of anything.
    I don't think you can substantiate your argument any longer, given the references I've provided, and I am having no problem taking hold of both the biblical and the Buddhist instruction.
    So I think you'll find the one practising digging his heels in and being intransigent (and incapable of backing up your rationale) - is you.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    Whereas I look at your refutation and arguments and see them as being full of holes. I'm not digging my heels in, I just don't find it necessary to restate my position when your cup seems to be overflowing.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Well, please be kind enough to point me to the 'full of holes' you perceive.... If there are holes to be filled, I'd be happy to see if I can fill them.

    I'm fairly accommodating.... ;)

    Nadlatst
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