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I've decided I'm done with beliefs. I need hard evidence or unquestionable logic in order to determine whether anything in Buddhism is true or not.
Karma and reincarnation... Can't confirm their existence. Also, you could argue that these two beliefs were adapted from earlier religions in India.
Therefore, the argument for the existence of karma and reincarnation, in my opinion, has an equal amount of weight as the belief in God and heaven. Or the flying spaghetti monster.
Then, on the other hand, there are parts of Buddhism that can be reasonably verified.
Impermanence and emptiness can be verified as true.
And both can lay the logical basis for compassion.
How can impermanence be verified?
You seen old man walking down the street and you know that will be you one day. All things are impermanent, even you.
How can emptiness be verified?
I prefer the term interbeing to emptiness.
You look at a tree and see it is made up of sunshine, water from the clouds, soil from the earth. Take any one of these away and you don't have a tree. A tree is made of non tree elements.
You are made up of non person elements too.
Thus we can reasonably come to the logical conclusion that emptiness is true.
Reincarnation is not a fundamental Buddhist belief. Buddhists "believe" in rebirth which is completely different. Also it is more of a metaphor then an actual rebirth, and it explains our constantly changing perception of life and how we are a on going process not a Frozen "self".
As for karma, I too am new to this and have up until now regarded it as religious nonsense. It is simply ACTION though. Not some invisible force of justice that is gonna come back around and bite you in the ass. It is simply your actions and how they manifest within you today in the moment. Your karma makes you who you are right now, your karma right now will make you who you are tomorrow. All a process. One moment leads into the next. You can SEE this. Be aware of this and you will soon realise that is is actually our concept of a SELF that is the belief.
@Mingle said: Thanks. What's most difficult about it is the meals, just feels like I'm eating a whole plate full of accessories if you know what I mean.
I would say there's a whole raft (when you think 'raft', think 'Aircraft carrier') of books on recipes for vegetarians. Heck, the Mediterranean diet is a wonderful example of some of the best food in the world without meat (although the Med diet DOES include it).
The Thug books are great, you just have to be able to read past all the 'mudderfukka' comments.... of which I would say there are plenty, and go to make up a sizeable portion of the books...!
If you're looking at vegetables as the side portions, you need to not only get books, but you need to reorganise your mind-set and the way you THINK about food.... which, if you've been eating meat all your life, can be pretty difficult.
Are you becoming vegetarian because it's what you really WANT, or because it's what you guiltily think you OUGHT to be doing?
One will be simple.
The other, a monumental challenge....
Guilt I would say. I first tried being vegetarian because I had this notion that we aren't designed to eat meat so I hada go to see if it would make me healthier. I then started watching all these slaughter house videos just out of curiosity and it was horrific what I saw. My argument against vegetarians had always been "animals kill each other all the time, its nature" (so if you where stuck in a rainforest and you needed to eat I would still see no moral issue with killing an animal). What happens in the slaughter houses though, that's not natural. In nature animals have a chance at life, to risk your own health by hunting and fighting your prey is a great respect to the animal if you ask me. Its either you or them. In a slaughter house though their value is determined by their weight really. None of them have a chance of life (a good one anyway) animals should not have to see their mates get butchered and know that they are next. They should have a purpose that is not simply to be someone's sunday lunch.
Have you seen what they do to male chicks? Straight in the shredder. I know in nature there is probably a high mortality rate in any baby animal but at least they have a chance right? Even if it is slim. It is not natural for us to rob perfectly healthy animals of that chance.
Anyway It turned out I was wrong about us not being designed to eat meat, I can't go back on what I saw though. I have the burden of knowing. I don't push vegetarianism on others, I just do it for myself. I fear it is in vein though because the egg and dairy industry is just as bad and yet they are the focal point of my diet. It is hard though cause I gotta have protein, perhaps in the future I will go full vegan but for now I'm settling for a compromise.
Some folk use the term "animal companion" as oppose to "owing a pet" ...Animal companion does have a better ring to it....
I love insects, over the summer I have mozzie & flea companions ...They are cheap to feed too
I think of my "pets" as companions too. This is why I prefer cats to dogs. I feel guilty pulling an animal around against it's will on a leash and keeping it trapped inside so I feel like a dog is a slave to me. Yet a cat I can let out when she wants to go outside and she is free to do as she will. Which makes it all the nicer when she choses to come back to me.