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Serpent and sword: the failure of many

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Comments

  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    Please go to the god-**** new thread.

  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    @Kerome i was simply trying to see if anyone had any additional information or improvements to my idea, and some people did.

  • 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 March 3

    @ZenSam said:
    Please go to the god-**** new thread.

    As you failed to leave a directive link, I merged the threads. Same subject matter. There's no point in having 2 threads on the same topic.
    And be so good as to mind your language.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Well, the word nirvana originally meant “blown out, extinguished”, and I have read references to the Buddha saying about it that it is the final extinguishment of desire.

    Now samsara is characterised by the Three Poisons, desire, aversion and ignorance. These are also called the “Three Fires” which keep the wheel of samsara turning.

    So with the minor quibble of nirvana and parinirvana, I don’t really see how you could be in nirvana and samsara at the same time.

    Jeffrey
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    Why is the serpent the symbol used for nirvana? My vague knowledge of the Abrahamic religions is that the serpent has a negative connotation. I think I get what you mean by the sword, with the hilt in the absolute and then the blade and point the manifestation in the mundane world. I guess I'm trying to use that analogy and compare it to what is meant by the serpent.

  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran
    edited March 3

    @Kerome said:
    Well, the word nirvana originally meant “blown out, extinguished”, and I have read references to the Buddha saying about it that it is the final extinguishment of desire.

    Now samsara is characterised by the Three Poisons, desire, aversion and ignorance. These are also called the “Three Fires” which keep the wheel of samsara turning.

    So with the minor quibble of nirvana and parinirvana, I don’t really see how you could be in nirvana and samsara at the same time.

    That makes sense to me. When I was talking about living in both at once, I suppose I meant Samsara in the general sense of “the world”, whereas you are defining Samsara more specifically as “worldly suffering” (dukkha). That seems fine to me.

    Perhaps one problem we’re having is that we’re all defining these terms slightly differently, which is understandable because they’re pretty well impossible to define. I think I broadly agree with you @Kerome, and with the original post.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited March 3

    I've heard it said samsara is grasping to self and 'things' as real and nirvana is letting that go of that grasping. This is achieved by seeing or being 'awake'.

    However there is a thing in Mahayana about 'peaceful nirvana' is not the final nirvana and eventually through bodhisattva path one leaves peaceful nirvana and goes into samsara again to help sentient beings. So in a sense you have transcended samsara and peaceful nirvana and have reached final nirvana in due course.

    This is in the Jewel Ornament of Liberation.

    "So these two families, the Hearers and the Solitary Realizers, engage in their respective vehicles and even though they achieve the results of their practices, these results are not the final nirvana. How do they abide when they achieve their fruits? They maintain unafflicted states of meditative concentration, but those states are based on the psychic imprint of ignorance. Since their meditative concentrations are unafflicted, they believe they have achieved nirvana and remain that way.

    If their states are not the final nirvana, then one might argue that the Buddha should not have taught these two paths? Yes. For example suppose great merchants from Jambudvipa are traveling the ocean searching for jewels. After many months at sea, in some desolate place, they become completely tired and exhausted they think, "There is no way to get the jewels now." When they feel discouraged and prepare to turn back, the merchant captain manifests a huge island through his miracle power and lets all his followers rest there. After a few days, when they are fully rested and relaxed, the captain says, "We have not achieved our goal. Now we should go farther to get our jewels."

    Similarly, sentient beings without courage are frightened when they hear about the Buddha's wisdom. They believe attaining Buddhahood is a great hardship and think, "I have no ability to do this." There are other people who are not interested in entering the path, or who enter the path but turn back. To counter these problems, Buddha presented these two paths, and allows them to rest in these states. As said in the White Lotus of Sublime Dharma Sutra:

    Likewise, all the Hearers
    Think that they achieved nirvana,
    But they have not achieved the final nirvana,
    Revealed by the Buddha. They are only resting

    When these Hearers and Solitary Realizers are well rested in those states, Buddha understands this and encourage them to attain Buddhahood. How does Buddha encourage them? He awakens them through his body, speech, and mind.

    "Through wisdom mind" means that light radiates through the Buddha's wisdom and touches the mental bodies of the Hearers and Solitary Realizers. As soon as light reaches them, they arise from their unafflicted meditations. Then the Buddha appears physically in front of them. With his speech he says: Oh you monks! You have not finished your deeds; you have not finished all that you are supposed to do. Your experience of nirvana is not the final nirvana. Now all you monks have to work toward enlightenment. You should attain the realization of the Buddha.

    From the White Lotus of Sublime Dharma Sutra, in verse form:

    You, monks, today I declare:
    You have not achieved the final nirvana.
    In order to achieve the primordial wisdom of the Omniscient One,
    You must cultivate great perseverance.
    Through that, you will achieve the wisdom of the Omniscient One.

    Being motivated but he Buddha in this way, the Hearers and Solitary Realizers cultivate bodhicitta. They practice the bodhisattva's path for limitless kalpas and eventually achieve enlightenment. The Gone to Lanka Sutra relates the same thing. Also the White Lotus of Dharma Sutra says:

    These Hearers have not achieved nirvana.
    By thoroughly practicing the bodhisattva's path,
    They will achieve Buddhahood

    personadamcrossley
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    The way I heard it many years ago was that attaining Nirvana was like freeing oneself from Samsara with your back turned. While attaining full enlightenment or Buddhahood was like being in Nirvana while turned towards Samsara. Meaning one is free from the poisons and has also removed the remaining obscurations preventing omniscience.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Nirvana - Mind turned inwardly recognising its true nature!" (Satisfied)

    Samsara - Mind turned outwardly lost in its projection !" (Unsatisfied)

  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    @person said:
    Why is the serpent the symbol used for nirvana? My vague knowledge of the Abrahamic religions is that the serpent has a negative connotation. I think I get what you mean by the sword, with the hilt in the absolute and then the blade and point the manifestation in the mundane world. I guess I'm trying to use that analogy and compare it to what is meant by the serpent.

    Its because of the Kabbalah, it does not have a negativr context. In kabbalah the serpent is often a positive symbol.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    @ZenSam said:

    @person said:
    Why is the serpent the symbol used for nirvana? My vague knowledge of the Abrahamic religions is that the serpent has a negative connotation. I think I get what you mean by the sword, with the hilt in the absolute and then the blade and point the manifestation in the mundane world. I guess I'm trying to use that analogy and compare it to what is meant by the serpent.

    Its because of the Kabbalah, it does not have a negativr context. In kabbalah the serpent is often a positive symbol.

    Really my question is, why does the Kabbalah use the serpent rather than say, a horse or a mountain? Is it the opposite of the sword where the tail is in Samsara but the head is in Nirvana?

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited March 4

    @ZenSam said:
    @federica and what do say about everything else i said??

    Firstly- dude, chill out and calm down.

    Secondly - I'd appreciate less lashon hora and more trying to understand where you fit in here. You do not enter someone's home and tell them how to live in it.

    Thirdly - this is a Buddhist forum. Kabbalah and Judaism are not teachings applicable.

    Fourthly - your Kabbalah is rusty.

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @person said:

    @ZenSam said:

    @person said:
    Why is the serpent the symbol used for nirvana? My vague knowledge of the Abrahamic religions is that the serpent has a negative connotation. I think I get what you mean by the sword, with the hilt in the absolute and then the blade and point the manifestation in the mundane world. I guess I'm trying to use that analogy and compare it to what is meant by the serpent.

    Its because of the Kabbalah, it does not have a negativr context. In kabbalah the serpent is often a positive symbol.

    Really my question is, why does the Kabbalah use the serpent rather than say, a horse or a mountain? Is it the opposite of the sword where the tail is in Samsara but the head is in Nirvana?

    Because the Sword and the Serpent are forms of Qabalah, not Kabbalah (yes there is a difference). Qabalah is the "bastardised" form of Kabbalah - think Madonna and commercialism whereas Kabblah is the Chassidic mystical form of Judaism traditionally not taught to anyone under 40 and until fairly recently, men only.

    person
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    We have a search engine. ? So for example ...
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/comment/5864#Comment_5864

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited March 4

    To add to that, my opinion - which may be wrong - is that the sword was chosen to represent the masculine pillar of the Tree of Life and the serpent was chosen to represent the feminine (not only because the serpent tempted Chavah/Eve but also to represent intuition and magic (definitely NOT a Jewish concept) pillar of the Tree of Life.

    Although I've read it reversed.

    A bit of background on Kabbalah - there are two pillars in the Tree of Life - one represents Wisdom the other one represents Mercy. There are 10 levels or Keters one works on ascending to reach Ain Sof (endless light) and (re)union with G-d.

    The spelling Qabalah tends to represent the Hermetic version of Kabbalah. This is NOT Jewish at all and I'm guessing this is the form of Kabbalah being discussed.

    personpaulyso
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    Thanks @Kundo for shedding some light.

  • 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

    @Kundo - a Buddhist Jewess to the core. At least she knows what she's talking about. ;)

    Kundo
  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    @kundo wow, really. First i am well aware the sword and serpent is qabbalah, but qabbalah is not basterdized kabbalah and maddona sure as heck aint a qabbalist. Qabbalah is kabbalah in relation to other religious ideas especially hermeticsim . Two i was using kabbalah to illustrate a Buddhist point. Three my kabbalah is not rusty, i recently oiled it.

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited March 4

    @ZenSam said:
    @kundo wow, really. First i am well aware the sword and serpent is qabbalah, bbut qabbalah is not basterdized kabbalahut qabbalah is not basterdized kabbalah and maddona sure as heck aint a qabbalist. Qabbalah is kabbalah in relation to other religious ideas especially hermeticsim . Two i was using kabbalah to illustrate a Buddhist point. Three my kabbalah is not rusty, i recently oiled it.

    If you’re aware, then specify. Use the correct spelling for what you’re saying - Q A B B A L A H.

    but qabbalah is not basterdized kabbalah

    Uh yes it is. For example magic/k is not a Judaic concept.

    Qabbalah is kabbalah in relation to other religious ideas especially hermeticsim

    It is not. Hermeticism today is a mixture of Christian mysticism (Gnosticism), paganism and alchemy. Hermeticism historically was based in the writings of s pagan called Hermes Trismegistus and was heavily influenced by alchemy, the fledgling scientific path and magic back in the 1300’s.

    Kabbalah started as Merkaba from 100BCE to 1000CE and focused on the Book of Ezekiel chapter 1 and was where the Tree of Life with the Sefirots and Keters were established and taught.

    So Qabbalah is way different and only really has the Tree of Life in common with Kabbalah. I may be a Buddhist, but I’m still a Jewess who loves her culture and I still attend Torah classes, Shiurs and study a lot. I also own the Zohar so I’m very familiar with what is and isn’t Kabbalah.

    Again bashing Qabbalah into Buddhists on a Buddhist forum is very poor form.

  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    @Kundo please note i have the much respect for you, as a fellow jew. First of all magikh may actually be found in judaism, yichudim, a lurianic practice seems just like many "magickal" practices. And in the olden days, we used to burn incense to adona, and who nows what rituals were performed in the temple. Also i don't understand what you ment by "it is not" and then bashed hermeticism. Even if hereticism is wrong that does not change that qabbalah was influenced by it. I could rebuke what you said about, but that doesn't matter. I used a qabbalistic idea to illustrate a buddhist idea clearer, i guess i failed in making it clearer. Also kabbalah did NOT begin with merkabah mysticism, true kabbalah goes back to the dawn of time!! And i did not stuff qabbalah down buddhists throats, i used qabbalah to illustrate a Buddhist point!

    And i am also a person who keeps mitzvot, and who reads torah, talmud, zohar, and all other jewish litteriture.

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited March 5

    Since Judaism and even Israelites don’t go back “to the dawn of time”, Kabbalah, Qabbalah, Paganism and religion does not go back that far.

    And I did not bash hermeticism, I just showed that it is NOT Kabbalah. I’m observant myself- this isn’t a competition. You need to step back and relax. I’m not attacking you, I’m highlighting differences between Kabbalah and what you claim is Kabbalah.

  • 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

    @ZenSam said:
    @Kundo please note i have the much respect for you, as a fellow jew. First of all magikh may actually be found in judaism, yichudim, a lurianic practice seems just like many "magickal" practices. And in the olden days, we used to burn incense to adona, and who nows what rituals were performed in the temple. Also i don't understand what you meant by "it is not" and then bashed hermeticism. Even if hereticism is wrong that does not change that qabbalah was influenced by it. I could rebuke what you said about, but that doesn't matter. I used a qabbalistic idea to illustrate a buddhist idea clearer, i guess i failed in making it clearer. Also kabbalah did NOT begin with merkabah mysticism, true kabbalah goes back to the dawn of time!! And i did not stuff qabbalah down Buddhist's throats, i used qabbalah to illustrate a Buddhist point!

    And i am also a person who keeps mitzvot, and who reads torah, talmud, zohar, and all other jewish literature.

    All this knowledge, and no spell checker...

  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    @Kundo according to almost all jewish theologians, Torah goes back to the dawn of time, wouldn't that mean that kabbalah, the soul of the soul of the torah, would go back that far? (please note, I was not angry while writing any of this, I use exclamation points to mark importance!) yes, hermeticism isn't Kabbalah,but qabbalah is very close to Kabbalah. I have studied Kabbalah, lurianic Kabbalah, shabbatean Kabbalah. Hermeticism, and many more mystical traditions, I think I know what I am talking about.

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @ZenSam said:
    @Kundo according to almost all jewish theologians, Torah goes back to the dawn of time, wouldn't that mean that kabbalah, the soul of the soul of the torah, would go back that far? (please note, I was not angry while writing any of this, I use exclamation points to mark importance!) yes, hermeticism isn't Kabbalah,but qabbalah is very close to Kabbalah. I have studied Kabbalah, lurianic Kabbalah, shabbatean Kabbalah. Hermeticism, and many more mystical traditions, I think I know what I am talking about.

    Kabbalah started around 1000BCE. As a Jew, you should know we don’t take anything in assumptions. That’s Torah Class 101. (Ask two Jews for an opinion and get three answers).

    Respectfully, you’ve studied so many paths together, I think you’re transposing your desire for them to be the same over the reality that deep down, they’re not.

    I don’t doubt your sincerity, but I think you’re reaching in this. As such, we’ve come to an impasse.

    Shavau tov
    ????

  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    Shavua tov to you

    You know, I wonder if anyone who isn't a Jew saw this. They would probably think we're nuts ;)

  • 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 March 6

    @ZenSam said:
    Shavua tov to you

    You know, I wonder if anyone who isn't a Jew saw this. They would probably think we're nuts ;)

    Another assumption. Anyone who isn't Jewish is practically every other member of this forum.
    I for one can vouch that @Kundo isn't.
    Passionate? Opinionated? Erudite? Articulate?
    Yes.
    Nuts?
    Nope.

    As for you; you have come in a bit like a bull in a china shop, and sought to tell us like it is, when pretty much all of us are quite contented with our lot, thanks very much.
    You blasting in here all guns blazing and bombastic, directing us to a JewBu medley of views and opinions is frankly a little bit rude, actually, and I may be wrong but it is a little bit 'in your face ' and presumptuous an approach.
    I hate to say it, but your opinions really haven't made a single jot of difference to my mindset or direction.
    If you practise in that way, though, I hope, and am glad, that it works for you.

    Kerome
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    To me the main question is, does @ZenSam’s vision of Kabbalah applied to Buddhism hold water, or is he trying to make a square peg fit a round hole? From the definitions of samsara and nirvana it seems like it is the latter, and the whole question is likely to just confuse people without adding any insight.

    federicalobster
  • 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

    Yes, I am inclined to agree, particularly in light also of the informative responses provided by @Kundo ....

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I hate to say it, but your opinions really haven't made a single jot of difference to my mindset or direction.

    As a descendant of the original Big Cheeses/Jesus - Edam and Lileth and barely Kosher, I likes to hear about Gab-bala and similar ...
    http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/22457/dharma-covenant-for-jews

    OY MANI PEME HUM o:)

    Kundo
  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    Nothing about my post was kabbalistic, I used a kabbalistic device, sword and serpent to prove a strictly buddhist point.

    I think thi thread had 2 main problems 1,everyone got sidetracked, 2 y'all didn't focus on my actual point, and instead tried to rebuke by attaking a small metaphorical device. I couldve made the EXACT same point without kabbalah, okay. (also if you read farther you would find that qbaalah isn't basterdized Kabbalah, slightly different, yes)

    I'm sick of this thread, is there a way to delete it. :(

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @ZenSam threads aren’t deleted. Mods close them if requested.

  • 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 March 6

    @ZenSam said:... I couldve made the EXACT same point without kabbalah, okay.

    Given that this is a Buddhist forum, it might have been better if you had...

    @Kundo said: @ZenSam threads aren’t deleted. Mods close them if requested.

    ...Or just sink 'em...

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