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God without chips

lobsterlobster Veteran
edited September 2014 in Faith & Religion

From a discontinued thread:

Isn't 'transformation' in a positive way what we're after? I've been analysing why it works for me to ask myself "Where is God in this?" when I'm faced with anything I'm aversive to. I find the question easy to ask.

It is working for you. That is skilful IMHO.

I often ask a similar question. 'What transcends Cod and chips?'

In dharma we often have to, though it is not essential, overcome indoctrination rather than experiential resonance with the god realm. We might have to leave to one side, ignore as a non essential or actively ridicule our former attachment.

Is god a chip on our shoulder, probably one of many or as is the more usual stance in dharma a non essential?
:hiding: .

Toshyagr
«1

Comments

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited September 2014

    What you can do is order a double portion of chips without the fish, that's a meal in itself and very satisfying. Nice bit of salt and vinegar, but go easy on the ketchup. You could even have curry sauce if you want to spice it up a bit.

    Tosh
  • The word 'God' carries with it so much cultural baggage and different understandings that for most, it'd be no good.

    I guess when faced with an aversive situation, which to be fair happens frequently, I could use "Where's the Buddha's omniscient mind in all of this?" but 'God' is only three-letters long, and I'm lazy.

    The neurons it seems to fire are the ones that go looking for something positive to be mindful about, rather than being mindful of the negative.

  • And getting back to earlier discussion, I think it was Kenneth McCloud (? a well known Buddhist teacher) who spoke about re-naming the 'placebo effect' because of the negative connotations that has. He said something about people just say, "Oh, that's the placebo effect!" as if it was something wishy washy, but he reckons it was very powerful phenomena and should be called (something like) a 'self empowerment mental process'.

    lobsterEarthninjaJeffrey
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited September 2014

    Yes, the words we use are very important. Experimenting with new words might be easier than you think though. The possibilities are endless.

    Earthninja
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    What you can do is order a double portion of chips without the fish, that's a meal in itself and very satisfying. Nice bit of salt and vinegar, but go easy on the ketchup. You could even have curry sauce if you want to spice it up a bit.

    I personally shun the G-word, so I'll settle for plain chips in my serving without the G.
    Thank you.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited September 2014

    Sure you don't want curry sauce with your chips? Or a nice portion of mushy peas? Or a deep-fried mars bar? ;)

    Jeffrey
  • "Oh, that's the placebo effect!"

    Powerful stuff as you mention.

    In magical dharma such as Tantra, we invoke and dismiss 'personifications of abstractions'. In other words we pray to an idealisation and visual representation of a quality. The deity has a very real effect on our behaviour. Skilful? I think so. For everyone? No.

    Earthninja
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited September 2014

    @lobster said:
    From a discontinued thread:
    I often ask a similar question. 'What transcends Cod and chips?'

    Man, that takes me back to when I was stationed in Ipswich. Those fish-and-chip dinners from the local Paki ran place were wonderful, and found only in England. Hot and greasy and loaded with vinegar...yum.

    Anyway, one of the interesting experiments in linguistics I observed was when I joined a little Unitarian Universalist church in Florida for a few years. They were attempting to come up with their own language to express the divine, God, spirituality, prayer, etc. Half the people didn't even like calling the UU a religion or the little dome they met at a church. The feminists wanted to make our language gender neutral, etc. Don't know if it went anywhere. My contribution was to tell them instead of reinventing language, just redefine the words.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @Cinorjer said:

    My contribution was to tell them instead of reinventing language, just redefine the words.

    The problem with that approach is it creates an internal group jargon, which can be unintelligible to newcomers.

  • @SpinyNorman said:
    The problem with that approach is it creates an internal group jargon, which can be unintelligible to newcomers.

    Alas, I think you're right.

    Earthninja
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    I often pick apart certain religions but I try my hardest not to do so externally. It doesn't always work because in all honesty I find some religious teachings to be at the least irresponsible and at worst downright dangerous.

    When something like God is essential, I think it best to examine the intent behind the reasoning.

    Many rely on God for their morality and I've heard more people say that if there is no God then there is nothing to stop us from ripping at each others throats than I care to.

    I do see reasoning and logic behind the idea that there is a universal intelligence at work that is becoming aware one aspect at a time. That being said I do not think there is a first cause or an external deity that dictates morality.

    Is this essential?

    I doubt it but doing what is essential for me affirms the idea daily so I don't think it is a waste of time. It's good exercise and it's fun but I push it away if it pops up during meditation.

    Cinorjer
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @ourself said:
    Many rely on God for their morality and I've heard more people say that if there is no God then there is nothing to stop us from ripping at each others throats than I care to.

    Do people really rely on God for their morality? If so it's a depressing state of affairs.

    And are theists really more moral than non-theists? I don't think so.

    vinlynToraldris
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    And are theists really more moral than non-theists? I don't think so.

    Some do and some even think we are going to some hell no matter how compassionate we are simply because their god is jealous.

    I don't think we can squeeze morality out of fear and in truth, I think religion has little to do with how moral an individual is or even a community.

    Of course, being non-theistic doesn't guarantee or reveal morality either. I think for the religious and non-religious alike, we either get the logic of compassion or we don't.

    Toraldris
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    As a side-note, perhaps -- it is interesting to notice how what is considered positive or pleasant is embraced while what is negative and painful is shunned.

    If something is pleasant, does that make it true?
    If something is unpleasant, does that make it untrue?

    How much effort is expended on behalf of what is pleasant as distinct from what is true?

    Just thinking out loud.

    vinlynHamsakaEarthninja
  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited September 2014

    @ourself said:in all honesty I find some religious teachings to be at the least irresponsible and at worst downright dangerous.

    Interesting. That's what Christopher Hitchens said about some Buddhist teachings, such as 'mindfulness'. He pointed out that living in the moment wouldn't provide a pension for us when we're older.

    He said some other stuff too, like:

    Christopher Hitchens summarized these issues as a specifically Buddhist desire to "put their reason to sleep, and to discard their minds along with their sandals.

    I suspect he just didn't really understand Buddhism.

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @Tosh said:
    I suspect he just didn't really understand Buddhism.

    I'd have to agree and think his argument about living in the moment is really pretty shallow. Someone as bright as he was should know that it's possible to plan for the future while living in the moment.

    I don't consider daydreaming the same as planning for the future.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @ourself said:
    I don't consider daydreaming the same as planning for the future.

    Yes, it sounds like Hitchens has very little idea what Buddhist practice involves. He should stick with the God bashing if you ask me. :p

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @lobster said:
    "Oh, that's the placebo effect!"

    Powerful stuff as you mention.

    In magical dharma such as Tantra, we invoke

    Since when are you a Tantrika?

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Yes, it sounds like Hitchens has very little idea what Buddhist practice involves. He should stick with the God bashing if you ask me. :p

    He died of cancer back in 2011, but otherwise I agree... people should stick to what they know. He knew more than the ordinary bloke about a lot of things, but not about Buddhism.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    I didn't realise he had died. I think you should volunteer to replace him. :p

  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran
    edited September 2014

    @SpinyNorman I relate a lot more to Sam Harris, who relates a lot more to Buddhism and meditation than any of those other authors.

    Hitchens was a genius, if you've ever heard him give a lecture or debate, he could spin such complex thoughts without effort or error... it was a beautiful thing (still is, thanks to YouTube).

    I'm not vehement like some of these guys; I just think most religions are divisive and tribal in nature (passed on through indoctrination), but I wouldn't make my living arguing against them. The best I'd do is argue for skepticism. Carl Sagan is more my speed. The Demon-Haunted World was awesome!

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @AldrisTorvalds said:
    SpinyNorman I relate a lot more to Sam Harris, who relates a lot more to Buddhism and meditation than any of those other authors. Hitchens was a genius, if you've ever heard him give a lecture or debate, he could spin such complex thoughts without effort or error... it was a beautiful thing (still is, thanks to YouTube). I'm not as vehement by far as some of these guys; I just think most religions are divisive (and yes harmful), but I wouldn't make my living arguing against them. The best I'd do is argue for skepticism; Carl Sagan is more my speed.

    Harris is a dilettante, and Hitchens was little better than a rabble rouser.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    I like the sound of "dilettante" and will look up it's meaning. ;)

    ToraldrisEarthninja
  • ToraldrisToraldris   -`-,-{@     Zen Nud... Buddhist     @}-,-`-   East Coast, USA Veteran

    @Chaz Just sounds like name-calling to me. :D  

    vinlyn
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @AldrisTorvalds said:
    Chaz Just sounds like name-calling to me. :D  

    Just an observation and a fair critique.

  • DaftChrisDaftChris Spiritually conflicted. Not of this world. Veteran

    Meh, I don't mind the "G" word. As someone who believes in a divinity, I use "god" because most people understand it.

    If I tried to explain what I believe in is more akin to the Tao, Adi-Buddha, or Brahman, I might end up losing people in the conversation (which has happened before).

    lobsterEarthninja
  • @DaftChris said:

    If I tried to explain what I believe in is more akin to the Tao, Adi-Buddha, or Brahman

    Thanks guys.

    For many it is possible to 'let our god baggage down gently' and allow the dissipation into the void. Similarly some find a practical and skilful use for divinity.

    Depends on what is personally applicable. :clap: .

    Cinorjer
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran

    @genkaku said:

    How much effort is expended on behalf of what is pleasant as distinct from what is true?

    I shudder to think! Absolutely appalling.

  • Some concepts of God can sound very similar to Emptiness. Meister Eckhart's description of God is not that far removed from TNH's picture of emptiness in a sheet of paper containing the whole world.

    Mind you, many did think of Meister Eckhart as a heretic.

  • All I want is a God who looks down at me once in a while and says, "All right, you messed up but I'll let it slide this time. Don't let it happen again."

    lobster
  • Christian Negative Mysticism is a lot like Shentong (emptiness of 'other') Buddhism.

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    A buddhist true to their religion has no concept of god, but what they may choose to believe in is their Belief. Is there any tartare sauce around here?

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @anataman said:
    A buddhist true to their religion has no concept of god, but what they may choose to believe in is their Belief. Is there any tartare sauce around here?

    So Thich Nhat Hanh is not true to his religion. Interesting.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    Judge not lest...oh wait, that won't work.
    Oh, okay, judge those whose views are different than your own.
    Yeah. That's it.

    JeffreylobsterDavid
  • Thanks guys,

    My experience is not being able to find a God that is not a projection. If you find deity or the ineffable, metta gone mega or similar and it suffices as Deity. Bravo.
    You are a godist, where I am an atheist.

    However as a placebo and resonance, I prefer to believe and indeed make use of the transcendent.

    Therefore I am a theist after atheism.

    As a Buddhist, it does not matter but oh how we like to find it does . . . or do we? :crazy: .

  • I believe in God but it is a non-conceptual affair. It doesn't save the whales or save anyone from starvation, but it is just an arising in my heart.

    Tosh
  • SkeeterkbSkeeterkb Explorer
    edited September 2014

    I have a relationship with God of my understanding and experience, not anyone else's. Yet a huge part of that relationship has more to do with knowing than understanding.

    vinlyn
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Thanks guys,

    My experience is not being able to find a God that is not a projection. If you find deity or the ineffable, metta gone mega or similar and it suffices as Deity. Bravo.
    You are a godist, where I am an atheist.

    However as a placebo and resonance, I prefer to believe and indeed make use of the transcendent.

    Therefore I am a theist after atheism.

    As a Buddhist, it does not matter but oh how we like to find it does . . . or do we? :crazy: .

    What of those of us that find god to be a non-deity?

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @vinlyn said:
    Judge not lest...oh wait, that won't work.
    Oh, okay, judge those whose views are different than your own.
    Yeah. That's it.

    I still think God is nonsense though.

  • @ourself said:
    What of those of us that find god to be a non-deity?

    We are back to words:

    The 'presence of emptiness' or better still 'filling our emptiness with spaciousness' or some such word approximation is as difficult from the theistic side.

    It is bit like saying god is only in my grasp when my hand is empty. Or the most eloquent description of deity is found in silence.

    @ourself has described both finding absence and finding presence is non-being.

    In the Middle Way both apparent contradictions might have a paradoxical interdependent arising . . .

    :buck: .

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited September 2014

    @lobster said:

    The 'presence of emptiness' or better still 'filling our emptiness with spaciousness' or some such word approximation is as difficult from the theistic side.

    But if one is practising Buddhism rather than theism, then why continue to think like a theist? Why hang on to out-dated and irrelevant beliefs? It's rather like a grown-up still believing in Father Christmas because of fond memories of receiving presents as a child.

    Comfort isn't truth, it's just comfort.

  • ToshTosh Veteran
    edited September 2014

    @SpinyNorman said:
    Comfort isn't truth, it's just comfort.

    I hear many in A.A. say they use the tool 'God' to help them with their transformation. That's not comfort, that's using a tool to work towards a goal. It's no different from a Buddhist monk saying "Ask the Buddha and he will help you!" when it comes to our meditation practise, and I know one who teaches that on a regular basis.

    I suspect that your concept of what you think everyone else thinks God is, is hiding the reality of the situation from you.

    And it's no good trying to make the wide river that Buddhism is, out to be some kind of totally rational secular 'thing', because we all know it's not.

    DavidvinlynlobsterJeffrey
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @Tosh said:

    To me belief in God just seems like clinging to a fantasy, and very far removed from the goal of trying to see things as they really are.

  • I guess most of us cling to fantasies at some level. I don't even know what I cling onto most of the time till it's beaten me half to death.

    But I mix with a lot of spiritual folk though and I know Christians who remind me of what my concept of what a Buddhist should be like (peaceful, calm, wise and compassionate) and I know Buddhists who remind me of what my concept of a Christian would be like (dogmatic, arrogant, and right).

    Concepts eh?

    vinlyn
  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran
    edited September 2014

    @SpinyNorman said:

    I feel it's naive to try to see things as they are while dismissing a universal intelligence at work, but hey.

    For the record I am not talking about the biblical character known as God but the driving force behind natural selection.

    I am agnostic with this stuff though. I think it's true but if I'm proven wrong, no biggie.

    vinlyn
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited September 2014

    @ourself said:

    Sure, I get that there are all different ways of thinking about "God", but attaching the idea of God to evolution suggests to me an incomplete understanding of what evolution actually is. It's called natural selection for a reason, something which the advocates of intelligent design seem to conveniently overlook.

    And is there any evidence for some kind of "universal intelligence", or is it just wishful thinking?

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @Tosh said:
    Concepts eh?

    No, just cheap point-scoring which is verging on ad-hom attack.

    Tosh
  • @SpinyNorman said:
    To me belief in God just seems like clinging to a fantasy, and very far removed from the goal of trying to see things as they really are.

    I'm just reading a book about Tantra now by Geshe Tashi Tsering.

    In Vajrayana practice we develop divine pride, where we feel we really are the deity we are practicing,...

    I can just imagine a few Christians reading that and thinking, "Haha these Buddhists pretend they're a God!!"

    But of course, it would be their concepts getting in the way of really understanding what it's about, just like I think many Buddhists can confuse what the 'God thing' is about.

    If you're really interested in finding out some other concepts that Christians have about God, Rob Bell, Thomas Merton or Fr Richard Rohr are pretty good. Thomas Merton (a Trapist Monk and said to be the greatest Catholic of the 20th Century) spent a few years with Zen Buddhists, including the Zen guy Suzuki Roshi (?) and they found they had much in common.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @Tosh said:
    If you're really interested in finding out some other concepts that Christians have about God, Rob Bell, Thomas Merton or Fr Richard Rohr are pretty good.

    I have Quaker friends who can quote Meister Eckhart, so I'm kind of familiar with all that stuff.

  • 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

    let not Familiarity breed contempt.

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