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Do all spiritual paths lead to the same ultimate goal?

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

I was reading through some of the material Bhikkhu Bodhi (author of In the Buddha’s Words, which I just finished) had on Access to Insight, and I came across this quote:

The Shorter Discourse on the Lion's Roar (MN 11) deals with the delicate question of whether different spiritual paths all lead to the same ultimate goal.

The sutta can be found here. It’s basically a shortish text on how to cope with ascetics and Brahmins who claim to be teaching a similar path to the Buddha, where the Buddha says that they generally do not teach the same, because for example they only teach about clinging to sensual pleasures, and not other types of clinging such as clinging to views.

I thought it was interesting because many people in the New Age today still hold to the idea that all spiritual paths lead to the same ultimate goal. Take for example Christianity. Superficially it is very different from Buddhism, but once you get to a certain stage prayerfulness and contemplation do start to resemble meditation.

In a way the idea that all spiritual paths lead towards the same thing is comforting — it is inclusive, it means there is less reason to try and convert people, it is hopeful. But is it true?

person
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Comments

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    Until we have reached our goal, I do not know if it is possible to answer your question. If all goals lead to Rome (so to speak), then we will recognize that if we get to Rome.

    KeromeShoshinRen_in_blackperson
  • GuiGui Veteran
    edited May 20

    My mother likes to tell me that all spiritual paths lead to the top of the same mountain. And I tell her but the Buddhist's path is not complete until they have returned to the bottom. I don't particularly like using terms like path and spiritual and goal but I really do think the Buddhist has a unique perspective of these terms. To me, they are to be let go of eventually. Regarding Christianity, there seems to me to be a big difference between attaining salvation and experiencing reality.

    KeromeRen_in_black
  • 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

    'To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive', according to Robert Louis Stevenson.

    He was expressing the same idea as the earlier Taoist saying - "The journey is the reward."

    Kerome
  • SuraShineSuraShine South Australia Explorer

    Why is the default example always Christianity though? Why not Islam or ISKON or Ba'hai? Personally I come from a Catholic upbringing but I have found the Ba'hai and ISKON paths fascinating ones. Particularly ISKON or the Hare Krishna movement. The idea of surrendering to Krishna and releasing to him through chanting the mantra of Hare Krishna is so simple yet profound. To me it is extremely similar to Buddhism, it just adds god. YMMV :)

    BunksKeromeAlexコチシカ
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @FoibleFull said:
    Until we have reached our goal, I do not know if it is possible to answer your question. If all goals lead to Rome (so to speak), then we will recognize that if we get to Rome.

    Very true. I think that a spiritual path is better than none, providing one does not get attached and approaches it with sincerity. So from that perspective any spiritual path allows one to make a beginning on the journey and it can whet the appetite.

    But I have to say I have much sympathy for the Buddha’s view that there are real distinctions in what is taught and so also differences in the destination. If you think of Buddhism’s understanding of suffering and enlightenment and nirvana as the summit of achievement, then it is going to be hard to reach just on the basis of prayer.

    I think a lot of other religions don’t have a good understanding of their ultimate destination. In christianity it is often held to be heaven, which one achieves after death. But some Christian mystics may hold it to be union with God which for a Buddhist would be held to be a lesser achievement than nirvana.

    So even if all paths lead to the same summit, it seems different religions have different understandings of what this summit might be. They may all turn out to be surprised.

    how
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @FeistyGibblets said:
    Why is the default example always Christianity though? Why not Islam or ISKON or Ba'hai? Personally I come from a Catholic upbringing but I have found the Ba'hai and ISKON paths fascinating ones. Particularly ISKON or the Hare Krishna movement. The idea of surrendering to Krishna and releasing to him through chanting the mantra of Hare Krishna is so simple yet profound. To me it is extremely similar to Buddhism, it just adds god. YMMV :)

    Well I just choose Christianity because it’s the biggest religion, and to me the most well known after Buddhism. But there are many interesting paths, I’ve often felt drawn towards sufism but not Islam, it’s the approach to God through love. It’s one of the reasons why the “many paths up the mountain” philosophy appeals to me.

    In a way I think Osho is influential for me here too. He often talked about all kinds of smaller religious directions and thinkers which would inspire people. For example the Baul mystics in India, or Kabir, or even Kahlil Gibran and his book The Prophet. Once when he was asked why he talked about all these directions, he replied that these were so that his disciples could latch on to whatever resonated with them. Certainly the implication is that he thought that any direction could have something to contribute.

    BunksSuraShine
  • 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: Well I just choose Christianity because it’s the biggest religion...

    Under review... Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world, by the way...

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    So many paths but nothing to wear?

    Perhaps we are all journeying towards a clothing optional beach where eventually we'll have to leave behind the clothes of our respective choices to be able to fully luxuriate there.
    From an identity standpoint, it's a nightmare of fashion propensity,
    from a self-oriented standpoint, it's a threat of personal annihilation,

    but to the adept, it might just be the simple truth beneath our clinging choices.

    lobsterKeromeSuraShineDavid
  • Rob_VRob_V North Carolina Explorer

    Interesting points.

    "All paths lead to the mountain top"? Not so much; some end abruptly. Others lead to cliffs. Still others are circular in nature. The mountain comes to a peak - all paths cannot possibly fit on the peak.

    I follow the Buddha Dhamma because of it's experiential tenets, the idea of seeing for oneself if such and another doctrines hold true. That's really the ONLY reason I stick to it. Much of it I have trouble with because of my innate scepticism. Some of it I accept because it offers an explanation that nothing else does (rebirth for example). I don't follow blindly or stubbornly.

    As far as varying degrees of adherence to any given practice or religion, all religions and beliefs have more than their fair share of lip service believers and buffet believers. Lip service believers are those, usually cultural, believers that show up at the holy places on high holy days, but other than that you'd never know what they believed. Buffet believers are those who simply believe what they choose to believe, from whatever source it may come.

    My personal belief is that we all get there eventually. Siddhartha Gotama got there 2500 years ago. I may get there in 2500 years. I think we're all somewhere on the path, but none if us are in the exact same place.

    Just one man's opinion

    Bunks
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited May 22

    I believe there is a universal truth which underlies the foundation of most, if not all, spiritual traditions in some shape or form. I think there are many words that are used to describe more or less the same things, and that many religious traditions have elements of and believers who engage in ethical behaviour, contemplation, and the development of wisdom. I don't know if all roads lead to Rome, but the world being a sphere, I suspect that many will eventual lead there if you follow them long enough.

    An example I've used before from the Pali Canon and the Philokalia:

    "He who gives himself to desires and sensual pleasures and lives according to the world's way will quickly be caught in the nets of sin [compare this to the snares of Mara, which are equated to sense pleasures]. And sin, when once committed, is like a fire put to straw, a stone rolling downhill or a torrent eating away at its banks. Such pleasures, then, bring complete perdition on him who embraces them."

    And:

    "Self-control together with humility withers passionate desire, love calms inflamed anger [recalls metta as an antidote for anger], and intense prayer together with mindfulness of God concentrates distracted thoughts [jhana?]. Thus the tripartite soul is purified. It was to this end that the apostle said: 'Pursue peace with all men and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord' (Heb. 12:14)."

    BunkslobsterKerome
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I like the clothing analogy from @how

    Adapts, (like adepts but independent of the cloth) wear out their fashioned travel gear. They then tailor what suits the environment.

    In other words

    Q: what do you get if you cross a road with a chicken?
    A: another side

    Bunks
  • cazcaz Veteran United Kingdom Veteran

    The short answer is no, just as physical paths do not all have the same destination likewise neither do spiritual paths.

    There are mundane spiritual paths that lead to the happiness of higher rebirth through the practice of moral discipline and virtuous actions.

    But there is is only one supramundane path that leads to Liberation and Enlightenment, this is Buddhadharma.

    lobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Do all spiritual paths lead to the same ultimate goal?

    Yes...and it's called death..

    BunksWalkerAlex
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Shoshin said:

    Do all spiritual paths lead to the same ultimate goal?

    Yes...and it's called death..

    Religions certainly like to make promises about what happens beyond death. Islam and Christianity promise rewards in heaven if only you will do what they say here on Earth, and even Buddhism promises reincarnation in good realms if you have made enough merit.

    Personally I think the only information that is even a little credible about death is from NDEs.

    Shoshinadamcrossley
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited May 22

    Religions certainly like to make promises about what happens beyond death. Islam and Christianity promise rewards in heaven if only you will do what they say here on Earth, and even Buddhism promises reincarnation in good realms if you have made enough merit.

    Yes...Hence why I say all spiritual path's ultimate goals are to see what really lies behind 'death's door'...even if the follower is unaware that's what their path's goal is really about...everything else is just an illusion..make-believe...

    We live in and have always lived in uncertain times...This is what faith is all about...

    Personally I think the only information that is even a little credible about death is from NDEs.

    Even these are from a personal perspective, the individual's interpretation... and for the most part based upon a person's pre-conditioning (conscious of or unconscious of)...which more often than not includes a big dollop of wishful thinking...

    Hmm which reminds me... "I'm an Atheist until the day I die...then I'm open to offers" ;)

    lobsterWalker
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @Shoshin said:

    Do all spiritual paths lead to the same ultimate goal?

    Yes...and it's called death..

    Religions certainly like to make promises about what happens beyond death. Islam and Christianity promise rewards in heaven if only you will do what they say here on Earth, and even Buddhism promises reincarnation in good realms if you have made enough merit.

    Personally I think the only information that is even a little credible about death is from NDEs.

    I'd recommend a few books for you:

    1. Return to Life by Jim Tucker
    2. Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation by Ian Stevenson
    3. Soul Survivor by Bruce Leinenger
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Hmm which reminds me... "I'm an Atheist until the day I die...then I'm open to offers" ;)

    Tee Hee <3

    How much can we die? Most of us is dyed by life, former death not so much if any. So live well in a spiritual life tool rather than being a tool (see trump for examples).

    That is my plan. Be better and when battered, dip into the source ...

    Hari Krishna

  • SimplifySimplify Veteran
    edited May 24

    this video may give you some food for thought

    BunksKerome
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Well if there is a spiritual mountain to climb, I’d like to climb it in this lifetime.

    Bunks
  • AlexAlex UK Veteran

    Check out John Main - a Monk who extolled the practice of Christian meditation, repeating the phrase ‘Maranatha’, to move one closer to God.....sounds awfully familiar as a practice......(he was influenced by Hinduism).

    BunksKerome
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Talking of no mountains ...
    https://tricycle.org/magazine/first-there-mountain-then-there-no-mountain/

    We have to move towards Truth. Not climb it, deny it or even absolutely know it.

    To put it another way: First there is a Buddhist, then know buddhist, then no-Buddhist/Buddha

    Shoshin
  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Illinois Explorer
    edited June 16

    My own perspective: No, absolutely not. I don't want to sound arrogant, but I personally know for certain that we do not all arrive in the same place, at the same time. There is such a wide plethora of gods and spiritual paths that its silly to boil them down to one - that over-simplifies and doesn't take any one path seriously. Eventually, yes, we'll each have the opportunity and facility to enter into the Kingdom of God proper, but there will forever be diversities among the worlds/abodes and their spirit souls with their respective desires/karmas, as well as the FREE WILL to decide for "something other than God" if they so wish. I don't believe in any ONE Fixed Unchangeable Realm where we all fuse together like pieces of sugar in a single Borg Sugar Cube. That is nonsense as far as I am concerned - and also quite depressing if you think about it. There will always be freedom. There will always be the opportunity to have desires and have those desires fulfilled in a variety of ways. Reality is Hard, but Reality is also Beautiful for all that.

    "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery" - Thomas Jefferson

  • AlexAlex UK Veteran

    @Dimmesdale ’Personally Know for certain’ sounds like proof. Brilliant ! I would suggest that there is only belief, rather than certain knowledge, but would be delighted to be corrected. Please show your workings.

    KeromeDimmesdale
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited June 16

    @Dimmesdale

    Or
    you could consider that all of existence is as subject to spiritual entropy as it is to physical entropy where everything is a movement from complexity to simplicity to no thing.

    None of those warm cushy feelings that our egos might finally find some completion or a place to call home.

    Only an ever-diminishing state of existence.

    A journey from vibrancy to stillness.

    An endless number of paths whose most notable similarity is of their pilgrim's willful blindness that they were all inevitably running head long towards their own dissipation.

    While this is what my ego says of Buddhism, Buddhism actually offers no escape from this inevitability, just an addressing of sufferings causes throughout whatever that journey turns out to be.

    Note to self. Best not to share this view on my next job application at that crisis line.

    Alex
  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Illinois Explorer

    @Alex said:
    @Dimmesdale ’Personally Know for certain’ sounds like proof. Brilliant ! I would suggest that there is only belief, rather than certain knowledge, but would be delighted to be corrected. Please show your workings.

    Well, it is proof. It may not be proof for others such as yourself, being unconvinced. But it has been proved for me. For me it is knowledge, not merely a tepid "belief" that may come and go.

    I know it is unpopular to claim actual knowledge of things today, that it goes against the grain of political correctness or the general skepticism prominent in society now, but I think we CAN know some things with absolute certainty.... This is because truth by its very nature exists (cannot not exist), and we are truth-seeking beings by nature, being ourselves parts of the truth of reality....

    IF nothing could be known for certain, then how would we live? Practically speaking, we don't hurt others, because we KNOW that there are OTHERS. We don't "guess" or consider it a mere "hunch." We know that if we attack someone, they bleed. We know this intuitively, not merely conceptually.

    I think we can extend that certain knowledge into other fields. But, alas, I can't convince everyone. That's OK.

    Bunks
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Dimmesdale said:
    My own perspective: No, absolutely not. I don't want to sound arrogant, but I personally know for certain that we do not all arrive in the same place, at the same time. There is such a wide plethora of gods and spiritual paths that its silly to boil them down to one - that over-simplifies and doesn't take any one path seriously.

    Well, claiming certain knowledge of the arrangement of the afterlife is quite a large claim. I certainly don’t blame @Alex for asking you to show your sources, lol. While I wouldn’t say that certain knowledge is out of reach — science has made a fair stab at defining it — I would say that for this particular area it is highly unlikely. Even for direct experience there is the doubt of hallucination.

    I could share some pretty wild theories about the afterlife, but I won’t. I wouldn’t like to muddy the water further. But I don’t think that there is one afterlife per belief, and in fact, I doubt whether our beliefs have anything to do with the kind of afterlife we get.

    Alexperson
  • AlexAlex UK Veteran
    edited June 16

    @Dimmesdale Like I said, I would be delighted to be corrected. The original post hypothesised ‘do all spiritual paths lead to the same ultimate goal ?”. I would suggest that the paths themselves are different and that the journey and the path one chooses and how one uses that path, deploys activity, devotion and actions, are the point. We can have belief about the destination that lies beyond our life’s experience, yet proof and knowledge seem to me to reside in our actual being in that realm. Or maybe we will never know. You proclaim that you have actual proof and knowledge that this is absolutely not the case. How can I not be enticed into wanting to know more ?

  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Illinois Explorer
    edited June 16

    @Kerome said:
    Well, claiming certain knowledge of the arrangement of the afterlife is quite a large claim. I certainly don’t blame @Alex for asking you to show your sources, lol. While I wouldn’t say that certain knowledge is out of reach — science has made a fair stab at defining it — I would say that for this particular area it is highly unlikely. Even for direct experience there is the doubt of hallucination.

    I could share some pretty wild theories about the afterlife, but I won’t. I wouldn’t like to muddy the water further. But I don’t think that there is one afterlife per belief, and in fact, I doubt whether our beliefs have anything to do with the kind of afterlife we get.

    It is true that by human speculation alone we can't come to a satisfactory conclusion with regard to metaphysical or religious claims. That's why I don't waste my time needlessly speculating, and instead turn to authoritative sources of information - namely, scriptures. That's where I get my information. And that's where I get my certainty.

    It isn't the only place. There's also practical experience, such as meditation and spiritual practice. And there is also the guru. So, these three: scripture, guru and experience. These three great things create for me the foundation of certainty (because they confirm each other). Not simply my own speculations.

    These three things agree that there is a very, very wide diversity with regard to spiritual paths and where we all end up....

    Alex
  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Illinois Explorer

    @Alex said:
    @Dimmesdale Like I said, I would be delighted to be corrected. The original post hypothesised ‘do all spiritual paths lead to the same ultimate goal ?”. I would suggest that the paths themselves are different and that the journey and the path one chooses and how one uses that path, deploys activity, devotion and actions, are the point. We can have belief about the destination that lies beyond our life’s experience, yet proof and knowledge reside in our actual being in that realm. Or maybe we will never know. You proclaim that you have actual proof and knowledge that this is absolutely not the case. How can I not be enticed into wanting to know more ?

    Ok, I outlined generally my claim to knowledge in the above post.

  • AlexAlex UK Veteran

    @Dimmesdale Then I am happy for you 🙏

    Dimmesdale
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited June 16

    @Dimmesdale said:
    So, these three: scripture, guru and experience. These three great things create for me the foundation of certainty (because they confirm each other).

    Hmm well. They aren’t entirely independent or free of ulterior motives, which is why I have a hard time putting faith in them. A guru can be the real deal, but for every real one there are ninety-nine fakes. Scriptures are ultimately written by other people. Experience is susceptible to the vagaries of the mind. Anyway, that’s just my take.

    You feel certain, I get that. But I think there is no such thing as certainty or proof on this subject. I have good reasons for this, though I don’t expect to convince you. I hope that at some point you will come to a more rational way of viewing the world.

    AlexDimmesdaleperson
  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Illinois Explorer
    edited June 16

    @Kerome said:

    @Dimmesdale said:
    So, these three: scripture, guru and experience. These three great things create for me the foundation of certainty (because they confirm each other).

    Hmm well. They aren’t entirely independent or free of ulterior motives, which is why I have a hard time putting faith in them. A guru can be the real deal, but for every real one there are ninety-nine fakes. Scriptures are ultimately written by other people. Experience is susceptible to the vagaries of the mind. Anyway, that’s just my take.

    You feel certain, I get that. But I think there is no such thing as certainty or proof on this subject. I have good reasons for this, though I don’t expect to convince you. I hope that at some point you will come to a more rational way of viewing the world.

    There are obviously many things to consider when deciding whether a spiritual path is genuine or not. Not denying that. We have to search out the answers for ourselves, in the beginning.

    I say in the beginning because, as we draw closer to the Source of Truth, that Sun of Truth enlightens us by its grace more and more, so that whereas before we were trying to figure it all out on our own, we now become more conformed to the Truth as it actually is, by God's help.

    So, it's a long journey and I'm not denying any of that.

    It is true that there are a lot of fake gurus. But the existence of fake gurus and fake religions does not invalidate true gurus and true religions. I would say that the fake article in itself proves the genuine article. But, like gold, it is hard to find.

    As for rationality, I prize it very highly. I was actually at one point very much a skeptic. But, as I have grown in my views, I have realized that the Truth is very Big, and cannot be confined to the materialist, or reductionistic, paradigm. I wish you well in your search for truth.

    I think I have aired my opinion on this topic sufficiently.

    Pranams.

  • 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 16

    Moderator Note:

    @Dimmesdale, as a rule, we do require actual links and references when members make statements and maintain they have proof, or knowledge. It's a "Thing" here.
    So being asked to provide reference, source or link, is not merely obstreperous argumentative petulence. It's a legitimate, on-forum request.
    You're quite free to say that something is 'according to your experience' or 'in your view', or 'personally L...' but unless you are able to provide direct link and creditworthy reference, then that's what it is.

    Scripture' isn't verifiable, concrete and indisputable confirmation, simply because it is exactly that. A one-source single reference, with the only foundation of evidence being personal experience.
    You can always indicate that it's what someone said, and you believe it - but that's not proof.
    And incidentally, yes; that goes for Buddhist 'scripture' too, and it's the Buddha who exhorts us to find things out for ourselves.
    But what you find out for yourself, isn't necessarily the same as what I find out for myself...

    And that goes for what you propound, too.

    person
  • AlexAlex UK Veteran
    edited June 16

    @Dimmesdale May I ask please, are you following a particular tradition, or are you fusing practices from ‘across the piste’, as it were ? I’m always interested to learn about how and what others practice

  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Illinois Explorer

    @federica said:

    Moderator Note:

    @Dimmesdale, as a rule, we do require actual links and references when members make statements and maintain they have proof, or knowledge. It's a "Thing" here.
    So being asked to provide reference, source or link, is not merely obstreperous argumentative petulence. It's a legitimate, on-forum request.
    You're quite free to say that something is 'according to your experience' or 'in your view', or 'personally L...' but unless you are able to provide direct link and creditworthy reference, then that's what it is.

    Scripture' isn't verifiable, concrete and indisputable confirmation, simply because it is exactly that. A one-source single reference, with the only foundation of evidence being personal experience.
    You can always indicate that it's what someone said, and you believe it - but that's not proof.
    And incidentally, yes; that goes for Buddhist 'scripture' too, and it's the Buddha who exhorts us to find things out for ourselves.
    But what you find out for yourself, isn't necessarily the same as what I find out for myself...

    And that goes for what you propound, too.

    I will take that into consideration from now on when posting here then. Normally, I am not even one to air my personal views, but this topic had been on my mind of late. Very well, I will not touch on 'knowledge' or 'proof'....

    federica
  • DimmesdaleDimmesdale Illinois Explorer

    @Alex said:
    @Dimmesdale May I ask please, are you following a particular tradition, or are you fusing practices from ‘across the piste’, as it were ? I’m always interested to learn about how and what others practice

    I am a practitioner of Vedic spirituality, specifically Gaudiya Vaishnavism (Hare Krishna).

    I suppose though that I will not go too into detail or "preach" as that is not the point of this forum. I only wanted to give my take on this one topic. That's all.

    Peace.

    AlexpersonBunks
  • AlexAlex UK Veteran

    @Dimmesdale Thanks for that, very interesting. I certainly find Vedic practices fascinating and have deep respect for the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. I do now understand your depth of conviction and I appreciate that it is entirely correlative with your practice. Best wishes and peace always, Alex

    howlobsterKerome
  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    Short answer: Yes and No
    Long answer would make 'War and Peace' seem like a short story

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Dimmesdale said:
    I am a practitioner of Vedic spirituality, specifically Gaudiya Vaishnavism (Hare Krishna).

    I suppose though that I will not go too into detail or "preach" as that is not the point of this forum. I only wanted to give my take on this one topic. That's all.

    Peace.

    That makes things eminently clear. I don’t know that much about them but I hope we haven’t put you off, it must be pleasant to be so committed to peace. Have a great day.

    Alex
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think The Void Veteran

    My understanding of the later stages of the spiritual path says the subtle distinctions are beyond us mere mortals. So for someone on the ground to compare different paths and see that they have similar practices with similar results I don't know tells us a whole lot about the end state.

    Maybe compared to all other possible ways of being in this world spiritual paths are more alike than different but rather than coming together at the same place they diverge into different destinations.

    To me the Buddhist path makes sense, many teachings speak of the end or God as being ultimately unnameable or unspeakable. Buddhism's emphasis on not reifying the end state seems to me to avoid thinking one has made it only to have fallen back in.

    howKerome
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    Do all spiritual paths lead to the same ultimate goal?

    I think this is just you still looking for a loophole out of having to buy those parts of the whole Buddhist package that you are still uncomfortable with.

    This is not a criticism of you!
    If the Buddha hadn't done that himself, Buddhism would not even have developed out of the Hinduism of his day.

    The real question I would be asking is if this search for this loophole is in service to the self or is it in service to selflessness?

    KeromepersonShoshin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @how said:
    I think this is just you still looking for a loophole out of having to buy those parts of the whole Buddhist package that you are still uncomfortable with.

    Yes, there is an interesting question about where you take a stand. Buddhism kind of gradually gives new teachings to you, first you follow one sutra or dhamma talk, then another and as you follow these techniques you lose sight a little of where you started from.

    But it’s become clear to me that we all have certain inner principles that we adhere to, that we wouldn’t easily let go of. For me this is to do with the beauty of life, and being life-positive. So I search for forms of spirituality which are in that general direction, and see if they resonate.

    The real question I would be asking is if this search for this loophole is in service to the self or is it in service to selflessness?

    I don’t think I really know what the self is, I have yet to meet it in my travels.

    Alexlobster
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    One of the best description of the so-called self I've heard in years @how ...It leaves no thing to the imagination ...

    howlobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @how that is a decent definition, and I’ve come across elements of that. But it hasn’t bothered me. Questions of protecting myself i have tried purposefully to dismantle. I have been trying to live in innocence, more spontaneously, more in compassion lately, and less in careful consideration. If I look at what careful consideration has brought me it is a lot of doubt and not much else.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    I don't even know where the path I'm on leads for sure and the goal is to look deep, increase awareness and be useful to the rest.
    Since to everybody else, I am of the rest, I sincerely hope it is true for the latter at least.

    person
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I am of the rest

    I am of the rest
    the peace
    the quiet being

    Do we start a cult now? Nah ... nothing to do. Nowhere to go.
    Rest In Peace. ;)

    There is really nothing you must be.
    And there is nothing you must do.
    There is really nothing you must have.
    And there is nothing you must know.
    There is really nothing you must become.

    However, it helps to understand that fire burns,
    and when it rains, the earth gets wet.

    Japanese Zen scroll

    AlexpersonDavid
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited June 21

    Lol. Oh, @Lobster.

    We could start a cult but it's all been done and it requires beliefs.
    You are right, nobody has to be anything.

    Be anyways.

    I can't remember exactly at what point I started happening but I am happening right now. At some point I will stop happening (or so I've been told) but one thing that I think I can say for sure is that I will happen whenever the conditions come together in such a way as to make my happening happen.

    There is no need for anything but here it is, lol.

    how
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    or not.

    David
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    That sounds very Zennish.

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