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necrolyte
I'm doing some reading on the precursor to Zoroastrianism right now (Mazdaism), and it explains how Zurvan (Time) begets the Gods of Good and Evil.

Does this idea fit with modern theologies? That Time "predates" God? I remember in The Great Divorce, Time is an illusion of men given to us by God, but I do not know where the major churches of today stand on this theological issue.
libvertaruan
Obviously, God preceded everything. That means even time came from him.
Raider
what would cause god to come about after the start of the universe? time predating god seems strange
Greenplanet65
QUOTE(libvertaruan @ Dec 26 2005, 11:09 PM)
Obviously, God preceded everything.  That means even time came from him.


lol, contemplating this question could cause early insanity.

Lib, Assuming there is a creator, how could he possibly create time? The creator himself would have needed time to create time, right?. Everything that exists, as we know it, is affected by time.

E
libvertaruan
An infinite Cre3ator can create in a moment, which is not time per se. Islam simplifies this by saying that God IS time (and more).
zaragosa
QUOTE(Raider @ Dec 27 2005, 05:38 AM)
what would cause god to come about after the start of the universe?  time predating god seems strange


Anything predating time seems even stranger to me.
necrolyte
Note, I meant Mazdeanism, NOT Mazdaism which is a seperate religion in the middle east. Mazdeanism predates Zoroastrianism, so I'm not sure if Zoroastrians believe this.

Liberitarian-it seems the ancient Iranians believed that the Gods of Good and Evil both came from time, not that God created Time as in the Christian theology.

No doubt it seems strange to us, as Christian theology seems pretty clear that God creates everything, including Time.
Gengari
Time, of course. Cause god never "came", he allways was.

/fundy
libvertaruan
QUOTE(necrolyte @ Dec 27 2005, 02:14 PM)
Note, I meant Mazdeanism, NOT Mazdaism which is a seperate religion in the middle east. Mazdeanism predates Zoroastrianism, so I'm not sure if Zoroastrians believe this.

Liberitarian-it seems the ancient Iranians believed that the Gods of Good and Evil both came from time, not that God created Time as in the Christian theology.

No doubt it seems strange to us, as Christian theology seems pretty clear that God creates everything, including Time.


Zoroastrians do NOT believe that; they believe that Ahura Mazda (God, IIRC) had two sons, who were Ormazd and Ahriman (respecively, the good and bad SPIRITS, aka Spenta Mainyu and Angra Mainyu, though I don't remember which is which right now). Ormazd and Ahriman are going to fight it out until the final day, in which Ormazd will triumph over his evil brother Ahriman and humans will be judged. Unlike in the Judeo-=Christian tradition, however, everyone goes to paradise, though at a cost. All humanity must wade through a river of lava to cross to paradise; were one to be considered sinless, it would be as comfortable as wading through a river of milk (unspoiled, I assume). However, the more sinful you lived, the more painful and destructive the river will be to you. In the end, however, all will cross over to paradise, and Ahura Mazda (not Ormazd) will restore us all to our original bodies at a comfortable age and we will praise him forever.

At least, this is what it has evolved into.
Dakyron
Why does time need to be created?

Time is not tangible, it is an idea. To say God predates time doesnt make sense because in the way we think of time, nothing can come before the beginning of time. God existed prior to the human realization of the idea of time, but time was always there.

Would they not both have co-existed through eternity(thus God and time have always existed. God did not exist w/o time and time did not exist w/o God).

I agree that anything existing before time is a pretty strange concept. The idea of even a being like God being able to create time is a little difficult to comprehend...
Molimo
Um, Daky, unless the Big Bang theory has been disproven and I didn't hear about it, we have already proven that time has not existed for eternity.
Greenplanet65
QUOTE(Molimo @ Dec 27 2005, 06:58 PM)
Um, Daky, unless the Big Bang theory has been disproven and I didn't hear about it, we have already proven that time has not existed for eternity.


Molimo, keep in mind that Big Bang is a theory and we haven't proved anything. ph34r.gif
Dakyron
QUOTE(Molimo @ Dec 27 2005, 03:58 PM)
Um, Daky, unless the Big Bang theory has been disproven and I didn't hear about it, we have already proven that time has not existed for eternity.



Yeah....

1) Big Bang is just a theory and not one I personally give much credibility to.

2) Why do we know time has not existed for eternity? Time is not tangible. It can exist even if nothing else does.

3) Nothing can exist "before" time because "before" doesnt exist w/o time. Be like saying the ocean existed before water did when you cannot have an ocean without water. You cannot have a before without time.
Molimo
QUOTE(Dakyron @ Dec 27 2005, 06:54 PM)
Yeah....

1) Big Bang is just a theory and not one I personally give much credibility to.


"just a theory?" lol.

QUOTE
2) Why do we know time has not existed for eternity? Time is not tangible. It can exist even if nothing else does.


Um, no. Time cannot exist without space. If you want to see the proof for that, look up an obscure theory called general relativity by some guy called Einstein.

QUOTE
3) Nothing can exist "before" time because "before" doesnt exist w/o time. Be like saying the ocean existed before water did when you cannot have an ocean without water. You cannot have a before without time.



Completely correct.
Greenplanet65
QUOTE(Molimo @ Dec 28 2005, 12:01 AM)
"just a theory?" lol.


Yup, just a theory!
libvertaruan
Big Bang is actually the best theory we can come up with, but at least most people don't bring imaginary numbers into the equation. Just Stephen Hawking.
necrolyte
Gravity is also just a theory biggrin.gif
Nalvaros
QUOTE
Um, Daky, unless the Big Bang theory has been disproven and I didn't hear about it, we have already proven that time has not existed for eternity.

afaik, wrong.

The traditional response is that it is pointless to ask what was before the big bang. This in itself does not mean time did not exist before then.
In any case, i'm pretty sure that we've gone beyond the traditional response and started to theorise as to was was before the big bang (I'm pretty sure I read something along those lines in Scientific American)
acow
QUOTE
Gravity is also just a theory 


Yes, but gravity is observable and doesn't basically require the negation of every other known theory/law of the universe.
Molimo
QUOTE(Nalvaros @ Dec 28 2005, 12:24 AM)
afaik, wrong.

The traditional response is that it is pointless to ask what was before the big bang. This in itself does not mean time did not exist before then.
In any case, i'm pretty sure that we've gone beyond the traditional response and started to theorise as to was was before the big bang (I'm pretty sure I read something along those lines in Scientific American)



That's a good point. For most intents and purposes, it's certain that the time before the Big Bang was irrelevant, but you're right that that doesn't necessariy mean it didn't exist.

It depends on what model you're using. General relativity predicts that the Big Bang started with just a singularity, which means that the laws of physics break down and nobody (yet) knows what the hell went on. I've heard, though, that it's thought that space itself originated during the Big Bang, and thus time did too. That's about where my knowledge ends, though.
libvertaruan
Really now, how is relevance determined? Too many people say that the answers to certain questions are irrelevant, but that never stops people from asking the questions, and frankly it is no satisfactory answer.
Dakyron
QUOTE(Molimo @ Dec 27 2005, 09:01 PM)
Um, no. Time cannot exist without space. If you want to see the proof for that, look up an obscure theory called general relativity by some guy called Einstein.



Time cannot exist w/o space, but space doesnt have to have anything in it. I think you have to assume space was always there, just with nothing in it. Thus, time was always there as well.

And it is just a theory, one that some people, admittedly many of them pretty smart guys, believe fits the facts. It is far from being proven infallible, however.
JLord
QUOTE(Dakyron @ Dec 28 2005, 10:13 AM)
And it is just a theory, one that some people, admittedly many of them pretty smart guys, believe fits the facts. It is far from being proven infallible, however.



That's true. God could have created the world like this just to fool people into believing in general relativity. Mabye he did this as a test of our faith. You can't say that just because GR predicts something, it must be true.
Greenplanet65
In addition, how do we really know for sure that are minds are even capable of comprehending who created us and why?


P.S. - I love this stuff, I think it's good for the mind.

E

Molimo
QUOTE(libvertaruan @ Dec 28 2005, 11:32 AM)
Really now, how is relevance determined?  Too many people say that the answers to certain questions are irrelevant, but that never stops people from asking the questions, and frankly it is no satisfactory answer.



Relevance is determined, for certain questions, by how much information it can provide.

For example, a lot of people ask if there was something before the Big Bang. As far as we know, though, that question can't be answered- because there's no way to deduce what came "before" the Big Bang from what came after it (or at least, no way to deduce that from our current knowledge).

But I realize that for certain questions, like perhaps this one, the time before the big bang is relevant.

QUOTE(Dakyron @ Dec 28 2005, 12:13 PM)
Time cannot exist w/o space, but space doesnt have to have anything in it. I think you have to assume space was always there, just with nothing in it. Thus, time was always there as well.


Uh, every version of the Big Bang theory that I have ever heard holds the exact opposite of that. "Space" began expanding at the Big Bang and still hasn't stopped (hence the continual expansion of our universe even today).

QUOTE
And it is just a theory, one that some people, admittedly many of them pretty smart guys, believe fits the facts. It is far from being proven infallible, however.



True. Do you have an alternative that fits the facts better, though? Because the Big Bang is the most complete theory to date.
Dakyron
if there is no space, then what is the universe expanding into? I always though space was infinite, and the universe expanded through space.

As for an alternative... no, Im def not knowledgable or interested enough to try to come up with a better alternative. The big bang is probably the best known theory and the one I am most familiar with. its the singularity that gets me more than anything else... Just thinking about the concept can cause headaches...

Telum
QUOTE(Dakyron @ Dec 28 2005, 07:16 PM)
if there is no space, then what is the universe expanding into? I always though space was infinite, and the universe expanded through space.

As for an alternative... no, Im def not knowledgable or interested enough to try to come up with a better alternative. The big bang is probably the best known theory and the one I am most familiar with. its the singularity that gets me more than anything else... Just thinking about the concept can cause headaches...



Space is infinite in the same way the earth is infinite. You can go east forever, but there is not an infinite amount of Earth.
libvertaruan
Space is expanding. Whatever that means, and it means a lot. It means that it had a beginning (imaginary numbers, as I mentioned before, are just that--imaginary), and that all matter was squeezed into the most compact form possible, which was all that space would allow for it. I have had my attention wander elsewhere, so I'll stop writing now.
Stimulant
reading this thread gives +10 to groovy.
Molimo
QUOTE(Dakyron @ Dec 28 2005, 06:16 PM)
As for an alternative... no, Im def not knowledgable or interested enough to try to come up with a better alternative. The big bang is probably the best known theory and the one I am most familiar with. its the singularity that gets me more than anything else... Just thinking about the concept can cause headaches...



Yeah, the Big Bang is one of those theories that sounds confusing to pretty much everybody, and confuses the Ph.Ds even more.

Also, this thread's new title is great.
Dakyron
QUOTE(Telum @ Dec 28 2005, 05:18 PM)
Space is infinite in the same way the earth is infinite.  You can go east forever, but there is not an infinite amount of Earth.



So... theoretically... you could leave earth in a straight line and some time in the far distant future you would arrive back at the earth? Heh... umm... how could they possibly know that? biggrin.gif
gnuneo
QUOTE(molimo)
QUOTE
QUOTE

2) Why do we know time has not existed for eternity? Time is not tangible. It can exist even if nothing else does.



Um, no. Time cannot exist without space. If you want to see the proof for that, look up an obscure theory called general relativity by some guy called Einstein.


space-time are identical - space has no meaning without time (movement), and time has no meaning without space, (something to move, to move in, stuff*).

before all of this though is consiousness - energy-matter only forms into 'reality' when it is observed, thus before time-space is created is consciousness, this is Zen reality, and expressed excellently in pirsigs books.

thus, in this cosmology consciousness/god exists before time.





* cool.gif
Greenplanet65
That was very Zen of you gnuneo. In my opinion the Zen and God stuff should be kept separate though.

QUOTE
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. (Albert Einstein)


Seems like Al was a pretty smart dude. laugh.gif
gnuneo
QUOTE
That was very Zen of you gnuneo. In my opinion the Zen and God stuff should be kept separate though.


you re welcome to your opinion - your not at a very high level of understanding of buddhism yet are you?

the buddha did not specifically say there is no god, he simply said life's rules can be worked out rationally, once emotional states, physical states, intellectual states, spiritual states (morality), are brought into better quality, and gave good practices to achieve this, in fact the buddha *did* beleive in God - no mystic can possibly deny the underlying unity of life and existence, certainly the buddha would have had this direct experience on the way to becoming a conscious buddha.

the key sane point is that god is not personified in and of itself, but the term refers to a whole range of selfness, recognising the Self in jungian terms connects to and through the collective unconscious, and equally through the individual cells of our body - 'godness' extends through the universe, and we are an integral part of that weave.

zen reality is all about god, its that reality left once you have removed awareness of your physical self (body/physical values, desires & needs), awareness of your emotional self (emotions/emotional values, desires & needs), awareness of your intellectual self (thoughts (concepts)/intellectual values, desires and needs) - what is left but god? (higher selves).

think of it this way - if its godlike to see reality as clearly as possible, then those who clear away their impediments to percieving reality will therefore, obviously, become more godlike. It means they can make higher rational decisions based upon more accurate perception, due to the lack of projection from their own desires and fears.

and it is taught through the practice of meditation, accessible to virtually everyone, where the will and concentration are trained, will to experience the pain of asana and continue, and concentration to hold the mind on whatever chosen as focus.

and to think, all those dumbasse monks who used to beat themseves stupid to induce pain could just have knelt for a couple of hours a day, or if they wanted more pain just taken another position.

compare those two images - a tortured soul, body a mass of rotting flesh from scabrous cuts and welts, wildy staring eyes of the adrenalin junkie needing his fix, ecstacy only achieved during flagellation so severe they lose their consciousness of the ego as it retreats from the pain.

and a buddhist practicioner, sitting calmly, learning control over their trained responses, retraining bad posture and habits, and learning teh ecstacy of consciously surrendering their ego to theih higher selves for a while.

but you are buddhist, i don't need to tell you this wink.gif

BTW sorry for calling you muz - but you did seem very familiar very quickly with the board... i'm now thinking youre lord B? huh.gif
Telum
It seems insuffrably arrogant to me to claim to know more about buddhism than an actual practicing buddhist. Perhaps you meant a high level of psych-hippie babble?
Greenplanet65
QUOTE(gnuneo @ Dec 30 2005, 01:11 PM)
you re welcome to your opinion - your not at a  very high level of understanding of buddhism yet are you?

the buddha did not specifically say there is no god, he simply said life's rules can be worked out rationally, once emotional states, physical states, intellectual states, spiritual states (morality), are brought into better quality, and gave good practices to achieve this, in fact the buddha *did* beleive in God - no mystic can possibly deny the underlying unity of life and existence, certainly the buddha would have had this direct experience on the way to becoming a conscious buddha.

the key sane point is that god is not personified in and of itself, but the term refers to a whole range of selfness, recognising the Self in jungian terms connects to and through the collective unconscious, and equally through the individual cells of our body - 'godness' extends through the universe, and we are an integral part of that weave.

zen reality is all about god, its that reality left once you have removed awareness of your physical self (body/physical values, desires & needs), awareness of your emotional self (emotions/emotional values, desires & needs), awareness of your intellectual self (thoughts (concepts)/intellectual values, desires and needs) - what is left but god? (higher selves).

think of it this way - if its godlike to see reality as clearly as possible, then those who clear away their impediments to percieving reality will therefore, obviously, become more godlike. It means they can make higher rational decisions based upon more accurate perception, due to the lack of projection from their own desires and fears.

and it is taught through the practice of meditation, accessible to virtually everyone, where the will and concentration are trained, will to experience the pain of asana and continue, and concentration to hold the mind on whatever chosen as focus.

and to think, all those dumbasse monks who used to beat themseves stupid to induce pain could just have knelt for a couple of hours a day, or if they wanted more pain just taken another position.

compare those two images - a tortured soul, body a mass of rotting flesh from scabrous cuts and welts, wildy staring eyes of the adrenalin junkie needing his fix, ecstacy only achieved during flagellation so severe they lose their consciousness of the ego as it retreats from the pain.

and a buddhist practicioner, sitting calmly, learning control over their trained responses, retraining bad posture and habits, and learning teh ecstacy of consciously surrendering their ego to theih higher selves for a while.

but you are buddhist, i don't need to tell you this wink.gif

BTW sorry for calling you muz - but you did seem very familiar very quickly with the board... i'm now thinking youre lord B? huh.gif




no, smile.gif
gnuneo
telum: if the arrogance becomes unsufferable...

unsure.gif


oh yeah - tough. There's always an ignore button, maybe that way you'll stop deleting posts *and* giving me warnings for things you know damn well are within the rules.



GP: mmmmkayyyy... ::suspiscious look smiley::

wink.gif

Greenplanet65
QUOTE(gnuneo @ Dec 31 2005, 07:31 AM)
telum: if the arrogance becomes unsufferable...

unsure.gif
oh yeah - tough. There's always an ignore button, maybe that way you'll stop deleting posts *and* giving me warnings for things you know damn well are within the rules.
GP: mmmmkayyyy... ::suspiscious look smiley::

wink.gif


Zen principles and philosophy can be applied to any religion. I know many non-Buddhist people who who use Zen in their daily lives to help cope with day to day problems. However, the God concept has nothing to do with Zen or Buddhism. Some Buddhist teachers like Thich Nhat Hahn for example, have written books that compare and contrast Zen and Buddhism with Christianity, Jesus, and the concept of God. This is done in hopes that the practitioner will adopt some Buddhist principles in their daily lives while continuing to practice their own religion. Even though the God concept does not fit in with Zen Buddhism and the cycle of life, Buddhists remain open minded about other religions. The Gautama Buddha (or Shakyamuni) did not believe in the concept of God, nor did he talk about it. The Buddha taught his followers not to burden their minds with the concept of a creator or reason for existence. Buddha emphasized the importance of living life rightly, and generating good Karma in hopes of escaping the cycle of rebirth (Samsara).
Fortunately, I have attained a, "level" of Buddhism that allows me to accept criticism with dignity. laugh.gif Ji San
QUOTE
The fool who knows he is a fool is wise so far, but the fool who thinks he is wise is truly a fool - Dhammapada,v.63


gnuneo
i'm sorry, you're obviously free for your own opinion, but you are wrong.

i suspect we are surfing on definitions, but a Buddha *must* have full conscious awareness of the underlying unity of experience and life. This is not an option.

and if 'god' cannot be understood as the sum-total of all life, all energy, all experience, then its kind of hard to see what else he can be. A bloke sitting on a cloud?

QUOTE
Buddha was silent about the existence or non-existence of God. It may be that since India was drowned in idol worship and anthropomorphism that a sudden step to monotheism would have been drastic and hence Buddha may have chosen to remain silent on the issue of God. He did not deny the existence of God. Buddha was once asked by a disciple whether God exists? He refused to reply. When pressed, he said that if you are suffering from a stomach ache would you concentrate on relieving the pain or studying the prescription of the physician. "It is not my business or yours to find out whether there is God our business is to remove the sufferings of the world".


Greenplanet65
QUOTE(gnuneo @ Jan 1 2006, 05:59 PM)
i'm sorry, you're obviously free for your own opinion, but you are wrong.

i suspect we are surfing on definitions, but a Buddha *must* have full conscious awareness of the underlying unity of experience and life. This is not an option.

and if 'god' cannot be understood as the sum-total of all life, all energy, all experience, then its kind of hard to see what else he can be. A bloke sitting on a cloud?


I suspect you are correct about surfing on definitions. I would recommend you post your earlier comments to me about Zen and God on the E-Sangha.com forum. You will find that most of the responses there will be similar to mine. E-Sangha has approximately 10,000 members that are composed of students, monks, scholars, etc, from all schools of Buddhism. You seem very insistent that God must appear in Buddhism, but to Buddhist practitioners the concept of God is not important.
I have a good visual presentation that I use when I go to the high schools and colleges to teach. It compares and explains the differences between Buddhism and god based religions. Unfortunately, I can't present it here.


E smile.gif
gnuneo
QUOTE
You seem very insistent that God must appear in Buddhism, but to Buddhist practitioners the concept of God is not important.

QUOTE

I suspect you are correct about surfing on definitions.




Spirit Online: Buddhism: Is There a God? A Buddhist Perspective

Spirit Online: Buddhism: Is There a God? A Buddhist Perspective
By Rev Taitetsu Unno

IS THERE A GOD?

Yes, but a proper Buddhist answer requires some clarification. In the depth of human awareness is a supreme reality who is boundless in compassion and immeasurable in wisdom and who is involved in the endless activity to enlighten all existence.

Amida Buddha is this fullness of compassion, and his sole concern is the expression of unconditional love to every form of life.

AMIDA BUDDHA

Amida Buddha differs radically from the traditional Judeo-Christian concept of God, because of the following characteristics.

1. Amida Buddha is not a creator, but he is a saviour who performs his compassionate work without any condition whatsoever.

2. Amida Buddha does not judge or punish man, for man is responsible for his own acts and invites the consequences, good or bad, of his acts.

3. Amida Buddha does not perform miracles, but he manifests his saving compassion through the rhythm of natural laws.

4. Amida Buddha is not transcendent, standing outside this world; but he is immanent, for his very being is rooted in the limitations of this world which will be transformed by the power of Amida's love.

5. Amdia Buddha is not a wrathful or jealous God; rather, the power of compassion fulfilled in his Original Vow completes tlhe promise that he will not rest until all beings attain the same enlightenment, Buddhahood, as himself.

6. Amida Buddha does not discriminate in any form, whether of belief or creed, moral good or moral evil, human life or animal life, but he embraces all in Oneness with equal warmth.

7. Amida Buddha does not show his love by the blood of crucifixion, sacrificing his own being, but by making his compassion accessible to mankind through the Nembutsu, his sacred name, which resounds throughout the universe. Wherever his sacred name, Namu Amida Butsu, is pronounced, there he is.

Amida Buddha is the timeless content of enlightenment realized by the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. Amida means boundless compassion and immeasurable wisdom. Immeasurable wisdom sees into the fragility of human life, and boundless compassion is moved by this insight to actively embrace all live into the timeless fulfillment of truth.

FRUITLESS QUESTIONS

Shakyamuni was asked many questions which are being asked today: such as, Is there a God? Who created the world? Is there life after death? Where is heaven and hell? The classic answer given by the Buddha was silence. He refused to answer these questions purposely, because "these profit not, nor have they anything to do with the fundamentals of the religious life, nor do they lead to Supreme Wisdom, the Bliss of Nirvana."

Even if answers were given, he said, "there still remains the problems of birth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief, and despair--all the grim facts of life--and it is for their extinction that I prescribe my teachings."

THE TASK BEFORE US

By his silence Shakyamuni wanted to divert our attention from fruitless questions to the all-important task before us: solving life's problems and living a life which would bring happiness to self as well as others.

To a follower who insisted on knowing, "Is there a God?", Shakyamuni replied with the parable of the poison arrow. "if you were shot by a poison arrow, and a doctor was summoned to extract it, what would you do? Would you ask such questions as who shot the arrow, from which tribe did he come, who made the arrow, who made the poison, etc., or would you have the doctor immediately pull out the arrow?"

"Of course," replied the man, "I would have the arrow pulled out as quickly as possible." The Buddha concluded, "That is wise O disciple, for the task before us is the solving of life's problems; when that is done, you may still ask the questions you put before me, if you so desire."

THE TEACHING

In Buddhism the teaching is a vehicle or a vessel. The value of a vehicle lies in its function of transporting man to his destination. Unless a vehicle, such as an automobile, is used, it is valueless. In fact, it is no longer a vehicle; it is a decoration piece.

The teaching must be practiced, if it is going to be of value in transporting us from the life of anxiety to a life of serenity. When the teaching is not practiced, it is like carrying around a vehicle on our backs without ever putting it to our use.

It is meaningless to discuss faith, enlightenment, and other goals, if we do not commit ourselves to the supreme importance of practicing the teaching in our homes and communities. "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

THE PRACTICE

To make others happy is the basic practice taught by Shakyamuni. It is a simple truth to learn, but a difficult practice to fully realize. In personal life it means to act by placing ourselves in the position of another, and in community life it means to give service with joy and gratitude for the bettermanet of all.

As a guide to making others happy, we can practice the Four Immeasurable Attituces: friendliness, compassion, joy and equanimity. Friendliness is the constant endeavor to make others happy, compassion is the earnest attempt to alleviate discomfort and pain in those around us, joy is to be happy for the sake of anothers happiness, and equanimity is the surce of wisdom which helps us practice these equally to all life and after they are practiced not to become attached to them.

The practice of making others happy is based upon the clear understanding of life which is Oneness or interdependence. Since life is a dependently originated complex, when we make another unhappy, our world is that much unhappier: and when we make another happy, our world is that much happier. In the understanding of Oneness we realize that there is no enemy to love, for we are parts of one living organic whole.

But people will say that this practice is too simple without trying or after trying will give up easily to revert to indifference; therefore, the stress is made on effort, patience, and perseverance--the most importand practices within the Eightfold Path and the Six Paramita.

A GROWING FAITH

The purpose of the practice is to make me aware of the fabric of my existence. In my attempts to make others happy I grow in understanding of myself; I become sensitive to the fragile good within me and the unreliability of my selfish whims. I realize the 84,000 blind passions within me for which Buddhism teaches 84,000 ways of deliverence. In ratio to the growing awareness of my limitaitons is the growing awareness of absolute compassion. Ultimately, I am made to drop my reliance upon by blind self, my self power, and I find a growing faith of my true self, nurtured by the stimulating compassion of Amida Buddha, the absolute other power.

In the scriptures it states, "If you desier to see the Buddha, you must see his form. If you wish to see his form, you must see his heart. And the heart of Buddha is great compassion." Great compassion vibrates in the heart of man who has been freed from attachment to blind self. This vibration, this response, helps us effectively realize the practice of making others happy.

WHERE IS AMIDA?

Amida Buddha is in the depth of my exstential awareness. Without my awareness, there is no Amida Buddha. A famous Shin-shu work repeats, "When the faithful awakens to faith, for the first time a Buddha is born." This, of course, is the realization of man.

From the side of Amida Buddha, he has been with me from the beginningless beginning, striving to awaken me from the blind forces of my karma which cause the agitations of my life. Amida Buddha will not rest until the ripening of favorable conditions brings to fruition my awareness of my karmic bondage and transforms my whole being into the substance of enlightenment.

When the ultimate concern of Amida Buddha for this blind self is realized in my existential awareness, then I am at the very heart of living peace. From this center flows forth the name of Amida, Namu Amida Butsu, recited as the prayer of my gratitude. A new sense of being and a fresh source of strength are provided me as the basis of a creative morality and action, for wherever the name is recited, there he is.

IS THERE A GOD?

No, not a God of fear and mercy, who is creator and judge; but for me there is Amida Buddha. The fullness of compassion covers the horizon of my existential experience of reality, and my response is the reciting of the name in humbleness and gratitude, Namu Amida Butsu.

http://www.spiritonline.com/files/messages....html?965012006

i am interested in buddhist notions of 'godhood', as i suspect they can be applied to western secular society with few problems. And i think this is very important.
Telum
Forgive my doubt O Holy Gnueno, but real buddhism doesnt have reverends.
gnuneo
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so what? i'm not a pope in the church of the sub-genius, but that doesnt mean i don't know anything about discordia.

and attacking the source? are you getting *so* desperate? or was following the debate too difficult for you?
Greenplanet65
QUOTE(Telum @ Jan 2 2006, 04:30 PM)
Forgive my doubt O Holy Gnueno, but real buddhism doesnt have reverends.


Telum, actually some of the monks do use the title, "Reverend" especially here in the west. This makes it easier for westerners to understand their position. Once the western practitioner gets comfortable with the actual titles they typically begin to address the monks as, "Bhante" or "S'nim" or whatever applies depending on the school. In this case, Rev Taitetsu Unno, is a Shin Buddhist (Japanese Buddhism) and I'm not certain how he would be addressed properly in Japanese.
I suppose I could use Wikipedia and find out! lol smile.gif
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