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How Buddhism differs from Christianity

 
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07 December 2016 11:06
 
NL. - 06 December 2016 05:47 PM
unsmoked - 06 December 2016 01:24 PM

“It doesn’t come from outside.”  -  Zen


So the whole eightfold path thing is optional now?


Again, I think quotes like that taken out of context misrepresent Buddhism.

NL, Your signature reads, “You must find happiness right where you are.”  As you know, this is a Zen Buddhist quote.  It doesn’t say you need to know the eightfold path, or the New Testament in order to find happiness right where you are.  Why?  Because it (happiness, peace of mind) doesn’t come from outside.  It doesn’t depend on externals.

 
 
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07 December 2016 18:42
 
unsmoked - 07 December 2016 11:06 AM

NL, Your signature reads, “You must find happiness right where you are.”  As you know, this is a Zen Buddhist quote.  It doesn’t say you need to know the eightfold path, or the New Testament in order to find happiness right where you are.  Why?  Because it (happiness, peace of mind) doesn’t come from outside.  It doesn’t depend on externals.


Technically it’s a fake Polynesian tribal quote created by Disney, although I’m sure most traditions have some manner of “bluebird of happiness is at home” quote.


So, first I’ll say that this topic seems to be important to you, and that there’s something I think you want to be heard hear. So I’ll acknowledge that Buddhism and eastern religion have played a unique role in the West when it comes to helping people challenge the mental status quo and enculturated preconceptions. Absolutely. In that specific role, it is more like what you described.


From another, more macro perspective, I will add that I think eastern religion is traditionally more collectivist and less individual-oriented than Abrahamic religions. I know less about Zen than other schools of thought in Buddhism, but I do know that it has often been extremely authoritarian. According to Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind, Sen no Rikyu also gave a “no one is your boss” kinda quote -

“When I have this sword there is no Buddha and no Patriarchs.”

  - just before disemboweling himself on the order of his lord. So I think it’s safe to say there are shades of meaning that don’t exactly translate via Western concepts and linguistics there, and it’s easy to infer a rather different meaning based on our rather different mindset. Remember that the people saying you are alright by “yourself” also do not believe in a traditional “self” in the first place and think half the practice is in seeing that you don’t actually have a self, making the quote something more like “Luckily you are alright by imaginary construct”, if taken literally.

 
 
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08 December 2016 11:50
 

In his book, ‘THE END OF FAITH’, chapter 7 - ‘Experiments in Consciousness’, Sam Harris writes:

“While this is not a treatise on Eastern spirituality, it does not seem out of place to briefly examine the differences between the Eastern and the Western canons, for they are genuinely startling.  To illustrate this point, I have selected a passage at random from a shelf of Buddhist literature.  The following text was found with closed eyes, on the first attempt, from among scores of books.  I invite the reader to find anything even remotely like this in the Bible or the Koran.”

After providing the quote, Harris comments:

One could live an eon as a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew and never encounter any teachings like this about the nature of consciousness. . . . Mysticism, to be viable, requires explicit instructions, which need suffer no more ambiguity or artifice in their exposition than we find in a manual for operating a lawn mower.  Some traditions realized this millennia ago.  Others did not.”  -  Sam Harris

(next time, I’ll insert the quote)

 
 
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08 December 2016 12:54
 
unsmoked - 08 December 2016 11:50 AM

In his book, ‘THE END OF FAITH’, chapter 7 - ‘Experiments in Consciousness’, Sam Harris writes:

“While this is not a treatise on Eastern spirituality, it does not seem out of place to briefly examine the differences between the Eastern and the Western canons, for they are genuinely startling.  To illustrate this point, I have selected a passage at random from a shelf of Buddhist literature.  The following text was found with closed eyes, on the first attempt, from among scores of books.  I invite the reader to find anything even remotely like this in the Bible or the Koran.”

After providing the quote, Harris comments:

One could live an eon as a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew and never encounter any teachings like this about the nature of consciousness. . . . Mysticism, to be viable, requires explicit instructions, which need suffer no more ambiguity or artifice in their exposition than we find in a manual for operating a lawn mower.  Some traditions realized this millennia ago.  Others did not.”  -  Sam Harris

(next time, I’ll insert the quote)


I agree, although I think this speaks to why Christianity has been generally more individualistic overall. Aside from “accepting Christ as your Savior” and some short directions about turning the other cheek, giving to anyone who asks, and loving your enemy in parables, Christianity is relatively vague about the details, leaving a lot of room for individual interpretation based on prayer and a relationship with God, which Christianity also encourages. Buddhism has a somewhat similar tradition in regard to insight and wisdom, although I would say their parameters regarding what counts as acceptable insight are more defined, as you describe above. While it’s supposed to be about self-exploration, I assume pretty much no Buddhist would actually say “Well hey, ok”, if one had an insight that impermanence and interdependence are totally bunk and the nature of the universe is a mixture of concrete dualism and separation and that the way to end suffering is through grasping in all things. It’s self-exploration with predetermined correct answers, more or less. If you believe those answers are true that makes sense, but that is ‘independent learning’, not ‘independent thinking’, which are very different. For example, having a student engage in exploratory play with manipulatives to learn math would be independent learning - the conclusions are foregone, if they run up to you and say “Guess what! Guess what! When I put two coins with two other coins I have five coins!”, you’re not going to say “Good independent thinking”, you’ll have them go back and look some more. Compared to something like writing a story, where the point is very much for individual generation and creation to come to the forefront. I think both are valuable and I’m not talking about one being better than the other, I just think Christianity is a more individual-centric tradition overall, although certainly if you zoom in on any specific time or place you can find many exceptions in that general trend.

[ Edited: 08 December 2016 12:59 by sojourner]
 
 
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08 December 2016 21:43
 

PS… Found the quote, and I gotta say, not sure what Sam is talking about in this case (in saying there is no equivalent of this quote in Christianity). For one, to compare the Bible to a Buddhist philosopher who lived hundreds of years after the Buddha himself is apples and oranges. Apples to apples would be comparing a Buddhist philosopher to a Christian theologian (or a sutra from the Buddha himself to the Bible), who most certainly have described God in similar (albeit more expansive, to my mind) ways than this:

In the present moment, when (your mind) remains in its own condition without constructing anything,
Awareness at that moment in itself is quite ordinary.
And when you look into yourself in this way nakedly (without any discursive thoughts),
Since there is only this pure observing, there will be found a lucid
clarity without anyone being there who is the observer;
Only a naked manifest awareness is present.
(This awareness) is empty and immaculately pure, not being created by anything whatsoever.
It is authentic and unadulterated, without any duality of clarity and emptiness.
It is not permanent and yet it is not created by anything.
However, it is not a mere nothingness or something annihilated because it is lucid and present.
It does not exist as a single entity because it is present and clear in terms of being many.
(On the other hand) it is not created as a multiplicity of things because it is inseparable and of a single flavor.
This inherent self-awareness does not derive from anything outside itself.
This is the real introduction to the actual condition of things.

Padmasambhava


What I like about Buddhism is that it does give specific techniques for attempting to see past the ego, and describes them in detail. What I think is an obstacle in Buddhism is that this very verbiage can mentally turn whatever Buddhism points to into a rather worldly, finite concept if one is not careful. Words will tend to do that, after all, so there are benefits to description as well as benefits to reverence that doesn’t allow for much description. The words above, for example, could easily lead one to believe that they point to something mundane that could be captured, experientially, by an individual ego - just sitting there with a clear head, no distractions, really in the moment, etc. - and I think that is very much incorrect. I feel like the more unknowable, “not self” concept of God helps to incline the mind more towards something of unknowable scale and depth. Of course it also leaves far more room for interpretation, which can incline the mind towards different difficulties - but I wouldn’t say that one concept is simply categorically better than the other overall. In Buddhism you can say, after talking about ______ for a long time “but of course this is all indescribable in words”... but if you’ve just spent a long time talking about it, well, in words, I think that idea is far less likely to click at a deep, felt level. When speaking of the God that Jesus referenced, the hushed lack of description - the idea, usually, that any attempt at description verges on severe impropriety - probably inclines the mind more towards what _____ actually is but leaves a lot of room for imaginations to run wild and insert their own ideas.

 
 
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10 December 2016 12:24
 
NL. - 08 December 2016 09:43 PM

PS… Found the quote, and I gotta say, not sure what Sam is talking about in this case (in saying there is no equivalent of this quote in Christianity). For one, to compare the Bible to a Buddhist philosopher who lived hundreds of years after the Buddha himself is apples and oranges. Apples to apples would be comparing a Buddhist philosopher to a Christian theologian (or a sutra from the Buddha himself to the Bible), who most certainly have described God in similar (albeit more expansive, to my mind) ways than this:

In the present moment, when (your mind) remains in its own condition without constructing anything,
Awareness at that moment in itself is quite ordinary.
And when you look into yourself in this way nakedly (without any discursive thoughts),
Since there is only this pure observing, there will be found a lucid
clarity without anyone being there who is the observer;
Only a naked manifest awareness is present.
(This awareness) is empty and immaculately pure, not being created by anything whatsoever.
It is authentic and unadulterated, without any duality of clarity and emptiness.
It is not permanent and yet it is not created by anything.
However, it is not a mere nothingness or something annihilated because it is lucid and present.
It does not exist as a single entity because it is present and clear in terms of being many.
(On the other hand) it is not created as a multiplicity of things because it is inseparable and of a single flavor.
This inherent self-awareness does not derive from anything outside itself.
This is the real introduction to the actual condition of things.

Padmasambhava


What I like about Buddhism is that it does give specific techniques for attempting to see past the ego, and describes them in detail. What I think is an obstacle in Buddhism is that this very verbiage can mentally turn whatever Buddhism points to into a rather worldly, finite concept if one is not careful. Words will tend to do that, after all, so there are benefits to description as well as benefits to reverence that doesn’t allow for much description. The words above, for example, could easily lead one to believe that they point to something mundane that could be captured, experientially, by an individual ego - just sitting there with a clear head, no distractions, really in the moment, etc. - and I think that is very much incorrect. I feel like the more unknowable, “not self” concept of God helps to incline the mind more towards something of unknowable scale and depth. Of course it also leaves far more room for interpretation, which can incline the mind towards different difficulties - but I wouldn’t say that one concept is simply categorically better than the other overall. In Buddhism you can say, after talking about ______ for a long time “but of course this is all indescribable in words”... but if you’ve just spent a long time talking about it, well, in words, I think that idea is far less likely to click at a deep, felt level. When speaking of the God that Jesus referenced, the hushed lack of description - the idea, usually, that any attempt at description verges on severe impropriety - probably inclines the mind more towards what _____ actually is but leaves a lot of room for imaginations to run wild and insert their own ideas.

In his notes to this ‘padma’ quote, Sam Harris comments, “One can interpret every text in such a way as to yield almost any mystical or occult instruction.”  (he goes on to demonstrate how it could be done with a recipe from a cookbook)

 
 
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10 December 2016 23:39
 
unsmoked - 10 December 2016 12:24 PM

In his notes to this ‘padma’ quote, Sam Harris comments, “One can interpret every text in such a way as to yield almost any mystical or occult instruction.”  (he goes on to demonstrate how it could be done with a recipe from a cookbook)


I’m not sure what point you’re making here. On the one hand, in the original context Sam was saying that in a rather negative way, as a criticism. On the other, in the context of this thread, finding wisdom in a cookbook rather than a religious dictate actually supports your idea that all wisdom is internal. So genuinely just not sure what you meant by this.

 
 
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14 December 2016 11:15
 
NL. - 10 December 2016 11:39 PM
unsmoked - 10 December 2016 12:24 PM

In his notes to this ‘padma’ quote, Sam Harris comments, “One can interpret every text in such a way as to yield almost any mystical or occult instruction.”  (he goes on to demonstrate how it could be done with a recipe from a cookbook)


I’m not sure what point you’re making here. On the one hand, in the original context Sam was saying that in a rather negative way, as a criticism. On the other, in the context of this thread, finding wisdom in a cookbook rather than a religious dictate actually supports your idea that all wisdom is internal. So genuinely just not sure what you meant by this.

I took that comment to mean that, for example, you can take a Buddhist quote and interpret it to mean the same as something found in the Bible, even though, in the usual sense of the words, nothing like it is found in the Bible.  (see post #18)

 
 
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14 December 2016 12:21
 
unsmoked - 14 December 2016 11:15 AM
NL. - 10 December 2016 11:39 PM
unsmoked - 10 December 2016 12:24 PM

In his notes to this ‘padma’ quote, Sam Harris comments, “One can interpret every text in such a way as to yield almost any mystical or occult instruction.”  (he goes on to demonstrate how it could be done with a recipe from a cookbook)


I’m not sure what point you’re making here. On the one hand, in the original context Sam was saying that in a rather negative way, as a criticism. On the other, in the context of this thread, finding wisdom in a cookbook rather than a religious dictate actually supports your idea that all wisdom is internal. So genuinely just not sure what you meant by this.

I took that comment to mean that, for example, you can take a Buddhist quote and interpret it to mean the same as something found in the Bible, even though, in the usual sense of the words, nothing like it is found in the Bible.  (see post #18)


I am going to try responding to this in a new thread, this italics thing is driving me crazy.

 
 
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22 December 2016 09:58
 

How Buddhism differs from Christianity

About a thousand years ago, Zen master Yuanwu wrote:

“Ever since antiquity, with excellence beyond measure, the saints and sages have experienced this Great Cause alone, as if planting great potential and capacity.  By the power of their vows of compassion, they have brought forth direct indications of the One Thing that is most profound and most recondite, the common essence of all the myriad forms of being.

“Without setting up stages, they abruptly transcend to realize this essence alone.  Since before the time when nothing existed, this essence has been ever still and unmoved, determining the basis of all conscious beings.  It permeates all times and is beyond all thought.  It is beyond holy and ordinary and transcends all knowledge and views.  It has never fluctuated or wavered: it is there, pure and naked and full of life.  All beings, both animate and inanimate, have it complete within them.”  -  Yuanwu

(quoted from the book, ‘ZEN LETTERS - Teachings of Yuanwu” - translated by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary)

 
 
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22 December 2016 12:05
 
unsmoked - 22 December 2016 09:58 AM

How Buddhism differs from Christianity

About a thousand years ago, Zen master Yuanwu wrote:

“Ever since antiquity, with excellence beyond measure, the saints and sages have experienced this Great Cause alone, as if planting great potential and capacity.  By the power of their vows of compassion, they have brought forth direct indications of the One Thing that is most profound and most recondite, the common essence of all the myriad forms of being.

“Without setting up stages, they abruptly transcend to realize this essence alone.  Since before the time when nothing existed, this essence has been ever still and unmoved, determining the basis of all conscious beings.  It permeates all times and is beyond all thought.  It is beyond holy and ordinary and transcends all knowledge and views.  It has never fluctuated or wavered: it is there, pure and naked and full of life.  All beings, both animate and inanimate, have it complete within them.”  -  Yuanwu

(quoted from the book, ‘ZEN LETTERS - Teachings of Yuanwu” - translated by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary)


Are you not seeing the random italics, is it just me? Ok, back to the original thread I guess.


I’m not sure what point specifically you’re highlighting above. It sounds a lot like “God in all things” to me, which is a pretty prime Christian concept, but maybe you meant something else.


To be clear, I’m certainly not saying that Buddhism and Christianity don’t differ at all. Obviously, all you have to do is look at the details of their doctrines and notice that they vary - there is no cruxifixction in Buddhism, for example. I would say Buddhism is often more specific about certain concepts than Christianity but what Christ himself would have said about such issues is not knowable - it’s not like he said “Yes, I think there are pretty much four boundless states”, or “Nope, I just don’t see that”. As the topic never comes up in the Gospels, there’s no way to know for sure. So I will say that I think in terms of empirical details, yes, there is clearly a lot of variation; in terms of philosophical attitudes, Christianity is hypothetically not incompatible with much of Buddhism but it tends not to spell this out one way or the other.


At a personal level, having spent a fair amount of time in an Orthodox Church, a nondenominational Evangelical Church, and Buddhist retreat centers, I haven’t noticed any particularly pronounced differences between them except that Buddhists are way less social in a traditional way (which I don’t think is a negative thing, sometimes I really enjoy some quiet time.) But for the most part, I haven’t noticed that any one of those groups seems to contain a far higher concentration of really good character than the others. I have yet to encounter an enlightened being or saint or even a personality type that doesn’t have a totally secular equivalent in any of them. I have met some amazingly wonderful and generous people in all of those settings, but again, not to a degree that I could say “I have only seen this come about as the fruit of this religion”, because I can find examples of other amazingly wonderful and generous people in other religions and secular life.


Anyways, unsmoked, everyone thinks their faith is the best, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But I’m saying, at a personal, experiential level, I haven’t seen vast differences between Christianity and Buddhism. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but I’m just describing where I’m coming from on this one.

[ Edited: 22 December 2016 12:08 by sojourner]
 
 
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23 December 2016 10:45
 
NL. - 22 December 2016 12:05 PM
unsmoked - 22 December 2016 09:58 AM

How Buddhism differs from Christianity

About a thousand years ago, Zen master Yuanwu wrote:

“Ever since antiquity, with excellence beyond measure, the saints and sages have experienced this Great Cause alone, as if planting great potential and capacity.  By the power of their vows of compassion, they have brought forth direct indications of the One Thing that is most profound and most recondite, the common essence of all the myriad forms of being.

“Without setting up stages, they abruptly transcend to realize this essence alone.  Since before the time when nothing existed, this essence has been ever still and unmoved, determining the basis of all conscious beings.  It permeates all times and is beyond all thought.  It is beyond holy and ordinary and transcends all knowledge and views.  It has never fluctuated or wavered: it is there, pure and naked and full of life.  All beings, both animate and inanimate, have it complete within them.”  -  Yuanwu

(quoted from the book, ‘ZEN LETTERS - Teachings of Yuanwu” - translated by J.C. Cleary and Thomas Cleary)

Are you not seeing the random italics, is it just me? Ok, back to the original thread I guess.

I’m not sure what point specifically you’re highlighting above. It sounds a lot like “God in all things” to me, which is a pretty prime Christian concept, but maybe you meant something else.

To be clear, I’m certainly not saying that Buddhism and Christianity don’t differ at all. Obviously, all you have to do is look at the details of their doctrines and notice that they vary - there is no cruxifixction in Buddhism, for example. I would say Buddhism is often more specific about certain concepts than Christianity but what Christ himself would have said about such issues is not knowable - it’s not like he said “Yes, I think there are pretty much four boundless states”, or “Nope, I just don’t see that”. As the topic never comes up in the Gospels, there’s no way to know for sure. So I will say that I think in terms of empirical details, yes, there is clearly a lot of variation; in terms of philosophical attitudes, Christianity is hypothetically not incompatible with much of Buddhism but it tends not to spell this out one way or the other.

At a personal level, having spent a fair amount of time in an Orthodox Church, a nondenominational Evangelical Church, and Buddhist retreat centers, I haven’t noticed any particularly pronounced differences between them except that Buddhists are way less social in a traditional way (which I don’t think is a negative thing, sometimes I really enjoy some quiet time.) But for the most part, I haven’t noticed that any one of those groups seems to contain a far higher concentration of really good character than the others. I have yet to encounter an enlightened being or saint or even a personality type that doesn’t have a totally secular equivalent in any of them. I have met some amazingly wonderful and generous people in all of those settings, but again, not to a degree that I could say “I have only seen this come about as the fruit of this religion”, because I can find examples of other amazingly wonderful and generous people in other religions and secular life.

Anyways, unsmoked, everyone thinks their faith is the best, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But I’m saying, at a personal, experiential level, I haven’t seen vast differences between Christianity and Buddhism. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but I’m just describing where I’m coming from on this one.

I’m not seeing the random italics.  If there was anyone else looking at this topic maybe they could tell us if the problem was coming from here or from your computer.  I’ll ask Nhoj what he thinks.  I would have continued on your ‘number 2’ but didn’t want to lose our previous posts.

Take another look at post #18 where I quote Sam Harris (writing in his book, ‘THE END OF FAITH’)  Notice that he says, “startling differences”.  From what you have said on this subject so far, am I correct in assuming that you don’t see any ‘startling differences’ between these two religions?  You see some differences, but not startling differences?

When Zen master Hongzhi writes the following, it strikes me as a startling difference between Buddhism and Christianity:

“The mind originally is detached from objects, reality basically has no explanation.  This is why a classical Zen master said, “Our school has no slogans, and no doctrine to give people.”  Fundamentally it is a matter of people arriving on their own and finding out for themselves, only then can they talk about it.”  -  Hongzhi (end quote)

Based on my observations about Christianity, I think most would object to the statement that ‘reality has no explanation’, not to mention the notion of ‘people arriving on their own’.  What?  Arriving without Jesus?  Jesus has no doctrine to give people?  (“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me.”)

(Hongzhi quoted from the book, ‘ZEN ESSENCE - The Science of Freedom’ - translated and edited by Thomas Cleary)

 

 
 
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23 December 2016 21:28
 
unsmoked - 23 December 2016 10:45 AM

I’m not seeing the random italics.  If there was anyone else looking at this topic maybe they could tell us if the problem was coming from here or from your computer.  I’ll ask Nhoj what he thinks.  I would have continued on your ‘number 2’ but didn’t want to lose our previous posts.


Weird, on my computer this entire thread (only this one, although it’s happened occasionally in the past) is in italics.

 

Take another look at post #18 where I quote Sam Harris (writing in his book, ‘THE END OF FAITH’)  Notice that he says, “startling differences”.  From what you have said on this subject so far, am I correct in assuming that you don’t see any ‘startling differences’ between these two religions?  You see some differences, but not startling differences?


That depends on your definition of ‘startling’, I guess. When I speak of Christianity, btw, I’m talking pretty much about Christ in the New Testament, although different traditions mean different things by the term. At a philosophical level, no, I don’t see enormous stated differences between Christ and Buddha, although I see places where there could be differences, but we have no way of knowing. Like asking if Thomas Jefferson and Julius Caesar had similar sentiments on sporting events. I mean, maybe, maybe not. Doubtful that there’s enough information in the historical record to discuss that at length.

 

When Zen master Hongzhi writes the following, it strikes me as a startling difference between Buddhism and Christianity:

“The mind originally is detached from objects, reality basically has no explanation.  This is why a classical Zen master said, “Our school has no slogans, and no doctrine to give people.”  Fundamentally it is a matter of people arriving on their own and finding out for themselves, only then can they talk about it.”  -  Hongzhi (end quote)

 


Again, I don’t think comparing a Buddhist teacher to the Buddha himself is an apples to apples comparison. If I can pull quotes from any preacher, priest, or theologian who has lived since the time of Christ, then yes, I am quite certain I could come up with a similar concept or, for that matter, just about any interpretation under the sun. And the idea that you should know God or Jesus personally, or that you can only know God or Jesus personally, isn’t even particularly esoteric in Christianity, it’s fairly mainstream.

 

Based on my observations about Christianity, I think most would object to the statement that ‘reality has no explanation’, not to mention the notion of ‘people arriving on their own’.  What?  Arriving without Jesus?  Jesus has no doctrine to give people?  (“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me.”)

(Hongzhi quoted from the book, ‘ZEN ESSENCE - The Science of Freedom’ - translated and edited by Thomas Cleary)


I think most Christians would be fine with “God has no explanation”. As far a “no one comes to the Father but by me”, I actually think this is a much much lighter criteria than Buddhism describes. If taken in a very literal fashion, (although it’s not entirely clear to me what Jesus meant by this, it seems likely there was a lot implied in that statement), it decreases the workload as compared to Buddhism by a lot. And many Christians take this quite literally and think that so long as you accepted Jesus as your lord and savior before you died it’s all good. Some will add the caveat that you can’t really claim to have accepted Christ if you’re living a horrible life, but even then, so long as you repent at the end it’s pretty much all forgiven. Buddha, on the other hand, had plenty of rules about what constituted bad karma and believed that once you committed a negative act, there was pretty much 100% no way you could escape the consequences, karmically.


Now that I think of it, I have mused that one of the biggest differences between Christianity and Buddhism is that Christianity describes a redemptive God, whereas Buddhism is pretty much entirely deterministic, at least until you’re enlightened or see beyond samsara. As you seem to be focusing on the idea of authoritarianism vs. individualism in this thread, I think there would be aspects of both in each framing. A redemptive, loving God who can pardon you from your sins is a benevolent figure but still the boss. On the other hand, ask them for forgiveness and you’re pretty much good to go, leaving a lot more freedom to screw up so long as you ask for forgiveness. Saying it’s all on you and no one but you is perhaps more empowering to the individual in one sense, but threatens with pretty much inescapable punishment in future lives no matter what, leaving less room to ‘play’ and experiment, if you will.


I think ultimately both probably describe the same or at least similar ideas from different angles and with different metaphors, but that’s just me. Again, from a strictly historical record perspective, I don’t think there’s anywhere near enough information to know for sure what Christ and Buddha would have thought of each other’s opinions had they met in person.

 
 
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23 December 2016 23:29
 

I ran into the italics bug once or twice. I forget the solution though it was in my machine. Try deleting your temp files and cookies. The page may be loading with a stray bit of code. I am posting through my hat. Anyone know the fix?

 
 
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24 December 2016 06:14
 
Nhoj Morley - 23 December 2016 11:29 PM

I ran into the italics bug once or twice. I forget the solution though it was in my machine. Try deleting your temp files and cookies. The page may be loading with a stray bit of code. I am posting through my hat. Anyone know the fix?


No worries, the italics aren’t bad - kind of like if writing in all caps is screaming, all italics seems like we’re having this conversation in a super dramatic operatic tone where every word is emphasized. I assume unsmoked is wearing one of those funny Viking hats, while I am making dramatic gestures toward the sky. Also Bugs Bunny is involved, because let’s be honest, literally the only opera music I have ever heard has been in Bugs Bunny cartoons.

 
 
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