So where do authentic christians go when they die?

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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby Huifeng » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:50 pm

AlexanderS wrote:From A Buddhist perspective. Do they go to some kind of heaven that is not eternal and still subject to birth and death? Using exemplary virtous christians as an example


Probably to heaven. The Brahma heaven(s), if they have the goods.
Lucky them!

Still, as the karma that got them there is conditioned and limited,
so too the result that they'll experience there.
And when it all runs out ... off they go to somewhere else. ...

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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby Huifeng » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:53 pm

Konchog1 wrote:
AlexanderS wrote:From A Buddhist perspective. Do they go to some kind of heaven that is not eternal and still subject to birth and death? Using exemplary virtous christians as an example
Yeah, as a Deva or Asura. They enjoy various pleasures for eons and then die and are reborn elsewhere.

One thing I wonder though, is what happens to someone like David Hume who discovers Emptiness all on his own but (likely) doesn't mediate on it?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bundle_theory


While I actually doubt that Hume did "discover emptiness",
if he - or anyone else did - "all on their own", then they'd be
a pratyekabuddha, or about to be one.

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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby mint » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:29 pm

Huseng wrote: The latter requires yogic development of which Christianity has no knowledge of.


Define yogic development.
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:53 pm

mint wrote:
Huseng wrote: The latter requires yogic development of which Christianity has no knowledge of.


Define yogic development.


More accurately: Which exoteric Christianity has no knowledge of.
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby alwayson » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:03 am

Huseng wrote:The latter requires yogic development of which Christianity has no knowledge of.


Obviously. :thumbsup:
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby sangyey » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:54 am

Probably to heaven. The Brahma heaven(s)


Is that first jhana plane (form realm) Huifeng? If so, is this plane accessible to those without any meditative concentration abilities?
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby Thug4lyfe » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:18 am

Would be nice if those homeboys ends up in the inner courts of Tusita heaven! :heart:
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby Huifeng » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:07 am

sangyey wrote:
Probably to heaven. The Brahma heaven(s)


Is that first jhana plane (form realm) Huifeng? If so, is this plane accessible to those without any meditative concentration abilities?


Basically equivalent to first dhyana.

Could be a matter of having "meditative concentration abilities" in general,
or as having an equivalent mind at the point of death.

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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby Indrajala » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:26 am

mint wrote:
Huseng wrote: The latter requires yogic development of which Christianity has no knowledge of.


Define yogic development.


Yogic development in this context is powers of meditative stabilization conducive to deep states of samadhi, specifically dhyāna/jhāna.
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby mint » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:04 pm

Huseng wrote:
mint wrote:
Huseng wrote: The latter requires yogic development of which Christianity has no knowledge of.


Define yogic development.


Yogic development in this context is powers of meditative stabilization conducive to deep states of samadhi, specifically dhyāna/jhāna.


Are you saying that non-Buddhists - specifically Christians - lack the capacity to develop "meditative stabilization conducive to deep states of samadhi, specifically dhyāna/jhāna"? Or are you saying they simply have no knowledge of how to go about the process?
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby Indrajala » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:20 pm

mint wrote:Are you saying that non-Buddhists - specifically Christians - lack the capacity to develop "meditative stabilization conducive to deep states of samadhi, specifically dhyāna/jhāna"? Or are you saying they simply have no knowledge of how to go about the process?


I am saying that Christianity does not have knowledge of said yogic development and hence cannot engage in such practices.

Many Hindu traditions have meditation. I am speaking specifically of Christianity here.

Thus, rebirth for a Christian devotee would in all likelihood exclude the possibility of it in the formless realms, which requires yogic development.
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby mint » Fri Dec 09, 2011 3:31 pm

Huseng wrote:I am saying that Christianity does not have knowledge of said yogic development and hence cannot engage in such practices.

Many Hindu traditions have meditation. I am speaking specifically of Christianity here.

Thus, rebirth for a Christian devotee would in all likelihood exclude the possibility of it in the formless realms, which requires yogic development.


What about these points from the Catechism of the Catholic Church concerning contemplative prayer?

"Contemplative prayer is silence, the "symbol of the world to come"or "silent love." Words in this kind of prayer are not speeches; they are like kindling that feeds the fire of love. In this silence, unbearable to the "outer" man, the Father speaks to us his incarnate Word, who suffered, died, and rose; in this silence the Spirit of adoption enables us to share in the prayer of Jesus." (CCC 2717)

"Contemplative prayer is the simple expression of the mystery of prayer. It is a gaze of faith fixed on Jesus, an attentiveness to the Word of God, a silent love. It achieves real union with the prayer of Christ to the extent that it makes us share in his mystery." (CCC 2724)

There is also a discussion of meditation. This isn't esoteric. In addition to this, severals mystics, among them Juan de la Cruz and Teresa de Avila, are recognized as Doctors of the Church. Their books are among the most widely read. Not to mention the incredibly mystical Imitation of Christ.
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby Indrajala » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:14 pm

mint wrote:What about these points from the Catechism of the Catholic Church concerning contemplative prayer?


I have no knowledge or experience with such things.

It doesn't sound like serious samadhi to me, but rather just mystical experience.
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:15 pm

Of the Imitation of Christ is excellent Mint! (in one of his works, Samael Aun Weor implied that he was Thomas à Kempis in a past life).

The Philokalia of the Desert Fathers is also an excellent Christian Meditation manual (the Desert Fathers were certainly Gnostic even if not in name):

http://gnostic-community.org/forum/view ... =10#p11736
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby Mr. G » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:32 pm

I find it amusing that some people will cling to perennial philosophy as if their life depended on it.

The Christian religion does not speak of dependent origination though some will bob and weave to say they do. Christian meditation does not equal Buddhist meditation. Christian meditation will give the results that are contained in Christian tenets. Buddhist meditation will give the results as stated in Buddhist tenets. Christianity does not equal Buddhism. Let it go already. :lol:
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    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby Indrajala » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:37 pm

Mr. G wrote:I find it amusing that some people will cling to perennial philosophy as if their life depended on it.

The Christian religion does not speak of dependent origination though some will bob and weave to say they do. Christian meditation does not equal Buddhist meditation. Christian meditation will give the results that are contained in Christian tenets. Buddhist meditation will give the results as stated in Buddhist tenets. Christianity does not equal Buddhism. Let it go already. :lol:


Moreover, in Christian cosmology there is no conception of arupa-loka. You don't just by chance end up in such a state...
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby mint » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:43 pm

Huseng wrote:It doesn't sound like serious samadhi to me, but rather just mystical experience.


I quoted to the passages from the Catechism only to illustrate that "yogic development" is not foreign to Christianity.

The language is particularly mystical, but, based on my experience, the results are similar. Teresa de Avila's El Castillo Interior, for instance, very much concerns itself with peeling back the layers of ego so that the soul is placed in a quiet state to receive the gifts of contemplation. Thomas Merton, for example, saw very great many parallels between Juan de la Cruz's writings and the Zen writings of D.T. Suzuki and other masters.

Speaking of Merton, one mode of prayer which has been catching on in the Church is something called "centering prayer," a form of prayer where one develops states of samadhi through focusing on the face or name of Jesus, the word Love, or some other spiritual object. As in any good meditation manual, when the mind wanders, the attention is brought back to the object. "Centering prayer" is not without its detractors, though, many of whom see it as too Buddhist; however, what they fail to realize is that centering prayer is a particular ancient practice of lectio divina (pronounced lexio div ena), where a person achieves states of samadhi based on focusing on a word or line from the Bible or other spiritual text.

I'm not saying Christians can become Buddhas, though. As Mr. G rightly points out, dependent origination is not something spoken of in Christianity, and the emphasis on the salvific power of God and Jesus only reifies dualism and ego.
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby Adamantine » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:48 pm

KeithBC wrote:The premise of this thread suggests New Age syncretism. In particular, it suggests the (ridiculous, IMHO) idea that different religions can simultaneously be correct on mutually exclusive doctrine.



Yes this is true, but also, see pg. 127-128 in "A Cascading Waterfall of Nectar" by Thinley Norbu. He makes some valid points concerning the relativity of spiritual phenomenon among people and beings in general, who may perceive subtle appearances that are invisible to most, write texts about them, and have followers who then have faith in them and develop the ability to perceive them also. This is all related to both the vast myriad display of phenomenon, as well as the relativity of perception among sentient beings. If I understand him correctly, this doesn't imply all religions are correct in any ultimate way at all, but simply that there may be a valid common spiritual experience at the root of a description or doctrine of a given religion even if the full expression and conclusion of the tradition misses the full picture of reality , i.e. samsara and shunyata, ignores karma, etc. If anyone can read these pages and correct me if I have misinterpreted them I'd appreciate it.
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby Lhug-Pa » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:52 pm

Christianity doesn't necessarily "equal Buddhism"; nevertheless, what very few people are aware of, is that the Gnostics worked and work with Yogic methods, and that teachings like Philokalia of the Desert Fathers are light years beyond the conventional exoteric Christianity that most people are familiar with.

Barbelo of the Gnostics is Arupaloka or formless realm.
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Re: So where do authentic christians go when they die?

Postby mint » Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:58 pm

Lhug-Pa wrote:Christianity doesn't necessarily "equal Buddhism"; nevertheless, what very few people are aware of, is that the Gnostics worked and work with Yogic methods, and that teachings like Philokalia of the Desert Fathers are light years beyond the conventional exoteric Christianity that most people are familiar with.

Barbelo of the Gnostics is a Arupaloka or formless realm.


Thanks for mentioning the Desert Fathers. Based on my reading, the Desert Fathers share more in common with the yogis of the Himalayas than they do differences. Reading their "logia" (or sayings) also shows a close affinity with koans. At a certain point in each of their lives, the Desert Fathers seem to focus less dogmatic principles and more on the cultivation of a parallel to bodhicitta. What was preserved of them is what later orthodox generations saw fit to preserve, and what was interpreted of them is often interpreted through the lens of John Cassian.
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