Shinto - Buddhism

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Re: Shinto - Buddhism

Postby TheSpirit » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:03 am

indrajala. I can't help but get the impression that you seem to think very low of Shinto. If that's the case it is completely fine. However I am somewhat bothered by the fact that you oversimplified Shinto to nothing more than a god fearing religion which it actually is not. I find it rather unfair and, in my own opinion, disrespectful. What you said is equivalent to saying Buddhism is nothing more than a bunch of coward avoiding reality in fear of getting hurt, or afraid negative karma going to send them to hell. You see how that is the same? Of course that isn't Buddhism, at least to me. What I am expressing is that the mind tends to be bias and fill with prejudice and thus can warp truth or reality in whichever way it pleases.

Shinto just as Buddhism have evolved. Buddhism now day I am sure is very different than what was back in ancient time. So I do not understand why you seem to put such emphasis on the fact that it is different from what it used to be as if it is a very negative thing. The core essence of ancient Shinto still carries to modern Shinto, the belief that Kami exist in our surrounding and we should have respect for it, and the practice of purification. Same as the core teaching of Buddh carries to modern Buddhism even though it is different in custom and slightly different I'm belief from one country to the next, one school to the next.

BTW Tsubaki Grand Shrine have a lot of Japanese attendees. I could have misunderstood you, but if your Japanese friend floored meaning they thought its hilarious, find out how many of them are shinto and how many of them actually practice it. Another point is many Japanese outside of Japan still practice Shinto. They are grateful for these shrines. Another reason why Shinto can be practice outside of Japan.

I am not wishing to stir up conflict or confrontation. I see that we have disagreement and it is fine, you are entitled to your belief. However I would appreciate it if you can keep an open kind and do not downplay Shinto or being unfair in presenting what Shinto really is.

Thank you.
“To be fully alive is to have an aesthetic perception of life because a major part of the world's goodness lies in its often unspeakable beauty.”
― Yukitaka Yamamoto
User avatar
TheSpirit
 
Posts: 107
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:38 pm

Re: Shinto - Buddhism

Postby Indrajala » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:33 am

TheSpirit wrote:indrajala. I can't help but get the impression that you seem to think very low of Shinto.


No, I have the greatest respect for Shinto. I just recognize what its function really is. It is polytheism and aimed at making good relations with the kami. This is a worthwhile endeavor.

What I am expressing is that the mind tends to be bias and fill with prejudice and thus can warp truth or reality in whichever way it pleases.



I'm expressing my opinion as a scholar.



The core essence of ancient Shinto still carries to modern Shinto, the belief that Kami exist in our surrounding and we should have respect for it, and the practice of purification.


That's only partially true. A lot of Shinto shrines do what they do because it is business. Japanese people feel obligated to carry on with archaic traditions they neither really understand or believe in, but nevertheless they pay cold hard cash for them. My friend, who is a Shinto priest, told me some priests don't even really believe kami exist. They just do what they do because it is a hereditary priesthood and a component of the Japanese identity.



Another reason why Shinto can be practice outside of Japan.


People can do whatever they like.


I am not wishing to stir up conflict or confrontation. I see that we have disagreement and it is fine, you are entitled to your belief. However I would appreciate it if you can keep an open kind and do not downplay Shinto or being unfair in presenting what Shinto really is.


I went to a Shinto university in Japan for a year (Kokugakuin Daigaku). I also know Japanese and lived there for three years. I know what classical Shinto was and what the modern revisionism looks like. It is a lot like revisionist Buddhism in Japan which deletes rebirth, karma and other disagreeable elements.
Flower Ornament Depository (Blog)
Indrajāla's Contemplations (Blog)
Exploring Classical Chinese (Blog)
Dharma Depository (Site)

"Hui gives me no assistance. There is nothing that I say in which he does not delight." -Confucius
User avatar
Indrajala
 
Posts: 5957
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Location: Japan

Re: Shinto - Buddhism

Postby TheSpirit » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:22 pm

Indrajala wrote:
TheSpirit wrote:indrajala. I can't help but get the impression that you seem to think very low of Shinto.


No, I have the greatest respect for Shinto. I just recognize what its function really is. It is polytheism and aimed at making good relations with the kami. This is a worthwhile endeavor.

I supposed we will have to disagree on this. Though I do accept that Shinto is definitely a form of polytheism and that it does involve the worship of the Kami. However Kami and ourselves are not completely separate, I think this is the important point in which we disagree.

What I am expressing is that the mind tends to be bias and fill with prejudice and thus can warp truth or reality in whichever way it pleases.



I'm expressing my opinion as a scholar.

Scholar tends to see things through an academic perspective which equal to generalization. It helps student get a general grasp on what it is. Same thing with Buddhism. I have a friend who studied Buddhism as a practitioner for years and when he takes University courses for Buddhism for his major, he said though it covers a wide range of different aspects of Buddhism, it differs greatly from the belief of actual practitioner. I guess that is why people generally do not go to professor or scholar to receiving guidance for practicing.




The core essence of ancient Shinto still carries to modern Shinto, the belief that Kami exist in our surrounding and we should have respect for it, and the practice of purification.


That's only partially true. A lot of Shinto shrines do what they do because it is business. Japanese people feel obligated to carry on with archaic traditions they neither really understand or believe in, but nevertheless they pay cold hard cash for them. My friend, who is a Shinto priest, told me some priests don't even really believe kami exist. They just do what they do because it is a hereditary priesthood and a component of the Japanese identity.

My apology but I find what you said here is irrelevant to Shinto Belief. I don't doubt that there are Shrines that function like a business, I supposed they have to if that is what they do for living but I don't see how that have anything to do with the belief of Shinto practice. Lets compare it to Butsudo in order to make it a bit easier to see. Most Zazen priest will charge an outrageous fee for monthly membership to attend their center, however this doesn't somehow discredit the belief or benefits of the practice of Zazen.


Another reason why Shinto can be practice outside of Japan.


People can do whatever they like.

Agreed.

I am not wishing to stir up conflict or confrontation. I see that we have disagreement and it is fine, you are entitled to your belief. However I would appreciate it if you can keep an open kind and do not downplay Shinto or being unfair in presenting what Shinto really is.


I went to a Shinto university in Japan for a year (Kokugakuin Daigaku). I also know Japanese and lived there for three years. I know what classical Shinto was and what the modern revisionism looks like. It is a lot like revisionist Buddhism in Japan which deletes rebirth, karma and other disagreeable elements.


I don't quite agree with comparing modern Shinto to Buddhism removing the core belief of its practice such as rebirth and karma. Shinto still carried its core belief in my opinion. I would compare it maybe to most modern Buddhist priests or monks not strictly following their monks law, or the fact they no longer go for alms round as they used to. Infact they live off of monetary donation, and I don't doubt they sell things just like Shinto Shrine would, isn't that somewhat a Business too? I don't see a problem with that though. Change of time and culture will inevitably transform belief and practice as well to make it more practical or applicable.


Either way, I appreciate your scholarly input. I supposed it was what I asked for and you expressed your opinion. Regardless if I agree or not, I am grateful. Thank you
“To be fully alive is to have an aesthetic perception of life because a major part of the world's goodness lies in its often unspeakable beauty.”
― Yukitaka Yamamoto
User avatar
TheSpirit
 
Posts: 107
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:38 pm

Previous

Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests

>