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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:28 pm 
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teknix wrote:
I am failing to see your point, they are more the same than different. Compare the two liquids to a rock. Besides water is the base from which coco is made, from which every drink I can think of is made.


Don't take this the wrong way, but you're being obtuse.

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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:37 pm 
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I don't know any other way to take unconstructive criticism, besides the wrong way, as that is where it comes from. If you meant for it to be constructive, then you may do better to elaborate


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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:43 pm 
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teknix wrote:
I don't know any other way to take unconstructive criticism, besides the wrong way, as that is where it comes from. If you meant for it to be constructive, then you may do better to elaborate


Do you really need me to elaborate that water is different than coca-cola and there are distinct differences outside of them both being liquids?

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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:03 pm 
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Mr. G wrote:
teknix wrote:
I don't know any other way to take unconstructive criticism, besides the wrong way, as that is where it comes from. If you meant for it to be constructive, then you may do better to elaborate


Do you really need me to elaborate that water is different than coca-cola and there are distinct differences outside of them both being liquids?


Why is it hard to understand that I do not care about the differences?


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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:11 am 
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teknix wrote:
Mr. G wrote:
teknix wrote:
I don't know any other way to take unconstructive criticism, besides the wrong way, as that is where it comes from. If you meant for it to be constructive, then you may do better to elaborate


Do you really need me to elaborate that water is different than coca-cola and there are distinct differences outside of them both being liquids?


Why is it hard to understand that I do not care about the differences?


But you should care. That way the next time you're sick you won't take arsenic to cure your cold as opposed to taking medicine.

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    - Vasubandhu


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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:50 am 
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Mr. G wrote:

But you should care. That way the next time you're sick you won't take arsenic to cure your cold as opposed to taking medicine.


What does that have to do with spirituality exactly?

Why should you pretend to care what I care? You obviously don't.


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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:30 am 
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Seb, you seem to be referring to the Ahmadiyya claims. These are largely based on hasty linguistic parallels—the same people identify the “Lost Tribes of Israel” in India, due to similar-sounding names. But in view of the limited number of sounds that can be uttered by the human palate, one would expect to find similar-sounding phonemes even in unrelated languages. (Similar reasoning is used in John Allegro’s book, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, which argues “Jesus Christ” to have been a code-word for a certain psychedelic mushroom, I kid you not.)

“Legends” cannot be assumed to be ancient, or to be true even if they are. Nicholas Roerich cites Tibetan “legends” about Christ, which on inspection turn out to be quotations from Notovitch and Dowling (i.e., then-contemporary esoteric literature). There are apparently some (medieval?) Islamic traditions such as you describe…but do they go back to the first century AD (as they would need to, in order to demonstrate anything about Jesus)? Of course not. They are no more credible than the similar legend that Joseph of Aramethea went to Britain. It is easy to IMAGINE Jesus going on such an adventure, but speculation is not evidence, and a hundred weak arguments do not add up to one strong argument. Anyway, if Jesus had made such a journey, a la Marco Polo, wouldn’t his followers have noted such a noteworthy accomplishment?

I’ve been to the tomb of “Yus Asaf” in Srinagar (which, by the way, is controlled by India—this is in reference to your complaint about “the fanatics that own that area now”), and beg to report that the caretakers were very nice. I’m sure there would be no obstacle to any legitimate research. As for the Vatican, you don’t even have to be Catholic to use their archives--but of course you can’t prove a negative, so there’s no way to be sure they’re NOT hiding secret files on Jesus, UFO’s, or whatever, in some secret room that no one ever sees.

You complain about the “official story” of Jesus, and yet, you follow it on numerous points which scholars find doubtful (such as the story of the magi). I suggest that the Ahmadiyya / Theosophical / New Age version is no improvement. There are numerous excellent books on Jesus Studies, by scholars who disagree with one another in various fundamental ways, but none of whom would project a post-Constantinian proto-Orthodoxy backwards onto Jesus.


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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:38 am 
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Tewi wrote:
Seb, you seem to be referring to the Ahmadiyya claims. These are largely based on hasty linguistic parallels—the same people identify the “Lost Tribes of Israel” in India, due to similar-sounding names. But in view of the limited number of sounds that can be uttered by the human palate, one would expect to find similar-sounding phonemes even in unrelated languages. (Similar reasoning is used in John Allegro’s book, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, which argues “Jesus Christ” to have been a code-word for a certain psychedelic mushroom, I kid you not.)

“Legends” cannot be assumed to be ancient, or to be true even if they are. Nicholas Roerich cites Tibetan “legends” about Christ, which on inspection turn out to be quotations from Notovitch and Dowling (i.e., then-contemporary esoteric literature). There are apparently some (medieval?) Islamic traditions such as you describe…but do they go back to the first century AD (as they would need to, in order to demonstrate anything about Jesus)? Of course not. They are no more credible than the similar legend that Joseph of Aramethea went to Britain. It is easy to IMAGINE Jesus going on such an adventure, but speculation is not evidence, and a hundred weak arguments do not add up to one strong argument. Anyway, if Jesus had made such a journey, a la Marco Polo, wouldn’t his followers have noted such a noteworthy accomplishment?

I’ve been to the tomb of “Yus Asaf” in Srinagar (which, by the way, is controlled by India—this is in reference to your complaint about “the fanatics that own that area now”), and beg to report that the caretakers were very nice. I’m sure there would be no obstacle to any legitimate research. As for the Vatican, you don’t even have to be Catholic to use their archives--but of course you can’t prove a negative, so there’s no way to be sure they’re NOT hiding secret files on Jesus, UFO’s, or whatever, in some secret room that no one ever sees.

You complain about the “official story” of Jesus, and yet, you follow it on numerous points which scholars find doubtful (such as the story of the magi). I suggest that the Ahmadiyya / Theosophical / New Age version is no improvement. There are numerous excellent books on Jesus Studies, by scholars who disagree with one another in various fundamental ways, but none of whom would project a post-Constantinian proto-Orthodoxy backwards onto Jesus.


The scholars rarely experience the heart center as Jesus did and described. So they only have a basis in logic, not that which is pointing at. IE: like studying the finger when it is pointing at something else ^.^


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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:58 am 
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This recalls a well-known distinction between the Jesus of history, and the Christ of faith (which is usually assumed to mean mainstream Christianity, but could just as easily include this esoteric tradition). Even if that faith turns out to be something of a projection, it represents the hopes and ideals of Christians, and deserves our utmost respect, just as other religions do. I would add that scholarship is also a kind of ideal, and that not a few scholars have also been saints or mystics: Albert Schweitzer, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Raymond E. Brown...


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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:45 am 
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Tewi wrote:
This recalls a well-known distinction between the Jesus of history, and the Christ of faith (which is usually assumed to mean mainstream Christianity, but could just as easily include this esoteric tradition). Even if that faith turns out to be something of a projection, it represents the hopes and ideals of Christians, and deserves our utmost respect, just as other religions do. I would add that scholarship is also a kind of ideal, and that not a few scholars have also been saints or mystics: Albert Schweitzer, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Raymond E. Brown...


Do you think Saints are as rare as the awakened or as rare as the enlightened?


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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:59 pm 
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I'm not the best judge of sainthood or enlightenment, and neither tradition has exactly conducted a census! Perhaps it would be helpful to note that in Christianity (or those forms of it which talk about saints--many Protestants don't), a "saint" is just someone who lives a holy life (at least after a certain point--not a few convert from lives of sin). We all know saintly people, but to declare someone a "saint" is more of a social or institutional thing that happens when a cult (i.e. a tradition of veneration) forms around them. In a few cases, someone is considered a saint by one denomination but a heretic by another! Buddhas and bodhisattvas are also the object of cultic worship, and are said to have been former humans (though most seem entirely legendary or mythical--the same could be said of many saints--and are often derived from Indian gods) who have attained certain metaphysical realizations. Christian saints, by contrast, rely upon God rather than their own spiritual practice, and need not possess any special insight into theology, let alone omniscience. (The contrast between prayer and meditation captures this distinction well, though both have many forms, and are practiced by both religions.)


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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:21 am 
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retrofuturist wrote:
Greetings,

meindzai wrote:
Jesus's teachings would be categorized as eternalism, a wrong view in Buddhism.

Indeed - it's very simple to demonstrate, in a short period of time that Jesus was neither a Buddhist, Buddha, nor bodhisattva.

Yet, some people, for some reason, insist on try to find commonalities between Buddhism and Christianity... paving over the crevices in order to build some kind of bridge between them. But for what purpose...? I've never understood.

Metta,
Retro. :)


I have found myself doing this, or at least liking the idea of it. I was raised catholic, and taught from an early age to love Jesus - and I do love the idea of him still. I think that maybe those who are interested Buddhism, but not quite ready to commit to it, might look for these comparisons to make themselves feel better, or justify, their interest - and possible choice. If one could believe that Jesus might be a Buddhist, it would certainly be a lot easier to make a move, especially if you were sitting on the fence.


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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:25 pm 
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Bhavana wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:
Greetings,

meindzai wrote:
Jesus's teachings would be categorized as eternalism, a wrong view in Buddhism.

Indeed - it's very simple to demonstrate, in a short period of time that Jesus was neither a Buddhist, Buddha, nor bodhisattva.

Yet, some people, for some reason, insist on try to find commonalities between Buddhism and Christianity... paving over the crevices in order to build some kind of bridge between them. But for what purpose...? I've never understood.

Metta,
Retro. :)


I have found myself doing this, or at least liking the idea of it. I was raised catholic, and taught from an early age to love Jesus - and I do love the idea of him still. I think that maybe those who are interested Buddhism, but not quite ready to commit to it, might look for these comparisons to make themselves feel better, or justify, their interest - and possible choice. If one could believe that Jesus might be a Buddhist, it would certainly be a lot easier to make a move, especially if you were sitting on the fence.


It is interesting to me as well. I've never been a Christian, nor had any kind of religious upbringing so Jesus is utterly irrelevant to me, other than having a fondness for churches.

From where I am, the attempt to bridge the two or find commonalities is definitely something that done to make a religion which is both new to a culture and new to a convert more emotionally safe/less alien. But looking at the facts, it's like trying to mix oil and water.

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Look at the unfathomable spinelessness of man: all the means he's been given to stay alert he uses, in the end, to ornament his sleep. – Rene Daumal


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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:20 pm 
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Bhavana wrote:

I have found myself doing this, or at least liking the idea of it. I was raised catholic, and taught from an early age to love Jesus - and I do love the idea of him still. I think that maybe those who are interested Buddhism, but not quite ready to commit to it, might look for these comparisons to make themselves feel better, or justify, their interest - and possible choice. If one could believe that Jesus might be a Buddhist, it would certainly be a lot easier to make a move, especially if you were sitting on the fence.



i suspect that that's where the Dalai Lama is going when he tells people not to convert, but to find what they're seeking where they are. if you have that kind of emotional investment in Christianity that you have to patch it onto Buddhism just to make Buddhism palatable to you, then why make Buddhism palatable to you? just practice Christianity with integrity.

d


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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:48 pm 
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Bhavana wrote:
I have found myself doing this, or at least liking the idea of it. I was raised catholic, and taught from an early age to love Jesus - and I do love the idea of him still. I think that maybe those who are interested Buddhism, but not quite ready to commit to it, might look for these comparisons to make themselves feel better, or justify, their interest - and possible choice. If one could believe that Jesus might be a Buddhist, it would certainly be a lot easier to make a move, especially if you were sitting on the fence.


A person's reasons for leaving Christianity can be varied. Reasons may range from being deeply scandalized to the self-serving rejection of challenging dogma or moral practice. Leaving because Jesus possibly was a Buddhist has got to be one of the most shallow reasons I've ever heard.


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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:57 pm 
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Rael wrote:
Christianity tamed Rome...it laid the foundations for what we have today in the west....


Rael wrote:
He helped tame the barabaric Roman Empire....and beyond...end of....


Rael,

I strongly, passionately, wildly disagree.

The idea of Christians 'taming' the Roman Empire is not only erroneous, it's also gross - as you'll find out as soon as you compare the Roman Europe and the Europe of the Dark Ages. And the notion that it was Christianity which 'laid foundations for what we have today in the West' is equally incorrect - and equally a part of the imperial doctrine of Christianity.

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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:55 am 
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Certainly Christianity is an important element of Western civilization. We often hear of "Athens and Jerusalem" as its two ancient sources, and this seems fair. As for its role in the Roman Empire, Christianity replaced the localized cults of the ancient Mediterranean with a trans-imperial symbolic system, in a process which has some similarities to the globalization of today. In fact, we could easily speak of Christianity as an exotic Eastern religion, like the cults of Mithras or Isis...which would make early churches a bit like the Western dharma centers of today! But no, Christianity did not pacify the Roman Empire (either half), any more than Buddhism pacified the Mongols.

The Dalai Lama is speaking from an Indian cultural context in which changing religions is more like changing nationalities than taking up a new hobby (i.e. a strictly personal interest with no social implications, as in much of the West). He is also concerned about people getting their beliefs mixed up--his stock example is a Tibetan woman who converted to Christianity, but said she could be a Buddhist in her next life! Those who revere the Dalai Lama, if they insist on defying his advice and becoming Buddhists, ought at least to cultivate an appreciation of their former religions, especially if they have family members in those religions. In fact, it is common (and in East Asia, traditional) for people to have multiple religious identities. We've all heard of Jubus / Bujus, Christo-Buddhists / Buddho-Christians, and other combinations. While most denominations of Christianity will object to multiple identification, some won't, or don't have any formal policy about it (like the Anglicans / Episcopalians). In the USA, the Unitarian Universalists have Jewish, Christian, Pagan, and Buddhist wings, and can be a solid practical option for mixed-religious families, or children who don't fit into typical dharma center activities.


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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:06 pm 
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Tewi wrote:
Certainly Christianity is an important element of Western civilization. We often hear of "Athens and Jerusalem" as its two ancient sources, and this seems fair.


Far from being fair, it's a massive oversimplification - repeated so many times (for obvious political reasons) that most people take it to be true without giving it any thought.

Anyway, looking for the 'source' of a culture is a complete misunderstanding - just like looking for its 'core', 'heart', 'essence', etc..

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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:06 pm 
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I do not know a whole lot about Buddhism enough to be a scholar of the subject. I have read and seen things on this subject of Jesus Buddhist and I think it is very interesting. My opinion has changed on it over time, all positive changes. Seems like after so many inquiry's I have had on this board on deities, schools of Buddhism and some times culturally significant paraphernalia that I realized the most important thing to my goals in life are the Noble Eightfold Path, Four Noble Truths and Five Precepts. I have recently assumed the differences in the schools were due to the different teachers exodus out of India. So from a toddler in the subject reading a lot of this thread I must ask. Is Buddhism so dogmatic there is no shades of grey or possibilities of grey areas? Any input here?


Thanks,
- Distorted

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"Sona, before you became a monk you were a musician". Sona said that was true. So the Buddha said, "As a musician which string of the lute produces a pleasant and harmonious sound. The over-tight string?" "No," said Sona, "The over-tight string produces an unpleasant sound and is moreover likely to break at any moment." "The string that is too loose?" Again, "No, the string that is too loose does not produce a tuneful sound. The string that produces a tuneful sound is the string that is not too tight and not too loose."


Last edited by Distorted on Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Jesus, a Buddhist?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:12 pm 
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Distorted wrote:
I have recently assumed the differences in the schools was due to the different teachers exodus out of India. So from a toddler in the subject reading a lot of this thread I must ask. Is Buddhism so dogmatic there is no shades of grey or possibilities of grey areas? Any input here?


There are differences in emphasis, differences in approach, differences in method, differences in presentation. These are not necessarily points of conflict. They are just differences. Different people have different needs and capacities. Hence, there are different doors to Dharma to suit anyone's particular matrix of possibilities.

All this speculative stuff over whether Jesus was or wasn't a Buddhist is pointless and irrelevant, frankly. The real point is to find a situation in which you can learn and practice, and then really practice it.

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