Where are the Gods?

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: Where are the Gods?

Postby Paul » Fri May 20, 2011 2:34 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
Astus wrote: I know that the cult of angels is quite popular and they could be fine materials for deities, however, they're very Chirstian in my view and I'm unaware if they have anything to do with local spirits (if there are any...) since angels are common Christian deities and also servants of a higher god. But I find this dualistic view of good and evil, upper world and lower world a bit difficult to match with Buddhist cosmology.
You are looking at it back to front. A "spiritual" phenomenon occurs at a local level and because the locals happen to be Christian they baptise the spirit an (christian) angel or a (satanic) devil depending on its action.

As for upper-lower being difficult to match with Buddhist Cosmology, well... it actually doesn't take that much effort to see the parallels, pick up any abhidharma text and you will see what I am talking about.
:namaste:


It's also worth looking ad djinn in Arabic mythology. Some can be evil and some can be good - some are meant to be Muslims in a similar way to devas can be Buddhist by religion.
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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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Serenity509 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:14 pm

Buddha did not claim to be a divine figure and avoided speculation about God and the afterlife. This is why many Westerners consider Buddhism compatible with their Christian or Jewish faith. I consider Buddhism more of a philosophy of life than a religion.
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby ronnewmexico » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:31 pm

You are certainly welcome to consider buddhism as philosophy or psychology or anything you may want to consider it as.
No one can reasonably say what your spiritual practice is to you or for you.

I'd guess in these three pages of posts this has been addressed.
But nevertheless as religion buddhism, does strictly abhore or disagree with the notion of a creator god as found in many theistic religions such as the two you mention.

Specific sutra sutta and jakata tale may be found in which the buddha specifically refutes the idea of such.

So gods sure...gods in the inherantly existant creator capacity of judism and theism...no. not in a religious form of Buddhism.

While many forms of buddhism allow for those of those faiths to even upon occasion become monks in buddhism as was Leonard Cohen in Zen...that does not mean buddhism as relgion abscribes to the notions found in theism. Status as monk does not infer one is teaching or representing the lineage in all regards.
Study as you may..... you will find no buddhism with lineage abscribing to theism as foundational tenant or core teaching.

So it's good for you and I'm glad you find use in buddhism, and call yourself buddhist. I am not calling myself buddhist and find use in buddhism.
So we are alike of a sort.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:10 pm

Serenity509 wrote:Buddha did not claim to be a divine figure and avoided speculation about God and the afterlife. This is why many Westerners consider Buddhism compatible with their Christian or Jewish faith. I consider Buddhism more of a philosophy of life than a religion.


Buddha very clearly rejected the existence of God as monotheists would understand it. See the following quotes.

'As far as the suns and moons extend their courses and the regions of the sky shine in splendour, there is a thousandfold world system. In each single one of these there are a thousand suns, moons, Meru Mountains, four times a thousand continents and oceans, a thousand heavens of all stages of the realm of sense pleasure, a thousand Brahma worlds. As far as a thousandfold world system reaches in other words, the universe], the Great God is the highest being. But even the Great God is subject to coming-to-be and ceasing-to-be.' -- Anguttara-Nikaya X 29

"God truthfully answers [the questions of the Buddha] in succession: 'Good sir, those views I previously held are not mine; I see the radiance the world of God as passing; how could I say that I am permanent and eternal?'" MN 83

"There are some ascetics and brahmins who declare as their doctrine that all things began with the creation by God, or Brahma."

Anguttara Nikaya 3.61: "Again, monks, I [the Buddha] approached those ascetic and brahmins and said to them: 'Is it true, as they say, that you venerable ones teach and hold the view that whatever a person experiences...all that is caused by God's creation?' When they affirmed it, I said to them: 'If that is so, venerable sirs, then it is due to God's creation that people kill, steal ...[and otherwise act badly]. But those who have recourse to God's creation as the decisive factor, will lack the impulse and the effort doing this or not doing that. Since for them, really and truly, no (motive) obtains that this or that ought to be done or not be done...."'

"If the pleasure and pain that beings feel are caused the creative act of a Supreme God [Issara-nimmana-hetu], then the Niganthas [Jains] surely must have been created by an evil Supreme God." MajjhimaNikaya II 222.

"The universe is without a refuge, without a Supreme God." MN II 68.

"He who eyes can see the sickening sight, why does not God set his creatures right? If his wide power no limits can restrain, why is his hand so rarely spread to bless? Why are his creatures all condemned to pain? Why does he not to all give happiness? Why do fraud, lies, and ignorance prevail? Why triumphs falsehood, -truth and justice fail? I count your God unjust in making a world in which to shelter wrong." J VI.208

"If God designs the life of the entire world -- the glory and the misery, the good and the evil acts, man is but an instrument of his will and God alone is responsible." J V.238.




Furthermore regarding the 'afterlife' he spoke of rebirth countless times and posited that unless one is free from the causes of rebirth one will take rebirth in one of the six realms.

For a review of Buddhist cosmology see the following link:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... /loka.html
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Serenity509 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:39 am

Pandeism asserts that God was at one point distinct from the universe, but for the sake of experiencing evolutionary existence, God became the universe. In pandeism, there is no personal God since God is transpersonal. There is no Creator God because God became the Creation.

Pandeism
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQRCsbO_rk4

The God Theory
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9feXeL- ... ded#at=210

Pandeism or Pan-Deism (from Ancient Greek: πάν pan "all" and Latin: deus meaning "God" in the sense of deism), is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of pantheism (that "God", or its metaphysical equivalent, is identical to the Universe) and deism (that the creator-god who designed the Universe no longer exists in a status where it can be reached, and can instead be confirmed only by reason). It is therefore most particularly the belief that the Creator of the Universe actually became the Universe, and so ceased to exist as a separate and conscious entity.[1][2]

Through this synergy pandeism claims to answer primary objections to deism (why would God create and then not interact with the Universe?) and to pantheism (how did the Universe originate and what is its purpose?)...

The God Theory
Physicist Bernard Haisch has published two books expressing a pandeistic model of our Universe. The first was the 2006 book entitled The God Theory, in which he writes

“I offer a genuine insight into how you can, and should, be a rational, science-believing human being and at the same time know that you are also an immortal spiritual being, a spark of God. I propose a worldview that offers a way out of the hate and fear-driven violence engulfing the planet.”

Haisch published a follow-up in 2010, "The Purpose-Driven Universe." Both books reject both atheism and traditional theistic viewpoints, favoring instead a model of Pandeism wherein our Creator has become our Universe, to share in the actualized experiences therein manifested. Haisch provides as proof of his views a combination of fine tuning and mystical experiences arguments...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandeism


I feel drawn to pandeism because it answers the question of why people commonly sense a sacred dimension to existence and why the sacred, by whatever name you call It, would allow suffering and evil in the world. The Creation is sacred because God became the Creation and therefore the Creation contains God. Suffering and evil exist because God has limited himself to experience evolutionary existence.
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:58 pm

That's very nice...but does not fit within the constaints of buddhism as religion in the generallly accepted manner, or as buddhists take buddhism to be as religion.

So it may be a personal philosophy and be ones valid personal spiritual path.
Hindus, some also, have some very unique appropriations of the buddha to their religion, some in a quite constructive manner, for spiritual purpose with good result.
Those also are not forms of religious buddhism however. Hindusim that abscribes to the buddha, they remain Hindu first.
Multiple multiple things found in formal scripture disallow notions such as these stated creative entities. Some from the perspective of allowance of evil, some from entirely differing perspective. In one a creator of a creator god concept(a god but not a creator), is equilivenced to a idiot who mistakening thinks he has created when he really is just the first to be in a particular place at a particular time in its evolution.
Some excellent ones have been provided by H.

They abound, the idea is just not tolerated in religious buddhsim. Any scholor of buddhism to which H may qualify will attest to that.
I am just a layperson but it is quite obvious even to me.

Theists that use buddhism as means may certainly do so allowably. Those same theists to then claim buddhism as religion to be theist...that is in error.
It is not simply philosophy to many many buddhists. While use as philosophy should not be disallowed use as religion should not be disallowed as well.
That would be quite presumptuous, and irregular.
Last edited by ronnewmexico on Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:05 pm

Pandeism asserts that God was at one point distinct from the universe, but for the sake of experiencing evolutionary existence, God became the universe.



Pure gibberish.
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Serenity509 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:36 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Pandeism asserts that God was at one point distinct from the universe, but for the sake of experiencing evolutionary existence, God became the universe.



Pure gibberish.


How so?

kenosis [kɪˈnəʊsɪs]
n
(Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) Christianity Christ's voluntary renunciation of certain divine attributes, in order to identify himself with mankind (Philippians 2:6-7)
[from Greek: an emptying, from kenoun to empty from kenos empty]
kenotic [kɪˈnɒtɪk] adj & n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/kenosis


If God could voluntarily limit himself in becoming man, why couldn't he instead voluntarily limit himself in becoming the universe?
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Paul » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:40 pm

Serenity509 wrote:
kenosis [kɪˈnəʊsɪs]
n
(Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) Christianity Christ's voluntary renunciation of certain divine attributes, in order to identify himself with mankind (Philippians 2:6-7)
[from Greek: an emptying, from kenoun to empty from kenos empty]
kenotic [kɪˈnɒtɪk] adj & n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/kenosis


If God could voluntarily limit himself in becoming man, why couldn't he instead voluntarily limit himself in becoming the universe?


I don't think you'll get many people here agreeing that that ever happened. That's a different religion!
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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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Josef » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:40 pm

Serenity509 wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Pandeism asserts that God was at one point distinct from the universe, but for the sake of experiencing evolutionary existence, God became the universe.



Pure gibberish.


How so?


You really have to ask?
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:43 pm

Serenity509 wrote:
Namdrol wrote:
Pandeism asserts that God was at one point distinct from the universe, but for the sake of experiencing evolutionary existence, God became the universe.



Pure gibberish.


How so?



God is always defined as permanent and unconditioned. The universe is impermanent and conditioned. By definition then, God cannot "become" the universe. Hence, this intellectual rabbit hole you are presented us with is pure gibberish.

Actually, not only can God not become the universe, he could not create the Universe either, because a conditioned result cannot have an unconditioned cause and so on.

If you study Abhidharma, Yogacara, Madhyamaka, and so on, you will discover why Buddhists consider all of this deism, theism, and so on, incoherent rubbish that does not lead to liberation.

N
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Serenity509 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:43 pm

ronnewmexico wrote:Theists that use buddhism as means may certainly do so allowably. Those same theists to then claim buddhism as religion to be theist...that is in error.


I never claimed that Buddhism is theist. I did claim that Shin Buddhism's concept of Amida views Amida as an "other-power" that we can supplicate, which is true.
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:44 pm

Serenity509 wrote:If God could voluntarily limit himself in becoming man...


More gibberish.
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Serenity509 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:48 pm

Hayagriva wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:
kenosis [kɪˈnəʊsɪs]
n
(Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) Christianity Christ's voluntary renunciation of certain divine attributes, in order to identify himself with mankind (Philippians 2:6-7)
[from Greek: an emptying, from kenoun to empty from kenos empty]
kenotic [kɪˈnɒtɪk] adj & n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/kenosis


If God could voluntarily limit himself in becoming man, why couldn't he instead voluntarily limit himself in becoming the universe?


I don't think you'll get many people here agreeing that that ever happened. That's a different religion!


I don't think that God's incarnation in Christ necessarily did happen. History cannot demonstrate that Jesus actually claimed to be God. The point is that there's no reason to limit the concept of kenosis to one individual, when it could be applied to Creation as a whole.

Pandeism
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQRCsbO_rk4

Pandeism recognizes that the universe is not permanent. At one point, the universe may cease its process of expansion and then contract into nothingness, at which point God would be freed from the constraints of kenosis.

Pandeism agrees with Buddhism that there is no personal God to solve all of our problems, that we have to work out our own salvation. It also explains the apparent design we observe in the universe and what we encounter in mystical experience, the transpersonal presence.
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:54 pm

Serenity509 wrote:
ronnewmexico wrote:Theists that use buddhism as means may certainly do so allowably. Those same theists to then claim buddhism as religion to be theist...that is in error.


I never claimed that Buddhism is theist. I did claim that Shin Buddhism's concept of Amida views Amida as an "other-power" that we can supplicate, which is true.



Amida's aspiration was simple -- "if anyone says my name, they will be reborn in Sukhavati, otherwise, I will not become a Buddha." Since Amitabha Buddha became a Buddha, ergo, his aspiration is true, and everyone who says his name creates a cause for rebirth in Sukhavati.

Now then, the whole concept of "other-power" in Jodo shin shu is really based on this simple principle. A person of shinjin is someone who implicitly trusts Amitabha's aspiration and says his name once. This is the basis of the debate between "once-calling" and "many-calling".

You will find all of Shinran's collected works here:

http://www.shinranworks.com/sitemap.htm

The real source of this doctrine is not theistic on any level, but is related to the Buddhist concepts of "words of truth".
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Malcolm » Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:58 pm

Serenity509 wrote: It also explains the apparent design we observe in the universe and what we encounter in mystical experience, the transpersonal presence.


However, Buddhism and the Buddha explicitly rejects the notion of design.

The beginingless cycles of the universe, according to Buddhism, arises because of the beginingless collective karma of the limtless sentient beings in the universe.

Thus the creation and dissolution of the universe is not determined, but it is also not random. It is the outcome of all the infinite karmic decisions made by all sentient beings.

We don't care about "transpersonal" experience in Buddhism.

N
http://www.atikosha.org
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://www.sakyapa.net
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

How can you not practice the highest Dharma
at this time of obtaining a perfect human body?

-- Jetsun Dragpa Gyaltsen
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Paul » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:01 pm

Serenity509 wrote:
Hayagriva wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:If God could voluntarily limit himself in becoming man, why couldn't he instead voluntarily limit himself in becoming the universe?


I don't think you'll get many people here agreeing that that ever happened. That's a different religion!


I don't think that God's incarnation in Christ necessarily did happen. History cannot demonstrate that Jesus actually claimed to be God. The point is that there's no reason to limit the concept of kenosis to one individual, when it could be applied to Creation as a whole.


If you don't even believe it, there's little point in using it as an arguement for a position. It's little more than some kind of role playing game at that point.
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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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:03 pm

Not to enteratain this..

but to buddhism these type of arguments have presented in varying forms many many times, over 2500 years. Every sort type and kind of discription of theism is presented to buddhist scholor and is refuted by buddhist scholor, and the buddha himself, in various ways and means some scriptual some by logical inference.

LOgically the counter to this would be by established argument I may draw upon from about 1000 or so years ago..what point then such god?
Why say god at all? Why not leave out this middle man and say, this all then just happens,without god or godly influence?

And we could go on and on, replicating a argument which occured perhaps a thousand years or more ago.
But that would be pointless...keep in mind perhaps this has all been gone through many many times over 2500 years by the buddha himself and reinforced many many times by those holding lineage in the teachings in actual debate.
Most recently Sri Lanka had a debate during the 1900's between a christian and a buddhist debator that changed the spiritual tendency of SriLanka against the christian trend of the moment and back to buddhism.....there is a long and complex history of antitheism in buddhism..is my point. And debate and discussion is the battle ground of the issue, not belief.
This is simply not apprehended by those to which buddhism is a new invention, to their culture.

All arguments of theism of each and every form have been refuted by buddhists over the 2500 years. No offense to theists or those that hold to buddhism as philosophy. You are welcome to your personal opinion.

Take my word on it or google it.
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Serenity509 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:05 pm

Namdrol wrote:However, Buddhism and the Buddha explicitly rejects the notion of design.


Does the universe appear to be a cosmic accident or does it appear designed?

Namdrol wrote:We don't care about "transpersonal" experience in Buddhism.


"Transpersonal" means beyond the personal. I think Buddhism could agree that whatever spiritual essence there might be to the universe, it is not a personal God.
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Re: Where are the Gods?

Postby Serenity509 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:06 pm

Hayagriva wrote:If you don't even believe it, there's little point in using it as an arguement for a position. It's little more than some kind of role playing game at that point.


It's not an argument, it's an analogy.
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