Shin and the Natural World

Shin and the Natural World

Postby steveb1 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:21 pm

I would very much like to hear from Jodo Shinshu folks concerning their view of the natural world, and if Shin has influenced that view.

Some see Amida as the source (but not a creator-god) of things, some see Amida as present in some sense within the universe. Sometimes Shin is described as a Buddhistic form of panentheism. Panentheism posits that God is here (Immanent) and more than here (transcendent). The Buddhist version, godless, speaks of "panendharmism" or even "panenAmidism". Do you feel that the universe is made sacred by Amida?

Or is Amida a purely transcendent figure, active only in the human heart? If that is the case, is the universe simply suffering and samsara, with Amida as the only point of light - the Raft coming from the Other Shore ? Just when I began to think that the world was merely heaps of skhandas, or a collection of mindless cycles of force, I came across the poetry of Ippen, which contains some beautiful nature imagery.

You can see the "split". Any perspectives are welcome, thanks.

Gassho,

Steve
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Re: Shin and the Natural World

Postby Nighthawk » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:07 am

steveb1 wrote:
Or is Amida a purely transcendent figure, active only in the human heart? If that is the case, is the universe simply suffering and samsara, with Amida as the only point of light - the Raft coming from the Other Shore ? Just when I began to think that the world was merely heaps of skhandas, or a collection of mindless cycles of force,



That's the way I look at it and the way it is seen in traditional Shinshu as well. Ippen doesn't belong to the Shinshu school, he was though without a doubt a great poet and evangelist.
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Re: Shin and the Natural World

Postby steveb1 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:28 am

Thanks, Nighthawk :)
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