Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
binocular
Posts: 6953
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by binocular » Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:32 am

Coëmgenu wrote:This fallacious postulation that reincarnation offers the reincarnatee more leeway with the consequences of their decisions and comportment arises from a misunderstanding of anattā and how anattā interacts with the rebirth process.
/.../
The precise nature of any qualities or characteristics that is held or preserved, or that appears to be preserved between births, from birth to birth, is not guaranteed.

It is a to hold on to hope for an edit: "basically" impossible fluke that you should retain significant similarities to your immediate conceptions of selfhood in your next birth.
---
Which is precisely what the Christian doctrine of eternal damnation 1. implies, and 2. requires us to believe, and 3. sets us up to believe!!
---
I don't see the connection you are drawing, you will have to explain it in greater detail for me to be able to respond to it.
The threat of eternal damnation only makes sense if we posit that there exists a permanent, unchanging entity that will persist even after the conventional death of the body; because it is only when we posit the existence of such an entity that we can conceive that eternal punishment (or eternal reward) would befall it.

If there's no such entity, if "there's nobody there", then there's nobody to punish, and so threats of eternal damnation would be in vain (along with so many Christian efforts of preaching eternal damnation).

Those of us growing up under Christian rule have probably been subject to quite a bit of such threats of eternal damnation, and with those, internalized also its implication of believing (or fearing) there is an eternal, unchanging entity that will be the recipient of such punishment.
It's how Christians have set us up to believe that we retain significant similarities to our immediate conceptions of selfhood in our next birth (in the resurrection).

Are you saying that there will be another life in which we will be the exact same people we appear to be and/or are today?
No.
But to say "This is the only lifetime in which you will be the way you are now, never again will you be lilke you are now" seems like an overstatement.
It is stated in the suttas that the exact workings of karma are very complex (to the point of being maddening if one were to try to figure them out), but I've never come across a sutta specifying karmic uniqueness (even the Buddha isn't unique).
This is because I am not positing the existence of something, I am showing that there is no basis for the belief in something.
Then why do Christians believe there exists a soul?

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1925
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:50 am

binocular wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:This fallacious postulation that reincarnation offers the reincarnatee more leeway with the consequences of their decisions and comportment arises from a misunderstanding of anattā and how anattā interacts with the rebirth process.
/.../
The precise nature of any qualities or characteristics that is held or preserved, or that appears to be preserved between births, from birth to birth, is not guaranteed.

It is a to hold on to hope for an edit: "basically" impossible fluke that you should retain significant similarities to your immediate conceptions of selfhood in your next birth.
---
Which is precisely what the Christian doctrine of eternal damnation 1. implies, and 2. requires us to believe, and 3. sets us up to believe!!
---
I don't see the connection you are drawing, you will have to explain it in greater detail for me to be able to respond to it.
The threat of eternal damnation only makes sense if we posit that there exists a permanent, unchanging entity that will persist even after the conventional death of the body; because it is only when we posit the existence of such an entity that we can conceive that eternal punishment (or eternal reward) would befall it.

If there's no such entity, if "there's nobody there", then there's nobody to punish, and so threats of eternal damnation would be in vain (along with so many Christian efforts of preaching eternal damnation).

Those of us growing up under Christian rule have probably been subject to quite a bit of such threats of eternal damnation, and with those, internalized also its implication of believing (or fearing) there is an eternal, unchanging entity that will be the recipient of such punishment.
It's how Christians have set us up to believe that we retain significant similarities to our immediate conceptions of selfhood in our next birth (in the resurrection).
This is turning into a discussion on anattā when it shouldn't. The post you respond to has its origins in responding to was the insinuation that belief in reincarnation does contribute or cement clerical or priestly (or worldly) authority to the extent that belief in resurrection does (which is an utterly bizarre thing to say, but I didn't say it), on the grounds that reincarnation belief allegedly places more power in the hands of the "common folk" or "people".

The fact that the sangha became the government in Tibet illustrates that this is not true. Similarly, only a malformed understanding of anattā produces the notion that reincarnation is more 'merciful' because its a 'second chance' at life and liberation. The post you responded to was explaining why I didn't feel that I had the burden of proof for 'karmic duplication' or 'the uniqueness of becomings', or the 'reliability of quality/characteristic persistence after death'.

Certainly, with anattā, eternal damnation is impossible, but so is eternal selfness.
binocular wrote:
Are you saying that there will be another life in which we will be the exact same people we appear to be and/or are today?
No.
But to say "This is the only lifetime in which you will be the way you are now, never again will you be lilke you are now" seems like an overstatement.
It is stated in the suttas that the exact workings of karma are very complex (to the point of being maddening if one were to try to figure them out), but I've never come across a sutta specifying karmic uniqueness (even the Buddha isn't unique).
Similarly, is it even stated in the suttas that concrete qualities and characteristics persist absolutely from one life to another in a reliable way? I did not say that apparent karmic duplication, the arising of two instances of becoming which are identical but seperate in time, was impossible, but as you'll recall I said it would be a "basically impossible fluke", not impossible. I don't have the authority to give exhaustive lists of what is and isn't impossible with karma in Buddhism. I simply think that arguing for any form of karmic duplication is a extrapolation from the Buddhadharma that seems questionable and unfounded to me. Why would anyone feel the need to postulate the existence of that, even on a theoretical level?
binocular wrote:
This is because I am not positing the existence of something, I am showing that there is no basis for the belief in something.
Then why do Christians believe there exists a soul?
Because Christianity is a breakaway sect of Judaism, which believes in a soul. Why do Jews believe in a soul? Its in their literature, its in their tradition. Its part of the Torah (the teaching) in the all-encompassing meaning of the word.
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

binocular
Posts: 6953
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by binocular » Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:01 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:This is turning into a discussion on anattā when it shouldn't.
Oh, but it has to. We can't talk about the OP topic without bringing up issuess of selfhood.
The post you respond to has its origins in responding to was the insinuation that belief in reincarnation does contribute or cement clerical or priestly (or worldly) authority to the extent that belief in resurrection does (which is an utterly bizarre thing to say, but I didn't say it), on the grounds that reincarnation belief allegedly places more power in the hands of the "common folk" or "people".
And I agree with David on that point.

In the context of someone who is not a Christian but is living among Christians, and toward whom Christians are relatively hostile, belief in reincarnation places more power in the hands of such an individual than the belief in resurrection (if the only two options seen are either reincarnation or resurrection).
The fact that the sangha became the government in Tibet illustrates that this is not true.
That was in Tibet.
Similarly, only a malformed understanding of anattā produces the notion that reincarnation is more 'merciful' because its a 'second chance' at life and liberation.
It seems that reincarnation is indeed more merciful and a second chance -- from a Hindu perspective, if we're juxtaposing a Hindu and the Christian perspective.
In Christianity, if you "don't get it right" this time around, you'll be doomed forever; in Hinduism, if you "don't get it right" this time around, there's always the next round.
So if we juxtapose just the two, reincarnaiton is more merciful.

Certainly, with anattā, eternal damnation is impossible, but so is eternal selfness.
Not according to some Hindu views according to which the individual soul has permanent, eternal qualities in relation to its service to the Lord.

I simply think that arguing for any form of karmic duplication is a extrapolation from the Buddhadharma that seems questionable and unfounded to me. Why would anyone feel the need to postulate the existence of that, even on a theoretical level?
Maybe because they are not Buddhists.
Because Christianity is a breakaway sect of Judaism, which believes in a soul. Why do Jews believe in a soul? Its in their literature, its in their tradition. Its part of the Torah (the teaching) in the all-encompassing meaning of the word.
So they never actually chose to believe in it, they were simply accultured into that belief?

practitioner
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:30 pm

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by practitioner » Sun Sep 18, 2016 3:01 pm

Let us not get so spun up over a book of fiction. Here is the story.

Even Paul is a fictional character. I think Marcion who travelled a lot wrote it and then used the nane Paul. In the old days, they do that. In the writing, Paul didnt say a word about earthly Jesus. He met Peter so Peter must must have told him a lot about Jesus. In the epistle, Paul says everything he knows of Jesus was directly from heaven. Really? Peter never mention a word of Jesus? Stranger than fiction,

Because of Paul's epistle, they had to write a gospel then write the Book of Acts to bridge the two. They then had to reverse the chronological order of the writings in the bible.

Look, the author got tired of writing so he had to get rid of Jesus. What do you do? You make the gentile and enlightened being (arahant never act out their anger) act out his anger at the temple. This causes conflict for prosecution. People so loved Jesus on Palm Sunday for all his rescues from illness and deaths would hate him so much in a matter of 6 days that they would rather see him die than to see the thief die. No human being has been so beloved and hated so soon. This is stranger than fiction. Jesus killed a fig tree that was not in season for bearing fruits. Really? So tempermental? If I did these things, I could not be called sinless, yet, Jesus was called sinless. Galatian 5 says fit of anger is a sin, Clearly, Christianity is pure fiction.

Notice, how fast they gloss over the resurrection part. No story to tell? Afraid people will see through the fiction.

iohannes
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 8:47 pm

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by iohannes » Sun Sep 18, 2016 4:40 pm

davidbrainerd wrote:You can take eating a piece of bread and call it a mystery but its not. There is nothing mystical there. Catholicism adopted the term "mysteries" from the mystery religions to sound cool, but its just lame. There is no mystery. Believe in Jesus or burn....no mystery at all. If any of the supposed mysteries or supposedly spiritual things in Christianity were really impressive, perhaps I'd still be a Christian. But the fact is its all just built on fear tactics: acknowledge these boring non-mystical things to be mysterious and mystical or burn. The fear keeps you impresssed with what is, in truth, utterly unimpressive. Its all very inauthentic and disingenuous.
Any religion can be subjected to the reductive analysis which you've given here. Again, you have an agenda to make you're True Buddhism and True Dharmic Religion and you're True Gnosticism as something special and mystical. We get it. Christianity is a dumb, unmystical, boring religion whose only concern is avoiding hell. You've decided that and you really want everyone else to see it the way you do and you want them to think we're just trying to make Christianity "cooler." We get it. I don't really care whether or not you believe in Christianity or think it's "cool" or not. I've stopped being a teenager a decade or so ago. I'm just here to provide counter-information to your misinformation.

(Religions don't act like teenagers. They don't adopt terms to seem cool. They adopt terms because they're part of the same society as their ideological opponents and want to express how their belief system contrasts with the other ones. But I guess that's not enough of a power-grab or a conspiracy for you.)
davidbrainerd wrote:Your theory of an abstract opponent doesn't work because he specifically asks "how is it that some of you are saying there is no resurrection?"

He is speaking to Christians at Corinth who are positing that there is no resurrection. Perhaps like modern Christians they think your soul goes straight to heaven upon death, no need for the body. But Paul freaks out. His whole argument is if there is no literal physical resurrection of the body then faith in Christ is vain. So, in other words, he wants to Judaize the Corinthians' Christianity, force them to believe in a physical resurrection. He was, after all, originally a Pharisee supposedly.
I was talking about the abstract opponent in 1 Corinthians 15:35 who is in disbelief that a nephesh could be restored to a decomposed or burned body to which Paul responds with the theology of the glorification of the body. I didn't realise you were dealing with 1 Corinthians 15:12.

You are correct in saying that he is admonishing the Christian community which he founded at Corinth. But you are incorrect in trying to hint that they positively hold to another theory of the afterlife and that Paul is "freaking out" and trying to quell reincarnation because he wants to make a power-grab. Rather, it seems like this group, like the group he's addressing in Thessalonians 4:13, is not yet familiar with the soteriological categories of Christianity or they're simply experiencing doubt, as do any adherent of any world religion. When I was at my fairly liberal and progressive university, we studied the letters of Paul from a scholarly and academic perspective and at no point was there ever mention of these New Testament groups holding to a theory of reincarnation. This kind of ahistorical reading and making up stories and circumstances between the lines to fit your narrative, is quite manifest when juxtaposed with your agenda to make Christianity as corrupt, dumb and boring as possible.

It's weird that you think early Christianity was Judaized when it is nothing but a Jewish sect with a Jewish Messianism, Jewish concerns for the land, Jewish apocalyptic visions and Jewish concerns for the restoration of the spirituality, rites, mysticism and symbolism of the corrupt Second Temple. Christianity always has been a resurrectional religion, not only because of its founder, but because this resurrectional schema is placed in the larger schema of Israelite Temple religion, based as it is on the enthronement mysticism and the ascension piety of Merkavah literature. Note, for example, the liturgical washings, anointings with olive oil and the language of the sacrifice and the ascent to the heavenly Temple in the book of Revelations. How a messianic group of 1st century Palestinian Jews came to believe in reincarnation is beyond me and an irresponsible theory to propagate without substantial evidence. But I guess this is all just a cover up and I'm just obeying the hierarchs out of fear. :thinking:
binocular wrote:
iohannes wrote:Because Christ came as a man with a human body and a rational human soul, we men with human bodies and rational human souls, can imitate him: in Baptism we sacramentally decide to accept our own deaths: we die to our Adamic identity and are resurrected, clothed in Christ (taking on, by grace, the Christic identity) and this process is sealed daily, by the decision to imitate Christ in life and death; and weekly, by the decision to gather with His other members and, quite literally, become one with Him by partakaing of His Flesh and Blood.
Can you choose your parents?

Can you choose in which universe you live, in what time you are born?
Uh. I don't know what you're getting at because I was talking about people who're already committed Christians. It was a post in response to davidbrainerd who's persists in this delusion that Christianity has no mystical dimension because it has no doctrine of union with Christ or union with God. I was trying to explain to him how theōsis fits into the framework of daily Christian living and why it is the central pillar of almost everything we do and believe from Baptism to Communion to fellowship to Christology.

I wasn't trying to convince anyone to accept Christianity (even if davidbrainerd wants to convince everyone to reject it as boring and lacking in mysticism). I wasn't trying to convince people to choose their parents and the universe they live and the time they were born in so that they could have a more favourable environment to become Christian. That would be inappropriate for a Buddhist forum. I was only posting because the forum is "Connection to Other Paths" and the topic concerns Christianity directly. I figured that Buddhists, in all charity, who try to cultivate right speech, might be interested in knowing what a committed Christian, educated academically and ecclesiastically about his own traditions and history, thinks about his faith so that they can, with mindfulness and right concentration, fairly and moderately evaluate the similarities and differences between our faith traditions. Surely, it is delusional to try and push either the similarities too far or the differences too far. At the very least, it reveals more about the person involved and their personal spirituality and their agenda than it reveals about either Buddhism or Christianity.

Anyways, this discussion about the nous and theosis has gone wildly off track. :focus:

What is citta, exactly? (From a modern, orthodox Theravada or orthodox Mahayana viewpoint. I'm not interested in reconstructionism.)

davidbrainerd
Posts: 1011
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by davidbrainerd » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:56 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
binocular wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:If I wanted to slander Buddhism in a similar way I would say that meditation is just you sitting in your room with no progress being made, with no substantial or true cessation of any afflictions, with no efficaciousness or point, because theres nothing mystical happening.
This is precisely the sort of thing that a Christian told me once about Buddhist meditation. In fact, he even made an mp3 of his speech and sent it to me.
That we aren't suppsoed to waste away in meditation, running away from God -- but that since we are made in His image, we are supposed to see that image clearly!
Its an old platitude, but two wrongs don't make a right. That the Christian who slandered Buddhism to you was wrong to do so doesn't make it any more appropriate to slander Christianity on baseless grounds. To critique and refute Christianity from a Buddhist worldview, fairly and evenly, would not be slanderous, but I don't see that happening here. I see misinformation and conspiracy theories being propagated about subject matter that the propagators have little familiarity with or knowledge of. That is not a valid avenue of critique and I don't think the Buddha would approve of critiquing Christianity from the avenue of conspiracy theories and misinformation.
I was a Christian 30 years, and a preacher for 10 of them. The so-called conpiracy theory is well documented in scholarly literature on Christian origins, which I studied extensively after realizing the idea of God killing himself as ransom to himself makes little sense. For instance, see Walter Bauer's book Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity which argues that something like Marcionism was the original version of Christianity. He demonstrates it with historical information on who was first in key regions. There are a ton of scholarly books suggesting the possibility that some kind of Gnosticism precedes orthodox Christianity as the original behind the religion. Another good one is Marcion and Luke-Acts by Joseph B Tyson. In Marcionism, Paul's ransom theory makes more sense because Jesus is the agent of a God who did not create the world dying as a ransom to the god who did create the world. Works a lot better than dying as a ransom to his own self or one of his other split personalities. Another excellent book is Simone Petrement's A Separate God: the Christian Origins of Gnosticism.

But ultimately, look, I don't care anymore about what is original Christianity. I did when I was studying myself out of it.

My only real point here is : orthodox Christianity stultifies any possible mysticism with its monotheistic almighty creator. There is no mystery how the world began, it was created ex nihilo by him. No mystery how bread could become Jesus' flesh, God's almighty. No mystery how he could hide his plan to send Jesus from the devil for centuries, he's almighty, duh. But in Marcionism and Gnosticism, these things can be mysterious (due to their polytheism). Calling them "mysteries" is a holdover from when they were. Now its just lame to claim they're "mysteries".

That'll be the last I say on that. Now its up to you to show that within the stultifying parameters of orthodoxy, nous can be a "mystery"....good luck, because you're gonna need it.

See citta in Buddhism can be a mystery. How do you get citta without an almighty creator? But nous in Christianity? The almighty ex nihilo creator created it. No mystery. Done.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23045
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:52 pm

iohannes wrote: What is citta, exactly? (From a modern, orthodox Theravada or orthodox Mahayana viewpoint. I'm not interested in reconstructionism.)
Reconstructionism? By that you mean? Or do you want the highly idiosyncratic notion of citta that has been introduced into this thread that his held only by a very small minority, finding no bases in the Theravada/Pali textual tradition? Or do you want how citta is generally understood and used in the living Theravada traditions?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1925
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:04 am

davidbrainerd wrote:
Coëmgenu wrote:Its an old platitude, but two wrongs don't make a right. That the Christian who slandered Buddhism to you was wrong to do so doesn't make it any more appropriate to slander Christianity on baseless grounds. To critique and refute Christianity from a Buddhist worldview, fairly and evenly, would not be slanderous, but I don't see that happening here. I see misinformation and conspiracy theories being propagated about subject matter that the propagators have little familiarity with or knowledge of. That is not a valid avenue of critique and I don't think the Buddha would approve of critiquing Christianity from the avenue of conspiracy theories and misinformation.
I was a Christian 30 years, and a preacher for 10 of them.
You'd think you would have learned something in that time, if that story is true. You have demonstrated an extraordinarily bizarre sectarian set of heterodox beliefs regarding very basic points of Christian soteriology and a highly flawed understanding if what a "mystery" is, what the "Greek mysteries" where, and what Gnostics and Early Christians believed. Were you part of some lay pastoral ministry at the "Embassy of the Kingdom of God" nondenominational megachurch or something? Where did you get your theological training? Many small Awakening-centered sects in the US and Australia don't believe in theology, after having lost their rites during the Great Awakening, that could certainly explain your odd ideas about Christianity. It would also explain your extreme anti-Catholic anti-Jewish paranoia you have demonstrated on this thread.
davidbrainerd wrote:The so-called conpiracy theory is well documented in scholarly literature on Christian origins, which I studied extensively after realizing the idea of God killing himself as ransom to himself makes little sense. For instance, see Walter Bauer's book Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity which argues that something like Marcionism was the original version of Christianity. He demonstrates it with historical information on who was first in key regions. There are a ton of scholarly books suggesting the possibility that some kind of Gnosticism precedes orthodox Christianity as the original behind the religion. Another good one is Marcion and Luke-Acts by Joseph B Tyson. In Marcionism, Paul's ransom theory makes more sense because Jesus is the agent of a God who did not create the world dying as a ransom to the god who did create the world. Works a lot better than dying as a ransom to his own self or one of his other split personalities. Another excellent book is Simone Petrement's A Separate God: the Christian Origins of Gnosticism.
Where in Joseph B Tyson's Marcion and Luke-Acts is it suggested that the entire historical figure of Paul was forged by Marcion? Or that the Pauline epistles were forged by Marcion? Or that Marcion converted the earliest Christians in the Pauline dispensation, not Paul? Did Marcion take over work by a fellow conspirator, posing as Paul, who wasn't a historical figure, to convert all of these churches to Gnosticism only to then re-convert them to orthodoxy? The crux of Joseph B Tyson's creative musings is the assumption that Marcion's gospel predates Luke, which is not verifiable. Mainstream textual criticism of the Bible would hold that Marcion had access to the same manuscript tradition and oral history that later became Luke in its present textual form. Secondly, I have no access to Walter Bauer's book, but based on your history of misrepresentation on this thread I have no reason to believe the book says what you say it does until you prove it does. Lastly, you are misrepresenting Simone Pétrement if you think she argued that Christian Gnosticism predated Christian orthodoxy.
davidbrainerd wrote:My only real point here is : orthodox Christianity stultifies any possible mysticism with its monotheistic almighty creator. There is no mystery how the world began, it was created ex nihilo by him. No mystery how bread could become Jesus' flesh, God's almighty. No mystery how he could hide his plan to send Jesus from the devil for centuries, he's almighty, duh. But in Marcionism and Gnosticism, these things can be mysterious (due to their polytheism). Calling them "mysteries" is a holdover from when they were. Now its just lame to claim they're "mysteries".
Monotheism cannot take on the ritual preoccupations and outward appearances of the Greek mysteries because.....? No reason? And polytheism is someone innately more mysterious? None of this makes sense. The Greek mysteries were not called mysteries solely because they were mysterious. Thats like suggesting the canonization of a saint involved blowing his body out the window in a cannon. Or that Gautama-Buddha was 'enlightened' due to his propensity for emitting miraculous beams of light in the āgamas and Mahayana sutras. The Greek mysteries were rites that were said to lead to immortality through their correct observation, in accordance with sacred stories that were understood to reveal a universal principal through which salvation occurred. They kept their rites secret amongst themselves, just as the Early Christians did. The Christian mysteries are called mysteries because they were and are mysteries, just as the Orphic mysteries, if we were able to reconstruct them accurately, would still be mysteries if performed today regardless of if exotericism were implemented, as it has with Christianity. Esotericism is not the only feature the mysteries share in common, is not even their most salient common feature.
davidbrainerd wrote:That'll be the last I say on that. Now its up to you to show that within the stultifying parameters of orthodoxy, nous can be a "mystery"....good luck, because you're gonna need it.

See citta in Buddhism can be a mystery. How do you get citta without an almighty creator? But nous in Christianity? The almighty ex nihilo creator created it. No mystery. Done.
We've already demonstrated what you've asked us to. It does not follow that monotheism is a magical formula for removing mysticism from spiritual life and polytheism is better because its 'eastern'-seeming.
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

User avatar
Coëmgenu
Posts: 1925
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by Coëmgenu » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:14 am

tiltbillings wrote:
iohannes wrote: What is citta, exactly? (From a modern, orthodox Theravada or orthodox Mahayana viewpoint. I'm not interested in reconstructionism.)
Reconstructionism? By that you mean? Or do you want the highly idiosyncratic notion of citta that has been introduced into this thread that his held only by a very small minority, finding no bases in the Theravada/Pali textual tradition? Or do you want how citta is generally understood and used in the living Theravada traditions?
He means historical reconstructionism that argues that Buddha taught a completely different Dhamma than what is preserved in any contemporary stream of Buddhism. The conspiracy-theory-based beliefs that the students of the Buddha, the foundations of the sangha, were incompetent conspirators that only succeeded in doctoring half or sections of the Pali Canon with their fake Dhamma because.... I don't know.... they got tired halfway? That is the historical revisionism that is being dismissed as unwanted in formulating any kind of viable definition of citta.
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

davidbrainerd
Posts: 1011
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by davidbrainerd » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:33 am

Coëmgenu wrote:You'd think you would have learned something in that time, if that story is true. You have demonstrated an extraordinarily bizarre sectarian set of heterodox beliefs regarding very basic points of Christian soteriology and a highly flawed understanding if what a "mystery" is, what the "Greek mysteries" where, and what Gnostics and Early Christians believed.
I'm just making the point that orthodox Christianity has no mystery but Gnosticism did. I haven't been speaking about Christian soteriology. Why would I bother with that?
Coëmgenu wrote:Many small Awakening-centered sects in the US and Australia don't believe in theology, after having lost their rites during the Great Awakening, that could certainly explain your odd ideas about Christianity. It would also explain your extreme anti-Catholic anti-Jewish paranoia you have demonstrated on this thread.
So to you Baptists and other Baptistic traditions aren't real Christians because they go by the Bible rather than flying by the seat of their pants or mixing a strange mutant Platonic philosophy into it. Ok, I get it. Being raised in a semi-Catholic Protestantism made you hate everyone from a Baptistic tradition. That's nice.
Coëmgenu wrote:Where in Joseph B Tyson's Marcion and Luke-Acts is it suggested that the entire historical figure of Paul was forged by Marcion?
You're right that Joseph B Tyson's book doesn't say that. Neither did I. That was practioner who said that. Personally I agree with practioner on that though, although I didn't say that before. I don't think there is enough consistency to believe Paul's epistles were written by one guy. I think the core epistles, Romans and Galatians, were written by Marcion, and then heavily interpolated, and then others wrote the other epistles which got added to them.
Coëmgenu wrote:Lastly, you are misrepresenting Simone Pétrement if you think she argued that Christian Gnosticism predated Christian orthodoxy.
I didn't say that either. Just said its another good book on the subject. The premise there is more that Gnosticism does not predate Christianity but grew up with it from the beginning and could not have came into existence without it. In fact, the work has been criticized for the suggestion that Paul's epistles gave rise to Gnosticism.
Coëmgenu wrote:We've already demonstrated what you've asked us to. It does not follow that monotheism is a magical formula for removing mysticism from spiritual life and polytheism is better because its 'eastern'-seeming.
No, you have not explained how nous is supposedly mysterious or mystical in Christianity. And yes, monotheism is a magical formula for removing mysticism from spiritual life.

davidbrainerd
Posts: 1011
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by davidbrainerd » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:48 am

Lets put it this way, Coëmgenu. Your weird theory that Christianity preaches some mystical notion of nous doesn't bother me as a conspiracy theorist about original Christianity, nor as a Buddhist. It bothers the residual memory of a Christian inside me. Its completely a lie and unfair to Christianity. You're trying to present Christianity as some sort of Eastern mysticism, and it isn't. You're lying on another religion.

How many Baptist sermons do I think have been preached this year on nous? Zero.

How many Pentecostal sermons do I think have been preached this year on nous? Zero.

How many Christian Church sermons do I think have been preached this year on nous? Zero.

How many Church of Christ sermons do I think have been preached this year on nous? Zero.

How many Non-denomenational followship sermons do I think have been preached this year on nous? Zero.

How many Methodist sermons do I think have been preached this year on nous? Zero.

How many Episcopalian sermons do I think have been preached this year on nous? Zero.

How many Anglican sermons do I think have been preached this year on nous? Zero.

How many Presbyterian sermons do I think have been preached this year on nous? Zero.

How many Roman Catholic sermons do I think have been preached this year on nous? Maybe one.

How many Eastern Orthodox sermons do I think have been preached this year on nous? Probably a few.

This is why I said you should say Orthodox Christianity, rather than orthodox Christianity. And you've yet to substantiate that any other Christian tradition even talks about nous at all. And you've also not shown that Orthodoxy's notion of nous is mystical. You've shown nothing. You're just pontificating that Christianity teaches something it doesn't.

Quote some sources. Do something. Quit pretending to be the Pope of Christian town and saying you're the only person who knows what Christianity teaches and it teaches a mystical notion of nous. Don't make me go round up some Christians to come over here and tell you how wrong you are. [I'm not actually motivated enough to do that. I just wish you'd present something of substance.]

And no, quoting a verse in the Bible that uses nous doesn't mean anything. Because nous as the common word for mind has nothing to do with your theory. An if, if I say, you really had anything, if Christianity were really awash with talk of nous, you'd have something to actually quote, just as I quoted Ireneaus talking about the Gnostic aeon called nous. But you've got nothing.

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23045
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:21 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
iohannes wrote: What is citta, exactly? (From a modern, orthodox Theravada or orthodox Mahayana viewpoint. I'm not interested in reconstructionism.)
Reconstructionism? By that you mean? Or do you want the highly idiosyncratic notion of citta that has been introduced into this thread that his held only by a very small minority, finding no bases in the Theravada/Pali textual tradition? Or do you want how citta is generally understood and used in the living Theravada traditions?
He means historical reconstructionism that argues that Buddha taught a completely different Dhamma than what is preserved in any contemporary stream of Buddhism. The conspiracy-theory-based beliefs that the students of the Buddha, the foundations of the sangha, were incompetent conspirators that only succeeded in doctoring half or sections of the Pali Canon with their fake Dhamma because.... I don't know.... they got tired halfway? That is the historical revisionism that is being dismissed as unwanted in formulating any kind of viable definition of citta.
Okay, then that neatly sweeps aside "it is suggested that the term God be replaced by Citta"/"Citta is the basis of the creation so is the "god" in terms of religion but as a person."
Last edited by tiltbillings on Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

davidbrainerd
Posts: 1011
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by davidbrainerd » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:23 am

This is the best I can find on nous being a mystical concept in Greek Orthodox thought. And its explaining that really this concept is Neoplatonism from the Greek philosopher Plotinus. Its not really Christianity, but some wealthy educated Christians mixed it with their Christianity. Just as so many today mix modern psychology with a religion it isn't really part of it.
Above all being, there is the One absolutely indetermined, the absolutely Good. From it come forth through successive emanations intelligence (nous) with its ideas, the world-soul with its plastic forces (logoi spermatikoi), matter inactive, and the principle of imperfection.
That sounds exactly like Ireneaus' list of aeons the Valentinian Gnostics belived emanate from Bythus. But if you shoehorn this into Greek Orthodoxy, the Nous becomes another word for Logos, i.e. Jesus. So you have God (the One) and then the Logos (the Nous). Has nothing do with the individual mind of human beings.
The human soul had its existence in the world-soul until it was united with matter. The end of human life and of philosophy is to realize the mystical return of the soul to God. Freeing itself from the sensuous world by purification (katharsis), the human soul ascends by successive steps through the various degrees of the metaphysical order, until it unites itself in a confused and unconscious contemplation to the One, and sinks into it: it is the state of ecstasis.
Here Greek Orthodoxy must diverge from Plotinus. The soul cannot be an offshoot from a world-soul, but must be created by God. Actual union with God is not possible, but only a rather flat version of theosis, becoming like God in the sense of living eternally in heaven but not actually joining into his essence.
With Christianity, the history of Mysticism enters into a new period. The Fathers recognized indeed the partial truth of the pagan system, but they pointed out also its fundamental errors. They made a distinction between reason and faith, philosophy and theology; they acknowledged the aspirations of the soul, but, at the same time, they emphasized its essential inability to penetrate the mysteries of Divine life. They taught that the vision of God is the work of grace and the reward of eternal life; in the present life only a few souls, by a special grace, can reach it. On these principles, the Christian school of Alexandria opposed the true gnosis based on grace and faith to the Gnostic heresies.
In other words, they made the changes I just suggested. But those changes demolish all the mysticism, period.

and this part:
they acknowledged the aspirations of the soul, but, at the same time, they emphasized its essential inability to penetrate the mysteries of Divine life
In other words, whereas Plotinus' Neoplatonism taught that you can enter into the Divine life via contemplative efforts, the Greek Orthodox had to squash that and replace it with "believe in Jesus or burn" and the Augustinian notion that believing in Jesus is only possible for the few, the chosen, the elect that God chose to give faith to, and that is ironically called "grace."

davidbrainerd
Posts: 1011
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:12 am

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by davidbrainerd » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:50 am

tiltbillings wrote:Okay, then that neatly sweeps aside "Citta is the basis of the creation so is the "god" in terms of religion but as a person."
Yep. Citta as the basis of creation would be reconstructionism. You'd have to be viewing citta as something like the jivas in Jainism or the purushas in Samkhya, and viewing the collection of cittas as somehow causing the evolution of primordial matter into living beings. If you're going strict traditional Theravada, there's no way you're gonna make this work.

practitioner
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:30 pm

Re: Buddhism and Christianity at abayagiri with God and Citta.

Post by practitioner » Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:09 am

As I have said, "Jesus is a fictional character. The end of the story."

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 199 guests