After all, what would make it be a religion?

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
danieLion
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by danieLion » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:41 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:Religion is typically devotional, science isn't....
False dichotomy: there's plenty of devotion "in science."
Kim O'Hara wrote:Science is always open to debate and improvement, religion isn't...
Always? Quite the contrary. Have you read The Tyranny of Science or any Kuhn?
Kim O'Hara wrote:Science is systematic and analytical, religion is mystical and non-rational....
False dichotomy.
Kim O'Hara wrote:Edit: this is just another away of saying what Bhikku Pesala has just said, "Avoiding words like "Buddhism," "Buddhist," "Converting," or "Religion," are mere sophistry..."
It's worse than that. It's politcal correctness. It's not hip to be religious. Hence, you get stupid sayings like, "I'm not religious, but I am spiritual," or crap like, "I'm against organized religion." Maybe it's just Portland, Oregon, but most of the Buddhists I"ve met around here have welfare liberalism blinders on and dare not call bull-crap on such Groupthink. It's no coincidence that the words "polite" and "politics" are linguistically related.

danieLion
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by danieLion » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:44 am

Sekha wrote:...the teaching of the Buddha as a religion goes way beyond this. It implies being able to have a non-sectarian....
Don't you think it's ironic that you stated this on a Theravadin forum? Theravada is a sect, no?

danieLion
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by danieLion » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:00 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I think many sceptics misinterpret what is said in the Kesamutti Sutta. Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote a much more thorough article on it. A Look at the Kalama Sutta

On converting followers of other religions, see the Upāli Sutta.
What, then, do you make of this?
Examinations of Buddhist thought often refer to the Kālāma-sutta as the example par excellence for the advocacy of a principle of free
inquiry, expressing a non-authoritarian and pragmatic attitude. Yet, compared with the Kālāma-sutta the Vīmaṃsaka-sutta could lay an even great-
er claim to presenting a remarkable advocacy of free inquiry.
From the Introduction of Rev. Analayo's The Scope of Free Inquiry According to the Vīmamsak-Sutta and it Madhyamagama Parellel

danieLion
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by danieLion » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:02 am

David N. Snyder wrote:There are many different versions of what is a religion, but the one I like is:

a belief in any one or more of the following:

1. A belief in a supreme being God or in gods, worthy of worship or veneration
2. Belief that there are sacred things, objects, places, or writings set apart from other mundane things and writings
3. Belief in some kind of post-mortem continuation, heaven, hell, reincarnation, or rebirth

Buddhism, oops I mean The Dhamma meets all of the above. There is no creator-God, but there are devas (1), there is the Pali Canon, pilgrimage (2), and there is rebirth (3).
:goodpost:

danieLion
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by danieLion » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:05 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Follower of the Dhamma, Buddhist, etc. "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"

Call it whatever you like, but it is Buddhism. But I understand what Goenka-ji is doing, skillful means and all. Some want to avoid the "R" label at any cost.
The Buddha was not so politically correct. He pissed people off all the time. What's Goenka so scared of?

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Sekha
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by Sekha » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:24 am

I think it would be better to quote the whole sentence
danieLion wrote:
Sekha wrote:for me, not considering ...the teaching of the Buddha as a religion goes way beyond this. It implies being able to have a non-sectarian....
Don't you think it's ironic that you stated this on a Theravadin forum? Theravada is a sect, no?
I do.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Sekha
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by Sekha » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:26 am

danieLion wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:Follower of the Dhamma, Buddhist, etc. "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"

Call it whatever you like, but it is Buddhism. But I understand what Goenka-ji is doing, skillful means and all. Some want to avoid the "R" label at any cost.
The Buddha was not so politically correct. He pissed people off all the time. What's Goenka so scared of?
That the sasana ends too soon. So was Asoka.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

danieLion
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by danieLion » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:43 am

Sekha wrote:
danieLion wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:Follower of the Dhamma, Buddhist, etc. "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"

Call it whatever you like, but it is Buddhism. But I understand what Goenka-ji is doing, skillful means and all. Some want to avoid the "R" label at any cost.
The Buddha was not so politically correct. He pissed people off all the time. What's Goenka so scared of?
That the sasana ends too soon. So was Asoka.
Also ironic. If the sasana was dead he wouldn't be able to fear it dying.

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Sekha
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by Sekha » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:22 am

danieLion wrote:
Sekha wrote:
danieLion wrote:What's Goenka so scared of?
That the sasana ends too soon. So was Asoka.
Also ironic. If the sasana was dead he wouldn't be able to fear it dying.
don't get your point.
1) no one here has said the sasana is dead
2) what's the matter with being ironic or not?
sekha wrote: I will post an illustrating story about the "religious feeling" that happened to me later.
So here is that story:

A few monks back I was under 8 precepts in a "monastery" where the monks get themselves treated like gods. As an example their "kutis" look more like 5-star hotel bungalows than "huts": http://sphotos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-a ... 3262_n.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; not to speak about the food.
So the people would give about a quarter of the respect they give to the monks. At that time, it was just before lunchtime and I had a sudden idea that I wanted to note down. So I went to the small office and asked for a paper and a pen. The guy gave them to me in a very ceremonious way with both hands and head down as if I was a very important person. So after use, I gave the items back to him with a smile and saying "thank you", as normal people would do in such a situation, with the underlying untold message: "chill out, man I'm not a supernatural being". The guy became very displeased and I saw he was feeling like I had just snatched from him whatever merit he had done by handing me over a piece of paper and a pen. It took me weeks to reinstate the communication with this guy and from that moment on I made sure that I would say "sadhu sadhu sadhu" every time someone did anything for me.

This is what happens when the religious feeling and the attachment to rituals that goes along replaces natural communication between human beings.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

danieLion
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by danieLion » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:24 am

Sekha wrote:
danieLion wrote:What's Goenka so scared of?
That the sasana ends too soon. So was Asoka.
danieLion wrote:Also ironic. If the sasana was dead he wouldn't be able to fear it dying.
Sekha wrote:don't get your point.
1) no one here has said the sasana is dead
2) what's the matter with being ironic or not?
If it's survived long enough for Goenka to fear it not surviving anymore, it implies the problem might lie in fearing rather than The Religion itself.

Irony has it's uses. I'm examinging whether or not this is an appropriate use. Is Goenka merely being rhetorical or is he also lamenting modernism? Does he really fear The Religion will disappear or does he fear what it has and/or might become in the hands of contemporary humans?

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ground
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by ground » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:21 am

ground wrote: Actually there is a lot of religion in many suttas.
Sekha wrote:What do you mean exactly by that?
ground wrote: Investigating into the meaning of religion, the commmon denominator of all religions resulted in categorising as religion all words - either spoken or written - that cause affirmation of ideas of a future "state of being" or similar that is imagined to be better, more attractive, worthwhile to strive for but is not supported by any kind of experience accessible. I.e. it is just sort of worshipping of ideas as if these were more that just mere ideas.
Sekha wrote:then the teaching of the Buddha doesn't fit this definition.
Well actually there is a lot of religion in many suttas. E.g. the idea of nibbana, idea of "better" re-birth, idea of end of stress ... these ideas refer to an idea of a future to come or future achievement fostering hope and confidence if cultivated with focus and may entail reduction of stress regardless of whether something will ever be achieved or come in an imagined future ... simply through being cultivated. This is meant to be "religion". But of course you do not have to subscribe to this understanding of the term "religon". It is the result of investigation and has become certain knowledge. Some have aversion against being known as "religious" since they consider this to be the sphere of non-truth or mere belief and inferiority but cling to the idea of truth and want to be superior. But this is just the sense of self. Sense of self actually is the support for religion. Because what is it that wants to achieve anything? But there is no problem with this ... it just is as it is. :sage:

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ground
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by ground » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:42 am

To add this:

Based on investigation It may be acknowledged that what is called "consciousness" actually is the human dilemma
From ignorance as a requisite condition come fabrications. From fabrications as a requisite condition comes consciousness. ... Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
However considering religions (none excluded) it may also be acknowledged that it is exactly so called "consciousness" which is [the nature of every] religion (thinking, intending, cultivation of ideas etc.). So obviously this system of aggregates has the potentiality to fabricate artifice (ideas qua consciousness) to somehow deal with its own dilemma ... more or less. :sage:

SamKR
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by SamKR » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:04 am

danieLion wrote:
Sekha wrote:
danieLion wrote:What's Goenka so scared of?
That the sasana ends too soon. So was Asoka.
danieLion wrote:Also ironic. If the sasana was dead he wouldn't be able to fear it dying.
Sekha wrote:don't get your point.
1) no one here has said the sasana is dead
2) what's the matter with being ironic or not?
If it's survived long enough for Goenka to fear it not surviving anymore, it implies the problem might lie in fearing rather than The Religion itself.

Irony has it's uses. I'm examinging whether or not this is an appropriate use. Is Goenka merely being rhetorical or is he also lamenting modernism? Does he really fear The Religion will disappear or does he fear what it has and/or might become in the hands of contemporary humans?
If we consider people's degree of attachment towards rites, rituals, superstitions, caste/status based on own's sects/religions in the Indian subcontinent region, and the immense harm that has been done by these attachments for centuries (including the disappearance of Buddha's teachings from India), then what Goenka ji is saying makes some sense.

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Ben
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by Ben » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:28 am

danieLion wrote:What's Goenka so scared of?
Nothing. He's ruffled many a feather.
It is just a particular message for a particular audience.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Mr Man
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Re: After all, what would make this be a religion?

Post by Mr Man » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:48 am

Ben wrote:
danieLion wrote:What's Goenka so scared of?
Nothing. He's ruffled many a feather.
It is just a particular message for a particular audience.
A skillful means?

Ben is there a reconection with the heritage of the tradition happening at the moment? I noticed that in another thread you had mentioned that you had visited IMC rangoon and that you also recomended IMC. Hope you don't mind the question.

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