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 What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules

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cmpnwtr

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PostSubject: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 04, 2011 11:45 am

[Admin note: this topic was split in order to allow the thread "Assessment by FaithTrust" to continue on-topic. Although this thread shows cmpnwtr as the "Author", this is a function of the forum software since his post was the first to be split.]

glorfindel wrote:

It seems that their founder is a "Reverend" in the United Church of Christ which certainly seems to be less ignorant than other Christian groups.

I find it objectionable and disrespectful to characterize the adherents of an entire religious tradition as "ignorant" and believe it violates the spirit and possibly the letter of the rules of this forum. Your remarks here are entirely outside the issue of the appropriateness of this organization being used to assess the OBC.


Last edited by Lise on Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:18 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fixed error in admin note)
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glorfindel

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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:15 pm

cmpnwtr wrote:
and believe it violates.........possibly the letter of the rules of this forum.

I don't really think that's the case. I don't think it breaks the TOS to express an opinion here as long as the language isn't harsh or sordid. I'm sure Watson or Lise will correct me if I'm wrong.

You might like to note that I did not characterise all adherents of Christianity in the way you described. It is the Dogma I was pointing at. I understand that some Christians may apply the scientific method to the dogmas they partake of. I also gave brief reference to the long history of arrogance and ignorance in the Christian faith. The suffering it has caused is phenomenal. A light perusal of a few history books would edify on that count.

Heck, I know a few Christians who don't even believe that the Stone Age occurred!

I would certainly hope that people who were conducting any kind of assessment had some kind of reverence for the scientific process.

I would certainly want them to acknowledge that the Stone Age did actually occur.
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Lise
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:20 pm

Catching up with the above -

Glorfindel, there is a forum rule (#14) allowing discussion of religious themes if carried out with respect for others' ideas. Your reference to one group as being "less ignorant than other {admin delete} groups" is clearly disrespectful and fails to meet this standard. And, although I don't think you intended this, the comment could easily be seen as making a controversial posting in order to stir up an adverse reaction, also prohibited by the rules. For these reasons the post will be edited.

Let's not bash anyone's religion.

thanks,
Lise
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glorfindel

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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:34 pm

Lise wrote:

Let's not bash anyone's religion.



And what happens 90% of the time on OBC connect?


I think religions should be "bashed"as much as anything else. Especially if there is reason to do so, as is the case with the OBC, and as is the case with Christianity as illuminated in my second post above.

Everything should be bashed! Even bad science is bashed by peer review.

Some religions have historically demonstrated such ignorance and caused such harm that my default position is "you are probably ignorant and probably up to no good, until you prove otherwise."

They are quite welcome to prove otherwise.


But fair enough if you don't want any bashing of non-OBC faiths here and fair enough about the edit.



It was a serious concern of mine by the way. I'd want people who were conducting a serious investigation of anything to accept Darwin's theories and scientific consensus about the nature of things.
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Anne

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PostSubject: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 04, 2011 5:56 pm

:-) Rule 14 states
Quote :
14. Discussions of political or religious themes are allowed if carried out thoughtfully, with respect for others’ ideas. Talk about your own ideas. Refrain from baseless bashing of other members' ideas.
Glorfindel wrote:
It seems that their founder is a "Reverend" in the United Church of Christ which certainly seems to be less [admin delete] than other Christian groups.
Perhaps Glorfindel did not intend the word "all" to be read-in before "other Christian groups" but the word "some"? (-:
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:11 pm

glorfindel wrote:
Lise wrote:

Let's not bash anyone's religion.

And what happens 90% of the time on OBC connect?

I think religions should be "bashed"as much as anything else. Especially if there is reason to do so, as is the case with the OBC, and as is the case with Christianity as illuminated in my second post above.

Everything should be bashed! Even bad science is bashed by peer review.

Some religions have historically demonstrated such ignorance and caused such harm that my default position is "you are probably ignorant and probably up to no good, until you prove otherwise."

They are quite welcome to prove otherwise.

But fair enough if you don't want any bashing of non-OBC faiths here and fair enough about the edit.

It was a serious concern of mine by the way. I'd want people who were conducting a serious investigation of anything to accept Darwin's theories and scientific consensus about the nature of things.

Glorfindel,

What happens here is that we discuss experiences with specific persons, and groups, using courteous speech. The forum is oriented to civil expression.

Re: Dan's comment, we are not taking the sangha out for a "beating", and Buddhism isn't bashed here nor is any other religion, through the use of pejoratives like "ignorant". 99% of the time, posters discuss their own experiences, whether with specific persons or groups, or in the larger theoretical contexts of religion and philosophy. The majority of negative comments are fact-based and specific, therefore not "baseless". A lot of us weren't happy with our OBC experiences but we discuss them in a way that gets the point across while abiding by forum rules. This doesn't happen through the use of an adjective like "ignorant" to describe an entire group's ideas.

I understand that you feel religions should be bashed as much as anything else. You are free to do that anywhere it is allowed, but it doesn't work here; the rules don't provide for that form of discourteous expression. If religion-bashing gets in the door and is seen as accepted, it will ruin threads right and left, and never stop. That is not what some of us have spent the last two years building and supporting.

Lise


Last edited by Lise on Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:31 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : name correction)
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 04, 2011 7:18 pm

[Admin note: ddolmar's post was moved to this thread in order to allow the original post to remain on-topic.]

ddolmar wrote:
Glorfindel wrote:
Lise wrote:
Let's not bash anyone's religion.
And what happens 90% of the time on OBC connect?
I
agree. As a group, we regularly take the Sangha treasure of the OBC out
behind the toolshed for a painful beating. That may be necessary; let
us hope that it at least does more good than harm. But this comment of
Lise's breaks the irony-o-meter.

***************************

Bad
science should especially be bashed. That's what makes the good stuff
that holds up under disinterested and even hostile scrutiny so valuable!

Religions
always maintain, at least in dormancy, the privilege to make stuff up
in the face of the unknown, or to believe things on insufficient
reasons. Where there should be an "I don't know," there's a doctrine or a
story available to provide a ready answer. Therefore, all religions are
potentially dangerous in that you never know when science or society is
going to need to cross one of the sacred tenets of faith. It didn't
used to be a big deal that a large number of Americans believe that
human blastulas (~100 cell embryos at three days after fertilization)
have "souls" except in the abortion debate. But now comes stem cell
research, and the belief in "souls" halts the most promising avenue of
scientific research into dementia, Alzheimer's, nerve damage injuries,
etc etc etc, that we've ever had in its tracks! Mind you, nowhere in the
Bible does it say that unmeasurable, un-locate-able souls are put into
single-cell H. Sapiens at fertilization...that's just a doctrine that's been dreamed up by the faithful.

And
there's a flip side to the danger of religion: you never know when
followers of a religion with "kill the unbelievers" (for example) in the
sacred text are going to suddenly take those verses very seriously. I
think we can be confident that the hijacker/murderers/MARTYRS
of Sept 11th were the most ardent religious believers of all those on
the four airplanes. They're the ones who really had faith that paradise
awaited.

So, yeah, Glorfindel's right: some people are more crazy
than others, and it frequently has to do with the religion and
denomination that they imbibe.
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Anne

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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:53 am

:-) Bravo for courtesy, Lise! I have been reading the book Stan recommended, Mystic by Default, that refers to "an old saying from the Zen tradition, 'Next to good manners, enlightenment is the most important thing in the world.'” ...Can't say I've come across this "saying" before but I rather like it!

I have sympathy for Bill's feelings. Without claiming knowledge, I also have the impression that, for Glorfindel, the word "ignorant" can be used in a sense of inclined to ignore deliberately what does not suit one to know, and also in a simple sense of lacking knowledge or awareness about specific matters; and that "less ignorant" could mean "zero ignorance" rather than "less ignorant than some but still ignorant" (I am not focusing on whether the people referred to actually are or are not thus "ignorant"). Even if Glorfindel doesn't feel very much respect for certain unspecified ideas (and there are many ideas in the world at large that I do not feel respect for either), I don't see his reference as necessarily a cavalier disparagement. However, I do think tact is called for in expressing these matters.

No one, of course, wants to be called "ignorant", and sometimes in the world I have heard this word used (along with words like "deluded", "disturbed", etc) in ways that seem vindictive or entirely dismissive of a person. If one wants to undertake the Noble Eightfold Path, one does need to let go of/not fuel delighting in enmity and "bashing" self/others. (-:
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glorfindel

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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Mon Sep 05, 2011 10:12 am

A quick note:


Anne you are correct about my use of the word "ignorant." Ignoring scientific, peer reviewed, consensus is one way this happens. But that's not the worst of it.

Rule 14 concerns "baseless" bashing. My above posts are not baseless. I point at history.

ddolmar: I agree 96% with your analysis.



If I were to "bash" another philosophical perspective such as that espoused in Nietzsche's "The Anti Christ" or Neo Nazism I doubt whether there would have been many complaints.

I see no difference.

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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:22 pm

I genuinely sympathize with Bill's objection, but (arrogant sod that I am) I believe that it is misplaced.

For example, I sometimes feel defensive when an Iraqi in the media is furious with Americans generally. Even though I understand that, most likely, he would not blame me personally for his country's misfortune, it still can feel as though I'm the one in the crosshairs. The tribes we belong to become part of our identity, while we somehow passively disown the harm done not by us but under the banner of the group. The Iraqi debacle certainly isn't my fault, not even on the 4th of July when I can be reliably found waving the stars and stripes.

It should not be controversial, or even rude, to suggest that certain kinds of ignorance are treasured among a broad class of the Christian faithful. If you don't believe that, then try to explain that animal species change over time via natural selection, or that the age of the earth is around four or five billion years, to the congregation of any conservative Christian church.

That is, unless you (I mean any reader, not Bill) don't think that denial of these basic facts of our world should be considered "ignorant" at least. In that sad case, it would be fortunate if you didn't have the responsibility of investigating any serious matter, until your basic education is made more complete.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:26 pm

Hello all

This maybe is a bit of a side issue but I wanted to point out that Buddhism garners no less ignorance than Christianity..

People want to ease their suffering. People usually want a spiritual aspirin for the human condition we all share.. People swallow the bizarreness of Christianities package no differently than they do of Buddhism. I mean do you really think that most of Buddhisms devotional scriptures make any sense to anyone with a discerning brain. Lets bow down to a Buddha holding a blue lotus, or a flaming sword, or an unbroken linage that history clearly shows is broken, the multiple realms of existence, kalpas of ancient Buddhist mythology and on & on & on.

Some Buddhist & Christians take this stuff literally, some extrapolate & some just roll their eyes wondering why they are still part of it all..

Anyway, I am really only saying that if one is going to slam an investigative organization as being illogical because of their Christian base then you should reject an investigative organization just as easily for being Buddhist.

And I hope that one day such generalizations will be looked at the way that I hope most of us do for race, age and gender.

Cheers
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ddolmar

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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:32 pm

Hi Howard--Well, in the interest of warm and fuzzy open-mindedness, let's also make socially unacceptable the asking of follow-up questions when a group of Wahabist Muslims suddenly want to become airline pilots.

How terribly provincial such questions are! Don't they belong with racism, sexism, and ageism on the scrap heap of history?

Heck no!

The crucial difference is that religions contain ideas, unlike a person's race, sex, and age. In fact, it's safe to say that each of the major religions of the world contain mutually contradictory ideas within themselves in various sects and branches. (This makes me wonder if they don't all cancel each other out: since they mutually contradict each other, it follows that at most one of them could be really true outside of our imaginations. What, therefore, are the chances that the true number is zero?)

So you're correct to say that being a Buddhist is no more a qualification to run an investigation than is being a Christian. But we generally should want to know whether people are harboring bad ideas. Once we know that an investigator is an American Christian in charge of a prominent multi-faith organization, it seems reasonable to hope--but not assume--that they have taken on board certain facts, and more importantly, certain ways of thinking about the empirical world and what constitutes valid evidence, that many of their co-believers (and fellow citizens) apparently have not.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:32 pm

Hello Dan
No arguments here.
My post spoke strictly of the foolishness of judging an organization solely on the basis of what religion they were connected to.
Your post spoke of the foolishness of not ascertaining the qualifications of the head of a investigation.
These are two seperate subjects in my view..
H
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:22 am

Anne wrote:
...the word "ignorant" can be used in a sense of inclined to ignore
deliberately what does not suit one to know...

I rather don't think so.
The word clearly means 'lacking knowledge', and glorfindel used it in that sense, too.
I am with Howard: not only Christianity, but Buddhism also - and I'd say religions in general have a lot of silly (my word) stuff. I think Howard put his finger on it: we come to religion because we hurt, and are thus vulnerable. I think we than tolerate a good deal of unsound dogma, claims, just to get a bit of relief - and hope.
Also, religions tend to be ancient, their texts are ancient, too; and dealing with 'the sacred', they don't allow much questioning.
Glorfindel - I wouldn't glorify the scientific process, the peer review, etc, too much. For example if you look a bit further back, e.g. Copernicus's heliocentric system was initially not opposed by the church as much as it was by the academe. Etc.
Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:39 am

ddolmar wrote:
...religions contain ideas, unlike a person's race, sex, and age. In fact, it's safe to say that each of the major religions of the world contain mutually contradictory ideas within themselves in various sects and branches. (This makes me wonder if they don't all cancel each other out: since they mutually contradict each other, it follows that at most one of them could be really true outside of our imaginations. What, therefore, are the chances that the true number is zero?)

Dan, I like where you are going with this.

I also like where Glorfindel, Anne, Lise, Bill, Howard, and Ol'ga are going with this.

And, I can't help but feel that the problem isn't "religion" in the deepest sense, but religious organizations that result from the institutionalization of the spiritual teaching that arises from direct experience of the transcendent ground of Awareness itself. At this level, I would propose that the mystics of all traditions--beyond the words and concepts that are attributed to them--are actually in a state of profound agreement.

I think that this issue of institutionalization, in many ways, lies at the crux of much that we write about on this Forum.

And now, because I am basically lazy ;-), I will quote myself. The following is the third comment that I posted on the Forum--after Eko announced his resignation--but before any of the details that led to his subsequent expulsion were made known. I take the liberty of reposting this because I can't imagine that many of you reading this now have already seen it. The original posting can be found on the forum: Keeping in Touch, on the thread: RM Eko's Resignation, posted on May 15th, 2010.

On May 15th, 2010, I wrote:

Rev Master Eko's resignation as Abbot of Shasta Abbey, for the reasons that he has given, will constitute a seismic event within the OBC.

What this should lead to is a greater willingness to recognize and assess the ever present, yet often invisible, role of the institutionalization of spiritual teaching.

In the early years in particular, Rev Master Jiyu-Kennett often decried the arising of what she called "institutional mind" within the monastic community.

The overarching issue, in its essence, as I perceive it is: the direct experience of the transcendent ground of Awareness itself, is the basis of spiritual teaching in Buddhism and all religious traditions. This teaching is inherently paradoxical--and cannot be encompassed or contained by concepts--or by institutional policies and proceedures.

And here's the rub: religious institutions are necessary to provide teaching for those who are interested, and to ensure its continued transmission, but--through its inherent inability to preserve the paradox of true spiritual teaching--religion all too easily becomes a form of INSTITUTIONALIZED DELUSION.

The essence of this principle is contained in the well known Zen teaching that "the finger that points to the moon, is not the moon itself". The challenge lies in untying the knot of institutionalization from the original teaching itself.

In the broadest sense, I think that this is the koan of all religious institutions--and the dynamic itself is what makes all religious institutions a form of cult.

Does the koan have a solution? Yes it does. The solution, in stark contrast to the classic Zen koan however--is not individual--but collective.

In the case of Shasta Abbey and the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives, the koan can only be resolved (I propose) by recognizing and acknowledging the fact that it is our responsibility, as disciples of Rev Master Jiyu-Kennett, to always honor her teaching, and to compassionately discern the distinction between her personal biases and shortcomings--and her wonderful insight and teaching.

I would further propose that this is nothing special--it is the responsibility of all who engage in a spiritual practice. The teaching that "the disciple stands on the shoulders of the teacher" is a rather precise identification of this principle. The teacher inevitably hands her koan to the rest of us--and we resolve it back into Immaculacy out of gratitude.

It seems to me, that in this light, the harmony of the Sangha only remains TRUE harmony, so long as it does not sacrifice the Truth in order to avoid looking at that which is uncomfortable to look at. The effort to try to prevent the arising of doubt by suppressing information about those who have left the Order, forinstance, is a strategy that always backfires.

The Buddha Nature--the transcendent ground of Awareness itself--is unconditional Openess itself. In an institution--nothing less will do.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:50 am

Hi Howard--

I agree with your separation of topics. But there's also your notion that religious views (or religious identification, which is not quite the same thing) should be protected from judgment, like race, sex, or age. I strongly and sincerely disagree. Perhaps religious criticism should be done with more care than in the case at hand. Maybe we've been a bit too casual. More than that you'd need to get from someone else.

Actually, my worst crime here isn't that I pick away at others' most closely held beliefs with Socratic meanness (and much less wisdom), but that I risk being a bore.

At least that's my main concern re-reading above, not that I'm trolling for reassurances now.

Cheers all, good night.

--Dan


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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:54 am

Of course, I might phrase some of what I wrote in 2010 a bit differently today, but I can still live with the original.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:57 am

Very nicely said Kozan,to say such a thing says a lot about you but your words are not for me personally.

I chose not to pick up JK's koan

I think that the truth was sacrificed to avoid looking at that which is uncomfortable to look at

I do agree that it all became an institutional delusion and defended or abeted.
I am troubled at the moment by One of the senior monks ( personel name witheld) telling me Gensho had run off with the devil,I wake up thinking about it sometimes.

My apologies I can tell you want a positive outcome, and my views differ,my hope is the same, and I hope you find a positive outcome
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:13 am

Thank you Michael!

I think that only active members of the OBC need to pick up and resolve RMJK's koan.

I firmly believe that a positive outcome is only possible for the OBC, if you, and each of the rest of us on this forum, continue to hold true to our own perceptions and experiences, no matter how contradictory they may sometimes seem.

What the OBC needs is not my perspective, but our collective and richly diverse perspective!

I would propose that the Truth is not reducible.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:21 am

I completely agree with that
resolving JK's koan is an interesting one,as even with the right answer, one is not always allowed to pass through the gate
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:18 am

Hey Dan

Now I get what you're saying. I think my last sentence which I thought of as a throw away line is the crux of your posting.

Howard's posting.

And I hope that one day such generalizations (of a religion) will be looked at the way that I hope most of us do for race, age and gender.
Dan's response


But there's also your notion that religious views (or religious identification, which is not quite the same thing) should be protected from judgment, like race, sex, or age.

It is the generalizations which I think of as ignorance. Ideas held without regard to whether the facts still apply to a situation or not, opinions cradled as truths today because they were once true in the past, the clumping of a group of people into one mind set because what an individual member of the group might of said, and on & on.

Does everything change or not?

Nowhere in there did I say that an organization or an individual (or someone of a particular race, sex or age) should be protected from examination. My only concern would be if either were subject to generalization of view by the examiner which is very different from an actual examination.

Prejudice is a preconceived idea that is held onto and not subject to an open examination. It also fits the definition of ignorance. The original posting that started this whole thread was actually a case of the "kettle calling the pot black".

A popular activity here on this forum and one that I'm often getting my own chain deservedly tugged on for.

Cheers

H
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:41 am

Ol'ga wrote:

Glorfindel - I wouldn't glorify the scientific process, the peer review, etc, too much. For example if you look a bit further back, e.g. Copernicus's heliocentric system was initially not opposed by the church as much as it was by the academe. Etc.
Ol'ga

In the time of Copernicus the academics were all devout Christians. The scientific method was in its infancy.

As h(o)mo sapiens, pretty much all we have are our hands, our little frontal lobes and peer review. It takes the scientific method and peer review quite a bit of time to form working theories from initial guesses but it works in the end. Look at all the knowledge we have.

Howard I agree that most religions inherently disseminate ignorance. Just as parents who lie to their children about Santa Claus do. Some dogmas seem more indulgent in this practice than others.




I agree with ddolmar that to comment on ideas is different from commenting on race, gender etc. I don't see why religious ideas should be exempt from the rigorous criticism that any scientific hypothesis must endure.

If a scientist were to cling to his/her treasured hypothesis, despite the fact that experiment had proved it incorrect, I would call him/her ignorant in that respect.

Alot of what makes up religions are the old outdated knowledge systems. In their time they were the working theory. They were the science of the time. They need to be thrown out. Joseph Campbell warns that we should not "throw the baby out with the bath water." I think, however, that some of the ideas shared by groups of people are almost entirely "bath water."


I think the religion of the future will be the absorption of meditation practice into Particle Physics.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:29 am

Howard I quite agree with you about Buddhist scriptures if you take them literally, but I dont believe that was the intention. They read to me like the comic books of their age; Superman would have given his eye teeth for some of the powers these guys had. My personal view for what it is worth is that having abandoned 'The Absolute' buddhism felt free to 'invent' any number of absolutes. Do many western Buddhist believe that Avalokiteshvara was/is a real entity? I see him and the host of other bodhisattvas, etc. like him as personifications of idealisations. In his case an idealisation of compassion, in Vairocana's case (Cosmic Buddha) the idealisation of pure Buddhahood. Very useful in directing people in particular directions and very entertainig on a cold winters night when there's only stories to entertain. But unless you are a Platonic idealist not to be taken literally. Rather like the personification in the west of the figure of death, with his cloak, skeletal form and scythe, not to be taken literally but the personification of something very real and often feared and easier dealt with personified.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:05 am

:-) Hi Ol'ga! You're right about my jazzy turn on the word "ignorant"!

But there is a connection to the Latin word ignorare: not to know; to disregard. I think it rather fun that there is this verbal link, and very relevant too, in Buddhist training. It also seemed appropriate to what I thought might be already incorporated in Glorfindel's concern...roughly that people might doubt their own direct experience if their religion (culture, parents, etc) told them differently, or might be afraid to check out for themselves lest it turn out differently...that sort of thing. Otherwise I am not quite sure what link the Stone Age has to the matter of assessing Shasta...
drunken (...my mind boggling!)

P.S I am not trying to defend my bending this word. I am being really sneaky...but even language evolves! (-:
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:50 am

Anne wrote:
Otherwise I am not quite sure what link the Stone Age has to the matter of assessing Shasta...

Hi Anne. The tendency of religions to disbelieve in things accepted by scientific consensus and to perceive themselves as above scientific analysis, is what I was pointing at there. That period of the human past just happens to be an area of science that I have an intimate knowledge of. It is also an area which has brought out highly contentious comments from a (not insignificant) number of Christians I have had the pleasure of communicating with. So I was using it as a small example.

So: inability to differentiate fantasy from experimentally tested theory = (to my mind) not a good assessor of anything.


Here are two very short clips that explain it better than I can:

science

religion




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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:24 pm

Hello Mark
Howard I quite agree with you about Buddhist scriptures if you take them literally, but I dont believe that was the intention

Buddhist scriptures not meant to be taken literally?, all in the eye of the beholder. I have certainly met monks who act as if they should. Are those monks and laymen who do take part or all of them literally, advised against doing so?

Nope, they are just thought of as following a devotional practise. Whether they are grasping at straws or touching on a deeper truth was not my point or my business.
What I was saying was that Buddhist followers have little cause to call Christians ignorant and that both can look outlandish to the other or an outside observer.

As for whether the personification of a behaviour provides a better understanding of it or not, is a subject that I am not sure very of.
Does it just place an un necessary teaching aid between oneself and the experience? Does it infantile or mystify a very basic human state of potential grace? Ok, perhaps as a teaching aid in the days of illiteracy, but Now?

Does the form of the teaching have more to do with fostering monk worship and monastic centralized control than with disseminating the Buddha's teachings?
I definately saw a move in Shasta's teaching style over the years that went from the meditative towards an unquestioning devotional approach that held a pantheon of imagery that was often fervently embraced.
We are all probably biased for the way that we experienced Buddhist teaching so I think this subject could be a bit of an interesting exploration for all of us.
Cheers
H
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:30 pm

:-) Hi Glorfindel!

Thank you for filling me in...though you have spoiled my fantasy of a Stone Age cave-painting of an OBC monk stepping off a space-ship.

I would be fascinated to know what contentious comments you encountered in respect of that ancient period...but that may be outside the scope of this thread, alas. (-:
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:03 pm

Howard I'm sure your right. Some people will take the scriptures literally, I remember Sangharakshita, who is quite a mahayana scholar, talking about a story that was in the Tripitaka of various schools and had undergone revisions with each later school. The story started life with a woman said to have maybe ten or twelve children, i.e. quite a lot! In later versions this became maybe twenty or thirty, then maybe eighty or ninety, and ended up a few versions later as maybe a thousand or two thousand! I am not a great believer in taking scriptures literally. They often express truth, but poetically not literally. Each set of scriptures expressing one cultures understanding, and even then not necessarily consistently. How many days should a Christian believe it took God to create the world? Conventionally it is taken as the seven days stated in the early chapters of Genesis. But if you look later in Genesis there is an alternative creation in which God took eight days. I sometimes get exasperated by fundamentalist christians who won't allow anybody else's scriptures but their own (in english of course) because it is the direct word of God, every last syllable and comma true, And have on occasion asked them about this discrepancy, and even once said that perhaps it was because God was working so hard he lost count of how many days had passed. Not appreciated I'm afraid!
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:04 am

I have another bone to pick with Mark's
Howard I quite agree with you about Buddhist scriptures if you take them literally, but I dont believe that was the intention.

How can one determine what was the intention? Whose intention?
I doubt there are any scriptures that are self-consistent. They are all compilations and they are self-contradictory.
There is only tradition, an organic 'thing'; it seems to me, one can only pick what rings true, and leave the rest.
(BTW, Mark, I don't know where the Bible says God created the world in eight days. The other figure traditionally given, is six, not seven - he rested on the seventh day. That is the basis of the Jewish Sabbath, a very sacred matter - to some, the very basis of Jewishness.)
The Abrahamic religions, and Hinduism, have the concept of divine revelation. Scriptures can't be questioned, and because they contain contradictions, exegesis is inevitable.
Oddly, Buddhism, as far as I know, does not fare much better, Buddha being presented as such an exceptional human being as to be very nearly divine. Certain very definite teachings, even concrete words, are attributed to him, a knowable historic person with a definite biography. I wonder how one could be sure, just who he was, and how much of his teachings were recorded faithfully and passed down the centuries to our day intact; and what are in fact accretions of tradition, of evolving religion, system or school of thought, worship, politics, myth, philosophy.
Still, for me, it all boils down to - what rings true to me. That keeps me busy enough, and I leave the rest for others to write PhD theses about.
O.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:34 am

Ol'ga as ever you are right and I must grovel. I had totally gotten it wrong on the number of days, 6 to create and a rest day. I also got it completely wrong on the 8 days! I checked my notes and the 8 days was something completely different from another religion! The discrepancy in Genesis is in the order and purpose of creation. In the first creation myth (Genesis 1-2:3) the seas appear to be pre-exhistant and man is created together with woman and after the animals in order to have dominion over them. The second version of the myth (Genesis 2:4-2:25) is much dryer, the earth appears to be pre-existing and man is created and Eden created and populated with vegetation for him. In this version the animals are created afterwards to keep man company as a help meet but this does not work out, and woman is created as a kind of afterthought. In this version God appears much less omnipotent, animals are created as help meets for man and when this 'experiment' does not work another experiment is tried with the creation of woman - and look where that got us!
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:21 pm

:-) Of course, Qabalists have fascinating explanations!...

Leaving aside the intricacies of version 1's first five days, as you may know, the God-name used for the creative power(s) is Elohim, which I have read is a feminine noun with a masculine plural ending, so that reference to Adam being "male and female" refers to spiritual androgyny! The world of version 1 appears to have similarities to the Buddhist idea of Rupaloka. (There is a level yet more rarified than this in Qabalah; and also that which is spoken of as beyond manifest existence, with interesting terms like Limitless Light, Limitless and No-thing.)

Version 2 is said to represent more the equivalent of the Buddhist idea of the Kamaloka heavens. This Adam, formed of the "dust" of that world, becomes separated into male and female.

Guess where that Adam and Eve went on donning the "garments of skin" and being evicted!... No, not Hampstead Garden Suburb...well, maybe. (-:
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:21 pm

Anne wrote:
Guess where that Adam and Eve went on donning the "garments of skin" and
being evicted!... No, not Hampstead Garden Suburb...well, maybe.
(-:


Too bad we didn't ask Jiyu as, I'm sure, she was Adam in her previous life. Maybe Eve is Michael Little, so there is still hope of finding out.
Yes, Ann, Elohim is plural (didn't know about the gender stuff). God's name YHWH (am I right?) was not allowed to pronounce. You know what would happen to you - go watch The life of Brian.

And Mark, I soooo hate being right and you wrong.
No, this was too easy. I don't know the O.T. too well, can't bear reading it. Occasionally got tidbits from David as he was reading it in Basque for practice...Book of Joshua...so much killing at God's behest. I can't see it as word of living God, sorry to everybody who feels otherwise.
O.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:28 pm

Ol'ga! I so hate sarcasm - you soooo hate being right and me wrong ... Huh!! Smile

The OT can be really good. If you like things stripped down to the bone and rather austere, if not a bit down, you can't beat my favourite Ecclesiastes for telling it like it is.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:31 am

Mark, I don't care for sarcasm actually - I think I was poking fun at myself. I guess I want to win as much as the next gal, but when I do, I don't really enjoy it. Of course. But I do like to show off as, again, most humans do...even some other animals. Old habits die hard, and so we must live with them, for now at least.
I agree that O.T. has a lot of good stuff. Ecclesiastes, maybe, but I would debate the validity of All is vanity. Still, regarding the Bible, I'd be quickly out of my depth, and Bill would rap me on the knuckles in no time. Yes, the two versions of creation are fun, and a bummer. Exegetes must twist themselves into pretzels to get around that one. I read somewhere that the rib story is in fact about creation of marriage, rather than of womankind. Why not, anything goes.
As to your another experiment is tried with the creation of woman - and look where that got us! - well, why did Adam need to scream on the top of his lungs till the jungle shook, 'Give me a bite, give me a bite!!'. Eve takes all the blame. Not fair!
There is a skit by a Polish poet K.I. Galczynski in his Green goose (Zielona ges), where, in spite of Adam's screams, Eve gobbles the whole apple, and ruines the entire Bible.
Good God, it's late!
I must be off to feed the bedbugs.
O.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:09 pm

Ol'ga vanity is a word thathas rather changed its meaning since it was used in the OT translation. It still has some of the the resonances of the original in the phrase 'in vain'. The following is from the wikipedia article on Ecclesiastes at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecclesiastes
The latest UK translations have often used empty and emptiness rather than vanity. Which I think you'd agree gives a rather different, some have said almost Buddhist, colour.

Quote :
(hebel) הבל literally means vapor, breath, but it could also mean "absurd". Qoheleth uses it metaphorically, and its precise meaning is extensively debated. Older English translations often render it vanity. Because in modern usage this word has often come to mean "self-pride," losing its Latinate connotation of emptiness, some translators have abandoned it. Other translations include empty, futile, meaningless, absurd, fleeting, evanescent, or senseless. Some translations use the literal rendering vapor of vapors and so claim to leave the interpretation to the reader.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:43 pm

Hi Mark,
Yes, I am aware of the intented meaning of the word 'vanity' in this context. The Bible I knew in my youth was Kralicka Bible, a Czech version. There, the word 'marnost' does not have the same ambiguity, as does English 'vanity'. 'Marnost' conveys the meaning of 'amounting to nothing', like 'chytani vetra', 'catching the wind'.

I dispute the truth of the proposition 'All is emptiness', 'All is empty'. This is where I differ from Buddhism, if I understand Buddhism correctly. I would rather say, 'All is one', indivisible, complete, sustaining the 'all'.
Luv,
Ol'ga
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:07 am

I like All is one [because it is empty of duality or individual ego]

It does not chant very well
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:46 pm

Hi Michael, as you say,
I like All is one [because it is empty of duality or individual ego]

There is still duality (multiplicity) to account for; and, after all, the 'individual ego', if you will, whose name is Michael Hughes, who has a certain date of birth, a holder of a passport, etc, my friend, and contributor to this forum. And so one has to sort out the "relationship" between the empty One (in my vocabulary, One without a second), and this individual who is most definitely there. How is there One, and still many, and where do I come in. Clearly, I cannot be my own illusion.
O.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:29 pm

Hi Ol`ga,

Exactly where is this individual " who is most definitely there" ?

Just a thought, Stan.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 11, 2011 1:57 pm

Clearly I can be my own illusion

A lovely piece
From west to east, unseen, flowed out the Mind of India's greatest Sage
And to the source kept true as an unsullied stream
is clear.

Although by wit and dullness the True Way is varied,
Yet it has no Patriarch of south or north.
Here born, we clutch at things
And then compound delusion, later on, by
following ideals;
Each sense gate and * its object all together enter
thus in mutual relations
And yet stand apart in a uniqueness of their own, -
depending and yet non-depending both.
In form and feel component things are seen to
differ deeply;
Thus are voices, in inherent isolation, soft or harsh.
Such words as high and middle darkness match;
Light separates the murky from the pure.

Personally for me moments of deep awareness ,the present moment, is experienced pure and new, I am not yet born, the ripples of me start to infringe on the moment and I am born by clutching at the things which I determine to be me.

For me personally this is practice and enlightenment, light and darkness , oneness and duality. But there you are I can see you I know you you are my friend
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:22 pm

Hi Mike my friend.

I like your answer very much and it is a true one.
So, Ol`ga says she cannot be her illusion but can see someone "there".

You say that you can be your illusion and again someone is "there".

So where is the "there" and who sees it ?

Call me Mr Picky...just a little fun. Stan.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:27 pm

As long as there is practice and enlightenment then it is here there you and me
When there is only enlightenment a bell will ring
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:30 pm

I`m sure you`re right, but where ?

Stan.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:32 pm

The bell always rings in special places
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:37 pm

You`re right, bell for tea has just rung . `She who must be obeyed calls.`

One calls, one answers.
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:39 pm

one stands up one bows
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:42 pm

Bows......tea !
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:42 pm

Michael, Stan, and Ol'ga--great conversation the One is having with itself!

And Ol'ga, you ask what is probably the most important ontological question that arises from experience of the transcendent: (For any of you who do not have reason to engage in ontological conversation on a daily basis, Ontology is the branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being and the nature of reality--both manifested and prior to all manifestation).

Olga wrote:

"Hi Michael, as you say,

I like All is one [because it is empty of duality or individual ego]

There is still duality (multiplicity) to account for; and, after all, the 'individual ego', if you will, whose name is Michael Hughes, who has a certain date of birth, a holder of a passport, etc, my friend, and contributor to this forum. And so one has to sort out the "relationship" between the empty One (in my vocabulary, One without a second), and this individual who is most definitely there. How is there One, and still many, and where do I come in. Clearly, I cannot be my own illusion.
O."


So, how can multiplicity manifest from that which is empty, nondual, infinite, eternal, Awareness? How can there be many separate selves when we are nothing but empty awareness? (I propose, as I believe Ol'ga, you have similarly proposed earlier, that if the empty all-is-one were not awareness, it could not be experienced and reported). How can the paradox of all is one, and all is different, even exist??

Easy. In fact, I would go so far as to say self-evident. (As is the sound of one hand clapping!) The universe, including individual being, arises and unfolds from empty, unborn, undying, awareness itself--because it wants to.

Desire itself is not only inherent as potential within empty oneness itself, but a facet of awareness itself. Without desire, the universe would not exist, and the all-is-different would not arise from, return to, and remain always inseparable within, the all-is-one. (Or as some prefer to express it, the nondual, or not-two, since "oneness", as a concept, is still a form of duality.)

(On this point, and as an aside, I would say that if desire is an inherent facet of awareness itself (as I hypothesize and propose)--the concept that spiritual practice should somehow entail the "cessation of all desire", is not only profoundly misguided, but always guaranteed to fail!)

Modern physics now gives us the methodology, a variety of hypotheses, some theory, and the language to correlate our "inner" mystical experience of the unfolding of empty oneness as the universe--with our "outer" perception and experience of the ever unfolding dance of all things--as space-time-energy-mass. Once the separation dissolves, so too, does "inner" and "outer", subject and object, self and other, us and them, life and death.

But--where is my tea cup?
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:21 pm

Enjoy your cuupa you deserve it after that, and did you ever find that apple under your bed 38 years ago
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PostSubject: Re: What does "bashing" mean, per forum rules   Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:57 pm

Michael. To have an illusion, you must first exist. You can have an illusion that you're the Queen Victoria; but you cannot have an illusion of your own existence, because your existence predates your illusion, or at least any illusion of yours presupposes your existence. So the illusion cannot be the basis, ground of a being who has this illusion.
Stan, I think in English the word 'there' is frequently used without referencing any particular location. E.g. 'Is there a doctor in the house?'. Since, in that sentence, the adverbial clause 'in the house' clearly denotes a location, the 'there' is purely idiomatic, and has no semantic content. When I wrote, 'You are there very much', I meant, 'You definitely exist'. Now, who is this 'you', what is your nature, is a big question. The answer to that makes quite some difference in our lives. I would say that you are an individual (and I don't consider the 'individual' an illusion - any more, than I consider a carrot to be one); the marvel is, that you're more than that individual; and, though the individual changes, is located in time and place, has various aches and pains, etc, you're simultaneously a witness of all that, and if you 'press' the 'who' of the witness far enough, you will discover that 'he' resolves in awareness.

Kozan, you wrote:
Once the separation dissolves, so too, does "inner" and "outer",
subject and object, self and other, us and them, life and death.

I am sure that you did not mean this 'dissolving' as anything that is the condition of the One 'arising'. (Lots of people think that!) It is a matter of seeing that all the opposites exist in awareness, while awareness is not affected by them, not pulled about like toffee, or chopped up into some gridwork. (Roshi writes something about consciously discarding the oppossites during her third kensho. I can't now ask her what the bleeding hell for! Surely the whole point is that opposites are not the problem, as the samsara is not either.)
(I occasional write One with the capital 'O'. This is purely to make clear what I am talking about. The 'One' is not sacred or mystical, and so the capital letter can be misunderstood.
Kozan, as to the desire that gave rise to the multiplicity - this sounds very much like Hinduism, where Maya, the creative power, resides in Brahman, depends on Brahman, but Brahman is not thereby changed. Maya does not become some kind of a second thing to Brahman (the One, if you will).....which is you, by the way. Just a little aside.

As to your coup of tea, Kozan, I presume the cup is by now empty, and the tea is in your tummy, on its way to the wide blue sea.
Ol'ga
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