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Re: Is THE Thing God?

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  • Lori
    ... seen ... this ... children ... wave of ... thing is ... conscious ... of ... the ... honestly ... the ... If I may humbly toss a mere opinion in, and I ll
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 6, 2005
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      --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, "homerdmc" <dcoufal6@a...> wrote:
      > So I'm sitting hear thinking about God. And I am wondering how a
      > Buddhist answers the question, "Do you believe in God?" I have
      seen
      > literature that says some question the status of Buddhism as a
      > religion. Perhaps it is a matter of semantics. The best I can
      > understand, Buddhists believe in a single existing thing. I am
      this
      > thing, you are this thing, everything is this thing, all Gods
      children
      > are this thing, subatomic particles are each this thing, every
      wave of
      > energy is this thing, even empty space is this thing. And I am not
      > mentioning parts of the thing. Each is the entire thing. The
      thing is
      > all powerful since all power would be the thing. The thing is all
      > knowing since all knowledge is the thing. The thing must be
      conscious
      > since consciousness would be the thing. Maybe that is the meaning
      of
      > life-to develop intelligence and become aware of the thing. Thus
      the
      > thing becomes aware of itself. At any rate, can the Buddhist
      honestly
      > answer, "yes," to the question, "Do you believe in God?" holding
      the
      > thing to be God?

      If I may humbly toss a mere opinion in, and I'll be brief (grin). I
      think, after much study of religions and my beginning forays into
      Buddhist thought, I've come to the conclusion that God is just as
      much a human construct or a concept of a power that we can't quite
      grasp. I'm referring to the power that "holds things together", or
      like the "engine" that keeps things moving the way things move... all
      interdependent, no beginning, no end, etc.

      For some, in the past, the inability to grasp the concept of infinite
      possibilities, or things we couldn't understand in nature is what
      gave birth to a dualistic concept of a Creator, and then one of a
      Creator separated from the creation.

      So for me, the concept of a God/-ess/Creator is as pointless as
      trying to name, or find, the beginning of a thought as it arises. To
      say "Creator" we immediately imagine the concept of something
      arising, from a finite point of non-existence to existence, *poof*
      and there it is, but this is not the Buddhist way of thinking, as
      I've come to understand it (I'm happily corrected where incorrect),
      nor does it fit as I've experienced life, to date. Nothing we know
      of in scientific discovery, to date, supports the ideas of something
      arising from nothingness, instantly or otherwise. Everything down to
      the smallest sub-atomic particle is still dependent upon something
      else to exist or to come into being.

      So I'd say if you want to call "It" "God"... then God is everything,
      everything is God, but not separated from creation... there is no
      beginning or end we're aware of... and so on. This is part of what
      gets the Church agitated because their whole "existence" as a
      philosophy stands firmly on the concept of a beginning vs. an end.
      For my opinion... nothing ever ends... it can shift to another form,
      it might cease to exist as we (humans) know it, but it never really
      ends, but rather it is the beginning of something else, and therefore
      there's also no definite beginning.

      The argument that everything is "too perfectly" conceived to not
      have "intelligent design", in my humble opinion is also arguable
      because if you factor in the good old chaos theory... nothing is
      perfect about that... so I wind up returning to my original opinion.

      Okay, so this wasn't so short... LOL... I apologize, but I hope it
      helps you understand MY opinion. Maybe others will shed light from
      theirs.

      Lori
    • Kindnsruls@aol.com
      Ron...perhaps you should do a little more reading on Buddhism. :) There is no one thing in Buddhism. Any thing would have to be conditioned....would have
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 6, 2005
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        Ron...perhaps you should do a little more reading on Buddhism. :)
         
        There is no "one thing" in Buddhism.
         
        Any "thing" would have to be conditioned....would have had to have come from somewhere, in dependence upon some preexisting condition, which would mean it had a beginning, will have an end, and was preceded by something else....so it could not be unconditioned and eternal.
         
        Buddhism does not deny the existence of Gods, it does however, through logic and valid reasoning, negate the existence of an Almighty-All Powerful-Creator God.
         
        Gods are samsaric beings, just like us.
        Unenlightened, and trapped in cyclic samsara.
         
        <<And I am not
        mentioning parts of the thing.>>
         
        Anything with parts is conditioned....it exists due to/dependent upon this condition of having parts, therefore it will cease when the conditions which hold those parts together change or dissolve.
         
        Nothing is "one thing."
         
        Every "thing" only exists conventionally/relatively by virtue of Dependent Origination.
         
        Every"thing" is Impermanent.
         
        Every"thing" is Empty of Inherent Existence.
         
        Even if some "thing" could/did exist inherently, from it's own side, without relationship/dependence on some "thing" else....it would render itself non-existent by the very manner in which it existed. Having no relationship to anything else, it would be unable to appear to, or have any efficacy on anything else....so it would not exist.
         
        This "one thing" or "THE thing" is more of a Hindu or Christian View...it is not Buddhist.
         
        You will, now and then, come across a Buddhist teacher who uses the term/concept/word "God"...Thicht Nat Hahn uses the word frequently, but this is to tap into a preexistent conceptual field that exists in the mind...it is merely a label which is more easily understood by Westerners in particular...and kind of "aims" the mind in the proper direction as most people who hold a belief in a god, associate the concept of god to love, devotion, compassion, kindness, spiritual nature....but even this usage of "God" does not imply an actual "being" or "thing," it refers to the Unborn Primordial Awareness, which is also not a "thing," having no conditioning factors or parts......more like a process.
         
         
         

        Joyce


        If you want to know your past life, look into your present condition;
        If you want to know your future life; look at your present actions.

                                                                ~ Padmasambhava ~

      • Ron
        I think you must have been thinking about me and accidently put my name down in this message, I neither started this thread nor have I commented on it :) I
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 7, 2005
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          I think you must have been thinking about me and accidently put my
          name down in this message, I neither started this thread nor have I
          commented on it :) I dont believe in one single creator. homerdmc
          started the thread and Lori and you have replied to it. ^_^ its no
          problem however as many messages in a row as I posted on our topic
          about the medicine buddha and things You probably had my name stuck in
          your head. But yes, I do intend to read more about buddhism, and the
          differant school. And now Ill let this thread get back to its topic. ~Ron


          --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, Kindnsruls@a... wrote:
          >
          > Ron...perhaps you should do a little more reading on Buddhism. :)
          >
          > There is no "one thing" in Buddhism.
          >
          > Any "thing" would have to be conditioned....would have had to have
          come from
          > somewhere, in dependence upon some preexisting condition, which
          would mean
          > it had a beginning, will have an end, and was preceded by something
          else....so
          > it could not be unconditioned and eternal.
          >
          > Buddhism does not deny the existence of Gods, it does however,
          through logic
          > and valid reasoning, negate the existence of an Almighty-All
          > Powerful-Creator God.
          >
          > Gods are samsaric beings, just like us.
          > Unenlightened, and trapped in cyclic samsara.
          >
          > <<And I am not
          > mentioning parts of the thing.>>
          >
          > Anything with parts is conditioned....it exists due to/dependent
          upon this
          > condition of having parts, therefore it will cease when the
          conditions which
          > hold those parts together change or dissolve.
          >
          > Nothing is "one thing."
          >
          > Every "thing" only exists conventionally/relatively by virtue of
          Dependent
          > Origination.
          >
          > Every"thing" is Impermanent.
          >
          > Every"thing" is Empty of Inherent Existence.
          >
          > Even if some "thing" could/did exist inherently, from it's own side,
          without
          > relationship/dependence on some "thing" else....it would render itself
          > non-existent by the very manner in which it existed. Having no
          relationship to
          > anything else, it would be unable to appear to, or have any efficacy
          on anything
          > else....so it would not exist.
          >
          > This "one thing" or "THE thing" is more of a Hindu or Christian
          View...it is
          > not Buddhist.
          >
          > You will, now and then, come across a Buddhist teacher who uses the
          > term/concept/word "God"...Thicht Nat Hahn uses the word frequently,
          but this is to
          > tap into a preexistent conceptual field that exists in the mind...it
          is merely
          > a label which is more easily understood by Westerners in
          particular...and
          > kind of "aims" the mind in the proper direction as most people who
          hold a belief
          > in a god, associate the concept of god to love, devotion, compassion,
          > kindness, spiritual nature....but even this usage of "God" does not
          imply an actual
          > "being" or "thing," it refers to the Unborn Primordial Awareness,
          which is
          > also not a "thing," having no conditioning factors or
          parts......more like a
          > process.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Joyce
          >
          >
          > If you want to know your past life, look into your present condition;
          > If you want to know your future life; look at your present actions.
          >
          >
          > ~ Padmasambhava ~
          >
        • homerdmc
          ... come from ... would mean ... something else....so ... through logic ... upon this ... conditions which ... Dependent ... side, without ... itself ...
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 7, 2005
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            --- In Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com, Kindnsruls@a... wrote:
            >
            > Ron...perhaps you should do a little more reading on Buddhism. :)
            >
            > There is no "one thing" in Buddhism.
            >
            > Any "thing" would have to be conditioned....would have had to have
            come from
            > somewhere, in dependence upon some preexisting condition, which
            would mean
            > it had a beginning, will have an end, and was preceded by
            something else....so
            > it could not be unconditioned and eternal.
            >
            > Buddhism does not deny the existence of Gods, it does however,
            through logic
            > and valid reasoning, negate the existence of an Almighty-All
            > Powerful-Creator God.
            >
            > Gods are samsaric beings, just like us.
            > Unenlightened, and trapped in cyclic samsara.
            >
            > <<And I am not
            > mentioning parts of the thing.>>
            >
            > Anything with parts is conditioned....it exists due to/dependent
            upon this
            > condition of having parts, therefore it will cease when the
            conditions which
            > hold those parts together change or dissolve.
            >
            > Nothing is "one thing."
            >
            > Every "thing" only exists conventionally/relatively by virtue of
            Dependent
            > Origination.
            >
            > Every"thing" is Impermanent.
            >
            > Every"thing" is Empty of Inherent Existence.
            >
            > Even if some "thing" could/did exist inherently, from it's own
            side, without
            > relationship/dependence on some "thing" else....it would render
            itself
            > non-existent by the very manner in which it existed. Having no
            relationship to
            > anything else, it would be unable to appear to, or have any
            efficacy on anything
            > else....so it would not exist.
            >
            > This "one thing" or "THE thing" is more of a Hindu or Christian
            View...it is
            > not Buddhist.
            >
            > You will, now and then, come across a Buddhist teacher who uses
            the
            > term/concept/word "God"...Thicht Nat Hahn uses the word frequently,
            but this is to
            > tap into a preexistent conceptual field that exists in the
            mind...it is merely
            > a label which is more easily understood by Westerners in
            particular...and
            > kind of "aims" the mind in the proper direction as most people who
            hold a belief
            > in a god, associate the concept of god to love, devotion,
            compassion,
            > kindness, spiritual nature....but even this usage of "God" does
            not imply an actual
            > "being" or "thing," it refers to the Unborn Primordial Awareness,
            which is
            > also not a "thing," having no conditioning factors or
            parts......more like a
            > process.
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Joyce
            >
            >
            > If you want to know your past life, look into your present
            condition;
            > If you want to know your future life; look at your present
            actions.
            >
            >
            > ~ Padmasambhava ~
            >
          • homerdmc
            I just clicked, send, accidentlly. Maybe I will have an empty post. Maybe I am suffering from the kind of fatigue you did in calling me, Ron. Anyway,
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 7, 2005
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              I just clicked, "send," accidentlly. Maybe I will have an empty
              post. Maybe I am suffering from the kind of fatigue you did in
              calling me, "Ron." Anyway, this is all so hard to comprehend. And I
              am usually too fatigued to give it all the thought that it needs.
              These ideas, in my post, come from many years of hearing different
              philosophies, starting, believe it or not, in Catholic school. That
              is where I learned the idea that we are all one in the mystical body
              of Christ. But the most recent of these philosophies I got out of
              the dvd, "The Four Noble Truths," which I acquired through Internet
              shopping. I wonder if you could explain quotes of Robert Thurman's
              from this dvd. He was talking about a school of thought that I would
              not attempt to spell out.

              "...the relitive can only exist because of the absolute and the
              absolute can only exist because of the relitive. Or, expressed more
              poetically, the all is the one and the one is the all."

              Perhaps terms like, "relitive," and, "absolute," say it all so much
              better than, "thing." Still you have the relitive and you have the
              absolute. Are those, "things," that exist; a thing that exists? You
              sometimes sound like noTHING exists.

              Thank you for barring with me.
            • Kindnsruls@aol.com
              Yes Homer.....this is a vast and
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 10, 2005
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                 <<Anyway, this is all so hard to comprehend.  And I
                am usually too fatigued to give it all the thought that it needs. >>
                 
                 
                Yes Homer.....this is a vast and difficult subject.
                I rejoice in your effort to understand it.
                 
                When you are "all thought out" is a great time to meditate!
                When that thinking mind has exhausted itself, reached a point where no more thoughts are coming....rest there, and experience the state of no thought.
                 
                It is a mistake to believe that thoughts are all there is to mind.
                That should thought cease, that means that the mind is no longer functioning.
                Thoughts/thinking is really just a surface layer, of the "onion" which is mind.
                 
                 
                It would be too difficult to explain Relative/Conventional & Ultimate Truth from the "ground up" in an Internet post. You can begin to learn about this, by punching The Two Truths into a search engine....or reading books on Buddhism.
                 
                In order to understand that Thurman quote, you need to have an intellectual understanding of Emptiness, which is the heart of Buddhist View.
                 
                To understand how we and things are actually existing, according to Buddhist View, is like the higher rungs of a ladder. In order to utilize those higher rungs, in order to even be able to get to them, we must first use the lower rungs to reach them. We must have a solid base to climb upon to reach those higher rungs.
                 
                There really are no short-cuts to the top of a ladder.
                 
                 
                Basically, anything that we can see, touch, taste, feel (tactile), hear, or think (includes emotion) is Relative or Conventional Truth. Everything we experience in the sensory world, which is itself a Relative/Conventional Truth, are simply constructions of the six gross consciousnesses. All things that are comprised/compounded/made of "parts" are Relative/Conventional Truth. We cannot speak of Ultimate Truth, as it is "that which cannot be labeled"....there is simply no way to drag it into conventional conceptual language, without distortion. It can however, be "experienced" by the human mind after some training of that mind takes place.
                 
                Buddhism does not posit that things do not exist.
                Things do exist.....just not in the manner in which we believe them to exist.
                Things do exist.....they just do not exist "from their own side" as solid, real and independent entities the way they appear to exist....and neither do persons.
                All are only existing "relative" to the mind which is experiencing.
                 
                This is a fascinating subject!
                 
                 

                Joyce


                If you want to know your past life, look into your present condition;
                If you want to know your future life; look at your present actions.

                                                                ~ Padmasambhava ~

              • Ken/
                Homer, Reading Thurman (one of my favorites) is often like trying to do college work without having gone to grade and high school. If you are relatively new to
                Message 7 of 8 , Oct 12, 2005
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                  Homer,
                  Reading Thurman (one of my favorites) is often like
                  trying to do college work without having gone to grade
                  and high school. If you are relatively new to
                  Buddhism, you might want to read things that are more
                  situated to the person in the early stages of their
                  quest. Try Pema Chodron, and even many of the books by
                  the Dalai Lama. Not to mean these are only geared to
                  the beginner, but they are more understandable and to
                  the point. Where Prof. Thurman often seems to go off
                  on tangents, especially in his lectures.

                  Ken/






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