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A Sincere Dilemma (Cross Posted)

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  • Aaron (Shoren) Boone
    Hello everyone, My apologies for cross posting but I need all the help I can get. I have been wrestling with a dilemma for a long time and figured you’d know
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 16, 2004
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      Hello everyone,

      My apologies for cross posting but I need all the help I can get.

      I have been wrestling with a dilemma for a long time and figured you�d know how I can deal with this. The truth is, I do not "believe" in anything concerning Gods, Devils, or other "powers". I also wonder if I can even try to follow the Middle Way or just throw in the towel and be an Atheist. I have from the beginning been told That "God" loves me, Jesus will save me, Satan hates me, etc. I was told that the Gods are alive and "Magick" is real. I was told the Buddha is all compassionate and eternal.

      I will not say that these statements are not true but I have NOTHING in me that says they are. I want to believe, I have a deep need to believe in that which is beyond me but I am seemingly deaf and blind to it. I have friends that sense spirits and others that can "feel" God in their lives and in some ways I envy them. I see Buddhism as my ideal path for the profound sense of serenity and on ethical grounds but I wonder if I do it a disservice by trying to practice when I have no faith, only a hope that it is real.

      I will admit that this realization is both a revelation and a relief. I am not trying to fool myself saying I have faith anymore, but at the same time it�s ripping me apart. I don�t want to bum you all out and I apologize if I do but I�m feeling a bit lost right now. Fear of Hell is a lousey reason to believe in anything.

      Thank you for your indulgence.

      Shoren



                
       
      Namu-Amida-Butsu
      Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha
      Namu-Myoho-Renge-Kyo
      Namu-Kannon-Bosatsu


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    • DAC
      ... figured you d know how I can deal with this. The truth is, I do not believe in anything concerning Gods, Devils, or other powers . I also wonder if I
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 16, 2004
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        --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Aaron \(Shoren\) Boone" <
        shoren108@y...> wrote:

        > I have been wrestling with a dilemma for a long time and
        figured you'd know how I can deal with this. The truth is, I do not
        "believe" in anything concerning Gods, Devils, or other "powers".
        I also wonder if I can even try to follow the Middle Way or just
        throw in the towel and be an Atheist. I have from the beginning
        been told That "God" loves me, Jesus will save me, Satan hates
        me, etc. I was told that the Gods are alive and "Magick" is real. I
        was told the Buddha is all compassionate and eternal.
        >
        > I will not say that these statements are not true but I have
        NOTHING in me that says they are. I want to believe, I have a
        deep need to believe in that which is beyond me but I am
        seemingly deaf and blind to it. I have friends that sense spirits
        and others that can "feel" God in their lives and in some ways I
        envy them. I see Buddhism as my ideal path for the profound
        sense of serenity and on ethical grounds but I wonder if I do it a
        disservice by trying to practice when I have no faith, only a hope
        that it is real.

        It's a dilemma, to be sure...but not one that's so difficult to deal
        with if you simply step back a bit and take in the wider picture.

        Think carefully...then think of what you FEEL. Don't necessarily
        accept what's TOLD to you, but instead measure it against a
        ruler of your own sense of what is right and/or wrong for you. If
        there are things you cannot 'sense', then consider just how
        important these possible things are if they aren't 'present' in your
        life. Then think about what made you think of Buddhism as an
        'ideal path'. Are there others that also seem 'ideal', or as 'ideal'?

        The dilemma here isn't one of faith, per se...unless we're talking
        about faith in yourself. Do you trust yourself? Do you know
        yourself? This is so much more important than all of these
        intangibles you're worrying about. None of those things will help
        you to determine how you are, right now. And that's the big
        thing...being able not to answer what to believe and what to put
        faith in and what's real and what's not real and so on, but simply
        being able to answer the question 'how am I?'. Once you get
        past that one, then start concerning yourself with 'what path?' or
        'what faith?' or 'what gods?'.

        For me, I find myself not quite able to get past that 'how am I?'
        part. So I feel a great deal of safety and comfort in entrusting
        myself to the wisdom and compassion of Amida. With that, then,
        I can simply say that how "I" am is not important as long as I
        have that trust. I can simply say that the entrusting is, for me, a
        state of 'well enough', despite any other troubles I may have in
        my life. It works for me.

        But it might not work for you. That's why, I think, some judicious
        introspection is always a good tonic, especially in Buddhist
        thought. Don't worry about those external things, for
        now...concern yourself with what's within, then consider how that
        'within' is best served by what may or may not actually be 'out
        there'. See what your yourself says about what's needed, and
        don't worry so much about all those 'outside authorities'.

        Namuamidabutsu!

        Shaku Kyomei Ho / DAC Crowell
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