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Criticism of 4 Noble Truths

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  • wynn
    ... From: Michael Shaw To: Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2001 10:17 PM Subject: [christian-buddhist] 4 Noble
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 16, 2001
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Michael Shaw <mshaw@...>
      To: <christian-buddhist@egroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2001 10:17 PM
      Subject: [christian-buddhist] 4 Noble Truths


      > Dear List Members,
      >
      > Wow, I just reread my previous post and there were a lot of typos.. I
      > guess I shouldn't type while getting dressed in the morning...
      >
      > Anyway, I wanted to touch on the 4 Noble Truths. Linda had mentioned
      > them in her letter and I thought I would make her feel part of the
      > family by my critical comments on them.
      >
      > Like the Buddhist concept of Anatman and Nirvana, I find the 4 Noble
      > Truths to be pessimistic. For those who don't know the 4 Noble
      > Truths, here they are:
      >
      > (1) Life is sufferiing...
      > (2) The cause of this suffering is desire...
      > (3) Through the elimination of desire, one can cease suffering...
      > (4) To do this one needs to follow the 8 Fold Path...
      >
      > A couple years back I was preaching on a regular bases at the local
      > Unitarian Fellowship. I was sitting in on a study group and there was
      > a women there who said she had never suffered. I am 44 years old and
      > she was much older than I. In all her years, she says she never
      > suffered. She had never been in an accident, never been seriously
      > ill, never had anyone in her family die that she knew except
      > Grandfathers.... both her grandmothers were still alive. Her
      > Grandfathers, she told me, had died at a good age after leading a
      > good life and there was not feeling of loss, rather, they had just
      > left on their next journey.
      >
      > Now, she is not typical, however, even I who has suffered quite abit
      > in life, do not agree with Buddha's 4 Noble Truths.
      >
      > Here are Mike Shaw's 4 Noble Truths...
      > (1) Life is full of joy and pleasure with occasional pitfalls that
      > make the joys and pleasure all that much more so....
      > (2) The reason why life is so full of joy and pleasure is because we
      > desire joy and pleasure from each other and give joy and pleasure to
      > each other through our love, especially when pitfall occure....
      > (3) To continue to enjoy the pleasures of life, one must keep in
      > touch with the God Spark within... and, if you have lost touch with
      > it and would like to get it back, then here is my eight fold path to
      > finding it....
      >
      > Even in Shingon Buddhism of Japan there is a recognition that the
      > base teaching of the 4 Noble Truths is wrong. Shingon traces its
      > lineage back to Nagarjuna and of course was influenced by Nestorian
      > Christianity when Kukai went to China.
      >
      > Shingon says that rather than snuffing out desire, one should see
      > that desire is Good and is used to bring us to Enlightenment....
      >
      > Also, in Shingon, Enlightenment is not the snuffing out of the senses
      > and self as we saw a few weeks back in the postings by Wynn, rather,
      > Enlightenment to the Shingon is the expansion of the self to merge
      > with the Personified Dainichi Nyorai or Dharmakaya.
      >
      > Even in the West we sometimes get the wrong idea about desires. Neo-
      > Platonism was like Theravadan Buddhism in that it too saw desires as
      > faulty, and unfortunately, this type of Neo-Platonism entered into
      > Catholicism and produced so many anti-creation saints of the middle
      > ages. One saint said that if you took any pleasure in the world, God
      > would pull back from you.... What non-sense...
      >
      > Thank God for Celtic Christianity that affirmed creation and thank
      > God for Jesus who loved all creation.
      >
      > One Hindu Guru I had, Yogira Krishna Saddhu, told me that rather then
      > the negative view that Buddhism has regarding desires, that his Hindu
      > school taught that there were 3 pleasures in life:
      > (1) the pleasure of Wanting something...
      > (2) the pleasure of Having that thing...
      > (3) the pleasure of knowing that you had that thing...
      >
      > I agree with him. If I were to die tonight, I would die very happy
      > knowing that I had had so many of my life's desires fulfilled through
      > so many people that I have loved and who have loved me back.
      >
      > Shingon Buddhism, again denounces the original Buddha's teaching of
      > the 4 Noble Truths by saying that the 4 DESIRES: Yoko, Soku, Ai, and
      > Man are personified as Kongobosatsus or Bodhisattvas who sit around
      > the cosmic Buddha or God, Dainichi Nyorai.
      >
      > Here is a quote from: Shingon - Esoteric Buddhism by Yamasaki
      > "Human desires are seen in their suprpersonal aspect as energies
      > directed toward the benefit of all beings:... ...Viewing Buddha-
      > Nature as all in-clusive, Mikkyo (Shingon) expanded the idea of human
      > drives and energies to be aspects of wisdom and compassion. Human
      > sexuality can be a beautiful expression of human nature, and Mikkyo
      > does not value this facet of human existence less than any
      > other... ...Mikkyo.. affirms the individual personality and the
      > desires that motivate it as highly evolved expressions of Buddha-
      > Nature -- not denying the self but dissolving its limitations to real
      > the great self (Daiga)."
      >
      > To me, desire is the what makes life great... and I have no desire to
      > snuff out my desire... I do desire to have equality with all of
      > God's creatures, thus I live in harmony with them. When our desires
      > are from the Spirit Within, then there is no infringing upon other
      > people's or animal's desires for we would not desire anything that
      > would harm them.
      >
      > To me, DESIRE is good and to say that desire is bad or that it is the
      > cause of suffering, is to be short sighted. To be sure, I have met
      > people who seem to always be anxious and up-tight about aquirering
      > objects and who put their identity into things... however, this is a
      > problem based on not having legitimate and basic desires met as a
      > child and thus they get a fixation... The solution to their problem
      > is not to stop desiring, rather, they need to have their issues delt
      > with by a therapist who can show them that indeed they are valued and
      > worth while... That God loves them as much as He loves anyone else...
      >
      > Don't snuff out.... express your love and desire to all those you
      > meet...
      >
      > May you be fulfilled,
      > Mike Shaw
      >
      >
      > ---/\---
      > Open Your Mind!
      > PEACE!
      >
      >
    • Clifton Ong
      Hi wynn, maybe you could post this onto the e-group for me, thanks! Namu Amida Butsu! Actually, many people regard the 4 Noble Truths to be pessimistic -
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 17, 2001
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        Hi wynn, maybe you could post this onto the e-group for me, thanks!
        Namu Amida Butsu!
        Actually, many people regard the 4 Noble Truths to be pessimistic - WRONG!
        The 4 Noble Truths are Realistic and Grounded in Reality. Look everywhere
        around you, the 4 Noble Truths ring out everywhere. Even though in Shinshu
        we do not really speak much about the 4 Noble Truths, yet they are grounded
        in basic Buddhist teachings, and is not something we can do away with,
        because the 4 Noble Truths allow us to see the realities and sometimes, the
        "harshness" of life.
        In fact, the 4 Noble Truths allow us to see the Transcendency of Life, and
        the futility of being attached to it too much, of course, we are allowed to
        enjoy the simplicities and treasures of life, but, it all boils down that we
        are all Dissatisfied (i'd rather use this word than Suffering), it is
        because of these "Dissatisfactions" and the Greed, Hatred and Ignorance in
        us that we are all "suffering".
        In Brahmanism/Hindhuism, pleasures were sought after very much, in fact,
        they had 2 extremes - extreme Pleasures, or extreme Asceticsm. When Lord
        Buddha started preaching, he preached the Middle Path, and the Middle Path
        is the 4 Noble Truths and Noble 8-fold Path. I strongly disagree with the
        Hindu Yogic (no offense), because the more you want, the more greed you
        have, the more sufferings you will get. Let's fact, all of us have the
        "Greed" element in-born within us. The Pleasures of the Sense are enjoyable,
        but after that what happens? You "suffer" once it ends.
        In gassho,
        Clifton Ong (Shaku Do Tatsu)
        Singapore

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "wynn" <wewynal@...>
        To: <shinlist@egroups.com>
        Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2001 10:33 PM
        Subject: [shinlist] Criticism of 4 Noble Truths


        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: Michael Shaw <mshaw@...>
        > To: <christian-buddhist@egroups.com>
        > Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2001 10:17 PM
        > Subject: [christian-buddhist] 4 Noble Truths
        >
        >
        > > Dear List Members,
        > >
        > > Wow, I just reread my previous post and there were a lot of typos.. I
        > > guess I shouldn't type while getting dressed in the morning...
        > >
        > > Anyway, I wanted to touch on the 4 Noble Truths. Linda had mentioned
        > > them in her letter and I thought I would make her feel part of the
        > > family by my critical comments on them.
        > >
        > > Like the Buddhist concept of Anatman and Nirvana, I find the 4 Noble
        > > Truths to be pessimistic. For those who don't know the 4 Noble
        > > Truths, here they are:
        > >
        > > (1) Life is sufferiing...
        > > (2) The cause of this suffering is desire...
        > > (3) Through the elimination of desire, one can cease suffering...
        > > (4) To do this one needs to follow the 8 Fold Path...
        > >
        > > A couple years back I was preaching on a regular bases at the local
        > > Unitarian Fellowship. I was sitting in on a study group and there was
        > > a women there who said she had never suffered. I am 44 years old and
        > > she was much older than I. In all her years, she says she never
        > > suffered. She had never been in an accident, never been seriously
        > > ill, never had anyone in her family die that she knew except
        > > Grandfathers.... both her grandmothers were still alive. Her
        > > Grandfathers, she told me, had died at a good age after leading a
        > > good life and there was not feeling of loss, rather, they had just
        > > left on their next journey.
        > >
        > > Now, she is not typical, however, even I who has suffered quite abit
        > > in life, do not agree with Buddha's 4 Noble Truths.
        > >
        > > Here are Mike Shaw's 4 Noble Truths...
        > > (1) Life is full of joy and pleasure with occasional pitfalls that
        > > make the joys and pleasure all that much more so....
        > > (2) The reason why life is so full of joy and pleasure is because we
        > > desire joy and pleasure from each other and give joy and pleasure to
        > > each other through our love, especially when pitfall occure....
        > > (3) To continue to enjoy the pleasures of life, one must keep in
        > > touch with the God Spark within... and, if you have lost touch with
        > > it and would like to get it back, then here is my eight fold path to
        > > finding it....
        > >
        > > Even in Shingon Buddhism of Japan there is a recognition that the
        > > base teaching of the 4 Noble Truths is wrong. Shingon traces its
        > > lineage back to Nagarjuna and of course was influenced by Nestorian
        > > Christianity when Kukai went to China.
        > >
        > > Shingon says that rather than snuffing out desire, one should see
        > > that desire is Good and is used to bring us to Enlightenment....
        > >
        > > Also, in Shingon, Enlightenment is not the snuffing out of the senses
        > > and self as we saw a few weeks back in the postings by Wynn, rather,
        > > Enlightenment to the Shingon is the expansion of the self to merge
        > > with the Personified Dainichi Nyorai or Dharmakaya.
        > >
        > > Even in the West we sometimes get the wrong idea about desires. Neo-
        > > Platonism was like Theravadan Buddhism in that it too saw desires as
        > > faulty, and unfortunately, this type of Neo-Platonism entered into
        > > Catholicism and produced so many anti-creation saints of the middle
        > > ages. One saint said that if you took any pleasure in the world, God
        > > would pull back from you.... What non-sense...
        > >
        > > Thank God for Celtic Christianity that affirmed creation and thank
        > > God for Jesus who loved all creation.
        > >
        > > One Hindu Guru I had, Yogira Krishna Saddhu, told me that rather then
        > > the negative view that Buddhism has regarding desires, that his Hindu
        > > school taught that there were 3 pleasures in life:
        > > (1) the pleasure of Wanting something...
        > > (2) the pleasure of Having that thing...
        > > (3) the pleasure of knowing that you had that thing...
        > >
        > > I agree with him. If I were to die tonight, I would die very happy
        > > knowing that I had had so many of my life's desires fulfilled through
        > > so many people that I have loved and who have loved me back.
        > >
        > > Shingon Buddhism, again denounces the original Buddha's teaching of
        > > the 4 Noble Truths by saying that the 4 DESIRES: Yoko, Soku, Ai, and
        > > Man are personified as Kongobosatsus or Bodhisattvas who sit around
        > > the cosmic Buddha or God, Dainichi Nyorai.
        > >
        > > Here is a quote from: Shingon - Esoteric Buddhism by Yamasaki
        > > "Human desires are seen in their suprpersonal aspect as energies
        > > directed toward the benefit of all beings:... ...Viewing Buddha-
        > > Nature as all in-clusive, Mikkyo (Shingon) expanded the idea of human
        > > drives and energies to be aspects of wisdom and compassion. Human
        > > sexuality can be a beautiful expression of human nature, and Mikkyo
        > > does not value this facet of human existence less than any
        > > other... ...Mikkyo.. affirms the individual personality and the
        > > desires that motivate it as highly evolved expressions of Buddha-
        > > Nature -- not denying the self but dissolving its limitations to real
        > > the great self (Daiga)."
        > >
        > > To me, desire is the what makes life great... and I have no desire to
        > > snuff out my desire... I do desire to have equality with all of
        > > God's creatures, thus I live in harmony with them. When our desires
        > > are from the Spirit Within, then there is no infringing upon other
        > > people's or animal's desires for we would not desire anything that
        > > would harm them.
        > >
        > > To me, DESIRE is good and to say that desire is bad or that it is the
        > > cause of suffering, is to be short sighted. To be sure, I have met
        > > people who seem to always be anxious and up-tight about aquirering
        > > objects and who put their identity into things... however, this is a
        > > problem based on not having legitimate and basic desires met as a
        > > child and thus they get a fixation... The solution to their problem
        > > is not to stop desiring, rather, they need to have their issues delt
        > > with by a therapist who can show them that indeed they are valued and
        > > worth while... That God loves them as much as He loves anyone else...
        > >
        > > Don't snuff out.... express your love and desire to all those you
        > > meet...
        > >
        > > May you be fulfilled,
        > > Mike Shaw
        > >
        > >
        > > ---/\---
        > > Open Your Mind!
        > > PEACE!
        > >
        > >
        >
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > shinlist-unsubscribe@egroups.com
        >
        >
        >
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