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Old 03-28-2013, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Fort Washington, MD
671 posts, read 1,305,533 times
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I hate it whenever people consider speculations as immediate plausible fact.

First, define spiritual. From this thread already thus far, it has been given different meanings - be it the simple belief of something of supernatural capability to adhering to formal religion to simply believing some form of creationism.

Second, define 'Chinese people' in a temporal, ethno and spatial context. Are you talking about the Mainland? Taiwan? Hong Kong? Any of the other large Chinese diasporas throughout the world? Are we talking about the Han Chinese, which is the dominant ethnic group of what we know as Chinese? Are we talking about the contemporary? Or perhaps during specific periods in the past dynastic eras?

To make it easy for you:

- The people currently categorized as Han Chinese have had been strongly spiritual for thousands of years, even prior to the establishment of Rome as an empire. Spirituality in this sense is defined in the belief that familial ancestors have a role in their daily living, hence why there are ancestral shrines that can be traced back for thousands of years.
- Mainland China today is officially atheist, but that is due to government imposition of atheism upon takeover in 1949. Since that time, the government has relaxed its rules and has allowed religion, although it places requirements on all religions to be sanctioned first by the government (unofficial/underground religious groups are still banned and sporadically cracked down on).
- As with much of East Asia, it is not uncommon to see Chinese observations of certain practices that may be considered religious by Westerners. And it is not uncommon for those that profess a formal religion to also conduct practices that are of counterpart religions or are even normally considered conflictual to standard religions. Case in point, it is common practice to see self-proclaimed Chinese Christians burn fake money (commonly known as Joss Paper) for the undead spirits in the world during specific occasions.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:13 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, California
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Agree, Chinese are not really religious / spiritual

they are more superstitious than religious

and most are not even superstitious
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Montreal, Quebec
15,087 posts, read 12,007,068 times
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Depends on what you mean by "spiritual". They certainly believe in spirits. They believe in ghosts. There was a hospice/palliative care center in the planning stages in Vancouner and the Chinese residents in the neighbouring buildings had hissy fits. They didn't want to be bothered by all the ghosts. Ghosts figure prominently in their culture.

Last edited by weltschmerz; 03-28-2013 at 05:34 PM..
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:02 PM
 
1,487 posts, read 2,054,102 times
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I don't believe you can judge the Eastern concept of spirituality based on Western religious values. Christianity, Islam and Judaism have lost a great deal of what we in the West consider spirituality. What the West considers spiritual, is today minimized by the three major religions of the West. Everything has become more religious ritual than spirituality. Such groups as the Sufis of Islam are today looked on as heretical and unorthodox from a religious point of view and are condemned. How many Jews are versed in the Kabbalah? I have not met one or at least not one who would admit it. Christians often tell me that going to church every Sunday is the spiritual aspect of Christianity. I see that as the religious aspect and it's very different from the spiritual aspect.

Some have defined spiritual as mystic and akin to superstition. This is incomplete IMO. Mystic from mystery is something we don't know and/or understand. Once we understand it, it is no longer a mystery. Doesn't this go far beyond what we call religion. Just as among Westerners I have found Easterners who are religious but not spiritual at all. They cannot seem to get beyond religious ritual. OTOH I have met people from both worlds who we would not consider religious yet they were intensely spiritual.

The practice of ritual doesn't really enhance spirituality but it certainly enhances religiousness.

I meet many Westerners who want to become Buddhists. I neither encourage this nor do I discourage it. It is the individuals choice. However if one does wish to embrace this school of thought here is something posted on this board by a Thai who gives a good picture of the Theravada school of Buddhism. And certainly will help a westerner to shed some of her/ his cultural baggage which might impair their progress in the acceptance of this school of thought.

" From an insight perspective on Buddhism, the more serious or strict you are on it, the farther you are away from it. The reason is that Buddha's words of teaching are only a guideline to neutrality of mind, not towards happiness or sorrow. Feeling nothing to all happenings is the goal of practice, not love or mercy or anything. Calmness is what appeared from the outside. The words "doctrines" and "rules" are actually not supposed to be used for Buddhism as well as the word "religion". There's no god to be worshipped and the Buddha himself never asked for that, Buddhists do that on their own. Nothing Buddhists "have to" or "must" do, but rather only "should" do. And practicing is a just to bring community together to learn about what Buddha taught, not for being religious or for worshipping anything."


Now if someone who is a native of China, Japan or Korea can give us a similar picture of the Mahayana school of thought we might be able to get a reasonable picture of how things work there. Although I spent 10 years in East Asia I would be a fool to try to guess the percentage or level of spirituality of over 1.5 billion Chinese and another 8 hundred million East and Southeast Asians.

As to the union of Taoism or Daoism and Buddhism history attested to the fact that without the help of the Taoists the progress of Buddhism in East Asia would have been much slower and in the face of predominate Confucianism may not have taken place at all.

To the statement that, BTW true, Taoism contains folklore, local superstition, a degree of animism etc. again isn't part of Taoism the teaching that "all things are one." or the rejection of dualism?
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Texas
843 posts, read 1,377,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
How much do you know about Eastern religion and spirituality?

Plenty of chanting, dietary regulations.etc in Eastern religion too, but like in the West, only a minority, monks/nuns/pious lay-believers.
If you strictly follow the doctrines of Buddhism, meat shall not be consumed because eating animal meat = killing lives.

But how many Chinese are vegetarian? Not so many.

Today's Buddhism in China is basically trying to appear mysterious and ambiguous, at the same time, make tons of money by soliciting donations. I've heard that some high-level monk in major temples (comparable to CEOs in a well-established for profit company)make tons of money, drive luxury cars and have unethical sexual relationships with multiple young females.

Taoism today emphasizes philosophy more than religion. Taoism doesn't ask you to worship its founder or some kind of God. Rather, it's a set of views about attitudes to life.
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Old 03-30-2013, 06:38 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,352,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ag77845 View Post
If you strictly follow the doctrines of Buddhism, meat shall not be consumed because eating animal meat = killing lives.

But how many Chinese are vegetarian? Not so many.

Today's Buddhism in China is basically trying to appear mysterious and ambiguous, at the same time, make tons of money by soliciting donations. I've heard that some high-level monk in major temples (comparable to CEOs in a well-established for profit company)make tons of money, drive luxury cars and have unethical sexual relationships with multiple young females.

Taoism today emphasizes philosophy more than religion. Taoism doesn't ask you to worship its founder or some kind of God. Rather, it's a set of views about attitudes to life.
Actually Buddha himself ate meat and I don't think he strictly forbade the eating of meat (or forbade anything per se) although I think it is certainly preferable for strict Buddhists to abstain. In countries where the Theravada tradition is practised too vegetarianism is the exception rather than the norm, practised by monks and the very religious lay-folk. I can definitely believe that some monks abuse their powers, just as Catholic priests or Muslim imams do.

Taoism has become a rather inclusive term encompasses Chinese folk religion, as Hinduism has become to Indian religion. It varies from the mostly philosophical to the rather folksy superstitious kind of religion.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:16 AM
 
41 posts, read 71,037 times
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define spiritual
mainlanders are not due to chairman mao
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:45 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,352,353 times
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Yes I'm talking about citizens of the People's Republic of China.

As to what spiritual is see my OP and general definitions of the term.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Czech Republic
2,384 posts, read 5,846,437 times
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Yes they are not spiritual at all.. I don't think they ever care for religion or so .. I think they only care for one thing .. And it is money
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:11 AM
 
Location: San Francisco, California
1,953 posts, read 5,202,766 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermosaa View Post
Yes they are not spiritual at all.. I don't think they ever care for religion or so .. I think they only care for one thing .. And it is money
very true, in general they are very materialistic, they even cheat their own people when you shop in chinatown, they only act friendly in a fake way to get you to buy something

I told them I wanted one pound of dried oysters at $15 a pound, the old Chinese lady filled the bag and I gave them a $50 bill and they charged me $38.00 when I only wanted 1 lb and they wouldnt correct it or give me my money back , they forced me to buy more than I wanted and they just laughed and took my money, I told them I only wanted $15 dollars worth and they didnt care

now I always make sure they weigh it and show me the price before I hand them the money
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