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Old 06-28-2007, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Austin Texas
668 posts, read 484,527 times
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As many of you know over a billion Hindus and over 500 million Buddhists, (and many other groups of people), believe in reincarnation. Most reincarnation believers think that hell is self created, i.e. Hitler will most likely be born in hellish circumstances for many lifetimes to come as a result of his negative "Karma" (Karma= Reap what you sow). Buddhists and Hindus are not very judgemental of others "they'll get it right one of these lifetimes", is what many think.

One who lives a good life reduces negative karma, and is more likely to be reborn into a more favorable existance in the next life. Once a soul reaches absolute perfection and is without sin....the soul merges with the force of creation and exists in Nirvana (heaven).

There are many technical offshoots of all this, but Hindus, Buddhists, and others, don't generally argue of them. They/we just figure you will eventually get it right in a few thousand lifetimes.

There is also very little bickering about small points of dogma (i.e. if your sprinkled and not immersed thats bad).

This style of thinking predates Christianity by thousands of years and might even be older than Judaism.

Hope this helps some of you,

Trebek
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Pleasant Shade Tn
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I love talking to people of all faiths but those who practice Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism are especially respectful of the bible and therefore a joy to talk to. They have a lot more tolerance for other faiths than those who belong to Christendom and are, as a rule, very respectful of the teachings of Christ.
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:44 AM
 
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Yes, but...

It is very compelling to think that (at least in Buddhist terms) there IS NO soul, and there is no "self." So I guess part of the question at hand would be "what" is it that reincarnates? Also, I believe that nirvana entails the cessation of the "self" (meaning it is extinguished) thereby breaking the cycle or reincarnation. (Not so sure, however, that nirvana = heaven.)
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Austin Texas
668 posts, read 484,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by june 7th View Post
Yes, but...

It is very compelling to think that (at least in Buddhist terms) there IS NO soul, and there is no "self." So I guess part of the question at hand would be "what" is it that reincarnates? Also, I believe that nirvana entails the cessation of the "self" (meaning it is extinguished) thereby breaking the cycle or reincarnation. (Not so sure, however, that nirvana = heaven.)
There is a soul and a self. Your soul is your soul, which is what reincarnates, your self is your ego, and the goal in life is to minimize the ego, which is the cause of all your suffering.

As far as what happens to your soul when you reincarnate? I believe you merge with the force of creation thereby attaining Nirvana, it is supposed to be quite wonderful, but I personally have to many terrestrial things to work on than to put much thought in that. You are correct about Nirvana not being a heaven in a Christian sense.
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
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I have attended both Buddhist and Hindu "services" and I much prefer them to Christian services. Both Buddhist and Hindu religions seem to be much more accepting of people -- partly because of the belief that we have been here before and what we sow, we reap. There is sometimes "recognition" of previous souls we have known, and a deep respect for a continuity of life.

When my 8-year-old daughter met a very aged Buddhist monk at a local Burmese Theraveda temple, he pulled her aside at one point, and gently said: "You were one of us." And, I do think so -- as it was she at that early age who insisted that we attend this Buddhist temple -- I did not initiate it.

I find Christians to be much too judgemental, and ego-centric. Interesting that Buddhists try to let go of the ego, whereas Christians spend much time using the ego to often strong-arm others to their point of view. Very different dynamics.

For me, those ancient religions which pre-date Christianity seem to have more "soul" and respect for others. It's interesting that Christianity got a foothold through violence and bloodshed, whereas Buddhists, in particular, are peaceful. I prefer the more peaceful path.

Last edited by Wisteria; 06-28-2007 at 10:09 AM..
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Old 06-28-2007, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Austin Texas
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to add to that Wisteria is the fact that the different sects of Buddhism get along well. They don't judge each other for the most part. Theravada Buddhists and Zen Buddhists are quite different from each other and coexist perfectly.
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:09 PM
 
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This topic looks like it's dead but...

I'm taking a philosphy class that deals with the concept of Nirvana, and I want to get some feedback on this thought before using it in an essay:

Nirvana seems to believe that the passions (the ego) are the source of all suffering. This is true, but they are also the source of all joy. Consciousness implies desire. To trick yourself into believing that you have no desire is to deny your own existence and remove yourself as a force from the world. Desire can be overcome, but not negated. Even the idea of being free of desire actually represents desire. The fault lies in the belief that desire is inherently evil and must be abolished in order to experience true happiness. Desire is not evil or good, but has the potential to bring about both. This is the nature of all things. The classifications of evil and good are relative and imposed by us. Acknowledgement of this relativity and the decision to act within it according to your own set of beliefs is the true Nirvana; not blind adherence to the passions, but not total abandonment of them. The only way to completely discard the passions is to not exist. Thus, the best we can manage is to try to control them.

Maybe this is what the concept of Nirvana implies in the first place, in which case I'm just beating a dead horse. Either way, a comment or two would be appreciated.
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:52 PM
 
7,099 posts, read 23,661,139 times
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Very interesting. I like the thoughts about Desire. I think I need to do some thinking along those lines myself.
Thanks
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Old 10-10-2007, 01:12 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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Exclamation To live = to desire!

Originally Posted by Radical Faith
Quote:
The only way to completely discard the passions is to not exist.
To me this reeks of nihilism.
When it comes to nihilism I agree with Nietzsche:

Quote:
Nietzsche asserts that this nihilism is a result of valuing nonexistent or non-extant "higher", "heavenly", or "divine" things (such as God). The nihilist who began by holding these values, after rejecting them, retains a belief that all "lower", "earthly", or "human" ideas are valueless (or so little valuable as to be essentially valueless) because they were considered so in the previous belief system. In this interpretation, any form of idealism, after being rejected by the idealist, leads to nihilism. Moreover, this is the source of "inconsistency on the part of the nihilists". The nihilist continues to believe that only "higher" values and truths are worthy of being called such, but rejects the idea that they exist. Because of this rejection, all ideas described as true or valuable are rejected by the nihilist as impossible because they do not meet the previously established standards.

To Nietzsche, it was irrational because the human soul thrives on value. Nihilism, then, was in a sense like suicide and mass murder all at once. He considered faith in the categories of reason, seeking either to overcome or ignore nature, to be the cause of such nihilism. "We have measured the value of the world according to categories that refer to a purely fictitious world". He saw this philosophy as present in Christianity (which he described as 'slave morality'), Buddhism, morality, asceticism and any excessively skeptical philosophy.

A major cause of Nietzsche's continued association with nihilism is his famous proclamation that "God is dead." This is not meant literally, as in "God is now physically dead"; rather, it is Nietzsche's way of saying that the idea of God is no longer capable of acting as a source of any moral code or teleology. God is dead, then, in the sense that his existence is now irrelevant to the bulk of humanity. "And we," writes Nietzsche in The Gay Science, "have killed him." Alternately, some have interpreted Nietzsche's comment to be a statement of faith that the world has no rational order. Nietzsche also believed that, even though Christian morality is nihilistic, without God humanity is left with no epistemological or moral base from which we can derive absolute beliefs. Thus, even though nihilism has been a threat in the past, through Christianity, Platonism, and various political movements that aim toward a distant utopian future, and any other philosophy that devalues human life and the world around us (and any philosophy that devalues the world around us by privileging some other or future world necessarily devalues human life), Nietzsche tells us it is also a threat for humanity's future. This warning can also be taken as a polemic against 19th and 20th century scientism.
Nihilism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
To live = to desire.
And I am very passionately about the things that I want.
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Old 10-10-2007, 07:40 AM
 
7,780 posts, read 10,339,703 times
Reputation: 3336
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical Faith View Post
This topic looks like it's dead but...

I'm taking a philosphy class that deals with the concept of Nirvana, and I want to get some feedback on this thought before using it in an essay:

Nirvana seems to believe that the passions (the ego) are the source of all suffering. This is true, but they are also the source of all joy. Consciousness implies desire. To trick yourself into believing that you have no desire is to deny your own existence and remove yourself as a force from the world. Desire can be overcome, but not negated. Even the idea of being free of desire actually represents desire. The fault lies in the belief that desire is inherently evil and must be abolished in order to experience true happiness. Desire is not evil or good, but has the potential to bring about both. This is the nature of all things. The classifications of evil and good are relative and imposed by us. Acknowledgement of this relativity and the decision to act within it according to your own set of beliefs is the true Nirvana; not blind adherence to the passions, but not total abandonment of them. The only way to completely discard the passions is to not exist. Thus, the best we can manage is to try to control them.

Maybe this is what the concept of Nirvana implies in the first place, in which case I'm just beating a dead horse. Either way, a comment or two would be appreciated.

If I'm not mistaken, desire is not regarded as inherently "evil" in Buddhist terms. Rather, it is seen as the root of all human suffering. In order to attain nirvana, and thereby break the cycle of samsara, (rebirth) one must overcome their "desire" by following "the eight fold path." The "true nature" of things = "Buddha nature." This is obtained through such means as insight, (vipassana) mindfulness, right actions/deeds.

When one realizes their true nature/true "self" and attain enlightenment, ("nirvana") the self ceases to exist; the cycle of samsara is broken.

--Not my best explanation/rendition, but I shouldn't attempt such posts too early in the morning without a sufficient caffine level! (June's "desire!")

Take gentle care.
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