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Old 08-27-2023, 08:20 PM
 
18,250 posts, read 16,914,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahayana View Post


Quote:
1. Man must flee from this world here below for two reasons: because it is the nature of the soul to flee from evil, and because inevitable evil prevails and dominates this world here below. What is this flight and how can we accomplish it? Plato tells us it consists in "being assimilated to divinity." This then can be accomplished by judiciously conforming to justice, and holiness; in short, by virtue.


Plotinus, Enneads 1:2

Not according to the Bible. Ever wonder why man commits sin all his life when his free will is incentivized to do only good? God says, "Do good and do not sin and you will receives riches beyond your wildest dreams. Sin and you will reap a punishment worse than your darkest nightmare. Choose." Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Who wouldn't choose to do only good and avoid sin like the plague? But in spite of the offer, we do refuse it and sin every moment of every day according to the Bible. Evil IS stronger than good. So free will is an illusion because free will can only operate when there isn't the carrot and the stick to influence us. Take away the reward and the punishment and you have true free will. Free will as presented by the Christians is just a pathetic attempt to whitewash the evil that God created and permits to occur every moment of every day. Therefore God is either a sadist, he doesn't care about us or he doesn't exist.
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Old 08-28-2023, 01:03 PM
 
Location: California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrillobyte View Post
[...]So free will is an illusion because free will can only operate when there isn't the carrot and the stick to influence us. Take away the reward and the punishment and you have true free will. Free will as presented by the Christians is just a pathetic attempt to whitewash the evil that God created and permits to occur every moment of every day. Therefore God is either a sadist, he doesn't care about us or he doesn't exist.
True free will does not & cannot exist, except in your God-like imagination. Causality rules and free will is just part of the intentionality that beings possess.
Besides, some humans do live more virtuous than vice-ridden lives. Holy folks do exist now & after death of the body and into future rebirths.
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Old 09-04-2023, 11:48 AM
 
Location: California
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Nagarjuna bodhisattva taught & practiced these self-sacrificing vows in his Ratnavali to encourage & empower people:

Quote:
465 Therefore in the presence of a Buddha image
Or statue or something else
Say these twenty stanzas
Three times every day:

No. 466.
Going for refuge with all forms of respect To the Buddhas, excellent
Doctrine, Supreme Community, and Bodhisattvas,
I bow down to all that are worthy of honor.
No. 467.
I will turn away from all ill deeds
And thoroughly take up all meritorious actions. I will admire all the
merits Of all embodied beings.
No. 468.With bowed head and joined palms I petition the perfect
Buddhas To turn the wheel of doctrine and remain
As long as transmigrating beings remain.
No. 469.
Through the merit of having done thus
And through the merit that I did earlier and will do
May all sentient beings aspire To the highest enlightenment.
No. 470.
May all sentient beings have all the stainless faculties,
Release from all conditions of non-leisure, Freedom of action,
And endowment with good livelihood.
No. 471.
Also may all embodied beings
Have jewels in their hands,
And may all the limitless necessities of life remain Unconsumed as
long as there is cyclic existence.
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Old 09-04-2023, 11:52 AM
 
Location: California
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Finishing the daily 20 vows:

Quote:
No. 472.
May all women at all times
Become supreme persons.
May all embodied beings have
The intelligence [of wisdom]98 and the legs [of ethics].
No. 473.
May embodied beings have a pleasant complexion, Good physique,
great splendor,
A pleasing appearance, freedom from disease, Strength, and long life.
No. 474.
May all be skilled in the means [to extinguish suffering]
And have liberation from all suffering, Inclination to the Three Jewels,
And the great wealth of Buddha's doctrine.
No. 475.
May they be adorned with love, compassion, joy, Even-mindedness
[devoid of]the afflictive emotions, Giving, ethics, patience,
effort, Concentration, and wisdom.
No. 476.
Completing the two collections [of merit and wisdom],
May they have the brilliant marks and beautiful features [even while
on the path], And may they cross without interruption
The ten inconceivable grounds.
No. 477.
May I also be adorned completely
With those and all other good qualities, Be freed from all defects,
And have superior love for all sentient beings.
No. 478.
May I perfect all the virtues
For which all sentient beings hope, And may I always relieve
The sufferings of all embodied beings.
No. 479.
May those beings in all worlds Who are distressed through fear
Become entirely fearless
Even through merely hearing my name.
No. 480.
Through seeing or thinking of me or only hearing my name May
beings attain great joy,
Naturalness free from error,
Definiteness toward complete enlightenment,
No. 481.
And the five clairvoyances a Throughout their continuum of lives.
May I always in all ways bring
Help and happiness to all sentient beings.
No. 482.
May I always without harm Simultaneously stop
All beings in all worlds Who wish to commit ill deeds.
No. 483.
May I always be an object of enjoyment For all sentient beings
according to their wish And without interference, as are the earth,
Water, fire, wind, herbs, and wild forests.
No. 484.
May I be as dear to sentient beings as their own life, And may they
be even more dear to me.
May their ill deeds fructify for me,
And all my virtues fructify for them.
No. 485.
As long as any sentient being
Anywhere has not been liberated,
May I remain [in the world] for the sake of that being Though I
have attained highest enlightenment.

Last edited by Mahayana; 09-04-2023 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 09-09-2023, 09:23 AM
 
Location: California
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Quote:
The man who is afraid to think searchingly upon his opinions, and to reason critically upon his position, will have to develop moral courage before he can acquire discrimination. A man must be true to himself, fearless with himself, before he can perceive the pure principles of Truth, before he can receive the all-revealing Light of Truth. The more Truth is inquired of, the brighter it shines ; it cannot suffer under examination and analysis. The more error is questioned, the darker it grows ; it cannot survive the entrance of pure and searching thought. To "prove all things" is to find the good and to throw away the evil. He who reasons and meditates learns to discriminate ; he who discriminates discovers the eternally True.
James Allen
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Old 09-24-2023, 12:19 PM
 
Location: California
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Imitation of Christ, Knox version;

Quote:
“3. Once a man is integrated, once his inner life becomes simplified, all of a piece, he begins to attain a richer and deeper knowledge—quite effortlessly, because the intellectual light he receives comes from above. Freedom of heart is his, and simplicity of intention, and fixity of resolve, and he finds that he is no longer distracted by a variety of occupations; he acts, now, only for God’s glory, and does his best to get rid of all self-seeking. There is no worse enemy to your freedom and your peace of mind than the undisciplined affections of your own heart. Really good and holy people plan out beforehand in their minds how they are to behave in given circumstances; the course of their lives does not sweep them away into following their lower instincts, they shape it for themselves, according to the dictates of right reason. To be sure, the conquest of self demands the hardest struggle of all; but this has got to be our real business in life, the conquest of self—no day passed without beating our own record, without gaining fresh ground.”
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Old 09-25-2023, 11:59 AM
 
Location: California
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Quote:
The universe is always happy, and our soul will likewise be happy, when it is assimilated to the universe; for thus it will be led back to its cause.
Proclus, Commentary on the Timaeus
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Old 10-07-2023, 02:49 PM
 
Location: USA
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'One should forgive, under any injury,’ says the Mahabharata. It hath been said that the continuation of species is due to man’s being forgiving. Forgiveness is holiness, by forgiveness the universe is held together. Forgiveness is the might of might; forgiveness is sacrifice; forgiveness is quiet mind. Forgiveness and gentleness are the qualities of Self-possessed. They represent eternal virtue.

- Paramahansa Yogananda
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Old 10-25-2023, 02:16 PM
 
Location: California
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Quote:
My counsel is that we hold fast ever to the heavenly and follow after justice and virtue always, considering that the soul is immortal and able to endure every sort of good and every sort of evil. Thus shall we live dear to one another and to the gods, both while remaining here and when we receive our reward. And it shall be well with us both in this life and in the pilgrimage of a thousand years [between lives] which we have been describing [in the vision of Er.]
Socrates at end of Republic
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Old 11-04-2023, 05:33 PM
 
Location: California
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Quote:
The tragedy of our day is that so many minds are confronted with problems, unexpected tragedies, or catastrophes, for which they have no principles of solution. The Christian is never in that quandary because he has his philosophy of life and hierarchy of values made before a difficulty presents itself. The difference between the modern pagan and the true Christian is: the former is confronted with strange roads without guide-posts, the Christian has a map to cover all the roads; the pagan has need of measuring something but has no measuring rod, the Christian has his standard of values already made before the valuable is presented for approval. The Christian is like a carpenter who carries his rule in his pocket—he does not know whether he will have to measure floors, ceilings, dog houses, palaces, movie theatres, or churches; but regardless of whether he has to stand or stoop, he never throws away his ruler, never decides to be a liberal and make the foot measure thirteen inches, or a reactionary and make it measure eleven inches. A foot for him is twelve inches despite Progressive education.
Bishop Fulton Sheen
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