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Dalai Lama

Around the Survivors a Perimeter Create

Posted on 2010.06.10 at 08:30
Current Location: 75409
Current Music: Hotel Tara - Buddha Lounge
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Muslims tell us Islam is a religion of peace; that we shouldn't judge an entire people on a few extremists. Of course the extremists don't think they're extremists, and they certainly don't call themselves that. Hell, look at Christianity and not just the absurd amount of denominations - which would at least be easy - rather the different theological positions which infiltrate and span dissimilar doctrinal churches: charismatics, evangelicalists, continuationists and their polar opposites the cessasstionists, dogmaticists, born-again-ists, fanatacists and fundamentalists...to name a few.

I know Christians and atheists both who are straight-laced as can be, as well as members of both camps whose ethics you'd question frequently. So if spirituality doesn't guide their morals, what does?

Its crystal clear: God hates fags, but there's gays who preach; women are subservient but some women teach! Free will, predestination, works/sew, grace/reap - omnipotent divinity, causation/correlation, monotheistic holy trinity?

Muslims tell us Islam is a religion of peace; that we shouldn't judge an entire people on a few extremists. On what then, should we? I tell you - completely by accident, I've figured it all out: I'll look critically at low-mysticism (and I'm going to come unglued on the next person who tells me Christianity isn't a mystic religion - seriously? - Revelations, anyone???) religions which firstly contain equal parts philosophy, and secondly have no extremism whatsoever (or extra-terrestrial planet-populating ideas, but that's a personal choice).

Have you ever tried to explain to people how you manage to stay so happy through simply maintaining a good attitude, backed up by years of empirical data, only to have the Dalai Lama sit down in your living room and repeat back your own words to you?

Yeah, neither had I.

I was dumbstruck.

I caught his holiness the Dalai Lama in his "first live morning show interview ever" on an impromptu day-off and couldn't believe what the man had to say. After droning on and then listing all the problems currently in the world, Ann Curry asked him, "How do you find contentment in all that?" His reply?
Basically, these problems are temporary.
I love this man! He qualified this with statements concerning human experience and attitude being key to overcoming problems in the world today. Had I not learned this myself through my own experiences, I might've thought this man a loon. Instead, I'm all, "Finally - someone to back me up!" It just turns out that 'someone' is the Dalai Lama. Pretty impressive posse, huh? Next - and this is even better - after Ann asks him how he handles his own sadness [concerning a tragedy] when he can't do what he wants to do, he chuckles at her! Then says,
If there's a way to overcome it, then you don't have to worry. If there's no way to overcome that suffering or tragedy, then there's no use in worrying.
People, I've been saying this for years.

I'll look critically at low-mysticism religions which firstly contain equal parts philosophy, and secondly have no extremism whatsoever. Buddhist practice what is known as the "Middle Way" which is a "path" between extreme sensual gratification and extreme subjective sanctification. God that's smart. let me clarify - There's no such thing as a Buddhist extremist.

So maybe I'm a Buddhist?

That's okay, some accounts suggest Jesus was too.


Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2010-06-10 15:57 (UTC) (Link)
First of all, the book is called Revelation NOT Revalations.

Secondly, remember the Buddhist priests that set themselves on fire during Viet Nam?
ehowton at 2010-06-10 16:17 (UTC) (Link)
Excellent point! As Caucasian males who grew up in a land untouched by war or religious persecution I would have to suggest that there are things about people and the motivations behind their acts that we don't fully grasp, due in part to the culture in which we were brought up, and the lack of breadth in our studies of foreign culture.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2010-06-10 16:25 (UTC) (Link)
If you don't think that intentionally setting yourself on fire is radical, then you must also agree that blowing yourself up (suicide bombing) isn't radical either, which is antithetical to your post.
ehowton at 2010-06-10 16:48 (UTC) (Link)
I reject your leap-of-faith assumption above. The if/then statement lacks substantiative arguments. Self-immolation harms only yourself, not others. Probably why your garden-variety suicide isn't considered a terrorist act. But you're not that ignorant, so I have to wonder what's really going on here?

You argue semantics as if somehow my accidental pluralization of a word somehow changed its meaning - it didn't - and your correction proves that, so again, please feel free to speak your mind, but do so plainly.

Are you confusing political radicalism with religious extremism or is it the denotation of my specific words you wish to clarify to ensure that the acts you and I may see in radically behaving monks is indeed unprecedented enough in that culture to warrant their use? Because I can change them if that will help.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2010-06-10 17:02 (UTC) (Link)
You made this claim: "THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A BUDDHIST EXTREMIST" I have provided you with a counter-example that nullifies your claim. You reject my example because you wish to fit the facts to your theory instead of your theory to the facts.
ehowton at 2010-06-10 17:53 (UTC) (Link)
Your use of a declarative statement does not automatically make the introduction of your counter-example nullifying.

While I may think intentionally setting yourself on fire is "radical," culturally it may not be, I don't know, and I'm pretty sure you don't either (see above). Of course the argument could then be made that religious groups which kill non-believers in the name of their own deity are considered moderates in their society - the distinction I was attempting to make was harming others (you don't hear a lot about droves of Muslims offing themselves quietly and without fanfare, innit?) Were Heaven's Gate members considered terrorists? They were not. Why?

Again, if it helps, I can change the word I used to something else ("violent", for example) or at least provide a modifier, e.g. "religious extremists." But I would like to do this with your full acknowledgement - i.e. I don't want to change the word then you have you attack that word (anti-capitalists assert that capitalism is "violent" for example, and that argument would have no place here).

Regardless of your decision, and while I always enjoy a lively exchange with you, please try to refrain from making sweeping statements and passing them off as fact. That being said, thank you for bringing this up! Something new to think about and consider.
Tomas Gallucci
schpydurx at 2010-06-10 18:03 (UTC) (Link)
I'm satiated.
thesweetestnote at 2010-06-13 01:33 (UTC) (Link)
dawaioser at 2010-06-10 16:00 (UTC) (Link)
ehowton at 2010-06-10 16:20 (UTC) (Link)
wardlejew at 2010-06-10 18:08 (UTC) (Link)
"So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view. ... you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."
-- OB1. The guy that believes in a "Hokey" Mystic religion, and uses ancient weapons.

In the end, we are all extremist. We believe extremely in what we believe , and we tend to look at everything else from our own certain point of view. So, maybe the real truth is found when you can look from ALL those certain points of view.

Some just don't care and prefer a good blaster!
ehowton at 2010-06-10 18:49 (UTC) (Link)
Ideas can transcend the labels used to bind them. I reject the notion entirely, but your extremism example fascinates me - mostly because one of the few things I do feel strongly about is active ignorance - those who seek out truths to summarily reject. As for myself, I'm still too wet-behind-the-ears to downplay my own passions concerning the importance of societal requirements.

I have a long way to go.
wardlejew at 2010-06-10 19:27 (UTC) (Link)
I really was just shooting for the blaster line, but I ended up thinking too much. And to continue on with the concept, I, too often walk around with a blaster and just blow away the ideas I don't want to deal with. I really should use a more elegant weapon and try to cut out the truth from all ideals. And now I'm confusing myself with my own analogy...

I'm not sure I understand what notion you reject entirely?

Maybe I should use my blaster on it, so I won't have to deal with it!
ehowton at 2010-06-10 19:38 (UTC) (Link)
There is something to be said for simplicity. I have to absorb new ideas slowly. Very slowly. Kinda like the saarlac.
ehowton at 2010-06-10 19:40 (UTC) (Link)
...and if you shot the saarlac with the blaster - Oh nevermind!
thesweetestnote at 2010-06-13 01:40 (UTC) (Link)
I try to be good but I am strangely attracted to the dark side. Why is that?
ehowton at 2010-06-13 01:48 (UTC) (Link)
Religion. More accurately, the Puritans. The things you're drawn to probably aren't "bad" except under biblical scrutiny, and its hard to imagine living in this nation without them, despite the fact that this nation was founded as secular.
thesweetestnote at 2010-06-13 02:03 (UTC) (Link)
That was my exact train of thought! But I was afraid I was justifying my actions by thinking that. I'd like to think of myself as an agent of Karma.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2010-06-12 06:21 (UTC) (Link)
When I talk about belief why do you always assume I'm talking about God?
ehowton at 2010-06-13 01:35 (UTC) (Link)
One day, a scorpion looked around at the mountain where he lived and decided that he wanted a change. So he set out on a journey through the forests and hills. He climbed over rocks and under vines and kept going until he reached a river.

The river was wide and swift, and the scorpion stopped to reconsider the situation. He couldn't see any way across. So he ran upriver and then checked downriver, all the while thinking that he might have to turn back.

Suddenly, he saw a frog sitting in the rushes by the bank of the stream on the other side of the river. He decided to ask the frog for help getting across the stream.

"Hellooo Mr. Frog!" called the scorpion across the water, "Would you be so kind as to give me a ride on your back across the river?"

"Well now, Mr. Scorpion! How do I know that if I try to help you, you wont try to kill me?" asked the frog hesitantly.

"Because," the scorpion replied, "If I try to kill you, then I would die too, for you see I cannot swim!"

Now this seemed to make sense to the frog. But he asked. "What about when I get close to the bank? You could still try to kill me and get back to the shore!"

"This is true," agreed the scorpion, "But then I wouldn't be able to get to the other side of the river!"

"Alright then...how do I know you wont just wait till we get to the other side and THEN kill me?" said the frog.

"Ahh...," crooned the scorpion, "Because you see, once you've taken me to the other side of this river, I will be so grateful for your help, that it would hardly be fair to reward you with death, now would it?!"

So the frog agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He swam over to the bank and settled himself near the mud to pick up his passenger. The scorpion crawled onto the frog's back, his sharp claws prickling into the frog's soft hide, and the frog slid into the river. The muddy water swirled around them, but the frog stayed near the surface so the scorpion would not drown. He kicked strongly through the first half of the stream, his flippers paddling wildly against the current.

Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog's back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

"You fool!" croaked the frog, "Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?"

The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drownings frog's back.

"I could not help myself. It is my nature."

Then they both sank into the muddy waters of the swiftly flowing river.
thesweetestnote at 2010-06-13 01:53 (UTC) (Link)
Too bad there's no audio on this :(

Edited at 2010-06-13 01:54 am (UTC)
thesweetestnote at 2010-06-13 01:25 (UTC) (Link)
"Finally - someone to back me up!"

I got your back!

I've always thought Buddhism and Wiccanism made more sense than "other" belief systems. And if I'm wrong...I hope Jesus doesn't slap to hard.
ehowton at 2010-06-13 01:32 (UTC) (Link)
I kinda dig how Buddhists and Wiccans don't eternally damn your soul to an everburning hellfire if you don't believe in them.
sleonardelli at 2010-06-27 00:16 (UTC) (Link)

Religion vs spirtuality

I stopped buying into the religion crap because I saw so many Christians who don't act "Christian-like". You see this A LOT in politics! I've done some research since I still believe in a higher power and found I am more a deist or universalist today.

Thank for pointing my to Live Journal...very cool site.
michelle1963 at 2011-10-31 14:03 (UTC) (Link)
I was going back to read your blogs from the summer before we met. I know I began reading at some point, but couldn't remember when I started. If I'd have read this one I certainly would have remembered it ~ CLONE! If I had to describe my philosophy ~ yep Buddhism.

The first time I was introduced to the concept regarding was on that old TV show Kung Fu. Something bad was going to happen. And Kwai Change starts singing. The people he was with were aghast. How can you sing when this bad thing is going to happen? He asks, "If I don't sing will it not happen?"
ehowton at 2011-10-31 15:05 (UTC) (Link)
You had me at, "CLONE!"
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