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Tripping through the Religion Store

To: talk.religion.misc
From: tyagi mordred nagasiva 
Subject: Tripping through the Religion Store
Date: 49940615

Quoting: | (Vince LaPoint) and |>>other(s)

|>>In which version of Buddhism are you referring to? As I have read in
|>>Buddhist literature it takes MANY lifetimes to attain enlightenment.
|>>(The Buddha being the "Enlightened One")

This varies.  Some Buddhists say 'one lifetime', others say many; some
say it may take many, but it could be that you are presently ripe.

|>As I know in Zen you could attain enlightment within one life time. Maybe
|>that's one of the reasons Westeners accept Zen rather than any
|>of the more esoteric/tantric schools.

Esoteric/tantric?  Hmm, more like the more EXOteric or degraded schools;
tantra varies tremendously and you've not only got official Tantric
(Tibetan) Buddhism but the Tantric 'Hindus' (heh) too.

|>>: Also, no other religion can make the same claim: nobody has ever been 
|>>: killed in the name of Buddhism.

I gather that this is mostly true, though there are exceptions I'm told.

|>>I know some Vietnamese that would dispute your claim...
|>Agree, the strange combination of martial arts and certain buddhist
|>schools (Korean Zen, someone correct me if my background knowledge is
|>wrong) is also a little bit strange.

Not too strange.  The fighting monks of the Shao-lin temples were
of Bodhidharma's line, I'm told.  Bodhidharma was the First Patriarch
of Ch'an Buddhism who ventured from India and China and took the Dharma
('the Word') away from the absorptive 'Hindus' and into a den of hungry
Taoists and Confucians!

|It is apparent that we are taking a trip through the Religion Store here.

'We', white man? :>

|	"On this shelf is our selection of eastern religions,

I'm surprised you consider them 'religion', given your apparent
preferences.  Perhaps you use the term loosely.

|	have some of our best-selling western religions.  

My impression is that the western religions were largely enforced,
rather than sold, through several political channels (kings, knights,
saracens ;>).

|I don't think so.  Jesus and Buddha and Mohammed and are not equals.  

You have not, here, specified what *would* make people 'equals', even
if religious personalities/myths.

|for instance, declared Himself to be 'the way, the truth, and the life' and
|added that 'no one comes to the Father but by Me.'  This is exclusiveness.

Apparently you are ignorant regarding the authorship of the Yeshua mythos.
If there was a Jesus of Nazareth, then it is very unlikely that we know
the details of what he said.  Even if we *do* know that Yeshua said this
stuff, that doesn't mean that he was the authority on Christianity, which
seems to have surpassed the simple beginnings of his gruesome killing at
the hands of Romans.

More likely, this statement is an esoteric teaching transmitted through
the vehicle of the pseudo-historical tale of the Sacrificed King, and
it can be interpreted in ways which do *not* require exclusivity, as has
been remarked at other times in Usenet, I'm sure.  An example, though you
will likely consider it repulsive, is that the 'I' and 'Me' relate to the
EGO, and the Lamb is here attesting to the fact that we must first
develop a *self* before we can return to the Source.

|Right or wrong, the religions exclude one another.  It's inherent.

Well, this is your assessent.  I think you are being extreme, but I
do respect your opinion.

|Base your beliefs on fact.  Do research.  

This is very excellent advice, yet it will only tell us whether various
writers *think* that something happened or what scriptures mean, etc.

|Did the flood happen?  

You see, not only is there a flood mythos extant in most cultures (even
some which cannot be linked to historical deluges), but most of physics
of the 'Great Flood' are simply bogus.  If you are talking *only* about
the geographical area that would affect the supposed characters in the
tales of _The Bible_ and wish to know if a deluge occured in this region,
I'm sure that you can bring forward someone to attest to it and even some
pretty good evidence that such an historical event occurred.  However,
all this means is that historical events and mythological tales in some
way correlate.  There has been a weave of myth and history within very
many cultures for countless centuries, but this never did validate the
rest of the information in the texts.

That you and others might *take* the myths for literal history is likely
one of the reasons that historical events were so woven - they introduce
a potent psychic link to an otherwise powerful esoteric teaching.  This
is why it is so important to the religious to believe in the 'factuality'
of the life of the Buddha (Gautama), for example, or Krishna, or Rama.

None of the potent ties increase the likelihood that these mythic persons
had physical existence, and given the number of myths which preceded the
fabrication of the scriptures that had similar form, it is actually quite
UNlikely that such is the case.  I'm not saying that 'believers' won't 
fight me on this issue or retain the powerful link to 'historicity' which
has throttled the modern mind, just that your emotional and biased
exhortations to the contrary do not a science of history make.

|Did the sun stop for three days?  
|Does the excavation of Jericho reflect the Biblical account?  

The first is rather meaningless.  What could you mean by saying that
'the sun stops'?  Eclipse?  These are, of course, regularly occurring
astronomical events, and I'll bet that the people who edited _The Bible_
and other scriptures knew something if not everything about this kind of
phenomena, perhaps even being able to determine with some precision when
it may have occurred.  What I'm suggesting is that it is entirely possible
that the story was manufactured with historical details to bolster the
faith of the ignorant.  Will you automatically place yourself within that
group, or will you look at the possibilities with an open mind?

|Did Jesus raise from the dead on the third day?

There are several issues in regards to thaumaturgy that make it incredibly
difficult to assess this question.  Given the fact of an historical
Yeshua (unproven), what sort of criteria shall we accept pertaining to
the events surrounding his miracles and undeadness?  I suggest that it
is too easy to explain this as an esoteric teaching, again, presented
in pseudo-historical form, and that we have too little evidence (the
Shroud?  hee hee) to move to assume that this is not the case.  I'm sure
you can point me to all sorts of fallacious Christian-mongering without
hints of true science, but the fact remains that we cannot know the
details of issues such as are raised in this question, and any pandering
to biased theologians only muddies the issue.

|These are facts that can be either proven or disproven.  

I suggest that they cannot be due to the lack of evidence.  Some appear
to think they have a first-hand account even when they do not, or perhaps 
they presume that there is some sort of physical remnant of the event.
Even given a cave (there are likely lots of them) and a boulder, this only
means that the authors of the myths did their homework.

|Don't base your eternity on which doctrine most sounds appealing, 
|or which makes you feel best.  

Given the dearth of evidence for any sort of historical verification for
the blatantly mythic scriptures in major religions, 'basing our eternity'
(what a loaded phrase) on what sounds appealing or what makes us feel
best may well be the most reasonable course.

If we like it we'll more likely *practice* it.  How it makes us feel is
quite important, I think.  If we feel more spiritual or more ecstatic or
whatever we choose, then this is quite important.  It all depends on what
we want our religion to do for us.  If we want it to shut down our minds
and take away our doubts, then most religions have something to offer in
the realm fundamental.

|Look at the statement above
|regarding the Westerners accepting Zen rather than some other schools.  It's
|pretty disgusting, if you think about it --- and especially with the stakes
|so high.

It seems you've chosen messianic Christianity (given your comments about
Jesus above and the 'stakes' here).  Bully for you.  I understand that
part of your practice may well include taking very radical positions
without basis in thought or scientific evidence.  I even acknowledge that
the teachings you may espouse (albeit that you may take them literally)
are very important esoteric principles.

However, you seem to wish to foist off your theoretic in an underhanded
manner by referring to 'eternity' and 'the stakes' when we may not agree
with you as to their accuracy/relevance.  Not only is this disrespectful,
it indicates to me that you are a biased and unreliable source of
information when it comes to religions as a global phenomenon.

In essence, what you were talking about when you said that people had
been 'tripping through the religion store' is also true about you,
except that you've bought and paid for your product and are now marketing
it as 'the best' or 'the only reasonable paradigm' from which to operate.

Apparently you're condemning shopping around because you have stuck your
mind and heart into a dogmatic hole and can't be bothered to respect the
lives of others by virtue of accepting their choices in the matter
without trying to steer their course.  At least this is what I pick up
from your writings, and I may well be mistaken.

Tripping through the religion store can be a wonderful experience, if
we let it be.  However, like all adventures of this sort, nobody says
that we are limited to one purchase or that we should not compare the
various aspects (color, fit, origin, etc.) of the product in a fair
manner when doing our shopping.

My own preference is to enjoy the goods that others have found
valuable and live outside the stores, keeping my own life simple
and of sound resolution.  In this way I begin to manufacture my
*own* goods, rather than being at the whim of the mass-production
merchants, such as you would seem to represent.

Have a nice day.



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