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bydand
14-05-2014, 22:50
Who or what is allowed in heaven. All sentient beings, just humans, or non sentient things also?

rusmeister
15-05-2014, 00:01
Who or what is allowed in heaven. All sentient beings, just humans, or non sentient things also?

I think the entire issue of "allowed" to be an enormous western misunderstanding of the nature of heaven and hell.

A MUCH better understanding that is more compatible with ancient and Orthodox understandings can be found in CS Lewis's "The Great Divorce".

The Great Divorce - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Great Divorce: C. S. Lewis: 9780060652951: Amazon.com: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41V4Jbh2L3L.@@AMEPARAM@@41V4Jbh2L3L

http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1215780-the-great-divorce
(Some great quotes from the book)

A VERY imperfect, but still better-than-the-western juridical/punitive understandings was expressed in the 1998 movie, "What Dreams May Come" (I saw this last week, and was both pleased by seeing some Eastern Christian understandings and disappointed by their turning toward Buddhism and reincarnation in the end. The makers looked east, but too far south.)

What Dreams May Come (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The shortest answer is that we either at least begin to become beings that could love God, whose presence we would either enjoy or (if we failed/refused to do so) endure for eternity. Hell is something that we pretty much put ourselves into (and are even predisposed to do so), and God is trying to save us from that in the Orthodox view.

AstarD
15-05-2014, 00:16
What about the parable of the rich man in Luke 16. I think this is the only scriptural example of the afterlife.


19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 And it came to p**** that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:

28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

vossy7
15-05-2014, 06:05
Who or what is allowed in heaven. All sentient beings, just humans, or non sentient things also?

As children growing up in catholic Ireland, we used to have the fear of god drummed into us every day.....

If you don't clean your teeth you will go to hell
If you don't eat your greens you will go to hell
If you don't eat your crusts you will go to hell
If you don't stop having immoral thoughts you will go to hell
If don't stop playing with yourself down there you will go to hell

So we would constantly sing ....
1 , 2, 3 , 4 ....5, 6 , 7
All good children go to heaven.......

So at the end of the day or life it will be the decision of who or whatever is at the celestial controls up there......e.g.



Recently a teacher, a shifty looking estate agent, and an obese oligarch dripping with gold jewelry wound up together at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter informed them that in order to get into Heaven, they would each have to answer one question.

St. Peter addressed the teacher and asked,
"What was the name of the ship that crashed into the iceberg?
They made a big movie about it."
The teacher answered quickly, "That would be the Titanic."
St. Peter let him through the gate.

St. Peter turned to the smug estate agent and, figuring Heaven didn't *really* need all the odors that this guy would bring with him, decided to make the question a little harder: "How many people died on the ship?"
Fortunately for him, the estate agent had just seen the movie.
"1,514," he answered but that is still debated.
"That's right! You may enter."

St. Peter turned to the fat oligarch . "Name them." :jester:

Benedikt
15-05-2014, 07:42
Who or what is allowed in heaven. All sentient beings, just humans, or non sentient things also?



HE told Noah to build an ark and besides his family take 2 of each animals so they may also live. if HE did not want to have it that way, after all HE created also all creatures,( working in Siberia, eaten -alive- by these huge mosquitos, i wonder though if HE knows...) he would not have let it happen.
So, therefore i see no reason why only we,humans, should be allowed past the pearly gates.


if we need there our iphones,ipad,ipod,i whatever, i doubt it....
maybe to call/text/email our not so lucky friends there:devil::devil::devil:?

rusmeister
15-05-2014, 11:05
On animals and so on:
The Orthodox view (which Lewis shares) is that EVERYTHING good in Creation will be restored. We can't say for sure what that will look like, but I beleve it will be something recognizable. IOW, yes, dogs DO "go to heaven", though "go" isca misleading verb, I think. In some form I believe we will find the places we roamed in childhood. God created the world. God likes, even loves the world, and wants to save it.

bydand
15-05-2014, 11:28
I realize that is the popular perception. I am trying to express the effect of "becoming one with everything".

It even slips into our thinking through all kinds of ways, especially popular culture. It was striking for me to re-watch the Lion King and realize that that was what Mufasa was talking about in "becoming one with the grass". In saying "he lives in you" they might as well ask where HIS. Father, and grandfather, great-grandfather and so on all live. It means the complete end of the individual. That wouldn't be heaven. It would be non-existence.


I think I don't understand how being "one with everything" would mean non-existence. I see your point about the end of the individual, but don't agree. Why would it not be possible to be "one with everything" (perhaps better stated harmonious and synergistic with everything) and still have an awareness of individuality?

rusmeister
16-05-2014, 14:00
I think I don't understand how being "one with everything" would mean non-existence. I see your point about the end of the individual, but don't agree. Why would it not be possible to be "one with everything" (perhaps better stated harmonious and synergistic with everything) and still have an awareness of individuality?

The shortest answer I can think of is to ask what the nature of love is.
The answer I can see is that love, the only love that we could value and hold up as a desirable idea, means loving others rather than, or in preference to oneself. It is easy to love oneself. That's why Whitney Houston's song "The Greatest Love" has lyrics straight from the heart of hell, that mixture of truth and terrible falsehood.

It is our divisions, our separateness, the dividers between us that make otherness possible.
The Christian God is a Society - Three in One, both united and other, and capable of love. I would say the Buddhist error - which would be heresy as applied to Christian theology - is in teaching the individual to seek to become equal to God, to say "All this is God, and if you reach the ideal, you are one with and equal to to it." This is REALLY close to the Christian view, only we don't think that either our individual personalities should be subsumed into an amorphous pantheism, where you, I and everything is god. We DO believe we ought to strive to be like God in holiness, but that we can by no stretch of the imagination ever become equal to God, nor would this ever be desirable.

But I think Chesterton says it ever so much better than me, and his masterpiece called "Orthodoxy" (not referring to the Eastern Orthodox Church) touches on this question profoundly:


The great example of this alleged identity of all human religions is the alleged spiritual identity of Buddhism and Christianity. Those who adopt this theory generally avoid the ethics of most other creeds, except, indeed, Confucianism, which they like because it is not a creed. But they are cautious in their praises of Mahommedanism, generally confining themselves to imposing its morality only upon the refreshment of the lower classes. They seldom suggest the Mahommedan view of marriage (for which there is a great deal to be said), and towards Thugs and fetish worshippers their attitude may even be called cold. But in the case of the great religion of Gautama they feel sincerely a similarity.

Students of popular science, like Mr. Blatchford, are always insisting that Christianity and Buddhism are very much alike, especially Buddhism. This is generally believed, and I believed it myself until I read a book giving the reasons for it. The reasons were of two kinds: resemblances that meant nothing because they were common to all humanity, and resemblances which were not resemblances at all. The author solemnly explained that the two creeds were alike in things in which all creeds are alike, or else he described them as alike in some point in which they are quite obviously different. Thus, as a case of the first cl**** he said that both Christ and Buddha were called by the divine voice coming out of the sky, as if you would expect the divine voice to come out of the coal-cellar. Or, again, it was gravely urged that these two Eastern teachers, by a singular coincidence, both had to do with the washing of feet. You might as well say that it was a remarkable coincidence that they both had feet to wash. And the other class of similarities were those which simply were not similar. Thus this reconciler of the two religions draws earnest attention to the fact that at certain religious feasts the robe of the Lama is rent in pieces out of respect, and the remnants highly valued. But this is the reverse of a resemblance, for the garments of Christ were not rent in pieces out of respect, but out of derision; and the remnants were not highly valued except for what they would fetch in the rag shops. It is rather like alluding to the obvious connection between the two ceremonies of the sword: when it taps a man's shoulder, and when it cuts off his head. It is not at all similar for the man. These scraps of puerile pedantry would indeed matter little if it were not also true that the alleged philosophical resemblances are also of these two kinds, either proving too much or not proving anything. That Buddhism approves of mercy or of self-restraint is not to say that it is specially like Christianity; it is only to say that it is not utterly unlike all human existence. Buddhists disapprove in theory of cruelty or excess because all sane human beings disapprove in theory of cruelty or excess. But to say that Buddhism and Christianity give the same philosophy of these things is simply false. All humanity does agree that we are in a net of sin. Most of humanity agrees that there is some way out. But as to what is the way out, I do not think that there are two institutions in the universe which contradict each other so flatly as Buddhism and Christianity.

Even when I thought, with most other well-informed, though unscholarly, people, that Buddhism and Christianity were alike, there was one thing about them that always perplexed me; I mean the startling difference in their type of religious art. I do not mean in its technical style of representation, but in the things that it was manifestly meant to represent. No two ideals could be more opposite than a Christian saint in a Gothic cathedral and a Buddhist saint in a Chinese temple. The opposition exists at every point; but perhaps the shortest statement of it is that the Buddhist saint always has his eyes shut, while the Christian saint always has them very wide open. The Buddhist saint has a sleek and harmonious body, but his eyes are heavy and sealed with sleep. The mediaeval saint's body is wasted to its crazy bones, but his eyes are frightfully alive. There cannot be any real community of spirit between forces that produced symbols so different as that. Granted that both images are extravagances, are perversions of the pure creed, it must be a real divergence which could produce such opposite extravagances. The Buddhist is looking with a peculiar intentness inwards. The Christian is staring with a frantic intentness outwards. If we follow that clue steadily we shall find some interesting things.

A short time ago Mrs. Besant, in an interesting essay, announced that there was only one religion in the world, that all faiths were only versions or perversions of it, and that she was quite prepared to say what it was. According to Mrs. Besant this universal Church is simply the universal self. It is the doctrine that we are really all one person; that there are no real walls of individuality between man and man. If I may put it so, she does not tell us to love our neighbours; she tells us to be our neighbours. That is Mrs. Besant's thoughtful and suggestive description of the religion in which all men must find themselves in agreement. And I never heard of any suggestion in my life with which I more violently disagree. I want to love my neighbour not because he is I, but precisely because he is not I. I want to adore the world, not as one likes a looking-gl**** because it is one's self, but as one loves a woman, because she is entirely different. If souls are separate love is possible. If souls are united love is obviously impossible. A man may be said loosely to love himself, but he can hardly fall in love with himself, or, if he does, it must be a monotonous courtship. If the world is full of real selves, they can be really unselfish selves. But upon Mrs. Besant's principle the whole cosmos is only one enormously selfish person.

It is just here that Buddhism is on the side of modern pantheism and immanence. And it is just here that Christianity is on the side of humanity and liberty and love. Love desires personality; therefore love desires division. It is the instinct of Christianity to be glad that God has broken the universe into little pieces, because they are living pieces. It is her instinct to say "little children love one another" rather than to tell one large person to love himself. This is the intellectual abyss between Buddhism and Christianity; that for the Buddhist or Theosophist personality is the fall of man, for the Christian it is the purpose of God, the whole point of his cosmic idea. The world-soul of the Theosophists asks man to love it only in order that man may throw himself into it. But the divine centre of Christianity actually threw man out of it in order that he might love it. The oriental deity is like a giant who should have lost his leg or hand and be always seeking to find it; but the Christian power is like some giant who in a strange generosity should cut off his right hand, so that it might of its own accord shake hands with him. We come back to the same tireless note touching the nature of Christianity; all modern philosophies are chains which connect and fetter; Christianity is a sword which separates and sets free. No other philosophy makes God actually rejoice in the separation of the universe into living souls. But according to orthodox Christianity this separation between God and man is sacred, because this is eternal. That a man may love God it is necessary that there should be not only a God to be loved, but a man to love him. All those vague theosophical minds for whom the universe is an immense melting-pot are exactly the minds which shrink instinctively from that earthquake saying of our Gospels, which declare that the Son of God came not with peace but with a sundering sword. The saying rings entirely true even considered as what it obviously is; the statement that any man who preaches real love is bound to beget hate. It is as true of democratic fraternity as a divine love; sham love ends in compromise and common philosophy; but real love has always ended in bloodshed. Yet there is another and yet more awful truth behind the obvious meaning of this utterance of our Lord. According to Himself the Son was a sword separating brother and brother that they should for an aeon hate each other. But the Father also was a sword, which in the black beginning separated brother and brother, so that they should love each other at last.

This is the meaning of that almost insane happiness in the eyes of the mediaeval saint in the picture. This is the meaning of the sealed eyes of the superb Buddhist image. The Christian saint is happy because he has verily been cut off from the world; he is separate from things and is staring at them in astonishment. But why should the Buddhist saint be astonished at things? -- since there is really only one thing, and that being impersonal can hardly be astonished at itself. There have been many pantheist poems suggesting wonder, but no really successful ones. The pantheist cannot wonder, for he cannot praise God or praise anything as really distinct from himself. Our immediate business here, however, is with the effect of this Christian admiration (which strikes outwards, towards a deity distinct from the worshipper) upon the general need for ethical activity and social reform. And surely its effect is sufficiently obvious. There is no real possibility of getting out of pantheism, any special impulse to moral action. For pantheism implies in its nature that one thing is as good as another; whereas action implies in its nature that one thing is greatly preferable to another. Swinburne in the high summer of his scepticism tried in vain to wrestle with this difficulty. In "Songs before Sunrise," written under the inspiration of Garibaldi and the revolt of Italy he proclaimed the newer religion and the purer God which should wither up all the priests of the world:
"What doest thou now
Looking Godward to cry
I am I, thou art thou,
I am low, thou art high,
I am thou that thou seekest to find him, find thou but thyself, thou art I."

Of which the immediate and evident deduction is that tyrants are as much the sons of God as Garibaldis; and that King Bomba of Naples having, with the utmost success, "found himself" is identical with the ultimate good in all things. The truth is that the western energy that dethrones tyrants has been directly due to the western theology that says "I am I, thou art thou." The same spiritual separation which looked up and saw a good king in the universe looked up and saw a bad king in Naples. The worshippers of Bomba's god dethroned Bomba. The worshippers of Swinburne's god have covered Asia for centuries and have never dethroned a tyrant. The Indian saint may reasonably shut his eyes because he is looking at that which is I and Thou and We and They and It. It is a rational occupation: but it is not true in theory and not true in fact that it helps the Indian to keep an eye on Lord Curzon. That external vigilance which has always been the mark of Christianity (the command that we should watch and pray) has expressed itself both in typical western orthodoxy and in typical western politics: but both depend on the idea of a divinity transcendent, different from ourselves, a deity that disappears. Certainly the most sagacious creeds may suggest that we should pursue God into deeper and deeper rings of the labyrinth of our own ego. But only we of Christendom have said that we should hunt God like an eagle upon the mountains: and we have killed all monsters in the chase.

More:
http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/orthodoxy/ch8.html

bydand
18-05-2014, 11:01
The shortest answer I can think of is to ask what the nature of love is.
The answer I can see is that love, the only love that we could value and hold up as a desirable idea, means loving others rather than, or in preference to oneself. It is easy to love oneself. That's why Whitney Houston's song "The Greatest Love" has lyrics straight from the heart of hell, that mixture of truth and terrible falsehood.

It is our divisions, our separateness, the dividers between us that make otherness possible.
The Christian God is a Society - Three in One, both united and other, and capable of love. I would say the Buddhist error - which would be heresy as applied to Christian theology - is in teaching the individual to seek to become equal to God, to say "All this is God, and if you reach the ideal, you are one with and equal to to it." This is REALLY close to the Christian view, only we don't think that either our individual personalities should be subsumed into an amorphous pantheism, where you, I and everything is god. We DO believe we ought to strive to be like God in holiness, but that we can by no stretch of the imagination ever become equal to God, nor would this ever be desirable.

But I think Chesterton says it ever so much better than me, and his masterpiece called "Orthodoxy" (not referring to the Eastern Orthodox Church) touches on this question profoundly:



More:
http://www.leaderu.com/cyber/books/orthodoxy/ch8.html

It's a bit specious to state Buddhists aspire to be equal to God when they don't believe in a God.

Who can say "being in the now" or "being one with everything" precludes being "united and other"?

Benedikt
18-05-2014, 11:33
[QUOTE=bydand;1309869]It's a bit specious to state Buddhists aspire to be equal to God when they don't believe in a God.



just because they don't use the word God, does it mean their believe is something less than ours? with gilded statues, crosses and pomp in St.Peter, Christ the Saviour Cathedral, might that be in Utah or God ( pun intended HE understands)knows where...

bydand
18-05-2014, 12:58
[QUOTE=bydand;1309869]It's a bit specious to state Buddhists aspire to be equal to God when they don't believe in a God.



just because they don't use the word God, does it mean their believe is something less than ours? with gilded statues, crosses and pomp in St.Peter, Christ the Saviour Cathedral, might that be in Utah or God ( pun intended HE understands)knows where...

I don't think so. As an aside, there were no Buddhist crusades, inquisitions, or jihads.

rusmeister
18-05-2014, 13:47
It's a bit specious to state Buddhists aspire to be equal to God when they don't believe in a God.

Who can say "being in the now" or "being one with everything" precludes being "united and other"?

Sorry. I meant the pantheist understanding of "god". I thought that was clear from the context. It's the very idea that the "theo" is "pan".

rusmeister
18-05-2014, 13:50
[QUOTE=bydand;1309869]It's a bit specious to state Buddhists aspire to be equal to God when they don't believe in a God.



just because they don't use the word God, does it mean their believe is something less than ours? with gilded statues, crosses and pomp in St.Peter, Christ the Saviour Cathedral, might that be in Utah or God ( pun intended HE understands)knows where...

Yes, Ben, I do think it less than ours.
An elaborate story of the truth that is not the truth is less than the truth.

It looks like you have this idea of Christians thinking God is a local, parochial god that resides in the statues and crosses.

rusmeister
18-05-2014, 13:57
[quote=Benedikt;1309876][COLOR="red"][COLOR="Red"]

I don't think so. As an aside, there were no Buddhist crusades, inquisitions, or jihads.

A major point in favor of the religions that have them, imo. Such religions obviously think that a) the truth matters, that we should not be indifferent to it and b) we matter, and have power of choice of action that matters.

The same people that had crusades and inquisitions produced revolutions and democracy because they believed in free will and the possibility of changingobeself and one's circumstances. The people that didn't had caste systems, because they believed in karma.

bydand
19-05-2014, 08:41
So, one can follow the teachings of Jesus, have inquisitions and go on crusades?

penka
19-05-2014, 10:12
So, one can follow the teachings of Jesus, have inquisitions and go on crusades?

You mean, is it alright to torture and kill fellow humans in the name of God that is defined as Love and Forgiveness?....

rusmeister
19-05-2014, 11:50
So, one can follow the teachings of Jesus, have inquisitions and go on crusades?

There is something deeper in my thought that you haven't grasped yet. It was not saying that the inquisitions and crusades were good things in themselves. But as actions, in their beginnings - which I doubt people have thought a lot about, honestly - were founded in right and logical desires, even if you no longer share their context and so, don't understand them. The logic was right because it was founded in the view we still hold - that human actions matter, that we have free will, and ought to take action to stop evil, which is precisely what you don't get in Buddhism (as always, speaking in general). The Crusades really DID start as a goal of freeing the Holy City from what they saw (and I see) as a barbaric occupation. The Inquisition really DID begin as an attempt to root out what was, to the Catholic Church, genuine heresy WITHIN said Church, which had already begun to tear the Church apart.

It would seem from reading the ideas here that people think the Crusaders and Inquisitors began their actions with sneering calls to go kill, pillage, murder and torture just for the hell of it. I see no awareness (yet) of the point of view of the people who began those things, whatever evils were done by them later.

So what I am saying is that the idea of the rights of man, of liberty, equality and fraternity, were absolutely born in a culture itself formed by a particular religion, steeped in the idea that God created all men equal. In short, we have Christianity - and so have periodic revolutions and the overthrow of tyranny. They have Buddhism and Hinduism, and the tyrants rule eternally, justified by karma.

penka
19-05-2014, 14:57
There is something deeper in my thought that you haven't grasped yet. It was not saying that the inquisitions and crusades were good things in themselves. But as actions, in their beginnings - which I doubt people have thought a lot about, honestly - were founded in right and logical desires, even if you no longer share their context and so, don't understand them. The logic was right because it was founded in the view we still hold - that human actions matter, that we have free will, and ought to take action to stop evil, which is precisely what you don't get in Buddhism (as always, speaking in general). The Crusades really DID start as a goal of freeing the Holy City from what they saw (and I see) as a barbaric occupation. The Inquisition really DID begin as an attempt to root out what was, to the Catholic Church, genuine heresy WITHIN said Church, which had already begun to tear the Church apart.

It would seem from reading the ideas here that people think the Crusaders and Inquisitors began their actions with sneering calls to go kill, pillage, murder and torture just for the hell of it. I see no awareness (yet) of the point of view of the people who began those things, whatever evils were done by them later.

So what I am saying is that the idea of the rights of man, of liberty, equality and fraternity, were absolutely born in a culture itself formed by a particular religion, steeped in the idea that God created all men equal. In short, we have Christianity - and so have periodic revolutions and the overthrow of tyranny. They have Buddhism and Hinduism, and the tyrants rule eternally, justified by karma.

Road to Hell is paved by the good intentions, as they say.

Torturing people is a disgusting practice. Doing so in the name of Christianity is a blasphemy and a denial of what Christianity stands for.

Capman
19-05-2014, 16:00
The Bible seems pretty silent about the fate of animals. In some places it mentions them returning to dust as we return to dust, but nothing definitive about going to heaven. What has been prepared for us is beyond comprehension. So, I think the best thing we can do is love our pets as much as we can while they are here. Those who go to heaven will see that everything worked out just right regarding our pets.

rusmeister
19-05-2014, 17:46
Road to Hell is paved by the good intentions, as they say.

Torturing people is a disgusting practice. Doing so in the name of Christianity is a blasphemy and a denial of what Christianity stands for.

Sorry, but we agree on that. Is there anything you DISAGREE with in what I said?

bydand
19-05-2014, 18:01
There is something deeper in my thought that you haven't grasped yet. It was not saying that the inquisitions and crusades were good things in themselves. But as actions, in their beginnings - which I doubt people have thought a lot about, honestly - were founded in right and logical desires, even if you no longer share their context and so, don't understand them. The logic was right because it was founded in the view we still hold - that human actions matter, that we have free will, and ought to take action to stop evil, which is precisely what you don't get in Buddhism (as always, speaking in general). The Crusades really DID start as a goal of freeing the Holy City from what they saw (and I see) as a barbaric occupation. The Inquisition really DID begin as an attempt to root out what was, to the Catholic Church, genuine heresy WITHIN said Church, which had already begun to tear the Church apart.

It would seem from reading the ideas here that people think the Crusaders and Inquisitors began their actions with sneering calls to go kill, pillage, murder and torture just for the hell of it. I see no awareness (yet) of the point of view of the people who began those things, whatever evils were done by them later.

So what I am saying is that the idea of the rights of man, of liberty, equality and fraternity, were absolutely born in a culture itself formed by a particular religion, steeped in the idea that God created all men equal. In short, we have Christianity - and so have periodic revolutions and the overthrow of tyranny. They have Buddhism and Hinduism, and the tyrants rule eternally, justified by karma.

I grasped your thought, though perhaps not completely. I agree, what is right and proper should prevail. Mahatma Gandhi (though he was Hindu, and we were discussing Buddhism) fought peacefully for what he thought was right and proper. Buddhist monks burned themselves to death in protest of war in Vietnam without, as far as I know, harming anyone or anything else, except peoples sensibilities in the process.

As for Buddhism, there is no caste system to my knowledge. As far as I can discern, if everyone was a devout practicing Buddhist, there would be no tyrants. Can you name one? The same could be said of Christians of course, if they take to heart the teachings of Christ, and are not just self proclaimed Christians.

Maybe Buddhists are happy to have Christians do all the "heavy lifting" to protect individual rights, but I doubt it.

I ask again, who can say being "one with everything" or "in the now", whatever that means, precludes having an individual self awareness? G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis? How would they know? How would you know, except on faith?

rusmeister
20-05-2014, 14:19
I grasped your thought, though perhaps not completely. I agree, what is right and proper should prevail. Mahatma Gandhi (though he was Hindu, and we were discussing Buddhism) fought peacefully for what he thought was right and proper. Buddhist monks burned themselves to death in protest of war in Vietnam without, as far as I know, harming anyone or anything else, except peoples sensibilities in the process.

As for Buddhism, there is no caste system to my knowledge. As far as I can discern, if everyone was a devout practicing Buddhist, there would be no tyrants. Can you name one? The same could be said of Christians of course, if they take to heart the teachings of Christ, and are not just self proclaimed Christians.

Maybe Buddhists are happy to have Christians do all the "heavy lifting" to protect individual rights, but I doubt it.

I ask again, who can say being "one with everything" or "in the now", whatever that means, precludes having an individual self awareness? G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis? How would they know? How would you know, except on faith?

Well, on Buddhist monks immolating themselves, they certainly hurt themselves. Any judgement of that has to be made within a worldview. The Christian one condemns suicide as murder of the self, something even more serious than murder, because you deprive yourself of the possibility of repenting of the act.

I think there would still be tyrants, because of my own world view, that informs me that all men are sinners, that is, have a broken relationship with God, and some would always practice Buddhism (or Christian faith) less perfectly than others, and the least perfect would give in to the lust for power.

It seems self-evident to me that the individual is a being divided and distinct from other beings. To break down that division means the end of the individual. I cannot love my neighbor as distinct from myself if I AM my neighbor. If "I" am all beings, then I am not "I". The distinction has come to an end. That is the whole point of pantheism.

bydand
20-05-2014, 15:46
Well, on Buddhist monks immolating themselves, they certainly hurt themselves. Any judgement of that has to be made within a worldview. The Christian one condemns suicide as murder of the self, something even more serious than murder, because you deprive yourself of the possibility of repenting of the act.

They took action to stop what they perceived as evil, which you stated is precisely what you don't get in Buddhism

I think there would still be tyrants, because of my own world view, that informs me that all men are sinners, that is, have a broken relationship with God, and some would always practice Buddhism (or Christian faith) less perfectly than others, and the least perfect would give in to the lust for power.

Agree, I don't think the world population will all be perfect Christians (to not covet is the big one IMO), Buddhists, or anything else.

It seems self-evident to me that the individual is a being divided and distinct from other beings. To break down that division means the end of the individual. I cannot love my neighbor as distinct from myself if I AM my neighbor. If "I" am all beings, then I am not "I". The distinction has come to an end. That is the whole point of pantheism.

I would say, since it is self-evident to you, that is your truth, based on logic (which could neither prove nor disprove) and faith. It might not be true. My wife says of couples that are more than in love "they are like one apple". Think its a Russian saying.

rusmeister
20-05-2014, 16:09
I would say, since it is self-evident to you, that is your truth, based on logic (which could neither prove nor disprove) and faith. It might not be true. My wife says of couples that are more than in love "they are like one apple". Think its a Russian saying.



Well, I think I already gave the thinking behind what is now self-evident to me (and wasn't before).
Especially this part regarding love and the individual:
"A short time ago Mrs. Besant, in an interesting essay, announced that there was only one religion in the world, that all faiths were only versions or perversions of it, and that she was quite prepared to say what it was. According to Mrs. Besant this universal Church is simply the universal self. It is the doctrine that we are really all one person; that there are no real walls of individuality between man and man. If I may put it so, she does not tell us to love our neighbours; she tells us to be our neighbours. That is Mrs. Besant's thoughtful and suggestive description of the religion in which all men must find themselves in agreement. And I never heard of any suggestion in my life with which I more violently disagree. I want to love my neighbour not because he is I, but precisely because he is not I. I want to adore the world, not as one likes a looking-gl**** because it is one's self, but as one loves a woman, because she is entirely different. If souls are separate love is possible. If souls are united love is obviously impossible. A man may be said loosely to love himself, but he can hardly fall in love with himself, or, if he does, it must be a monotonous courtship. If the world is full of real selves, they can be really unselfish selves. But upon Mrs. Besant's principle the whole cosmos is only one enormously selfish person."

Another tack I would take would be to ask whether you looked up at least the summary of "The Great Divorce"? Or better still, read or ordered it? You're the one who posed the original question.

I think the quarrel between Christianity (which I understand only in the traditional sense, and ultimately in Orthodoxy, though I defend other traditions where I think they may be defended) and Buddhism to be a finer and more nuanced one, where the is a LOT of truth on both sides - but of course, I believe only one has what we would call the fullness of the truth. At least, you would understand the more serious Christian objections better. I don't doubt that serious Buddhists have serious responses. But even aside from the fact that I think I really have already found the central Truth of the universe, that I did not make, but rather, that made me, these thoughts would remain serious objections to Buddhism, not to be dismissed lightly.

penka
20-05-2014, 20:46
Sorry, but we agree on that. Is there anything you DISAGREE with in what I said?

Rus, if I do disagree on some things you say, does;t mean I disagree with you for the sake of disagreeing. I disagree with a thought, even if I accept being wrong if proven you. And, as said, I believe you are a good man, trying to live the way you teach.

I'm an art historian and do not see things black and white:))

bydand
21-05-2014, 09:41
Another tack I would take would be to ask whether you looked up at least the summary of "The Great Divorce"? Or better still, read or ordered it? You're the one who posed the original question.


Yes, I read the summary, and enjoyed it, but it didn't enlighten me.

I am not a Buddhist, but have experienced a satori state of mind twice in my life. I believe a self-aware individual may still be a part of everything.

rusmeister
21-05-2014, 21:50
Yes, I read the summary, and enjoyed it, but it didn't enlighten me.

I am not a Buddhist, but have experienced a satori state of mind twice in my life. I believe a self-aware individual may still be a part of everything.

Ok. Obviously, I don't. Since satori is a peculiarly subjective experience, there's not much I can say to it, except that I do believe in prelest.

bydand
21-05-2014, 23:23
Well, one can be deluded by others, or by oneself. My experiences of satori were by myself, no spiritual guidance. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Two Orthodox батушки know me (though not very well), one married my wife and me, and gave me an orthodox name, Андрей. I like him a lot; he kept asking why Protestants (I was raised Episcopalian) protest. Neither saw any spiritual malady in me. Though to be sure, I may be a demon personified.

edit; I might add, faith is a peculiarly subjective experience. I am humble, or so I think, and have no worries about prelest.

rusmeister
22-05-2014, 07:40
Well, one can be deluded by others, or by oneself. My experiences of satori were by myself, no spiritual guidance. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Two Orthodox батушки know me (though not very well), one married my wife and me, and gave me an orthodox name, Андрей. I like him a lot; he kept asking why Protestants (I was raised Episcopalian) protest. Neither saw any spiritual malady in me. Though to be sure, I may be a demon personified.

edit; I might add, faith is a peculiarly subjective experience. I am humble, or so I think, and have no worries about prelest.

Obviously, I think what I think within my worldview (which I think to be the actual truth). So no, I am sure you cannot be a demon personified :) and I'd point out that the reference to pride is not the sort that says "Wow! I am so great!" type. If the self is the highest court of authority, if there is no authority that you grant the power to correct and teach you, then self-deception from a personal subjective experience is not only possible, but I think even probable. "Pride" here is is thinking, "I, of all people, have been granted this special revelation to the true path (on my own)". It's a more subtle way of thinking oneself set aside as special, which can be completely humble in every other way.

On the idea that faith is subjective, the subjective can be tested by its relation to the objective. To what extent does this mesh with the reality I experience around me? How completely does this subjective-seeming key fit the lock that I experience as objective? Does it really make complete sense of the universe - both why we die and why we desire not to die, for example? (and that's only one of the [fairly important] grooves)
But again, without an authority that we find to be both truth-telling and wiser than we (that would have to be institutional, not any one man) I don't see how self-deception can be avoided.

bydand
22-05-2014, 09:00
[QUOTE=rusmeister;1311143]Obviously, I think what I think within my worldview (which I think to be the actual truth). So no, I am sure you cannot be a demon personified :) and I'd point out that the reference to pride is not the sort that says "Wow! I am so great!" type. If the self is the highest court of authority, if there is no authority that you grant the power to correct and teach you, then self-deception from a personal subjective experience is not only possible, but I think even probable. "Pride" here is is thinking, "I, of all people, have been granted this special revelation to the true path (on my own)". It's a more subtle way of thinking oneself set aside as special, which can be completely humble in every other way.

On the idea that faith is subjective, the subjective can be tested by its relation to the objective. To what extent does this mesh with the reality I experience around me? How completely does this subjective-seeming key fit the lock that I experience as objective? Does it really make complete sense of the universe - both why we die and why we desire not to die, for example? (and that's only one of the [fairly important] grooves)
But again, without an authority that we find to be both truth-telling and wiser than we (that would have to be institutional, not any one man) I don't see how self-deception can be avoided.[/QUOTE

Thanks Rus, I do keep this in mind, and don't think I'm special.

rusmeister
22-05-2014, 10:32
[QUOTE=rusmeister;1311143]Obviously, I think what I think within my worldview (which I think to be the actual truth). So no, I am sure you cannot be a demon personified :) and I'd point out that the reference to pride is not the sort that says "Wow! I am so great!" type. If the self is the highest court of authority, if there is no authority that you grant the power to correct and teach you, then self-deception from a personal subjective experience is not only possible, but I think even probable. "Pride" here is is thinking, "I, of all people, have been granted this special revelation to the true path (on my own)". It's a more subtle way of thinking oneself set aside as special, which can be completely humble in every other way.

On the idea that faith is subjective, the subjective can be tested by its relation to the objective. To what extent does this mesh with the reality I experience around me? How completely does this subjective-seeming key fit the lock that I experience as objective? Does it really make complete sense of the universe - both why we die and why we desire not to die, for example? (and that's only one of the [fairly important] grooves)
But again, without an authority that we find to be both truth-telling and wiser than we (that would have to be institutional, not any one man) I don't see how self-deception can be avoided.[/QUOTE

Thanks Rus, I do keep this in mind, and don't think I'm special.
Hope you're clear that I only meant "special" in the sense of a person seeing themselves as having had the great good luck to have such an experience. I grant without question that there is no special egotism in your experience. (I don't want you to take unintended offense.)

bydand
22-05-2014, 11:54
No offense at all taken, or even pondered. Perhaps I should have put a smiley. I do understand the danger you relate. It scared me at first, realizing self-deception/rationalization could, and do, terrible things. I am careful in this regard, and thanks for the reminder!

Suuryaa
02-06-2014, 12:08
"Когда ищешь умом своим обрести Бога, да почиешь в нём, не назначай ему мест и пределов своей немощной и узкой фантазией.
Ибо он беспределен и есть везде и во всем, лучше же - всё есть в нём.
Ты найдёшь его внутрь себя, в душе своей, всякий раз, как истинно взыщешь его."

Преподобный Никодим Святогорец. "Невидимая брань".

rusmeister
02-06-2014, 16:07
"Когда ищешь умом своим обрести Бога, да почиешь в нём, не назначай ему мест и пределов своей немощной и узкой фантазией.
Ибо он беспределен и есть везде и во всем, лучше же - всё есть в нём.
Ты найдёшь его внутрь себя, в душе своей, всякий раз, как истинно взыщешь его."

Преподобный Никодим Святогорец. "Невидимая брань".

I think that this is a fine quote, if understood within the context of the teachings of the Orthodox Church, which WAS its authorial intent.

But it would be terribly wrong to take it outside of that context, and to twist it to attack the Church. It would be like taking a quote from the Bhaghavad Gita and turning its context inside-out. St Nicodemus had no such intention.

So you'd really have to ask what these things mean. Even I recognize that my understandings of these things are relatively superficial.

Suuryaa
02-06-2014, 16:20
I think that this is a fine quote, if understood within the context of the teachings of the Orthodox Church, which WAS its authorial intent.

But it would be terribly wrong to take it outside of that context, and to twist it to attack the Church. It would be like taking a quote from the Bhaghavad Gita and turning its context inside-out. St Nicodemus had no such intention.

So you'd really have to ask what these things mean. Even I recognize that my understandings of these things are relatively superficial.

I don't see how a saint's quote could be used to attack a Church.
And I don't say I'm able to fully understand St Nicodemus's words because I suppose I haven't reached his level of spirituality.

rusmeister
02-06-2014, 21:41
I don't see how a saint's quote could be used to attack a Church.
And I don't say I'm able to fully understand St Nicodemus's words because I suppose I haven't reached his level of spirituality.

I do see how. It is no trouble to imagine an enemy of an organized Church (for such people always like those they have made their enemies to be disorganized) using such a quote to imply that the Church, in saying that there are such things as holy places and holy ground (as in the "Pussy Riot" scandal) is doing what St Nicodemus is speaking against; the misuse of a quotation that deeply misunderstands its context.

I think few serious believers would be so insolent and proud as to imagine that they had achieved the level of spirituality of a saint.