Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

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krodha
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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by krodha » Thu May 24, 2018 1:34 am

Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 1:18 am
Indeed, that is the intent. However, much of the language of Kunjed Gyalpo sounds like it could have been borrowed from a Hindu scripture
Many Buddhists texts use subversive rhetoric. The Kun byed rgyal po was not novel in that regard.
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 1:18 am
and not only the title. Do we know that this deiform language was always understood in that way by its proponents and any detractors there may have been?
The Dzogchen tantras are quite clear about their view, one would have to do serious violence to the literature in order to justify some sort of theistic spin.
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 1:18 am
Also, aside from the linguistic aspect, how was yidam practice defended in Indian and Tibetan contexts?
You'll have to be more specific.

In any case, is it your opinion that the aforementioned rhetoric in the Dzogchen tantras was originally intended to be theistic? Your line of inquiry seems to continually insinuate that this is your view.

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by liuzg150181 » Thu May 24, 2018 2:36 am

Norwegian wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 9:44 pm
Or as the great Dharmakirti put it, on the belief in God: "[It's] the mark of the crass stupidity of witless men."
Dharmakirti is the Richard Darwins of Buddhism? :tongue:

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by krodha » Thu May 24, 2018 2:38 am

liuzg150181 wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:36 am
Norwegian wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 9:44 pm
Or as the great Dharmakirti put it, on the belief in God: "[It's] the mark of the crass stupidity of witless men."
Dharmakirti is the Richard Darwins of Buddhism? :tongue:
*Dawkins

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by liuzg150181 » Thu May 24, 2018 2:39 am

krodha wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:38 am
liuzg150181 wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:36 am
Norwegian wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 9:44 pm
Or as the great Dharmakirti put it, on the belief in God: "[It's] the mark of the crass stupidity of witless men."
Dharmakirti is the Richard Darwins of Buddhism? :tongue:
*Dawkins
My bad. :emb:

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by Spelare » Thu May 24, 2018 2:41 am

EDIT: Couldn't get it to format properly. Mods can delete this one.
Last edited by Spelare on Thu May 24, 2018 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by Spelare » Thu May 24, 2018 2:46 am

krodha wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 1:34 am
In any case, is it your opinion that the aforementioned rhetoric in the Dzogchen tantras was originally intended to be theistic? Your line of inquiry seems to continually insinuate that this is your view.
I'm not saying that the authors of the Dzogchen tantras intended them to be theistic. It would make sense that the authors either lifted verses from a theistic source or else just imitated the style, though aligning it with their view that saw Dzogchen as the culmination of Mahāyāna.

My view is that God has never been a separate, transcendent entity. But that he was created by us as a projection out of ourselves, into the sky, of what is actually entirely innate to us. It is a kind of category error, yes, though one that has given rise to fascinating cultural permutations.
krodha wrote:Many Buddhists texts use subversive rhetoric. The Kun byed rgyal po was not novel in that regard.
Indeed. One need only think of the Buddhist tantras that made Hindu gods subservient to Buddhist ones. Or the outright plagiarism in cases like the Cakrasaṃvara. It would make sense that the intent was subversive.

But, in that case, why then can't we, as Dzogchenpas, make the same move when we encounter the deities and texts of the Abrahamic religions that are so prevalent in our lived environment? Why can't we do the same when we hear about Brahman, Śiva, etc? It seems like there's now this purism about it that fears we will corrupt our view. Whereas the Dzogchenpas and Buddhist tantrikas of earlier eras apparently had no such qualms.

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by Spelare » Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am

So, in a way, this answers the question of what ChNN was doing talking about God and Jesus. He's in good company when we look at what Buddhist tantrikas did from early on. In that sense, what he said is not innovative, but in keeping with tradition. It just looks innovative to us because we're used to a contemporary Western way of holding religions as closed canons that are unalterable, and where borrowing automatically entails a lamentable syncretism. These things were certainly regarded differently in Asia, and still are to a degree.

It's like we're unwilling to be mentally supple in this particular regard, in spite of all that our tradition has taught us about such suppleness being worth cultivating. Masters like ChNN have no problem reading the Bible and its major figures from a Dzogchen perspective. They can view God as a conceptual stand-in for our real nature. And why not?

Why not allow the scriptures, legends, and luminaries of other traditions to be encoded for you as reminders of the Dzogchen view? Surely seeing them in that way is more in line with pure vision than feeling some need to avoid them. They are going to be encountered, so let them be seen as ornaments rather than as defilements.

And you can do this knowing full well that the overwhelming majority of those around you in a given church, mosque, or synagogue do not share your understanding. That their views are not ones with the potential to liberate. But you can, at least, have the minimal knowledge that enables you to be in relation and dialogue rather than holding yourself apart. You can enjoy the religious expressions of others while seeing clearly and not falling into confusion!

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by Motova » Thu May 24, 2018 4:11 am

:shrug:
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by PeterC » Thu May 24, 2018 4:23 am

Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
So, in a way, this answers the question of what ChNN was doing talking about God and Jesus. He's in good company when we look at what Buddhist tantrikas did from early on. In that sense, what he said is not innovative, but in keeping with tradition. It just looks innovative to us because we're used to a contemporary Western way of holding religions as closed canons that are unalterable, and where borrowing automatically entails a lamentable syncretism. These things were certainly regarded differently in Asia, and still are to a degree.

It's like we're unwilling to be mentally supple in this particular regard, in spite of all that our tradition has taught us about such suppleness being worth cultivating. Masters like ChNN have no problem reading the Bible and its major figures from a Dzogchen perspective. They can view God as a conceptual stand-in for our real nature. And why not?

Why not allow the scriptures, legends, and luminaries of other traditions to be encoded for you as reminders of the Dzogchen view? Surely seeing them in that way is more in line with pure vision than feeling some need to avoid them. They are going to be encountered, so let them be seen as ornaments rather than as defilements.

And you can do this knowing full well that the overwhelming majority of those around you in a given church, mosque, or synagogue do not share your understanding. That their views are not ones with the potential to liberate. But you can, at least, have the minimal knowledge that enables you to be in relation and dialogue rather than holding yourself apart. You can enjoy the religious expressions of others while seeing clearly and not falling into confusion!

I can't concur. Yes, centuries ago there were Buddhist practitioners who engaged in syncretism and re-purposing of figures from other religious traditions. You ask why we shouldn't do that today. There are at least two reasons.

(1) We don't need to. We already have an absurd wealth of teachings available to us. No person could in their lifetime practice more than the smallest fraction of the teachings available.

(2) It might not work. We may take the view that the practices associated with Sri Heruka, or at least elements thereof, were appropriated from non-Buddhist sources. But we have centuries of evidence that what has been handed down does seem to work, in the form of practitioners demonstrating achievements with these practices. This evidence is not definitive, but it's worth something. However if we decide we're going to invent some kind of Jesus sadhana, for instance, we have zero evidence that it will work. People would have to practice it, we would have to wait and see what their legacy was, etc.

Hence it's difficult to see the value in this experiment.

Moreover you do not see serious teachers of the Dharma doing it, apart from the occasional nod toward ecumenicalism in consideration of Western students that you see in the quote that started this thread. Yes, HHDL turns up at interfaith conferences and offers comforting platitudes like "all religions have the same basic goal", because that's what people do at these conferences. But he doesn't think that, nor does the Imam, the Rabbi or the Bishop sat on the same panel. They're all acutely aware that their systems have completely tenet systems or articles of faith.

The problem with comments such as the one at the start of this thread is, what does one actually mean by "God", "our real nature", "the base" and so on. Is ChNN using the word "God" to mean the same thing as a Christian would? Of course not. (And you'd also have to ask, which Christian.) The amount of technical vocabulary in Dzogchen - and the inconsistencies in translations - makes reading texts difficult enough anyway, without having to try to reconcile that to concepts alien to the system.

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by krodha » Thu May 24, 2018 4:41 am

Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:46 am
My view is that God has never been a separate, transcendent entity. But that he was created by us as a projection out of ourselves, into the sky, of what is actually entirely innate to us. It is a kind of category error, yes, though one that has given rise to fascinating cultural permutations.
I still have a hard time seeing how any notion of a god is applicable.

Also, you are a perennialist and believe all of these traditions are addressing a single truth in numerous ways. I do not share this sentiment.
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:46 am
But, in that case, why then can't we, as Dzogchenpas, make the same move when we encounter the deities and texts of the Abrahamic religions that are so prevalent in our lived environment? Why can't we do the same when we hear about Brahman, Śiva, etc? It seems like there's now this purism about it that fears we will corrupt our view. Whereas the Dzogchenpas and Buddhist tantrikas of earlier eras apparently had no such qualms.
They did have qualms given that they flatly rejected such views.

Where would a Brahman or a god fit into the Dzogchen view? They are completely foreign ideas that do not correspond to the Dzogchen teachings.

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by krodha » Thu May 24, 2018 4:54 am

Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
So, in a way, this answers the question of what ChNN was doing talking about God and Jesus. He's in good company when we look at what Buddhist tantrikas did from early on.
What are you under the impression that the Buddhist tantrikas did early on?
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
In that sense, what he said is not innovative, but in keeping with tradition. It just looks innovative to us because we're used to a contemporary Western way of holding religions as closed canons that are unalterable, and where borrowing automatically entails a lamentable syncretism. These things were certainly regarded differently in Asia, and still are to a degree.
Evidently they are not regarded differently based on the outright negation of other systems we find in the Dzogchen tantras.
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
It's like we're unwilling to be mentally supple in this particular regard, in spite of all that our tradition has taught us about such suppleness being worth cultivating.
This would be a misguided application of said suppleness.
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
Masters like ChNN have no problem reading the Bible and its major figures from a Dzogchen perspective.
ChNN is doing his best to appeal to western students.
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
They can view God as a conceptual stand-in for our real nature. And why not?
There are various reasons why not.
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
Why not allow the scriptures, legends, and luminaries of other traditions to be encoded for you as reminders of the Dzogchen view?
Because they aren't. Again, I'm not a perennialist. Although I was at one time.
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
Surely seeing them in that way is more in line with pure vision than feeling some need to avoid them. They are going to be encountered, so let them be seen as ornaments rather than as defilements.
The tenets and principles of their system(s) are at odds with Dzogchen.
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
And you can do this knowing full well that the overwhelming majority of those around you in a given church, mosque, or synagogue do not share your understanding. That their views are not ones with the potential to liberate. But you can, at least, have the minimal knowledge that enables you to be in relation and dialogue rather than holding yourself apart.
Why would I hold myself apart? I'm not a rude individual.
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
You can enjoy the religious expressions of others while seeing clearly and not falling into confusion!
No one suggested otherwise.

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by Marc » Thu May 24, 2018 9:51 am

Spelare wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 4:43 pm
By implication, are you saying that, for example, a Bön Dzogchen practitioner wouldn't realize emptiness due to not understanding dependent origination "as the Buddha taught it"? Or would you say that Bön has been adequately infused with authentic Buddhadharma to qualify? Where can we draw the line between "Buddhist enough" and "not Buddhist enough" to access authentic realization of emptiness and whatever else need be realized?
Hi Spelare,  
You may be surprised to hear it, but Yungdrung Bön is 100% Buddhavacana / Sangs rGyas Kyi bKa' :tongue:
From a previous post: viewtopic.php?f=66&t=28163&start=20#p444720

KEY CONCEPTS
Four Noble Truths --> CHECK !
Dependent Origination --> CHECK !
No-Self --> CHECK !
Emptiness --> CHECK !
Dharmakaya & Rupakaya --> CHECK !
Etc...

CORPUS
Vinaya --> CHECK
Sutra --> CHECK
Abhidharma --> CHECK
Prajnaparamita --> CHECK
Etc...

PRACTICES:
Refuge --> CHECK
Bodhicitta --> CHECK
Shamatha & Vipashyana --> CHECK
Tantra --> CHECK
Dzogchen --> CHECK
Etc...

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by Malcolm » Thu May 24, 2018 1:09 pm

Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
He's in good company when we look at what Buddhist tantrikas did from early on.
No. Buddhist Vajrayāna, and even Mahāyāna, use of nonbuddhist figures was done in the context of conquest, domination and apppropiration, not fitting them pleasantly into a Buddhist scheme. The same applies to Tibetan chthonic gods that wound up as Buddhist protectors.

After crushing Bhairava, Heruka appropriates his garb. This is not borrowing, or even repurposing as PeterC suggests, this is outright subjugation.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by Spelare » Thu May 24, 2018 2:09 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 1:09 pm
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
He's in good company when we look at what Buddhist tantrikas did from early on.
No. Buddhist Vajrayāna, and even Mahāyāna, use of nonbuddhist figures was done in the context of conquest, domination and apppropiration, not fitting them pleasantly into a Buddhist scheme. The same applies to Tibetan chthonic gods that wound up as Buddhist protectors.

After crushing Bhairava, Heruka appropriates his garb. This is not borrowing, or even repurposing as PeterC suggests, this is outright subjugation.
Sure, but that's specifically when it comes to deity cults and their related practices, which is in the imaginal or symbolic realm. The lived social reality of human beings contemporaneous to those scriptures seems to have been one of relative peace. Scholars also certainly had it out in debate, as we know fron surviving texts. Perhaps that was an agreeable alternative to external conflict. Or perhaps you have some other explanation for the rhetorical/imaginal violence?

Meanwhile, it is almost certain that Indian yogis of various backgrounds and lineages learned techniques from each other in an eclectic environment, across sectarian lines. That was part of the appeal of tantric yoga, which ignored or overlooked caste and varna. It was common for people to go from teacher to teacher. We know that there are prominent Śaiva teachers who had Buddhist teachers, and probably vice versa. Sometimes we don't know for sure about whether a siddha was Buddhist or Śaiva or what. If I'm reading about such a figure, that is far from the most interesting question. These were sky-clad wild men who threw caution to the wind. Probably many of them were weekend vajra warriors with jobs and families, too.

The sharing is especially obvious when we look at teachings about the winds, channels, chakras, elements, or seed syllables. The current presentations common in "Hindu" yoga are not representative of the medieval period. They represent successive phases of standardization in modern times. For example, there were many chakra systems in use, from 3 to 4 to 5 to 6 to 12, etc. Only for the past century or so has 7 chakras been the standard in hatha yoga. The map of the chakras seems to have been fluid, not fixed, which perhaps tells us something about the ecology of our subtle or energetic body. That is just one example of how "Hindu" yoga used to be closer in many cases to Buddhist tantric yoga than it might appear to be at present. There was a spectrum of practice, not a clear divide. And there still are strong resemblances, in spite of centuries of divergent development!

None of this should surprise or concern us. I think the rich history of exchange and synthesis is wonderful. We are fortunate to participate in a tradition whose definition of purity does not rule out eclecticism and hetereogeneity of praxis. That's a virtue, and it can be the grounds for opening to others rather than a source of anxiety.

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by PSM » Thu May 24, 2018 2:49 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 1:09 pm
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
He's in good company when we look at what Buddhist tantrikas did from early on.
No. Buddhist Vajrayāna, and even Mahāyāna, use of nonbuddhist figures was done in the context of conquest, domination and apppropiration, not fitting them pleasantly into a Buddhist scheme. The same applies to Tibetan chthonic gods that wound up as Buddhist protectors.

After crushing Bhairava, Heruka appropriates his garb. This is not borrowing, or even repurposing as PeterC suggests, this is outright subjugation.
I'd be very interested in what you say about non-Buddhist figures being emanations of Buddhas. Can refuge be taken in such figures if they are understood to be emanations and the Buddhist view is maintained? I've never fully understood this...
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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Thu May 24, 2018 3:16 pm

Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:46 am
My view is that God has never been a separate, transcendent entity. But that he was created by us as a projection out of ourselves, into the sky, of what is actually entirely innate to us. It is a kind of category error, yes, though one that has given rise to fascinating cultural permutations.
Yes. Good way of putting it.
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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by Aryjna » Thu May 24, 2018 8:58 pm

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:16 pm
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:46 am
My view is that God has never been a separate, transcendent entity. But that he was created by us as a projection out of ourselves, into the sky, of what is actually entirely innate to us. It is a kind of category error, yes, though one that has given rise to fascinating cultural permutations.
Yes. Good way of putting it.
This is probably the reason such threads are completely meaningless. What is the point of this discussion if everyone assigns whatever meaning they want to the words? (e.g. the word 'god'). The point is, God, as seen by the Christians, does not exist, as can be proven by very basic logic, and is completely out of place in the dharma. As for the use of the word god by different individuals who have their own ideas, this is impossible and unnecessary to actually discuss meaningfully.

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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by Malcolm » Fri May 25, 2018 12:43 am

PSM wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:49 pm
Can refuge be taken in such figures if they are understood to be emanations and the Buddhist view is maintained?
No.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Malcolm
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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by Malcolm » Fri May 25, 2018 12:47 am

Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:09 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 1:09 pm
Spelare wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:19 am
He's in good company when we look at what Buddhist tantrikas did from early on.
No. Buddhist Vajrayāna, and even Mahāyāna, use of nonbuddhist figures was done in the context of conquest, domination and apppropiration, not fitting them pleasantly into a Buddhist scheme. The same applies to Tibetan chthonic gods that wound up as Buddhist protectors.

After crushing Bhairava, Heruka appropriates his garb. This is not borrowing, or even repurposing as PeterC suggests, this is outright subjugation.
Sure, but that's specifically when it comes to deity cults and their related practices, which is in the imaginal or symbolic realm.
The subjugation of Mahādeva is a historical fact for Vajrayāna Buddhists, not merely some jungian archetype thingy.

The lived social reality of human beings contemporaneous to those scriptures seems to have been one of relative peace.
No, this period was marked by intense persecution of Buddhists by Shaiva kings.

Meanwhile, it is almost certain that Indian yogis of various backgrounds and lineages learned techniques from each other in an eclectic environment, across sectarian lines.


This has more to do with a) Ayurvedic concepts of the body b) the fact that Hatha Yoga begins in Buddhism.
And there still are strong resemblances, in spite of centuries of divergent development!
The view is different, this marks the difference in result.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Kunga Lhadzom
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Re: Quote by ChNNR about Dzogchen and God - where is it from?

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Fri May 25, 2018 12:49 am

Aryjna wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 8:58 pm
The point is, God, as seen by the Christians, does not exist, as can be proven by very basic logic
If you were evolved a million times more than you are now....would your logic be the same ?
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