Believing in a Christian God

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Malcolm
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Malcolm » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:34 pm

Jeff wrote: In Refuge, does not "one give them-self over to something"? Also, are you saying that no where in Dharma texts does it talk about "yielding or giving up power or control". Dropping things like anger and fears?
Dropping anger and fear gives one control; becoming free of the three afflictions gives one the eight kinds of mastery.

When one takes refuge in the Buddha, one is not giving oneself over or surrendering to the Buddha. One is recognizing that Buddha alone shows the path to liberation. When one takes refuge in the Buddha's Dharma, one is recognizing that Buddhadharma alone is the path to liberation. When one takes refuge in the Aryasangha, one is recognizing that the Aryasangha alone can aid one on the path to liberation.
dzogchungpa wrote:Re surrender, have a look at chapter 3 of "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism".
Can you tell me which Tibetan word is used for "surrender"? I have never encountered it used in a Tibetan or Indian Dharma book and I have read thousands.

I don't read basic Dharma texts in English very often anymore, though I do recall from when I did that Trungpa was definitely into the concept of surrender. I think those Tibetans like their Western students to "surrender"; but I think it has a bit more to do with the Cakravartin model of defeating and then converting people to the Dharma.

There is an idea of entrusting oneself (gtad pa) to the Three Jewels or the Guru, but that is a bit different in my view.

For example, when I entrust my money to a bank for safe keeping I do not surrender to the banker. When I entrust myself to the Three Jewels or my guru for the shelter of refuge, I am not surrendering to them. When someone "surrenders" they are placing themselves at the mercy of another. That is not how I understand my relationship with the Three Jewels nor my Gurus — that is a despotic model, quite common in Christianity, Judaism and Islam, and perhaps even Hinduism, but I think it is pretty foreign to Buddhadharma, no matter what Tulku Urgyen and Tsoknyi Rinpoche translators may have said when translating for them.

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Grigoris
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Grigoris » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:37 pm

:good:
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

Jeff
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Jeff » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:31 pm

Sherab wrote:
Jeff wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
No, the key is victory. The word surrender is never used in Dharma texts. Through taking refuge, one becomes victorious over both samsara and nirvana.
Definition of Refuge
1: shelter or protection from danger or distress
2: a place that provides shelter or protection
3: something to which one has recourse in difficulty

Definition of Surrender

transitive verb
1: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand
2: to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence)

In Refuge, does not "one give them-self over to something"? Also, are you saying that no where in Dharma texts does it talk about "yielding or giving up power or control". Dropping things like anger and fears?

Best,
Jeff
In Buddhism, any surrender is only expedient and temporary. The final goal is liberation from all dependencies, i.e., true independence. And you take your place as a Victorious One and become a source of refuge for others who have yet to achieve liberation.

In Abrahamic religions, surrender is absolute and eternal, and any free will you have is subject to the free will of Big Daddy.
Where do you come up with that? Remember the most high is not some Zeus like old man. A couple of actual quotes from the bible for you...

Psalms 82:5-6
 5They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 6I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

John 14:10-12
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. 12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

Jeff
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Jeff » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:49 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Jeff wrote: In Refuge, does not "one give them-self over to something"? Also, are you saying that no where in Dharma texts does it talk about "yielding or giving up power or control". Dropping things like anger and fears?
Dropping anger and fear gives one control; becoming free of the three afflictions gives one the eight kinds of mastery.

When one takes refuge in the Buddha, one is not giving oneself over or surrendering to the Buddha. One is recognizing that Buddha alone shows the path to liberation. When one takes refuge in the Buddha's Dharma, one is recognizing that Buddhadharma alone is the path to liberation. When one takes refuge in the Aryasangha, one is recognizing that the Aryasangha alone can aid one on the path to liberation.
...
"Buddha alone shows the path to liberation"... No other hope and no other way... That is the definition of surrender to Christ.

On paths to liberation...

1 John 1:12-13
 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Just remeber that the most high is emptiness, not the Zeus guy that everyone here is so attached to. Is not a buddha sort of a "son of emptiness"?

Best wishes.

uan
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by uan » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:10 pm

Sherab wrote: In Buddhism, any surrender is only expedient and temporary. The final goal is liberation from all dependencies, i.e., true independence. And you take your place as a Victorious One and become a source of refuge for others who have yet to achieve liberation.

In Abrahamic religions, surrender is absolute and eternal, and any free will you have is subject to the free will of Big Daddy.
What does "expedient and temporary" mean? A day? A year? A lifetime?
Sherab wrote: In Abrahamic religions, surrender is absolute and eternal, and any free will you have is subject to the free will of Big Daddy.
This is a an incredibly broad statement not based on actuality. I heard an excellent comment by Reza Aslan (scholar on religious studies) who said:
The most literalist literalist in the world doesn’t read the scripture completely literally, they pick and choose. And the way they pick and choose is by their own preconceived notions, their own prejudices, which is why on the very first day of the study of religion, the very first thing you learn, is that people do not derive their values from their scripture, people insert their values into their scripture.
We shouldn't be ascribing universal and absolute values to religions. Earlier in this thread SD and Simon E have different definitions of who a Buddhist is, which would seem to be the one thing that all Buddhists could agree on. Buddhists don't even agree apparently on what it exactly means to go for refuge. How then can anyone say "this is what all Abrahamic religions believe or what the scriptures mean"?

Malcolm
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Malcolm » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:32 pm

Jeff wrote:
"Buddha alone shows the path to liberation"... No other hope and no other way... That is the definition of surrender to Christ.
Ok, well, you take refuge in Jesus. I will continue to take refuge in the Buddha. However, please do not confuse these two, your refuge is not mine, mine is not yours.

On paths to liberation...

1 John 1:12-13
 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Just remeber that the most high is emptiness, not the Zeus guy that everyone here is so attached to. Is not a buddha sort of a "son of emptiness"?
Emptiness is not god.

uan
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by uan » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:42 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Simon E. wrote:If I can interject here Herbie...the working definition of a Buddhist..a follower of the Buddhadharma, that I have is rather more focused.
A Buddhist is someone that has formally Gone For Refuge to the Buddha Dharma and Sangha, and who has a recognised teacher in one of the historical lineages who has formally adopted her/him as a student.
I dont think that Sherab Dorje's and my definition of what defines a student of Buddhadharma ARE fundamentally different..they both start with Going for Refuge to Buddha Dharma and Sangha..And not in some metaphysical or merely symbolic sense. I would add that this Going For Refuge needs to be public and formal. I am unsure whether Greg would agree with that or not.

I AM a householder...and a dzogchen student.
Actually, there is a fundamental difference. SD is referring to a working definition of a "Buddhist", you defined a "student of Buddhadharma".

Buddhist vs. student of Buddhadharma. Not the same thing. You could say, from your definition, that all students of Buddhadharma are Buddhist, but you can't say all Buddhists are students of Buddhadharma.

Also, Going for Refuge needing to be public and formal as an additional prerequisite is another fundamental difference. Yes, I do get your definition of what public and formal means. I'm not saying that it isn't preferable to do it formally with a teacher, but as long as one consciously and with clear awareness takes refuge, that is enough.

The thing is, nothing "magical" happens just because one becomes a Buddhist or uses that term to describe themselves. It's only a term.

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Sherab
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Sherab » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:51 pm

Jeff wrote:
Sherab wrote: In Buddhism, any surrender is only expedient and temporary. The final goal is liberation from all dependencies, i.e., true independence. And you take your place as a Victorious One and become a source of refuge for others who have yet to achieve liberation.

In Abrahamic religions, surrender is absolute and eternal, and any free will you have is subject to the free will of Big Daddy.
Where do you come up with that? Remember the most high is not some Zeus like old man. A couple of actual quotes from the bible for you...

Psalms 82:5-6
 5They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 6I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

John 14:10-12
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. 12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
Christians like to claim that the creator is beyond space and time. Since the created are created within space and time, the created will always be lower than the creator. If you think that you can be equal to the creator, your Christian friends will think that you have come under the influence of Satan. So Big Daddy still rules over you whether you like it or not. Your free will is an illusion.

In Buddhism, the belief in a Creator God is considered as irrational. The Buddha himself taught that there is no Creator God. The Buddha taught that the Creator God is deluded in thinking that he (the Creator God) is a creator of the world and the beings therein.

When we follow the path shown by the Buddha, we will one day become Buddha ourselves. We will become equal to the teacher, Buddha. We will be truly free and independent.

Malcolm
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Malcolm » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:56 pm

Sherab wrote:
Jeff wrote:
Sherab wrote: In Buddhism, any surrender is only expedient and temporary. The final goal is liberation from all dependencies, i.e., true independence. And you take your place as a Victorious One and become a source of refuge for others who have yet to achieve liberation.

In Abrahamic religions, surrender is absolute and eternal, and any free will you have is subject to the free will of Big Daddy.
Where do you come up with that? Remember the most high is not some Zeus like old man. A couple of actual quotes from the bible for you...

Psalms 82:5-6
 5They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 6I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

John 14:10-12
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. 12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
Christians like to claim that the creator is beyond space and time. Since the created are created within space and time, the created will always be lower than the creator. If you think that you can be equal to the creator, your Christian friends will think that you have come under the influence of Satan. So Big Daddy still rules over you whether you like it or not. Your free will is an illusion.

In Buddhism, the belief in a Creator God is considered as irrational. The Buddha himself taught that there is no Creator God. The Buddha taught that the Creator God is deluded in thinking that he (the Creator God) is a creator of the world and the beings therein.

When we follow the path shown by the Buddha, we will one day become Buddha ourselves. We will become equal to the teacher, Buddha. We will be truly free and independent.
If Jeff wants to believe that his esoteric Christianity has the same message as Buddhadharma, that is his trip, and his conceptual confusion — but we should stop wasting our time with this.

Simon E.
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Simon E. » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:13 pm

uan wrote:
Simon E. wrote:
Simon E. wrote:If I can interject here Herbie...the working definition of a Buddhist..a follower of the Buddhadharma, that I have is rather more focused.
A Buddhist is someone that has formally Gone For Refuge to the Buddha Dharma and Sangha, and who has a recognised teacher in one of the historical lineages who has formally adopted her/him as a student.
I dont think that Sherab Dorje's and my definition of what defines a student of Buddhadharma ARE fundamentally different..they both start with Going for Refuge to Buddha Dharma and Sangha..And not in some metaphysical or merely symbolic sense. I would add that this Going For Refuge needs to be public and formal. I am unsure whether Greg would agree with that or not.

I AM a householder...and a dzogchen student.
Actually, there is a fundamental difference. SD is referring to a working definition of a "Buddhist", you defined a "student of Buddhadharma".

Buddhist vs. student of Buddhadharma. Not the same thing. You could say, from your definition, that all students of Buddhadharma are Buddhist, but you can't say all Buddhists are students of Buddhadharma.

Also, Going for Refuge needing to be public and formal as an additional prerequisite is another fundamental difference. Yes, I do get your definition of what public and formal means. I'm not saying that it isn't preferable to do it formally with a teacher, but as long as one consciously and with clear awareness takes refuge, that is enough.

The thing is, nothing "magical" happens just because one becomes a Buddhist or uses that term to describe themselves. It's only a term.
Apart from the observation that Buddh-ist is a construct that may or may not be useful, I have nothing to add. I have no need for you to see things the way that I do.
:namaste:
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

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Sherab
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Sherab » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:19 pm

Malcolm wrote: If Jeff wants to believe that his esoteric Christianity has the same message as Buddhadharma, that is his trip, and his conceptual confusion — but we should stop wasting our time with this.
When a non-Buddhist takes the trouble to come onto a Buddhist forum to present his view, I usually will respond to show where I disagree with them. When his reply does not address my points, that would mean that he has no reply to my response and is now arguing for arguing sake. At that point, I will disengage since he is either being evasive or intellectually dishonest.

Jeff
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Jeff » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:33 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Jeff wrote:
"Buddha alone shows the path to liberation"... No other hope and no other way... That is the definition of surrender to Christ.
Ok, well, you take refuge in Jesus. I will continue to take refuge in the Buddha. However, please do not confuse these two, your refuge is not mine, mine is not yours.
...

Thank you for acknowledging that in these contexts refuge is similar to the concept of surrender. Also, I completely agree that Buddha does not equal Jesus. As I have stated a few times before primordial Buddha is equivalent to the Holy Father.

Jeff
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Jeff » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:38 pm

Sherab wrote:
Jeff wrote:
Sherab wrote: In Buddhism, any surrender is only expedient and temporary. The final goal is liberation from all dependencies, i.e., true independence. And you take your place as a Victorious One and become a source of refuge for others who have yet to achieve liberation.

In Abrahamic religions, surrender is absolute and eternal, and any free will you have is subject to the free will of Big Daddy.
Where do you come up with that? Remember the most high is not some Zeus like old man. A couple of actual quotes from the bible for you...

Psalms 82:5-6
 5They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 6I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

John 14:10-12
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. 12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
Christians like to claim that the creator is beyond space and time. Since the created are created within space and time, the created will always be lower than the creator. If you think that you can be equal to the creator, your Christian friends will think that you have come under the influence of Satan. So Big Daddy still rules over you whether you like it or not. Your free will is an illusion.

In Buddhism, the belief in a Creator God is considered as irrational. The Buddha himself taught that there is no Creator God. The Buddha taught that the Creator God is deluded in thinking that he (the Creator God) is a creator of the world and the beings therein.

When we follow the path shown by the Buddha, we will one day become Buddha ourselves. We will become equal to the teacher, Buddha. We will be truly free and independent.
Anyone who has realized emptiness knows that there is nothing that was "created" in the first place. I also completely agree that with such realization that "We will become equal to the teacher, Buddha. We will be truly free and independent."

Best wishes.

uan
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by uan » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:39 pm

Simon E. wrote: Apart from the observation that Buddh-ist is a construct that may or may not be useful, I have nothing to add. I have no need for you to see things the way that I do.
:namaste:
That's cool. I was just trying to wrap my head around a statement that effectively goes: an apple is an orange because they're both fruit.

:namaste:

Jeff
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Jeff » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:42 pm

Malcolm wrote:
If Jeff wants to believe that his esoteric Christianity has the same message as Buddhadharma, that is his trip, and his conceptual confusion — but we should stop wasting our time with this.
Malcolm,

I did not start this thread and have responded in the context of the OP. If you are not interested in the OP, why post here?

Best,
Jeff

Malcolm
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Malcolm » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:49 pm

Jeff wrote: Thank you for acknowledging that in these contexts refuge is similar to the concept of surrender.
I did not acknowledge that.
Also, I completely agree that Buddha does not equal Jesus. As I have stated a few times before primordial Buddha is equivalent to the Holy Father.
You are hopelessly confused about Buddhadharma because you read someone else's hopelessly confused misinterpretation of what "adibuddha" means.
Last edited by Malcolm on Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Malcolm
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Malcolm » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:50 pm

Jeff wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
If Jeff wants to believe that his esoteric Christianity has the same message as Buddhadharma, that is his trip, and his conceptual confusion — but we should stop wasting our time with this.
Malcolm,

I did not start this thread and have responded in the context of the OP. If you are not interested in the OP, why post here?

Best,
Jeff

Because someone might read your posts and become confused.

Malcolm
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Malcolm » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:51 pm

Jeff wrote: Anyone who has realized emptiness knows that there is nothing that was "created" in the first place.
There is no teaching of śūnyatā, emptiness, outside of the doctrine of Śākyamuni Buddha. Even where the term "emptiness" be used, it is not the emptiness taught by the Buddhas of the three times.

Jeff
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Jeff » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:53 pm

Sherab wrote:
Malcolm wrote: If Jeff wants to believe that his esoteric Christianity has the same message as Buddhadharma, that is his trip, and his conceptual confusion — but we should stop wasting our time with this.
When a non-Buddhist takes the trouble to come onto a Buddhist forum to present his view, I usually will respond to show where I disagree with them. When his reply does not address my points, that would mean that he has no reply to my response and is now arguing for arguing sake. At that point, I will disengage since he is either being evasive or intellectually dishonest.
Sherab,

Is there some point that I have not responded to? Also, I consider myself a follower of Buddha and have stated many times before that in my experience I have found his teachings to be correct. While the OP was about a Christian perspective, we could also be having this discussion with certain taoist and Kashmir Shaivisim lineages. A Primoridal lineage is a primordial lineage. The challenge in these discussions is that the group seems to be limited to text or verbal descriptions. With the clarity to directly percieve energy/light/transmissions it would be easier to demonstrate the relative lineages.

Best,
Jeff

Jeff
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Re: Believing in a Christian God

Post by Jeff » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:57 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Jeff wrote: Anyone who has realized emptiness knows that there is nothing that was "created" in the first place.
There is no teaching of śūnyatā, emptiness, outside of the doctrine of Śākyamuni Buddha. Even where the term "emptiness" be used, it is not the emptiness taught by the Buddhas of the three times.
This is generally incorrect. You could say no open written text description. The concept of ultimate emptiness is not really possible to be orally taught, that is why other tradtions do it mind to mind (or light to light). That way all of the "locally obstructed" confusion can be avoided.

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