Is the Pope slamming Islam for what the Vatican and Christia

Is there a God? If so, what is She like?

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is the Pope slamming Islam for what the Vatican and Chri

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most Christians I know do have images in their possession,
Interesting. Opposite to what I know.
In fact this is one of the main tenets of the church I attend, that we, as Christians, do not fulfill all that we should, but only do as well as we are able, but we still call ourselves Christians.

That's a good tenet. Hence the axiom, "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven" applies well.
I would call myself a Zen Buddhist Lutheran.
Interesting. I've never met one of those. Well, until now, I suppose.
It is my understanding that Zen Buddhism is less a religion than a philosophy, and can be piggybacked onto another religion without problems.
I don't think this is true. It may be true if the other "religion" in question is not deeply held or does not contain particular assumptions antithetical to Zen. But I think Christianity certainly creates serious problems for any such potential melding. It would be interesting to discuss.
thedoc
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Re: Is the Pope slamming Islam for what the Vatican and Chri

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Immanuel Can wrote:
I would call myself a Zen Buddhist Lutheran.
Interesting. I've never met one of those. Well, until now, I suppose.
It is my understanding that Zen Buddhism is less a religion than a philosophy, and can be piggybacked onto another religion without problems.
I don't think this is true. It may be true if the other "religion" in question is not deeply held or does not contain particular assumptions antithetical to Zen. But I think Christianity certainly creates serious problems for any such potential melding. It would be interesting to discuss.
Many years ago I did a lot of reading about Zen but never really practiced rigorous discipline as described in the writings, one passage advised that all were enlightened already, but just didn't know it. So I decided that since I was already enlightened, I would skip all the hard work, I sometimes add that I would play with the grandchildren. I suppose I don't hold all the Christian beliefs too closely but will rationalize some of them to myself so that I can participate without feeling guilty. The one thing about Zen is that there is little to nothing said about God and that leaves the subject open to be filled in with any other belief you choose. BTW, My pastor is somewhat familiar with some of my rationalized beliefs and doesn't seem to be too troubled by them, granted we've not gone into too much detail. One of the points is the Christian definition of Dualism seems to be a bit different than the Buddhist definition that I hold, my failing is that I haven't tried to pin her down on that definition to understand the exact difference. So far it hasn't been that important. What appears to me as a similarity is the Buddhist desire to achieve enlightenment, being similar to the Christian desire to establish a relationship with God. I would be curious to know if you, or anyone, sees a real difference in this. Also I really don't entertain the teachings of the other schools of Buddhism, I understand many are much different than Zen but Zen is what I have read and Zen is what I am familiar with.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is the Pope slamming Islam for what the Vatican and Chri

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Thanks for sharing this. It's quite an entertaining history, and it does set me to thinking.
What appears to me as a similarity is the Buddhist desire to achieve enlightenment, being similar to the Christian desire to establish a relationship with God.
This is actually a really good point upon which to start.

The Eastern concept of "enlightenment" is quite different from the Western idea of "salvation," and actually articulates quite a different view of what "relationship with God" means. In the East, enlightenment happens through the emptying of the mind so as to realize the impermanence of Being. And in Buddhism, enlightenment achieve the dissolution of individuality into the sea of Nirvana. Its culminating "bliss" is simply the absence of desire, freedom from the wheel of samsara the suffering of Being.

In contrast, in Christianity, one is not illuminated from within oneself but is rescued by God Himself. Jesus spoke of Himself as "the Light of the World": but it was not the light of unconsciousness, but of the knowledge of God, which is the source of genuine consciousness and hence also of the truth about reality. In Christianity, one never tries to escape the suffering of the world through meditation; one works to alleviate physical suffering, but one also accepts whatever suffering is unavoidable as a temporary phenomenon, in anticipation of an eventual rescue and glorification initiated and secured by God Himself. And even then, one does not lose one's embodied existence, but is rather re-embodied as an individual and brought into the fulness of fellowship with God.

In Buddhism, then, the individual is a regrettable thing to be gotten over through enlightenment and transcendence of the physical. In Christianity, the individual is a precious thing of eternal worth and duration, and even the physical realm, however faulty it is at present, is a gift from God.

I think you can see they're going down quite different paths.
thedoc
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Re: Is the Pope slamming Islam for what the Vatican and Chri

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Immanuel Can wrote:Thanks for sharing this. It's quite an entertaining history, and it does set me to thinking.
What appears to me as a similarity is the Buddhist desire to achieve enlightenment, being similar to the Christian desire to establish a relationship with God.
This is actually a really good point upon which to start.

The Eastern concept of "enlightenment" is quite different from the Western idea of "salvation," and actually articulates quite a different view of what "relationship with God" means. In the East, enlightenment happens through the emptying of the mind so as to realize the impermanence of Being. And in Buddhism, enlightenment achieve the dissolution of individuality into the sea of Nirvana. Its culminating "bliss" is simply the absence of desire, freedom from the wheel of samsara the suffering of Being.

In contrast, in Christianity, one is not illuminated from within oneself but is rescued by God Himself. Jesus spoke of Himself as "the Light of the World": but it was not the light of unconsciousness, but of the knowledge of God, which is the source of genuine consciousness and hence also of the truth about reality. In Christianity, one never tries to escape the suffering of the world through meditation; one works to alleviate physical suffering, but one also accepts whatever suffering is unavoidable as a temporary phenomenon, in anticipation of an eventual rescue and glorification initiated and secured by God Himself. And even then, one does not lose one's embodied existence, but is rather re-embodied as an individual and brought into the fulness of fellowship with God.

In Buddhism, then, the individual is a regrettable thing to be gotten over through enlightenment and transcendence of the physical. In Christianity, the individual is a precious thing of eternal worth and duration, and even the physical realm, however faulty it is at present, is a gift from God.

I think you can see they're going down quite different paths.
Perhaps different paths, but to the same end. I'll be back tomorrow with more, but it's late now and I'm just too tired to think.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Is the Pope slamming Islam for what the Vatican and Chri

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Perhaps different paths, but to the same end
Wow. I wouldn't think so at all.

What does personal Nirvana (soul-extinction, essentially, and certainly disembodiment and destruction of individuality) got to do with resurrection of the body, Divine Judgment, life after, restoration of the physical world, or eternal and embodied fellowship with God?

They sure sound different to me. :? So what "same" end?
thedoc
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Immanuel Can wrote:
Perhaps different paths, but to the same end
Wow. I wouldn't think so at all.

What does personal Nirvana (soul-extinction, essentially, and certainly disembodiment and destruction of individuality) got to do with resurrection of the body, Divine Judgment, life after, restoration of the physical world, or eternal and embodied fellowship with God?

They sure sound different to me. :? So what "same" end?

Since I don't hold to any of that, (I see it as the wild imaginings of some alleged religious leaders), I see that the end result of both are much the same, but I don't "know", I just believe that after death God will have some existence that will suit me. I don't recall where Zen teaching said much about the exact nature of Nirvana, other than the individual would be joined in a non Dualistic existence with the universal mind, (or whatever label you choose). Soul-extinction and destruction of the individual are not part of my understanding of Zen enlightenment.
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Immanuel Can
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Since I don't hold to any of that, (I see it as the wild imaginings of some alleged religious leaders), I see that the end result of both are much the same,
On what basis are you choosing to disbelieve the former and believe the latter? Just preference? And if it's only that, then what gives you such confidence about any particular end, let alone the "same" end?
but I don't "know", I just believe that after death God will have some existence that will suit me.
What makes you think that's so?
I don't recall where Zen teaching said much about the exact nature of Nirvana, other than the individual would be joined in a non Dualistic existence with the universal mind, (or whatever label you choose). Soul-extinction and destruction of the individual are not part of my understanding of Zen enlightenment.
Okay, but they're part of Buddhism. Interesting selectivity on your part.
thedoc
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Immanuel Can wrote:Since I don't hold to any of that, (I see it as the wild imaginings of some alleged religious leaders), I see that the end result of both are much the same,
On what basis are you choosing to disbelieve the former and believe the latter? Just preference? And if it's only that, then what gives you such confidence about any particular end, let alone the "same" end?
but I don't "know", I just believe that after death God will have some existence that will suit me.
What makes you think that's so?
I don't recall where Zen teaching said much about the exact nature of Nirvana, other than the individual would be joined in a non Dualistic existence with the universal mind, (or whatever label you choose). Soul-extinction and destruction of the individual are not part of my understanding of Zen enlightenment.
Okay, but they're part of Buddhism. Interesting selectivity on your part.
And since when is being selective in your beliefs a bad thing, I would suggest that everyone does it or they are just not thinking about what they claim to believe, and I really have no time for those who can't make a little effort to actually think about what they claim to believe. And yes, what I believe is just my own preference, where is that so different from anyone who actually thinks about what they believe, as opposed to those who accept what they believe without any thought at all. I have known a few like that who will accept whatever they are told by someone who claims some authority. My own belief, based on what I have read, leads me to the understanding that the ends will be very similar if not the same. I have studied enough of the relevant writings to make my own understanding without relying on what others tell me I should believe, and I have often decided that others just don't know what they are talking about.
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Immanuel Can
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I really have no time for those who can't make a little effort to actually think about what they claim to believe.
Agreed. You can offer them the chance, but if they refuse it...there's not much you can do.
My own belief, based on what I have read, leads me to the understanding that the ends will be very similar if not the same.
And mine, likewise based on wide reading, does not. Interesting.
I have studied enough of the relevant writings to make my own understanding without relying on what others tell me I should believe, and I have often decided that others just don't know what they are talking about.
Oh, absolutely. It's a plague.

There are just SO many people who have only read a single author...Dawkins, Frazer, Jung...whomever, and have taken that as sufficient warrant to turn off their brain and say, "Well, religion is actually nothing but X, or Y, or Z..." but secretly, the whole point of their saying this is to be able to dismiss the lot without having really understood a single one of them.

I may have mentioned this, but when I taught World Religions I used to do a survey at the start of my course, just to find out who knew what already. (There's no point in trying to teach people what they already know, right?) Anyway, the sheet I used was two-sided: on one was a list of questions like, "How many times have you been to a church, synagogue, mosque or temple?" or "How much of a religious book have you read?" and so on. On the other side was a bunch of questions about what "religions" do or teach, like "Do all religions teach loving enemies?" or "Do all religions believe in one God?" and so on.

Anyway, here's what it invariably showed: that the least informed on the front side were the most opinionated on the back. It seems there is an inverse proportion between knowledge and opinion when it comes to religion.

Anyway, thanks for your comments.
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Re: Is the Pope slamming Islam for what the Vatican and Chri

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Immanuel Can wrote:
My own belief, based on what I have read, leads me to the understanding that the ends will be very similar if not the same.
And mine, likewise based on wide reading, does not. Interesting.

FYI, My readings have been primarily in Zen Buddhism, but I am aware that other sects of Buddhism hold different beliefs about many of the aspects of enlightenment.

My understanding of Christianity is primarily from the Lutheran perspective, I do not claim much knowledge outside those limits. If there are other dogmas that do not conform to these beliefs, I may not be aware of them.

I have also had some education from one Muslim on Islam, I worked in the same shop with him and we had many conversations comparing our particular religious beliefs. One little aside, I used to tease him about his "Foot Washing Ritual" before prayers. The practice was to pass a dampened hand over the foot with the sock on. I would tell him that that wasn't really washing the foot and he should do a better job by getting his feet in the sink and using some soap and water. He know I was joking and didn't take offense at it.
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Another little tidbit, foot washing is not exclusive to Islam. In our church many years ago the pastor incorporated foot washing into one of the services. He washed the feet of those who came forward for the ritual that included a bowl of water and a towel. My wife and I were the last to go up and after he had finished our feet, we told him to sit down and we each washed one of his feet. It was totally unexpected on his part and he said later he was quite moved by our action.
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Immanuel Can
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My understanding of Christianity is primarily from the Lutheran perspective, I do not claim much knowledge outside those limits. If there are other dogmas that do not conform to these beliefs, I may not be aware of them.
Yep, there are...well, I wouldn't in all case call them "dogmas," since that word can seem harsh and arbitrary...but "views" and "outworkings of theology" in the larger Christian community. There's a richness there worth exploring.

I'm non-denominational about my Christianity, so I listen to everybody. I feel free to agree or disagree, of course, but listening widely is very helpful.
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Another little tidbit, many years ago a cousin of mine came by and was talking to my mother, and was saying that she was now attending a real Bible based church service. My mother told her to look at the Lutheran liturgy, it was straight out of the Bible, as were the readings, including the Gospel lesson. Most of the rest of the service was based on what was written in the Bible, so there was little chance that some other church would be more based on the Bible than the Lutheran church.
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Immanuel Can
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Y'know...I think it's really not so much about just knowing or saying the right things; it's about taking them to heart and doing them. And it's not really about the liturgy or the denomination, either way; it's about the relationship.
thedoc
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Immanuel Can wrote:Y'know...I think it's really not so much about just knowing or saying the right things; it's about taking them to heart and doing them. And it's not really about the liturgy or the denomination, either way; it's about the relationship.

I'm going to say that I am probably reacting to my environment, and by that I mean the "Christians" that I am familiar with. There are some who do act in a way that demonstrates their Christianity and their relationship with God, but there are also too many who only try to appear that they are Christians, and I suppose it is these Psudo-Christians that get my attention and elicit a response. That seems to make sense to me as the Christians are quietly doing what needs to be done and the others, who are more concerned about looking like Christians, will call attention to whatever show they are putting on.
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