05-23-05 12:34Buddhist Vegetarianism

C: how a person who calls themselves a follower of the teachings of the Buddha can, in good conscience, be complicitious in causing the deaths of other beings, when the Buddha clearly said that doing so was immoral.

I've only explained this several times, but once more here is my understanding:

First, a buddhist can in good conscience reject any and all of the buddha's teachings. The buddha was just some guy and his teachings are nice and work well, but they are nothing special. If your personal insight shows them to be superfluous or incorrect in any way, he would insist that you reject them if he were here.

Second the dietary restrictions apply only to monks and nuns and they don't prohibit meat all together. They just restrict your direct action in the killing for meat and the personal seeking of meat.

Lay buddhists who have taken the five precepts can eat as they please depending on their person choices as long as they don't destroy living animals directly. They are also incouraged to not take part in butchering as a livelyhood.

Lay buddhists who have not taken the precepts can eat as they choose and it is suggested that they refain from distroying living animals directly or working as a butcher (or soldier, etc.).

At no point is vegetarianism required by the core of buddhism, even though it is often tacked on by certain sects.

Third, the precept is against distroying living creatures (usually limited to amphibians and large insects or greater). This concept is generally expanded to avoid harming others but in all cases it is direct effects. Dead meat cannot be harmed and is not living.

Finally, just eating meat is not being "complicitious in causing the deaths of other beings" no matter how badly you would like it to be.

Got it?

05-23-05 10:64"Jesus is Love" pt. 2Pt 1

d:..all about God...

God is just a word to encapsulate all we do not understand so that we can worship our ignorance instead of alleviating it.

d: we don't need books, or teachers, or anything like that, for God is within! see? you already "get" the message of Yeshua

Good. Now try to "get" my message. There is no need for anything beyond you within. You don't need god or Yeshua. You are a light unto yourself.

d: we were created by God

We are not created by any god.

d: so God is within us.

No one else is within me.

d: our bodies die. we are not our bodies.

We are not seperate or seperable from our bodies.

d: we are Spirit. we don't die.

I have spirit, but that is not my form. It is an effect of my form.

d: what an odd concept to want to resist--rejoice that we don't die,

I have no need for pleasant lies.

d: it's not imprisonment, it is freedom; why are you so keen to reject this?

Death is real freedom. What can die cannot be bound, caged or enslaved longer than it choses to be.

d: our souls live forever

Forever is just how long you live.

d: Jesus is love

No, doing love is love, jesus is at best an excuse and at worst a distraction.

d: God is the only means by which love even exists

That is the big lie. I and those I love are the sole means of my love.
No Jesus, no god, just us loving.

05-22-05 10:11"Moral" Vegetarianism

C: the Buddha's refusal to require begging monks to eschew meat in their almsfood, and "allowing Buddhists to eat meat".

You can't have it both ways. Either eating meat is itself inherantly wrong in some way and therefore to be avoided whenever possible, or, there are factors at play other than the actual eating of meat which are the real issues and as long as those factors are avoided the actual eating of meat is not an issue.

The buddha seems to have been of the non vegen perspective that it is the act of killing and causing harm, not the meat itself which is the problem. As long as you are not participating in the actual killing or actively seeking that killing he seems copisetic.

I find this aligns with what I see as a fundimental pragmatism in his positions.

C: kindness, compassion, and blamelessness towards all beings. Those goals are simply incompatible with eating meat

That is the "moral" vegitarian position, but it is not true. Life is inseperable from death and if you posit a chain of vicarious responcibility, you cannot escape it yourself.

There is blood everywhere. The vegitables you eat result in the slaughter of innumerable small animals and deny land to the herds which once roamed them and are now dead.

S: What is dead is dead and should not be wasted.

C: That is, of course, entirely fatuous.

No, it is the way of life. Usable organic substances are the most dear and valuable resource on the planet. It is extremely difficult to process inorganic material so life developed to not waste one spec of organic material if possible.

I choose not to go around capriciously hastening the cycle of life and death, but I'm an inseperable part of it and eat organic material.

C: No animals that end up on your plate get there from dying of old age.

Who said they did and who said dying of old age was desirable?

C: The animal wouldn't BE dead

That is the big lie. In the wild, very, very few animals die of old age. Killing and being killed is the way of nature.

That cow would be just as dead and it probably would have died in a pretty gruesome manner.

05-22-05 9:11The Dharma

I'm not sure he said to discard anything that doesn't fit what you believe though, because you could take that to the point of just making up your own dharma and deceiving yourself further.

"Come, O Kalamas, do not accept anything on mere hearsay (i.e. thinking that thus have I heard it from a long time).
Do not accept anything by mere tradition (i.e., thinking that it has thus been handed down through many generations).
Do not accept anything on account of rumours (i.e., by believing what others say without any investigation).
Do not accept anything just because it accords with your scriptures.
Do not accept anything by mere supposition.
Do not accept anything by mere inference.
Do not accept anything by merely considering the appearances.
Do not accept anything merely because it agrees with your preconceived notions.
Do not accept anything merely because it seems acceptable (i.e., should be accepted).
Do not accept anything thinking that the ascetic is respected by us (and therefore thinking it is right to accept his word). "

-Anguttara Nikaya I gradual sayings, Kalama Sutta

The whole point of the dharma is it is the funimental nature of reality. You can't make it up or discard it. It isn't "the buddha's dharma." It is The Dharma, the actual way that things work in reality.

You have to see and live it yourself by doing and living, not accepting. You aren't making it up but you must make your own understanding of it because it is so intimate that no one else's understanding will do.

You might as well try and have some one else take a piss for you.

Be a light unto yourself.

05-22-05 8:11"Jesus is Love" pt. 1

d: are we talking about people, or are we talking about Jesus?

To discuss one without the other would be disingenuous. The quality of a teaching is best seen in how it effects the students behaviors.

JC's message sounds good on first blush, but its effects over the centuries and now show that the fundimental issues raised by evangelical, monotheistic, hierarchcal religions cause great devestation.

The icing of love and forgiveness conceals a cake of arrogence, intolerance and hatred even if that was never his intent.

d: paul never even met Jesus

Yes, but Paul is the basis of all xtianity.

d: i do believe that there *is only one way to God*. and that is LOVE!

By the time you say love, you have already created hatred.

The way isn't a way *to* anything nor is it one way or many ways.

d: it seems unsound to hold Jesus responsible for the mistakes, barbarity, cruelty, and ignorance of men.

I do not blame him for anything. We are both men with something to say, so I empathise with how he might feel if he could see what happened to his message.

I'm merely examining his teachings, their effects and discerning if I care to participate.

Xtianity is a land of black and white, carrots and sticks. When I just looked at the pieces I liked, I was more of your opinion. But I can't just pick and choose. I must look at the whole and it is a twisted morass.

Imposed morality, heavens and hells, judgers and punishers, ultimate powers without appeal, this is no way for a free being to exist so I reject it. I will consider what I can learn from this mistake and salvage what I can if such is possible, but over all its a wash.

I have found I can love and be good without the need for it to be more than what it is or recourse to other than myself and the ordinary people I know.

d: i assure you, brother, neither did Jesus.

I assure you that you did not know jesus and have only one side of the story as told by "true" believers

. d: we should clarify that people who try to impose ... are not really following Jesus.

True, he's a bit dead. They aren't even really following his teaching or message. But they are the effect of that teaching and message and so it is not possible to seperate the one from the other.

d: Jesus, remember, was not a christian.

Good for you. For those a bit slow on the uptake let me spell it out.

Jesus was a jew and was only interested in jews. I suspect if he did come back "in glory" he be kicking xtian ass for 2000 years of horrendous jewish persecution "in his name."

d: God is within you

No, I am as I am and who I am. There is no need for more than that.

d: maybe i'll see you around the Way!

What do you think this is?

d: it's not like we die or anything, dude, we're immortal.

We each die that others may live for without death there is no life. Didn't even JC say what greater love is there than to lay down your life for another?

"Immortal" is like "eternity" or "infinity." You cannot count infinity with numbers, eternities with seconds, or imortality with lives.

d: notice him next time you do something out of love. if you like the way you feel when you share love, then you like Jesus. enjoy!

This is the error. Jesus has nothing to do with my doing something out of love.

When I act out of love, that is what I'm doing and that is what I'm totally focused on.

Jesus is just a distraction and idealized notions of "Love" are just distractions, even god is just a distraction.

Even I and the object of my love are distractions.

Only the act of love and nothing else.

05-11-05 8:11

I'll tell ya, I was looking forward to this proof of god and after reading your dialogue with steve I ended up convince that there is no god... do you guys have a life outside of tribe???

Yes and no.

Right now I'm mainly just raising two small children so this is a nice way to keep the mind ticking with conversations that are more complex than (gooha, brppp, gah!).

05-11-05 8:11

Schmendrick: It leaves me intellectually incapable of really beleiving in a God.

There are many kinds of belief in god, of them intellectual belief is the weakest and usually considered false. It is no different in any spiritual path. The intellect falls short eventually or leads into self delusion.

If you are intellectually incapable of really beleiving in a god, then you have both begun to really seek god and have given up something you never needed.

I suggest not worrying about theism or atheism. They are the same intellectual coin and won't take you where you seem to be seeking to go.

Have you considered that if there is a real god, then there is no where such a being could hide? It has to literally be right in front of your nose the whole time.

S: what I fear is that my life, one life in six billion people doesn't matter, not at all, that I have no importance in a godless universe.

More intellectual crap, chunk it with the rest.

If those kinds of things crop up check in front of your nose for god really closely and it will go away. Yes, I'm totally serious.

There are only three things I know of that count: be kind, pay attention and practice. Everything else is just passing the time.

What is, is so cool I find "God" belittling and wrong so I'm branded an atheist. But that doesn't mean I've never found anything in all my searching. Reality seen clearly is better than any god that can be conceived of and seeing clearly kicks ass. :)

As the zen guys say: This IS it! Everything IS thus!

05-11-05 8:11

H: My point was that now we have a problem in existence, since reality is there without any origin or foundation.

Pushing it into god's lap doesn't solve anything. You just end up wondering what god's origin or foundation is. Its turtles all the way down.

The problem is the notion that there has to be an origin or foundation.

H: There are consistent laws which existence seems to follow

You again put the cart before the horse.

Existence seems to have regularities from which we derive some what consistant laws.

It also seems to have irregularities from which we derive some what consistant probabilities.

The laws come from us. The regularities and irregularities just are.

H: you suggest there is nothing knowable beyond the simplest observation,

No. Observation and interaction are the foundations of knowledge about reality. Expert agreement is the means of error correction. Together they have formed the core of a method which has let us peer deeply into reality. No other method has proven nearly as effective.

H: Your apparent satisfaction with a universe that is unpredicated

Is a result of years of study and consideration.

H: How can you be satisfied intellectually with an existence that has no foundation?

What is more satisfying than the truth?

H:If the universe is eternal and was not "caused" then what is it?

Eternal and without cause.

H: In God, this theory tries to claim that a universe that exists is a universe that was caused.

You just shift all of the complaints you raise squarely onto god without resolving anything.

Reality is as it is, is an end point. You may not be happy that it needs no god, but it resolves all the open questions.

H: The next step, of course, is that a universe that was caused is a universe with meaning.

Reallity has no inherant meaning beyond what you care to attempt to impose upon it. It is people, not the universe or god, which create and give meaning to existence.

H: Are the simplistic allegorical teachings "comfortable lies?"

Always. Why does that bother you so?

H: I'm used to discussions with Jews.

Inbreeding your ideas can leave them under developed. You start taking off beat definitions and assumptions as granted when they are highly debatable and you get away with sloppy thinking and poor logic.

05-11-05 5:11

Would you like to explain the underlying justification that you have for Ethics?

The optimum solution is one which serves both the individual and the greater whole.

Or more simply:

Be kind, pay attention, practice.

How does a greater whole matter to you?

We are not two.

05-11-05 5:11

J: Really what the hell is the point of Zen?

Live a good life.
Die a good death.

what's a good death?

How should I know?
I haven't died yet.