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Registered: 10/15/04
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A question for Christians like me about studying Buddhism.....
    #3466988 - 12/08/04 09:41 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

I am planning on starting up my christain religion again and I just wanted to ask a quick question: I am at the point where I really need the Lords help in cleaning up my life and ask for his assistance in some deaths and clinical diagnoses I am fighting against. Here is my dilemma, I have some Buddhist based books which I personally believe have healing properties I can use in my therapy. However, even though these teachings are ones I think are important, they are second nature to the Christain God I believe in and I dont want to be neglected for reading Buddhish literature. I know this is a real vauge and there is no real answer but for those of you who study Christianity, is this possible?

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Re: A question for Christians like me about studying Buddhism..... [Re: PsillyNilly]
    #3467015 - 12/08/04 09:46 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

I'm sure that there is plenty of wisdom that can be found in Buddhist teachings. BUT if what you read involves delving into a spiritual realm OTHER than what you KNOW is good/pure/Godly/whatever (im sure you know what i mean) then back off. That would be more harmful than good... As far as getting advice from the teachings i'm sure that you could benefit, but if you are a christian the only spiritual healing you can get is from God.. not from "self". (I havent studied it myself so I can't really make a good argument for or against it... I suggest spending time in prayer and reading the bible)


Edited by ld50negative1 (12/08/04 09:48 PM)

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Re: A question for Christians like me about studying Buddhism..... [Re: PsillyNilly]
    #3467038 - 12/08/04 09:50 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

dont close yourself up. always be open to new ideas and thoughts.

Just let everything flow, just flow right to the center of everything. You gotta turn off your mind and relax, and then just float downstream...

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Re: A question for Christians like me about studying Buddhism..... [Re: PsillyNilly]
    #3467054 - 12/08/04 09:53 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

You are in no danger and much of what I would have said has already been said

read on ........... apply the things to your life that line up with what you and God agree on.

What it is, is what it is my Brother.
It is as it is, so suffer thru it.

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Re: A question for Christians like me about studying Buddhism..... [Re: Fucknuckle]
    #3469040 - 12/09/04 07:01 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

use what is useful without sentimentality
keep your wits and compassion up as long as possible.

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Re: A question for Christians like me about studying Buddhism..... [Re: PsillyNilly]
    #3472372 - 12/09/04 08:55 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

My personal response is yes, a Christian can benefit from Buddhism, as well as from other high religions and philosophies. Look, I won't bore you, but Catholic Christianity is run through with non-Christian Neoplatonic philosophy. Plotinus, the main contributor to Neoplatonism remained a pagan. Platonic philosophy which he expounded and elaborated, from Plato's teacher Socrates, may have been exposed to traveling Buddhists as Socrates lived contemporaneously with Gautama Buddha. Socrates may have been condemned to death for obtaining the sacred Kykeon - the entheogen used only in the Eleusinian Mystery Rites - and giving it to his students (much like Tim Leary did with the 20th century version). If THAT was the case, then Platonic philosophy, with its transmigration of souls (Timaeus), archetypes (the term Jung took from Plato), and general mysticism may have derived from Entheogenic Experience, AND/OR Buddhism! So Christianity itself, particularly the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox forms have these influences buried deep in its non-Jewish infrastructure.

Even if the Buddhist element is purely specuative, the Neoplatonic element is plainly there. The 'impersonal' nature of Ultimate Reality in Buddhism only reflects the Hindu theological choice of seeing GOD as having attributes or not having attributes - Saguna Brahman or Nirguna Brahman. The latter aspect is what Buddha focused on and it is approximately the same notion of the term 'Godhead' (vs. God) in Christianity, or En Soph in Jewish Kabbalism - Transcendental Deity that admits of no qualities, like Shunyata, the Void, the Clear Light. Understanding that in Judaism and Christianity there are utterly transcendental notions of GOD which defy description (these belong to high theological and mystical understandings, not simple folk or fundamentalist religion), one does not have to reject the methods of Buddhism for understanding the mind. One does not have to reject the presence of grace, nor a life of prayer, but then one is essentially a Christian borrowing from Buddhism and not the other way around.

When I was exploring Buddhism before I became outwardly a Christian, I had the Experience in meditation which is what the Great Mantra OM MANI PADME HUM symbolizes (according to Lama Govinda) - The Absolute is a Jewel in the Lotus of the Heart. 'I' vanished completely, no self-consciousness, no memory, just awareness of Infinite Unbearable Compassion in an Infinite field of pale blue-white light. It lasted for Eternity. It was ecstatic. It was IT. Then, in an instant, Infinitity contracted into finitude - a laser-focused feeling in my Heart Center that had just been the Infinite expanse. GOD had become a point, a jewel, in the finitude of the HUMan Heart. To my dying day I will hold that Christian Heaven and its earthly realization in my Sacred Heart, is identical to that 'Buddhist' Experience some 30 years ago, after dinner at my parents house, sitting against my dresser with a hokey electric enhaloed Japanese ceramic Buddha on top, while mildly high on a hit of microdot LSD.

To remind me, I wear a bracelet and a ring with the Great Mantra on them, and yet, Christ is the example for perfected human development for me. Buddha is on the order of Plato for me. I don't wish to offend Buddhists - I have great reverence for Buddhism (not 15 minutes ago did I hang a prayer flag of the Tibetan Buddhist Wheel of Life up in the meditation room where I sit, that came in the mail). Christ may be a Bodhisattva for Buddhist, a prophet for Muslims (one who is said NOT to have been crucified), an Avatar for Hindus, or merely a sage for Jews. One must decide Who is going to be at the Center of a wheel in which each of the spokes is a religion.

I am drinking red wine now - not Buddhist practice. It is not consecrated to Christ, so it is not Communion. I am feeling its effect and I enjoy it. It is the pagan Dionysian element coming to the fore. That is part of me too. It is not a contradiction that cannot fit within me. In the words of Walt Whitman:
"Do I contradict myself?
Very well then...I contradict myself;
I am large...I contain multitudes."

γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself

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Re: A question for Christians like me about studying Buddhism..... [Re: PsillyNilly]
    #3473287 - 12/09/04 11:13 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

It would be pretty senseless and a little bit sadistic if God punished you for exploring other belief systems by denying you assistance in cleaning up your life or in managing medical problems. Would an omniscient being really be so coldly uncompassionate, so unsympathetic and childish? I doubt it.


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Re: A question for Christians like me about studying Buddhism..... [Re: PsillyNilly]
    #3473298 - 12/09/04 11:17 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

If your belief in God is that strong, you should be able to learn whatever knowledge you can possibly learn and it will just strengthen your life and relationship with God. If it is not strong enough to withstand knowledge, it is meant to go sooner or later anyway. Explore as much as you can I'd say even if you don't agree. God created the knowledge anyway right? If it is something He created, then it should strengthen your bonds, by realizing His creation

So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.

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