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InvisibleSilversoul
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Eastern fetishism
    #6605179 - 02/24/07 12:20 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I notice a tendency in many people to claim that they prefer "Eastern thought," without even knowing anything about it. It seems as if every idea that is not considered mainstream in the West is attributed to "Eastern" spirituality. I've seen so many people who claim to be Buddhists who don't even know the Eightfold Path. Whenever someone says they're into Eastern thought, I'd like to ask them what points struck them in the Bhagavad Gita, or the Lotus Sutra, or the Tao Te Ching. It seems like such people want to rebel against mainstream spirituality without claiming their own spirituality for themselves. I have great respect for the Dharmic and Chinese traditions(I would say Japanese as well, but I don't know much about Shintoism), but it bugs me when people try to project their own ideas onto these traditions.


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InvisibleMushmanTheManic
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Re: Eastern fetishism [Re: Silversoul]
    #6605180 - 02/24/07 12:22 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Well said.


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InvisibleSinbad
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Re: Eastern fetishism [Re: Silversoul]
    #6605185 - 02/24/07 12:24 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I think nowadays it considered 'cool' or 'trendy' to be in with the eastern new age click. Most hippie-type people into these things mostly only seem to want to associate themselves with it an accumilate a very surface level knowledge. This is because delving deeper into eastern thought would require them to delve deeper into themselves, and that is a place that most people do not want to go.


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Edited by Sinbad (02/25/07 11:51 AM)


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OfflineEpigallo
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Re: Eastern fetishism *DELETED* [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #6605195 - 02/24/07 12:29 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Post deleted by Epigallo

Reason for deletion: Sorry.



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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Eastern fetishism [Re: Epigallo]
    #6605198 - 02/24/07 12:31 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

bradleycny said:
I have met a zen priestess who couldn't list the eightfold path either.



Funny, I wasn't aware that Zen Buddhism had a priesthood.


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InvisibleSinbad
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Re: Eastern fetishism [Re: Silversoul]
    #6605200 - 02/24/07 12:32 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Yes, they have priests. Its a Japanese thing.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Eastern fetishism [Re: Sinbad]
    #6605205 - 02/24/07 12:34 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Ah. I thought that was Pure Land Buddhism. My mistake.


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InvisibleSinbad
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Re: Eastern fetishism [Re: Epigallo]
    #6605220 - 02/24/07 12:40 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

bradleycny said:
I don't think that being familiar with all these scriptures necessarily correlates that strongly with being spiritual. You can read all day and only have an intelllectual experience. I have met a zen priestess who couldn't list the eightfold path either.




This is why there are three vital points. Learning, reflecting and practicing. Learning you discover relative meaning, reflecting you discover how it applies to your own experience, and in meditation practice you apply the essential points to discover and have that direct experience.

If you don't do provisional learning then its like going on a journey without a map for reference. If you don't reflect, its like you don't understand how to read the map correctly to navigate the path your are traveling, and if you don't practice, it means that you never step foot on the path to start your journey.

Neglect any of these three essential things in eastern traditions, it is said that it will be impossible for you to arrive the ultimate realization.


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Edited by Sinbad (02/25/07 11:53 AM)


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InvisibleSinbad
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Re: Eastern fetishism [Re: Silversoul]
    #6605225 - 02/24/07 12:42 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Silversoul said:
Ah. I thought that was Pure Land Buddhism. My mistake.




I don't know a lot about Pure Land Buddhism, but i think its diffused in china and japan also, so its possible they might have priests too.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Eastern fetishism [Re: Silversoul]
    #6605505 - 02/24/07 02:30 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Yes, well said. This was the point that C.G. Jung made decades ago. He was a little too reactive IMO because he said that practicing Yoga (his example) was useless unless one lived away from telephones and modern amenities. Of course, in his autobiography, he mentions practicing Yoga asanas when he was upset. Jung also believed that Westerners would eventually develop forms of Yoga that grew out of our particular Western psyches. This has been going on for a thousand years by the Greek Orthodox monks on Mt. Athos, but I suppose that he meant a more generalized and accessible form.

Lotuses do not grow well in the West, and Eastern spirituality really does not root well in Western psyches. Much of the Indian formulations of the Transcendental Self are just not suitable for Western minds that can't seem to separate the Transcendental Self from the ego. Thus, the saying "I am That" [Tat Twam Asi], is instantly corrupting of the ego-complex which immediately inflates. The state of ego-inflation is intoxicating and empowering (as any corrupt cult leader amply illustrates), and that ego-inflation is mistakenly interpreted as spiritual exhaltation. The Bible says "Pride goeth before a fall," and the myth of Icarus both illustrate this process of inflation-deflation.

What I see for the most part are young people who 'throw the baby out with the bathwater.' They rightfully reject the outgrown, childish image-laden concepts of God - still clung to by spiritually immature adult preachers and teachers. Instead of applying the Eastern tenet of 'If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him,' to their own faith, they simply reject their whole religion. If you're in your 20s, and the word 'God' still conjures pictures from your second grade St. Joseph Baltimore catechism book, with red, white and black images of an Old Bearded-Guy-in-the-Sky, with a triangular nimbus behind His head - you have to learn to 'kill' those images and reach for a spiritually and intellectually adult experience and conception of the word 'God.' One does NOT have to leave the entire religion behind, and as a matter of fact, one cannot anyway because our psyches take the archetypal underpinnings wherever we intellectually or geographically go!

There are reasons why different people are attracted to different rituals and doctrines. Personality type has a lot to do with whether one is attracted to Quaker spirituality or the Roman Catholic rites, or correspondingly, with Japanese Zen Buddhism or Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. In both cases it is first and foremost a matter of simplicity versus complexity. Zen altars might have a handful of pine needles on a white altar cloth, Vajrayana alters have so many objects (butter lamps, offering bowls, bronze deities, etc.) on elaborate brocade altar cloths. One can jump ship from Catholic to Quaker, or one can jump ship from Catholic to Zen, or from Catholic to Vajrayana. Or from simplicity to complexity, but the formulations of doctrine are more difficult to come to terms with.

If Christian doctrine teaches that God is 'Wholly Other,' and an Eastern doctrine teaches 'Thou art God,' there may seem to be some kind of 'Liberation' at first, but it may well end up in the inflation-deflation complex because of a radical misunderstanding of the terms and an unconscious identification of 'apples with oranges.'

So here is a long-winded agreement with you :smile:. Now I am going to clean out the fireplace and go to some book stores. It's 2:30 already!


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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Invisiblebadreligion2good
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Re: Eastern fetishism [Re: Silversoul]
    #6606792 - 02/24/07 10:55 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

I agree with you on many of your points, but there are also something I don't agree with.

I know about Buddhism, without knowing much about Taoism or Hinduism. Though, I don't claim to be "Eastern Minded." Also, because one hasn't read the Lotus Sutra, it doesn't necessarily discredit their understanding of Buddhism. There are many sutras, some Buddhist traditions focus on certain ones more than others. I don't think its fair to discredit my understanding of Buddhism simply because I haven't read one particular text fully. Plus, Buddhism is a pretty straightforward teaching. Once you have read enough Buddhist texts you find that they are all pointing to the 4 Noble Truths, along with the 8 fold path to the cessation of suffering. They all focus on meditation as a path to liberation as well. Buddhism really isn't all the mysterious and complicated once you learn about it.


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All I know is that I dont know.

Row, row, row, you boat, gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Eastern fetishism [Re: badreligion2good]
    #6606886 - 02/24/07 11:43 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

The Lotus Sutra was just an example. I could've just as easily picked the Bodhicharyavatara or the Pali Canon. My point was that there are a lot of posers who throw around the word "Buddhist" or "Eastern" without having a clue what they're talking about.


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Invisiblebadreligion2good
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Re: Eastern fetishism [Re: Silversoul]
    #6606904 - 02/24/07 11:49 PM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Yes, its a shame, but there are people calling themselves many things which they don't really live up to. C'est la vie.


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All I know is that I dont know.

Row, row, row, you boat, gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.


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Invisibledaytripper23
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Re: Eastern fetishism [Re: badreligion2good]
    #6607664 - 02/25/07 04:48 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

At first i found myself disagreeing with you silversoul, but now i realize that these kind of people really make it much harder for me to follow traditions.

I used to envy buddhists and taoists the way you said, because usually these people are pretty cool. You gotta admit that enlightenment and coolness are pretty similar. I never posed the way you described, but i understand this fascination. Now that im genuinely interested, its become a real pain in the ass. Its always hanging over me. Anytime someone walks in on me meditating or practicing yoga, i get embarassed. I cant continue because im ashamed of feeling cool. This is actually all around my family, who i long ago have stopped trying to impress lol....


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Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!


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OfflineSneezingPenis
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Re: Eastern fetishism [Re: Silversoul]
    #6607732 - 02/25/07 05:45 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Silversoul said:
I notice a tendency in many people to claim that they prefer "Eastern thought," without even knowing anything about it. It seems as if every idea that is not considered mainstream in the West is attributed to "Eastern" spirituality. I've seen so many people who claim to be Buddhists who don't even know the Eightfold Path. Whenever someone says they're into Eastern thought, I'd like to ask them what points struck them in the Bhagavad Gita, or the Lotus Sutra, or the Tao Te Ching. It seems like such people want to rebel against mainstream spirituality without claiming their own spirituality for themselves. I have great respect for the Dharmic and Chinese traditions(I would say Japanese as well, but I don't know much about Shintoism), but it bugs me when people try to project their own ideas onto these traditions.




kind of like americans with chinese symbols for tattoo's. "Dude, it totally expresses my spirituality, it means spirit/honor/discipline... it is totally deep to me.
Corporate Tribalism.




im not saying this to provoke, because I just got done with a very heated debate over this.
I honestly would have posted this if it was anyone else silversoul.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Eastern fetishism [Re: SneezingPenis]
    #6608030 - 02/25/07 10:49 AM (14 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

psilocyberin said:
Quote:

Silversoul said:
I notice a tendency in many people to claim that they prefer "Eastern thought," without even knowing anything about it. It seems as if every idea that is not considered mainstream in the West is attributed to "Eastern" spirituality. I've seen so many people who claim to be Buddhists who don't even know the Eightfold Path. Whenever someone says they're into Eastern thought, I'd like to ask them what points struck them in the Bhagavad Gita, or the Lotus Sutra, or the Tao Te Ching. It seems like such people want to rebel against mainstream spirituality without claiming their own spirituality for themselves. I have great respect for the Dharmic and Chinese traditions(I would say Japanese as well, but I don't know much about Shintoism), but it bugs me when people try to project their own ideas onto these traditions.




kind of like americans with chinese symbols for tattoo's. "Dude, it totally expresses my spirituality, it means spirit/honor/discipline... it is totally deep to me.
Corporate Tribalism.




im not saying this to provoke, because I just got done with a very heated debate over this.
I honestly would have posted this if it was anyone else silversoul.



No need to apologize. I agree. I shake my head too when I see people wearing symbols they don't understand. The difference is that I know that some people are aware of their significance, and thus it has more meaning for them than for the posers who wear them because it's cool.


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