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  • opaloka
    replied
    Thats actaully a difference betwen us and the greeks, progress I think , is that they put the golden age in the past and we like to put it in the future.

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  • Dr. Pepper
    replied
    Originally posted by opaloka View Post
    Anaximander had a basic concept of linear 'evolution' from fish to man though he had no idea of the mechanism. Hopefully though, it 2 steps forward and 1 step back.
    Yes, hopefully! I said that backasswards, didn't I?

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  • opaloka
    replied
    Anaximander had a basic concept of linear 'evolution' from fish to man though he had no idea of the mechanism. Hopefully though, it 2 steps forward and 1 step back.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kyrinn S. Eis
    replied
    Originally posted by Dr. Pepper View Post
    Some of the things I was thinking about other than the destruction and alteration of myths by subsequent culture were modern era scientific discoveries which were already discovered hundreds of years prior. A Neo-Platonist text translated in the late 70's shows that its authors were familiar with the concepts of gravity and not only planetary orbit, but elliptical orbits. This is one of hundreds of texts which have sat around untranslated due to the fact that bits were translated years ago and scholars wrote it off as a bunch of superstition and general silliness. So, I feel like the hand-me-down version of human development on earth is a one step forward, two steps back kind of thing. Currently, I wonder what the children graduating high school in 20 years will have been indoctrinated to believe about "the war on terror." <-- I don't want to get into an unpleasant political debate about this, it's just one of those thoughts I've been having lately.
    Absolutely. I'm with you 100% on all of the above (quoted) material.

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  • Kyrinn S. Eis
    replied
    Originally posted by The English Assassin View Post
    I'm a born-again atheist. I have no problems with ‘cosmic indifference’ (indeed I find it somewhat liberating) and I must admit that I find religionists of the dogmatic or any kind of orthodox persuasion very hard to get (although I do try). As for more ambivalent believers (i.e. those who believe in a creator or after life but don't hold to anyone particular religion) I have very little problem ‘getting’ at all. Whatever gets you through the night... Me, I find mojetos better!
    To every need, a crutch.

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  • Dr. Pepper
    replied
    Originally posted by Kyrinn S. Eis View Post
    Yeah, I got that. I'm still confused about your statement about 'true origins'.

    Help?
    Oh, this was a general statement pertaining to everything. How one moment develops from another throughout history. I did not mean it in reference to cosmic origins. Some of the things I was thinking about other than the destruction and alteration of myths by subsequent culture were modern era scientific discoveries which were already discovered hundreds of years prior. A Neo-Platonist text translated in the late 70's shows that its authors were familiar with the concepts of gravity and not only planetary orbit, but elliptical orbits. This is one of hundreds of texts which have sat around untranslated due to the fact that bits were translated years ago and scholars wrote it off as a bunch of superstition and general silliness. So, I feel like the hand-me-down version of human development on earth is a one step forward, two steps back kind of thing. Currently, I wonder what the children graduating high school in 20 years will have been indoctrinated to believe about "the war on terror." <-- I don't want to get into an unpleasant political debate about this, it's just one of those thoughts I've been having lately.
    Last edited by Dr. Pepper; 09-29-2008, 05:50 AM.

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  • The English Assassin
    replied
    I'm a born-again atheist. I have no problems with ‘cosmic indifference’ (indeed I find it somewhat liberating) and I must admit that I find religionists of the dogmatic or any kind of orthodox persuasion very hard to get (although I do try). As for more ambivalent believers (i.e. those who believe in a creator or after life but don't hold to anyone particular religion) I have very little problem ‘getting’ at all. Whatever gets you through the night... Me, I find mojetos better!

    Leave a comment:


  • Kyrinn S. Eis
    replied
    Originally posted by Dr. Pepper View Post
    SHORT ANSWER:
    LONG RAMBLING ANSWER THAT I THINK ADDRESSES EVERY POINT YOU ASKED about:
    Yeah, I got that. I'm still confused about your statement about 'true origins'.

    Help?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr. Coyote
    replied
    No, I understand most of the bacis of Scientology. I was more interested in seeing how far his ficton diverged from the basics his faith.
    Somthing Mr. Moorcock posted made me wonder.

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  • Dr. Pepper
    replied
    Originally posted by Mr. Coyote View Post
    spin. I have also made it my point to study many of the world other faiths.
    p.s. Has anyone read any of L. Ron Hubbards work?
    If you are interested in seeing what Scientology has to offer without getting heavily involved with the organization, I suggest you Google "The Pilot's Self-Clearing Manual," which was written by a former high-level anonymous Scientologist who came to the realization that Scientology was a dangerous and evil cult, but also that there was much useful technique they had to offer. So, he compiled a re-written manual of everything practical and worthwhile the organization had to offer, stripped of the nonsense, which came to a couple hundred pages and gave it away for free online. You can still find it in PDF form. There used to be a website and perhaps there are still mirrors somewhere, but the CoS ran him out of "business," though he wasn't actually making any profit, the way they generally do. There are some strange techniques and I know that L. Ron didn't get them all from Aleister Crowley. I wonder how he came up with them.

    Here is where you can find the manual: http://www.freezoneearth.org/pilot/self/index.htm
    Last edited by Dr. Pepper; 09-28-2008, 06:56 PM.

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  • Mr. Coyote
    replied
    My Mom's Catholic. My Dad's an Assembly of God and also goes to a Messianic Jewish Temple. I was raised and live in a very Baptist community. I am a christian of no particular denomination or dogma although I do like the Nostic spin. I have also made it my point to study many of the world other faiths.
    p.s. Has anyone read any of L. Ron Hubbards work?

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr. Pepper
    replied
    Originally posted by Kyrinn S. Eis View Post
    I take it your belief system varies from the Hindu school of thought that there was no moment of 'creation'; that all is maya; and that there is no Atman but Brahman.

    The similarities between various schools of Buddhism and Yogic thought (and Taoist and Zen branches) seem so intertwined, I'm often surprised to find that there is such strong dogmatic separation for what appears purely sectarian reasons.

    Do you mind clearing up my confusion about your stance on these issues?

    Thanks. :)
    SHORT ANSWER:
    I think a crucial difference between Hinduism and Buddhism, to be succinct, is that Buddhism is talking about Emptiness and Hinduism is talking about God. Buddhism doesn't attribute the qualities of Emptiness to God, Hinduism does.

    LONG RAMBLING ANSWER THAT I THINK ADDRESSES EVERY POINT YOU ASKED ABOUT:
    Buddhism has a tendency to utilize the climate of the resident culture. Tibet was a unique climate due to the pooling of cultures from neighboring areas during a sort of renaissance period when they retired their army and dedicated their efforts to acquiring as much knowledge as possible in an environment of tolerance. So, Tibetan Buddhism really is quite a bit different than other forms of Buddhism, but not to the extent that it is no longer Buddhist. There is a set of basic criteria which all Buddhists agree upon. If they did not accept this criteria, they would not be considered "Buddhist."

    While Buddhists believe in maya, karma, samsara and nirvana, which are also Hindu terms, and they both consider their teachings to be "dharma," the definitions of these terms are all quite different. There are many levels of understanding within the Buddhist schools which may seem contradictory if not properly understood.

    For instance, the highest teachings of Tibetan Buddhism are called Atiyoga, Dzogchen or Mahamudra, which are a body of teachings beyond cause and effect, beyond samsara and nirvana. People unfamiliar with the teaching might say that it can not be Buddhist if this is the case and many of the ideas which come from these teachings are often confused by students of other traditions and occasionally these teachings are accused of being nothing more than Vedanta, which is of course not Buddhism.

    But, this is a basic misunderstanding. These teachings do not actually deny karma, samsara or nirvana, but see these concepts and experiences from a different point of view and so the result of this viewpoint is a different sort of practice and experiencing life in a different way. This View is called "Dzogchen" which means "The Great Perfection," but it is not a religion and not really even a set of teachings, which may be confusing since teachers and students are called Dzogchen practitioners and those who are particularly advanced are called Dzogchen masters. Dzogchen is really the state of the experience and Dzogchen teachings are people trying to explain the experience a little through metaphor and analogy as well as provide practices to bring about experiences. The practice is really as simple (but not easy) as the Three Points of Garab Dorje, which are considered the foundation of the practice:
    1. direct introduction to one's own nature
    2. direct discovery of this unique state
    3. directly continuing with confidence in liberation.

    In other words, through certain means, a Dzogchen master introduces you to your real nature. Then, you spend some time really examining this state. Finally, you live your life applying this new awareness, fully confident that this is the key to liberation. If you had not sufficiently discovered this state or did not receive direct introduction to this state, there would be no way you could proceed confidently, so all the points really are essential. These are called "Three Lines That Strike At The Vital Point."

    There are no real words for Dzogchen because it is beyond any limitation whatsoever, so the metaphors and analogy really only give an idea of the experience. Dzogchen practitioners use any other methods they believe are useful and intentionally disregard a lot of typical traditional ideas. Dzogchen practitioners often use Anuyoga techniques and whatever they feel is necessary to deal with circumstances. This is what "beyond limitation" means. It doesn't mean one would accept contrary explanations from different schools about the nature of reality. So, Dzogchen does not deny any of the basic agreements common to all schools of Buddhism. Dzogchen is also part of the Bonpo tradition. In that respect, it might be arguable that Bonpo has much in common with Buddhist thought, even though the Bonpo religion is not Buddhist, for the simple fact that Dzogchen is an ancient tradition which some believe existed in Bonpo before it existed as part of Tibetan Buddhism.

    But, the basic teaching of Buddhism and Dzogchen, which is I think what you were asking, essentially differs from Vedanta in that there is no belief in an ultimate Creator God and so they obviously do not believe, either, that nirvana is the returning to Brahman. In Buddhism, the God Realm is just a place where consciousness may reside for a time before descending to lower realms. The various deities represented in Tibetan Buddhist culture are seen as symbolic expressions of pure awareness. I do see a lot in common with Taoism, although I do not fully understand Toaism. Zen is of course Buddhist, so it shares the same core beliefs as all Buddhist schools.

    Zen and Dzogchen have been compared a few times and the difference is really very subtle. But, to give an example of how students of different traditions have trouble understanding each other, Thich Nhat Han said in his book "Zen Keys" that Dzogchen and Zen were essentially the same in so many ways and then called the sort of be-all-end-all concept of consciousness an "Interbeing." This is about as big of a mistake as the Evans-Wentz translation of Bardo Thodol ("Tibetan Book of the Dead") when his translator likened this Absolute to the "One Deep Mind." Both concepts sound like God to me and are not an accurate representation of Buddhism, Dzogchen or Bardo Thodol. And it seems odd to me that a sincere Zen monk like Thich Nhat Han would come to this conclusion. It is possible that "interbeing" is sensible as a sort of poetic expression, but in the context it comes across as if he is expounding a Hindu teaching about God. Alex Grey, who is a student of Dzogchen, has a neat painting called "Interbeing," by the way.

    There is a saying that Dzogchen is like standing on the highest peak of a mountain from which, as you look down, you can see that all the other paths wind around and around and lead to the same point eventually. It is this same sort of "seeing things from a different angle" found in Buddhism that is behind their historical religious tolerance and common tendency to see the good in everything, even though the religion is often seen by outsiders as entirely pessimistic due to the belief that "all is dukkha" or samsara.

    I hope I answered your question. These are difficult concepts because while the specifics of Buddhism and Dzogchen are, literally, very specific, the concepts themselves are often symbolic and very abstract, trying to put concepts of Absolute into Relative terms. In that sense, the koans of Zen make a lot of sense to me and phrases like "the reflection of the moon is not the moon" are very meaningful ways to explain the difference between concept and experience. I thought I understood Dzogchen before I received introduction. It's funny to think how wrong I was.

    I don't mean to ramble, but it's the sort of thing where if I'm going to answer, I don't want to give the wrong impression by not giving enough information. I really hope I did not paint everything in a bad light. I know it is actually impossible for me to explain what I would like to, especially in such a short bit of space, but I hope it made some sense, anyway.
    Last edited by Dr. Pepper; 09-28-2008, 04:57 PM.

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  • Kyrinn S. Eis
    replied
    Originally posted by Dr. Pepper View Post
    That may be the case, but doesn't anybody want to know the truth of our origins? Or is it more important just to have a firm understanding of the current status quo and not make waves? I suppose it is naive to think there is a discernible truth out there to discover.
    I take it your belief system varies from the Hindu school of thought that there was no moment of 'creation'; that all is maya; and that there is no Atman but Brahman.

    The similarities between various schools of Buddhism and Yogic thought (and Taoist and Zen branches) seem so intertwined, I'm often surprised to find that there is such strong dogmatic separation for what appears purely sectarian reasons.

    Do you mind clearing up my confusion about your stance on these issues?

    Thanks. :)

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr. Pepper
    replied
    I just Wikipedia'd BEHOLD THE MAN and I probably shouldn't have. Spoiler without any indication at all. Just told the entire story in 2 paragraphs. Sheesh. Sounds cool, though. I'm glad you've written a ton of books because I intend to read quite a bit more.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    It helps if you know where you've been if you're trying to go somewhere else... I've never read Campbell, maybe because we appeared to have a lot in common. I mention in BEHOLD THE MAN how the Greeks of the day found so many of the Judaeo/Christian ideas so familiar and not exactly revelatory -- especially the Greeks who lived around Nazareth and had brought many of those ideas with them to the region. I've sometimes wondered if that was part of the reasons Moslems revered the Greeks so much and were generally dismissive of Romans.

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