Any Buddhists here? My sister is interested...trying to get info

by Eyebrow2 35 Replies latest jw friends

  • Terry
    Your intellectualism should be judged just as any other religion. Terry, you must ask yourself....are you happy? Just because you are using intellectual langauge doesn't mean you can say it's anything other than spiritualism. It's your minds construct on how to view the's no better nor worse than Catholics, Buddhists, Taoist, etc. It must stand on it's own. DOES IT WORK FOR YOU? ARE YOU HAPPY?

    Define: INTELLECTUAL: involving intelligence rather than emotions or instinct

    Define: RELIGION: commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the practices and institutions associated with such belief. In its broadest sense some have defined it as the sum total of answers given to explain humankind's relationship with the universe

    Define: SPIRITUALISM: is a belief structure that spirits and ghosts can communicate with the living

    In view of the above I'll say this.

    When I use words I try to use them accurately. I try to use concepts precisely.

    I'm afraid I didn't understand a word you said. I'm serious. I can't figure out what you are talking about because the words you use to express yourself don't fit the intent as far as I can tell.

    Clarity is what I strive for. If I don't have a clear idea of what the other guy is saying it is either because:

    1.I'm too dense or not paying attention.


    2.The other guy isn't conveying "meaning" because the word choices are devoid of content.

    Substitute the definitions I've listed for the words in your sentences and you'll see my problem in figuring out what your complaint is about me.

    I'm sorry if this sounds flippant. I like you and generally find your posts to be thoughtful. But, this time...........I'm clueless.

    Thanks for listening.


  • Gretchen956

    Terry I don't know you but you must be at least half vulcan!


  • EvilForce

    Terry I have no complaint with you at all. I am challenging your "view of the world". If I'm overstepping tell me to shut up. LOL.
    Let me see if I can explain myself a little better. (I am borrowing statements from Wikipedia so as to use another author's voice to explain my meaning.)
    Religion—sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system. ( IMHO your belief system is the reliance on intellectualism )
    Ok...what do I call intellectualism
    Strictly a doctrine about the possibility of deriving knowledge from reason alone, intellectualism can stand for a general approach emphasising the importance of learning and logical thinking. Criticism of this attitude, sometimes summed up as Left Bank, caricatures intellectualism's faith in the mind and puts it in opposition to emotion, instinct, and primitivist values in general.
    The spiritual and the religious
    An important distinction needs to be made between spirituality in religion and spirituality as opposed to religion.
    In recent years, spirituality in religion often carries connotations of the believer's faith being more personal, less dogmatic, more open to new ideas and myriad influences, and more pluralistic than the faiths of established religions.
    Those who speak of spirituality as opposed to religion generally believe that there are many "spiritual paths" and that there is no objective truth about which is the best path to follow. Rather, adherants of this defnintion of the term emphasize the importance of finding ones own path to god, rather than following what others say works. The best way to describe this view is a variation on Ockham's Razor: The path which makes the most sense is the correct one (for oneself). Many adherents of orthodox religions who consider spirituality to be an aspect of their religious experience are more likely to contrast spirituality with secular "worldliness" than with the ritual expression of their religion.
    Directed spirituality
    One aspect of 'Being spiritual' is goal-directed, with aims such as: simultaneously improve one's wisdom and willpower, achieve a closer connection to god/the universe, and remove illusions or false ideas at the sensory, feeling and thinking aspects of a person. The 'Plato's cave' analogy in book VII of The Republic is one of the most well known descriptions of the spiritual development process, and thus, an excellent aid in understanding what "spiritual development" exactly entails.
    Others say that spirituality is a two-stroke process: the "upward stroke" is inner growth, changing oneself as one changes his/her relationship with god/allah/lifeforce/or intellectualism, and the "downward stroke" is manifesting improvements in the physical reality around oneself as a result of the inward change.
    Terry, you say that you follow the logical, truthful, provable...hence why I am saying you rely on your intellect to give you your "truth".
    When someone sincerely agrees with an assertion, they might claim that it is the truth. While one might have a good intuitive sense of what it is to be true, providing a definition of truth that achieves wide acceptance is quite difficult. One reason is that often truth is first stated as a goal and only after that people start arguing what truth actually is. So when people are arguing about the definition of Truth they may be arguing about the goal to which they should aspire. Truth is the goal of religion, philosophy, mathematics, law, and science, yet those fields use different methods and seek different goals. Not surprisingly, using a single word for all of them is very likely to cause confusion and conflict. So when it comes to "truth" are we talking about subjective vs. objective truth, relative vs. absolute truth, or possibly even double truth. after all that what I'm saying is:
    IMHO you rely on intellectual "truth" for your core belief system (or religion) and don't recognize that using intellectual "truth" is a artifical construct for you to understand the world. Using intellectual "truth" is no better/worse than Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism. It is what it is. If it is your path, then it is your path. We all use our own constructs to understand reality through our perspective eyes. As I posted above your spirituality should guide and reflect your inner self. So you must judge intellectualism, Buddhism, Taoism, etc. on whether it is helping you to achieve a happy, well adjusted, meaningful existence. Is your belief structure doing this for you? This is strictly a rhetorical question....I'm not seeking an answer.
    I've seen many posters on this board that dismiss all "organized relgion" and "god" out of hand instead relying on their intellects to help them explain the world. I say that this is as artificial as believing in God/Allah/Buddha.
    I'm sleep deprived right did I make any sense????


  • Terry

    Terry I don't know you but you must be at least half vulcan!


    Hi Sherry!

    Naw, you only see just one teeny little side of me as a person and mostly it is a serious side. Some of my other posts (like Russell meets Rutherford) show my whimsical side.

    Most people think of me as just a big kid. I'm always giddy and cracking people up at work. It has been said by those close to me that there isn't a serious bone in my body.

    You see, Sherry, it is only what you see HERE that informs the impression that I'm simply Black and White. I blame my photo!


  • Terry

    Thanks EVILFORCE for going through the trouble to be articulate, precise and unambiguous.

    I understand you as perfectly as my widdle head will allow.

    As Danny Haszard is fond of saying: We are all entitled to our own opinions; but, not our own facts.

    If you see in me a reluctance to grant others their own facts; you are certainly right about that.

    You see, there is only ONE universe. (The word Uni- is a dead giveaway:)

    I divide people's thinking into a valid (historically and philsophically) dichotomy of Rational and Mystical.

    Now, it would appear you are saying I should not close my mind to the possibility that the MYSTICAL has equal validity to the RATIONAL and dismiss it peremptorily.

    But, I see nothing in the history of man's ideas to suggest anything mystical produced a valid idea or a boon to mankind.

    Humans learn through their senses. What they learn is about what exists in the very real world at large. That makes learning by sensory input practical since we live on a real planet and have real obstacles to face in daily life.

    The boosts to society and humanity have always (you are invited to give me any exceptions I've missed) come from rational men who discovered how actual things really work.

    Knowing the way things work is a huge advantage over mere superstitious guesses, appeals to gods or demons, magic, etc.

    At the very practical level of day to day existence we are in a mode of SURVIVAL. It is cushioned in America and there are many safety nets; but, the struggle is real.

    But, you get a job and career from practical education; not mysticism. You get medical knowledge from scientific scrutiny of cause and effect; not mysticism. You get technology from rules of engineering and math; not mysticism. Blah blah blah; not blah blah.

    Having said all that I recognize how very very strong the desire is for people to want things easier than that. Peering inside yourself is more economical than four years in college. Viewing the mundane workaday world as a mere plane of existence is more poetic. But, the only knowledge you get from turning inside is make-believe and impractical.

    Great Spiritual Leaders such as Dali Lama have, as far as I'm aware, never done a days work in their lives. They live off the dazzle in the eyes of the true believer.

    Deepak Chopra and other gurus write best-selling books that have about as much practical content as Joe Rutherford's. It is brain masturbation and not much else. I've challenged people to quote one paragraph from just one Spiritual Adept that made any practical sense at all. The words they use are floating on ethereal non-contexts and actually say nothing comprehensible.

    Mystics abuse language like a child molester feels up children. Words are stretched to mean ill-defined inferences. Words like "energy" and "vibrations" and such mean nothing because they mean everything. If this sounds like petty fault-finding I assure you I'm serious.

    Crackpot science, food faddism and pure bullshit stem from mystical thinking.

    I work with a guy who has a MacroBiotic diet. He looks like an Aushwitz victim. I asked him for a cookbook so I could try his diet to see how it tastes (out of curiousity). He asked me a very strange question.

    Mark: "Do you have gas stove or an electric stove?"

    You see, he thinks the electric stove is totally ineffective because the "energy" waves disturb the nutrition!!!! Madness!

    People who have gone mad over diets and vitamins and meditations are making a totem out of eating, health and relaxation.

    I think the craving for ritual is so needy and compulsive they just can't help it. But, I won't generalize about EVERYbody. Just the people I've encountered. get the idea. I think mysticism is turning off your rational mind like unlocking the door of your house. Whatever gets inside can do you harm when you don't use caution.

    I think I'm on safer ground asking for pure definitions of words used to exchange information from one mind to another rather than relying on an elastic "intuitive" mush that might mean something or it might not.

    We always demand precision in life when things matter to us: our paycheck, the bill that comes in the mail, the cost of gasoline, taxes, etc. We don't use mushy language or vague inferences when it comes to the money out of our pocket, do we? No! Yet, we tolerate real imprecision and even amorphous plasticity when it comes to what fuels our brain and informs our intellect.


    Makes no sense to me. And making sense is having a grasp of WHAT IS.

    Let the Mystic assert whatever he or she wants to assert and claim "it is true for me". Yeah, well, I've got an invisible unicorn in my closet and when he takes a dump it smells like springtime in the Rockies. At least it is true for me.


  • GentlyFeral

    Hey, I forgot...

    • Tricycle: The Buddhist Review: America's Leading Buddhist Magazine.

    It doesn't go out-of-date as fast as The Watchtower does.


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