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#200127 - 11/03/05 04:02 AM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: Kintama]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
Harlan and Kintama,

Excellent discussion and I hope you don't mind if drop into this diologue, despite my not being any particular religion and not knowing much Buddahism... or any religion for that matter.

But, Kintama, I think Harlan really answered the question here when she mentions the Buddhist view of the interconnectedness of everything and in the idea that everything is codependent and requires each other for mutual, beneficial existence. What's done to another in harm is harming us all. Thus the act of violence carries no intrinsic value of good or evil, it is the perpetrator and his delusions that are the source of this lack of compassion. Harm to another...which is harm to yourself...is the concern.

Thus, it is the doer of the deed who apprehends less clearly the reality of this existence that needs to be examined since he seeks to harm himself through harm of others. Therein lies the understanding of compassion since it is now presented within the scope of self-preservation. The events themselves are just that, the clarity by which they are viewed by others is the question.

If one wants to, I suppose one could cloak these questions to some extent, in a Western perception of Christianity (and I mean no insult or wish to bring up Christianity's relevance as anything other than a more easily identified point of reference).

If one assumes the general western understanding of Christiantity with God the source of everthing. Then everthing stems from God. Some would conclude that evil then was a manifestation of God if he created everything. God creating evil? So then you have the dualistic nature that most Christians go by of Good and Evil and the representation of Satan as the antithesis of God.

However, if God is the creator...then he created his own nemesis. Well, the answer to this little riddle is generally...choice.

Evil exist so choice is given. In other words, an option to view the world clearly is given. And that evil was not essentially created as much formed by a lack of God's grace. And the choice of the individual to persue the right path is allowed within this distinction of good and evil, or presence of God and lack thereof.

Therefore, you still have the same symbolic entry with one Source that has manifestation of polar opposites with one positive and the other negative (or, in other words, one entirely lacking the other).

With this view in mind, someone who murders someone else is doing a deed without the grace of God to constitute his decisions. Essentially, doing evil. Again, the act is not evil in and of itself, it is the perpetrator who goes against the dictates of the "good" path which is clearer understanding of what is right and "Christian."

If you view it this way, then the Christian association with God is the cup in which half full and half empty have relavance to whichever pole one chooses. But all of it is contained within creation from one source. So, a righteous path would have a view of why evil exists and the essential idea of duality, but contained within a larger understanding that it is part of the whole and that this is only one side of the coin necessary for the existence of the
other.

-B

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#200128 - 11/03/05 08:08 AM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: butterfly]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia

Yes, you have brought up a point that has troubled me for as long as I understood, or thought I understood, the christian view of God being the primal source of ALL creation.

If ultimately it comes down to "choice" being the conscious determinator of ones action within the context of behaving 'good' or 'bad', then wouldn't the particular action that one chooses to take be already a pre-determined one issuing out of God's grace?

Or as Satan would say, God made me do it? because without an antithetical point of reference or, if you like, an "evil" element, a "good" God becomes redundant? In other words God HAS to create evil to justify His own existence?

If Adam & Eve had not behaved badly, there would have been no good & evil big bang?

If Jesus had not died and resurrected, Christianity itself would not have come into being?

I can feel a Mod's finger speeding towards the lock button.

Butterfly, we share half a name, I hope someday we can share a full beer together.
If you feel that by answering an opened can of worms may swarm the thread and thus get it locked, then don't as it would be a pity as the original topic deserves to go on.

WuXing.

Can I come and sit by your knee and be your disciple?
_________________________
I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

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#200129 - 11/03/05 08:15 AM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: ButterflyPalm]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I can only think, that if 'Oneness' or 'returning to the source' is equated to the concept of 'God'...that the percieving of evil/not-good/'satan'/duality is only possible from a 'fall from grace'/unity.

To get back on topic: an 'evil' buddha can only exist in perception/idea if there is also an idea of 'good' buddha'.

Who said that the historical Buddha was good?

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#200130 - 11/03/05 08:31 AM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: butterfly]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
great post butterfly, and it is good to bring it around to Christianity, which generally isn't so foreign to English speaking people

In understanding non-duality, you don't think of actions as "good" and "bad". It's neither right nor wrong to seek the truth. But if you are headed down the path to truth, then there are some actions that serve that purpose and other actions that do not. Compassionate acts which confirm your interconnectedness serve that purpose. Hurting people does not. Giving of onesself without boundary serves the purpose. Being greedy and stealing does not. It's not because the acts are intrinsically right or wrong that you make your decisions.
It's like having a map, and choosing to go to a certain place. If you're going to California, you have to go a certain direction from where you are, take certain roads. It's not wrong to go to New York, there are lots of people in New York. But if California is your goal, there's a certain direction you need to go to get there. The metaphor breaks down now, because in Buddhism it is believed that everyone will at some point want to go to California, in this life or in another life somewhere down the line, and the Buddha's path is there whenever they are ready to take it. So people who seem nowhere near the path, commiting "evils" and falling prey to the cycle of karma and samsara, are not "lost" or condemned without hope. Everyone has the ability to come around and leave "hell" some day, when the conditions are right for them. Because there is no such thing as "time", it doens't matter how "long" it takes someone, once you get "there" you realize you've always been Here.

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#200131 - 11/03/05 08:34 AM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: WuXing]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Oh, WuXing....why did you leave Massachusetts?

Your clarity is refreshing. Thank you.

(I'm going to bookmark this thread!)


Edited by harlan (11/03/05 09:10 AM)

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#200132 - 11/03/05 09:32 AM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: WuXing]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
couldn't help it...after reading your last, I was humming to the song 'Hotel California'.

I was going to write something earlier, but everyone steered the thread nicely. These are the thoughts and questions I wanted to explore... I'm sure I'll have more questions from them.
Here is a speedbump I'm having on my way to Cali : how can someone be a oneness (non-dualistic) if they are not aware of all sides of a coin? and if they ARE aware of the sides, isn't that dualism?
example: A child might not be aware of the dangers of playing on top of a water well...they are living in the moment by observing an interesting looking bug that also sits on the well top. The bug jumps, the child flinches and falls in.
The child followed a path of living in the moment, yet initially failed to make the correct DUALISTIC choice of either climbing on top of the well or not climbing up. A choice between Good/Bad.
If someone is not even aware of a dualistic path such as 'bad' or 'danger', they would go thru their short life as naive. Therefore, it doesn't seem possible to treat both paths as equal, since a person will always bias themselves and decisions based on a host of factors which make up knowledge and wisdom.
Simply: If a Buddha is enlightened and without duality...then he/she must not make a distinction between enlightened and unenlightened. so in the eyes of a Buddha, why is the child now at the bottom of the well?

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#200133 - 11/03/05 09:41 AM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: Kintama]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
When you are 'in the flow' in kata, or completely focused on a 'target' spot in bunkai....in that very moment...is there an awareness of your 'self'? The moment 'the watcher' becomes aware of self...there is duality. The moments when there is no awareness of self because the watcher is completely absorbed...are moments of non-duality. Being aware of the sides as seperate vs being aware of the sides as being seperate and AT THE SAME TIME AND IN THE SAME SPACE (kwatz) being aware that the coin is whole is non-duality.

How many times can you divide a circle...and still it is a circle? How many parts does the number one have?


Edited by harlan (11/03/05 09:42 AM)

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#200134 - 11/03/05 10:04 AM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: harlan]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia

Looking at the Yin / Yang Symbol as a singularity and not 'made up' of two parts?

Just to bridge the small pause before some lengthy reply comes on.
_________________________
I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

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#200135 - 11/03/05 10:07 AM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: ButterflyPalm]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Or understanding the idea of 'no-sword', or 'life-giving sword', or a 'compassionate killing' (which is where Budo and Buddhism seperate, I think).

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#200136 - 11/03/05 10:20 AM Re: Evil Buddha? [Re: harlan]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
You are aware of the coin, but you are also aware that there is no coin.
"Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead, only try and realize the truth." "What truth?" "There is no spoon. Then you will see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself." -Boy and Neo from The Matrix

The state of non-duality is completely transcendent, no longer restricted by space and time. If the child was truly "in the moment", he could not be harmed in any way. He would not perceive the bug or the waterfall, only himself everywhere he sees. Time would "stop" and evertyhing would be just as it Is. This is what Zen practices...being right Here, only This. If you were to fall and die? The body and mind pass from one state to another, and there is nothing more natural than this. Why be afraid of such a "death"?

Practicing this does not mean "common sense" ceases, because the mind does that all by itself. You don't need to worry about it. The body and mind go on functioning in the way they do, until they don't anymore. "Before you are enlightneed you chop wood and carry water. After you are enlightened, you chop wood and carry water"

The functioning of the world doesn't cease. There are still protons and electrons, and positive and negative forces, people doing all manner of things good and bad. What changes is your perception of these things. You realise that the seperation between things is an illusion, thus the different "things" themselves are illusions. The sense of "self" is an illusion...all is One, you are every thing and feeling and thought that there is. Any journey inevitably comes full circle, because there is really nowhere to go. Both Buddhism and Taoism say this.

This is lots of talking for something that can't be explained, but only experienced indiviually But words can sometimes help a person to look someplace inside they didn't think of looking before. "A finger pointing to the moon".


Seriously, I don't know that much. I hope the things I've been saying will encourage someone to go look for things themselves, because that's how I found what is working for me. Read some sutras, read some Taoist and Zen/Ch'an writings, and decide for yourself what it all means. Practice some meditation, walk through nature, and practice martial arts and decide how it makes you feel.

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