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Can teachings of Jesus and Buddha be combined into book?

Discussion in 'Religious Books and Scriptures' started by PicarddataSolo, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. PicarddataSolo

    PicarddataSolo New Member

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    Christianity seems to have become polarized. For example Christianity and science seem to be clashing; global warming being the most known example. There doesn't seem to be conflict with Buddhism and science with the dalia lama stating ''If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview''. Buddha and Jesus share similar teachings shown in links below. Could a book be made combining the two teachings with all of money going to good cause like world hunger or increasing amount of clean water? Only moral,and also Christian/Buddhist way for it to be made.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/12/opinion/our-faith-in-science.html
    The Parallels of Jesus and Buddha. - Posts from the Path
    Buddha-Christ.info: Jesus and Buddha: Numerous Similarities
    I have made outline combining the two teachings.

    Gold knowledge sutra means teachings from Buddhist scripture,sutt a is Pali version of it.
    "Like testing gold , upon being scorched, cut and rubbed,
    My word is to be adopted by monastics and scholars Upon analyzing it well, Not out of respect [for me]"
    https://trans4mind.com/personal_development/buddhist/doubtAndScepticism.htm
    New Testament*1
    Gospel of Thomas*2
    Link to two translations of it below
    Gospel of Thomas (Lambdin Translation) -- The Nag Hammadi Library
    The Gospel of Thomas’s 114 Sayings of Jesus - Biblical Archaeology Society/
    1*The New Testament generally follows Buddhist principles such as bless and pray for your enemies, overcome evil with good,fruits of spirit like joy, peace,love,etc. However it does reference the old testament;saying Jesus came to fulfill old law. While Old Testament does have some good stuff like constantly saying to treat poor well; it overall doesn't fit Buddhist and Christian principles. Examples in Old Testament include Old Testament laws like death penalty for violating Sabbath. Stories like everyone down to infants being killed after Jericho fell also violate Buddhism. Leaders in Old Testament like Moses and David differ from Buddhism; with 3,000 people killed in the Golden Calf story and David killing women in raids. Also while most of New Testament fits Buddhist and Christian principles by having a loving God; there are some books most notably Revelations that contradicts that. Should all or some of New Testament be included then? Possible compromise is to have passages from New Testament that fit Buddhist principles like fruits of spirit, definition of love in 1 Corinthians, pray for and bless one's enemies,etc included.
    2*Found by an Egyptian peasant in 1945. Authenticity of this Gospel has been disputed. Gospel generally reflects Buddhist principles with verse 3 saying Jesus said, "If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."

    Scientific method sutra ;Sanskrit for Buddhist scripture, Sutta is Pali version of it.
    ''Come Kalamas. Do not believe something because you hear it frequently; nor because people have always done it that way; nor upon rumour; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon incomplete evidence; nor upon what is obvious; nor upon clever, but wrong reasoning; nor upon something that accords with your pet ideas; nor upon another's impressive ability; nor because your teacher says so. Kalamas, when you yourselves know: "These things are bad; these things are blameable; these things are censured by the wise then do not follow these principles. They will not help you. Abandon them!
    But when, Kalamas, you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are not blameable; these things are praised by the wise; If you follow these teachings, they lead to benefit and happiness. So follow them and practice them.''
    https://trans4mind.com/personal_development/buddhist/doubtAndScepticism.htm
    4 noble truths
    8 fold path
    3 essences of life
    3 crown jewels/refuge
    5 hindrances
    5 clinging aggregates
    10 fetters
    Thoughts on Buddhism Contents
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/beliefs/fournobletruths_1.shtml
    Self defense/love sutra
    ''Even if thieves carve you limb from limb with a double-handed saw, if you make your mind hostile you are not following my teaching.''
    ''In times of war Give rise in yourself to the mind of compassion,
    Helping living beings Abandon the will to fight.''
    ''Hatred does not ever cease in this world by hating, but by love; this is an eternal truth... Overcome anger by love, overcome evil by good, overcome the miser by giving, overcome the liar by truth."
    BBC - Religions - Buddhism: War
    http://postsfromthepath.com/sustainable-happiness/the-parallels-of-jesus-and-buddha.html
    Golden rule sutra
    "Hurt not others with that which pains yourself."
    http://www.theharmonyproject.org/buddhism.html
    Metta love meditation/prayer
    This is what should be done
    By one who is skilled in goodness, And who knows the path of peace:Let them be able and upright, Straightforward and gentle in speech.Humble and not conceited, Contented and easily satisfied.
    Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful, Not proud and demanding in nature.Let them not do the slightest thing That the wise would later reprove.
    Wishing: In gladness and in safety, May all beings be at ease.
    Whatever living beings there may be;Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none, The great or the mighty, medium, short or small, The seen and the unseen,Those living near and far away,
    Those born and to-be-born,May all beings be at ease!
    Let none deceive another,Or despise any being in any state. Let none through anger or ill-will Wish harm upon another.Even as a mother protects with her life Her child, her only child,So with a boundless heart Should one cherish all living beings:
    Radiating kindness over the entire world Spreading upwards to the skies,And downwards to the depths; Outwards and unbounded,
    Freed from hatred and ill-will.Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down Free from drowsiness,One should sustain this recollection.This is said to be the sublime abiding:
    By not holding to fixed views,The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision, Being freed from all sense desires,Becomes in unity with all things.
    Loving kindness, metta
    The Metta Sutra » The Buddha Center/
    Acts of service sutra
    http://www.hinduwebsite.com/buddhism/service.asp
    Right conduct sutra
    By developing what habit, what conduct, what actions may man be correctly established in and arrive at the highest goal?
    "He should respect his elders and not be envious of them. He should know the right time for seeing his teacher. [1] If a talk on Dhamma has started he should know the value of the opportunity and should listen carefully to the well-spoken words. [2]
    "When the time is right let him go to his teacher's presence, unassuming, putting aside stubbornness. Let him keep in mind and practice what he has learned: the meaning and the text of the Teaching, self-control and the other virtues of the Holy Life. [3] Delighting in the Dhamma, devoted to the Dhamma, established in the Dhamma, skilled in investigating the Dhamma, [4] let him not indulge in talk harmful to the practice of Dhamma. Let him be guided by well-spoke Abandoning the uttering of laughter and lamentations; giving up anger, fraud, hypocrisy, longing, conceit, violence, harshness, moral taints and infatuation; let him live without pride, self controlled. Understanding is essential for listening to a well-spoken word. Learning and understanding are essential to meditation, but a man who is hasty and heedless does not increase his wisdom and learning Those who are devoted to the Dhamma made known by the Noble Ones (ariya) are unsurpassed in speech, thought and action. They are established in peace, gentleness and concentration, and have reached the essence of learning and wisdom."
    Complete Sutra Collection » The Buddha Center/
    Kimsula sutra
    Ignorance sutra
    ''I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. There he addressed the monks, "Monks!""Yes, lord," the monks responded.
    The Blessed One said, "Monks, ignorance is the leader in the attainment of unskillful qualities, followed by lack of conscience and lack of concern. In a unknowledgeable person, immersed in ignorance, wrong view arises. In one of wrong view, wrong resolve arises. In one of wrong resolve, wrong speech... In one of wrong speech, wrong action... In one of wrong action, wrong livelihood... In one of wrong livelihood, wrong effort... In one of wrong effort, wrong mindfulness... In one of wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration arises."Clear knowing is the leader in the attainment of skillful qualities, followed by conscience and concern. In a knowledgeable person, immersed in clear knowing, right view arises. In one of right view, right resolve arises. In one of right resolve, right speech... In one of right speech, right action... In one of right action, right livelihood... In one of right livelihood, right effort... In one of right effort, right mindfulness... In one of right mindfulness, right concentration arises."
    Complete Sutra Collection » The Buddha Center/
    Avijja sutra
    Rest in next post(s)
     
  2. PicarddataSolo

    PicarddataSolo New Member

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    Karma sutra
    "Then the Buddha spoke to Ananda thus, “This question that you are asking--it is all on account of a previous existence, in which every one’s mind was not alike and equal. Therefore, in consequence, the retribution is of a thousand and a myriad separate and different minds.Thus the person who in this world is handsome comes from a patient mind, and the ugly comes from amid anger; the needy come from meanness.The high and noble comes from prayer and service, and the lowly and base comes from pride.The great and tall person comes from honor and respect and the short-legged person comes on account of contempt.The person who hinders the bright splendor of the Buddha is born black and thin; and the one who tastes the food of the fast is born deprived of food.The person who is too sparing of fire and light is born infirm; the one in whose eyes fault always appears is born night-blind.The person who slanders the Law is born dumb; and the person who does not want to hear the Law is born deaf. .....The person who is compassionate is born long-lived, and the one who kills living beings is born short-lived.The one who gives gifts is born rich.The one who gives a gift of horse and carriage to the three jewels has many horses and carriages.Then the person who reads and asks about the sutra is born intelligent; but the stupid person comes from an animal existence.The person who cannot stay in his place comes from among the apes; the one who binds the hands and feet of living beings is born paralyzed in hand and foot.
    The person who is of evil passions comes from snakes and scorpions; the one who keeps the precepts (sila) is complete in the six kinds of organ, but the person who breaks the precepts is incomplete in the six kinds of organ.The unclean person comes from the existence of pigs; the person who likes song and dance comes from among actors. The one who is greedy comes from dogs; the one who eats alone, their neck is goiterous.The one who castrates living beings has incomplete pudenda; the one who on one side abuses his superior has a short tongue.The one who seduces the spouse of another, after dying falls among the geese, and a person who commits incest will fall into the existence of sparrows."
    http://viewonbuddhism.org/karma.html
    Sutra on idleness
    ''He who does not rouse himself when it is time to rise, who, though young and strong, is full of sloth, whose will and thought are weak, that lazy and idle man will never find the way to enlightenment.''
    Strenuous is the path of immortality, sloth the path of death. Those who are strenuous do not die; those who are slothful are as if dead already.''
    http://urantia-book.org/archive/readers/quotations_buddhist_scriptures.htm
    Right discourse sutra
    When, friends, a noble disciple understands the unwholesome, the root of the unwholesome, the wholesome, and the root of the wholesome, in that way he is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma, and has arrived at this true Dhamma."And what, friends, is the unwholesome, what is the root of the unwholesome, what is the wholesome, what is the root of the wholesome? Killing living beings is unwholesome; taking what is not given is unwholesome; misconduct in sensual pleasures is unwholesome; false speech is unwholesome; malicious speech is unwholesome; harsh speech is unwholesome; gossip is unwholesome; covetousness is unwholesome; ill will is unwholesome; wrong view is unwholesome. This is called the unwholesome."And what is the root of the unwholesome? Greed is a root of the unwholesome; hate is a root of the unwholesome; delusion is a root of the unwholesome. This is called the root of the unwholesome."And what is the wholesome? Abstention from killing living beings is wholesome; abstention from taking what is not given is wholesome; abstention from misconduct in sensual pleasures is wholesome; abstention from false speech is wholesome; abstention from malicious speech is wholesome; abstention from harsh speech is wholesome; abstention from gossip is wholesome; non-covetousness is wholesome; non-ill will is wholesome; right view is wholesome. This is called the wholesome."And what is the root of the wholesome? Non-greed is a root of the wholesome; non-hate is a root of the wholesome; non-delusion is a root of the wholesome. This is called the root of the wholesome."When a noble disciple has thus understood the unwholesome, the root of the unwholesome, the wholesome, and the root of the wholesome, he entirely abandons the underlying tendency to lust, he abolishes the underlying tendency to aversion, he extirpates the underlying tendency to the view and conceit 'I am,' and by abandoning ignorance and arousing true knowledge he here and now makes an end of suffering. In that way too a noble disciple is one of right view, whose view is straight, who has perfect confidence in the Dhamma and has arrived at this true Dhamma."
    Complete Sutra Collection » The Buddha Center/
    Sammaditthi sutra
    Friendship sutra
    "One who, overstepping and despising a sense of shame, says, 'I am your friend,' but does not take upon himself any tasks he is capable of doing, is to be recognized as no friend. One who speaks amiably to his companions, but whose actions do not conform to it, him the wise know for certain as a talker not a doer. He is no friend who, anticipating conflict, is always alert in looking out for weaknesses. [1] But he on whom one can rely, like a child sleeping on its mother's breast, is truly a friend who cannot be parted from one by others.

    "One who bears the human burden of responsibility, with it fruits and blessings in mind, he cultivates a cause [2] of joy and happiness worthy of praise. Having tasted the flavor of solitude and peace one is free from fear and wrong-doings imbibing the rapture of Dhamma."
    Complete Sutra Collection » The Buddha Center/
    Hiri sutra
    Family sutra
    ''In every case where a family cannot hold onto its great wealth for long, it is for one or another of these four reasons. Which four? They don't look for things that are lost. They don't repair things that have gotten old. They are immoderate in consuming food and drink. They place a woman or man of no virtue or principles in the position of authority. In every case where a family cannot hold onto its great wealth for long, it is for one or another of these four reasons.
    "In every case where a family can hold onto its great wealth for long, it is for one or another of these four reasons. Which four? They look for things that are lost. They repair things that have gotten old. They are moderate in consuming food and drink. They place a virtuous, principled woman or man in the position of authority. In every case where a family can hold onto its great wealth for long, it is for one or another of these four reasons."
    Complete Sutra Collection » The Buddha Center/
    Kula Sutra
    Advice to king sutra
    "A king should never fall into the power of anger. Rather, let him control his anger, for neither a person’s interests or duty thrive when one is angry... When a dispute arises, he should pay equal attention to both parties, hear the arguments of each and then decide according to what is right. He should not act out of favouritism, hatred, fear or foolishness, but should hear the arguments of both sides and then decide according to what is right... While keeping an eye on state affairs, a king should dispense happiness to all. He should prevent all from committing violence and show that it is righteousness which brings reward. As in the days of former kings, large numbers of immigrants came together to be admitted into the realm, so should you admit them. Always show favour to the poor but also protect the rich who are your subjects...Do not foster hostility towards neighbouring kings. Whoever hates, will be repaid with hatred by his enemies. Cultivate ties of friendship with your neighbours, for others honour those who are steadfast in friendship. Do not talk at great length on all sorts of subjects, but give your judgement at the appropriate time and keep it to the point...Always protect those who live justly. For the wheel of power turns in dependence on the wheel of justice...Do not appoint as headmen of villages or provinces even your own sons or brothers if they are unscrupulous, violent or base...A foolish or greedy minister is of no value to either ruler or realm. Therefore, appoint as your ministers men who are not greedy but prudent and devoted in counsel and who can guide the realm. Your eyes are not as good as those of an informer, nor is your policy. Therefore, you should employ an informer in all your affairs."
    Self-defense - Dhamma Wiki
    Lion's roar sutra
    Tell the story of a monarch who at first relied upon the Buddhist teachings but later began to rule according to his own ideas. He did not give property to the needy, with the result that poverty became widespread. Due to poverty one man took what was not given and was arrested; when the king asked him why, the man said he had nothing to live on. So the king gave him some property, saying that it would be enough to carry on a business and support his family.
    Exactly the same thing happened to another man, and when other people heard about this they too decided to steal so they would be treated in a similar way. Then the king realized that if he continued to give property to such men, theft would continue to increase. So he decided to get tough on the next thief: “I had better make an end of him, finish him off once for all, and cut his head off.” And he did. Hearing about this, people thought: “Now let us get sharp swords made for us, and then we can take from anybody what is not given, we will make an end of them, finish them off once and for all and cut off their heads.” So, having procured some sharp swords, they launched murderous assaults on villages, towns and cities, and went in for highway robbery, killing their victims by cutting off their heads.
    Thus, from the not giving of property to the needy, poverty became widespread, from the growth of poverty, the taking of what was not given increased, from the increase of theft, the use of weapons increased, from the increased use of weapons, the taking of life increased''
    The Greatest Wealth is Contentment: A Buddhist Perspective on Poverty - Upaya Zen Center/
    Question sutra
    There are these four ways of answering questions. Which four? There are questions that should be answered categorically [straightforwardly yes, no, this, or that]. There are questions that should be answered with an analytical (qualified) answer [defining or redefining the terms]. There are questions that should be answered with a counter-question. There are questions that should be put aside. These are the four ways of answering questions."
    First the categorical answer,then the qualified,third, the type to be counter-questioned,and fourth, the one to be set aside.Any monk who knows which is which,in line with the Dhamma,is said to be skilled in the four types of questions:hard to overcome, hard to beat,profound, hard to defeat.He knows what's worthwhile and what's not,proficient in recognizing both,he rejects the worthless,grasps the worthwhile.He's called one who has broken through to what's worthwhile,prudent, and wise.
    http://www.thebuddhacenter.org/buddhism/sutras/complete-sutra-collection/
    Panha sutta
     
  3. PicarddataSolo

    PicarddataSolo New Member

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    Buddha quotes
    Start with ''Health is the greatest gift, contentment is the greatest wealth, a trusted friend is the best relative, Liberated mind is the greatest bliss.''
    ''Better than a thousand useless words is one useful word, hearing which one attains peace.''
    ''Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself.
    Self-conquest is far better than the conquest of others. Not even a god, an angel, Mara or Brahma can turn into defeat the victory of a person who is self-subdued and ever restrained in conduct.''
    ''Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him as you would a guide to hidden treasure.”
    ''If anything is to be done, let one do it with sustained vigor. ''
    ''Just as a mother would protect her only child with her life even so let one cultivate a boundless love towards all beings.''
    “If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given…”
    End with
    ‘'We will develop and cultivate the liberation of mind by loving kindness, make it our vehicle, make it our basis, stabilize it, exercise ourselves in it, and fully perfect it.’ Thus should you train yourselves.”
    Real Buddha Quotes/
     
  4. Ingledsva

    Ingledsva HEATHEN ALASKAN

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    I believe several people have published such books.

    *
     
  5. Epic Beard Man

    Epic Beard Man Bearded Philosopher

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    hahahaha Kama Sutra lol
     
  6. Gerry

    Gerry Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting ideas. I would answer yes to your question.

    I didn’t read the entire posts, but feel that your interpretation of some OT verses to be too literal perhaps.
    I try to find the spiritual meaning in the Bible, as much as possible. As such, I find nothing in the Bible that disturbs my conscience, which includes belief in global warming, evolution, gay marriage, dislike for war or aggression of any kind, and more.
     
  7. robocop (actually)

    robocop (actually) Well-Known Member
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    Buddha and Jesus:: Could Solomon Be the Missing Link? Paperback – July 11, 2011
    by R. E. Sherman (Author)
     
  8. wandering peacefully

    wandering peacefully Active Member

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    Pages of wisdom and instruction on how each person is responsible for their own actions and how to make the best life possible for themselves and others. No mention of worship of deities. That is the difference in teachings. It is a way of living based on simple words of wisdom for the here and now that anyone can follow if they choose to.

    So to answer the question I think Jesus' golden rule teachings would fit well in a combined book of teachings.
     
  9. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I posted this here already, but one important book already published about this is There is No God and He is Always with You: A Search for God in Odd Places by Brad Warner
     
  10. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    From my readings of the teachings of Buddha, they are much more closer to the gnostics than the Jews or orthodox Christians. The Gospel of Thomas says much, but the Gospel of Philip is much more gnostic in flavor, almost Valentinian.

    "It is not possible for anyone to see anything of the things that actually exist unless he becomes like them. This is not the way with man in the world: he sees the sun without being a sun; and he sees the heaven and the earth and all other things, but he is not these things. This is quite in keeping with the truth. But you saw something of that place, and you became those things. You saw the Spirit, you became spirit. You saw Christ, you became Christ. You saw the Father, you shall become Father. So in this place you see everything and do not see yourself, but in that place you do see yourself - and what you see you shall become."- Gospel of Philip

    I could post more that lines up close to the Sutra, but will leave that to the those who wish to seek further.
     
  11. syo

    syo Well-Known Member

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    clerics won't accept such a book.
     
  12. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    Now that's interesting. In this place of seeing oneself, do they see differences between self and other? Or are self and other held as ultimately illusory?

    To answer the OP:

    Yes I think Buddha and Jesus can be compared in books. I don't think they taught exactly the same things, or same point to life. However, as a Buddhist I admire what seems to have been Jesus's non-violence ethic and Bodhicitta (Heart of a Bodhisattva)- that he seems to have cared about all sentient beings. Even animals, in which I cite his statement that if 'the Jews had understood mercy and not sacrifice, they would not have condemned the innocent'.

    Jesus clearly meant I think, they would not have offered God the flesh of animals. The Ebionites, an early Nazarene sect adhered to strict vegetarianism, and believed Jesus taught it.

    I think in Christianity's case, a switch to a more humanist model that only follows Jesus's bare sayings may be integral to the religion's survival. To address what you said about Buddhism and science, and I'm sure the Dalai Lama would agree he wasn't saying to disregard Buddhist teaching if I asked him in this way> The Buddhist texts do not claim to tell us everything about the material world of forms correct? Only the underlying factors of the mental processes and so on?

    In brief: Buddhism and science address different fields in a different way. Buddhists accept science in that we accept there is a material world of forms. One should be careful though what they mean by this.
     
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  13. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein ᛘᛁᛏᚾᛁᚴᚼᛏ᛫ᛋᚢᚾ
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    That has nothing to do with condemning animal sacrifice. It's part of his response to people criticizing his followers for breaking the Sabbath. I doubt Jesus had some special care for animals when he made a bunch of demons go into a herd of pigs and they ran off a cliff. That's not very compassionate
     
  14. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein ᛘᛁᛏᚾᛁᚴᚼᛏ᛫ᛋᚢᚾ
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    I think the similarities between the Buddha and Jesus' teachings are way overblown and too simplistic. They widely diverged on the major things. They just have some basic social ethics in common, really.
     
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  15. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    Both teach of mind and a higher consciousness at work in the physical realm. At least Christian gnosis and Buddha teaches such. Names (and words) can be confusing.

    "Names given to the worldly are very deceptive, for they divert our thoughts from what is correct to what is incorrect. Thus one who hears the word "God" does not perceive what is correct, but perceives what is incorrect. So also with "the Father" and "the Son" and "the Holy Spirit" and "life" and "light" and "resurrection" and "the Church (Ekklesia)" and all the rest - people do not perceive what is correct but they perceive what is incorrect, unless they have come to know what is correct. The names which are heard are in the world [...] deceive. If they were in the Aeon (eternal realm), they would at no time be used as names in the world. Nor were they set among worldly things. They have an end in the Aeon."- Gospel of Philip

    One mans gnosis is another mans Kama Sutra.
     
  16. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein ᛘᛁᛏᚾᛁᚴᚼᛏ᛫ᛋᚢᚾ
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    I don't see what that has to do with Buddhism.
     
  17. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure you don't. It was meant for others.
     
  18. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    So who killed the pigs? Jesus or the demons?
     
  19. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein ᛘᛁᛏᚾᛁᚴᚼᛏ᛫ᛋᚢᚾ
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    Well, he certainly did nothing to stop them. He's the one who sent them into the pigs in the first place.
     
  20. Buddha Dharma

    Buddha Dharma Dharma Practitioner

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    I'll answer your previous reply to me first, before I proceed to something else.

    I might agree with you that the similarities are overplayed, but I acknowledge there are some there. Indeed, I said in my initial post you quoted that they are comparable, but didn't say identical. That was on purpose, because I know there are differences between them.

    As for the Gerasene demoniac story. I know it would do no good to point this out to Christians, but most of the miracle stories are not intended to be literal. That becomes painstakingly clear when you know the origins of the miracle narratives. I can think of hardly a single miracle attributed to Jesus not able to be found in older sources- including Greek mythology.

    The miracle in question: the Gerasene demoniac exorcism, is clearly from the Odyssey. It is a retelling of the Odysseus and Polyphemus episode, rather humorously- from beginning to end. Jesus gets into a boat and goes to that land. Why is that an important element of the narrative?

    We are then told about the discourse Jesus allegedly enters into with the man. It is there we find our clues. Just as Polyphemus asked Odysseus who he was and he replied no man- Jesus asks the demoniac, who replies he is many. A very interesting turn about on the part of the gospel author, who doubtless was familiar with Homer.

    The uncleanness that brought the man into his state, again mirrors Homer. Polyphemus ate all kinds of filth, bones, and human flesh we are told by the Greek poet. The Homeric narrative appears exorcistic in nature because Odysseus proceeds to make him vomit out all the filth, through the use of a predictable agent in these kinds of myths: wine.

    We are even told that Polyphemus cries out in horror when he learns Odysseus's identity, that he knows who he is- the one foretold to come there and do it to him. "We know who you are. The holy one of God!"

    As for the pigs- well is it a stretch to say rather, sheep? We are told Polyphemus kept sheep.

    Most of Jesus's miracles can be explained in this way. His feeding of the thousands is Elisha's miracle in Kings, where we are told "there was some leftover, according to the word of the Lord". Likewise, Jesus's healing the woman with a hemorrhage and raising Jarius's daughter is a reworking of Elijah and the widow, whose son he raised.

    The miracle aspects of the gospels are doubtful, and like Jefferson and others I question that dimension of them. Not the sayings though. There are good arguments for the sayings belonging to a man named Jesus.


    Now to the other issue. @Phantasman is correct to compare Buddhism with Christian gnosticism in the way he did- though I'd question what he means by it to be certain. Buddhism agrees with his brand of gnosticism that nothing belonging to the paradoxical or ultimate: "Buddha-nature", can really be described in human terms fully. The teachings of the Buddha are called rafts. When some of the masters said the Buddha never spoke a word, this is what they mean.
     
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