Do we need a "belief"?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by CobblersApprentice, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. Ahanu

    Ahanu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    1,305
    Likes Received:
    138
    I do think what you're saying can be framed another way. What if we focus on the world instead of the individual? What would we see? The dilemma is over whether or not the world is capricious or coherent. A coherent world is predictable with rules. In a coherent world we believe that if we work hard, we will do well in life. We'll get good grades in school, find a good job, and so on. But what if none of that happens despite our hard work? Our belief would then be limiting us in some way. Better to be flexible (or have "no belief") in a capricious world, in a land ruled by unpredictability. Practically this is what I think you're talking about (when "asking about the possibility of living with no beliefs"). Correct me if I'm wrong. Maybe I'm way off target.

    What is it for Buddhists then?
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  2. I like all the various perspectives anyone might associate with the original OP. My own was and is with what Buddhists would see as the "bottom line", enlightenment itself. As far as I can understand as of now, this is to do with living as radical freedom, unencumbered by belief or bias (these, as far as I can see, inevitably distorting the present moment, this the only moment we can ever live in, like it or not)

    I have quoted Merton on the Middle Way before, and can do no better than quote him again....

    It was Buddha’s aim not to give a “final” speculative answer but to be free from all theories and to know, by experience, “the nature of form and how form arises and how form perishes.” He wanted “not a third position lying between two extremes but a no-position that supersedes them both.” This is the Middle Way.


    Merton was studying the Madhyamika, the central philosophy of Buddhism, this has to do with breaking through the "intermiable dialectic of reason", or as associated with what John Keats saw as "consecutive reasoning" which he said had never led him into any real understanding of "truth".
     
  3. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    484
    Do these fall outside of belief?
     
  4. I would say "yes". The words of the Buddha are heard ("Thus have I heard"), the Dharma (as his teachings) are a "come and see (for oneself) - ehipassiko - type of thing. So not a matter of "belief" as such. And obviously, if realised as true, also not a matter of belief.
     
  5. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    484
    So you are saying that we are capable of discovering these truths on our own, according to these... teachings?
     
  6. I'm not really claiming anything. I'm asking questions. Are we capable of experiencing the end of suffering. In this very life?

    Many, throughout history, have spoken of "heaven", a heaven of the next life. Meanwhile we stumble on in this life. Looking towards death, after which, it is promised, that if we believe right, have obeyed, earned our pass-mark, we can really start living! The next life as reward - maybe compensation - for the labours and sufferings of this life.

    Well, I don't actually think humanity has "come of age" or has "matured" and thus no longer need such promises. Most just don't really believe it - i.e. an afterlife - any more. So wander, often aimlessly, in this life, enjoying what they can while the chance is there.

    So, in part, my questions.

    Just to add, one thing I find fascinating, even encouraging, in much Buddhist "opinion" (!) are such claims as this, from the Zen Master Pai-chang:-

    What are called desire and aversion when one is not yet enlightened or liberated are called enlightened wisdom after enlightenment. That is why it is said, “One is not different from who one used to be; only one’s course of action is different from before.”

    "
    One is not different from who one used to be"!!

    Yet all has changed. And I would add further, that as I would associate the capacity to love with any such enlightenment , the "prize" is there. This world transformed.

    So I question. Is it possible? (And without the need to believe?)

    (Alas, I would say, as of now, that any "transformation", will, and can only be, individual. So I do not envisage any "utopia" on earth)

    Well, enough for now. A tiring day.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2019
  7. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2013
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    98
    How to lose Karma?

    How to lose today's Karma?
    How to lose yesterday's Karma?
    How to lose a life's time of Karma?

    DYK:
    If one has NO good and has no bad karma, one cannot take a future birth.
    If one has NO good and has no bad karma, one is liberated.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Filial piety - Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filial_piety
    In Confucian, Chinese Buddhist and Taoist ethics, filial piety
    is a virtue of respect for one's parents, elders, and ancestors.

    In Hinduism, if one becomes enlightened and gains salvation ...
    many generations gain liberation too.

    Also in Hinduism there are sacraments that a living offspring do to safe guard the parentage after death.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  8. All sins committed in the three worlds will fade and disappear together with myself.

    (The opinion of Ikkyu)

    :)
     
  9. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    484
    Yeah, I'm just trying to figure out the premise of the question. You are framing this surrounding 'belief' and I'm testing what belief is here.

    Your quotes seem to elude to conscious actions taken in the context of certain convictions/world-views/beliefs. I'm not saying that you are stating these things, I'm telling you how I'm reading and understanding things.
     
  10. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2013
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    98
    If santori is reached, prior to death, one is assured a good chance of passing the final exam, death.

    If the exam is failed, samsara occurs.

    In my vernacular, Atma is consciousness itself...so at death having jettisoned my ego etc etc etc...my consciousness will not be lost.

    I expect to die consciously with precise coordinates of my next destination.

    Aside from my POV, we will usually die with desires [or without desires], and those desires will direct us to an eligible vacancy.
     
  11. Much like Tibetan opinions!

    :)
     
  12. Leaving questions, my opinion, as of now:-

    Belief clings, Faith lets go. Belief and Faith do not supplement each other, they are opposed to each other. In life, though, they can be intertwined (which is where my own search for clarity comes in)

    If anyone wishes to stay with "ah, but what you say is a belief" please feel free, but I will not get involved.

    Moving on, to try to bring another aspect. In the past, on other forums, I have thought that when others spoke of the pure spontaneity of some sort of enlightened state, that in reality words and actions that followed "enlightenment" were simply the product of a faster processor (so to speak) in the mind. Words and actions were not arising from "emptiness" but from the past, from conditions, from the whole mess of past beliefs or whatever. I was the Devil's Advocate!

    Now I ask. My question. Is such a pure state of being (or non-being!) possible? Are we in fact just basically computers, or can we be radically free, sharing the nature of God/Reality-as-is?
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2003
    Messages:
    9,958
    Likes Received:
    1,123
    Only, it seems to me, if this life is placed in a larger context.

    As does the Pure Land. I can't think of a religion that doesn't.

    But I also think that every religion posits the far harder way of the 'here and now' which is nevertheless spoken of explicitly, eg: "For lo, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21). I'd say the term heaven is synonymous with the term peace, and perhaps peace with enlightenment. Neither heaven nor enlightenment necessarily means the individual knows the answers to the secrets of the universe.

    Yes. (No)

    I can't see that it is possible without belief in something. Without belief, there is no movement?
     
  14. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2019
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    56
    I second that :)
     
  15. Yes, I have posted twice now about the Pure Land and its "land to the west" where Amida takes the faithful at death. I would even say that its classic expression is the polar opposite of my own way of being.

    Which just goes to show......Reality is one of grace and mercy, not consistency and justice. Full of unexpected surprises. Sometimes strict beliefs can cut out the surprises that could have been ours.

    Yes, beliefs can bring movement. Then they can congeal and leave us a bed to lie on that we may never have wanted. Unexpected.
     
  16. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    484
    My I suggest letting go of those words? They bring a lot of baggage into the discussion that I don't think you are interested in.

    You don't say!
     

  17. I really don't mind baggage.

    "Take what you need and leave the rest"
     
  18. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,147
    Likes Received:
    484
    It seems to me that you often get in situations where you feel the need to distance yourself from certain statements. "I didn't say this or that".
    I'm saying that if you chose a more neutral language, a lot of side issues can be skipped to get to what you are actually trying to get at.

    I'm not really objecting. Just discussing.
     
  19. It seems to me that I am often misunderstood. Often unclear.

    Tell me something I have said, a "statement", explain how I have then "distanced myself from it" and I shall consider the situation.
     
  20. Bhaktajan II

    Bhaktajan II Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2013
    Messages:
    671
    Likes Received:
    98
    What? What does that mean?
    Does it mean you are familiar with Tibetan Buddhism?

    It is exactly a Buddhist doctrine.
     

Share This Page