Jesus was a Buddhist

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by SalamanderRC, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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    dondi... not all buddhists believe that buddhism was occuring before Siddhartha... ur exactly right- buddhism is based on his teachings... so then, where is the buddhism without the Buddha?

    he was born, a man, and died at around 81, we are told... ergo, he was a man. Not a god. Sure, he was enlightened, but why does that have to be something metaphysical? why not, instead, metaphorical..?

    all this... "spiritual stuff", the lineages of avatars remaining through countless incarnations... buddha speaking with gods and goddesses, etc, etc... it sounds suspect to me. It doesn't teach us anything about those things which make buddhism buddhism. Not in my opinion. In fact, I would go so far to say as these "supernatural" elements of buddhism, the airy fairy god-like bodhisattva creatures, the avatars,the rinky dink heavens and hells, etc, etc, are what survives as remnants of other traditions which buddhism incorporated, and is the only reason buddhism appears so different in so many different places.

    none of this is buddhism, not really... although, man, how fascinating...
     
  2. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    I didn't realize that there was a brick wall, an iron gate, an invisible fence or in any other way a boundary when it came to interpreting religious or spiritual texts (regarding Judaism or otherwise).

    How is one to know when one has reached that boundary? Will you step up for us (as you have done on numerous occasions before), and remind us that - all of the sudden, our speculations are meaningless - since, hey, ho, we have DARED to talk about something that YOU have always understood from another point of view?

    Hmmm ...

    Well, I don't doubt that you will. I think I'll keep my own understanding, thank you. It may not be popular, `in vogue,' or in line with what your Rabbis want to tell me ... but you know what, it suits me just fine.

    Sure, you can point out, "That's not what WE believe, it's not what OUR scriptures tell us ..." -- but then, I want to hear you tell me that there's only ONE Eloha, rather than a whole HOST of Them. Stuff like that. Argue to me that there isn't, in fact, a Heavenly Hierarchy of them ... and don't get P.O.'d when I roll my eyes and stick to my own interpretations.

    I don't think jesus did too hot with the Sanhedrin 2100 years ago, did he. Not only did he stir them up a bit, and inconvenience them with another way to see things (err, massive understatement), he went so far as to challenge their very authority -- though he did so not vainly, nor arbitrarily, nor for ANY other reason than to fulfil both his Dharma (God's Purposes) and The Law (again, God's Purposes). But, as we know, this DID NOT SUIT the Sanhedrin.

    Please don't get upset ... I just see things differently. I don't blame you, and I understand, you MUST tell me, "This is not how we see things. It's not even what's WRITTEN, etc." That's okay. I know. I just find that there are greater Authorities ... than WHAT IS WRITTEN in your holy books, or even what YOUR RABBIS SAY.

    And you can condemn and judge me for that, you can spit on me ... and if you get close enough, you can even STONE me, if it makes you feel any better. I might duck and run at that point, because I'm not keen on getting my head bashed in. But on an open, or SUPPOSEDLY open, comparative religion forum (Interfaith would be great, woudn't it) ... I'll continue to express my own opinions and understanding, however UNPOPULAR these may continue to be.

    If I agree with the party line on some issue, then sure I'll toe it. I tend to question before I take up a Cause, and I like to make sure it seems to be the Right Cause, or that it's one of the many Right Causes in this world ... but sure, I do fall in, and I assure you - nowhere near fast enough, or well enough, at times. :eek:
     
  3. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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    oh, and while we're here... with regard to "nobody ever finds out about buddhism without a teacher", we have, colletively, forgotten about "solitary realizers", havent' we...?
     
  4. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    You're not one of them agnostic buddhists are you, Francis? :)

    s.
     
  5. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Earl,

    i do enjoy the Khandro site, i find the presentation of information quite appealing.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  6. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste AndrewX,

    thank you for the post.

    i'm not following your objection, can you explain it in another manner?

    if Theosophy makes a claim regarding the Buddhadharma, for instance its exposition of Karma, there seems to be little reason not to point out that the Suttas give a definition of this term which does not match the Thesophy explanation.

    if you want to take a well known term and change its meaning why not just invent a new term to express your doctrine? it would seem to me that using terms that are understood in one religious tradition in a manner inconsistent with its definition leads to more confusion than understanding or communication.

    and that's a fine view to hold, it is not what the Suttas relate on this matter, however.

    the Suttas indicate seven previous Buddhas have arisen in this fortunate eon on this world system.

    Nirmanakaya, Sanbogakaya and Dharmakaya is the standard Sutta explanation of the threefold manner, so to speak.

    since they are accurate i fail to see your issue with them. perhaps you can tell me how the Essenes were influced by the Buddhadharma, what teachings of their would comport with the Dharma?

    Buddhadharma has four distinct philosophical schools, it is not a monolithic whole regardless of how much it may have been presented in that manner. i've posted a bit about the four schools previously on the site

    http://www.comparative-religion.com/forum/buddhist-philosophy-719.html

    the issue AndrewX, as near as i can tell, is that Buddhism must be exactly how you imagine it to be and it cannot be any other way. when a Buddhist disagrees with your explanation of our religion rather than trying to understand why we may say that your understanding is not correct the response seem to be a defensive lashing out and accusations of attacking your religion all in an effort, so it seems, to silence those that would speak out.

    you can hold whatever beliefs that you want regarding any subject you choose. when you present information regarding the Buddhadharma which is not correct i'm going to respond to correct the misconception. i have not met a Theosophist that is actually willing to change their views regarding the Buddhadharma regardless of the evidence presented but i continue to hold out hope.

    metta,

    ~v
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2007
  7. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    The monastic lifestyle itself (the Buddhist Sangha and the Jains were the only monastic orders existing previously), and the title Meor "the enlightened one" for their teachers (in English renderings of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the title is translated "Teacher of Righteousness", but neither l-m-d nor tz-d-q is the root; "Buddha" would be a provocative, but perhaps not inaccurate, translation).
     
  8. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Try again, Vaj:

    when a Theosophist disagrees with your explanation of your religion rather than trying to understand why we may say that your understanding is not correct the response seem to be a defensive lashing out and accusations of attacking your religion all in an effort, so it seems, to silence those that would speak out

    Lashing out, or just plain telling us, "Nope, you guys are dead wrong."

    Sorry man, I chose to enter by the Theosophical path, some 18+ years ago, because I CAN ask questions. I AM free to do that, with regard to Buddhism, with regard to Christianity, and with regard to any religion, spirituality or philosophy.

    I haven't the right to sit here and tell you, "You MUST see things my way," and ya know what, friend?

    You don't either.

    So, it doesn't matter in the least that you happen to be Buddhist. This does not give you the right to DICTATE to me, WHAT MUST BE. Thank you for clarifying that the suttas do not say such and such. Yes, I realize that.

    There's a great deal presented in exoteric Buddist teachings which I don't agree with ... and so long as we're here on comparative studies, I'm going to free free - as well I should - to give my own interpretation, my own understanding, and to clarify that "such and such is what I think is REALLY being indicated."

    You, being a Buddhist, will naturally and understandably feel the urge to come along and say, "Oh, but this is NOT what is said," just as Thomas or Q will come along as Roman Catholics and say, "No, that is NOT what the Vatican has taught." It would almost surprise me if you folks didn't look to correct my `errors.' After all, this is how you see them, and you just want to set the record straight, for those who might be looking on, as Thomas has put it.

    So, what I'll try to do in the future (although Vaj, if you look carefully, I think you'll see that I did it this time, already) ... is to MAKE IT CLEAR that what I'm speaking about is NOT the exoteric, everyday Buddhist teachings -- or, in some cases, what you call `Buddhism' at all.

    And that takes us all the way to what HPB called `Budhism,' even regretting in her own day, that some confusion was arising between the teachings of A.P. Sinnett (Occult Buddhism) ... and exoteric Buddhism, of whatever school.

    HPB did seek to clarify that the teachings given out should have been spelled `Budhism,' in an effort to make this distinction more evident, but this was beyond her control - as Sinnett was the author of the book, not herself. In The Secret Doctrine, she explains at length and repeatedly, exactly what I'm talking about.

    So, again, as a courtesy, you can rely upon me to say things like, "Exoteric Buddhism will recognize five Dhyani Buddhas and Bodhisattvas" ... and "esoteric teachings acknowledge all Seven."

    Here, I point out clearly that the teachings which Theosophists, and other esotericists follow, are NOT the same, as your exoteric Buddhist suttas ... and I would kindly appreciate it if you would make sure you don't say, "This is the REAL Buddhism, that crap you're shoveling is a sham," as you will never find me saying this, or implying that you are missing out, or missing the mark.

    What I will suggest, is that there was an inner, or esoteric portion of the Buddha's teachings, just as Christ's, and that what is printed in the exoteric canons is not all that can be learned and known on the subject ... nor the only possible approach or interpretation.

    You can go on the defensive, feel slighted for someone daring to explain things in a different manner (even despite the caveats and clarification as to WHY) ... and become huffy about all this, OR you can look at it as a presentation which you yourself do not take, and respect the fact that other people have a different understanding.

    THAT, however, is up to you, Vaj.

    So, once more, please don't feel the need to `CORRECT' my poor, misguided misunderstandings ... as I think you'll see, quite plainly, where I've noted that what I'm talking about is not exoteric Buddhism at all. Nor is this the Buddhism forum, thus we should have no need for you to come try to police things ... but thank you kindly, just the same.

    Namaskar,

    ~andrew
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Hi Andrew -

    Missed the list before, but you've referred to it a couple of times, so I thought I'd give it a go ... so here is a Catholic response to the Theosophic doctrine.
    In so doing I've contrasted your teaching with ours by reference to the text upon which we might argue the point.

    "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (John 9:5).

    "Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself. But the Father who abideth in me, he doth the works" (John 14:10).

    "And Jesus beholding, said to them: With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).

    "And he said to them: You are from beneath: I am from above. You are of this world: I am not of this world" (John 8:23).

    "Jesus answered and said to her: Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him shall not thirst for ever" (John 4:13).

    "Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 16:16-17).

    Our faith is founded on the Word made Flesh, not a book.

    If I might say so, as a complete aside, so feel happy to ignore ... does not this list, based on the mechanics of the initiatic process, constitute something of a dogma?

    We hold Jesus is not an initiate, but the Logos of God incarnate, so we would reject any Theosophic hypothesis of necessity, quite the reverse, in fact:
    "And he is before all: and by him all things consist."
    Colossians 1:17

    +++

    A couple of notes that spring to mind:
    In the Sufi Tradition, the PHYSICAL PROMIMITY of a Master is not a condition for lineal integrity. Many of the Sufi schools bridge the gap between Masters (where the successor does not follow immediately from his predecessor) by other than physical signs, so I'm not sure that the process you describe is universal, but rather specific to the individual brotherhood in question? They, of course, would express it as a doctrine and a given ... but I have read Marco Pallis, a Tibetan Buddhist, and he recollects a 'collective initiation' being made by a Tibetan Master, that resembled something akin to a Christian blessing.

    One can discern five streams of the Christian esoteric tradition:
    1 The Hebrew Scriptures;
    2 The Synoptic Gospels and Acts;
    3 The Johannine corpus;
    4 The Pauline corpus;
    5 The Letter to the Hebrews.

    Thomas
     
  10. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    i've never said there was. what i do say is that if you don't understand basic issues in the text (like what words actually mean) then you're going to end up with ludicrous misunderstandings.

    it's not about points of view. you may, if you wish, interpret the nursery rhyme "twinkle, twinkle, little star", as a call to build spaceships which are capable of mining gemstones from inside supernovas, but it misses a basic assumption of the text in question. it doesn't mean your interpretation is meaningless, it just means you're missing the point.

    look, if you want to insist that the language says something it manifestly doesn't say, there's not a lot i can do about it. but if you insist on misinforming other people in a public forum, than surely i'm duty bound to correct you.

    there is only One G!D. we are monotheists. that is the defining feature of judaism. there is no hierarchy of spiritual beings in the Torah, although many people in the mystical tradition deduce various different levels of angels. however, as the muslims say, there is no G!D but G!D. many people in biblical times (and later) were stupid enough to think that we were just a tribal cult and could be mixed and matched with other local fertility cults, but the fact is the reason we're different is because we don't do Divine hierarchy. we barely do human hierarchy except once you get into the authoritativeness of commentators.

    and, as i've said, if the so-called "sanhedrin" behaved in the manner reported (and that's a big "if") then they were not worthy of the name, insofar as they violated their own procedures and laws - so there's definitely something fishy going on there.

    of course you're under no obligation to acknowledge rabbinic authority; i've never said otherwise. however, i think someone who presumes to hold opinions about teeth, but refuses to acknowledge the learning and authority of dentists, is probably on a bit of a sticky wicket.

    it may surprise you to learn that religion is not, in fact, a popularity contest.

    oh, andrew, you're such a fecking martyr; do stop with the poor-mouth victimhood. you do this every time you advance some weird-ass theosophical interpretation of a religious text that flies in the face of language and logic and then you start whining about how you "answer to a higher authority" or "i'm talking about the esoteric, not the exoteric", or "it's not what you think X is at all" because you can't actually back your argument up. i've seen you do it to christians, i've seen you do it to buddhists and i've seen you do it to everyone else. as lord melchett would put it: "you twist and turn like a twisty-turny thing". is there some reason you feel impelled to tell people of other faiths how they've got their own texts wrong and you've got it right? because, frankly, it seems to me like you've got an utterly misplaced sense of superiority - and when someone calls you on it you start complaining that you're being persecuted by the Fundamentalist Beards Of Intolerance, when it was you that bit off more than you can chew in the first place. and before you try and turn that round and make out that i'm being chauvinistic (and no doubt "racist" and "bigoted", as you appear to be doing elsewhere) i'm not saying that i have a right to define your reality, but i do have a right to define my own without reference to HPB's opinions and approaches, which seem to me, from your presentation of them, to have little to recommend them. vaj seems to have got your number here:

    in other words, don't tell me a spade isn't a spade when you don't properly understand the concept of spadehood in the first place.

    please understand i'm really not trying to be rotten to you. you seem like a sincere kind of bloke, but i think whatever you're being taught about judaism and jewish texts just isn't right.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  11. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    Then use a different word.
     
  12. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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    it's Spelt Sambhogakaya...!!!!!!
     
  13. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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    SAM, COMPLETE, PERFECT, BHOGA- ENJOYMENT, KAYA...BODY... !!! AHHHH!!!

    anandavigraha!!!!

    (neemai might get that..lol)
     
  14. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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    lol snoopy, agnostic buddhists... no!
     
  15. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    This is so superficial of me bb, but what an ******* brilliant name for a band :D:D:D

    s.
     
  16. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    You're just in denial!!!

    s.
     
  17. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    Thomas,

    I'm gonna have a quick go at a response, so perhaps a brevity that is uncharacteristic for me ... will lead to a more productive discussion:



    "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (John 9:5).

    Agreed, but this does not refute the notion that physical proximity is required. I posted this elsewhere, with specific reference to the Serpent-Fire (Kundalini), but there are other reasons, concerning magnetism in general. And again, it isn't that temporary and occasional appearances (manifestations, of a Teacher to the student) are not possible - and a given - just that for the kind of extensive training which Jesus would have required, his presence at the feet of the Master is something I trust could not be avoided.


    At most, I would concede my first point, but not the one regarding the special nature of Jesus' work with the Christ ... and remember, even in ways which Nick or Bruce may not agree with, I distinguish between the Initiate, Jesus ... and the Lord Maitreya, aka `the Christ.'




    "Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself. But the Father who abideth in me, he doth the works" (John 14:10).

    Again, the text is clear, but it says nothing about whether or not Jesus would need to have visited the East (or a presumed location of a Higher Initiate, the Christ ... perhaps also his own Master) ... in order to make special preparation for the Work (the Ministry).



    "And Jesus beholding, said to them: With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).

    I don't think we can simply quote such a statement like this as a blanket or catch-all ... for then, as you well know, God would suddenly be able to create a rock which even God was not capable of lifting. Here, if anywhere, one is meant to understand ... that our limitations - so arbitrarily, and understandably ascribed to God (in our anthropomorphic tendencies), do not always apply. But if God does not play by God's own rules, then Divine Order is arbitrary, and God is a being of caprice and whim ... not a true god at all!



    "And he said to them: You are from beneath: I am from above. You are of this world: I am not of this world" (John 8:23).


    Once again, let us not underestimate the powers at the disposal of the Adversary. Were it not for the tremendous efforts to counter the work of the Brotherhood of Love & Light 2100 years ago, and since, our world might not be facing the present crisis. The following esoteric mantram, which is precisely what John was indicating in the above, does not nullify my point:
    I walk the Lighted Way because I am a Soul.
    With me there walk my Brothers and my Master.
    Therefore within, without and on every side
    There is Light, Love and Strength.
    You see? I know this same scripture, if by different words. And affirming such, day by day, assists us on the Journey to making this a permanent reality. Initiated Jesus might have been much, much closer than we are, today (even 2100 years ago) ... yet my argument is that he needed the direct protection of his Teachers, nevertheless.



    Another quotation, from HPB's Voice of the Silence (Fragment 2: The Two Paths), makes direct reference to accepted appellations for two of the other Planetary Logoi, straight out of Tibetan astrology ... and you may research this on your own - but, again, this does not change my argument, for the reason I have just mentioned ...
    Behold Migmar [Mars] as in his crimson veils his "Eye" sweeps over slumbering Earth. Behold the fiery aura of the "Hand" of Lhagpa [Mercury] extended in protecting love over the heads of his ascetics. Both are now servants to Nyima [Sun], left in his absence silent watchers in the night.​


    "Jesus answered and said to her: Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him shall not thirst for ever" (John 4:13).

    I see this as a mystical reference to the things of the Spirit ... both in terms of knowledge, or Understanding, as well as Initiation, or a more mystical introduction (this coming gradually, and over many lifetimes - not once alone, and rendering us permanently `Saved').


    But interesting you should mention water ... because there is an esoteric legend, not far off at all from the Tibetan exoteric accounts, of the Wesak (Vaishaka) Festival, at the Full Moon of Taurus. At that festival a giant crystal bowl full of water is Blessed ... by the Buddha, the Christ, and all of the Masters and high Initiates in the Hierarchy. The water is then passed out to all of those who have made the journey in their physical bodies. You can read about this online, here.



    "Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 16:16-17).

    Yes, after the Baptism by John at the Jordan River, the esoteric account (via Alice Bailey, et al) is that Jesus was overshadowed by the Christ. This would not have been possible without the travel Eastward ... wherein not just Jesus, but even the Christ Himself would presumably have had to make the necessary preparations for the Ministry to come. This is my entire argument.

    See also the references I gave from On Eastern Crossroads which give some of the exchange between Christed Jesus, and Rossul M. (Melchior, now Morya). We might ask, was this Jesus in dialogue, or the Christ? I maintain the latter, yet exoterically, from the Baptism onward, we are observing the speech, the actions and the lessons of The Christ.




    Our faith is founded on the Word made Flesh, not a book.

    As is mine, I just don't limit the manifestations of the Word to one man, and one time during history. I say you can meet him ringing the Salvation Army bell at the local shopping center ... if he chooses this method to call you.

    You may read the story linked directly above, if you wish to observe this Truth made manifest. I myself have not finished the (free) book online, but will certainly order books 2, 3 and 4 once I am able. I did not need to read very much ... to have utmost Faith that what I was reading was Gospel.


    And how did I know this Truth when I encountered it, Thomas? Tell me that ... as this man is not a Theosophist, had no esoteric training, made no special claims to any kind of authority, and in fact, met his Teacher quite by `accident' (insofar as the outer world is concerned), as you will see if you read his account.


    J. J. Dewey had a sick wife, and began waking out of dreams hearing bells. Does that sound like a book - claiming some kind of authority? Where, as you read the account, does his Teacher insist on any authority, either? Where, in fact, are ANY such claims made, except in ch. 10 ... which speaks of the author's encounter with the Adversary?



    No, Thomas ... I look to books sometimes for guidance, and they are as holy to me, for all the same reasons, as those to which you look, presumably for the same sorts of reasons. Be careful of an effort to draw, in the sand, lines of distinction here ... for that is exactly what you will be doing. I have said, in response to your objection, all that I needed to, right here:
    I don't limit the manifestations of the Word to one man, and one time during history ...
    (thus I am free to recognize these manifestations wherever, whenever and even however they might appear ... consider the Acts of Andrew, for example -- did that Apostle recognize his own Master, even when Christ Jesus accompanied him in the same boat? consider, then, that even if I say, 90% of Christians wouldn't know Jesus - etc., etc. - what I'm saying is not intended as an offense, whatsoever. His own disciples, neither recognized him, at time, or would acknowledge him, at others. :eek:)



    If I might say so, as a complete aside, so feel happy to ignore ... does not this list, based on the mechanics of the initiatic process, constitute something of a dogma?

    These are the beliefs that I hold, based on my limited understanding of the true, esoteric Initiatic process as it applies to all human beings ... "No man comes to the Father except through [the Hierophant] the Christ." I don't think this is dogmatic ... merely a statement of doctrine - and if you reject such teachings, you can still be a disciple, a good disciple, and also a good disciple, in good standing with any or all of the (outer) esoteric organizations that I'm aware of ... such as the Arcane School (after Alice Bailey's teachings), or Wisdom Impressions (after those of Lucille Cedercrans).


    Of course, if you try and convert the parent organizations ... claiming that the teachings on Initiation are all some kind of bunk ... should it be surprising if they kindly decline your offer? ;) :)


    The point is, you are free to maintain whatever belief(s) you choose; the important part, if you are genuinely interested in discipleship and a life of SERVICE (the former entailing the latter), is that you LIFE THE LIFE, or walk the walk ... and not just talk the talk. "Talk does not cook the rice." :cool:

    We hold Jesus is not an initiate, but the Logos of God incarnate, so we would reject any Theosophic hypothesis of necessity, quite the reverse, in fact:
    "And he is before all: and by him all things consist."
    Colossians 1:17

    St. Paul is here referring to the Christ. That is how I read this letter of his. St. Paul, remember, is an Initiate, even of the same degree as was Jesus himself ... toward the latter portion of Paul's Ministry (post-Conversion, and a little later). Remember, I do not consider the Christ and Christed Jesus to be one and the same. This is where I think our points of agreement will first begin to diverge ... and thus almost any consideration of whether Jesus traveled eastward will probably make little sense at all, from a Catholic point of view. I do not dispute that!


    Would my arguments, which I mean specifically to apply to the Initiate Jesus, apply to the Christ? None, except for the second of the list, and even that only in reference to whatever student was being specifically trained as the intended vehicle of the Christ. The more recent case we have of that, is Jiddu Krishnamurti ... and a careful investigation will show many parallels. If asked, I could probably draw five or six with just a few moment's consideration. Yet that series of experiments, as we know, was not successful, and did not result in a three-year, public Ministry, let alone what the Theosophists had hoped.



    Namaskara
     
  18. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    i've never said there was. what i do say is that if you don't understand basic issues in the text (like what words actually mean) then you're going to end up with ludicrous misunderstandings.

    Which "basic issues" are we talking about here? And remember, my understandings may not come by reading the same books you do. If possible, and when convenient, I am certainly not averse to consulting sources directly. Remember, however, that in some cases, we cannot do this.

    NO THEOSOPHIST since HPB's time, with rare exception (of certain gifted and carefully-trained clairvoyants) can even view the Stanzas of Dzyan in the Senzar, as she observed and translated them.


    So, you must be willing to accept, that even among your greatest Jewish authorities, I may find a need to appeal to what I consider higher, even much higher authorities ... though I will always do my best to arrive at TRUTH, regardless of who presents that truth.


    NO ... it is NOT SAFE to ASSUME - that simply because the Jewish teachings are being presented by individuals who do not consider themselves Jewish ... these presentations, and interpretations, are flawed, inaccurated, or biased. Please do not make this argument, for I will contest it, on the same grounds that I contest any insistence that ONLY the Roman Catholic or Christian "authorities" (learned doctors and commentators, trained theologians, etc.) are properly qualified to TELL ME what and how to believe, regarding Christianity.


    INSIST, if you must, that such-and-such a COUNCIL occurred in such-and-such a location ... but do NOT tell me, "You MUST believe THUS, else you are WRONG."


    I will -- kindly decline any such OFFER. :)


    That, bananabrain, is DOGMATISM, pure and simple, and it matters not whether the dogmatist is Jewish, Christian, Buddhist or Hindu.


    I will glady return the respect and the favor, by NOT INSISTING that you believe as I believe, nor shall I speak down to you, and tell you, "Oh, but this ISN'T what this REALLY is saying." At most, I shall say, "THIS is my understanding ... and just as you are so keen to point out that such-and-such is a modern, or a classical, or a common, or a mystical Jewish understanding ... so, too, shall I be glad to point out, that there are many whom I know, who believe otherwise, and who see such-and-such differently."


    The war of words will end, if we both honor and accept each other's RIGHT to maintain a different opinion, and to arrive at different understandings - sometimes even radically different, depending on the text or teaching in question. But if either of us bashes the other over the head, saying, "No no no, you are DEAD WRONG" ... ahhh, what a hornet's nest we stir, when we thus presume, and look down our noses at each other, and condescend.


    On Abrahamic/Judaism, please, correct my every error. On ALT-ESOTERIC, you will naturally understand if I am glad to point out the esoteric traditions as I am familiar with them, even giving all manner of citations and references to back up what I choose to share. But on Comparative Studies, we must naturally accept that our peers may maintain different opinions ... and while it is a bit absurd to say, "I think triangles actually have FIVE sides," about all we can do with such a statement is ask, "And why is that?"

    Should I refuse to give a sensible opinion, I shouldn't complain if no one pays me any attention! :rolleyes: :p


    But if I say, "I believe Jesus traveled Eastward," then ... even though I realize these years are missing in the Biblical account, I think I am FREE to provide evidence, of all different sorts, indicating that he may indeed, have visited India, Tibet, Kashmir, etc. And if I can point to various sources, recorded accounts of his travels and teachings there, etc. ... all the better!


    What I actually did, rather than use the above, valid method of argument, was to give logical reasons, based on my own esoteric studies and understanding, why I think Jesus had to travel Eastward ... being compelled by the nature of His (and Christ's) Mission! So, I took a different approach altogether! And I was delighted to finally see a response ...


    Bottom line -- I think the respecting of each other's opinions and understandings, recognizing that these are well-rooted and not at all arbitrary ... will keep the order here perfectly well. Telling one another, "No, you are wrong, this is not so," will only provoke ire and lead to aggravation and further disagreement.


    As I say, we both know perfectly well that there are boards at C-R where it does make sense to politely press certain issues, for the interests of clarifying (for each other, and for onlookers) what are and are not the `officially accepted teachings or interpretations' along certain lines ... though, even then, we always run the risk of dogmatization. It's a fine line!

    it's not about points of view. you may, if you wish, interpret the nursery rhyme "twinkle, twinkle, little star", as a call to build spaceships which are capable of mining gemstones from inside supernovas, but it misses a basic assumption of the text in question. it doesn't mean your interpretation is meaningless, it just means you're missing the point.

    I'm lost already ... forgive me here. What was the point? :eek: :p

    look, if you want to insist that the language says something it manifestly doesn't say, there's not a lot i can do about it. but if you insist on misinforming other people in a public forum, than surely i'm duty bound to correct you.

    Again - brass tacks. Let's be specific. And please see the above. The only thing you're Duty-bound to do, is make sure you show me the same measure of Respect ... which you yourself wish to see in return. And that same Duty applies to us all! N'est pas? :)

    there is only One G!D. we are monotheists. that is the defining feature of judaism. there is no hierarchy of spiritual beings in the Torah, although many people in the mystical tradition deduce various different levels of angels. however, as the muslims say, there is no G!D but G!D. many people in biblical times (and later) were stupid enough to think that we were just a tribal cult and could be mixed and matched with other local fertility cults, but the fact is the reason we're different is because we don't do Divine hierarchy. we barely do human hierarchy except once you get into the authoritativeness of commentators.

    Only one Absolute, in the sense of the Highest. You might not have noticed on other threads, but for the record, bananabrain ... Nick, myself and numerous other folks at C-R are NOT monotheists in the same sense you are. Thus, we are free to interpret scriptures - YES, even your scriptures - in a way that we find them most meaningful, for ourselves (and even for everyone).


    I maintain, as my OWN belief, that Christ came for us all ... whatever else may be true about his coming 2100 years ago. Yet I have an unpopular opinion here at C-R because I maintain that a great many of His teachings have been suppressed, and misrepresented. We can even discuss on literally hundreds of threads what some of these teachings were/are ... yet 95% of the time we get no further than No he didn't/Yes he did/No, the Bible doesn't say so!


    My own understanding of the Hierarchy of celestial beings you mention ranges from the "very Divine" right down to humanity itself -inherently divine, yet `fallen into generation,' thus Divinity-in-mortal-form. But a hylozoistic view of the Cosmos will show that this hierarchy includes a wide range of beings Whom and which might be called `elohim,' and that yes - it is a plural word, which has a direct equivalent in other mystical traditions ... besides the Kabbalistic, or Zohar.


    So we can speak of the Zoroastrian Amshaspends, the Hindu Prajapatis (or Mind-born Sons of Brahma, the Seven Rishis) ... the Seven Angels before the Throne of God from Christian Revelations, as also the Planetary Logoi or Archons of Theosophical and Gnostic teachings. The list goes on, as the indigenous peoples of North and South America also had a belief in a basic Seven guiding Beings in nature ... as recognized or reflected in the Seven Councils of the Cherokee Indians (I seem to recall).


    But to insist that, "No, there's only one God" just seems to miss the point entirely ... if we're speaking of the plurality of the term `elohim.' ELOHA is the singular, is it not? NOW I would certainly appreciate a lesson in ancient Hebrew, clarifying -- since you say I'm mistaken -- what does `ELOHIM' translate to, in English, directly? Am I misinformed?


    At any rate, I know what I believe, and what I've come to understand, but I do not insist that in the Torah, it says thus-and-such. But if we aren't even going to acknowledge the existence, and the nature (both Higher and lower) of the Planetary Regents to begin with ... then bananabrain, although this part of our discussion is off topic anyway, we can just stop here. Deny these Regents, or informing Intelligences ... and we have nothing more to say to each other on this point! ;)

    and, as i've said, if the so-called "sanhedrin" behaved in the manner reported (and that's a big "if") then they were not worthy of the name, insofar as they violated their own procedures and laws - so there's definitely something fishy going on there.

    Agreed, they were not worthy of the name. Yes, very fishy indeed. And I believe that 2100 years later, there is much of the same fishiness. I'm afraid things are even more rotten in Denmark, however ... now that that fishiness has, in many cases, simply aged - and aged poorly.


    Did I mention that I admire the Wisdom of the Zohar, and of the Kabbalah ... what little I understand of it? I have been advised to "first master the Torah," but if you think the one who spoke those words to me meant, "Learn how to REPEAT such-and-such texts, and dig into the history," think again. She had something else in mind, and she could just have well have used another word instead of Torah.


    She could have said: Before moving on to the Mysteries that Christ taught ... first master the Gospels (the lessons therein, by APPLYING them). And she could have said that about any and every religion, as all roads lead to Rome, even if some may get us there more expediently.
     
  19. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    of course you're under no obligation to acknowledge rabbinic authority; i've never said otherwise. however, i think someone who presumes to hold opinions about teeth, but refuses to acknowledge the learning and authority of dentists, is probably on a bit of a sticky wicket.

    Did the dentist create those teeth, did he assist in the development, the evolution, of the human form itself? Or does he merely study teeth, and learn how to fix broken ones, and talk to us about health issues?


    I would rather go to the source, and learn from those who cooperate directly in God's Plan for all of Earth's people. If what I am studying helps me, by telling me something about certain groups among humanity, then perhaps there is something there that will be useful. But I am a pluralist, a Universalist, a believer in a future One World Religion (however remote that may be in our future, however many hurdles we must leap in order to arrive at that goal) ... and I feel no need, at the present moment, to convert to Judaism, just so I can learn about the Jewish people, the Jewish religion, etc.


    I don't have to go to Tibet, or Japan, to learn about Buddhism, nor visit the Vatican, to learn about Roman Catholicism. Given the opportunity, there is much that I would like to do, places to visit, things I might like to investigate, etc. But I can't cover all the bases.


    So, with a Theosophical background, and with interests in looking primarily AHEAD, and not behind, I find myself increasingly interesting in addressing what I think people like Moses, Christ Jesus, the Buddha, Muhammad, Baha'u'llah, H.P. Blavatsky, Krishnamurti, etc. were telling us. Nor do I say, "They were all saying exactly the same thing," for that is a superficial and I think an incorrect analysis.


    The nature of their messages may have all concerned Brotherhood, and walking the spiritual Path, but I do acknowledge - and sometimes take an interest in - the differences, even the subtleties. Overall, however, I am more interested in seeing what is held IN COMMON, between the members of all of the world's great faiths, or by a majority of them, or even by large groups of them.


    Reincarnation, for example, while not accepted by most Christians, is of interest to me because so many people of so many of the rest of the world's traditions ... do accept it. And I am interested in points of convergence, as well as exploring what this belief means to people of various different faiths.


    Overall, I will take a good discussion about ecumenism, plurality and universalism any day, over splitting hairs on outworn theological issues, or babbling on about root races and cosmic cycles of evolution (so far removed from the present as to be almost meaningless to us, and largely impractical outside of Theosophical discussion groups).


    That said, please don't forget, I am living in the southern United States, and there are people around here who actually believe that God literally created the Heavens and the Earth in six 24-hr periods ... and ANYTHING that can assist in clearly up such notions is a Godsend, in my book. :)


    it may surprise you to learn that religion is not, in fact, a popularity contest.

    Strangely though, some seem to feel like it's about making sure others "see things, believe things, and get things - RIGHT." You can take me task for this just as well as I can you ... but we are at least agreed that dead-letter readings can often get us in all sorts of trouble. I, personally, WOULD like to know more about humanity's purpose here, our history, our intended GOAL(s) - according to God's Plan ... and how we might all (help each other to) GET there.


    Thus, not for the sake of popularity, but for cooperation in something Greater, even the Greatest ... may we be of assistance to each other (and to ourselves!). :)

    oh, andrew, you're such a fecking martyr; do stop with the poor-mouth victimhood.

    "poor-mouth," eh? I think you got me confused with yourself there ... :eek:

    you do this every time you advance some weird-ass theosophical interpretation of a religious text that flies in the face of language and logic

    back off with that. now you're just being rude, and presuming that you know better. You see? that doesn't invite discussion, any more than my "weird-ass theosophical interpretation" ... but then, in my defense, I feel like saying, at least I'm RIGHT. :rolleyes:


    Talk brass tacks, bananabrain. Get specific. If all you know how to do is insult my beliefs ... you prove yourself a supremacist and a bigot, and there's really no room for an open-minded discussion at all!

    and then you start whining about how you "answer to a higher authority" or "i'm talking about the esoteric, not the exoteric", or "it's not what you think X is at all" because you can't actually back your argument up.

    I claim no different authority than anyone else at C-R. Some will say, "We study/read books (you fill in the blank with a title of your choice) because they are the (Word of God/again, fill in the blank) ... and they inspire us." Some will go on to say, "But it is G-d Him/Her/Itself Whom & which touches us directly, shows us the way, and reveals His/Her/the Truth to us."

    bananabrain, I am no different. I'm sorry that you can't deal with that, but friend, that's your problem ... if you must insist on making it one. Not mine.

    i've seen you do it to christians, i've seen you do it to buddhists and i've seen you do it to everyone else. as lord melchett would put it: "you twist and turn like a twisty-turny thing".

    You do not know whom and what you serve, in your insistence upon the dogmas of your tradition ... when you insult me in this way. That is not your lord, yet you unwittingly make him so.


    What do I have to say, to get the point across? If you are not FREE to think for yourself, then even to choose the RIGHT path - for the wrong reasons - will not get you where you are going.


    The opposite extreme would be to insist on freedom, long after one recognizes the correct path which we are all here to travel. But I will defend, to the best of my ability, the freedom of EVERY PERSON -- to discover the Path of Truth (the Way to Liberation, Enlightenment, Salvation, etc.), and to WALK that Path, without co-ercion ... from any outside agency, even from peers of their own social group, religion, family, etc.


    You are sneering at me, my friend, because I DARE to be "different." Yet I affirm that `The Wisdom' is equally within your Faith as every other. And all you can do, in response, is attack me for it.


    is there some reason you feel impelled to tell people of other faiths how they've got their own texts wrong and you've got it right? because, frankly, it seems to me like you've got an utterly misplaced sense of superiority - and when someone calls you on it you start complaining that you're being persecuted by the Fundamentalist Beards Of Intolerance, when it was you that bit off more than you can chew in the first place.

    I will chew on anything you share with me worth chewing on. I am also forced to look past your disrespect, your bad attitude, your outrage that I DARE to question your faith (not your having faith - but the CONTENT of that faith). bananabrain, it's a comparative-religion forum. We have discussions not just about what is printed within the book of Exodus, or Numbers. We talk about what each of us believes.


    Please remind yourself of that. I have had to do a great deal of that recently, and if I have been a bit edgey (as you are being "now") ... then I do apologize. I am attacked - and yes, I do mean attacked - on just about every side. From within Judaism, from within Roman Catholicism, from within Christianity, from within Buddhism ... and what I say is not quite in line with what ANY of these major religious teachings indicates - yet curiously enough, if you bother to actually READ the Theosophical and related teachings (and there are potentially DOZENS, even scores that I have in mind, which would equally well suffice) ... you will see these major religions beginning to converge. The seemingly separate paths come closer together, and eventually all of the many tributaries arrive in the same place.


    If you reject this basic hypothesis, or assertion, then Theosophy is not for you. And that's fine. Just don't tell me that you don't like my spiritual beliefs because they dare to suggest that God shared a fragment of the Divine Wisdom with everyone. Or, if you insist, DO tell me that. Just do NOT expect me to agree with you, and on a Comparative Studies forum, do expect me to stand FIRM with what I've believed for 18+ years ... since my own convictions are every bit as sound, and as valid, as your own!

    and before you try and turn that round and make out that i'm being chauvinistic (and no doubt "racist" and "bigoted", as you appear to be doing elsewhere) i'm not saying that i have a right to define your reality, but i do have a right to define my own without reference to HPB's opinions and approaches, which seem to me, from your presentation of them, to have little to recommend them.

    You can express yourself ANY way you like, bananabrain, and I choose to cite HPB ..., that is my business. Really we should leave HER out of it. I too, can define my position without reference to HPB and her particular writings. So WHAT OF IT?


    Guess who's making something of it. :eek: And why, exactly?


    You have said, you don't have a right to define "MY" reality ... yet what you will try to tell me is, "In speaking of Judaism, thus is the reality." As I have said, on the Judaism forum, it makes sense to say, "The Torah/Kabbalah says X," and to expect me to take you more seriously. On Comparative Studies, I will try not to tell you that a fish is a frog ... but then, was a frog not a fish?

    Hmmm ...


    I guess I just don't like the world where everyone is so busy creating each one's OWN reality ... that we forget, or forsake, a common, collective, cooperative reality - and the latter is the one I think really matters most, even to begin with!
     
  20. taijasi

    taijasi Gnōthi seauton

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    vaj seems to have got your number here:



    in other words, don't tell me a spade isn't a spade when you don't properly understand the concept of spadehood in the first place.

    "well known term, eh" spade?


    And you wrote the book on it? Who did then? And where did they get their information? And God stopped talking to us directly with WHICH great Prophet? Thomas may say, Jesus ... you may say, Moses. I will show you four or five people who incarnate God, today.


    Wanna tell me I'm wrong? Fine. But that's your opinion. It may not be what Judaism teaches, but neither is what Thomas believe, regarding Jesus.

    Who is right, bananabrain? YOU, or Thomas? God's revelation can't continue, to and through JESUS ... if it ACTUALLY stopped with Moses. And it can't continue through a bunch of latter-day Saints and Prophets (Muhammad, et al), if it stopped with these earlier guys.

    Wanna just bash each other's skulls in, so we can avoid having to have decent conversation about it? No? Well good then, maybe we're in the right company, after all. :) But just remember, some would not hesitate .... and they do not.

    Still, if you want to play chicken and egg with me, then start the appropriate thread, and let's talk hermeneutics. Let's hear about which came first, the idea - or the Hebrew words for ideas. What language does GOD think in, eh?

    And yet you want and Vaj want to tell me, "You're inventing new meanings for yadda yadda." Am I? And how do YOU know that the ideas YOU'VE come to accept - are Gospel? ;)

    If God whispered it in YOUR ears ... then pardon me. Meanwhile, until they truly do away with my 1st Amendment Rights in this country (don't worry, Dubya is trying) ... and until the new C-R rules are, "Think as Vaj/bb think, do as Vaj/bb do" ... I will continue to think and do, within Reason, as my own Conscience, and the dictates of my own Soul, indicate.

    Fancy that. Not what majority indicates, you know - MOB RULES - but what SEEMS RIGHT TO ME. Wait, this seems familiar somehow ...

    THE LORD BUDDHA HAS SAID

    that we must not believe in a thing said merely because it is said; nor traditions because they have been handed down from antiquity; nor rumors, as such; nor writings by sages, because sages wrote them: nor fancies that we may suspect to have been inspired in us by a Deva (that is, in presumed spiritual inspiration); nor from inferences drawn from some haphazard assumption we may have made; nor because of what seems an analogical necessity; nor on the mere authority of our teachers or masters. But we are to believe when the writing, doctrine, or saying is corroborated by our own reason and consciousness. "For this," says he in concluding, "I taught you not to believe merely because you have heard, but when you believed of your consciousness, then to act accordingly and abundantly."
    yeah ... I knew I'd heard that somewhere before ... :eek:

    please understand i'm really not trying to be rotten to you. you seem like a sincere kind of bloke, but i think whatever you're being taught about judaism and jewish texts just isn't right.

    In truth, I have been taught very little directly, about Judaism, and even much of what I've learned (certainly as a child) has come via Christianity ... which is like learning about Hinduism from a Buddhist.


    I have taken world religions classes, I have read parts of the Pentateuch, and I have a great interest in Kabbalah, in the Zohar, from what little I've been exposed to. And I am interested in learning more, though increasingly trying to focus on "learning the Torah," in the sense I referred to above.


    All that said, it only saddens me, when I see that a person - whatever his or her background - is not willing to take the time to try and understand, carefully, what has been presented ... either by HPB, or by Alice Bailey, or even by later authors ... regarding exoteric religions (especially the Judeo-Christian traditions), and see how this fits in with a larger worldview.


    By larger, I mean encompassing literally millions of years, instead of a few, short thousand, and also treating the entire scope of both human and earth's planetary evolution, rather than some small group, or segment of the human family ... and also one [worldview] which is synthetic enough, wholistic enough, to take into its scope the cooperative, harmonious nature of science, religion and philosophy - rather than insisting on competition, division and exclusivity.


    I explain myself, and address the concerns that you have raised, because it is very important to me ... and fwiw, I hope you will at least take that into consideration.


    Thanks,


    ~Andrew
     

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