T Nation

Mak Searches for God...


#1

Well not really. But I have been looking at the philosophies of Buddhism, and they really piqued my interest.

(So yes, I'm still a Godless heathen "insert smiley face")

Natural Law (Dharma)

[i]Dhamma in Buddhism has two primary meanings:

  • the teachings of the Buddha which lead to enlightenment
  • the constituent factors of the experienced world

In Mongolian dharma is translated as nom, which is noteworthy since it ultimately derives from the Greek word nomos (law).[/i]

In fact, reading further into it, it looks like you should base all your actions on cause and effect. I do this, therefore this will happen as a direct result.

I work out --> I get strong.
I eat --> I live.
I drink --> I live.
I have unprotected sex --> I spread my genes, and possibly get the clap (yay russian roulette!)

I could go on, but that seems to be what I get from it. Natural Law?

Escaping the physical world

This is where I start to have my doubts. They still offer the idea of an afterlife, but my logical side tends to agree with how they put it. If you die without reaching Nirvana, you remain in the cycle of Samsara (rebirth) until you achieve it. BUT, if you reach Nirvana, you become one with the driving force behind the universe. Even then, some Buddhists think there is no permanent "escape" from Samsara.

And a lot think that even with infinite time, some will never leave it! Wow philosophy can be depressing. >.>

Despite my shitting on the concept of God as proposed by anyone who pictures him as a guy with a beard, I still think there has to be an underlying flow of energy that guides the cosmos. I don't pretend to know though, and I think it would be foolish to insert a finished hypotheses into things like science (like people who take the story of the flood in the Bible literally).


Well even after reading all this stuff (off the net, and from a few books my grandma has) I don't think I'll be calling myself a Buddhist yet. It took me a few years of reading Hindu literature before declaring myself a Hindu. And considering Buddhism is supposedly more philosophical than Hinduism, this could take a while.

Dammit.

And after all that, you idiots actually read this. :smiley:

But to be honest, I wouldn't mind discussing some of this with HH in a serious setting. From a few of the PM's I've received, he does seem like he'd be one of the few people on this board that would grasp some of the concepts of Buddhism.

But only if he changes his avatar back to Iroh.


#2

Honestly, here's what I'd suggest for you. Determine whichever ones allow for rather hedonistic behavior. Write the names of the religions down on some scraps of paper and place them in a hat. Close your eyes and draw one of the slips of paper out. Read off your new religion.


#3

Good old judgmental Christians. You never let me down!


#4

I was trying to help =(


#5

You looking for Jesus Mak? I turned my back along time ago. When everything began to crumble before my hands and people that I loved and cared for were suffering I hoped and begged that everything would turn around. The JWs faith had an influence in my upbringing so I had some faith even though I never did what the good book told me or went to church. I prayed and hoped and in the end more suffering was found. Close associates went bankrupt, families struggled to feed, masters became peasants leaving their servants without a task, and in the end I only found myself in a foreign land with nothing but a unrelenting drive and a bank account. Thats when I discovered the writings of Anton Szandor LaVey. Really cleared up alot of things. I wish you well in your quest.


#6

Hedonistic behavior? Mmkay.

My behavior is my own business unless it harms another person. Always has been, always will be.

If I choose to drink or smoke pot, then I don't much care for people judging that behavior. If I were to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated or do something else dumb that endangers others, then yeah you probably should be judging me.


#7

Well, it shouldn't offend you. Unless you're judging a hedonistic view of life as wrong. Then yeah, I could see you being upset.


#8

Here you go, Mak. These two videos chronicle one man's quest to find a suitable religion, through a much more scientific method than what Sloth suggests.



#9

And why does this sound like a rat maze? The bad rats keep finding themselves back at the starting line, while the "good" rats find the exit and their reward. But, where's the creator of the maze? Why is the right way, the right way to nirvana?


#10

Yeah, sorry. Religion by game of chance was the best I could offer.


#11

That's supposed to be the great mystery of life :slight_smile:

Figuring it all out for ourselves is part of the human experience.


#12

Nah not Jesus, more a philosophy to get me started on trying to understand the cosmos and my place in it. Think of it as a hobby.


#13

LOL! Zactly.


#14

..if you follow your quest for truth to it's logical conclusion Mak, you ultimately come to the realisation that, for truth to be truth, it must be eternal, undivided and permanent. This means that, from our subjective, impermanent and divided perspective, truth is unknowable...

..that is why the eastern sages said: "before enlightenment carry water and chop wood, after enlightenment carry water and chop wood"...


#15

Interesting theory. But I see all life as progressive, and wonder if one day humanity will have reached a stage where the truth is known by the majority.

What the truth is still escapes me.


#16

..it's the search that pushes us forward, but it is the truth that will escape us forever...


#17

I found a perfect one, the god who is this undead zombie guy or whatever he is suggests to "take no thought for the morrow". Awesome, I'll do whatever I want because he's going to come and save me. So I don't need to save money, or get an education or plant crops, I'll just do whatever I want right now!


#18

Wow - sounds like a lot of you still are in the search for ultimate truth (except ephrem-I think he's just wandering the planet looking for a mate).

OK - before I jump in here -a couple of ground rules.

  1. No one else can or will decide for you. This quest is a deeply personal one and at the end of the day - it is entirely up to you to make the choices and up to you to bear the consequences of your choices.

  2. Contrary to a lot of people who love the sound of one hand clapping in the woods and other such philosophical sounding crap that really conveys no truth- there are absolute truths all around us - start with what you know to be absolute - then look at the cause/effect of it.

  3. Accept no pre-suppositions - if you start out denying anything (such a the concept of a Christian God or a genie in the bottle) - you've already affected the final decisions you will make in the end by removing possible answers and potentially missing the truth because you would not consider it.

These were the rules I set for myself as I began my quest for truth.

I can tell you this - there must be an ultimate truth and when we reach the zenith points of our individual existence we will see whether we knew the truth or not - but there is no avoiding the truth.

Finally ask yourself lots of questions - and WRITE DOWN your answers . . .saves you lots of time later on.


#19

BTW, Given your stated interest in Buddhism . . . the Noble Eightfold path and the 4 Noble Truths as taught by the Buddha are great points to begin discovering some absolute truths around you.


#20

FSM FTW.

Serially though, glad your looking deeper Mak, be sure to use yourself as a reference often. After all, the entire universe around you really only exists within you, so sometimes it helps to look within to discover whats out there.

V