I don't get Buddhism

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:54 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:Christians come in many shades and thus there is a range of improvements within them.
However, whatever the peace Christians achieve, there is an underlying fear of God and going to hell just in case they sinned.
Buddhism on the other hand do not begin with any threat of hell nor induces fears.
Your whole thesis for years has been that theists come up with belief in God to assuage their fears. Why would they add in portions that are scary. In fact, there is nothing scarier the Hell. Between being tortured for eternity and oblivion most humans would choose oblivion. You can't have your fear hypothesis presented as fact that then later, in another context talk about the fears created by Christianity. It would have been so easy to not have this terrifying aspect to their religion. In fact there are theisms without it.

As I had mentioned above,
Christianity merely suppress the underlying and arising subliminal fears,
Buddhism develop modulators to modulate the subliminal impulses.

Try this;
Hold your breath as long as possible.
At certain point, say 60 seconds [if you can last that long] you will likely have to suppress and resisting [using the conscious mind] the urge to breathe but this will not last long. At most you can extend it by 5 seconds. It will be the same after two week, months or years.

However if you practice various effective breathing techniques, you can modulate the natural urge to breathe and in time you will be able to hold your urge to breathe by up to 4 minutes [I have achieved this before] or even 7 minutes or more without much effort. This is where the modulators that have been cultivated come into play.

So Christianity is like holding one's breathe by force but Buddhism endeavors to build the relevant modulators to control one urge to breathe.

On average Christianity is restricted to prayers and blind faith.
NOt according to them. Most will refer to experiences of presence, closeness to God, feeling a connection to God, feeling peace in church, feeling the power of rituals...and more. Many will talk about changes after they rededeicated their faith or converted or confessed or participated in a ritual.
At the extreme there are Christians who are mystics and they are more appropriately classified as mystics than Christians.
That's the same with Buddhists. Most Buddhists 1) believe in supernatural entities 2) are not disciplined meditators 3) pay monks to bless this or that 4) irregularly attend temples and practices. They work on faith that Buddhism will end the wheel of karma or free them from pain or whatever.

Most religions have few disciplined and dedicated practitioners.

But the point is there is a ceiling one can reach spiritually between Christianity [lower] and Buddhism [higher].

Buddhism-proper has a higher potential but these potentials are too high and advance for the average person to tap into. This is why the majority are practicing pseudo-Buddhism.
But as humans are evolving steadily is many aspect of life, Buddhism is getting popular as evident in the West while Christianity is one decline [Church attendance falling and abandoned churches].
Buddhism-proper is very scientific friendly and thus will be more popular as the neurosciences advances to verify the objectivity of Buddhist practices and results.

I foresee Buddhism-proper can lead the way in the future along with the neurosciences and other advance technologies.
However it will come to a point in time we can leave Buddhism-proper behind and do whatever secular is necessary to optimize the individual well-being

Nope, these are achievements that can be validated by Science.
focusing on limited facets of the changes.

Note my point re Science and Buddhism in my above post to Fanman.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:01 am

iambiguous wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:We have gone tru this before thus not interested in wasting time on this.


Another objectivist bites the dust!

In my head as it were. :wink:

Don't be so arrogant based on ignorance.

Yours is more like a lost cause embroiled with self-torture and caught in a rut, thus a waste of time to participate with.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Fanman » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:43 am

Prismatic,

I differentiate suppression and modulation in my above post.
Christianity involve more on suppression but Buddhism involve more in modulation.


Hmm, how do you differentiate between suppression and modulation in terms of the human condition? What is the difference between suppressing let’s say fear and modulating fear?
I understand that Science can identify the difference in brain activity, patterns etc., with someone who practices Buddhism, I’m not debating that. What I don’t think Science can do, is identify who is more Spiritually enlightened – that is a matter of intersubjectivity. What are the parameters that define spiritual enlightenment? Please don’t refer me to associated links. If you believe that you’re right in this sense, you should be able to explain why?

The sole guidance of Christianity is merely the Gospel of Jesus Christ, i.e. 'Christ' being the common denominator, i.e. max at high school++.
It is so easy to exhaust the knowledge within the doctrine of the Gospel of Christ as reported by the 4 apostles. There are no detailed spiritual exercises in the Gospel.


The whole Bible is relevant to Christians not just the new testament. I don’t think that you really understand Christianity, and since you’re making judgments on it and speaking as if you know, you’re selling yourself short. You could probably say the same regarding my understanding of Buddhism, but then I’m not making definite claims.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:16 am

Prismatic,

I differentiate suppression and modulation in my above post.
Christianity involve more on suppression but Buddhism involve more in modulation.


This is quite untrue and it can be seen in the behavior of practitioners. While Christianity certainly has issues with emotions, it is more focused on behavior and desire. You can be very expressive of emotions without causing the slightest issue in Christian contexts, and the texts focus more on attitudes than feelings except for Wrath, which generally means extremely long held rage that is connected often with violence. Buddhism on the other hand is specifically practices the disconnect feelings from expression.

That

is

central

to the practice.

You observe emotions, you do not express them, in the practices. You are training yourself not to be expressive. There is no calling out to God with longing or grief or yearning in prayer, for example. There is no reaching out to God in fear. There is no righteous anger. One can be extremely emotional and be a good Christian. If one allows the normal emotion to expression pathways to remain, one is going against Buddhist practice and one will find oneself judged in all Western and Easter communities or groups of Buddhists.

It is so easy to exhaust the knowledge within the doctrine of the Gospel of Christ as reported by the 4 apostles. There are no detailed spiritual exercises in the Gospel.
If this is the case, then there are no practices that seek to dull emotions and train us to cut off the feeling of emotion -> expression pathway. You are not training yourself, every day for decades to have a neutral reaction. And this is, again, present in the extreme difference in emotional expression in Buddhist and Christian cultures and not a coincidence. Buddhism suppresses directly via training. Christianity does not. Guilt does also suppresse emotions, so concepts about what a good person is can affect the expression of emotions, but in Christianity it is more focused on desire.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:50 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:We have gone tru this before thus not interested in wasting time on this.


Another objectivist bites the dust!

In my head as it were. :wink:

Don't be so arrogant based on ignorance.

Yours is more like a lost cause embroiled with self-torture and caught in a rut, thus a waste of time to participate with.


My point however is that in regard to Buddhism both ignorance and arrogance are basically predicated on the assumption that there is in fact a "proper" way in which to understand it. Yes, I am clearly ignorant of that if in fact a proper understanding is out there.

Your own, say?

And what you describe as "self-torture" and being in a "rut" is derived precisely from the manner in which "I" have come to understand the world around me given the arguments in my signature threads. Philosophically, in other words.

You will either take Buddhism-proper there or you won't.

And you won't/don't in my view because you strike me as someone who intertwines what you believe about Buddhism in your head with the psychological comfort and consolation that believing it provides.

Which, I speculate, in turn, is why you steer clear of the part where the fundamentals of Buddhism -- karma, reincarnation -- are avoided like the plague.

You seem to possess no capacity at all to demonstrate the actual existence of either one. In other words, the parts that most interest me about religion: those behaviors we choose here and now in tandem with what we imagine our fate to be there and then. In either a God or a No God world.

Instead, concentrating more on things like "modulating" your breathing so that you can go without breathing at all for up to 7 minutes.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:25 pm

The Monk and the Philosopher by Jean-François Revel & Matthieu Ricard
Lachlan Dale explores some of the philosophical implications of Tibetan Buddhism. From Philosophy Now magazine

Traditional Tibetan Buddhist cosmology also holds that you can be reborn as a god or demon in another realm, although Ricard doesn’t mention this. Moreover, Tibetan Buddhists believe that when an individual dies, the person’s consciousness lives on in a non-material plane called bardo to await rebirth.


What else is there here but for me to return to the part where particular Buddhists who believe this make actual attempts to demonstrate it?

Why should someone entrust their soul to Buddhism here when there are literally hundreds and hundreds of additional spiritual paths out there from which to choose?

And, just out of curiosity, what is the most significant evidence that particular Buddhists have provided so far? A link please.


But although a non-material basis for consciousness is merely against current scientific orthodoxy, the concept of karma also carries troubling moral implications. By Ricard’s orthodox Buddhist interpretation, everything that happens to an individual is the result of past action. When his father gives the example of a small child whose short existence is racked with disease and misery, Ricard explains that “Whatever happens to us, [Buddhism] teaches, is never just by chance. We’ve created the causes of our present suffering ourselves”. This denies the possibility of an innocent victim, and is as unsettling as a Christian’s rationalization of an innocent suffering as ‘part of God’s plan’.


In other words, from my point of view, this is what is provoked when religious faiths like Buddhism or Christianity are brought down to Earth. General descriptions of the human condition construed through the lens of any particular denominational narrative are forced to confront all of the terrible things that can unfold just in the course of men and women and children subsisting -- surviving -- from day to day.

At best Buddhism comes up with a rationalization to explain them. A rationalization being a psychological defense mechanism. I merely suggest that religion itself is basically the same thing. It's a way to stuff all the things that can happen to us and all the behaviors that we are forced to choose from into a transcending foundation onto which we can anchor "I". And not only that but "I" continues on in one or another manifestation even after it's current incarnation is dead and gone.

Who wouldn't want to believe something like this if they could be persuaded to?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:02 pm

phyllo wrote:
But the more an individual Buddhist interacts with others in the manner in which most of us do in this modern world, the more likely that wants and needs will come into conflict. And, to the extent that they do, claiming to be "enlightened" will only go so far among those who are not Buddhists.
The enlightened Buddhist will be better able to deal with not getting what he wants or needs, better able to deal with getting it, better able to judge when to continue a conflict, better able to judge when to disengage, better able to judge when to surrender ... etc.

That's wisdom. That's what philosophies and religions are about.


Sure, any particular Buddhist in any particular context can configure her enlightenment into a more effective resolution of any specific situation involving wants and needs. And when those wants and needs come into conflict with the wants and needs of others, this enlightenment can allow her further to maintain that her own resolution reflects the more rational and the more virtuous outcome. That it is "wiser".

But, no, in my view, what philosophies and religions are ultimately all about is the part where an actual context is noted such that through a particular religious or philosophical lens conflicting goods are grappled with out in the world of actual human interactions.

The part that, in my view, you and other religionists avoid like the plague.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:11 pm

But, no, in my view, what philosophies and religions are ultimately all about is the part where an actual context is noted such that through a particular religious or philosophical lens conflicting goods are grappled with out in the world of actual human interactions.

The part that, in my view, you and other religionists avoid like the plague.
Avoid???

I tried to engage in a dialog with you for about 8 years before giving up trying.

Whenever I brought up a context, you either tried to switch to another context or you went to the abstract and general counters like gaps in knowledge, hypothetical aliens or the inability to think or act differently in a determined universe.
=;
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:21 pm

phyllo wrote:
But, no, in my view, what philosophies and religions are ultimately all about is the part where an actual context is noted such that through a particular religious or philosophical lens conflicting goods are grappled with out in the world of actual human interactions.

The part that, in my view, you and other religionists avoid like the plague.
Avoid???

I tried to engage in a dialog with you for about 8 years before giving up trying.

Whenever I brought up a context, you either tried to switch to another context or you went to the abstract and general counters like gaps in knowledge, hypothetical aliens or the inability to think or act differently in a determined universe.
=;


And what particular dialogue pertaining to what particular context was that?

And if it was 8 years ago, let's give it another go. You choose the context, the conflicted behaviors and the role that God -- Christianity? -- plays insofar as it impacts the behaviors that you choose here and now as that has practical implications for what you imagine your fate to be there and then.

Then when I do all those things you noted above you can say, "See, I told you!"

In turn, someone here who embraces Buddhism can also contribute his or her own existential reaction to the context that is chosen.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:08 pm

And what particular dialogue pertaining to what particular context was that?
There were many ... very many.

I'm not going to waste time looking for them and quoting them now.
And if it was 8 years ago, let's give it another go.
#-o Read again what I wrote so that you can parse it correctly.
You choose the context, the conflicted behaviors and the role that God -- Christianity? -- plays insofar as it impacts the behaviors that you choose here and now as that has practical implications for what you imagine your fate to be there and then.
I have no reason to believe that the dialog would be any different than it was in the past.
Then when I do all those things you noted above you can say, "See, I told you!"
I really don't want to (or need to) say "see, I told you". I don't need "to win" or "show myself to be right" or whatever you think I am doing here. It's not something that motivates me.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:16 pm

phyllo wrote:
And what particular dialogue pertaining to what particular context was that?
There were many ... very many.

I'm not going to waste time looking for them and quoting them now.
And if it was 8 years ago, let's give it another go.
#-o Read again what I wrote so that you can parse it correctly.
You choose the context, the conflicted behaviors and the role that God -- Christianity? -- plays insofar as it impacts the behaviors that you choose here and now as that has practical implications for what you imagine your fate to be there and then.
I have no reason to believe that the dialog would be any different than it was in the past.
Then when I do all those things you noted above you can say, "See, I told you!"
I really don't want to (or need to) say "see, I told you". I don't need "to win" or "show myself to be right" or whatever you think I am doing here. It's not something that motivates me.
I think one has to wonder what his attraction to the process is. His stated goal was to find an answer to conflicting goods. You put in the time one can do Bachelor's through Doctorate with him. That didn't happen. But he seems to be looking forward to more. What is the gain for him? And that last is practically seductive.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:27 pm

What is the gain for him? And that last is practically seductive.
Distraction. Something to do while he is waiting.

That's my current theory.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:39 pm

phyllo wrote:
And what particular dialogue pertaining to what particular context was that?
There were many ... very many.

I'm not going to waste time looking for them and quoting them now.
And if it was 8 years ago, let's give it another go.
#-o Read again what I wrote so that you can parse it correctly.
You choose the context, the conflicted behaviors and the role that God -- Christianity? -- plays insofar as it impacts the behaviors that you choose here and now as that has practical implications for what you imagine your fate to be there and then.
I have no reason to believe that the dialog would be any different than it was in the past.
Then when I do all those things you noted above you can say, "See, I told you!"
I really don't want to (or need to) say "see, I told you". I don't need "to win" or "show myself to be right" or whatever you think I am doing here. It's not something that motivates me.


Well, I'm glad we got that cleared up! :lol: :wink: :lol:
Or, sure, :wink: :lol: :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:50 pm

Well, I'm glad we got that cleared up! :lol: :wink: :lol:
Or, sure, :wink: :lol:
I guess that you will continue to claim that I have been avoiding discussing this stuff with you all along. Because I'm afraid of losing my comfort and consolation. Right?

Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more. A nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat!
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:13 pm

phyllo wrote:
Well, I'm glad we got that cleared up! :lol: :wink: :lol:
Or, sure, :wink: :lol:
I guess that you will continue to claim that I have been avoiding discussing this stuff with you all along. Because I'm afraid of losing my comfort and consolation. Right?

Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more. A nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat!


Okay, but I'm sticking with having cleared things up. And, then, you know, moving on. This part :banana-dance:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby phyllo » Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:26 pm

Okay, but I'm sticking with having cleared things up. And, then, you know, moving on. This part
Yeah. I figured that you would not acknowledge that I was not avoiding discussing stuff with you. I've learned that much.

Certainly. Move on.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby gib » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:49 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:You are slowly training yourself to disconnect from fears, so it is not a sudden realization. The judgment of fear is in the process. And to not be afraid of a tiger would be some incredibly advanced stage. I am pretty sure most masters would get afraid, and it would be a primal harnessing of the body. But social fears, worries related to job, love, distant death, friendship, being cool or great or talented, these will all be suppressed over time.

...

How would you go about not judging fear after waking from a nightmare? Force yourself to still be afraid even though you know the monster isn't real?
The training is preventative and cumulative. Sure, ti would be good, after the nightmare, according to many strands of Buddhism, to observe your fear and not identify with it. But I am not sure quite what you are asking here.

...

What do you think would happen if you've been suppressing your fears of a monster for 30 years and then realized the monster isn't even real?
I don't really know what that means. And you are asking me what a 30 year practitioner of Buddhism would experience. I don't know. I just what they are training and how they interact with me and other people. And then their vibe.


I was talking about the idea of enlightenment as like waking from a dream. The idea is that when you wake from a dream, a nightmare specifically, you stop fearing whatever it was you were afraid of in the dream, not because you're practicing some kind of suppression of or disconnection from your fear, but because you realize there is nothing to fear. The fear is simply gone, not suppressed. This is an analogy I've heard from Buddhist sources that say the reason for their calm and tranquility is not a matter of suppressing the fear (or other emotions) but of realizing the world and the self is illusory and therefore nothing in it is real (nothing to get worked up about). Not saying this is what actually happens with Buddhists, just questioning why buddhists think suppression of emotion is needed if the calm and tranquility they are seeking is supposedly acquired by realizing the illusory nature of reality, which supposedly works the same way waking from a nightmare works to get rid of fear. Is suppression of emotion the road towards enlightenment, after which point they don't need to suppress emotion anymore because all emotion is gone at that point?

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Sure, until you get good at it. And the fact likely is that you are already suppressing emotions due to upbringing culture and more. Some things you are already good at suppressing and to some degree suppressing...you are good at with many things. Buddhism will, slowly over time, complete this process, if you are dedicated. I mean, parts of the brain, limbs will atrophy is they are not used. Neural pathways will disappear or have fewer nerves. Suppression becomes habitual. You don't have to think about driving when driving much of the time. You stop having to think about suppressing the pattern is in place.


Even if that's right, there would still be at least this one difference between the actor and the real McCoy: the real McCoy would know the world is illusory and that would be the reason he doesn't feel fear or other emotions that depend on the reality of things, whereas the actor, if he has to suppress his emotions, wouldn't really believe this (as much as he may say he does). So there would still be this internal difference.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Pretending involves suppression. The emotions are being trained not to express. You then immediately experience them in a less than full form. Over time pretending to be a jerk will lead you to have jerk habits. Pretending is a kind of training.


This may be true, but it takes time to get to that point. In the beginning, when you are still fighting your emotions, would you say the novice practitioner has achieved the same internal state as the enlightened Buddhist who has realized the illusory nature of the world (and therefore doesn't have to fight certain emotions). Or would you agree that it takes time to reach the latter state? And if it takes time, does this mean the disciplined practice of suppressing one's emotion is a path to enlightenment?
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby gib » Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:41 am

Prismatic567 wrote:For example a diamond gem can be said to be both hard and soft but only taken in different time and different perspective.
If we deliberate the diamond gem from the physical perspective, then a diamond gem is one of the hardest material.
However if we shift perspective in time and view the diamond gem using an electron microscope, then it is not solid and hard if we use a electron pin to poke through it.

...

As in Buddhist-proper, the "enlightened" individual will spontaneously adapt within time to the relevant perspective to optimize one's well being.
As such, within the empirical world, the Buddhist will take the self and person as a real entity not an unreal illusion.
But if the existential crisis forces are to impede upon his/her consciousness, then the Buddhist will shift to the perspective what is deemed to be real in the empirical self is unreal empirically, thus avoid grasping at the unreal into say -theism with all its negative baggage.


The example of carbon is a good one because it offers two compatible perspectives. But the example of the self being empirically real and not empirically real is an example of incompatible perspectives.

Two compatible perspectives are two perspectives that can be right at the same time. For example, saying the glass is half full or half empty. Taking the perspective of the glass being half full can be very useful for fostering a positive attitude and making you a bit happier. But let's say you're really thirsty, then it might be useful to take the perspective that the glass is half empty so that you're motivated to fill it up. You can switch from one to the other without contradicting yourself. But saying that the self is real and saying that the self is not real is a contradiction. And I suppose it's possible for a Buddhist to switch from one perspective to the other in order to control his state of well being, but that's like switching from saying "the world is round" to "the world is flat"--possible (maybe), but holding these two views at different times doesn't make them compatible.

Prismatic567 wrote:Striving for survival is coded in the human DNA, thus humans need to flow [modulated] with it so as to resist would triggering pains, the exception is only with those with suicidal impulses.


I don't understand. Are you saying the fear we experience when seeing a tigger isn't what drives us to run away--that it's just a kind of epiphenomenon--and if we got rid of it, our natural (unconscious) impulses would drive us to run away anyway?

Prismatic567 wrote:In a way they are 'modulators' but they are instinctual and spontaneous.
It is just like homeostasis [body temperature] which in a way involve modulators but they are instinctual.


Yes, but my point is, our fear of death is already modulated. What does additional modulation done deliberately and consciously do? If you're saying our unconscious/instinctual modulation doesn't handle the cases where our fear of death comes out in indirect ways or ways that don't seem connected with our fear of death, would more modulation help? Or would that result in even more indirect manifestations or even less obvious connections to our fear of death? Do you believe that we can modulate our fear of death to the point where it is completely and will always be unconscious, not coming out in any way? And if so, is the only thing that matters that we don't experience this fear consciously? Or does it matter that the fear still exists unconsciously?

Prismatic567 wrote:They normally has some sort of feeling of unease giving rise to loss of meaning of life, despairs, anxieties, Angst, hopelessness but these sort of feelings vanishes almost immediately when they surrender to a God who has the omnipotent power to assure their problem will be resolved.


Well, sure, I agree that people undergo these kinds of experience a lot, but most of the time they know what bugging them. Feeling depressed because there doesn't seem to be a meaning to life is probably just that--lack of meaning--anxiety over the fear of going to hell when you die is probably just that--fear of hell. I'm not saying it's impossible that this could be the result of suppressed fears of death, but to claim it is is a pretty bold claim--it's to claim to know what's going on in everybody's soul better than they do without much proof.

Prismatic567 wrote:In context "suppression" imply the use of conscious mental efforts to avoid certain mental impulses, pains, hunger, sex, etc.

For example, when one is stricken with hunger pangs one can rush for food or one can suppress the hunger pain by various means e.g. fighting the impulse consciously.

One good example say, a person were to do a 30 days or two-months fasting program.
In the first week, the person would have to mentally 'fight' the hunger pangs, thus 'suppression'.
By the third week, the person would not have to fight but would have developed modulators [neural inhibitors] within the brain so as flow with the program, thus the hunger pangs which will arise naturally in the absence of nutrition would be modulated, i.e. regulated spontaneously without having to fight and suppress the hunger pang.

That my view of the difference between 'suppression' and 'modulating'


So the difference is more along the lines of a subjective experience of fighting with your emotions versus not feeling anything at all--that the modulation is what's going on when the suppression of the emotion has become unconscious or automatic? What this means is that modulation is just what suppression becomes when you're skilled at it.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:26 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

I differentiate suppression and modulation in my above post.
Christianity involve more on suppression but Buddhism involve more in modulation.


Hmm, how do you differentiate between suppression and modulation in terms of the human condition? What is the difference between suppressing let’s say fear and modulating fear?
I understand that Science can identify the difference in brain activity, patterns etc., with someone who practices Buddhism, I’m not debating that. What I don’t think Science can do, is identify who is more Spiritually enlightened – that is a matter of intersubjectivity. What are the parameters that define spiritual enlightenment? Please don’t refer me to associated links. If you believe that you’re right in this sense, you should be able to explain why?

Buddhism-proper itself discourages the concept of who is more spiritually enlightened. As such it is irrelevant for Science to deal with this point.

As stated we can assess the spiritual results from the texts, actions and experiences of Christians and Buddhists.
For example, re the spiritual potential of each religion, we can take the analogy of Mathematics, i.e. Christianity [based on Gospel] is like teaching basic arithmetic while Buddhism-proper cover up to calculus and higher mathematics.
In this case, Science can verify at least the associated competence of spirituality in comparing Christians and Buddhist monks. Note the links I provided re the test of competence of the 20 monks. In addition there are many other research to verify the competence of experienced Buddhist monks.

The sole guidance of Christianity is merely the Gospel of Jesus Christ, i.e. 'Christ' being the common denominator, i.e. max at high school++.
It is so easy to exhaust the knowledge within the doctrine of the Gospel of Christ as reported by the 4 apostles. There are no detailed spiritual exercises in the Gospel.


The whole Bible is relevant to Christians not just the new testament. I don’t think that you really understand Christianity, and since you’re making judgments on it and speaking as if you know, you’re selling yourself short. You could probably say the same regarding my understanding of Buddhism, but then I’m not making definite claims.

We have discussed this point before.
'What is Christianity' and 'Who is a Christian' is confined specifically to the Gospel propounded by Jesus Christ as reported by the 4 Apostles.
In principle and technically what is Christianity cannot be outside the scope of what Jesus Christ as Son of God stated and depicted to the 4 apostles.
Surely we cannot refer to principles for Buddhism, Hinduism and others that are not represented in the Gospel as 'Christianity'?

Whatever is in the OT, Acts and Epistles to be regarded a Christianity must aligned with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, else they are outside the ideology of Christianity-proper.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:35 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic,

I differentiate suppression and modulation in my above post.
Christianity involve more on suppression but Buddhism involve more in modulation.


This is quite untrue and it can be seen in the behavior of practitioners. While Christianity certainly has issues with emotions, it is more focused on behavior and desire. You can be very expressive of emotions without causing the slightest issue in Christian contexts, and the texts focus more on attitudes than feelings except for Wrath, which generally means extremely long held rage that is connected often with violence. Buddhism on the other hand is specifically practices the disconnect feelings from expression.

That

is

central

to the practice.

You observe emotions, you do not express them, in the practices. You are training yourself not to be expressive. There is no calling out to God with longing or grief or yearning in prayer, for example. There is no reaching out to God in fear. There is no righteous anger. One can be extremely emotional and be a good Christian. If one allows the normal emotion to expression pathways to remain, one is going against Buddhist practice and one will find oneself judged in all Western and Easter communities or groups of Buddhists.

It is so easy to exhaust the knowledge within the doctrine of the Gospel of Christ as reported by the 4 apostles. There are no detailed spiritual exercises in the Gospel.
If this is the case, then there are no practices that seek to dull emotions and train us to cut off the feeling of emotion -> expression pathway. You are not training yourself, every day for decades to have a neutral reaction. And this is, again, present in the extreme difference in emotional expression in Buddhist and Christian cultures and not a coincidence. Buddhism suppresses directly via training. Christianity does not. Guilt does also suppresse emotions, so concepts about what a good person is can affect the expression of emotions, but in Christianity it is more focused on desire.

Buddhism-proper expect the Buddhist to acknowledge the experiences of the emotions but not to act blindly from the emotional impulses.

When the anger emotion is naturally triggered in a competent Buddhist practitioner, the Buddhist will take whatever actions that is necessary within the circumstances to optimize the situation, e.g. walk away or fight in self-defense if necessary [for Shaolin monks].
But there is no need for the competent Buddhist to express anger facially or in actions.

The reservation here is because at times expression of anger can feed and enhanced the anger emotions and it could get worse. Note how tit-for-tats got worse and worse where people has died for the increasing counter emotions.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:34 am

gib wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:For example a diamond gem can be said to be both hard and soft but only taken in different time and different perspective.
If we deliberate the diamond gem from the physical perspective, then a diamond gem is one of the hardest material.
However if we shift perspective in time and view the diamond gem using an electron microscope, then it is not solid and hard if we use a electron pin to poke through it.

...

As in Buddhist-proper, the "enlightened" individual will spontaneously adapt within time to the relevant perspective to optimize one's well being.
As such, within the empirical world, the Buddhist will take the self and person as a real entity not an unreal illusion.
But if the existential crisis forces are to impede upon his/her consciousness, then the Buddhist will shift to the perspective what is deemed to be real in the empirical self is unreal empirically, thus avoid grasping at the unreal into say -theism with all its negative baggage.


The example of carbon is a good one because it offers two compatible perspectives. But the example of the self being empirically real and not empirically real is an example of incompatible perspectives.

Two compatible perspectives are two perspectives that can be right at the same time. For example, saying the glass is half full or half empty. Taking the perspective of the glass being half full can be very useful for fostering a positive attitude and making you a bit happier. But let's say you're really thirsty, then it might be useful to take the perspective that the glass is half empty so that you're motivated to fill it up. You can switch from one to the other without contradicting yourself. But saying that the self is real and saying that the self is not real is a contradiction. And I suppose it's possible for a Buddhist to switch from one perspective to the other in order to control his state of well being, but that's like switching from saying "the world is round" to "the world is flat"--possible (maybe), but holding these two views at different times doesn't make them compatible.

It appear one is holding two views at the same time, but there is a time difference in nano-seconds, i.e. toggling between the two perspective in the speed of light [nano-seconds] and this happen spontaneously when one has developed the essential skill.
It is because the switching to and fro is happening at the speed of light [or higher] that both happen to be at the same time but technically they are not.

The two perspectives are compatible because both occurs within the mental faculty of the brain/mind.

Prismatic567 wrote:Striving for survival is coded in the human DNA, thus humans need to flow [modulated] with it so as to resist would triggering pains, the exception is only with those with suicidal impulses.

I don't understand. Are you saying the fear we experience when seeing a tiger isn't what drives us to run away--that it's just a kind of epiphenomenon--and if we got rid of it, our natural (unconscious) impulses would drive us to run away anyway?

Not sure of your point.

When a human sees [consciously or subconsciously] a tiger two circuits of fear are triggered, i.e. the subconscious fear circuit and the conscious fear circuit.
The moment one eyes the tiger [even before the person is aware of it], the instinctual fear, heart beating fast, flight or fight are set into actions without the person being aware of it.
Thereafter it is the conscious fear circuit is triggered by the subsequent reactions of the subconscious mind and then one is conscious of the fear.
Or the person sighted the tiger and know it is a tiger and had learned tigers are dangerous thus starting to fear consciously.

My point is the striving for survival is coded in the DNA, thus instinctively reacted with fears when a tiger is sighted or inferred by the sound of a broken twig in the bushes.
A person who is not able to modulate these instinctual reaction may panicked, shrieked, be paralyzed with fears that would increase one's chance of being eaten by the tiger.
The person who has the competence to modulate these instinctual fears will be able to keep calm, use his reasoning skill to get away from the danger effectively.

In Buddhism proper, the modulation is focused on the instinctual subconscious fears related the existential issues.

Prismatic567 wrote:In a way they are 'modulators' but they are instinctual and spontaneous.
It is just like homeostasis [body temperature] which in a way involve modulators but they are instinctual.


Yes, but my point is, our fear of death is already modulated. What does additional modulation done deliberately and consciously do?
If you're saying our unconscious/instinctual modulation doesn't handle the cases where our fear of death comes out in indirect ways or ways that don't seem connected with our fear of death, would more modulation help? Or would that result in even more indirect manifestations or even less obvious connections to our fear of death? Do you believe that we can modulate our fear of death to the point where it is completely and will always be unconscious, not coming out in any way? And if so, is the only thing that matters that we don't experience this fear consciously? Or does it matter that the fear still exists unconsciously?

Yes additional modulation as cultivated with skill will help to deal with the indirect ways that the fear of death will manifest as anxieties, despairs, worries, Angst, etc.
The majority of people do not develop the effective modulators to deal with the above existential crisis and they ended up with clinging to a God [theism] to deal with the existential issues.
The consequences of theism is individual sufferings and the terrible carnage, evil and violent acts that had killed millions of the respective non-believers of the evil laden theistic religions. e.g.

https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/TROP.jpg

The Buddhism-proper approach is to develop effective modulators to deal with the root causes of the above evil consequences to the individual[s] and humanity.

There is no way humans can blanked out what is inherent to human nature. The attempt is thus to strive to minimize the problem to the minimum.

Prismatic567 wrote:They normally has some sort of feeling of unease giving rise to loss of meaning of life, despairs, anxieties, Angst, hopelessness but these sort of feelings vanishes almost immediately when they surrender to a God who has the omnipotent power to assure their problem will be resolved.


Well, sure, I agree that people undergo these kinds of experience a lot, but most of the time they know what bugging them. Feeling depressed because there doesn't seem to be a meaning to life is probably just that--lack of meaning--anxiety over the fear of going to hell when you die is probably just that--fear of hell. I'm not saying it's impossible that this could be the result of suppressed fears of death, but to claim it is is a pretty bold claim--it's to claim to know what's going on in everybody's soul better than they do without much proof.

One may be able to trace one's worries and anxieties to the obvious scenarios of daily living over finances, security, public speaking, a job interview, etc.
However the subconscious fears arising out of existential issue are more subtle and not easy to track.
Fear of hell is one good example. The concept of Hell is created from the subliminal fear of death that drive one to cling to a God that threaten one with hell if they sin or disbelieve in God. In this case the subliminal fear of death and God precede the concept of hell.
Thus if a person has effective modulators related to the existential elements, then the person will not need believe and cling to a God, thus no concept of Hell to be feared.

Prismatic567 wrote:In context "suppression" imply the use of conscious mental efforts to avoid certain mental impulses, pains, hunger, sex, etc.

For example, when one is stricken with hunger pangs one can rush for food or one can suppress the hunger pain by various means e.g. fighting the impulse consciously.

One good example say, a person were to do a 30 days or two-months fasting program.
In the first week, the person would have to mentally 'fight' the hunger pangs, thus 'suppression'.
By the third week, the person would not have to fight but would have developed modulators [neural inhibitors] within the brain so as flow with the program, thus the hunger pangs which will arise naturally in the absence of nutrition would be modulated, i.e. regulated spontaneously without having to fight and suppress the hunger pang.

That my view of the difference between 'suppression' and 'modulating'


So the difference is more along the lines of a subjective experience of fighting with your emotions versus not feeling anything at all--that the modulation is what's going on when the suppression of the emotion has become unconscious or automatic?
What this means is that modulation is just what suppression becomes when you're skilled at it.

Yes, I agree with your last point.

The difference between suppression and modulation is necessary so that the person can be directly to develop the necessary skills as in Buddhism-proper and other spiritual practices.

If one notice, in Christianity and Islam, all one need is to have faith and believe in God and viola! God will do the rest.
In Buddhism-proper one has to work quite hard on it to gain the necessary skills, i.e. reading, meditation, concentration, mindfulness and other necessary exercise, etc.

In some schools of bastardized 'Buddhism' [Pure Land School] Buddhists are promised instant salvation in Pure Land. Some Buddhist schools offer instant rebirth and reincarnation after physical death. But these are not Buddhism-proper.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Fanman » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:07 am

Prismatic,

Buddhism-proper itself discourages the concept of who is more spiritually enlightened. As such it is irrelevant for Science to deal with this point.


But we aren't Buddhists, the topic is open for discussion. I think that if Science was capable of measuring who is and isn't spirituality enlightened, or the degree to which people were, there would be many papers on the subject. It is an area that Science really doesn't have a say in, because it isn't something tangible. As such it is intersubjective – there isn't one right answer.

As stated we can assess the spiritual results from the texts, actions and experiences of Christians and Buddhists.
For example, re the spiritual potential of each religion, we can take the analogy of Mathematics, i.e. Christianity [based on Gospel] is like teaching basic arithmetic while Buddhism-proper cover up to calculus and higher mathematics.
In this case, Science can verify at least the associated competence of spirituality in comparing Christians and Buddhist monks. Note the links I provided re the test of competence of the 20 monks. In addition there are many other research to verify the competence of experienced Buddhist monks.


That's one way of looking at things, and on the surface or to someone that doesn't understand the depth of the Christian religion, your analogy holds water. If both practices can have a similar effect in terms of moderating behaviour patterns – then both are as effective as each other. Both practices seek to better the human condition and change the mindset, but they go about it in different ways. I think that they both work on the same level, they effect the way we manage emotions and behaviours. If I met someone who upheld the ideals that Jesus preached, I suppose I would call that person “enlightened”, because they have, as Christians put it “overcome the world”, by which I mean carnality and its trappings, the same can be said of a Buddhist I guess, only the path they took to get to that disposition is different.

We have discussed this point before.
'What is Christianity' and 'Who is a Christian' is confined specifically to the Gospel propounded by Jesus Christ as reported by the 4 Apostles.
In principle and technically what is Christianity cannot be outside the scope of what Jesus Christ as Son of God stated and depicted to the 4 apostles.
Surely we cannot refer to principles for Buddhism, Hinduism and others that are not represented in the Gospel as 'Christianity'?

Whatever is in the OT, Acts and Epistles to be regarded a Christianity must aligned with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, else they are outside the ideology of Christianity-proper.


This is very wrong. If that was the case, why do Christian preachers still expound heavily on the OT in their sermons? Jesus never claimed that the OT was invalid in an absolute sense, the sense that you seem to be claiming - he just changed the OT law. This is probably a discussion for a different topic, but there are I think many examples that show that the whole Bible is relevant to Christians - you can't win that argument. Also, we did not share the same view in those discussions.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:05 am

gib wrote:I was talking about the idea of enlightenment as like waking from a dream. The idea is that when you wake from a dream, a nightmare specifically, you stop fearing whatever it was you were afraid of in the dream, not because you're practicing some kind of suppression of or disconnection from your fear, but because you realize there is nothing to fear. The fear is simply gone, not suppressed. This is an analogy I've heard from Buddhist sources that say the reason for their calm and tranquility is not a matter of suppressing the fear (or other emotions)
But these types of realizations come after years of suppressing emotions and disconnected from yourself. You have trained yourself not to be the same social mammal you were. Much of the full self has been atrophied. Now you no longer have the goals and desires that humans have. So, sure, life can see more like a game or dream.
but of realizing the world and the self is illusory and therefore nothing in it is real (nothing to get worked up about). Not saying this is what actually happens with Buddhists, just questioning why buddhists think suppression of emotion is needed if the calm and tranquility they are seeking is supposedly acquired by realizing the illusory nature of reality, which supposedly works the same way waking from a nightmare works to get rid of fear. Is suppression of emotion the road towards enlightenment, after which point they don't need to suppress emotion anymore because all emotion is gone at that point?
Suppression and disconnection, yes. And to me, I believe that it is a path to something, but not what I want.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Sure, until you get good at it. And the fact likely is that you are already suppressing emotions due to upbringing culture and more. Some things you are already good at suppressing and to some degree suppressing...you are good at with many things. Buddhism will, slowly over time, complete this process, if you are dedicated. I mean, parts of the brain, limbs will atrophy is they are not used. Neural pathways will disappear or have fewer nerves. Suppression becomes habitual. You don't have to think about driving when driving much of the time. You stop having to think about suppressing the pattern is in place.


Even if that's right, there would still be at least this one difference between the actor and the real McCoy: the real McCoy would know the world is illusory and that would be the reason he doesn't feel fear or other emotions that depend on the reality of things, whereas the actor, if he has to suppress his emotions, wouldn't really believe this (as much as he may say he does). So there would still be this internal difference.
Well, yes. If he still has to pretend. But pretending is training. So it will lead to some real changes.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:Pretending involves suppression. The emotions are being trained not to express. You then immediately experience them in a less than full form. Over time pretending to be a jerk will lead you to have jerk habits. Pretending is a kind of training.


This may be true, but it takes time to get to that point.
Sure.
In the beginning, when you are still fighting your emotions, would you say the novice practitioner has achieved the same internal state as the enlightened Buddhist who has realized the illusory nature of the world (and therefore doesn't have to fight certain emotions).
No, of course not. You have to change the self/brain/person over long training.

Or would you agree that it takes time to reach the latter state? And if it takes time, does this mean the disciplined practice of suppressing one's emotion is a path to enlightenment?
To what the Buddhists call enlightenment, absolutely. You have to suppress emotions and disconnect from them to achieve their goal.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Fixed Cross » Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:22 pm

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
gib wrote:I was talking about the idea of enlightenment as like waking from a dream. The idea is that when you wake from a dream, a nightmare specifically, you stop fearing whatever it was you were afraid of in the dream, not because you're practicing some kind of suppression of or disconnection from your fear, but because you realize there is nothing to fear. The fear is simply gone, not suppressed. This is an analogy I've heard from Buddhist sources that say the reason for their calm and tranquility is not a matter of suppressing the fear (or other emotions)
But these types of realizations come after years of suppressing emotions and disconnected from yourself. You have trained yourself not to be the same social mammal you were. Much of the full self has been atrophied. Now you no longer have the goals and desires that humans have. So, sure, life can see more like a game or dream.

KP I think you are not talking about actual Buddhism here, but of New Age versions of it, which are basically hate-training.

Real meditation as Gibs Buddhist sources speak of is rather accompanied by the multiplication of neural connections in the frontal lobes. It actually makes you smarter and more aware of what is actually going on in the world, what is actually of importance and thus, of the wretched unimportance of so much that those measly few connections of uncultivated frontal lobes ping pong back and forth in an endless state of dearth.

The most cleanly form of Buddhism, I estimate, is Zen Buddhism. My most favourite zen-teachers are Wong Kiew Kit and the Dogen, who said "All things are rooted in themselves". That, in itself, is a sublime meditation. To look at things, and creatures, but especially also objects, and see them as rooted in themselves. And suppress the idiotic "knowledge" that they came from "causes" which came from "causes" which came from uhhrrr durrrr "a really Big Bang which came out of nowhere".
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:10 pm

Fixed Cross wrote:KP I think you are not talking about actual Buddhism here, but of New Age versions of it, which are basically hate-training.
Actually I think new age versions are less supressive because they lack the discipline. I've been to hard ass places in both the US and in Asia. They are training you to disconnect from the limbic system. This is not to say I think New Age versions are good, they are limp shallow things as most new age versions of things are. But limp and shallow can be less bad, like a shallow cut from a kitchen knife is better than a deep one.
Real meditation as Gibs Buddhist sources speak of is rather accompanied by the multiplication of neural connections in the frontal lobes. It actually makes you smarter and more aware of what is actually going on in the world, what is actually of importance and thus, of the wretched unimportance of so much that those measly few connections of uncultivated frontal lobes ping pong back and forth in an endless state of dearth.
They get rid of importance period. Importance is a limbic system thing, unless we are talking about pure survival type stuff from lower down in the brain. And yes, humans are distracted by all sorts of trivial crap.

The most cleanly form of Buddhism, I estimate, is Zen Buddhism. My most favourite zen-teachers are Wong Kiew Kit and the Dogen, who said "All things are rooted in themselves". That, in itself, is a sublime meditation. To look at things, and creatures, but especially also objects, and see them as rooted in themselves. And suppress the idiotic "knowledge" that they came from "causes" which came from "causes" which came from uhhrrr durrrr "a really Big Bang which came out of nowhere".
Well, Zen meditation is at least a brutal against the limbic system and this is even if they are not smacking you with a keisaku for slouching in Zazen, speaking of hate training.
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