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Spirituality

Spirituality

  1. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    West Coast Represent
    07 Jul '12 17:36
    I seem to see a lot of parallels between Socrates as portrayed by Plato at his trial and Buddhist ideas.

    Both embrace the abandonment of physical and impulsive pleasures and egocentrism in favor of quietness of mind and cheerful acceptance of reality.

    Any thoughts?
  2. 07 Jul '12 18:01
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I seem to see a lot of parallels between Socrates as portrayed by Plato at his trial and Buddhist ideas.

    Both embrace the abandonment of physical and impulsive pleasures and egocentrism in favor of quietness of mind and cheerful acceptance of reality.

    Any thoughts?
    The Socratic method, questioning, questioning... and occasional seeming contradictions eg, I know only that I know not, things like that, plus his attitude toward death as not being something to fear, because we know not what lies in wait there, do seem Eastern in flavor. But he seemed to intentionally try to trip self-styled wise men up, which seems a little too hostile for buddhism. But this is maybe Plato's doing as the writer. Do you have any specifics in mind?
  3. 08 Jul '12 01:22 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I seem to see a lot of parallels between Socrates as portrayed by Plato at his trial and Buddhist ideas.

    Both embrace the abandonment of physical and impulsive pleasures and egocentrism in favor of quietness of mind and cheerful acceptance of reality.

    Any thoughts?
    I have some thoughts if you're interested.

    I'm all for it. That is, "the abandonment of physical and impulsive pleasures and egocentrism in favor of quietness of mind and cheerful acceptance of reality."

    But how to attain? By one's own strength of will? Is it in our DNA? Are there "helps" available? Does it take a life time or can one arrive at peace of mind instantaneously?

    Is this idealistic concept of tranquility reserved only for the few? Should every living soul strive for this goal? Will the whole world ever enjoy all the goodness implied in it? Can it? Will it?

    (No sarcasm intended)

    I'm curious to know what the ideal is for human development and how every one can enjoy it together. It seems to me that it has to be something available to all and not just the few privileged intellectuals fortunate enough to gather the resources of leisure time required for contemplative pursuits, while 90% of the worlds population spends all their time looking and toiling for food.

    (Just a little sarcasm there, for balance)
  4. 08 Jul '12 03:00
    Originally posted by josephw
    I have some thoughts if you're interested.

    I'm all for it. That is, "the abandonment of physical and impulsive pleasures and egocentrism in favor of quietness of mind and cheerful acceptance of reality."

    But how to attain?
    here's how.

    YouTube

    " By one's own strength of will?"

    sure.

    "Is it in our DNA?"

    this is a software issue, not hardware. everybody has the hardware.


    "Are there "helps" available?"

    lots. but also lots of junk.

    "Does it take a life time or can one arrive at peace of mind instantaneously? "

    yes and yes. and addendum: some never get it.


    "Is this idealistic concept of tranquility reserved only for the few?"

    it's not idealistic. only the few attain it because only the few desire it.

    "Should every living soul strive for this goal?"

    no. you will live and experience exactly as your true will/true self has ordained. no more, no less. this will help you figure out what your true will has ordained. and only if you really want to know.


    "Will the whole world ever enjoy all the goodness implied in it?"

    there is no goodness implied in it. it is neutrality.

    " Can it? Will it?"

    yes, no.


    I'm curious to know what the ideal is for human development and how every one can enjoy it together.


    it is already in that state.


    It seems to me that it has to be something available to all and not just the few privileged intellectuals fortunate enough to gather the resources of leisure time required for contemplative pursuits, while 90% of the worlds population spends all their time looking and toiling for food.


    let's make it available for all.

    YouTube&feature=related
  5. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    08 Jul '12 15:41
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I seem to see a lot of parallels between Socrates as portrayed by Plato at his trial and Buddhist ideas.

    Both embrace the abandonment of physical and impulsive pleasures and egocentrism in favor of quietness of mind and cheerful acceptance of reality.

    Any thoughts?
    Where does Buddhism mention the 'cheerful acceptance of reality'?

    The whole point of the four noble truths are to rid of suffering, not only within but by our actions ridding of them for those around us too!

    That is not acceptance of current reality.

    -m.
  6. 10 Jul '12 11:38
    Originally posted by mikelom
    Where does Buddhism mention the 'cheerful acceptance of reality'?

    The whole point of the four noble truths are to rid of suffering, not only within but by our actions ridding of them for those around us too!

    That is not acceptance of current reality.

    -m.
    The four noble truths state that craving leads to suffering. That is: wanting reality to be something other than what it is. If you shouldn't want reality to be any different, the only thing left to do is to accept it the way it is. This becomes easy once one sees one has no control, which is what the "not-self" doctrine is all about. If you have no control it is obvious that trying to control things leads to disappointment.
  7. 10 Jul '12 15:26
    Originally posted by LordOfTheChessboard
    The four noble truths state that craving leads to suffering. That is: wanting reality to be something other than what it is. If you shouldn't want reality to be any different, the only thing left to do is to accept it the way it is. This becomes easy once one sees one has no control, which is what the "not-self" doctrine is all about. If you have no control it is obvious that trying to control things leads to disappointment.
    Eliminating one's cravings acknowledges and responds to a craving for things to be different, it only means turning the focus of change inward. Because you are real, this is an alteration of reality. We can't get away from it!
  8. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    11 Jul '12 12:41
    Originally posted by JS357
    Eliminating one's cravings acknowledges and responds to a craving for things to be different, it only means turning the focus of change inward. Because you are real, this is an alteration of reality. We can't get away from it!
    The ultimate path is not craving for an ulterior motive of change.

    It involves freeing oneself from any form of craving, hence trying to rid of internal suffering (or unwanton desires). That in itself makes cause for having no effect upon next persons as ineffective, and therefore a freedom from toils and suffering. That achieved, then others can have insight into viewing what they currently have, suffer from with regard to wants, and encourages them to accept unwanting and therefore suffering from those desires.

    Acceptance of what one is/has in basic form of humanity is the aim..... the self structure and keeping all of that: the mind, body and soul: free from unfiltered desires and wants. It is the momentum of maintaining that, that is the cycle of proposed re-birth into a new passage of life, on a daily basis (re-birth being momentarily, and not the doctrine of the next life as perceived by many/most).

    Escaping from a dependant world of existence, dominated by desires for such and such is not the true Buddhist's intent. It is to get to a point of not even recognising desires and to be mentally/physically free of them, existing primarily as an independent entity but all being within the human domain in that, that is the goal.

    It is still not accepting the current status, as is, or modifying the status to suit.
    There is only one status, and that is to be transient and move onwards from that status to the unknown by most - the free of mind state and ownership of dependency or desires. That is a progression monks, and many alike, achieve.

    You can get away from the reality of desire, and if met can also be a non-part of reality. Simply existing as one, secluded, desire free is that status. It is observers who see the reality that they see - not the holder of the enlightenment.

    -m.
  9. 11 Jul '12 15:57
    Originally posted by mikelom
    The ultimate path is not craving for an ulterior motive of change.

    It involves freeing oneself from any form of craving, hence trying to rid of internal suffering (or unwanton desires). That in itself makes cause for having no effect upon next persons as ineffective, and therefore a freedom from toils and suffering. That achieved, then others can have ins ...[text shortened]... It is observers who see the reality that they see - not the holder of the enlightenment.

    -m.
    Yes.

    Wherever you go, there you are.
  10. 12 Jul '12 10:46
    Originally posted by JS357
    Eliminating one's cravings acknowledges and responds to a craving for things to be different, it only means turning the focus of change inward. Because you are real, this is an alteration of reality. We can't get away from it!
    Correct, but what if you attain enlightenment? What craving does a Buddha have?
    Part of the internal change taking place is learning how to accept things the way they are.
  11. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    12 Jul '12 11:13
    Originally posted by LordOfTheChessboard

    Part of the internal change taking place is learning how to accept things the way they are.
    No. The Buddha couldn't and wouldn't accept the pain and suffering the way it was which is why he went on his own path of enlightenment, in the hope of issuing a new way for things to change from where they were to a new state of finding. Those being changes to the concepts of looking to the heavens for answers, when the answers come and came from within.

    -m.
  12. 12 Jul '12 16:32
    Originally posted by mikelom
    No. The Buddha couldn't and wouldn't accept the pain and suffering the way it was which is why he went on his own path of enlightenment, in the hope of issuing a new way for things to change from where they were to a new state of finding. Those being changes to the concepts of looking to the heavens for answers, when the answers come and came from within.

    -m.
    Hehe, but he wasn't the Buddha yet when he went on his search...
  13. 12 Jul '12 17:18
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    I seem to see a lot of parallels between Socrates as portrayed by Plato at his trial and Buddhist ideas.

    Both embrace the abandonment of physical and impulsive pleasures and egocentrism in favor of quietness of mind and cheerful acceptance of reality.

    Any thoughts?
    Further to the OP, this link,

    http://www.westernbuddhistreview.com/vol3/plato.html

    ...addresses indirectly in its opening paragraphs the similarities between Socrates and the Buddha. While the link focuses on Plato, in makes the point that Plato moved away from Socrates and therefore was rather more distant from the Buddha. Plato fully embraced dualism and eternalism (Sassatavada?) whereas Socrates and the Buddha did not. But it also argues that Socrates did not articulate nondualism sufficiently to be fully alignable with Buddhism.

    It concludes:

    "But at the same time we must acknowledge and celebrate Plato’s role as the communicator of the Socratic aporesis, probably the nearest thing to non-dualism that the West had until its encounter with Buddhism. It is this aporesis which formed the basis of the much less arrogant mysticism developed by the neoplatonists, and provided often an inspiration to subsequent Western philosophers. Though Plato’s compatibility with Buddhism should not be overestimated, he can nevertheless also in some respects provide an inspiration which, like Michelangelo’s figures in that great seat of dogmatism, the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican, shine through and out of their doctrinal context."
  14. Standard member mikelom
    Ajarn
    15 Jul '12 05:47
    Originally posted by LordOfTheChessboard
    Hehe, but he wasn't the Buddha yet when he went on his search...
    Having the insight to become what one believes is one's potential only strengthens one's future, doesn't it?

    Was Jesus practising making water into wine, or practising with 2 loaves and 5 fish to feed 5,000, or walking on water, or moving big rocks when he was six years old??

    Ooops.... sorry. Daddy did all that for him.

    -m.
  15. 15 Jul '12 10:26
    Acceptance is still part of a duality. The "Tathagarta" went beyond acceptance and rejection. The anatman idea is not about acceptance and rejection of a self. It is beyond such.

    Koan:

    When Banzan was walking through a market he overheard a conversation between a butcher and his customer.

    "Give me the best piece of meat you have," said the customer.

    "Everything in my shop is the best," replied the butcher. "You cannot find here any piece of meat that is not the best."

    At these words Banzan became enlightened.