Could someone explain the Buddhist belief system to me?

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On 11/3/2012 at 4:23 AM, DreamBliss said:

Well I have read your posts and will let myself digest them for now. But I have to say, at this moment I am more confused :/ Is it possible to put it very simply for someone like me who is having a hard time understanding? Something along the format, speaking generally, of:


Christians = God, Jesus (His son), and the Holy Spirit (the holy trinity.)

Yogic/Advaita = I am God, you are God, we are all together seperately yet collective God and connected to each other.

Buddhist = ???


I must admit, the whole alien origin idea throws me, but I remember something from Arthur C. Clark. He said something along the lines that an alien race could have a technology so advanced it would seem like magic to us. Thinking about that, if one of us went back in time and showed someone in the 15th century a cell phone, well they would think all sorts of strange things about us and our device. It would seem like magic to them. So the theory that aliens in essence created us is plausible.


I hear what the Buddha is saying in those 3 verses, and have to admit they echo some of my own thoughts and feelings. My whole journey started when I began to ask questions. Things that Christians never talk about. Such as if Heaven is a perfect place, meaning no imperfection, then where did the pride and sins of Lucifer come from that caused him to be cast out? More troubling to me, after reading some of Thich Nhat Hanh's work, was, " Could a holy, loving and perfect God cast such a man into hell simply because he was not a Christian?" Now I have never met Master Hanh, I would like to someday, but from what I can tell in his words the man probably acts more like a Christian than most Christians.


But the problem still remains, what if? As unfair, as wrong as it looks from all viewpoints, what if God is exactly as detailed in the Bible, what if the Bible is telling the truth, what if there is only Heaven and Hell? All faiths that hold this Heaven/Hell belief are a trap, because you have no way of proving them right or wrong to the point of safely ensuring the security of your own soul. Nobody gets to know for sure until they die. So whatever your religion, or lack thereof, you are still forced to take that final leap in faith, hoping that whatever you believed or didn't believe was true.


Trust me when I say I don't think there is anything harder in this life than moving past and in many cases moving on from long held and ingrained beliefs from your religion. I am scared, and not afraid to admit it. At the very least I know I make my journey in this physical portion of my life harder, because my parents and my grandmother are all Christians. Some of the views I hold now, the realizations I have had, I can't share with anyone in my family for risk of offending them. It hurts and it sucks to not have anyone outside of some forums I access through my computer screen to talk to about this stuff.


Anyhow I would appreciate some simplication here. Thank you sharing and your patience -

- DreamBliss


I too am learning the comparisons between buddhism and other schools of thought. 


From what I can glean from all the translated information is below.  The first thing to bring up is that there has to be a real objective understanding of the historical context of buddhism within the larger world at the point in time it was sprouting.  In the time when the being we call the "buddha" was alive, the word - "god" meant a physical being or sentient entity; like the gods of Hinduism and all other religions.  The word we now subscribe to "god" as the "source of all existence" is different than it was then way back in the day... hence why buddhism does not talk about the validity of a creator god that is eternal everywhere doing everything.  As if, if someone were to ask the buddha what is God, he would have replied - Who? 


Buddhists have different names for the same things across other religions for core concepts;


Christian/Jewish concept of God ( The uncreated causer or initiator ) - Hinduism concept of the Supreme Unmanifest - Buddhist concept of Base of Mind ( Zhang Zhung Dzogchen calls the "Primordial Base Energy" ) - Taoists call it the Wu Chi.  

------ They all talk about it.  How it relates to a person is understood in different ways by the different schools of thought per their specific time, place in history, and overall what they could find out about it or discern.  


What you are referring to below, is what is called Dogma - or belief structure, which like above is peculiar to people, political events, etc... so don't take it as the actual real absolute truth about things --- it can't be, because it's just a way of organizing what people see, not what actually is there..... the buddhists take the absolute objective approach to everything and define things by how they function, so how things act and relate with one another is how they describe things.  It is very much an outlook based in reason and deductive logic.  What is actually true everywhere is beyond words - trees are not trees; thats just the name that we give them.  So God is just a name we give the thing, etc. 



Christians = God, Jesus (His son), and the Holy Spirit (the holy trinity.)

Yogic/Advaita = I am God, you are God, we are all together seperately yet collective God and connected to each other.

Buddhist = ???


First of all - allow me to comment on your dogma stated.  Point #1 - Jesus of Nazareth never ever called himself the Son of God.  He called himself the Son of "Man".  In that time period - saying you were a son also meant that you were a servant.  You served something or someone... like the son of the blacksmith serves the blacksmith... etc.   It was not until after Jesus died that people started to create Christianity and form dogma around what Jesus said, after all Jesus was raised by jewish rabbis and other jewish people.  So, when understood correctly in the right historical context - Jesus just said that he was a servant of man, mankind - which if you believe it all - his actions mostly attest to the truth of that phrase.  The Bible that you and I have now - is not the same as the original versions of the Bible that were created over hundreds of years by different authors.  Christianity was appropriated by many different political groups for their own purposes - the most notable of which was the Roman Empire.  


Jesus called God - the Father.  As in the generator, because this makes it easy to understand for people.  He said "I am in the father, and the father is in me". Said another way = I am in the light of all existence, and the light of all existence is in me.


Point #2 - Yogic/Advaita - your understanding is wrong.  There is no mention of the word "god" in the vedas.  They refer to the "absolute".  As in - the unchanging.  For yogic and hindu schools of thought believed that the word we now use called "real" in their time had to be a description of something that did not change.... because to them if it changed it could not be "real"... as the thing observed over time - became something else and hence was not "real" or worthy of worship or contemplation.  


Point #3 - The Buddhists???       --- well well well, the real buddhists define things using reason and logic.  To buddhists - everything in existence everywhere arises out of somewhere... out of the primordial base of mind ( source of all existence ).  They separate out things like the mind, the physical body, and energy to understand them - but they realize that all these things are connected and influence one another.  The buddhist believe in "potentiality". as in - this very moment that you are reading this will flow into the future as some shape or form of an experience--- i.e. existence itself continuing.  And they deductively reason from that fact - that the past also behaves in the same way - so, therefore existence itself is an "un-ending present moment"...... the words we use to describe time as past, present, and future - are understood a little differently - there is the past, there is the ongoing potential of now ( the present ) and the eventual outcome that is the future ( potential reflected or realized or manifested )....       Which in the end - when understood correctly to the literal meaning of the word "dukkah". makes total and complete sense with what Buddhism is all about.  The word "dukkah" at that time in history meant - "not sitting correctly on a hinge"..... so translated into the first noble truth - actually means - "Life does not sit correctly on it's hinge."   In other words - Life is un-predictable.  Which is imbibed with the concept that life is always full of potential and cause and effect ( karma and dependent origination ) determine potentials ( life events and experiences ).  So what it all comes down to in the end - for buddhists mostly is to avoid unpleasant and unwanted life events and experiences..... they want to be happy or have no experiences at all ( abiding in the restful open awareness of the natural state of mind)  In order to do this they follow a way of life and philosophy so organized to nullify effects of bad/good karma - because both are only bad or good from a subjective point of view and hence neither label is true, and to eventually render karma completely under their control, so they live happily with themselves and with each other.  So buddhists believe in action-consequence realities ( karma ) and believe in being good people because it is good to do based on the facts that they observe of how it affects their lives and those around them.  Is there anything else that anyone really needs?  The existence of God? Endless pontificating ideas and philosophy?  ...... not really.  Buddhism was created and spread for everyone to understand and to use - because it's basic tenants are always true.  The most highest adept to the most lowly layman can understand and use the basic tenants of buddhism to live happily in the world and share in the happiness of those around them.  While there may be ultimately more to learn and to understand about everything in the entire phenomenal universe... buddhism does not really assert that knowing such things will really help you live with the facts of the realities of this life - so those things are not it's main objective.  


To begin to inquire into the eastern schools of thought; you should ask yourself the following- 

1.  What is the difference between truth and belief?

2.  What is the difference between self-identity and actual presence?

3.  How do I understand the nature of light, frequency, sound, color, and vibration?

4.  Is it at all possible for a literal separation between the past, the present, and the future?

5.  Without an absolute standard, how can ethics or morality be established?

6.  How could there be a purpose to life?


On Heaven and Hell - and asking yourself these types of questions out of what sounds like being afraid to let go of such concepts for others.   Know that, there are heavens and hells talked about in judaism, islam, buddhism, and Hinduism.   These places attract souls, energy bodies, people, (whatever term you want to say). to them by nature of the persons karma, vibration, or essence.  Again with that driving force behind such a trip being karma itself.  As in - if you are a terrible person your whole life you are drawn to hell by the fact that your karma delivers you there, if you are an outstanding, loving, and benevolent/well natured brilliant person your whole life you are drawn to Heaven.   So - I'd venture to say that it doesn't matter if you believe in them or not, just like the fact of tomorrow.  They exist, but only in the sense that they are both the extremes of the spectrum of vibration.  Hence - low vibration ( fear, sadness ) is hell - High vibration ( love, inspiration, true joy, bliss ) is Heaven.  


AND - people do go there while still alive.  That's what spiritual adepts do.  Thats why we have awareness of them even being an idea.  




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On 11/8/2012 at 10:56 AM, Simple_Jack said:

Some quotes from DW[http://www.dharmawhe...=9709&start=160] putting it into dzogchen terms:

" SSJ3Gogeta wrote:
1. Rigpa is not a thing.

2. Rigpa means knowledge.

3. If anything the universe appears because of ignorance (marigpa) as explained by Malcolm above.

Malcolm wrote: Rigpa, in all Dzogchen texts, is constrasted with Ma rigpa. Because of not knowing [ma rig pa] our real state we enter samsara. Through knowing [rig pa] our real state, we attain liberation.

Thought is not a problem for one who has rigpa. It is only a problem for those who do not."


No.  Rigpa does not mean knowledge.  You're wrong. Knowledge is just learned memory - bits of data.  Rigpa is the true natural way of being aware or intelligent ( rough translation.)


No.  The universe does not appear because of ignorance - it is self arising and spontaneously manifested continuously because of its nature to do so ( the path ).


Liberation in this sense is a bad word to use.  You aren't liberated from anything - you're just in a state of mental bliss.  Non-existence and liberation are just philosophical paradoxes.  

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Maybe I can help..... Buddhism, life is suffering, You get to be reincarnated if you screw everything up, no creation story so a God is necessary even if you steal it from a foreigner source.


The best possible outcome is that you become Taoist. Life is heath, wealth and happiness, don't be lazy and reach heaven when you are alive. We all come from no thing and return. At the same time we never left anywhere. The best part, no speculation or made up stories that keep you a mortal until you die.  Now that is liberating. IMO this is completely biased even if it is the same story being told Buddhist or Taoist

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About Buddhism and God.

There's a tale Gautama the Buddha tells in one of the sermons about a man seeking an answer to the question, "where is the end of suffering?".  He goes to the realm of the gods, they tell him they can't answer that question and direct him to Brahma, the supreme god.  Brahma replies to the question three times by declaring he's Brahma, the supreme god, and causing lightning bolts with thunder.  When the question is repeated again, Brahma takes the man aside, and confesses he can't answer the question, the man will need to find Gautama the Shakyan (the Buddha) and ask him.

That's about it for the Buddhist belief system, regarding gods and God.

If you are interested in the original teaching, as an answer to the question of what is the Buddhist belief system (although it's not really the same thing), I recently completed a sketch of that.  My sources are all in the first four collections of the Pali sermon volumes (I provide chapter and verse).  These collections are considered the most historically accurate, and I only quote the man himself, not his disciples (their teachings I find have a slightly different flavor).  Here's the first part of my sketch, and a link if you're interested:


In that early record, Gautama is concerned with action, a certain kind of action:


…I say that determinate thought is action. When one determines, one acts by deed, word, or thought. 


“When one determines”–when one makes up one’s mind, action takes place.


Gautama taught the ceasing of action:


And what… is the ceasing of action? That ceasing of action by body, speech, and mind, by which one contacts freedom,–that is called ‘the ceasing of action’.” 


Gautama taught that action ceases first with regard to speech, then with regard to the body, and finally with regard to the mind. He described the culmination of the process as follows... 






Edited by Mark Foote

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In a nutshell:


Life is hell and everyone dies.


There it is. Distilled to its purest, shiny wisdom.


Of course Big B doesn't say it that directly but he doesn't mince his words either because that is the message he repeated over and over. Hoping people would get it into their thick skulls. If you don't you'll get another go round on the wheel and have another chance. Rinse and repeat until you finally get what he means.

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It sounds to me that you are more concerned about your relationship with God than with the Wisdom a tradition offers.  Christianity has a specific Wisdom set that is a bit different from say, Judaism.  This will also vary depending upon if you believe past the Gospels and into a sect of Christianity.  I think it is most important to find the Wisdom that you want to live by and think of God second, because even if God is all of us, that can still fit within a Christian mindset, if you follow only the Gospels.


I will tell you my experience and let you decide.  


I was thinking about good and evil when a spirit entered my body and used my hand to draw out a symbol.  I looked into symbols and found a book that said to deconstruct it, which I did, and as I did, my mind wandered onto what I knew of God and life and spirituality.  I was told God is love, and that God made the world, and so I translated that to mean that the world was love, and I walked around in love with everything and everyone.  As I deconstructed the symbol, I started to receive images which made me rethink my "the world is love", and as I did that, I realized that the world was not all love, and I inadvertently blurted out "You're not the God of love!  Give me the power to bring love here!"  I then heard a booming but calm and commanding voice speak in a strange language.  This was my evidence that there was, indeed, a God.


I later began researching symbols and found one that threw open my groin chakra and head chakra.  I saw an angel in my mind carrying me up and heard "Chesed, Chesed, Chesed".  Then I found myself in front of a throne with a male being upon it and heard "I am the Sephiroth, I am all that is".  


At first I thought this being was saying that He is the only living thing, but in retrospect I believe He was meaning that He (God) is everything, and so that would mean that, according to what you surmised earlier; we are all God.  This is my legitimate experience, take it for how you like.


As I said, this can still fit within Christianity, for did Christ not say "Split a rock and I am there"?  That means in you, me, rocks, and everything, God is present.  

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Buddhist belief system?

Buddhism has no faith, only the distorted Buddhist system has faith.

What the Buddha said is not to be deceived by beliefs, but to truly transform consciousness into wisdom.

to know the truth


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aloha rong zom,


   Your idea that every religion is equal and we should stick with the traditions we were brought up with is the equivalent of the ego saying trust me I will get rid of me and the thinking mind trying to think its way out of thinking.


   Organized religions are organized to support and promote the status quo. One does not convert oneself, one uses religion to make others conform.


   One need look no further than isaiah to see empire propaganda in its nakedest form, "you worms." Just keep producing and multiplying and pay your taxes and the king of kings will take care of you most paternalistically.


   Hinduism enshrines the pernicious varna system. Arjuna should have told krishna to shove it. Christianity was invented by the flavians to kill jews.


   Buddhism, confucianism and taoism are sublime by comparison. Buddhism is a correction to hinduism. The buddha points out in the suttas that a brahman would work for a sudra if the price was right, so caste is not a determinant of status. Confucianism upheld justice and humility for all classes of society, and taoism corrected the errors of confucianism.


   Western religions reluctantly made room at times for saints who insisted they were catholic, like st francis of assissi, joan of arc and simone weil, but by and large the whole edifice of western religion has been the enslavement of human cattle for the benefit of the greedy few. The opioid of the people.


   I admit I am right fond of islam but mohammed wasn't a real person either (much less jesus). Christians have their mystics as well but they did not tread the middle way and shouldn't be followed.


   Any comparison of religions should recognize the fact that some religions are living and some are dead. Islam has similarities to judaism and christianity but it is a vital, living religion as is buddhism, and taoism as a subset or progenitor of types of buddhism.


   So, I don't agree with muddling together all religions as though they were equally good or bad. The prototypical christians were the conquistadors. In hoc signo vinces. 


   Muhammed said that if you are looking for religion, you should go in through the front door. By this is meant go to temple or church or mosque in your community, and start there. But this too is self serving propaganda designed to ensure social order.


   As omar khayyam said, 


And this I know: whether the one True Light,
Kindle to Love, or Wrath -- consume me quite,
     One Glimpse of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.




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Buddhists believe that human life is suffering and doing mediation, spiritual and physical labor and good behaviors are the ways to obtain enlightenment or nirvana. they believe that if someone achieve the enlightenment than they can possibly escape this cycle forever Siddhartha Gautama was the first buddha and known as the first one to achieve enlightenment.  

The Buddha taught about Four Noble Truths.

The first truth is called “Suffering (dukkha),” which teaches that everyone in life is suffering in some way.

The second truth is “Origin of suffering (samudāya).” This states that all suffering comes from desire (tanhā). 

The third truth is “Cessation of suffering (nirodha),” and it says that it is possible to stop suffering and achieve enlightenment.

The fourth truth, “Path to the cessation of suffering (magga)” is about the Middle Way, which are the steps to achieve enlightenment.

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On 11/2/2012 at 8:10 PM, DreamBliss said:


... Anyhow I think understanding the Buddhist viewpoint here will aid me in figuring out what mine will be. ...



A friend responded to my last post, Not the Wind, Not the Flag:


I cannot see the connection to life, cleaning cat boxes, cooking, shopping, driving, bathing and suffering.


Let me try to make that connection explicit, here.

Response to "Not the Wind, Not the Flag"


Edited by Mark Foote

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