dmattwads

Christianity

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Just now, Sketch said:

I've traveled pretty far for some large helpings of bitter.

Mountains of it.

 

I don't need to travel, it finds me just fine on its own. lol

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13 hours ago, old3bob said:

"God" can't punish us (through karma) near as well as we can punish ourselves...

 

which is still karma lol

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Suffering is so fundamental to Christianity that this site (for people interested in a Christian vocation) dismisses Buddhism on account of its attitude to suffering: 

 

The Meaning of Suffering

We live in a world that flees from suffering. Since the time of our youth, we have been raised to view suffering as an impediment to happiness. We are taught to believe that the less we suffer, the happier we will be. This belief is common not only to secular society, but also to religion and philosophies as well. Even certain eastern religions were founded on the principle that suffering is a primordial evil, from which mankind must escape (for example, the central tenets of Buddhism; the "Four Noble Truths"). Suffering, for many people, is viewed as an evil without value, and thus any means should be taken to avoid even a common cold. Yet, in the writings of the saints, we find an entirely different reality; that it is precisely suffering that strengthens us, humbles us, and forges us into saints. But more than this, we discover that suffering is of such inestimable redemptive worth, that nothing equals it in heaven or on earth. As Our Lord told Saint Faustina; "If the angels were capable of envy, they would envy us for two things: one is the receiving of Holy Communion, and the other is suffering." (p.1805)  http://www.religious-vocation.com/index.html#.X_5G2S3CahA

 

 

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2 hours ago, Bindi said:

Suffering is so fundamental to Christianity that this site (for people interested in a Christian vocation) dismisses Buddhism on account of its attitude to suffering: 

 

The Meaning of Suffering

We live in a world that flees from suffering. Since the time of our youth, we have been raised to view suffering as an impediment to happiness. We are taught to believe that the less we suffer, the happier we will be. This belief is common not only to secular society, but also to religion and philosophies as well. Even certain eastern religions were founded on the principle that suffering is a primordial evil, from which mankind must escape (for example, the central tenets of Buddhism; the "Four Noble Truths"). Suffering, for many people, is viewed as an evil without value, and thus any means should be taken to avoid even a common cold. Yet, in the writings of the saints, we find an entirely different reality; that it is precisely suffering that strengthens us, humbles us, and forges us into saints. But more than this, we discover that suffering is of such inestimable redemptive worth, that nothing equals it in heaven or on earth. As Our Lord told Saint Faustina; "If the angels were capable of envy, they would envy us for two things: one is the receiving of Holy Communion, and the other is suffering." (p.1805)  http://www.religious-vocation.com/index.html#.X_5G2S3CahA

 

 

 

I understand the point you are making, that suffering is considered a virtue in Christianity, but I fail to understand the virtue in suffering intrinsically.

 As you say correctly about the four Noble truths there is no virtue in suffering. This makes sense to me.

 How is it then that suffering in and of it self has value for it's own sake? This does not make sense to me.

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I don't see suffering (in Christianityity or any other path) as a virtue, but how one acts or reacts to it could be virtuous,  For example there is what Jesus said (and felt) during his suffering,  "forgive them Father for they know not what they do".

 

Btw, a master soul can mitigate the karma of another, but they never speak of such private matters or make a show of the cost of suffering which they may take on.  For example: "Neither go into the town," commanded Jesus, "nor tell anyone in the town"  to the blind man who had his sight restored.  

Edited by old3bob
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2 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

 

I understand the point you are making, that suffering is considered a virtue in Christianity, but I fail to understand the virtue in suffering intrinsically.

 As you say correctly about the four Noble truths there is no virtue in suffering. This makes sense to me.

 How is it then that suffering in and of it self has value for it's own sake? This does not make sense to me.


Well, it doesn’t make sense because it doesn’t have value in and of itself.

 

It’s a process, it purges impurities, which brings the Christian into unity with God, and ultimately allows the person to accept suffering for others as redemption for others in the way Jesus accepted that he had to die on the cross for the redemption of humanity. 
 

Quote


[Purgative suffering] is a crucible in which the impurities and worldly attachments are unmasked and expelled... Once metal has been sufficiently purified in the crucible, it can then be forged into a proper instrument to be wielded by the hands of the Welder. This second quality [Unitive suffering] is a natural consequence of the first, in that the purification enables the soul to be united to God. The voids that are created in the fire of purification can now be filled with grace and sealed with virtue... Redemptive suffering most intimately configures us to Christ, Who entered this world for this very purpose. It is the culminating work of Christ, and thus there is nothing greater that we can do in our imitation of Him. 


It’s a specifically Christian perspective which IMO works because it coincides with authentic mental health, it makes me think of  shadow work, embracing the shadow side of ourselves, it does work (I believe) and it is in essence what certain Christians have been doing for Millenia. 
 

For Christians at least at some point this work allows the ‘Gifts of the Holy Spirit’ to shine through - for example my favourite recent saint is Saint Seraphim of Sarov, he followed the Christian suffering path and in later life he developed the ability to ‘hear what was in people’s hearts’ and to miraculously heal people. Real gifts, that really help people (for free). 
 

 

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I've also been to Santiago de Compostela - but I went by coach and didn't walk.  In Portugal people walk on pilgrimage to Fatima each year - it is the site of the miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary in 1919.  I also went to Cantabria/Astorias in Northern Spain a few years ago and kissed a fragment of the true cross.

 

As a Buddhist - and this is probably a little known fact - I propitiate the local deities as deities of place and people.  So if I go to a Christian holy site I say prayers to the saints to help me on my spiritual journey.  And I would say subjectively that I did receive help - particularly Jesus, Mary and São Roque.  So you could say I uphold the sanctity of certain places and the 'reality' of saintly beings.

 

As to Christianity - there are some things I like and the symbolism is interesting.  I think Jesus was cool.  But I dislike evangelicism as it seems to me that it makes Christians too keen to convert others and therefore imbalanced.  They should focus on their own spiritual well being and leave others alone.  I have some Christian mystic heroes like William Blake and St. John of the Cross for instance.  But essentially Christianity as it is now lacks the tools and living lineages and so on to really help people - I think it has become empty of its own soul because it does not value its own contemplative tradition and does value huckster tambourine rattling snake oil salesmen.

 

So there!

 

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Apech said:

So there!

 

OK so how do I do a so there back?

 

I dont feel the least bit threatened to attend my church. and I will extricate myself from this situation

 

You can win. I have no need to continue to hurt my own feelings.

 

There are no opposing forces for me in that church. There is a priest that is kind and educated. There is a local Hermitage

with Father Seraphim and I have ordered a book from Mount Athos. Looks like tools for me.

 

 

 

 

 the worst   
Are full of intensity.  
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Bindi said:

 

It’s a process, it purges impurities, which brings the Christian into unity with God, and ultimately allows the person to accept suffering for others as redemption for others in the way Jesus accepted that he had to die on the cross for the redemption of humanity. 
 


It’s a specifically Christian perspective which IMO works because it coincides with authentic mental health, it makes me think of  shadow work, embracing the shadow side of ourselves, it does work (I believe) and it is in essence what certain Christians have been doing for Millenia. 
 

For Christians at least at some point this work allows the ‘Gifts of the Holy Spirit’ to shine through - for example my favourite recent saint is Saint Seraphim of Sarov, he followed the Christian suffering path and in later life he developed the ability to ‘hear what was in people’s hearts’ and to miraculously heal people. Real gifts, that really help people (for free). 
 

 

 

Seeking out suffering as beneficial is what the Buddha was doing before he become awakened, it is also one of the extremes that he rejected as ineffective when he proclaimed the middle way.

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6 hours ago, Apech said:

I've also been to Santiago de Compostela - but I went by coach and didn't walk.  In Portugal people walk on pilgrimage to Fatima each year - it is the site of the miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary in 1919.  I also went to Cantabria/Astorias in Northern Spain a few years ago and kissed a fragment of the true cross.

 

As a Buddhist - and this is probably a little known fact - I propitiate the local deities as deities of place and people.  So if I go to a Christian holy site I say prayers to the saints to help me on my spiritual journey.  And I would say subjectively that I did receive help - particularly Jesus, Mary and São Roque.  So you could say I uphold the sanctity of certain places and the 'reality' of saintly beings.

 

As to Christianity - there are some things I like and the symbolism is interesting.  I think Jesus was cool.  But I dislike evangelicism as it seems to me that it makes Christians too keen to convert others and therefore imbalanced.  They should focus on their own spiritual well being and leave others alone.  I have some Christian mystic heroes like William Blake and St. John of the Cross for instance.  But essentially Christianity as it is now lacks the tools and living lineages and so on to really help people - I think it has become empty of its own soul because it does not value its own contemplative tradition and does value huckster tambourine rattling snake oil salesmen.

 

So there!

 

 

As a Buddhist I was unaware of propitiating local deities, but am curious to know more about that?

 

Christianity does seem to lack tools for inner development these days, which I guess is why you don't hear stories about modern day Padre Pio's flying up to stop bombers from dropping bombs. I suppose when a traditions becomes more focused on what others should be doing they loose sight of the inner life.

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24 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

 

As a Buddhist I was unaware of propitiating local deities, but am curious to know more about that?

 

Christianity does seem to lack tools for inner development these days, which I guess is why you don't hear stories about modern day Padre Pio's flying up to stop bombers from dropping bombs. I suppose when a traditions becomes more focused on what others should be doing they loose sight of the inner life.

image.png.174adc681fe058dd2e10c76eff9df0c1.png

The idea that even the gods benefit from Buddhist enlightenment is a central theme in "Journey to the West ", and much of the folk ritual the book is rooted in.

Edited by Sketch
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2 hours ago, dmattwads said:

 

As a Buddhist I was unaware of propitiating local deities, but am curious to know more about that?

 

Christianity does seem to lack tools for inner development these days, which I guess is why you don't hear stories about modern day Padre Pio's flying up to stop bombers from dropping bombs. I suppose when a traditions becomes more focused on what others should be doing they loose sight of the inner life.

 

Hi 

 

The best I can do for now is quote from the book 'Buddhist Thought'  

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Buddhist-Thought-Second-Paul-Williams/dp/0415571790/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Buddhist+Thought&qid=1610573447&sr=8-1

 

which is well worth reading IMO:

 

IMG_20210113_0002.pdfIMG_20210113_0002.pdf

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14 hours ago, Apech said:

 But essentially Christianity as it is now lacks the tools and living lineages and so on to really help people - I think it has become empty of its own soul because it does not value its own contemplative tradition and does value huckster tambourine rattling snake oil salesmen.

 

So there!

 

 

I´m inclined to agree, though I think that people who seek out a genuine contemplative tradition in Christianity will likely find it. And it´s not as if the innermost secrets of Daoism are universally accessible either, judging from the difficulty some report trying to find genuine teachers and teachings.  In the end I believe people find what they´re meant to find.  Mysticism will out.

Edited by liminal_luke
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On 14/01/2021 at 12:41 AM, dmattwads said:

 

Seeking out suffering as beneficial is what the Buddha was doing before he become awakened, it is also one of the extremes that he rejected as ineffective when he proclaimed the middle way.


Not seeking out suffering, but accepting what comes along. It’s the aversion to suffering that is at issue. It might not have been Buddha’s conclusion, but it worked for people like Meister Eckhart, St. John of the Cross, and Padre Pio. 

 

It’s not to everyone’s taste clearly, but it does seem to be effective, with stories of saints levitating, bilocating, and healing.

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Bindi said:


Not seeking out suffering, but accepting what comes along. It’s the aversion to suffering that is at issue. It might not have been Buddha’s conclusion, but it worked for people like Meister Eckhart, St. John of the Cross, and Padre Pio. 

 

It’s not to everyone’s taste clearly, but it does seem to be effective, with stories of saints levitating, bilocating, and healing.

 

 

 

 

Ok yes I think that makes sense. 

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