Do you hide your religion?

Re: Do you hide your religion?

Postby Joeman_0 » 25 Jan 2011, 03:23

Joschka wrote:Unless I'm completely confused, Buddhists don't have a god and do not believe any entity is watching them.


It is a common misunderstanding among Buddhist. Buddha said the finger that points to the moon is not the moon itself. But instead of following where the finger points, people suck the finger for comfort. And therefore the Buddha chopped off the finger.

This doesn't mean that in Buddhism there is no God. What happened in Buddhism is that the Buddha chopped off the finger that points to God in order to address the problem of superstition. But you can see that it doesn't work.
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Re: Do you hide your religion?

Postby Herodotus » 15 Feb 2011, 05:35

Joeman_0 wrote:
Joschka wrote:Unless I'm completely confused, Buddhists don't have a god and do not believe any entity is watching them.


It is a common misunderstanding among Buddhist. Buddha said the finger that points to the moon is not the moon itself. But instead of following where the finger points, people suck the finger for comfort. And therefore the Buddha chopped off the finger.

This doesn't mean that in Buddhism there is no God. What happened in Buddhism is that the Buddha chopped off the finger that points to God in order to address the problem of superstition. But you can see that it doesn't work.


It depends on which "Buddha" you quote, but in general, Buddhists, from the beginning, believe in what we would call "gods". Supernatural beings, if you prefer, although the very notion of "supernatural" is something only possible if you can conceive of a discreet entity called "nature" to begin with.

Since our (Western) notion of angels and devils can be traced back through to Zoroastrianism and Iranian religion via Judaism, and Iranian religion and Buddhism (via Hinduism) sprang from the same source, the only difference being in the emphasis the Levantine cultures began to put on a patriarchal deity, I think you can argue that Buddhists are not atheists in our sense of the word, unless they are Zen Buddhists.

As for "an entity" watching them or not, traditional Buddhists of either the Mahayana or Theravada tradition are always being watched by some spirit, god, etc. They do not watch them in the way a monotheistic god watches us, but the Buddhists have a tough time of it, because they must worry about the offense they cause authority figures in either the human or "supernatural" worlds. When you walk down a street in Bangkok, for example, and see street vendors selling amulets, those are to protect themselves from rather specific spirits with rather specific (and unbelievably childish) grievances.

In general, because of the monotheistic/ethical/individualistic emphasis of religious development west of India, we always want to categorize "Eastern" religions in terms of their "beliefs", especially regarding God and their moral code, whereas the older mystical/ritual/social emphasis doesn't quite fit into those categories. To make matters more confusing, many practitioners of these religions have tried to "modernize" their religions by making explicit claims about these primarily Western concerns.

Then there is the belief that Buddhists are supposed to be vegetarians, which is a product of Westerners and Buddhist modernizers trying to force Buddhism into a Western-style moral code.
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Re: Do you hide your religion?

Postby Gao Bohan » 15 Feb 2011, 05:49

Herodotus wrote:Then there is the belief that Buddhists are supposed to be vegetarians, which is a product of Westerners and Buddhist modernizers trying to force Buddhism into a Western-style moral code.


Vegetarianism in Eastern religion dates back to the Vedic period, and carried on to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The difference is that only Jains consider a vegetarian diet obligatory, whereas the mainstream Hindu and Buddhist sects consider vegetarianism to be spiritually wholesome, but not required.
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Re: Do you hide your religion?

Postby BiReal » 15 Feb 2011, 19:53

Should be careful to generalize beliefs of the Buddha school, there are many branches and sects within Buddha different schools with different methods. Though of course since they are cultivating the principals of Buddha they belong to Buddha. Buddhism is the religious school if I say I am Buddha cultivator people always tend to say "ahh you belong to buddhism" as in the religious form Mayana or Hinayana, but I do not.

Now in my view of course there are gods , they created us and this whole environment, but if you ask Zen buddhist he/she would "surely" have another view.

That may be so, but how many people going to the temple are actually striving toward enlightenment? I think it’s more like they’re praying to some entity to bring them good luck or money.


Yes that is a sad development and strictly goes against what Shakymuni at his time taught, all Buddha cultivation schools emphasize on letting go of human notions and attachments. Kneeling down in front of Buddha praying that he gives your health or material objects is shameful in my view, and definitely showing strong attachments. One should rather seize the moment by asking for guidance towards enlightenment for example.

Vegetarianism in Eastern religion dates back to the Vedic period, and carried on to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The difference is that only Jains consider a vegetarian diet obligatory, whereas the mainstream Hindu and Buddhist sects consider vegetarianism to be spiritually wholesome, but not required.


When Shakymuni spread his teachings according to my knowledge he did not force people to stop eating meat, since at that time 2500 years ago agriculture was poorly developed many people relied on hunting for food supply. While his followers were begging for food they ate what was given. However garlic and onions were considered "hun" since they gave a strong smell and odor which would disturb the practitioners sitting in circle meditating. Today the practitioners in temples do not eat meat, and that is fine, but not eating meat is just one attachment, eating spaghetti everyday because you love it is also an attachment.
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Re: Do you hide your religion?

Postby viba » 22 Feb 2011, 10:46

To the past few posters who seem to have a fairly good understanding of Buddhism perhaps you can answer a question that has been niggling the back of my mind: If there is an existence of spiritual beings (gods) and the spiritual realm, are there any explanations for their creation and the creation of the Universe? My superficial understanding tells me the Wheel of life and the connectivity with the universe just is - no beginning, no end.
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Re: Do you hide your religion?

Postby the chief » 22 Feb 2011, 10:49

threadkiller hides his candy, is that the same deal? :ponder:
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Re: Do you hide your religion?

Postby Taiwan_Student » 06 Mar 2011, 23:38

divea wrote:OP, I understand where you are coming from. Yes you should be proud of being Jewish, and take the hit (even if it is a percieved thingy) and be open about yur religion and all that. Yes you should be open about it, just I like I should be 10 kgs lighter, or people should be open about their sexuality.

Don't worry about what you 'should' do. We all keep different things under wraps at different times.
Think about it, sort it out for your kids, because they sense your secrecy about it and that would confuse them. A religion and its rituals or culture is followed because you believe and belong.

Having said that, do not worry about the Muslims in your neighbourhood, not everyone is armed or has the inclination to do so. There are enough infidels roaming around them eating pork, wearing mini skirts, drinking alcohol etc. If they are migrant workers, then they are too busy getting 2 square meals a day to bother with your religion.

IMHO religious fanaticism is the prerogative of the rich (and politicians).


I like your post. You bring up some very good points that in a perfect world would be easy to follow.
What you said about my children is something to consider.
I honestly do worry about the possible Muslims in my neighborhood. They wander the streets in groups of 5 to ten. They don't mix with locals as many other waiguoren do. If they want to cross the street for instance. They won't wait They just cross and kind of passively surround the car, touch it and walk on. Hard to describe. I'm becoming a racist.... There is also a look in the eye that scares me.

Not all Muslims are bad. I can say that. But in my limited experience I was exposed to some traumatic situations I would rather not attract attention to myself. I love my religion. I do not want to kill for it or die for it.

Here's a story. As a recent college graduate I did my stint on an Ulpan program at a Kibbutz in Israel. Included was a field trip to Jerusalem. A classmate and I decided to stay at a Yeshiva (a Jewish religious school) for the Sabbath. so we could experience the whole kit and caboodle of observing it. It was actually a nice experience. No phone no lights or motor car...

We were walking around the Old City, which looks like a shopping mall or theme park by the way, enjoying our sabbath and wearing our beanies like good little Jews when we turned a corner. There in front of us was a guy on the ground. Kneeling over him was a soldier trying to give CPR. There was a strange sound like air coming from a balloon. There also was a police officer yelling at us to keep it moving.
It was surreal, I told you it looked like a theme park. Manicured shrubbery, clean walls, clean sidewalk a sunny day. It could have been Disney. I looked at my friend. He looked at me and we took off our beanies.

When we got back to our Kibbutz the following day, we thought we had an adventure to tell. We arrived at our "host family's" house that evening we found them depressed. They told us how a good friend of the family was murdered the day before. The person who was murdered was a Peace Now Activist and and it made no sense why he was killed. The person who killed him was a Muslim who befriended him for a long time. It was a set up.
Then they said to us "How was your weekend?" We said OK. and nothing further on that subject.

This post was recommended by Got To Be Kidding (07 Mar 2011, 02:18)
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Re: Do you hide your religion?

Postby Got To Be Kidding » 07 Mar 2011, 01:00

Taiwan_Student wrote:I like your post. You bring up some very good points that in a perfect world would be easy to follow.
What you said about my children is something to consider.
I honestly do worry about the possible Muslims in my neighborhood. They wander the streets in groups of 5 to ten. They don't mix with locals as many other waiguoren do. If they want to cross the street for instance. They won't wait They just cross and kind of passively surround the car, touch it and walk on. Hard to describe. I'm becoming a racist.... There is also a look in the eye that scares me.

Not all Muslims are bad. I can say that. But in my limited experience I was exposed to some traumatic situations I would rather not attract attention to myself. I love my religion. I do not want to kill for it or die for it.

Here's a story. As a recent college graduate I did my stint on an Ulpan program at a Kibbutz in Israel. Included was a field trip to Jerusalem. A classmate and I decided to stay at a Yeshiva (a Jewish religious school) for the Sabbath. so we could experience the whole kit and caboodle of observing it. It was actually a nice experience. No phone no lights or motor car...

We were walking around the Old City, which looks like a shopping mall or theme park by the way, enjoying our sabbath and wearing our beanies like good little Jews when we turned a corner. There in front of us was a guy on the ground. Kneeling over him was a soldier trying to give CPR. There was a strange sound like air coming from a balloon. There also was a police officer yelling at us to keep it moving.
It was surreal, I told you it looked like a theme park. Manicured shrubbery, clean walls, clean sidewalk a sunny day. It could have been Disney. I looked at my friend. He looked at me and we took off our beanies.

When we got back to our Kibbutz the following day, we thought we had an adventure to tell. We arrived at our "host family's" house that evening we found them depressed. They told us how a good friend of the family was murdered the day before. The person who was murdered was a Peace Now Activist and and it made no sense why he was killed. The person who killed him was a Muslim who befriended him for a long time. It was a set up.
Then they said to us "How was your weekend?" We said OK. and nothing further on that subject.


That struck a note. Jerusalem has become more of a home to me than the rural Indiana that I grew up in.

My own bit of worthless advice is to tell you to not let the wolves get you down. It seems like every society has them, and they can always tell when you have something that you're sensitive about. They can see you coming from a mile away, and they will go for your secret fear. I grew up with that and no one should have to.

One day, I woke up and realized that I could chuck all that by reveling in my complete and utter ridiculousness. Almost 2 meters tall and glow-in-the-dark hair mixed with a truly bizarre outlook on life. But, I'd gotten some confidence and a sense of humor that allowed me to take an interest in other people, and THEIR ridiculousness.

Of course, I consider all that the hand of God in my life pushing me in the right direction, but feel free to consider that to be ridiculous. ('cuz I am)

Be true to yourself, and never let fear guide you. Never. In fact, be prepared to do exactly what you fear, because you fear it. (Which, of course, can get you in trouble. But hey, you only live twice.) Be completely and utterly satisfied in the fact that you are Jewish, and if you aren't satisfied, work on finding out what you're missing.

Be bold. Be brave. Develop a taste for wolf meat.

Oh, and get a cat.
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Re: Do you hide your religion?

Postby tommy525 » 07 Mar 2011, 01:49

Yes I do often because most of the time I fall short of the glory of God.
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Re: Do you hide your religion?

Postby Taiwan_Student » 07 Mar 2011, 16:35

Got To Be Kidding wrote:That struck a note. Jerusalem has become more of a home to me than the rural Indiana that I grew up in.



If you made that place your home then you probably had some interesting experiences to demonstrate your advice. Lay on your anecdotes.

Personally I did not like the city much. The price of seeing the hatred over religion in what looks to be a regular neighborhood not unlike ones found in Taiwan or Europe, was too high for me. (Notice I didn't say the USA)

I felt more connected to G-d on the farm. Working with the elements under the stars. The Kibbutz, Heftsi-bah, was raised from a swamp. We even had our own colony of Japanese Jewish Fanatics who rivaled our enthusiasm.

No one killed threatened to kill anyone over anything there at the Kibbutz. So, share your stories of Jerusalem. If it's off topic, open a new thread.
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