2008.09.17 13:00 - Following a religion loosely

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     The guardian for this chat was Quilty Bookmite. The comments are his.

    Shortly after I arrived Threedee turned up in lion incarnation. We just chatted for a while since nobody else was around.

    Threedee Shepherd: Hi Quilty
    Threedee Shepherd: What "time zone" are you in, in RL
    Quilty Bookmite: GMT
    Threedee Shepherd: England?
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes.
    Quilty Bookmite: You?
    Threedee Shepherd: What time is it there now?
    Quilty Bookmite: 9 p.m.
    Threedee Shepherd: It is 2 PM here in the US, Denver, CO, Daylight Mountain Time
    Quilty Bookmite: Ah. I've ben to Denver. Nice place.
    Quilty Bookmite: Well, nice views of the mountains anyway. :-)
    Threedee Shepherd: Indeed, We are actually in Boulder, just northwest of Denver.
    Quilty Bookmite: Oh right. Yes, I know of Boulder but I don;t think I went there.
    Quilty Bookmite: I was only there for a week then we drove up to Wyoming.
    Quilty Bookmite: I think there had just been a huge forest fire in the area so you couldn;t see very far.
    Threedee Shepherd: Ah, perhpas the big Yellowstone Park fire.
    Quilty Bookmite: could have been. It was a few years ago.
    Quilty Bookmite: I know it was up in the Rockies somewhere.
    Threedee Shepherd: This time Monday there was a "crowd" here, yesterday too, I seem to recall
    Quilty Bookmite: There is a Buddhist talk going on. I had to leave early because I was hosting this but I know a few PaB folks were there.
    Threedee Shepherd: Well, if no one else comes within a few minutes, let's say this session was unattended and you can go back to that talk. It's OK with me.
    Quilty Bookmite: No, it's fine. I am happy to be here.
    Quilty Bookmite: You never know who might turn up anyway. :-)
    Threedee Shepherd: This morning I was reading about "The Two Truths" doctrine, relating the absolute and the relative.
    Quilty Bookmite: Not heard of that. Can you say more?
    Kelwen arrived. She had been at yesterdays chat at this time but I initially forgot that. I had been quite tired yesterday. Meanwhile, Threedee discussed the Two Truths doctrine.
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Kelwen
    Kelwen Landar: hi quilty
    Kelwen Landar: hi threedee
    Quilty Bookmite: Have we met before?
    Threedee Shepherd: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_truths_doctrine
    Threedee Shepherd: Hi Kelwin, I recall we met last evening.
    Kelwen Landar: yes, we did :)
    Kelwen Landar: nice to see you
    Threedee Shepherd: :)
    Quilty Bookmite: :-)
    Kelwen Landar: and you too quilty
    Quilty Bookmite: Sorry, I was probably a bit tired yesterday evening. :-)
    Kelwen Landar: no worries
    Quilty Bookmite: Well, welcome back. :-) I do remember now.
    Threedee Shepherd: Kelwin, as you were arriving, I mentioned I have been reading about the two truths doctrine, which the URL I just gave describes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_truths_doctrine
    Kelwen Landar: okay
    Kelwen Landar: thank you
    Quilty Bookmite: I haven;t seen it expressed in that way but I am familiar with the idea.
    Threedee Shepherd: Yes, we have talked much here at PaB about Absolute and Relative.
    Quilty Bookmite: Absolute truth is the only real truth but is a bit difficult to use as a tool for daily life. :-)
    Kelwen Landar: im just reading the page.....
    Threedee Shepherd: Exactly. So, I am interested in how various traditions deal with that "problem"
    Kelwen Landar: can anyone simplify it for the one brain celled among us (me) who is also new to all of this
    Threedee Shepherd: And in my own understanding of it in my own life
    Threedee Shepherd: In most traditions there is an Absolute, some call it God, some Being, some Essence, Brahman in Hindu, The Way (in Zen).
    Kelwen Landar: okay...
    Threedee Shepherd: In mqany traditions the Absolute IS the ONLY reality, yet is is hard to or even impossible to be known by a living human; although, in some traditions it can be lived, without explicit knowing.
    Threedee Shepherd: Then there is the world you and I are experiencing now, keyboard, screen, corporeal body, chairs, tables, other people, etc.
    Kelwen Landar: such as...Heaven? to a christian, do you mean that sort of thing..
    Quilty Bookmite: More like God than Heaven.
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Quen
    Threedee Shepherd: In many traditions (such as Buddhism and Hindu) this relative state is not truly real, but is an Illusion, even though it seems real-enough on the surface.
    quen Oh: hello Quilty
    Kelwen Landar: but a christian is expected to believe in the 'Heaven' and that form of afterlife, and believe that all of the 'answers' are in bible..
    Threedee Shepherd: Then the question is one of how each tradition relates the relative to the absolaute.
    Threedee Shepherd: Heaven is not quite a direct part of the Absolute/relative distinction, its sort of a tangent.
    Kelwen Landar: i dont see how the things we are seeing arent 'real'?
    Quilty Bookmite: the two truths concept comes from Tibetan Buddhism but it's a pretty fundamental concept.
    Threedee Shepherd: Quilty, please add, correct, edit my words.
    Kelwen Landar: yes, i see what you mean
    Kelwen Landar: but how does it relate to anything?
    Quilty Bookmite: Your words sound fine to me. You express yourself well.
    Kelwen Landar: to living?
    Quilty Bookmite: Well, In Buddhism there is fundamentally no difference between the absolute and relative. Distinguishing between tem is duality.
    Quilty Bookmite: It's a bit of an abstract discussion really. :-)
    There is a bit of a problem here with a fairly deep philosophical discussion going on and someone wanting basic guidance. I seem to be switching between the two.
    Quilty Bookmite: i hope you don;t mind me asking. Are you Christian Kelwen?
    Kelwen Landar: no
    Quilty Bookmite: Do you have a religion?
    Threedee Shepherd: Kelwen, we all ask deep questions about "meaning" and about the basis of "right living" or ethics. those questions all are the situations of everydsay life in the specific. Many try to find the basis of "answering" such questions and concerns by looking to the Absolute for guidance.
    Kelwen Landar: no, i dont have
    Quilty Bookmite: A clean slate. :-)
    Kelwen Landar: my parents were christian, and i spose to a degree it was exoected that i was/am
    Kelwen Landar: but i dont share their beliefs
    Kelwen Landar: i have my own idea on things
    Kelwen Landar: and havent ever matched that to a religion
    Quilty Bookmite: Care to share your ideas?
    Kelwen Landar: and sound silly?
    Kelwen Landar: lol
    quen Oh: meaning does in my opinion not necessary the absolute for guidance, but it does involve direction or perhaps better called intention
    Quilty Bookmite: I doubt it would be silly but I'm not going to try and persuade you. :-)
    quen Oh: necessary need
    Kelwen Landar: well id say i probobly believe in 'karma'
    Kelwen Landar: but havent ever named it as such
    Threedee Shepherd: Quilty, you said: "Well, In Buddhism there is fundamentally no difference between the absolute and relative. Distinguishing between them is duality.' My brief reading seemed to suggest that the different schools of Buddhism had subtle but real differences about this.
    Kelwen Landar: and i believe in reincarnation
    Quilty Bookmite: i guess I can only speak from the Zen point of view.
    Quilty Bookmite: So what do you think drives us to reincarnate?
    Threedee Shepherd: Yes, Zen says they are fundamentally the same in a mystical way I hesitate to try to replicate ;)
    Quilty Bookmite: Me too. :-)
    quen Oh: there is a difference between letting religion decide and think for you (static) or to let it inspire you to form your own particular and to the spedific situation adapted meaning
    Quilty Bookmite: It is basically a Koan.
    Koans are thought to be only in the domain of Rinzai Zen which has many of them written down. In Soto Zen, which is more focussed on pure meditation, there is a saying that "the koan appears naturally in daily life".
    Kelwen Landar: thats something i always tell myself i should actually look into, as i suppose ive only formed my own ideas
    Kelwen Landar: i think itd relate your 'behaviour' in that life
    Kelwen Landar: to*
    Quilty Bookmite: I think it is a good starting point Kelwen. Much better than to be told what to believe.
    Kelwen Landar: altho i dont have fixed ideas on how strongly that effects it if you se my point
    Quilty Bookmite: Well, your ideas have something in common with Buddhism.
    Kelwen Landar: yes, ive been told that before
    Quilty Bookmite: In Zen we talk about rebirth rather than reincarnation because we say there is no soul to reincarnate.
    Quilty Bookmite: Sorry. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi corvi.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: hi all
    Kelwen Landar: Hi
    Threedee Shepherd: Kelwen, I distinguish between the trappings and dogmas of Religions (capital R) with the teachings and lessons that make up the writings that have a long history in religious traditions. I think of looking at the writings/ideas asmy not having to invent-the-wheel from scratch.
    Kelwen Landar: can you explain to me your opinion on rebirth then, from your point of view
    Quilty Bookmite: OK...
    Quilty Bookmite: Reincarnation implies that it is the same being in each existence. That would imply a soul that gets passed from one life to the next...
    Kelwen Landar: im not sure i totally understand Threedee, do you mean in that you are 'following' what is laid out..
    Kelwen Landar: yes Quilty, i see what you mean
    Quilty Bookmite: Rebirth is the idea that we inherit karma from another being. We aren;t that other being just take on some part of what they did.
    Threedee Shepherd: No, I am looking at what is said as a way to inform my own ideas and observations.
    Kelwen Landar: but is it possible to follow a religion, and yet only 'loosely'
    Kelwen Landar: say for instance, i was to say that some of my beliefs are similar to Buddhism, and i tried to follow this way..
    Quilty Bookmite: Of course, as long as that religion doesn;t require you to believe all their doctrine.
    Threedee Shepherd: yes, that is so. I do.
    Quilty Bookmite: Or even if it does, you can believe what you like.
    Kelwen Landar: so with rebirth...
    Kelwen Landar: you are picking up on another beings Karma
    Quilty Bookmite: Rebirth isn;t something I am required to believe in.
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes.
    Quilty Bookmite: It is because of that karma that we are born into the world.
    Kelwen Landar: so its true in the way i believe, that everything i do effects those around me, not only at this moment in time
    Kelwen Landar: and potentially effects me after 'now'
    quen Oh: even if a religion 'requires' you to follow their doctrine you can do it loosely or lightly, you have free will...
    Quilty Bookmite: It does, but more imprtantly it affects yourself.
    Threedee Shepherd: Kel, I believe that is true, independant of any religious philosophy :)
    Kelwen Landar: yes, that was going to be my next comment lol
    Kelwen Landar: i found this place totally by accident
    Threedee Shepherd: Glad you came back :)
    Kelwen Landar: i was looking for a garden or such to relax in, just as i needed some time out
    Kelwen Landar: and Gaya and Fael were here and i walked by
    quen Oh: also I don't really belief it will work ever to impose a doctrine or a thinking on persons, it will never convince, so demanding someone to belief something is in fact not really possible to live up and therefor rather stupid..
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I'm with you on that Quen..
    Quilty Bookmite: Perhaps quen, but in less enlightened days that is exactly what happened.
    quen Oh smiles at Corvu
    Threedee Shepherd: quen, I agree that acting because you feel forced in not authentic.
    Kelwen Landar: but surely that does happen?
    Quilty Bookmite: You believed what you were told to believe.
    quen Oh: I think it didn't happen, they only thought it worked.. but well
    Quilty Bookmite: I'm sure it does in some countries and some religions.
    Kelwen Landar: there are millions of ppl that believe what they are told 'just because'
    Kelwen Landar: i know most of my family do in fact
    Quilty Bookmite: Sometimes it is easier than thinking. :-)
    Kelwen Landar: they dont question
    Kelwen Landar: exactly
    Kelwen Landar: we dont see eye to eye, as you can imagine
    Gaya Ethaniel is Offline
    Kelwen Landar: i question what they say to me
    Quilty Bookmite: And it can also be quite comforting to be told what to believe.
    Kelwen Landar: and they dont have answers
    Kelwen Landar: perhaps to some, yes
    Quilty Bookmite: Not to me I must add. :-)
    Kelwen Landar: me either
    quen Oh agrees with Kelwen, its difficult to question some view if you are not trained or familiar with the existence of other perspectives
    Threedee Shepherd: An example, perhaps political but nonetheless: In the USA there are many people who don't bgelieve in evolution because the Bible tells then a different story. Some even argue the earth is less than 6,000 years old. Now...
    Kelwen Landar: yes exactly
    quen Oh: (trained not good word, educated better)
    Quilty Bookmite: I got put off Christianity at a young age by teachers who told me my questions were blasphemous.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: but..the trouble with that is...one fact..and the whole picture can crumble.
    Kelwen Landar: i see what you mean quen, and that to a degree is how i see those religions 'working'
    Threedee Shepherd: in my opinion eveolution is not something to be "believed in" any more than gravity is believed in. The geologic age of the earth and the mechanisms of natural selection are facts and natural processes.
    quen Oh: and mrs Palin wants that have this ideas of creationism to be taught as official 'truth' in US schools..
    Kelwen Landar: same as that quilty
    Quilty Bookmite: Something like 40% of americans believe in creationism.
    Just as we launch into American Politics and Creationism, Albertus arrives.
    Threedee Shepherd: Hi
    Threedee Shepherd: Hi Albertus
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Albertus.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: hiya!
    Albertus Urvilan: Hi there
    Threedee Shepherd: yes, quilty, and if that is not an example of mass dillusion/illusion, I don't know what is.
    quen Oh: they are models, which seem to be supported with a lot of evidence and findings which are explained by evolution in a effective manner, instead of creationism which brings much more difficulties to that
    Quilty Bookmite: Mrs. Palin scares me because she will apeal to many Amernicans.
    quen Oh: hello Albertus
    Kelwen Landar: Hi Albertus, sorry, i was scrollin up
    Albertus Urvilan: I seem to have stepped in the middle of it again ...
    Threedee Shepherd: The real point is, why base ones opinions of natural facts--whatever they may be--on a religious dogma?
    Quilty Bookmite: You are still very welcome. :-)
    Kelwen Landar: surely they can intertwine?
    Kelwen Landar: thats the bit i dont understand
    Albertus Urvilan: The solace of tautologies.
    Kelwen Landar: why it has to be one or the other
    Albertus Urvilan: So comfy!
    Albertus Urvilan: "Daddy says so, that's why"
    Quilty Bookmite: Well, we have to base our opinions on something. :-)
    Kelwen Landar: its just easier for me to agree with myself to beg to differ
    Kelwen Landar: and not think into it tbh
    Kelwen Landar: did that for too long
    Threedee Shepherd: Well given the ways the particular examples I used are defined, you cannot have BOTH "American forrm of Creationism--essentially Old Testament--and evolution by natural selection, both be true.
    Quilty Bookmite: The CofE doesn't believe in creationism. I think their view is that Genesis is not to be taken literaly.
    CofE = Church of England - The face of Christianity I am most familiar with.
    Kelwen Landar: well no, i mean sticking to it by the letter, of course you couldnt, as its written where it all started
    quen Oh: a reason could be because you belief this dogma points to a better quality of life, even though it neglects empirical support.. but you could argue what is the quality of a religion which is not interested in not respecting coherence and empirical evidence..
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: mm...no..if you forget that the one is story and the other a series of processes/facts.
    quen Oh: - 2nd not
    Threedee Shepherd: agreed, quen
    Kelwen Landar: yeh i agree
    Albertus Urvilan: Spent time with Joseph Campbell's writing?
    Quilty Bookmite: Well, part of the problem is that science has been demonised and not just by religion.
    Threedee Shepherd: Humans wrote the stories that are the Bible, it was not ghostwritten by god :)
    quen Oh: how do you mean demonised Quilty?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: No...are you sure 3d?
    Quilty Bookmite: I mean that people don't trust science. For example, people will shun conventional medicine in favour of alternative.
    Threedee Shepherd: Corvi, no I am not sure, however I pragmatically am guided by the bulk of physical evidence.
    quen Oh: also Threedee, I feel its important to stress that we have critical capacity and free will not for nothing Threedee... for doctrinal religions its always difficult to explain why and why it should not be used...
    Corvuscorva Nightfire snorts, giggles....
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: k
    quen Oh: most people go with scientific medicine I think, ambulances normally don't return empty because people prefer some alternative person to heal them
    Threedee Shepherd: agreed quen. Though interestingly, in the Bible it states: "God said, I set before you life and death, blessing and curse. choose Life."
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: you'd be shocked.
    quen Oh: exactly, choose
    Threedee Shepherd: mmhmm
    Quilty Bookmite: You'd be surprised how many people do shun it. Maybe not so many of the ambulance cases though. :-)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire thinks of the people she's met at the alternative medicine aisles looking for homeopathic relief for serious physical problems.
    Threedee Shepherd: True Corvi, yet often normative medacine has been unable to help them because we simply are ignorant of what is wrong. so, folks will turn to *something* rather than give up.
    Kelwen Landar: so how is creationism related to Buddhism
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods...I understand that, 3d..and have no problem with it...it's the instead that scares me.
    Quilty Bookmite: It isn't. :-)
    quen Oh: hope can be strong, strong enough to neglect what seems clear and in front of you, and we not studied all medicine... the proof of things is much easier overlooked if your hope wants to see something else
    Quilty Bookmite: Creationism comes from Abrahamic religions.
    Kelwen Landar: it isnt related?
    Quilty Bookmite: No. why would youthink it was?
    Kelwen Landar: i didnt
    Quilty Bookmite: OK. :-)
    Threedee Shepherd: how true quen. We usually "get what we want,AND want what we get" even if we are grasping at fantasy.
    Albertus Urvilan: Thereare creation - type yths in Boddhism too
    Quilty Bookmite: Buddhism has its own creation myths but they aren't central to the religion and not really that important.
    Kelwen Landar: i mean, i know The Buddha, was a real person (as opposed to how i see 'God' in a christian tense) ...
    Quilty Bookmite: I'm sure Christ was probably a real person too.
    Kelwen Landar: but then from what im seeing, the religion is based on him, as opposed to what happened to make Earth
    Kelwen Landar: well i believe Jesus lived
    Quilty Bookmite: Buddhism is based on the ideas of Buddha. It doesn't see him as some sort of deity.
    Kelwen Landar: i believe he was a real person, i just dont believe in a lot of the rest of it, or that his 'Father' is/was 'God' but as i said, i just have my own opinions, and im prolly not knowledgeable enough to even be sharing them lol
    Quilty Bookmite: Don't be afraid to make a fool of yourself. I do it all the time.
    Kelwen Landar: hahahaha
    Quilty Bookmite: :-)
    Kelwen Landar: it seems thats all i do :/
    Quilty Bookmite: You haven't done so here.
    Kelwen Landar: i think to an extent, i can relate my own opinions to Buddhism, closer to any other religion
    Threedee Shepherd: Here is ONE view about Buddhism and creation, from Wikipedia: Lama Shenpen Hookham of Buddhism Connect writes: "The Buddhist view is that everything emanates from the Primordial expanse of Openness Clarity Sensitivity and is illusionlike- never really coming into existence, but the illusion is created by infinite intricate connections that are not anywhere and not in time. Time and space are part of the illusion that is emanating from that Primordial expanse - so it is all very mysterious. From the Buddhist perspective there is no problem with life on earth having evolved somehow - but evolution is not in itself a full story or full account of life on earth. It leaves quite basic questions left unanswered. In a way one might want to argue that Buddhism is closer to creationism because our world is created by awareness - the awareness of the beings that inhabit it. Evolution only gives a kind of history of how that illusion unfolds.
    But I think a creationist would be quite shocked to be told that their view is close to Buddhism and I don't think it is. :-)
    Kelwen Landar: and yet i cant see how it would fit into my life
    Quilty Bookmite: You have expressed your opinion and not simply repeated some doctrine. That doesn't seem foolish to me.
    Kelwen Landar: I dont know enough to know where to start
    Kelwen Landar: thank you :)
    Kelwen Landar: Im just reading ^^
    Threedee Shepherd: Kelwin, you start where you are, and be mindful of it. then you come here and ask all these questions none of us can really answer :)
    Quilty Bookmite: What do you want to achieve Kelwen?
    Quilty Bookmite: Very true 3D
    Kelwen Landar: sorry lol
    Kelwen Landar: :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: hahaha
    quen Oh: http://www.amazon.com/Dalai-Lama-at-MIT/dp/product-description/0674023196
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: don't be sorry...the questions are the thing.
    quen Oh: the book Dalai Lama at MIT might be interesting, to see buddhism and western science meet...
    Kelwen Landar: Id like to find a way of just 'being' thats what made it so odd that i found this group, as id been saying the same thing for weeks
    Kelwen Landar: i mean everyone has issues..
    Kelwen Landar: and there are things i need to deal with..
    Quilty Bookmite: Sonds like you are in the right place then. :-)
    quen Oh: nice Kelwen
    Kelwen Landar: and i havent found a way yet of allowing myself to just 'be' long enough to look at myself
    Kelwen Landar: long enough to 'think'
    Quilty Bookmite: So just stop. :-)
    Kelwen Landar: afraid of just being, or feeling
    Kelwen Landar: but it gets tiring to fight it lol
    quen Oh: do you have to 'allow' yourself? you cannot just try?
    Kelwen Landar: i believe i have tried, yes
    Kelwen Landar: the root of one of the major issues makes that quite hard
    Kelwen Landar: without goin into too much detail, the reaction i get from thinking over certain things can be severe, and i wasnt able to be calm enough to deal with that
    quen Oh: seems you think there is some control necessary by you in order to do it or something you need to get loose of or to bring up to succeed, perhaps its not there
    Kelwen Landar: so yes, i believe i do have to 'allow' myself
    Kelwen Landar: i believe it is there
    Kelwen Landar: ive been told by others ( a therapist as one)
    Quilty Bookmite: Fear stops you from allowing yourself?
    Threedee Shepherd: Kel, one way to approach a "major issue" is to sikmply look at it mindfully, not judgmentally, see if you can observe its pattern, and then ask yourself what you have learned about it.
    Kelwen Landar: yes quilty
    quen Oh: perhaps not try to hard, just let it happen, and when it doesn't come what you were expecting there is no real problem
    Kelwen Landar: fear of my reaction to things
    Quilty Bookmite: What are you afraid of?
    Quilty Bookmite: If you just stop and listen you aren't reacting.
    Kelwen Landar: Threedee, i appreciate what you said, but isnt really a case of bein judgemental..
    Quilty Bookmite: By that I mean, just sit and don;t try and do anything. just listen to yourself.
    Kelwen Landar: it was somethin that happenned that rears its ugly head when i rest, when i sleep, when i think too hard
    Corvuscorva Nightfire looks at Kelwen...
    Kelwen Landar: yes, that is what i need to do
    Kelwen Landar: as i said, i just didnt feel able to until recently
    Quilty Bookmite: The demons wil lbe there most when you try and turn your back on them.
    Threedee Shepherd: Kel, one thing I say that may be relevant is : I can't change the past, I can change what I think about it."
    Kelwen Landar: yeh
    Kelwen Landar: i get that totally
    Kelwen Landar: i need to change my reactions to it
    Kelwen Landar: and how its effecting me
    Quilty Bookmite: There is no past or future. There is only now.
    quen Oh: Kelwen, you think it is impossible because there is the constant thinking, the constant fear, the desire, the wanting it to be different?
    Kelwen Landar: yes
    quen Oh: because of that we are dependent, we project fears in the future, we never live now because we always live in the past
    Quilty Bookmite: I had better go. Bed time.
    quen Oh: sleep well Quilty
    Quilty Bookmite: Goodnight all.
    Kelwen Landar: bye bye
    Kelwen Landar: was nice talking with you
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: bye!
    Quilty Bookmite: You too. Come back again.
    Threedee Shepherd: nite quilty
    Kelwen Landar: i will

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