Comments about ‘Hamblin & Peterson: The teachings of Siddhartha, the compassionate Buddha’

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Published: Thursday, Sept. 5 2013 6:35 a.m. MDT

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Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Well done Dr. Peterson!

To be quite honest, I kept waiting for the requisite “even though Siddhartha did not have the fully restored gospel” statement but surprisingly it never came. If we ever want to fully understand our fellow human beings rather than seeing them simply as unconverted pawns in (your religion’s) God’s cosmic game, presenting their views & beliefs fairly and accurately is a necessary first step. Kudos for doing so today!

One minor point of clarification – the Pali word “dukkha” is often translated as “suffering” but most Buddhist scholars today think “dissatisfaction” is more accurate as it better captures the ubiquity the Buddha was trying to convey.

While sickness, old age and death are the biggies, dukkha is a part of our daily lives day and can be as minor as the mental & subtle physical “suffering” we experience when a driver cuts us off.

The driving force behind this suffering is our unwillingness to accept things as they are combined with our desire for the things we want to be permanent (last forever)… which they never are (do).

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: The Buddha’s “noble truths have nothing about accentuating that positive, they are about suffering and how to eliminate the negative. That dislike for our material bodies is coupled with a disbelief in a sovereign God or gods. Some Buddhists posit the existence of a spirit world with gods in heaven, but the gods are not supreme. Buddhists are not supposed to spend their time contemplating creation, since all matter is illusion or manifestation of the ultimate reality. Their standard goal is to concentrate on individual enlightenment and to break out of the cycle of transmigration that Buddhists call samsara,or“endless Wondering”.

The Christian response, ”man’s chief purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@sharrona – “noble truths have nothing about accentuating that positive, they are about suffering and how to eliminate the negative. That dislike for our material bodies is coupled with a disbelief in a sovereign God or gods.”

But by eliminating suffering life then becomes as positive (happy) as it can possibly be.

And where are you getting a “dislike for our material bodies?” Since Buddhists spend an inordinate amount of time meditating on body sensations, your assertion strikes me as prima facie false. It is true Buddhists see all matter as impermanent and subject to change/decay, but that’s not the same as a dislike.

In fact to say that a Buddhist “dislikes” any phenomena is to fundamentally misunderstand the core of Buddhism since craving & aversion (dislike) are the very things Buddhists seek to uproot.

You’re right about God/gods… Buddhists see these as ultimately illusory and standing in the way of full enlightenment (i.e., if people get attached to their visions of gods, which happens all the time in meditation – Joseph and other prophets are far from unique).

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Tyler D, Buddhists see these as ultimately illusory and standing in the way of full enlightenment.
A Buddhist parable to illustrate the sweeping nature of the nonattachment principle.

A man fleeing a tiger, who come to the edge of a cliff, finds a vine, finds a vine and climbs down it. When almost down he discovers that a second lion awaits him at the bottom ,while mice chew the vine above him. Instead of trying to find a means of escape ,he notices a wild strawberry growing on the face of the cliff and eats it. Then the vine breaks and the tiger gobbles up the man. End of story. Non-Buddhists might see this tale as one of horror or might wonder why the man did not try to distract the tiger by tossing the strawberry to him. But the primary point is that as strawberry is to man, so man is to tiger.

We should not be attached to our own lives , we are all part of the whole and if we have right understandingnwe will not fear death because we cannot die.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@sharrona – “We should not be attached to our own lives, we are all part of the whole and if we have right understanding we will not fear death because we cannot die.”

You’re quite an enigma sharrona.

Sometimes (because of how often you quote the Bible) I think you’re a simple religious fanatic and other times you sound like a Zen master… maybe you’re really both.

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