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Buddhism - Agree or Disagree

Essay by   •  June 22, 2018  •  Creative Writing  •  1,241 Words (5 Pages)  •  303 Views

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E1:  Buddhism

Interesting:

  • It is interesting to hear that “Buddhism is a kind of more psychological religion, as it aims at the things we think maybe psychotherapy aims at, at being more happy; at being less sad; at having less sorrow in our lives.”  (Audio, Buddhism: The way of Awakening)   I have always felt Buddhism of more of a science; knowledge must be gained through personal experience rather than reliance on the authority of sacred text or teachings of leaders; it’s more empirical and experimental rather than theoretical.  
  • It is intriguing that Prothero refers to Buddha and Christ as titles and not names.  (Page 171)  A proper now is defined as the particular name of a person, place or thing.  Example, Liam, London, Lemonade.  When referring to my son, Liam, he is a person, therefore a noun.  When referring to London, this is a place, therefore a noun.  When referring to the drink Lemonade, it is a thing, therefore a noun.  I could ease say King Triton (Little Mermaid reference) is a title and a noun.  The king is his title; Triton is his name, the noun.  Just as in Buddha, his real name is Siddhartha Gautama and Buddha being his title meaning Awakened One.  Also, Jesus the Christ; Jesus is his name; Christ is his title, not his last name as so many people tend to think.
  • I was fascinated with “One of the glories of India is that it is a land of hyperstimulation.” (Prothero, page 174).  In essence meaning, the atmosphere of this country merely captivated every sense in the body with its divine riots of color, the crowds of people, the architecture and the serenity of it all.  
  • I find it interesting that Buddhism is a missionary religion (Prothero, Page 180-181).  Basically reciting that you take refuge in the three jewels, which is in Buddha, Dharma, and in the Sangha.  In Christianity there is a baptism, a rebirth in God if you will, but in Buddha, there is no rebirth in God.  To simply put becoming a Buddhist, it’s a matter of changing your perception.  
  • I refer to “mindfulness” (Compassion) to “think before you speak.”  An example is given of a friend saying something that is offensive.  Instead of acting irrationally and out of anger, practice the mindfulness of being aware of the anger one might protrude and think about the consequences of what might happen if I spoke how I really felt (cause and effect).  

Muddy:

  • I am having a difficult time trying to find what foundations Buddhist stand on.  I can assume that since questions could be conceived as “not useful” (Audio, Buddhism: The way of the Awakening), how will a person ever have the questions they are searching for answered or to even have a debate with a Buddhist about said beliefs?  Especially if the Buddhist doesn’t see it useful or beneficial to themselves to answer the questions for fellow man.  Buddhist merely responds to questions with questions of their own (Prothero, page 173).
  • “If you were born without an arm, you deserve it.”  (Audio, Buddhism:  The way of Awakening)  According to Buddhist, karma is being born into circumstances; therefore, you must deserve to have no arm.  You were born rich, tall, dark, and handsome, you deserve this karma.  If Buddhist are about compassion or Avalokiteshvara (Prothero, page 190), how is a baby being born with no arm, karma or deserving if they had no past when being born?  What moral karma is deserved?  Or is this more of a chain of cause and effect (Prothero, page 193) because maybe the mother fell during pregnancy or the mother had a hormonal chromosome imbalance that left the baby not forming properly so now that baby is effected by this karma?  Still completely obtuse and simpleminded to me to think they baby deserves that.  
  • Is it correct in saying that Buddhist don’t rely on faith at all but only experience over belief?  (Prothero, page 172)  They don’t believe in God so there is no faith there.  Buddhist also doesn’t believe in the supernatural either.  Karma they do rely on.  But how are the unexplainable actions that occur in life, explained?
  • My personal opinion, if “cravings and sufferings are ignorant” so to say and the Buddhist are to chant, meditate, visualize, or use puzzle mind benders to will these feelings away (Prothero, page 178), I believe this is nothing more than dealing and suppressing the suffering to ease the pain.  It is not ignorant to crave the loss of a loved one, or a mother to put it more specifically.   The suffering may get easier over time but nothing will take the place of losing a mother, especially one that you were extremely close to.  How long does it take a Buddhist to stop suffering?  As stated by the Burmese friend who had been meditating for years, the practice is nothing more than “a chance to be idle.”  This is dealing with suffering and there are many ways to do so, where it be chanting, crying, seeing a specialist, etc.
  • Another question to ponder, can the sufferings be controlled while a person sleeps?  What happens when your mind is thinking about the loss of a loved one in a dream?  How can Nirvana be granted if the mind is constantly suffering when the body sleeps?
  • I find it hard to believe that I can have “metta” for someone that is purely evil.  (Prothero, page 179)  How can I extend loving kindness to a criminal, to someone who kills our children in school shootings?  Am I supposed to make excuses and forgive?  How does this criminal have any concept of what love is?  Why give love if the love isn’t wanted?
  • Who determines when and where a person is reborn?  Prothero stated on page 198, that death is nothing more than a projection of your own mind.  If you are able to see yourself and the light, you are liberated and reborn.  If you are able to see Buddha’s as not being attractive or refrain from being repelled, you are reborn.  If you are able to not fear or love or run to or from the Buddha’s, you are reborn.  

Agree to Disagree:

I will leave this as an agreement to disagree.  As the Qu’ran states, “To you be your religion, and to me my religion.”  I will continue having a strong faith and belief in spiritual apprehension without vital proof.  Having faith is not a bad thing.  Having faith is having a reliance on God.  It is ultimately surrendering to God.  In Christianity as opposed to Buddhism, we walk by faith.  We see that faith is trust, reliance, dependence, and assurance in God and not necessarily in or on ourselves.  We are human, we are not perfect, and we make mistakes.  I am not so sure I am strong or confident enough to have faith in my own self like the Buddhist do…. I am capable of letting myself down in a moment of weakness.

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