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#331 Old 08-08-2008, 03:26 PM
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This vision of love seems humanely impossible. One day, in 1944, in the Auschwitz concentration camp, a group of men stood waiting to be executed. Suddenly, a man stepped forward and volunteered to replace one of the men who had been condemned to death. He was Father Maximilian Kolbe. The commandant was startled, but he allowed the priest to take the man's place. So Father Kolbe joined the group of men in the bunker, where he helped each one to make the final passage of death. When all had died and he was alone the guards came and killed him too. By doing this, Father Kolbe was bearing witness that love is stronger than death.



This is a beautiful story.... an incredible testament to the strength and dedication of this man. But......... how does it show that 'love is stronger than death?
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#332 Old 08-08-2008, 03:28 PM
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...

I remember my father reading 'A Course in Miracles', and one of the concepts he lingered over was this one. The concept that pain and suffering do not matter. Rape, death, torture, all of it, is irrelevant and insignificant. Yes, an interesting concept, but from a different point of view, yet another filmy, elusive 'answer', another way to attempt to rationalize nature...... I think.



Yeah, one has to make sure they don't get too far away from the raw reality of suffering. Lofty words and ideals all too often become empty as soon as suffering reminds us of how terrible it can be.
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#333 Old 08-08-2008, 03:32 PM
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Seriously, though. What is this supposed to teach us? That the realization that death, pain and suffering are unimportant, only perception, will ultimately spare us from such things?





You may have read earlier in this thread that the Buddhists say that all these teachings is just a finger pointing at the moon. We can discuss the finger but really the finger isn't really all that relevant except to point one in a direction.



Meditation and prayer, along with discussion leads one along the path.



Don't bang your head on a wall, lol, I'm just saying that this is what the mystics teach and my experience shows me that they are right. I can try to explain suffering and how to overcome it but I will fall short. I haven't even overcome it myself but I've read examples of people have overcome it and believe that it can be overcome. But we just delve deeper and deeper into mysticism and soon the words make no sense really and only concepts can be given.



I just posted those because I think it points to some people overcoming suffering and the concepts that surround suffering.
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#334 Old 08-08-2008, 03:35 PM
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Buddhists teach about four noble truths:



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The Four Noble Truths



1. Life means suffering.



2. The origin of suffering is attachment.



3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.



4. The path to the cessation of suffering.







Ok.



1. Yes, I get it.

2. Yes, I get it, it makes sense.

3. Hmmm... I'm not sure. From the little I've read about buddhism - this is the point, yes? To eliminate all attachment, and thus, we eliminate all suffering. Or is this a gross misunderstanding? If it is not, well.... I'm sure I am missing some very important concept... but... a life with no attachment? I know (or I'm fairly certain) that their idea is not the same as this - but the concept of 'If I never love, I will never be hurt' doesn't much appeal to me. And I am sure it goes deeper than that, to a place where the lack of the kind of love we know wouldn't be painful as it is to us now.... but it still doesn't inspire me.

4. --
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#335 Old 08-08-2008, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by nookle View Post

This is a beautiful story.... an incredible testament to the strength and dedication of this man. But......... how does it show that 'love is stronger than death?



Most people are so afraid of death that they would not step forward for a stranger in that situation knowing that suffering and death was a certainty. Maximilian Kolbe cultivated a sense of love during the course of his life that when the situation arose it made perfect sense for him to step forward. Love is stronger than death.



As more and more people cultivate that within then suffering decreases more and more. And then some people (including me) believe that a mystical transformation will take place and that suffering will finaly cease. A return to the Garden of Eden (though I believe that to be a teaching story, not a literal one).
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#336 Old 08-08-2008, 03:37 PM
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You may have read earlier in this thread that the Buddhists say that all these teachings is just a finger pointing at the moon. We can discuss the finger but really the finger isn't really all that relevant except to point one in a direction.



Meditation and prayer, along with discussion leads one along the path.



Don't bang your head on a wall, lol, I'm just saying that this is what the mystics teach and my experience shows me that they are right. I can try to explain suffering and how to overcome it but I will fall short. I haven't even overcome it myself but I've read examples of people have overcome it and believe that it can be overcome. But we just delve deeper and deeper into mysticism and soon the words make no sense really and only concepts can be given.



I just posted those because I think it points to some people overcoming suffering and the concepts that surround suffering.



Ok.
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#337 Old 08-08-2008, 03:38 PM
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Most people are so afraid of death that they would not step forward for a stranger in that situation knowing that suffering and death was a certainty. Maximilian Kolbe cultivated a sense of love during the course of his life that when the situation arose it made perfect sense for him to step forward. Love is stronger than death...





So... The power of love is (can be) stronger than the fear of death. Yes?
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#338 Old 08-08-2008, 03:39 PM
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Ok.



3. Hmmm... I'm not sure. From the little I've read about buddhism - this is the point, yes? To eliminate all attachment, and thus, we eliminate all suffering. Or is this a gross misunderstanding? If it is not, well.... I'm sure I am missing some very important concept... but... a life with no attachment? I know (or I'm fairly certain) that their idea is not the same as this - but the concept of 'If I never love, I will never be hurt' doesn't much appeal to me. And I am sure it goes deeper than that, to a place where the lack of the kind of love we know wouldn't be painful as it is to us now.... but it still doesn't inspire me.



The detachment teaching within Buddhism is often misunderstood. I'll look it up in my Christian book which explores Buddhism. Just sec.
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#339 Old 08-08-2008, 03:39 PM
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I find it inspirational because she was able to embrace her suffering to such a degree that it ceased to become suffering.

But that doesn't mean making evil compatible with a benevolent creator, it just means that evil can sometimes be mitigated.



The quotes you provided illustrate important ideas about compassion, courage and faith, but I don't think they answer the question of "how can there be evil".

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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#340 Old 08-08-2008, 03:40 PM
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So... The power of love is (can be) stronger than the fear of death. Yes?



Yes.
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#341 Old 08-08-2008, 03:42 PM
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Just as my first post in this thread, I don't know if I believe in a God or not.



However I will say, that no amount of "proven science" would ever disprove the existence of a God.



We have no idea how this universe got here, and what could possibly be outside of it if anything etc.



Evolution doesn't disprove God at all. Most people tend to believe it does now adays.
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#342 Old 08-08-2008, 03:46 PM
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Yes.



Is that not a fairly different concept than 'love is stronger than death'?



Yes - I am being a little bit devil's advocate-y with this one. I can and do find inspiration in stories like this, but I also, and more frequently, get tired of things like this, I think in a similar way to how calendar quotes tire you. There are many little stories like this, and many quotes like the one given here - but they so often mean so little if you really think about them. Possibly a small pet peeve of mine. 'Laughing is dancing with your soul' - you know the things I mean. The things that come en masse in email forwards.
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#343 Old 08-08-2008, 03:50 PM
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However I will say, that no amount of "proven science" would ever disprove the existence of a God.



No amount of 'proven science' can disprove anything. My criteria for belief does not include 'cannot be disproved'. Although, it could be good fun if it did.



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Evolution doesn't disprove God at all. Most people tend to believe it does now adays.



Actually not as much today as they did before. It might not disprove the existence of god, but it certainly disproves traditional creation stories, man's divine status, man's inherent superiority, and a big chunk of the bible.
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#344 Old 08-08-2008, 04:14 PM
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Seven, I don't think you'll get the rational answer for why there is evil. I admit that. Those posts I gave were in reference to this:



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From the evil of the world there is no escape into harmony, balance, reason, acceptance, resolution or understanding. Not through scholastic reasoning, not through mystical experiences.



For a young woman, dying a painful death due to tb, there was and escape into harmony, balance, reason, acceptance, resolution and understanding. For a man who was confronted with Nazism and the prospect of a suffering and death he didn't deserve there was harmony, balance, reason, acceptance, resolution and understanding. For the Christian monks who found themselves in a war zone where death was imminent they found harmony, balance, reason, acceptance, resolution and understanding.



Ok, nookle here's a Christian writer explaining Buddhist detachment. But this is Christian theology, not Buddhist.



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When with tears and anguish and pain you have said goodbye to everything you will find that you have lost nothing. You have not said goodbye to your friends: you have said goodbye to clinging and attachment to your friends. You have not said goodbye to memories: you have said goodbye to clinging and attachment to memories. You have not said goodbye to the good things of this world: you have said goodbye to clinging and attachment to the good things of this world. You have not said goodbye to knowing and rationality: you have said goodbye to clinging and attachment to knowing and rationality. You have not said goodbye to doctrines and dogma: you have said goodbye to clinging and attachment to doctrines and dogma. And so for all good things. Now you can resonate with Paul who wrote "Finally, brethern, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, thing about these things." (Philippians 4:8) For all things are yours; and you are Christ's; and Christ is God's.



This is enlightenment. Liberated from addictions and enslaving needs (yes, even those which dwelt in your unconscious and tortured you), you will gradually come to an inner freedom that brings intense joy. You will experience morments or periods of joy like that man who sold everything to buy that field in which lay buried the treasure. Or yours will be the joy of the merchant who found a pearl of great price: the joy of all those stange and wonderful people who laughed when they possessed nothing -- only God. Their security was in having no security. You will find that you are becoming more spontaneous, more human, more alive. Now you can laugh and cry and sing and dance without those constricting inhibitions that formerly cramped your style. For now you have become your true self. In losing the little, separate ego you have found the true self which is one with the flowers of the field and the birds of the air, one with the poor and the sick and the suffering, one with the universe, one with God himself.



And now you can love. You can love father and mother and brethern and wife and family -- even your own life you can love. You may find for the first time you are capable of authentic friendship. For now you love your friends not for the security they give you but for what they are in themselves. Now you may find that you love everyone you meet in the street or on the bus. Like Paul you have become all things to all men and women.



-- Being in Love by William Johnston



So Buddhism would phrase it differently but the detachment/love idea is in there.
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#345 Old 08-08-2008, 04:18 PM
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Is that not a fairly different concept than 'love is stronger than death'?



Yes - I am being a little bit devil's advocate-y with this one. I can and do find inspiration in stories like this, but I also, and more frequently, get tired of things like this, I think in a similar way to how calendar quotes tire you. There are many little stories like this, and many quotes like the one given here - but they so often mean so little if you really think about them. Possibly a small pet peeve of mine. 'Laughing is dancing with your soul' - you know the things I mean. The things that come en masse in email forwards.



The stories are tiring and meaningless when taken out of context. I agree. They were provided only to show that it is possible to escape from the "evil of the world". But yeah, there is more to it and a long journey that accompanies mysticism. In fact there should always be a warning of sorts when starting on the mystical path because a lot of people assume they are going to be like that monk in Bullet Proof Monk. I do love that movie though.
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#346 Old 08-08-2008, 04:20 PM
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Actually not as much today as they did before. It might not disprove the existence of god, but it certainly disproves traditional creation stories, man's divine status, man's inherent superiority, and a big chunk of the bible.



Science does not disprove traditional creation stories -- only puts them back to the way they were originally understood: they are teaching stories that are fingers pointing at the moon. Big chunks of the bible are also not disproven by science for the same reason.
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#347 Old 08-08-2008, 04:27 PM
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Ok, nookle here's a Christian writer explaining Buddhist detachment. But this is Christian theology, not Buddhist.







So Buddhism would phrase it differently but the detachment/love idea is in there.



Doesn't work - I don't get it. If you lose all attachment, you become able to love. This makes no sense. What am I missing? How is love not attachment? And is it not (I find it to be so, to an extent) possible to laugh, dance, sing, love and be free while maintaining attachments? The entire process of 'veganizing' () myself was ultimately forming stronger attachments, caring more. And it does make me suffer more, hurt more, cry more, be more bewildered, feel more helpless - but it also gives me more purpose, more joy, more hope, a stronger and deeper ability to love, to care. It allows me a different way to laugh, dance and sing. So if forming stronger attachments gives me this..... ??
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#348 Old 08-08-2008, 04:30 PM
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Science does not disprove traditional creation stories -- only puts them back to the way they were originally understood: they are teaching stories that are fingers pointing at the moon. Big chunks of the bible are also not disproven by science for the same reason.



Hmm. Seems I am missing a lot today. How does the story of evolution not contradict traditional creation stories? In particular - christian creation, as this is what I am most familiar with. Genesis. Unless, of course, you re-interpret everything written there. Is there not even a fair amount of contradiction within genesis about the tale of creation?
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#349 Old 08-08-2008, 04:33 PM
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We have no idea how this universe got here, and what could possibly be outside of it if anything etc.



Evolution doesn't disprove God at all. Most people tend to believe it does now adays.



We have a few ideas, IE: The Big Bang theory. And its only going to become more conclusive from here.



And evolution may not prove God doesn't exist, but it proves the word of God wrong, which is a statement in itself.
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#350 Old 08-08-2008, 04:50 PM
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We have a few ideas, IE: The Big Bang theory. And its only going to become more conclusive from here.



And evolution may not prove God doesn't exist, but it proves the word of God wrong, which is a statement in itself.



That's not necessarily true. It all depends on how you interpret the bible. It proves the literal interpretation wrong but that's it.
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#351 Old 08-08-2008, 05:03 PM
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Hmm. Seems I am missing a lot today. How does the story of evolution not contradict traditional creation stories? In particular - christian creation, as this is what I am most familiar with. Genesis. Unless, of course, you re-interpret everything written there. Is there not even a fair amount of contradiction within genesis about the tale of creation?



Well, to quote an unbeliever:



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Originally Posted by gillibean View Post

That's not necessarily true. It all depends on how you interpret the bible. It proves the literal interpretation wrong but that's it.



Nookle: there are two stories of creation in Genesis. They do contradict each other. I don't see the problem.
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#352 Old 08-08-2008, 05:06 PM
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We have a few ideas, IE: The Big Bang theory. And its only going to become more conclusive from here.



And evolution may not prove God doesn't exist, but it proves the word of God wrong, which is a statement in itself.



The Bigband theory was formulated by a Catholic priest... which is a statement in itself.
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#353 Old 08-08-2008, 05:09 PM
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I'm also not sure that the Big Bang theory does much to lessen my wonder about why it occurred, or what came before it, or what it even means to ask what came before it. I realize that one can ask the same (or similar) questions about the concept of God, and so maybe we posit God to solve the unsolvable. Infinite regress, or something "solid", immutable?
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#354 Old 08-08-2008, 05:10 PM
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It contradicts the literal account. Right. Well....that is my point... apart from the literal account, what more do we have, except things people like to 'interpret' into it? Is not a lot of traditional christianity based on the literal account? I don't think I'm the first or only wacko to notice that evolution and traditional religion do not fit perfectly together.
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#355 Old 08-08-2008, 05:12 PM
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Doesn't work - I don't get it. If you lose all attachment, you become able to love. This makes no sense. What am I missing? How is love not attachment? And is it not (I find it to be so, to an extent) possible to laugh, dance, sing, love and be free while maintaining attachments? The entire process of 'veganizing' () myself was ultimately forming stronger attachments, caring more. And it does make me suffer more, hurt more, cry more, be more bewildered, feel more helpless - but it also gives me more purpose, more joy, more hope, a stronger and deeper ability to love, to care. It allows me a different way to laugh, dance and sing. So if forming stronger attachments gives me this..... ??



Well, I guess you can google "buddhism love detachment" and read about it there. I'm not sure how to explain it better than that passage I quoted.
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#356 Old 08-08-2008, 05:15 PM
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It contradicts the literal account. Right. Well....that is my point... apart from the literal account, what more do we have, except things people like to 'interpret' into it? Is not a lot of traditional christianity based on the literal account? I don't think I'm the first or only wacko to notice that evolution and traditional religion do not fit perfectly together.



It depends on which traditional religion you are talking about. The Catholic Church, for instance, does not teach a literal understaning of Genesis. They used to but they don't anymore. Not for decades.
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#357 Old 08-08-2008, 05:17 PM
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I'm also not sure that the Big Bang theory does much to lessen my wonder about why it occurred, or what came before it, or what it even means to ask what came before it. I realize that one can ask the same (or similar) questions about the concept of God, and so maybe we posit God to solve the unsolvable. Infinite regress, or something "solid", immutable?



Reading your posts and looking at your avatar... I can't help thinking that you are a mystic.
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#358 Old 08-08-2008, 05:18 PM
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It depends on which traditional religion you are talking about. The Catholic Church, for instance, does not teach a literal understaning of Genesis. They used to but they don't anymore. Not for decades.



Why do they not teach a literal understanding anymore? And what, then, do they now teach?



Also - why are there 2 creation stories in genesis?
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#359 Old 08-08-2008, 05:21 PM
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It contradicts the literal account. Right. Well....that is my point... apart from the literal account, what more do we have, except things people like to 'interpret' into it?



It's like with the story of Job. It's a teaching story. I realize many Christians want a black and white understaning of life but it's not there in the bible. But that's just my opinion. There are teaching stories throughout and we can learn from them or not learn from them but quoting bible passages to prove something is silly.



Again, I would quote Jesus but only to say why I agree with the quote -- I wouldn't let it stand on its own.
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#360 Old 08-08-2008, 05:21 PM
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For a young woman, dying a painful death due to tb, there was and escape into harmony, balance, reason, acceptance, resolution and understanding. For a man who was confronted with Nazism and the prospect of a suffering and death he didn't deserve there was harmony, balance, reason, acceptance, resolution and understanding. For the Christian monks who found themselves in a war zone where death was imminent they found harmony, balance, reason, acceptance, resolution and understanding.

But I was speaking of evil as a whole -- evil in the world. Certainly there can be an escape from a particular instance of suffering into something better. But how can the concepts of evil and a benevolent creator be in harmony and balance with each other, and how can reason support such a harmony? How can the endless suffering and death be accepted, how is it resolved, how can it even be understood?

"and I stand

upon a mountain

made of weak and useless men"

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