Daoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

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Re: Taoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by Keenir » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 04:12

ol bofosh wrote:I'm not a Buddhist, nor am I a Taoist. Although I do have personal experience of both (what I describe isn't a Taoist or Buddhist standpoint but my own).
if you are neither a Taoist nor a Buddhist, why would you speak for either? ("i have personal experience of both")
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Re: Daoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by cybrxkhan » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 05:47

I was raised Buddhist and although I have strong agnostic leanings I still consider myself Buddhist, more or less. I've also dabbled with Daoism often, as I (and my father, who sort of introduced it to me) was rather fond of it. I suppose that means I can speak for at least Buddhism to an extent, biased as I may be.

Anyhow, even though I'm not exactly sure what's the debate in the thread (if anyone would like to summarize for me, that'd be great, but I apologize for my laziness), but I'll say this -
Torco wrote:I mean buddhism is orthogonal to ritualism, since there's more ritualistic buddhism and less ritualistic buddhism, not being a huge bias in any direction. thus, its true to say that not all buddhism is into non-ritualism, just some buddhism is into non-ritualism, and some other buddhism is into yes-ritualism. ultimately, I'm saying you might have misunderstood the utterance.
I'm not exactly sure what Torco says here, but he is correct, I suppose, in saying that there is a "more ritualistic" and "less ritualistic" Buddhism. Rather, I should say, just like in any large, widespread religion, there are sects that are more, say, ritualistic and esoteric, and those that are more interested in asking random philosophical questions or something else instead of sitting around in ceremonies.
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Re: Taoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by ol bofosh » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 07:19

Keenir wrote:
ol bofosh wrote:I'm not a Buddhist, nor am I a Taoist. Although I do have personal experience of both (what I describe isn't a Taoist or Buddhist standpoint but my own).
if you are neither a Taoist nor a Buddhist, why would you speak for either? ("i have personal experience of both")
You've got the answer in brackets.
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Re: Taoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by ol bofosh » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 07:36

Thakowsaizmu wrote:
ol bofosh wrote:Taoism is more "worldly" than Buddhishm.
Can you explain to me what you mean? Because I don't understand this. Of the two, Buddhism is a missionary Religion that is concerned with helping everyone to eventually attain Nirvana. Daoism isn't.
I mean that Buddhism tends to be more ascetic than Taoism.
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Re: Daoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by broadwaytower » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 11:37

Isn't life wonderful
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Re: Taoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by Lambuzhao » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 13:40

ol bofosh wrote: I mean that Buddhism tends to be more ascetic than Taoism.

I think there is a range or continuum of ways of practicing both religions that allows for ascetic practice and more interactive, "worldly" or missionary practice.

Anyway. Taoism seeks adherents by not seeking them. [:|]


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Well, truly, Life IS!!
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Re: Taoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by Torco » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 14:48

Keenir wrote:
ol bofosh wrote:I'm not a Buddhist, nor am I a Taoist. Although I do have personal experience of both (what I describe isn't a Taoist or Buddhist standpoint but my own).
if you are neither a Taoist nor a Buddhist, why would you speak for either? ("i have personal experience of both")
need you be in order to know? only if not, can we ever love. therefore, since we love, i daresay we can know without being.

the Buddhist monk goes into the pizza shop
"what can I do for you, sir"?
"make me one with everything"

also, orthogonal means independent from; does that help?
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Re: Taoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by sangi39 » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 14:55

Torco wrote: the Buddhist monk goes into the pizza shop
"what can I do for you, sir"?
"make me one with everything"
My favourite bit about this joke is that when it was told by an Australian interviewer, the Dalai Lama didn't get it [:D]
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.
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Re: Daoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by Torco » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 15:04

in fairness to the guy, its nontrivial to understand jokes through a translator
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Re: Daoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by Thakowsaizmu » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 15:06

cybrxkhan wrote: I'm not exactly sure what Torco says here
I'm not entirely sure either, to be honest. I suppose he is right in saying that I misunderstood what he meant with an earlier comment, because I have read it several times and have only managed to glean the, apparently wrong, meaning.
ol bofosh wrote:
Thakowsaizmu wrote:
ol bofosh wrote:Taoism is more "worldly" than Buddhishm.
Can you explain to me what you mean? Because I don't understand this. Of the two, Buddhism is a missionary Religion that is concerned with helping everyone to eventually attain Nirvana. Daoism isn't.
I mean that Buddhism tends to be more ascetic than Taoism.
In a sense I suppose. Most monastic Buddhists are more ascetic than folk Daoists. Actually, by your definition, I can see how you mean that. But that's not really what I think of when I hear "worldly". I always think more like "in the world", which all forms of Buddhism tend to have over most forms of (strictly) Daoism. Buddhism, as a missionary Religion, seeks out converts. It has also been made malleable enough that the message is there no matter how it is presented. Meaning some forms are steeped in more ritual and mythology, going so far as to have deities if needed by certain sects (though Buddhism is supposed to be atheistic, or rather avedic), all so as to get the word and the meaning out to everyone. Daoism has never had that kind of mentality or drive to missionaryism, and though folk, or Religious, Daoism tends to have rituals and spirits and deities and talismans etc., philosophical Daoism has none of those things.
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Re: Daoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by Torco » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 15:22

I'm not entirely sure either, to be honest. I suppose he is right in saying that I misunderstood what he meant with an earlier comment, because I have read it several times and have only managed to glean the, apparently wrong, meaning.
you interpreted what I said as 'buddhism is, as a whole, ritualistic'
what I said was 'buddhism is not, as a whole, non-ritualistic'
gedditnow? =P
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Re: Taoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by Ànradh » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 17:48

ol bofosh wrote:The basic aim of Buddhism is liberation from suffering through spiritual practice.
Isn't that more or less the intended purpose of religion as a whole?
Sin ar Pàrras agus nì sinne mar a thogras sinn. Choisinn sinn e agus ’s urrainn dhuinn ga loisgeadh.
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Re: Taoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by Torco » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 18:04

Lodhas wrote:
ol bofosh wrote:The basic aim of Buddhism is liberation from suffering through spiritual practice.
Isn't that more or less the intended purpose of religion as a whole?
few sects of christianity are about that, if any [unless you count liberation from eternal suffering, but that's not its point so much, but rather, to achieve communion [or some other desirable relationship, like alliance] with god, and not through spiritual practice, but through correct thought and action]
islam is not about that [more like about submission to God so as to be rewarded with paradise]
zoroastrianism isn't about that [more like, afaik, fighting on the side of the good god so that when he wins you can get apotheosis, extasis, oor something like that]
juche isn't about that, its about... who knows, crazy northkoreans
if we consider capitalism religious, as Weber and Zizek suggest, it isn't about deliverance from suffering, but rather, about achievement as a pathway to virtue.
fundamentalist marxism leninism, also religioid, not about that either... sure, deliverance from suffering, but through political action and historical transformation.
hinduism... not about that... well, maybe a bit about that, hinduism is an impossibly complicated thing.
confucianism, not about that, about achieving virtue [junzi-ness]
wicca, not about that... though closer
gnosticism, not about that, but about deliverance from suffering through spiritual knowledge [kinda like practice but not quite]

=)
Last edited by Torco on Fri 31 Aug 2012, 18:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Daoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by cybrxkhan » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 18:06

Lodhas wrote:
ol bofosh wrote:The basic aim of Buddhism is liberation from suffering through spiritual practice.
Isn't that more or less the intended purpose of religion as a whole?
The purpose of religion... I think that's been a heavily debated issue in academia and religious circles.

Anyhow, as I understand it, the theoretical difference between Buddhism and other religions, is that Buddhism in theory doesn't depend on deities - that is, you don't have any higher power to answer to when you are trying to liberate yourself from suffering or going to a higher place or whatever. However, as I point out below, in many forms of Buddhism, people pretty much have deities.

Thakowsaizmu wrote: In a sense I suppose. Most monastic Buddhists are more ascetic than folk Daoists. Actually, by your definition, I can see how you mean that. But that's not really what I think of when I hear "worldly". I always think more like "in the world", which all forms of Buddhism tend to have over most forms of (strictly) Daoism. Buddhism, as a missionary Religion, seeks out converts. It has also been made malleable enough that the message is there no matter how it is presented. Meaning some forms are steeped in more ritual and mythology, going so far as to have deities if needed by certain sects (though Buddhism is supposed to be atheistic, or rather avedic), all so as to get the word and the meaning out to everyone. Daoism has never had that kind of mentality or drive to missionaryism, and though folk, or Religious, Daoism tends to have rituals and spirits and deities and talismans etc., philosophical Daoism has none of those things.
This is generally my understanding of Buddhism and Daoism, too.

Buddhism is also a religion that tends to put a lot of emphasis on scholasticism (I'm not sure if that is the right word), and without a clear hierarchy of leadership like the Papacy in Europe it was a lot easier for different sects and religious/philosophical traditions to arise all over the place (although, yes, there were and are Patriarchs and the Dalai Lama and what not, they only hold command over so many Buddhists - even so, there's often divisions within their own sects anyways). In Tibetan Buddhism, for instance, there are four main schools of thought, and while historically they have fought, there was nothing akin to the Crusades and Inquisition (although the intrigues of the four schools, I've heard, was pretty byzantine at times). Anyhow, Tibetan Buddhism definitely has "deities", with different "Buddhas" and "Boddhisatvas" and other Buddha-like or Saint-like figures dominating different spheres (there's the Medicine Buddha, for instance, who's blue in color and... well, he's the Buddha of Medicine), not to mention there are the actual deities; however, there is always the implication that the lesser, non-enlightened deities still have to suffer like all other humans and animals and whatever (they'll still have to die), and that Buddhas were all once human and whatever - of course, a lot of people still treat them like deities, anyways. And with deities, of course, there are quite some rituals. My parents, who switched from Zen to Tibetan Buddhism when I was in late elementary school, for instance, always do what they call a "practice", which is basically chanting certain prayers or religious texts while doing these things like ringing bells or trying to visualize certain things inside your head. Personally, again, I'm agnostic as to whether it does anything, but I'm certain it qualifies as ritual. Other forms of Buddhism, such as Zen, ten to be... less ritualistic; some forms of Zen (as well as SE Asian Buddhism), so I've heard, really just concern with sitting there and meditating, but perhaps not as much for the layfolk.

Buddhism, for a lot of Buddhists, is really an ascetic thing, to some extent. I'm not sure how to elaborate on this. Personally, I've always unconsciously disagreed, I guess, since I've always interpreted Buddhism's message as simply "just chill, bro", but whatever.

Well, I'm not sure what's the point of all that blob of text, but what not. Certainly my views are biased since I was raised Buddhist and limited since I'm not formally trained in Buddhist theology, but... well, I guess since I was born Buddhist, as were all my parents and grandparents and great-grandparents and what not (I am... Vietnamese/Asian, after all), it does offer a different view than the non-Asians who converted when they were older.
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Re: Taoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by ol bofosh » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 20:36

Lodhas wrote:
ol bofosh wrote:The basic aim of Buddhism is liberation from suffering through spiritual practice.
Isn't that more or less the intended purpose of religion as a whole?
Suffering is a universal, so I think all religions has their answer towards this aspect of life. And each has there own attitude towards it. But, as Torco shows, it's not the central point of all religions.
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Re: Taoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by Systemzwang » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 22:00

ol bofosh wrote:
Lodhas wrote:
ol bofosh wrote:The basic aim of Buddhism is liberation from suffering through spiritual practice.
Isn't that more or less the intended purpose of religion as a whole?
Suffering is a universal, so I think all religions has their answer towards this aspect of life. And each has there own attitude towards it. But, as Torco shows, it's not the central point of all religions.
If religion were about liberation from suffering, many religions would be quite different. Judaism doesn't think you generally can avoid suffering by not eating bacon - in fact, there's even sages that teach that desiring to eat bacon but avoiding it is more righteous than not desiring any ham at all. So suffering for good should not be avoided. However, some others would have it that subjecting oneself to the Torah is the best way of living a meaningful and fulfilled life, but I have seldom seen any rabbinic source claim that the Torah is a way of avoiding suffering. It sometimes does formalize suffering though, in a way that kind of makes it easier for the sufferer and people around them to interact - e.g. the formalization of grieving someone's death makes it easy not to accidentally offend the bereaved, and also makes it easy both for the grieving and the friends and relatives to interact in a manner both can handle.

Judaism and Islam seem more to be about organizing a society - and a similar stance probably can be found quite clearly in confucianism - and in Judaism and Islam at least, the liberation from suffering-aspect (or maybe rather, acceptance or ascribing of meaning to suffering) is optional, and given in kabbalah/sufism, and other mystical traditions. Of course, the often rather intense suffering of the Jews as a collective has often made mysticism very popular.
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Re: Daoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by Torco » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 22:37

Plus, deliverance from suffering is not even a universal human pursuit. I, for one, claim that happiness and avoiding suffering are lame goals for small souls and petty ideologies.
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Re: Daoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by ol bofosh » Fri 31 Aug 2012, 23:42

A half-remembered story of the Vinegar Tasters:

There's Chinese picture with three figured on it, representing the Buddha, Confucius and Lao Tse. Each is tasting some vinegar, and each has a different expression on their face. The vinegar represents life.
Confucius has a sour look on his face, because he sees life as out of order, and needs rules and rituals to set it straight.
The Buddha has a bitter look as he sees life full of suffering, so we must overcome the attachments to life that make us suffer.
Lao Tsu smiles. He accepts that vinegar doesn't taste nice, that's what vinegar is.

Accurate or not, I loved that story when I read it. Vinegar tastes like vinegar! Why make other expectations about it? lol
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Re: Taoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by Keenir » Sat 01 Sep 2012, 00:16

Torco wrote:
Keenir wrote:
ol bofosh wrote:I'm not a Buddhist, nor am I a Taoist. Although I do have personal experience of both (what I describe isn't a Taoist or Buddhist standpoint but my own).
if you are neither a Taoist nor a Buddhist, why would you speak for either? ("i have personal experience of both")
need you be in order to know?
it changes the meaning, certainly. (if I say I have personal experience of the Republican and Democratic Parties (or of the IRA and ETA) - and am speaking about their inner workings - you'd assume I was or am a member of them, yes?)
the Buddhist monk goes into the pizza shop
"what can I do for you, sir"?
"make me one with everything"
[:D]
I like the hot dog version better.
also, orthogonal means independent from; does that help?
I think...need to think about that.
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Re: Daoism, Buddhism and Simplicity [Split Thread]

Post by cybrxkhan » Sat 01 Sep 2012, 01:37

Torco wrote:Plus, deliverance from suffering is not even a universal human pursuit. I, for one, claim that happiness and avoiding suffering are lame goals for small souls and petty ideologies.
Oddly enough I would venture to say that some Buddhists would agree to some extent, and they would argue that gaining enlightenment is not necessarily the knowledge of how to avoid suffering, it's rather the point when you simply understand how the entire universe - and thus suffering - works. At that point, you don't suffer anymore because you simply know there's no point getting worked up about everything.

ol bofosh wrote:Accurate or not, I loved that story when I read it. Vinegar tastes like vinegar! Why make other expectations about it? lol
Actually some (philosophy rather than religion) Taoists and (particularly Zen) Buddhists would agree with the Vinegar tastes like vinegar thingy, arguing that there's no point in making overt judgment about things when those things are... empty of meaning (it's not nihilism... perhaps I'd say it's a bit like existentialism?).
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