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Thread: Taoism, Buddhism, and Asian Mysticism

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    Taoism, Buddhism, and Asian Mysticism

    Some say they are Buddhist or Taoist, but do not seem to be aware those traditions are based in the supernatural even as taught today, albeit not related to a god as with Abrahamics.

    At the highest level in Tai Chi it is believed the practitioner can kill with chi or life energy, as with The Force in Star Wars. Chinese movie often depict it, such as Forbidden Kingdom.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Forbidden_Kingdom

    Any true Taoist or Buddhist practitioners out there who practice the mystical aspects??

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dantian

    Historically the first detailed description of the lower Dantian is in the Laozi zhongjing 老子中經 from the 3rd century CE, it refers to the Cinnabar field where Essence and Spirit are stored, it is related to regeneration and sexual energy, menstruation and semen.[3] Traditionally, a dantian is considered to be a center of qi or life force energy.[1][2] The dantian are important points of reference in neidan, qigong, neigong, tao yin, Taoist sexual practices, Reiki[4] and other self-cultivation practices of exercise, breathing, and meditation, as well as in martial arts and in traditional Chinese medicine. The lower dantian is particularly important as the focal point of breathing technique as well as the centre of balance and gravity. Dantian are focal points for transmutation of the three treasures Jing, Qi and Shen. Qi can be seen as a substance when it is stored in the form of Essence or Jing, this can be refined by heating in these cauldrons into more rarefied states such as Qi which is insubstantial and further still into Shen which is more like the Western concept of Mind although it is more often translated as Spirit.[5]

    Taoist and Buddhist teachers often instruct their students to centre the mind in the navel or lower dantian. This is believed to aid control of thoughts and emotions. Acting from the dantian is considered to be related to higher states of awareness or samadhi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Some say they are Buddhist or Taoist, but do not seem to be aware those traditions are based in the supernatural even as taught today, albeit not related to a god as with Abrahamics.
    IMO, you can group Western and Eastern religions together by the tendency for people to strive for transcendence. Abrahamic religions are about reaching a state of nirvana via heaven, Eastern religions are about reaching nirvana via correct behaviour on earth. In both cases they're about attempting to transcend our worldly and material limitations.

    For me, I find a lot of the thought that's come out of these religions as a side-effect has a lot of utility and validity, even if they're essentially just nice ideas and guiding principles, rather than some truth path to Godliness.

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    Zen Hedonist Jobar's Avatar
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    I think the essential difference between Eastern and Western religions is that most of the former are monistic, and most of the latter are dualistic.

    If your faith teaches you that you are not apart from what you should worship- that your self, your being, is not separate from your environment- that is healthier, and more accurate IMO, than is the belief that your God is of a completely different order of being, and far removed from you.

    Yes, some Christian sects and churches may include union with Godhead as the ultimate goal for all souls. And mystics of all faiths will preach something recognizably monistic; see for instance Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy, or Bucke's classic Varieties of Religious Experience. But most Abrahamic faiths consider the Creator to be entirely separate from Creation.

    As the Buddhist philosopher D.T. Suzuki remarked about Christianity, “God against man. Man against God. Man against nature. Nature against man. Nature against God. God against nature. Very funny religion!”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobar View Post
    I think the essential difference between Eastern and Western religions is that most of the former are monistic, and most of the latter are dualistic.
    I sometimes wonder why this is, historically. Just random chance, or were there historical factors that influenced the style of religion in each region?

    But, on the other hand, many of the elements of these religions are actually very similar, at least as it pertains to material rules and guidelines.

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    Veteran Member phands's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobar View Post
    I think the essential difference between Eastern and Western religions is that most of the former are monistic, and most of the latter are dualistic.

    They all have something very much in common....they're all nonsense.

    There are ~4200 religions in the world right now, all claiming to be the one true way. Why would any one of them be right over the others?

    Similarly, there are millions of gods claimed by various religions, and yet not one iota of proof for any of them. Nonsense based on wishful thinking and deliberate disregard for facts.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” Terry Pratchett

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    Zen Hedonist Jobar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phands View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jobar View Post
    I think the essential difference between Eastern and Western religions is that most of the former are monistic, and most of the latter are dualistic.

    They all have something very much in common....they're all nonsense.

    There are ~4200 religions in the world right now, all claiming to be the one true way. Why would any one of them be right over the others?

    Similarly, there are millions of gods claimed by various religions, and yet not one iota of proof for any of them. Nonsense based on wishful thinking and deliberate disregard for facts.
    In general I agree- but I won't claim to know for certain that there's not one of that multitude that has things basically right.

    Steve points out that Eastern religions contain their fair share of woo, and I doubt anyone would deny that. No ancient civilization had the understanding of matter/energy/space/time that we do now, and so some- most, even- of their philosophies and theologies were in error. But some faiths seem more likely to filter out that woo as our knowledge of the physical universe improves, than do others.

    Wiki has an interesting article on Comparison of Buddhism and Christianity. In particular note the 'Irreconcilable foundations' section.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jobar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by phands View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jobar View Post
    I think the essential difference between Eastern and Western religions is that most of the former are monistic, and most of the latter are dualistic.

    They all have something very much in common....they're all nonsense.

    There are ~4200 religions in the world right now, all claiming to be the one true way. Why would any one of them be right over the others?

    Similarly, there are millions of gods claimed by various religions, and yet not one iota of proof for any of them. Nonsense based on wishful thinking and deliberate disregard for facts.
    In general I agree- but I won't claim to know for certain that there's not one of that multitude that has things basically right.

    Steve points out that Eastern religions contain their fair share of woo, and I doubt anyone would deny that. No ancient civilization had the understanding of matter/energy/space/time that we do now, and so some- most, even- of their philosophies and theologies were in error. But some faiths seem more likely to filter out that woo as our knowledge of the physical universe improves, than do others.

    Wiki has an interesting article on Comparison of Buddhism and Christianity. In particular note the 'Irreconcilable foundations' section.
    I can't speak for the religions of Taoism and Buddhism as they are practiced, but in general, the main governing documents (Tao Te Ching, Four Noble Truths/Eightfold Path) generally lack arbitrary distinctions and portray universal understandings. They are the Foundation of faiths, not an imaginary event, even if the origin of these documents are mythical. The New Testament provides little instruction. Heck, the Eightfold path provides an incredible amount of instruction on how to live in a very short length compared to the New Testament which is just a waste of paper about events written with hindsight. Taoism definitely devolved from its origins and Buddhists are killing Muslims in Myanmar, so clearly the lessons aren't exactly coming through to Buddhists either.

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    That is a good point. Compared to Buddhist scripture the Christian scripture as moral instruction is a bit bizarre. It lays out little, except maybe the 10 Commandments.
    The occult or paranormal is part of Taoism and Buddhism.

    Back in the 70s I did a little research o the origins of Chinese martial arts. The original Shaolin monks were far from somnambulant and tranquil. They liked there alchol and liked to party. There was a prominent Taoist who liked to get drunk, lay on his back at the bottom of a pond with a rock on his belly, breathing through a tube. You need context to get the picture as to who they were.

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    If you watch videos or read articles by one christian denomination ranting about doctrinal errors by another denomination you can sort of see it.

    They really are very zealous about defending the sharp boundaries of God and "not god". There are so many things they argue about, but even going slightly into dualism from Monism is totally out of the question. The The support of the Trinity and the triune godhead and the excoriation of the concept that Jesus could have been a normal human from birth is in furtherance of a human-god separation. Some of the Gnostics and the Cathars were also of the mindset that the human body was evil and separate from god.

    Was there more money in Monism? Was it a branding issue? Exclusive rights?

    This is beyond my pay grade, but I think that there are some answers in this video lecture:



    The "Metadivine Realm" which by its existence by default makes the god NOT omnipotent, omniscient or omnipresent(?) is much healthier than now for Abrahamic religions.

    How the Metadivine Realm was lost as a concept is of great importance. With it "magic" was also lost. A cold Cartesian universe would not fit a metadivine realm as well as the Abrahamic mindset.

    -----------------------------------------------


    Can I ask, was there ever a Christian sect that said that Jesus was born a human that became adopted by god (did not become god) and that also the human body was not evil inherently?


    ----------------------------------------------------------


    If you take the concepts of the Epic of Gilgamesh and their culture at that moment, could the Sumerians have developed a more eastern style religion and philosophy? Fucking Semites ruined everything.
    Last edited by repoman; 07-17-2018 at 09:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    That is a good point. Compared to Buddhist scripture the Christian scripture as moral instruction is a bit bizarre. It lays out little, except maybe the 10 Commandments.
    Some people seem to think that those are the only moral teachings in the whole book, but the Bible is full of moral teachings -- and it is far from coherent about them. From loving one's enemies to killing one's enemies, for instance.

    What we call the 10 Commandments are the beginning of the Law of Moses, something that Orthodox Jews interpret as 613 precepts.

    In the New Testament, the three Synoptic Gospels are full of moral teachings, while the Gospel of John is rather short on them. Consider the Sermon on the Mount, for instance.

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