Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: Buddhism Psychology or Religion

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. Top | #1
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    4,857
    Rep Power
    12

    Buddhism Psychology or Religion

    There are plenty of metaphors for psychology in Buddhism. Monkey mind is that chattering screeching monkey inside always trying to figure a way out of its cage. Trying to get out and swing from thought to thought.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_monk
    Mind monkey or monkey mind, from Chinese xinyuan and Sino-Japanese shin'en 心猿 [lit. "heart-/mind-monkey"], is a Buddhist term meaning "unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable". In addition to Buddhist writings, including Chan or Zen, Consciousness-only, Pure Land, and Shingon, this "mind-monkey" psychological metaphor was adopted in Taoism, Neo-Confucianism, poetry, drama, and literature. "Mind-monkey" occurs in two reversible four-character idioms with yima or iba 意馬 [lit. "thought-/will-horse"], most frequently used in Chinese xinyuanyima 心猿意馬 and Japanese ibashin'en 意馬心猿. The "Monkey King" Sun Wukong in the Journey to the West personifies the mind-monkey. Note that much of the following summarizes Carr (1993).

    https://www.pocketmindfulness.com/un...tal-companion/
    You might imagine that each thought is a branch, and you, or at least the attention of your conscious mind, is indeed a monkey, swinging from thought-branch to thought-branch all day long.

    This might sound like it might be fun, but in our troubled human way the thoughts that are often in our minds are concerned with the fears and pressures of life:

    What will happen if I lose my job? I wonder if my partner might be unhappy with our relationship?

    What if I don’t have enough money when I retire?

    Irrational fears perhaps, but made real by our own constant attention. How infuriating and exhausting it becomes.

    The Buddha, who coined the word some two and a half millennia ago, termed this mental state “Kapicitta.”

    Of course, he defined it best when he said; ‘Just as a monkey swinging through the trees grabs one branch and lets it go only to seize another, so too, that which is called thought, mind or consciousness arises and disappears continually both day and night

  2. Top | #2
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Chochenyo Territory, US
    Posts
    2,346
    Rep Power
    9
    All religions include mental and emotional disciplines. Separating spirituality from secular psychology is a relatively recent phenomenon. Before James and Freud, even Europeans got whatever psychological care and healing they received from practitioners of the supernatural.

  3. Top | #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    4,849
    Rep Power
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    All religions include mental and emotional disciplines.
    True, but in theistic religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) the foundation of those disciplines are a focus upon, obedience to, and worship of an authoritarian God. Buddhism is largely non-theistic. Thus, most of it's perspectives aimed at improving one's outlook and state of mind do not require supernatural assumptions. This, makes it's psycho-therapeutic aspects more distinct from it's religious aspects than with the Abraham religions or even polytheistic religions like Hinduism. That said, there are supernatural aspects of Buddhism, including reincarnation and Karma. Although, a "spirit" that is always tethered to a physical body is less supernatural than the immaterial God and soul assumed by theistic religions. Also, without a theistic foundation, the supernatural aspects of Buddhism are easier to ignore and dispense with while still retaining most of what it says about how to achieve happiness, which is what most Westeners do when adopting Buddhism (or Taoism and Zen).

  4. Top | #4
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    7,686
    Archived
    5,746
    Total Posts
    13,432
    Rep Power
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    All religions include mental and emotional disciplines.
    True, but in theistic religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) the foundation of those disciplines are a focus upon, obedience to, and worship of an authoritarian God. Buddhism is largely non-theistic. Thus, most of it's perspectives aimed at improving one's outlook and state of mind do not require supernatural assumptions. This, makes it's psycho-therapeutic aspects more distinct from it's religious aspects than with the Abraham religions or even polytheistic religions like Hinduism. That said, there are supernatural aspects of Buddhism, including reincarnation and Karma. Although, a "spirit" that is always tethered to a physical body is less supernatural than the immaterial God and soul assumed by theistic religions. Also, without a theistic foundation, the supernatural aspects of Buddhism are easier to ignore and dispense with while still retaining most of what it says about how to achieve happiness, which is what most Westeners do when adopting Buddhism (or Taoism and Zen).
    Meditation is meditation. Christians all pray to God, ie silent introspection. So it qualifies as also being a spiritual practice.

  5. Top | #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    4,849
    Rep Power
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    All religions include mental and emotional disciplines.
    True, but in theistic religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) the foundation of those disciplines are a focus upon, obedience to, and worship of an authoritarian God. Buddhism is largely non-theistic. Thus, most of it's perspectives aimed at improving one's outlook and state of mind do not require supernatural assumptions. This, makes it's psycho-therapeutic aspects more distinct from it's religious aspects than with the Abraham religions or even polytheistic religions like Hinduism. That said, there are supernatural aspects of Buddhism, including reincarnation and Karma. Although, a "spirit" that is always tethered to a physical body is less supernatural than the immaterial God and soul assumed by theistic religions. Also, without a theistic foundation, the supernatural aspects of Buddhism are easier to ignore and dispense with while still retaining most of what it says about how to achieve happiness, which is what most Westeners do when adopting Buddhism (or Taoism and Zen).
    Meditation is meditation. Christians all pray to God, ie silent introspection. So it qualifies as also being a spiritual practice.
    Which is about as useful as saying "Matter is matter, so there is no point is making any distinctions among different forms of it."
    Most theistic prayer is not actually meditation in any meaningful sense. It is more similar to begging your daddy for something, and is an external focus upon a supernatural deity the lacks the quiet introspection of Buddhist prayer that has no supernatural. In most ways the two are the exact opposite of each other. So, if they are both "spiritual", then that just reveals how completely meaningless the word "spiritual" is.

  6. Top | #6
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Oregon's westernmost
    Posts
    10,989
    Archived
    18,213
    Total Posts
    29,202
    Rep Power
    53
    When it comes to establishing a calming state; one where heart, breathing, and activity are at minimum other than when sleeping, meditation and prayer are equivalent. Hell we demonstrated that in our labs in the '70s when we researched tools useful for repose, DMR, etc. and found drugs, alpha generation, hypnosis, and meditation and prayer all similar in those regards we we went about setting up relaxation therapy labs. Yes we unofficially included marijuana in those studies.

    In conclusion through the experimental method in psychology we established the equivalence between prayer and meditation. So on that plane buddhism and other organized religions that include prayer are similar to each other and different from psychology. The objective link is critical.

  7. Top | #7
    Contributor DrZoidberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    7,686
    Archived
    5,746
    Total Posts
    13,432
    Rep Power
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post

    Meditation is meditation. Christians all pray to God, ie silent introspection. So it qualifies as also being a spiritual practice.
    Which is about as useful as saying "Matter is matter, so there is no point is making any distinctions among different forms of it."
    Most theistic prayer is not actually meditation in any meaningful sense. It is more similar to begging your daddy for something, and is an external focus upon a supernatural deity the lacks the quiet introspection of Buddhist prayer that has no supernatural. In most ways the two are the exact opposite of each other. So, if they are both "spiritual", then that just reveals how completely meaningless the word "spiritual" is.
    To ask God for stuff you have to peer inwards and figure out what is important to you. That's the important bit. Asking God for it isn't the secret sauce. So I think that qualifies as a spiritual practice. While other forms might be better. This isn't worthless IMHO.

  8. Top | #8
    Intergalactic Villainess Angry Floof's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Sector 001
    Posts
    9,183
    Archived
    14,435
    Total Posts
    23,618
    Rep Power
    59
    I consider it more accurate to call Buddhism a philosophy because a, it's relevant to everyday human experience, and b, it's about questioning and self awareness.

    Much of what we call religion in the world is quite the opposite, offering answers rather than encouraging questioning, and in fact, often punishing questioning, and it's often irrelevant to everyday human experience. Some of that is old metaphors that either no longer apply in a modern world, or could apply if not for the religious impulse to believe metaphors literally.

    Buddhism teaches that we're all basically made of the same stuff, that suffering applies to all of us, that anyone can inquire into their own nature without regard to anything else they've been taught. All of which is antithesis to a lot of other ideologies, such as Islam and Christianity, that go out of their way to divide people into different values of human, sometimes based in nationality or ethnicity or other religions, but most strongly in the "us vs. everybody else" sense. In Christianity, that's "saved or not saved." In Islam, it's more simply put as Muslim or not Muslim. And both strongly discourage questioning into one's own nature without regard to what their damn scriptures say.

    Buddhism is antithesis to Abrahamic religions, and some others like scientology, that reinforce conformity to an authoritative body of teachings and an ideological identity and that discourage and punish metathought, introspection, or questioning of the authority figure or text.

    Much more can be said on this topic, but I think this is the most fundamental area of difference.
    The Authoritarians

    GOP and Trump supporters will not be able to say they didn't know. Vote in numbers too big to manipulate.

  9. Top | #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    seattle
    Posts
    4,857
    Rep Power
    12
    Psychology is about self awareness and experience. What is self?

    Atman is an eastern theory of self.

    In Buddhism living what is defined as the right way is not a glorification of a deity. It is about feeling good and being healthy in a chaotic world. There are no devils, evil spirits, or a Satan to do battle with. The battle is within.

    Most Christians will not see it, the battle with evil as an external devil or Satan can be seen as metaphor for the human internal struggle.

  10. Top | #10
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Sunshine State: The one with Crocs, not Gators
    Posts
    21,555
    Archived
    10,477
    Total Posts
    32,032
    Rep Power
    82
    Meh. It's a religion. Complete with suicide bombers and other terrorists.

    Given the history, it's most probable that the Sri Lankan church bombings this weekend are down to Buddhist extremists.

    Philosophy is all very well, but to kill blameless strangers takes religion.

Similar Threads

  1. Recommendations for books on Buddhism?
    By rousseau in forum Other Philosophical Discussions
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 04-20-2019, 08:08 AM
  2. Taoism, Buddhism, and Asian Mysticism
    By steve_bank in forum General Religion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 07-20-2018, 03:49 AM
  3. The darker side of Buddhism
    By Potoooooooo in forum General Religion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-17-2015, 11:12 PM
  4. sexual misconduct, buddhism and gay culture
    By tantric in forum Morals & Principles
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-23-2015, 04:19 PM
  5. Radical Buddhism
    By steve_bnk in forum General Religion
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 05-04-2014, 12:22 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •