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(The New York Times)   For a religion that holds elimination of desire as one of its core teachings, these Buddhist monks seem to be really feisty about who owns some priceless relics   (nytimes.com) divider line 88
    More: Interesting, Buddhists, Buddhist monks, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, teachings, faiths  
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4910 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Jun 2013 at 12:39 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-03 01:05:57 PM

whistleridge: Yes and no. There are arguments on both sides. Certainly, the Genesis story and much of the Torah probably stem from (slightly) older material, but vast chunks of the material were at a minimum heavily influenced. Angels are probably zoroastrian in origin, as is much of the underlying philosophy. At a minimum, modern Judaism has heavily syncretized many elements from the ancient Zian practices.

אִיוֹב /lyob/Job and קֹהֶלֶת /Qoheleth /Ecclesiastes are both essentially products of this. Although I will admit some scholars argue for a more Hellenistic origin for the latter, and I'm showing my bias in saying that.


Again, Judaism predates Zoroastrianism. Zoroaster only came on the scene 6th Century BCE. We'd been in the land and had a Temple standing for centuries before he was even born. As much as people want to pretend that Bereshiat was cribbed from elsewhere, there is no actual proofs of that, nor any texts that even get close. Both Yiov and Kohelet are also older than Zoroastrianism.
 
2013-06-03 01:07:00 PM

worlddan: Honest Bender: "Teachings" are also anti-buddhist. But I don't think most buddhists would pick up on that. *shrug* their path is not my path.

Genuine Buddhists have transcended labels.


They shop at Ross?
 
2013-06-03 01:07:13 PM
There is such a thing as practical Buddhism.  It's a conscious effort to separate the teachings from the religion that's grown up around them. When the strictures of religion and veneration become more important than the actual living of a Buddhist life, it's time to discard the trappings.

I can believe in the alleviation of suffering, and the desire to bring compassion to my patch of ground and those living in it, without having to memorize dharma lineage or what someone wrote to their followers four hundred years ago.  It's possible to be a good, ethical man without having to involve organized faith in it.

As far as the conflict described in TFA, all I can offer is that not everyone can live up to an ideal every day.  There isn't a religion extant whose followers are 100% true to their teachings.  It's easy to be at peace when life is good, it's when you encounter hell that you display your character  It's up to everyone around them to remind them of their community and their principles.  That's true everywhere, not just there.
 
2013-06-03 01:08:28 PM

lohphat: worlddan: Honest Bender: "Teachings" are also anti-buddhist. But I don't think most buddhists would pick up on that. *shrug* their path is not my path.

Genuine Buddhists have transcended labels.

They shop at Ross?


They certainly dress for less, if those robes are any indication.
 
2013-06-03 01:08:34 PM

Tatsuma: No I'm not, I'm deriding this attitude of 'Buddhists sit around wanting nothing, fat and jolly like those buddha statues!' that so many here have. How many times do you read shiat like 'Oh I'm not interested in Xianity or Islam but if I had to be religious, I'd choose something like Buddhism!' just because they buy into that image?


There is a difference, but not quite like that. The word Buddhist is a western creation. In the east they're simply called beggars, and not treated with much respect.

People in the west have an idea of buddhist monks acting like christian monks, or them as revered holy masters, when the reality is much more humble.

And i'll spare everyone the old debate about it being a religion or spirituality.
 
2013-06-03 01:08:43 PM
Sorta like why you never talk about the history of the Emerald Buddha in the Golden Triangle countries. 600 years and some people are *still* pissed.

Tatsuma:

Four days ago, in Myanmar there was a report that a Muslim man had burned a Buddhist woman. Buddhist mobs started riots and have been attacking Muslims since, forcing them into hiding.

Which is kind of like saying that a riot in Rome involved Catholic mobs, or one in Tel Aviv involved Jewish mobs. *Everyone* in Myanmar is expected to spend some time as a novice and / or monk or nun, especially the poor.
 
2013-06-03 01:10:15 PM

Tatsuma: whistleridge: Yes, he did. Point in fact, both he and Saul/Paul barely said a single original thing. Which was kind of their point...

Yeah the few things they did say that were original were so far from Judaism that it ended up with Jews just rejecting it (but man did the non-Jewish pagans around love it).

Actually they already had a huge base to sell it to. They were the so-called 'G-d Fearers' of the Roman Empire. They were non-Jews who were really into Judaism. You had whole roman cities where you couldn't see a single fire during the Shabbat, etc... They basically would have converted to Judaism if it hadn't been for one pesky detail: They really hated circumcision and saw it as a complete monstrosity that shouldn't be emulated. They also loved their swine.

So when that guy (Paul) came and said 'Hey you can have all of these things you're looking for in Judaism but without removing your foreskin oh and still eat bacon' they went crazy for it.


Again, yes and no. Remember, it was Peter who originally said you can eat bacon, not Paul. And that wasn't the sticking point for the citizens of the broader Hellenistic and Roman world. It was circumcision. And for the more intellectual classes (ie, those who had studied in the philosophical schools), it was the inconsistencies of Judaic law. Christianity solved both at a swoop. That's why Paul's arguments about the fulfillment of the law and justification by faith rather than by rigid adherence to an outdated and inconsistent code gained such ground. It combined the moral authority inherent to Y_ _ _! with the philosophical understandings of Hellenism and the salvation of the various cult religions (Mithraism, etc).

In fact, it's entirely fair to say that Christianity is just as much a blend of Judaism and Hellenistic religions as Judaism is a blend of Zoroastrianism, minor dabs of Egyptian and Phoenician religions, and original content. Both are 100% historically accurate, if entirely off-point to their respective believers.

And just to be fair, in that viewpoint, Islam is a blatant rip-off of Christianity and Judaisms' greatest hits, plus a healthy dab of Arabic polytheistic traditions on top.
 
2013-06-03 01:10:27 PM
"If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him." Linji Zen koan
 
2013-06-03 01:13:55 PM

BitwiseShift: "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him." Linji Zen koan


Why? When two thieves meet on the road they require no introduction, they know one another instantly.
 
2013-06-03 01:13:59 PM

Jake Havechek: mekki: Jake Havechek: mekki: Jake Havechek: And didn't Jesus say: "drop all your material shiat and hang out with me, it'll be cool".

What's Jesus have to do with a bunch of Buddhists fighting over relics?

Maybe because it touches on Idolatry and the same message of forsaking material possessions in order to gain enlightenment inherent to most religions?

Want me to make you a flow chart? A motherfarking Powerpoint presentation complete with a video and summary handout?

So any chance to bash Christianity even though it has nothing to do with the story. Got it.

You didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition, did you!?


No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.
 
2013-06-03 01:15:39 PM

RexTalionis: I just want to note that in Myanmar, especially the rural areas where there is very few resources and few prospects of employment, it's fairly customary for the young men to become "monks" for a while because the Buddhist temples have work and food. They're monks in name only and they're not generally there for spiritual reasons.


Good point.  Also, and not just in rural areas, they often do a short stint as a child, again as a teenager, and as an old man.  Some do it as a rite of passage or to get their head on straight trying to defeat alcohol or drugs.
 
2013-06-03 01:16:07 PM

BitwiseShift: "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him." Linji Zen koan


I followed that one.  Turns out the authorities frown on such actions. I was given quite some time to sit alone and contemplate my actions, though, so I guess that worked out.
 
2013-06-03 01:16:31 PM

whistleridge: Again, yes and no. Remember, it was Peter who originally said you can eat bacon, not Paul. And that wasn't the sticking point for the citizens of the broader Hellenistic and Roman world. It was circumcision. And for the more intellectual classes (ie, those who had studied in the philosophical schools), it was the inconsistencies of Judaic law. Christianity solved both at a swoop. That's why Paul's arguments about the fulfillment of the law and justification by faith rather than by rigid adherence to an outdated and inconsistent code gained such ground. It combined the moral authority inherent to Y_ _ _! with the philosophical understandings of Hellenism and the salvation of the various cult religions (Mithraism, etc).


Of course, the bacon comment (while something that Paul did say) was more of a cheeky comment about how so many people on Fark say things like 'Judaism seems cool but I could never live without bacon!' and stuff like that.

I am not sure what you mean about the 'inconsistencies of Judaic law', because that's something I study full-time and I can't imagine what you are referring to. In fact if there's one religion filled with inconsistencies it's Xianity due to the fact that they claim origin from us yet reject Jewish law. You have the Bible saying clearly in Devarim/Deuteronomy that a man can divorce his wife, then Xianity turns around saying you can't. Pork is forbidden, Xianity turns around and says you can, etc...

whistleridge: In fact, it's entirely fair to say that Christianity is just as much a blend of Judaism and Hellenistic religions as Judaism is a blend of Zoroastrianism, minor dabs of Egyptian and Phoenician religions, and original content. Both are 100% historically accurate, if entirely off-point to their respective believers.


Judaism had long been established and its texts written before zoroaster was even born.

I don't know why you're just ignoring that and keep on repeating it as if you were somehow right.
 
2013-06-03 01:19:11 PM
"If you meet the Buddha, kill him."- Linji
 
2013-06-03 01:22:29 PM

Tatsuma: whistleridge: Yes and no. There are arguments on both sides. Certainly, the Genesis story and much of the Torah probably stem from (slightly) older material, but vast chunks of the material were at a minimum heavily influenced. Angels are probably zoroastrian in origin, as is much of the underlying philosophy. At a minimum, modern Judaism has heavily syncretized many elements from the ancient Zian practices.

אִיוֹב /lyob/Job and קֹהֶלֶת /Qoheleth /Ecclesiastes are both essentially products of this. Although I will admit some scholars argue for a more Hellenistic origin for the latter, and I'm showing my bias in saying that.

Again, Judaism predates Zoroastrianism. Zoroaster only came on the scene 6th Century BCE. We'd been in the land and had a Temple standing for centuries before he was even born. As much as people want to pretend that Bereshiat was cribbed from elsewhere, there is no actual proofs of that, nor any texts that even get close. Both Yiov and Kohelet are also older than Zoroastrianism.


Again: parts of it do. But by your own accounting, that Temple was smashed 3 separate times, its priests were slain, and its holy texts were utterly destroyed. It is literally a miracle of the faith that they were reassembled at all.

I'm being friendly by saying that. A harder line would point out that the oldest texts of Judaism are the Masoretic scrolls, which date from the 800s. Yes, they've been corroborated by the Dead Sea Scrolls and various bits of papyrus and various translations like the Septuagint, but my point remains: the faith is textually based, and those texts...actually aren't that old. Even if you assume the tradition is 100% accurate, the oldest possible record dates AFTER the Babylonian exile and the reestablishment of the Temple.

I'll be generous, and allow that the reestablishment was accurate, and that your older dates apply. We'll say Judaism exists as a religion since the time Abraham left Ur, sometime before 1000 BCE. I'll leave aside the massive dating issues even among Judaic scholars. Zoroaster is generally held to have lived approximately the same time, in the first half of the second millenium BCE. No, the religion established in his name didn't come along until the 6th century BCE, but....neither did Judaism in the sense that any modern person might mean it.

In short, I'm being generous but very accurate when I say Judaism is, at best, slightly older. 

/ yes, I realize the Orthodox Jewish version must necessarily see Judaism as much older, since it starts with Adam. That's a different argument, for a different site.
 
2013-06-03 01:24:42 PM

Jake Havechek: I worship the taco.

Either kind.



Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch?
 
2013-06-03 01:25:20 PM

BitwiseShift: "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him." Linji Zen koan

Thanks for playing. I run the local Buddhist funeral home down by the highway and business has been a little slow lately.
 
2013-06-03 01:26:24 PM

Tatsuma: Judaism had long been established and its texts written before zoroaster was even born.

I don't know why you're just ignoring that and keep on repeating it as if you were somehow right.


I'm ignoring it, because while I have things like textual analysis and archaeology to support MY argument, your argument hinges entirely on a necessarily biased series of internal traditions and nothing more.

And hey, that's your right. In fact, it probably makes you a better believer. I don't fault you for that. If anything, I respect your strident defense of your beliefs.

But you can't honestly expect to walk into a nicely secular site like Fark and expect people to concede to that kind of argument. You and I have both been on here for years and years. I know I'm not going to change your mind, and I'm not trying to. But you shouldn't confuse 'shutting up because I got tired of pointing out the screamingly obvious' with 'winning'.
 
2013-06-03 01:26:48 PM

dryknife: Jake Havechek: I worship the taco.

Either kind.


Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch?


Of course!
 
2013-06-03 01:28:48 PM

Jake Havechek: dryknife: Jake Havechek: I worship the taco.

Either kind.


Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch?

Of course!


Polytheistic heresy!!1!  DIE HEATHEN!!
 
2013-06-03 01:28:57 PM
"It berongs in a museum!"
 
2013-06-03 01:34:25 PM

Xenomech: "It berongs in a museum!"


Au contraire. He needs to get out and see stuff. He and the gnome have seen 12 countries in the last month. Who do you think is holding the camera, all bronzed and relaxed?

encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com
 
2013-06-03 01:37:47 PM
In Ann Arbor, the local Buddhist temple racketeer advertises explicitly: "Free yourself from materialism," etc.  Print ads, banners, signs, flyers, fridge magnets, you name it.

The chief "monk" was a regular at the swanky restaurant where I worked, and *always* ordered at least one $200-500 bottle of wine for every 2 people at the table.  He always paid with his temple's credit card.
 
2013-06-03 01:52:10 PM

Tatsuma: whistleridge: By which, I assume you are referring to Christianity and Islam?

Because if that's so, then by that logic, Judaism is nothing more than a warped sectarian offshoot of ancient zoroastrianism, and we should really be blaming the ancient Persians...:p

Judaism is older than zoroastrianism. Also both Xianity and Islam themselves declare they are offshoots from us.


So you subscribe to an older breed of bullshiat? I'm impressed.
 
2013-06-03 01:52:30 PM
"On one windswept beach, local residents say they have gathered annually for most of the last seven centuries to commemorate a battle in which a small band of samurai was wiped out trying to stop a Mongol-led invasion fleet from Korea that was bound for Japan proper. The invaders, many of them Korean soldiers, rounded up local women by stringing ropes through holes sliced into their palms, local historians say."


Okay then. I guess Game of Thrones last night wasn't all that bad!
 
2013-06-03 02:33:08 PM
Didn't they invent the art of kicking the shiat out of people for stealing their wealth?
 
2013-06-03 02:46:36 PM

whistleridge: Tatsuma: whistleridge: Yes and no. There are arguments on both sides. Certainly, the Genesis story and much of the Torah probably stem from (slightly) older material, but vast chunks of the material were at a minimum heavily influenced. Angels are probably zoroastrian in origin, as is much of the underlying philosophy. At a minimum, modern Judaism has heavily syncretized many elements from the ancient Zian practices.

אִיוֹב /lyob/Job and קֹהֶלֶת /Qoheleth /Ecclesiastes are both essentially products of this. Although I will admit some scholars argue for a more Hellenistic origin for the latter, and I'm showing my bias in saying that.

Again, Judaism predates Zoroastrianism. Zoroaster only came on the scene 6th Century BCE. We'd been in the land and had a Temple standing for centuries before he was even born. As much as people want to pretend that Bereshiat was cribbed from elsewhere, there is no actual proofs of that, nor any texts that even get close. Both Yiov and Kohelet are also older than Zoroastrianism.

Again: parts of it do. But by your own accounting, that Temple was smashed 3 separate times, its priests were slain, and its holy texts were utterly destroyed. It is literally a miracle of the faith that they were reassembled at all.

I'm being friendly by saying that. A harder line would point out that the oldest texts of Judaism are the Masoretic scrolls, which date from the 800s. Yes, they've been corroborated by the Dead Sea Scrolls and various bits of papyrus and various translations like the Septuagint, but my point remains: the faith is textually based, and those texts...actually aren't that old. Even if you assume the tradition is 100% accurate, the oldest possible record dates AFTER the Babylonian exile and the reestablishment of the Temple.

I'll be generous, and allow that the reestablishment was accurate, and that your older dates apply. We'll say Judaism exists as a religion since the time Abraham left Ur, sometime before 1000 BCE. I'll leave asid ...


He loves to brag. That's all. It's not about facts, so much as it is to brag.

/Never mind that there are older religious traditions out there, like, say, ancestor veneration from China, that's been around since the Neolithic period in China.
 
2013-06-03 02:52:01 PM
The point of Buddhism is not to get rid of desire. The point is to get rid of attachment. Desire is actually helpful; you wouldn't want to study Buddhism without desire. That's why we're in the desire realm in the 3 realms model.
 
2013-06-03 02:57:08 PM

Uncle Pim: The point of Buddhism is not to get rid of desire. The point is to get rid of attachment. Desire is actually helpful; you wouldn't want to study Buddhism without desire. That's why we're in the desire realm in the 3 realms model.


well, desire for Nirvana is ironically an impediment to achieving it. The desire to cease desiring is the most noble of desires but it is still a desire that eventually must fade to achieve enlightenment. That or looping for the Dalai Lama
 
2013-06-03 03:04:40 PM
This 400 year old feud thing seems pretty silly to me, more of an interesting historical fact than something to get worked up about. Then again I am from the USA and our entire history as a country can be encapsulated by about 300 years (A little over 400 if we want to go back to Columbus). Just something of an interesting perspective.

This Buddha statue might have been stolen some 400 years ago by Japanese Pirates who have absolutely no relations to the present people living on Tsushima, but it's treated as a very real crime by the Korean Monks who blocked it from returning to Japan.

Not to say that this conflict isn't valid at all (not even going to bother wondering how much of it is because of Japan's treatment of Korea in WWII) but from an American perspective, it all seems rather silly, something that should be mentioned in a plaque explaining the statue's history rather than something to be fought over.
 
2013-06-03 03:08:02 PM

Raw_fishFood: This 400 year old feud thing seems pretty silly to me, more of an interesting historical fact than something to get worked up about. Then again I am from the USA and our entire history as a country can be encapsulated by about 300 years (A little over 400 if we want to go back to Columbus). Just something of an interesting perspective.

This Buddha statue might have been stolen some 400 years ago by Japanese Pirates who have absolutely no relations to the present people living on Tsushima, but it's treated as a very real crime by the Korean Monks who blocked it from returning to Japan.

Not to say that this conflict isn't valid at all (not even going to bother wondering how much of it is because of Japan's treatment of Korea in WWII) but from an American perspective, it all seems rather silly, something that should be mentioned in a plaque explaining the statue's history rather than something to be fought over.


I don't see how you seem to think this is silly to an American perspective. Are you not aware of the massive push and controversy behind the movement in the US to repatriate the bones of Native American ancestors in museums and in university collections back to the lands of their descendents?
 
2013-06-03 03:53:48 PM

skullkrusher: Uncle Pim: The point of Buddhism is not to get rid of desire. The point is to get rid of attachment. Desire is actually helpful; you wouldn't want to study Buddhism without desire. That's why we're in the desire realm in the 3 realms model.

well, desire for Nirvana is ironically an impediment to achieving it. The desire to cease desiring is the most noble of desires but it is still a desire that eventually must fade to achieve enlightenment. That or looping for the Dalai Lama



That's true, but desire is the very last thing to go. Every other uncontrollable emotional upheaval goes first. And to  say it "goes" is a bit incorrect, too. Nirvana is non-dual, so there is no "going" or "place to go".
 
2013-06-03 04:00:47 PM
Strictly speaking, Jesus said "you shall love your neighbor as yourself". Also, "love you enemies". In fact, he even went so far as to say that 'love' was 'the whole of the Law fulfilled in one word'.


Does this mean I have to fap my neighbor?
 
2013-06-03 06:33:34 PM

Uzzah: doglover: Also Buddhism plays the LOOOOOONG game. You think one eternity is a long time? The Bodhisattva are willing to deal with multiples of that to save every sentient creature.

Not for Theravadas. Once they attain enlightenment, they're outa here. The rest of y'all can figure it our for yourselves. It's the Republicanism of Buddhism.


But it can be argued that the Theravadas are wrong because any sufficiently advanced being will choose freely to help others. You can't truly be enlightened and choose to abandon others to their own devices when they could benefit from your guidance.

That's why the mahayana traditions all but erased the original schools. It doesn't make sense that a religion founded by the most compassionate of teachers would raise up those who lack compassion.
 
2013-06-03 07:50:31 PM

maxheck: Sorta like why you never talk about the history of the Emerald Buddha in the Golden Triangle countries. 600 years and some people are *still* pissed.


Well, nobody's stealing the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace.  It stands 2.7 meters tall and weighs 4 metric tons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jade_Buddha_for_Universal_Peace

Canadian jade, interestingly.
 
2013-06-03 08:09:09 PM

BarkingUnicorn: maxheck: Sorta like why you never talk about the history of the Emerald Buddha in the Golden Triangle countries. 600 years and some people are *still* pissed.

Well, nobody's stealing the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace.  It stands 2.7 meters tall and weighs 4 metric tons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jade_Buddha_for_Universal_Peace

Canadian jade, interestingly.


So it's defining characteristic is that it really really resembles, but is not perfectly like, American Jade and can't shut up about it?
 
2013-06-03 08:29:10 PM

skullkrusher: Uncle Pim: The point of Buddhism is not to get rid of desire. The point is to get rid of attachment. Desire is actually helpful; you wouldn't want to study Buddhism without desire. That's why we're in the desire realm in the 3 realms model.

well, desire for Nirvana is ironically an impediment to achieving it. The desire to cease desiring is the most noble of desires but it is still a desire that eventually must fade to achieve enlightenment. That or looping for the Dalai Lama


Given my present levels of apathy, I'm probably well on my way to enlightenment.  I'm not sure, I don't feel like checking.

But my path will inevitably be blocked by my desire to have some scotch.
 
2013-06-03 08:42:05 PM

Jake Havechek: And didn't Jesus say: "drop all your material shiat and hang out with me, it'll be cool".


And then disappeared.
 
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