Monday, 16 March 2015

Buddha-Dharma


Written by Mathew Naismith

This blog is depicting a conversation I had with a Buddhist relating to the fear based religious concepts, karma and dharma.  

Bob
What I know is that karma is what is. Karma should not and can't be based on fear. It's cause and effect-full stop. It's too simplistic to be based on fear though it may be a western way of thinking. To perpetuate this line of thinking is to lead to false thinking of the dharma.
Based on your article and it's comments, using fear as a way of guiding the 'ignorant' is much like what religions with an external entity ('god') use to get their followers to tie the line. This method belies the whole teaching of the Buddha-dharma.
In the basic Buddha teaching, the 4 Noble Truths, the last truth pointed a way out of this ignorance. No way was any fear used in the 8 fold noble path.
Compassion, loving kindness are the main elements found in every dharma.
Hell or heaven is a 'by product', a consequence, of karma. Not karma perse. If this is used as a 'whip and carrot' method it has been grossly misinterpreted or used.
We are coming towards the fading of the true Buddha-dharma and the beginning of false teachings. It is sad.

My Reply
So you don't think karma is in relation to hell Bob?  You can go to hell if you do wrong to others, this is in relation to karma, if you do wrong onto others you will have to pay a karmic debt, this is very much in line to going to hell.
I did say however that karmic debt isn't as much about fear as the Christian hell. Hell is cause and effect as well by the way, you don’t go to hell if you have been good to others, this again is very much like dharma in my mind. If you have good dharma, you will not have to pay karmic debt in the next life. 
Christians don't believe in reincarnation so there next life is in the afterlife like in places like hell, to a Christian this is like paying off or paying for bad behaviour. The reason karmic debt isn’t as much about fear is you don’t actually go to hell as such, however, the reality you live your next life in can be very much like a Christian hell. If you don’t have good dharma you could end up in this Christian hell, this is fear based to me.  
“We are coming towards the fading of the true Buddha-dharma and the beginning of false teachings. It is sad.”
In the west and in Mayan culture, the belief is we are coming into a new awakening, the Age of Aquarius; this is quite the opposite of what you wrote here, which teaching are false? 

Bob
Sorry if I stated wrongly. Maybe this way. Hell doesn't exist as in the Christian concept. In very simple explanation when your +ve karma is more than your -ve karma, you may not take rebirth in hell. So in this sense it doesn't exist. There are 6 realms of existence from the gods to the hell realm. So when you do wrong, depending on the gravity and the motive, hell may not be the realm of rebirth.
Again, in dharma, as long as we take rebirth in any of the 6 realms, we are 'paying' back our karma. What we are today is the sum total of our karma. That's why there's suffering in our lives. Of course the more 'good' karma the better our station in life will be. But our karma is still in operation.
Karma is not a debt. It is a cause and effect. Not as simple as credit and debit. Too complicated to explain, even if I can!
Please note I mentioned the Buddha-dharma is ending. (Not tomorrow or the next year, thousands of years before the teaching completely disappears. What I meant to point out is the teaching will become more and more corrupt with many false interpretations and false teachers.)
So, the ending is not a referral to any other teachings. I make no judgement which teaching is true or false. This sort of thing is personal. You choose what you want to believe.

My Reply
G’day Bob

There is no true wrong or right, you have a different perception than me like each path is a different path that gives us different experiences, no path or perception is wrong or right.

A lot of ideological concepts of Christianity refer to there being a hell (purgatory) or heaven (paradise), when you take on evil intents, you go straight to purgatory and when you take on good intents, you go straight to paradise.  Buddhism obviously works in quite a different way with six realms instead of just two, this is why Buddhism isn’t based on fear but some of the concepts are of fear and/or instil fear through karmic law in my mind.

I don’t believe everyone that has taken rebirth has karma to pay, souls that have already payed their karmic debt take on karma to reincarnate, this is done by taking on the path of righteousness (dharma) to reincarnate. So yes to rebirth (reincarnate) one has to take on karma but this doesn’t mean the soul itself has to pay karmic debt when such souls have already paid such debts. 
Cause and effect causes a debt, the more we react the more debt we have to pay, this is why it’s beneficial to think less which allows us to react less, it does away with the push and pull effect, pulling something in to push something out which creates chaos within its effect.  We have a cause to pull something in which gives the effect of pushing something out, this is ongoing and the longer it’s ongoing, the more chaos and destruction it creates, human history shows this quite plainly. We are more destructive as ever, this is due to a prolonged period of cause and effect, in other words we have collectively collected karmic debt over a period of time. 
What I get out of the Buddha-dharma is ending is that old religious ideological concepts are coming to an end, we must all learn to let go of our fixation to the old ideological concepts to take on the new, this sounds like the push and pull effect but it’s not. You’re not pulling something in to then push something out, you are just letting go of something to allow something new in.
Is the control that religion gave us coming to an end and does this mean the end of religion altogether?  We are taking on new consciousness which means taking on new ideological concepts; this will give us a different mentality to exist by, there will be no more pushing and pulling, cause and effect. 
What will happen to karma and dharma once this is done?  
They will no longer exist because they will no longer be needed; the Buddha-dharma is ending, we can then all rebirth (reincarnate) without having to pay a debt or a cause and effect I feel.  To know this one must let go of the old and known, this of course isn’t going to be easy mainly because the controlling factors of the ego wants to hang onto the known, this is perfectly normal. 

Bob
Yes, there seem to be a different perception of karma and the interpretation of the Buddha-dharma. Much of what I know comes from books, attending teachings and interactions with the ordained.
The Buddha-dharma does not, should not exert any control on anyone. The teachings do not threaten anyone. Mainly because there's no religion. The current Buddha Sakyamuni or Gautama said emphatically, do not follow my teachings blindly, ask and ask until you are fully satisfied with the answers. In others words, leave anytime you wish.
The workings of karma is a complex subject to understand, much less to explain. It is seen by many as a negative process and like you had expressed a debt. But it not so. Being born as a human being is the best of the 6 realms of karmic rebirths. In this realm we have a thinking brain that allows us to make choices, decisions. We need to accumulate a lot of good karma to be born in the human realm. So it's not all negative.

One of the 8 Noble Pathway is right thought, another, right understanding. What you see as pull and push is not considered a right view. We need to understand our motives in everything we think and do in our daily life. When our motives are not selfish, not tainted with/by ego, we are in one right step in thinking with a right view and understanding. Subsequently, positive karma is created which then leads to clarity and wisdom - but not enlightenment yet.

Finally, karma is a universal law. It doesn't end just because the Buddha-dharma ends. The Buddha talked about it to bring out consciousness towards it. To be aware of its workings.
Please do not misunderstand. The Buddha-dharma once perfected has no concepts. It's not an ideology, it's a way of life, a way to change our life to view phenomena differently. To reduce sufferings and finally to end sufferings. Any attachment to a concept or ideology is a barrier to achieving this clarity and wisdom.
Yes you are right that in pushing you allow a new to enter. But question is, what are you allowing to fill that gap? More suffering? More debt creation? 

My Reply
Indeed Bob, the understanding I have is Buddha-dharma isn’t of control or religion, once this state is accomplished, there is no need for control and religion. Like I stated, only the ignorant or less aware need religion therefore to be controlled, otherwise they can do harm onto themselves and others.
Is there anything negative even in bad karma? No, there is nothing truly negative or even positive, the negative and positive are only needed by the ignorant, once you become aware, the negative and positives automatically disappear as if they never existed. 
Is bad karma of fear if bad karma isn’t truly negative?  The learning of karma is never of fear within itself, it’s the soul and/or person who sees this bad karma as negative, this is where the fear comes into it. The teachings itself isn’t fear based, this comes about by the soul/person seeing karma as something negative therefore something to be feared, within this ignorant thought, karma becomes fear based.
Like I said, Christianity is quite different, the teachings themselves are based of fear, I don’t think Jesus would be too impressed with these teachings somehow. 
I think we both misunderstood each other, I should have explained myself in a better way in my post but I try to keep my posts as short as possible, the more words spoken, the less I actually know and understand.



 My Reply
That the Buddha-dharma, a teaching based on loving-kindness and compassion with karma as one aspect of the teaching has changed perception to fear. Well, as you mentioned, if it can be used as a tool to turn ignorance towards a better path of humanity, then, so be it.
It's the journey, not the destination.
Cheers. May your path be an enlightened one.

Bob
That the Buddha-dharma, a teaching based on loving-kindness and compassion with karma as one aspect of the teaching has changed perception to fear. Well, as you mentioned, if it can be used as a tool to turn ignorance towards a better path of humanity, then, so be it.
It's the journey, not the destination.
Cheers. May your path be an enlightened one.

My Reply
I will share another response I made in relation to this discussion on another site.

G'day Tiffany
A very uplifting perception.
Yes, so many people look at religion as just being a concept or an ideology when the core of religion is a state of consciousness which is very much inline with new age spirituality.
Yes indeed, you can't have judgement without ego, in a conscious state not of the ego, there is no judgement because there is nothing to judge. We don't however exist in an ego-less reality so we judge, but like the ego, we can't judge judgement as being just bad in my mind when we often use it for good. Example, when someone needs our help we judge if thy need our help or not, are such people worthy and not just trying to con us.
I think it comes down to making bias and unbiased judgment, bias judgment only leads to misjudgments but this isn't the case for unbiased judgment, the question is are we capable of unbiased judgment?

Did people like Jesus and Buddha make unbiased judgements? I would say most definitely but are we capable of this? Not in our present state of consciousnesses I feel, we are living in too much ignorance so yes we should try to judge less overall, we are just not qualified to express unbiased judgement and we need to be aware of this.
I do see however that we will no longer need religion to control ourselves when we become truly enlightened, in this state we will then be qualified to express unbiased judgement, we would have then become our messiahs, however, until then we must be aware of our bias judgements.

Dharma isn't about religious concepts or ideologies; it's about a conscious state like Buddha and Jesus in my mind.