Monday, August 04, 2008

KRISHNA vs. JESUS


Yesterday I hung out at the annual Hare Krishna Festival of Chariots on Venice Beach. My friend Svetlana was taping some stuff for a TV show she's making to export back to her home country Montenegro and I helped out some with that. But mostly I was there for the food. I eat a lot of Krishna food. They make real good food.

The Hare Krishnas were the first Eastern religious movement I had any direct contact with. That's bad grammar. But you get it anyway. In any case, I was a big Beatle nut when I was a teenager (still am) and George Harrison was into them so I figured they were cool. I briefly considered joining the team. But the more I read of their philosophy the sillier it sounded. It was an Eastern version of everything I'd already rejected in Christianity. Christianity, at least the versions I'd come across, seemed to be all about what happened in your head. You had to believe the stories in the Bible were true. I couldn't understand how it could possibly matter to God whether I thought the world really was flooded by a rain that lasted 40 days and 40 nights or not. It all seemed so arbitrary.

The Krishnas at least had some concrete activities I could get behind. They ate no meat, they chanted, they wore special clothes and had haircuts even more ridiculous than some of my punkrock friends. But when I got a little more familiar with their philosophy it, once again, boiled down to whether I believed the stories in certain books actually happened or not. In the Krishna's case this wasn't presented as the key element to salvation as it had been at the Christian churches I visited. But you still had to believe. And I couldn't believe. Like Fox Mulder, for a time I wanted to believe. But it wasn't possible.

Eventually I ended up sticking with Zen because Zen couldn't give a rat's ass what you believe. I found that really cool.

Anyway, yesterday the Krishnas had a big ass parade down the street near my house. The photo I put up today is from a festival a couple years ago. But what I saw yesterday looked pretty much the same if not bigger. This year, though, a small group of Christians decided to protest. These guys looked like Hell's Angels to me, all big and burly and hairy. Maybe they were ex-members. They walked along the parade route in front of the group with signs saying things like "The Bible says beware of false teachers" and "Fornicators, Adulterers, Masturbaters, etc., etc., etc., You're all going to HELL!" Are masturbaters still going to Hell? Man, I am in some deep shit! One guy had a bullhorn and shouted that the Krishnas should eat meat and that their haircuts made them look like a horse's behind.

The only effect these guys had was to make the Krishnas look way less freaky by comparison. In fact, in Southern California the Hare Krishnas look like Ward and June Cleaver. They've always been very interested in being accepted as a mainstream religion and these days it almost seems to be working. Good for them.

It was funny to me to watch two sets of ideas I'd long ago rejected duking it out on the beach. Both camps seemed to have an urgent need to convert the tourists and skateboarders on the boardwalk to their way of thinking. Why do we do that? It's such a show of insecurity to act like your God is going to fade away and die unless everybody in the world believes in him.

I imagine this all goes way way back in history to a time when human beings were just starting to build civilizations. In order to make a civilization work you need an agreed upon moral framework. Even today you're still far more likely to die from being murdered in a more "primitive" culture than in a more "advanced" one (to use both of those loaded terms in their broadest sense). Morality became tied with religion and it was imperative for those who believed in the moral code to convert those who did not. If they failed, the society they were laboring so hard to build could collapse.

As societies advanced, so did their need for moral structure. More sophisticated and easily operated tools for killing and maiming meant that it was even more important to keep everyone in line. So we stuck with the idea that everyone needed to agree upon a single moral code.

We still have not outgrown this need. In fact we'll almost certainly never outgrow it. But the religious model no longer works. Our diverse societies have created too many of them and they're constantly battling each other. Even the Buddhist precepts are wielded as weapons by those who believe they understand them better than others.

These days lots of people are working to try and find the common ground of all religions, which I think is a great idea. But ultimately I think we'll need to transcend that one as well. The reason is because all religions are based on thought. But real morality has nothing at all to do with thought. Real morality is much harder to pin down. It's impossible to pin down, in fact.

We all carry the source of real morality with us everywhere we go. It's the basis of our being. And if you don't believe that, I'll hit you with a big stick until you do!

177 comments:

cometboy said...

Darn. Missed the Krishna festival again. I've had a low level desire to check that out.

Have to agree about the food. Many years I did a bike trip across country. At one stop in Canada, a group of nice people invited me over to their picnic table for some food. Bicycle touring means that you are always hungry, so I accepted.

Turned out that they were Krishna's. Very low key, I don't remember any preaching. The food was great. Its not easy to find a good curry in back country Canada.

Oh, I almost forgot that I'm on the hardcorezen blog, so fuck.

Thing 2 said...

It seems much religious fervor is arising from club or clique mentality rather than any base moral judgments. People, in general, all really act about the same, in general, in general. In any religious set you will find liars, murderers, skimmers-off-the-toppers, etc.... regardless of what their doctrine says about those practices.

But the tribal instinct dominates all. If a group accepts me, that group is the best and our rule book is the best, and other groups that are not us, are a threat to us, and we measure off by flipping out our rule books (rather that comparing our real actions...if we did that we'd see we are all just about the same).

Harry said...

Erm, Brad, do you believe that you express this 'natural, innate morality' all the time? Are you really a pillar of Buddhist righteousness?

That would be scary.

It would be helpful if you could cut the scary religious crap and let us know how/if this works (and, preferably I admit, how it *doesn't* work) in your real life.

Its just that your take on it can be seen as merely more idealistic religious bullshit otherwise.

Regards to all,

Harry.

Jules said...

OK. So Jesus won, this time. I suspect he had some help from the future. But his victory will be short-lived, for he cannot defeat MECHA-KRISHNA!!!

Jules said...

harry wrote: Erm, Brad, do you believe that you express this 'natural, innate morality' all the time?

I think it's called having an informed conscience, and having practiced enough that you've learned not to let your desires or aversions get in its way.

Anonymous said...

http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:r-IC_PQiQ6wJ:mahajana.net/texts/kopia_lokalna/notebook2.pdf+zazen+stretch+back+muscles&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=safari

Mysterion said...

Krishna's first manifestation was the fish - Vishnu.

Saved some dude from a flood?

also, here, here, and here

Jesus was ixous = icthus a play on IaZeus, but still, a fish. That's a SIGMA or S at the end...

hmmm... all this recycled folklore. What next?

'ancient food' preparers made sure that the beef, lamb, chicken, or prawns were spiced in a curry (prevented food poisoning).

To curry favor, curry flavor.

Brainwashed said...

The Barker and Levine studies indicate that alternative religions exhibit a substantial voluntary turnover... High demand groups such as the Unification Church and Hare Krishna have been like revolving doors through which recruits have been moving in and out.

“few were aware of a steady stream of disaffected members exiting these movements by the back door... popular conceptions of brainwashing most likely precluded any suspicion of mass voluntary defections” (Wright and Ebaugh, 1993, 118).

Harry said...

Jules,

I think it's religious bullshit.

Its carrot-on-a-stick religious crap. Its nothing to do with real action/practice.

There is no morality outside of our own real actions. There is no 'goodness' and 'badness' outside of what we do and make that is 'good' or 'bad'.

There is no buddha outside of 'buddha' that is enacted through our own direct practice.

There is no 'buddha' inside waiting to get out if we sit the right way, chant the right words, bow to the right person, read the right books...

In reality there is no ideal moral me or you or buddha. There's just various ways of acting. Few people, if any, have realized the Buddha's teaching in their every action. Maybe Brad is one, but I don't think so, and maybe he didn't mean to give that impression.

Some sort of 'Innate Morality' to be obtained is, I think, a religious lie. If we want to do good we must simply not commit wrong. This is easy-ish in Zazen...

But it is incredibly hard to practice outside of Zazen for most people.

We don't obtain 'moral perfection' from just sitting on our asses... what a crock of shit!

Zazen, and some pipe-dream of one day being zapped into being 'morally perfect' by Zazen, is for Zen slobs. If we want to do good we should just do good and stop doing wrong. Zazen can help us see how we are, and it can even point us in the right direction in terms of how we live our lives, but give me a break with the kid's magic show already.

Regards,

Harry.

Buddha said...

Phenomena are preceded by the heart,
ruled by the heart, made of the heart.
If you speak or act
with a calm, bright heart,
then happiness follows you,
like a shadow that never leaves.

Jinzang said...

The Hare Krishnas were the first Eastern religious movement I had any direct contact with. That's bad grammar.

Actually, not.

Jinzang said...

We don't obtain 'moral perfection' from just sitting on our asses... what a crock of shit!

Wisdom and compassion are inseparable. If you think you have wisdom, but lack compassion, you're fooling yourself. And wisdom comes from sitting. Not always and not immediately, but often enough that there's a real connection. The wisdom that comes from sitting is not sufficient, it has to be tested in daily life. So there's a feedback between the two. We express our understanding through compassionate action and the expression of compassion deepens our understanding.

Jinzang said...

Back in college I took a vegetarian cooking class taught by the Hare Krishnas. It was one of their methods for recruiting new members. I didn't mind the Indian cooking or the chanting, but before the meal the was a prayer thanking Krishna for protecting us from the the Sunyavadins (teaching of emptiness, i.e Buddhism) and Mayavadins (teaching of illusion, i.e. Advaita), Krishnas are hard core dualists, and the idea of the union of God and man is just as scandalous to them as any Baptist.

Harry said...

Jinzang,

Nice use of the Buddhist lingo(TM). I broadly agree, and I think I read that book too. But does sitting realize some sort of abstract, complete moral perfection?

No, how could it..? that's a myth that will be quickly dispelled when we observe the life of anyone who sits for long enough; preferably our own.

Regards,

Harry.

Harry said...

In other words:

Do we have a soul?

Regards,

Harry.

Harry said...

...You know: a perfect little bit of us that is not dirty like the rest of us...

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Brainwashed said,

"The Barker and Levine studies indicate that alternative religions exhibit a substantial voluntary turnover..."

In southeast Asia, Christianity IS an alternative religion.

Jules said...

Harry wrote: Some sort of 'Innate Morality' to be obtained is, I think, a religious lie.

Well, yeah... whatever you mean exactly by 'Innate Morality,' it's certainly nothing to be obtained. You're not going to get any more conscience than you've got right now.

But does sitting realize some sort of abstract, complete moral perfection?

Who said anything about complete moral perfection? I don't think Brad did. I certainly didn't.

All I'm saying is, when you do something wrong, deep down, you know it. Sitting helps you notice this kind of thing a little earlier, and sometimes you can avoid the problem in the first place. I don't think of that as "moral perfection."

When I'm walking down the street and I see a pothole in my path, if I manage to step around it avoid twisting my ankle, I wouldn't call that "ankle integrity perfection" either. Especially since the chances are pretty good I'll step in another one somewhere, eventually.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

Jinzang and Henry, thanks for some great comments. Both these recent ones and many others. J, I really liked your take on compassion and wisdom. And H, you're a rock-thrower in the best sense of the phrase.

Someone asked at what temple Brad met Nishijima. Here's a clip from HZ:

"I came across a classified ad in the local free English paper for a Zen group in Tokyo offering lectures in English and decided to take a chance. The group turned out to be called Dogen Sangha and its leader one Gudo Wafu Nishijima."

I believe that those lectures were at Tokyo University's Young Buddhists Association.

Rob

John said...

Brad wrote: We all carry the source or real morality with us everywhere we go. It's the basis of our being.

and Harry seems to have interpreted that as meaning "We have perfect souls inside us".

I guess I see how you could get that from what Brad wrote, maybe, if you didn't know Brad was a Buddhist and if you knew nothing of his approach to Buddhism or Nishijima's approach to Buddhism. And if you didn't read the rest of the article in which beliefs are discussed.

"The basis of Buddhist morality is reality itself. It is the order of the universe. It is the fact of life which are facing us at every moment. For a Buddhist, the most important thing is to see those facts very clearly and precisely." from To Meet the Real Dragon

So we all carry the real source of morality with us wherever we go because we are always in reality or we are reality or we are a part of reality. I don't know the right way of saying it. In any case, there is never a possibility of doing something out of reality.

This is why precepts are useful, but you can never really know, most of the time, if someone else is keeping them or breaking them. You would have to be omniscient. AND it is technically possible, I suppose to "keep the precepts" to the letter, while acting in a way which in that moment is immoral.

michael bardan said...

i know i'm not welcome here and that is fine, but to hear so called zen people congratulate themselves on mental masturbation over the existence of a soul is just hilarious.

lissn up, dogen sangha, i give a shit how morally intact your souls are, for as long as you think in terms of "inside us" there's this little ball of perfection called soul, you are more lost than those kids who still think of the atomic model akin to the planetary one.

the fucking electron doesn't look anything like the moon around earth you dumb fucks, nor a soul whatsoever exists inside you, nor outside, to carry anything righteous or worth carrying anywhere.

motherfucking holy zenness of everything, look at them blowing each other and congratulating themselves on right action.

HELLO? SAFETY IN NUMBERS, FUCKERS, RIGHT?

not 1 of you had the concentration to go back and dig out jod da'ath and his analysis on the neocortical species.

fine, i send qbitty to fish for it, then we'll take it DA CAPO, so to speak...

jod da'ath said...

the weaknesses of this species are clear.

first weakness: their need to belong. they feel safe in numbers.
they assume that many voices are better and stronger than one and
yet fail to realize that the many voices are expressing a single
voice.

second weakness: they have a permission complex. they need permission
for everything.
they do not know and they are denied the information
thus seeking validation in higher and lower forms but never their own.
this is due to generations of control through the utilization of religion,
pseudo science, and superstition.

third weakness: the persecution of individuality based on loose knowledge
of the tao nature of beauty
(as an example). red is a reference
point but not the same color to each eye that sees it. thus, beauty,
love, pain, etc are different things to different people thus the
conformed view is inferior.
these things are an unfolding not a
natural or permanent state. there is no end to this view.

consider that the control of information and intelligence, knowledge
and education is what distracts you from this point and thus, as is
the nature of this world, you are being set up as slaves blinded by
your pointed rightness created by the mass opinion.

am i the first or last with this message? no, but the point is clear:

the range between now and the next is thousands of years of which
many generations will be consumed and cast into slavery before
such a chance will be delivered again.

a dream is the experience of the objective self. end trance.

NellaLou said...

It is always easier to obtain forgiveness than permission.

That is if one chooses to deem either of them important beyond their function as social lubricant.

Matt said...

Nice Entry, Brad :)

I'm interested to hear more of what you have to say about the religiosity of Buddhism.

--matt

Justin said...

Nice article Brad.

Harry,

I think you're the only one who talked about souls and innate morality.

When desire, anger, aversion and ignorance and selfish egotism are diminished, what is left over?

Mike H said...

Michael B:
know i'm not welcome here and that is fine,..

That's not quite it. It's not your party or your rules. That's all.

Mike H said...

jinzang:

I think it is more the case that as compasssion arises - out of recognition of the suffering of others then the desire to act develops into wisdom - the skillful application of compassion.

You see a child crying and spontaneously go over to comfort them.

The first part - the seeing clearly becomes compassion. That then causes an act. Seeing more clearly gives a better chance of the act being more appropriate.

I think it is not the case that you develop great wisdom on the zafu and then go looking for ways to compassionately apply it.

Compassion is the label that other people apply to things that you do. Compassion is not something you feel or enact.

Probably.

Yudo said...

mike h wrote:
The first part - the seeing clearly becomes compassion. That then causes an act. Seeing more clearly gives a better chance of the act being more appropriate.

I think it is not the case that you develop great wisdom on the zafu and then go looking for ways to compassionately apply it.


I don't think that's what Jinzang actually wrote, but that sitting on the zafu helps develop a clearer vision of things, hence what you write.

Mxl

Dan said...

"Compassion is not something you feel or enact."


com·pas·sion
–noun 1. a feeling
of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

Anonymous said...

It" really about your Atlas

Harry said...

Re. me talking about a 'soul'. I used that term for good reason.

Re "The basis of our being" be it morally perfect, a 'soul', or not...

Does our being really have a 'basis'? Where is this 'basis' in reality, or where is it expounded in Buddhism for that matter?

"Buddha Nature" you might answer if you've read the book... look again; not at the book this time.

If our being has no basis, then maybe no-basis based action is morally superior... more nonsense.

Action is its own basis and it has no metaphysical 'basis' outside of this.

...Or 'form is emptiness, emptiness is form' in other words.

Regards,

Harry.

Justin said...

Harry

I missed the last couple of lines of Brad's post the first time. So At least I know what you're responding to now. :)

Yes, ideas like he is expressing ('Buddha nature') can become transcendental traps. Buddha nature is a metaphor not a metaphysical entity. We are of one substance with Buddha even when we are ordinary beings in samsara because all things lack a separate nature. Buddha is emptiness and so are we, even when we're not seeing that clearly.

We could say that we carry the 'source or real morality ' with us in the sense that genuine compassion arises out of emptiness rather than out of value judgements.

With the exception of a few hindu-influenced sects, this is the widely accepted understanding of Buddha Nature as I understand. I don't know what Brad's understanding of this is.

Harry said...

Hi Justin,

Talk of "genuine compassion" never impressed me. Buddhists are up their own asses with their "genuine compassion" more of the time.

Real morality is a real act of morality.

Regards,

Harry.

Harry said...

... a real act, that is, regardless of whether you have to train yourself like a dog to do it or you just "let the universe unfold, man".

Regards,

Harry.

michael bardan said...

/clappers 0n

bell,
belll,
bellll,
belllll.

Justin said...

... a real act, that is, regardless of whether you have to train yourself like a dog to do it or you just "let the universe unfold, man".

OK Harry. Do you mean that in absolute terms there really are actors, acts and persons affected by those acts? Or are you expressing scepticism that it's possible to be in a state of non-separation where there are no discreet events that are experienced as 'acts' and 'actors' etc ?

grisom said...

Eventually I ended up sticking with Zen because Zen couldn't give a rat's ass what you believe. I found that really cool.

Yeah, that was my reason, too...

Interesting ideas about civilization and religion. Maybe later I'll think of something intelligent to say on the topic.

andro said...

"The basis of Buddhist morality is reality itself. It is the order of the universe. It is the fact of life which are facing us at every moment. For a Buddhist, the most important thing is to see those facts very clearly and precisely." - GN

As cruel as nature often is, it seems like it could be rather easy to accept a sort of extreme view that one has to be cruel in order to be kind. I believe this even happened to some zen men in ww2 japan. What happened to real morality then? Was it so insubstantial that it vanished at the first signs of stress?

Rich said...

Very interesting and enjoyable discussion - most of the Zen bells and whistles have been hit.

The mind of intention and try mind is the same when sitting or not sitting. Soto says just sit, enlightenment will happen naturally. Rinzai says use a technique like a koan to focus on breathing or don't know. So who is correct?

The black hole of the universe swallows and morality is gone.
Walking to the garden, watering plants, just like this is right.

michael bardan said...

/clappers 0ff

both.

qbitty said...

i may have crashed your cheapass party,
but i sure as hell did not crash the planet!

less defending,
more repenting,

!!!! ASSHOLE !!!!

A Life in Your Hands
If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn;
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight;
If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy;
If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty;

If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient;
If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence;
If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate;
If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice;

If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith;
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself;
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.

-- Dorothy Law Holte

einstein asshole said...

while stuck here, you bloody fool:z, do yourselves a favor and drop the shit metaphors that mean nothing.

try this one instead:

space is time and time is space.

THAT if repeated enough may actually begin to MEAN SOMETHING to you zen wannabe asshole!

and why?

because it is exactly saying form is emptiness and emptiness is form, but it also is FOR REAL, not just a fucking empty metaphor.

!!!! SPACE IS TIME AND TIME IS SPACE !!!!

now blow the fuck this double mirror so called paradox, because it isn't either!

Anonymous said...

I AM HERE

Blake said...

Hit me with a stick and I will tell you that the sky is blue and the grass is green, biotch!

Hare Krishnas do have the best veggie food. mmmmmmmm

Harry said...

Hello Justin,

I'm merely suggesting, in real terms, that there is no morality outside of our actions at any given moment. There is no latent 'real moral basis' of our being or any other basis of our being. Our being, in whatever state we are in, is its own basis.

Sitting Zazen waiting to be saved by our 'Buddha Nature', our 'inner morality', the 'universal good' or anything else is foolish.

Regards,

Harry.

event horizon said...

[ALT 255]

restaurant at the end of teh universe said...

the infinitely prolongued says:

FUCK YOU

vogon construktor fleet said...

bye bye bloo sky

Puppy Hate said...

lucky us we have punkass braddy-chan to don godzilla suit and defend US!

Anonymous said...

waiting to be saved is residual judeo/xtian/fill-in-the-blank God think. Thinking you can save yourself is zen think. actually doing the work to save yourself is no-think. What exactly is it that we are trying to save again, I keep forgetting?

michael bardan said...

this blog.

Justin said...

I'm merely suggesting, in real terms, that there is no morality outside of our actions at any given moment.

What about society? Aside from Jean-Paul Satre do you think that 'morality' can in real terms be defined independently from wider society?

Sitting Zazen waiting to be saved by our 'Buddha Nature', our 'inner morality', the 'universal good' or anything else is foolish.

Waiting for our real nature is delusional. Whether or not long-term zazen practice leads to more compassion I don't have enough experience of to say. (The idea is that less suffering = less anger, less hate, less ignorance, more empathy) It might be a myth. But it's certainly claimed by some practitioners.

Harry said...

"...do you think that 'morality' can in real terms be defined independently from wider society?"

Justin,

Yes, of course it can, perhaps with much validity as far as 'real terms' go. But, in Buddhist practice terms, that isn't real morality as Buddhism is a religion of action concerned more with what we actually do than with what we think or render in abstract terms.

Buddhism allows for all sorts of philosophical theorizing (much of it hyped-up religious bullshit at this stage, alas), but that's not directly practicing what makes it quite special of course.

Regards,

Harry.

John said...

Harry wrote:Action is its own basis and it has no metaphysical 'basis' outside of this.

I'm just saying that I think what Brad wrote agrees with this. The OP did not include the phrase Buddha Nature, thankfully as it is such a loaded term.

Or to paraphrase my previous post, real action is with us everywhere we go because it is impossible to act outside of real action. We are real action.

Harry said...

I don't see that in what I read, sorry.

Regards,

H.

Justin said...

Yes, of course it can, perhaps with much validity as far as 'real terms' go.

Unless you believe in transcendental moral absolutes, morality is just the processes of evaluating actions. We regard morality as if we were isolated from other human beings, but that's not what is generally understood as morality, which is based on convention and consensus.

But, in Buddhist practice terms, that isn't real morality as Buddhism is a religion of action concerned more with what we actually do than with what we think or render in abstract terms.
Outside of the evaluation I just mentioned morality strictly has no meaning. Buddhism does not at all ignore conventional morality - the precepts for example are a conventional moral code (although in Zen they also sometimes have 'nondualistic' meaning as well). In Buddhist philosophy 'bad actions are actions that lead to bad consequences, that is, suffering. It isn't abstract. It's about seeing real consequences of real actions and having empathy with the beings involved.

Do we agree or not?

Anonymous said...

not not agree.

58 said...

need:z more cowbell!

i gots a fever said...

mo cowbell:z!

Yudo said...

Justin wrote:
Waiting for our real nature is delusional. Whether or not long-term zazen practice leads to more compassion I don't have enough experience of to say. (The idea is that less suffering = less anger, less hate, less ignorance, more empathy) It might be a myth. But it's certainly claimed by some practitioners.

My experience is anyway that it is quite possible to sit zazen for years and decades even without ever being led to any form of compassion, patience, gentleness, and, quite to the contrary, develop arrogance and indifference. Of course, one might claim that that form of sitting is inappropriately called "zazen" but is not. However, my feeling is that sitting without any form of study of the doctrinal bases of Buddhism can lead to some fairly rigid calcification of the mind.

Mxl

Harry said...

Justin,

Yes, it seems the precepts are certianly abstract until we realize them through really 'not committing' as Dogen emphasised, which is a 'non-doing' really.

Its said that it is impossible to observe them by force of will alone and that's where Zazen comes in. There is a balance to be struck there I think.

Regards,

Harry.

jamal said...

Hi Harry, I read your last post a couple of times and I must say that it doesn't make very much sense to me. In particular, when you say "we realize them (the precepts) through really 'not committing' which is a 'non-doing' really." What does that sentence mean to you. Can you explain it without using Dogen-speak? Thanks.

Harry said...

Hi Jamal,

The precepts say "don't do this, don't do that" so, in following the precepts, we are not doing those things (yeah, like it works like that). But we are still doing something that is in keeping with the precept so we are doing one thing that is not doing another thing... not 'not doing' and not 'doing' as we maybe would have: non-doing... makes sense to me anyway, but maybe I've just read too much Dogen speak... or not enough!

Regards,

H.

bubba said...

I had a girlfriend who was a Hare Krishna in college, but we got drunk and shaved her.

Plaudertasche said...

Great read!!

May I suggest a great book in return of your writting?

On the issue of "morality" and how deep we have out heads up our .... on it.

"The origin of Virtue"
by Matt Ridley

Justin said...

My experience is anyway that it is quite possible to sit zazen for years and decades even without ever being led to any form of compassion, patience, gentleness, and, quite to the contrary, develop arrogance and indifference. Of course, one might claim that that form of sitting is inappropriately called "zazen" but is not. However, my feeling is that sitting without any form of study of the doctrinal bases of Buddhism can lead to some fairly rigid calcification of the mind.

You might be right. I can certainly think of more than one example of a long-term sitter who hardly fits the label of 'compassionate'. I can think of counter-examples too though - people I know personally. Contrary to what some people seem to imply, I don't think that 'just sitting' is enough in the sense that its not just a matter of putting in the hours in a particular posture, it does depend on what you do with the heart/mind while you are there. And according to a number of sutras Buddha actually encouraged compassion as a practice and most forms of Buddhism include metta meditation. I sometimes do this too.

Please tell us more about your experience.

Justin said...

The precepts say "don't do this, don't do that" so, in following the precepts, we are not doing those things (yeah, like it works like that). But we are still doing something that is in keeping with the precept so we are doing one thing that is not doing another thing... not 'not doing' and not 'doing' as we maybe would have: non-doing... makes sense to me anyway, but maybe I've just read too much Dogen speak... or not enough!


I'm afraid you lost me with this one too. Isn't this just playing around with word definitions? I would have expected 'non-doing' in a zen context to mean some thing like wu wei - activity without goal, without separation or something similar.

Anyway I have some non-doing of my own to get on with.

Harry said...

Justin,

Wordplay..? yes, maybe. But maybe it expresses something of the non-absolute nature of our actions and of the precepts: we can't 'not do' something without doing some other action instead. We're always doing something, many things; sitting, breathing, living etc. etc.

When you get the idea "Jesus, I'd love to kick that guy in the nuts" but you choose not to follow through on the inclination are you simply 'not doing'? No, you're doing lots of things other than actually kicking the guy in the plums. We can't really 'not do'; while we're alive we're always doing.

Are we 'not kicking the guy in the nuts' when we don't follow through? No, because that was just a thought/inclination that's gone, so we are not really 'not doing it' in the present moment: we are really doing other things instead.

I'll stop now lest I get a well deserved kick in the nuts.

Regards,

Harry.

Jinzang said...

Nice use of the Buddhist lingo(TM). I broadly agree, and I think I read that book too. But does sitting realize some sort of abstract, complete moral perfection? No, how could it..?

That's not lingo, that's my experience. I haven't met many Zen teachers, but I've met a lot of Tibetan teachers, and many of them radiate love and compassion. Where did that come from if not their practice? In my opinion, 90% of morality comes down to the golden rule. When the happiness of others is as important to us as our own happiness, morality becomes automatic. That's what love and compassion do, they make us care deeply about others.

That's a myth that will be quickly dispelled when we observe the life of anyone who sits for long enough; preferably our own.

How long have you been practicing, a couple of years? I've been practicing for over thirty. There's a few turns in the road you haven't come to yet. Don't be so quick to judge what is possible with sitting.

Rich said...

You deserve to stop, because all this thinking has gotten in the way of your 'Just doing'

As brad said, real morality is the basis of our being. If thinking is confusing then just practice.

Jinzang said...

My experience is anyway that it is quite possible to sit zazen for years and decades even without ever being led to any form of compassion, patience, gentleness, and, quite to the contrary, develop arrogance and indifference.

Of course. In Tibetan Buddhism this is called getting the blessing of Mara. But quite often sitting does work the way it's supposed to. You may not notice the change in yourself because it happens slowly, or notice it in others, because genuine practitioners are not given to boast or show off.

Harry said...

Jinzang,

You miss my point. I quite agree that great things can come from practice... but not from some magic bean somewhere, not from some shady 'real moral basis of our being'. There are the exceptions to the practice-makes-perfect theory of course too; we all know that there are the teachers (even Tibetan ones!) who, although they practiced for a long time, still manipulated, exploited, even sexually molested their faithful students...

Rich, when you look at my thinking, and your thinking, as just what it is then maybe it ain't so bad. My 'just doing' is healthy and well.

Regards,

Harry.

Harry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harry said...

Not being a 'genuine practitioner' I think I'll show off some more:

Dogen starts his Fukanzazengi with the result of his famous line of enquiry (that is: "Why should we Buddhists go to all this piss-boring effort/practice if everything is already innately perfect?"*).

He says "Sure, everything is hunkydory, everyone is perfect, everything is the just the supreme Dharma itself, you'll all great... BUT, my lazy-assed friends, that don't count for SHIT if you don't directly practice/realize it like those poor sore-kneed suckers Buddha and all them callous-assed patriarchs."*

So, gentle readers, if its not practiced/realized then is it really 'there/here' hiding in a little hole in our bellies? Does it live in DisneyLand til we win tickets, or are we just dreaming again?

Regards,

Harry.

*my translations...duh

Anya said...

Wow, a really good piece!

Yudo is correct I think though, at least to some degree. Without sila, meditation can be a dead end street.

michael bardan said...

without yaza, gazing at your navel under 1,ooo star:z hotel is useless too.

just do it,
nike.

7 times let in (bullshit),
8 times let go (zazenly transformed).

what is sila? if you must have it, please remember asshole:z do not & no need to run to dogen for validation either.

/yaza clappers 0n

Yudo said...

Contrary to what some people seem to imply, I don't think that 'just sitting' is enough in the sense that its not just a matter of putting in the hours in a particular posture, it does depend on what you do with the heart/mind while you are there. And according to a number of sutras Buddha actually encouraged compassion as a practice and most forms of Buddhism include metta meditation. I sometimes do this too.

Please tell us more about your experience.


At my first sesshin, some guy snored very loudly in the dorm, and I teased him about it in the morning. He took such deep offence, that even at the end of the sesshin, he would not accept my apologies. He said that he had known personally Master Deshimaru, that as an elder, he deserved more respect and what I had done was unforgivable. Duh...

Then, during the sesshin, as my knees ached really too much, I asked the leader of the sesshin if he knew some way to ease that pain. I had exercises in mind, he replied "Your knees are your ego".

Later, I foud out that, as Deshimaru had told his followers never to allow study or discussion within the dojos, the craze for hierarchy was extremely strong within that organization. And my feeling is that craving for rank in a hierarchy is directly contrary to developing compassion.

Justin said...

So, gentle readers, if its not practiced/realized then is it really 'there/here' hiding in a little hole in our bellies? Does it live in DisneyLand til we win tickets, or are we just dreaming again?

I think there's good evidence to suggest that the Buddha Nature doctrine does not imply some sort of 'soul' or 'atman' but is a way of expressing that 'enlightenment' is not about adding something but about the reality that has always been there, but is just seen more clearly with the removal of delusion and attachment. It's not some sort of discreet, separate entity. And I don't think anyone here has said that it it. There are always limitations to what can be expressed in language.

Justin said...

...the craze for hierarchy was extremely strong within that organization. And my feeling is that craving for rank in a hierarchy is directly contrary to developing compassion.

I agree. This is the organisation I practice with and my experience has been generally very positive, but I've heard a handful of 'bad stories' relating to authority and I've experienced a little bit of it myself. I've also met practitioners and teachers there who are very kind and informal. I suppose there are problems within every organisation.

michael bardan said...

who gives a shit about "experience?"

kensho occurs outside "spacetime" and experience can only occur within the spacetime context.

during my 1st sesshin i had painsho - that is the experience whence you understand pain cannot touch you.

and why?

because when you push it asymptotically towards the hellish limit:z, there it transforms into a wave of heated pleasure, washing (purifying) the body and refreshing the mind.

so fuck off every1, trying to learn from others' experiences.

just sit.

http://www.livescience.com/health/top10_mysteriesofthemind.html

Anonymous said...

courtesy clink

1/2 sitted time = sleep, therefore if you sit twice as much, you need to sleep twice as little, not that that's an art or anything, but it's aeons better than eating lunesta.

Harry said...

"...I think there's good evidence to suggest that the Buddha Nature doctrine does not imply some sort of 'soul' or 'atman'"

Yes, Justin, 'it' is not the 'real moral basis of our being' or anything like that.

Regards,

Harry.

michael bardan said...

/z@z3n clappers 0n

boing,
boingg,
boinggg,
boingggg.

qbitty said...

only evidence that i can see is that UKzen is even more intellectualized than USzen, while JPzen is so ritualized that it's no longer worth the bother.

which is why they say maitreya is a blond beach bunny quite possibly b0rn in the valley.

like, rejoice, every1, assholy trollpa ribpoke z0tl does have it in hisself to triangulate her when she makes contact. too bad by then all foster kids will be medicated into perpetual sleep by the age of 1 1/2 and the "terrible 2s" will be a new DSM VIII diagnosis by the name of legum.e.coli.

cause: moms who listened to britney's toxic while giving birth underwater [weaving baskets while at it optional].

*rolls eye:z*

ninja anonymous said...

we really don't move after the bell:z, let alone speak no evil of the dead text.

try taking a stroll at the oldest beach in town and pick up a rock to sit on.

nothing beats 4 billion years of rock formation under your spine, yanno, not even bullshit posts that start with "yesterday" - we already know everything there is to know about yesterday from j.lennon, we don't need no stinkin' wharma tellin' us how gaylordy it all was.

Harry said...

There is, of course, 'a universal moral basis to our being'.

We can enact 'the moral rule of the universe' in practice. What are we but the universe itself?

Sad really that I have to argue with myself on a blog of 'freethinking Zen radicals'.

"Fuck everything" isn't the whole of the law.

Regards,

Harry.

dorsey said...

'There is, of course, 'a universal moral basis to our being.'

if this is true it is only something like you not needing to kill me after we have argued for hours over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin and only if you feel you have won the argument after seeing me roll over onto my back wagging my tail.

After slowly clearing obscuration after obscuration from our perceptions can we start to approach reality and a so-called universal moral basis..

a bad horse said...

A lot of people who practice Zen lead decent lives, treat people with respect, and make efforts to improve the world around. Whenever I ask someone like this about morality, the answer boils down to "it is your responsibility to lead a decent life, to cultivate respect, and to make the world better."

On the other hand, sometimes I meet Zen practitioners who have no respect for anything and who treat everyone like crap. When I ask them about morality, they always say something like "there is no morality! There is no right and wrong!"

I think what they're really saying is, "I don't want responsibility! I don't want to be held accountable! Zen is my excuse!"

They can't ever tell me how that reconciles with the other 99.99% of Zen.

But I guess Dogen is no different from St. Paul: if you look hard enough, and if you're willing to selectively ignore everything else, you can find something that tells you want you want to hear.

The phenomenon is captured brilliantly in the Simpsons episode where Flanders is dating the movie star and goes through the Bible for advice on whether or not to hook up.

Harry said...

Yes, Dorsey. There may well be very real exceptions to the 'moral rule of the universe'. There is certainly much 'universal badness'. The universe is very bad sometimes and we are often very happy to help it along.

There may be people who would very genuinely and sincerely be inclined to kill you/me after an argument... or even before an argument... :-0 !

What, if after clearing obscuration after obscuration, we discover an emotionally neutral, space-like indifference?

Nishijima Roshi has stated that the precepts are not the point of Buddhist practice, they are just the custom of Buddhists, so that the world is a nicer place and so we can practice. I think the necessity for good conduct arises in response to the direct perception of the nature of things in most 'ordinary' people. We could as easily realize the nature of things and be bad bastards if we liked or were inclined to that. There are certainly unfortunate recent examples of this in the 'Buddhist' world; a few badly behaved, highly realized 'celebrities' spring to mind.

Regards,

Harry.

John said...

Hi Harry,

No need to apologize. I don't see the word soul in what I read, so we're even.

And maybe, just maybe, (based on your second to last post), you agree and just like to argue. Which isn't without some value, maybe.

Kind Regards,
John

Harry said...

Hi, John.

I know the code of 'Western Buddhism' dictates that I should be a chilled-out left-wing hippy type, but I happen to feel that Buddhist can, and indeed should, argue in this world. They should, though, argue like the consumate losers that we are in reality.

'Soul' is somebody else's loaded term, but I've heard much in 'Western Buddhism' that would have me argue against the existence of anything like a 'soul' in Buddhist teaching... A gig's a gig, Baby.

Now, back to Braindead Zen for a while: I don't want to give the hippies a headache.

Regards,

Harry.

Harry said...

BTW,

The post about people wanting to shirk responsibility by adopting a 'Zen' approach to things is a damn fine point.

When you *think* that you're expressing the universal all the time you can run riot and blame it on... at least the Christians have someone to blame it on!

Our fucked-up ideas like this are just 'universal morality' itself, but few people are in a position to see/practice in this way in the day-to-day run of things. I am certainly not. Better to train ourselves like dogs to be nice while doing our little bit of sitting every day.

When someone has sat at a wall for nine years only then can they come back and call me a 'fuckwit' and I'll thank them for it and call them Master... maybe.

Regards,

Fuckwit.

mourning stew's dribble said...

A lot of people who DONT practice Zen lead decent lives, treat people with respect, and make efforts to improve the world around. Whenever I ask someone like this about morality, the answer boils down to "it is your responsibility to lead a decent life, to cultivate respect, and to make the world better."

On the other hand, sometimes I meet Zen NON practitioners who have no respect for anything and who treat everyone like crap. When I ask them about morality, they always say something like "there is no morality! There is no right and wrong!"

So we have two groups:

Those who practice Zen

Those who don't

Is there a correlation between being one or the other and being more likely to be 'good' rather than 'bad'?

i.e. Does practising zen make you more likely to be a better and happier person than not practising?

Someone needs to do a study and find out the ratios. I suspect that there is no difference in the ratio of nice people and assholes between practioners and non practioners.

Anonymous said...

Does practising zen make you more likely to be a better and happier person than not practising?

Someone needs to do a study...


Yes, you do! Try it and see.

John said...

Harry,

I agree almost 100% with your point about Buddhists and arguing. There was an article in one of those magazines, maybe Buddhadharma, about a year or two ago that made the point that in a way, that is all the Buddhist tradition is: a few agreed upon parameters re: what we're arguing about and then we debate for 2,500 years.

I think that's kind of nice.

Justin said...

Yes Mr Horse, some people use the 'no good and bad' of Zen as an excuse to shirk responsibility and others misunderstand it as some sort of contradiction of morality.

The universe isn't for or against anything, but we still have a sense of morality and live in societies with a sense of morality. Some actions still produce suffering while others produce happiness. The universe isn't against moraility - it expresses itself perfectly through moraliy and immorality. But behaviour we call 'immoral' speaking generally is more likely to produce suffering. Even though we are always perfect expressions of nature we can still get out of harmony with things.

'no good and bad' is only true at the ultimate level. In the conventional world of morality of course there is good and bad. The conventional world is not separate from the universe (emptiness) - it is the universe (emptiness).

Justin said...

Does practising zen make you more likely to be a better and happier person than not practising?

Someone needs to do a study...


Yes, you do! Try it and see.

Yes. Although this isn't a very efficient way of doing research. Personally I'm significantly happier now than I was when started Zen, but a lot of other factors have changed. I'm very much in favour of scientific research in Buddhism.

Anonymous said...

But even if 4 out of 5 dentists recommend this toothpaste, you won;t know if it works for you until you try it.

I agree that scientific studies of Buddhist techniques are valuable and needed. Ultimately though, they're just advertisements for practice.

Rich said...

Form is emptiness.

the self is empty, you are already dead.

Emptiness is form.

The body is real form. You are morally responsible for all forms.

You don't need Buddha or Brad to know when you have hurt someone. What can you do? Apologize and make amends and practice. The doing is for all forms.

Must pee now.

Mtroll said...

"But the tribal instinct dominates all. If a group accepts me, that group is the best and our rule book is the best, and other groups that are not us, are a threat to us,"

Brad has fallen prey to this thinking also. 'My teacher is best', 'My sect is the only real zen', 'Only way to practice (real) zazen is the way My teacher and My sect advocates.' He comes up with all sorts of rationalisations for what is, at base, simple tribalism. Ego identifies with My Country, My race, My family, My religion, My sect, My guru, master, preacher, leader. All Us vs Them, In group vs Out group. We all need to be more aware of this thinking. One moment of inattention - a tenth of an inch's difference- and heaven and earth are set apart.

" However, my feeling is that sitting without any form of study of the doctrinal bases of Buddhism can lead to some fairly rigid calcification of the mind."

Yudo, I agree.

On the plus side, that was another excellent blog entry, Brad.

michael bardan said...

i've made up my mind that only rich can understand jackshit around here, amongst these blog forms trying to argue the shit out of zen...


Form is emptiness.

the self is empty, you are already dead.


z0tl commentary:

space is time.

what you think you are now is completely different than what you thought you were when you believed in santa claus.

if you speed up your mind processing, then you realize that what you said 5 seconds ago, no longer represents you AT ALL.

so why bother with arguing about angels on pinheads?

just do it, baby, nike style.

or like this: phosphorus decay rate in your brain (like in that of the rat) is about 7 days. this means the atoms dancing the dance of your thoughts in your brain last week are absolutely gone and now there's a new bunch who have learned [somewhat] the dance and are trying to repeat it. [courtesy of richard feynman's book: what do you care what other people think?-]

fuck repeating your so called life, if you've played bass for so long, and punk while at it, give it up and try rap for a while!

you may surprise the shit out of your SELF and put it aside for a quick peek into your true nature: be!


Emptiness is form.

The body is real form. You are morally responsible for all forms.


time is space.

when you're having fun, who gives a shit about the bodies?

am i morally responsible if i tackle someone on the football field that he breaks his spine and ends up paraplegic? no.

do his "loved ones" want to sue me for millions so they take care of themselves as well as that dude took care of them, thus the loving?

hahahahaha.

all your rules are upside down and the spacetime context keeps you so locked up within your mind that, well, must i say, it's not funny!

qbitty said...

foo, you can never make up your mind!

it is your mind making you up at every ksana!

now see the fuck through that and DISIDENTIFY with the process at once!

or not and continue on wasting your life ululating posts on a so called hardcore zen shitblog.

Anonymous said...

justin sed, 'we still have a sense of morality and live in societies with a sense of morality.'

I don't really get this type of thinking. No two senses of morality are the same. You might be talking about guilt. What one society deems as moral behavior is an abomination to another. In America we steal and cheat each other as a way of life. If someone says he is a good horse trader, that means he is an effective cheater. We cheat on our taxes, we cheat on our spouses, we cheat our employers. Very few Americans consider these things immoral if they don't get caught. And Justin, If you are blogging at work, you too are a cheater.. unless you have permission. ;)

They call him James Ure said...

Great Post. I've had nothing but great experiences with the Krishnas.

I too enjoy their food. I was attending the Univ. of Colorado when I first met a Krisna devotee. And he offered me some yummy baked goodies. Mmmm...

I don't understand the need some religions find to go out and cajole people into following their religion.

The fact that Buddhism doesn't do that is partly what brought me to follow the Dharma.

s. hightower said...

i sit zazen in the hope of slightly improving my awareness and concentration. that's it. i really don't understand what michael and harry are talking about most of the time. but i assume they are more advanced than i am.

Anonymous said...

found this about false zen practice on treeleaf.com

The first kind of sickness [as found in Zen practice] is sometimes called buji Zen. Buji means “nothing matters;” an “everything-is-OK” kind of Zen.
The second sickness is the belief or attitude that we need to practice in order to attain enlightenment as some kind of fancy experience, after which everything becomes OK — that we have no problems at all after such an enlightened experience. This is the belief that, at a point, we become so-called enlightened persons.

These are two basic sicknesses in Zen practice, according to Dogen.

one can recognize these two extreme positions advanced right here on this blog.. but i won't name names.

Lauren said...

All sentient beings are acting in their Buddha Nature except humans. Every act of our friend mu-dog is on the 8 fold path.

An old story (genesis) tells us (assumes that) we were once in that perfect harmony. Then we started judging (ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) and our paradise was gone. To quote the man, "who told you you were naked?!"

Trying to find and define "morality" is a trap, and is, I think, different from this devil "right action." When we try to *figure out* what a "right action" is, we are just struggling with "morality" under a different name (maybe). But when we *do* an action, it can be a right action.

How do we set our selves up to *do* right actions? (not *figure them out* but just *do* them). We sit with a goal of non-thinking. We sit in the soup of the universe and steep. This starts lining us up with universal right-ness. A consequence, not a decision.

Does that make any sense?

qbitty said...

you won't name any names, anonyhole?

let me spell out for you the biggest of 'em all AND third zen sickness that isn't posted over at treeleaf:

believing you can teach zen.

corollary: believing you can tell how advanced or retarded other people are when it comes to practice.

fucking gall on people to actually believe they can tell anything about a being based on some shit they spew out on a blog...

Anonymous said...

relax buji-boy..

cloth lucky said...

exactly my point, they can tell when you suffer, they can tell when you're happy, they can tell when you're angry, they can tell you everything about someone else, but not one goddam thing about themselves are they ever able to utter.

then when you point out, they pat you on the back and tell you to relax, we're all buddhas here, waiting for you to awaken.

yeh, well, i tell you how it is, papa dogenji, y'all wait here eternally for one stupid fuck to save you while pretending y'all are saved already.

ah, the irony of telling someone they'll always be back to square 1 when all along you ain't even made it past circle zero.

michael bardan said...

from the beginning of posting here, i said i sit to "calm the vehicle."

this is equivalent to hightower trying to further his martial arts practice (let's say) by increasing focus and concentration powers.

both these GOALS of sitting practice are quite fine and will provide fruits according to effort, as with pretty much everything worthwhile in this world.

however, sitting with a goal of seeing into your true nature (and thereby seeing through the illusion of suffering) will never ever result in anything else but zen sickness of one kind or another.

the soto method attempts to get rid of this problem by saying we're already done, complete buddhas as we are, we sit for the sake of sitting, what else is there to do?

the rinzai method attempts to remove rational thinking about this problem by presenting the mind with a paradox and since the mind is sequential and can't hold 2 conflicting thoughts at once, KABOOM!

who am i? asks Teh Maharshi, methinks?

i am you who reads this.

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

It eats at Mike Bardin's shit that he/she's getting ignored on this thread.

Anonymous said...

beautifully put
Thank you, Brad for taking the time to write this piece.
It rings true to me: that morality has nothing to do with thought and that real morality difficult, in fact impossible to pin down. It feels so right--so matter-of-factly right--that morality is the basis of our being and it's source is with us wherever we go.

This is very beautifully put. As I read it, it was a perfect fit: like my very own skin and the universe itself.

My experience of 'moral' action is that it is without effort/thought.

I think the precepts are like training wheels for those whose natural morality has been usurped by a 'thinking' morality.
The precepts give this 'thinking' function something to think about while the fundamental basis of morality surfaces (in its own time) through the life long practice of zazen.
When this fundamental basis of being is restored, the precepts become extraneous (like training wheels). At least this is the sense I have.
It is useful to have precepts to discuss--especially with those who do not seem to be in touch with their own fundamental basis of morality.
For a lot of folks, morality is externally driven or proscribed, their internal experience is a blank: they get no answer to their question what do I do in this situation (situation x, or y, or z).
The precepts are handy for such folks because it gives categories of situations to consider as well as an approach to them. It's like a crib sheet for the exam: it's not the answer, but a handy way to come to an answer.

Working with morality in this way is like developing a 'fitness' program for the morally underdeveloped.

At least this is how I'm seeing it tonight.

Thank you again for your article.

Justin said...

I don't really get this type of thinking. No two senses of morality are the same.

No. But I didn't say they were the same. every person and every society has slightly different take, but with the exception of a few crazies maybe there is always acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

And Justin, If you are blogging at work, you too are a cheater.. unless you have permission. ;)

Ha. One of the advantages of working from home is a clean conscience.

Justin said...

Lauren,

Trying to find and define "morality" is a trap, and is, I think, different from this devil "right action."

Morality is not some sort of transcendental absolute that we can refer to independently of human life. Morality is a combination of instinct/emotion and consensual principles of acceptability. Sometimes we have to think about these things. Over-thinking without doing can be a problem. But thinking is also a form of doing and sometimes the right action is to think. To imagine that its possible to get through life without thinking is a fantasy.

Dan said...

"No. But I didn't say they were the same. every person and every society has slightly different take, but with the exception of a few crazies maybe there is always acceptable and unacceptable behaviour."

Personally I think the number of sociopaths in society is far far higher than nice sane people would like to admit.

Harry said...

"...one can recognize these two extreme positions advanced right here on this blog.. but i won't name names."

That's a pity, because, if you really felt you were right, it *might* be the right thing to do.

Regards,

Harry.

Justin said...

Personally I think the number of sociopaths in society is far far higher than nice sane people would like to admit.

Maybe. But even so, all but a few of those still realise that there are some things they will be allowed to get away with and some things they won't.

michael bardan said...

/clappers 0n

bell,
bell,
bell,
bell.

Rich said...

You can all talk till doomsday which is when the comet hits the earth because it is following its morally right path of being attracted to gravitational fields.
The talking and thinking is OK for sorting out the knowing and don't knowing, but buyer beware cause the knowing is just a moment and isn't always what you think. The don't knowing works all the time but is more expensive and harder to maintain. Time to clean up and get to work. Thank you for your time.

michael bardan said...

/clappers 0ff

right 0n, phillystakebob, Mike Bardin is in agony over ignorance on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Deep in the mind, the first mistake is not to perceive that everything is constantly changing, that it is painful to mentally hold onto anything, anything at all, meaning no permanent 'self' can be found.

Not directly perceiving this, we painfully grasp the ideas of 'self' and 'not-self'. Relations between the two sring into existence. The self either wants what is not-self (greed), or it doesn't want it (anger).

To undo this unfortunate knot, one must work backwards in a manner similar to taking down a large tree. First one trims the branches, then one cuts the trunk, then one pulls up the roots.

Trimming the branches is the process known as 'training in morality', which originates from a word which means 'restraint' or holding back.

In other words, the self holds back from acting out on the strong feelings of anger and greed that occur in relation to the not-self.

Once there is significant restraint, the self turns inward to observe the self/not-self relationships internally. This increases the focus and concentration in the mind which calms the fragmentary mental processes supporting self/not-self ideas. This can be thought of as chopping down the trunk.

Finally, with a restrained and focused mind, one can begin to look directly at the mental processes underlying the creation of self/not-self. Seeing this process clearly and directly for what it is, the three 'roots' of anger, greed, and not seeing the creation of self/not-self are pulled up.

+++

This is how I understand the significance of morality and moral practice.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:
"Deep in the mind, the first mistake is not to..."

There is also the C4 approach - blow up the tree. Without self I think hurting others would aslo hurt you and so morality arises naturally.

Anonymous said...

Great point! Self/Not-Self separation is a delusion so hurting not-self is actually hurting self, even if it is not seen directly yet. Trusting that this is true without direct experience is sometimes all we can do at the beginning.

Lauren said...

Justin... I don't quite know how to say this with sounding like I see it as my role to "pass judgment" on what you've written, or to what extent knowing of like-mindedness is a goal for blogging...with that standard preamble out of the way.

I agree with most of what you said. Except the way many people treat the concept "morality" is as a pre-defined absolute. So with the word tainted with that use, I like the idea of right-action which reminds me to consider the real situation I am faced with before doing anything (if at all), and not to pre-plan my responses by trying to define my personal morality before hand. I am probably using "right-action" incorrectly in this.

Some of the stories related about JC have this flavor...moral law said "stone her", right action said "get real (for this situation on this day, with these players)"

Using a kill-or-not example is perhaps too extreme since it is very hard for me find imagined scenarios where death dealing could be in the realm of possibility (thinking about morality as you suggested), but the same gross scenario could apply for lesser "crimes." Anyway, I think that is the seat of compassion. Dealing with the now in front of your face instead of the "now" you might face someday.

[only 80% certain I am saying what I mean]

Lauren said...

self vs. non-self is not a delusion, else please all you not-separate-from-mes out there send me your cash, and please stop stubbing your toes...it hurts me too much.

self vs. non-self is a delusion. You and I are sourced from the same place and bound by the same laws of physical action, and joined and flowing in a completely connected soup of "matter" and cause-effect.

michael bardan said...

what a waste of w0rds to argue about what we should or should not do, as if picking a grain of dust isn't already equivalent with picking up the suffering of this world altogether.

dopes, what you call ACTING is actually REacting to a perception that by the time you think you have perceived is in fact PAST in AMBER, unchangeable.

these assholes that utter w0rds like "be present" "be here now" "be in the moment" are flies in AMBER "talking at you" no different than the way teh Termin8or is saying to you on the DVD: hasta la vista, baby, i'll be bAck!

who the hell cares about morality, man? you think when you have a gun pointed at your head you can PREDICT your reaction based on your PRINCIPLES elaborated on this blog?

hahahahaha, i bet this justin fuck would beg for his mommy if ever held hostage by the hezbollah.

here's a movie for you, man, so you get some help in stopping the mental masturbation you've caught yourself in...

michael bardan said...

ps: what, you never heard as FUCK used as a last name? settle down, chuhuahua, i'm refering to ralph lauren.

Justin said...

If you want to make a coherent point Michael please do so. And be prepared to support it. It's obvious that you have views and attachments like other people but you are hiding behind a wall of 'crazy', dadaist nonsense so you never have to support them. Anti-rationalism doesn't have much mileage in itself.

Otherwise keep your incoherent, arrogant snipes to yourself.

gunderloy said...

Michael ain't stupid. He knows when he is being ignored he can always be insulting to everyone and then someone will respond to him. how sad is that?

Mike H said...

lauren:

You are correct.

In fact in the past I've tended to say in the past that self/other is what is true in some absolute sense.

However, it is also true that sometimes people sometimes perceive that others and themselves are not really separate. This is perception. Whether it is a perception that is a recognition of something that is actually true cannot be said - it's philosophy.

So, if I stub my toe you are unaffected by it. If I stub my toe on your car then there may be affected by it.

I guess that when people interact they in some way become entangled. Morality arises out of how that entanglement is perceived.

So whilst on a blog we cannot really see the effect (if any) we are having on people.

Whilst Michael Barden might be willing to act like a jerk here he might not do the same thing if he was in a Zendo with the same people. Likewise they might react differently to him.

So, if in the real world (this is also the real world) I act in a certain way and cause you suffering then in seeing that a lot will depend on whether or not I perceive you as separate from me in a meaningful way.

If I see you as separate from me then just about anything can be justified since I'm obviously more important than you (most people tends to believe something like this). If we are separate then a moral code needs to be agreed to prevent anarchy.

If however we perceive (or beleive) each other as not being really separate then hurting you might feel little different to hurting me. If that were the case then I might seek to act in a way that minimises hurt for both of us - and so morality will naturally arise.

In the first case the precepts might be treated as 10 Commandments and in the second case the precepts might keep themsleves.

The chicken that I had for lunch is certainly less separate from me than it was before lunch. Luckily it didn't get to vote.

Anonymous said...

"Just as a dog, tied by a leash to a post or stake, keeps running around and circling around that very post or stake; in the same way, an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for people of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.

"He assumes feeling to be the self...

"He assumes perception to be the self...

"He assumes (mental) fabrications to be the self...

"He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness.

"He keeps running around and circling around that very form... that very feeling... that very perception... those very fabrications... that very consciousness. He is not set loose from form, not set loose from feeling... from perception... from fabrications... not set loose from consciousness. He is not set loose from birth, aging, & death; from sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs. He is not set loose, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

michael bardan said...

*sniff-sniff*

youse guyse are hurting me feeling:z! i tell you.

youse guyse are stoppin' my tape.

pass teh kleenex.

justin, which level you want me to talk to you, dope?

rational?

how's that gonna help you with anything, man? let's say i'm an ultimate loser IRL, just like you already KNOW I AM here in this blog.

how long is your happiness at seeing that another one out there is more fucked up than you gonna last, huh?

until you hit dinner with your lucy non-dog?

wtf is wrong with you, man? you aren't able to discern rational when it's clouded by a fuck w0rd?

i give a shit about you and everyone else on this blog and i don't need your morality to walk on the street and not get killed.

on the other hand, YOU DO NEED YOUR FUCKING MORALITY in order to not kill me when i sit next to you in the zendo.

AND THAT IS WHY YOU ARE A FUCKED UP DIVIDUAL IN PAIN and i could give a shit about SUPPORTING MY STATEMENTS TO YOU.

go fuck yourself and your cushion, your practice is useless.

now for the rational part:

PERCEIVING TAKES TIME.

is that too hard to understand, intellectual master?

if you sit there trying to UNDERSTAND, it takes time to do that.

i don't care how fast your martial arts ass moves, it will take more than 90 ksanas to think about what you are perceiving.

thusly, at the level of bullshit that you are, all your so called ACTING is just bullshit.

your DOING has DONE YOU OVER many times OVER before you have the time to actually put your fucked up morality practice into action.

so leave your goddam morality at home man or look at it on the cushion, it has no further value than keeping you entertained with MENTAL MASTURBATION.

is that enough rational for you for one day or are you gonna tell me to stop talking to you now?

how many more fucking times over and over must i tell you?

a comments section in a blog is meant for people to RESPOND to the author of the blog.

both legally and common sensically.

whatchu gonna do? start killing people because they talk about you behind your back?

or get in their heads once your yoga is powerful enough and if they think "justin is a blowhole" you're gonna take them out?

person A comes to your door, a thought about person A occurs in your head, you marvel to no ends, omg, omg, speak of the devil...

BULLSHIT.

the thought came with the energy of that object, the thought in your head and that object coming in "proximity" (not spatial, energetic wise) caused both YOUR THOUGHT and that object's APPEARANCE.

is that rational enough for you yet, blow fish?

here's another one. THE TREES ARE ASSHOLES.

they put little thoughts in your head.

like, kill Bardan because he's a racist.

have you ever sat zazen and heard an owl go boo-hoo-boo-hoo, did you think to go kill it?

Here's owl Michael Bardan speaking tigerspeak to you and you think he's talking Nietzsche.

YOU ARE A FOOL.

You go around and kill somebody because you pass a factory that makes vinegar and you don't like the smell of vinegar?

No?

You won't kill the guy in the car next to you because you smell vinegar in the car coming from a factory nearby?

THEN WHY THE FUCK DO YOU NEED MORALITY TO TELL YOU NOT TO KILL ME IF I HAPPEN TO FEED YOU SOME WORDS TO THAT STUPID BRAIN OF YOURS?

!!!! my thoughts in your brain are vinegar !!!!

get it?

still irrational for you?

i thought so.

fuck off, you're a little young fuck with nothing to show but goddam w0rds backed up by NOTHING in life.

GO LIVE, MOFO, then come back to me for SUPPORT.

now take your belt off and slap yourself 8 time:z for good measure, because i was kind enough to support my foot up your arrogant ass.

Mike H's Stroke of Insight said...

my foot insight!

another right brain masturbatory effect on a fruit fly who thinks sainthood = sagehood and either has to do with seeing into anything!

*joker:z*

Buddha said...

Whoever harasses an innocent man,
a man pure, without blemish:
the evil comes right back to the fool
like fine dust thrown against the wind.

other buddha said... said...

pass the popcorn... when's the next train due to hit again?

unbreakable said...

~.~

Rich said...

" observe closely and if it is to the benefit of all, accept and abide by it."

Kill the Buddha and go find out for yourself what this is.

Harry said...

Has anyone considered that "Killing the Buddha" is wrong?

Is it wrong to kill a concept? Of course it is. That's not the nature of right practice (depending on what side you dress to)... unless maybe if you're a psychotic samurai trying to feel better about dispatching people for money...

Zen, schmen.

Regards,

Harry.

Mtroll said...

"self vs. non-self is not a delusion, else please all you not-separate-from-mes out there send me your cash, and please stop stubbing your toes...it hurts me too much.

self vs. non-self is a delusion. You and I are sourced from the same place and bound by the same laws of physical action, and joined and flowing in a completely connected soup of "matter" and cause-effect"


Thankyou Lauren! The old poem says; "Heaven and earth and I are of the same root" It doesn't mean we are 'one' or the same. Not same, not different, not one, not two. Same with mind and body. It is wrong to say they are the same, yet wrong to say they are separate. My fingers spring from the same hand, yet each is unique.

Comments like yours and Brad's latest post keep me reading this, sometimes exasperating blog.

Harry said...

... won't somebody pleeeease spare a thought for the concepts?

H.

Mtroll said...

Harry, re; killing the buddha. No need to kill the concept. Just see that it IS just a concept. That is truly killing the concept. If you see the Buddha on the road(or in your thought-imagination) you kill him by seeing he's not the real buddha, but only a concept. If you see God, kill God too. If you experience satori, kill satori.

Harry said...

"Thankyou Lauren! The old poem says; "Heaven and earth and I are of the same root" It doesn't mean we are 'one' or the same. Not same, not different, not one, not two. Same with mind and body. It is wrong to say they are the same, yet wrong to say they are separate. My fingers spring from the same hand, yet each is unique."


...or 'self is non-self, non-self is self' / 'form is emptiness, emptiness is form'

...and self is self (I walk myself into a door: Me vs door)

...and self is non-self (our collision hurts and the door doesn't apologize)

...and non-self is self ("Fucking door!")

and non-self is non-self (The door was hard)

we can say that there is self and non-self (there's me and the door)

and there is not 'self' separate from 'non-self' (we're just two bunches of atoms after all)

and there is self and not-self expressed as each other (me and the door were involved due to concrete, real choices and actions)

and there is self/not-self as the whole of reality (that's just the way it is; we're all the one, but we know doors make hurty hurty if walked into).

Regards,

Harry.

Harry said...

If you know he's a concept why need to kill anything?

Give him a cup of tea, ignore him, bid him 'good-day', polish his bald spot...?

Regards,

H.

michael bardan said...

harry, you haven't figured out how the Isle of Man works, but you want to figure out the dharma of non-sentient being:z?

via c4 blowing up tree method that some1 recommended?

allow me to introduce mysorryself to you:

i am door! please don't let me hit you on your way out.

Harry said...

Mike,

Sorry, I don't study the Buddha Drama as much as I should.

Keep shinin'

H.

Harry said...

...oh, just to say that there is no 'Dharma of non-sentient beings'. The Dharma doesn't organize itself into factions.

Regards,

Harry.

Harry said...

... do doors organise themselves into doors????

H.

michael bardan said...

evidently, how else would you be able to open 'em?

in other news, i'm pondering maybe endorsing that guy's opinion that this place is UNHEALTHY for those of youse who do not sit on a regular basis AND have heard about the dharma from a few books and braddy-chan only.

check with your local physician and maybe go on vacation to a quiet place, you know, your grandma's house?

she'll cook you some good food and put your mind to rest instantly if you sit down and eat it without talking.

the last psychiatrist said...

1. McCain may drop out of the race-- running mate Romney to continue?

2. Oil prices were pushed higher (Iran/Israel tensions, etc) by a concerted government effort to generate oil revenues for Iraq, promote greater stability so as to allow partial withdrawal of troops before election; and a subsequent reduction of oil prices to erase them as a campaign issue. Both Iran and Israel were in on the plan.

Tin foil hat stuff, but thought I'd put it out there.

spill canvass said...

It's the way that you blush when you're nervous
It's your ability to make me earn this.
I know that you're tired,
Just let me sing you to sleep.

It's about how you laugh out of pity
'Cause let's be honest, I'm not really that funny
I know that you're shy,
Just let me sing you to sleep.

If you need anything,
Just say the word, I mean anything.
Rest assured, if you start to doze
Then I'll tuck you in,
Plant my lips where your necklace is closed.

It's those pills that you don't need to take,
Medicating perfection, now that's a mistake.
I know that you're spent,
Just let me sing you to sleep.

It's your finger, and how I'm wrapped around it
It's your grace, and how it keeps me grounded
I know that you're weak,
Just let me sing you to sleep.

If you need anything,
Just say the word, I mean anything.
Rest assured, if you start to doze
Then I'll tuck you in,
Plant my lips where your necklace is closed.

While you were sleeping,
I figured out everything:
I was constructed for you,
And you were molded for me.

Now I feel your name.
Coursin' through my veins.
You shine so bright, it's insane.
You put the sun to shame.

If you need anything,
Just say the word, I mean anything. (I really do)
Rest assured, if you start to doze
Then I'll tuck you in,
Plant my lips where your necklace is closed.

If you need anything,
Just say the word, I mean anything.
Rest assured, if you start to doze
Then I'll tuck you in,
Plant my lips where your necklace is closed.

michael bardan said...

remember, the rich are making [even more] money off you when markets are insanely going to the moon, as well as when they are insanely crashing back to earth.

stop paying attention to blogs, go out and buy a cheap american car made by mercedes (ie, chrysler), put down an [almost zero] downpayment and buy a place for yourself before [yet another historical] election, get an iPhone 3G (it changes the mobile paradigm and brings us back to mainframe days, only the dumb terminal now looks fancy cute and is in the palm of our hand)

and PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL GODS AND DEMONS OF N DIRECTIONS TRY TO BELIEVE:

things have never been looking brighter in terms of long term prospects for this world.

not get the fuck out there on the magic zabuton and do some butt surfing under the thousand star:z hotel!-)

Anonymous said...

!!!! NOW !!!!

Notorious said...

Michael,

Number two: never let em know your next move
Dont you know bad boys move in silence or violence?

michael bardan said...

/clappers 0n

bell, bell, bell, bell

Rich said...

"self vs. non-self is not a delusion, else please all you not-separate-from-mes out there send me your cash, and please stop stubbing your toes...it hurts me too much.

self vs. non-self is a delusion. You and I are sourced from the same place and bound by the same laws of physical action, and joined and flowing in a completely connected soup of "matter" and cause-effect"

Thankyou Lauren!

With thinking there is no understanding. Thinking is for the past or future or for having a good or bad dream. That's why they say don't be attached to conceptual thinking. Just practice what your teacher tells you. Don't Know practice. Nothiing to understand.

Harry, Kill your Buddha and listen closely to Bardan.

Gratitude to all the people and resources that support me.

Harry said...

We can't be attached to conceptual thinking nor seperated from it.

And it seems we certainly can't understand anything by rejecting thinking or by wanting to clarify it by thinking.

Thinking is IT. Delusion is IT. Michael Barden and your and my 'Zen'/pseudo science nonsense is IT. Our desire to be 'Zen Masters' and have an adoring Zen sangha of hot young LA bikini babes is IT; The whole universe realized if only we practice and enact it.

Please don't talk to me about obeying teachers while we merely obey and honour, and spout for our own edification, our own mental dribble.

Regards,

Harry.

michael bardan said...

harry, rich is foola shiite!

only thing you need to lissn to is your belly and eat when hungry + when you find yourself spiraling "inward" too much in your head (which, incidentally is outward, inward is in your hara!-) then do what any ole dog does instinctively - think with your dick.

if you're a bitch, the clit is a vestigial dick, so get over your superiority, you're just as dumb as the rest of us.

finally, when your ass is tired, sit. sleep, like sex, is overrated.

/clappers 0ff

Buddha said...

One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them.

Harry said...

Mike,

Dumb as the rest of us... indeed! (there are many types of intelligence... I fail in all the important ones repeatedly).

Hara ha ha ha ha hara!?... gimme a break. Why don't I just go look for the Easter Bunny?

Regards,

Harry.

qbitty said...

harry,

your effort to speak instinctively (without thinking) is commendable, however "psychotic samurai" is an oxymoron.

which means it was spoken out of fear.

either that or you've never actually understood the definition of either psychotic, nor samurai, because how can you possibly cut someone's guts with no-mind, yet at the same time have the ability to not be in this world which methinks psychotic wants to portend?

gotta go, gotta go,
more pie to bake yo!

Anonymous said...

buddha #1: schadenfreuden ain't amongst the 89192703984710 attributes of awakened 1s, thusly go fuck yourself and your scripture quote:z!

harry #2: you can go look for easter bunnies down matrix hole:z for one dam aeon after another, but until you understand herenow it is SPACETIME that has your ASS nailed down to a cross, you ain't gonna have much fun doing it.

contrary to popular generation mini me (or iGen) belief, the E pill does not contain not even a grain of ganges dust worth of buddhanature.

sit yo ass down another hour and try again!

Anonymous said...

Schadenfreude

(German) malicious enjoyment at the misfortunes of others.

Harry said...

The samurai myth is very strong. If you see a samurai in the road... Good Luck!... they were murderous bastards who hacked down bozos like us for looking at them wrong.

"*Effort* to speak *intuitively*"... why would I waste my time?

Regards,

Harry.

Buddha +3 said...

opposite of mudita

Rich said...

Barden says:
harry, rich is foola shiite!

Yes, but you still have to figure it out for yourselves.

Harry says:
(I don't know what Harry says)

Who are you before thinking?

Harry said...

Depends what you mean by 'think'?

Is non-thinking 'thinking'?

Its not not-thinking.

Have a good weekend,

Harry.

proulx michel said...

The samurai myth is very strong. If you see a samurai in the road... Good Luck!... they were murderous bastards who hacked down bozos like us for looking at them wrong.

"*Effort* to speak *intuitively*"... why would I waste my time?

Regards,

Harry.


Same for the Musketeers, be they of the King or of the Cardinal...

Anonymous said...

Damn, that's the best bit of writing you've done in a while. Excellent!

Rich said...

Dogen says:
In conclusion, the mouth of each person being full is the state of truth, [in which state] we should answer each other, should answer ourselves, should ask each other, and should ask ourselves. This is the mouth biting the truth. The mouth biting the truth is called "the mouth biting the branch". When [this state] answers others, over the mouth it further opens a mouth. When it does not answer others, even if it goes against what others are asking, it does not go against its own asking. So remember, the Buddhist patriarchs, who have answered [the ancestral Master's] intention in coming from the west are all experiencing the moment of being up a tree and biting in the mouth the branch of the tree, and they are continuing to answer. The Buddhist patriarchs who have asked [the ancestral Master's] intention in coming from the west are all experiencing the moment of being up a tree and biting in the mouth the branch of the tree, and they are continuing to ask.

Rich said...

dogen was the real deal, hence from CH 68:

My possessing it is the transmission, and the transmission is my possessing it. The transmission is inevitably restricted by my possessing it. "I possess" is cerebral. In order to understand it, we must understand it by getting a grip on cerebral thinking. When we take what I possess and change it into the transmission, that is maintenance of 'the right-Dharma-eye treasury'.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Brad Warner is Jesus.

atmanu said...

When you say that in other religions you have to believe, whereas in Zen Buddhism you don't you're missing the point that the words of the Buddha are also a "scripture" the content of which you have to accept as an authority

Jerry Gallagher said...

ohm monney padme hohm.

Hare Krishna.

Praise god for the light within thee.

Its all the same. god reoccurs, Buddha was here and jesus lived.

We will all come to realization in our own time.

anubhavsmorgue said...

Hi....I was just searching a site in google Krishna vs Jesus to say something foul abt jesus....Im a Hindu you know and I came across this site....and then I read your article and I was what??i felt i had been blinded by my own religion
just criticizing christ won't change the fact he was crucified for salvation of Humanity...and praising Krishna won't make people allover the world believe in him..Thanks for reminding me who I truly am... you indeed reedemed one soul and Im thankful for that
lost soul

Jack said...

The thing is, Christianity has so many contradictions its not funny. A loving god, but kills every man, woman and child who demands sacrifice or kills people. And Christians contradict themselves by saying that all miracles (like healing people) which are not part of Christianity is Satanic - when it actually says in the Bible that performing miracles destroys the Devil. So I don't think Christians have the right to go around being arrogant and trying to convert other people. They should first correct themselves and get rid of the idea that just because they are Christian and they commit a sin, they will be saved.

~p.s. Christians say their God is the most powerful-he created the Earth in 7 days and rested. In hindu scriptures, it is said that Vishnu creates a whole Universe with one breath.

Nazorean said...

While most people believe that Jesus was fashioned after the Indian Christ, Krishna an incarnation of Vishnu, this is not true. Jesus Christ is the esoteric name of the the twin of the Indian Christ of the Tamil people of Southeast India known as Sanat Kumara, the incarnation of Lord Shiva nnd Shakti. Careful scholarship reveals that the Nazoreans were connected to the Mandai a people who traced their heritage back to the Earthly Garden of Eden, Ceylon.

Sanat was also referred to as Mitras which is the root of the Persian god Mithras. It was believed that the esoteric Mithras was to be born in the flesh which led to the visit of the Persian Magi. The Mideast incarnation according to the ancient myth was the twin Sananda Kumara or Jesus Christ. Paul apparently was aware of this and crafted a duality in his new religion. However, this is not true. Sanat or his anagram represents the base chakra and Sananda the crown chakra. This represents the polarity present in all people and is not a duality. This concept of raising the kundalini present in the base chakra to the crown is at the root of all yoga systems.

To learn more about how the Romans usurped the ancient scriptures of Yeshu and the Nazoreans and proclaimed them the revelations of their godman Jesus Christ visit: http://www.nazoreans.com