Is Catholicism and Buddhism compatible?


#41

Forever? Buddhism emphasises impermanence and change. Chance is required, even for nirvana. Nirvana has to be able to change from nirvana-without-rossum to nirvana-with-rossum, otherwise it is useless.

The point of Buddhism is not to ignore or fight inevitable change, since that causes suffering. The point is to accept it and go with the flow.

rossum


#42

Is Buddhism system of discipline the flesh or a belief system with an active God/gods? Is there another world after world?

Suffering and disciplining are prenciples also in Abrahamic(I think that is not enough for revealed religions because there were prophets before Abraham) religions but just for sake of God not just for worldly consequences.


#43

The part where you quoted me… I meant that once you lose the ego completely, there is no turning back. Before that, experiences of enlightenment, always lead to “falling down” from them. Yes, accepting the falls is necesarry if that’s what you meant. But at some point, there is no one to accept anything.

I’m sorry because I’m more familiar with Hindu terminology, so I’ll use it instead if you don’t mind. Lower types of samadhi (kensho?) attained by someone for the first time just can’t be forever. They have to fall from it eventually. Even the higher types of samadhi aren’t forever when one experiences them for the first time. Some are in extremely blissful states, yet still struggle to attain even higher states or they don’t want to because they want to help. But once one becomes a jivanmukta and “there is only Brahman” there really is no way to know or experience anything as you might imagine.

The point of Buddhism is not to ignore or fight inevitable change, since that causes suffering. The point is to accept it and go with the flow.

If I may tease a bit, I thought that change/stillness, acceptance/non-acceptance is also a duality that eventually disappears, and after Nirvana you pretty much become the flame of negation personified, so there is no teaching possible. :grimacing:

A person asked an avadhut, “What is your teaching sir?” The avadhut replied, “No teaching, no teacher, no taught.” And he disappeared.

Sorry if I’m confusing anything here, as I said, I feel more confident discussing those using Hindu terminology.

Nirvana has to be able to change from nirvana-without-rossum to nirvana-with-rossum, otherwise it is useless.

:broken_heart: I am terribly sorry, if you want to experience God as yourself, I think seeking enlightenment is not the right path. Those who are there genuinely (as opposed to a thought-generated state) say things like:
“If you knew what it is, you wouldn’t want it. How can you want it?”
“I don’t know what it is.”
“I’m aware of the pain but it’s not happening to me”
“I have no idea of telling myself how I feel”
“The experiencer must go also”.

Those are from my two favorites, who seemed to be way above the rest in terms of no-ego, actually the only favorites because the rest is in some ways always corrupt and I’m disgusted that people worship many of those. I will never follow their footsteps (any longer). From all I know, they all can be antichrists!

Anyways… it’s completely oustide every single desire and conception you might have. Even the experiencer is not there. It’s not an experience. That’s why I say it baffles me that people buy into that. To me, most just get stuck in some realities, which aren’t the ultimate ones (that are “desired”). You really have to be desperate to get there, rejecting everything until there is no one left to reject anything. How can you be certain you are at the ultimate point? You have to go on this path, sooner or later, as long as you perceive, there is this problem that the perception may be false. I think this might be the meaning of illusion - perception. It has to go. The state you supposedly desire has to be beyond perception, therefore…


#44

part 2 (too long post):

If you desire conscious participation in God, maybe you should follow Christianity hoping that God chooses you as a subject of a satisfying-for-you-degree-of-theosis (this requires humility which can be painful for a typical proud seeker of truth :zipper_mouth_face:)

On the other hand, when someone approaches God by keeping His commandments and participating in the Mysteries of Christ, God comes to abide in that person’s soul. With the keeping of Christ’s commandments, man shows his love for God, and when a man loves Christ, he will keep His words, and His Father will love him, and They will come unto him, and make Their abode with him.17 Then man’s soul is so closely united with God that he and God become one: He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.18 Thus, man’s soul experiences theosis and acquires by grace those traits that are God’s by nature: immortality, light, glory, knowledge of the future and the past, dominion over matter, authority over illness, and much more.19 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory.20 In such a person, the light of Christ that is present in his soul is so intense that it also illumines his body, so that when that person so wills for reasons he knows best, he can reveal his soul’s glory to others.

or Sufism!:dancer:

According to the concept of Fana, Annihilation and Subsistence, “Man’s existence, or ego, or self-hood…must be annihilated so that he can attain to his true self which is his existence and “subsistence” with God. All of man’s character traits and habits, everything that pertains to his individual existence must become completely naughted and “obliterated” (mahw). Then God will give back to him his character traits and everything positive he ever possessed. But at this stage he will know consciously and actually - not just theoretically - and with a through spiritual realization, that everything he is derives absolutely from God. He is nothing but a ray of God’s Attributes manifesting the Hidden Treasure.”

Much love.


#45

There are many gods, but they are just fellow inhabitants of the universe. Gods can be reborn as humans; humans can be reborn as gods. Buddhism has 27 (or possibly 29) heavens and 16 hells, so there are plenty of other worlds, as well as other inhabited planets in the material universe: life is not confined to Earth.

Buddhism describes the path to end suffering; to invite suffering through excessive asceticism is an error to be avoided. That is why the Buddha called his path the “Middle Way” between excessive indulgence and excessive asceticism. He had experience of both before his enlightenment and knew from that experience that neither led to the goal.

rossum


#46

No. Why would I want to follow a God who kills so many people? Have you ever counted up how many deaths God causes in the Old Testament. How many unborn children were killed in the Flood? He deliberately ordered the killing of pregnant women in Numbers 31:17. That is not a God I wish to follow.

Jesus may well have been a Bodhisattva, but His Father definitely was not.

rossum


#47

The point was that the only religions that offer you a conscious experience of God, are those two. We have a lot of saints who acquired theosis. Sufis probably have them too, though I haven’t studied their tradition enough. If you don’t like Christianity, check out Sufism.

The true saints of eastern traditions however, claim quite clearly that the enlightenment can’t be consciously experienced. It won’t fulfill your needs if what you said you desire is true.

Also, Christ was not a bodhisattva, no bodhisattva could do what Christ did. I won’t say why, but the reason is obvious to a Christian.


#48

Hello Michael.

I think there is some overlap with all religions. I tend to like little pithy wise sayings that are found in the Jewish book of Proverbs and of course by Jesus. Buddhism has lots of these wise sayings also which are good to meditate on.

Best wishes.


#49

Does Buddhism believe in parallel universe?


#50

Generally no. It tends to follow a Hindu cosmology with an oscillating universe. However, such questions are not thought to be very important.

[The Buddha said:] “The religious life, Malunkyaputta, does not depend on the dogma that the universe is eternal, nor does it depend on the dogma that the universe is not eternal etc. [many dogmas omitted here] Whatever dogma obtains there is still birth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief and despair, of which I declare the extinction in the present life.”

– Cula-Malunkyovada sutta, Majjhima Nikaya 63

rossum


#51

No, we are separated for a reason. We have lots of different views on things that would make it impossible to mix the two. An example of this would be reincarnation. Reincarnation after death is a buddhist belief that is nowhere close to the belief of judgement after death.


#52

Reincarnation supposedly happens after a judgement by a deity or based on an impersonal principle.


#53

Impersonal principle, aka karma.

Mind precedes all conditions,
mind is their chief, they are mind-made.
If you speak or act with an evil mind then suffering will follow you,
as the wheel follows the draught ox.

Mind precedes all conditions,
mind is their chief, they are mind-made.
If you speak or act with a pure mind then happiness will follow you,
as a shadow that never leaves.

– Dhammapada 1:1-2

rossum


#54

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness? 15 What agreement does Christ have with Beliar? (demons)Or what does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will live in them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore come out from them,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch nothing unclean;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be your father,
and you shall be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”

Deuteronomy 4:4 So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2 You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God with which I am charging you. 3 You have seen for yourselves what the Lord did with regard to the Baal of Peor—how the Lord your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, 4 while those of you who held fast to the Lord your God are all alive today.

5 See, just as the Lord my God has charged me, I now teach you statutes and ordinances for you to observe in the land that you are about to enter and occupy. 6 You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!” 7 For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him? 8 And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?

9 But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children
25 When you have had children and children’s children, and become complacent in the land, if you act corruptly by making an idol in the form of anything, thus doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, and provoking him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that you will soon utterly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to occupy; you will not live long on it, but will be utterly destroyed.


#55

Testing the Spirits
I John 4:4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world. 4 Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world; therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error

1 Corinthians 6:12[ Glorify God in Body and Spirit ] “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.


#56

Buddhism is a philosophy that is like an empty cup. If you base your meditation and your spirituality on the Gospel and the liturgy then I see nothing wrong with it.


#57

Buddhism is not compatible with the Catholic faith. However, techniques used for Buddhist meditation simply make use of relaxation mechanisms that are part of human nature, and thus could be adapted for therapeutic meditation and/or Catholic prayer. One must take care to avoid participating in errant spiritual practices when adapting the techniques that help bring about physical and mental relaxation.


#58

I wish you a very pure mind Rossum. :slight_smile:


#59

I came here looking for just this sort of discussion. I studied comparitive religion in college, just for a semester, and I am from a secular background of Catholic and Jewish parents.What people believe is very interesting to me. I eventually was baptised Protestant in a Lutheran church. I honestly had the misconception that since I was not a cradle Catholic, I could not hope to join the Catholic church, although I had attended some masses, on my own and with my husband’s family (Irish Catholics, most of them). My siblings and I have chosen different paths. The New Age/Buddhist brother lives next door. At one time when he was searching, my brother ardently followed a street preacher’s version of Christianity and sent tracts even to Jewish relatives, who were offended.

He moved on to listen to the Hare Krishnas who came to town. Eventually he became an ardent New Age guy, but he’s often talking about “your reality is what you make it” and thinking the Universe wants him to know or have things. So, if he finds a book on a subject he’s interested in in the resale store, the Universe made it happen. If it’s on a subject I’m interested in, he buys it for me and wants to give it to me. I say, on the other hand, I didn’t know it was there, so I wouldn’t miss it if I didn’t have it. It was getting effusive, too many books for free, an embarrassment. He never wants anything in return, even an offer of mending services for his jacket.

Now, I will not debate him on these things. I listen to Catholic radio and “Catholic Answers” and although Protestant, have rather traditional Christian beliefs. He won’t listen to even the mention of Jesus or the Bible, but if he thinks something’s in the Bible, he’ll ask me. I make it a point to find out and give him a good answer if I don’t know.

So, I’m getting tired of having to listen to “you make your own reality” and talk about karma and what the Universe is doing today. It is my belief that the Universe is a euphemism for God, and people who are uncomfortable acknowledging that refer to the Universe and talk about synchronicity and other such things.

Once, after listening to others in my family putting down Christianity at almost every opportunity, I said, “Gee, how would you like it if I put down your belief system every time I saw you?” It kept some of them from doing it again.

I am getting tired of listening to other’s beliefs and having to keep silent about mine to keep the peace. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to deal with this sort of thing within a family? No problem if you do not. I have made note of the book by Tal Brooke and will look for it.

Thank you for being here so I could get it off my chest.


#60

Thank you for sharing!

My family is the same – all are fallen away Catholics – but it’s only my sister who insists that Catholics and other Christians are all bad (even evil!) and intolerant. She goes on and on and on about astrology and other New Agey things and everyone had better agree or WE are the intolerant, closed-minded ones!

I have no advice on how to deal with it except try and change the subject. When that doesn’t work :grinning: I listen with a smile on my face and say nothing. Otherwise, we end up in a major fight.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.