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    Retrotia's Avatar
    Retrotia Posts: 163, Reputation: 19

    May 21, 2007, 02:15 PM
    Faith in rebirth or reincarnation?
    I would like to know if Buddhists & or Hindus have faith in reincarnation & karma. Man's need for spirituality wasn't fulfilled in India in ancient times. God spoke to the Jewish people first.
    If God did not speak directly to the Hindus-& they created the spirituality about what or who is God without direct revelation- then how much faith can one have if these beliefs were created by men?
    Don't get me wrong, I love & respect all the people of the major religions-especially for humanitarian reasons. I just would like to know if a Hindu/Buddhist even cares about the afterlife.
    And karma is another concept that I can't understand its reasoning.
    Since" our" karma is determined by what we do, what happens when somebody else believes I did something bad yet I believe it was good? How is the karma (credit/debit) system to account for this? It seems that there must be an arbitrator making the final decision as whether our action was good or bad. If not, then bad karma could never exist if I choose to believe I am always doing good. If there is an arbitrator, that arbitrator must be God. The arbitrator must be perfection. If not, then the karma system is worthless and cannot be ultimately kept in check.
    Any thoughts?
    Xrayman's Avatar
    Xrayman Posts: 1,177, Reputation: 193
    Ultra Member

    May 21, 2007, 03:33 PM
    The first part of your post is (IMO) more directed to Hindus-therefore not relevant to buddhists. Also the part that is, relevant is way too complex for me to post because I'm not qualified to answer that one-sorry.

    The second part of your post details the concept of karma.
    a. most buddhists (straight buddhists not christian-buddhists or jewish-buddhists etc.) do not believe in a god per se. there is no supreme arbiter/decision maker.

    b. karma is actually based on scientific principles "I have already posted something about this in answer to another question, so I wont repeat myself.

    generally speaking buddhists dont have "faith" as in a Christian sense, we tend to "test" things, see if they fit and are logical, then we take them on board so to speak.

    Am I to understand that when you say "who makes the decision-when you are deluded as to when you think something is not wrong, when it is", then perhaps you need to analyse things a little further-everyone knows what is wrong and what isn't, unless you are mentally incapacitated.

    Buddhists tend to place much more respect to human intelligence than others-it seems, do you like to have someone else making decisions for you? Are you still a child? I would argue that as adults we should be able to decide on the validity of things by using common sense and logic.

    I understand the Christian concept of faith,but in a buddhist's mind it really is not the same.
    I really hope this helps, I'm not trying to be derogatory.

    Retrotia's Avatar
    Retrotia Posts: 163, Reputation: 19

    May 21, 2007, 04:08 PM
    Didn't Buddhism come from Hinduism? And is it not man-made also?
    The spirit stands for the highest elements of man by which we comprehend spiritual truths. The spirit is the most powerful part of our being. It is the part that deals with right & wrong behavior. In this sense, my mind is transformed & my spirit (Holy Spirit) either approves of my behavior, or immediately impresses my mind(conscience) otherwise. Why? Because of God's Holy Spirit.
    However, you use the word "deluded" as a mental term only.
    How can a Buddhist really know if they are doing the right thing, or giving a good guess?
    Why can I clear my mind in "meditation" with sounds of nature & be refreshed without having to strain my mind as Buddhists do?
    I think many people don't know the physical aspects required to produce relaxation(which is better than just the mental)
    I was always in better shape than people who tried to clear their heads just mentally.
    A good workout for an hour beat any meditation result any day.
    So, why do you choose to clear your mind only with your mind? It's vigorous exercise that does it naturally. Do you agree?
    Xrayman's Avatar
    Xrayman Posts: 1,177, Reputation: 193
    Ultra Member

    May 21, 2007, 05:08 PM
    Yes quite true SOME aspects of hinduism were interpreted by the Buddha in a different light however it would be wrong to say that Buddhism is based on hinduism.

    Anyway, the clearing of the mind via meditation (your interpretation of clear) is a little misguided. A mental clearing of the mind during Buddhist meditation (of which there are many types) is likened to absolute emptiness-a concept I can't really describe because words just influence the "nothingness" but I will try.

    The meditation which you are trying to understand is like clearing the mind by concentrating on a feeling of the breath going through the nostrils-singlepointed meditation if you like. The thoughts that arise need to be quelled back to nothingness-the fact that you can hear birds etc. outside, means that you arte still thinking therefore your mind is distracted-it is almost an impossibilty (for me for sure) to concentrate without the mind thinking of things other than "nothing at all"

    Yes the mind trying to calm the mind is an exercise in hardship-this is why the buddha took so long to accomplish it and why just about none of us will ever achieve it either.
    But it surely can't hurt trying to.

    Does this help?

    Physical and mental "health" are treated as separate things nowadays (in the west) but really if you think about it the mind and body must be healthy to be complete-you might call it spiritual health. This does not mean you are wrong-just differing in your concept of mental health.

    e.g.. If you have a weak spirit (mind) you might be tempted to eat and drink to excess-this leads to bad health, lack of motivation to maintain healthy physically-your body suffers for your bad mental health there is interconnectedness.

    Retrotia's Avatar
    Retrotia Posts: 163, Reputation: 19

    May 21, 2007, 05:49 PM
    Well, since I'm not doing meditation at this moment I can only describe the peace of -say hearing the birds or crickets -I am not thinking at that point & I believe my mind is clear. I am sensing or feeling-
    And the physical body is a follower. I believe if we walk in the Spirit, we do not give in to the desires of the flesh because we are not subjecting our soul(mind,will & emotions) to any temptations that we cannot overcome.
    But the relaxation methods may be different. I think you can calm the mind. I mean I know you can. It's really not hard. Just try the physical workout for an hour-pace yourself . Or just do the oms & those sounds if you must -looking & listening to nature. Slow steady breaths too.
    Feeling dreamy now already!
    Xrayman's Avatar
    Xrayman Posts: 1,177, Reputation: 193
    Ultra Member

    May 21, 2007, 06:22 PM
    Or just do the oms & those sounds if you must -looking & listening to nature. Slow steady breaths too.
    Feeling dreamy now already!
    Again I think you are describing what many people think Buddhism actually is-not everybody says Om etc. (it's actually Om mane padme om- "Hail to the jewel in the lotus") but enough about semantics.

    I have a link for you-read this it may help:
    Xrayman's Avatar
    Xrayman Posts: 1,177, Reputation: 193
    Ultra Member

    May 21, 2007, 11:02 PM
    Oh great! I'm glad it was of some use to you, There is a subject related to buddhism and that is Buddhist psychology-it seems to fit in with modern psychological practice which intrigues me, but I have lost the link to that it should be somewhere around BuddhaNet - Worldwide Buddhist Information and Education Network as well, just have to keep looking for it.

    I've just found it Psychotherapy / Buddhist Meditation


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