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Liberal Catholics

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Showing 151-175 of 177 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 21:27:28 BDT
Not fifty years ago, Jim. We changed some time before that in many issues. You -- sadly-- stayed exactly the same, and no amount of evidence will stop you citing some 16th C pope or well thumbed anti-Popery book to try to prove your points. Get with the modern world, Jim. Even Paisley was big enough to change in some respects.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 21:29:47 BDT
To disagree in conscience on one issue or another is not to defy. On the one hand you say Catholics have no conscience on the other you badmouth them when they prove they do.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 21:33:14 BDT
What nonsense CA -- they come from Christ. The Vatican is also meant to be his servant, and if it fails in that respect in some ways, then we all do. To quote a phrase in a context where it is true, 'We are all in this together'. Why you imagine we will listen to an intemperate atheist (ignorant enough to think Catholic priests have a pension or an easy life) is beyond me.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 21:33:56 BDT
There is a continual revolution within the Church, and it has always been going on.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 21:58:44 BDT
Jim Guest says:
'Silly to post a public warning about me'

Or Faulhaber.

You would be imprisoned until you died, if I had anything to do with it. Though if you got as you gave, you'd go sooner, of course.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 22:02:30 BDT
Jim Guest says:
'Not fifty years ago, Jim.'


'We changed some time before that in many issues.'

Vatican 2 did that, and it took a long time for most Catholics to change their tune. Some still haven't. A few years ago, I asked five Catholics about this, and got five mutually contradictory answers. Unsurprising, when Ratzinger contradicts himself.

Shambolic. Criminal. Fit to burn.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 22:05:07 BDT
Spin says:
Light: No. Buddhism does not claim that one is living a dream or illusion. Far from it. Buddhism recognises the conditioning in favour of pleasure (be it mental or physical) and avoidance of pain. Pleasure and pain are not illusions or dreams. The "illusion" as you call it, is the illusion about oneself, not reality. The cause of pain is change. So to ask how one changes their dream for the better, both signifies ones desire for pleasure and ones mistaken desire to create pain (change) to acheive that pleasure.(and by "pain" I do not mean physical pain, but the uncomfort and aversion to change). It is that contradiction which Buddhism addresses.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 22:06:42 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Jun 2012 22:08:21 BDT
Spin says:
T: Quote and resource HH Dalai Llamas condemnations...(Edit: Let me guess: from "Bible-Basher Quarterly"...=)

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 22:43:16 BDT
Charlieost says:
The Dalai Lama is just another authoritarian religious leader, no different to the pope or that idiot Williams. All cut from the same shabby cloth. The Lama just giggles a lot to cover it up.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 22:49:46 BDT
Charlieost says:
Paisley changed because he saw the course that history was taking and was afraid that he and his son would be left behind. He certainly did not have a Damascian moment and realized what an evil destructive divisive man he had been up to that point.

If the tide turned we would all see the Paisley we knew so well for thirty odd years returning.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 22:52:08 BDT
Jim Guest says:
'that idiot Williams'...

... has no authority other than as 'president' in a sort of democracy.

Your bigotry is showing, again.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 22:54:03 BDT
Jim Guest says:
'Paisley changed because he saw the course that history was taking'

Which was that Christians saw him for the fifth columnist he was, and told him so.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 23:17:02 BDT
Spin says:
Charlieost: Ha ha ha! HH Dalai Llama, a totalitarian, authoritarian leader. Well, thanks for expressing your knowledge of international religions and international politics...

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2012 23:18:17 BDT
Spin says:
Paisley was a religious looney who played to the crowds and grasped power when he saw it.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2012 03:17:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jun 2012 03:39:44 BDT
light says:

Please excuse me everyone, I know this is not a Buddhist thread, but I think it's related since suffering and inner-transformation is also a large part of Christianity. Maybe we can all learn from eachother?

From what I have read about Buddhism there seems to be a lot of focus on suffering and over coming it:


by Peter Morrell

Buddhism is a philosophy pretty centrally concerned with suffering. It never really stops studying the suffering of oneself and that of other people. These form a central focus of the religion, its practice and its philosophy. One is encouraged to explore what suffering is, the various forms it comes in and their root causes. Though they can all be reduced to attractions and aversions based upon the "illusion" of a real self, which desires certain things and is averse to others, yet this is not immediately obvious or a point easily grasped.

We live much of our lives in an entangling spider's web of these desires and aversions. Buddhism aims at the demolition of the self, the creation of subtle mindfulness, bliss, great compassion and moderation and gentleness. These must be cultivated within a general atmosphere of subduing the passions, subduing the desires and aversions and of cultivating reflection and a caring attitude to all life.

The Theravada tradition primarily emphasises ethical conduct, mindfulness and self-restraint, which aim at achieving enlightenment, probably after many future lifetimes. The Mahayana tradition primarily emphasises the attainment not just of enlightenment, but also of full Buddhahood. This subtle difference means training not just to gain insights and personal release from Samsara, but also to actually become a Buddha, a fully enlightened being who compassionately helps others through their lives to attain wisdom and realisation. In the Mahayana, the emphasis is upon becoming a bodhisattva, which is a Buddha-to-be who strives for the enlightenment of others ahead of his or her own. The Tantrayana comprises Mahayana paths that aim to achieve full Buddhahood in this lifetime.

In the Mahayana Zen tradition, the rather ruthless destruction of the self through reflection, passivity and self-denial is the fruit of a life of great discipline, simplicity and focus. In this way, it aims to achieve perfection of mind control and ethics through the exhaustive realisation of emptiness and mental stillness.

All other aspects of human life, and even Buddhist scriptures, are deliberately reduced to a stark minimum. The meat of the Zen life is unrelenting confrontation with one's own psychological shortcomings.

The Tibetan tradition strives for the attainment of selflessness through practising extraordinary compassion and by putting the suffering of others before one's own to develop the very special, selfless love of a Buddha as well as his wisdom. This strives to develop these two key aspects of Buddhahood together, side-by-side. Mindfulness and meditation also play a prominent role. Ritual, visualisations, rote learning of scriptures and engaging in debates on the finer points of doctrine are also used to maximum effect arousing religious feeling and a thorough understanding of emptiness.

It is true to say that Buddhism begins and ends in the study of suffering. This lies at its root just as it lies at the root of life itself. We are born into suffering and we all must die and experience pain and loss. Obviously, we also experience great joy as well, but suffering seems to be a dominating influence of all life and in our lives. Buddhism concerns itself very much with the study of suffering in all its forms, what it is, how it arises and how its causes might be cut, overpowered or transformed into a life-plan that minimises suffering coming into being, by cutting off its causes within one's life, attitudes and behaviour. In this way, a `new life' can be forged when effort and determination are harnessed to the task. Real change and real improvement are only possible when great effort is made at the right tasks. Such are the schools and paths of Buddhism. It is thus a religion of self-transformation and self-improvement, through application of continuous effort.

Because Buddhism is a religion primarily involved with suffering, so it especially identifies with the working classes who are burdened with `failure in life' and the suffering of delay, lack of progression, frustration and poverty, etc. Buddhism therefore identifies to some degree with all poor and suffering people like that, as it makes a central study of such figures. It identifies as a subject of its own study, therefore, with the grosser forms of human suffering, which are predominantly found in the lower social strata of society. This is not to say that rich and privileged people do not experience suffering, or even those happy people who happen to be enjoying life now. They also suffer to some extent.

In any case, there are subtle and pervasive forms of suffering and impure states of mind even for rich and happy people. They also suffer losses, disappointments and frustrations. They are also burdened with jealousy, avarice, fear and desire. Yet, suffering is predominantly confined to the poor and lower classes compared with the rich. One of the defining features of working people is that they suffer more than average setbacks and disappointments in their lives. They therefore form a good subject of study for Buddhists. Their position in society gives one a justifiable sympathy towards them, and one is predisposed to empathise with their suffering, even if a strict Buddhist might contend that their suffering is the ripening of their own bad karma [is their `own fault'] or that it is illusory in the deeper sense of it being an aspect of a non-existent self that is a mental construct.

It can truthfully be said in Buddhism that meditation and mindfulness on their own may not achieve selflessness, because employed alone these forces do not directly counteract the ego. The ego must be tackled; it must be subdued and diminished if true realisation is to occur:

For example, one can engage in meditation and mindfulness for years, know all the great teachings by heart, and yet still remain innately arrogant. This is because our sense of self is so persistent and so hard to dislodge. In some of us, the self becomes too solid and we identify with this mind, this body and the details of this life too tightly. We are then very reluctant to let these elements go, to loosen their grip and let ego melt away.

If we rely on these matters so much then our sense of self is very powerful; if, however, we loosen our sense of identification with our body, our mind and our position in life, making them slightly more distant and less important, that is being non-attached to them, then the sense of self becomes correspondingly diminished. But awareness then brightens and joy and compassion actually become possible.

This is the correct application of non-attachment and mindfulness as spiritual antidotes of egotism. Whether through emptiness or compassion, or patience, or giving, somehow or other one must release the grip of the ego in order to achieve great realisations. There simply is no other way.

It is the resistance the ego puts up against the realisation of selflessness and emptiness that prevents us from gaining good insight. This resistance can be enormous in those who have habituated a very solid identification of their current consciousness and life situation with the bright and empty awareness that underpins all life and flows through all things.

Ego is terrified of its own extinction above all else. That which flows through all things cannot be destroyed, thus no fear need arise.

When these ideas become fully absorbed and appreciated, it then becomes possible to understand why Buddha was called the Subduer, the World Conqueror, the Tathagata, the One-Gone-Thus, the World Honoured One, the Great Sage of India, World Teacher and the One Gone to Bliss [Sugata] for truly when ego is destroyed and a joyful and compassionate selflessness has emerged, then mind has truly merged into bliss, which is Buddhahood.

So, my question is this, why put so much focus on suffering and overcoming it if that would be considered a desire which is wrong? IMO this philosphy very closely resembles Christianity's philosphy of crucifying the ego/flesh so that the spirit can live through you.

Posted on 18 Jun 2012 03:57:59 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jun 2012 04:05:30 BDT
light says:


" Illusion exemplifies how people misunderstand themselves and their reality, when we could be free from this confusion. Under the influence of ignorance, we believe objects and persons to be independently real, existing apart from causes and conditions.

Altogether, there are "eight examples of illusion (the Tibetan sgyu ma translates my and also other Sanskrit words for illusion): magic, a dream, a bubble, a rainbow, lightning, the moon reflected in water, a mirage, and a city of celestial musicians." Understanding that what we experience is less substantial than we believe is intended to serve the purpose of liberation from ignorance, fear, and clinging and the attainment of enlightenment as a Buddha completely dedicated to the welfare of all beings.

Depending on the stage of the practitioner, the illusion is experienced differently. In the ordinary state, we get attached to our own mental phenomena, believing they are real, like the audience at a magic show gets attached to the illusion of a beautiful lady. At the next level, called actual relative truth, the beautiful lady appears, but the magician does not get attached. Lastly, at the ultimate level, the Buddha is not affected one way or the other by the illusion. Beyond conceptuality, the Buddha is neither attached nor non-attached. This is the middle way of Buddhism, which explicitly refutes the extremes of both eternalism and nihilism.

Ngrjuna, of the Mahyna Mdhyamika (i.e., "Middle Way") school, discusses nirmita, or illusion closely related to mya. For Nagarjuna, the self is not the organizing command center of experience, as we might think. Actually, it is just one element combined with other factors and strung together in a sequence of causally connected moments in time. As such, the self is not substantially real, but neither can it be shown to be unreal. The continuum of moments, which we mistakenly understand to be a solid, unchanging self, still performs actions and undergoes their results. "As a magician creates a magical illusion by the force of magic, and the illusion produces another illusion, in the same way the agent is a magical illusion and the action done is the illusion created by another illusion." What we experience may be an illusion, but we are living inside the illusion and bear the fruits of our actions there. We undergo the experiences of the illusion. What we do affects what we experience, so it matters.

For the Mahayana Buddhist, the self is my like a magic show and so are objects in the world. Vasubandhu's Trisvabhavanirdesa, a Mahayana Yogacara "Mind Only" text, discusses the example of the magician who makes a piece of wood appear as an elephant. The audience is looking at a piece of wood but, under the spell of magic, perceives an elephant instead. Instead of believing in the reality of the illusory elephant, we are invited to recognize that multiple factors are involved in creating that perception, including our involvement in dualistic subjectivity, causes and conditions, and the ultimate beyond duality. Recognizing how these factors combine to create what we perceive ordinarily, ultimate reality appears. Perceiving that the elephant is illusory is akin to seeing through the magical illusion, which reveals the dharmadhatu, or ground of being.

TantraBuddhist Tantra, a further development of the Mahayana, also makes use of the magician's illusion example in yet another way. In the completion stage of Buddhist Tantra, the practitioner takes on the form of a deity in an illusory body (mydeha), which is like the magician's illusion. It is made of wind, or prana, and is called illusory because it appears only to other yogis who have also attained the illusory body. The illusory body has the markings and signs of a Buddha. There is an impure and a pure illusory body, depending on the stage of the yogi's practice.

The concept that the world is an illusion is controversial in Buddhism. In the Dzogchen tradition the perceived reality is considered literally unreal. As a prominent contemporary teacher puts it: "In a real sense, all the visions that we see in our lifetime are like a big dream [...]". In this context, the term visions denotes not only visual perceptions, but appearances perceived through all senses, including sounds, smells, tastes and tactile sensations.

Different schools and traditions in Tibetan Buddhism give different explanations of the mechanism producing the illusion usually called "reality"

" The real sky is (knowing) that samsara and nirvana are merely an illusory display. "
-Mipham Rinpoche, Quintessential Instructions of Mind, p. 117

Even the illusory nature of apparent phenomena is itself an illusion. Ultimately, the yogi passes beyond a conception of things either existing or not existing, and beyond a conception of either samsara or nirvana. Only then is the yogi abiding in the ultimate reality.


This is why I ask about illusion.

Christians also live a life of illusion, they live the life of flesh/ego while they try to shed the attachments of self: greed, lust, anger, hate, unforgiveness.....and try to head toward a spirit filled life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control and faithfulness.

So, just I try to test the principles of Christianity I also try to test the principles of Buddhism to see if any of these principles or philosophies really make a difference in life.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2012 09:35:55 BDT
C. A. Small says:
So the Dalai Lama is as odious as the Pope. I do love the way religions defend themselves " we are no worse than "x""

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2012 22:03:16 BDT
Charlieost says:
In reply to your post on 17 Jun 2012 22:54:03 BDT
Jim Guest says:
'Paisley changed because he saw the course that history was taking'

Which was that Christians saw him for the fifth columnist he was, and told him so.

Hi Jim. You have me intrigued. How on earth was Paisley a fifth columnist?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2012 22:04:40 BDT
Charlieost says:
No bother at all Spin. I keep telling people not to follow leaders but that does not stop them making exceptions.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2012 22:29:14 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Jun 2012 16:06:00 BDT
Jim Guest says:
Paisley's role was like that of Jack Chick, combining the unarguable and literally incriminating theological truth with unpleasant, uncharitable stances, thereby bringing the whole Protestant argument into disrepute, because genuine argument was completely suppressed in all of the media. In other words, both men were acting for the Vatican, not against.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 12:44:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Jun 2012 13:05:38 BDT
Vatican 2 did not come out of nothing -- it was the result of decades of previous thinking and theology in the Church.
Why are you so continually abusive?

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 13:01:17 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Jun 2012 13:04:43 BDT
I am no expert of Dalai Lama, Spin-- I have looked up stuff online and found I was wrong about attitudes to contraception. The article was an interview in sunday Times magazine June 10, 2012 by Camilla Long.I cannot vouch for its accuracy.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 13:28:04 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Jun 2012 17:07:39 BDT
Jim Guest says:
'Vatican 2 did not come out of nothing -- it was the result of decades of previous thinking and theology in the Church.'

On the contrary. It took the RCC quite by surprise, was resisted by many, and still is; seen to be a mistake, now, as then. It was seen, quite suddenly, to be the only way to appear to deal with some of the damage caused by modernism- science, democracy, the growth of evangelicalism, that are all still eating away at the RCC in the West, despite Vat2 (or because of it). Less than a decade before it was announced, the previous leader had declared the Assumption of Mary dogma. Why? Because Pacelli, he of the greatest authoritarian, even totalitarian sympathies, had deemed a hard line necessary; quite the opposite of Vat2. And Ratzinger now seems to think that Pacelli had been right.

And it is perfectly true that many Catholics, dressed in black, were dismissive, even contemptuous, of Protestant claims, for some time after Vat2. Some of us witnessed it.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 14:02:16 BDT
Spin says:
Light: The term "Suffering" is not an accurate translation of "Dhukka". Dhukka occurs even when ypour car won't start and you will be late for work; A clapped-out car results in "change", and change causes distress, discomfort. Do not rely on western translations of Buddhism to understand Buddhism. They always use the term "Suffering", but this is inaccurate. "Dhukka" is a complicated concept not easily translated into the language and concepts of a material society...Secondly, Morell is investigating Buddhism "in general" just as one investigates christianity, judaism or islam "in general". There are indeed great similarities between the mesages of Jesus and Buddha, but Buddhism predates christianity and does not depend on spiritual and mythological beliefs to prove its case. Long before the establishment of that feild of study called "psychology" Buddhim outlined the structures of the mind, and it is only today, in our globalised world, that science is appreciating the insights of Buddhism regarding the mental faculties.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2012 14:08:43 BDT
Spin says:
Light: "Illusion" is term open to definition. It can mean "seeing or believing in something that is not there in reality" or it can mean " seeing and/or believing that which only you experience as truth" (a definition applicable to every consciousness on this planet). Buddhism attempts to show, not that you are seeing things, but that your mind is completely subjective...
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  18
Total posts:  177
Initial post:  5 Jun 2012
Latest post:  23 Jun 2012

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