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-   -   Two years ago, September 11 caused us to think a lot about the purpose of our lives... (http://www.sowpub.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5130)

Michael Ross (Aust, Qld) September 13, 2003 06:09 PM

Jainism sounds interesting
 
Ankesh,

Thanks for the suggestion.

I've found some online info and began going over the info presented.

> Some people believe that Siddhartha was
> influenced by Jain monks.

With the brief bit I've seen, I can understand why some would believe this. Of course, the other reason for any similarity could be "plucking the concept out of the ether."

> But Vardhaman Mahavir was the one who came
> up with Ahimsa (non violence).

And what a job that is. With all those "prans" and any injury to them - no matter how small - considered violence. Makes my head spin just trying to get a grip on prans, let alone doing no harm to them.

One reason for a lack of spread of the religion could also be its basic "we are the masters of our own destiny of existence of life and we should not blame anyone or anything else for our destiny" aspect.

And it appears to me... if you are born as a Tiryancha you are pretty well going to stay as such until you somehow are born as a human and can thus do something about the situation.

So far I don't understand why the Heavenly Being can't doing anything about its situation. Why can't they adopt restraints? I'm sure I'll come across the answer.

Interesting.

Michael Ross

Ankesh Kothari September 13, 2003 08:32 PM

Re: Jainism sounds interesting
 
> And it appears to me... if you are born as a
> Tiryancha you are pretty well going to stay
> as such until you somehow are born as a
> human and can thus do something about the
> situation.

Yes - but when you are a Tiryancha - you dont have concept of time and space. You dont feel much.

Chris H. September 16, 2003 10:55 PM

Just had to comment
 
> ...In Christianity, you get
> your dead spouse back.

Get your dead spouse back? Back for or from what? :-]

Actually, I am a little bit familiar with this way of
thinking. I belief it is safe to conclude from certain
scriptures that those who go to Heaven will indeed
be reunited with loved ones who are also there.
(The implication here would also be that, despite
having transformed bodies, recognition will still be
possible.) And, I suppose that a special closeness
may even be maintained between those that were
(presumably happily) married at some point in their
lives.

However, I believe Jesus also made it clear that the
institution of marriage will not apply in Heaven.
After all, the various personal & social needs that
marriage provides for or fulfills here on earth will
no longer apply.

Just wanted to shed a little light on that particular
issue in Christian theology.

Chris

Michael Ross (Aust, Qld) September 17, 2003 02:42 AM

Jainism & Ascetics & Egos
 
The more I read the more Jains come across as Ascetics.

As SG did dabble in being an Ascetic... he was most likely influenced by Jains.

Which is in itself interesting because it probably means he would not have developed his "system" if he had not been living as an Ascetic.

Perhaps you can answer this conundrum...

If removal of the ego is part and parcel of "enlightenment"... why do people want to be "enlightened"? Isn't the pursuit of enlightenment in itself ego driven?

Michael Ross

Ankesh Kothari September 17, 2003 01:49 PM

The story of Bahubali
 
> If removal of the ego is part and parcel of
> "enlightenment"... why do people
> want to be "enlightened"? Isn't
> the pursuit of enlightenment in itself ego
> driven?

The pursuit of enlightenment is most often ego driven. But until and unless you lose your ego - you wont get enlightenment.

I'll tell you a story. There was a person named Bahubali. He was the 2nd eldest son of Rishabh Dev (the first Jain tirthankar). He had a few other brothers and sisters.

2 of his brothers became monks before Bahubali. And due to deep meditation, they became enlightened.

Now Jainism says that you should respect the people who are enlightened - because they are superior to you - as in - they conquered all enemies.

But Bahubali was elder than his brothers. In India, at that time, youngsters had to show respect to their elders. So Bahubali thought that he would go to a jungle, meditate so that even he became enlightened. Then he would meet his brothers. So that he wouldn't have to show respect to them.

He went to a jungle and meditated for 6 months in standing position. He didn't sit down for 6 months. He didn't eat or drink for 6 months (maybe this is an exaguration). There were plants growing around his body.

But he didn't receive enlightenment. Lord Rishabdev came to know about this. He told Bahubalis sister to tell him "brother, get off the elephant. You can't receive complete knowledge sitting on an elephant"

Hearing this, Bahubali thought - he has been standing since 6 months, why are his sisters telling him to get off the elephant? And then he realized - he is sitting on the elephant of ego. He realized he should go and give respect to his younger brothers. Then only he would have given up his pride and ego completely.

As soon as he realized this, and took just one step, he received enlightenment.

Chris H. September 18, 2003 06:53 PM

Clarification on Gospel of Thomas
 
How could the Church have removed it...
if it was never part of the Bible in the
first place?

The "Gospel of Thomas" was a Gnostic text
discovered with the rest of the Nag
Hammadi "library" in Egypt in 1945.
Generally dated about AD 140-170, this
particular text purports to record 114
"secret sayings" of Jesus. As the scholar
Raymond E. Brown said, "we learn not a
single verifiable new fact about Jesus'
ministry and only a few new sayings
that might plausibly have been His."

Like much of the Gnostic Gospels, the
Gospel of Thomas often cites or borrows
from the canonical New Testament books.
However, and more importantly, Gnosticism
in general teaches much that is inconsistent
with that believed and taught by the early
Christians. The early Church fathers con-
demned it as heretical.

So,... the Gospel of Thomas was at best
practically useless and at worst heresy.
And it was *never* part of the Biblical canon.

Chris

Michael Ross (Aust, Qld) September 19, 2003 03:50 AM

The Gospel of Heathens
 
Chris,

Thanks for taking the time to find out for your own.

For those who would like to read about Thomas' Gospel see here (It's free):
http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl_thomas.htm

The interesting thing about what you wrote was not that YOU agree or disgree with it, but rather that OTHERS have viewed it as "nothing much" or "heretical."

I also find it interesting about the claim Thomas' work borrowed from other works which did end up being compiled into the Bible.

WHO is to say that those other works did not borrow from Thomas?

> Gnosticism
> in general teaches much that is inconsistent
> with that believed and taught by the early
> Christians. The early Church fathers con-
> demned it as heretical.

The four Gospels in the "New" Testament are inconsistent too. They can't even tell the same story in the same way. And the differences are staggering.

And does the Gnostics teaching things that are inconsistent with the Church's stance mean they are wrong? Not necessarily.

Of course the Chuch would condemn the text. They have a vested interest in doing so. Because it undermines their power and authority. They would condemn anything that tried to teach you that "God is within." (There would be no need for them.)

And fancy saying physical circumcision is wrong. Man oh man. The Jews can't have that. They tell everyone that that is their proven sign of being the "chosen" people." What heresy to have one of their own condemn such an act.

> So,... the Gospel of Thomas was at best
> practically useless and at worst heresy.

Let me add.... according to the opinions of those who have a vested interest in condemning the Work.

I actually find it funny that the Church does this a lot - passes off THEIR texts as true history and calls ancient real documents fantasy when they disagree with the church stance.

The Church has a LOT to lose if certain things are ever proved. Things such as: Jesus was a normal man; Jesus had children; Mary Magd was his wife; the many "miracles" are just a mis-interpretation of actual normal events; and so on. They lose their "divine right" for one. They lose some of their flock for another - many people will believe no matter how much proof is offered forth.

The Church Fathers read texts which might "let the cat out of the bag" Know thy enemy. It would therefore be wise for followers to also read those same texts, would it not?

Texts such as those written by Sir Laurence Gardiner (Bloodline of The Holy Grail - The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed, Genisis of The Grail Kings, etc.) and Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh & Henry Lincoln (The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail).

Michael (Heathen Gnostic) Ross

Phil Gomez September 19, 2003 05:59 PM

Re: The Gospel of Heathens
 
> The interesting thing about what you wrote
> was not that YOU agree or disgree with it,
> but rather that OTHERS have viewed it as
> "nothing much" or
> "heretical."
Perhaps he's stating their view because he agrees.

> I also find it interesting about the claim
> Thomas' work borrowed from other works which
> did end up being compiled into the Bible.

> WHO is to say that those other works did not
> borrow from Thomas?
I'm not sure this question has any relevance, but it could be possible to answer by reviewing the dating of the works.

> The four Gospels in the "New"
> Testament are inconsistent too. They can't
> even tell the same story in the same way.
> And the differences are staggering.
That statement seems really bold, especially coming from someone who often comes down hard on others for making unsubstansiated claims. Why you would make a statement like that without any support?

I hope the recent "bashing" trend on these boards isn't moving on to major religions. If it is, let me just say be careful -- you folks do not appear up for the task and this board could be ruined by such chatter. I'm not sure why we passed on several chances to let this thread die (or be removed), but it would be in the best interest of many of us to let it go.

> And does the Gnostics teaching things that
> are inconsistent with the Church's stance
> mean they are wrong? Not necessarily.

> Of course the Church would condemn the text.
> They have a vested interest in doing so.
> Because it undermines their power and
> authority. They would condemn anything that
> tried to teach you that "God is
> within." (There would be no need for
> them.)

> And fancy saying physical circumcision is
> wrong. Man oh man. The Jews can't have that.
> They tell everyone that that is their proven
> sign of being the "chosen"
> people." What heresy to have one of
> their own condemn such an act.

> Let me add.... according to the opinions of
> those who have a vested interest in
> condemning the Work.

> I actually find it funny that the Church
> does this a lot - passes off THEIR texts as
> true history and calls ancient real
> documents fantasy when they disagree with
> the church stance.

> The Church has a LOT to lose if certain
> things are ever proved. Things such as:
> Jesus was a normal man; Jesus had children;
> Mary Magd was his wife; the many
> "miracles" are just a
> mis-interpretation of actual normal events;
> and so on. They lose their "divine
> right" for one. They lose some of their
> flock for another - many people will believe
> no matter how much proof is offered forth.
I assume the Church to which you refer is the Catholic church? If so, let me just say that I'm not defending them.

But counterpoint: the non-church folk actually have a lot more to lose if the Bible is "proved" true. At the very least, it could change one's whole outlook.

> The Church Fathers read texts which might
> "let the cat out of the bag" Know
> thy enemy. It would therefore be wise for
> followers to also read those same texts,
> would it not?

> Texts such as those written by Sir Laurence
> Gardiner (Bloodline of The Holy Grail - The
> Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed, Genisis of
> The Grail Kings, etc.) and Michael Baigent,
> Richard Leigh & Henry Lincoln (The Holy
> Blood And The Holy Grail).
In principle it would be. However, in practice, you begin to see the same arguments (attacks?) presented over and over. So, before long, it becomes a waste of time to keep up.

--Phil

Michael Ross (Aust, Qld) September 19, 2003 06:36 PM

Gospel Schmospel
 
> Perhaps he's stating their view because he
> agrees.

Perhaps.

> I'm not sure this question has any
> relevance, but it could be possible to
> answer by reviewing the dating of the works.

It had relevance because Thomas' Gospel was viewed (accused) as borrowing from the other Gospels. The implication being that the other Gospels came first and thus are more authoritive.

If it is agreed that Thomas' Gospel came first it means the others are copy cats and Thomas' work is the more authorative.

That is its relevance.

> That statement seems really bold, especially
> coming from someone who often comes down
> hard on others for making unsubstansiated
> claims. Why you would make a statement like
> that without any support?

Because I see no need to get into endless debate pulling things out of the Bible to make my case. Those who are interested can open up the New Testament and discover the differences themselves. Do so by picking one "story" and reading it in each Gospel.

For example. Pick the story of the scene at the Cave, or the Nativity, or whatever. Then read all four versions of that same story one after the other. You will see the differences.

Further. My "unbacked" claim was in response to an unbacked claim. Tit for tat, so to speak.

> I hope the recent "bashing" trend
> on these boards isn't moving on to major
> religions.

Nah - not from me anyway. No-one can win a religion bashing. In the end it degenerates into insults and ends with neither party changing their mind. If anything, each walks away with even firmer resolve to their point of view.

> I assume the Church to which you refer is
> the Catholic church? If so, let me just say
> that I'm not defending them.

> But counterpoint: the non-church folk
> actually have a lot more to lose if the
> Bible is "proved" true. At the
> very least, it could change one's whole
> outlook.

True. You get no arguement from me there. In fact, going by the various religions and their system, if any one of them is true, there are going to be a lot of other people who will be terribly upset.

If Buddhism is really it, then non-Buddhists will die and be reborn for all eternity.

If Judaism is it, then unless you convert or are born into it... tough luck for you.

If Christianity is it, then poor Jews for they would turn out not to be the chosen ones after all.

If Is-lam is it, then all those who are not Moslems (and Al-lah knows), will not like it very much.

And if Jainism is it, then boy, the next 20,000 years or so are not going to be very enjoyable. And as Jainism predicts its system not to last through until then (correct me if I am wrong), then there will be no salvation for anyone.

As for reading the books the "elders" read and know and being wise for "followers" to also read. That is MY take on it. I've read the Bible (and the Mormon one too). And the Quaran. And other authoritive works on various religions as well as works relating to uncover "truths" about those religions. I find the subject (of religion) fascinating. And thus have no prejudice for or against any one particular religion. They all have good points. They all have bad points. Take what you can use and discard the rest.

Michael Ross

Michael Ross (Aust, Qld) September 19, 2003 06:51 PM

A Further Question
 
Ankesh,

Thanks for the "message in a story".

A few years back there was a documentary on a guy who

1. Decided he was going to stand for a year (I think it was a year). So there he was, standing in the village square with what looked like a swing to support him. He leant on it during the day and slouched over it to sleep. Always with his feet on the ground. People brought his food to him.

2. After the year was up he decided to roll around the world. And he began. A year or so later he even made it to Australia. Got on the nightly news as he rolled through Sydney.

I recall, people would bring sick people to him to be healed as he traveled through villages. Just a word or touch from him is all they asked.

Do you know of this man. If so... what "religion" was he? Did he make it around the world?

Michael Ross


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