We're all Gods witha capital "G", eh?


The multiplicity of available forums such as blogger, wordpress, my space and etc...allow us the ability to share something of our experience.
And I like that:>)
On some subjects we will agree while on others we may see things differently. And that's okay. So, here I go again...
I recently read a brilliant and well written post on a Buddhist blog that mapped out the reasons why it is that Buddhists do not believe in a supreme being and that the concept of a creator God is antithetical to Buddhist thought. The post also cites that the Buddha listed belief in a supreme creator as one of the wrong views in the Brahmajala Sutta, Digha 1.
This neatly packaged "Buddhist belief" feels like too big a piece of gristle in my mouth. Chewing it creates a rather fatty taste in my mouth and to spit it out feels rude.
I have come to a place where I am sensitive or aware of beliefs, labels and such. At several points in my life I could say that I am a Christian, a Taoist, a Buddhist, a Freemason. When music is played, we could stop it here, wait a while and stop again. See here! There's a Bb, or a F#. Or we could listen and say, that's strophic, that's polyphony, or reggae or blues or a polka. And that is all true. And in teaching music to our elementary school children we must break it down into little bits of musical scales and styles and learning technique. But the musician, the musician no longer thinks in terms of clefs and notes. The musician is the music.
When it comes to discussions on the existence or non existence of "GOD", I become immediately lost with the very word, "GOD". Since the concept of God is equal to the amount of the salt in the sea, when are we ever really talking about the same thing? In a slight acknowledgement of this fact, the word morphs into "The Creator" and this, for some, becomes a more manageable word or concept that sadly, is most often referring to the Biblical book of Genesis. As if that were the end all, be all of things.
The Buddha was silent on the question of God. What about you?
Dali Lama "Why did the Buddha not say anything about God? Because he talked about the law of causality. Once you accept the law of cause and effect, the implication is that there is no 'creator'. If the Buddha accepted the concept of a creator, he would not have been silent; everything would have been God!
Another teacher said, "In Buddhism there is a belief in the deities, or celestial beings. The Buddha was not against the word God, or soul, but he does not approve of anything permanent or everlasting. Only nirvana, which is Supramundane, is permanent. Looking at it from a purely scientific standpoint, nothing is permanent in this world."
Jesus was reported to have said when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Luke 17:20-21
If you check the words in the Bible or in the Diamond Sutra, then it's all checking, all opposites thinking. But truth means there are no opposites. No opposites means the absolute. If you are checking, then everything is not correct. If you are not checking, everything is correct. That is Zen. The Diamond Sutra teaches that silence is better than holiness. And the Bible says "Be still and know that I am God." This silent mind is very important. How do we transmit this silent mind from me to you? Buddha picked up a flower, and only Mahakashyapa smiled. Then Buddha said, "My true dharma, I transmit to you." But that was a big mistake on Buddha's part. If I was Mahakashyapa at that time, I would have said, "No, thank you, Buddha, I already have dharma." Then Buddha would have a problem!!
So, already everybody has dharma, already everybody has truth, already everybody has the correct way and correct life. Already everybody has, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." So why does anyone need transmission from someone else? Open your mouth and it's already a mistake. But our job is to help all beings. So, we only use this mouth to teach the dharma and help all beings. That, we say, is "tongue formula."
If you only keep a try mind, a don't-know mind, then your center becomes stronger, stronger, stronger. Then everything you hear, smell, see, taste, touch is better than the Buddha's speech, better than the Bible's speech. That's enlightenment. Then you can save all beings from suffering.
Zen Master Seung Sahn

Comments

The Phoenix said…
I like fried chicken.
Loralee Choate said…
"And in teaching music to our elementary school children we must break it down into little bits of musical scales and styles and learning technique. But the musician, the musician no longer thinks in terms of clefs and notes. The musician is the music."

Very good point. I will add to this that if you continually break down the music in terms of notes, bars and clefs,soon it will be the majority of what it means and you will beat the love of music out of you and whoever you are trying to teach
BeeMcB said…
Excellent point. As soon as "God" represents some thing (a concept, a being, a creator, etc.) it no longer means anything. "God," like other similar placeholders mystics might use, has its meaning only in the absence of it having a meaning.
Tim said…
phoenix - I like it baked with my secret recipe
Rubik - :>))
beemcb - Amen
"I pray, god, rid me of god." -- Meister Eckhart
Brendan said…
That's a great prayer, buddhamonkey.

Here's something Julia Sweeney once said about "god" that comes to mind:

'It's because I take you so seriously that I can't bring myself to believe in you.'
Mystic Wing said…
Excellent post, Tim.

It's one of the great ongoing debates in Buddhist philosophy: why did the Buddha remain silent on this issue?

Some interpret this to mean the Buddha believed in no deities. Yet he also did not deny the existence of God.

My personal feeling is that the Buddha knew that the discussion was irrelevant. He taught a method of opening oneself to the truth, and knew that upon enlightenment, this truth becomes self evident.

Belief and non- belief have no bearing, and are sign of the unenlightened mind. The truth is the truth. If you're struggling to believe or deny something, you've not yet seen the truth.

This is why he refused to entertain the discussion.
Zenmonk_Genryu said…
The Buddha was far from silent on this issue, as even a fairly rudimentary knowledge of the Buddhist Suttas would clarify. The idea of a supreme creator being is a delusion,one that the Buddha was careful to point out, and that causes untold harm in the world, especially when that idea is attached to on the basis of any text that is used to claim sole authenticity for only one sect of any faith.

The Buddha was quite specific too in pointing out that belief, whether it is about Nirvana, god or who is going to win the World Series, is already off the mark. You know or you believe. If you know, you don't need to believe. If you believe, you do not know.
Mistaking belief for knowing is the cause of a great deal of suffering in the world and should be one of the first things that those drawn to any faith learn to recognise as an error.

"If I say, God is good, it is not true; nay more; I am good, God is not good. I may even say, I am better than God; for whatever is good, may become better, and whatever may become better, may become best. Now God is not good, for He cannot become better. And if He cannot become better, He cannot become best, for these three things, good, better, and best, are far from God, since He is above all. If I also say, God is wise, it is not true; I am wiser than He. If I also say, God is a Being, it is not true; He is transcendent Being and superessential Nothingness. Concerning this St Augustine says: the best thing that man can say about God is to be able to be silent about Him, from the wisdom of his inner judgement. Therefore be silent and prate not about God, for whenever thou dost prate about God, thou liest, and committest sin. If thou wilt be without sin, prate not about God..."

- Meister Eckhart
"James" said…
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

So true.
Rowan said…
thank you for making me think today! You are more right than you know.