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Michael John Smith

Freewill And Our Religion

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I am writing because I am momentarily still confused by the notion of freewill. It appears to be linked to the delusion as to the existence (reality) of an ego (soul or consciousness). It appears to me that the freewill of the Bodhisattva to be reborn to help others is in reality an obstacle to enlightenment and becoming a Buddha who manifests at the will of others and actually does more good. If the goal is enlightenment or “egolessness†why do even the most highly accomplished fail lifetime after lifetime to realise this? Is it because they need to accumulate still more merit (positive karma)? Is it the all-consuming power of samsara where so many beings are trapped and need comfort and rescue? Why is it said that enlightenment can be reached in a single lifetime? Why is it that beings with less accumulated merit need those with more accumulated merit to assist them when they only require the compassion of the Buddha? Why the entity we call consciousness and others call soul or Self? Why the whole Tibetan belief in numerous beings and realms of beings when we all have buddhanature?

I suppose I have to go back to the question “why religion at all?†in order to find the answer. If our religion as I understand it is because of four truths (I forget the Tibetan for this) that 1. to be born in human form is wonderful, 2. that the human form will soon become a corpse, 3. we are subject to the laws of karma and 4. that suffering (or samsara) is a reality and is immense. In the end I suppose what I am really asking is why the attachment to (or necessity of) these four truths to us when all that is necessary is to surrender our freewill (our attachment to ego itself) and accept our buddhanature? Is it absolutely necessary for us to go through all the stages our religion appears to be offering us?

Accomplished Christians and other theists would argue we are all really manifestations of the divine (the Buddha, God, Allah, Brahman, etc.). Is it simply our path that differentiates us from these other religions or has it to do with a higher realisation of impermanence and absence of the atman or soul or indeed God?

I realise these questions are conceived from the meandering thoughts of the non-enlightened mind and can be answered quite satisfactorily by applying the right effort, but I would welcome any answers from others.

A believer in Beginner’s Mind.

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when all that is necessary is to surrender our freewill (our attachment to ego itself) and accept our buddhanature? Is it absolutely necessary for us to go through all the stages our religion appears to be offering us?
I imagine the Buddha-Nature is a different state of the mind as the one of samsara. It is like living on the planet Earth or living on the planet Moon. I can accept the existance of the planet Moon, fine, but if I have never been there, all I can do is only to talk about it. In order to experience how is the living on planet Moon, and live there, I have to do some concrete thinking, generate motivation, make plans, move my mind in the directions towards the planet Moon, get a navigator, and perform some actions in order to get there, create some tools, etc. As I said once, it is this ignorant "me" which will eventually reach Enlightenment, the Buddha - Nature does not need to reach Enlightenment. The main characteristic of samsaric mind is to move, so why don`t use it to move towards the Enlightenment ?

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I apologise for my stubbornness and impatience but can you please bear with me. As I see it, if the historic Buddha was enlightened in past lives then it follows his ego, or presence as a human, is a phenomena of samsara and the minds of beings trapped in samsara. On becoming liberated from samsara under a tree he “returned†to samsara without an ego, to teach. How is that possible? How can it be that one liberated from samsara and it’s phenomena of suffering beings possibly manifest in this realm, maintaining the human form?

The answer seems to me the Buddha’s omniscient nature. But then is ego real or unreal or both depending on whether looked at from samsara or nirvana? If the historic Buddha had an ego from the perspective of ordinary beings in this world (samsara) and they could not recognise his true nature, is this why they failed to become enlightened at the same time as the Buddha? What really makes us so stubborn that we cannot recognise our own buddhanature nor the buddhanature in others? What are the karmic forces blinding us other than those creating and recreating the ego, self or even consciousness? I don’t believe enlightenment or Buddha is a goal but see it as the path itself. It is the path, which is enlightenment. In Christianity they call it the way - I am the Way Sayeth the Lord. Whosoever Believes in Me Will be Saved. Am I wrong?

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Michael John Smith, why don't you come to listen teachings when there are some or to questions/answers? Your questionning would be answered immediately, as the answer is obvious....If you do not make the effort to come to teachings and questions/answers to clarify your thoughts and find answer, you won't remain on this forum, flooding it with whatever theory, ideas, and non-sense. You have the opportuntiy to follow teachings, do it. We can bear with you, your stubborness and impatience, no problem, but make then the right efforts also.

 

One of your problem seems to be that for each of your questions, you are building a whole therory on whatever basis you can grab here and there!

Better that when you have a question, you simply ask it to a Lama, or someone qualified to answer it. Then you can confront that answer with your preconceived ideas, eventually ask again, debate, till you understand right.

Otherwise, stronger is your own wrong therory, more difficult it will be for you to listen correctly, to meditate peacefully, and eventually to drop wrong ideas for Dharma Truth.

 

dharmaling.program

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How can it be that one liberated from samsara and it’s phenomena of suffering beings possibly manifest in this realm, maintaining the human form?

A Buddha comes back again and again in this conventional reality because 1. Bodhicitta 2. the karma created by the beings.

Indeed, an Enlightened Beings has no ego as we know it. A Buddha can at the same time contemplate the conventional reality and the ultimate one ie. perceive the conventional phenomena of samsara and Emptiness at same time. It's a specificity of BuddhaHood

 

If the historic Buddha had an ego from the perspective of ordinary beings in this world (samsara) and they could not recognise his true nature, is this why they failed to become enlightened at the same time as the Buddha? What really makes us so stubborn that we cannot recognise our own buddhanature nor the buddhanature in others? What are the karmic forces blinding us other than those creating and recreating the ego, self or even consciousness?

It is not only stubborness, but also all the negative karmas we have accumulated in the past, acting as veils, mud, clouds. Simple intellectual understanding of Emtiness isn't enought to Liberate us; we need to "experience" this Emptiness, to perceive it directly. Karma of the past and tons of conceptual thoughts are hindering us from Liberation.

Each and every time you are thinking on the basis of ignorance (not understanding the true nature of phenomena) you are creating karmic causes! Everytime your mind "moves" toward a phenomena you believe to be existing form its own side, you accumulate karma. Isn't it enough to blind you?

 

I don’t believe enlightenment or Buddha is a goal but see it as the path itself. It is the path, which is enlightenment. In Christianity they call it the way - I am the Way Sayeth the Lord. Whosoever Believes in Me Will be Saved. Am I wrong?

You have Buddha Nature in you already, but so much under garbages that you can't recognise it. We need to purify negative karmas, accumulate merits, and develop our Wisdom in order to see and the Path clearly and to reach its goal.

If you sit and wait that your Buddha Nature expose itself, you'll be dead before it happens and you have no certainty that next life you will have a precious human rebirth, in contact with Dharma.

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