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Theistic Buddhism / Nichiren Buddhism


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Many Buddhists are Atheistic and see all Gods and Spirits (including all those listed on the Gohonzon) as metaphors or functions of the Universe but there are also many Theistic Buddhists (including Nichiren Buddhists) as well.

I'm am 100% Theistic. Christians believe Jesus always existed, took flesh in order to save humanity and is back to Heaven as God (the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit). They don't only see him as a mere mortal or human being.

Theistic Buddhists see the Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha as God having existed before having taken flesh on this Earth. Buddha is well-defined as God in the Lotus Sutra, especially its first chapter: http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/resources/sutras/lotus/sources/lotus1.htm .


I have started practicing Nichiren Buddhism in late 2004. A fellow Catholic introduced me to Buddhism, telling me it could help me deal with some issues. That person was a Catholic but still somewhat involved in Buddhism.



I took his advice and started practicing Nichiren Buddhism while still a practicing Christian. I know it might seem odd but it was impossible for me, at the time, to completely sever all ties to Christianity, especially Roman Catholicism, as I still somehow, believed in it. It's only about 6 years later that I finally and totally abandoned Christianity.


I am still very much involved in Nichiren Buddhism. I first started to practice with the SGI (Soka Gakka International) in late 2004. I then left the SGI after 5 years (around autumn of 2009) as I felt I was not progressing enough. I also had some concerns regarding SGI's doctrines. No emphasis is placed on Shakyamuni Buddha (Siddhārtha Gautama) but rather on the President of the SGI, Daisaku Ikeda, which I found strange.


After about 7 months (in March 2010), I joined the Kempon Hokke Shū, another school of Nichiren Buddhism. Dr. Mark Rogow, at the time lay representative for the KHS in North America, introduced me to the new practice. I liked it much better as it focused a lot more on the person and Divinity of Shakyamuni Buddha.


Last summer, Dr. Mark Rogow and I as well as another member named Shinkei (Jerry) all decided to leave the KHS over doctrinal differences with a High Priest. We now practice Nichiren Buddhism independently.



As I said in the 'Theistic Satanism/Left Hand Path' thread, my goal is not so much to debate the veracity of so or so faith and spiritual practice but rather present alternatives to Christianity I personally practice, believe in and find useful.


I'm not actively out to convert everyone in here as a member implied in my thread on Satanism... Once again, this section of the forum is to discuss alternatives to Christianity as not all ex-Christians are systematically Atheistic.


"In this one area of Ex-Christian.net, each individual who has adopted an alternative spiritual expression should feel encouraged to freely express any experiences, thoughts, or opinions without fear of being brow beaten, harshly criticized, or condemned."




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In my opening post, I have mentioned the Gohonzon. What is the Gohonzon? It's a mystical parchment to which Nichiren Buddhists chant "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo". It's a mantra, a mystical power phrase that means "I devote myself to the Mystic Law of Shakyamuni Buddha that governs the whole Universe and all its phenomena." "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo" is the blueprint of the Universe. Chanting daimoku ("Namu Myoho Renge Kyo") puts one in sync with the Universe, the rhythm and the flow of the Universe.


Different types of Spirits are inscribed on the Gohonzon. Here is a site that lists all of them and explains to you in detail all the functions of the Gohonzon: http://nichirenscoffeehouse.net/ShuteiMandala/


Nichiren Daishonin is a Buddhist Monk that, upon studying the Lotus Sutra and developing a relationship with Shakyamuni Buddha, drew a set of Gohonzons he'd chant to and offer to fellow Buddhists. According to Dr. Mark Rogow: "All the gods and various beings serve the Buddha and his children. Jesus, Brahma, Shakra, Allah. Jehovah, all serve the Buddha and the votaries."


Chanting daimoku and practicing this Buddhism negates negative karma and allows one to escape from the cycle of life and death also known as reincarnation. Theistic Satanism appeals to the darker side while Theistic Buddhism appeals to the brighter side; there's yin in yang and there's yang in yin.


Here's a video on daimoku, 'Namu Myho Renge Kyo':


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Hei, Enlightener!  I'm also ex-SGI and left it after about 10 years, for many of the same reasons that you cite -- The Ikeda-worship and the odd disconnect from mainstream Buddhist history -- as well as a few other issues, mostly personality clashes at the local level.  Unlike you, I found Myself unable to chant daimoku at all because of the bad memories, and let the practice go altogether.

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I don't know much about theistic Buddhism, but as a former practitioner of fam/traditional witchcraft I have an understanding of reality as being both light/dark and ultimately neutral. My path adhered to the "if you can't hex, you can't heal' idea… and by learning from nature it seemed obvious that (and here comes my Golden Dawn background) 'As above, so below' was a truism. 


I think I horrified the more fluff bunny Wiccans I knew… :)   I studied not just herb craft and protection magic, but ceremonial magic, shamanism, and even some voudoo/stregheria. When you study the old gods and goddesses you quickly see that they weren't as cut and dried as the more modern ones. Goddesses were nurture and war, destruction and creation…Gods were both protective and arbitrarily cruel… both seemed to be the essence of fertility, or life… balancing the other… and this made sense to me as I looked around at the world, and the universe. Death is intrinsically caught up with life… and in paganism that frequently called on the sacrifice, or death of the god to serve the fertility of the goddess.


old, old archetypes… rooted in shamanism, animism and the beginnings of agriculture and lessons from nature itself. The cruelty of a chick beating his sibling to death… the reality being it's parents can only feed one properly - and their tender ministrations and protection of the surviving chick. We put the value on these events - through our cultural lenses - but they just are the way the world works. There is a rhythm to the universe… cycles of spirals and cycles within spirals - and it's bigger than we can comprehend… and it's all good and all one, ultimately.


I found a way to integrate this 'spirituality' without actual 'gods'.. because for me they were aspects of the universe and spiritual/psychological truths… not actual anthropomorphic beings.. though in totality maybe there is an essence of them as a 'higher entity'. I don't know.. and I don't think it's necessary to know to be at peace.


LOL  I still 'image' Kali in my mind, or Hecate - when I'm angry or have been wronged, but I no longer see them as beings existing outside of myself… as I don't see the more positive gods/goddesses either. I still 'commune' with the genius loci when I am out for a walk in the woods. Their archetypes and essences are a part of the human psyche and condition - though most humans are far out of touch with that due to modern life, they are a reflection of nature - the worlds' and my own. To me anyway.


I guess I kept the spirit without the theos.

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Hey Enlightener- I have a few questions.  I'm not asking you to prove anything, so please don't take it that way.  


I'm pretty sure that there are different kinds, levels, and concepts of 'belief'.  I was raised as an evangelical, so of course I was taught that you have to BELIEVE in jesus in order to be saved and shit.  And while I don't think it was ever explicitly spelled out, I took this to mean (and this is a common way of looking at it) that you should BELIEVE in the reality of jesus and associated baggage in much the same way that I BELIEVE that the sun will rise tomorrow or that there is in fact a laptop in front of me right now.  I was expected to believe as if it were factual reality- any doubts were to be suppressed or at least patched up via 'faith'.  Now that I'm grown I understand that even among christians, this kind of concrete 'belief' in jesus/jehovah isn't really universal- though it is common.  But I know christians whose beliefs range from concrete to metaphorical- although I'm pretty sure that even those who don't take the bible literally still have a sortof literal belief in god- in that the believe that there actually exists this magical father-figure and one day they will come face-to-face with him in some sense.


I've had my disagreements with Antlerman- but I still value one thing he pointed out to me.  I'm a christian without god.  I may not believe that 'god' exists in any physical sense- but I still think a LOT like a christian.  Don't get me wrong- I've become pretty socially liberal over the past decade, and I'm ok with quite a bit of ambiguity where subjects like society, sexuality, politics, etc. are concerned.  But when it comes to religion I just can't wrap my little mind around that.  Other people can believe what they want- that doesn't bother me.  But if I can't see or be convinced of the physical reality behind a given religion, spirituality, etc.- I find it impossible to take seriously.  I THINK the key to wrapping my twisted little mind around this spiritual ambiguity may be to examine my need for concrete, physical belief- and the nature of belief itself (since lots of people 'believe' things in some sense even if they don't expect to ever physically see or touch it).


So would you mind telling me about your beliefs in Buddhism, Satanism, etc.?  It's not so much the details or practices I'm trying to understand... it's your belief itself in these concepts.  I mean, do you believe that Satan is this flesh & bone red guy with horns and hooves?  An inhabitant of some spiritual or not-quite-real dimension?  A compelling myth/archetype?  Or something else entirely that I haven't guessed?  I know damn well that I probably don't really know what questions I should ASK.

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Hello, Enlightener. Forgive me if you've stated this elsewhere on here: have you explained why you eventually abandoned Christianity? Did you conclude that its historical claims are false? Or something else?


Cheers, F

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