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Derekw
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Hi, just a bit of an introduction. Long ago I had a brush with a rather severe form of Christian Fundamentalism, "born again" and the usual goodies. It did not last long and eventually I drifted towards a very liberal version of the Christian Faith. I had long had an interest and attraction towards the "Eastern" Faiths and eventually began to see much Buddhist thought and teachings not as some exotic alternative to more Western assumptions but as being a more fundamentally correct and better way of living in and understanding the strange existence that us ours - and finding meaning in it. I have no belief in a theistic God transcendant to our world, and see Christian beliefs in an incarnate saviour dying for our sins as belonging to the infancy of the human race, mythic in origin not of "time/space" history. The themes dealt with are, however,still relevant - suffering, our search for meaning and thoughts of such living things as mercy, compassion and simple human empathy.

 

Maybe that's enough - I'm sure we could all waffle on. I'll just toodle around reading a few threads and post if it seems relevant.

 

All the best to you all

 

Derek

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Welcome to our world, Derek! I hope you will feel at home here, whether reading about others' experiences or chiming in with your own comments. I spent several decades thinking of myself as a Christian before I started listening to all the doubts I had. Eventually in my early fifties I concluded that the various versions of theism were really human constructs. Letting go of the supernatural beliefs and theology has been a huge relief for me. Enough about me: I'm glad you're here!

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Welcome Derek!

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Thank you both for the welcome. As I implied, not sure just how much I will post. Already I have read through a few threads and enjoyed the content - but nothing really to say.

 

I've trawled around various Forums for many years ( Buddhist, Interfaith, Secular, Christian - even an Islamic one ) and each has evolved in its own way.

 

Thanks again.

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The meaning of life is simple. You're born, you eat, you poop, you go to work, you might get married, and you might have kids, you grow old and then you die, unless something kills you before you get old.

 

The next generation does the same thing, and every generation repeats it again until some nut pushes the button that ends it all for everyone, but basically the meaning of life can be summed up as eating, drinking, pooping and keep on doing that until you die. Everything else is pretty much irrelevant.

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Hi Geezer, it can be pretty simple. The less "belief" the better. In early Buddhism any metaphysical speculation at all was seen as potentially corruptive of reaching the "end of suffering", which was all that the Buddha claimed to teach. Then the zen folk say "when hungry eat, when tired sleep; when happy laugh, when sad cry." All pretty simple. Such simplicity can cost a lot and maybe is not so easy as it seems.

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Hi, just a bit of an introduction. Long ago I had a brush with a rather severe form of Christian Fundamentalism, "born again" and the usual goodies. It did not last long and eventually I drifted towards a very liberal version of the Christian Faith. I had long had an interest and attraction towards the "Eastern" Faiths and eventually began to see much Buddhist thought and teachings not as some exotic alternative to more Western assumptions but as being a more fundamentally correct and better way of living in and understanding the strange existence that us ours - and finding meaning in it. I have no belief in a theistic God transcendant to our world, and see Christian beliefs in an incarnate saviour dying for our sins as belonging to the infancy of the human race, mythic in origin not of "time/space" history. The themes dealt with are, however,still relevant - suffering, our search for meaning and thoughts of such living things as mercy, compassion and simple human empathy.

 

Maybe that's enough - I'm sure we could all waffle on. I'll just toodle around reading a few threads and post if it seems relevant.

 

All the best to you all

 

Derek

 

Hi there. Glad to have you here. If I have an occasional urge to 'search' for some greater truth I usually end up with Zen or Advaita. I like that proponents of non-duality don't make claims to the supernatural but just say that non-dual experience is completely natural. 

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Scratch for truth.

 

I don't know that humans have the capacity to find out what that is.

 

We usually know what is un-healthy though and all religions are pretty much so.

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Hi, just a bit of an introduction. Long ago I had a brush with a rather severe form of Christian Fundamentalism, "born again" and the usual goodies. It did not last long and eventually I drifted towards a very liberal version of the Christian Faith. I had long had an interest and attraction towards the "Eastern" Faiths and eventually began to see much Buddhist thought and teachings not as some exotic alternative to more Western assumptions but as being a more fundamentally correct and better way of living in and understanding the strange existence that us ours - and finding meaning in it. I have no belief in a theistic God transcendant to our world, and see Christian beliefs in an incarnate saviour dying for our sins as belonging to the infancy of the human race, mythic in origin not of "time/space" history. The themes dealt with are, however,still relevant - suffering, our search for meaning and thoughts of such living things as mercy, compassion and simple human empathy.

 

Maybe that's enough - I'm sure we could all waffle on. I'll just toodle around reading a few threads and post if it seems relevant.

 

All the best to you all

 

Derek

 

Hi there. Glad to have you here. If I have an occasional urge to 'search' for some greater truth I usually end up with Zen or Advaita. I like that proponents of non-duality don't make claims to the supernatural but just say that non-dual experience is completely natural. 

 

 

I've found that simplicity and naturalness are all important. It seems to me that virtually all religious beliefs can be reduced to a natural level, a level that is only complicated by creedal formulas or whatever. A "transcendent God" and "incarnation" can be lived as nothing more than realising that there is something more than the incessant chatter of our little selves and all the unending desires that go with it. There is an interesting discussion in the book "Zen and the Birds of Appetite" between the Catholic monk Thomas Merton and the "zen man" D T Suzuki ( the essay is called "Wisdom in Emptiness" ) where Merton mentions certain points of Christian eschatology and Suzuki contrasts these with what he calls a "realised eschatology" in the here and now. I think most things are better in the "here and now" and not projected into the future. Empathy towards others now, not belief in "rewards" and "heavens" in some future life. Beliefs tend to divide, living them now tends to unite. 

 

I think "truth" can be lived - it is not a formula or a sequence of words to give our assent to. 

 

I agree with moho, it is easier to see just what is unhealthy than it is to articulate "truth". 

 

Thanks

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