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"Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair...
- Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) won the Nobel prize for literature for his History of Western Philosophy and was the co-author of Principia Mathematica.    The Mandala represents consciousness and typically the four cognitive functions. I believe it is helpful for people to have a visual stimulus either internal or external when contemplating/meditating to achieve enlightenment.  (A Bodhi tree for example.  See the Stonehenge page for other examples.)

    Here is a pretty good description of the Siddhartha Gautama "The Buddha".  If you read the whole thing I think you’ll find strong similarities between Siddhartha’s politics, personality and compassion with those of Jesus, Zarathustra and others.

    I am personally moved by Siddhartha Gautama’s compassion for other people and his desire to find an end to their suffering.  As I said in my introduction, enlightenment is a neurological process that integrates subconscious memories. Siddhartha’s logical rejection of asceticism, many years of pondering the problem of suffering as well as I believe the external visual assistance of the bodhi tree were essential to his attainment of enlightenment. I believe the contemplation of the problem of human suffering and the search for a solution utilized all four cognitive functions.

    In Buddhist terminology my experience, my identification and definition of enlightenment and my ability to instruct others on how to achieve it should make me a “Sammasambuddha” as defined in; 3. The Buddha - Many Buddhas, "One who has attained supreme and complete enlightenment through his own efforts, unaided and unguided, and is capable of teaching the truth he has realized to others, is known as Sammasambuddha, the Perfectly Self-Enlightened One.”

Many Buddhas
“The question concerning the status of Buddhahood is yet another positive indication of how accommodating and straightforward Buddhism is. The Buddha never claimed a monopoly or prerogative over Buddhahood, nor did he ever make an attempt to discourage others from attaining to it. Inspired by his personality and his achievement, many were even tempted to aspire for the exalted position of Buddhahood and made such declarations before him.”

“The word Buddha is a generic term, meaning the Enlightened One. It refers to a person who has realized the Dhamma and attained enlightenment. This enlightenment, as we have seen, is open to all, and so is Buddhahood. In line with the Theravada teachings, Mahayana tradition goes a step further to strongly assert the universal presence of Buddha-nature in all beings, without exception; this Buddha-nature is the inherent potential for enlightenment, which can be cultivated and actualized by each and every individual. This spirit of openness and tolerance is characteristic of Buddhism.”


"...years before i watched as i survived cancer when i saw mothers of small children, and small children die undignified deaths while a bastard like me was permitted to stay in the world of the living. well today, and im not sure just why was the straw that broke this camel s back. i have faith no more, nor shall i ever again. there is no god, there is only birth, life and death."
- TruebornSojourner, FAITH NO MORE, 7/9/2003 5:52 PM

Beyond faith there is truth,
beyond truth there is wisdom,
beyond wisdom there is freedom.

The Four Noble Truths
1. Life means suffering.
2. The origin of suffering is attachment.
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

The Noble Eightfold Path
The Noble Eightfold Path describes the way to the end of suffering, as it was laid out by Siddhartha Gautama. It is a practical guideline to ethical and mental development with the goal of freeing the individual from attachments and delusions; and it finally leads to understanding the truth about all things.

1. Right View Wisdom
2. Right Intention
3. Right Speech Ethical Conduct
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort Mental Development
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration

    The attainment of enlightenment enables a degree of detachment from the biological behavioral programming found within the older structures often referred to as the r-complex and the limbic system.  As they do for other animals, these older structures provide an individual and a group with instinctive behavioral responses to a variety of situations.  These instinctive responses when allowed to dictate our behavior lead to at least as many destructive consequences as they do to productive ones.

    Zen Buddhism when combined with ascetic practices, emphasizes clearing the mind and increasing conscious awareness through harsh discipline and meditation, (see also for example the Ascetic teachings attributed to Jesus). I can see individuals obtaining enlightenment this way but I don’t see much potential for obtaining a new level of understanding that could benefit others. (I mean no disrespect, it's just an observation.)  I think Zen is a practice that would appeal to someone with a natural orientation toward Ni (introverted intuition) such as an INTJ who seeks to find underlying and intrinsic structure.  Ne on the other hand is helpful in observing the complex relationships between seemingly disparate things.  To achieve enlightenment both Ne and Ni must be exercised.  I think all of the successful methods devised over the centuries can probably be combined in order to speed the process and enable the widest number of people in achieving the experience naturally.  There are many excellent techniques that may have originated in Zen Buddhism.  I think the Koan is from Zen.  If one assumes that the potential for enlightenment and the desire for liberation exists within all of us wouldn't you expect to find evidence of it cross culturally?  What do you suppose has been the largest obstacle preventing people from achieving it, particularly in those actively seeking it?

NOW, January 3, 2003
MOYERS: I did an interview a number of years ago with your colleague, the scholar of religion Elaine Pagels I think some of you know her. And she said there's practically no religion I know of that sees other people in a way that affirms the other's choice. That is the nature of religion, is it not, not to affirm the other's choice. If my truth is true, can your truth be true?

"I believe in the fundamental truth of all great religions of the world.  I believe that they are all God-given and I believe that they were necessary for the people to who these religions were revealed.  And I believe that if only we could all of us read the scriptures of the different faiths from the standpoint of the followers of these faiths, we should find that they were at the bottom all one and were all helpful to one another."
- Mohandas K. Ghandi

"Well guess what ??!!!\Phuck ZION i couldn't give rat ass about saving a place called ZION..."
- by hunville, message on 06/12/03

Zion n.
2: an imaginary place considered to be perfect or ideal [syn: Utopia, Zion]
3. The heavenly Jerusalem; heaven.

Shan·gri-la   n.
1.  An imaginary remote paradise on earth; utopia.
2.  A distant and secluded hideaway, usually of great beauty and peacefulness.

Prom·ised Land   n.
The land of Canaan, promised by the Lord to Abraham's descendants in the Bible.
promised land A longed-for place where complete satisfaction and happiness will be achieved.

nir·va·na   n.
1.  often Nirvana
     a.  Buddhism. The ineffable ultimate in which one has attained disinterested wisdom and compassion.
     b.  Hinduism. Emancipation from ignorance and the extinction of all attachment.
2.  An ideal condition of rest, harmony, stability, or joy.

nirvana  n
1: (Hinduism and Buddhism) the beatitude that transcends the cycle of reincarnation; characterized by the extinction of desire and individual consciousness
2: any place of complete bliss and delight and peace [syn: eden, paradise, heaven, promised land, Shangri-la]

mec·ca   n.
A goal to which adherents of a religious faith or practice fervently aspire.

heav·en   n.
1. The sky or universe as seen from the earth; the firmament. Often used in the plural.
     a. often Heaven The abode of God, the angels, and the souls of those who are granted salvation.
     b. An eternal state of communion with God; everlasting bliss.
2. Any of the places in or beyond the sky conceived of as domains of divine beings in various religions.

The Gospel of Thomas
3. Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.
When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."
70. Jesus said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you [will] kill you."

"The way of peace is the way of truth. Truthfulness is even more important than peacefulness. Indeed, lying is the mother of violence. A truthful man cannot long remain violent. He will perceive in the course of his search that he has no need to be violent and he will further discover that so long as there is the slightest trace of violence in him, he will fail to find the truth he is searching."
- Mohandas K. Ghandi

"Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people."
- Jawaharlal Nehru

“Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power

If you realize that you have enough,
you are truly rich.
If you stay in the center
and embrace death with your whole heart,
you will endure forever."
- Lao-tzu , Tao-te ching “The Book of the Way and Its Power”
A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell

    Please see the page on Zororastrianism where I identify that Zarathustra of ancient Persia and Siddhartha shared the same fundamental philosophy as evidenced by the analysis of Dr. Bahram Varza and several verses of the Dhammapada.


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