BUDDHISM
PREFACE

A widely respected modern guru, once said, "The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based a religious sense arising from the experiences of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity.

Buddhism answers this description... If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism". -

Albert Einstein.

To Hindus, Brahman (God) pervades the world and as Atman is found eternally within each one of us. The experience of Atman can not be explained rationally as with music or the experience of poetry. The ideal of personal transcendence was embodied in a Yogi, who would leave his family, abandon all social ties and responsibilities and seek enlightenment. About 538 BCE, Siddhartha Gautama Shakyamuri did it. He left and became a mendicant (wandering) ascetic. He had been appalled by the spectacle of the suffering he witness and wanted to discover a way to end the pain of the existence that he could see all round him. For six years he made no headway in his quest. It was not until he abandoned the conventional methods of orthodoxy and put himself into a trance that he gained enlightenment. There was a new hope of liberation from suffering and the attainment of nirvana, the end of pain. Gautama had become the Buddha, the Enlightened One.

The Buddha agreed with the Gods to deliver his message, in this word of suffering, only one thing was stable and firm. This was Dharma, the truth about right living, which alone could free us from pain.

Buddhism is the "Middle Way."

This had nothing to do with God. The Buddha implicitly believed in the existence of Brahma (God) and other gods. They were part of his upbringing, the cultural environment of which he was a part. But, he believed that the ideas of God had little use for mankind. They had not helped him reach enlightenment. The great Buddha did not deny God, but they did believe the ultimate reality was higher than gods. Humans through right living could achieve a state of bliss. Such states are natural to humans. They can be attained by anyone who lived the correct way. One must learn the techniques of the Yoga. Gautama Buddha.

Instead, of relying on God the Buddha urged those who would follow him to save themselves. What Buddha did deny was the belief that there is in reality God who is somehow outside the universe, who survives even when the universe ceases to be, and who is the source and Creator of all things. God first appeared when the universe came into being. He made a mistake: he was the first appearance when this universe came into being, and he thought that by being first that he must be the origin or creator of everything else. God is not quite nowhere but he is not outside the whole process of appearances that come to be.

Buddha insisted that nirvana was not heaven and that "God" was too limiting to express the concept of ultimate reality This is largely because the word "God" is used by Christianity, Judaism and other theistic religions as an image not very different from us. We can not define nirvana or God because our words and concepts are tied to the world of sensate beings and are always in flux. The Buddha was trying to show that a person's theology or beliefs was not important. The only thing that counted was to live the correct and good life now. Because, if it were attempted, Buddhists would find that Dharma is pure and true even though it can not be expressed in logical terms.

They would know the limits of logic and reason. They would successfully live in the NOW. The Buddha taught it was possible to escape the life of suffering by living a life of compassion for all living things, speaking, and behaving gently kindly and accurately and refraining from anything like drugs or intoxicants that cloud the mind.

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We hope the MeetingHouse has prepared the Way. As you read about God, Love, and Money we hope your mind compares how human imagination has perceived these quitedifferent creations, objects, or beliefs.

Submitted to One and All, By Dr. James R Cooper, Pastor MeetingHouse for Aspiring Spirits

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