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TenSwords

My dog and Buddhism

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His name is Kody. And he's very weird.

When he wakes up in the middle of the night, he sometimes gets up and sits...and just looks at me. I try to call his name to see if he would respond in any way to it, but he doesn't; he just stares. After about 15 seconds, he goes about in circles on the pillow and lays back down, and he doesn't look at me at all after he does that. I'm honestly a LITTLE creeped out when he does it, because I have no idea why he does. Maybe he's just sleepwalking...can dogs sleepwalk?

Just a disclaimer: if you are a highly religious Baptist, or a devout atheist, you may want to stop reading right now...

On a totally different note, I think I might convert to Buddhism. Finding that article about rainbow bodies had gotten my attention turned to the religion. The basics state that YOU are responsible for finding the right spiritual guide in your life. I have always been a Baptist, but sometimes I find ways to disprove that Jesus' resurrection happened the way it says in the Bible. Don't get me wrong, I think he was totally and entirely devout to dedicating his life to improving the ways of mankind, but I find it very hard to believe that he was God reincarnate. That article on rainbow bodies offers a new interpretation of Mary seeing Jesus rise into heaven; maybe she was seeing the rainbow that he had formed. After all, Jesus was incredibly wise in his ways, especially in a spiritual sense.

The thing is that I'm scared of venturing into something so new. I had no idea about how Buddhism worked until just last night. I often preach the philosophy that the only reason people don't approve of new things and don't invite it with open arms is due to fear. Fear of the unknown, and what might change with this new venturing. I am used to following the Baptist beliefs, and going into another religion unarmed with the proper knowledge makes me hesitant. That makes me a hypocrite in a sense, since I am not currently following that philosophy. I would very much like to get into Buddhism, because it suits me and my views almost seamlessly. Maybe I'm rushing myself...converting to another religion can't happen overnight, can it?

My views on Baptism are nothing more than a very literal interpretation of the Bible (as far as what I've experienced from living with Baptists, and from going to a Baptist church for a few years). Many people are this way, atheists and believers alike. I usually go on Yahoo! Answers and answer questions for people. I venture into the religion and spirituality section quite a bit, and some of the die-hard Christians follow a direct interpretation of the Bible. Along with atheists, who like to ignorantly label the Bible as "a book of fairy tales." That gets me angry, but there's no point in arguing with them, because they're all just trolls with nothing better to do than bash believers with shallow proof that God doesn't exist. To me, of course there was not really a talking snake that convinced Adam to eat that fruit. It was sin that told him to. But to not go further than saying "that isn't true at all" shows me that people are too lazy to think things through, and choose to ignore that which may be of higher authority than them out of pride.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a literal interpretation of the Bible. It's just not the way I think. I'm convinced that the original scriptures were written in a highly ambiguous manner, so that they could reach out to as many people as possible. I mean, God's intent is to get as many followers as He can, right? I happen to take things more in a metaphorical mindset, and so to me, all the stories in the Bible are symbolic and meant to represent certain things which align with the behavior of man. I give some major props to the individual who wrote the first tangible Bible!

I could go on, but in the case that someone is reading this, I don't want to overwhelm you with even more religious ramblings. And I give major props to YOU for making it this far if you have!
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  1. BabyArtie's Avatar
    Hey,

    Not upset by what you say - but there are other flavours of Christianity out here that look at the Bible through a different set of spectacles. I can't really talk at the moment - lots to sort out and I'm away the weekend - but if you drop me a PM we can talk next week, maybe.

    Hugs

    Artie
  2. LeonSoryu117's Avatar
    [QUOTE=BabyArtie;bt21799]Hey,

    Not [I]upset[/I] by what you say - but there are other flavours of Christianity out here that look at the Bible through a different set of spectacles. I can't really talk at the moment - lots to sort out and I'm away the weekend - but if you drop me a PM we can talk next week, maybe.

    Hugs

    Artie[/QUOTE]

    Hey, not to upset /YOU/, but if you have to interpret the primary scripture of any religion 1000 different ways- let alone that even being possible, then there's something wrong with the religion. There's 10000000 different sects of Christianity- so the chance of finding the 'right' one is 1 in those 10000000. Buddhism is also win- because, let's face it.

    Buddhist monks. KICK. ASS.
  3. BabyArtie's Avatar
    Liam,

    You've watched too many Jackie Chan movies.

    Oh, and by the way... learn the difference between religion and a belief system. The two are not the same.

    Artie
  4. TenSwords's Avatar
    Please you guys, I don't want to start a religious debate on my blog. To each his own, even if one thinks the other's views are not right in his/her eyes.

    Artie, I do realize that there are many different varieties of Christianity. I happen to be most familiar with Baptism, so that is where my views on it come from. I'm not specifying all aspects of Christianity on here, just Baptism.
  5. irataliw's Avatar
    @The Visceral So.... which version of Buddhism are you considering? Theravada, Mahayana, or Vajrayana? It makes a difference on what your core beliefs will adapt to.

    Also, given that Baptist Christianity is very personal interpretation bound, I am not sure why you cannot remain baptist and have your own views.

    @Liam,

    Look at any religion and you will find countless sects and breakoffs. What is often useful is going to the source and the source materials of those religions. Researching historically what happened and what the world view at the times were. Therefore, although there are as you say one million different sects of Christianity, that is largely able to be traced to individuals taking their own interpretation of a book. The major Christian sects are similar too. You can generally find their origin to one man or group and read the source materials as to why they feel the way they do. Therefore, it is not trying to find one in a million, it is closer to finding one in a dozen (much easier) unless you just want to find your own interpretation (but as you rightly say, there is something wrong with a religion where you can make one million different statements and it all be "right")

    Too often we look at the past with the prism of modern culture and interpretations. Making any sort of blanket statement about any religion or any belief system is silly and insulting to the people of that belief.
  6. TenSwords's Avatar
    Like I said, going into it while unarmed with the right knowledge makes me hesitant. A.K.A., I don't know yet.

    Although you may be right on the personal interpretation aspect of Baptism, there is one thing that I do not agree with: that Jesus was indeed God reincarnate. That is the biggest factor in Baptism around where I live.

    I don't consider my views to be affected by today's society. They're affected because of how I view things, based on my mind alone. I happen to believe that the Bible is built upon metaphors. So far, I don't think that is Baptism's way of interpreting the Bible.

    I've only gone to the Baptist church in the Appalachian mountains, and so that is where my views on Baptism come from. I cannot stress this enough, because there may be other areas that offer differing fundamentals on Baptism that I am just not aware of. I sent Artie that message so I could be familiar with other versions of Christianity too. I want to know so I don't make a mistake by following a religion that is not right for me.
  7. avery's Avatar
    it sounds like you're taking a good cautious approach and asking all the right questions. you're right that it would be silly to dive into a new religion overnight without finding out everything you can about it and making sure it's really what you want to do.

    there's only one other thing you might want to keep in mind. following a particular religion is about the beliefs that you hold within yourself, but it's also about the religious community you belong to. you should think about that if you decide to visit different buddhist or christian groups in your area. ideally you would find a group of people where you not only believe what they believe but you also feel that you're among friends. you should also ask yourself how connected you feel to the baptist community you currently worship with. if you don't feel connected to the community, it might be that, just as much as your differing beliefs, that's driving you away from baptism. if you do feel connected, are your beliefs about jesus's identity so strong that you'd be willing to risk alienating or losing touch with those friends and family members?

    good luck. i've always felt drawn to buddhism too, especially zen.
  8. TenSwords's Avatar
    To answer your question, no, I don't feel like I'm connected to the community in which I live. I lived in Florida for 15 years, and now I'm in the Appalachian mountains. Not only is it a major culture shock, but the people here are so..different from myself, and the Florida community. I don't want to label, but they're relatively simple-minded: they don't think about religion all that much, because it's been a tradition for families around here for AGES. All they have ever known for their entire lives, in a religious sense, is that following the Methodist and Baptist churches are the only way of getting to Heaven. I don't think like that at all. Not one bit.

    So, since I do not feel connected to the people in this area, it would not be a problem to risk losing their respect. I don't think there are many Christians here that are that radical to base friendship and love upon your beliefs. THAT would be wrong.
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