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Discuss religion and spirituality topics.
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I had to write a response in an online Buddhism class I'm taking so I figured I'd post it here since my class contains all female students who probably won't give much thought to the matter in relation to a mans reflective nature. It's just to help induce the inner thought process. I'm not interested in whether one agrees or not, it's the process of being able to think outside the box of our preprogrammed servitude to the dogmatic protocols of recognized modern religions and spiritual practices.
As the Pure Land school of Buddhism emphasizes, our human society is considered to be in the age of the degenerate Dharma. Other religions have emphasized this period in human existence as exceedingly negative as well such as Hinduism which refers us to being in the Kali Yuga, whether we are still in the middle of it, at the tail end of it or over the hump is somewhat debated by various academics but they all agree humanity is passing through a severe dark age at the moment. With this emphasis, many Buddhists have debated over the years whether it is still feasible to be able to obtain Buddhahood during this human period of darkness. Thus, creating the theoretical question whether the Buddha could accomplish the same awakening under our present human conditions?
In my opinion I believe that in any time period whether it is considered a golden or dark one, Buddhahood or awakening can be accomplished, however the circumstances of creating that awakening would be different than how it could be accomplished under past conditions. If the original Buddha was alive today trying to accomplish awakening he would probably be an entirely different kind of human personality than what he was thousands of years ago. As previous philosophic monks have stated, perhaps a potential Buddha cannot be born into the world today and humanity must wait until the conditions are created again for this to occur.
How does this relate to the end question? Even though hate and other forms of discrimination were present during Buddha's time period (probably always present in one form or another throughout humanity) it was not prevalent to the extent that it is seen today. Because of modern technology's ability to disseminate itself in multiple formats throughout the world in conjunction with it use as a psychological tool to manipulate the masses using covert methodology, the circumstances and methodologies someone uses to attempt a complete awakening to Buddhahood nowadays has been severely curtailed to the point where one is almost forced to have to be an enunciate of society to succeed. The Dali Llama has stated that one has to be present under certain circumstances to be able to create a more conducive environment to succeed with the practice of Buddhism nowadays. However, how can the average person accomplish this in our globalist society, ever pressuring families economically to survive? For those who are already financially independent without major life responsibilities this can be accomplished. This however is only a fraction of the world population.
Excessive suffering is being used as a tool to condition people under constant circumstances of fear inducement, to control their everyday behaviors. One of the effects has been sectarian violence amongst branches of religions as well as religion against religion in areas where cultures clash because of borders or immigration. The Buddha of yesterday used persuasion, example and reasoning to promote his agenda. However, radical elements of all religions have multiple platforms to persuade followers and fence sitters to their causes. Because of the degenerate environment humanity faces nowadays where many individuals have been raised to have questionable humanistic values and educational literacy (brainwashed/conditioned) with included questionable abilities to effectively reason, is it no wonder there is so much hate and violence against the common man transgressing across multiple cultures and religions unseen in the past? Could the Buddha do anything with his abilities of high reasoning and persuasion plus his ways of proper living examples prevent this excessive hate and suffering from occurring in the fashion it does nowadays? I do not think so; because there are human examples in the present that emulate or exceed the Buddhas message and they have the same media dissemination platforms at their disposal to use as well. Their positive messages to mankind are not getting across on a mass scale of influence. Yes, there are pockets of positive change and influence but it is not at the same level to stem the tide of the negative influences currently infiltrating mankind at all levels of society around the world.
Although there are elements of Buddhism that will work for some people under the right conditions in the present, I personally do not feel that the various Buddhist schools carrying over various sayings, writings, and methodologies of the original Buddha and monk school founders/philosophers of the past can work effectively under the present circumstances of mankind. There is something going on in relation to mankindâ€™s destiny that needs to be addressed under a new form of spiritual awakening. A new spiritually related message must arrive for humanity with new or updated instructions regarding dealing with the current darkness which envelops mankind. How is this to be accomplished? Could there be a new spiritual prophet or being in the near future with an updated instructional manual so to speak? If we look at history, no religion has survived in perpetuance. They come and go, some carry over in bits and pieces arising under new religions, but they are never fully reintroduced in their totality in relation to their previous popularity in cultures. The cycle of life is circular not linear; religons must die and be reborn into new forms to meet the challenges of the current ages. When religions are artificially kept functioning past their spiritual prime they cause more problems then they solve. I think this is one of the major problems in the present. Many religions are used by the power brokers behind the scenes to control and manipulate the masses rather than truly enlighten them. These religons are held back from evolving in a positive spiritual fashion, and if they do happen to start spiritually evolving against the norm and turning heads among the lay folk, they are met with heavy resistance by those who want to maintain the status quo, sometimes to the point of genocide. There are multiple examples of this in human history.
All the recognized major religions in the present are facing this dilemma right now. There are multiple theoretical divisions and sects within religions vying for converts nowadays, with just as many religions themselves fighting other religions for converts as well. There are even religions now debating and modifying established governmental systems and cultural traditions. This is all apparent even to the ignorant and uninformed average person. Can a Buddha with a message created over 2000 years ago during a different human epoch of time solve todayâ€™s problems of suffering in totality? I say no, only an incomplete message of transformation can be transmitted to the spiritually eager. Although Buddhismâ€™s popularity is growing in the West, it is not necessarily because of Buddhism itself. The West is clamoring for spiritual answers to questions pertaining to the infinite and seekers will attempt to find them in all current forms of religion and spiritual education. However, none of these will effectively quench their thirst for answers.
The answers lie in what kind of spiritual education and religions arose during the last human cycle of the Degenerate Dharma or Kali Yuga cycle. Only those forms of obtaining awakening or enlightenment or Buddhahood or Christhood or whatever one wishes to call it, disseminated by teachings from those time periods, will suffice to properly minimize or eliminate our current crisis in human spirituality. Unfortunately, if this knowledge was ever passed down from the past, the majority has been lost or destroyed. There may be bits and pieces floating among current religions and spiritual practices but they would be substantially altered to fit into whatever the current philosophy of the religion and culture is. Most certainly having been almost completely altered, thus being almost totally unrecognized, except for the alternative fringe of researchers/seekers trying to put the multiple puzzle pieces together, such is the ignorance of man due to the passage of time.
Regardless, there is no clear dissemination of spiritual practices meant to be used specifically during our time of crisis. All religions and practices were meant to be used for previous epochs of humanity not necessarily nowadays. They may have been slightly modified over time to still function in our present level of human consciousness, but this cannot be sustained indefinitely. Overall, they can be used to catch glimpses of the absolute totality and purpose of humanity, but ineffective to achieve absolute awakening to ascend to the level of a Buddha, Christ or Mahavatara.
There will have to be a new message of spiritual enlightenment instruction disseminated from a current or future incarnation of an enlightened soul/being at the same level or higher than a Buddha, Christ or Mahavatara. How is this to be taken seriously? Well look at history, during every major historic human epoch there has been a new major spiritual messenger. Whatever one may believe, there are no final answers, prophets, and messengers as declared in many modern religions of today. Humanity is ever evolving under similar circumstances of rising and declining evolution cycles. We are in the throes of a major human consciousness change that has not been duplicated for tens of thousands of years. The original instructions of how to deal with this have been lost to time. God/Source/light whatever will instruct another messenger or messengers to carry humanity through this time of unenlightened chaos. When, where, how this will occur? This answer is never forthcoming externally but must be searched internally through current methods of meditation and prayer, both exoteric and esoteric. Preparation for this occurrence is what should be focused on nowadays, creating the ideal environment within and around oneself to notice when it does happen and take full advantage of the opportunity to awaken oneself, eliminating as much negative attached Karma/Sin as feasibly possible and thus ascend into a higher form of spiritual realization/awakening which would be postulated by whomever is the new representative/representatives of source/Godâ€™s instructions to push through this current dark/degenerate Dharmic/cycle age, thus propelling humanity into a new golden age cycle of enlightenment and spiritual evolution.
It will happen, but as in the past, most whom are not ready in the present will not be able to perceive the message with their current diminished muddied senses. Only those who have properly prepared themselves beforehand through proper positively aligned spiritual practices will be able to receive in the present higher spiritual teachings, thus taking advantage of it to affect their soulâ€™s current incarnation. Most humans will probably have to wait for successive reincarnations to properly attune themselves to this new spiritual message/way of existing. It will be very interesting how this will come forth in our modern technological society (if it continues that is). I do think the methodology used will be radically different in comparison to actions of past spiritual/religious messengers. Those who have the proper eyes to see, ears to hear, and heart to feel will know; regardless of the negative disinformation campaigns and tactics by the opposition that will arise in an attempt to put a stop to any positive changes that could potentially modify the modern dogmatic religious belief systems that currently exist. Change is inevitable, how it arises and in what form is the end question. Is humanity really ready to eliminate suffering on a global scale? The Buddhaâ€™s methods have not done it, Christâ€™s methods have not done it and no other religionâ€™s messengers have done it either. Itâ€™s time for humanity to go back to school under the tutelage of a new spiritual instructor and see if we can all finally graduate to the next level of human experience.
"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher, 121-180 A.D.