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Positivity and the lures of satan!

Way back on another forum the subject was raised of the lures of satan, his tricks to deceive, seeking our damnation. One guy responded by saying he only believed that we are surrounded by bodhisattvas (enlightenment beings) He was a westerner but said he had totally escaped any Christian indoctrination.

In Buddhist texts like the Lotus Sūtra, in its imagery, Buddhas are eternal and there are many of them. The vision of the universe that it assumes and teaches is one in which sacred influence is everywhere, though often unseen and unrecognized. The Buddhas are everywhere trying to help us to attain salvation/enlightenment.

(Buddhism does know of an "evil one" - Mara - but such a being is more seen as the embodiment of all unskillful emotions, such as greed, hate and delusion, and often pictured in scripture as the personification of the instincts antagonistic to enlightenment. There are even stories of the conversion of Mara to the Dharma!)

Anyway, I did find this guys attitude as very positive and life giving - that we are surrounded only by "forces" seeking our welfare.

To a certain extent, in the Old Testament Satan is seen as virtually acting at the bidding of God (see the book of Job) and not as in the NT as a power of pure evil let loose by God to test and deceive us. And of course, one has to ask exactly why a God who "wills that all be saved" (according to the NT) would ever allow such a being to hold such power. I suppose some like the drama of the contest, especially those who presume that they have avoided being deceived!

Sometimes I think the greatest trick of the Devil is to convince us that he exists!

What do others think?
TelegramSam · 70-79
Moving on, relating to posts here from @Crazywaterspring and @PrincessOfHell, I find that the origins of all our World's Faith Traditions are shrouded in mist and cloud. Difficult to truly know just who or what copied from who else. What I would say is that the presumed power of Satan has grown and grown in many christian imaginations until he has become virtually as powerful as God Himself!

Those same imaginations are those who speak more of fear, guilt and damnation than of love, even sometimes appearing to relish thinking of the fate of the damned. Such Good News! For such "good news" to have substance they must first proclaim the Bad, their game given away in the words of the famous hymn, "Amazing Grace":-

[i]Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears removed.[/i]

First the bad, then the good. Yet what is changing here?

The Old Testament speaks of a God whose "mercy endures forever" and more, the Bible reports God as proclaiming :- "For I the Lord do not change".

This all points to an understanding and a knowledge of God (or Reality-as-is) as the one constant. Acknowledged in the East and the West:-

[i]My eyes being hindered by blind passions,
I cannot perceive the light that grasps me;
Yet the great compassion, without tiring,
Illumines me always[/i]

(Shinran, from "Hymns of the Pure Land Masters")

And Julian of Norwich, who wrote her "Revelations of Divine Love", speaking here on the same theme......

[i]If there be anywhere on earth a lover of God who is always kept safe, I know nothing of it, for it was not shown to me. But this was shown: that in falling and rising again we are always kept in that same precious love.

In zen the 13th century zen guy Dogen, in his "Genjokoan" , comes down to the mechanics, with his allusions of shore and boat, in his usual poetic style. That it is the boat we are in that moves, creating the illusion that it is the shore. To become still and receptive is the key:-

[i]Be still and know that I Am God[/i]

Whatever, as Dogen says, "we are what we understand", which is quite profound, encompassing many things including karma..."we ARE our karma".

As I see it, becoming [i]still[/i] is paradoxically to move forward, but in the sense of allowing the "myriad things" to reflect in us, for us to then reflect them back upon our fragile world. True freedom is only to be found in God, Reality-as-is, not in our own petty choices. In unity, in reflecting, we find our freedom. In a constant advance unto novelty. [i]Truly [/i]moving at last.

Yet as Dogen - again - says, whatever our understanding, shallow of profound, [i]nevertheless flowers fade even though we love them, weeds grow even though we dislike them[/i].

"There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in"

May true Dharma continue.
Be kind. No blame. Love everything.
Crazywaterspring · 61-69, M
The freedom and self autonomy of Satanism make a lot more sense than Christianity's guilt, fear and damnation.

Here's a secret: very few Satanists believe in a literal Satan.
JollyRoger · 70-79, M
@PrincessOfHell Second time around on this matter of being "anti-Christian".... is it only Christianity that you feel is evil? What do you feel about Islam, Judaism, Buddhism as other major religions? What do you think of the activities of an atheist such as Vladimir Putin and his goals? AND: I'll take this space to state that not all atheists are like Putin just as not all Christians are like those you think are evil.
@JollyRoger I don't like Islam either and Judaism as a religion is something I regard as problematic as well. Buddhism on the other hand is mostly peaceful and a philosophy.

[quote]What do you think of the activities of an atheist such as Vladimir Putin and his goals? [/quote]
First it's cheap to use a man like Putin to represent Atheism which is not even a little bit homogenous and follows no doctrine therefore is incomparable to any religion.
Putin while probably not a bliever himself uses religion to help justify the atrocities he is committing. Putins goal is to build another tsarist russia and to exercice control. His homophobia for example is something he has in common with most monotheistic institutions and with many believers. It's born out of a conservative worldview that can exist even without being religious.

[quote]just as not all Christians are like those you think are evil.[/quote]

Not all Christians have to be evil for christianity to be problematic. Many justify predjudices, violence, discrimination and disciminating laws on their religion and religious institutions work through hierarchies and control. The Bible is a historic document falsely used as a moral guide. It has caused suffering in the past and does so to this day.
Nice christians are only those who don't take their faith very seriously. Think about that.
JollyRoger · 70-79, M
@PrincessOfHell I have thought about it and the good outweighs the bad. I don't see where Satanism asyou describe it is the worship of Satan as a god
JollyRoger · 70-79, M
Yes, as I see it, the devil is our own creation: Where we are here on earth as spirits living in a flesh and blood form, each individual has the ability, but not the will, to live in peace with the next one. Instead of the harmony we should have we have introduced judgement. Judgements (right and wrong) are not ours to apply to others.... they are guides for our own behavior (via our conscience).
That we do apply judgement on others creates disharmony and the whole world becomes (has already become) a mess because of it. The quest for power over others (judgements again) creates hierarchies of inequality (Oh, America!!) where we fail to see how by seeking our own betterment over the needs of others , we cause failures and pain in others and a failing in our own souls. Thus, we condemn each other as 'evil' and that, personified, is the devil = who if it is within us is our lack of conscience to do 'good'; or if it is outside of us, is our judgement placed on other peoples' behaviours.

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