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Your Very Positive Response Needs Interpretation

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on June 13, 2003 12:17:26 UTC


I brought up specific contradictions between your version of Buddhism based on the basic principles of the teachings of Nichiren Daishonin, who teaches a Japanese version of Buddhism, and the Tibetian Book of the Dead. You seem to have resolved the contradictions without addressing them explicitly. So I will do that for you and you can correct me if I am in error.

Here is what you said about the eighth level of consciousness, which is what you experience in the sleep state:

"According to the principle of the eternity of life, Buddhism declares that the eighth level of consciousness not only contains the experiences of this life, but also those which the essence of our existence has accumulated in the eternal past"

So I can assume, without your expressly saying so, that the eight level preserves your memories and your identity, throughout all your rebirths. This to me does not at all sound like melting into the cosmos. In fact, it is no different than going to sleep every night, if we take your words literally.

The eight level of consciousness also sounds exactly like what most people, including the ancient greeks who expounded on it, call the soul. Why Buddhism would reject the concept of the soul yet retain the concept of the eight level of consciousness is beyond me. I venture a guess that the motivation might have been to not give credit to any other system of thought.

So in my mind the contradiction is resolved.

The teachings of Nichiren Daishonin have been discussed previously on this forum. That discussion prompted me to read the Lotus Sutra. To my suprise I found it to be sexiest, claiming that only men, not women, can achieve Buddhhood.

There was one woman described in the Lotis Sutra as very deserving, but she had to spontaneously change into a man before becoming a Buddha. Since then I have talked to some Buddhists about the status of women in Buddhism and find that women are considered inferior, whether or not they are treated that way. Would you concur with that opinion?



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