Jewish Buddha Says: If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?

[Diary from DailyKos] Fri Jan 07, 2011 at 07:16:35 PM PST

I dunno.

I found it deep in one of my special saved files from my new-age Jewish family emails. Zen for the chicken soup soul. Thought I would share:

Be here now.
Be someplace else later.
Is that so complicated?

There is no escaping karma.
In a previous life, you never called, you never wrote, you never visited.
And whose fault was that?

Wherever you go, there you are.
Your luggage is another story. 

Zen is not easy.
It takes effort to attain nothingness.
And then what do you have?  

The Tao does not speak.
The Tao does not blame.
The Tao does not take sides.
The Tao has no expectations.
The Tao demands nothing of others.
The Tao is not Jewish.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.


Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers.
Each flower blossoms ten thousand times.
Each blossom has ten thousand petals.
You might want to see a specialist.

Be aware of your body.
Be aware of your perceptions.
Keep in mind that not every physical sensation is a symptom of a terminal illness.

The Torah says, Love your neighbor as yourself.
The Buddha says, There is no self.

So, maybe we're off the hook?

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Replies to This Discussion

All these quotes come from David M. Bader, Zen Judaism: For You, A Little Enlightenment.


And here's what I have to say on the subject:

You wrote:


"But more generally, there is the conservatism, smugness, and quietism of the comfortable and well-off that tries to convince us that the world is okey-dokey as is; we just need to change our attitude. People who have suffered, on the other hand, don't tend to see things this way."


I agree that this is a problem.  Too often people with this worldview are putting lipstick on the "screw you, I got mine" pig. But not everyone who seeks equanimity is doing this.  There is a huge difference between the smug, Panglossian worldview you identify in your blog and those who recognize that generosity, compassion, loving kindness are all dharmic principles that don't just exist in the "mind" but must be manifested in the real world through action. 

Panglossian is probably not the correct way to describe the pseudo-Buddhist philosophy adopted my many.  Pangloss was on my mind because I recently saw a production of Bernstein's Candide.  So, strike "Panglossian."

There is no such thing as a purpose of life that just somehow exists "out there" which is like a scientific fact that we can discover.  But of course it would be fine if I make something up.  The purpose of life is to do hobbies and activities, and have friends and interact with other people, given the fact that this is the only life there is and when you die, that's it, its all over and you are screwed.  There never will be another life.


Examples of activities are what you do to earn a living, driving, reading, cardio-vascular activity, non-cardio-vascular activity, going out with friends, hobbies including all of the arts and crafts I don't have time to list here, games, playing sports, following sports, and everything else I don't have time to list here that is not a body function.  Eating is a body function and should not be viewed much differently than using the washroom; you don't play with and cook the stuff that comes out of your GI tract, and similarly, you should not play with or cook the stuff that goes into your GI tract.


It is not the case that the purpose of life is to discover some deep, profound meaning of life. It looks like you are having difficulty overcoming the guilt and scrupulosity associated with not doing Judaism; it looks like you are trying to find something to replace the Judaism that was brainwashed into you.  I'm a lapsed Jew, and I got brainwashed and thought I had to do orthodox Judaism, but I realized that I know damn well there is no god, and I know damn well that religion is a system of bizarre, inherited, time-wasting obsessive-compulsive behaviors and beliefs, and it is not even healthy to try to invent new secular reasons for why the old, meshugas, obsessive-compulsive, time-wasting holidays and rituals have to still be done. Do not wast time, ever. 


The concept of profound meaning and enlightenment is imaginary and meshugas.  In all due respect, this budda stuff you are spewing is meshugas and is a symptom of the mental disorder that is normally called religion and which is not normally recognized as a mental disorder because it is so common. 


Of course, as far as I'm concerned you can share your struggle to get rid of your scrupulosity and guilt about not doing Judaism, but also please do find a life and then you can share with us what kinds of hobbies and activities you have started to do in the time that you would have wasted doing Judaism or obsessing with your Jewish-budda meshugas. of the tags for this was "humor".......

But, okay, since you went there I'll play.  You said: "you should not play with or cook the stuff that goes into your GI tract."

So, you rant on about folks "spewing buddha stuff" yet you yourself apparently adhere to some woo-woo, raw food nonsense, whoa, talk about pot-kettle-black!

I eat fruit.  And sometimes fish.  I don't eat anything that is gross.  I don't eat totally raw fish, after all, this is the "be as healthy as possible diet", not the "lets see how much you can gross yourself out diet."


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