Philosophy Part I - Eastern Philosophy
I have been studying Philosophy in the classes I take at the Recovery Center here in Cincinnati. We went over Eastern philosophical systems as well as Western. The subjects covered were Taoism, Shintoism, and Buddhism as well as the philosophy of Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. The last thing covered (I missed that class) was Stoicism. Since I also missed the class on Taoism, I am taking the course again. Anyway, it is thought-provoking material.
I agree with Buddhism about some things, such as the concept of reincarnation. I remember some of my own past lives, which has led me to this belief. I also believe in karma, which in Buddhism is defined as the force that produces samsara (the continuing cycle of suffering and rebirth and those actions result from the mental intent of good or bad deeds. The jury is out on mantras, which are meant to cut off negative karma during meditation. The reason for this is because the only mantra I have ever heard is the one chanted in the movie What's Love Got To Do With It, and I am not even sure it is an actual mantra. I also believe that a person would benefit from following Buddhism's Eight-Fold Path of right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
As far as Shintoism goes, it is seen by the Japanese as a way of life, more than a philosophy or religion. They normally practice Shinto rites on happy occasions such as births, weddings, and festivals, and use the Buddhist rites for occasions such as funerals. I can get with the belief in taking off one's shoes when entering a building (I think this is mainly observed in homes and shrines) and the idea that death is a path to apotheosis.
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