Category Archives: Buddha with TMichael

Gay Marriage: Buddha with TMichael

Gay Marriage,  http://conversationswithjesusandbuddha.com/gay-marriage/ ‎
Gay marriage

Conversation with Master Buddha and TMichael: Gay Marriage

TM: I’ve been reading news accounts of the battle between those who favor gay marriage being sanctioned under law and those who oppose it.  Some oppose it on religious grounds and some on biological grounds in that it doesn’t facilitate pro-creation naturally.  What is your view on the religious grounds for or against gay marriage?

Master Buddha:  If a man and a woman have sexual intercourse, there is a probability pregnancy will result, and a second probability that child birth will follow.  This is commonly known and understood in modern society.  That wasn’t always the case—many centuries ago it was a mystery how offspring were conceived by the vast majority of human population.  There arose from the mystery many superstitions around conception and child birth.  Conception and child birth require the engagement of male and female contributing each their part.  This is a biologic fact.  It doesn’t require a social bond to be successful.  As a matter of modern fact, it doesn’t require that they ever physically engage in person (artificial insemination).

TM:  Ok, I’m with you so far.  Creating babies follows sex between a man and a woman, or by artificial means.  A long time ago, and I hope a very long time ago, people didn’t quite make the connection and so developed superstitious beliefs around baby-making.

Master Buddha:  So, by biologic fact a gay male marriage cannot produce offspring between the two partners, but can enlist a female outside the marriage to perform that role.  The same of course then for two female partners.  This means that gay couples are capable of producing offspring by proxy of a third partner if they so desire.  This is the same for heterosexual couples who are unable to conceive a child.  It merely accommodates the biologic fact.

TM:  If it’s a biologic fact, then how does it become a religious issue or even a social concern?

Master Buddha: I’m pulling this apart for you, because it can get very tangled.  At some point in human history there was a shift in social belief that the chief role of marriage between a man and woman was to create offspring.  To ensure that their offspring would not just be running around in reckless abandon they also created social convention around the single-family household and the early beginnings of property rights.  The child belonged to the parents and the household and was subject to their supervision and responsibility, and they together as a household subject to the larger society and community.

TM:  You’re saying it was a social evolution, not a religious one.  Is that correct?

Master Buddha:  It is difficult to separate religion from social, because religion is a social enterprise.  This is why this subject is so impossible for some people to intellectually grasp.  I will continue now to explain.

Religion is a social enterprise, which means that humans have created religions and formed into social sects in order to propagate their religious beliefs and social tenets.

TM:  Hold on a second, almost all religious people will say that religions were created by God, or Gods through prophets or enlightened intermediaries (present company included), and that they are followers of that particular religious teaching.  God laid the foundation and they followed his word to build on it.

Master Buddha:  Please refer to other conversations we’ve had on the subject of truth and how it is convoluted with faith and a state of not knowing everything.  Humans will posit truth on a great many things, but that doesn’t make it true.  It is merely their belief in what is true.  Let’s assume for a moment that religions were founded on direct expression of truth from God or Gods.  Humans, as you suggest, interpret that and build on it to make it a social belief system.  The filter applied is still of human origin, and therefore subject to the ignorance of humanity.

TM:  I don’t mean to stray from our topic, but this seems important to clear up, because so much of what follows is dependent upon this point.  You’re saying that religions are social institutions and are birthed and propagated as social tenets, not the word of God.

Master Buddha:  I don’t wish to belabor the point of origin of religious beliefs, and so for our discussion I said we could assume that religions spring from the word of God or Gods.  Humans the take that word and add to it their interpretations and filter it into social conventions by which they live.  That means that religions become social entities imbued with human constructs of socialized behavior.  May we continue?

TM:  Yes, but maybe we have to come back to this at some point.

Master Buddha:  The great problem for humanity in building laws that govern society is that they cannot separate social convention from religious teachings.  Gay marriage as it relates to law must pass through the filters of social convention, which is conditioned by religious beliefs.  So you can easily see the conundrum.  And this provokes a challenge to the truths held by those who believe that the word of God prohibits such human relations.

For them the syllogism flows like this:
God has said that the purpose of a man|woman relationship is to create babies and form single-family households and rear their offspring.
Gay couples cannot create babies directly.
Therefore, gay marriage is not sanctioned by God, and must be excluded from human options.

For religious believers, denying this logic is tantamount to denying the word of God.  It will then undermine a society based upon the word of God and eventually lead to the ruin of society.  How it reconciles with many other words of God in which it produces conflict and contradiction is inconvenient, but doesn’t cause their belief to waver.  They must default to the only intellectual escape possible, which is that God is mysterious and knows more than humankind, and so it isn’t the place of humanity to question this contradiction.  It is for humanity to follow the things that are clear as well as the things that aren’t without fail.  God will sort it out later.

TM:  Yes, I believe you’ve stated that correctly according to what they believe.  But is that correct?

Master Buddha:  The question is presented incorrectly.  Let me re-frame it.  What is the role of religion for humanity and what is the role of social convention in creating laws that govern human behavior?

TM:  So, you won’t just come right out with an answer to settle the question will you?

Master Buddha:  I’m taking an approach that will help you understand the issue and formulate an answer.  As we have stated previously in these conversations, the role of religion is to represent spiritual theories for individuals to ponder in an effort to expand their imaginations and range of possibilities for living a better life.  Religions form from spiritual ideas and concepts, that in the pure state apply to an individual.  Religions become social institutions because they are comprised of like-minded individuals.  The purpose of which is to share and discuss the spiritual idea and concepts.

Humans have taken religions in this social form and expanded them into governance entities.  Therein lies the problem.  It sets up massive conflicts between different religions and between members of society who subscribe to those different religious beliefs.  The only way for a system of religious-dominant laws to work without constant and violent conflict is too segregate inhabitants by religion and assign each to their own geographic place.  Since that isn’t practical today, you must have a different way.  Democratic societies have created a separation of religion and government.  Ideally, this should work in a pluralistic religious society.  But, it doesn’t work as perfectly as intended, because those who are aligned with religious beliefs that have been interpreted to guide their daily lives in an integrated society, immediately come in conflict with behaviors they find inconsistent with their beliefs.  The resulting dissonance cries for resolution.  They seek to alter laws to remove the dissonance.

TM:  I can see why you’re not so popular with Christians and Muslims.  From what I observe both religious groups would love for everyone to line up with them to rule the world according to their beliefs.  In that scenario they could outlaw all the behaviors inconsistent with their beliefs and presumably find the harmony in governance.

Master Buddha: Well, secretly all religious groups wish for that scenario, but some are more vocal than others.

TM:  Years ago when I visited Nepal and spent some time in Kathmandu, I noticed the incredible non-hostile melding of Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians.  But back to our topic.  How do we bring this conversation to a conclusion?

Master Buddha:  Gay marriage could only be subject to religious scrutiny within a purely religious context.  Religious context is confined to individuals and their peers for introspection.  Social institutions that are erected for governance must take into consideration that there are many types of life styles and it is the responsibility of government to create laws that promote harmony among the differences while removing violence.  The fact that gays must seek legal sanction within your laws informs us that the separation between government and religion is not yet a reality.

TM:  Will it ever be?

Master Buddha:  It’s possible of course, but only when people representing religions surrender to living peacefully with others with different beliefs and abstain from their agendas of hegemony in thought and behavior.

TM © 2015

Faith in Spiritual Matters: Buddha with TMichael

Faith in Spiritual Matters, http://conversationswithjesusandbuddha.com/faith-in-spirit/
Faith

Conversation with Master Buddha and TMichael: Faith

TM:  What is the nature of faith as it relates to matters spiritual or religious?

Master Buddha:  The nature of faith rests on the premise that there are things one can’t know for certain through direct observation, and so one must imagine that given a strong feeling that something must be true, then it is accepted as true.  It becomes a belief in one’s truth based upon the strong feeling.

TM:  So what we consider to be evidence of truth through direct observation of facts is not faith?

Master Buddha: Well, that is faith also to some extent, because has one ever experienced absolute proof of truth?  Can you truly say that even the things you thought you proved to yourself through direct observation have always been really true?  Have there been occasions where you observed a thing to be true and later discovered your observations were not so accurate?  There is usually some element of doubt and faith fills in the gap.

TM:  Aren’t all these considerations about truth relative to time and our progressive understanding of many things that change over time?

Master Buddha: Yes, of course.  Your understanding of truth changes as you grow to reach new understandings about yourself, others and the universe.  There is always a measure of faith thrown in to close the gaps and to bridge your doubt and what you perceive is truth in that moment.  Once you think you have reached some absolute truth, you will soon discover the illusion inherent in that notion.  It is better to say, for now I think I know the truth of this matter and I’ll take it on faith as I continue searching for new information, new knowledge, new understanding about this.

There are those people who believe in a mechanistic universe.  That there are physical laws that behave in a way that explains all the phenomena that surrounds you.  You might say that even for those believers there is a measure of faith to fill in the parts that are missing.

TM:  Some people allow more room for faith and some it seems allow less room.  But you’re saying that we all allow some room for faith regardless of our beliefs?

Master Buddha:  Yes, I’m saying that.  As science has progressed, it has revealed the vast knowledge that humanity has amassed in understanding your world.  It has also revealed the vast ignorance.  If you plot that on a time continuum you can see that the more that you know, the greater your understanding that there is so much more you don’t know.  So, you take what you know and you project a little further into the future of the possibilities of things that could be true.  That is a form of faith.  If you act upon faith by assuming the projections are true, then it is meaningful.  To speculate is to explore ideas about truth and to act upon faith that something is true is commitment.

TM:  It seems to me that people of religious and spiritual faith rely upon teachings of the past to form their foundation, which requires faith that the teachings were accurately recording and interpreted.

Master Buddha: And that the projections of those truths are applicable to humanity today.  There are many new teachings brought forth today and they are received similarly as were the teachings given long ago.  There is a resistance to new teachings by humanity, because they cling to the old ones, the ones they were taught are true.  There is a lag in time for new beliefs to be accepted.

TM:  No way around that is there?

Master Buddha:  Not likely it will change any time soon.  It is human nature and probably a good characteristic if it is moderate.

© TM 2015

Integration and Disintegration: Buddha with TMichael

Integration and Disintegration, http://conversationswithjesusandbuddha.com/integration-and-disintegration/ ‎
Integration and disintegration

Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Integration and Disintegration

TM:  I feel like for many years I have tried to integrate my human self with my spiritual self.  At times I feel I have reached some measure of success only to witness set backs in the form of failures in my life—failures to live purely in my convictions, or failures in relationships, etc.  How can we feel one moment in the complete bliss of integration and then later as if things have become unraveled?

Master Buddha:  There is a natural progression toward integration that includes disintegration.  It’s the same as when you try to affix one object to another and the seal is not set just right.  Maybe there is debris mixed in the seal.  Maybe there are gaps in the seal.  Whether it’s obstruction or space, the seal is not complete and can be easily pried apart with the least amount of stress to one of the objects.  Your human personality and your spirit work in a similar fashion.

Once you are inspired and begin to inquire about your spiritual nature you begin to receive information about spirit.  You begin to look at your human life through a new filter.  You begin to question your life and its meaning.  This is the beginning of integration.

Recognize what is happening even in this beginning.  There is a natural disintegration of your human personality, that is, due to new, incoming information from spirit your personality begins to fragment and parts begin to modify.  Some parts you may let go—destruction.  Some parts you may transform.  But what was before is no longer the same.  Disintegration within the personality has occurred.  At the same time, integration has begun between spirit and personality.  However minute that may be, it is an integration.

There is a series of cycles of integration and disintegration that occurs.  This may go on for a period of time until the tension resolves and you conclude that you have settled on a point of integration.  That is what you describe as the point of bliss.

That state persists for some time until there is a crisis, which disturbs that state.  New tension is created and you begin the cycle of disintegration—the tension must be resolved.  Suddenly you may realize that all the beliefs you adopted in your quest for spiritual alignment where somehow off.  You shed them as a snake sheds his skin.  Now you are disintegrating your spiritual concepts.

The process is one by which personality disintegrates, spirit disintegrates, the combination of the two in relationship disintegrates and then it begins a new cycle of integration.

TM:  So when do we know we’ve reached the final point of integration?  How long will this go on?  It’s tiring and almost maddening.

MB:  It is no different really than my opening example.  It continues until you have properly removed the debris or space between the two objects of integration.

TM:  Won’t there always be things we can’t or don’t know about ourselves, personally or spiritually?

MB:  This is the great challenge of enlightenment—when do you reach that point?  Who can know, perhaps one who is fully enlightened?  But how do you know who that is if you are not fully enlightened yourself?  Is that not the basis of faith?  Faith covers the gap between what you know to be true and what you don’t know.  It is the motivation to continue, because you believe in the process.

TM:  Makes me want to give up at times and say this is bogus, a waste of time.

MB:  Yes, and for a while you might do that.  That’s a point of disintegration between your personality and your spiritual self.  When faith or belief in the process can’t be the salve to satisfy the tension, then abandonment is a choice.  That’s natural.

TM:  So, that happens, then what?  Why would I get on the treadmill again?

MB:  You may not.  You may decide to live from the perspective that your personality is all there is.  That the state of personality is all there is for everybody and that is your world.  You may find some new evidence that pushes you back into inquiry, which starts the cycle of integration and disintegration again.

TM:  I’ve done both of those things.  It’s wearing me out.

MB:  Yet it continues.  So, something within you pushes through the haze and says try again.  What pushes?

TM:  I don’t know, something happens and it starts again.  Maybe I should pay attention, but it seems like before I know it I’m inquiring again.

MB:  Well, let that be a mystery for now.  As you progress through the cycle maybe that is revealed for you.  Then it will be okay for a while until something else happens to disturb it.

TM:  So, basically you’re saying that it is a struggle forever and I’ll either engage the process or I won’t.

MB:  I’m not saying it’s a struggle forever.  I’m saying that it’s a struggle for as long as it is and that it doesn’t really matter how long it takes.  Until such time that your spiritual self can tap into its essence within your personality and transmute it into a reflection of spirit, you will go through various stages of integration and disintegration.  Your impatience may serve you to keep trying or it may persuade you to abandon the process.  Your choice.

TM:  Yeah, I always come back.

MB:  One simple truth is that you don’t really have a choice in the long run.  You can abandon the process for a while or you can push too hard and feel frustrated.  But your spiritual self is never dormant or absent.  Spirit isn’t time-constrained, as is your personality.  And that may be something you have to take upon faith.  Maybe you already accept that, but have to just not think about it for a while.  It doesn’t matter.  You will eventually resume the cycle.  That is the natural order of life on earth.

© TM 2015

Differences between Religions: Buddha and Jesus with TMichael

Differences Between Religions, http://conversationswithjesusandbuddha.com/differences-between-religions/ ‎
Differences between religions

Background to Conversation with Buddha, Jesus and TMichael: The Differences between Religions

TMichael: I read this blog post (the differences between Jesus and Buddha on happiness) and asked Masters Jesus and Buddha to comment.  What follows is their response…

Master Buddha:  It is always amazing to me how the adherents of one religion can so easily dismiss the legitimacy of another religion with the slimmest of knowledge.  I’m speaking here of how Buddhists the world over dismiss Christians as being fanatical and emotional.  And in this one blog post we learn that isn’t true at all.  Christians are just not very smart.

Master Jesus:  I couldn’t agree more with you.  Buddhists dismiss Christians.  And on the scantiest of knowledge.  I think it’s clear who is the smarter religionist.  And it doesn’t begin with a ‘B’.

Master Buddha:  While I fully respect your opinion and right to make such a statement, I think you should take it back.

Master Jesus:  Who’s going to make me?

Master Buddha: I can recruit the Hindus you know.

Master Jesus:  Well, you’ll need them because we all know what a push over Buddhists are when it comes to defending themselves.

Master Buddha:  Your mother wears army boots.

Master Jesus:  Okay, that’s going too far.

Master Buddha:  Does that answer your question about how we view such topics?  It’s petty competition between non-existent differences that make the adherents appear small and weak for engaging in such a waste of time and energy.  Why do men and women of such fervent religious beliefs think that they must attack other religions in the way one toothpaste manufacturer attacks the market share of another?  Can they not see that the aim of all religions ought to be the elevation of human spirit, which includes all humans?

Master Jesus:  We love mankind.  Every day we strive to bring humanity closer to the spiritual kingdom.  Buddha and I work in tandem.  There is no contradiction in our work or in our goals for humanity.  I ask Christians everywhere to embrace the love of all religions and reject the pettiness of competition.  It isn’t necessary to belittle another religion in order to promote one’s own.  There is nothing better that comes from one religion that proves supremacy.  It only displays self-righteousness when one attempts to demonstrate superiority of one’s religion.

Master Buddha:  We represent love, kindness, compassion and unity for all humanity.  That is our mission.  Anything else that you imagine coming from us is pure mental illusion.  It’s time to forget the differences you perceive.  Or least explore the differences from a perspective of positive curiosity, not derision and ridicule.

Master Jesus:  Our love is larger than any dispute that could arise over ideas planted in religion or politics.  Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb.  Do you really want to spend your last days on Earth fighting over whose religious teachings are the best?  We are unified.  It is time for Christians and Buddhists and Muslims, and all religionists to lay down their arms and embrace one another as friends.

Master Buddha:  We aren’t naïve.  We understand why people fight over religious points of view and affiliation.  It’s time to stop.  We aren’t going to present eloquent arguments filled with platitudes to persuade people to stop.  We just ask.  Please stop it now.  If you find any love and compassion in any religious teaching, then that is your starting point.  Apply it now.

© TM 2015

Money: Buddha with TMichael

Money, http://conversationswithjesusandbuddha.com/money/ ‎
Money

Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Money

TM: I’ve received quite a few inquiries about money and requests to talk about it.  There has been a great body of writing on this from a spiritual perspective.  What do you say to someone who asks, “What is the proper relationship to money, how much to have, how to use it, how to get it, etc.?”

Master Buddha:  First of all, there isn’t just one way to view this because each person has his or her particular orientation to money given his or her life path.  Anything I say must be understood as general statements and then I can offer examples of individual circumstances to show how some principles may apply.

As viewed from the spiritual perspective, meaning from a non-material realm, money is as worthless as a bicycle would be for travel across an ocean.  It is purely a human creation.  So your question presumes a spiritual oversight that doesn’t exist except in the form of advice and counsel that may be offered from time to time.  That is the spirit in which I present these ideas today.

Let me attempt to simplify the concept of money in relation to a person.  Humans have decided that money shall represent a value of some thing.   Those things may include the physically inanimate object (house, car, etc.), a personal action (one’s labor), a promise for future delivery of value (speculation), restitution for past value (grievances resolved), a gift of love or social obligation, so on and so forth.  The second premise is that the value of money shall equal approximately the value of that thing in the exchange.  Sometimes the values are not equal, and if they are too unequal, then one or the other person feels either elated or cheated.

The third premise created by humans is a system of ethics regarding transactions between one another using money or the thing valued as the currency.  This is a point of departure between the diverse cultures of the world.  The one dominant force has been the Western philosophy governing the use of money.  The ethics of the Western system have varied over the past two hundred years, but for the most part they have represented an idealism that while noble in its aim has not achieved its goal.

TM: So is it possible to answer my questions?

Master Buddha: I’m getting there, but needed to frame my response for clarity.  The proper relationship to money must take on a general perspective representing larger society (we’ll call general ethics) and the particular relationship of an individual to money.  From the general ethics, the idea of freedom to choose one’s occupation and one’s level of income and expense, is I think the best arrangement.  As we have discussed in these conversations there is a point that one must consider that individual freedom intersects with group harmony.  This means that it is necessary for individuals to contribute to the whole in a way that brings harmony to the whole and doesn’t disturb the peace of the many.  This is the greatest insurance for all.  The current system in Western society doesn’t achieve this goal, but with modification it could.

TM: I’m not clear on what you mean.  Are you saying that there needs to be a balance in interest between the range of individual freedom and the needs of the whole population?

Master Buddha: Yes.  For example, in Western society a person is permitted to amass unlimited wealth.  On the other end of the scale a person is permitted to starve to death or die due to exposure to the elements because he cannot afford shelter.  What is preventing Western society from implementing safeguards at the bottom end of the scale?

TM: We don’t allocate budget for it because we’ve determined other things are more important.

Master Buddha: And the contradiction is that your idealism states that you cherish life above all.  Your military runs to all ends of the earth to rescue those in peril.  Your governments send aid to foreign countries in an attempt to prevent starvation and lethal diseases from spreading.  Yet in your own domestic domain you have families living in such poverty that their lives are at risk daily.

TM: It isn’t a perfect system for sure and most Westerners will agree that we can do more to clean up our domestic programs.

Master Buddha: What do you think is stopping you from doing this?

TM: We have an overly complicated and increasingly corrupt political system that can’t philosophically agree on just how much we are our brother’s keeper.

Master Buddha: It is first and foremost the obligation of your governments, using the general treasury, to prevent starvation and health-related problems derived from poverty.  This cannot be left to the generosity and goodwill of individuals.  It must begin with your domestic sphere first.  It is there that you work out the ethics of being your brother’s keeper as you phrased it.  Once you have mastered that step then sharing that wisdom with other cultures is a natural extension.

TM: We have the resources to do what you suggest, but not the collective resolve to do it.

Master Buddha: This is true, but you asked for a perspective on the proper relationship to money.  You will have to work out the politics in order to deliver a just relationship.

TM: Okay then, maybe you can state what a person should be required to do in order to receive assistance that raises his status above poverty.  That’s where we fail; we can’t agree on that.  Some people say we should be self-reliant and others want to give to others with little or no requirements for self-responsibility.  So, what is the answer?

Master Buddha: Ah you see, now you are into the business of designing a society that grapples with such ethical obligations yet stumbles at the final step failing to complete the mission.  If the US government felt the collective will of its citizens favored a system whereby no citizen would be permitted to fall into poverty, could they achieve that?

TM: Yes.

Master Buddha: Then it must be that the collective will of its citizens do not favor such a system.

TM: How many citizens create a collective will?

Master Buddha: Enough that under your political system you could legislate and implement the system.

TM: Then you must be correct.  Sadly it must be true.  But you still haven’t answered my question of self-responsibility.

Master Buddha: Unfortunately, there is no easy answer.  Your society has through its own design created an array of citizens from the genius to the infantile.  Your society is responsible on a par level with the individuals that make up society.  It will take many generations of enlightened governance to correct the mistakes and injustices created by past policies and practices.  It will likewise take time for individuals to climb out of their ignorance or unfortunate circumstances due to conditions beyond their control.

Wandering your streets are the insane and the helpless.  They cannot take responsibility for themselves in any way.

You have many people who are indolent and averse to responsibility through personal predilection and familial training.  They will have to be educated on a new understanding of their responsibility.

You have a growing number who have turned to crime and are either incarcerated or among the general population.  They will have to be educated, and until they are they will remain incarcerated because you have no other way to assimilate them.

There are those who through no fault of their own have fallen upon hard times due to major shifts in the economy.  They will need to be retrained in new occupations and helped along the way.

When there are enough enlightened citizens there will be a more enlightened government and they will realize the long-term commitment required to correct your system.  It is a race against the clock.

If you do nothing to correct this situation, because as a society you think it isn’t your responsibility, then you will suffer the consequences of doing nothing.  The consequences will include a greater divide between the economic classes, thus more poverty; less efficacy in minimum education achievement among the lower classes; increased criminal activity; reduction of individual freedoms due to crime prevention measures; compartmentalization of community along class lines further reducing the efficacy of government and the erosion of community infrastructure.  You can probably project from there what will transpire next.

If however, you find the collective will to make a long-term commitment to correction, then you will begin to see minor changes for the good.  It will take patience beyond one, two or three generations.  That is perhaps the greatest challenge for a society that has come to expect immediate gratifications of its goals (even though this hasn’t really been the case).

TM: What can you say to the questions regarding individuals and their relationship to money?  What are some guidelines to follow is really what I’m asking.

Master Buddha: As individuals you must graduate through levels of ethical refinement regarding the role of money in your life.  What is good for one person may not be good or right for another.  For that reason do not be hasty in judging others for their view in earning or handling their money.

As Master Jesus and I have maintained throughout these conversations, release judgment from your view.  Find your relationship to money based upon your path and your understanding and allow others to do the same without inveighing their choices.  When you have come to peace with your relationship to money then you may offer a helping hand to others who may wish to hear from you.

© Zoe 2015

Anger Management: Buddha with TMichael

Anger Management, http://conversationswithjesusandbuddha.com/anger-management/ ‎
Anger management

Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Anger Management

TM: May I ask about anger and its role in our lives and relationships?  Will you begin with offering a definition of anger?

Master Buddha: What may seem obvious to most everyone is that anger is a reaction to not getting what you want when you want it or in the way you want it.  It can be your fault, or it can be someone else’s fault. The second reflex of anger is retribution or evening the score to recover what you didn’t get plus a bonus for having suffered the agony of anger and inconvenience.  There is also anger once removed, meaning on behalf of an injustice done to another for which you have a connection or affinity.  The reflex of retribution is the same.

TM: I have a difficult time knowing when to express anger, that is, when it’s appropriate and when it isn’t.  Sometimes I wonder whether or not anger is necessary or not, even though it seems to arise as an involuntary reaction.

Master Buddha:  Let’s start with the involuntary reaction part of your statement and then move to the rest.  Anger is a natural human emotion just like love, sadness, grief, joy, happiness, bliss, disappointment and others in the spectrum.  They arise spontaneously as a reaction to what is happening in your life.  This as a general statement is true for every human on earth.  Then how do we account for the differences in reactions among people?  Why do some people react violently to the slightest provocation and others almost not at all to severe events?

Humans share in common an emotional body that works in concert with your physical and mental bodies.  There is an influence based upon one’s past life history—what must be experienced this lifetime?  There is group connection—what must be worked out for this group of beings?  There is the influence of parents, family and community that impacts one’s emotional body and conditions its reactions.  Beyond these local influences, there is responsibility from humanity’s role on Earth.

The confluence of these many factors produce differences in reactions from one being to another.

As a social concern, there must be a range of acceptable reactions and for that humans have erected laws to regulate behavior.  Within those laws one will find instances that permit retribution resulting in death of the offending party that passes as justifiable because of the provocation of anger and the acceptance that that person is not liable for such reactions, or as is in some cultures, entitled to the justice of the extreme reaction.  Other cultures don’t condone anger reactions to that extent, but make some allowance for it that support the concept of it being involuntary if acted out spontaneously.  There are also social customs below the threshold of laws that regulate behavior.

To answer your question of whether or not anger is necessary, we must ask to what purpose is it necessary.

TM: Some people I’ve spoken to about this usually say that expressing anger is natural and involuntary and that it releases the energy from you and that’s a good and natural thing, then you move on.  Their assertion is that anger is within the constellation of natural human emotions as you just said and that we eventually evolve to the point that we can freely express anger without killing one another, but express we shall just like any other emotion.

Master Buddha:  Would you say that as a rule, expression of anger has the potential to be more destructive in its effects than the expression of joy or sadness?

TM: In some cases yes.  But maybe that’s because people overreact to some things due to repression of anger until they explode disproportionately.

Master Buddha: That’s possible, but let’s go back to your question to what purpose it serves and so is it necessary.  If our definition of anger described the circumstances of anger, then let’s answer what is anger energetically?  What purpose does the delivery of that energy serve?

Anger, energetically speaking springs from the desire nature, which in turn reflects human survival needs, and desires beyond the necessities of life.  Anger is the defender of those personal and group needs and desires.  If they are threatened, then anger arises to defend.  Energetically, it is linked to desire and it does not discriminate between basic needs and frivolous wants without the help of the mental body.  Anger at its root level, just is the defender that can be, when combined with mental energy, an impetus to aggression.

TM: In the desire nature and its list of wants, do you include things like dignity and respect?

Master Buddha: Yes, of course.  That is a matter of ego interpretation of necessities that we have covered elsewhere.

I wish to draw your attention to the fact that anger derives its force and origin from its role as defender within the human realm of physical, emotional and mental.

TM: From that are you implying that anger doesn’t exist in other realms, such as spiritual?

Master Buddha: I say emphatically that anger does not exist in the spiritual realm because there is no need that goes unfulfilled.

TM: What about the whole Lucifer rebellion?  That sounds like some needs unfulfilled.

Master Buddha: That was a matter of pride and desire, not of anger.  It was a calculated, creative execution of a perceived right of domain.  It failed.

TM: So spirits in the universe weren’t angry with Lucifer and his minions for disrupting and corrupting everything?  I mean it seems like a major conflict and you’re saying there was no anger involved and I find that hard to believe.

Master Buddha: What can I say other than what I know to be true?  There was disappointment in the whole affair, but not anger or retribution associated with anger.  There were consequences that were accepted with responsibility by all involved.

TM: Okay.  Please go back to your line of thought.

Master Buddha: Anger finds its origin in the human realm.  Given that, we can look for its necessity there.  Its purpose is to defend.  But is that necessary?

TM: I think I know where you’re going.  You’re going to argue that our desires aren’t necessary, neither is defense of them; so, anger isn’t necessary.

Master Buddha: That would be a difficult argument wouldn’t it?  Many people would disagree that desires are unnecessary.  What about basic survival needs?  Don’t those need defending?  Can’t anger be necessary for that?

TM: Yes, I suppose so.  But couldn’t they be defended without anger?  Why is anger necessary to arouse defense?

Master Buddha: Because it is.  This is where humanity is right now.  As the human race evolves closer and closer to its spiritual nature there will be a diminishment and eventually a disappearance of anger as the impetus for defense.  Over time there has been and will continue to be this gradual receding of anger.

TM: I’m surprised.  I never would have guessed that the official ‘Master’ position is that acting out anger is okey-dokey.

Master Buddha: Well, we have to cover this a bit more to qualify that position.  I think what you’ll discover is that our understanding of human nature encompasses a realistic perspective of long term evolution of human characteristics and traits.  The expression and use of anger as a defense mechanism is one.  There are others.

TM: I think I need some elaboration on this, because it goes against what I believe.

Master Buddha: And you believe?

TM: Anger is a natural emotion arising from our attachment to what we desire and feel entitled to have.  I don’t believe it’s necessary, but we are conditioned to express it, violently sometimes, and to accept it and actually be entertained by it. I believe there are ways to express anger without being harmful to others and that seeking revenge and retribution create more attachment to the experience.  I agree this is an evolutionary process, but surely we at the point where we can see that anger isn’t necessary so that we can explore other ways of providing for our survival.

Master Buddha: Does it make you angry that others can’t see this point and share your belief?

TM: A little.

Master Buddha: This is one of those conundrums for which we can’t assert what should be based upon what we’d like it to be—it just is what it is.  And at this point in human evolution there is a substantial number among the world population that experience anger differently from the belief you have stated and it’s going to take some time for the weight to shift.  In the meantime there is progress toward peaceful solutions among people who have recognized, if nothing else, that peaceful solutions grant more security to the protection of needs and wants than it does by using anger and retribution.  It’s a start.  You don’t make the shift by being angry or judgmental towards those who still regard anger, violence, war, or force as the natural solution to feeling threatened.  It is the natural solution for those grounded in the materiality of humanity, and that is the majority population of the world.

It will change over time through the enduring examples by those who have mastered peaceful solutions to threatening situations.  It will happen.  Patience is required.

TM: It always requires patience doesn’t it?

Master Buddha: Patience and a non-judgmental perspective.

© TM 2015

Sensual Pleasures & Enlightenment: Buddha and TMichael

Sensual Pleasures and Enlightenment, http://conversationswithjesusandbuddha.com/sensual-pleasu…-enlightenment/
Sensual pleasures and enlightenment

Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Sensual Pleasures and Enlightenment

TM: I’d like to talk about one area that seems to be rejected by Christianity and Buddhism (maybe for different reasons) and yet Hinduism embraces it in part.  And that is pleasures of the flesh. Two questions come to mind.  When you say give up the pleasures of the flesh, or give up the sensory pleasures, what do you mean?  Why do we have to forego pleasure in order to appreciate and live a spiritual life in the flesh?

Master Buddha: Those questions allow me to clarify some misunderstandings that have arisen from my original teachings and Master Jesus’ teachings too.  Let me emphasize too that those teachings were provided for an earlier time in which the conditions of the time were different than they are now and so adjustment is required.

First of all for context, the questions posed that aroused the teachings had to do with achieving enlightenment or salvation.  They were intended for disciples who had dedicated their lives to tread the path. Those who recorded the essence of the sermons and discussions were biased by their own personal beliefs toward the ideas presented.  This doesn’t mean they are completely inaccurate, it just means that one must make allowances for the bias.

Secondly, we were in our own time biased by our own lives while incarnated.  While it is true that Master Jesus and I achieved states of enlightenment beyond the norm we could not escape the effects of being human.  This is often forgotten or is dismissed because we are elevated above our actual experience in the flesh by devotees and followers.

Now let me address your questions.  Sensuality is a natural part of being human.  It is so natural in fact that it can be mistaken as the primary aspect of ones being.  It is in reality a reflection of higher consciousness.  For those treading the path I ask, do you wish to play in your reflection in the pond or do you wish to know the one casting the reflection?

This was not and is not to be interpreted as an admonishment to those beings who are playing in their reflections.  It is saying to the one upon the path, this is the way.

TM: So you are saying that one can’t find their way to enlightenment by exploring the pleasures of the flesh?

Master Buddha: It is knowing the distinction between the true self and the one who pretends to be the self.  One will not find the true self by only exploring the reflection.  Likewise one cannot deny or ignore the reflection and truly know oneself.  I think what you want to know is can one experience and appreciate the pleasures of the flesh and pursue enlightenment.  The answer is in each ones heart or center of ones intent.  The non-self is a trickster beyond belief.  To answer yes means that it is possible and to answer no is to exclude that which is possible.  It will be different for everyone.

TM: So it is possible but it depends on the individual?

Master Buddha: Yes.

TM: How do I know if it is possible for me?  How do I know what is the center of my intent?

Master Buddha: You will know when the power of your heart and your true desire for enlightenment out weighs all other considerations.  All that isn’t from that place melts away and leaves the purity of true self.  In other words until that point you won’t know.  You will try this and that, and mostly you will try to strike bargains and negotiations with the true self to bring with you all the things that are important to the non-self.  Until that day when you realize what you have been doing and it all falls away and leaves who you are.  Then you’ll know.

TM: It sounds like what you’re saying is that the pleasures of the flesh are the parts that the non-self is bargaining to keep and that they will be the parts that melt away.  Is that what you mean?

Master Buddha: I believe you were one of the ones who recorded these teachings many centuries ago.  Why don’t you just find out for yourself?

TM: Well, of course I will.  But I’m asking you as a teacher for a lesson that will guide me along the way.

Master Buddha: And I am a teacher along the way who is offering a lesson to a student who wants me to provide shortcuts that obviate his own need for experience, which in reality cannot happen.  What more can I say except that you will have to find the way to the center of your heart to know your true self and in time know that which is not the true self.  The pleasures of the flesh represent the reflection, but are not the true self.  Is that clear?

TM: Humbly, yes.  Although, I must say you are being forceful and adamant about this in a way I haven’t before experienced in your teaching.

Master Buddha: Sometimes that is what is needed.  I am adamant that you experience life for yourself.  A teacher shall point a way, but shall be cautious about dictating precise directions.  It is through discovery that you truly learn the lesson, not through intellectual comprehension.  The motivating force that propels you into discovery is from within yourself.  There is no harm in vigorous stimulation of the mind on spiritual matters.  But ultimately it is living experience that counts.

©  TM 2015

Truth and Trust: Buddha with TMichael

Trust and Truth, http://conversationswithjesusandbuddha.com/truth_and_trust/
Truth and trust

Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Truth and Trust

TM: I can see upon reflection of what you have said about reincarnation and karma that I had a notion that it was a form of punishment to correct wrongdoing, or reward for good things done.  And one has to come back time and time again to get it right.  That’s not it though, is it?

Master Buddha: Getting it right, meaning purifying your essence while in material form, and consequently purifying your material form would be one way to see it.  Punishment and reward is wholly a human concept.

TM: But we have so many stories of God(s) punishing people for all sorts of things they did wrong, or for disobeying God(s).  How do we change our orientation toward that model?

Master Buddha: I don’t know.  You could just give it up because it no longer serves you.

TM: Well, that’s just too easily said.  Much harder to do I think.

Master Buddha: You have to make that choice whether to hold on to what you once knew and cherished as truth or to embrace a new idea that better suits your current state.

TM: How do you know when it’s time to do that?

Master Buddha: Ask yourself, what is the worst that could happen if I embrace this new thought?  Can you not retrieve the old one?  Who gave you all these rules that you must rigidly follow?

TM: I suppose at some point I accepted them as truth and have clung to them because I want to live according to truth.

Master Buddha: Truth shifts with you.  It is not a fixed thing that you can cling to and drag it around.  Truth represents reality.  But remember that your journey on Earth in material form presents you with an avalanche of illusion.  You must be adaptable and truth seeking, not truth-clinging.

TM: Don’t you have to have something to hold onto for just a little while?  I mean, isn’t truth-seeking a truth to follow?  When would you give that up?

Master Buddha: As soon as I believe it no longer serves me.  And service to me could mean something very different than when I adopted truth-seeking in the first place.  You like many others are afraid of losing control and so you place limits; you reduce meaning and experience.  Reincarnation and karma allow for a non-judgmental experience of life in material form.  If you are fluid enough in your orientation you can experience all that there is in the world of illusion in a very short time.  If you’re not, then you can take a long time to spin around in the same space until you realize that is what you’re doing.

TM: How do we know which truths to trust and to follow?

Master Buddha: You don’t know based upon trust do you?  You know based upon deliberation in a mental process.  You know based upon what has been handed down through the ages in the form of teachings and social norms.  You know according to your familial orientation.  And you know according to what serves your ego.

If you knew based upon trust, you would not need those other inputs would you?

TM: So you’re implying that I need to find trust first?

Master Buddha: The ego does not trust; it scans.  It searches high and low for signs of agreement or disagreement with its agenda.  It will play any role that serves to maintain its primacy.  It is, in fact, the most worthy foe of any one you could meet.  And it is who you think you are.

Trust is incongruent with ego.  That is, unconditional trust is in congruent with ego.  Trust based upon conditions and waivers abound with the ego.  To seek truth with such a handicap is nearly impossible if not maddening.

In ancient cultures, trust was based upon instinct.  With modern civilization, the mental faculty has replaced instinct.  Beyond the mental faculty you will discover the true seat of trust for your purposes of living on Earth.  Then you may choose truths based upon trust.

TM: How do we get there?

© TM 2015

Reincarnation & Karma: Buddha with TMichael

Reincarnation and Karma, http://conversationswithjesusandbuddha.com/reincarnation-and-karma/
Reincarnation and karma

Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Reincarnation and Karma

TM: Yesterday we were discussing reincarnation and I asked you if we could include karma.  Will you explain karma and whether or not it affects reincarnation?

Master Buddha: Karma does factor into reincarnation.  It does so by the nature of what karma is.  Let me explain.  Karma is simply the eternal spirit of a human taking personal responsibility for his or her life experience.  There is an ethical element of course, but not to the degree that many believe.  The intensity of the ethical element is an effect of the person herself emphasizing this aspect.  That is to say there is no external force determining which acts of the individualized self are subject to karma and which are not.  It is the person who decides.

If for example a person commits an act of violence, a consequence is set in motion.  Let’s say that the violence is acted out against someone.  There is the consequence of injury to the victim and there is the consequence of how the violent actor feels about this act.

TM: What if the violent actor feels good about the act; it was an act of vengeance?  What is the consequence to that?

Master Buddha: It depends on the victim’s collaboration in this particular incident.  Believe it or not, there are acts that are requested by victims, even horrific acts that you would say that you would never wish on anyone.  But let me explain, because I can hear your mind protesting this claim.

From the time of mind endowment for humans, a sense of right and wrong began its slow development.  It was at that time that karma also began for humanity; once humans were able to discern and feel ethically, they were responsible for their actions and consequences.  Religion in its many forms became a guide as well as an enforcer and judge of unethical acts and their consequences, and also the reward provider for ethical acts.  This system of informing humans of what is ethical and what isn’t, however crude, was the first step toward recognition on a social level of the responsibility accorded to an experiential life on Earth.

Karma has nothing to do with the justice meted out by human institutions.  If a person commits a violent act toward another, then justice as administered by fellow humans shall determine the consequences of punishment, and retribution if any for the victim.  This is as it should be for now.  But this is not karma; this is humanity providing justice for itself as a social act.  Karma reflects responsibility of the eternal essence of being and is determined by that essence through its personalized spirit relationship with its creator.  This is only possible because the eternal essence is one with its creator ultimately, yet is differentiated for the purpose of experience.  It is never in reality separate, but has the experience of being so.

TM: So, I’m not clear yet on how a victim asks for it, so to speak.

Master Buddha: Yes, I know this one is difficult for you because in your conscious human state you can’t imagine that you would ever ask for such a thing and that it is just a way for wrongdoers to justify their actions.  On a spirit level there is communication between beings that is not evident in their conscious human awareness.  Sometimes you recognize it, but not very often.  Personalized spirits, such as you, are at once one with your creator and yet separate for the purpose of experience.  It is in the state of separation that experience leads you to that which is not your true spiritual nature.  Karma is the correction, harmonizing or balancing act.  When you take responsibility, of your own volition, your divine nature leads and no external force or judgment is required.  This why karma is acted out over many lifetimes.  The eternal essence corrects that which is not of its divine nature by its choice in time, place and lifetime.

The difficulty for you to accept this is that you are accustomed to the human ethical nature, which operates in the norm of “don’t get caught”.  For you to imagine that you would deliver your own justice is nearly impossible.

TM: You’re right it is nearly impossible, but not entirely.  What if human justice is experienced, does the essence still have to do a correction, or karmic experience, separate from the human one?

Master Buddha: Yes.  But again I emphasize that it may not be in the way that you will interpret based upon your code of justice.

TM: In the case where the victim doesn’t arrange to be the victim, what responsibility does the perpetrator have in karmic terms?

Master Buddha: As I said, it is up to the personalized spirit essence to determine that.  That means it is specific and particular to that essence in bringing relationship to his creator back into harmony and unity.

TM: We may need to continue this discussion.

Master Buddha: Most likely this is true.

© Zoe 2015

Reincarnation: Buddha with TMichael

Reincarnation, http://conversationswithjesusandbuddha.com/reincarnation/
Reincarnation

Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Reincarnation

TM: What is reincarnation exactly?

Master Buddha: Every living thing on Earth has an eternal essence, or spirit.  That spirit or essence cycles through life experience in material form and in various other forms, and what may be called non-forms from the perspective of material being.  In the material form on Earth of which we are speaking, there are many choices.  The essence chooses according to the experience one has been created to experience.

TM: Does this mean that those of us in human form would choose human form in the next life on Earth and not that of an animal, insect or plant?

Master Buddha: That’s correct.

TM: Does that also mean that no other past life we were any of those other forms and then graduated to human form?

Master Buddha: It is correct that individual essence, or personalized essence does not vary in forms in successive incarnations on Earth.  Each kingdom, mineral, plant, animal, human, and spirit has a role to play for the uplifting of vibration of the whole.  It means that as each tiny life fulfills that role to a greater and greater point of perfection then the whole rises in vibration and thus contributes to the likelihood of greater perfection, so on and so forth.

TM: What is meant by ‘vibration’?

Master Buddha: Vibration is measured by frequency, as you may be familiar in sound frequency or light waves.  A wave is produced and the shorter the wave, the higher the frequency, i.e. the faster its frequency of repetition.  Another way to think of it is in density.  Slower or lower frequencies are denser, and the opposite is true for higher, faster frequencies.  This happens at a subatomic level and then is reflected in the ultimate form composition intended by the inhabited essence.  The choosing of a form is instinctual according to the essence’s creative prerogatives.  That is, a human essence will instinctively choose a human form, a plant essence a plant form.  As that essence progresses over many lifetimes, it will increase its vibration within that form.  As each individual increases the vibration of its form there is a phenomenon that occurs in that other forms within that kingdom also increase slightly, and to a lesser degree the vibration life forms within other kingdoms increase as well.

TM: What is actually vibrating then?

Master Buddha: The essence within the form, which then reverberates throughout the form.

TM: And the essence is made up of what?

Master Buddha: The essence is comprised of light and sound waves, plus energetic qualities that resemble light and sound, but are distinct in their vibration apart from their binding with light and sound.

TM: So is consciousness the same as essence?

Master Buddha: In all discussion about these matters, it is a good idea to differentiate between individual and group reference.  Consciousness, like essence, can be either individual or group.  It is a part of essence as I am speaking of it here.

TM: Is there a set number of lives that an individual essence must fulfill and what happens at some point of fulfillment?

Master Buddha: If you mean, is there a quota of number of lives, the answer is no.  Each individual essence progresses as its free will and experience determine.  All benefit from the most progressive for the reasons stated earlier.  This ensures progress for all.  Each kingdom progresses and thus assists the other kingdoms to also progress.

TM: So what is the aim eventually?  Is the progression infinite or finite, and how is that decided?

Master Buddha: From our perspective, the progress is infinite.  This is because we haven’t the capacity to comprehend the finite within divine expression.

TM: May we speak later about the role of karma in reincarnation?

Master Buddha: Yes.

© TM 2015