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I am filled with genuine hatred towards my previous religion. My hatred is not directed towards other religions it's just towards my past. And this constantly bubbles up during meditation.

I don't live in a majority Buddhist country and it was a long hard journey to arrive at the Dhamma.

I don't have any problem with them following their respective paths but I am filled with rage for all the lies that were filled in my head for their own greed and ignorance. I get so enraged when I see people around me preaching non-sense theology to other people and to what effect, only to fulfil material desires.

So, what is the strategy when you see the lies and ignorance around. Do you keep quiet as not to get into a debate to keep the 'Right Speech' or do you get into arguments?

How do I get rid of hatred and tolerate other people spreading lies?

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    You say your hatred isn't toward religion in general, but is "just toward your (specific) past" -- so ought you explain more than you have, about your past experience[s]? I find it hard to understand the problem as stated and to relate to the question, e.g. because when I've experienced people preaching I didn't interpret their motive as being "for their own greed and ignorance" and "only to fulfil material desires" -- is that (their motive) an important part of why you're angry? Are you angry about some material loss of yours, being defrauded? – ChrisW Jul 22 '18 at 9:15
  • @ChrisW I get your point. The question may have looked ambiguious. But answer your question it would becone long a very post. But in short I am angry to have led on to wrong beliefs. The belief that there is some benevolent God in heaven who basically wishes good of me and is going to help me be happy if I pray him. This caused me lot of harm. Emotionally and otherwise to my life itself. – anon Jul 22 '18 at 10:33
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    Would it be safe to say that you take serious issue with people lying to take advantage of others in general, not just in religion? – undercat supports Monica Jul 22 '18 at 12:57
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    @undercat in a broader sense, yes – anon Jul 22 '18 at 12:59
  • What is your former religion? The religion of my past is conservative baptist Christian. I generated a great deal of aversion toward it before I became a Buddhist. The Buddha dharma has actually helped me get past this aversion and see beauty in my past religion. If you are Christian, would be happy to share my perspective if it would help. – Yeshe Tenley Jul 22 '18 at 15:53
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Think of the followers of your former religion as people who believe that the earth is flat. There's no point getting angry at them. It's ok to argue with them in social circles if you feel it might be useful to some and if you are confident that you can handle it.

But if it is getting to the point that you start shouting at them or trash talking at them, you should stop and contemplate the Anatta nature of beings. You cannot make other beings think the way you want at will. Meditate on the wanting to control others' thoughts. Whenever anger arises in the mind, simply note it.

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Well... I hate to say it (wink-wink)... but... having that rage and seeing that other religion as a collection of "lies" and those people as "liars" does say something about your level of realization in Buddhism. Yes, not very good.

You must change the way you relate to both, change the way you see it. Buddhism must not be handled as if it was a position of truth. Buddhism is a position of tolerance, a position of appreciating all positions. You should stop making Buddhism into another house for your ego.

When you get Buddhism, you don't identify with Buddhism. You see all religions, including Buddhism, as part-truths - echos or reflections of truth. Each partially valid and partially wrong in its own unique way. Then you can appreciate the wholesome elements in each and see the confused elements as natural side-effect of their chosen way to inform and communicate the wholesome elements.

I suggest you read Trungpa's Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. Hopefully, it will help you see how Buddhism relates with Ego.

  • If religions are not lies, then what is it? – user4951 Jul 22 '18 at 21:30
  • To me, they are useful fairy-tales, perfect for small children that most of us people still are. Fairy-tales tell truth, in simplified and decorated form - because children have simplistic mind and very short attention span. You can't tell them serious things, because they will stop listening before you finish, and will not understand if you do. IMO that's why wise people invented religions and fairy-tales. – Andrei Volkov Jul 22 '18 at 22:11
  • @J.Chang The philosopher Alan Watts often talked about Myths. He defined myths as "images with which we make sense of the world." I find extending that definition from myths to religions is not unreasonable. – Cort Ammon - Reinstate Monica Jul 23 '18 at 4:53
  • @AndreiVolkov : Have you ever heard about a concept called "straw man"? – vsz Jul 23 '18 at 20:51
  • Yes, sure. Why? – Andrei Volkov Jul 23 '18 at 21:04
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As a buddhist follower myself, shouldnt this current religion teach you about tolerance? and acceptance? Why be angry about the lies told to you, reject it in your mind and you will be free from it. Just like what Buddha had said, what happens when you reject a gift from a person? it goes back to them. same thing here. reject the lies and its goes back to them. The fact that you are still angry only point to 1 thing. You had unconsciously accepted the lies. Being truly free, as in Buddhist teaching is not to hate whatever pass you have but to move forward with the new path you choose. Ultimately, the choice is yours. Let it go and free yourself.

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(This is not really a prescriptive answer, just a few questions that perhaps could shed some light on your feelings. Furthermore, I'm just another person curious about Buddhism, so take what I wrote with a lump of salt.)

How do I get rid of hatred and tolerate other people spreading lies?

My suggestion is to try and understand why the liar (in your case, some of the religious followers) chose to lie to you and others.

You say, it is "to fulfill material desires", but have you tried "stepping into their shoes", as unpleasant as it may sound, and considering what former struggles, traumas and bad influences of the past made that person value material desires so much at present?

No human being is born in sin. Have they ever struggled with money or popularity when they were younger? Were they raised in a very religious and conservative family and were forced to take the same world view as their family and mentors?

I believe that if you succeed in seeing how their innocent youth got bruised and transformed by the imperfect world around them, your hatred will slowly transform into compassion and understanding.

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I think this is a great chance to practise compassion (in Buddhism, this is one of the four brahmaviharas or sublime states, known as karuna or compassion).

There's the story of a Japanese soldier who hid in the jungle during World War 2. Even after the war was over, he remained in hiding in the jungle for decades. Then one day, he came out, still in fear, but discovered that the war was over a long time ago. Wouldn't you feel compassion for this soldier instead of contempt, because you understood the reason why he hid in the jungle? It's due to his fear and ignorance.

If you have a grandmother suffering from senile dementia, who sometimes lashes at you, would you be angry towards her or would you be compassionate? Surely, you would be compassionate towards her, because you understand that she is behaving in this way due to her medical condition.

Similarly, try to understand the background and motivations of those people who practise the other religion. Perhaps, they choose their beliefs and practices simply because they blindly trust their parents' teachings, and they are afraid to consider anything else, due to fear of divine retribution or due to fear of temptation by an imaginary invisible malevolent being. Then you would have compassion for them.

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ok. I can understand you. It's not a matter of your past religion, and it's a matter of your thinking pattern. if you can stop your thoughts flood then there is no any mind disasters now you already have.

here is a small solution for it. just see your thoughts are arising and seas but don't accept it or reject it. just let it to come let it to be and let it to go with using your mindfulness and wise consideration.But don't be a part of that thinking pattern. touch the silence in between two thoughts. be mindful only to attach to that. then all your thoughts will vanish. then you free from the problem. be sure to practice meditation on breathing continuesly to stop unwanted thoughts you have.

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So, what is the strategy when you see the lies and ignorance around. Do you keep quiet as not to get into a debate to keep the 'Right Speech' or do you get into arguments?

Nowadays I usually keep quite. Their opinions and ideas are not my problem, and I don't want to make it my problem. The story of holding on to hot coal and burning oneself helped a lot. Also, realising that no matter what I would do there would be no end to whatever opinions or ideas, cause there are too many. It's infinite, endless. The only solution is to not get involved.

That would be my suggestion to you: don't to get involved. Care for your own mind and let them be with theirs.

Peace.

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You say, "The belief that there is some benevolent God in heaven who basically wishes good of me and is going to help me be happy if I pray him. This caused me lot of harm. Emotionally and otherwise to my life itself. –"

First I would like to say I am sorry that someone in your Christian past taught you something that Christians do NOT believe. A cursory study of Reformed Theology would show you that actual Christians do not believe in such a God as you have described. There are prosperity preachers and other aberrant teachings that spread vacuous lies and untruth under the guise of Christianity- and they burn like wildfire through many under-educated congregations.

Being angry about it is frustrating, infuriating, and rather pointless as it only hurts you and keeps you from moving forward. At some point in each of our lives we have to make a choice to only own our own stuff if we want to move forward emotionally, psychologically, and attain a level of peaceful happiness.

Each one of us must choose what we believe. A lot of people think that indoctrination trumps choice but it does not if you are even a modest thinker.

You can choose today to let it go. You can acknowledge it, and accept it as part of your past and move forward with your studies and practices in Buddhism unfettered from the anger your feel regarding your previous religious experience - accept that the people who are part of your past who still practice their faith are, like you, seekers along the way trying to find their own place in the universe and their own understanding of peace, joy, happiness, and love.

We are complicated beings, but the vast majority of people all pretty much want the same things.

Moment by moment we all choose how we will respond, how we will think, how we will love or withhold love - keep choosing peace, love, unity, and joy.

Blessings, Robin

  • In a subsequent comment the OP said their previous religion was Hinduism (not Christianity). – ChrisW Jul 23 '18 at 1:00