1

Namo tassa bagavato arahanto samma sambuddhasa (Sorry, I am not fluent)

I go to a Catholic High School & I have a theology class that preaches only their truths & say it is the supreme truth above all & that if one does not believe so they will perish in the extreme notion of the eternal hell.

I try my best to have no aversion toward other followings & I also take a genuine interest in them, but when it comes down to being metaphorically hit in the face with them every day, it can be hard to focus on my emotions toward other paths, as well as it can be hard for me to not get distorted by them & follow the Buddha's teachings.

What would one offer as advice to not sway from the Dhamma by distorted teaching while at the same time not have hatred in general (due to their delusions & spreading of so) towards other paths?

Metta to all! :)

1

I had the same doctrine when I was young (though at Sunday School, not at High School).

Eventually it seemed to me that "theirs is the only truth" was the most incredible part of the doctrine.

but when it comes down to being metaphorically hit in the face with them every day

Well, I hope that school teachers are not violent -- that "hit in the face" is only a metaphor now.

What would one offer as advice to not sway from the Dhamma by distorted teaching

There's some Buddhist advice about how to study Buddhist doctrine in DN 16, called Four Great References, which describes how to listen to someone who is trying to teach or to re-tell the doctrine:

Then the Blessed One said: "In this fashion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu might speak: 'Face to face with the Blessed One, brethren, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'...

"In such a case, bhikkhus, the declaration of such a bhikkhu is neither to be received with approval nor with scorn. Without approval and without scorn, but carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses and verify them by the Discipline. If they are neither traceable in the Discourses nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' In that way, bhikkhus, you should reject it. But if the sentences concerned are traceable in the Discourses and verifiable by the Discipline, then one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is the Blessed One's utterance; this has been well understood by that bhikkhu — or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' And in that way, bhikkhus, you may accept it on the first, second, third, or fourth reference. These, bhikkhus, are the four great references for you to preserve."

So -- "without approval and without scorn, but carefully studying ...". You did say you're doing something like that, "I try my best to have no aversion toward other followings & I also take a genuine interest in them".

Learning more than one language can help you to better understand each language, the same may be true, that understanding Catholic doctrine (including how it's taught and practised) adds to learning Buddhist doctrine too -- including what they might have in common (both good and not so good), and how they're different.

How do their lists of virtues and sins compare, for example?

And this isn't the place to discuss Catholicism, but since you mentioned "if one does not believe so they will perish", there's a slightly different statement now in Lumen Gentium published in 1964 -- see e.g. "Possibility of salvation outside the Church" -- though you wouldn't know that from the way they teach Catechism.

while at the same time not have hatred in general (due to their delusions & spreading of so) towards other paths

There's any amount of standard advice, I don't know what to say.

Just "turn the other cheek", and "love thy neighbour".

Or tell yourself (SN 35.88) that,

'These ... people are civilized, very civilized, in that they don't hit me with their hands

Or try to find a better teacher, or to communicate better with the ones you have.

Or more practice and less theory, if that makes sense.

And "hatred in general" sounds like a mistake to me, I think there are forms of Christianity, and individual Christians, who can be good friends -- even if they're possibly not the ones teaching that theology class -- which it would be off-topic to talk about here, but maybe just try not to generalise.

0

Why don’t you instead use this as an opportunity to explore what they do get right? Catholicism specifically can have tremendous similarities to Buddhism. The writings of St. John of the Cross especially come to mind. Rather than meeting them with aversion, why not curiosity and openness instead?

0

Christianity probably comes from Buddhism rather than from the traditional old tribal Judaism. There are some later books in the Old Testament similar to Christianity, such as Proverbs, but Proverbs was composed after Buddhism. The Old Testament Judaic religion has at least two periods: (i) before the Babylonian Exile; and (ii) after the Babylonian Exile. It seems obvious the later (post-Exile) Judaism (such as Proverbs) and particularly Christianity is heavily influenced by Buddhism.

You should try to learn the true meaning of Christianity; which comes from Buddhism, such as the Tevijja Sutta. In the Tevijja Sutta, the Buddha taught the Indian Brahmins who believed in God (Brahma) that the Way/Path to God/Brahma is by radiating love & compassion in all directions. For example, Jesus said: "I am the Way to the Father" and "I am from the only True God". Jesus said: "Be perfect (in love) like your Father in Heaven (is perfect in love)".

What Jesus said above is true because the "True God" of Jesus is not the old tribal Jewish God called 'Yahweh or 'Jehovah'. The True God of Jesus is "The Father" or what Buddhism calls "Brahma". "Brahma" as written in many suttas is "love". The Christians taught "God is love". Jesus is the way to The Father because the way of Jesus is love. The way Jesus leads to the Father, who is also love.

Please try to understand.

1 John 4:7-21

English Standard Version (ESV)

God Is Love

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

Therefore, if the Catholics teach their god is the only true god only because it is the "maker of heaven & earth", this is false. Jesus did not teach the Nicene Creed, which the Catholics preach:

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all that is, seen and unseen.

The "One God" of Jesus is "love" or "Brahma Vihara".

If Catholics hate Buddhists or Buddhism, then they are not following the true god of "love".


Note: I went to a Catholic school for 5 years, from 13 to 18 years old but we rarely learned any religion.

  • Proverbs was composed after Buddhism Google suggests they were finished in about the 4th century BC. – ChrisW Aug 15 at 1:04
  • yes. that is what i wrote – Dhammadhatu Aug 15 at 1:40
  • Hi DD! Is there any historical, documental or archeological evidence for these statements? There are a lot of scholar which believe that the sayings in John are ones probably farthest (in comparison to the the sinoptics) from what an historical Jesus might've said. Most of the sayings which have Jesus identifying himself as a god come, precisely, from John. Kind regards! – Brian Díaz Flores Aug 15 at 7:53
  • It seems possible that Jesus studied in India and very likely that he spent time a long time in his youth with the solitary monks of the tradtion that produced the Phllokalia, but to say his doctrine comes from Buddhism cannot be correct. It comes from direct knowledge. It would be surprising if he learnt nothing from Buddhism but a good teacher teaches from knowledge, not from previous teachings received as heresay. , – PeterJ Aug 16 at 9:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.