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Department
Religious Studies
Course
Religious Studies 1023E
Professor
Corrine Walsh
Semester
Winter

Description
January 8, 13 Tuesday Is there a God? Teological argument:  Teleos (Greek) = end, purpose  Argument from design – all things in nature have a purpose/design.  William Paley (1743-1805): his argument: o When you‘re walking and find a watch and think about how it got there o You start looking and noticed that its there. Notice that it doesn‘t belong. o You can also infer that because its so complex it has a specific purpose. o Also you can infer that it had a creator. In other words: o An object X is too complex, adaptive, apparently purposeful or beautiful to have occurred randomly or accidentally. o Therefore, X must have been created by a sentient, intelligent, wise, or purposeful being. o God is a sentient, intelligent, wise, or purposeful being. o Therefore, God exists.  NOTE: See article on Reserve (Cardinal Carter library) Cosmological argument:  This theory concerns itself with the causation  Cosmology = the science (and theories) of the origin and development of the universe  Cosmos (Greek) = universe  Argument supported by Plato, Aristotle  Primarily concerned with causation  NOTE: See article on Reserve (Cardinal Carter library) o Plato and Aristotle‘s argument:  Efficient Cause: the agent, which brings something about.  First Cause: the cause of all efficient causes; the Prime Mover; God. o Whatever begins to exist has a cause o The universe began to exist o Therefore, the universe has a cause o In the cosmological argument, the cause of the universe (i.e., the First Cause) is God Atheism argument: (a/theos=God) (a/gnosis=knowledge)  The existence of God cannot be emphatically proven o No evidence for the existence of God o Therefore, it is a question of faith, not science  If cannot prove it positively, must assume a negative response  See Richard Dawkins – www.richarddawkins.net  See also: (video on Richard dawkins) http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=9002284641446 868316&ei=mQmvSoxAmoipApfgkJcD&q=the+root+of+ all+evil&hl=en#docid=-516606648165326862 o He thinks its irrational to base your life on something without evidence o He thinks that the human brain creates illusions which is god and that when people have a miracle its merely a delusion o ―We know so little about Jesus, he was a great moralist at his time, his values were ahead of his time. ― o He thinks that human rights and women rights came not because of the bible but in spi te of the bible. o We don‘t get our morals from the bible. Because we pick and choose our morals and then decide which ones we want from the bible. o He thinks the world would be better without religions. The movements fro feminism and to abolish slavery etc. have been mainly secular cultural events. o He thinks that religion gave the 9/11 people the motivation and that it makes them do bad things. o Also he thinks that Darwin‘s theory explains it all and thus there‘s no need for God. January 15, 13 Tuesday What is religion?  What is similar and what is distinct between how you defined ‗religion‘ and ‗spirituality‘? o There is only one religion but hundreds of versions of it. o Spirituality is the belief in something. o They are interconnected with each other o Religion tends to be highly structured and organized  Spirituality is not organized o Religion tends to be communal.‖ Can you be a religion of one‖? It‘s a shared belief system. o Most scholars say religion has to do with an ultimate reality of God.  This isn‘t found in spirituality. o Religion: has been around for a while and has a sense of history and isn‘t something that‘s new today and those that are newer are tend to be called new aged religions.  Spirituality was not found along time ago. o Most religions have a set of religion books and they have a hierarchy between them and the followers. o Spirituality tends to be more individualized and when it is communal it‘s a smaller mover.  Classification of beliefs: o Theism:  ―belief in the one or more divine beings‖ (The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion , at 1065.) o Polytheism:  ―the belief in a plurality of gods.‖ (The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion , at 849.) o Monotheism: (means one in Greek)  ―a belief that there exists only one divine being.‖  Yes there‘s a belief in something but there is only one God. (The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion , at 728.) o Atheism:  ―a critical stance toward divinity. ‖ (The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion , at 88.) o Belief that gods/deities do not exist o Agnosticism:  ―the view that there is insufficient evidence to posit either the existence or nonexistence of God, and by extension, of the immortal soul.  Agnosticism functions as an intellectual mid-position between theism and atheism. ‖ (The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion, at 32.) Theist – belief in God Evidentialist Spectrum – belief of Belief Fideist – based on and Basis belief based evidence of Belief on faith Atheist – non-belief in God Asking the perplexing questions:  Transcendence o ―Transcendence is a condition attributed to divinity as beyond the limitations characterizing creatureliness and as beyond comprehension by any created mind.‖ (Encyclopedic Dictionary of Religion, at 3556) o Transcendence‘ = ‗going beyond‘ o In religion, condition or state of being that surpasses, and is independent of, physical existence o ‗Self-transcendence‘ = ‗moving beyond a prior form or state of oneself ‘  Where does the word religion come from? : o Etymology:  religio (Latin, noun)  Fear or awe that one feels in the presence of a spirit or a god;  Also, moral obligation, duty o Religare (Latin, verb)  To tie, to bind  Also means ‗concerning a gathering‘  History t h o Pre-modern (up to 16 century)  Usually applied to ritual obligations  Ritual  Focus on orthopraxy (right actions, practice) rather than orthodoxy (right beliefs)  Together, rituals include ‗myths (sacred stories), ‗rites (proper way to do something)‘. ‗Ceremonies (things that have a fair amount of ritual significances e.g. wedding)‘, and ‗festivals (event staged by a community) t h  Modern (late 16 century to Preset h: o Protestant Reformation (16 century) – Reformers tended to use ‗religion‘ to mean ‗piety‘ . Luther king was breaking away from the catholic tradition, still there is a Christian umbrella but he‘s challenging the roman catholic church. o Piety = a desire and willingness to work toward spiritual goals through our actions in this world . Actions that help us to work to ou r goals. o Common usage equated with ‗virtue‘: Samuel Johnson‘s Dictionary of the English Language (1755)  Modern history of religion cont ‘d o German distinction between ‗faith ‘ (glaube) and ‗religion‘ t h o Encountering ‗new religions‘: Colonialism (19 century)  ‗true religions‘, ‗religion‘   Emergence of secularism (20 t hcentury) o Stuff that‘s not associated with religion. o People are becoming less and less concerned with religion. o Part of this comes from  Industrial revolution  Rise of secular institutions  Important people of religion: o Emile Durkeim, Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912). His work was dedicated to show that religious phenomena had to do with social factors. o Max Weber, Sociology of Religion (1920)-father of sociology of religion. This is the s tudy of themes and role of religion of society. o Rudolf Otto, The Idea of the Holy (1912)- he was a German protestant. o Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo (1913)- best known on studies on sexual desire. He described religion as become comparable to a childhood neurosis.  Some distinctions in terms … o Sacred v. profane. Sacred is like a church. Profane is the opposite of sacred. It means everyday common existences, s o things you do everyday. o Religion v. spirituality. Spirituality is a more modern invention. It‘s a rejection of organized religion. o Religious studies v. theology. They both look at the belief studies of religions but from different perspectives. Religious studies perspectives draws at a lot of diff perspectives. You‘re looking to understand it from different lenses. Theology is the study of God. You look at that religion as a believer of that religion. The difference between them both is with content. o Ultimate Reality: the divine belief in something that is beyond yourself.  Types of definitions of ‗religion‘ o Substantive  Attempts to define what religion is o Functional  Attempts to define what religion does January 22, 2013 Religion as a Myth Myth and Re-Telling of Myth • Apparently fictional stories that explain origins (e.g., creation stories, ‗stork‘, first humans, etc.) e.g. where did the earth come from? Where do babies come from? • A narrative apparatus-network that legitimizes and communicates social and cultural identity- a story framework that gives it some authority and tells us about social and cultural identity • A class of social argumentation found in all cultures – and ordinary (McCutcheon) IMPORTANT!! • For the purpose of our study, when w e speak of religion as ‗myth‘, we do NOT mean that religion or belief in Ultimate Reality/God/Divinity is false. • Rather, use of the term ‗myth‘ gives us a common basis to explore religion as an organized understanding of the sacred stories, narratives and beliefs of a community regarding Ultimate Reality. • Myth = sacred story Major Types of Myth: • Pre-scientific explanation of natural phenomenon o Stories about lightening that are told to young children e.g. God is angry o We had stories to explain these bizarre ways for the earth o Before science explained droughts and rainstorms, we had stories to explain these natural disasters. • Tales of heroes o Taking these dramatic events of these great leaders of the past and memorializing them. E.g. Zeus. • Expression of mythopoeic mentality o When we encounter the ultimate reality. o Often our expression would be too big for words e.g. deeply falling in love with someone. You cannot explain how it is in words. • Social dreaming (Freud) o Freudian-resolving anxiety and suppressing the ld • Expression of the collective unconscious (Jung and Campbell) o Known in psychology o Symbolic messages that tell us something about ourselves o The story is kind of like an iceberg • Structuralism (Strauss) o Talking about the structure of a myth o Strauss say if you want to understand the meaning of a myth you need to understand the structure of the myth. o • Truth (Eliade) • Social Augmentation and the Ordinary (McCutcheon) o Russell McCutcheon o Myth enables human communities to engage in debate or discussions over questions that affect them on a regular basis o Religious myths are phenomenon where human communities are able to engage in debate or discussions over questions that affect them on a regular basis, questions about ultimate concern Modes of Myth Re-Telling • Religion • Politics • Culture • Myth making as social formation and the ‗what -goes- without-saying‘ • ―Myth has its authority not by proving itself but by presenting itself.‖ J.Z. Smith Test 1  Covers all course material to date including lectures, videos, readings, assigned materials on owl, etc.  You will not be asked about discussion postings on owl. You ill be asked about course content related to these discussion questions  30-40 multiple choice questions, incl uding true and false New topic: The Abrahamic Religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam Areas of focus for our discussion:  Religious ancestry  Understanding of Ultimate Reality o One God and God is One o Creator o Infinite & Self-existent o The Sacred  Prophets, Revelation and Sacred Texts Religious Ancestry  Abraham/Ibrahim – father of  the Jewish and Arab nations  Patriarch o ―The male head (father) of an ancient family line, a venerable tribal founder or leader ….‖ (Harris & Platzner, G-33)  Jewish patriarchs: o Abraham o Isaac o Jacob  Covenant = Hebrew berith o ―An agreement or compact between individuals (e.g., Abraham & Abimelech – Genesis 21:27); a promise YHWH makes to certain people (e.g., Noah, Abraham, David); a legal bond YHWH forms with a chosen group, such as Israel, and the demands God makes in return.‖ (Harris & Platzner, G-8) o Abrahamic covenant found at Gen 12:1 -3, 15:1-21, 17:1-27, 22:15-18  Abrahamic covenant o ―The series of promises YHWH makes to the patriarch Abraham, including vows to give his descendants nationhood, the territory of Canaan, and a line of kings, and to make them a source of universal blessing.‖ (Harris & Platzner, G -2) o Jews as understanding themselves as being God‘s Chosen People  Abraham as model of faith and obedience to God Understanding of Ultimate Reality ―Say, He is God, the One and Only God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.‖ Understanding of Ultimate Reality: One God and God is One  Monotheism  Judaism‘s Shema: ―Hear, O Israel, the Lord, our God, the Lord is One.‖ (Deuteronomy 6:4)  Islam‘s Shahada: ―There is no God but God. Muhammad is the Messenger of God.‖  Christianity‘s Nicene Creed: ―We believe in One God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things seen and unseen. ….‖  Polytheism and monotheism in the ancient world  The Unity or Oneness of God o Islam: tawhid o Surra 112: ―Say, He is God, the One and Onl y God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him.‖ Understanding of Ultimate Reality: God as Creator • ―In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.‖ (Gen 1:1-2) Understanding of Ultimate Reality: Infinite, Self -existent, Eternal  Infinite – beyond limitation  Self-existent  Eternal – beyond time  God as known through attributes, not directly  Beyond human comprehension o ‖Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few.‖ (Ecclesiastes 5: 2) God as eternal  Olam (Heb.) o eternal  Netzah (Heb.) o everlastingness o E.g., ―Come and see! The measure of the Holy One, blessed be He, is unlike the measure of flesh and blood. The things fashioned by a creature of flesh and blood outlast him; the Holy One, blessed be He, outlasts the things he has fashioned.‖ (Ber. 9a)  Shekhinah o Presence of or in-dwelling of God o Later equated with glory of God (havod) o Theophany = an encounter with the divine  For many Jews, Christians and Muslims, the nature of God is affirmed as an impenetrable mystery Understanding of Ultimate Reality: The Holy  The Sacred and the Holy Prophets, Revelation and Sacred Texts  Prophet = one who proclaims the word/will of their deity, typically considered to be divinely inspired o Navi (Hebrew) = ―The Hebrew word for ‗prophet‘, a spokesperson for YHWH who delivered God‘s judgments on contemporary society and expressed his intentions toward the world.‖ (Harris & Platzner, G-31)  Nabi (Arabic) = The Arabic word for ‗prophet‘  Male and female prophets  Prophets as divinely appointed or divinely inspired ‗intermediaries‘  Wahy  ‗Inspiration‘  The way in which the Qur ‘an was revealed to Muhammad, including both the ideas and the words of revelation  Jewish & Christian prophets include: o Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel o Amos, Hosea, Micah o Moses o Deborah- prophet and judge  Christianity: o John the Baptist  Islam: o Adam o Noah (Nuh) o Abraham (Ibrahim) o Ishmael (Isma‘il) o Isaac (Ishaq) o David (Dawud) o Moses (Musa) o Ezekiel (Dhu‘l-kifl) o John (Yahya) o Jesus (‗Isa) o Muhammad  Divination  It‘s about telling the future and using supernatural means to do so. o ―The practice of foretelling the future through supernatural means.‖ (Harris & Platzner, G -11)  Difference of ancient Israelite prophets o roeh (Hebrew) = ‗one who sees‘  Oneiromancy = the use of dreams or visions as a means of foretelling the future or the divine will  The prophets were quite independent ‗independence‘ or tension of the prophets there might have been tension between them and the people or them and the leaders.  They weren‘t always well liked as they felt as though the prophets were trying to make them ―behave‖. Prophecy, revelation and sacred texts  Bible – biblia (Greek) = ‗book(s)‘  Tanakh – Torah + Nevi’im + Kethuvim o Torah = ‗law‘, ‗instruction‘, ‗teaching‘ – Pentateuch – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (god especially loves Notre dam) o Nevi’im = ‗prophets‘ – books attributed to the prophets e.g., Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Book of the 12 o Kethuvim = ‗writings‘ – it has all kinds of different texts in it. It includes everything from books of prayers, wisdom sayings e.g. Psalms, o Song of Solomon, etc.)  Christian Bible (27 books): o Gospels (4) = ‗good news‘ –Matt, Mk, Lk, Jn o Historical (1) – Acts of the Apostles o Apocalyptic (1) – Revelation. Talks about revealed teachings of the end world. o Epistles (21)– letters  Qur ‘an  ‗Recitation‘, ‗reading‘  Sacred text of Islam  Surrah o E.g., Surah 12 - Joseph – deals exclusively with the story of the prophet Joseph o E.g. Surah 4 - Women – has many injunctions involving women and forms the major theme of the chapter  Scriptures as work of God o Moses was given the Torah or Tawrat o David was given the Psalms or Zabur o Jesus was given the Gospel or Injil (‘Evangel’)  All Abrahamic religions note the close connection between prophecy, revelation and sacred texts, and all honor the word of God as revealed to its community through its prophets  A note of divergence …  While all three Abrahamic religions trace their religious heritage back to Abraham, each has a distinct ‗founder ‘: o Judaism: primary architect is Moses o Christianity: Jesus of Nazareth credited with initiating Christianity in the world o Muhammad: Principal prophet and last prophet in lineage of prophets (which includes Moses & Jesus) Hinduism Meaning and Purpose: Toward and Understanding Of Hinduism  Foundations of the Hindu Tradition(s)  Origins of Indian religion(s) o Founder? o Sacred texts? o The founding of Hinduism v. the foundations of Hinduism Historic orientation of Hinduism  Indus Valley Civilization (2500 BCE)  Aryan o ‗noble ones‘ o c. 1500 BCE o Vedic Period (c. 1200-200 BCE  Early Vedic period = 1200 -900 BCE  Late Vedic period = 900 – 600 BCE Source of Hindu myths Veda  ‗Knowledge‘ (Sanskrit)  Collection of early Hindu religious scriptures  Also known as samhitas (‗collection‘) Two general categories/types of vedic scriptures:  Shruti = ‗heard‘ o Considered divinely inspired, fully authoritative o Smruti = ‗remembered‘ o Recognized as products of the minds of great Hindu sages o Often explain shruti scriptures and make them meaningful to general population Sources of myths  Vedas (samhitas = ‗collection‘) o Rig Veda o Sama Veda o Yajur Veda o Athara Veda  Brahmanas  Aranyakas Hinduism sacred scriptures • Sacred Scriptures • Samhitas (Vedas) • Rig Veda • Sama Veda • Yajur Veda • Athara Veda • Brahmanas • Aranyakas • Upanishads  Upanishads o Collection of teachings about the self and Ultimate Reality o Last part of the Vedas o Upa = ‗near ‘; ni = ‗down‘; sad = ‗to sit‘ o ‗Sitting down near ‘  Bhagavad Gita o Most cherished document in Hinduism o Summarizes the fundamental ideas of Hinduism o Describes important concepts such as Ultimate Reality, duties of life, how to live according to laws of dharma, etc. Hindu understanding of ultimate reality *Henotheism (belief that there is one god and that that one god takes many forms)  Brahman o Sanskrit = ‗spirit‘, ‗to be great‘ o Divine reality at the heart of all things; present in all things o Energy that sustains the universe – formless, eternal o Creator, preserver and transformer of everything o Appears in created beings (i.e., humans) as atman  Atman (everyone has an atman, even trees) o Divine reality at the heart of all things as experienced within oneself o Brahman and atman are identical and, in fact, the same thing  What does it mean to know Brahman? o Lived experience that all things are holy because they come from the same sacred source o Therefore, all things are ultimately one o ―The Truth is One, but different sages call it by different names.‖ Rig Veda 1.164.46  Maya o ‗Illusion‘ o the world as we know is all the same, there are no distinctions. o Belief that the world, as we know it, is an illusion, not true reality o Through deep meditation, begin to know and understand true reality that all things are One because Brahman and atman are identical Hindu deities  Trimurti o ‗Triple form‘ o Also known as the Hindu Trinity o Trinity – concept that god/deity has three aspects which are different forms of the same god/deity o Brahma = creator form – source/creator of life o Vishnu = preserver o Shiva = transformer/destroyer form o Together, Trimurti represents the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance and destruction Other Hindu deities:  Indra = warrier deity, associated with thunderstor ms  Agni = god of fire, associated with the sun  Soma = god of the drink consumed by priests during fire sacrifices (hallucinogenic)  Brihaspati = patron deity of Vedic priests Fundamental Hindu beliefs  Authority of the Vedas and the Brahmins (priests)  Existence of an enduring atman that transmigrates from one physical form (body) to another at death  Law of karma that determines one‘s destiny both in this life and the next life Human nature  One of bondage to ignorance and illusion (maya) – but can escape Samsara  ‗to flow together ‘  Eternal cycle of birth, suffering, death and rebirth  Note distinction between samsara and reincarnation Hierarchy of life forms  Humans not the highest life form – superhumans, gods/deities, etc. Reincarnation  Belief that all things have a life force – when life force loses one form, it is reborn into another form  Also known as transmigration of the atman Karma  ‗action‘  Our actions and their consequences on this life and the next  Sum of a person‘s actions and non-actions, thoughts, desires and intention in all lifetimes  Inherent moral consequence  Determines direction of rebirth If karma is unresolved, atman reborn into new body; if karma is resolved, attain moksha Moksha  Liberation from rebirth – the purpose of human life Varna  Hindu caste system – hereditary division of Indian society based on occupation  Rigid social system  Central to caste system are ideas of samsara, reincarnation and karma – if one obeys rules of one‘s caste, reincarnation into higher caste is possible  Dharma  Rules of order of how to live  Order life according to the dharma (rules of order) Caste System:  Brahmins – priests and academics  Kshatriyas – warrior nobles, ruling class  Vaishyas – merchants, artisans  Shudras – peasants, unskilled labourers, servants  Dalit/Harijan – Untouchables, outside of caste system Four Goals/Purposes of Life  Primary goal is to escape the bondage of ignorance and illusion (maya)  Achieve this by knowing and understanding your place in life and fulfilling the appropriate goals for your station and stage of life  Goal 1: Dharma o Appropriate living – fulfill the moral, social and religious duties of your station o Dharma = ‗law‘, ‗teaching‘  Goal 2: Artha o Prosperity – attain financial and worldly success through legal means  Goal 3: Kama o ‗Delight in the senses‘ o Pleasure – satisfy desire and drives in moderation  Goal 4: Moksha o Release from rebirth to attain freedom from reincarnation o Highest purpose of life Four Stages of Life:  Brahmacharin – student  Grihasta – householder  Vanaprastha – retiree  Sannyasin - renunciate Buddhism Buddhism developed as an alternative to the ritual -bound t h Brahmanism of India in the 6 century BCE  Based on premise that: o All of life is suffering o Salvation from suffering lies in our own efforts o In understanding how we create suffering for ourselves we can become free o Founded religion – Siddhartha Gautama – son of the kshatrya chief Buddhism‘s Sacred Myths: The life of t he Buddha  Born c. 563 BCE as Siddhartha Gautama  Prince - son of wealthy landowner, a kshatriya chief, who tried to protect his son from the world  According to birth legends, born of miraculous conception o Sage foretold Siddhartha would become either an ascetic or supreme monarch Four Passing Sights: o Sickness o Old age o Death o Sannyasin  The Great Going Forth  The Great Renunciation o At age of 29, Siddhartha renounced life of wealth to become a wandering ascetic  Initially, spiritual progress was elusive  Decided to practice the Middle Way and experienced Supreme Enlightenment  Enlightenment o Great Resolution o Attains Buddhahood - ‗radiated light‘, became a ‗buddha‘ o No longer a sattva (being, person) striving for bodhi (state of complete awareness, of total insight into the nature of reality); rather, he is now a buddha (‗a fully enlightened one‘)  ―There are many Buddhas before me, and will be many Buddhas in the future‖  ―All living things have the Buddha nature and can become Buddhas‖  On nirvana ―It is recognized that there is nothing but what is seen of the mind itself; where, recognizing the nature of the self-mind, one no longer cherishes the dualisms of discrimination; where there is no more thirst nor grasping; where there is no more attachment to external things.‖ Rejection of notion of atman, Brahman, varna, authority of Brahmins, and Vedic scriptures  Believed in samsara, karma, reincarnation  5 skhandhas  Anatman  Dharma  Enlightenment  Nirvana  Three Marks of Reality  Four Noble Truths  Noble Eightfold Path  Three Refuges  Pali canon  Primary divisions of Buddhism What is human existence? What doe s it mean to be human?  Five Aggregates of the Self (5 skandhas) – the self is the aggregate of five elements: o Physical matter o Feelings or sensations o Perceptual activity o Impulses to action, and o Bits of consciousness o Anatman  No ‗self ‘  Buddhist doctrine that there is no permanent, absolute self Three Marks of Reality:  Constant change o Anitya – everything in the world as we experience it is impermanent, constant flux o All reality is in motion - wise person expects change, accepts it and even embraces it  Lack of permanent identity o Anatman – no permanent identity/self o Each person is changing and comprised of parts that are constantly changing – quite rational, eliminates surprise at changes  Existence of suffering o Dukkha/Duhkha – ‗suffering‘, ‗sorrow‘, ‗dissatisfaction‘, ‗dis-ease‘ o Life, when lived conventionally, can never be fully satisfying because of inescapable change o To live is to experience sorrow and dissatisfaction o Cannot escape suffering, but can decide how to respond to it The Dharma  Dharma – teaching or truth concerning t he ultimate nature of things  Four Noble Truths: o Dukkha – life means suffering o Trsna (‗desire‘) – the origin of suffering is attachment, clinging, desire o Nirvana – The cessation of suffering is attainable o Eightfold Path – The path to the cessation of suffering is achievable by following the Noble Eightfold Path The Four Noble Truths:  ―And this is the Noble Truth of Sorrow. Birth is sorrow, age is sorrow, disease is sorrow, death is sorrow; contact with the unpleasant is sorrow, separation from the pleasant is sorrow, every wish unfulfilled is sorrow – in short all the five components of individuality are sorrow.  And this is the Noble Truth of the Arising of Sorrow. It arises from craving, which leads to rebirth, which brings delight and passion and seeks pleasure now here, now there – the craving for sensual pleasure, the carving for continued life, the craving for power.  And this is the Noble Truth of the Stopping of Sorrow. It is the complete stopping of that craving, so that no passion remains, leaving it, being emancipated from it, being released from it, giving no place to it.  And this is the Noble Truth of the Way which Leads to the Stopping of Sorrow. It is the Noble Eightfold Path – Right Views, Right Resolve, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihoods, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.‖  (The Buddha, quoted by Theodore Ludwig, The Sacred Paths, at 131.) The Noble Eightfold Path:  Right Understanding  Right Intention  Right Speech  Right Action  Right Livelihood  Right Effort  Right Mindfulness  Right Concentration o NOTE: Wisdom comes from right understanding & intention; Ethical Conduct is borne of right speech, action and livelihood; Mental Development is borne is right effort, mindfulness and concentration. Life of the Buddha cont‘d.  Order of disciples – sangha (community, association)  Three Refuges of Buddhism: ‗I take ref
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