The Last Stoic

Did Buddha Believe In God?

Posted in Uncategorized by munty13 on November 22, 2008

Did Buddha believe in God – the very same one in-fact which Christians, Muslims, and Judaists pray to for forgiveness (or plead with when the car won’t start)? This question is not as outrageous as it at first appears, and especially not after the true nature of God is revealed. Unfortunately for religion, it cannot show us the true nature of God, and unfortunately for us, this is something which we have to discover for ourselves. Buddha understood that a belief system hinders the path of self discovery, so he designed a philosophy which was not encumbered by one. The funny thing is, once we have learnt to let go of all our beliefs we eventually end up confirming the existence of God and its true nature, but now it is neither tied up nor weighed down by the ideals which we once imposed upon it.

Buddhist teachings do not deny(or confirm) the existence of God, but instead focus on emptiness. Everything else outside this emptiness is a mind created illusion. “Form is empty; emptiness is form,” is a famous Buddhist mantra which illustrates that the Universe lacks inherent existence, and that it does not exist from its own side as ‘Universe’. Essentially nothing would exist if you were not there to observe it.

The Zen school of Buddhism understands the overwhelming implications of the role of consciousness in our lives. Nothing would or could exist without consciousness. Consciousness is revealed as the Universe itself, and that this is the true nature of God. Zen Buddhists continue to dismiss the need for a belief in God, and exchange it for a more zealous relationship in the form of Divine Union or Samadhi. This is probably a good idea in comparison to other religous institutions which behold the importance of God, but fail to understand what it is. Religions define God as the ‘Three O’s’: Omnipresent, Omniscient, and Omnipotent; and about the only thing which can live up to this definition is the Universe itself. Maybe it’s about time all religions gave up their incessant need to believe in God, and tried to develop a better understanding instead.

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