Buddhism has its share of boneheads

Buddhism, I am sorry to say, has its share of boneheads like any other religion.  You can find the boneheads in scholarly works and in common conversations among Buddhists on the Internet or in person.

Whatever our expectations about Buddhism happen to be we have to do enough reading, research, and thinking about the subject to see if our beliefs about Buddhism hold water or not.  Most of them don’t.  And when Buddhism doesn’t match our expectations we dump it and find another religion that meets with our beliefs.

Much of the problem stems from the fact that our beliefs are difficult to give up.  For some people they are not going to give up their beliefs no matter what — and there lies the problem.

Buddhism’s problem in the West is that many Westerners who are curious about Buddhism think that it is a form of religious nihilism in which some guy in India discovered that there is no soul, and nothing divine.  Life is all about suffering and learning to cope with it.  And when you die you’re dead!

Buddhism for the serious and the mature is a different subject.  It is not about some guy in India who denied the Atman; who also denied the unending cycle of birth and death.  Far from it. 

Upon his awakening Siddhartha realized that the true self or atman is beyond the six senses and beyond all conditioned things.  Key to enlightenment is overcoming the dualizing consciousness or vijñāna.  Experiencer and experience are transcended.  Observer and observed are transcended.  Subject and object are transcended.

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The Zennist

Author of The Zennist blog since 2007.

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