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October 14, 2013

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Yes, it’s all a bit annoying. Although I can align my current understanding of life with the contents of some Buddhist books (and some other non-Buddhist approaches) the actuality of some of their beliefs and practices can be off-putting.

But personally, I would not be inclined to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’. Perhaps at the basis of many belief systems lies a grain or two of truth – difficult to find as it is overlain with years of ignorance - and of course the ever present mind-driven desire for some sort of continuity.

I guess the most forthright writer I have read regarding Buddhism is, as I mentioned previously, Stephen Batchelor. His latest book ‘Confessions of a Buddhist Athiest’, details the most in-depth enquiry into the history, politics, dogmas and institutions - past and present - of Buddhism I have come across. In this book he approaches the subject within the context of secularism and modernity.

He talks of “. . . relinquishing beliefs in an essential self” along with his early scepticism and questions of the traditional concepts of self and mind.
And , “Consciousness is what happens when an organism encounters an environment”.

And, some complimentary comments from Christopher Hitchens! All in all, an interesting read.

Buddhism and Taoism may be the least pernicious of religions, but for the mind awakened to the scientific approach, religion is a stupifying drug that induces a comforting false sense of reality. For the unawakened mind, reality is unbearable without religion's palliative effect.

Church of the Churchless is a rehab center for religionists who've hit bottom and are recovering. It takes time to detoxify.

This sounds like Tibetan Buddhism to me (a much later development that starts to incorporate a more substantialist agenda). The core teaching of Buddhism says there are no independent entities. So-called entities are empty of anything inherent - everything arises co-dependently.

I think Turan's recommendations are pretty sound. In Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist, Batchelor is quite critical of this type of substantialist position.

"The core teaching of Buddhism says there are no independent entities."

---Nothing wrong with "core" teachings. Nothing wrong with a teacher teaching the core of a particular teaching. Would I need to join up with a grouping to be taught the core teaching? Once I have mastered the core teaching, do I graduate and go on to the higher teachings?

These higher teachings may place me into a select group of higher enlightened few. You know, the so-called entities that are empty of anything inherent.

'Core' as in essential - prior to any elaboration etc.

Beyond this core or heart of Buddhism I personally have found little of value (hence I'm not a Buddhist.)

Who is this insight available to? Anyone who might see that 1. nothing endures and that 2. nothing can be found that is truly independent.

"Beyond this core or heart of Buddhism I personally have found little of value (hence I'm not a Buddhist.)"

---Nothing wrong with someone belonging to a religion, such as Buddhism, etc. However, how can one find value in a core or heart of Buddhism and not be an.....-ist?

Is it important that the basic of basics belong to an -ism? May be and may be not.

Is it possible that some nice elaborations could be found in the Core? If so, still... no big deal, life goes on.

"Church of the Churchless is a rehab center for religionists who've hit bottom and are recovering. It takes time to detoxify."

I see it as a process, not necessarily a detox. More like continuing to awaken to our own potential.

We learn from a guru (also from many teachers) and then some of us move on, realising that we are giving our own power away by putting someone on a pedestal. Its probably better to perceive the teacher as a guide to finding out who we really are. It seems some people have a more religious approach than others and don't want to give up this idealistic worship of another being.

So the journey continues, and we gather many more clues about the mystery of life before death overtakes us.

We learn from a guru (also from many teachers)

What I learned from a guru is that you must be self-deluded and devious to be one, and self-deceptive and submissive to follow one.

Quote cc: "What I learned from a guru is that you must be self-deluded and devious to be one, and self-deceptive and submissive to follow one."

The most self-deceptive people imo are those who think they have all the answers.

"The most self-deceptive people imo are those who think they have all the answers."

Gurus think they have all the answers and their followers go along with it. It's an ancient tradition...the shaman, the holy man, the prophet, the odd human who seems to see and hear and intuit what no one else does. These characters served as authorities until science put them (and their followers) out to pasture.

They are veggies and that is BIG
the bullshit around is not from Buddha

and don't believe in an external God , . . like You

"They are veggies and that is BIG"

Huh?

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