As I wrestle in my mind society’s conventions, and philosophical language in my quest for Truth (and correct propositions) I am leaving (and have left) no stone uncovered. One of those major stones is Religion.
Early in my college days I took an honest look at the Religion of Buddhism. I found it extremely riddled with intellectualism, spiritualism, a great dose of self-control and discipline. Mostly I found it lacking, in actual substance. The lacking and almost insanity of the Koans prompted me to write this poem, “Buddha Nature”. Recently I revisited some of those propositions and the following questions arose from the more recent scuffle:
Is Buddhism Tolerant?
It is amazing that the P.C. folks haven’t begun to go after the Buddhists and the Hindus. The main point of their worldview says that everything is a lie and everyone in it is a liar. We are all prisoners of the grand deception of Maya, and nothing in life is real or true…except that everything is an illusion.
The interpretations of Maya, or the Illusion of life:
“Maya means illusion. In the uniquely Buddhist language, Pali, the word is moha, “delusion.” It’s the Indian concept that the world is not what it seems to be. The Buddha revealed that what seems like permanent, painless, and personal is anything but.” (http://wisdomquarterly.blogspot.com/2011/01/illusion-maya.html)
The implications here are declaring that science is not real, and that the scientific method is a pretend game played with imaginary friends. Science only leads further into the rabbit hole instead of closer to the truth. Truth can only be achieve when reaching “Final Nirvana.”
Science can not test or validate that theory of Nirvana. Just as well because the all-exclusive Buddhism suggests that scientist work has no value and they’re lost souls seeking for enlightenment.
Buddhists are proclaiming that no Truth can be found in Science, in Logic, in Reason, or in Religion. Even if conclusions can be determined and verified they are nothing more than elaborate, inadvertent hoaxes. These fallacies that disillusioned zealots are trying to indoctrinate society with are the driving force that will ultimately keep society from reaching Nirvana or even conceiving that this reality is an illusion.
The real question is how did the Buddha reveal or have it revealed to him? How can one be in an illusion and everything in the Illusion is an illusion and use those illusions to find out that there is a reality beyond the illusion?!?!
C.S. Lewis said, ”
Romans 1:20 says,
“For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity.”
It appears that the Illusion proposition is self-contradicting and by definition false…or ironically an illusion or misconception of the Truth. On a further point, it stands to reason the Buddhism and Christianity are incompatible and contradictory; they cannot both be correct. This means that one is right, one is wrong, or they are both wrong, but they cannot both be right. One cannot be a Buddhist Christian.
“When a person wishes to become a Buddhist, the first step he or she takes is to go to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha for refuge. Since the time of the Buddha, taking this Threefold Refuge has identified a person as a Buddhist.”
“A Buddhist gets to know about the Dharma by reading the scriptures. He also learns from the writings and explanations of qualified teachers of Buddhism. Once he has familiarised himself with the Dharma through reading and listening, he has to realise its truth for himself by putting it into practice. This means purifying his conduct and cultivating Mental Development until the Teaching becomes part of his own experience.”
“To understand better the idea of taking refuge, one might take the example of a traveller who wants to visit a distant city where he has never been to before. He will surely need a guide to lead him towards his destination. He will need a path to follow. He may also wish to have travelling companions on the journey. A Buddhist working towards attaining happiness and Enlightenment is like the traveller trying to reach that distant city. The Buddha is his “guide”, the Dharma his “path” and the Sangha are his travelling companions”.
How can this person trust the Dharma or Sangha, if everything is an illusion? How can these have Truth? How can we know that they are true if our I only have reality of an illusion to measure the truth against?
I can not claim to be a Buddhist unless I begin down the path of enlightenment. I can say that I’m a Buddhist but if I am not actively seeking Enlightenment it is a false claim. It is therefore not as inclusive as advertised. I can not be a Christian, Muslim, or Atheist and call myself a Buddhist. There has to be a philosophical and lifestyle change, indicating that my current lifestyle is unfitting and an antagonist in my efforts to become enlightened. By its very essence it condemns all other religions and their dogmas as counterfeit illusions. The true reality is that there is no reality; this is enlightenment and nothing else is enlightenment.
How can the Tolerance movement miss this blatant disregard for evolution, science, and other worldviews?
Not only are they not accepting of their beliefs but there are unashamed to proclaim that they are fiction, pretend, or stories made up by people deceived by their own imaginations. The audacity of these meditating monks to insist that the only path to enlightenment is overcoming Maya and acquiring Mocsha or Nirvana.
According to the excerpts I pulled from their websites I can not follow Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, or some learned Shaman to find the path of enlightenment. I may as well be following the Rabbit down the hole.
Buddhist suggests that nothing exists. Reality is all a dream (or some god’s dream) and that we have to wake up. Your agony, pain, wounds, hurts, abuse, suffering, joy, passion, love, intimacy, children, and laughter are not real…mankind and the universe are a sham, flim-flam, and the figment of everyone’s congruent and concurrent imaginations.
But how can everyone be in the same nightmare, or dream at the exact same time?
How can that nightmare be recordable and linear, and follow specific patterns where in cause and effect work effortlessly?
Why is this illusion governed by laws and precepts that disallow us the mobility and lawlessness of a dream?
Karma Karma Khameleon:
We are all in the same illusion. That illusion is governed by unseen laws, logic, and precepts that we can neither see nor touch. The Karmic grading systems seems flawed as it is impersonal and very rigid…is Karma an illusion?
How can we trust in an impersonal, legal machine that records successes and failures incessantly and doles out appropriate punishments?
How can a system calculate the value of imaginary compassion bestowed upon an imaginary, suffering human being and yet be unable to comprehend what compassion is?
Karma is not a god or a deity. It doesn’t have human characteristics. It has no shape or form. It can not speak, or relate information…it is a recording device. It is an indefinable legal machine inflicting its unilateral justice upon mankind.
Is there any way to know exactly when Karma has implemented justice or when a person is suffering because they are in an insatiable illusion, existing to make people suffer?
Or is the illusion and suffering mete justice for mankind? Are we reaping our comeuppance?
Does Karma also exist for animals, air, rocks, water, space, stars, supernovas, suns, and galaxies?
If not, then why is man the only part of the Universe wherein Karma has any legislative, executive, and judicial power?
So this begs the question, “Was/is Buddha’s understanding and pursuit of Nirvana the real illusion.” Have 500 million people followed a fool and his folly? Can one “think” their way out of existence and suffering?
Think of it like this, if something is to be deemed an illusion there must be a genuine, so if something is false there must be a truth. If there is a truth, it must be knowable. Also an illusion is only a type of the Truth or a misrepresentation and the only way to know if you have the illusion or the truth is if the Truth is self-evident and omnipresent. One can never know Truth unless it exists, and only the Truth can reveal itself to you; one can’t discover the Truth via an illusion or illusory functionality (e.g intelligence, logic, reason, science, religion, and/or consciousness). The Truth simply is and is ubiquitous.
I offer you another alternative to circular thoughts spinning in an illusion. Buddha tried to answer the sin and morality question by acknowledging his own limitations to overcome suffering and sin on his own. However his answer became more of an atheistic or nihilistic response; nothing has meaning, nothing is real, and we enduring suffering to one day be annihilated. To the Buddhist it will be Nirvana, or the “blowing out”; non-existence for eternity. The atheist or nihilist simply awaits death to extinguish his/her existence. The result is the same, live your life as though it has purpose and endure whatever suffering comes until absolute finality slams upon us like a karmic guillotine. I give you the words of Master Yoda, “There is another…” (Empire Strikes Back, Yoda)
Jesus offers a better way, Mat 11:28-30, “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus did something you could never do, he received the punishment for your sins and “maya” so that you could come to Truth, or God. We could never get there ourselves, because we don’t know the Way. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6 MKJV).
His death illuminated and pierced all darkness, John 9:41
“If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.”
The Light of the World has come and the Way has been shown, and according to Jesus it is important on how one approaches the end, or climbs the “Summit to God”. He declared Himself to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (Not a truth, or a true person, but the Truth; if He is the Truth then there can be no other way, by definition He is either Lord, Liar, or Lunatic (C.S. Lewis quote from “Mere Christianity” ).
The overwhelming difference between Christianity and all other religions is that Salvation and Redemption are the result of Jesus’s actions and not our own. We could never in a million lifetimes ever earn salvation but He gives it to us free, though it cost His life. Quite the trade really.
I challenge you to take up this philosophical Koan and lock arms with it, it is worth wrestling for yourself.
If you find any grammar, punctuation, syntax, or spelling errors would you please email me firstname.lastname@example.org