– quoting Jed McKenna –
Buddhism is the most likable of the major religions, and Buddhist are the perennial good guys of modern spirituality. Beautiful traditions, lovely temples, inspiring buddhas, ancient history, the Dalai Lama, what’s not to like? No inquisition, no crusades, no terrorists or pederasts. Just nice people being nice. Buddhism is Nice-ism, at least, it should.
But lets be radically honest and cultivate a healthy skepticism, and question. Why doesn’t Buddhism produce Buddhas? What is the enlightenment success ratio among Buddhism mathematically speaking? How is it possible that after so many years the only case of enlightenment is the one that started the whole thing? As billions of sincere but unsuccessful seekers over the last twenty-five centuries might reluctantly attest, can we might consider the possibility that there is a serious flaw in a path that doesn’t produce any graduates?
The problem arises from the fact that Buddhists, like everyone else, insist on reconciling the irreconcilable. They don’t just want to awaken to the true, they also want to make sense of the untrue, by pretending and failing to build a philosophy of This on a foundation of Not-This. That is impossible. So they end up with a huge religion and zero Buddhas.
Buddhism concentrate the most elevated of man’s great belief systems and its many valuable benefits it has to offer. Much of Buddhist knowledge and practice seems focused on spiritual self-improvement. Buddhists can be honest and change their name to Compassionism. If Buddhism is about awakening, people should be waking up. If it’s not about awakening, they should change the name.
The Buddha real teaching “Figure it out for yourself”
To begin with, neither one of us has the slightest idea what the Buddha said because he didn’t write it down. And since he’s not here to explain, we’re on our own. We don’t have to rely on the highly suspect teachings of someone who’s been dead for thousands of years. You can rely on yourself, you are on your own.
If Prince Siddhartha made it on his own, you can too, right? The Buddha was just some guy who got serious and figure it out for himself, so maybe that’s his real teachings -that you can figure it out for yourself. Maybe the point is that he wasn’t a sort of deity but that he was just a guy like you or me.
In the core of Buddhism it’s said that there is only one sin. The sin of ignorance. Ignorance is sin, sin is ignorance. There’s nothing else. It is not the kind of ignorance where you don’t know something. It’s the kind where you do know something that’s not true.