04/30/17

Detail From ‘An Egyptian Feast’ by Edwin Long (1829-1891)

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Death is a timeless theme common to all religions. The corpse being taken around after the feast is a stark reminder to people to appreciate life as well as the ever present reality of death. The corpse attracts varying reactions, from indifference of the young to the reflective expressions of the older figures…

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03/28/17

Is Buddhism Fundamentally Flawed?

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I don’t always agree with self-declared “ex-Buddhist” Eisel Mazard, nevertheless I do count him among the people who have assisted my own developing understanding of the religion. While giving a very brief description of the “fundamental flaw” Mazard sees in Buddhism I also recommend watching the embedded video to hear it straight from the horses mouth…

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04/29/16

Does Buddhism Have A Future?

Buddha and DevasDoes Buddhism have a future? Buddhism will almost certainly continue to diversify as practitioners adapt themselves to the current harsh realities of globalisation. The issues of Rationalism, Consumerism, and Activism, are especially liable to influence future perceptions of the religion. Whether or not Buddhism remains relevant beyond the 21st century, or is viewed increasingly as anachronistic, will depend largely upon the various Buddhist schools all being much clearer on what the foundational teachings actually are…

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08/30/13

Knowing And Believing

In this post I argue that the popular science ‘priesthood’ of celebrities, journalists et al are serving a similar function to the spiritual leaders within organised religions who have traditionally interpreted scripture for the masses.  However, there’s a big difference between believing the truth and knowing it. Just as reading about science is no substitute for actually conducting experiments and applying the data to solving practical problems, so too one’s reading of suttas and commentaries is no substitute for actually practicing the Buddha’s advice…

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06/16/13

Fundamentals of Fundamentalism

Religious fundamentalists have been grabbing news broadcasters’ attention rather a lot since 9/11.  However, religious fundamentalism is not a new phenomenon and Buddhism itself is not immune from it, or so it seems. In this post I outline what sociologists have to say about the apparent rise of religious-inspired hatred…

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06/9/13

Reality

After what I said last time about ‘faith’ it was perhaps inevitable that someone would ask me what my conclusions are regarding ‘reality’.  The short answer is of course, I’ve no fixed conclusions – I’m still investigating through meditation and study. Nevertheless, in this post I briefly outline three main philosophical perspectives and where I currently stand with regard to knowing reality

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05/30/13

Faith

According to Wikipedia, “Faith is confidence or trust in a person, thing, deity, or in the doctrines or teachings of a religion. It may also be belief that is not based on proof… The word faith is often used as a substitute for hope, trust or belief.”  In this post I contemplate the meaning of ‘faith’ and identify five types that appear to be operating in modern day society…

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02/2/13

What Is Buddhism?

In this post I describe ‘Buddhism’ as a religion of self-help. The teachings traditionally ascribed to Siddhattha Gotama, the historical Buddha, are concerned primarily with ending existential angst and attaining liberation from the endless and painful cycle of death and rebirth. The Buddha claimed not to be a God or a saviour, just a man who had attained liberation by his own efforts and was able therefore to point the way for us to do the same…

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