[joe-frank-list] Re: joe-frank-list Digest, Vol 23, Issue 4
billmilosz at aol.com
billmilosz at aol.com
Tue May 3 11:15:17 PDT 2005
It seems to me that Buddhism is more secular than most Westerners expect.... while "village Buddhism" has it's various gods and demons, and there is a huge layer of tradition and structure overlaid on "institutional Buddhism", at it's core, Buddhism is a secular philosophy and while it deals with Big Questions, isn't religious at all. It's a kind of philosophic psychology. We in the West tend to first encounter Buddhism when we are "seeking" -which it seems Americans engage in when the "lifestyle quick fix du jour" falls short of delivering a state of constant ecstasy. Because we encounter Buddhism in this way we see it as "offering answers" like a religion. However, if you think of it more like a form of depth psychology, you can perhaps see it in a more natural context. You wouldn't consider Jungian psychology (for example) a "religion" any more than you would electrical engineering or linguistics, and Buddhism in it's essence is no different. It arose out of a deep study of the human existential condition, and while certain of it's insights can lead to practices which lessen alienation, it is not a religion in the sense that Westerners understand the term.
From: Will Irace <spblat at gmail.com>
To: Joe Frank Mailing List <joe-frank-list at armory.com>
Sent: Tue, 3 May 2005 10:43:24 -0700
Subject: Re: [joe-frank-list] Re: joe-frank-list Digest, Vol 23, Issue 4
If we accept the premise that we need a religious/spiritual life in
order to face mortality (among other things), I'll take "to relieve
suffering you need only awaken" over "confess your sins or face a
vengeful God" any day. Or am I oversimplifying?
Will "visit www.jfwiki.org" Irace
On 5/3/05, Justin Kempton <justin at kempton.com> wrote:
> This is not a surprise. I've had similar experiences. Have you ever
> heard the old joke "Anyone who goes to see a psychatrist needs to have
> his head examined"... Buddhism is not so much a religion as it is psycho
> therapy. People seeking peace don't already have peace.
> Just because Kornfield talks with peace, does not mean listeners are
> expected to be transformed into Kornfield. There is a 'path'.
> Buddhism in the West is a fairly new thing, and for that reason almost
> more pure. 'We' are inventing a new sect, due to our language, and also
> due to the nature of how we see reality. Just as Catholicism was
> transformed when it reached Mexico, Buddhism is transformed as it
> reaches California and the United States. fortune cookies were invented
> in Los Angles, so were flour tortillas, and the California Roll. There
> are and will continue to be, many voices representing the philosophy of
> Asia, Kornfield being one of them.
> Joe's inclusion of Kornfield is brilliant. When people talk, they are
> talking to someone, seeking validation, or council, or dominance.
> Talking about it, is not the same thing as doing it --- but, then again,
> it's a wonderful artform.
> Joe Frank Mailing List
> joe-frank-list at armory.com
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