Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"Theravada Buddhism does not privilege the mind in the way that Western and Eastern Vedantic philosophy do. It does not separate the mind out from the body, treat it as an independent thing, and give it special powers like everlasting life. Buddhism treats the mind as an interdependent piece of the whole developing person; the human personality is a striving, growing, composite thing, not a transcendental identity that eventually moves on to acheive perfect happiness. Buddhism rejects not only the idea of an immortal soul, but also the humbler idea that a centralized immaterial person lives inside the body and runs the show. There is no essential 'me' that persists throughout all the changes of my feelings, perceptions, streaming conscious thoughts, and so on: there is only a loose confederation of experiences that can be called 'Steve'."
- Steve Amsa
Other myths about Buddhism:
- Reincarnation and Karma are not geniune aspects of Buddhism, and are even "cultural baggage" which the Buddha tried to get rid of, along with all supernatural explanations of the universe.
- Followers of Tibetan Buddhism, complete with all the trappings (like the Dalai Lama) constitude only 6% of all Buddhists. Western emphasis on this relatively small sect would be similar to the whole of of Asia holding the impression that the biggest branch of Christianity was Amish or Mormon.


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