Those of us who remember the original 1956 film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, were certainly impressed with it—I know I was. It wasn't exactly a horror story. In the film, we follow participants in a mystery about a strange kind of alien invasion. Seed pods are hidden everywhere around us which duplicate their human victim, cell for cell. Finally, at a certain point the victim falls asleep then the duplicate takes over, completely. Each duplicate looks the same as the host. But there is something not quite right. The duplicates have no emotions. They are soulless automatons.
In somewhat the same way, the Buddha's Dharma, or teaching, has fallen victim to a duplication process in which an alien form of Buddhism is emerging which is not the real Dharma of the Buddha. In fact, it is materialism wearing the robe of a Buddhist monk which is really a soulless, nihilistic doctrine that asks each of us to accept our fate, that life has no meaning and that when we die, there is no more. It's back to the carbon cycle, in other words.
The original Dharma of the Buddha was simple and straightforward. We are intrinsically not the conditioned psychophysical body we believe we are which we cling to, tenaciously. The Buddha perfectly distinguished his true self from what is not the self, namely, the psychophysical body. This body is conditioned, he is not. The Buddha realized nirvana which is a perfect state of unconditionality which is not born, does not die, does not pass away to become again born and with birth, suffer. From his awakened vantage point the Buddha taught the many how to distinguish the conditioned false self, consisting of Five Aggregates, from their true self. He taught the many various ways of how to regard the psychophysical body so they would not cling to it; so that they might liberate themselves from its bewitching power and realize nirvana.
When Buddhism came to the West, the alien invasion began. A duplicate Dharma was contrived by the materialists who embraced Buddhism as a doctrine of materialism. This false dharma taught that when we look into our conditioned psychophysical body we will find no such thing as a self or a soul. All is empty, like an illusion. Our fate is exclusively bound up with this body which only knows suffering. When death takes it away we will return to the material void. In the meantime, we should practice the acceptance of our fate and help others to also accept it. Those who speak of a deathless, transcendent nirvana are to be shunned.
Thus far, the Dharma snatchers have been successful with their materialist duplication of the Buddha’s spiritual Dharma. It is not unusual to go into a Dharma center and find automatons sitting upright, believing this is the Buddha’s real Dharma. This once living, vital person fell asleep and was absorbed by by the pod of materialism (sic), that duplicated this person cell for cell. He now practices the false Dharma (pratirupakadharma).