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April 29, 2010


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The West has eliminated or reduced much daily suffering in terms of what it means to be human: modern medicine, heat and cold controlling technology, etc. etc. Even the Dalai Llama has explicitly wrote on this theme. As far as giving us genoicide; every major cultural group, unfortunately, has that in its past. I knock on the West all the time, but perhaps I shouldn't so much. India is a hellhole of suffering, and the extent to which it has raised the standard of living, it can thank the West for its input there.

Whether we're Buddhists or not, shouldn't any "seekers of truth" try to get over the unhealthy obsession with the Buddha as an authority figure and assess the ideas on their own merit?

These traditions, like the Soto Zen you disparage, consist of memes and teachings which have been sharpened and refined throughout the ages, and adapted to the needs of differing times and cultures.

The Buddha taught "middle path" corrections to impediments common to ancient India. Why should we assume the people of Tibet, China or Japan, who start with radically different conditioning, should take the same anti-conditioning medicine as the Indians?

For example, the early Indian Sanga evolved in India's particular religious climate. So, it was necessary for the early Buddhists to apply a medicine to heal the clinging to the concept of an immortal soul.

In superstitious Tibet, such a direct teaching would not have worked! So teachers like Machig Labdron had to take a different route to get to the same truth.

Yet, all these traditions, have the important things in common. I worry that you call yourself a Buddhist, but you so easily reject some of those fundamental traditions on the basis of a special understanding of the "Buddha's authentic teaching." Isn't this a fallacious appeal to authority?

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