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Treeniap

Modern Bhuddism Is Hypocritical

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If one is to experience underlying reality as the true form indiscernable from self, and if one is not be perusaded by the illusion of permanence and significance in objects and surroundings then why are temples so full of bhuddist trinkets?

Why are religious camps so grand and why is the image of the Bhudda so revered -when the first Bhudda and every enlightened individual since has suggested this type of worship is directly against the mental training which can bring enlightenment?

Would anyone say Thai Bhuddism has become a show, a pantomine echoing the truths of a once solid lifestyle, but now overshadowed by the immediacy consumerism can offer the time-stricken believer?

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I'd say that's a massive generalisation. Yes many elements of modern Buddhism are 'popular' and of low spiritual worth, but much of what I think you are dismissing is important.

I think you are failing to distinguish two crucial components in the buddhadhamma - the difference between relative truth and absolute truth. This is a huge huge issue and I don't have the wisdom of a Zen master to pack it into an aphorism.

What I will say is this - the Buddha understood very clearly that you have to start from where you're at. The majority of his teaching preserved in the Pali Canon was addressed to his monastic sangha and they were always a tiny minority - a committed elite. To the laity he didn't teach about enlightenment but how to ensure a better rebirth. This required adhering to basic ethical principles - but also utilising any practises that help one transform the mind away from greed, ignorance and hatred and help it to focus on compassion, wisdom and generosity.

Buddhist 'trinkets' serve an important purpose here. Are you aware of the nature of 'subliminal messages'? Advertisers know them very well. When you see so many billboards, adverts etc. promoting Coca Cola it slips into your subconscious and the next time you feel like a soft drink that is the one that pops into your conscious mind. It must work as advertisers spend billions on putting subliminal thoughts of greed and desire into our minds.

The Buddhist 'trinkets' - in theory - work on the same principle except that the subliminal message is 'compassion', 'generosity'. When the devotee gazes at the peaceful smile of the Buddha positive thoughts worm their way into the subconscious.

Would you rather be surrounded by stimuli that tell your subconscious that you're a pathetic wimp because you don't drive that new BMW, or "You can't be a man 'cos you don't smoke the same cigarette as me", or be surrounded by 'trinkets' that tell your subconscious to be a peace and have compassion on all beings?

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