Now it’s nothing but a fashion statement. It was good for the last 2500 or so years, but like all things adopted that early, it has become corrupted and mutilated into perverted rhetoric, mindless repetition, and blind faith. Not to mention a damn-good way to prove you’re “cultured”, since all true “cultured” individuals need to show everyone else their acquired culture (because they have none of their own) or it doesn’t count.
At least it isn’t alone in the commercialized knick-knack and other hippie stores. I’m sure the Buddha would be pleased, if he were here, that his image is being adorned at the end of the dining tables as glorified furniture. The man did nothing but preach the futility of adornments while he was alive. I’m against the notion of image worship entirely, but I don’t mind a Buddha statue being where it belongs. In a bloody temple!
I can understand someone wanting to show their respects for giving them a new outlook and purpose in life, after all, Buddhist principles gave me a new outlook in life and I am grateful. But I don’t mean the worship Nazis who insist on prayer as a daily ritual (who, have no idea what they’re talking about, but do it anyway because that’s how it’s always been), I mean the people who live their lives putting up the extra effort of not being an ass. Next time you feel like bowing for prayer, please take it outside.
And then, of course, are the Richard Gere types who, bless their hearts (har har), have decided to embrace it and managed to completely miss the point.
Man, I hate hippies!
Buddhism has been turned into a bona-fide religion. And like all religions, it has a nasty tendency to creep into the very core of established civilization. Like, oh I don’t know… politics? What do monks and priests have to do with politics? What do they have to do with commerce? I find the whole notion that monks can advance through political connections to be disgusting and quite insidious. And it proves my point that Buddhism has become corrupted and turned into blind rhetoric.
Governing with Buddhist principles is one thing, but to be called a “Buddhist nation” is very dangerous. And in many aspects, no different than being labeled a “Christian nation” or “Muslim nation”. The whole concept of a religious nation, whatever religion that may be, is both terrifying and futile in the end. It stifles new ideas and prevents self-correction and thought evolution.
Last I checked adaptation, keeping what is useful and rejecting what isn’t, was a Buddhist principle. It’s wonderful principle to be used in Government and “culture”. But it should never become law or fashion. It should be accepted because it makes sense. Not because I, your parents, your teachers or anyone else, said so. And especially not for “culture”: That concept in itself is subjective.
Accept it, if it makes sense (think hard). Reject it, if it doesn’t (again, think hard). Act when necessary, think practically, be aware and in control of your thought process, and do no harm. That’s all it takes to become a Buddhist. No extraneous nonsense required.
Update : 3:08 pm
I didn’t realize the censorship sword was so sharp, here on WordPress.