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Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Failure Of The Buddha

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The Buddha, as described & depicted by the ancient Buddhist texts in the Suttas, specifically the older text from the Pitaka, is painted for us as a person who did not strictly associate himself with any group, nor considered any place as a specific place of practice. That is to say, that the Buddha did not weave together with his Dhamma, the concepts of a monastery, or a religious group, under one name.

Just like researchers today, and in the past, he was a man, who suggested a system of rules & practices that recognized a problem, and pointed to a solution. And just like other researchers, even since before his time, his system was described in terms that were relevant to his time and place. Beyond its' basic principles, it only created many responses to issues of its' time.

The Buddha is depicted as debating his opinions with others. The Buddha is depicted as putting forth concentration & thought, into understanding his reality. The Buddha is depicted as a person who accepted disciples, which means that he accepted disagreement, and different ways of using his ideas.

Understanding this history of Buddhism, and by doing some research about our own contemporary Buddhism, it comes to light that there really is no such thing as "Buddhism." What there is, is the Dhamma - the rules that the Buddha described, and the results he predicted, for following those rules. We also have several millennia, in which people have tried those rules, in an endless variety of ways.

And the result? Failure. There is no evidence, whatsoever, that the Buddha's Dhamma actually achieves the results it predicts. Saying that a person has not used the Dhamma for "enough time", or that those who fail, do not "really follow the Dhamma", is not acceptable reasoning. Scientists and researchers do not, these days, accept "laws of nature" that do not prove themselves constantly.

I practice meditation,
but do so regardless of Buddhism,
like most people.
Today, there are simply too many recorded instances of people, who do follow the Dhamma, but do not present the expected results. The ending to suffering - Dukkha. This is not only objectively so. Many who have practiced this faith wholly, and for a period of several years, often describe not feeling what is to be expected.

For the Buddha's ideas to be true, to be a law of nature - Dhamma, they must repeat in a reliable manner. This is simple scientific observation. Naturally, there can be argument about the validity of certain cases. But, like with anything else, when there is an overwhelming account of failure, then there can be nothing left, but suspicion and doubt.
Lao Tzu, of the ancient wisdom of the Tao Te Ching, was not affiliated with any group, either. He taught what he saw as the law of nature - Tao, in an a way that is applicable to people, as well. These are the most concise and specific ideas he could use, to predict results with. There is an interesting correlation between the two faiths, when their origins, history and modern expressions are examined and compared.
If the Buddha ever had a religion, it was simply the manifestation of his own ideas, and nothing more. If he ever had a monastery or sacred place, it would be nothing more, than just his home. If he ever had disciples, they would be nothing more, than just interested equal parties. Buddha, like many other charismatic teachers, had his own traditions and notions about life. Those worked out in limited ways, and never proved to be anything but generally good ideas, if even that.

The same could be said about any of us.

Read 4 comments.

  1. "The failure of the Buddha" definitely point out so many voices of even those who claim themselves Buddhists and also those whom might wear the robes. In a statistic, only merely 0.000001% or less percentage of the practitioners will penetrate the ultimate realities and attain nibbana or nirvana. The rest, are trying :) or give up :).

    Where one could find these rare people that could 'proof' the Buddha did not fail? Maybe deep in the mountain, forest, in the country side of some Buddhist countries.

    I myself personally met some of these people. How do I know? Because I too, tasted the freedom of unconditional! The happiness that give result without interval of time, space, without any criteria or conditioning. For that reason, I can proof to myself, the discovery of the Buddha indeed work, at least for me :).

    The key is never about trying how hard or trying how far.. It is about not-too-much, not-too-little. It is everywhere, and yet no where. When one is blindfolded with what is gross, the ultimate subtleness could never be seen.

    When the mind is opened for unity, free from fear, the blindfolding will be lifted, by the mind itself. The mind has the key for its own freedom!

    Enjoy the challenge, if this is so called something to find out!

  2. That's exactly the thing. What sort of tool is it that only works for the few and selected? Why shouldn't we just assume that those few, who feel that they have enjoyed something great out of this practice, couldn't have done it anyways? Maybe with some other similar technique? Makes just as much sense.

    The conclusion might be that no method or tool is required, at all. That some people are just meant for a life of wisdom, for the benefit of all, while most others are not. A natural thing, whether we want it or not. Just like each of us is good at something, naturally.

    Thanks for joining in on the conversation! :-)

  3. People who brush their teeth often lose them anyway, so it's scientifically proven that brushing your teeth is a failure. Feel free to still do it if you just enjoy looking in the mirror for five minutes every morning while you brush.

  4. Are you insinuating that people losing their teeth at old age, which I don't know the statistics about, is the same as Buddhism not showing results in Asia, for thousands of years? Losing teeth in old age is a natural phenomenon, as far as I know.

    Actually, I ran upon an interesting article that referred to research by an early 20th century dentist from America, who went around "undeveloped" villages in Europe, and noted that even though the modern practice of using a toothbrush to clean their teeth had not reached them, their teeth were generally (compared to America) very healthy (white, straight, full mouth.)

    I recommend doing some research about the toothbrush and about toothpastes; its' history and evidence. Personally, I've stopped using those since a few years back, and simply use water and my fingers, and my gums and teeth are whiter and healthier than before; I kid you not! A fresh & simple diet goes along with it, which is what the dentist noted about those villagers.


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