7/15/2007

Buddhism is not a belief

Buddhism, unlike other religion, is not a belief, but a philosophy of life, how to live life. But to the laypersons, and the not so enlightened practitioners, even decorated high monks, many have treated is as religion of belief. The ridiculous thing about a belief is that one can believe anything if one is willing to. One can believe that the tooth of a cow can be the tooth of a human and adamantly tell the sceptics that 'All the time I believe it is true and I do not want to question its authenticity.' So get lost and don't argue or question whether it is real of fake. We all have different perception of what is real. And I must be strong in my faith and I shall not waver. I know that one must be strong in understanding the teachings of the old masters. I am also very sure the old masters did not teach the followers to believe blindly or that he will insist that his followers must believe in things that are claimed to be his. Such an attitude is bad for the religion and followers. Many would be turned off by such disregard of real and false, by stupidity to the extent of being moronic. That is why I always encouraged believers of any religion to question the truth and reject falsehood when it stares them into the eye. A lump of shit is a lump of shit no matter what the person wants to believe. And worst, making all the followers believing in his shit. Modern people of today have the privilege and advantage of modern science and technology and knowledge that are several thousand years more advanced than the ancient believers whose understanding of things that were rudimentary. When today's truth is obvious, it is pure stupidity to believe in yesterday's falsehood as truth.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

In alot of ways, many of the old practices were carried out since my grandmother's days. Without thinking many of these practices are still allowed to be carried out today as if time has stood still. Nobody seems to questioned the relevance of tradional practices in the modern day context.

Perhaps in Singapore anything to do with that is a political taboo, some kinds of barbed wires which one got to thread carefully and it is just not worth talking about. Or is it?

As a chinese living in a Hdb flat among neighbors from diverse ethnic and religious background, I felt quite bad abt some of the practices my fellow men carried out with these noisy high decibels and smoky traditional practices frequently affecting the majority in my neighbourhood. It causes both noise and smoke pollution and I usually got to shut the doors and on the amplifier to escape the noise.

Could those noisy seven month festivities be relocated to a central place in town so that it will not disturb the unappreciative neighborhoods. From my observation, not many people are particularly interested in those activites, only a small minority do that nowadays. And it is this group of people who travels from places to places and make money by carrying out these loud and noisy activities, which I am not sure if it is fair to the rest in the vicinity. I also observed the number of people watching the puppet wayangs are just a handful of old folks. Perhaps feasibility studies shud be carried out carefully in view of the sensitivities involved to see whether these activities can be relocated to a central place.

We have banned smoking, yet fumes and smoky pillars of incenses are still allowed to pollute the common public areas where diverse groups of people lives. So it is expected that everyone tolerate and bare with it?

The funerals and wakes can be disturbing to the residents, and I have wondered if Singapore should follow hk in having those things done at a special centralised place, away from the neighbors etc.

We are heading to be a modern global city and future immigrants will comprised a lot of different enthic, religious and cultural diverse background.

I think we should be fair to others and stop some of the outdated practices if we could instead of carrying on unthinkingly. Even my china friends were surprised that singaporeans are still doing a lot of the practices that they have given up long ago.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that many of the people involved in these traditional practices are Malaysians and the business is highly lucrative and financially rewarding. Alot of the people involved in these festivities are strangers that doesnt seem to belong to the neighbourhod. Of cos I may be wrong.

redbean said...

one of the main doctrine of buddhism is non attachment. that was why buddha scattered all his ashes back to nature.

buddha did not preach his followers to attach or pray to his bones.

attachment is contrary to buddha's teaching.

Anonymous said...

That's what beats me when they started building this temple to house all those relics. I do not think it is the traditional practices, which are based on simplicity (Buddha preached under a bodhi tree) but the modern interpretations that has led to more and more deviations from the original teachings of a great religion.

It is just like those Chinese funeral wakes, some of which are just like a party with liguors, gambling & feasting. Are these from the old traditions. Definitely not. It is to suit people's whims and fancies, and that has given some religious beliefs a bad name.

redbean said...

ancestor worship, filial piety and 'pia shin' and taoism, have all been adulterated to become a commercial business, praying on the weakness of the bereaved party, especially the rich, to show off their wealth and appearance of piety.

the unthinking will always fall victims to the conmen.

Anonymous said...

In essence, fallen human beings corrupt whatever they touch.
One can dispute this but this is an observation spiritual & shown accurate.

Any major faiths, has today been so "commercialised". Has so many sub-sets deviating from its essence.

Buddhism. RCatholicism. Hinduism. Christianity. etc..

Anonymous said...

There seems to be this wrong presumption that buddhism or taoism are the universal faith of the chinese.

That notion may be far from the truth as in the place I come from most of my friends and colleagues are not of the above faith even though they are chinese.

Hence, it is naive to assume that those faith are synonymous with a particular race, in fact I SUSPECT that most chinese are neither of buddhist nor taoist faith.

If my assumption is proved correct, then one must ask when will all those high decibels clanging, banging and trumpeting with horrific smoke and fumes in the neighborhood end.

Becos it just isnt fair that the majority are held hostage to all these insensitive rituals and be expected to tolerate the inconveniences in a small estate where noise and air pollution are thrown into their living and bedrooms with great abandonment and frequency.

The time is ripe for a change.

redbean said...

you are quite right that the chinese are generally neither taoist or buddhist. only the few educated ones may have selected buddhism or taoism as their religion and practise them correctly. for the majority of the peasant chinese, many illiterate, they are actually 'pai shin' or the japanese equivalent of shintoism.

any association to buddhism and taoism are just add ons for safety measures. the chinese will believe in anything in their fancy.

so with higher education and literacy, the ignorant practices of many cultural and religious rites need to be upgraded and updated by the better schooled or they will be misled by the half baked and uneducated self proclaimed leaders/masters and conmen of the various schools.