Wednesday, May 25, 2005

From First Things via Katolik Shinja
Westernized Buddhism vs real Buddhism
Like what’s happened to American RCs since the 1960s, Buddhism in the West is being mainline Protestantized/New Age bastardized through corruption from the larger culture.

Real Buddhism has ritual, iconography and, like, rules and stuff. (They resemble the Ten Commandments! Natural theology.)

Boomer (pseudo-)Buddhism wouldn’t have surprised George Santayana:

“American life is a powerful solvent,” he wrote. “It seems to neutralize every intellectual element, however tough and alien it may be, and to fuse it in the native goodwill, complacency, thoughtlessness, and optimism.”
(Joe Sobran softens this a bit with his emphasis on classic American Protestants’ good points.)

This article reminded me of my old pages Buddhism for Sale and From Buddhism to Orthodox Christianity, the latter showing the similarities between the two.

This concern for authentic tradition combined with an awareness of this authenticity in other traditions (not the same as indifferentism/relativism), a little like René Guenon, was one of the late Fr Seraphim (Rose)’s good points — in Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future he praised Shasta Abbey in California for its authentic Buddhism, something as good as you can get without Christ, he wrote.

In the answers to Star Wars questions linked here yesterday it’s pointed that the religion in it is based largely on Buddhism.

First Things and I may disagree on political neoconnery, John Paul the Overrated and the Novus Ordo but it’s got a sober, intellectual tone brought over from Lutheranism (I like confessional Lutherans) and Anglicanism that often makes it amenable to Mass-and-office Catholicism.

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