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30.06.2016

Buddhistic bullshit

I do meditation and I often say that my beliefs are close to Buddhism. But the more I know about Buddhism, the less I resonate with it.

The thing that I find most idiotic is also somewhat present in Christianity. It is a particular concept of selflessness. Serve others and find enlightenment / deliverance.

So, basically, it says that you should not focus on your own karma, but extend kindness and compassion to others instead.

But the hypocrisy becomes very clear when you realize that you are only doing this in order to become enlightened yourself. You basically want something for yourself – enlightenment – and thus you search for a way to bribe the universe into providing it for you. If you extend compassion and kindness to someone in this fashion, it is done out of a selfish purpose and I would not be surprised if – on a metaphysical level – you are giving up responsibility for your own karma that way. You do something good and expect karma to be taken away in turn. I would not be surprised if this act actually transfers some of your own negative energy or karma to the person you are pretending to be helping, making the whole thing more of a black magic act than anything of real value.

How are you supposed to be truly compassionate and kind to someone else if you do not first learn to be fully compassionate and kind with yourself? How can you accept something in someone else that you can not accept in yourself? Perhaps through projection. You project your own karma onto someone else and thus feel like you are above it, past it.

It is the same with Christianity. Christians say that god wants them to love everybody. Then they will go to heaven. But it is not really unconditional love when you are only doing it simply to obey God. If I had to guess, I would say God does not want you to use him and his rules as a justification to love others. If anything, God would be delighted to see that you love others without even thinking of him. And there is no better way to do that than to first unconditionally loving yourself.

Human arrogance

And then there is another thing that I think is moronic. Apparently, Buddhists believe that even animals collect karma, but unlike us, are not able to work it off in any meaningful way. Thus, they argue, being human is one of the best things you can be to become enlightened. Being human is a rebirth on a so-called higher level of existence. Hence it is our responsibility to extend kindness and compassion to animals, to work off their karma on their behalf. Now that’s just arrogant and presumptuous.

According to typical beliefs, karma in humans comes into existence through resistance against the now. When you – or rather, your ego – judges the current moment, it becomes attached to it and everything that is not accepted and instead resisted against, builds up as karma, essentially pain. Such, pain comes into existence through resistance of the mind.

How the fuck is an animal supposed to build up karma if it has no mind? If karma is built up through resistance of the mind, how can a mindless organism resist the moment? And if it can not resist the moment, how is it supposed to build up karma? No logic there at all. Basically, Buddhist are just humanizing animals in their minds on no logical basis other than them trying to justify their pride of being human.

Eckhart Tolle makes a good observation in his book The Power of Now. He sees an animal that gets into a violent conflict. After the conflict has ended, he observes that the animal makes a few convulsive movements and then carries on without thinking back of it. And how could it think back of it – without a mind?

The animal has shaken off the pain and thus released it.

And if you think that this is bullocks, read this Wikipedia article about Somatic Experiencing, a form of therapy aimed at resolving the symptoms of PTSD. Here is an excerpt:

SE is based on the understanding that symptoms of trauma are the result of a dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) whose inherent capacity to self-regulate is undermined by trauma. SE bases its approach on mammals’ ability to automatically regulate survival responses from the primitive, non-verbal brain, mediated by the autonomic nervous system. In the wild, animals spontaneously “discharge” this excess energy once safe. Involuntary movements such as shaking, trembling and deep spontaneous breaths reset the ANS and restore equilibrium. SE restores this capacity to self-regulate by facilitating the release of energy and natural survival reactions stored during a traumatic event. According to founder Peter Levine, “Trauma lives in the body, not the event.”

Here are a few articles concerning the same concept: Psychology Today, Sunrise Physical Therapy, Releasing the Past.

I saw a similar thing yesterday when two dogs passed the street. They noticed each other, went into a fit of aggression, barking at each other. After they had passed, they both shook a little and then went on as if nothing had happened. They did not keep being angry or anything like that. Any karma that was there was immediately released.

In a sense, even suppressing our own anger or aggression in a situation could very validly be seen as built up of karma. Which some people then release through sports or lifting. Yoga basically does the very same thing. The yogic postures are a way of releasing pent up energy as well. Although an enlightened person would not need Yoga, because the postures would be spontaneous and the body would simply know how to move to release the existing energy. But being disconnected from our bodies a lot – from having to appear normal etc – I guess it is a good thing nonetheless.

Forcing ourselves to be kind when we really want to defend ourselves does the opposite of what we want it to.

Here is a video I already posted once, about tribesmembers who lose a valued friend. They lie on the ground, shaking, and a Western mind like ours would say like maniacs. We are so estranged from ourselves that this looks like madness to us. Or demonic possession. We are used to keeping all the pain in out of shame of expressing and thus releasing it. We see the expression and the release of pain as pathological. We think that the expression of pain is the cause of its existence, not merely a symptom. We think that when we stop expressing pain, the pain goes away. But the simple truth is that we hate the expressions of pain because they remind us of our own unreleased pain that we are ashamed of.

Too many rules

In my opinion, meditation and mindfulness is simply about that: Being mindful. Observing your thoughts, emotions and all that you perceive, consciously so. There is no hidden secret to it. There are no rules, paths or doctrines you have to follow. You really just need to be yourself – or rather, be conscious of being yourself.

When my meditation teacher – a pretty much self-taught guy who rejects religion and is easily the most confident person I know – gave me instructions, he simply said: Set aside some time and observe your thoughts.

There is no need to be in a lotus position, to close your eyes, or anything. You just observe what happens, what your self does.

I would add to his instruction only: Observe your emotions, too.

I could add do not get attached to either your thoughts or feelings, but he did not do that. And I don’t either. Why? Because this will invariably happen and it is moronic for you to feel ashamed when that happens. Resisting your resistance is pointless. Just observe.

Conclusion

Buddhism is just another religion with people who follow it out of selfish reasons anyway – enlightenment. If you were not selfishly motivated to become enlightened, gain nirvana, or go to heaven, there would never, ever be a point to follow a guru, follow a religion, follow a leader or generally worship anything outside yourself.

In that, I like the saying that the best way to become enlightened is to not even be attached to the idea of enlightenment. As a commenter remarked some time ago, the key really seems to be to simply do nothing and try nothing. Simply exist. And when you learn to allow that, your body and mind and spirit will heal itself all on its own.

I read an article about Buddhism where some girl said about some mass shooter that she wishes him to suffer this whole life and then find peace. Why? What’s the point? That’s not enlightened – does not need to be of course. But do you see the hypocrisy? They want to end suffering, but they think that in order not to suffer, you have to suffer first, out of justice. To justify having peace in the end. Derp. Of course, that does not mean that Buddha thought the same, but you know, no true Scotsman. Despite everything, humans seem to always be quite proud of their stupid suffering, aren’t they.

Even Buddhism, which aims towards the end of suffering, somehow seems to try to find meaning in suffering, through the concept of karma. The universe punishing us for being bad. And yet, it also acknowledges that bad really does not exist and there is no real duality. Everything is light. There is no moral obligation to suffer when you have done or received pain. It is just our egos holding on to the pain. Meditation should, in my opinion, be about stopping to hold on. Not about needing to give yourself permission to be free of pain, by doing good, which ironically, is acknowledged to not even exist on an absolute scale.

Humans having karma is simply a consequence of our biology, of the way we are built. It just is. There is no sacred meaning to it. We have a mind, ergo we have an ego, ergo we build up pain, which you can call karma. Animals do not have a mind, at least not in the same way, ergo karma or morality is not a valid concept for them. And the same may be true for humans who have a different mental set up, for example psychopaths. Buddhists will say that goodness is in all of us, that even psychopaths deserve kindness and love. They think they say it because they want to be kind to them, but it is a projection. Goodness is a concept of the ego. A human who feels no shame or guilt does not operate within the system of karma, heaven or hell, simple as that. It may be scary to admit at first, but that does not make it less of a logical conclusion. Not admitting it is like being a gazelle who thinks that the lion, deep down, is also a gazelle. Bullshit.

So no, I do not identify with Buddhism. It may be the closest to my beliefs, if you want to call it that, but I disagree with a lot of it still. Which is cool, of course. And it does not even matter whether I identify with it or whether anyone else does. It does not mean that Buddhism is bad. Bad is a human concept anyway. Everyone is where they need to be, always.

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  • Zoroaster Houdini

    The whole thing about Buddhism primarily being about compassion and being good started with the Mahayana with the idea of the bodhisattva, who delays his enlightenment, returning lifetime after lifetime until all sentient beings are enlightened. The teaching was later further corrupted into the version we see today in the West — after Westerners brought it here.

    According to the teachings of the Buddha and the Elders, the point of the path is to stop the cycle of suffering and then identifying with the suffering (causing yet more suffering). By seeing reality as it is, the seeker can see that all things come in and out of existence constantly, including the story of Me — a mirage at best. And until that is achieved after hard work, a person remains ignorant and is restless as a result.

    The Eightfold Path is the means to achieve this seeing of reality as it is. Following the Eightfold Path will likely result in dropping some heavy game-playing on the part of the seeker at some point.

    Look at the Buddhism of Southeast Asia. It is the Buddhism of the Elders. Compassion and love are good, but not the sine qua non of Buddhist practice. They’re good only insofar as it helps the aspirant to realize the truth about their life. And they’re not too fond of Mahayana and Vajrayana extrapolations of the teaching.

    Buddhism in the States is a mixed bag. You’ll find the original teaching and you’ll find feel-good mamby-pamby or ideologically-tainted bullshit. Man, even here in NYC, at a purported Insight Meditation spot, they were advertising “Mindfulness of White Privilege”. I shit you not.

    If you want a manly exposition of the teaching, take a look at Julius Evola’s “Doctrine of Awakening”. I can’t recommend it enough. The widely available English translation from Inner Traditions (http://www.innertraditions.com/the-doctrine-of-awakening.html) is dense and couched in an almost archaic intellectual tone. It will need at least a couple of read-throughs. But well worth it.

    Then go on a Goenka free 10-day Vipassana retreat and tell me what you think of Buddhism then.

    Peace, my brother.

    • Thanks for your comment. The idea of every being being enlightened seems a bit unrealistic snd unnecessary to me.

      Ill keep that book in the back of my head, but I do not feel the need for more literature at the moment.

      I agree with your summary. I don’t think you need any rules to achieve itt, though. It comes as a by-product of awareness. I personally always found it most enjoyable to figure out things on my own, but of course, that doesnt need to be everyones path.

      Funny bit about the white privilege thing! I laughed.

      • Zoroaster Houdini

        Yup, fuck the enlightenment where there’s a glow around your head because you’re so damn holy, then everyday you heal cripples and insanes who have formed a line around the block because word got out about how you got enlightened with powers and shit. You play the lyre all day and stare at God. Let’s not forget the faint smell of frankincense that will be wafting from your holiness.

        Who needs life, vitally lived, with something like THAT as the ideal.

        Me, just because of some, uh, formative experiences of my youthful years, thought enlightenment was, dude, a million hits of acid forever, man. Ah, youth.

        In basic terms, enlightenment is this: You’re OK with life.
        OK on a radical, fundamental level.

        • I also thought of it like that. Now I am closer to what you describe. Well said. To exist in the most ordinary and normal way possible. To simply NOT be mad or ill.

          • Zoroaster Houdini

            The reason why I give a shit about this is because I read in places where we need a religious or spiritual orientation as men in this insane society.

            People talk about Christianity or paganism as what we have to return to, pointing nostalgically at how the values associated with these were necessary for the building of great civilizations. Others talk approvingly of Islam and how it still retains patriarchal values while being (currently) immune to SJW globalist posturings. However, all these belief systems require you to suspend disbelief and to accept some pretty fantastic and mythological ideas and histories which, let’s face it, do strain credulity. Regarding them as metaphors can be solid as part of an overall virile outlook on life. But literally?

            The combination of an ascetic practice rooted in sound and proven epistemology with a martial discipline is, at any rate, the basis for my mindset. My two cents.

  • Smokingjacket

    Buddha is a monster behind his serene and absurd countenance. Enlightenment is the other-side of this feeble feel good bullshit. Karma is self serving nonsense dressed up in the gigantic ego of ones own “special entitled apartness”. It’s no wonder it appeals to spiritual frauds and dunces.

    • I am quite fond of the concept of enlightenment. Less with the common Buddhistic religious views. When you say the Buddha is a monster, what is it that you see in him?

      • Smokingjacket

        “When you say the Buddha is a monster, what is it that you see in him?” Nothing. That’s why he’s such a monster.

        • Then what does he lack?

          • Smokingjacket

            Everything. He denies the very pulse of the great river. He is a God who merely watches the river from the banks without ever immersing himself in its turbulent but life affirming currents.

          • Hm, I think I know what you mean, but I can identify less and less with that perspective. Even Buddha was not free from the influence of his life and surroundings. He was still a human. He had to eat, sleep, etc. If anything, I would say that he was immersed in the turbulences of life more deeply than most people – but as they say when they teach you what to do when you fall out of a canoe: Do not resist the flow or it will break your bones.

  • Could not have said it better myself. I just like it because aside from the compassion piece, it is more about not giving a fuck, which I have more or less achieved. I do not give a fuck about anyone else, or myself really. I simply do whatever it is that I feel like doing, and it is a pretty great way to live.

    • It was an appeal to ego, just like everything else. He was all sad about peeps being sad, so he wanted to make it all better so he could justify his privileged life.

      • I don’t know. Maybe. Sounds very possible. How to be sure? I can’t. I have no time machine. I will either have to trust everything that was handed down or I can just not give a fuck and make up my own mind about things. I mean, even if I were able to travel back in time and meet the Buddha, how would that make me wiser? People can lie. And if I am not enlightened myself, how am I supposed to even tell which one is enlightened? Which is one great point to just go your own way.

    • Yep, I think that is what it comes down to, in the end. Are you enlightened? I don’t know. But then, who gives a fuck? It’s not a damn trademark that you have to apply for a license for, so that you can go around and say “I am enlightened”, so that others will like and respect you.