The “14th” Dalai Lama.
So what if your neighbor one day, in passing conversation on the back porch or deck, maybe over the fence between your yards, offhandedly mentioned he was the reincarnation of his great, great, (repeat 10x) grandfather, making him the 14th “Joe Hodges” in a long line of Joe’s from Hodgetown NJ.
“Oh, so you’re descended directly from him, all of your ancestors with the same name? Wow, that’s totally cool” You might say.
He replies: “No, I’m him. He’s me.”
“Well yeah, same name, I get it“.
He replies further: “No, I AM him, same soul, different body, I’m the 14th reincarnation.”
“What??” You might say. “That’s a good one, you had me for a second.”
“And furthermore, I hate those scum in New York so Im gonna make sure I get reincarnated again somewhere right here in or near beautiful Hodgetown, definitely in Jersey and not across the river with those heathens in New York!”
You’d wonder what drugs he was on or maybe what meds he’d forgotten to take that morning.
BUT, and there’s always a BIG BUTT PeeWee…
< This is EXACTLY what our good friend Tenzin Gyatso (his real name) the Dalai Lama wholeheartedly believes according to Tibetan Buddhism:
1. There is a soul.
2. It can be reincarnated.
3. He is the 14th reincarnation of the Dalai Lama soul.
4. He can control where his soul will be reanimated into another body.
As preposterous and delusional as it gets and you would react accordingly if your neighbor spouted such absurdities.
Tenzin is a swell guy to many, a revered leader to many others as well and respected as a kind and learned man to be listened to all over the world. And in many ways, for a religious person of some reknown, he is rather enlightened in much of his thinking.
He readily admits that the power of prayer is unreliable and a bit of a misnomer; it doesn’t work, AND that religion does not matter to morality. He has met too many good people of all religions and especially of no religion at all to repeat the cultural truism that one needs a religion to be good. Not bad for a religious leader, pretty progressive and secular in his thinking one must observe.
Yet, he clings to the absurd four beliefs I posted above that you would be flabbergasted and incredulous if your neighbor told you the exact same thing. But if its a religious figure, a respected spiritual world leader expressing the exact same utterly absurd claims, we grant it a free pass and chalk it up to “well, that’s his belief,” shrug our shoulders and let it go.
Whereas if your neighbor started spouting the same ridiculous fantasies, you’d rightly consider him half-nuts and grant him no respect at all.
Another example of not just the absurdity of religious thought but the Arrogance of Religious Thought that expects, even demands that free pass, the false respect for both ridiculous beliefs and the religious people that hold them.
The Dalai Lama may be a swell guy and a progressive thinker in many ways but like all religious leaders he legitimizes the absurdity and arrogance of religious thought.
End Religion Now.