“From one viewpoint, Buddhism is a religion, from another viewpoint Buddhism is a science of mind and not a religion. Buddhism can be a bridge between these two sides. Therefore, with this conviction I try to have closer ties with scientists, mainly in the fields of cosmology, psychology, neurobiology and physics. In these fields there are insights to share, and to a certain extent we can work together.”
Buddhism is a “science”, a “science of the mind” you say? Really. This from a guy who studied astrology as part of his higher education and believes he is the 14th reincarnation of a soul and that he can direct where he will be reincarnated next and may decide to come back as a woman.. uh huh. He studied astrology, Buddhist scriptures, divination, and celestial realms peopled with enlightened boddhisatva beings…studied no chemistry, physics, biology, no psychology neuroscience or cosmology. He has nothing to offer science but 2-3,000 year old imaginings about how the world works. His religion, like all others wont let them go in light of any new knowledge.
Spiritual leaders like the Dalai and many others suck up to science, claiming to accept it in order to legitimize their authority as being open-minded and not deluded in some spiritual non-sense but their own words and claims refute that utterly, none so well as the incomparable double speaking Deepak Chopra whose quote about quantum entanglement featured in the opening image to this blog is a classic examples of co-opting the language of science to spew meaningless truisms and sound so philosophically astute and spiritually advanced.
I used this meme/image just a post or two ago, but it is so good I just had to use it again!
By paying lip service to science and using sciencey sounding technical terms, charlatans like Deepak and the Lama hose themselves and millions around the world. What assholes.
On Deepak’s aging claims, from the wiki:
“Chopra believes that “ageing is simply learned behaviour” that can be slowed or prevented. Chopra has said that he expects “to live way beyond 100”. He states that “by consciously using our awareness, we can influence the way we age biologically…You can tell your body not to age.” Conversely, Chopra also says that aging can be accelerated, for example by a person engaging in “cynical mistrust”. Robert Todd Carroll has characterized Chopra’s promotion of lengthened life as a selling of “hope” that seems to be “a false hope based on an unscientific imagination steeped in mysticism and cheerily dispensed gibberish”.
At 67, Deepak looks 67 (I guess his body isn’t listening to what he tells it, huh?). He can expect to live another 10 years or more thnx to modern medicine and not his phony quantum claims nor his peddling of Ayurvedic “medicine” to rich Hollywood types that has made him a very rich man as well. Doesn’t appear his “aging as a state of mind to be controlled” is working out any better for him than anyone else. Normal aging of humans, as described by science utterly refutes his bullshit claims, as it does the Lama’s horseshit beliefs in astrology and divination.
What scam artists. They have both made millions off their books peddling nonsense full of false hope and pseudoscience people want to hear. Pathetic. And we celebrate these clowns as spiritual leaders possessing some “special knowledge.”
Oops. Besides astrology, divination, the soul, the afterlife, reincarnation, spirit lakes…what else have you maintained belief in despite utter lack of evidence in 3,000 years of wishful thinking and the refutation of the last few centuries by modern scientific knowledge?
I’ve blogged on the details of the Lama’s insane beliefs before Here and Here
From the wiki on Buddhism quoting another religious scholar: “There are thus great difficulties involved in conceptualizing religion as belief in god(s), superhuman agents, etc., although we intuitively think that some such beings, nevertheless, are essential in religion. As is well-known, Buddhism is the favorite example of scholars who have argued that we should find some other way of defining religion than the one based on the idea of belief in gods or superhuman beings.”
OK, let’s see how that works…
Also from the wiki, but a few previous paragraphs directly above:
“According to Mahayana tradition, the Mahayana sutras were transmitted in secret, came from other Buddhas or Bodhisattvas, or were preserved in non-human worlds because human beings at the time could not understand them:
Some of our sources maintain the authenticity of certain other texts not found in the canons of these schools (the early schools). These texts are those held genuine by the later school, not one of the eighteen, which arrogated to itself the title of Mahayana, ‘Great Vehicle’. According to the Mahayana historians these texts were admittedly unknown to the early schools of Buddhists. However, they had all been promulgated by the Buddha. [The Buddha’s] followers on earth, the sravakas (‘pupils’), had not been sufficiently advanced to understand them, and hence were not given them to remember, but they were taught to various supernatural beings and then preserved in such places as the Dragon World.“ (emphasis mine).
Can’t use belief in gods or superhuman beings to define Buddhism, you say? What a crock. Really? Let’s ask the “supernatural beings” in the Dragon World to step down and have a beer with the guys some nite just to show they are not superhuman or anything. Yeah, just regular folks, no god-like intelligences inhabiting of other-worldy realms or anything like that in Buddhism, so it isnt really just another religion. What a crock.
The problem here is that although our modern culture is so advanced in so many ways we yet retain a delusion promulgated by all religions; that there are spiritual teachers, learned, wise religious men who have superior, spiritual knowledge that is of a different nature than the scientific knowledge us regular folks all share. These guys are somehow special, and imbued with special knowledge. That’s the lie, that’s the scam that perpetuates the false respect and power that men of religion command from every corner, be it the Lama, Chopra, the Pope, imams, prosperity Gospel preachers, psychics, gurus, monks, ministers, shamans, what have you.
They don’t know anything more than you, me or your neighbor. Chopra and the Lama are not “special.” They have no secret, special knowledge. They are not men of “science.” They think they know better than all of our shared scientific knowledge and make ludicrous claims about ageing, reincarnation and all sorts of ancient speculations that science has refuted completely.
They are arrogant scam artists, nothing more and deserve no respect.
The Arrogance of Religious Thought is what keeps this nonsense going. And Oprah.