I hope to read the Kindle version of this book soon but I am wary here of the confusions over secularism. So without having read the book I will caution those who approach this to be wary of defini…
Source: Stephen Batchelor on After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age – YouTube – The Gurdjieff Con
I recommend a look at the eonic effect: a new book Decoding World History on the subject is available free at redfortyeight.com. It will be published soon. Look at history, very few religions born in one epoch survive long into another. Christianity is almost finished thus. We can’t be sure: the Reformation gave Christianity a new potential now mostly squandered. One of the few exceptions is Hinduism, which isn’t an ism, and which has mutated instead of dying out. But throughout an invariant theme persists. It seems to go back to the Neolithic period. But throughout a core remains, and it is a massive core indeed. It felt threatened by Buddhism and the interaction was very ugly. It need never have happened. Buddhism survived assault by moving into the mountains. But its future is problematical. Hinduism is a religious sprawl with ten dozen times ten dozen failsafes. Buddhism is a cult of one man, Gautama, where Hinduism has thousands of such all over the place, in greater or lesser degrees of idiocy. Then again Buddhism entered the realm of Mahayana, monks forswearing enlightenment into an unlimited future. It appears in concert with Christianity in a strange take on savior religions as one appeared under the noses of all a continent away. Then a later phase produced tantra and much else like Zen. But now in modern times a student can’t replicate those phases save as a la carte historical ad lib. He ends up doing all three-phase simultaneously under the injunction to never reach enlightenment: he is a bodhisattva. Now that might be a serious joke with enlightenment emerging ironically in a tricky new way. But for most the experience was edition to enlightenment, but the meditation to never reach enlightenment and getting someone else to do that. The whole thing is a mess looking backward. In its place however, looking forward it probably produced many realized beings. until modern times. But the whole thing seems a one-shot deal: tailored to the last epoch now past. But Hinduism as yoga has a better survival track.
Buddhism I suspect has suffered a tragic fate: all those bodhisattvas in hopeless frustration of never reaching enlightenment produce an esoteric political movement. The rumors are there: tantric fascism from the Himalayas in fascist conspiracy. Rumors but none other than Rajneesh charged
that gang with producing Hitler. Not hard to if you spend a millennial meditation in caves. Mindcontrol a fascist in revenge against modernity, no problem. How could that be. Anyone who meditates knows why and how. If you get into a battle with the demon Mara you need to win in the end, like Gautama. But the dynamic of the movement condemns a majority to their demons. Such monks can shift into fascist gear easily, no problem.
Now people want a secular Buddhism, a completely logical outcome and wish, but the confusions of modernity don’t take to Buddhism all that well. Too bad. Buddhism is eminently ‘modern’ in its own way. But Hinduism amid mountains of religious crud strikes an eternal note. Buddhism was designed to do a job for one great epoch. Now as it moves into the future it is problematical. I could be wrong: Buddhism was tailored to a global audience where Hinduism is given to those born in its circle. Buddhism has no such limitation. But the yoga realm in Hinduism produces sages in every generation, where Buddhism is a desert. What a set of blunders here. Trying to produce a secular Buddhism is likely to backfire. What is the secular? It has turned into a Dawkins cult preaching Darwinism, atheism, and not much of not much. It will finally have to banish the demon Mara from thought, expose enlightenment as pseudo-science mysticism, and meditation left to produce relaxation. It doesn’t look promising. The same has already happened to hatha yoga, one strike against hinduism. But who cares come to think of it. Sacrifice hatha yoga on the altar of global publicity and something more is there for a succession. But this could be wrong. However a creative moment like that of Gautama will have to restart what can only dissipate. No one is capable of that at this point.
Who knows. Hinduism is in trouble itself. Hatha yoga is already a sacrifice at the altar of capitalism, soon goodbye and flush when you are done. It is impossible to do hatha yoga, speaking for myself in the chorus of global noise coming into play. And raja yoga will soon follow, perhaps. Tens of thousands globally are doing raja yoga, apparently with zero results. Soon people will tire of it and pass on.
The whole subject has muddled by idiots. It was long obvious that a prior tradition existed into the third then second millennium. But with the arrival of the Aryans the myth was created that ‘dharma’ arose from the Vedas at the hands of the Aryans. Complete bullshit. Thie Aryans had their angle: they invented Sanskrit and translated the core tradition into that language and then claimed it was Indo-European. Chutzpah indeed. Whatever the earlier form was it was not Sanskrit or Vedic. How about tamil languages in some ancient ancient form? And then there is Jainism which may foretell the future of Buddhism: it produced great buddhas
or teertankers for centuries into the past epoch. We even have the eir names. but the last one, Mahavir, who met Gautama, create Jainism even as he brought it to an end. At his passing, Jainism turned into an exoteric religion, still with monks, but its age had passed as Buddhism took its place. That may be the fate of Buddhas, surviving as a public religion without any real fire. Everyone ‘kinda’ knew this as the legend of Maitreya arose. But the nonsense around that meme doesn’t spell confidence. A new form of dharma has to find its way in the new world of modernity. what will happen to the religion of Buddhism may resemble the fate of Jainism.
The needs of modern times look to socialism to resolve their contradictions. and the ancient religions cannot seem to address such issues of the future. You can certainly have capitalist yoga if you want, it is already there and stinks. But the great traditions of India are atrociously reactionary now. To this day in spite of endless effort the law of caste persists. At some point someone is going to destroy the whole subcontinent in savage remorse. Note the way yogis are embedded in the Gita via caste. Small wonder Gautam fought for a different future. But the Hindus won the battle to destroy him. But Guatama may have his revenge in the end. What a pity Hinduim couldn’t accept Gautama as one of its heroes.
So the tables are about to turn, why way we will see.
Frankly the Mahayana is a bit dull. Break your vows and reach enlightenment in secret, making faces at the stone buddhas.