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My Interpretation Of Glenn

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Posted by Harvey on June 13, 2003 14:51:46 UTC

Richard,

***It is clear from his statements about the eighth level of consciousness (being both that of the sleepstate and preserving all the experiences of our rebirths) that his version of Buddhaism accepts the existence of what we call the supernatural, and that we may experience it most every night.***

Let me call attention to some of these secular remarks by him, and I'll let you conclude whether he is admitting to the supernatural:

"The second reason the Buddha did not believe in a god is because there does not seem to be any evidence to support this idea."

"Science has very convincingly explained how the universe came into being without having to introduce the god-idea."

"However, sometimes unexplained things do happen, unexpected events do occur. But our inability to explain such things does not prove the existence of gods. It only proves that our knowledge is as yet incomplete. (...) In time when our knowledge of the world is more complete, we will be able to understand what causes unexplained phenomena, just as we can now understand what causes disease."

"As I mentioned before, the universe is itself life; therefore, when we die, our life melts back into the greater life of the universe and is nowhere to be found."

"We use the word self [to refer to ourselves], but this word actually refers to the universe. When we ask how the life of the universe is different from the life of each one of you, the only differences we find are those of your bodies and minds. Your life and that of the universe are the same."

" the philosophy of life states that the universe is life itself, and that life, together with the universe, is eternal and everlasting."

"It [the nature of life] is an entity which is simultaneously the infinite macrocosm and each of the microcosms that represent countless individual living beings."

"The word life has a scientific yet warm ring to it."

"Essentially, the Buddha and the Law are not two different, separate things--the word life encompasses both."

"The life of each human being is eternal, because it is part of the Universe, which exists eternally . No human being can therefore be created or destroyed. The Buddhist concept of eternity of life is equivalent to the physical law of the conservation of energy and matter, according to which they are never dispersed, but are transformed into different forms."

I don't see supernatural in any of these concepts. What I see is an attempt to take Buddhism and make it atheism in the strictest sense. The only metaphysics is the concept of a law existing, but even that we don't have a clear sense if he means a metaphysical law or just how the material universe behaves.

***Rather I am in awe of the gems of 'scientific' truth recorded in scripture long before they are evident in science. I will not bore you with a list of all those gems. You probably can recall them from my previous posts. It of course is Monday morning quarterbacking; but I take it as evidence of at least a non-physical world, if not sheer past prophecy of science in the future.***

I don't see your attempts as negative. I'm against using modern scientific hypotheses as explanations for the supernatural, but that's not an abuse of religion as much as it is speculative postulations with probably little basis in fact. But, that's just my view. I think speculations are always fun to entertain though.

***What really disturbs me about Glenn's version of Buddhism is that it is based on the teachings of a Japanese fellow who claims to be the original Buddha. Seems to me that this fellow has become trapped in one of the lessor states of Carlos Castenada- the one associated with power and ego.***

Don't know him. Although, this form of Buddhism doesn't strike me as what most Buddhists believe. My exposure to Buddhism was much more involved with the supernatural and afterlife was actually the 'person' and not some 'law of life' that was atheism indisguise. I see nothing different in Glenn's view from materialist atheism. That's okay, but what's the grounds for believing any of this then? Is he just espounding hunches? Then why keep the ties to Buddhism? Just say that all you think to the universe is the universe, and it exists in many different forms that we can call 'life' and leave it at that. No reason to drag a major religion along with you. The Buddha, from what I can tell, believed in a supernatural order to the world where the soul can reach a Nirvana state. That's my understanding, maybe its wrong. God exists, however the definition is slightly different than a personage (which most Buddhists deny exist).

***Just as Christianity has come to claim that Jesus is god and that Jesus said so in scripture, the same revisionism may be happening in Japanese Buddhism.***

I have no problem with religion evolving and creating new denominations, etc. However, I'm all for calling a spade a spade. If religion moves into pure atheism (no supernatural), then dump the religious classifications and focus on the atheism. No need to maintain religious classifications (e.g., eightfold way, etc). Such deriviations are not based on any scientific study, and if there is no other source of revealed knowledge, then all valid knowledge is either philosophically or scientifically derived. If scientific, then they must be treated as hypotheses. If philosophical, then they should continue to revise and debate if the eightfold way should become a ninefold or tenfold or hundredfold way. Most philosophers would prefer a countlessfold way...

Harv



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