Thursday, November 01, 2007

No love in Buddhism

There is no love in Buddhism.

Buddhism is non-love. To love is to rebel against the teachings of Buddha, to adopt perhaps the most serious affront to the core of Buddhism - to thumb one's nose at his insistence of denying and extinguishing desire. For love is a font of all kinds of desires, raging or responsible.

In other words, to adopt not merely a Westernized or Christianized or humanized Buddhism, but Something entirely opposed to its main tenets.

There is a deep truth here. It tells us that, deep down, we know that Buddhism demands that we lose sight of what it means to be human, what is important, and what we know to be true. All the kindly, wise-looking monks writing books and telling us to be good and kind and loving are in fact rebels - rebels against Buddha. Monks telling us not to be Buddhists, but to be humans, even Christians.

Either that or they didn't study very well.

Anyone is free, of course, to practice Buddhism. But Let us not be deluded about the core - or, rather, the missing core - of Buddhism.

Update: from reading the Comments, I think I need to clarify (but may fail miserably to do so).

I am not denying that Buddhists value love and compassion, or that Buddhism teaches these virtues. I recognize and applaud it.

What I am saying is that these virtues are a rebellion against the goal of extinguishing individual personhood, since to love and care we must value those we love as persons, and affirm their personhood as intrinsic "goods" in themselves. And if personhood is intrinsically "good", why strive to extinguish it?

To (attempt to) clarify another point: You do not need to have a Judeo-Christian worldview to make this analysis.

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