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> Some Buddhism criticism(from a former Buddhist), My practice and withdrawl story + criticism.
post Nov 14, 2007, 01:01 PM
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Hi guys! I quit Christianity in hopes that i would rid myself of mind disease forever to only eventually be lured into Buddhism(another mind disease). I guess i could not live without meaning and a new set of beliefs which is i think quite natural to humans(human, all too human!). What attracted me at first was their anti-god and anti-Christianity attitude that prevailed throughout the followers that seemed to nurture my own hate towards those concepts.

Back then i was still a little brainwashed into thinking that there must be a true religion of some kind of divine origin, an ultimate truth. Basically i was still naively led by my desire of order. I feared chaos that would result in a world where everything is permitable and there is nothing that punishes that bad deeds or rewards the good. My mother being very "spiritual" conditioned me to desire to stay within the label "spiritual". I figured maybe Christianity was wrong but some other religions were not. I sleeked meaning and order so hard that eventually i was lured into the beautiful myth of Buddha who was enlightened and shared that objective truth of reality with us. I was promised happiness, rewards in new life and this one. I was promised answers that i could find myself.

I learned the four noble truths, i learned of many traditions and being quite philosophically inclined i found myself spending quite a lot of time trying to understand all the teachings. I learned to meditate. Back then i had many questions but i had faith that the Suttas and the Meditation will give me answers. A year passed and then another. There were only more questions and more contradictions but i still had faith. The hierarchy was supposed to have all the answers and it took me a long time to realize they didn't.

While studying Buddhism and practicing i found myself become more passive, less human, sometimes depressed and even contemplated on suicide(purely logically and mostly driven by the first noble truth - life is suffering). I was conditioned more and more to have aversion towards life and that only practice will save me - not even death can liberate. Right now i see many traditions of Buddhism as a direct road to suicide if only one element is removed - rebirth. The fear of rebirth is the only thing that keeps many Buddhist from suicide. I even know a few friends whose relatives suicided dew to Buddhism. The interesting fact is that whilst i was semi-depressed and passive i knew that i was supposed to be "happy" as seen on pictures of Buddhists masters. They always market Buddhism as the road to happiness. So i lived the illusion of happiness. I denied any feeling of unhappiness and pretended i was. Sometimes when i got way too depressed i just thought that it was due to my lack of practice and that only Buddhism would make me happy.

Any criticism of Buddhism i just rejected with some arbitrary and obscure quote that deep inside i knew was not really understood by anyone. They all claimed truth was "beyond words" and i believed them. Every time the quote did not make sense i thought that the truth was beyond so i just blindly accepted them. After a while i intellectually understood all the concepts like no-self and co-dependent origination and the four noble truth and the rest of it. But what hit me much later is that those concepts were not that "deep" or helpful. They were just some concepts by some philosophers that may or may not be helpful but i took them as some kind of divine truth. I reached some progress in meditation but i soon admitted that in fact i hated that state- it was a state of a veritable where life looses all color.

I pretended as if Buddhism was some kind of secret to life and happiness, some kind of sacred knowledge that only a few had karma to understand. I even got some Buddhist friends that i went to Buddhist class with and i found them acting happy even tho they weren't but i denied what i was seeing.

My cure was started with a book - an autobiography of one of masters where he explains that he is just a regular human and other make him to be all that. I started doubting the whole hierarchy. Another trigger to make me question was my best friend who couldn't take it anymore seeing what Buddhism was doing to me and just openly criticized me intensely. At first i got angry but now i thank him from all heart.

Soon another college semester started and luckily i was taking Psychology, Philosophy and Anthropology. I was faced with concepts like relativism, neurology, materialism, epistemology and i was learning to be more skeptical and "outside of box" type thinking.

My interest in Psychology and Philosophy grew and i found myself to be quite intelligent and talented in it. I still have hard to believing that back then i was a Buddhist - how the hell did i fall into that trap? I consider myself intelligent but i guess it has little to do with that. It is just a play on our desires of order and meaning. We fear chaos, uncertainty and permanent death.

The next and final step was Nietzsche, Sarte and other Existential philosophers that knew perfectly well how i felt and showed me another way to cure it - through freedom, choice and responsibility. Through individuality and facing of truth, through accepting rather then running away. Through giving life my own meaning and my own goals. Through new ideals.

Well that basically more or less brings us to where i am right now. And it is time for some criticism. I don't want to go into details but i will just list some things i find terribly wrong.

Anti-reason movement.
Belief in magical karma.
Aversion towards life.
Belief in Enlightenment.
Mindfulness as promised to cure all problems while generally only creating more strain on the mind.
Meditation being promised a cure for many psychological problems which it never solves or does only temporary.
Belief that life IS suffering.
Belief that desire is bad causing people to get depressed(no desire = depression easily)
Non-dual teachings that make people passive, indifferent and easily fallen under suppression of government(although always denied and instead marketed as being a source of compassion, truth and wisdom).
Master-student relationship where student follows everything blindly.
Belief that all bad things are caused by Karma and that one should not be cured but left to suffer to "purify" oneself.
Selfish escapism.
Impossible ideals that only cause inner tension as they go against our nature and cause us to suppress the shadow to amazing extent.
False hope given to people.
Self righteousnesses.
Masked utilitarianism.
Constant chase of happiness resulting in paradox because when you chase happiness it causes sadness. Happiness only happens as byproduct but never as the goal.
Thinking of this reality as almost hell(what Nietzsche would criticize as other worldly religion)

Everything Buddhism promised had only resulted in the opposite effect.

If anyone had similar experiences - please share. Any comments are welcome except if you are gonna tell me that "i just got Buddhism wrong and misunderstood". I was one of these people telling others this kind of comments and believe me no- i got it right. I studied Buddhism long and hard and gave it plenty of chance. I was always leading philosopher in all my Buddhist classes.

Today i am very glad to be free of it. I am much more happier, realistic and enthusiastic about life. I am a Psychology/Philosophy major and perhaps psychology had became my religion but hey at least it is practical.

Thank you for reading, please comment.

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post Dec 13, 2007, 10:29 AM
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Given the amount of text actually does the opposite(especially if you consider how much it varies and often contradicts each other). It hints to us that Buddha was not a single man but more like a collection of philosophers that were gathered into one pseudonym - Buddha.

Perhaps original Buddha existed but it can be compared to something like if in 1000 years people will think that there was a guy named Existentialism. Yes someone did create Existentialism - no doubt; but right now it is much more then one person or one philosophy. When we say existentialism - we mean a collection of philosophers dealing with the same topic but if you are careful you will notice that their opinions are far from reaching a common consensus.

It is btw generally accepted that Jesus did not exist. There is a number of authors on the topic that talk about that. Jesus was also not one person. Jesus was just one of many gurus who happened to become the most famous and become a religion.

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post Dec 18, 2007, 01:58 AM
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Siddharta Gautama is a historical figure. The codification and compilation of his teachings is also a historical fact. This result of this council is the Tripitaka.
To quote a religious history site:
After the Buddha's death, his disciple Mahakasyapa took over leadership of the Sangha. One of Mahakasyapa's first acts as the new Buddhist leader was to convene a council of 500 arhats to collect and preserve the Buddha's teachings.

The First Council, as it is known to Buddhist history, took place at Rajgir, the capital of the Magadha kingdom. The Buddha's most important disciples were asked to recite his teachings from memory.

Then there was the 2nd Buddhist Council. This council was convened to settle some disputes on the interpretations of Siddharta's teachings. This council led to the formation of the precursors of the Mahayana.
The Mahayana Sutras were generally accepted to be written by Buddhist monks that were against the conservatism of the early monks.
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Posts in this topic
zhenka11230   Some Buddhism criticism(from a former Buddhist)   Nov 14, 2007, 01:01 PM
Rick   A very interesting story. I never got sucked into ...   Nov 14, 2007, 02:46 PM
code buttons   Welcome Z-130! How did you find us? Just curio...   Nov 14, 2007, 07:08 PM
zhenka11230   Welcome Z-130! How did you find us? Just curi...   Nov 14, 2007, 08:09 PM
Lindsay   ... I was supposed to be a Protestant (born into ...   Aug 09, 2009, 04:16 PM
zhenka11230   Oh and the way i found this forum was probably fro...   Nov 14, 2007, 08:12 PM
Orbz   And another questions, What drugs are actually sa...   Nov 14, 2007, 10:01 PM
code buttons   And another questions, What drugs are actually sa...   Nov 15, 2007, 08:41 AM
trojan_libido   Sorry to hear about your problems zhenka. I sympa...   Nov 15, 2007, 05:00 AM
zhenka11230   Sorry to hear about your problems zhenka. I symp...   Nov 15, 2007, 08:25 AM
code buttons   [quote name='trojan_libido' post='85403' date='No...   Nov 15, 2007, 09:02 AM
maximus242   In general I just avoid religions due to the dogma...   Nov 15, 2007, 05:40 AM
trojan_libido   I've never been into organised religion, despi...   Nov 15, 2007, 06:04 AM
zhenka11230   Also i might add that what most people do with Bud...   Nov 15, 2007, 08:36 AM
Rick   Thank you CB. Regarding zhenka11230's inquiry:...   Nov 15, 2007, 03:17 PM
trojan_libido   I apologise zhenka, its just easy to take your own...   Nov 16, 2007, 12:23 AM
Flex   Is it just me, or didn't Siddhartha Gautama su...   Nov 16, 2007, 11:28 AM
code buttons   Is it just me, or didn't Siddhartha Gautama s...   Nov 16, 2007, 11:43 AM
Flex   Is it just me, or didn't Siddhartha Gautama ...   Nov 16, 2007, 02:12 PM
zhenka11230   Is it just me, or didn't Siddhartha Gautama s...   Nov 16, 2007, 09:10 PM
Rinzai Dharma   Is it just me, or didn't Siddhartha Gautama ...   Nov 17, 2007, 02:49 AM
zhenka11230   [quote name='zhenka11230' post='85477' date='Nov ...   Nov 17, 2007, 11:29 PM
Rinzai Dharma   [quote name='zhenka11230' post='85477' date='Nov...   Nov 19, 2007, 11:33 PM
zhenka11230   Zen was my focus as was meditation. The higher te...   Nov 20, 2007, 11:44 AM
code buttons   Zen was my focus as was meditation. The higher t...   Nov 20, 2007, 12:53 PM
zhenka11230   [quote name='zhenka11230' post='85572' date='Nov ...   Nov 20, 2007, 02:08 PM
code buttons   Your comments are very nourishing to my Ego : ) T...   Nov 20, 2007, 03:48 PM
Rinzai Dharma   Your comments are very nourishing to my Ego : ) ...   Dec 05, 2007, 05:39 AM
zhenka11230   [quote name='code buttons' post='85590' date='Nov...   Dec 05, 2007, 08:19 AM
Rinzai Dharma   [quote name='code buttons' post='85590' date='No...   Dec 05, 2007, 09:10 PM
project-2501   [quote name='Rinzai Dharma' post='85484' date='No...   Dec 20, 2007, 04:07 PM
Flex   This is why I like Daoism... The Tao Te Ching is v...   Nov 17, 2007, 11:42 PM
trojan_libido   There are good points is religion, the bits that s...   Nov 19, 2007, 12:53 AM
Joesus   The statement in itself is relating to the idea t...   Dec 05, 2007, 09:37 AM
Nirvana   Anti-reason movement. => Mahayana idea, not wha...   Nov 19, 2011, 10:52 PM
Rick   There actually are many things that, even in princ...   Dec 05, 2007, 12:12 PM
zhenka11230   I am well aware that not everything can be describ...   Dec 05, 2007, 09:55 PM
Joesus   Actually it does exist and people believe it doe...   Dec 06, 2007, 12:00 AM
Rinzai Dharma   Actually it does exist and people believe it do...   Dec 13, 2007, 03:50 AM
atha   When Bodhidharma became enlightened, for seven day...   Dec 13, 2007, 06:58 AM
Rick   When Bodhidharma became enlightened, for seven da...   Dec 13, 2007, 04:51 PM
Orbz   When Bodhidharma became enlightened, for seven d...   Dec 13, 2007, 05:08 PM
zhenka11230   Buddha is a F**KING myth, stop using a myth to pro...   Dec 13, 2007, 07:52 AM
trojan_libido   Please zhenka, theres no need to get that aggressi...   Dec 13, 2007, 08:44 AM
Joesus   No its saying it exists without the need to back...   Dec 13, 2007, 09:28 AM
zhenka11230   Given the amount of text actually does the opposit...   Dec 13, 2007, 10:29 AM
code buttons   Given the amount of text actually does the opposi...   Dec 13, 2007, 11:48 AM
Deshan   Siddharta Gautama is a historical figure. The codi...   Dec 18, 2007, 01:58 AM
Joesus   It would appear that way from an unenlightened s...   Dec 13, 2007, 08:16 PM
atha   Relax deeply inside yourself -- into the eye of th...   Dec 14, 2007, 06:38 AM
atha   For Rick... "Chess is the game of the Gods. ...   Dec 14, 2007, 06:58 AM
Rick   For Rick... Thank you, atha. I read the Scientifi...   Dec 18, 2007, 01:15 PM
zhenka11230   Quotes quotes quotes... Where are the arguments fr...   Dec 14, 2007, 03:46 PM
Joesus   I believe the quotes refer to a greater truth in r...   Dec 14, 2007, 11:17 PM
atha   Zhenka, When you will understand the meaning of Ka...   Dec 15, 2007, 09:39 AM
zhenka11230   I am not complaining i am just criticizing you.   Dec 15, 2007, 10:21 PM
atha   "The divine souls come forth upon the earth t...   Dec 16, 2007, 05:09 AM
atha   Rick, are You familiar with The Urusov Gambit ? B...   Dec 18, 2007, 07:02 PM
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Cassox   So you studied under what type of Buddhism? SGI ri...   Dec 20, 2007, 02:46 PM
zhenka11230   Well i am specifically fighting the Buddhist notio...   Dec 20, 2007, 04:37 PM
Cassox   Well i am specifically fighting the Buddhist noti...   Dec 20, 2007, 04:48 PM
zhenka11230   Well i am specifically fighting the Buddhist not...   Dec 20, 2007, 04:54 PM
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zhenka11230   lol. What I'm trying to say is that while yo...   Dec 20, 2007, 05:09 PM
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Rick   Good feelings can be useful or deceptive.   Aug 10, 2009, 03:58 PM
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code buttons   Since my last post i had changed a lot, but most ...   Nov 03, 2009, 06:56 PM
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Mystic1   [quote name='WHAT IS WHAT' post='118315' date='Fe...   Jun 21, 2012, 01:35 PM
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