Confession of a Buddhist Atheist by Stephen Batchelor

By Stephen Batchelor

Does Buddhism require religion? Can an atheist or agnostic persist with the Buddha's teachings with out believing in reincarnation or geared up religion?

This is one man's confession.

In his vintage Buddhism with out Beliefs, Stephen Batchelor provided a profound, secular method of the lessons of the Buddha that struck an emotional chord with Western readers. Now, with an analogous brilliance and boldness of inspiration, he paints a groundbreaking portrait of the ancient Buddha--told from the author's distinct standpoint as a former Buddhist monk and sleek seeker. Drawing from the unique Pali Canon, the seminal selection of Buddhist discourses compiled after the Buddha's loss of life by means of his fans, Batchelor exhibits us the Buddha as a flesh-and-blood guy who checked out existence in a greatly new method. Batchelor additionally unearths the typical demanding situations and doubts of his personal devotional journey--from assembly the Dalai Lama in India, to education as a Zen monk in Korea, to discovering his course as a lay instructor of Buddhism residing in France. either debatable and deeply own, Stephen Batchelor's refreshingly doctrine-free, life-informed account is key studying for someone drawn to Buddhism.

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The criterion for inclusion in this group is the recognition of this reciprocity between its members. This is not the noting of a single characteristic that is the same in each of member of this group, in contradistinction to a characteristic noted in another group. ” Further, if the group consists 32 IRONIES OF ONENESS AND DIFFERENCE only of these two members, X and Y, then there is no further essence, without changing, that could apply indiscriminately to a newly discovered member, Z. It would not have the same criterion for membership as X and Y.

The distinction between the criterion itself and that to which it is applied translates into the Socratic definition of the thing, the Platonic form of the thing, the Aristotelian distinction between “the thing which is X” and “that the thing is X,” between existence and essence. The essence transcends its instantiations, and could be applied to an infinite number of instances. It remains unchanged by the size of the set of its instantiations. While privileging difference as the criterion for clas‑ sification, it simultaneously produces a by‑product of sameness.

What is shared is popped up to a higher level, or a more fundamental level: it has logical priority, and brings with it an implica‑ tion of causal grounding, and the apodictic sense of necessity and unilateral (transcendent) dependence: whatever is true of a member of this species is necessarily also true of all members of this genus, but not vice versa. If I have an object composed of properties X and Y, where X is shared with others and Y is not, the name of the object will be Y, rather than XY.

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