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← Sean Faircloth on The Secular Buddhist podcast

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 3 by Schrodinger's Cat

Insofar as Buddhism doesn't have a god and is primarily based on the philosophical musings of its founder......

Buddhism is way too much more complicated than that I'm afraid. This is an 'Unweaving the Rainbow' moment. I've been studying the Dali Lama for an essay I have to hand in on Friday. I had to watch a DVD yesterday on the subject, how freaky is that? Anyway, in Tibetan Buddhism the Dalai Lama is held by the Tibetan's as a god-king, marking his divine religious role and his head of state political role.

On the DVD his monks took a little boy away from his parents as the child was deemed to be the reincarnation of a guru Rinpoche. The old monks are raising the boy as a person of reverence, they shaved his head, he was presented to the Dalai Lama for an inauguration ritual where the Dalai Lama ceremoniously cut of the last tuft of hair. This was after a trance induced freak in a ridiculous get-up they called the 'oracle' spoke in tongues, which was interpreted by another 'special one' as confirming the boy as the reincarnate guru. So there he is, a boy of about four or five, removed from his mother and father, his name changed and being raised by geriatric monks as a divine being. It all looked very religious to me.

On abortion...

The Dalai Lama has explained that, from the perspective of the Buddhist precepts, abortion is an act of killing. He has also clarified that in certain cases abortion could be considered ethically acceptable "if the unborn child will be retarded or if the birth will create serious problems for the parent", which could only be determined on a case-by-case basis. According to some, this relatively nuanced and flexible position is a contrast with apparently dominant cultural attitudes in Tibet, where abortion is reportedly disapproved of, and where despite its free availability, women reportedly do not so avail themselves.

On sex....

A monk since childhood, the Dalai Lama has said that sex offers fleeting satisfaction and leads to trouble later, while chastity offers a better life and "more independence, more freedom". He has observed that problems arising from conjugal life sometimes even lead to suicide or murder. He has asserted that all religions have the same view about adultery. In his discussions of the traditional Buddhist view on appropriate sexual behavior, he explains the concept of "right organ in the right object at the right time," which historically has been interpreted as indicating that oral, manual and anal sex (both homosexual and heterosexual) are not appropriate in Buddhism or for Buddhists, yet he also says that in modern times all common, consensual sexual practices that do not cause harm to others are ethically acceptable and that society should not discriminate against gays and lesbians and should accept and respect them from a secular point of view.

The twelfth Samding Dorje Phagmo (the only prominent female tulku in Tibet) said... "The sins of the Dalai Lama and his followers seriously violate the basic teachings and precepts of Buddhism and seriously damage traditional Tibetan Buddhism's normal order and good reputation"

Any of this sound familiar to anyone?

Wed, 09 May 2012 14:38:25 UTC | #940728