Friday 18 April 2014

On Youtube, Atheism and Apotheosis: Regarding Religion as History

“…we tend to let ourselves imagine that a skeptical reading of mythology reveals something other than a myth… conversely, one interesting side-effect of this attitude toward mythology, is that we’re always producing new myths, through new interpretations that fasten onto one aspect or another of the story as 'real' and 'original'…”

“…nobody is interested in “authenticity” if that authenticity includes slavery, the subjugation of women, and the caste system.  Nevertheless, we have to be extremely wary of the fabrication of a whole pseudo-history of Buddhism just to suit modern political concerns.”

“…These modern myths are much more influential than anything the ancient texts say, partly because they convince people to selectively ignore the evidence of the ancient texts.  That is profound and serious problem for Buddhism today (both as a religion and as an area of study)…”

On Youtube:

Saturday 5 April 2014

Your questions answered (on Youtube)

Circa 12 minutes into the tape:
"I got a message a couple of days ago that was really specifying that I had lived a better life out in Laos and Cambodia, doing my own thing, than this guy who had lived with a PhD and a series of academic posts. Well... [Laughs] do you want to trade places with me? [Laughs] No matter how tough your conditions are, the real source of stress is not knowing where your next meal is coming from, it's not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from. It's knowing that even if you have food and shelter today, you don't know where your home is going to be three months from now. You don't know how you're going to pay rent in the very short term. And, you know, for a lot of my adult life, since I finished my B.A. --the only diploma I've still got-- that has been true of me."

On Youtube: