Saturday, October 12, 2019

Buddhism Essay -- essays research papers fc

Buddhism   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  For over 2000 years Buddhism has existed as an organized religion. By religion we mean that it has a concept of the profane, the sacred, and approaches to the sacred. It has been established in India, China, Japan and other eastern cultures for almost 2000 years and has gained a strong foothold in North America and Europe in the past few centuries. However, one might ask; what fate would Buddhism face had Siddartha Guatama been born in modern times; or more specifically in modern day North America? Would his new found enlightenment be accepted now as it was thousands of years ago? Would it be shunned by society as another â€Å"cult† movement? What conflicts or similarities would it find with modern science; physics in particular? The answers to these questions are the aim of this paper, as well as a deeper understanding of modern Buddhism.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Although I will stick with traditional ideas raised by Buddhism, one detail in the story of Siddartha Guatama must be addressed in order for it to be relevant to the main question being asked: What obstacles would Siddartha Guatama face had he been born in modern day North America. Primarily, it must be recognized that rather than being born into the Hindu religion (which in itself is mystical), Siddartha would have most likely been born into a Christian family. This in itself presents the first obstacle, that being that Christianity is a strictly monotheistic and non-mystical faith. Hence from the outset, although in the traditional story Siddartha faced a conflict with his father (Ludwig 137), in the North American scenario the conflict would have been heightened by the fact that his search for enlightenment was not even closely similar to the Christian faith.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  As with science, changes in religious thought are often met with strong opposition. It is interesting to note though, that many parallels can be found between modern physics and Eastern Mysticism. As Fritjof Capra writes: The changes, brought about by modern physics . . . all seem to lead towards a view of the world which is very similar to the views held in Eastern Mysticism. The concepts of modern physics often show surprising parallels to the ideas expressed in the religious philosophies of the Far East. (17-18) Thus by examining some of the obstacles imposed by t... ...o overcome the problems of being born into a Christian family/society; a society not used to such abstract ideas of reality, the close- minded nature of western thought, and the problems posed by a media that likes to jump on anything new and unusual and tear it to shreds. However, if it were to overcome these obstacles it is quite probable that it would become a deeply rooted religion in North America due to the likely support it would gain from the scientific community. Bibliography Capra, Fritjof. The Tao Of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism. Berkley: Shamhala Publications, 1975 Ludwig, Theodore M. The Sacred Paths: Understanding the Religions of the World.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1996 Niwano, Nikky. Buddhism For Today: A Modern Interpretation of the Threefold Lotus   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Sutra. New York: WeatherHill, 1980 Richardson, Allen E. East Comes West: Asian Religions and Cultures in North America.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  New York: The Pilgrim Press, 1985 Shupe Anson D. Six Perspectives On New Religions: A Case Study Approach.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  New York::

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