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Follow the Author
Buddhism Without Beliefs Paperback – 1 September 1998
About the Author
- Publisher : Bloomsbury Pb; 1st edition (1 September 1998)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 138 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0747538433
- ISBN-13 : 978-0747538431
- Dimensions : 19.8 x 1 x 12 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 126,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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It is good to read again how the Buddha identified the source of anguish and craving. The book’s meditation on death is both bracing and life affirming. Furthermore Batchelor’s description about how we divide experiences into good and bad – and how we try to have more of the good and banish the bad – is one of the most compelling I’ve read so far. He explains deftly not just how the impossibility of banishing the bad this habit is but how it keeps us trapped in ‘if only...’ Two of the most destructive words that I hear in my counselling room.
Batchelor concludes that ‘a culture of awakening simply cannot occur without being rooted in a coherent and vital sense of community’ and needs a ‘matrix of friendships’ that values individual creativity and rather than following the dogma of organised religion. It’s a great idea but somehow I can’t see it happening.
There are parables, quotes which are broken down and explained, written meditations and paragraphs that put into words how you usually feel and think. I feel Stephen Batchelor, in this book, captured perfectly the distressed, distracted and confused part of our mind and how it affects our actions.
It looks like a short book and is written in a small ish font over 115 pages and took me two days of 'not constant reading' to finish
I will be reading more of his work!
For example, we have no real answers to metaphysical questions (the origins of the universe and such unanswerable eternal open issues) so Buddha stopped asking them. On the ethical plane, the dharma is the logical conclusions one reaches by reasoning on what is good, not some kind of given commandment. The closest thing I can find in Western philosophy is the categorical imperative of Immanuel Kant, whom I regard as the greatest thinker of Western civilization.