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The Problem With Buddhists

November 4th, 2005 Leave a comment Go to comments

From “The Power of Now”, Eckhart Tolle:

“The word enlightenment conjures up the idea of some superhuman accomplishment, and the ego likes to keep it that way, but it is simply your natural state of felt oneness with Being. It is a state of connectedness with something immeasurable and indestructible, something that, almost paradoxically, is essentially you and yet is much graeater than you. It is finding your true nature beyond name and form. The inability to feel this connectednedssgives rise to the feeling of seperation , from yourself and from the world around you. You then perceive yourself consciously or unconsciously, as an isolated fragment. Fear arises, and conflict within and without becomes the norm.

I love the Buddha’s simple definition of enlightenment as “the end of suffering”. There is nothing superhuman in that, is there? Of course, as a definition, it is incomplete. It only tells you what enlightenment is not: no suffering. But what’s left when there is no more suffering? The Buddha is silent on that, and his silence implies that you’ll have to find out for yourself. He uses a negative definition so that the mind cannot make it into something to believe in or into a superhuman accomplishment, a goal that is impossible for you to attain. Despite this precaution, the majority of Buddhists still believe that enlightenment is for the Buddha, not for them, at least not in this lifetime.” (Emphasis mine).

Whether Tolle is fully enlightened or not he accurately diagnoses the root problem with Buddhists and Buddhism today, and in that alone he is more enlightened that 99% of Buddhists I have had the pleasure of meeting.

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