ON BUDDHISM AND THE JEWS
Timster, Thank you for sending me your correspondent’s comment on Buddhism and its popularity as a religion among Jews. Your correspondent asks what the relation is between Jews and Buddhism. A fascinating question.
Point number one is this: there is no intrinsic relationship between Buddhism and Judaism as such. They are poles apart in every way.
Judaism is a legalistic religion with elaborate prescriptions, commandments, and prohibitions for every possible occasion. For example, the Talmud lays down the law about the precise number of days a man may not have sex with his wife before and after her period. Even if you look at someone, you have to be careful how you do it; there are a whole bunch of rules about correct looking procedures.
Judaism, moreover, is a monotheistic religion in which the existence of a personal God called Yahweh or (Jehovah) is assumed: not only a vengeful God, but a God who favors his own people, the Jews, and considers them the “Chosen”.
In contrast, Buddhism is a religion of universal appeal that assumes nothing — not even the existence of God. It is therefore an ideal religion for skeptics and indeed for atheists. It is for people who reject faith and blind belief, who refuse to kowtow to orthodox opinions imposed on them by other people who presume to know better. You could say that Buddhism is the ideal religion for deracinated intellectuals searching for a meaning in life and floundering about in a morass of doubts and confusions — a description that would apply to most Jews.
“It is better to travel than arrive,” says the Buddha.
The teaching of Buddha is basically this: life is permeated with suffering. This is caused by desire or craving (tanya). Suffering can only be ended by extinguishing desire and achieving a state of sublime detachment.
It was the Buddha who said, “He who loves fifty people has fifty sorrows; he who loves no one has no sorrows.”
I guess that’s “detachment” for you.
Enlightenment finally comes through right conduct and meditation. This releases one from all the suffering that is inherent in life and which is the result of being born: in being born not only once, but repeatedly, over and over again in an endless cycle of suffering known as the “Wheel of Rebirth.”
There was a time when I was myself a Buddhist. It is a noble religion. I was at my lowest ebb, at the point of suicide, when I opened a little white book in a bookstore and read these electrifying words that sent me into an instantaneous trance:
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. It is founded on our thoughts, it is based on our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain always follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him like his shadow that never leaves him.”
That book is called the Dhammapada. It is a book of precious wisdom. The mind is indeed everything: what you think, that you become.
The point is this: most Jews are intelligent, and, like everyone else, they seek for a meaning in life. Though atheism comes naturally to them, they are not happy with it. Nor are most people, as this cartoon will demonstrate:
Many Jews find fulfillment in Buddhism because Buddhism makes no unreasonable demands on them. It is a religion you can embrace if you happen to be an atheist. It also holds out the comforts of reincarnation and continuity, though this is a point of some controversy and is not accepted by all Buddhists.
Nirvana, or “extinguishedness”, is the final aim for the Buddhist aspirant. Though what Nirvana actually is remains a mysterious paradox. Let’s just call it “the bliss of Non-Being.” If you can get your mind behind that concept, then you know far more about this complex subject than I do.
Point two is this: all religions and indeed all cults are fostered in America by organized Jewry except one religion. This religion is held in total detestation. Not a day goes by when attempts are not made, either on television or in the printed media, to vilify this religion and insult it in every way. This religion is Christianity.
You will appreciate the significance of all this when I tell you — I think I read this in one of Israel Shamir’s books — that when a Jew in Israel is converted to Buddhism or any of the Oriental religions, he still remains a Jew. No one turns a hair. He remains a respected member of the community. If he converts to Christianity, however, he CEASES TO BE A JEW AT ONCE. He is ostracized. And regarded as a traitor and renegade. The lowest of the low.
So now you know why Buddhism, Oriental religions, and various New Age cults are all looked upon by organized Jewry with favour: it is because they are NOT Christianity — because they offer people an alternative to the hated religion.
Christians are not only being persecuted in America right now, but all over the world.
The Vatican itself is under siege.
I once asked a Catholic priest, my personal friend, why the Church had turned its back on two thousand years of Catholic tradition and decided to make itself a branch of the synagogue.
Why had they capitulated to the state of Israel and cravenly recognized its legitimacy, given that it had been built on stolen land?
He looked stricken.
“We had no choice,” he sighed. “If we hadn’t agreed to do what they say, they would have started burning down our churches and raping our nuns.”
THE MAN THEY HATE…WHY?
(A copy of the Turin Shroud, thought by many to be a miraculous representation of the face of Jesus Christ).