Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Secular but Not Materialist

After years of debates, reading, and meditation, I think I have decided that I am actually 'secular Buddhist' - but one that accepts the reality of re-birth, and who rejects the scientific materialism of Western culture. (Of course, as their rejection of re-birth is the main 'tenet of faith' of secular Buddhism, that puts me in the odd but somehow customary position of differing with all sides in the debate.)

I have also decided that whilst I am not atheist, I don't believe that God exists. But this is because, insofar as God is real, God is beyond existence, meaning, transcendent (as per this essay.) However, 'what is beyond' can also show up within existence, which is the meaning of 'transcendent yet immanent'. So 'what exists' is only one aspect of 'what is real', as I have explained in some of the earlier posts on this board. (To understand it, you have to understand metaphysics, and hardly anyone does, in my experience.) 

But generally, I don't say too much about God. 

I mainly agree with Buddhist philosophy, but overall, the approach I like best is that of the mid-20th century universalistic intepreters - Suzuki, Conze, Murti, Schterbatsky and others of that ilk.

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