History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Armstrong’s buddhist sausage

March 16th, 2006 · No Comments

An interview with Armstrong in the Independent: now the basis of religion is ‘compassion’. Doubtful. But I can see the PR strategy. To find the common denominator for the ‘Axial Age religions’ takes a bit of doing. Something neutral and Dalai Lamaish like compassion might do it. Buddha was compassionate, so was Mohammed. So it goes.

No “divisions between Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism”? Hinduism and Buddhism spent almost a millennium fighting each other until Buddhists were exterminated in India, almost to the last man. After the occult war to control India climaxing in the empire of Ashoka, the counterrevolution was savage, and broke out into the open.

The Axial Age produced religions only incidentally on the way toward globalization. And that period produced a lot more than ‘religion’. Let us note that Greek polytheism flowered for the last time in the Greek Axial period, along with philosophy, science, the first secularism, democracy, and much else that doesn’t fit into Armstrong’s rip off of the Axial concept.
Junk sells, I guess, and if you sing the right tune you get to part of the ‘touchy feely’ global elite of gurus plotting the way the early Buddhists plotted for the next global concession in the religion business.

It’s possible to overrate Buddhist compassion. The Buddhist Sangha is one of the most violent criminal organizations on the planet, their violence is occult and hidden, tho don’t bother with the front office dummies like the Dalai Lama.
Rajneesh blew the whistle on their occult fascism starting in the nineteenth century.

You should read Rajneesh’s Communism: Zen Wind and Zen Fire. you can quote a Buddha on Stalin’s compassion.

Once seated, I ask her about The Great Transformation (Atlantic, £19.99), her new book on the so-called “Axial Age” of religious belief in the first millennium BC. This remarkable history traces the common conceptual themes that link thinkers and prophets such as Buddha, Socrates, Confucius and Jeremiah. The author of several best-selling biographies of religious figures and a history of fundamentalism, Armstrong says she wanted to explode the myths about the divisions between Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. “I can’t tell you how bored I get every time I step into a taxi and the driver says that religion is the cause of all the wars in the world.”

After five years of painstaking research, Armstrong discovered that at the heart of the world’s major religions lies the shared belief that compassion is the key to spiritual awareness. Reading in the British Library, she came across strikingly similar ideas that evolved in the Axial Age, from 900 to 200 BC, in four distinct regions of the world. “All the traditions that were developed during the Axial Age pushed forward the frontiers of human consciousness and discovered a transcendent dimension,” she writes. It is not what you believe but how you act that leads to enlightenment.

“It goes right back to Buddha and Confucius,” she explains. “It means action and not just wandering around handing out flowers and doing your own thing. It’s a disciplined exercise of the Golden Rule.” The emphasis on action rather than belief might sound straightforward, but Armstrong struggled for years to accept it. “I could not accommodate the idea in my head that religion did not have to be about believing things,” she says. “I see this bafflement, especially when I talk to people here in the UK – people with very hard-line views about what religion is – when you tell them it’s not about belief, but about behaving differently, that introduces you to transcendence.”

Tags: Booknotes · Evolution

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