Star has another comment of ‘secular buddhism’
Confusion here is inevitable because the rebirth doctrine is indeed subject to unverifiability. But if it was a doctrine at all it was before untold numbers of earlier buddhas had given testimony to the reality of the round of rebirths. It was entirely an empirical given to them, and they attempted to counsel those who had not yet reached that insight with some judicious warnings.
And another commment of my own:
May 25, 2011 at 10:36 am · This notioin that rebirth is secondary to buddhism is grotesque and has taken me by surprise. The status of Zen here is irrelevant, and I am sure that if you look carefully you will find rebirth doctrines.
In any case, the no Zen buddhist would ever have denied the original buddhist doctrines of rebirth, no way, whatever their difference emphasis.
It is important to consider the effect off Mahayana here: boddhissatwas tend to lose contact with the real teaching, and in their wake comes this bullshit secular buddhism.
One of the problems thus springs from buddhism itself which long ago reinvented itself as a bland ‘savior doctrine’ promoted by those who were unenlightened. That was always the problem in Tibet, where, however, the reincarnation doctrine is very ancient, mixed with bodhissattwa doctrines. This state of affairs creates many absurdities: claims to be enlightened, and claims to be boddhissatwas, a short circuit. A thorough muddle. But the world of buddhism was in a state of shock after centuries of massacre in India, and finally being driven out. A kind of desperation took hold, and the second best situation of a political lama cult emerged.
But the confusion created by the lamas has perhaps driven some to skepticism. I think the Tibetans have lost the very doctrine they claim central to their culture of Buddhism. The reason, I suspect, is that disembodied agents are using the rebirth doctrine to serve their interests, by making it look like they are being reborn. The reality is that these ancient souls took over Tibet to park buddhism for the future. The idea of the rebirth of so and so’s in the succession of lamas has discredited the rebirth doctrine.
There are many possibilities to correct misunderstanding, but the current perspective is really saying that buddhism should conform to reductionist scientism. It should not.