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Booknotes/review: A New Buddhist Path: Enlightenment, Evolution, and Ethics in the Modern World

June 29th, 2015 · No Comments

A New Buddhist Path
Amazon review

A New Buddhist Path: Enlightenment, Evolution, and Ethics in the Modern World (Paperback)
Why not make ‘enlightenment’ the standard for naturalistic thinking?
This is an interesting attempt to bring buddhism into a modern context but it is also important to consider the issue from the opposite end. Can we inform modernity with a view of something that is less bound to a time and place, where the term ‘santana dharma’ applies, buddhism being itself an offshoot of a larger history that goes back many millennia.
The attempt to think of buddhist canons of consciousness in a ‘naturalistic’ context is bound to backfire in a culture of reductionist neuroscience and the movement to ban ‘enlightenment’ as somehow ‘unnaturalistic’. This book weaves through the pitfalls here reasonably well, but the geography of science derelicts makes this difficult. It is essential to bring the theory of evolution to bear here, but do we mean to use darwinism here? The later is a shipwreck buttressed by social ideology and its theory of natural selection creates a cockeyed theory that is propagandized for reasons of scientism in the ascendant. The tale of the evolution of homo sapiens as a potent9ial buddha is beyond the capacity of darwinian thinking.
There is not absolute reason why buddhism must conform to bad science. The discovery of man’s real potential as a being with capacity to reach enlightenment is a challenge to the robotic psychology of all cultures at all times in history: science can find no such thing and that speaks to the limits of ‘science’ as we know it.

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