buddhamania

I wonder if the subtext of this quote is lost on the reader? Does the reader understand that what this means is that, when you take a cultural artifact out of its context and stick it in your home, you strip it of its original meaning. Devoid of its original meaning, you are then free to have it mean whatever the hell you want it to mean. That we are capable of doing this to Buddhism and not to other religions has always struck me as a form of cultural imperialism, what my old boss would call being a “culture vulture.” The problem with being a culture vulture is that you invariably strip the culture you profess to love of any agency in claiming its own meaning. Buddhism ceases to be whatever it is and becomes “a blank slate” that you are free to define however you like. Leaving us with the very real and important questions, “Is it Buddhism? Is it not Buddhism? What is Buddhism? Is Buddhism about peace and serenity? Or are we just claiming it is because we’ve got this blank canvass?”

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