If there’s one thing (modern western American whatever) Buddhists love is to make the claim that not only is Buddhism freakin’ awesome but we’ve got the science to prove it. Here, let us show you these monks with electrodes taped to their heads; let’s conveniently ignore two millennia of ghost stories and karma theory because we’re uncomfortable with stuff that isn’t readily explained by science; and, here, check this out chanting the divine syllable makes you a better person, and we’ve got the science to prove it!
Something buried in this post â€” this delightful, insightful, post-colonial critique-ful post â€” by Arunlikhati (of course) caught my eye. â€œDharmic evolution.â€
Iâ€™m going to say it. Evolution has nothing to do with the Dharma.
Now look. I love evolution as much as the next guy. In fact, Iâ€™m a big fan of science in general. I mean, how can you not like science? Itâ€™s given us USB flash drives, penicillin, and the new Star Trek movie. Câ€™mon. How cool is that? But the theory of evolution cannot be applied to human culture, society, or religion. It just canâ€™t.
A couple of interesting bits from the Internets have found their way on to the ol’ desktop today. First up is an article from a 1962 issue of Time magazine celebrating the 70th anniversary of Buddhism in America. You do the math. The second, along with my thoughts on the nature of consciousness, is the conversation between Stephen Batchelor and Robert Thurman about reincarnation, brought to you by Tricycle.
Just ask this scientician. He’ll tell you that, in nature, one creature invariably eats another creature to survive.