What is your opinion on my story?
In 2001 I visited China for three weeks to study martial arts.
During my visit to China I had a dream that my grandmother came to me and told me that she had passed away. The dream was basic and simple, it was her hands holding mine and her telling me every thing was ok.
I woke up the next morning and told my roommate who told me to call home.
I didn't call until that evening (because we were 12 hours ahead) and when I got through to the family I was told every thing was OK.
That evening I had the same exact dream. Very simple. Very short.
I went through the same routine but this time when I called my girlfriend broke down and told me that my grandmother had passed.
The dreams then stopped.
When I got home I found out that she had died around 1:00pm which was when I had already been asleep for four or five hours. Also, her last words were my name; she asked where I was.
Does this experience make me believe in a creator? No
Do I believe in a heaven? No
Do I expect any one else to believe me? No
Do I believe that some form of me, non-physical, will exist after the body dies? Yes
So what do you think?
Buddhism doesn't get a pass from me either ...
I hate it when Sam Harris talks about Buddhism ... Victor Stinger blasts all the major labels, including Sam Harris in his book "The New Atheism" ...
You may find comfort in Buddhism, but I'd tell you the same thing I would tell Sam Harris, you don't need it, you just buy into it because it feels right to you. Sam may be a neurologist, but Newton also postulated Alchemy ...
... [I'm] suggesting that you don't need Buddhism anymore than Furry needs to be Jewish anymore than a Christian needs to believe in Jesus. Our species existed and evolved way prior to all those religions, and if humanity sheds any or all of them, we will still exist in the future. Most likely with newer superstitions and will look upon these current popular beliefs just like we treat the Egyptian myths as such.
Sam Harris isn't a Buddhist. He likes the meditation techniques because they train his mind, but he doesn't adopt the metaphysics of Buddhism. He might adopt some of the morals, but that doesn't count as woo unless he accepts a false metaphysical view about the moral. You can look at meditation the same way you look at lifting weights. It's possible to have false beliefs about the weights, but you don't have to have the beliefs to in order to enter a weightlifting program.
Or drinking beer. You can drink beer without having false beliefs about it; just enjoy the buzz. You can even accept the fact that if you drink too much of it your health will be affected. Look at smoking -- it's the same analogy. Taking a walk in the park is another analogy. You can enjoy the psychological benefits of clearing your head, getting away from people for awhile, getting your thoughts together, and enjoying the fresh air and scenery. You don't have to believe the trees are talking to you and that elves are running around through the forest.
Sam isn't a Buddhist, but he DOES use the word "spirituality" AND thinks there is "something" to Buddhism, whatever that "something" is. Victor Stinger would say there is nothing to Buddhism.
And yes I agree, one can drink beer without believing it was made by unicorns. Still not my point.
If you know beer exists but you don't know how it is made, the labels on the bottle are just mere labels. Buddhism is not required nor is "spirituality" to observe nature or human behavior anymore than the label "Budweiser" tells you how beer is made.
Sam does not hold woo in the conventional sense, no. I simply would say he needs to drop the word "spiritual" and stop talking about Buddhism as if it is responsible for any kind of modern method, or at least don't imply that there is "something" to it. It is merely something he is fond of, even if he tries to pass it off like a secular Jew. It still doesn't make Buddhism valid for any type of study other than the study of a tradition in a historical sense.
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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