Why are western people so obsessed with Buddhism? I’ll start by explaining that this article has nothing against Buddhism. This is not an anti-Buddhist rant, it is a rant about western obsession and deep misunderstanding of the religion. Yes it is a religion (more on that later). And as for my own standpoint? I personally hate all religions equally.
Buddhism isn’t a religion man
I remember being on a bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh around 6 years ago. Our group got to listen to an elephant pant wearing beatnik talking to a young Cambodian lady. We learned that he was a writer, but you know also a bartender. Nothing wrong with bartending, I have done it myself, but mate you’re a bartender that writes, not the other way around. I digress.
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Anyway he then proceeded to lecture the young girl about how Buddhism isn’t a religion, but a “state of mind” and a “belief system”. She informed him it was indeed a religion, but the hippie simply wouldn’t listen. For whatever reason westerns are obsessed with Buddhism.
Buddhism is a religion of peace
Apparently every religion is a religion of peace. I mean when it comes to islam we sure get that point rammed down our throats. Taliban anyone? I’m not saying Christianity is any better, obviously, but lets look at the majority Buddhist countries countries of the world.
Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Japan. With notable high populations in China, Taiwan, and of course the autonomous region of Tibet!
Now ignoring the horse shit about Bhutan measuring “Gross Domestic Happiness” (it turns out they are not that happy). Now, whilst all nations have their problems, lets just pick two from the list.
Cambodia had a fairly big event called the Killing Fields and the Japanese were what you might call a “bit naughty” during World War 2. This of course cannot be blamed on Buddhism, but it also shows that Buddhism doesn’t always equal peace.
Don’t get me started on the Dalai Lama
Anything to do with the western obsession with Tibet irks me, but when it comes to the Dalai Lama I get really annoyed. IN actual fact the guy is a bit of a tit. Few realize this, but he was previously a devout communist. OK fair enough, but he has also done things like joke about how the Dalai Lama could not be reincarnated as a woman because it would be funny when she got her period. He also rarely says anything profound.
If you actually go to Tibet (which I have) you also learn that people are not just running about praying every 5 minutes, but are just normal people. Sadly this doesn’t fit the narrative people like though