The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

A Buddhist is an Atheist

Certainly, no one can deny that religion is one of the driving forces of this planet earth. Though many people have moved away from formal religion that is not the case for most. People want to believe! People want to believe that there is a purpose for their life. People want to believe that by behaving in a good way they will be rewarded in the afterlife. People want to believe that they can turn to a supreme being and receive guidance and help. That’s fine. Each person should believe as they wish to believe.

In each culture, a specific religion is programmed into a young child. What the parents believe is what the child is taught to believe. This is what has kept religious traditions alive.

In a few cases, there has been a vast shift in a religion at a specific point in history. This was certainly the case with Christianity growing out of Judaism and Buddhism rising out of Hinduism. In Christianity there arose one figure that came to define the religion, Jesus. This is the same with Buddhism. The ironic thing is, however, this was not the Buddha’s teachings. He taught of a mental landscape void of idol worship. Yet, look at his legacy, there are statues of the Buddha everywhere, people pray to the Buddha everywhere, and people look to the Buddha for guidance. Though these people consider themselves Buddhists, they have missed the entire point of what the Buddha taught. They do not practice the techniques of removing their mind from the constraints of the material world and thereby encountering nirvana, they simply pass through their life worshiping an idealize image of a person they believe possess the ultimate understanding.

So, what does this tell us about religion, religious teachers, and the human society as a whole? It teaches us that most people do not and/or cannot remove themselves from the constraints of everyday life. They do not want to. They are content being dominated by the external while avoiding the internal. They do not possess the mental wherewithal to transcend from common existence and move into a space of ultimate understanding. This is not right or wrong; it is simply the definition of human society.

This then leads us to one of the ultimate questions of life. For you, as a living person, what do you believe? Do you ever take the time to question this question? Do you ever take the time to study where your belief system arose? Where did you learn what you believe? And, why do you believe what you were taught to believe? Moreover, is what you believe the actual teachings of the instigator and source point of what you believe? Are you believing/are you practicing what the founder of your religion actually taught? Because if you are not, then you are not a true practitioner of the religion at all. Where does that leave you?