Alan Watts - On Buddhism I

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Alan Watts - On Buddhism I

I want to start by reemphasizing the point that what are called the religions of the east the ones we’re discussing Hinduism Buddhism and Chinese Taoism are not what we in the West understand as religions. They don’t involve that you believe in anything specific. And they don’t involve any idea of obedience and to commandments from above. And they don’t involve any conformity to a specific ritual. Although they do have rituals, but their rituals vary from country to country and from time to time. Their objective is always not ideas, not doctrines, but a method a method for the transformation of consciousness.

But the Buddha was very subtle. He is really the first historical psychologist. The great psychologist, psychotherapist. He is very subtle, because he saw that a person who is fighting pain, who is trying to get rid of pain is still really fundamentally afraid of it. And therefore the way of asceticism is not right. Equally, the way of hedonism, of seeking pleasure, is not right. So the Buddhist doctrine is called the middle way. Which is neither ascetic nor hedonistic.

Alan Watts - On Buddhism I

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