Over a thousand monks and laymen are revered in Tibetan Buddhism as the incarnations of past teachers who convey enlightenment to their followers from one lifetime to the next. Some of the most respected are known by the honorific "rinpoche." For eight centuries, rinpoches were traditionally identified by other monks and then locked inside monasteries ringed by mountains, far from worldly distractions. Their reincarnation lineages were easily tracked across successive lives. Then the Chinese Red Army invaded Tibet in 1950 and drove the religion's adherents into exile. Now, the younger rinpoches of the Tibetan diaspora are being exposed to all of the twenty-first century’s dazzling temptations. So, even as Tibetan Buddhism is gaining more followers around the world, an increasing number of rinpoches are abandoning their monastic vows. Reincarnation in Exile. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Feb 5, 2013 -
Fast tracking kebal
- Plugging the cord into an electric socket, I was instructed to place my foot on top of one of the plates. Pak Edi held the other plate under his own foot, and immediately his leg began to quiver from the electric current.
posted by unliteral
on Nov 5, 2012 -
For millions of addicts around the world, Alcoholics Anonymous's basic text - informally known as the Big Book - is the Bible. And as they're about to find out, the Bible was edited. After being hidden away for nearly 70 years and then auctioned twice, the original manuscript by AA co-founder Bill Wilson is about to become public for the first time next week, complete with edits by Wilson-picked commenters that reveal a profound debate in 1939 about how overtly to talk about God.
posted by Joe Beese
on Sep 22, 2010 -
"The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion."
~ George Washington /
"I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature."
~ Thomas Jefferson /
"The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my religion."
~ Abraham Lincoln /
"A just government has no need for the clergy or the church." ~ James Madison /
"I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice." ~ John F. Kennedy /
"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers
." ~ Barack Obama
posted by 0bvious
on Jan 20, 2009 -
Darwin's God. "A scientific exploration of how we have come to believe in God."
This article tracks the possibility that belief in a higher power is the product of evolution.
posted by inconsequentialist
on Mar 3, 2007 -
"Killing the Buddha
is about finding a way to be religious when we're all so self-conscious and self-absorbed. Knowing more than ever about ourselves and the way the world works, we gain nothing through nostalgia for a time when belief was simple, and even less from insisting that now is such a time. Killing the Buddha
will ask, How can we be religious without leaving part of ourselves at the church or temple door? How can we love God when we know it doesn't matter if we do? Call it God for the godless. Call it the search for a God we can believe in: A God that will not be an embarrassment in twelve-thousand years. A God we can talk about without qualifications." I particularly enjoyed The Temptation of Belief
, by a Buddhist exploring evangelical Christianity, and My Holy Ghost People
, by an unbelieving daughter in a praying-in-tongues family.
posted by heatherann
on Apr 24, 2006 -
to blind belief is not simply unbelief but a different kind of belief - one that embraces uncertainty and enables us to respect others whom we do not understand, in friendship that serves to forge connections among individuals across their differences - we see deconstruction in action.
posted by semmi
on Oct 14, 2004 -
Belief in Astrology up 3% to 28% and belief in ghosts up 13% to 38%. I find the new Gallup Poll
on Americans' Belief in Psychic and Paranormal Phenomena depressing, but not surprising. Aren't we supposed to be headed in the other direction?
posted by quirked
on Jun 8, 2001 -
The Flintsons: Based on a True Story
According to a recent survey, half the adults surveyed didn't know that the Earth revolves around the sun, and 42 percent said they thought early humans lived side by side with dinosaurs.
Seems like we hear about some survey of this nature every year ("87% of high school children can't find the US on a map of the US!"), although this article at least has a citation. I couldn't find any mention of said survey on the CAoS
website. (Although if you take a look at their masthead, you can see why some people may be confused about scientific issues, as it seems to show fish revolving around the DinoWorld ...)
posted by Shadowkeeper
on Apr 27, 2001 -