Marketing Superstitions & Invisible Demons: The Naked Monk
I don’t often reblog, but this was so spot-on and important that I had to share. If you like this, check out the rest of Stephen Schettini’s site, which is well worth the time.
The idea that life can be explained and mastered is a superstition. So’s the idea that it’s possible to live without doubt, or that existence is meant to be joyful, that someone or something out there is watching out for us. Do you hope to be enlightened by your Buddhist practice, or saved by your God? Okay. Why?
You’ll probably never fully answer this question, but that’s no reason to stop asking it. We need to be reminded that we can’t know, not just intellectually but viscerally. To abandon mystery is to lose our potential for change. Worse, to think we can manage that change is to be lost in superstition.
In one sense the Roman Catholicism and Tibetan Buddhism in which I was immersed for my first thirty years were more superstitious than the plain life I lead now, but in another sense, I’m more tempted than ever to believe in impossible things. I watch TV and find myself thinking that fame and fortune would make me happy. I browse the Internet and hope that a new app will solve my poor time management. I read about the Dalai Lama’s latest trip and feel pangs of regret for leaving Tibetan Buddhism and my illustrious friends.
You might consider the Tibetan belief in invisible demons a superstition. So literally are they taken that Ganden monastery in South India is divided by a wall, separating those who believe that Dolgyal is a good demon from those who believe he’s an evil one. There’s no place for those who don’t believe in him at all.