Cathars or Western Buddhists?

Tags: , , , , , ,

Cathars or Western Buddhists?

Cathars or Western Buddhists?

In the wake of a thrilling conversation with my good friend and collaborator on this site (Epicurus of Albion) the other day I decided to dive deep into the mystical interpretations of the life of Jesus with the idea that it might make a good article. This is not that article, but along the way, I rediscovered the fascinating world of the now-extinct Cathars and the interesting parallels that their beliefs have with Buddhist teachings/philosophy. I don’t tend to write explicitly about religion on this site for the simple reason that the focus of theology tends to be the correct

Continue Reading

The Immanent Lie

The Immanent Lie

  Another short essay by Transylvania’s very own Emil Cioran. Since the last essay I reviewed, I have read many others thereafter. Most, I feel, are so abstracted that you don’t know where the man is getting at and because of that he’s an author open to many interpretations. Many of Cioran’s ‘essays’ are shorter than my shortest article published on this website! Right from the start we are faced with this emotive sucker punch: “To live signifies to believe and to hope – to lie and to lie to oneself” Bear in mind he does not define what this

Continue Reading

Buddhist philosophy on the self – What is it that makes you, you?

Buddhist philosophy on the self – What is it that makes you, you?

(Note: Sanskrit or Pali words are highlighted in italics) Buddhist philosophy offers us a conceptual model to deconstruct the individual into the constituents or components that make up his being. Outside these five components there can be no individual and to remove them would be to demolish the individual being. Since this model deals with the nature of being, then it is a concept that comes under the category of ontology, the philosophical study of being. So now enter the Skandhas, of which are a core concept in Buddhism. The concept is also known as the five aggregates that make

Continue Reading

The Natural Aesthetic – Nature crafts its own art

The Natural Aesthetic – Nature crafts its own art

    Appreciating the woodland aesthetic   I thought up this article from my readings of mindfulness and Zen philosophy and the many occasions from walking through the woodlands in my local countryside while deep in conversation with Comicus as if we were the peripatetics of Aristotle; talking while on the move. We go about talking in this woodland passing tree after tree and the occasional brook but are we really registering the natural beauty of it all? Are we living in the moment? Here is one picture of some woodland: When the mind is entirely focused on talking there is

Continue Reading

Philosophy Vs Religion

Philosophy Vs Religion

I sometimes get asked what the difference is between philosophy and religion.  I can understand why people would ask this, after all many religions are quite philosophical in nature in that they espouse a set of values that are largely coherent. I’m thinking of you Siddhartha The most obvious example of this is of course Buddhism, which shares many elements in common with our favourite philosophical discipline, namely stoicism.  Other religions such as hinduism and Jainism contain lots of philosophical elements that are indeed worthy, having such gravitas that they’ve become a mainstream part of the LSD tripping, Hashish smoking

Continue Reading