Freedom In The Post-Modern Age

‘The nature of post-modern freedom, although equally applicable to all, does not necessarily mean that it is immediately perceivable to all those who exist within its condition. Its condition is the product, generally speaking, of advanced economic development, although on occasion such philosophies as Buddhism have been interpreted as being of a ‘post-modern’ nature. Obviously ancient India was not in the advanced economic state that western Europe is in today, but the Buddha’s philosophy marks a stark break with the traditions of his time, and represents a clear manifestation of one particular aspect of the post-modern condition, namely that of dismissing the long narratives of history that had previously dominated Indian philosophical and spiritual thought. West Europe, the United States of America and to a lesser extent the emerging central and eastern European states, are the product of hundred of years of economic development that has created nothing less than a revolution in the material structure of outward society that has seen the remarkable establishment of science and medicine over that of the theology of monotheistic religion. This state of industrialisation and technological development, regardless of its inherent inequalities has nevertheless created an extensive collective wealth that has raised the level of physical and psychological existence.’

Buddhist Saddha Distorted As ‘Faith’.

‘From the assessment of (the Pali) and Sanskrit terms ‘sraddha’, ‘prasada’, and ‘adhimukti’, as used within Buddhist philosophy, (both early and late), together with a cross-referencing of the translation terms used to render these notions into written Chinese, it is clear that these terms can not be interpreted through the lens of a Christian concept of ‘faith’. Buddhist philosophy is an example of the product of pristine ‘logical’ thought that is dependent upon personal experience and spiritual experimentation. The Buddha’s system is simple in essence – over-come greed, hatred and delusion, and suffering will stop – but extraordinarily extensive in presentation. Each expressed idea and concept fits neatly into every other idea and concept. It is precise, exact and constant in its original form, and a simple idea, (the product of a profound enlightenment), requires literally hundreds of sutras to express its totality. Whereas St Augustinedescribes Christian faith as coming before knowledge, the Buddha’s message is exactly the opposite – it is the presence of exact and profound knowledge – that generates a confidence and a therefore a ‘qualified’ belief in it. Although it is true that ‘faith’ In a deity is a Hindu belief, and that the Buddhist terms are also used within Hinduism, nevertheless, the Buddhist usage is of a specific type that alters considerably, the original Hindu meanings, which are dependent upon a belief in a deity, (or divine concept) for salvation.’

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