My favorite religion

[video no longer available]

«My favorite religion is actually Shinran Buddhism. I was married in a Sheen-Ran Buddhist church 35 years ago. And the great thing about Sheen-Ran is that it's an offshot of Amida Buddhism. Amida was the Buddha who refused to enter nirvana until all sentient beings could enter nirvana with him. And so he reincarnates forperpetually to bring everybody to supreme enlightenment. And part of the teaching of Amida Buddhism is that if you call on Amida Buddha once with true faith, that will be enough, even if you screw up this life entirely, in your next life you'll do better. In your life after that you'll do better until eventually you do achieve total detachment and nirvana. All you got to say, in Japanese, is "Namu-amida-butsu" "in the name of Amida Buddha". If you say it with true faith you will eventually be saved. And in the 12th century a monk named Sheen-Ran meditated on this until his heart broke. He thought it was just not fair to those people who can't muster a true faith. There are some people who are always asking questions, never satisfied, always asking the next question but always a little skeptical. I'm one of them. And we just can't manage true faith. We just can't. We're just wondering, maybe there is an alternative, maybe there is another way of looking at it. And Amida, the Buddha of endless compassion, can he possible leave us out if he intends to bring all beings to perfect bliss and enlightenment? And Sheen-Ran decided that was impossible. So Sheen-Ran Budhism is based on the teaching that, if you say "Namu-amida-butsu" whether you have faith or not it's enough, you will be saved eventually. I think that is the most merciful, the most common-sensical, the most generous and the most noble religion ever invented. At least it seems that way to those of us who are incapable of true faith in the traditional sense. And so I have said "Namu-amida-butsu" with some degree of faith and a great deal of skepticism on numerous occasions. I never managed total faith but I like to say it because Sheen-Ran says whether I believe it or not it will work. And so I'd like to leave everybody with those words "Namu-amida-butsu". Say them once whether you believe it or not it will work and all your problems will be solved. It may take a thousand incarnations but eventually you will get there and hey we got lots of time.» - Robert Anton Wilson


The author

Written by Per

Free software enthusiast and transhumanist residing in Stuttgart, Germany.

comments powered by Disqus