Buddhism: Religion or Technology?

Introduction

Over the centuries, Buddhism has grown ornate with tradition and symbolism that re-imagines Gautama Siddhartha (also called the Buddha, a remarkable but human being) as having God-like powers, and elevates the attainment of Enlightenment (also called Awakening) beyond the achievable goals of fallible people such as everyone.

A skeptical agnostic at least and atheist at most, and yet still a student of the Buddha’s teachings, I decided to make the case for secular Buddhism, which views the path of insight that leads to Awakening as a cognitive technology for understanding the world.

I will claim this attitude is more, and not less, in line with the Buddha’s original intent than the purportedly miraculous and borderline unattainable version of insight promulgated by the organised religious monk-hood throughout most of Asia.

I am by no means the first to make this claim, nor are my writings generally the most lucid. I add my voice here in the hopes that it may benefit those who come across it. It is the truth as I see it. Your mileage may vary.

All Posts about Secular vs. Religious Buddhism

Buddhism for Non-Believers - Flinching away from religious ceremonies may be a good thing for meditators.
Secular Enlightenment Part One: Tools of the Trail - Using intense and deliberate sustained attention to examine our minds debunks many illusions we previously suffered about the world in which we find ourselves.
The Meditator’s Mission Statement - Just believing that the world is a riddle with no answer and then getting on with life does not remove the ache.
Secular Enlightenment Part Two: Defining Characteristics - There are as many ways to talk about enlightenment as there are people striving for it. It is doable for most of us with a little forbearance and hard work.