lyndon taylor wrote:I suppose by the same criteria, education would be the opiate of the masses, anything that promises a better life by completion of its programme(education) would have to be an opiate. Or maybe our criteria are completely wrong and Buddhism is not the opiate, or education......
I've gotta disagree.
Anything that promises a better life by completion of its programme (education) but does not deliver improvements would have to be an opiate. That's what opiates do - offer a period in la-la land but drop you back in exactly the same dukkha afterwards ... with maybe less money and poorer health.
Education demonstrably does deliver benefits. So does the dhamma. In both cases, the more you put into them, the more you get out of them.
The original quote is from Marx: "Religion is the opium of the people". The wikipedia page about it - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_of_the_people - is thought-provoking, especially Charles Kingsley's take on it, "We have used the Bible as if it were a mere special constable's hand book, an opium dose for keeping beasts of burden patient while they were being overloaded, a mere book to keep the poor in order," which is actually a critique of the way religion was being abused and perverted by the Establishment of the time.