Kare wrote:Western = wrong
Eastern = right
Is this how your dictionary looks?
Nope, and it's telling you suspect that.
Born and raised as s a white European, I do experience Buddhism as a distinctly foreign religion, and myself foreign to it. And while I can intellectually understand that this is just my particular conditioning, it is also not something I can just gloss over.
My having an interest in Buddhism doesn't seem to trump that conditioning, though.
I may be many things, but I am not an Asian supremacist. My dislike of certain Western ideas and practices is independent of and predates my interest in Buddhism.
Instead of staring blindly at the Eastern/Western dichotomy, take a closer look at what the Buddha did and said.
I don't know what the Buddha did and said, I wasn't there. I can only speculate and take things on faith. Which for me is a huge part of the problem.
He lived his life as a teacher, motivated by compassion. He wanted his teachings to be of help.
Even if we go with that, we can probably only say that he wanted his teachings to be of help in regard to a particular purpose.
Surely the Buddha wasn't interested in helping slaughterers develop more effective slaughtering techniques (even though slaughterers may be interested in getting help with that), nor was he interested in helping people develop better means for armed warfare (even though people interested in warfare may be interested in getting help with that).
So how can asking how the teachings can be of help, be the "wrong question"?
Because it is at least incomplete. Like I said above - help in regard to a particular purpose.
I suppose we can say that the Buddha was interested in helping people realize the complete cessation of suffering, but that he was disinterested in helping them in some other areas of life.
You are missing the point. A close study of the history of Buddhism reveals that all the living traditions are adaptions. There is no unadapted Buddhism to be found. Therefore the question is not 'adaption or no adaption?'. It is: Do you want to step into an illfitting adaption made for others, or do you want an adaption that is tailored for your own size?
Thank you, I can make an adaptation that fits my own size. And while this may give me a good ego-boost and a sense of "self-realization" - who knows whether it leads to a complete cessation of suffering or not.
I'm just not that much of an individualist, I guess, to value my own creation above some ideal of pure unadapted Buddhism. I don't know if that pure unadapted Buddhism exists, but it is important to me to think that on principle, it does exist, and is what is worth striving for.