Thanissaro Bhikkhuhttp://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... karma.html
We read the early Buddhist attacks on the caste system, and aside from their anti-racist implications, they often strike us as quaint. What we fail to realize is that they strike right at the heart of our myths about our own past: our obsession with defining who we are in terms of where we come from — our race, ethnic heritage, gender, socio-economic background, sexual preference — our modern tribes. We put inordinate amounts of energy into creating and maintaining the mythology of our tribe so that we can take vicarious pride in our tribe's good name. Even when we become Buddhists, the tribe comes first. We demand a Buddhism that honors our myths.
Could it be that the concept of a "lineage" of monks is just an example of the "mythology of our tribe".....that we demand a Buddhism which allows us to "take vicarious pride in our tribe's good name"?......that we demand a Buddhism that honors the myth of "lineage of monks" even though the Buddha NEVER MENTIONED such a concept in relationship to monks although it is clear that he DID MENTION the concept in relationship to the tradition of the Noble Ones? Could it be that the Buddha thought that the traditions of the Noble Ones is a more honorable myth than a "lineage of monks"? Could it be that we all have a myth of "lineage" which we bring to Buddhism from our secular world and that we overlay that secular myth onto the monkhood and thus come to demand a Buddhism that honors that myth and that this is clouding our minds so that we overlook the tradition of the Noble Ones?