robertk wrote:The Buddhists I know are in many cases more successful(from the worldly view) than most of my non- Buddhist friends. I know a chief justice, an ambassador , two generals and a vice admiral, (plus lawyers, professors, and other riffraff).
How serious are they about Buddhism?
Have they been born into Buddhist families, or have they first come in contact with Buddhism as adults?
Are they this kind of Buddhists - http://sourcesofinsight.com/buddha-quotes/
robertk wrote: but it struck me as odd that Buddhists would be perceived as "worldly losers".
Of course. Not being aggressive, not being willing to lie and gossip, not manipulating others, refusing to engage in murky business schemes (and many if not most lines of work nowadays include less or more ethically questionable practices), not having much interest in worldly matters - that's a recipe for being a loser in worldly terms.
Look up pretty much any business book on power and success, and it talks about how to induce oneself and others to greater passion, aversion and delusion. Of course, they don't call things that way, they talk about "happiness," "fulfillment," "success" and the like.
Just try succeeding in the world without having much worldly ambition!