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Najeeb, S. (2017). Comments on ‘Who Founded Buddhism? Notes on the Psychological Effectiveness of Religious Objects’. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(4):1227-1229.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(4):1227-1229

Comments on ‘Who Founded Buddhism? Notes on the Psychological Effectiveness of Religious Objects’ Related Papers

Shahid Najeeb

Dear Editor,

This is how the author states “the central paradox” of his paper “that Enlightenment could interfere with compassion” (p. 445):

What had he [the Buddha] understood in this Enlightenment? It was … that suffering is caused by cravings which in turn depend on the belief in an enduring self. In reality there is no enduring self: the world is not a world of enduring things … but a cascade of casually conditioned processes where nothing has independent reality and there is no enduring “I” to be the subject of suffering.

(p. 437)

But this wisdom supplied no motive for action. Motives require subjects who are moved by them; to eliminate the self is to eliminate any ground for motivation. … It was intrinsic to the ‘wisdom’ that, by systematically excluding selves, it abolished precisely what compassion demands, a self to be the subject of compassion, and the selves that could be its object. Compassion, if we accept ‘wisdom’, is delusory and finds no purchase … [and] the central ‘wisdom’ of Buddhism … has no place in it for kindness, love or compassion.

(p. 439)

These are powerful assertions, but they are based on a series of misunderstandings, including what we mean by the term reality. Reality, the world as we know it, exists necessarily and simultaneously, at multiple levels. For instance, we as human beings simultaneously exist as a species, as family units, as individuals and we also exist at physiological, biochemical and molecular levels.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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