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Is Buddhism Religiously Neutral – And What About God?

February 21, 2014

Nearly a year ago, my family and I went back to Albania to see some familiar faces and places. This meant flying, which meant reading the BA in-flight magazines from cover to cover (nearly). And in the “High Life Shop” magazine, I was disturbed to find BA unashamedly propagating a Buddhist world view.

More specifically, there were a couple of pages devoted to selling bracelets based on our internal energies, “Chakras”. According to the magazine, “Chakras are the manifestation of spiritual energies which correspond to vital points in the human body”. There are apparently seven of them, and they affect how we feel and behave: e.g. “when our sacral Chakra in the lower abdomen is sticky then our ability to connect with others might not be so good”.

This, my friends, is pure and unadulterated Buddhism, presented in a matter-of-fact manner in a magazine provided for free on all BA flights. And even though the main purpose seems to be to sell bracelets that are “a pretty way of reminding yourself to keep your energy flow clean”, there is still subtle propaganda: “to help your energies move more freely a regular meditation or yoga practice is the best way”.

Obviously, Buddhism has the right to exist, just like any other religion, but I do find it disturbing to see Buddhist ideas (which have no basis in medicine, physiology or any other science) presented as fact in a non-Buddhist magazine. Imagine if the author had been writing about the benefits of following Jesus or worshipping our Creator – do you think they would have published the article?

I imagine that we are yet again seeing the phenomenon I’ve written about before: “spirituality” is OK, but God isn’t; presumably because it’s much easier and less demanding to believe in “energies” and “balanced forces” than to have to relate to a personal divine being.

That doesn’t change the fact that there is a personal divine Being, who can’t be controlled with bracelets or yoga, and who isn’t there simply to help you readjust your energies when you feel out of sync. The Creator God wants much more than that: he wants all of you, your whole life – but in return, he’ll give you all of himself, now and for eternity. That is true spirituality, and a much better deal than Buddhism, or any religion of any description, can ever offer.

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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