I was sick--sick unto death with that long agony; and when they at length unbound me, and I was permitted to sit, I felt that my senses were leaving me.

 The sentence--the dread sentence of death--was the last of distinct accentuation which reached my ears. After that, the sound of the inquisitorial voices seemed merged in one dreamy indeterminate hum. It conveyed to my soul the idea of revolution--perhaps from its association in fancy with the burr of a mill wheel. 

This only for a brief period; for presently I heard no more. Yet, for a while, I saw; but with how terrible an exaggeration! I saw the lips of the black-robed judges. They appeared to me white--whiter than the sheet upon which I trace these words--and thin even to grotesqueness; thin with the intensity of their expression of firmness--of immoveable resolution--of stern contempt of human torture.

I saw that the decrees of what to me was Fate, were still issuing from those lips. I saw them writhe with a deadly locution. I saw them fashion the syllables of my name; and I shuddered because no sound succeeded.

I saw, too, for a few moments of delirious horror, the soft and nearly imperceptible waving of the sable draperies which enwrapped the walls of the apartment. And then my vision fell upon the seven tall candles upon the table. At first they wore the aspect of charity, and seemed white and slender angels who would save me; but then, all at once, there came a most deadly nausea over my spirit, and I felt every fibre in my frame thrill as if I had touched the wire of a galvanic battery, while the angel forms became meaningless spectres, with heads of flame, and I saw that from them there would be no help.

And then there stole into my fancy, like a rich musical note, the thought of what sweet rest there must be in the grave. The thought came gently and stealthily, and it seemed long before it attained full appreciation; but just as my spirit came at length properly to feel and entertain it, the figures of the judges vanished, as if magically, from before me; the tall candles sank into nothingness; their flames went out utterly; the blackness of darkness supervened; all sensations appeared swallowed up in a mad rushing descent as of the soul into Hades. Then silence, and stillness, night were the universe.

This text by Edgar Alen Poe at first glance does not appear like the Modern Buddhism which casts its shadow into Samsara melding with all the other shadows which cover the truth.

The problem is that when one is suffering, depressed or with anguish then one is tempted to see the black robes as white and the seven tall candles at first as having the aspect of charity, seeming like white and slender angels who can save.

Ww have all heard the phrase that Religion is the "opium of the people" and many believe that by embracing Buddhism they fall outside the shadows of religious shrouds, but while there may appear to be a strong saving light from the candles, what all accept with a smile of faith is a strong dose of Ecstasy.

What does Ecstasy bring? It brings mental stimulation, emotional heat, compassion towards others, an experience of well-being and a great reduction of anxiety. Apart from that, there is an exalted sensorial perception.

It all sounds great, and even spiritual. But what really are the after effects? Well, even without an overdose there is actually an increase in anxiety and a sadness, and what is even more debilitating is a lowering of mental attention and capabilities. This leads, of couse, to a demand for more Ecstasy.

How does Buddhism, that is the Buddhism of the Individualist socially engaged peddlers, serve up this ECSTASY?

It serves it in the pretty colored pills of Meditation and Mindfulness. But this Meditation and Mindfuness is just the external coloring. What is inside?

It is the power of generating comfortable nesting for the confused, individual emotional masturbation for the majority, and the inflating glow of being at the centre of knowledge for the academically intelligent.

    But all know the danger of deceptive labels, so the New Socially Involved Buddhism goes one further.

                 It condemns existential ECSTASY and sells you BIG DADDY

Big Daddy is a LEGAL ECSTASY and so generally accepted that the New Buddhism can never be deemed a sect, nor does it need government registering nor does it need masters or leaders. Instead, like Hyde Park in London, anyone with the balls, with or without a list of Buddhist references, can stand on a box at speakers' corner and sell what they want.

            I wonder if, in the end, BIG DADDY is any different than BIG BROTHER

And if you don't groove on BIG DADDY there is also
, Mello Man, Space Trips, Hi-Octane or  TNT. 


    You see, it all depends on what you want, Ecstasy itself, 
Mello Man or Space Trips.

When I was more naïve I used to tell students that the error was that they wanted one foot in this world and the other outside the limits of Samsara where their mind was less anquished. It seemed to me that this balance could be easily rectified. But I found that my idea was in error. Most are satisfied to attain a condition where BOTH feet are in Samsara and only their head is outside of Samsara.

Socially Engaged Buddhism not only permits this, but sets it up as a viable alternative to true Buddha Dharma.

                                   MINDFUL EXTASIS

Hi-Octane or  TNT