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Ego an illusion

A non theistic religion - The Ego as an illusion

Very few things could sound more contradictory to the western mind than the idea of a religion with no god. The Buddha was not concerned with satisfying human curiosity related to metaphysical speculations. Topics like the existence of god, afterlife or creation stories were ignored by the Buddha.

The Buddhist approach is not spiritual, but psychological and yet it has spiritual implications, since it inspires us with goodwill towards all creatures and constant willingness to help others. It focuses on the nature of human suffering and how to end it. The idea of god plays no role in Buddhism. In some religions, sin is the origin of human suffering. In Buddhism there is no sin, the root-cause of human suffering is avidyā “ignorance”.

Buddhism does not require faith or belief. Faith could be understood as believing something which is unsupported by evidence. But Buddhism claims that ignorance is what causes suffering: the only way to overcome this ignorance is by understanding, faith has no use. Belief, as understood by other religions, is not necessary in Buddhism.

The question of belief arises when there is no seeing - seeing in every sense of the word. The moment you see, the question of belief disappears. If I tell you that I have a gem hidden in the folded palm of my hand, the question of belief  arises because you do not see it yourself. But if I unclench my fist and show you the gem, then you see it for yourself, and the question of belief does not arise. So the phrase in ancient Buddhist texts reads 'Realizing, as one sees a gem in the palm'
(Rahula W., 9)

The Buddha did not agree with moral and psychological individualism. We are not separate beings and powers, but passing ripples of the stream of life. When we see ourselves as part of the whole, our personal disappointments and defeats, even our death, no longer sadden us as bitterly as before: they simply dissolve in the amplitude of existence. There is no ego in Buddhism: the idea that we are separate is an illusion. 

The fictions of mind, the fantasies which have been mistaken for the genuine reality remain to colour the vision in ways that obscure it. These are deeply ingrained habits of perception, insisting that somewhere there is a fundamental distinction between 'I' and 'it', between subject and object, between the poles of every duality.
(Tarthand Tulku, 125)
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