A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

A Scientist decides to follow Buddha

Yesterday I mentioned the book “A Scientists Report on the Study of Buddhist Scriptures”,  and would like to discuss it a bit more. Mr Yiu went from an atheist or agnostic to a follower of Buddha, by using scientific analysis, based on three questions. Firstly are the theories well established, and if so are they compatible with science? Secondly are the teaching and practices of Buddhism applicable today? Thirdly to be able to clearly identify the values and benefit to the individual and to mankind as a whole, form following these teachings. He lists the Sutras and Sastra he based his research on. He describes the four conditions he will use to determine a decision. He credit’s his uncle‘s challenge to examine the scriptures as a way of learning hte truth. He went into it with an “open mind”, but expected to prove his uncle wrong.  The first book he read was given to him by his uncle, as an outline or framework to facilitate his understand of Buddhism. “The outline of Buddhism” written by Hsieh Meng was the book he was given. After reading the primer, he had three conclusions; that Buddhism was not a religion based on faith, that it had a logic to it and was a practical or useful knowledge. Secondly that it was as comprehensive as the pure science course he had taken in university. Finally that as to the mythological portions or some of the parables, that until he had a better understanding of the scriptures and discussed these with knowledgeable people, he would set them aside. He of course was still sceptical, but he was keeping an open mind. His Uncle recommended the Surangama Suta as his first scripture. This was to make his mind more open to new ideas that did not readily fir whith what he had already learned. He points out that if Einstein had not been open to new ways of looking at things, he would not have developed his Theory of Relativity to answer the missing elements in Newton’s Law of Gravity.

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