Buddhism is Needed in the World

by | Oct 19, 2023 | Buddhism for All

There is a popular quote allegedly by Albert Einstein:

The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both natural and spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual and a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism.[1]

Nobody has shown that Einstein actually said it, but the quote is widely repeated because it is correct: that due to its unique qualities, Buddhism is uniquely suited for the scientific age.

We all experience suffering, and we all die.  Sooner or later, we need to confront suffering and/or death.  In other words, sooner or later, we all find out we have spiritual needs.  The problem is people tend to think of spirituality and religion as one and the same.  That becomes a real problem in the scientific age because many people perceive science as being in conflict with religion, so people think they are forced to choose one or the other.  Some choose religion and decide to reject science, while others choose science and end up abandoning spirituality along with religion.

Buddhism offers a way for people to be deeply spiritual, with or without religion.  That means for those uncomfortable with religion, they can still be spiritual, and for those who love religion, Buddhism offers a way to be spiritual and religious without ever having to reject science.  Buddhism is uniquely suited to serve all people in these times.

More importantly, Buddhism is not just good for people, it is good for the world.

As the Buddha says, mind is the forerunner of all thoughts and actions.  Mind is chief.[2]  How destructive we are as a species is determined by the quality of our minds.  This is especially true in the age of science and technology where our destructive powers are greatly magnified.  Our powers have become so great that we are endangering all life on earth.  The more enlightened we are, the more we possess inner peace, inner joy, compassion and wisdom, the more our minds are free from greed, hatred, and ignorance, the less destructive we become as a species. 

The world, and all life on earth, need us humans to be much, much less destructive.  The world desperately needs us to be enlightened.  In other words, the world needs us to learn and practice what the Buddha taught.


Activities

References

[1] Shravasti Dhammika, Praised by the Wise.  Buddhist Research Society, (1987).

[2] Dhammapada 1.

Chade-Meng Tan

Meng is an award-winning engineer, international bestselling author, movie producer and philanthropist. His work has been nominated eight times for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Read Meng's story)

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