Do Not Believe In Anything Simply Because You Have Heard It

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

This quote, which is frequently attributed to Buddha, is, in fact, a fake. There’s an interesting analysis here of the likely origin of the quote (short version is that someone likely rewrote or paraphrased a genuine quote in order to make Buddha appear more secular/rational).

(So much the worse for Buddha, in my opinion. The fake quote is much more in line with what I’d expect from someone genuinely enlightened as opposed to the genuine quote).

The Dalai Lama on the Horrors of Sex

Dalai LamaBack in November, the Dalai Lama decided to hold forth about the advantages of celibacy and the attendant “complications” created by sexuality (emphasis added),

“Sexual pressure, sexual desire, actually I think is short period satisfaction and often, that leads to more complication,” the Dalai Lama told reporters in a Lagos hotel, speaking in English without a translator.

He said conjugal life caused “too much ups and downs.

“Naturally as a human being … some kind of desire for sex comes, but then you use human intelligence to make comprehension that those couples always full of trouble. And in some cases there is suicide, murder cases,” the Dalai Lama said.

He said the “consolation” in celibacy is that although “we miss something, but at the same time, compare whole life, it’s better, more independence, more freedom.”

Considered a Buddhist Master exempt from the religion’s wheel of death and reincarnation, the Dalai Lama waxed eloquent on the Buddhist credo of non-attachment.

“Too much attachment towards your children, towards your partner,” was “one of the obstacle or hindrance of peace of mind,” he said.

This is just one in a long line of anti-sex comments made by the Dalai Lama. Back in 1993, he told The New York Times,

Then, of course, there is the feeling that something sexual must be
something very happy, a marvelous experience. When this develops, I always see the negative side. There’s an expression from Nagurajuna, one of the Indian masters: “If you itch, it’s nice to scratch it. But it’s better to have no itch at all.” Similarly with the sexual desire. If it is possible to be without that feeling, there is much peace. [Smiles.] And without sex, there’s no worry about abortion, condoms, things like that.

Kind of weird that hundreds of millions of ordinary people manage to have sex without committing murder or suicide and yet a man who is supposedly supremely “enlightened” apparently lives in fear of the effects of sexual intimacy.

And while it is certainly true that people do sometimes make poor choices as a result of desire for or lack of initimate relationships, that pales in comparison to the “complications” created by religious zealots.