Re: Zen? Atheist? Is there such an animal?

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Wed May 31 2000 - 13:32:17 MDT

>>> I just read an email from you on the Extropian mailing list about Mother
>>> Teresa. You said that you're a Zen Budhist and a staunch athiest?? Those
>>> two aren't contradictory? I admit that I know much of nothing about Zen
>>> Budhism. Can you give me a bit of enlightenment?

I practiced Zen for a while at the Mountain View Center, and I'm as
radical an atheist as they get. Zen evolved as "Buddhism" mainly
because that was the cultural background in which it arose; if it had
started in Europe, no doubt it would have been a branch of Christianity
or Judaism instead. But Zen itself is pretty reductionist and doesn't
spend a lot of time on silly ideas like God. Even many non-Zen Buddhist
religions don't explicitly have "gods" in the way we normally think of
them, although most Buddhists have adopted the cultural background of
Hiduism that has many. There's a lot of overlap, much the same as the
way Christianity ends up celebrating Pagan rituals with new names.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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