Re: Pascal's Wager

Zenarchy (
Tue, 8 Dec 1998 16:25:28 -0800

Anders posted,
> "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."
> - Buddha

I'll drink to that, and add to it Buddha's last words to his brother Ananda,
"Be a light unto yourself." That sums it up for me.

To live as a _Buddhist_ carries with it all the ugliness committed by followers.
To live as a _Buddha_ means to light the way for yourself as you light the lamps of others.

In ordinary conversation, I've called myself a Buddhist about as often as I've felt like a nut. To make people to think of me as a nut, I only have to call myself a Buddha. If I want people to remember me, I'll have to win Pascal's Wager -- the hard way. Thanks to Eliezer, Anders, and Max for a stimulating exchange.


PS: "If you see the Buddha on the highway, kill him!" --Sosan, Third Patriarch of Zen