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June 13, 2011

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red state blues

"The reality here, though, is that the Dalai Lama is, like Gandhi (about whom I recently wrote), just another overrated Eastern spiritual leader whom elites glom onto because he is quite liberal and not Western."

Great article, Selwyn. If you combine enough of the different series of exposes, you'd soon have a book.

Two things have come to guide my observations of Eastern religions. First, is how the religion influences the cultures where it is practiced. Second, is how our conceptual framework for such religions has been created/fictionalized by translators. Buddhism in popular culture, from Alan Watts to Gary Zukov, doesn't resemble the Dalai Lama's teachings very much.

I believe what you've noted about the Asian understanding of Western history and religion reflects the same idea that something has gotten lost in translation.

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