To add a religion or supernatural enthusiasm to your life is to diminish your life. What you gain in ceremony, ritual, fellow feeling, and the comforts of a metaphoric system you lose in integrity, freedom, and dignity. Against the epic metaphor of religion is the Buddha’s better epic metaphor that all Buddhas must be killed – that religion itself is the danger. Not only are you not to believe in gods, according to the Buddha, you are not to believe in systems that distance you from a personal reckoning with the facts of existence. Personal means personal: to chant with robed monks robs you of your inheritance just as surely as praying to a bearded god does.
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