I know Westerners don’t like the fact that Buddhism IS a religion with superstitions and strict adherence to dogma with gods, ghouls, magic, and such - but that IS Buddhism in Asia. That is how it has been practiced for 2,550 years in ALL of Asia. It IS a religion with fixed beliefs and all the supernatural stuff you find in any other religion. Get over it!
The new Western version of Buddhism you read about in books is appealing because it seems to be free of superstition. But that is NOT what is practiced as Buddhism in Asia.
Stop sending me links to Western Buddhist sites and “expert” opinions already (from people who have never set foot in Asia sometimes!)
Buddhism developed in India from earlier religions and contains the philosophies of the Greeks and Persians, the Romans and Indians. It waxed and waned through the centuries and was both influenced by and influenced other cultures. it contains thousands of gods and demons - all of which are believed to be REAL and ACTUAL by millions of Asian Buddhists.
Magic talismans, gods, demons, ghosts, ghouls, angels, heavens, hells, and reincarnation - Buddhism is a religion no different from any other; based on man’s need to escape the knowledge that he will one day die and be no more. Buddhists simply replace life in heaven with rebirth to escape that fact that they will DIE.
Buddhism shares the same traits as any other religion. An imaginative projection, reification, and worship of an all-powerful supreme being conceived after man’s own image. Multiple Buddha bodies, supreme Dharma body, the matrix, it is all metaphysical mumbo jumbo to soothe and comfort.
I should know, I practised/preached it for over 20 years.