Secularitis


A friend of mine dropped in, saw Stephen Batchelor’s book “Confession of a Buddhist Atheist” lying on my coffee table and said, everyone is getting into that.

Too true!

And it seems that the general label for this sort of thing is Secular Buddhism which means that people into this sort of thing are Secular Buddhists. Not the most attractive label, you’ll have to agree. Sounds rather dry and self-righteous. Completely lacks in street cred or cool. But I guess that’s part and parcel of the deal.

Anyway, the interblogs are abuzz with it. Real buddhists are politely outraged and the main question, which is a very good one is: if you guys are so anti the magic stuff why call yourself Buddhists at all? The point that the original Buddhism can arguably be considered atheistic in the first place is lost against thousands of years of traditional practice that says otherwise.

So: in the spirit of that sort of thing, I thought it would be far better for the new kids on the block to drop the B word and start thinking outside the square. The following springs to mind:

1. Go for Siddharta, the founder’s birth name. So we could be Siddhartites following Siddhartism. A suggestion on the Australian Secular Buddhists site was to further shorten to Sid. Which is way cooler. So, we could be Siddites or Siddhists following Siddhism. I prefer the former.

2. Go completely new skool and break free from all mention of the founder by focusing on one of the main practices adopted in the west: mindfulness. From the Speculative Non-Buddhist site, comes the term Mindfulnista. This is also way cool because it hints at jedi mind powers.

3. Rebrand Secular by injecting it with Latin old skool cool. Fusion up a mix of gregorian chanting and far eastern beats and unveil the Saeculorum as in  “We are the Saeculorum. Resistance is futile.” (My Latin is non-existent so it could be Saecula or Saeculis but Saeculorum sounds the coolest)

Anyway, what do you think?

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