Wanting to get a better understanding for what J.K. was writing about, I remembered an old book my wife had on the shelf titled “The Religions of Mankind” by Edmund Davison Soper. After reading Soper’s chapter on Buddhism I find J.K.’s overall view, explanation or understanding of the subject to be on track though somewhat harsher and judgmental about things “not Buddha”. I’ve noticed several times in “some of the dharma” J. K. has attacked religion, specifically Catholicism. According to Soper, Buddhism is more like a philosophy or “a system of psychological ethics” compatible with anyone’s religious beliefs. A Buddhist could be a Catholic or an atheist since neither faith nor the lack of faith exists by definition in Buddhism.
Something else I learned from Soper’s book I found very interesting; the original concept of Buddhism was tampered with by man (many men) over time, fracturing into multiple complex forms and acquiring the accouterments (gods, ritual, dogma, iconography) of more traditional religions. Sounds all too familiar doesn’t it? Man taking something simple and straightforward then embellishing it past the point of all recognition thinking he and he alone, until the next reformer comes along, has all the right answers here and now.