My friend Damon is back with another Woven Energy podcast after a long break.
This time he tackles an interesting subject – Buddhism. I imagine this will upset a lot of Buddhists (if that’s possible!) because he classifies Buddhism as an exoteric religion, basically designed to help control the populace under the Han Dynasty (206BC – 220AD). In fact, to get them to self-regulate. You can agree with this view, or not, but there are some interesting facts in here about the rise of Buddhism in China that I didn’t know.
For instance, China used to be the main country for Buddhism during the Han Dynasty – it is where it got its foothold, and in fact, was the main reason for the expansion of the Chinese empire (as they sought out Buddhist teachers, inadvertently creating the Silk Route and facilitating trade). This was particularly unusual since China has traditionally been a very inward-looking country. That a foreign religion could become so widespread is really worth noting and looking into.
It’s hard to believe that now, since people associate Buddhism more with Japan or Tibet, but it makes sense – the ‘old masters’ quoted in Japanese Buddhist writing, like the Blue Cliff Record, were often Chinese.
There’s also a lot of stuff about Chinese history, and the Warring States period in the podcast. Fascinating stuff.