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Ignorant and dangerous mumbo-jumbo
on 21 September 2014
I respect the Dalai Lama very much but I'm sorry to say that this book is terrible. Firstly, Chinese-Tibetan politics are discussed. Although I feel for the plight of the Tibetans, this is not the topic of the book and it is inappropriate to shoe-horn this in. Secondly, and most concerning, is the pseudo-biological, ignorant, anachronistic mumbo jumbo used to describe the 'process of dying'. It appears that the Age of Enlightenment and 300 years of medical research have passed the Dalai Lama by.
The quotes speak for themselves: "At the center of the channel-wheels are drops, white on the top and red on the bottom, upon which physical and mental health are based. At the top of the head, the white element predominates, whereas at the solar plexus the red element predominates. These drops originate from the most basic drop at the heart, which is the size of a large mustard seed or small pea, and like the others, has a white top and red bottom. Since it lasts until death, this drop at the heart is called the "indestructible drop". The very subtle life-bearing wind dwells inside this drop: at death, all winds ultimately dissolve in it, at which point the clear light of death dawns." What does that even mean?!
I find the Buddhist practice of meditation and focus on mindfulness, compassion and knowledge to be very helpful and positive, but leave the pre-scientific twaddle in the past where it belongs.