Episode 89 – 28 March 2017

A special episode where The Iron Fist chats with Venerable Alex.

You can check out his bio at https://law.anu.edu.au/people/alex-bruce

 

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3 comments on “Episode 89 – 28 March 2017
  1. John Townsend says:

    Dear Iron Fist,
    Congratulations for providing a most interesting and informative episode of the Iron Fist and Velvet Glove. As an atheist, much of what the Buddhist’s aim to build into their lives resonates with me, as it’s really just common sense. Such as shame they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by believing in reincarnation. Without the baggage of the supernatural and its purpose of controlling the masses, it makes a great framework for life.

    • The Iron Fist says:

      Thanks John and thank you for becoming a patron. Episode 89 is one of my favourites. I agree with your expression that they “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”. At least if they are wrong about reincarnation (which I suspect they are), they haven’t wasted a lot of time and resources on a life of meaningless worship. Cheers.

  2. Craig says:

    I have some questions for Associate Professor Alex Bruce if you deem them appropriate for a future podcast.
    At a private audience with the Dalai Lama I witnessed the Dalai Lama remark on the wearing of Buddhist robes by two western monks of the Gelug-pa school who were also present at the audience. He admonished them for abandoning their cultural heritage. It seems to me that the wearing of robes performs at least some of the following functions for the wearer: a religious attire of segregation from society, a religious attire denoting superiority to followers, a religious attire denoting superiority to non adherents, a proselytising device, signalling device to fellow believers, cosplay. Don’t tell me you think the robes are comfortable. After two years of observing Tibetan Buddhist monks fight with constantly adjusting them I cannot fathom an ‘inji’ wearing one. Why do you don religious robes?
    Why should anyone refer to you as “Venerable”, or for that matter the Dalai Lama as “His Holiness”? Is it not all a bit arrogant and offensive?
    There are some Buddhist practices such as philosophical inquiry and meditation that have found usefulness in the broader community although they are far from unique to the Buddhist tradition. However why does the Tibetan Buddhist tradition mix the supernatural with philosophy? Is this no different from any other religion of making truth claims without any evidence other than faith? I mean Karma and reincarnation, really? But my real question is: are you not just following the tribal party line in that you are constrained and not free to deviate from the dogma?
    What is with the interminable spinning of prayer wheels, praying and rituals? There is ample scientific evidence that prayer does not work. I have heard the Dalai Lama state that Buddhism is a godless religion so to whom do you address your prayers?
    Do you think Australian Tax payers should fund the religious education of any religion’s priesthood? And should the Australian tax payer be subject to giving a tax deduction for the ‘Advancement of Religion’?
    Finally, are you and the Dalai Lama failing a major tenet of Buddhism by being too attached to Tibetan Buddhism?
    Tashi Delek
    Craig

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