The Atheisim of Psychology

The more I think about it, the more I become rather cynical about the future of psychology and psychiatry as a viable medicine. I will use the word psychology for both psychiatry and psychology, so please bear with me.

I am beginning to see psychology to have much in common with the Christian religion in the West, and Buddhism in the East – all of them are dying out in their respective “homes.” And now both are resorting to unthinkable approaches to garner more followers for the flock. Although, Buddhism may preach no central organization – throughout its factions it gains a considerable support.

Christianity, at its core is a lose idea of rules, that are interpreted at the whim of a governing body. What is written in stone for a Seventh Day Adventist may be largely unknown to a Roman Catholic. The same holds true for the different factions of Buddhism— specifically the Theravada faction and Mahayana. Both are subject to numerous reinterpretations within their splintered reformed groups.

8 major schools: four practice-based (Zen, Pure Land, Vajrayana, Vinaya); four philosophy-based (Tendai, Avamtasaka, Yogacara and Madhyamika)

Location Southern (Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, parts of Southeast Asia) Northern (Tibet, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, parts of Southeast Asia )
Schools and Sects One surviving school (as many as 18 existed at one time)
Buddhist Scriptures Pali Canon/Tripitaka only Books of the Theravada Tripitaka plus many other sutras (e.g. Lotus Sutra)
Buddhas Historical Buddha (Gautama) and past Buddhas only Gautama Buddha plus Amitabha, Medicine Buddhas, and others
Bodhisattvas Maitreya only Maitreya plus Avalokitesvara, Mansjuri, Ksitigarbha and Samanthabadra
Goal of Training Arhat Buddhahood via bodhisattva-path
3 Buddha Bodies (Trikaya) Very limited emphasis; mainly on nirmana-kaya and dharma-kaya Emphasized, including the samboga-kaya or reward/enjoyment body
Original Language Pali Sanskrit
Language of Transmission Tripitaka is only in Pali. Teaching in Pali supplemented by local language. Scriptures translated into local language.
Buddha's Disciples Historical disciples described in Scriptures Many bodhisattvas that are not historical figures
Mantras and Mudras Some equivalent in the use of Parittas Emphasized in Vajrayana; sometimes incorporated in other schools
Bardo (Limbo) Rejected Taught by all schools
Non-Buddhist Influences Mainly pre-Buddhist Indian influences like concepts of karma, sangha, etc. Heavily influenced by local religious ideas as transmitted to new cultures (China, Japan, Tibet).
Buddha Nature Not taught Emphasized, especially in practice-based schools
Rituals Very few; not emphasized Many, owing to local cultural influences

However, through these revolts and a general change in lifestyle that these religions existed in has changed radically so, despite being based upon transcendental or, universal, or, timeless needs. And now they frankly have a hard time appealing to the common, whatever that means, man.

The transubstantiation of the host was a widely accepted fact, taught by most, if not all factions of protestantism, until so recently. I believe only the Roman Catholic Church holds to the literal interpretation of the transubstantiation of the host during mass as first issued in The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines this doctrine in section 1376:

'Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."

Era vulgarus' teachings are quite different; transubstantiation is thought to be at most metaphor, and at the very least a thought experiment. In either case the host is completely physically unchanged, while the psychological aspect is changed. It is to be thought as and not the real thing—because as common knowledge tells most of us it couldn't possibly be so. However, Catholics have the mysterious and the aspect of faith that would alleviate any need for conclusive proof—say a DNA or chemical blood test on the wine after the mass. This is not a challenge of faith, rather a vantage point into the different interpretations of a major event shared throughout Christendom.


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