[Sam Harris has a good analogy for this in his contemplative science article: we [dont'] talk about Christian Chemistry, or Islamic Algebra (even if those ideas were developed within those religious traditions). in the same vein, concentration, clarity, equanimity can be thought of as neutral (or secular) scientific terms, like atoms, neutrons, energy, mass, inertia, etc. even if some of those scientific terms evolved within a religious tradition, no one thinks about Islam when performing mathematical or algebraic calculations. in short, those ideas have become so universal/scientific/secular that we forgot their religious roots. whether [or not] we remember their religious roots, those concepts work for us, across cultures, across generations.
for a geekier example check out Shinzen Young’s historical musings on Algorithm and Emptiness. you see how the concept of emptiness correlates to “zero”?
bottom line: i believe that we can use whatever language (secular or otherwise) to express the dharma. i’m one of those who believe that Buddhist practice (and concepts) can be expressed in secularized form *without losing its potency as a liberation oriented technology*. this will not appeal to everyone, just as science doesn’t appeal to a lot of people. there will those who will continue to prefer the traditional teachings along with its cultural expressions. nothing wrong with that. Western Buddhists owe a lot from those people who chose to follow the traditional paths. without them, Buddhism will not thrive today. but still, for me, secularized flavor of Buddhism is a parallel dharma. i don’t think it will replace the different Buddhist traditions. it will be a different thread on its own.
so whenever someone asks me whether i’m a Buddhist, i can now answer with a straight face: i’m technically a non-practicing Catholic who does Buddhist practice. Re: Secularizing Buddhism–Making it Accessible or Stripping the Roots?
from ~C4Chaos by c4chaos]
Such an arrangement is out of question within the framework of Savitri Era Religion, as without nurturing a direct personal relationship with The Mother (& Sri Aurobindo) nothing progresses even an inch. No amount of "concentration, clarity, equanimity" can replace The Mother and her grace. [TNM]