Belief Systems

--The Living Buddha

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“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.

 “Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.

“Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.

“Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.

“Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and common sense.

…don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’

“But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

 “When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering’ — then you should abandon them.


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