Just had a conversation in the pub tonight about misrepresentation, and though and behold, I turn on the computer at midnight, and the Naked Monk is exploring the same topics in a very similar manner: Isn't life grand in the 21st century! Cancel enlightenment = initiate waking up...
"...But it’s all worth it, because the prize is Enlightenment! Practice assiduously and you’ll transcend ordinary reality to live on an elevated plane of existence!
Well, once again, there’s little evidence to support this fancy. In fact, the Buddha speaks out against transcendence in no uncertain terms. He bluntly insisted that his students stay firmly grounded in the here and now of sensory experience. The term ‘Enlightenment’ simply doesn’t exist in the Buddhist languages (nor do sacred, capitalized words). ‘Enlightenment’ has been used in the West for nigh on a hundred years now to translate the word ‘bodhi,’ which actually means ‘awakening’ – coming to your senses.
What’s really interesting is that what the Buddha actually taught is so compatible with today’s secular outlook on life. On the other hand, Buddhism in the West has a funny way of attracting people in search of escape — you know: those who interpret every bit of good news as the universe looking out for them personally."