3 Sangharakshita’s Teachings in Theory and Practice
II. The Teachings of the FWBO
a | “Higher and Lower Beings”
Whereas some of what Sangharakshita and the FWBO teach is Buddhism, albeit somewhat distorted, a number of the doctrines they propound are not Buddhist at all. Indeed both rely heavily on numerous non-Buddhist sources to explain what they feel to be the real essence of Buddhism: Higher and Lower Beings. [ The FWBO Files, 16 ]
The basis for this sweeping characterisation of the FWBO’s interpretation of Buddhism is a public teaching centre’s publicity leaflet — the meaning of which has plainly been misconstrued. [ 101 ] As reference to the sections in all of the principal texts cited above which discuss
the essence of the FWBO’s teaching will show, this essence comprises Sangharakshita’s exposition of the wholly traditional Buddhist concepts of going for Refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the Threefold Way of Ethics, Meditation and Wisdom, and so on. Indeed Sangharakshita has never spoken of “Higher and Lower Beings” at all, in the way suggested. [ 102 ]
[ 101 ]
The absurdity of minute discussion of such a source is obvious, yet it is worth noting that the leaflet refers to meditation, not Buddhism, and is simply pointing out meditation’s developmental nature.
[ Return ]
[ 102 ]
So patently false and so easily disproved is this interpretation of the FWBO ’s teaching that one must question what purpose is served by entering into debate with so inept and transparent an interlocutor. Either the author of The FWBO Files is truly ignorant of FWBO teaching, or else the text knowingly misrepresents it for polemical ends.
[ Return ]