chapter  5
WHAT DO GODS HAVE TO DO WITH ENLIGHTENMENT?
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We live in remarkable times. Today, unsure how to begin this chapter, I decided to order books for my next semester’s course, “The Buddhist Imaginary.” Then to delay further, I read the reviews posted to amazon.com of my preferred textbook, Rupert Gethin’s The Foundations of Buddhism.1 In what earlier era could I have learned instantly the opinion of Todd Martin from Agua Dulce, California:

★✩✩✩✩ The WORST book on this subject EVER This autor is writing about some other religion. It’s the only explanation. Not one thing he says in the first 20 pages is factually correct. I stopped reading shortly after he says “The Gods gathered on the day the Buddha achieved enlightenment as if they knew something important was going to happen.” All I could think was, “what gods?,” because there are no gods in Buddhism. The very idea of a God or Gods goes against everything the Buddha ever taught.2