Ex-journalist offers 'scientific' insight into Buddhism

The Korea Times, July 23, 2014

Seoul, South Korea -- A former journalist at the Daily Sports, Kim Byung-hoon, said how, unlike other religions, Buddhism can be scientifically understood. In his recently published book, "Hacker, Buddha," Kim said the ultimate goal of Buddhism is "enlightenment" and Buddha is the "recognized one."

"To cut to the chase, Buddhism is a ‘pure and clear science of enlightenment,"' Kim told The Korea Times during an interview. He explained the relationship between Buddha and "samsara," the eternal cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

"Some 2,500 years ago, Buddha recognized how repetitive, and thus meaningless, life is in the course of samsara. So, he broke the cycle, like how a hacker breaks into a computer," said the 55-year-old writer.

He added, "Buddha finally reached the state of nirvana by being absent of possession and desire, and he was never reborn."

He said samsara is very scientific. "It's a simple equation. If one breaks the rule, he is out of the game. And how one breaks samsara is a main lesson and a scientific enlightenment," Kim said.

He explained, "living a benevolent and self-serving life, eventually leading to a desireless state," is how believers can become "recognized" beings as Buddha had been. "The karmas, or the consequences from one's actions in the current life, will be seen in the next one," he said.

Kim emphasized that Buddha is a human being, not a divine figure. He noted how misinterpretations of Buddha have misguided people about Buddhism's main message. Koreans mostly follow Mahayana Buddhism, which means "great vehicle," and the author questioned the role of Mahayana Buddhist monks.

"I wonder why Korean Buddhist monks are highlighted more than Buddha's original teaching," said Kim. "Historical distortions and misunderstanding of the genuine teaching have inadvertently made Buddhism more difficult, complicated and sacred." Kim observed how codes of ethics like the Eightfold Path or the Four Noble Truths are easily understood.

Kim wants to correct this misconception and inform not only believers but also others about the simple equation of Buddhism. "The term religion does not capture the entire concept of Buddhism," Kim said.

"It has universal teachings but doesn't have godly figures or works of spirits like in other religions. Buddha can't be compared to Jesus Christ, for example," he said.

Kim credited science, more specifically, the advent of quantum physics, in the 20th century, in helping Buddhism become more understandable. "People today can obtain guidance from studying the original scriptures if they approach them as if learning scientific principles," said Kim.

The author plans to study Pali, one of the languages used in the earliest Buddhist scriptures, in hopes of providing a richer and clearer explanation of Buddhism. An irreligious writer views Buddha's teachings as scientific, not religious.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB
Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv