Scientistic Buddhaflaw Correcting
One thing I like about Jaki -- and which no doubt limited his appeal to the 'nadless wimps of political correctness -- is that he was a pretty obnoxious guy (in a righteously ringtailed way). He always renders to his ideological opponents the swift kick in the ass of which they are so desperately in need. Here's how he expressed it:
"One need not be a Buddhist to be a good historian of Buddhist thought and culture, but nothing can dispense the historian from a thorough effort to understand what it means for a Buddhist to be a Buddhist and to achieve things by virtue of that Buddhism. The theistic contribution to science and to history, and the Christian concreteness of that theism, demand no less in the way of scholarly treatment and integrity" (emphasis mine).
In contrast, those Buddhists who truly believed and practiced Buddhism arrived at bupkis (which is the yiddish rendering of the shunyada-yada-yada of "the Void"). There's no insult in saying this. It's just a fact. It's no more an insult than, say, reminding people that the only Palestinian contribution to the world is the suicide belt.
So I suppose one can always be a Western make-believe Buddhist and practice at the margins of science, but only if one ignores metaphysical consistency and rejects those parts of Buddhism that clash with a scientific worldview -- most notably, the absence of a Creator.
Again, the underlying unity of the cosmos results from the fact that "the ways of God are simplicity itself, for in God will and mind are fused in the simplest unity." Science did not develop in the Buddhist world because it could not develop in the Buddhist world. It can only graft itself onto an already developed Western science, and only then at the cost of ignoring some of its own most cherished assumptions.
Ultimately, the same barriers that prevent the apprehension of the Creator put up roadblocks to the development of science. One loses the unifying bridge that connects change to change, and instead apprehends only perpetual change from which the only escape is into the void of shunyata.
In other words, the only thing that doesn't change is the meaninglessness of it all. But "the existence of God becomes possible, nay, well-nigh inevitable to any lover of consistency." Conversely, "an epistemology that obstructs the ways to God also blocks the advance on the road to science."
The main point is that there is no reason whatsoever for the present postmodern and anti-Christian fragmentation of our worldview into religion, the arts, science, and dozens if not hundreds of scientific specialties and subspecialties with no way to reconcile them. After all, the unity is there. The unity is a fact, even if science is powerless to explain the fact.
As mentioned in my book, the simple reality of the matter is that all levels, dimensions, and modes of reality are seamlessly harmonized in the human being in such a manner that science cannot, and will never, account for it, for it is the prior condition that makes the very practice of science (and the existence of scientists) possible -- e.g., the completely unreasonable harmony between a human mind that was supposedly selected for eating and mating being capable of peering into the deepest and most hidden mathematical recesses of the cosmos.
Unfortunately, some people are just incapable of spiritual wonderment, which is not a banal "absence of explanation," but the positive intuition of a deeper -- nay, the deepest -- level of explanation. It is not (-k) but (+n). The same goes for mystery, sanctity, holiness, innocence, and, of course, slack. To suggest that these are "unreal" only because they are inaccessible to the cold and grasping hands of the scientistic materialist is the height of naivete. And no, you can't measure naivete with a slide rule either. But there it is.
The unwashed horde of the tenured likes to pretend that someone like Galileo was somehow opposed to the Christian God, when the opposite is true:
"Little if any effort is made, for instance, to recall the role played in Galileo's scientific methodology by his repeated endorsements of the naturalness of perceiving the existence of God from the study of the book of nature. Much the same silent treatment is given to Galileo's view of the human mind as a most excellent and most special product of the Creator."
Whoomp!, there it is in all its metaphysical clarity and simplicity: there is a Creator, and he is revealed in the book of nature, but only to beings who are themselves mirrorcles of the Divine Mind.
Alternative explanations are not only too silly to take seriously, but more importantly, reactionary to the core. Their real interest is in perversely denying a Creator but profiting from all the benefits of having one -- benefits like a rational and unitary cosmos, a transcendent reality that is uniquely disclosed to the mind of man, evolutionary progress, a scientific ethic that disinterestedly seeks truth, and much more.