Mark Vernon reviews Confession of a Buddhist Atheist by Stephen Batchelor:
Reincarnation and karma are rejected as Indian accretions: his study of the historical Siddhartha Gautama one element in the new book suggests the Buddha himself was probably indifferent to these doctrines. What Batchelor believes the Buddha did preach were four essentials. First, the conditioned nature of existence, which is to say everything continually comes and goes. Second, the practice of mindfulness, as the way to be awake to what is and what is not. Third, the tasks of knowing suffering, letting go of craving, experiencing cessation and the "noble path". Fourth, the self-reliance of the individual, so that nothing is taken on authority, and everything is found through experience.
(Hat tip: 3QD)
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