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When one replaces pastoral care (helping the living to constructively “move on” beyond traumas) by mere…
August 22nd, 2017
When one replaces pastoral care (helping the living to constructively "move on" beyond traumas) by mere rituals and duties / social obligations… and when one replaces community services by cheaper smaller "private" ceremonies… then you get a company making profits thanks to a robot "reading" sūtras (from 4 buddhist sects), for cheaper…

If it made the living feel good (e.g. for having done their duty, even if that's shallow) or if it helped them live a better life (e.g. after reflecting on death), then why not? But if it only makes them feel guilty for not having performed their duties with generosity, or for not having shown proper appreciation for the contributions of the deceased to their lives, then is it wholesome? If it disrespects the memory of the dead by commoditising their passing, turning it in a non-event, a formality to get rid of, the cheapest way to brush death under the carpet ASAP, then is it wholesome?

Partly, Buddhist priests in Japan only have themselves to blame for this state of affairs, as they turned Buddhism into funerary business a long time ago… yet not all priests made it so, and the baby is thrown with the bath water.