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And I think this accords quite well with Buddhism since opium is a type of pain-killer, and what the Buddha taught was a prescriptive cure for our neurosis, existential suffering, and our inhumanity, thereby eliminating our need for pain-killers of any kind, including Buddhism. In Buddhism, what truly matters is what one does with the teachings, not what one believes about them, which is why I think the Buddha likened his teachings to a raft in MN 22:Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
To me, the main difference between the approaches of Buddhism and Marxism is one of focus; whereas the Buddha's focus was primarily on how to liberate the individual from their mental suffering by mastering the process of 'I-making and my-making' involved with our conception of self, Marx's focus, the bodhisattva that he was, was primarily on how to liberate society from its suffering and alienation by changing the material conditions that support it. So for me, instead of canceling the full impact of reality and making me "indulgent, pleasure-seeking, distancing, and largely apathetic to worldwide suffering and misery," it's done the exact opposite.And what should the man do in order to be doing what should be done with the raft? There is the case where the man, having crossed over, would think, 'How useful this raft has been to me! For it was in dependence on this raft that, making an effort with my hands & feet, I have crossed over to safety on the further shore. Why don't I, having dragged it on dry land or sinking it in the water, go wherever I like?' In doing this, he would be doing what should be done with the raft. In the same way, monks, I have taught the Dhamma compared to a raft, for the purpose of crossing over, not for the purpose of holding onto. Understanding the Dhamma as taught compared to a raft, you should let go even of Dhammas, to say nothing of non-Dhammas.