I studied Mahajana Tibetan Buddhism in Dharamsala (home of the Dalai Lama in
exile) back in the day and I agree with Bruno and others that Buddhism is
closer to idealism than materialism. However Buddhism ultimately rejects 'mind'
too, since what we think of as mind is closely related to the personal self.
The ultimate reality in Buddhism is nirvana or the void and all phenomena
including mental phenomena are empty of inherent existence. It is 'a-theistic'
in the sense that this ultimate reality is not a being like a god with an
identity and thoughts. However Tibetan Buddhism, like other forms, does believe
in the idea of god-like (and demon-like) beings in the phenomenal realms. To
equate Buddhism with materialism on the basis of a few selected quotes would
constitute a highly tendentious reading of the dharma and in my view is quite
wrong. There is no possibility of liberation in materialism and the phenomenal
world is seen as the 'real world', the very antithesis of the Buddhist view.
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