What is SuttaCentral’s view on Ken Wheeler?

I’m uncertain about this guy’s theories on EBTs. Theoria Apophasis THIS HAS BEEN FIXED. (Sorry, my original link only worked on my iPhone. -From my Desktop)

His views on the soul are especially confusing, or enlightening depending on your view, in contrast with the Buddha’s doctrine on anatta. I would appreciate anyone sharing their prior insight on this.

When I first heard him I thought he was on to something, but when I listened to his podcasts on general topics, he raised some red flags that he is a crackpot. I’d like to get everyone’s opinion on him before I shelve him. Thanks!

He keeps on saying things boasting himself, repeatedly, it’s a form of brainwashing.

Better it is to actually lay out a set of doctrine which makes sense to end suffering. But he didn’t do that. I think he might had been to attached to the idea of self, the delusion of self and either didn’t learn about the 2 truths doctrine of how conventional self is used as mere label and ultimately, no self exist. Or that he couldn’t make sense of it.

Anyway, one can also just judge by the disrespect he has for the various Pāli scholars, Buddhist teachers and monastics. It’s clear that he is not trying to guide people out of what he thinks is false dhamma from inside Buddhism, but to just mislead people who has little knowledge of Buddhism to have doubt and wrong view.

So the antidote to that, read the suttas! Don’t read it with his poisonous ideas as lens.

Ps. Sorry I know we are not supposed to critique the person, but the issue, but just pointing out his views and tactics.

On the point of him accusing current Buddhism as atomism for denying soul.

The atomist teacher in Buddha’s time taught that a sword going through a human body doesn’t kill, but merely goes in between the atoms. That’s clearly a denial of law of kamma, as well as denying suffering.

Buddhism teaches kamma, teaches dependent origination, teaches suffering and the way out of suffering. Death is suffering. Killing is a concept known in Buddhism, which is why we have the first precept.

The reductionism of physics is not denied by Buddhism, but it’s just that it’s not enough to describe the world. The atomists of ancient India are missing basic ethics.

The usage of brahma by the Buddha doesn’t mean the brahman of Hinduism or the goal is to become brahma like in brahma realm, but the buddha said the real brahma is actually arahant.

Like redefining the goal using common term. Example superheroes. Clearly the aim of Buddhism is not to literally develop supernormal powers and fight crime like in the movies, although the superpowers part is literally possible.

But the real superpower is destruction of the taints. And the ultimate way to reduce crime is to not be reborn. No possibility of being a criminal in any future existence.

So we might co-opt the word superheroes to say that the arahants are the real superheroes, for making a real difference, rather than the current superheroes in movies who saved this universe, but has to do it again in the next universe cycle, again and again. Not permanently moving people out of danger.

Pss. Also, he seems to use the term soul to mean mind. I am not sure about it, it’s painful to listen to him.

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Thank you, NgXinZhao, for your anwer. You’ve cleared up a big question I had regarding his use of the term “soul” for mind/citta. I was tipped off by his non-Buddhism posts. He does seem off. I’m glad I asked this question.

Just listened to a bit of his video on Australia, where he said that it’s 1984, fascism of the worst kind, thought police, evil. As someone with a little experience in the subject, I can confidently say he’s a crank. Ignore him.

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Thank you. I can easily see that. I’m glad I asked.

This may be a good place for a reminder as to Sujato’s Five Points of Internet Credibility:

  1. Someone who has many years of professional experience in the field.
  2. Someone who has made substantial positive contributions to the field, and is not just an opinion-monger banging on about their own theories.
  3. Someone who has healthy and constructive relationships with colleagues in the field, and is not always saying how everyone else is wrong and I’m right.
  4. Someone who readily admits when they are wrong.
  5. Someone whose point of view you do not always agree with.

“Nefarious entities.” I was done listening. People who juxtapose themselves against evil villains are playing mind games.


I’ve met a few. This site is refreshing after my experience with those.

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