An introduction to Theravada Buddhism practiced in Thailand - my country of residence for the past ten years - written with fluency in mind rather than deep deep original thought. Buddhism is not a religion per se, is not grounded in faith and obedience to a hierarchical structure of 'supreme entities'. Buddhist teachings do not threatens a non-believer with eternal condemnation while promising the faithful salvation and eternal life if s/he stays on the long and narrow everlasting obstacle course. Buddhism is a teaching to help people through their lives. Buddhists are free to believe what they wish, analyze and disagree with the 'Blessed One'. Buddhism is tolerant of 'divergent views', wherefore ancient animistic spirit worship including the belief in ghosts, and the fear of ghosts, is ever present. Spirit houses are even found on temple grounds. As the reader will learn for himself, the teachings are an elaborate system of classifications of insight knowledge in the abstract based on obvious truths that are neatly placed into an ordering system. 'Knowledge is truth and can be classified according to right knowledge, or to wrong knowledge and applied in three forms: doctrine, revelation, or personal knowledge, that is, intelligence.'
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