"What is most important is the recognition of our common spiritual experience and the mutual willingness to speak of it on someone else's terms, remembering that there are as many ways to live life as there are people on the planet!" (The Music of Life, p. 5)

"I initially conceived the Matrix as a kind of Rosetta Stone for spirituality, psychology, and philosophy. Early on, my world religions professor remarked that Life Theory was "a remarkable attempt at syncretism." Using a multidisciplinary approach, it is my hope to show that they do all paint with the same colors, sing the same song, share the same love, and can even live in the same world." (The Music of Life, p. 11)

The Music of Life: Becoming an Instrument of Nature (1998) by Michael-James B. Weaver. Life Theory is an original language study loosely modeled after music theory, in which I syncretize the world's major religions using a common synonymy of everyday words, in an attempt to map out their underlying psychology. Imagined as an interfaith dialogue, it is a cosmic chorus of voices from multiple disciplines: anthropology, brain science, ecology, mysticism, mythology, philosophy, and spirituality. I liken it to a 21st-century Tao Te Ching... Topics include comparative religion, logic, and ecumenicism. (108 pages. Revised December 7th, 2021.)

The following essays are presented here for posterity, especially those doing academic research—my thesis on Buddhist monasticism has been cited in Sobisch (2020), Emory-Moore (2019), and Chabot (2019). I quite enjoyed the detective work while I was researching these, and I learned a lot! I remain peripherally interested in the following subjects and do update these periodically with newly-added material that I happen to come across. These writings are apologetic in nature; I often root for the underdog, especially anything I have ever put my own name behind. I describe these writings as a forced interfaith discussion between people who ordinarily would not want anything to do with each other! Taking a Prasangika-inspired approach, I am only too happy to cite the very sources that my opponents recommend, because these are already acceptable to him; using his own words against him, my only weapon is a mirror...

Context is for Kings: Is the Amplified Bible Guilty of Illegitimate Totality Transfer? (2020) by Michael-James B. Weaver & Beverly R. Sutphin. Is language amplification the fool's gold of Bible interpretation? To answer this question, here is all you ever wanted to know about illegitimate totality transfer, an exegetical fallacy sometimes encountered while translating biblical languages into English, especially by those doing word studies. This seminary-level discussion features more than two dozen explanations of this fallacy, comparing various translations of nearly 100 Bible verses, using the Amplified Bible as a backdrop. Indeed, not only is the Amplified Bible on trial here—but the scholarship of its critics as well, who proffer some mightily weak arguments. Topics include linguistics, hermeneutics, and exegesis. (144 pages. Revised July 1st, 2022.)

Empty Mountains: Finding the Middle Way (2001) by Konchog Nyima. A Christian-Buddhist debate, centered on Buddha's two-fold middle way between extremes. Organized by topic, this book presents an interfaith dialogue of sorts that describes (in their own words) how many fundamentalist Christians misperceive Buddhism, and how Buddhists might have responded (again, in their own words). Topics include nirvana, selflessness, and reincarnation. Under way is a new section compiling various 'emptiness' teachings as found in Biblical hermeneutics literature, a potential nexus for interfaith dialogue.(72 pages. March 8th, 2022.)

All the Flowers I Normally See: Validating Kadampa Buddhist Teachings on Faith, Love & Wisdom, by Comparison with Other Buddhist Traditions (2008) by Kelsang Tsondru. A portfolio of essays investigating common, easily-debunked doctrinal criticisms made against the New Kadampa Tradition. In 2019, I added a new 20-page essay on the subject of mindfulness in Kadampa Buddhism, citing Dzogchen, Mahayana, and Theravadin sources to confirm what Geshe Kelsang Gyatso has previously said: “The Dharma is the same”! The text itself is modeled after Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. Other topics include Guru devotion, Dharma Protectors, and emptiness. (108 pages. Revised December 2nd, 2021.)

A Festival of Attainments: Understanding Kadampa Ordination, with Reference to Historical Precedents in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism (2011) by Kelsang Tsondru & Konchog Nyima. A Rimé (non-sectarian) approach to explaining 37 difficult points regarding Kadampa ordination vows, using only non-NKT quotes by Indian and Tibetan Lamas. (I even tracked down where Buddha Shakyamuni himself taught that ordination vows can continue past death, as recorded in the Tibetan canon.) Ten new pages of material were added in the past year, including new appendices. This thesis has been cited in Sobisch (2020), Emory-Moore (2019), and Chabot (2019). Topics include karma, the Vinaya, and avijnaptirupa. (65 pages. Revised June 30th, 2021.)

Triumphalism in Tibetan Buddhism: Accepting the Victory & Offering Defeat (2010) by Michael Weaver, Kelsang Tsondru, & Konchog Nyima. Research notes on the philosophical debate behind the Dorje Shugden Controversy. In particular, I recommend the two-page appendix Social Boycotts vs. Social Discrimination (pp. 94-95), in which George Takei shows why the Tibetan Government-in-Exile is on the wrong side of history when it comes to religious bans. Topics include religious freedom, the tetralemma, and polemics. (108 pages. Revised May 14th, 2020.)

© 1998-2022 Michael-James B. Weaver