Exclusively oral cultures are unencumbered by dead knowledge, dead facts. Libraries, on the other hand, are full of them.
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Science is empirical, all about physical senses that tell us about the world. But physical senses are not the only senses we have. Nobody has ever seen a thought. Nobody has ever seen a feeling. And yet thoughts and feelings are where we live our lives most immediately, and science cannot connect with that.
The notion that Western religions are more rigid than those of Asia is overdrawn. Ours is the most permissive society history has ever known - almost the only thing that is forbidden now is to forbid - and Asian teachers and their progeny play up to this propensity by soft-pedaling Hinduism's, Buddhism's, Sufism's rules.