http://hardcorezen.blogspot.com/2010/07 ... s-ism.html
But getting back to Buddhism; I've been thinking lately that the word "Buddhism" is unfortunate. It was created by Western people who didn't understand what they were looking at when they tried to study the religions of Asia. The word Buddhism tends to suggest a religion that worships Buddha. And, no doubt, the folks who coined the term assumed that's what Buddhism was.
But it isn't.
Calling it Buddhism is a bit like calling relativity theory "Einsteinism." To do so would be a nice way to give due credit to the guy who first expounded the basics of the theory. But it wouldn't follow that people who practiced "Einsetinism" worshiped Einstein. Nor would it follow that the theories of Einstein would be held up as the final word for what was absolutely true in relativity theory. If it were found later that Einstein was wrong about some things-- and I think maybe it already has been -- that wouldn't make the whole of relativity theory wrong. It would just indicate a need for revision.
In the same way, Gautama Buddha did not have the final word on Buddhism. He understood himself clearly. But his followers, who memorized his words, may not have actually understood him very well. Nor did later copyists. Nor, in fact, would we have probably understood what Buddha said even if we'd been alive ourselves to hear his words spoken with our own ears.
If we reduce Buddhism to quotations of the accepted authorities on Buddhism we have not understood Buddhism at all.
This leaves us in a very tricky position. We can't even point to the words of Buddha and say that they are perfect. We don't really know what he said. In the case of someone like Dogen, we can be pretty certain the exact words he wrote have been preserved in most cases. But even that doesn't help a whole lot if we don't understand them. And who can say we have understood Dogen? Only Dogen himself and he's not around to ask.
Buddhism is a face-to-face transmission. When Buddhists say that Buddhism is not in books it's because Buddhism cannot be contained in books. Books are a good way of pointing in the direction of Buddhism. But they always fall short. Blogs, by the way, are pretty useless in doing even that much, if you ask me.