Fishburn and Hughes: "A philosophical/religious system founded by Siddharta, or Gautama, known as the Buddha, and practised through most of South Asia. The essence of Buddhism, enunciated in the 'Four Truths', involves a process of purification, which is the result of progressive detachment from sensual desire, intellectual activity, emotional involvement and, finally, any sense of satisfaction or even serenity. This process, achieved over the course of multiple lives through reincarnations ('Samsara'), leads to supreme indifference, and then to a stage in which even the activity of contemplation is transcended. A total nullification ('Karma') of the traces of the life cycles, which do not end with individual deaths, is achieved. Perfect enlightment follows, leading to supernatural consciousness and, finally, the indescribable condition of 'Nirvana'. The Garden of Forking Paths: Stephen Albert's composure and his imperturbable acceptance of death can be seen as manifestations of a Buddhist attitude to existence.
The Cult of the Phoenix: concerning the different names of Buddhist monks, members of some of the many schools of Buddhism do take a new name once they enter 'refuge' and, at various stages of their spiritual life, adopt new names according to the degree of enlightment they have achieved. The 'refuge' names are normally composite, such as 'Ocean of Teaching' or 'Glorious Banner' etc." (34)