In the course of my quest for the “proper path” to follow, two systems have emerged. They are very similar and very different at the very same time. Which two?
Why exactly those two? Let me give you an explanation.
Theravada is the most ancient form of Buddhism that has survived until the present. It is (according to my opinion) a purely phenomenological teaching, verifiable through direct experience in the here-and-now, all-encompassing, well-balanced in its factors, grounded on ethics that nurture a cooperative dwelling for mankind and all living beings.
Unfortunately the source (Pali canon) which is more than 2,000 years old has been composed in an entirely different world: the cultural, social, scientific, linguistic and philosophical context can hardly be compared to that of our present time. This makes translations and their interpretations rather difficult.
GS is an educational discipline developed by Alfred Korzybski (author of “Science and Sanity“) in the first half of the 20th century. It is grounded on the observation that the internal (mental) and external (verbal) use of language, words, abstractions etc. gravely affects our sanity (see “semantic reactions”), and analyses these relations in detail. Knowledge about and training (exercises) in GS can improve the understanding of yourself, your mind, language, translations etc. as well as communication skills.
However, GS is largely independent of ethical considerations, and can thus be used for many purposes (e.g. politics) – not necessarily in a way that is “beneficial” for everyone.
Thus filling in the blanks, both systems support each other, making it easier to understand and to apply them in beneficial ways. Or so I believe. :-)