Monday, November 1, 2010

A Buddhist Paradox?

Burning questions ab
out *buddhism*- yea how about u read up on science and evolution and realize that everything else is a crock of shit. Grasping onto any *cult* * religion* or any other organized chaos- sign of a lost soul. Not that there is a soul.

LOL, HOW QUICKLY WE forget the second rule of Fight Club Buddhism! The cause of all misery is grasping. Religion is included in that. Do you know the story of Buddha's enlightenment?

The year is 500 BCish. Siddartha Gautama is a prince who has all the sex and food and pleasantries a guy could ask for. He lives a pretty sheltered childhood, but occasionally ventures outward. On one of his trips, he sees a sick person, followed by a dying person, and an aging person, and he starts thinking about misery, happiness, and meaning, in much the same way we do. At 29, he leaves the palace and begins sampling all the spiritual traditions India has to offer. He spends 6 years meditating, doing yoga at the gym, denying himself pleasure, and has some mystical experiences but it's not enough. Anything he gets is fleeting and not the answer. He becomes tired of all the trying and just sits in front of a tree, not trying to get enlightenment or answer any question. He just sits. His mind slowly becomes more and more concentrated and he begins to wake up (hence the title "Buddha," the awakened one). He then understands that all his trying to find a solution, his grasping onto a religion, was a cause of his suffering, and indeed, that grasping in general is the source of misery. After some hesitation, he determined to teach other people what he's learned.

Those who practice learning
Gain something day by day.
Those who practice the Way,
Lose something day by day.
They lose and even lose losing,
Until they arrive at non-doing,
The non-doing in which
Nothing is left undone.
~Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

What you've said is absolutely right. Grasping onto a religion to shelter you from life isn't the answer, it's the source of the problem. Buddha described his religion -- which is really more of a school of psychotherapy than a religion -- as a raft. The purpose of a raft isn't to build a house on it, but to use it to travel somewhere, then dispose of it. He discouraged people from becoming attached to (dependent upon) religion. In that sense, Buddhism is unique. The point isn't to be Buddhist; it's to find happiness by relinquishing your need for it.

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