http://www.perlmonks.org?node_id=251884


in reply to Re: Philosophical Perly Queues
in thread Philosophical Perly Queues

Thanks for providing the link.

In the context of the traditional focus on the soul, the self, the mentalism, and the doctrine of Karma and rebirth characteristic of the other Indian religions, Buddhism taught Four Noble Truths:

1. Life is suffering.

2. Suffering comes from desire.

3. Suffering can be ended by ending desire.

4. The eightfold path is the way to eliminate desire.

I always thought, without really knowing, that Bhudism was about reaching beyond the mundane necessities of our everyday lives in search of a higher meaning, which I now see is a naive, but essentially accurate distilation of the primary notion. I also thought that the "higher meaning" was knowledge of onesself, or of others or both, or the motivations of same. And by some weird manipulation, I had translated that into a homespun philosophy that can be summarised by: "It is enough to know, there is no need to demonstrate that you know". From reading the above, I realise that I was way off-base.

As a philosophy for life, this reminds me of the old joke about the guy who is diagnosed with a terminal illness and is proscribed from engaging in drinking (alcohol or those with stimulants), smoking, sex, spicy foods, films, TV, loud music, arguments, and any other pastime that may cause his heart rate to increase.

"Will it make me live longer", he asks?

"No", replies the doctor, "...but it will sure as hell seem like it!".

It seems to me that once enlightenment is achieved, the only distraction left will be to look back fondly at the days of ones youth when one was still able to feel passionate about, even if it was only the desire that the master would stop beating on you.