"A man is not called wise because he talks and talks again;
but if he is peaceful, loving and fearless then he is in truth called wise."
When studying Buddhism over the years, I have found it to be one of deep philosophical thought. Buddha - like many other great thinkers and religions understand that a human's mind is composed of :
emotions, intellect and will, but in Buddhism - the mind is the key to ones eternity - not an external god.
The essence Buddhism is to reach the state of Nirvana or Enlightenment where one's mind is free and pure and to live a virtuous life ridding oneself of bad deeds. Thus the mind is crucial to a Buddhist because if one cannot control one's emotions, intellect, and will, one's life will not function harmoniously in life and one will never discover their true self.
Buddha's teachings are spiritual disciplines and practical methods that help a Buddhist learn the discipline of being fully responsible for their individual lives so they can better control their thinking and emotions. Which is their ultimate goal - Nirvana - where one can fully attain control so they can remove all suffering and gain happiness. In Buddhism, nothing is permanent and all actions have consequences. They aim to live a life free from external conditions determining one's emotions, actions, and thoughts.
Buddha had Four Noble Truths one lives by:
First Noble Truth: True Problems
Although there are many joys to be had in life, every being – from the tiniest insect, to a homeless person, to a billionaire – faces problems. In between birth and death, we age and get sick, and our loved ones die. We face frustration and disappointment, not getting what we want, or encountering what we don’t want.
*To live is to suffer (Dukha or anything that is "unpleasant, difficult, or painful)
Second Noble Truth: True Cause of Problems
Our problems arise from complex causes and conditions, but Buddha said that the ultimate cause is our own ignorance of reality: the way our minds project impossible ways of existence on to ourselves and everyone and everything else.
*Suffering is caused by desire (Tanha, or “attachment”)
Third Noble Truth: True Stopping of Problems
Buddha saw that it was possible to get rid of all our problems so that we never have to experience them again, by destroying their cause: our own ignorance.
*One can eliminate suffering by eliminating all attachments
Fourth Noble Truth: The True Path of Mind
Problems stop when we eliminate ignorance, by understanding reality correctly. We do this by realizing that everyone is interconnected and interdependent. On this basis we develop love and compassion for all beings equally. Once we’ve eliminated our confusion about how we and others exist, we’re able to act beneficially for ourselves and others.
*This can be achieved by following the noble eightfold path which consists of having a right
1) view, 2) intention, 3) speech, 4) action, 5) livelihood (being a monk), 6) effort (properly direct energies), 7) mindfulness (meditation), and 8) concentration (focus).
Buddhism is one of the leading world religions and was founded by Siddhartha Guatama, who was born into royalty in Nepal around 600 B.C. Much of his life are legendary, but he is still considered an actual historical figure. Guatama was a deep thinker and had little exposure to the outside world as his parents wanted to protect him from pain and worldly suffering. Guatama had four visions, or what is know as:
The Four Signs:
An aged man
A sick man
A dead man
A religious ascetic
His fourth vision was of a peaceful monk. He saw that the monk was at total peace, so he decided to become one as well; one who sets himself apart from worldly living and desires, and abandoned his life of wealth and affluence to pursue enlightenment -through his own means and became known as the Buddha (“awakened” or “enlightened” one).
- Buddhism and Hinduism are very similar in that they both involve reincarnation, karma, Maya (unreality, distinct from the reality represented by God or Brahman; the world is an illusion, a play of the supreme consciousn.
-In Buddhism, sin is more understood as ones own ignorance. So sin is seen as more of a “moral error.” Buddhist - like Hinduism, practice Karma, which is nature’s balance. Like Hinduism, Buddhist adhere to good work "ethical living" and focus on meditating and turning to spiritual beings with the intent of "hopefully" achieving enlightenment and ultimate Nirvana.
-Buddhism has a complicated theology of deities and spiritual beings much like Hinduism. Buddhism can be hard to define its view of god. Some sects of Buddhism would be called atheistic, while others could be called pantheistic.
-"The" Buddha never exclaimed or defined himself to be a god; instead he considered himself to be a ‘way-shower' for others. It was only after his death that some of his followers exalted him to a god status by, though not all of his followers view him this way.
-They are taught that people do not have individual souls, since self is an illusion.
As we look back over some basic tenets of the Buddhist world view, sadly they are taught that tanha, "desire" or "attachment," is the root of suffering and is to be removed. But are there not many good things that come from desire?
Friendship, family, romance, care or compassion are all grounded in love.
Love is the desire to care for and do good of another (John 15:13; 1 John 4:7-12).
Could we truly love if we had detached desires or could we truly care for another's well-being.
Jesus taught us that desire is good when it is lived out in a way that honors His Father. Paul urges Christians to "desire the greater gifts" of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:31; 14:1). David writes in the Psalms, of his worship and adoration of God and the longing to have fellowship with God (Psalm 42:1-2; 84).
Above all - God is love - God desires a relationship with us - His creation - (1 John 4:9; Psalm 136; John 3:16).
Sacrificing desire throws out the gift of God's love and a living relationship and we miss out on true intimacy in general - all for the sole purpose of avoiding suffering.