I’ve been reading up on Buddhism for the past couple of weeks and I’m finding many of its values appealing. This might be because, arguably, Buddhism is just as much as a philosophy as it is a religion. In that sense, many of its core principles such as respect and toleration are not only achievable goals but can also be implemented on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong though, the whole achieving Enlightenment and Nirvana before death thing is nowhere near easy. Still, Buddhism separates itself from other by faiths by providing long term purpose within our existence. I find Buddhism’s appeal in its grounded approach and simplistic (debatable??) outlook. Maybe what I’m really seeking is not religion, but rather a set of guidelines to help me better enjoy and live out my days.
In my last draft (mysteriously gone because I am inept with WordPress), I somehow ended up rambling about how its important to have a firm understanding of your faith if you decide religion is something which is going to a part of your life. I say this because I think a lot of tragedy and conflict has occurred through the ages as a result of people blindly following their religion. Now I’m stepping on a fine line here. I’m not saying people should not be allowed to interpret religion in their own way. If there was conformity across the board, all the different branches within each religion would disappear. Anyways, I just think there are those out there who are willing to abuse faith by committing acts such taking religious texts out of context to justify their actions or using religion as a crutch to further their own beliefs.
Back to Buddhism, it is less of a fixed package of beliefs which is to be accepted in its entirety, and more of a teaching which each person learns and uses in his/her own way. In this increasingly materialistic world, I think more and more people are beginning to realize the value of simplicity. While I agree simplicity is important, I don’t think I’m ready to fully accept it yet. Maybe it has to do with age. I haven’t experienced enough of the world yet or obtained the wisdom which can only come with age to realize one does not need a whole lot of things in order to obtain happiness (another Buddhist philosophy). In my current environment, simplicity can be viewed as less, and therefore can mean poor. I don’t know if that’s the right way to put it but I hope you get a sense of what I’m trying to express.
I’m getting off-topic now, and veering away. If only had my previous draft. There were some good points there too that I would’ve liked to share 🙁