Why be a Buddhist if you want Love and Possessions?

Buddhism is quite a trendy religion, but it's practitioners generally seem to take on the label but not really follow it's teachings or care for them.

According to Buddhist philosophy... suffering is an illusion. Buddhism came about because "buddha" the philosopher was trying to come to terms with the problem of pain. He believed we suffer because we form attachments to people and things. "Nirvana", nothingness is where the mind is emptied into nothingness and you won't have pain, you'll "lack" pain.

Applying this to real life. If for example you enter into a relationship that has problems which eventually lead to a horrible break up. The buddhist solution to this is... "it's only because we form attatchments that you were hurt in the relationship". if only the broken man or woman isolated themselves from their partner would they be unnaffected by any possible pain. If only the mind was kept detached would they be free of suffering. The solution according to Buddhist philosophy is to medidate and fill your mind with nothiness and the pain will go away.

So it seems that even though Buddhism is very trendy, it is quite ugly indeed. It condemns love for one another.

There was a book by Oliver Sachs I read (an amazing brain psychologist) he wrote a book reporting on the young Buddhist man that claimed to have achieved nirvana. The ultimate goal of enlightenment.

He achieved it to the extent that if you clicked your fingers in front of his face, nothing would register. Until finally one day he collapsed and a medic does an mri scan on his brain and discovered that he had a massive frontal lobe tumor.

A philosophy that praises ^^^ that as “enlightenment” is a bit of an ugly thing.

It seems like people don't register what it means but instead claim the label without knowing the basis.



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  • Okay, well first of all, to answer your question: 99% of westerners who call themselves "Buddhist" don't actually know what Buddhism is. Buddhism in the west is something very different than really Buddhism as practiced in Asia. Here in Europe and North America, Buddhism is more of a trendy philosophy. Something that you can use to get good advice if you feel sad or frustrated without having to believe in a supernatural power. Real Buddhism in Asia on the other hand is not a philosophy, it's a religion.

    Now, to be fair (and to add to what you wrote), we shouldn't just throw all Buddhists into one big pot. For example when we in Europe or North Americans think about muslims these days, we usually think about the Salafists, a branch of fundamentalist and extremist Islam. However, there are probably hundreds of different muslim denominations. There are the Kurds for instance, who are very progressive. They support democracy and are very big on women's rights. They even have women fighting in their armed resistance groups and they also have women in their highest power positions. But they're still muslim. Or there are the Sufis, a branch of mystic islam that is also considered very progressive and liberal.
    In the same way, there is no such thing as THE Buddhism. There are many different branches of Buddhism. For example the type of violent and intolerant Buddhism practiced in Burma has very little to do with Zen-Buddhism, which is very peaceful, although they both belong to the school of Theravada.

    Now, as for your argument about non-detachment regarding relationships:
    First, you have to understand that because there are many different Buddhist denominations, you can't just say "it's like XY" because Buddhists believe many different things. That would be like saying "christians believe that...". Doesn't work. A Roman Catholic and a member of the Amish believe vastly different things although they both call themselves christians.
    I don't believe that Buddha's teaching go against being in a committed relationship. Buddha himself actually said that a man and a woman in a loving, supportive relationship are like the pairing of a god and a goddess. Doesn't exactly sound like detachment, does it? The truth is: Buddha actually condoned and supported people entering sexual and romantic relationships, giving love and care to each other etc.. So where does the detachment come in? By detaching yourself, Buddha probably most likely meant that you shouldn't have

    • expectations that you want to have fulfilled. In other words: you shouldn't abuse other people as a means to achieve an end. A fellow human being should be an end in himself/herself. In other words: There is no problem in having a close, intimate and loving relationship with another person and feeling attached to them. HOWEVER, you shouldn't be with that person simply because you profit from it. And you shouldn't do silly things in order to "save" a broken relationship. For example there are women who believe that if they get pregnant and have a child with their boyfriend/husband, they can maybe make the relationship better again. This is something Buddha would be against because these women don't want to become pregnant for the sake of becoming pregnant and having a child. They simply want to have a child as a means to save a romantic relationship. Or you're together with a woman simply because she's pretty, that's also not okay. However, being with somebody for love is totally fine.

  • there are muslims who eat pork. and crhsitians who don't turn the other cheek. but cool.. it's human nature.

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