Monday, June 13, 2005


I got this link from my friend Brian's blog, where I engaged in thought and discussion about the nature of the universe. Yeah, Brian's pretty deep. Anyway, It reminded me that while I'm not a practicing buddhist, I do try to guide my life by the principles and philosphies of buddhism. I am pretty far from being "enlightened," but I have certainly attained a level of peacefulness and mindfulness that has made my life more or less a constant flow of joy despite the hardships I have endured.

True happiness and the life that consumer society encourages people to live towards the attainment of that happiness are antithetical. Rather than accept suffering and sadness, we are prompted to mask that suffering with material things to keep our minds occupied. I don't think capitalism was designed to do this, but the persuit of material things and the attachment to them is directly opposed to the buddhist ideal of what leads to true happiness and contentment. Yes, we need food clothing and shelter... But no, we don't need much else. We WANT them. And our desire for things that we think will lessen our suffering, or at least destract us from it, is what causes our suffering to continue.


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