If Buddha Were Alive Today, How Would He Answer The Question: “How Should OneLive”?If Buddha Were Alive Today, How Would He Answer The Question: “How Should OneLive”?What is right? Who is to say what is right? How do we know what we aredoing is right? These are all questions that allude to how should one live?Different people have different opinions on this area. Buddha’s theory is oneway to answer the question.Buddha has four noble truths. These four noble truths are suffering, theorigin of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the way of practice leadingto the cessation of suffering. If you go through all four of these truths, youwill live a “right” life.Suffering, according to Buddha, is anything that doesn’t cause pleasure.
Anytime you do not get what you want, it is suffering. Being born is suffering.In Buddha’s theory, isn’t practically everthing we do then suffering? Buddhadefines suffering with the five aggregates of grasping. They are the aggreagatesof grasping that is form, feeling, perception, mental formaitons, andconsciousness. I don’t agree with Buddha in any of this. I don’t think sufferingis caused by any of this. This is all life.
I don’t think that we are sufferingall of this time. My definition of suffering would be anything that causes anypain, not anything that doesn’t cause pleasure. There is a huge differencebetween the two.
With Buddha, you are either suffering or in pleasure. I thinkthat there is a middle ground. There are many times when people are notsuffering and also not feeling pleasure.
The origin of suffering, according to Buddha, is craving. Craving comesfrom anything that is agreeable and pleasurable. Sights, sounds, mental pictures,etc. are all agreeable and pleasurable therefore they all cause craving.Whenever we think of any of this, cravings arise. This is where suffering comesfrom.
This is true to a point. Craving is what causes suffering. Craving comesfrom pleasurable things. That means that pleasurable things cause suffering.People want what they don’t have. These we think are pleasurable things.
Wesuffer from not getting what we want. When a baby wants a cookie and doesn’t getit, he is suffering. It was not getting the cookie that caused the suffering. Itwas the craving for the cookie that caused his suffering. Buddha was right onthe money when he said that craving is what caues suffering.What is the stopping of suffering? If we want to stop suffering, we havegot to start at the beginning. To stop suffering, we have to stop craving.
Wehave to totally get away from it. Simple as that. It’s true.
If we want to stopsuffering, we have to stop ourselves from craving. This is the third noble truth.May sound easy to do, but in the fourth noble truth, we learn it is not as easyas we think.
The fourth noble truth may sound as simple as a commercial. Stop all yoursuffering in just eight easy steps!! As we journey through these eight “easy”steps, we find them to not be as simple as we think. the first is Right View.Right View is knowing that we suffer and what suffering is. It is knowing thatwe can stop suffering.
Step one is always the easiest. The second is RightThought. Right Thought is the thought og harmlessness. That means we have tostop thinking about bad for other people. No more thinking about killing theteacher who gave you a pop quiz the day you forgot your notebook at home. Thissecond stop in the eightfold path is not quite as easy as the first. I thinkthat as people, we generally feel jealousy over other people.
It is thisjealously that leads us to ill thoughts of people. It is hard to stop. It comeswith feeling good about yourself. Next, Right Speech. Right Speech is no morelying, slander, or harsh speech.
In our society, we learn that doing all this isok. We learn from our parents that telling one “itty, bitty white lie” neverhurt anybody. We see in politics that slandering someone is o.
k. To stop allthis, we’d have to start with a whole new generation and teach them that this iswrong to do. It’s hard when you find out someone is talking bad about you to notdo the same.
In Buddha’s theory, this isn’t allowed. The nest is Right Action.Right Action is not taking life, not stealing, and no sexual misconduct. This isnot so hard. Many people in our society can’t do it, but many are. Many peopleactually live this way. The fifth step is Right Livelihood.
This is simply putgiving up wrong livelihood and keeping himself by right livelihood. People cansurely handle doing this. Right Effort is making an effort to grow. It isbringing up an effort to stop doing what is wrong.
I think people do this mostof the time. People are generally good. They make and effort to do what theyfeel is good. They try not to do evil things. In my opinion, this is what peopleare already doing. Right Midfulness is thinking of mind as mind, feelings asfeeling, etc. People tend to think of their thoughts as whats so.
To be in RightMindfulness, we have to put things aside and think of what is actually so. Wehave to stop making a story about things. An example of this is if you see a manwith a broken arm. People tend to make up a story about this. He was a mountainclimber and he fell while climbing Mt. Everest.
It’s just a man with a brokenarm. Nothing more, nothing less. I may be totally off on that one, but that’swhat I think Right Mindfulness is. Lastly, we have Right Concentration. RightConcentration occers after man has detached himself from craving and unwholesomemental states, he can concentrate on the first jhana.
Once he has innertranquility, he has reached the second jhana. When he gives up delight and ismindful and clearly aware, he is in the third jhana. He gives up pleasure andsuffering. He gives up gladness and sadness.
He is now in the fourth jhana. Thisis Right Concentration. With all these, man puts a stop to suffering.Back to the question at hand.
If Buddha were alive right now, how wouldhe say one should live? I think that if he were alive, he’d take our wholesociety into consideration when answering the question. I think he’d say thatpeople should be kind to one another and not cause harm. We should live byestablised “good” morals. We should be happy with what we have. Maybe not stopevery bad thing we say or think about or do, but try to limit ourselves. I thinkthat these are all things that Buddha might say.
Most important, I think he’dsay “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”