"What troubles me most about Buddhism is its implication that detachment from ordinary life is the surest route to salvation" Austin Cline

Buddhism is certainly the noblest religion in the world. But it is true?

Siddharta Gautama was born in Lumbini about 560 AD and he was a Hindu prince. He wanted to know how to stop suffering his discovering the way out of it made him the Buddha, the enlightened one.


Buddha wanted to help people stop suffering by teaching them how to work and meditate so that they would attain a state of consciousness that would deliver them from suffering forever called Nirvana. He described Nirvana in paradoxes and contradictions meaning that it is not like anything we understand. It is not a material paradise or anything like it for Buddha sought to escape from anything material. Nirvana means blowing out because it is the blowing out of desire (page 293, Concise Guide to Today’s Religions). Desire according to Buddhism is the reason why we suffer.
What did Buddha mean by suffering? It was obvious to him and to all that we don't really suffer all the time. Lack of happiness or being unsatisfied is inherent in life. This lack of happiness is what Buddha meant by dukkha. The word dukkha is mistranslated as suffering. Thus the perception that Buddhism says life is suffering is a misunderstanding. The perception puts many off Buddhism. Dukkha principally means the lack of being well and includes suffering but it is not about suffering only. We should use the word suffering in this page to mean dissatisfaction that may or may not include suffering.

Buddhism teaches that I am not an entity but a bundle of experiences. A person is just a name put on a pile of entities that comprise it. A person is not really a unified entity. Buddhists generally teach that Buddhism is not about ceasing to have feelings and experiences but casting off the ego, the ego seeks to enslave and delude us. In other words, I must get rid of the illusion that I am in control of my world and my life. I have very little control if any. That way I will be free and will not be disturbed by life and the world. When the illusion is gone, that is Nirvana. I accept what I cannot change.
Without Nirvana, the bundle will be made into a new person in the next life by reincarnation thanks to the law of karma, the power that returns to me what I send out of me. With Nirvana I will not be born again.
If I killed a person in a past life, it may be that I will be killed by somebody in this one or a future one. If I hurt a blind person in a past life I could end up being born blind in a future one. If you are good you are closer to salvation – escape from matter – and will be rewarded by good karma. If you work out all your karma you will not be born again when you die because birth is a result of bad karma. It unfortunately never occurred to Buddha that if birth is a bad thing that happens to you for having done wrong then how did the first birth ever, come about?
If there was no first birth and we always existed and were continually being born and dying over and over again we will never get rid of the karma. If you have had an infinity of lives that means you have an infinity of bad karma as well. It is impossible to work off infinite or unlimited bad karma.
Salvation lies in losing all desire. It is Nirvana - a state of endless bliss and yet nothingness in the sense that there is no material element there.

Buddhism doesn’t see the consciousness as a kind of soul. Though you are aware of being a person who existed since your birth Buddhism sees that as an illusion.

Buddhism denies that there is a soul or that you are the same person all the time. In fact person is not the right word for they think I am just a bundle of experiences with no personal identity and the reason I suffer is because I think there is a real I. I think there is something about and in me that makes me basically the same entity and individual all the time. With each moment I die and am replaced with a new “person” who seems to be the same person that was around before but is a totally different person. Buddhist philosophy agrees that to your experience, it will be as if you do not keep turning into different persons who never existed before but that is a mistake based on the trick of memory. You think because you remember that you were always the same person. You are dying and being reborn all the time but it does not seem like that to you. You think that you have been the same person and being since you were born. When you believe you don’t really exist, what would you want deliverance from suffering for? What would you want salvation from bad karma for?
Buddhism says you must have no desire for the bliss of Nirvana but you experience it and enjoy it passively. Buddhism sees all desire as bad.

And all desire need not cause suffering. The desire we have, is preferred to the thing we desire so desire is an evil we like.

Buddha believed that suffering was caused by desire. Desire causes bad karma which ties you down to the cycle of birth, suffering and death. Desire is evil for it hurts so to embrace it is to merit bad karma. When you have no desire you can be perfectly happy in Nirvana so when you work for anything else you have a misplaced sense of what is important. Buddha taught that suffering can be ended by living out the Eightfold Path. These eight rules forbid acting out of desire and harmful actions. Lying, hate and gossip, for instance, are forbidden. You are not to do good because you want to but to do it without desire but doing it with desire is fine at the beginning for it takes hard work to eliminate the desire and it happens gradually. But you will always desire a little bit even when you are on the brink on Nirvana. Then desire will be taken away and you will find yourself in a purely passive state wherein peace and happiness are given to you but not willed or taken by you.

Buddhism claims that everything, even God if he exists or the most powerful of gods, is subject to karma. For God or anybody to get free from karma is to exist no longer (The Spirit of Buddhism, page 22).
Some say you do not lose your existence but only your existence as an individual. But if you are just a bundle of experiences and have to realise that there is nothing there to be left that means there is nothing.
Individuality is regarded as an illusion to be delivered from. But is being an individual really a bad thing? It would be nice to be an individual that does not suffer. Pain is caused by a part of the brain and it can be shut down or reduced. It is impossible to see how if we are all ultimately one thing – Nirvana makes us all one - we can imagine we are individuals. The individual cannot shift consciousness in such a way that she or he experiences herself or himself as being two or more minds at the one time.
Buddhists look down on us being individuals but say this is because of compassion – us being individuals is what causes suffering. But look, there are different levels of suffering. There are INDIVIDUALS who are not Buddhists who are reasonably happy. Is it not crazy to suggest that being an individual is bad because there will always be some hitches? That is harshness not compassion.

In Buddhism, you give up attachments so that you protect yourself from pain. But you lose pleasure this way as well. That is the price you pay to avoid pain. But it cannot work for you are surely numbing yourself and the pain of wanting to avoid pain is there underneath it all.

The entire message of Buddha is based on blind faith which destroys the credibility of its morality. You don’t know if it is all true until you become a Buddha yourself. And a person with a depressive illness may be genetically unable to become a Buddha or even to feel happier. They are left behind in the Buddhist scheme. They may be put on a treadmill of hard work and meditation for nothing.
What if you experience enlightenment? Even then you are not sure for drugs, say LSD, can delude you into having a mystically joyful experience. Bad karma can delude you to think you are liberated and seem to experience it. Many have considered themselves to be enlightened without the Buddhist experience.
Your mind has the power to put itself into a purely delusional state of awareness. Before you go to sleep, you will feel so relaxed that you think and feel you know that it will last forever and that nobody else exists but you to enjoy this blissful peace. Even now this minute, you can close your eyes and imagine that it is true that you alone exist and will be safe forever.
Buddhism is a harmful faith for it is demanding and has only a dream that may be just a dream to offer as a reward. People should not suffer for guesses. There have been people who have claimed to have been enlightened but then lost their faith in it. They saw later that their enlightenment was false. Enlightenment cannot deliver one from suffering simply because you can’t be sure you have really been enlightened. Also, that uncertainty is itself a kind of suffering. The suffering means you cannot be delivered from suffering after all! Buddhism teaches that suffering cannot save you – there you are! Enlightenment is a delusion.

Buddhism offers its version of the ten commandments -the Eightfold Path. It basically is all about not hurting others wilfully - right thinking, right speaking etc. The Eightfold Path offers not morality but evil dressed as goodness. It cannot save the Buddhist because it is used as an expression of superstitious belief.
Just wish it were all true! Buddhism is nearly all true - is that enough? No.

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