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I like the Conjuring series. The first and third Blair Witch, too.
Realizing the Dao is probably similar to realizing the Dhamma. The only issue is, we don't start out with that knowledge because it's obscured by what Buddhism calls defilements. Being content and accepting things as they are is good from a certain POV, but we wouldn't necessarily want to do that when 'things as they are,' i.e., the contents of our minds, are essentially polluted or coloured by greed, anger, and delusion. If I'm an angry person who beats my spouse, for example, I'd hope I wouldn't just accept that as is but try to uproot the anger that causes such suffering to myself and others. What we should come to accept is the nature of phenomena, its arising and ceasing, its impermanent and selfless nature, etc. And part of the path to that kind of acceptance is the process of uprooting the mental defilements that prevent us from seeing and accepting that reality. When we're tied by self-centredness, we're susceptible to their rule and can't see beyond our sense of self, our likes and dislikes, etc. But when we pierce that veil, we see the Dao, Dhamma, and it all falls away, leaving a bright, clear mind and an acceptance of things as they are. So from that POV, I see Buddhism and Daoism as complimentary and can be likened to different fingers pointing towards the same moon.
Buddhism gives the middle finger to evolution?
The Buddhist process would be impossible without evolution, wouldn't it?
I suppose it's an irony of existence, aye? Evolution turning in on itself to deny its own existence. It makes sense, though. I mean, we evolve to survive - to stay ahead - and what is the ultimate in survival than never having to die again?
I don't see it this way at all. I, like you, am an optimist and I don't think the idea is to stop sentient beings from arising. That sounds a bit like nihilism to me. We found out that distinguishing self from the environment is self awareness but now we find that is just an illusion and we are not separate from the environment at all.
Life is not just suffering.
You just contradicted the first noble truth. Just saying.