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This is striking: "The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."
Is everyone here an atheist?
I was an atheist until I started to study Buddhism and meditate. Since then, I see God everywhere.
Something I have struggled since I stopped believing in a man in the sky years ago. Where does it come from? If I wanna nice car why shouldn't I just steal it from someone else? Why would that make me weak? I get that there is precepts but Buddhism also says (or so I believe) that we should look at reality non judgmentally without denial and on that basis that Is why Buddhism complies with science so well. What if In fact humans by nature have no morals, we weren't always civilized after all. To me it seems everything was competition for dominance. Either you were strong and could get away with whatever you want or you where weak and got stepped on. What if even in modern times we start to run out food, what will we become? I've heard of this happening in certain countries and people have resorted to cannibalism and even eating their own children it got so bad. Its sickening yes but I always have the feeling at the back of my mind that we are deep down monsters which makes it hard to believe in things like the 5 precepts. How do you feel about this?
I have the same doubts from time to time, usually when I study some aspects of the teachings regarding moral principles. They are presented as a path that will lead you to something greater (e.g. "awakening"). I think that is a possibility, but I believe that actually it's the opposite: when you are "awake" you realize how everything is connected, how everything influences everything and what is your place in the middle of all this. At this point, I think moral behavior is a consequence of your understanding. It's not a set of rules to be followed, but the natural way to act in the world.
Do we really have to force ourselves to let things go? I understand that to engage ourselves in some sort of discipline may change us, but I think there is a more natural way to that. If you meditate long enough, your perspective will change, your priorities will change. Then, you will naturally begin to let things go... Feelings, possessions, attachments. Not because you want to get somewhere through this, but because you already understood that you don't need much to be well.
This question reminded me of a passage in Jon Kabat-Zinn's book, "Wherever you go, there you are". He quotes a student, who told him:
"When I was a Buddhist, it drove my parents and friends crazy, but when I am a Buddha, nobody is upset at all."