Hello everyone, I recently been told by someone people (some practitioners, some not) that they believe that Buddhism is pessimistic, too negative and dour, and that the path is all about escape from Samsara... About aversion to rebirth etc..
I personally hold a different view, as many of you know - I practice by trying to avoid the cyclic perpetuation of craving and aversion, neither optimistic nor pessimistic, neither nihilistic nor eternalistic - the middle way, to coin a phrase ;-P
Pessimism seems to also involve value judgements and speculative opinions (ditthi)... one of the four Asavas (biases/cankers) I believe...
I figure that with regards to how we view the/our path and apply the teachings to our lives, maybe it is better is we deepened our realisation of it's essentially subjective nature? I.e. if seeing Buddhism as pessimistic works for you, then go for it. I certainly don't, I see it as realistic and non-judgemental, and through the eyes of the Boddhisattva, melioristic -empowering the individual to better society as a by product of bettering oneself... But then again, I personally am keen to avoid slipping into spiritual individualism and "selfish Buddhism" as someone once called it... Not sure I agree with that last term although I concede that in certain parts of the East, some monks have regrettably come to see the monastic life as a career and arent that concerned about the wellbeing of others...
With regards to individualism - If you are suffering and can put an end to it, why shouldn't you? I would just rather be able to help other too in the process :-)
I am always torn whether to engage with discussions on the semi-subjective.... On one hand, the Buddha was very clear about seeing the limitations of the mundane world, and on the other, thousands of years of Mahayana and Vajriyana tradition look upon the world with a sense of optimism and spiritual altruism... Also, I sometimes feel that people have formed their ideas without full regard to the ENTIRE tradition, in all it's varying and wonderful school... I'm sure a Soto Zen priest would see it differently to a Tibetan Yogi :-)
I suppose it raises the issue of how we see the mundane world, verses how we see the path leading to the transcendence of the mundane... if indeed 'see' is the right word... perceive is better.
I guess my question is, given that there is clearly no "right" answer, how do you personally see your world and your spiral path of realisation?
Just thoughts of an insomniac... It got me thinking and I am probably gonna write about it, so i really value hearing and considering all your opinions and approaches... all 84,000, lol!
:-) much Metta, D. F xx