Saturday, July 11, 2015

Did Buddha follow the middle path ?



Gautama Buddha advocated the middle path.  The middle path is at odds with the extreme path. In this post, I will claim that Buddha did not practice what he preached. He talked about the middle path, but did the exact opposite. I will also use colloquial "chill-talk" to make the story appealing to read. Fogies, sorry. 

This is my understanding of Buddha. His fundamental axiom is that all life is suffering. Ok. Maybe, it's not 100% true with 1st world awesomeness, but let's go with the dude for a moment. He headed out of his awesome palace, saw a bunch of people suffering and decided to go out into the woods and find himself. Purportedly, he starved and went through severe austerity ( wonders of youth! ). Does this sound like the middle path?

Anyway, he figured out the "hedonic treadmill". Neurons stop firing once the same pleasure stimulus is always present. He claimed that desire, attachment and a whole bunch of other "comfort, convenience and security" based responses are not good for long term pleasure. Short term it's all cool, but in the long-term womp womp womp. Pretty cool. Kudos to Buddha for figuring this out without the interwebzz..  

Then what did he do ? He figured out the middle path. What about the austere path? "Not" pleasure can mean a bunch a things. (1) Some pleasure (2) Some pleasure some pain (3) All pain. How did he reject (1) and (3) and settle on (2) ? Someone with better knowledge of Buddha please enlighten me. 

Then, he set out to spread the message of the middle path throughout the Asia. Making him feel special no doubt. He must have gone through rain, thirst, deceit, danger, cold, famine,.... also not getting bored. DOES THIS SOUND "MIDDLE" ? 


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