When asked if I have a religious affiliation, I usually say I’m a crypto-Buddhist. By this I mean that I don’t know a whole lot about Buddhism, but what I know seems fairly sensible.
Buddhism isn’t really a religion; it’s a form of practical psychology. It has been transformed into a religion, I think, because human beings have an instinctive need for religion. But that’s a tale for another time.
While reading a book recently that makes use of Buddhist teachings, I began to have doubts. Specifically, I’m not sure about the first two of the Four Noble Truths. What the Buddha actually taught has, of course, been translated, elaborated, simplified, and reinterpreted. So maybe what I’m fussing over are the current views of these teachings.
The First Noble Truth is often rendered in English as “Life is suffering.” But if we get closer to the original teaching, we find Read the rest of this entry »