The Path Through A Twenty First Century Lens

1481 WordsMar 6, 20176 Pages
The Eightfold Path Through a Twenty-First Century Lens It is easier now than ever to become lost in the cycle of life. Every day, we face a plethora of distractions: cell-phones, social media, jobs we hate, and time spent doing things that we do not want to. We spend so much time reminiscing about the “good ol’” days or dreading the future that we forget to live in the now. With all the noise that surrounds us—not to mention the looming threat of ill health and, eventually, death—how do we free ourselves from the chains of suffering and live in the moment? The Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, went in search of an answer to this question, and his answer is still relevant for modern society; we can avoid suffering if we follow the Middle Way.…show more content…
Perfunctory explanations of the four truths are as follows: the truth of suffering (duhkha), which explains that suffering is a part of existence from the time we are born and perpetuated by time and negative emotions; the truth of the origin of suffering, which states that, because we attach ourselves to selfish desires and things that cannot be, the origin of suffering lies within ourselves; the truth that one can be free from suffering, which states that one can be free if they sustain from selfish behaviors and renounce cravings; and the truth that one can overcome suffering by following the Middle Way, which is explained in the Noble Eightfold Path. The only way to analyze the path is by analyzing each component separately, but it is worth mentioning that one should not view each component as a “step”; one should understand that all eight of these components are equally important to overcome suffering. The first component, “right view,” consists of understanding the principle of interdependent arising and the Noble Fourfold truth. The second component, “right intention,” states that, realizing attachment is a bad thing, one should strive to control the stimuli for suffering and replace it with positive, selfless emotions that bring happiness for all. These first two components all comprise one of the three basic principles suggested in this path: “wisdom.” The “wisdom” gained is that one now knows what the root of suffering is and what one can do to rid themselves of
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