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Buddhism In a world filled with technology and industry, it can become increasingly difficult to take a step back and view the world in its natural state. In essence, we are humans trying to figure out how we fit into a world seemingly contradictory to the path of humanity. We look to nature for answers. We look to each other, as well as to one another’s accomplishments for these same answers. In the end, our entire species comes to the same conclusion. In order to fully understand our world, we must first seek inner-peace and come to understand how we can relate to one another on a spiritual level. We must strive for this alternative consciousness if we, as a race are to escape our culture’s self-imposed shackles. Throughout history there have been hundreds of influential figures. Some are well-known for their charitableness or kindness, or for their supreme knowledge which contributed to the growth of humanity. Others are noted for their religious, literary, or cultural contributions to the world. Yet very few are known as all of these. One figure in particular could be called not only a religious founder, but a humanitarian and a philosopher as well. This is Siddharta Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha. (The word "Buddha" means "one who is intuitive, awakened, or enlightened.") Buddhism is based on the beliefs and teachings of one man. The Buddha built a 'religion' on a framework that consists of the Four Noble Truths, the 4 passing sights, and the four temptations of Mara. These truths are not fixed dogmatic principles, but living experiences to be explored individually in the heart of the sincere spiritual seeker. He encouraged people to follow a path of balance rather than extremism. He p... ... middle of paper ... ... this way because i'm not allowed to breathe on it.....but i think i'm on to something here. It seems almost embarassing to consider that the Buddhists are over there trying to achieve enlightenment, and we're over here spending $85 a week to have someone clean our house because we'd rather be golfing. They're over there renouncing all their material posessions to find the meaning of life, and we still think the meaning of life is material posessions. The Buddha sat in the woods for 6 years to reach nirvana, and we spend $65,000 on a SUV so we can drive through the woods listening to Nirvana on our cd player. The so-called American Dream that got discarded as soon as "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" started airing could use a heavy dose of the Buddha nature, and at least find some happy meduim. America could sure use a 'middle path' about now.

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