Exploring The Core Beliefs Of Buddhism And How They Interconnect With The Comic

Exploring The Core Beliefs Of Buddhism And How They Interconnect With The Comic

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Buddhists have a realistic approach to life. They acknowledge suffering and pain, yet are not pessimists. This is why, if they were to see the Michael Leunig comic they would concur that the comic reflects some Buddhist values. The satirical comic depicts an older male figure, looking at two signs. One reads “The way life is supposed to be” and the other “The way life actually is”. The second one is in poor condition, messy lettering and incorrect spelling, some letters not even on the sign. It 's torn sign and broken post add more emphasis to the disheveled appearance. The juxtaposition of the signs and the man in the comic represents the human condition and expectations for life. This essay will discuss the core beliefs of Buddhism and how they interconnect with the comic.

The Eightfold Path is foretold to end suffering but is also viewed as the middle way. In the time of Siddhartha Gautama, the most prominent religion was Hinduism. Gautama, later known as the Buddha or ‘The Enlightened One’, was a prince. After receiving a prophecy, his father kept him shielded from society, having been told he would become a monk if he saw the sadness in the world. In the Leunig comic, the neat sign can be compared to the way Siddhartha 's father presented the world to him, only allowing beautiful, young people into the palace. Gautama eventually made it outside of the palace and saw death and suffering; sudden exposure to the suffering in life, much like the messy sign. He left his wife and child behind to begin a journey to understand suffering. He eventually tried to become a monk, his conversation with one proving interesting. The monk was amongst death and suffering, even homeless, but was incredibly happy. Known as a mendicant, he ded...


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...Buddhists have peaceful interactions, the latter of the schools has literature that ridicules the rituals of Theravada. This misconception of peace is found in the comic by Michael Leunig. The neat sign is well placed on the sign and draws up an image of a calm signmaker while the messy sign signals chaos.

In conclusion, a Buddhist would agree that the picture reflects the eternal struggle of being shown in Buddhist texts. This eternal struggle is the struggle of the human race to attain happiness and surpass suffering. They would also add that their belief system is the way to make life easier and avoid suffering. Aspects of Buddhism, such as the Four Noble Truths, Eightfold Path, Nirvana and belief in no god all contribute to their view on the human condition. The broken sign can be turned into the neat sign if one follows the eightfold path and reaches Nirvana.

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