Buddhism: Is this the Answer to Inequality, Poverty, and Injustice?

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“If you’ve ever reached a point in your life, where you seem unable to find the solution, to calming your reactions to the everyday struggles of life, you may find yourself turning to Buddhism.”

The reason I say this, is because the belief systems associated with Buddhism, and its many divisions, give us all an excuse, or reason, to simply cease the struggle and quest to reach for greater meaning to our lives. If we’re to seek greatness, and leave some kind of legacy for the benefit of humanity, Buddhism must be rejected, just as Buddhism seems to reject humanity itself.

Non-attainment, non-attachment, the belief in ‘emptiness’ – that we have no identity and are simply all as one with no individuality – that life is suffering, due to our constant craving for more stimulation and more of the things that make us feel, are all within the remit of Buddhism. As such, the often seen images of laughing Buddhists, are a contradiction in themselves. Laughter is an antidote to guilt and fear, emotions the successful Buddhist, would never carry.

There are many contradictions throughout life if we look for them. It could be said, any good philosopher is likely to be filled with contradictions, as this is due process to his craft, as such, contradictions can be beneficial to some. However, when a belief system claims to be the path to Nirvana (death and freedom from suffering), or in the case of Christianity, Heaven (something better than life) is filled with contradictions, the only word that comes to mind is hypocrisy. And once we see hypocrisy, this is reason enough, to dismiss it, entirely.

“If we’re not very cautious, the need to escape struggles, and find greater meaning, becomes the need to escape life and our humanity altogether.”

Frustration is a necessary means to seek the solution. Without the emotion of frustration we will fail to advance. Without wanting to free our minds from our negative emotions: frustration, or fear, or guilt, for that matter, we simply fail to want betterment. To just exist for the sake of existing; to just wake everyday, eat, work and then sleep, is to be half dead. If we fail to feel – even if these feelings are considered negative – we fail to advance.

“I cannot imagine for a moment, if all of humanity were to adopt the beliefs of Buddhism, or any spiritual ‘way’ or ‘path,’ for that matter, that we’d advance beyond the death of our star.”

We may have been born here, yet I refuse to believe, we’re meant to die here. I believe we must strive to understand our minds better – in terms of the need for our emotions – rather than look to be less of a human through believing life is suffering.

We may suffer for a short while, until we realise, that suffering, is in fact, a choice. We choose to seek the solutions, because we suffer, without suffering, we’re nothing. It is simply unacceptable to say the solution to feeling frustration is to remove it by ceasing betterment. 

It may seem an odd interpretation (that there is purpose to suffering) however it’s a similar situation to the child who has little control over their emotions. From moment to moment they seem to shift: happy and giggling one moment, crying and screaming the next. It’s our job, as adults, to help the children temper and tame their unruly emotions. We do this through better understanding their purpose. For example, if we fail to be angry, at the injustice and inequality in the world, we fail to change it.

With this said:

“The elite are likely to be very happy with Buddhist beliefs because it excuses their inability, or unwillingness, to do anything truly constructive about inequality and injustice. To encourage spiritual ‘ways,’ I feel, is to fail. This relates to my revulsion to sentimentality: it helps no one.”

The availability of modern medicine, clean water and good education, will never become a global phenomena, when we continue to encourage charity and sentimentality. The belief systems that seek a solution to poverty and inequality, by simply rejecting our humanity, are just as ineffective in the long term.

Alternatively, encouraging the adoption of belief systems, that give us all purpose to strive onward, and indeed upward, are the solutions to encouraging advancement.

We will never achieve true greatness when there are parts of the world where people remain with limited access to clean drinking water, or modern medicines, or where billions are trapped, living in abject poverty, with a fortunate few having control over all the wealth. We must see this as unacceptable.

“We will never have true greatness when we fail to follow good examples of leadership.”

We will never have true greatness, whilst parents continue to believe it’s okay to have lackadaisical attitudes, to their responsibilities, to a fellow human being. Inequality continues to exist when we fail to feel and empathise in a constructive way.

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Once we’re all consciously aware of our real, meaningful purpose (to improve the quality of life for all and to become the masters of our minds and environment), our first objective must be equality. Without this we continue to carry the limiting guilt associated. We could all just laugh about it though, and then carry on as normal. Or better still, watch a sentimental documentary or news report, and be guilted into giving some cash to charity.

“You see, guilt, as with anger, can be used in a positive, constructive way when we better understand it.”

Charity is in direct opposition to equality and will only ever be a short term fix to our guilt. Properly understand the purpose of our emotions, and we make permanent, constructive changes. Reject that which rejects your humanity.

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