Author Topic: Is Buddhism Pessimistic?  (Read 19279 times)

Jessie Fong

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Re: Is Buddhism Pessimistic?
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2012, 01:20:30 PM »
I tend to think that religion is not pessimistic and so Buddhism (even though labelled as religion) should also not be pessimistic.  Buddha's teachings is all about the truth.

They say that The Truth Hurts but then it also hurts more when you find out about the truth at a much later stage.  It would be better to explain and tell the truth from the beginning than for the truth be told later and so much explanations to be given.

By telling the truth from the beginning, it gives a person to think correctly what should be the correct course of action to take, rather than having told him an untruth which would later require "unfixing" a wrong to make a right.

Dorje Pakmo

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Re: Is Buddhism Pessimistic?
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2012, 01:30:13 PM »
Buddhism is being viewed as pessimistic because the world today is filled with so much external seduction, such as TV, Video Games, Movies, making money and many other forms of distractions that steers one away from reconnecting with one’s true self. All these temporal happiness deludes one into believing and immersing in a false state permanency. Many shun the topic of DEATH, because to them, death is far away and probably not having any idea on how to deal with it, they had rather stall it until they are old and by the time they realize, too late for anything. People view death as something very negative and try not to talk about it, but Buddhism is always talking about it.

The reason Buddhism talk about death is not to instill fear into people, but more to instill a sense of urgency to use this fortunate rebirth wisely to develop the precious mind which travels from one life time to another through studying and contemplating. Without practicing and developing the subtle mind, one will have much fear at the time of death. Hence, we should make these people understand that Buddhism is actually not pessimistic, but a wonderful chance to cultivate the mind. How fortunate can one be to even know Buddhism, one should cherish dearly teaching and practice diligently in order to benefit more people.


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Re: Is Buddhism Pessimistic?
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2012, 02:31:31 PM »
Many people think that Buddhism is all about suffering, in fact, these people ignore the Buddha also taught us the cessation of this suffering.

Buddha is compassion, he could not bear living beings suffer, so the Buddha taught us to look after ourselves and seek abundant happiness. Is happiness pessimistic?

Buddhism does not encourage us to look at the world very pessimistic or very optimistic. Buddha taught us the true nature of things. Buddhist practice is designed to teach us how things really are. To know this in all clarity is to attain the enlightenment, because this very knowledge is what destroys the defilements. When we come to know what is what, or the true nature of things, disenchantment with things takes the place of fascination, and deliverance from suffering comes about automatically. Is this pessimistic?


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Re: Is Buddhism Pessimistic?
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2012, 04:47:38 AM »

People in general misunderstood Buddhism,because either they jump to conclusion or they decided on the surface that Buddhism is something they don't like.Some people think we are pessimistic ,because we said the world affairs have no meaning in our external existence,but upon studying the eight fold path and six perfection,one will know from eight noble path teach us to perfect our existence in the world as generous beings.It is neither totally pessismistic nor totally optimistic,but on the contrary,it teaches a truth that lies
midway between them.Buddhism encourages us to be realistic; to see things as the truly are.

People view Buddhists as pessimists because Buddhist practice and understand the value and teachings of the Buddhas. Obviously I want to refrain from creating more negative karma from doing all the non virtuous actions. Sufferings I brought onto myself before coming across His teachings.

I know because in my case, my family and friends wonder why Buddhism refrain me from engaging in the 'worldly affairs'! I stopped partying, gambling, doing things they like, etc. I talk to them about impermanence and death, but they think I joined a cult. Sigh! What cult??? Buddhism is practiced around the world, how can I be the only that is wrong??  :-\ They think that not eating meat is the worse one! They asked, why are you making it so hard for people around you? Why do you believe in everything that Buddhism tells you? Well, it takes time and action for me to convince them and I am still convincing them its not what they think it is!  ;D

Yes Red Lantern, the word realistic is the word I'd use.


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Re: Is Buddhism Pessimistic?
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2012, 06:05:18 AM »
Buddhism is neither optimistic nor pessimistic.  Depends on how one views it.  Many would look at Buddhism base on their changing moods/feelings wherever and whenever they feel and think (within their limited views and understanding) on how it should be.  Merely, not wanting to face the truth of life presented.  In actual fact, Buddhism encourages us to be realistic and not taking it literally on surface basis or as in "fated". Hence, it is so important that those who have much understanding and knowledge on the true existence of what life is should show the results of their practice and to inspire others.

We must learn to see things as they truly are.
"Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, the very purpose of our life is happiness, the very motion of our life is towards happiness." --H.H. the Dalai Lama


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Re: Is Buddhism Pessimistic?
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2012, 09:32:41 AM »
Is Buddhism pessimistic? If you have studied the Four Noble Truths, you will notice that it starts with “Suffering”. But does this mean Buddhism is just reminding us of suffering only? In fact, Buddhism teaches us how to find happiness. To reach happiness, Buddhism teaches us to face the enemy of happiness, which is suffering. You see, the teaching of Buddhism is not to address everything in our life as suffering. But it teaches us to see clearly is our doing bringing us happiness? Our ignorance deceived us into doing things that we thought will bring us happiness. But most of these will only bring us suffering. So by studying Buddhism, it gives us the wisdom to recognize suffering by removing our ignorance, and at the same time provide us a path to happiness. And lastly, NO, Buddhism is not pessimistic. Buddhism is optimistic.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Is Buddhism Pessimistic?
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2012, 11:14:01 AM »
Is Buddhism Pessimistic

Fundamentally Buddhism is not pessimistic except for the Basic Truth that we all deny. The inevitability of Death.

What if we shift our thinking that Death is the beginning and not the end. Then imagine how empowering our daily living can be. How much we will want to achieve before we begin our next journey. How much we will not fear Death but live and prepare for it.

Imagine if we can grasp and understand that Death is the beginning and believe in reincarnation, we can live daily to die having served the Dharma lived in the Dharma and begin again after our body gives up and in leaving the aged body and to continue with Death at the beginning of a brand new physical being.

According to my Guru’s teaching if we continuously cultivate our minds, our minds will not age but learn from life to life and can improve life after life.

However in our laziness we will accommodate our aging bodies and let our minds slack and I guess we will then come back as a slower and less capable of substantial thinking.

Karma follows us life after life.

I do not think that Buddhism is pessimistic but empowering in making choices how to live and rid ourselves of sufferings.