Monday, 13 August 2012

The Search for Enlightenment: Buddha, You're Doing it Wrong.

Siddartha Buddha's birth myth has a lot in common with most other messianic figures, in that it involves a creative avoidance of the necessary involvement of reproduction and any reference to the vagina, as if there were something wrong with it, or with women altogether. What is it that compels the mythmakers to remove the prerequisites and mystify, devalue and idealise women in this way?

What's more, Buddha's mother died a week after his birth, after having her son crawl out from her side. At least they make some kind of attempt to be realistic, although with a hole clean through you, I can't imagine surviving *that* long.

Such a loss in the formative years tends to change one's perspective. I am one of these, as are many of the people I identify with the most. Jasmine is one of them, too. I'm not hesitant to declare my respect and regard for her. There's a depth of wisdom and beauty to such people, I say. An instinctive hunger for the truth that lies beneath the surface. A unique perspective.

So why, then, was Siddartha Buddha a spoiled dandy palace brat until he was 29? He had every pleasure in the world right there for the taking - food, drink, music, comfort, and of course, as many girls as his tongue could cope with. It's kind of understandable really, I suppose - who would say no? Right?

Siddartha seems to have shown no consideration for anything else, instead gorging himself on everything and everyone that his various body parts could handle. Whatever makes you happy, right?

Until you have responsibility. Buddha married and had a son. At this time, as his wife was nursing this baby boy, he decided to grow up just enough to open his eyes a bit. Only a bit, though this has nothing at all to do with the fact that he was Asian.

And it was this eye opening experience - leaving the palace he noticed that there were sick, starving, poor and dying people in the world beyond his own. Probably not realising that they strained themselves so to provide him with his life of comfort, he instead took away from this experience a keen awareness of the inevitability of suffering and (primarily his own) death. Like I said, only opened his eyes a bit. And what, then, did he do with this experience?

He abandoned his baby and his wife. What the hell. Most religious creeds are built on a fundamentally immature reaction to the realisation that death comes for us all. In the words of comedian Dylan Moran - "Religion is just a formalised panic about death; quick, death is coming, put on the gold hat!"

If gold hats are irresponsible, empty and stupid, then what Buddha did is detestable. He then went on to do even worse: trying to find the path to 'Nirvana' - that is, the way to transcend the painful realities of life and death and suffering, to find peace. Double what the hell. This just goes from bad to worse! This only works if you're say, me; I never tried to get anywhere in life by abandoning my family or ditching my responsibilities or the ones I loved.

He then spent the rest of his life teaching others to try and meditate, pray, rationalise and otherwise wank away the pain they themselves created by being alive and therefore responsible for their choices.

Triple what the hell.

It seems to me that everything he did and taught is undermined because they are all attempts made by him to live with the fact that he never manned up and went home.

And as if this were not bad enough, his ideas caught on in a major way. A religious way...for millions and millions of people. But to me, Siddartha Buddha will never be more than a clusterfuck of pseudo-philosophical cowardly cop-outs; excuses for having been a total bastard and abandoning his wife and his son.

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