From science to Buddhism?
It is not by accident that Buddhism is gaining influence in the West not before just our time. I dare to say it has more similarity with today’s science than with handed down religions. It is a sheer practical psychology, and it is no wonder in the West it found its soil especially in the United States, where there is a strong pragmatic tradition. It can pre-eminently bring about the attitude in us to deal with modern inventions optimally. High tech in the outside world requests high tech inside. But we will not become robots. Not at all! Moral behaviour is an essential part of it. Everyone can see nowadays, more than ever before, how this is necessary. Everyone is building a system of values in life, of what you deem well to do and what not. If that falls short, we tend to look around if someone else can give us a good example. In doing so we only copy something of someone else when we have made sure for ourselves is working. That is a scientific attitude and what if it was not the Buddhist attitude too!
From wealth to wisdom
The Buddha lived more than 2500 years ago in Northern India. After rich and happy young days he got an irresistible urge to go deeply into the causes of frustration and unease. For with all his wealth he also had met those two. He found out that unease has a cause and can stop. Because he ascertained that not only he himself, but everyone is able to realise this, he travelled around until the end of his life to make known to others too how they could attain lasting happiness (Nirvana – literally: cooled down).
The Buddha was not a god and did not speak on behalf of another being either.
From suffering to happiness
In short the Buddha teaches there is unease and how unease comes to an end.
The cause of unease is desire (including its counterpart: aversion). This is manifesting as an uncontrollable thinking about all sorts of things, with all possible consequences for our speaking and acting.
Superficially seen our society is even founded on desire. The effort to diminish it seems almost impossible, or even an anti-social activity. But if just this is the difference that makes the difference, doesn’t it have then something very attractive to go against the stream this way?
What way? Desire coming to its end is only possible in a gradual and nonviolent manner. Because as that unease is diminishing gradually also, for the practitioner this is actually a way of happiness. A way of happiness leading to everlasting happiness.
Do not believe it, but test it out for yourself. You are most welcome!