If Buddha Were Alive Today, How Would He Answer The Question: "How Should One
Live"?


What is right? Who is to say what is right? How do we know what we are
doing is right? These are all questions that allude to how should one live?
Different people have different opinions on this area. Buddha\'s theory is one
way to answer the question.

Buddha has four noble truths. These four noble truths are suffering, the
origin of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the way of practice leading
to the cessation of suffering. If you go through all four of these truths, you
will live a "right" life.

Suffering, according to Buddha, is anything that doesn\'t cause pleasure.
Anytime you do not get what you want, it is suffering. Being born is suffering.
In Buddha\'s theory, isn\'t practically everthing we do then suffering? Buddha
defines suffering with the five aggregates of grasping. They are the aggreagates
of grasping that is form, feeling, perception, mental formaitons, and
consciousness. I don\'t agree with Buddha in any of this. I don\'t think suffering
is caused by any of this. This is all life. I don\'t think that we are suffering
all of this time. My definition of suffering would be anything that causes any
pain, not anything that doesn\'t cause pleasure. There is a huge difference
between the two. With Buddha, you are either suffering or in pleasure. I think
that there is a middle ground. There are many times when people are not
suffering and also not feeling pleasure.

The origin of suffering, according to Buddha, is craving. Craving comes
from anything that is agreeable and pleasurable. Sights, sounds, mental pictures,
etc. are all agreeable and pleasurable therefore they all cause craving.
Whenever we think of any of this, cravings arise. This is where suffering comes
from. This is true to a point. Craving is what causes suffering. Craving comes
from pleasurable things. That means that pleasurable things cause suffering.
People want what they don\'t have. These we think are pleasurable things. We
suffer from not getting what we want. When a baby wants a cookie and doesn\'t get
it, he is suffering. It was not getting the cookie that caused the suffering. It
was the craving for the cookie that caused his suffering. Buddha was right on
the money when he said that craving is what caues suffering.

What is the stopping of suffering? If we want to stop suffering, we have
got to start at the beginning. To stop suffering, we have to stop craving. We
have to totally get away from it. Simple as that. It\'s true. If we want to stop
suffering, we have to stop ourselves from craving. This is the third noble truth.
May sound easy to do, but in the fourth noble truth, we learn it is not as easy
as we think.

The fourth noble truth may sound as simple as a commercial. Stop all your
suffering in just eight easy steps!! As we journey through these eight "easy"
steps, we find them to not be as simple as we think. the first is Right View.
Right View is knowing that we suffer and what suffering is. It is knowing that
we can stop suffering. Step one is always the easiest. The second is Right
Thought. Right Thought is the thought og harmlessness. That means we have to
stop thinking about bad for other people. No more thinking about killing the
teacher who gave you a pop quiz the day you forgot your notebook at home. This
second stop in the eightfold path is not quite as easy as the first. I think
that as people, we generally feel jealousy over other people. It is this
jealously that leads us to ill thoughts of people. It is hard to stop. It comes
with feeling good about yourself. Next, Right Speech. Right Speech is no more
lying, slander, or harsh speech. In our society, we learn that doing all this is
ok. We learn from our parents that telling one "itty, bitty white lie" never
hurt anybody. We see in politics that slandering someone is o.k. To stop all
this, we\'d have to start with a whole new generation and teach them that this is
wrong to do. It\'s hard when you find out someone is talking bad about you to not
do the same. In Buddha\'s theory, this isn\'t allowed. The nest is Right Action.
Right Action is not taking life, not stealing, and no sexual misconduct. This is
not so hard. Many people in our society can\'t do it, but many are. Many