Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March 20, 2018

DRIVING OURSELVES CRAZY

With most problematic states of mind, and certainly with depression, we often have a tendency to maintain the problem by self-confirmation. What I mean with that is often repeating to oneself things like "I am depressed", "I feel miserable", "Life sucks", "They are bad", "I hate myself", "I can't do it". The problem is that when we repeat this often enough, it will all come true! These kind of self-obsessive thoughts blind us to the needs of our family and friends, and we do nothing to help them. As a result, we receive less positive feedback and love from them, and also less simple satisfaction and joy of making them happy.



In Buddhism, we use meditation to improve our state of mind by habituating ourselves to a positive state of mind, but repeating the above sort of tantrums throughout the day will only keep us in the same negative state. Just imagine what happens if a perfectly happy woman suddenly starts saying to hers…

Depression Does Not Cause Misery, Depression is Misery

Depression is a state of extreme unhappiness, described by sufferers in a recent BBC radio program as a black, dismal, dungeon of despair; as a stifling hot room with no means of escape; as a heavy overcoat of pain with the buttons soldered together; and as like walking through treacle. It is characterised by a sense of loss of control over one’s life, a loss of enthusiasm, and the inability to enjoy pleasure. One may know what to do, but cannot summon the energy to do it.


Depression may be precipitated by bereavement, illness, unemployment, and perhaps sometimes a neurological abnormality. According to Buddhism, however, the overriding cause of depression is self-cherishing - seeing one’s own physical and mental pleasure as more important than anybody else’s. Self-cherishing is irritability when our spouse asks us to do something that interrupts our own enjoyment, such as watching television, playing sport, or talking with our friends. It is the desire to get the best food for oneself…

Jesus and Buddha as Brothers

The dialogue between Buddhism and Christianity has not gone very far, in my opinion, because we have not been able to set up a solid ground for such dialogue. This is a reflection of the present situation. 

Buddhists believe in reincarnation, the possibility for human beings to live several lives. In Buddhist circles, we do not use the word incarnation very much: we use the word rebirth. After you die, you can be reborn and can have another life. In Christianity, your life is unique, your only chance for salvation. If you spoil it, then you will never get salvation. You have only one life. 

Buddhism teaches that there is non-self, anatta. Christianity clearly teaches that a Christian is a personalist. Not only are you a person, self, but God is a person, and He has a self. The Buddhist teaching of emptiness and no substance sounds like the teaching of no being. Christianity speaks of being, of existence. The teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas speaks of the philosophy of being, la philisophi…