September 02, 2009

What do Buddhists Believe?

tricycle, pamela white

Good question. And the answer will depend on who you ask.

Is there a set of beliefs that all Buddhists share? I'm sure there's no definitive answer, but here's one noble credo that attempts to make it clear:

This I believe:

That phenomena do not have any kind of demonstrable, intrinsic existence. That anything that is the composite sum of other parts is, logically, impermanent. That suffering is a given in any form of existence where confusion and ignorance are present. That when confusion and ignorance have been definitively eliminated, and goodness, caring, and wisdom have entirely taken their place, that is true happiness.

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Erin Shriver's picture

"Do I believe 2 + 2 equals 4, or do I know it?" I thoroughly love this! What do you think you believe or know? I do not know if 2+2=4 outside of the constructed purposes for functioning here.

For example...
If you pay $30.00 for groceries, are you getting $15.00 + $15.00 worth of groceries?? No, you are just getting groceries - which you place your view of value on. The "worth" is a mind construct but confusion sets in when we believe that the money is worth more than the groceries. Mind is irrational and complains, worries and clings to the silly paper while overlooking the worthiness of the food (in this case). We walk out of the store thinking we "lost" money and become depressed. miserly, and unappreciative. We resent the very things, in many cases, that are the real necessities in life because we assign value to the paper money we had to part with rather than on the food, shelter, clothing etc....

Tharpa Chosang's picture

Do I believe 2 + 2 equals 4, or do I know it?

Erin Shriver's picture

A mind, Buddhist or not, believes what it believes until it doesn't. Mind may even believe that there is a Buddhist who believes at all. Who is in the mind of this Buddhist you speak of and where is this belief set shared? I do not care, I am busy feeding flies.

Tamanan Suebwonglee's picture

Not "Good Question". "Bad Question". How can you even ask it?! Buddhists don't believe anything. That the whole point! They look and they find.