I’ve done some research on the Buddhist philosophy, and after a while I realized that I don’t fit in with it.
One of Buddhism’s core tenets is compassion for all beings, which I don’t believe I can practice or is possible. I just don’t believe selfless compassion for all beings (and I assume this means every living thing, or at least all sentient beings) is possible, and I don’t believe in complete, perfect selflessness.
For example, among the Thirty Seven Practices of The Path of the Bodhisattva, the eleventh practice states “All suffering, without exception, comes from the desire for happiness for oneself, while perfect Buddha-hood is born from the desire to make others happy. This is why completely exchanging one’s happiness for that of others is a practice of the Bodhisattva.”
And as people who’ve already read the blog know, I disagree with the idea of bodhicitta.
I also don’t like the idea of getting rid of desire and the self (or the “illusion of the self”) in order achieve any kind of enlightenment or oneness with a higher reality, and don’t believe in it. It is said that when Buddha died (at the age of 80 years old), he attained complete absorption into the highest state of existence, mind, or consciousness. I don’t quite like the idea of being assimilated into a higher consciousness, and if Buddhism is going to advocate it, and New Age types making it worse as they try to sell it, then I think I’ll pass.
I also disagree with the usage of fierce, powerful, warrior gods or wrathful deities as metaphors for the subjugation of desire and ego, as opposed to advocates of raw power.
I do love Buddhist artwork and gods (Buddhist gods in Tibet and Japan are some the most awesome gods around), and have a liking for some of Buddhist mythology, and have some respect for the founder of Buddhism, Siddartha Gautama, for striving to find his own path, especially after having been sequestered and raised into a false reality by his father, but I find myself rather at odds with the actual philosophy, especially in its Mahayana form.