In prior posts I outlined the First Noble Truth “suffering”, the Second Noble Truth “Craving”, and the Third Noble Truth “ending craving and suffering”. If suffering can be overcome by ending craving, then how is this accomplished. The Fourth Noble Truth provides the answer in the form of the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path in its simplest form is:
In my next post we will look at Right View and what that really means.
If you read my first two posts where I wrote about the 1st Noble Truth that life includes a lot of suffering and in my next post the 2nd Noble Truth that explained the cause of suffering; you might think that Buddhism is a pretty pessimistic philosophy, but not true my friends. The 3rd Noble Truth is that suffering can be overcome and one can be happy in life. To do this we must give up the craving that causes our suffering. Giving up these cravings for more money, things, power, ego, intoxicants, and the praise of fools can lead us to a life of living in the present and true contentment.
Instead of painting a pessimistic view of life Buddhism encourages to understand that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and we do not need to suffer. In my next post I will discuss what can be done to end the craving that is the root of so much of our suffering.
If we can overcome our propensity for cravings we can trade a state called suffering for a more positive outcome called Nirvana. So Buddhism is in fact is a very optimistic philosophy that offers a path to a better state of mind.