Hippies in the west have bastardized Buddhism.
Listen to the typical tie-dye wearing uneployed white kid sporting dreadlocks and reeking of patchouli talk about Buddhism makes Buddhism sounds like a mystical, magical, nonsensical eastern religion for lazy people.
This is a real shame because Buddhism is a very practical philosophy rooted in objectively observing the world and simple casue and effect NOT mysticism.
So if your a rational thinking man who cares about understanding principles of living well and have been turned off to eastern philosophy because stupid lazy hippies in the west have ruined it for you, I ask that you suspend your skepticism for the next 3 minutes and read this article.
I think by reading this you will find that Buddhism is a practical and actionable philosophy that will align with many old school western principles and ethics.
In this article, we will explore the 4 fundamental tenets of Buddhism and “translate” them into bro for you.
Karma Isn’t Magic
You’ve heard of the concept of karma and probably think its something completely nonsensical.
It’s ok, you were likely introduced to the idea of karma by your “crystal worshiping, sage burning spiritual friend” and while they may be a perfectly nice person, they’re also bat shit crazy.
so here is what karma really means in Buddhist tradition:
“action driven by intention, which leads to future consequences.
or, as we might say in the west, cause and effect.
In other words, the universe isn’t going to rearrange itself just to teach you a lesson about humanity because you flipped off that prick who cut you off the other day.
Yet, that’s what the western mind imagines when they here the word karma. I can’t think of a more narcissistic world view but I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise given the state of our culture these days.
Bro translation: Karma=Cause & Effect
The 4-Noble Truths
The 4 noble truths are the “facts of life” from a Buddhist perspective.
You will notice that these truths are nothing groundbreaking but profound.
The problem we have in the west is the interpretation of these noble truths.
For example, truth number 3, the cause of suffering is often described as “desire”.
The knee jerk reaction from a western perspective is, “so what am I suppose to do, just not have any goals or ambition and be happy being a lazy chump?!”
Yet, “desire” in the Buddhist context is envy, jealousy, petty gossip, and the unreasonable expectation that everything will always be good and we will always be happy.
See what I’m saying?
ok, so let’s get the 4 noble truths and then I will give you bro translation.
The 4-Noble Truths:
- The truth of suffering (Dukkha)
- The truth of the origin of suffering (Samudāya)
- The truth of the cessation of suffering (Nirodha)
- The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering (Magga)
- life sucks, then you die
- you bring that shit on yourself by being an envious, delusional, hater.
- you can choose to be happy via the subtle art of not giving a fuck.
- There are only about 8 things worth caring about. Get those 8 things handled, keep all things in moderation and everything is going to be just fine.
The 3 main causes suffering
Let’s go back to truth number 2-the origin of suffering because I think this is important.
These 3 self-inflicted sources of suffering have been around since the beginning of time but are especially prevalent in our current culture.
The 3 main causes of suffering according to Buddhism:
- Greed and desire
- Ignorance or delusion
- Hatred and destructive urges
- You want shit you don’t need because other people have it and you’re a jealous little bitch who thinks having cool shit makes you a better person or will make people like you. You hate those who have more material wealth than you and resent them for it-this is why left-wing neomarxist are really upset, they don’t want equality, they just want to sit on their ass while the government steals on their behalf because it hurts their delicate little ego’s that someone accomplished something they couldn’t.
- You have unrealistic expectations, you think you should be happy every second of every day of your life, you think that everything should be easy, fast and convenient. When times are good you don’t appreciate it because you think it will last forever, when things are hard you get depressed because you think it will last forever. Lifes events are not all that great or all that bad they just feel that way because of our ignorance and delusion so when things are good to enjoy yourself because the next shit storm is just around the corner and when life sucks don’t be a little bitch about, it will be over soon.
- Stop blaming your shit on other people. All that hate will destroy you. Everyone can blame the undesirable circumstances of their life on an external force. If you’re white its those dangerous minorities, if your a person of color its those evil white people, if your woman its the patriarchy, if your man its those gold digging whores, if your poor its the greedy 1% if your rich and in a high tax bracket its those freeloaders on public assistance. All this hate leads to destructive behavior that ranges from harassment on social media to hate crimes and mass shootings. When you do this to yourself you relinquish power over your own life and seeth in anger and hatred that will at least lead you to nowhere and at worse leads to you and others deaths!
The 8-fold path to Enlightenment
Truth number 4 of the 4 noble truths is that there is a path to the end of suffering and that is the 8-fold path to enlightenment.
or as I like to put it, the worlds oldest self-help program or a Buddhist version of the ten commandments.
before we get into the 8-fold path to enlightenment I think we need a westernized definition of enlightenment.
What does “Enlightenment” Mean?
Yet again, smelly unemployed hippies in the west have bastardized this concept.
To the typical westerner you probably think enlightenment is the smug hollier than though condensending attitude of hemp clothing wearing hippies who try to pretend they don’t drive a car because its bad for the environment instead of the fact that they haven’t been gainfully employed for a decade and cant afford one.
As usual, this is not enlightenment and actually a violation of rule 5 of the 8-fold path but more on that in a bit.
When he finds estrangement, passion fades out. With the fading of passion, he is liberated. When liberated, there is knowledge that he is liberated. He understands: ‘Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived out, what can be done is done, of this there is no more beyond.’
Enlightenment= being unaffected by childish emotions and not giving a fuck about shit you can’t control. As a result, you enjoy a profound feeling of happiness and ease about life and even compassion for the fucktards you constantly have to deal with in daily life.
The 8-Fold Path To Enlightenment
- Right understanding: “our actions have consequences, that death is not the end, that our actions and beliefs also have consequences after death, and that the Buddha followed and taught a successful path out of this world…”
- Right Intention: “Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill will, on harmlessness.”
- Right Speech: “Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, and from idle chatter.”
- Right Action: “Abstaining from killing, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from sexual misconduct.”
- Right Livelihood: “Right livelihood, I tell you… is right livelihood with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions…”
- Right Effort: “Here the monk arouses his will, puts forth effort, generates energy, exerts his mind, and strives to prevent the arising of evil and unwholesome mental states that have not yet arisen.” and avoid unwholesome mental states of sensual thoughts, doubts about the path, restlessness, drowsiness, and ill will of any kind.
- Right Mindfulness: “is interpreted as “bare attention”: never be absent-minded, being conscious of what one is doing. Yet, originally it has the meaning of “retention,” being mindful of the dhammas (“teachings,” “elements”) that are beneficial to the Buddhist path.”
- Right concentration: “the right concentration factor is reaching a one-pointedness of mind and unifying all mental factors… is a state of awareness without any object or subject, and ultimately unto nothingness and emptiness.”
Source: The Noble 8-fold Path
Bro translation: The 8-Fold Path To Enlightenment
- Right Understanding: Your beliefs affect your actions. Actions have consequences not only for you but beyond yourself. The effects ripple out not just in your life and the people closest to you but long term affecting the world in tangible ways after your death.
- Right intention: cultivate a positive mental attitude and be cool just to be cool and not because you’re a narcissistic prick who needs a cookie every time you do something that not totally selfish which of course makes it selfish, you prick. Also, understand that nothing lasts forever so don’t be so upset when shit inevitably changes.
- Right speech: Don’t gossip, lie and talk shit about people like that bitch Karen at work.
- Right Action: Act like a respectable fucking citizen for a change. As a grown ass adult you shouldn’t hurt, steal from, or fuck your neighbor’s wife.
- Right Livelihood: Earn money by doing shit people actually want and are willing to pay for instead of being a worthless parasite like politicians, tax collector or thief. Kinda redundant I know, but you get the point.
- Right Effort: keep it positive, keep it healthy, work towards improving in life and actively work to correct negative thoughts.
- Right Mindfulness: develop some self-awareness will you then maybe you would put your foot in your mouth so often.
- Right Concentration: stay focused and stop being so fucking emotional, practice controlling your thoughts and concentration. What are you a 15-year-old girl on her period?
Buddhism Is Totally Practical Bro
I hope this short intro to Buddhist thought has been enlightening. (yeh, I’m not above puns, deal with it)
While I’m sure Buddhism can offer endless deep insights into life the universe and all of the existance I first came to appreciate how straight forward and practical the phylospohy of Buddhism is.
If you care to explore the deep realms of this faith by all means but the practical straight forward principles listed above are good enough for a simple bro like me.
Most importantly, I hope you can see beyond the body odor and pachouli smoke screen created by dirty western hippies who have bastardized Buddhist with their mystical, magical, narcissistic world view and instead see it as a real and practical resource and philosophy for living well.