Philosophy Class

"The Truth will make you odd."

The Buddha Also German Philos. & Buddhism

Buddhism (Some say this is a religion. We classify it as a philosophy.)

1. Guatama Buddha. 536 to 483BC. Buddha means enlightened one. Guatama is family name.

2. His life is laid over w/ legend, but these facts emerge.

3. Born just north of Nepal (India), son of a chieftain or petty King.

4. From a noble cast, though not a Brahman. Brahmans are traditionally holders of the sacred knowledge.

5. At 29 years of age, he left his wife and young son and set out to seek the "cause of human suffering and its spiritual cure."

6. What kind of suffering is there?

7. What cures do people in our society use to cure suffering?

8. He became a wandering recluse,

9. He sat at the feet of several aesthetics and teachers.

10. What is an aesthetic?

11. After 6 years of extreme self-mortification, which he found damaging and did not help his insight, he gained "Enlightenment".

12. He gained this by sitting under a Bo or Bodhi tree.

13. He went right then to the holy city of Banaras and preached his first sermon just outside of the city.

14. The rest of his life he spent in meditation, preaching, and guidance of his followers.

15. He founded an order of monks only.

16. Later women were admitted.

17. He died at 80 and attained final Nirvana. He was cremated.


1. It is summed up in the 4 Noble Truths of the Buddha

1. Life is suffering or dissatisfaction.

2. Origin of suffering is craving or grasping.

3. Cessation of suffering is possible through cessation of craving.

4. The way to end craving is through following the Noble Eightfold Pathway.


1. Right views (beliefs)

2. Right aspiration. (want to do it)

3. right speech (speak it)

4. right conduct (action)

5. right livelihood (whole life

6. Right effort

7. Right mindfulness (mindset)

8. Right contemplation (method) This is crucial or you cannot attain Nirvana.


1. The first two - preliminary frame of mind of aspirant.

2. 3,4,5, = ethical requirements

3. Last 3 = meditative training needed for:

a. contemplative or mystical knowledge of ULTIMATE TRUTH

b. Serenity goes with this.

c. Attainment of peace which is Nirvana.

d. The Saint, upon death, will be born NO MORE.

IMPORTANT - You will not exist as an individual at Nirvana

Other teachings.

1. Reincarnation = You will be born as many times as needed for you to be purified of craving .

2. They speak in some places of the 10,000 reincarnations of the Buddha. The last one is how we know him.

3. In Tibetan Buddhist book of the dead, 490 days is between death and rebirth.

4. Meantime, you go to a place where you receive "divine secrets".

5. For the impure, these secrets are so frightening, one flees back to earth and is reborn.

6. Buddhist believes a soul is reborn in a body to fit the state of the soul at death.

7. The is no God as Christians or Jews believe to the Buddhist.

8. Some Buddhists conclude that there is an indefinite backwards direction thru previous birth.

9. The claims of remembering past lives are commonly made for the Buddha and Buddhist saints. Most do not claim to remember past lives.

10. The monastic life is considered crucial for attaining Nirvana.

11. The laity must wait. Moral rules for laity are more lax.


1. No taking of a life (even an animal, though you may eat what another kills and prepares)

2. Live along with what are other basic moral laws.

3. Live an austere life.

4. Celibacy is mandatory.

5. You won merely your begging bowl and robe.

6. Self control and meditation

7. No intoxicants.

13. Different schools of this philosophy.

1. Some saints sacrifice Nirvana to help others. They put off their release from this

life of suffering.

2. One school says reality is void.

3. One school says - Phenomena are product of mind.

4. One schools says You will realize the unreality of the world through contemplative experience.


1. Buddha did not believe in a Creator. The problem of suffering precluded that.

2. The series of (transitory states) conventionally known as "John Smith" ceases to exist.

(Substitute self for transitory states).

3. According to Buddha, the question "Does the saint continue to exist after final Nirvana is "put wrong", so he can't answer it.


QUESTIONS: If we were a Buddhist and follow this thinking to its logical conclusions:

YOUR answers..

1. What attitude would a Buddhist have towards social responsibility.

2. What attitude toward technology and the physical sciences.?

3. What attitude toward individual human rights?


Modern German Philosophy and Buddhism

1. It has been said that Buddhism is the only respectable alternative to a (Realistic) philosophy.

2. Neitzche repeats Buddha (and followed his predecessor German philosopher Schoepenhaur), because he repeats Schopenhaur (pessimist) philosopher who said "All life is suffering."

3. Schopenhaur said all is under force of the unconscious blind "Will" which sweeps your life into the stream. It uses you for its own purposes and not for your own good.

4. Example: You think that you love and marry a woman for your good. You are fooled into thinking you are working for your own good. You are really used and abused by this blind will.

5. In reality having and raising your children eats up your being for the good of the future, and to your own detriment. Marriage makes you suffer.

4. Neitzche - Suddenly got the ideas of the eternal reoccurrence. (Reminds of the Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree?). He doesn't give any discursive reasoning. It just came to him.

5. Eternal Reoccurrence - Everything that happens now, happened before infinitely in the past. It will happen over, and over, and over again forever in the future.


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