Reply To: 26.5.2014 Ancient Futures

Author Replies # Posted on May 28, 2014 at 07:54

Reply to Yongliang Gao
By Nik Petek

To be honest Gao, I know even less about Buddhism than you probably, but I agree with you that I associate inner peace with Buddhism. One of the attractions of Buddhism is that it encourages the abandonment of your desires, and by that I mean things you do not need to survive in the world (or so my stereotypical perception of Buddhism tells me). I read a book by the German author Herman Hesse called ‘Siddharta’. The book talks about a person, who wants to become a follower of Buddha, but during his life he gets enticed by his desires and lust, only to have everything and be miserable, so he then returns to a monk he met once to finally understand what Buddha was teaching. The goal of the novel was to tell us that we do not need all these material goods in life, and that they will make us unhappy. This author has a series of novels on a similar topic from various points of view.

Recently a study was published that having lots of money and using it to buy things (so not having lots of money per se) does in fact make people miserable and less empathetic. Hope that this goes some way towards seeing pieces of Buddhism as relevant for future sustainable development.