A way of life

- Wynthia Goh (gohwyn@slip.technet.sg)

As I became increasingly knowledgeable about more and more "religions" it became natural that Buddhism would appeal to me more than any other.

My approach to it as with a lot of other stuff in life have always tended to be from the pursuit of rationality and reason. In an age with we are bombarded with "secular" knowledge much of which our livelihood depends even, what I embrace must not conflict with what I learnt growing up and what science uncovers everyday. Everything I know must all help to make this world clearer. I cannot spilt my brain and hold two system of beliefs, one for my "spiritual" needs and another for secular living. If you don't know what I mean, than here is an example.

When a system crashed and a HD was presumed lost, an engineer managed to recover the FATs and the data was recovered. Who does the user thank? "Thank god, for he blessed the system" And the engineer was thus dismissed for his efforts afterall, he was but the hand of "god"?

Or like when one sit down for a meal and little prayers are uttered thanking the almighty for his grace and the food before one but little is said of the agricultural scientists who come up with new strains that grow faster and stronger to feed the hungry mouths of the world or of ignonimous farmers who harvest the crop.

Buddhism appeals to my reason. If I have ever felt it asking me to have faith, I would be a Buddhist no longer. Like the Buddha himself said, "...that we must not believe in a thing said merely because it is said; nor traditions because they have been handed down from antiquity; nor rumors, as such; nor writings by sages, because sages wrote them; nor fancies that we may suspect to have been inspired in us by a Deva (that is, in presumed spiritual inspiration); nor from inferences drawn from some haphazard assumption we may have made; nor because of what seems an analogical necessity; nor on the mere authority of our teachers or masters. But we are to believe when the writing, doctrine, or saying is corroborated by our own reason and consciousness. "

What best sums up my encounter with Buddhism is perhaps the title of this book I came across. It says "Buddhism: A Way of Life" and because it is about an approach to life rather than about fixed beliefs about life, I grow with it everyday. It is a journey, one which begun before this life and will probably extend beyond it as well.


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