Although I’m kind of fascinated by religion, it’s never really worked for me. I’m too practical and honest with myself to pretend I believe the stories–even in a metaphorical way. I can see the community and support that can come from church, but I also see the hypocrisy and judgment that often comes along with it and it turns me off. But I’ve never looked into Buddhism before. I don’t remember what first prodded my interest, but it seemed like a philosophy that would fit better with my personality. So, I picked up Buddhism Plain & Simple (1997) by Steve Hagen after reading some reviews on Amazon. And now I am intrigued and confused.
The introduction sucked me in, stating that a lot of us feel that we are intelligent creatures living in a meaningless world; that we try to gain security through money, power, education etc., but that real security is impossible. However, Hagen states that it’s our minds that are causing all this fear and uncertainty, and we can change that through enlightenment. He goes on to say that Buddhism is not about making up stories as explanations, but it’s about people finding the Truth for themselves. I appreciated that Buddhism didn’t include another creation myth, and I liked the idea of people finding things out for themselves rather than being told how and what to think.
Read the rest of my review here.