Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Buddha Said That Desire Leads To Suffering

Desire and ignorance.

Pete Townshend said: "I waaaaant it, I waaaaant it, I waaaant it, I waaaaaant it[...]" That's from the lyrics to his song "Magic Bus." I take the Townshend approach. I certainly don't deny that desire can lead to suffering, but it can also lead to getting what you want, which can be awesome. (Or so I've heard.) Overcoming desire may be serene, but it also sounds a bit boring to me. I'll take the downs to get the ups. No decaf for me, please. I'll take the pain which comes with the greed.

It may be that Townshend himself, years after having written "Magic Bus," embraced the Buddhist teaching of the overcoming of desire. After he'd made millions and millions of British pounds. It seems to be much easier to renounce desire after you've gotten everything you always wanted, and are sitting in a mansion or flat which cost you millions and millions of British pounds, but was a real bargain at that price coz it's amazing, with a car that costs more than most houses parked outside next to your many other cars which cost even more, wearing one of your watches each of which costs more than most cars.

I might do it that way, too. Give me everything I've ever wanted first, and then we'll see what I want to renounce.

Maybe Townshend has not embraced that Buddhist teaching. I don't actually know. I'm just saying that I listen to Buddhists and I'm all meh, and I listen to "Magic Bus" and I'm all fired up. The one speaks to me, as the saying goes. The other does not.

I'm not knocking Buddhism if that's what you like, and obviously, many people do. If it gives you what you want -- good! But I wonder if there's anything that everyone would like. You very well might not want much of anything that I want. Rich tapestry.

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