The Phuket News
The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News Phuket Life
The Phuket News Arts | Community | Culture | Dining | Education | Phuket Entertainment | Environment | Health | People | Technology | Travel | World Entertainment XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Culture: Why Me? A Buddhist approach to dealing with depression and melancholy

Why Me? It’s a question that many people ask themselves. In fact, I’d wager every person walking this Earth has asked themselves that questionat least once. A wise singer once intoned his Western-tinged insight on this eternal question: “Hard times come, hard times go and in between you hope and pray the scars don’t show. Cause life is strange and so unsure; you’re really not alone you know, ‘cause everybody says, why me?”


Jason Jellison

Sunday 18 September 2016, 10:00AM


Studying the Galapagos’ tortoises gave Darwin an insight into the nature of life. Photo by Sara Yeomans

Although poetic and sage, this lyric doesn’t quite answer the question. In the West, Charles Darwin probably got the closest to providing an answer. One day, as Darwin was studying the wonderous creatures on the isolated shores of the Galapagos Islands, he pondered how so many and varied forms of life could be found in such an remote location.

The answer that he struck upon was that all life needs resources to live. However, he extrapolated, left to their own devices any singular species would eventually exhaust all of its resources. Therefore, competition is a necessary part of life, preventing one species from dominating and thus having nothing to stop it from consuming all its resources.

The answer that narrowly escaped Darwin’s clutches could be found in the East. Buddha actually answered this question with the most critical insight on life ever discovered by man. The answer to “why me?” is this: The very conditions that give rise to life are the same conditions that give rise to suffering.

In other words, life is suffering. I know that many Westerners might angrily reject this theory and decry it as harsh. They will brand this idea with the words fatalistic or cynical. They will claim that life is a happy place and that you should always look on the bright side of life.

Buddha would argue that you should simply see life as it is; not how you wish it to be. The Christian Bible got it right when it declared that, left to his own devices, man would destroy himself. On a more base level, Darwin also got it right when he realised that one form of life cannot exist as a lone, solitary tenant on Earth. The only part where either source went awry was in failing to walk this further intellectual step: If competition is required to regulate life, then suffering is inevitable.

Buddhists believe that we suffer because we live. We tend to think that the only way to end the suffering is to exit the circle of life. Exiting the circle of life means exiting the cycle of rebirth... and therein lies the rub. You see, Buddhists believe that life is not a one-shot deal. As a Buddhist, I believe that we keep coming back here until we get it right. By getting it right, I mean finding Enlightenment. The cycle of rebirth is called samsara and it holds that death is not the end of life. It is simply the end of the body.

Much like buying a car, the next “vehicle” we get all depends on what we have to spend. We accumulate currency towards our next body based on the sum total of the actions we took in the previous body. Much as in capitalism, we can choose to either invest wisely or dwindle it all away.

Often, Westerners get the answer to this question wrong. We fail to see that life’s many tragedies are part and parcel of man’s very existence. Some people conclude that suicide is an easy way to end the pain, but if you are thinking of jumping from a tall building I must ask you a question: Did it ever dawn on you that you may simply jump only to land here yet again?

There is no short-cutting the system. If you try to block the circle of rebirth, it will steamroll you straight into the pavement. The inevitable end of your life is simply its start anew. Life is a serenade of change and in that singsong a sole, benevolent voice warbles right: Although you’re suffering now, your luck could change overnight.

All About Buddhism is a monthly column in The Phuket News where I take readers on my exotic journey into Thai Buddhism and debunk a number of myths about Buddhism, as well as take readers to exotic temples that few of us have gotten to see.


 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail: (No Hotmail, Live, MSN and Outlook accepted at this time)
Security:
    Forget password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Phuket motorbike taxi driver cycling to Bangkok for late King

Any follow up on this story? Surly this, and the wheel chair guy, are of national interest....(Read More)


Patong nightclub operator sacked over shooting incident

Yep good idea, he should look to foreigners for guidance as he hasn't a clue!...(Read More)


One dead, one injured in Phuket 22-wheeler hit-and-run

Oh sorry to offend your sensitivities but there is nothing good or positive to say about it. I See the insanity on a daily basis, they drive with no r...(Read More)


One dead, one injured in Phuket 22-wheeler hit-and-run

As someone never gets tired of telling us all the time that Thailand is an uncivilized,undeveloped,third world country,why the need of reminding us th...(Read More)


Phuket land owners' refusal to sell stalls U-Turn flyover projects

It is all so easy to say,as long as you don't own the property!BTW,who needs a flyover?According to all the doomsayers here and all the upcoming{w...(Read More)


One dead, one injured in Phuket 22-wheeler hit-and-run

After reading the article of PN I just feel very sorry for the motorcyclist. No hateful scorn and/or vitriol. Just all about some thai people who h...(Read More)


Patong nightclub operator sacked over shooting incident

Happenings so far prove that safety of visitors was not a prominent issue, as usual. But than, it is not direct responsibility of the owner Keesin. ...(Read More)


Phuket land owners' refusal to sell stalls U-Turn flyover projects

There we go again! Same as property owners around Chalong circle! What is that between thai government and thai property owners not to come to a agre...(Read More)


Phuket beach safety plunges as surfer rescues ‘safety official’

Can you imagine? Present and future Phuket beach tourists have to read that a local surfer has to rescue a tourist and a 'rescue official' who...(Read More)


Man, 51, drowns at Karon Beach

It is essential when you get a rescued swimmer conscious again to put him/her immediately at breathing apparatus, because the long tissues mostly are ...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
World Entertainment
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.